In the Name of God, the All Compassionate, the All Merciful,welcome to our Ramadhan Special titled: Showers of Mercy. Among the lunar months, the blessed month of Ramadhan enjoys a specific sanctity. As we read in one of its special supplication which the faithful recite daily:
"This is the month which you have exalted and made venerable and sublime, preferring it above all of the months."
Fasting along with the recitation of the holy Qur'an and reading the special supplications of Ramadhan increase our devotion to God Almighty and His wise laws. In this month, the fasting persons make sincere efforts by striving selflessly towards the infinite mercy of God. The blessed month of Ramadhan is the month of practice. In this blessed month in which the gates of divine mercy are open to all, whoever steps towards light, God will enlighten his heart.
As we said before in our earlier articles, Like the revelation of the holy Qur'an, Ramadhan is the month in which God revealed divine scriptures to several of his previous prophets Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (PBUH), the 6th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and progeny), says in this regard:
"The Torah was sent down on the 6th of Ramadhan, the Evangel on the 12th, the Book of Psalms on the 18th, and the Fur qan (or the Qur'an) on the Grand Night."
Thus it is clear the blessed month of fasting is indeed the month of mercy to God's creatures. After fasting for forty days the Lord had granted Prophet Moses (PBUH) the Law as mentioned in Exodus Chapter 24, verse 18). Interestingly, after a similar fasting period Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was commissioned in his office by God as mentioned in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 4, verse 2. Thus, there is justification in the Almighty's special granting of forgiveness and bestowing of favours to obedient Muslims, who fast as per His Command fast for the whole month consecutively.
Another important point is the manner of nutrition in the blessed month of Ramadhan, which is of great significance, in view of a hadith of the Prophet that says: Fast in order to be healthy. Physicians confirm this reality, since gluttony increases diseases like blood pressure, heart diseases and even cancer. The blessed month of Ramadan is thus a wonderful opportunity for avoiding gluttony. By observing moderation in consuming food, one can be immune from the ailments of the digestive system. Doctors believe that there is no need for consuming too much food during Iftar and Sahar. But what is important is the appropriate nutrition in the blessed month of Ramadhan. Human body has regulating mechanism which becomes active during fasting. As a result the extra calories and fats are burnt effectively. A balanced diet for preserving a person's health is sufficient in Ramadhan. Usually the disorders of the digestive system stem from the gluttony and unbalanced nutrition.
Dr. Ali Shams Nouraie an expert in nutrition in Iran says regarding the meals in Iftar and Sahari: the consumption of nourishing foods and liquids during Sahar can provide the energy required for the daily activity and decrease the side effects resulting from shortage of food and liquids.
Dr. Nouraie says that during Sahar, the fasting people should plan a perfect food program containing sufficient protein and carbohydrates. Also liquids like water or fruit juice should be used in Sahar. During Iftar the body is in need of an energy source especially for the brain and nerves cells. Dates and fruit juice are good sugar sources. Pious persons enjoy good characteristics which distinguish them from others. Monotheism, fulfillment of covenant, cheerful countenance and good temper towards others are among these good characteristics. These good characteristics are reflected both in a person's words and deeds. Certainly having a good temper and cheerful countenance has positive effects on the society as well as the atmosphere at home. The importance of this characteristic is to the extent that the Prophet says the reward of the one who enjoys a good temper is like that of the fasting and praying person. Sometime a kind look and a kind word can gladden the hearts of others. The Prophet says: Among the best acts in the Divine Court is to gladden the faithful.
In verse 4 of Surah Qalam, God lauds the Prophet of Islam's excellent manners with the words:
"And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality."