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Ramadan: Food Festival or Detoxification?

29 July 2011 2,342 views No Comment

It’s the same scenario every year, Ramadan arrives and everything changes. Everywhere you look you see Taqwa (Fear of Allah), Tawbah (Repentance), and All-you-can-eat Lah’ma (Meat). Ramadan went from the Purification month to the free, no-holds-bar, over-eating month. Where’s the Baraqah (Blessing) in this??? There isn’t!

The day prior to, everyone excitedly makes calls congratulating each other for the arrival of Ramadan. Sisters’ look forward to not cooking, Brothers are expected late from the Masjid’, and the youth anticipate reuniting with their ‘Ramadan Crew’. Throughout the day most live a normal life of work, and school, while fasting and trying to read at least a Juz’ (chapter) a day to guarantee completion by the end of Ramadan. Some start carrying a toothbrush around and use it frequently thinking it will prevent bad breath. (Unaware those are actually the toxins from their stomachs that Inshallah by the end of the month will be discarded.) Undermining this, the Prophet PBUH mentioned “the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk” (Bukhari). By the evening we head to our local Masjid, Center, or MSA for Iftar (Breaking our fast).

What’s amazing is as soon as Maghrib time hits, the Muslim Ummah begins looking like 5pm on Wall Street. Chaotic! Why? Because the “Food Festival” has begun! People push and grab to greedily get food first, arguing with eachother and sometimes even getting hostile; Completely forgetting the day they sacrificed where if angered they’re to say “I am fasting.”(Bukhari) When all settles down and its finally time to eat, a huge plate of chicken, biryani, and grape-leaves are offered; add the other dishes people brought from home, and you can mistaken it for Eid. The youth sometimes sneak out to a local restaurant and eat there. Everyone stuffs their faces till their stomachs are full, and their glazed eyes get heavy; forgetting the purpose of fasting, forgetting they’ll be expected to stand a few hours afterwards for Taraweeh and Qiam al Layl (Night Prayers). This community gains nothing from Ramadan besides an unexpected few pounds. The Prophet PBUH advised to eat and drink little “The Son of Adam does not fill a vessel worse than his stomach.” (Ahmad)

The wisdom behind fasting is to detoxify oneself. Fasting became one of the fastest growing health trends in the US. A common goal for all who fast is achieving better health. Fasting has an amazing effect in preserving one’s outer and inner limbs. It combats the unhealthy foods eaten throughout the year while healing, detoxifying your body, and rejuvenating the soul. By in-taking a small amount of food, it also allows your digestive system to rest, which lets excess wastes be discharged. We know that the “devil flows through the son of Adam like the flowing of blood through the veins.” (Bukhari) Since the passageways of your blood become narrow due to hunger and thirst, the passageways of the Devil in the human body also become narrower. Allaah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you attain Taqwa.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)  Imam Ibn AlQayyim Al-Jawziyyah explains “The objective is to restrain the soul from desires by preventing it from those things which it loves (i.e. eating, drinking, and marital relations.)” This restraint strengthens the soul, allowing it to then curb what’s unlawful; resulting in our heart becoming softer and more inclined to that which pleases Allah. It opens our minds to Dhikr (Remembrance) and Istighfar (Repentance) thus preventing you from coming near what Allah dislikes. Things like eating, drinking, and sexual relations brings about vanity and pride. Fasting preoccupies the soul from the sense of having conquered its desires, therefore healing itself with humbleness and humility proving fasting detoxifies heart and soul. Abu Sulayman Ad-Darani said: “Indeed, when the soul hungers and thirsts, the heart softens and becomes pure. And when it is fed, the heart becomes blinded.”

The Prophet (saws) said: “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah won’t accept his fasting.)” (Bukhari) –So let’s say you need to detoxify an unlawful habit, (i.e. cursing, smoking, etc). Fasting allows you to rid yourself of those. Imam Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen reminds that “by fasting you’re constantly remembering Allah; therefore when you desire to do a sinful act, that remembrance of the All-Mighty causes you to withhold yourself from that act.” Instead your acts become that of righteousness. It also detoxifies financial miserliness because while fasting you realize the blessings that you have which others do not causing you to give generously from your wealth and provision for others.

Ramadan…it’s about Purity.

– By: Anonymous

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