Opinion: As We Round Off Ramadan Fast In Solicitude - EazyFeeds

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Opinion: As We Round Off Ramadan Fast In Solicitude

For about 28 days now, Muslim faithful have literally been gazing upwards in sup­plication in this month of Ram­adan, the ninth month of the Is­lamic calendar. Ramadan is often referred to as the ‘holy
month’; un­derstandably, because in this peri­od, we think more or are expect­ed to think more of the Almighty while attending to earthly af­fairs of feeding. And when we are asleep, our thinking faculty simul­taneously departs us; we are una­ble to ‘sin’ when we are fast asleep, so to speak. Thus at Radaman, we engage in fasting – refraining from food, water and sex during the daytime , endeavour to delve into the teachings of the Prophet to better understand and imbibe them in truth, engage in charity and prayers. In brief we endeav­our to be pious.

Nigerians are said to be a re­ligious people which is true but whether we are really spiritual is another matter altogether. Being religious means observing the doctrines and practices; while be­ing spiritual means making the di­vine messages part and parcel of your life, living them at all times and in everything. If we actual­ly live the tenets of our religions, thus becoming spiritually active, we would not be grappling with the varieties of hatred that suffuse our country and our world today, resulting in mindless murders, vi­olence and wars (big and small) that envelope us. Alas, for most of us, we labour to be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord during Ram­adan and the Lenten (Easter) sea­son for christians. But soon after, we get carried away by the hustle and bustle of everyday living, soon relapse into our old ways, gel with the noisy crowd for whom noth­ing is sacred anymore, and soon forget the enduring truths which our quiet reflections during the important periods of Ramadan and Lent bequeath on us. These droplets of truths are like spiritual seeds within us which need to be constantly watered by us, (through vigilance, not faltering) leading us step by step to All truths; whereby, we come to the certainty of the de­mand, “The Wisdom of the Lord rules the World, strive you men to perceive His magnitude”. Some of us do come to recognition at these times.

“Watch and Pray”, is an admo­nition from Above. However, as with everything with us, we con­centrate mostly on the word ‘pray’, forgetting the twin part ‘watch’ which requires of us to exert our­selves, to constantly see to it that we are on the right path and toe it. We may now say there are many distractions in today’s world that retard us from keeping our gaze and feet on the path shown. That is why we have to bestir ourselves and stand up against the darkness. But when once we evince an hon­est, earnest volition in that regard, we can be sure of help from the Lord, but not before. Apparent­ly, it is to remind us of the need to have our gaze upwards, to heav­en, paradise, that religious institu­tions introduced a fasting period, as we often bury our heads literal­ly downwards, engulfed in earthly pursuits. Were we to continue like this – concerned only with food, drinks and entertainment - the lit­tle flame or droplet of truth within us would soon wither off and we shall lose all support from Above, the source of all life. ‘Seek you first the kingdom of God and all oth­er things shall be added unto you’.

The aim of fasting is to make us concentrate on matters celestial. In depriving ourselves of food and water, which maintains the body, the magnet that gels the physical body and the spirit or soul togeth­er, is a little bit loosened and so we think more of spiritual things for the time being. We have to go about it this way because of our level of spiritual immaturity. If we were spiritually more mature, we should be able to think of God at all times whether on an empty or full stomach. It is just like pray­ing; most of us are able to concen­trate with our eyes closed; where­as a few others are able to pray just as fervently even with their eyes open, oblivious of their sur­roundings in their state of con­centration.

You do not simply become a ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’ by the name you bear or by regularly go­ing to the Mosque for prayers or attending church services. What makes you a Christian or Muslim is living the teachings which preach love, peace and justice.

All the spiritual messages that have come down to us were willed by the Almighty and given to the various peoples according to their levels of spiritual maturity at the time, by the Messengers and Prophets of God. These include Bhudda, Zoroaster, Muhammed. As issued from the mouths of the Messengers and Prophets, they were pure. But they were distort­ed by men (human beings) once they us left us at death.

Ramadan Kareem!

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