What is the true meaning behind Ramadan, and is it being observed truly in this day and age?
The month of Ramadan is a holy month in the religion of Islam. It is meant to be a month of discipline, charity and spiritual development. Anyone fasting is required to abstain from anything considered sinful.
But is that what we really see in today’s society?
Instead of breaking the fast in humility, people unleash their cravings at the end of the day like wild untamed animals. They stuff their faces and their bellies to the point that their bellies bulge out, they become so full that they reach a point that they are almost unable to breathe, and others are hospitalised due to overeating, and this is just the first day of Ramadan.
“A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’”
– Sunan Ibn Majah, Book on Food, hadith 3349
The meaning of these words is clear. Prophet Muhammad (pbuhahf) did not break his fast as though he were at an all-you-can-eat buffet. He did not eat a variety of dishes filled with rice, cheese, meat and desserts. Various traditions mention that he ate dates when he broke the fast and before he would start fasting, in the early hours before sunrise he would eat dates again. There are no narrations that indicate that he broke his fast with an odd number of dates, and then began to gorge himself with all the pleasures of the belly. If the founder of the religion would break his fast with what appears to be just a single type of food, then why is it that those who are fasting stuff their faces with everything they desire until they become too full to function?
So-called Muslim scholars are not infallible, they make mistakes and for the most part, can misguide those that follow them blindly. For example, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department had issued a strange religious ruling that a person’s Ramadan fast will be rendered invalid by the use of medicinal drops in the ear or nose. Yet at the same time, other scholars and institutes deem it permissible and say that it does not invalidate fasting. But here is something a bit more shocking, it is widely known that sexual intercourse invalidates the fast, but non-working scholars such as Sistani have made up strange rulings. He said:
“If penetration is less than the circumcised part of the penis and there is no ejaculation, the fast does not become invalid. However, for a man who has not been circumcised, any amount of penetration – even if it is less than the circumcised part of a penis – invalidates his fast.”
– Ruling 1563
Is this ruling not controversial? Who would believe that engaging in such an act during the time of fasting is acceptable? And at the same time, why does it matter whether the person in question is circumcised or not? A Muslim is meant to be circumcised anyway, so where is the logic behind such a ruling?
Another non-working scholar by the name of Assadollah Bayat Zanjani had destroyed the discipline of fasting from water, he passed a ruling for Muslims stating that:
“Those who cannot bear extreme thirst can drink just enough water to quench it. This would not break their fast”.
This ruling defeats the purpose of fasting. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is supposed to make you understand the pains of hunger that poor people around the world face, it is meant to discipline you through abstaining from your basic desires that are controlling you, it is supposed to make you a more empathetic person towards those that have less. Thus allowing you to understand the importance of what it is like for your brother to not have what you have.
Ramadan has also become a month of increased spending on the most luxurious purchases. Many people buy goods & fashion items specifically for the fasting season, with many consumers spending more on food & clothing during Ramadan than they spend on the rest of the 11 months of the year. In other words, Ramadan is the month of holidays and festivity when everyone is fasting to eat and spend.
Unfortunately, price gouging is common in many Muslim countries during Ramadan.
Sellers are aware that people are going to be entertaining guests, and they raise the prices of food staples during the month. This results in poor Muslims suffering more than less during Ramadan. But that is the bitter irony; when it is Ramadan, people feel the need to be generous and do good deeds, but not during any other month. It is strange that the religion of Islam emphasises charity and helping the poor, but once Ramadan is over, so is the urgency regarding those less fortunate.
Over the years, the care for the poor has decreased significantly. Instead of giving to those in need, who beg in the streets, they are taken and thrown into prison. Dubai, in 2021, had arrested 458 beggars for no criminal activity other than the fact that they were begging during Ramadan. They were arrested because “it ruins the reputation of the Emirates”.
They are not criminals; they are just poor and starving people in need. That is the reason why they are begging. The people of the Earth are starving and lack access to food and water. All the food wasted by Muslims during the holy month could have fed these starving people. Money wasted could have gone to charity and donations so the poor could build a better life.
The real criminals are the leaders, the rich, and the non-working scholars who hoard the wealth they accumulate and ignore the cries of the people who are in desperate need. Some billionaires & millionaires spend billions on worthless items that could instead be given to charity. Nassef Sawiris is one of the wealthiest men in Egypt, with an estimated net worth of 8.1 billion USD, he has all this money while there are 30.6 million people in his country who are poor. The House of Saud fools millions around the world as a pious family, which claims custody over the two cities Mecca and Medina, which many Muslims believe to be holy sites. Yet they have an estimated net worth of $1.4 Trillion, why do they need all that money while many are suffering? Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the UAE has a net worth of $15 billion. There are those in the Middle East who are filthy rich, but how do they spend their money? Where is their act of charity during the holy month while millions in the region are starving?
THE CORRECT RAMADAN
The Muslim community is greatly divided. Muslims from around the world don’t begin fasting on the same day, even if they are in the same country, because scholars interpret the start of the lunar calendar with the first sighting of the moon. But the way to determine is arguable, whether it is with the use of a telescope, satellite or the naked eye. And because of this, it often happens that many might begin the month of Ramadan one day later than others, and this is all due to the difference of opinions from the non-working scholars. The Muslim community has been led far astray by those who claim to lead and guide them.
The Saviour of Mankind, the promised Mahdi and reformer, Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip) had revealed that the Fasting of the people and the Lunar Calendar the Muslims use today is not accurate, to the extent that even the month of Ramadan is not on the correct date.
Look at the two months of Rabee’ Al-Awal and Rabee’ Al-Thani, they translate to “First Spring” and “Second Spring”. Everyone knows that spring begins in March, yet with the Lunar Calendar, it’s constantly changing. This year, the month of the first spring according to the so-called Islamic Calendar of 2020 is in October, and the Second Spring is in November. Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip) has revealed the correct order of the Hijri months and their correct time and order.
The religion of Islam is meant to be something which can be practised easily. Would a good, merciful, and loving God allow you to fast in the hottest part of the world, in the hottest month, with long daylight hours? If Ramadan were to be during the summer, it would be extremely difficult, some people fasting in the Middle East may be fasting for 13 hours in the unbearable heat, while others in countries away from the equator like the United Kingdom would fast for 16 hours or in Norway for 20 hours. How is this from a wise and fair creator?
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”
– Holy Quran, Al-Baqarah verse 185
The month of hypocrisy with the mood for food is now over and the real Ramadan with its true practices has returned. God would not allow a month which is meant to be about an individual practising discipline, giving to charity & becoming more spiritually advanced to become a month in which an individual only cares about the fulfilment of desire. This is far from the practices of God and far from the required practises of a true devotee of God.