The most spiritual of all the 12 lunar months of the Moslem calendar, Ramadan is a month of introspection and prayer, a period of spiritual renovation and a confirmation of faith. Fasting during the daytime underlines one’s devotion to God and night-time Ramadan feasts mix the austerity of faith and prayer with another important fundamental of Islam – the duty to be social and agreeable and to fight evil.
Ramadan is practised by all the Moslem Community (Ummatan Wahedatan), which gains self-discipline (Taqwa) through the experience, learning from the lessons received while at prayer and becoming prepared for the next 12 months, after which there will be another Ramadan.
The last day of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitre, is spent with family and friends. It is the day on which presents are exchanged and charity is given to the poor and needy. It underlines the beliefs of the Moslem faith and reinforces the rules of good practice of Islam: Faith in God and the Prophets, an appeal to Rightfulness, the prohibition of indecency, and the need to form a moderate community (Ummatan Vassatan) which practises the right path (al ciratul mustaqin). Members of the community should set an example for others to follow, practising good.
The Sura Al Baqarah, verse 143, in the Noble Qu’ran, mentions the need to be moderate and not radical: “and in this way, we made you an Ummah justly moderate by which you could be witnesses against the (Infidel) Men; and the Messenger could witness your actions”.
It is a pity the actions of the few extremists hijack the religion under false pretences and give all Moslems everywhere a bad name. Actions of people like Osama Bin laden and regimes like that created by Mullah Mohammad Omar are perversions of the religion and acts of heresy.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru