Ramadan: A Universal Guest For all Muslims Arrives
By Musa Odeh, Exclusively for The Muslim Observer
Muslims from all over the world are greeting an annual guest. Ramadan, which is the holiest month in a Muslimâ€™s life, has arrived. These 29 or 30 days depending on the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar are given yearly to better the lives of all Muslims and reconnect them with God.
Fasting these 30 days is not only holy, but an obligation to a Muslim, being one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Allah states in The Holy Koran, â€œO You who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain God-consciousness.â€ 2:183.
During the course of the month, Muslims will abstain from eating, drinking, or having sex from sunrise to sunset–defined in the dictionary as fasting.
Eating and drinking, not prohibited in Islam normally, are sacrificed during this month for the sake of Allah (God). Self-discipline is a key quality during Ramadan, because the lack of food and drink when you are hungry and thirsty is very difficult. Amongst other things prohibited during the month of Ramadan is sex.
â€œFasting the whole day is truly a challenge, I get tired a lot faster and the days seem to be longer. Having no relations with my wife throughout the day is a bit difficult,â€ stated Omar Abdelkarim, a Dearborn man who has been fasting for 21 years and married for 6.
During this month, Muslims are expected to clean up their acts and bring themselves closer to Allah. Muslims believe this spiritual month has been given to them as a gift from God to erase sins committed throughout the year. Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril, a prominent figure in the Dearborn community as well as a knowledgeable scholar, summarized Ramadan by reciting Prophet Muhammadâ€™s (s) famous hadith, â€œThe beginning of Ramadan is mercy, the middle of it is forgiveness and the end of it is emancipation from hellfire.â€
Sheik Ahmad Musa Jibril, a top-notch graduate from the Islamic University in Madina, Saudi Arabia, received his degree in Shariâ€™a. He is also a hafiz and accomplished this milestone before reaching the age of 12. Sheik Ahmad then furthered his education by receiving a Master’s degree in Law from Wayne State University.
The month of Ramadan brings multiplied blessings for those who do good. Most deeds are multiplied by 700 during this holy month, as opposed to the factor of 10 that usually applies. On the reverse side, it brings multiplied sins for those who do bad. Muslims believe the devils are shackled during this Holy month, which frees us from their influence to do other than what is good. Giving to the poor during this month is obligatory–Zakatul fitr.
Although alms-giving is a must, (another of the 5 pillars of Islam) Muslims get extra good deeds for helping the needy.
Another verse in the Qur`an states:
â€œIn the month of Ramadan the Koran was revealed, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast.
But who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. Allah desires your well-being, not your discomfort. He desires you to fast the whole month so that you may magnify Him and render thanks to Him for giving you His guidance.â€ (2:185).
Those who are exempt from fasting the month of Ramadan but make up the days later include, pregnant women, those on a journey and the physically ill.
Shiekh Musa Jibril, another Islamic scholar and prominent Dearborn figure chose another quote from Prophet Muhammad (s) that best signifies Ramadan to him.
The Prophet (s) told Muath Bin Jabal (one of his companions), â€œI love you Muath. Can I show you the gate of goodness?â€ Muath answered, â€œYes.â€ The Prophet then said, â€œThe first category is fasting, which is a shield from hellfire. The second category is giving charity for the sake of Allah, which extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire. The third category is standing in prayer throughout the last part of the night.â€ Then the Prophet recited the following verse from the Holy Quran: â€œThey forsake their beds supplicating their lord in fear of Allah and hope for what they want.â€ (32:16).
Sheikh Musa Jibril another top graduate from the Islamic University in Madina, Saudi Arabia, received his degree in tawheed.
He was also the imam (prayer leader of a mosque) of the Dearborn Moslem Society Mosque in Dearborn for 20 years. Shiekh Musa has also memorized the entire Qur`an and continues to preach Islam on a daily basis, no matter where he is.