MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 24 April) — A lot has already been written about the import and significance of fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan in both the purely religious dimension and medical point of view.
From the religious point of view, a devout Muslim fasting that earned for him the pleasure of Allah, is a sure ticket to Jannah (Heaven) insha Allah. The holy month of Ramadhan is replete with all the chances to earn Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and tremendous blessings in all aspects of life both here and on the day hereafter.
From the medical point of view, fasting has been regarded as healthy or with some physical, emotional and psychological benefits. Logically, the body systems need a little respite, at least one month (Ramadhan) every year, after being bombarded with all kinds of foods and drinks for 11 months annually. Dr Maurice Buccaille, a French medical doctor who reverted to Islam several years ago confirmed the health benefits of fasting. Dr. Buccaille was also the author of the now popular “The Qur’an, the Bible, and Modern Science.”
This time, I have decided to delve on the dire consequences of deliberately omitting, missing, avoiding, or the sheer dislike for fasting. Allah (subhanahu wa taala) has ordained fasting for all mankind when he said in the holy Qur’an, “O Ye Who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint” (2:183). This means that the principle of self-restraint or self-denial for food, drinks, and sex during the day is not new.
Despite this Qur’anic injunction, there are still those who do not perform this fourth pillar (among the 5 Pillars of Islam) for varied reasons. Some are simply adamant or lazy, while others try to give alibis. If we consider the next verse from the same chapter quoted above, there is actually no such thing as a valid reason. “For those who do it with hardship, there is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that gives more out of his own free will, it is better for you. But better, still, is for him to fast, if ye only knew” (2:183). Islamic scholars were of the view that this ransom could either be the feeding of one indigent person for the whole month of Ramadhan or feeding sixty indigents simultaneously at one time. Fasting, therefore, during the month of Ramadhan is either by direct or indirect participation (through ransom).
As there is practically no valid reason not to perform or participate in the ‘Ramadhan Fast’, what will happen to those who refuse to participate?
During the time of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), someone told him of one who was able-bodied but does not fast during Ramadhan. The Prophet (pbuh), in his innate goodness, well-mannered, and compassionate, upon hearing this, uttered three times: “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced!”
The Prophet (pbuh), who earned from his peers the name “al-ameen” (the trustworthy) and the Qur’an mentioning him as “khairi halq” (best of creation), is cursing that someone. The act of willfully omitting the Ramadhan Fast can only be such an atrocious omission and an abominable act.
No less than Allah (swt) testified: “Indeed in this book (Qur’an) is notification for a worshipping people. And we have not sent you (O Muhammad), except as a mercy to the worlds (of mankind)” (21:106-107).
If the Prophet of Allah, sent as mercy for humanity, who has mercy for even the enemies of Islam, has mercy in his heart for the pillars of the kuf’r (non-believer) – the pillars of animosity to his deen (religion), yet the Prophet (pbuh) had curses for someone who did not participate in the month-long fasting, then one can imagine the wrath of Allah (swt) befalling upon such an adamant soul.
Have you ever been cursed by a pious person, by your pious mother or father, or any pious man of God you know? Someone who says to your face: “May you be disgraced (3x)”!!!
The month of Ramadhan was dubbed as Rahma (month of mercy), magfirah “month of forgiveness”, and itqom minan na’r (shield from the hellfire). The holy month is loaded with a lot of chances for earning the pleasure of Allah (swt), His forgiveness, and a guarantee of being shielded or protected from the fire of Hell.
But for the non-participant to the obligatory fasting and all the other Sunnah (optional acts pleasing in the eyes of Allah, and practiced by the Prophet), the month of Ramadhan could turn to be a month of WRATH and a month of ANGER from Allah (swt). It is a month of eternal regrets by the non-believer!
Are you one of them?
While most people are competing in this holy month, seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and tremendous blessings, you lay idle in your own comfort zone? The man who lives for the month of Ramadhan and yet does not join the race or simply neglect it? Do you think the result is mere loss of rewards for such negligence? No. It can only result to having committed a mortal sin, loss of rewards, and earning the ire of Allah (swt).
If you are not forgiven this month of Ramadhan, when will Allah (swt) forgive you?
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a freelance writer, planning consultant, and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)