RamadanWorld News

The Divine Feast of Fasting (9)

The Divine Feast of Fasting


Today(18 July) is the 9th of the blessed month of fasting, Now we start our article with the special prayer for this day: “O Allah! Appoint me a portion this day of Your all-embracing mercy; guide me therein to Your clear and bright proofs; and draw me with my forelock towards Your all-around approval; with Your love, O Hope of the ardent!”

Ramadhan is the month of refining the soul by abstaining from sins. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) regarding the reward of fasting has said: God brings the fasting person closer to Him, eases the hard moments of death, makes him immune from the hunger and thirst of the Day of Resurrection, keeps him away from the fire of hell, and grants him the blessings of Paradise.

Indeed these words of guidance from the Prophet continue to inspire the faithful in observing fasts in accordance with their rule in order build the qualities of patience, piety, forbearance and other noble characteristics that help us overcome the hurdles of life. Life in this world is accompanied with many problems. In dealing with problems, human beings show different reactions. Some overcome the problems, some others learn to live with them, and they are some who are overcome by them. We usually do not welcome hardships and we get anxious upon encountering them. But actually hardships are not so unbearable. In many times, it is this hardship that blossoms our talents and increases our capability.

Psychologists believe that life is not without problems. But what makes a person totally succumb to the problems of life is lack of faith in God to stand up to psychological pressures. The first important point in dealing with hardships is that mankind should think of the positive results that problems might create for him. It is evident that problems boost human moral and increase the power of toleration. The Prophet’s First Infallible Successor, Imam Ali (AS), says the wood of trees growing in an arid region is harder than the wood of trees that grow beside rivers and streams. The Imam means to say that since such trees grow in intolerable conditions they are more resistant than the other trees. Sometimes God examines us with hardships so that our essence and degree of faith, or lack of it, becomes manifest. In many instances problems strengthen faith and make us turn these problems into opportunities in our quest for achieving perfection. Martyr Morteza Motaharri had said: Divine trial is aimed at testing our will for perfection of our own characteristics. God exposes mankind to calamities in order to strengthen the spiritual aspects. Therefore problems and hardships play an important role in making hidden talents flower.

Here we have an anecdote: Centuries ago, there was a good and benevolent person called Abu Omar Zojaji. On the death of his mother he inherited a house. He sold it for 50 Dinars and set out for the Hajj pilgrimage. On his way, while he was passing through Nineveh in Iraq, a thief approached him and asked him what did he have? Zojaji thought that nothing is better than honesty. So he decided to tell the thief the truth. He said I have 50 dinars with me. The thief asked for the money and took it. The thief counted the money and then gave it back to Zojaji, who was surprised and asked him why did he return the money? The thief said it was your honesty that ashamed me, jolted my conscience, and made me return to you your money, which I actually wanted to steal. Zojaji added: I well observed regret on the face of the thief. It was quite clear that he had repented of his past behavior. He became so remorseful that he dismounted the horse he was riding, asked Zojari to ride instead, and accompanied him to the Hajj pilgrimage. The former thief gave away to the people what he had so far stolen and performed the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Humbleness is among the other signs of pious persons. In ayah 63 of Surah Furqan, God says:

“And the servants of the Beneficent God are they who walk on the earth in humbleness”

The noteworthy point in this ayah is that humbleness has been considered a sign of servitude. Those who have firm faith in the glory of God, view themselves as insignificant in the world. This pleasant sense causes them to be humble before the Almighty. Whoever understands the pleasure of humbleness before God he is humble towards the servants of God. History bears testimony that one of the mysteries of the success of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in pushing forward his objectives was his humble behavior. Humble people are respected in the society and association with them instills friendship and affection at hearts. Whoever is humble for the sake of God, the Almighty will raise his status among the people. The Prophet says in this regard: Be humble so that God exalts you.

Thus in view of the Prophet’s statement, humbleness is a worthy characteristic which stems from the pure innate nature of human beings.


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