بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O’ you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may ward off (evil).”
The Holy Prophet (s) said:
الصَّومُ جُنَّةٌ مِن النارِ
“Fasting is a shield for protection against Hell fire.”
This is the month of Allah; the month of guidance, mercy, repentance, and forgiveness. This is the month of supplications (Duaas) and the revelation of the Quran.
During this month the doors of heaven are open.
The purpose of fasting in Islam is to train us to suppress our natural appetites and to shun evil. It does not mean abstaining only from food and drink but from every kind of evil. Abstention from food is only a step towards the main objective. The main objective is to purify our conduct and character, and to charge the soul with the divine attributes of Allah.
Achieving piety is the goal of fasting.
Imam al-Sadiq (A) said: “Fasting is not achieved simply by the renunciation of eating and drinking. When you observe fast your eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, and sexual parts should also be fasting with you. A true observer of fast is the one who prevents all his limbs and body parts from sins. Such fasts belong to God’s special servants”.
We should not follow our low desires and allow the organs of our body to sin. Let us cleanse ourselves from all diseases of the soul.
The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:
حُفَّتِ الْجَنَّةُ بِالْمَكَارِهِ، وَحُفَّتِ النَّارُ بِالشَّهَوَات
“Paradise is enveloped by difficulties and Hell Fire is enveloped by desires.”
The control over our desires can take us in to a deeper connection with Allah, for obedience is the purpose of our creation.
One of the philosophies behind fasting in the month of Ramadan is to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor.
We should take advantage of this month of Allah to receive His mercy.
We need to remember that every act of worship has its philosophy. Worship should not be like a habit; rather we should perform acts with understanding.
Imam Sadiq (as) has said, “God made fasting obligatory so that the rich and the poor are made equal. If there was no fasting, the rich would never experience the feeling of hunger that would make them have mercy on the poor, for whenever the rich desire something they are able to acquire it. Thus God desired to place His servants on the same level, so that the rich experience hunger and pain so that they have compassion for the weak and have mercy on the hungry.”
Therefore, don’t forget the hungry and thirsty people around you at the time of breaking of your fast.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Prophet (s) said: He who wakes up without any concern for the affairs of Muslims, is not a Muslim.
Bloodshed is everywhere; in Pakistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Burma, Kashmir and Yemen.
Raise your voice in this month of Allah against injustice.
It is the duty of all believers to join our hands together and fight against injustice, aggression, oppression, and discrimination.
Please remember the last Friday of the Holy month of Ramadan as the Global Day of Quds.
Invite all the peace loving people to voice their opposition to the unjust and illegal occupation of Palestine.
Invite people of conscience to display their solid determination in support of the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine.
We need to support the oppressed, whoever and wherever they are, and seek justice for these nations that are being strangled by oppressive powers.
It is said that silence in the face of oppression only benefits the oppressors, never the victim. By not speaking out, we have chosen the side of the aggressor and aided them in their mission.
Remember Imam Ali’s Last Will:
وكُونا للظَّالِمِ خَصماً ولِلمَظلومِ عَوناً
“Be an enemy of tyrants and oppressors and be a friend and helper of those who are oppressed and tyrannized.”
May Allah accept our prayers, supplication and deeds in this holy month.
May Allah bless you and your family.
Syed Sartaj Zaidi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
May 27, 2017