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Ramadan denotes social cohesion and spiritual uplift

Dr Anwar Ghani – Ramadan denotes- Dr Anwar Ghani Web

Muslims around the world are currently experiencing the Holy Month of Ramadan.

This is the Ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which the Holy Book of Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) through Angel Gabriel (Jibreel).

Muslims look forward to this blessed month and prepare themselves to reap maximum reward by improving their spirituality and good deeds.

They abstain from actions, thoughts or general conduct which are forbidden or bad for the humanity.

For followers of Islam, it is a time for extra worship and reflection on own-self.

This month is also about improving patience with one another, expressing kindness towards others, perseverance in doing good to family, friends, neighbours and specially looking after the weak and the vulnerable in the society.

Divine Gift

Ramadan is gift from God to Muslims in particular and humanity in general to focus on positivity, sharing and caring within the family and society at large.

This month has been bestowed to improve social cohesion and inclusiveness in its purest form. Sharing food and showing kindness to others are the basic elements of improving social cohesion. Respecting others, regardless of their social, political, religious and financial status are building blocks of social cohesion.

New Zealander Muslims have done well to bond within themselves. However, there is potential for improvement through wider sharing of the spirit of Ramadan with fellow Kiwis. This will in turn lift societal understanding about each other.

In my native country of India, and in many other Islamic and secular countries, Muslims and non-Muslims promote brotherhood during Ramadan by inviting each other to break the fast. As the saying goes, if you break the bread together you will develop greater understanding and appreciation about one and other.

Easy in Winter

Fasting from dawn to dusk during winter months in New Zealand is easy.

We hardly feel the fasting hours because days are short and the temperature is cool.

Fasting in tropical countries can be highly demanding with soaring temperatures (more than 45 degrees Celsius during Summer months) and days longer days (16-18 hours).

It can be particularly harsh for people who have to work in that intense heat to earn their livelihood while keeping the fast.

There are many who fast every day because they don’t have much to eat due to poverty, war, climatic disasters or other calamities.

The Holy Month has been prescribed for every able adult Muslim to experience hunger and think of social cohesion not only at a local or national level but also on a global level about all human beings.

Allah’s Order

Ramadan has been declared sacred in the Holy Quran wherein Allah says:

“O, you who believe, fasting is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become pious.” (Chapter 2, Verse 183).

“The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but who so among you if sick or on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty, is expiation – the feeding of a poor man. And who so does well of his own accord it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew”.  (Quran: Chapter 2, Verse 185).

May Allah Almighty accept our fasts and all the good deeds. May He bless New Zealand with peace and prosperity and help in creating a most cohesive society living in harmony with each other.

Dr Anwar Ghani is a thought leader on strengthening communities. Since 2010 he has been listed in the List of Top 500 Most Influential Muslim Leaders of the world. He is the Immediate Past President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

He will write a regular Column in Indian Newslink.

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Photo Caption:

The Holy Quran was revealed to the world during the Holy Month of Ramadan

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