Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ramadan Fasting and the purification (cleansing) of souls:

The Holy Quran refers to two features of fasting in Ramadan: 
mental and practical. These are like the wings of a bird on 
which man flies through the heavenly space of spirituality in 
the month of Ramadan.

The Holy Quran says: 
"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Holy Quran, 
as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment 
(Between right and wrong)." Holy Quran (2:185)

This means that in the month of Ramadan, one should get to know 
the Holy Quran better and, through the clearance of guidance, 
take a broader view of the right and wrong of life. 

The Holy Quran says: 
"O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed 
for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil)." 
Holy Quran (2:183)

Here the Holy Quran emphasizes piety; that means fighting against 
and having victory over the false deity of the soul. 

Imam Ali (as) said: 
"The bravest are those who gain victory over the false deity of their souls." 
(Safinatul-Bihar; vol.1, P.689).

In the Holy month of Ramadan, human beings are the guests of God; 
therefore they have to be eligible for His divine honor. 

The Holy Quran says: 
"We purified him so that he could be saved." 
Holy Quran(91:9) 

Also the Holy Quran says: 
"We created man of the best stature. Then We reduced him to 
the lowest degree.
Holy Quran (95:4-5)

God has given man the power and insight to choose his course in life. 
God has also given man the attribute of knowledge in an abstract form. 
This is the divine trust that man has assumed. 

The Holy Quran says: 
"Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and 
the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared 
from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, 
Holy Quran (33:72) 

Satan, who symbolizes the wrong and animal dimensions of man, 
refused out of arrogance to prostrate before Adam and was cast 
out of Paradise. So, in order to retaliate, he has been tempting man 
ever since. For salvation, man needs the purification of his soul 
in addition to knowledge and insight. Such purification is obtained 
by having heartfelt faith in God. Man's soul should enjoin him unto 
good, not unto evil.

The Holy Quran says
"And I do not declare myself free, most surely (man's) self is wont 
to command (him to do) evil, except such as my Lord has had mercy 
on, surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful." 
Holy Quran (12:53)

Man should not be a prisoner of his soul enjoining himself unto evil. 

Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini (RA) said that if man wanted to attain 
human perfection, he should avoid worldly pleasures and strive to 
get nearer to God. 

The Holy Quran says:
"It is He who has placed you as viceroys of the earth....". Then 
how can man, as a viceroy of God, be without the divine attributes 
of his Lord?" A true man of faith has kindled the fire of faith within him, 
and fasting is something that enhances his faith." 

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) said: 
"Fasting is prescribed for man to purify his soul." 

In Ramadan, the month of fasting, you become the guest of God. 
Do praise Him with devotion. God will answer all your prayers in this month. 
Fasting is the glad tidings of God's all-embracing mercy.

Imam Ali (as) asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) on the last Friday 
of the month of Sha'ban: "What is the best thing to do in Ramadan?" 

The Prophet answered: 
"The best thing is to avoid committing sins." 
(Yun al-Akhbar ar-Ridha, vol.1). 

It is also stated that eating and drinking alone do not cause refraining from 
fasting. It should be known that refraining from everything that causes 
man to part from God is also counted.

Fasting has many advantages. God calls man to His feast while he is hungry, 
so then man can best appreciate the value of His bounties.