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Topic initiated on Tuesday, April 10, 2007  -  4:04 PM Topic is locked

an article appeared in ‘Communalism Combat’ in its Nov 2006 issue:-

Collective force By MAHESH BHATT
The Famous Film maker and Human Rights activist MAHESH BHATT observes daily fast (roza) during Ramdan – Why?
On the 14th day of Ramdan, as I drove back home to break my daily fast (Roza), a deep on my cell phone alerted me to an incoming message. This is what the message said: “Hello, Mr. Bhatt, I understand through your utterances and writings that you are not a religious man and you do not believe in the efficacy of prayer. But I have now learned that you maintain Roza in the month of Ramdan. Your actions, Mr. Bhatt, bewilder the Hindus and shock the Muslims as well. May I ask why you keep Roza?”
This question from a stranger made me smile but since the query was an innocent one I instinctively punched in my response, which was, “Islam is a part of my heritage. I was born to a Brahmin Hindu father and a Shia Dawoodi Bohra Muslim mother. When I was a child my mother would ensure that I fasted for at least one day in the month of Ramadan. I remember her telling me that during the month of Ramadan the Muslims say that the gates of heaven are open. This is the month when Muhammad received his first revelation. After my mother died six years ago I realized that the only way to keep her alive within me was to fast for every single day in the month of Ramadan.”
That evening when the distant Azaan was heard and the clock announced that the day’s fast had come to an end, my parched body welcomed the first sip of water that I had taken in 14 hours like a desert would welcome rain. As I bit into an overripe date I discovered that at this particular moment I was a part of this collective release which bound me together with millions of people in my country and all over the world with such unnatural force that I experienced a sense of exhilaration like I had never experienced before. And it was then that for the first time I realized what the spirit of Ramadan is really all about. When so many people together wholeheartedly share a common purpose, they are united in a way that one has to experience to truly comprehend. And the exhilaration comes from the fact that it’s not about the individual alone but about all of us, together, doing something so completely.
And it is perhaps this feeling of brotherhood that makes fasting in Ramadan such a unique and joyous experience.
In this buy, consume and junk age where one’s consciousness is being bombarded by all kinds of pleasure peddlers who market their mouth-watering food and drink on the hour by the hour, it is such a relief to shut the door to them and their wares and protect your body from an overdoes of pleasure.
In the month of Ramadan one takes a break from the hedonistic way of life. One gets off the treadmill of constant pleasure seeking and lives a life of austerity and simplicity. This rejuvenates the physical organism and fills one with unusual vigour. As days turn into weeks you being to realize that the human organism spends too much energy in trying to process excess food intake. The maxim that man is killed by too much food begins to make sense.
In the first few days of Ramadan, when the pangs of hunger gnaw at your insides leaving you to constantly stare at the clock, you suddenly feel as if there is an invisible umbilical cord connecting you to the sea of otherwise faceless people all over the world that often go for days without a square meal. Your apathy and indifference slowly begin to fade away and your heart begins to wake up to the all-pervasive suffering of your fellow human beings
Another thing that makes this Ramadan even more special for me is that my 13 year old daughter Alia has for some strange and unknown reason spontaneously decided to fast along with me. “Like you fast for your mother, I fast for you,” she said simply after I asked her what prompted this unexpected decision. No wonder a wise man once said, “What you teach you children, you also teach your grand-children.” I wonder whether years ago while my mother was shaking me awake in the hush of the morning light and whispering, “Beta, time for Sehri,” she knew she was also awakening her future grand-children. Isn’t this at the end of it all what culture is all about?

Posted - Thursday, October 23, 2008  -  6:24 AM 

.............my mother was shaking me awake in the hush of the morning light and whispering, “Beta, time for Sehri,” ....................Isn’t this at the end of it all what culture is all about? Text

Never found the necessity of
Understanding what Islam really is or
what the Qur`an is about?

If only the grandmother had taught her son to worship none but the One True God and that the Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. And that it deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, its basic theme being the relationship between God and His creatures. And thatit contains guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.

If only she had taught her dear son what is aakhira jannah and jahannum!

If only she had taught him that Belief in the sunna of the Prophet is part of the Islamic faith!

Because Allah says in the Qur'an

At-Tahrem [66:6]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ

66:6 O ye who believe! save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.

Teaching One's Family the Religion and Good Behavior

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas;

[قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً]

(Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)) He said, "Work in the obedience of Allah, avoid disobedience of Allah and order your families to remember Allah, then Allah will save you from the Fire.'' Mujahid also commented on:

[قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً]

(Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)) saying, "Have Taqwa of Allah and order your family to have Taqwa of Him.'' Qatadah said, "He commands obedience to Allah, to not disobey Allah, he orders his family to obey His orders and helps them to act upon His orders. When one sees disobedience, he stops them and forbids them from doing it.'' Similar was said by Ad-Dahhak and Muqatil; "It is an obligation for the Muslim to teach his near family members, and his male and female slaves what Allah has made obligatory for them and what Allah has forbidden for them.'' There is a Hadith that confirms the meaning of this Ayah. Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ar-Rabi` bin Sabrah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مُرُوا الصَّبِيَّ بِالصَّلَاةِ إِذَا بَلَغَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ، فَإِذَا بَلَغَ عَشْرَ سِنِينَ فَاضْرِبُوهُ عَلَيْهَا»

(Order the children to pray when they reach the age of seven and when they reach the age of ten, discipline them for (not performing) it.) This is the narration that Abu Dawud collected; At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''

Edited by: aboosait on Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:27 AM

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