“There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the sound box is stuffed full of anything, no music. If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire. – Jelaluddin Rumi”
In Islam, the holy month of Ramadan has come, which is an intense month for more than 1 billion Muslims all around the globe. Ramadan is told to be the month of the Holy Quran. Muslims throughout the world observe fasting for 30 days as a means to cleanse their spirit, body and soul. Many other religions also involve some sort of fasting in their religious conducts. Fasting is basically the act of conscious self-restraint from food and water during a certain amount of time, but when done mindfully, it becomes more than just that.
Muslims aim in this month to read the Quran page by page with their accustomed prayers. The Quran is meant to be a book for Muslims to reflect on, ponder and take action, which holds many benefits. It is the foremost best kind of instruction manuals for Muslims to live their lives by.
A Ramadan healthy guide includes the many relevant spiritual benefits you can achieve mindfully through fasting:
- You avert yourself from worldly distractions in this month, which can allow you to walk the path where you can fulfill your appetite by giving yourself away to God, and be in oneness with God.
- Fasting helps you to focus on increased prayer and contemplation of God, which strengthens you spiritually.
- Cravings will become as earthly and even immaterial as you connect yourself mindfully to God, and let go of them like emotions.
- Fasting makes you appreciate the existence of the mind and body.
- The soul and spirit become the priority to cater to over worldly wants.
- Full attention is drawn towards oneness with God and on praying to make it stronger.
- It helps you to count your blessing and be grateful, as you cannot indulge to hunger.
- Time of breaking a fast becomes a celebration of the riches of life.
- Sharing food builds on kindness, unity, humbleness, and generosity.
There are two ayats in the Quran which can help you to be mindful during fasting and help you from your mind being diverted.
In Surah At-Takwir God says,
“So where are you going?” [81:26]
God has asked us a very powerful question in this short ayat. We often ask ourselves this at some point in our life. Where are we headed to, what are we doing with the life we have, how are we being grateful of our blessings? We plan out when we set out on a journey, but what have we planned for the journey of life? This month is the best time for us as Muslims, to reevaluate ourselves to where we stand and where we should be. Allah has created us to struggle to do as He has instructed against our own Nafs. Allah says that:
“…We are constantly testing our servants.” [23:30]
Hence, we are in a constant state of striving, as time goes by to never come back. This month comes as a blessing in disguise to help us get back on track. As Muslims, we should not only aim to achieve Jannat ul Firdous (highest level in Paradise), but also look after our worldly matters in the correct way that has been sent to us through the guidance of Quran. They say a small deed, is what creates the bigger picture.
In the second ayat, Allah says in Surah Muminoon:
“And those whose scales are heavy (with good deeds) it is they who are successful.” [23:102]
Allah never measures the amount of deeds we do in numbers, but rather in weight. One small great deed can weight more than a number of many good deeds. He describes them to be heavy or light rather than signifying them through a number. Allah forgoes quantity over quality. In His sight, a small act can hold greater weightage on scales than a large act that is not full of sincerity.
Keeping these two ayats in mind, one can help others and themselves to being mindful this Ramadan and staying in focus to the momentum of this holy month.