Ramadan: A training program for Muslims
Since the early days of Islam when fasting of this month was made compulsory, it has been observed with simplicity. It is a month that teaches Muslims to think of the hungry and the destitute. It is not only about food and water. It is about giving charity to the needy and to undergo a process of self-accountability in every aspect of one’s daily life. Ramadan is very simple in the way the month starts and ends.
Prior to the modern technologies and scientific advancements, Muslims used to start the month — for that matter every month — by seeing the waxing crescent of the new month by naked eyes. Upon failing to sight the crescent due to bad weathers such as cloud or haze, then Muslims would consider the preceding month of Shaaban as a 30-day month and would fast the following day. It is as simple as that even until today.
In other words, before scientific inventions, people would see the crescent crystal clear in one city and observe Ramadan. Those who could not sight the crescent in a city even 100 km away from the other would not fast the following day.
Islam is a simple religion and all of its teachings are as such that don’t overburden the follower. Ironically, after 1,400 years in the presence of modern communication systems and observatories, Muslims are still having the same questions and doubts about sighting of the moon. In addition to that this issue has even been politicized.
Islam is a complete code of life and in this religion solution to all our problems can be found. Muslims can eradicate poverty from the entire Muslim world by strictly abiding by the third pillar of Islam, which is called Zakat.
It is 2.5 percent of what extra wealth you had during the past year. But most important is that during Ramadan, Muslims should realize that the teachings of Islam don’t put burden on individuals. And there are many verses in the Qur’an that says Allah (SWT) doesn’t burden a soul with things he or she can’t bear. Islam also wants the followers to, “Obey Allah (SWT) according to your capability.” Observing fasts during Ramadan is easy and healthy for the body. It is worship and a nutrition program.
Nowadays, advanced technologies can determine the start and end of Ramadan, but since Muslims have been commanded to start Ramadan by sighting the moon, it is an indication to all Muslims that Islam is a religion without complications and they can simply be used as a reference to the accuracy of the sighting. This way, all doubts can be eliminated and starting Ramadan all at the same time without any doubt will strengthen Muslim unity. Every year, we see some differences among Muslims over this issue. This should be ended in the greater good of Muslims. That is what our religion wants from us. We should not complicate things unnecessarily when Islam provides us ease and comfort.
Email: [email protected]
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view