The Story of France with Firown (Pharaoh)

Is it possible that this mummy in front of me is the one who was chasing Moses?:Professor Maurice Bucaille


One of the best gifts that we can offer ourselves is forgiveness

Miracles Of The Quran

The unprecedented style and the superior wisdom inherent in the Qur'an is conclusive evidence confirming that it is the Word of God.

The Truth About Jesus Christ

Tells the truth about Christianity-How the gospels are unreliable- Audience member shouts at him a few times.

Parent-Child Relationship in Islam

Islam recognises family as a basic social unit. Along with the husband-wife relationship the Parent-child relationship is the most important one

Editor's Picks

28 July 2013

Scientists on the Quran

Keith L. Moore

Professor Emeritus, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto. Distinguished embryologist and the author of several medical textbooks, including Clinically Oriented Anatomy (3rd Edition) and The Developing Human (5th Edition, with T.V.N. Persaud). 

Dr. Moore was a former President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, and of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. He was honoured by the Canadian Association of Anatomists with the prestigious J.C.B. Grant Award and in 1994 he received the Honoured Member Award of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists "for outstanding contributions to the field of clinical anatomy."

"For the past three years, I have worked with the Embryology Committee of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, helping them to interpret the many statements in the Qur'an and Sunnah referring to human reproduction and prenatal development. At first I was astonished by the accuracy of the statements that were recorded in the 7thcentury AD, before the science of embryology was established. Although I was aware of the glorious history of Muslim scientists in the 10th century AD, and some of their contributions to Medicine, I knew nothing about the religious facts and beliefs contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah."[2]

At a conference in Cairo he presented a research paper and stated:

"It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur'an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah." [1]

Professor Moore also stated that:

"...Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur'an and Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge."

"The intensive studies of the Qur'an and Hadith in the last four years have revealed a system of classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D... the descriptions in the Qur'an cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century..."[1]

E. Marshall Johnson

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Author of over 200 publications. Former President of the Teratology Society among other accomplishments. Professor Johnson began to take an interest in the scientific signs in the Qur'an at the 7th Saudi Medical Conference (1982), when a special committee was formed to investigate scientific signs in the Qur'an and Hadith. At first, Professor Johnson refused to accept the existence of such verses in the Qur'an and Hadith. But after a dicussuion with Sheikh Zindani he took an interest and concentrated his research on the internal as well as external development of the fetus.

" summary, the Qur'an describes not only the development of external form, but emphasises also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasising major events recognised by contemporary science."

"As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Qur'an. As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described...

I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place... so I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write..." [1]

T.V.N. Persaud

Professor of Anatomy, and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Author and editor of over 20 books, and has published over 181 scientific papers. Co-author of The Developing Human (5th Edition, with Keith L. Moore).He received the J.C.B. Grant Award in 1991. Professor Peraud presented several research papers.

"It seems to me that Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn't read, didn't know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate...

We're talking about 1400 years ago, you have some illiterate person making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature...

I personally can't see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements." [1]

Joe Leigh Simpson

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

He is the President of the American Fertility Society. He has received many awards, including the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Public Recognition Award in 1992. Like many others, Professor Simpson was taken by surprise when he discovered that the Qur'an and Hadith contain verses related to his specialised field of study. When he met with Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A.Zindani, he insisted on verifying the text presented to him from the Qur'an and Hadith.

"... these Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the 'writer'... It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches... There exist statements in the Qur'an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur'an having been derived from God." [1]

Gerald C. Goeringer

Professor and Co-ordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA.

Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A.Zindani met with Professor Goeringer and asked him whether in the history of embryology was there any mention of the different stages of embryonic development, or whether there existed any embryological texts at the time of the Prophet. Sheikh Zindani also asked his opinion regarding the terms the Qur'an uses to describe the different phases of fetal development. After several long discussions, he presented a study at the 8th Saudi Medical Conference:

"...In a relatively few ayahs (Qur'anic verses) is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis. No such distinct and complete record of human development such as classification, terminology, and description existed previously. In most, if not all instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature." [1]

Alfred Kroner

Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany.

Professor Kroner is one of the world's most famous geologists, becoming well known among his colleague scientists for his criticisms against the theories of some of the major scientists in his field. Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani met with him and presented several Qur'anic verses and Hadith which he studied and commented upon.

"Thinking where Muhammad came from... I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case."

"Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here...

If you combine all these and you combine all these statements that are being made in the Qur'an in terms that relate to the earth and the formation of the earth and science in general, you can basically say that statements made there in many ways are true, they can now be confirmed by scientific methods, and in a way, you can say that the Qur'an is a simple science text book for the simple man. And that many of the statements made in there at that time could not be proven, but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what Muhammad said 1400 years ago." [1]

Yushidi Kusan

Director of the Tokyo Observatory, Tokyo, Japan.

Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani presented a number of Qur'anic verses describing the beginnings of the universe and of the heavens, and the relationship of the earth to the heavens. He expressed his astonishment, saying that the Qur'an describes the universe as seen from the highest observation point, everything is distinct and clear.

"I say, I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in Qur'an, and for us modern astronomers have been studying very small piece of the universe. We have concentrated our efforts for understanding of very small part. Because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts of the sky without thinking about the whole universe. So by reading Qur'an and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe." [1]

Professor Armstrong

Professor Armstrong works for NASA and is also Professor of Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

Prof. Armstrong was asked a number of questions about Qur'anic verses dealing with his field of specialisation. He was eventually asked, "You have seen and discovered for yourself the true nature of modern Astronomy by means of modern equipment, rockets, and satellites developed by man. You have also seen how the same facts were mentioned by the Qur'an fourteen centuries ago. So what is your opinion?"

"That is a difficult question which I have been thinking about since our discussion here. I am impressed at how remarkably some of the ancient writings seem to correspond to modern and recent Astronomy. I am not a sufficient scholar of human history to project myself completely and reliably into the circumstances that 1400 years ago would have prevailed.

Certainly, I would like to leave it at that, that what we have seen is remarkable, it may or may not admit of scientific explanation, there may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen." [1]

William Hay

Professor of Oceanography, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Professor Hay is one of the best known marine scientist in the USA. Sheikh Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani met with him and asked him many questions about the marine surface, the divider between upper and lower sea, and about the ocean floor and marine geology.

"I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scriptures of the Holy Qur'an, and I have no way of knowing where they would have come from. But I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages."

And when he was asked about the source of the Qur'an, he replied, "Well, I would think it must be the divine being." [1]

Durja Rao

Professor of Marine Geology teaching at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Zindani presented to Prof. Rao many verses dealing with his area of specialisation, and asked: "What do you think of the existence of the scientific information in the Qur'an? How could Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him) have known about these facts fourteen centuries ago?"

"It is difficult to imagine that this type of knowledge was existing at that time, around 1400 years back. May be some of the things they have simple idea about, but to describe those things in great detail is very difficult. So this is definitely not simple human knowledge. A normal human being cannot explain this phenomenon in that much detail. So, I thought the information must have come from a supernatural source." [1]

Tejatat Tejasen

Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and is the former Dean of the faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Professor Tejasen studied various articles concerning the Qur'an and modern embryology. He spent four days with several scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims, discussing this phenomenon in the Qur'an and Hadith. During the 8th Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia he stood up and said:

"In the last three years, I became interested in the Qur'an... From my studies and what I have learned throughout this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur'an fourteen hundred years ago must be the truth, that can be proved by the scientific means.

Since the Prophet Muhammad could neither read nor write, Muhammad must be a messenger who relayed this truth which was revealed to him as an enlightenment by the one who is eligible creator. This creator must be God, or Allah.

I think this is the time to say La ilaha illa Allah, there is no god to worship except Allah (God), Muhammad rasoolu Allah, Muhammad is Messenger of Allah...

The most precious thing I have gained from coming to this conference is La ilaha illa Allah, and to have become Muslim." [1]

Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Born in 1920, former chief of the Surgical Clinic, University of Paris, has for a long time deeply interested in the correspondences between the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and modern secular knowledge.

He is the author of a best-seller, "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" (1976). His classical studies of the scriptural languages, including Arabic, in association with his knowledge of hieroglyphics, have allowed him to hold a multidisciplinary inquiry, in which his personal contribution as a medical doctor has produced conclusive arguments. His work, "Mummies of the Pharaohs - Modern Medical Investigations" (St. Martins Press, 1990), won a History Prize from the Académie Française and another prize from the French National Academy of Medicine.

His other works include: "What is the Origin of Man" (Seghers, 1988), "Moses and Pharaoh, the Hebrews in Egypt", (NTT Mediascope Inc, 1994); and "Réflexions sur le Coran" (Mohamed Talbi & Maurice Bucaille, Seghers, 1989)

After a study which lasted ten years, Dr. Maurice Bucaille addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 concerning the existence in the Qur'an of certain statements concerning physiology and reproduction. His reason for doing that was that :

"...our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Qur'an could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times."

"The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur'an untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature?

How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human-being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?"


[1] al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A, This is the Truth (video tape). Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah containing interviews with various scientists. Available in Arabic, English, French, Urdu and Turkish. A full English transcript of this video with illustrations is also available: Al-Rehaili, Abdullah M., This is the Truth, Muslim World League, Makkah al-Mukarrammah, 1995.

[2] Moore, Keith L. and al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A., The Developing Human with Islamic Additions, Third Edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1982, with Dar Al-Qiblah for Islamic Literature, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1983, page viiic. Limited Edition.

[3] Moore, Keith L., al-Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A., Ahmed Mustafa A, The Qur'an and Modern Science - Correlation Studies, Islamic Academy for Scientific Research, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Reprinted by World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), USA., 1990, ISBN 0-9627236-0-6. Collection of papers presented at a symposium sponsored by the Muslim Students Association, University of Illinois, May 1990.

[4] Moore, Keith L.; Johnson, E. Marshall; Persaud, T.V.N.; Goeringer, Gerald C.; Zindani, Abdul-Majeed A.; and Ahmed Mustafa A, Human Development as Described in the Qur'an and Sunnah, Commission on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, Muslim World League, Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, 1992, ISBN 0-9627236-1-4. Collection of papers that were originally presented in the First International Conference on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, held in Islamabad, Pakistan, 1987, and after some modifications and development, presented in their present form in Dakar, Sengal in July 1991.

27 July 2013

Picture Perfect: Resurection

" O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the worst age, only to find out that no more knowledge can be attained beyond a certain limit. Also, you look at a land that is dead, then as soon as we shower it with water, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants." [Quran 22:5]

22 July 2013

A heart touching Letter from parents

My child, 

When I get old, I hope you understand… and have patience with me in case I break the plate, or spill soup on the table because I’m losing my eyesight, I hope you don't yell at me. Older people are sensitive, always having self pity when you yell. 

When my hearing gets worse ‘n I can’t hear what you’re saying, I hope you don’t call me ‘Deaf!’ Please repeat what you said or write it down. I’m sorry, my child. I’m getting older. When my knees get weaker, I hope you have the patience to help me get up. Like how I used to help you while you were little, learning how to walk. Please bear with me, when I keep repeating myself like a broken record, I hope you just keep listening to me. Please don’t make fun of me, or get sick of listening to me.

Do you remember when you were little ‘n you wanted a balloon? You repeated yourself over ‘n over until you get what you wanted. 

Please also pardon my smell. I smell like an old person. Please don’t force me to shower. My body is weak. Old people get sick easily when they're cold. I hope I don’t gross you out. Do you remember when you were little? I used to chase you around because you didn't want to shower. I hope you can be patient with me when I’m always cranky. It’s all part of getting old. You’ll understand when you're older. ‘n if you have spare time, I hope we can talk even for a few minutes. I'm always all by myself all the time, ‘n have no one to talk to. I know you're busy with work. Even if you're not interested in my stories, please have time for me. Do you remember when you were little? I used to listen to your stories about your teddy bear. 

When the time comes, ‘n I get ill ‘n bedridden, I hope you have the patience to take care of me.

I’m sorry if I accidentally wet the bed or make a mess.

I hope you have the patience to take care of me during the last few moments of my life. I'm not going to last much longer, anyway. When the time of my death comes, I hope you hold my hand ‘n give me strength to face death and don’t worry..

•••When I finally meet our creator, I will whisper in his ear to bless you. Because you loved your Mom ‘n Dad.
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19 July 2013

Why do Muslims Fast?

These days when most of us who are overweight, many people have tried different kinds of fasting.

Some will drink only juice for a day, or eat only fruit, or stay away from any sugar or starches, or leave alcohol for a period of time.

Yet, it seems strange to most folks, the idea of Muslims fasting in the month of Ramdan.

Fasting: No Food - No Drink - No Sex - for 30 days. The entire nation of almost 2 billion people, men and women, young and old, rich or poor - all together, for a whole month - not eating, not drinking and not having intimate relations, during the daylight hours.

This describes the month of Ramadan. 

What is the significance of Ramadan?
Isn't it a very harsh practice? 
Is it just a time when Muslims sleep and fast and hardly work all day; and eat, drink, enjoy and stay awake all night? What really is the spirit of Ramadan?

Fasting is in Other Religions Too Fasting Prescribed in Other Religions

In English "fasting" means to abstain from food or from certain kinds of food voluntarily, as an observance of a holy day or as a token of grief, sorrow, or repentance. [1]

This practice can be found in most of the major religions of the world.

For example:

HINDUS: Fasting in Sanskrit is called upavasa. Devout Hindus observe fasting on special occasions as a mark of respect to their personal gods or as a part of their penance.

Most devout Indians fast regularly or on special occasions like festivals. 
On such days they do not eat at all, eat once or make do with fruits or a special diet of simple food.[2]

JEWISH: Yom Kippur ("Day of Atonement") is the last of the Ten Days of Repentance observed on the 10th of Tishri.

On that day, it is forbidden to eat, drink, wash, wear leather, or have sexual relations. In addition, prohibitions on labor similar to those on the Sabbath are in force.[3]

It should also be noted that Moses (peace be upon him) is recorded in the Torah to have fasted:
"And he was there with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights, he neither ate bread not drank water." (Exodus 34:28)

Catholics Christians, Lent is the major season of fasting, imitative of the forty-day fast of Jesus (peace be upon him).

In the fourth century it was observed as six weeks of fasting before Easter or before Holy Week. It was adjusted to forty days of actual fasting in most places in the seventh century.[4]

Jesus (peace be upon him) is recorded in the Gospels to have fasted like Moses. "And he fasted 40 days and 40 nights, and afterward he was hungry." (Matthew 4:2 & Luke 4:2)

It is in this context God states in the Quran:

 "O believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you become more conscious of God." [Noble Quran 2:183]

 Righteous Deeds Among the Best Righteous Deeds

Although in most religions, fasting is for expiation of sin or atonement for sin, in Islam it is primarily to bring one closer to God, as stated in the above-mentioned verse.

Since, God-consciousness is the prerequisite for righteousness, great stress is placed on fasting in Islam.

Therefore, it is not surprising to find that when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked "Which is the best deed?" He replied, "Fasting, for there is nothing equal to it." [5]

The Name Ramadan The Name Ramadan

The word Ramadan comes from the noun Ramad, which refers to "the reflected heat of stones resulting from the intense heat of the sun."

When the Arabs changed the names of the months from their ancient names, they renamed them according to the seasons in which they happened to fall.

The ninth month, which used to be called Natiq, fell during the summer, the time of extreme heat, which is why it was named Ramadan. [15] 

Levels of Fasting The Levels of Fasting

There are as many levels of fasting as there are facets to being human. 
Proper fasting should encompass all dimensions of human existence for it to have the divinely intended effect.
The following are some of the major levels of fasting:

Ritual Level Ritual Level:

This level of fasting requires that the basic rules for fasting be fulfilled, which are avoiding food, drink and sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset for 29 or 30 days each year.

On this level, one is basically following the letter of the laws regarding fasting without particular consideration for the spirit of fasting.

It is the entrance level which must be fulfilled for the fast to be Islamically correct, but the other levels must be added for the fast to have any real impact on the fasting person.

Fasting on this level alone will not benefit one spiritually, except from the perspective of submission to divine instructions, if one chooses to follow the ritual consciously and not merely according to tradition.

Thus, by itself, the ritual level will not purify one of sin or atone for sin. 

Physical Level The Physical Level:

Fasting on the "physical" level causes the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst - when the prophetic (Sunnah) way of fasting is observed.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to consume a very light meal before the dawn (suhur) and moderate meal (iftar) to break the fast at sunset, while scrupulously avoiding filling his stomach.

He is reported to have said, "The worst container a human being can fill is his stomach. A few morsels of food to keep a person's back straight are sufficient.

However, if his desire overcomes him, then let him eat a third, drink a third and leave a third for breathing." [6] 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with a few fresh or dried dates and a glass of water just before beginning the sunset prayer. [7]

This level allows the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst and thereby develops sympathy in him or her for those starving and dying of thirst in other parts of the world. 

Medical Benefits Medical Benefits:

On the physical level, some chemicals in the brain that transmit messages and create feelings, called neurotransmitters, are affected by fasting.

Fasting encourages the endorphin neurotransmitter system, related to the feeling of well being - and euphoria, to produce more endorphins and, in fact, makes us 'feel' better.

This is similar to the effect of exercise (but without the physical work).

It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways. 
For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fat) that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body.

So, we find it does help keep the body firm and minimizes the danger of heart attacks.

The difference between the ritual level 1 and the physical level 2 is, a person doing only ritual fasting may eat large meals prior to beginning the fast and immediately upon ending the fast, and not feel any hunger or thirst throughout the whole month.

However, like level one, if the fasting person does not incorporate the other levels of fasting, the fast will only be physically exhausting.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Maybe a fasting person will gain nothing but hunger and thirst from fasting." [8]

The Libidinal Level:

The sexual instinct and drives (libido) are harnessed on this level of fasting.

In these times where the media continually plays on sexual desires to promote and sell products, the ability to control these powerful desires is a plus.

Fasting physically reduces sexual desires and the fact that the fasting person has to avoid anything which could stimulate him psychologically helps to further lower the libido.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "O youths, whoever among you is able to marry let him do so, for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. He who is unable to marry should fast, because it is a shield." [9]

By restraining from sexual acts, even though they are permissible, the fasting people make it easier for themselves to restrain from forbidden sexual acts when they are not fasting. 

The Emotional Level:

Fasting on this level involves controlling the many negative emotions which simmer in the human mind and soul.

For example, among the most destructive emotions is anger.
Fasting helps to bring this emotion under control.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 
"When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, "I am fasting." [10]

So, on this level, whatever negative emotions challenge the fasting person must be avoided.

A person has to abstain from lewd conversation and heated arguments. Even when one is in the right, it is better to let that right go and keep one's emotional fast intact.

Likewise, the negative emotion of jealousy is reduced, as every fasting person is reduced to the common denominator of abstinence; no one is externally superior to another in this regard.

The Psychological Level:

This level helps the fasting person psychologically to control evil thoughts and trains him or her, to some degree, how to overcome stinginess and greed.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain himself from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast." [11]

In this age of immediate gratification, when the things of the world are used to fulfill human needs and desires almost as soon as they have them - the ability to delay gratification is an important skill.

What is between immediate gratification and delayed gratification is patience. During the fast, the believers learn patience - and the benefits of it.

From a psychological perspective, it is good to be somewhat detached from the things of the world.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good and full life - in fact, one can and should expect that.

However, it is important that people are able to detach ourselves from material things so that they do not become the most important part of their lives.

Fasting gives one the opportunity to overcome the many addictions which have become a major part of modern life.

Food, for many people, provides comfort and joy - and the ability to separate oneself from it gives the fasting people the psychological benefit of knowing that they do have some degree of control over what they do and what they do not do. 

The Spiritual Level:

In order to establish this, the highest and most important level of fasting, the level of God-consciousness, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made the renewal of the intention for fasting a requirement before every day of fasting.

He was reported to have said, "Whoever does not intend to fast before Fajr (the dawn) will have no fast." [12]

The daily renewal of intention helps to establish a spiritual foundation of sincerity essential for the spiritual cleansing effects of fasting to operate.

Sincere fasting purifies and atones for sin, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever fasts Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking his reward from God, his previous sins will be forgiven."

He was also reported to have said, "From one Ramadan to the next is atonement for the sins between them."

Sincere fasting brings one closer to Allah and earns a special reward.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed that there is a gate in paradise called Rayyan reserved for those who fast and he also said, "When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are open." [13]

Fasting is primarily between the person and God, as no one can be sure that any person is actually fasting.

Because of this intimate aspect of fasting, Allah was quoted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, 
"Every act of Adam's descendants is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it." [14]

When combined with the previous levels of fasting, this level transforms a person from within.

It restores, revives and regenerates the fasting person's spirituality and radically modifies his or her personality and character.

These are the precious products of a heightened state of God-consciousness. 

Cultural Fasting Fasting in Cultural Islam

In much of the Muslim world today fasting has been reduced to a mere ritual, and the month of Ramadan has become a time of celebration and festivities instead of religious contemplation and abstinence.

Ramadan nights are, for many, nights of partying and enjoyment which continue until the dawn in some countries.

There, the night becomes the day and the day becomes the night. 
In many places, the light meal which is supposed to be taken prior the dawn becomes a major three-course meal.

For this reason, very few experience real hunger during the fast. 
And at the time of breaking the fast, another three-course meal is taken, followed by a sampling of all kinds of sweets imaginable.

As a result, many Muslims complain about gaining weight during Ramadan and doctors regularly warn people about the medical consequences of overeating. 

Significance of Ramadan

Naturally, the fact that Ramadan was in the summer has no relation to why this month was chosen by Allah as the month for fasting.

Since Muslims follow the lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan will occur in all the seasons at least twice in each person's lifetime. God clearly stated the reason for choosing this month in the Quran.

He said: "Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as guidance and clarification to humankind, and a distinction between right and wrong. So, whoever from among you witnesses the month should fast it." (2: 185)

The significance of Ramadan lies in the fact that the revelation of the Quran began in that month.

For this reason, Ramadan is often called the month of the Quran and Muslims try to spend much of their waking hours reading from the Holy Book throughout the month. 

Religious Seclusion (I'tikaf)

During the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to seclude himself in the mosque, in order to increase the intensity of his worship and the benefits of the fast prior to the ending of the month.

Devout Muslims try to emulate him by spending as many of the ten days as they can fasting secluded in the mosque.

- By Dr. Bilal Philips
 [1] Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, p. 665. 
[2] Encyclopedia. 
[3] Dictionary of World Religions, p. 817. 
[4] Dictionary of World Religions, p. 425. 
[5] Sahih Sunan an-Nasa'i, vol. 2, p. 476, no. 2099
[6] Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, vol. , p. , no. , Kitab: al At'imah; Bab: Iqtisad fee Akl. 
[7] Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1, pp. 646-7, no. 2349. 
[8] Sunan Ibn-i-Majah, vol. 1, 539. 
[9] Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. 
[10] Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 71, no. 128 and Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, p. 558, no. 2563.
[11] Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 3, pp. 70-1, no. 127. 
[12] Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p.675, no.2448. 
[13] Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 68, no. 122 and Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, p. 524, no. 2361.
[14] Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, p. 559, no. 2566.

[15] Lane's Lexicon, vol. 1, pp. 1156-7. 

17 July 2013

Picture Perfect: Young and Old

"Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and gray hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful." Quran 30:54