Ramadan In The Light Of The Qur’an

Salaam Aleykum to all of you 🙂 I wish you all a Ramadan full of happiness, love, and more love 🙂

Yesterday I spent my time reflecting upon one of the few verses that have to do with Ramadan, and then I wrote my own thoughts regarding the verse. Now I will share them with you…….

Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to humanity, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you through difficulties, and he desires that you should complete the prescribed period and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks (2:185)

So let us break down the verse here.

The verse starts by saying that “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an.”

Anything special to note here? Indeed, yes. Knowing that we are currently living in the month during which the Qur’an was sent down gives a very mystical aura to our present state. The book is letting us know when the book was revealed, and I think the reason that it does this is to, once again, make us aware of just how spiritual Ramadan is supposed to be.

“As a guide to humanity” – Here, we learn the purpose of the Qur’an, and its purpose is simple : It is to serve as a guide to all human beings. What can we learn from these five words? There are many things to ponder and reflect upon here. Personally, it is the final word of this short phrase that gets to me. Humanity. The Qur’an itself, our very own holy book, was not intended for us muslims. Rather, it is for all of humanity, seeking to “guide” humanity into the path of “Islam”, peace.
From this, I draw the conclusion that the blessed month of Ramadan is a blessed month for the entire planet earth, and from this conclusion, I say that as Muslims we must guide our fellow human beings during this month, regardless of faith, color, caste, creed, gender, regardless of all barriers. We must guide them to peace, both inner and outer. Reinforce the peace that already exists wherever it is found, and create peace wherever it is not found.

“Also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong)” – Here, we learn that the Qur’an contains signs that are there in order to guide us, and that it also contains the keys that will help us to separate the right from the wrong. Thus, it is up to us to search for these signs and keys. This means that we should make sure to read and try to understand our holy book as much as possible, especially during this month.

“So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting” – Here, the Qur’an tells us that if we are at home during this month, we should spend it in fasting. Pretty straight forward and clear here.

“But if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later” – Here, we get a special set of circumstances. If we are Ill, then we are not required to fast. I believe that this makes sense because it for sure must be quite hard to fast when one is sick. The same goes for travel. If we are on a journey, we are not required to fast either. However, we must make up our fast at a later time, when we have found our health again, and when our journey is over.

“Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you through difficulties” – Here, God says he wants to make things easy for us, and that he does not want to put us through difficulties. This is a manifestation of the mercy of the most merciful. His intention for us is ease, not hardship. When times get hard during your fast, just remember these words in your heart. They will help you make it through.

“And he desires that you should complete the prescribed period” – God’s wish for us is that we complete the fast. The least we can do to please our creator is to hold on, have patience, and make it through all 30 days of our fast? These words tell me that by fasting, we are pleasing Allah.

“And that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you” – Here, we are told why we should praise our creator’s greatness. We should praise his greatness because he has guided us. It exemplifies a give and take relationship. Allah has given us guidance, and in return, we should exalt his greatness. This means, whenever we say “Allaho Akbar” (God is great) during Ramadan, we should really mean it, from the depth of our hearts. Why should we mean it? Because of the guidance we have been so fortunate to receive from our maker. We are striving to become better people everyday, and striving to be good human beings that serve others. This is the guidance that we have received, the guidance that leads to peace. God is great, indeed.

“And that you may give thanks” – Here, we learn that we should be thankful to God. Thankful for what? This is up to you to decide. The things that we as people can be thankful for are endless. Just start by being thankful for life, because life, is the biggest blessing of all, and without Allah, life simply would not be.

Similarities Between The Bhagavad Gita And The Qur’an

– Nature Of God –

“I am unborn, everlasting, and I am the lord of all” (Bhagavad Gita 4:6)

“Nor was he born (Qur’an 112:3) Allah, the eternal (112:2) Allah, lord of all the worlds” (1:2)

– Overall Message –

“Those who ever follow my doctrine and who have faith, and have a good will, find through pure work their freedom” (Bhagavad Gita 3:31)

“If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them” (Qur’an 4:124)

– Many Paths, One Truth –

“Many are the paths of men, but they all in the end come to Me” (Bhagavad Gita 4:11)

“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our paths” (Qur’an 29:69)

– Peace –

“Know him therefore who is above reason, and let his peace give you peace” (Bhagavad Gita 3:43)

“O you who have believed, enter into peacefulness wholeheartedly” (Qur’an 2:208)

– Unselfishness –

“Set your heart upon your work, but never on its reward” (Bhagavad Gita 2:47)

“Do no favour seeking gain” (Qur’an 74:6)

– God, The Final Destination –

“He is the end of their journey” (Bhagavad Gita 5:17)

“To him you will be returned” (Qur’an 2:28)

A Plea For An End To Gender Segregation In Mosques

I am tired of praying in spaces where only men are allowed. I am tired of the fact that women are always either behind us, in a much smaller designated space, or to the side of us, once again in a much smaller designated space and of course, with a barrier separating us. I do not like the fact that I have a much bigger space than the women inside of mosques. I do not like the fact that I have easy access to the Imam once the prayer is finished, and that I can pray directly behind him, just because I am a man. I do not like the fact that I can enjoy the main prayer hall of a mosque, just because I am a man. I do not like the fact that because I am man, I am restricted to only sharing Islam with men. I do not like the fact that the mosque around the corner from my home is only for men. I do not like the fact that because I am a man, I am a prisoner of an imposed “brotherhood”. Brotherhood is cool, but it is time for brotherhood and sisterhood to come together, and create humanhood.

How would I feel If i was denied access to some mosques? How would I feel, If my prayer space was much smaller than the mens? How would I feel, If i had to pray behind a barrier? How would I feel, if i was not allowed to be an Imam? How would I feel, If i was not allowed to call the Adhan, or recite the Qur’an? How would I feel, if i was told that attending the obligatory friday prayer was not obligatory for me? But hey, I don’t have to feel this, because I am man, and being a man comes with certain advantages and privileges. Lets just say that my spiritual experience as a muslim is endless. It has no boundaries, just because I am man. And they want me to believe that this is Divine. These facts have nothing to do with the God that I believe in. The God that I believe in is a just God. The God that I believe in never limited the spirituality of women. The God I believe does not have a preference towards me simply because I am a man.

Every time I am in a mosque to pray, I can never appreciate my prayer as much I wish that I could because I am only praying next to other men. I can never enjoy my mosque experience as much as I should because my mosque experience is only experienced alongside other men. Something deep inside me instinctively tells me that this is wrong.

My feeling is backed up by the Qur’an, which states that all human beings are equals. Why are we so far removed from Qur’an’s message, the message that states that the most honorable people in the eyes of God are those who are the most righteous? Allah does not look at our outer forms, he only looks into our hearts and souls. Yet, we Muslims are looking at each other’s outer forms, and this is causing the separation. We should see each other in the same way that Allah sees us.

Islam gives us so much unity, but we are splitting up ourselves. Humanhood is the key to world peace, and Islam has that key. Imagine a world where women and men prayed side by side, worshipped the one true God side by side, and shared the endless and infinite bond of the soul? Where would the room for the oppression of women come in then? How can you oppress the very same women that you pray next to, that you hope with, that you dream with, that you care for, because they are your sisters in spirit?

Not only that. The exchange of ideas, thoughts, and emotions between sisters and brothers would lead to a human revolution, that would truly put us on the path to a better world.

Solidarity and unity between men and women is the only way forward for this world. And I don’t mean superficial solidarity and unity. No, i mean the deepest kind of unity, and that is the unity of the heart and soul, bound together by belief in Allah.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I would literally live in mosques if they had no gender segregation. They would be the most beautiful places on earth, because in no other place in my lifetime have I personally experienced such a depth of human unity than I have in mosques. Most of my muslim friends are sisters and I love them dearly but when we enter a mosque, then we are forced to go our separate ways.

But my heart will never accept separation based on gender. I have love for every human being, and I want to share this love with all, not just men.

So, I refuse to be a prisoner of my own gender.

The struggle for unity within the Ummah.

This is my Jihad.