GUYANA, DPI/GINA, Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Ramadan is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar which begins at the sighting of the new moon or the ‘crescent moon’. This moon is sighted in 29 or 30 days of its last appearance. Muslims all across the world have been observing the month of Ramadan and Guyana is no different.
All Muslims from the age of puberty are obligated to keep fast by abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations between dawn and sunset.
President of the Guyana Islamic Trust, Shaikh Abdool Aleem Rahim in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said that fasting has a much deeper meaning than people may think.
While Muslims are abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations, Rahim stated that “at the same time, we are fasting with all of our limbs, so with my eyes, I am not looking at anything that I am not supposed to look at, with my ears I am not listening to anything I am not supposed to be listening to, I refrain from uttering any speech that will be displeasing to God, and likewise, with all of my other limbs, I keep away from any disobedience to God almighty.”
Fasting with the limbs is seen as a form of worship. This is in addition to the five times Muslims usually pray on a daily basis. The act of fasting according to Rahim, redirects the heart from worldly activities and towards strengthening relations with God.
Reciting a verse from the Quran, Rahim stated that “all you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may gain piety and God consciousness.”
Fasting, Rahim said, is compulsory and as the verse noted, fasting was also prescribed for previous nations as a way of growing closer to God.
Rahim explained that, “doing all of these good things on the one hand and keeping away from all of the bad things on the other hand for one whole month develops the level of piety and closeness of the person to God Almighty and that’s the goal behind the month of Ramadan.”
According to Rahim, ‘we live in a time where people have become very materialistic and have moved away from God with little or no connection of his teachings.’ Many people, he said, follow so many of their desires on a daily basis that in most cases this lead to corruption.
Rahim’s message to Guyanese is that, “we need to understand that we have a purpose for which we have been created and that is to serve God Almighty, to spread peace on the face of the earth, and we can only do so by submitting to God Almighty in the way we have been created to do, and so if we return to God Almighty, and we reflect on this message, this is not just the message of Mohammad as I said, it is the message of Moses, it is the message of Jesus, it is the message of Abraham and all these prophets to tell us live a good life, be good human beings and worship your God and the world will be a better place.”
The end of Ramadan is marked by the sighting of the new moon which is followed by a day of celebration, Eid-ul-Fitr or the festival of breaking fast.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite