The month of Ramadan for a Muslim is the home coming; it is the month in which Muslims get closer to GOD, the month that devout Muslims wait for every year with impatience. For a Muslim fasting in Ramadan is better than fasting other time during the year. It is the time of worship, spirituality, love, caring, giving, tenderness, patience, sharing, unity, charity, the month of the Quran. Ramadan is the month of fasting by day and standing up in prayers for several hours by night. In this blessed month the holy Quran was revealed and every year for 23 years in the month of Ramadan, the prophet Gabriel came to teach the prophet Mohamed the Quran. In the final year of this 23 year period the Quran was finalised and so was the religion of Islam. Ramadan is thus the month when Muslims are advised to read the Quran more and more. Many are very good at reading the Quran so in the month of Ramadan they can go through it more than once. All mosques around world are blazing with the words of the Quran as there are additional prayers held during the nights in Meccca, Medina and almost all cities around the world where Muslims live and have a mosque. There are many of the worlds "Huffaz" as they are known those millions who have memorised the entire Quran and during the month of Ramadan many travel the world, as they are sent to lead prayers in different parts of the globe. May be in mosques in cities where they do not have a "Hafith" (singular for the one who has memorised the entire Quran).
Many have memorized the entire Quran by the time they are 9 or 10 years of age and there have been cases where one I recalled lead prayers for thousands in the Grand Mosque in Mecca about 12 years ago. It was magnificent to hear such a child and also seeing lead thousands of adults in prayer. It brought many to tears, whilst he was reciting the words of the Quran including me. In Ramadan one fasts by day and stands up in prayer by night. Prayer in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan is worth 1000 months of prayer.
This Ramadan for me was also a time of much thought, the closer one tries to get to GOD one realizes the greatness of this almighty creator, the lord of the universe, the owner and creator of all things the owner of the day of judgment. Also one realizes that GOD alone owns the right to be worshipped. That none other is worthy of worship except GOD, the one and only mighty creator, my GOD and your GOD, the GOD of Adam, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and Mohamed. He does not share that right with any one at all. It is his sole right, to GOD and GOD alone. As one goes through they journey of seeking more and more closeness to the almighty one realises that one must honour, praise, love and revere those special men GOD chose to send down to represent his religion on earth. His prophets, messengers; the cream of the cream amongst men, chosen by GOD to carry his message to the people he loves so much. The Quran, Torah and Bible all share the beliefs in those great men of GOD sent down to teach the world of this great creator, although the way each of these religions believe in these men and their messages may differ, however there is a lot of similarity in the beliefs since the messages these men brought were sent by the same almighty creator. Judaism believes in the earlier prophets, but not Jesus and Mohamed, Christianity believes in all others except Mohamed and Islam believes in all the prophets. So it is not just belief in them but also the message they brought.
Fasting was ordained to other nations as it is in Islam. Prophet Moses and his followers fasted, and so did Prophet Jesus and his followers, just like the Prophet Mohamed and his followers. Fasting in Islam is abstinence from all food and drink, and any other carnal desires like smoking and sexual intercourse, from dawn until dusk. After sunset a Muslim is free to eat and drink as much as he likes and husband and wife free to enjoy each others' company as much as they please.
This Ramadan as other Ramadans in the past also confirmed for me the conviction that GOD does not share any manly attributes and nor does man share those of GOD. Through reading the verses of the Quran and watching and listening to the various scholarly religious lectures one knows that God was not born nor does he give birth. GOD does not fast and neither does he call onto another GOD at the time of distress. As a matter of fact there is no such moment for GOD as a time of distress. GOD just has to think of something and it happens. God is the almighty creator, the ruler the one who knows all and see all and hears all, hardly likely to be the qualities of man. This is how we ascertain that the Hindu Gods Krishna, Ram and even Ganesh the elephant head GOD could not have been GOD and neither could Jesus Christ nor Buddha, because they all had human attributes.
In the bible in the book of John, chapter 1 verse 18 it tells us: "No man hath seen God at any time"; and also 1 John chapter 4, verse 12 confirms this: "No man hath seen God at any time."
So no man has seen god at any time and these names I mentioned above have all shared mans' company, they lived with, ate with and slept with. Lord Krishna, the Hindu god copulated with women. Not a quality of GOD. So not only did man see them, man shared the worlds and lived with them.
As the prophet Jesus confirmed for us in the book of John chapter 5 verse 30: "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." So GOD alone is the one who has all the powers and although he can bestows on others to do things he wants them to they alone are not in control of their own lives and wills. Also in chapter 6 of the same book, in verse 38, he makes it clear: "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."
So as we see, if God is not the almighty all powerful then he cannot be GOD. Being almighty, powerful, wise, knower of all things etc is what makes him GOD and what differentiates us from him. Hindu lord Krishna practiced sports from his childhood and had a pet cow. Again unlikely attributes for a god. Rama the Hindu god had his wife Sita (his beloved) stolen by the devil Ravana and for 12 years was unable to regain his wife. It was only after the monkey Hanuman helped him build a bridge, that he was able to recapture his wife. Again this is not one of the qualities of the almighty GOD creator, ruler of the universe, if one of his own creations, the devil had stolen his wife. GOD has no wives, and how impotent was he that he was not able for 12 years to overcome the devil and it was a monkey turned god called Hanuman who helped god overcome the devil. GOD was neither born nor did he give birth. Also GOD is ever living and can never die, he never tires, never needs to rest. Allah says clearly in the Quran in chapter 112:
1. Say (O Muhammad ): "He is All‚h, (the) One.
2. "All‚h-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
3. "He begets not, nor was He begotten;
4. "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."
Chapter 2, verse 255. All‚h! L‚ il‚ha illa Huwa (no has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth.
So as we see, some of the attributes of GOD and if he did not have these attributes he would not be a GOD in any way, shape or form. He does not give birth and is the ever living. Never dies and died. The question to be asked also was that if man was GOD then did Jesus create the same roman soldiers that allegedly nailed him to the cross, so rather than be all powerful, almighty the one who defeated him shared those powers.
For Christians too, there is the time of fasting. The period of Lent, during this period in 1998 a British bishop actually read the Quran, not to be converted to Islam but to learn more about what Islam is. Pick up and read the Quran, the final testament. Fall on your face and pray, give alms and fast; the prophet Jesus did.
Peace be with you all.
(You can reach Aboo Mohammad at www.imanway.com/en