The common perception among people regarding Ramadan and fasting which Muslims do in it is that it is only to cause suffering to the human body where the body has to live from dawn to dusk without drinking or eating anything. Thus, for such people fasting is only a means of depriving the body of its nutrition and keeping one’s self hungry.
Fasting is not just nutrition deprivation and hunger; rather it is much more than that. It is an exquisite means of spiritual purification and transcendence. Therefore, thinking of fasting as a compulsion for keeping oneself hungry is undermining its great potential that it carries. The lines below discuss the spiritual importance of fasting and how it can help in elevating the spiritual stature you currently hold.
Fasting And Spirituality:
In Quran, Allah Almighty says:
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” (2:183)
From this ayah it is clear that the primary objective of fasting is to help people learn self-restraint. The objective of self-restraint is to prevent a person from going down the path of evil and sticking to the righteous path no matter how hard the temptations get. Thus, this sticking to righteousness is what is spirituality all about and when a person keeps a fast, he or she is not keeping hunger and thirst, rather he or she is actually trying to make his or her spirit better. Ergo, fasting leads to self-restraint, which then leads to a pure and serene spirit.
The hunger and thirst in fasting surely helps in increasing self-restraint, which is a means to transcend spiritually. However, in the month of Ramadan, besides hunger and thirst in fasting, there are other ways to elevate spiritually. The lines below discuss those ways with the help of which one can transcend spiritually in the month of Ramadan.
Offer Prayers Regularly:
Prayers are the most effective and most common means of spiritual purification for a Muslim. Moreover, during the month of Ramadan, the reward and the intentions related with prayers increase and a Muslim feels more close and more associated with the prayers, which ultimately results in greater serenity and peace during prayer. Therefore, in order to transcend spiritually during the month of Ramadan, offering regular prayers with congregation is the best means of doing so, hence every Muslim must make sure that no prayer is skipped or delayed during Ramadan. Also, checkout for the prayers you can perform during the Month of Ramadan while fasting.
Connect With Quran:
The best and perhaps the most essential tool that can help in providing spiritual guidance to a Muslim is the Holy Quran. It is a book that contains guidance and each word of it serves as a means of purification of the soul and spiritual transcendence. In Quran, Allah says:
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between the right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend time in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (2:185)
From this ayah it is clear that Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan and it is the source of guidance and it contains signs. This guidance and signs are towards and in the path of Allah Almighty and this is the path of spirituality in Islam. Therefore, when one connects with Quran, actually one connects with the signs that help purify the spirit of a Muslim, which ultimately leads to rising to a higher spiritual status. Ramadan is a special month in which Muslims can particularly pay more attention towards developing strong relations with Quran in Ramadan. Therefore, you are strongly suggested to make use of this opportunity.
In addition, it is also a great opportunity for those who are naive to reading Quran in Arabic. You can daily take sometime out of your schedule and Join the Online Quran Tutoring Academy to start learning the divine book in this holy month of Ramadan.
It is a part of Muslim belief that the reward of any effort is dependent upon Allah Almighty and He rewards, as He will. Therefore, thinking that offering a particular prayer, or reciting a particular part of Quran guarantees spiritual elevation would be naïve. Until and unless a person is true at heart and supplicates to Allah Almighty for His graciousness, till then all the efforts would be mere efforts and they wont translate into spirituality. Ergo, it is imperative that a Muslim makes Duas in the month of Ramadan to Allah Almighty for helping in spiritual awakening and its elevation later on.
When it comes to spirituality, there is a grave need of contemplation, as it is contemplation that helps a person realize his or her place in this world and the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon him or her. For a Muslim it is imperative to contemplate and ponder over the sings in this world that point towards Allah Almighty, see all the blessings that He has bestowed upon humans, and how despite all our transgression He keeps on blessing us and wants us to repent on our bad deeds only. Therefore, when a Muslim tries finding answer to such questions, it ultimately leads to spiritual awakening, and when this awakening is guided by Quran, the results I elevation in levels of spirituality.
In a nutshell, for a Muslim it is imperative to think of fasting as something more than mere hunger and thirst. One should consider Ramadan fasting rules to get maximum blessings as well as a means of spiritual elevation and opt for some of the aforementioned tools that can help in making the spirit transcend at a higher level.