How fasting on Ramzan purifies our souls
The soul must fast too
The goal of our life is to get closer to God, to achieve His satisfaction and thereby our perfection. Every recommendation and every duty that has been placed upon us serves to build that closeness to God. One of the most important tools of the believer is fasting. It is used to cleanse the body and soul.
The prehistory of the soul
Man is born. He grows up and is exempt from duties such as prayer and fasting until a certain age. Although children are blessed with a pure personality in childhood, they are not protected from a bad upbringing or, for example, harmful food that they receive from their environment, their parents or, more precisely, from the industry. Nevertheless, in spite of existing influences, with the onset of religious maturity the girl or boy has the chance to completely change or improve their previous lifestyle. From the beginning of this phase, this young creature reaches a stage where anything becomes possible. Both the alignment to a godly life and the alignment to an instinctual or even satanic life is possible.
Assuming that this young person begins a godly life and always adheres to duties and recommendations and thus protects his soul from corrupt thoughts, bad deeds and words or from sins in general, then this person is on the way, the highest levels to reach.
However, one has to admit that only very few take this path. Not because the other people didn't want that, but rather because many young people begin their religious maturity without orientation. This always has individual reasons. Often the parents did not live or lived a religious upbringing and did not impart any knowledge about Islam to their children. For some young people, the divorce of the parents also plays a major role, which does not make this education possible. Unfortunately, it also happens that the children have experienced trauma or emotional distress and begin their maturity with this damage.
The harm that the soul attains therefore begins in our childhood, although this period is one of the years most worthy of protection and God releases children from religious duties. Here the responsibility rests with the parents, the children both theoretically and practically, among other things. prepare for the duty of fasting. The following parable is used to illustrate the problem: Let us assume that fasting is reading the Qur'an. At a young age children do not need to read the Qur'an until they become religiously mature. However, nobody teaches this child to read in Arabic and all the other aspects that are necessary to do so. The deficits are so great that he doesn't even have a sufficient command of another language, in our case German. When the child reaches religious maturity, they cannot read the holy book because they have not enjoyed the preparation for it. It is roughly the same with fasting and the situation of many people. Fasting skills are either weakened or not learned at all.
So our soul has been damaged, not because the child's soul harms itself, but because the child's environment harms it. Unfortunately, this is a very common phenomenon that probably affects the vast majority of people. This also weakens our full potential as a human being. We are not in a normal state but need to make corrections to our lives in order to achieve such a state. This is to be recognized so that a perfection of the soul can be striven for. Some people may have a difficult time entering into religious maturity, but there is no reason to lose hope because of it. The mental deficits achieved can be corrected if one is prepared to strive for and live an Islamic way of life.
Make the intention
There are many different scenarios that could affect a person after religious maturity. We are assuming here, however, that sooner or later the young person has made up his mind to fulfill his duties. One of these duties is fasting. Over the years the believer has managed to get his body used to fasting and to bring his weight to a normal level. In general, he has his diet under control and stays away from forbidden foods. Furthermore, of course, the five prayers are performed that make that development of the soul possible. Prayer essentially unfolds the believer's potential in all of his life situations and other duties, including fasting. After all, regardless of what damage the soul has suffered beforehand, the believer has succeeded in making these corrections and he or she has thus given himself the opportunity to reach higher levels.
Self-education leads to the purification of the soul
Basically, it should be noted that the actions of the body are not separate from the soul. That means, if you do certain actions with your body parts and sensory organs, this also has an impact on your soul. It is not that the hand is allowed to steal and violence while the soul is untouched.
Sometimes, when we look critically at our behavior, we actually imagine that some deeds are just small offenses and small sins. The final evaluation of the deeds is of course incumbent on God. But at least with our limited perception we can say that not only the quality of the deed, whether it is particularly bad or particularly good, plays a role. Quantity also plays a role. Do I or don't I commit the same little sin for thirty years? Accordingly, the impact on the soul may not be felt until decades later and, in old age, may even be irreversible for many. That is why self-education is considered to be a human task that is unlimited in time. There is no period after religious maturity in which a person can sit back and say: Now my soul is protected and I have such a firm belief that nothing can happen to me anymore. This state does not exist and one cannot attain it. Unfortunately, for many people, self-education ends with this argument that after all they have fulfilled the other duties and that this is completely sufficient. If this way of thinking is found inside us, then there may be the risk that the belief is only lived superficially and that there is no or hardly any real conviction behind it.
Everyone should ask themselves: What if I stop sinning for a day, a week, or a month while I am fasting? You could think of it as a serious self-experiment. What do you think will happen to us if we can do this in the month of Ramadan? Because there is also the opposite scenario, which Imam Ali (a.) Describes: “There are some who fast, but will gain nothing but thirst, and there are some who pray, but through their prayer they will gain nothing except tiredness. "
So it is not that whoever fasts or prays in any way is bound to attain the highest degrees and sit back. This is a common mistake among believers of all religions. There are also people who do not lose weight in the month of Ramadan, but gain significantly. These are signals and warnings to us to rethink some habits.
With every act committed while fasting, we are performing an act that is either to the benefit of the soul or to its disadvantage. If we read and listen to the holy Quran in the month of Ramadan, then we are certainly working better for the soul than if we watch YouTube videos for hours and seemingly not commit any sins. The quality of fasting is significantly higher in connection with the Qur'an, supplication and prayer. The effects of such deeds will then be recognized in the course of life - God willing.
Listening to forbidden music causes great difficulties, even in the month of Ramadan. Young people who listen to rap music are particularly affected by this phenomenon. You are fully motivated to fast, but see fasting as simply not eating. The same, mostly forbidden music is heard as if the holy month weren't there. It is impossible to speak of an effective fasting here. And it won't get rid of such a habit either. It is the same with other sins like blasphemy, theft and lying. There are numerous traditions which attest the ineffectiveness of fasting even because of such sins.
But even the greatest sinner is not exempt from the duty of fasting. Because everyone, even after years of delay, has the opportunity to reflect and return to the straight path. This is God's promised mercy. This is an always open door, not only in the month of Ramadan, but especially in this month, to purify one's soul and draw closer to God.
Working in the month of Ramadan
Another aspect is the work in the month of Ramadan. We humans reach our spiritual potential among other things. through effort (jihad). It's similar to doing sports. If we encourage and train our body in particular, then you will achieve better fitness. It is not absolutely advisable to reduce all one's work and other earthly duties in the month of Ramadan to a minimum or even to omit them completely - on the contrary. We develop all the better when we face the daily challenges and fast in the process. This means that you do not necessarily have to move your entire vacation to the month of Ramadan and can therefore spend more time with your family at another point in the year.
Then when you work, you should watch yourself. How do I deal with my work colleagues? Am I honest in sales? Am I committing sins at work? These are questions to ask yourself when working and fasting. If you avoid the combination of work and fasting, then you can hardly work on yourself in this area.
There is one exception, however. Some people have a job that involves handling alcohol or other prohibited things, for example. Others even go so far as to lie and deceive their customers. Due to a conflict of conscience, these brothers or sisters then decide to stop their work at least in the month of Ramadan. This step is correct because such sins should be avoided in the holy month. However, that is not enough. If you really want to benefit in the month of Ramadan, then you have to choose another job for the future. This is easy to say, but it is an important step for his earthly and beyond life and a great proof of love for God. The omission of such sins also has a huge impact on the soul. You also have to remember that you are feeding your family with a forbidden source of money and you have to take responsibility for that too.
Diet in the month of Ramadan
The diet in Ramadan also has a spiritual influence. In order to fast properly, there are a few things to be aware of when breaking the fast. In addition to overeating, all eating regulations and recommendations that are mentioned in the traditions and in the Qur'an are also valid in the month of Ramadan. You can be sure that each of these recommendations will bring even more blessings if you practice them in the month of Ramadan. So it is even more worthwhile to keep this in mind and let it become a habit for the rest of the year. This includes, for example, the recommendation not to turn your stomach into a pet cemetery. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for several types of meat to be offered at the same time, in different variations, with one iftar.
What many Muslims are not aware of is that the abundant food on offer is more of a cultural tradition and less of an Islamic one. Of course you don't want to waste the good and tasty food and you eat together until you are full or even overcrowded. There is also half a liter of cola, with an excess of sugar. After that you are usually exhausted and tired quickly. There is no longer much time for a spiritual program. And so one has done nothing good for the soul either during or after eating. On the contrary, one is no longer able to immerse oneself in prayer, the Qur'an and supplication afterwards. And so it goes on day by day until the month is up. This cannot possibly be productive. You have hardly or not at all managed to break any eating habits, but in the worst case you have gained some. The lack of further development in the month of Ramadan then usually affects the whole of the coming year. At least you stop in your mental development or, in the worst case, you even go backwards.
Further recommendations in the month of Ramadan
Some believers pay close attention to food and follow Islamic recommendations, hardly eat meat during the entire month, break the fast with dates first, drink only water or at most freshly squeezed juices and only after eating. And most importantly, they don't eat to fullness. But that alone is not enough. Attention must be paid to the recommendations at all levels. Fasting with the senses or sense organs is particularly important. This is emphasized again and again in numerous traditions. It is forbidden to: touch the opposite sex, see or hear forbidden things. These are sins that should not be underestimated and affect our development.
Donating is an important recommendation. It is good for the believers to be generous in Ramadan. This generally applies throughout the year. But if you want to get a great wage from Allah, then it is advisable to put money aside in order to intentionally donate a lot of it in the month of Ramadan. If possible, you can also set the date for the chums payment in this month. These are all possibilities to cleanse your possessions, but especially your soul.
In general, one should try to live more mindfully and consciously. This means that, for example, you don't spend your money pointlessly out of boredom, waste your time on walks in the city to do some errands that are not necessary, but which you go about because there is time left for it in the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is a time to strengthen one's relationship with God. How are some women supposed to strengthen their relationship with God when they use most of their free time for cooking rather than spiritual activities during the day? A meal is certainly important, but it shouldn't take longer than normal days. Ideally, cooking should even take less time. In the month of Ramadan, compassion for the poor applies - also during the iftar and not only during the hours of sunshine. It is the month when we should get closer to God and not to other matters.
Finally, a recommendation can be made that is currently still enormously neglected. Namely, the constant duty of every believer to work for justice. There are tens of thousands of starvation deaths every day and thousands of people murdered by a robbery-focused and warlike system. But we who live in the West have the opportunity to at least financially support these suffering people, especially Yemen. This applies to all crisis areas. But that is not enough either. We have to make the most of our possibilities and take part in demonstrations and other events. Almost everyone can now be found on social networks. This can also be used to draw attention to certain grievances in our world. It is a duty to take care of the oppressed and to denounce the crimes of the oppressors. Such deeds also have a great impact on our souls, and God strengthens people especially in this holy month and gives them real success if they take all responsibility.
So that not only our body but also our soul fasts, the words of Imam Sadiq (a.) Should be our constant companion in the holy month of Ramadan: “Fasting does not mean that one only abstains from eating and drinking. When you fast, protect your tongue from lying, lower your eyes from what Allah has forbidden you to look at, do not fight each other, do not be jealous of each other, do not talk about each other, do not take advantage of each other and do not be unjust to each other. Stay away from false accusation, lies, fighting, suspicion, slander and defamation. Be one of those who look ahead with the hereafter in mind. And wait for your days, waiting for what Allah has promised to those who have prepared to meet their Creator. You must have calm, prudence, serenity, humility, obedience, seriousness, and the submissiveness of a servant who fears his master. And fear Allah's punishment, just as you hope for His forgiveness. "
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