Non-Muslims observe fast to learn valuable lessons

Filipino Muslim children (L) pray with other worshippers at the Golden Mosque in Manila on Saturday on the eve of Ramadan.

Filipino Muslim children (L) pray with other worshippers at the Golden Mosque in Manila on Saturday on the eve of Ramadan.

When Neil Grajo, a Filipino, observed the fast on Sunday with his colleagues at work, he learned a valuable lesson in of life. It taught him how one can shed weight and other bad habits through a change in one’s lifestyle.

“Ramadan could be good for a country like the Philippines where smoking and alcohol drinking are so viral that they not only harm the economy but also public health,” Grajo observed. He said bad habits and immorality cannot be changed without moral and physical discipline.

Non-Muslim expats observe Ramadan in Saudi Arabia with due respect, while many of them have already tried to fast and learnt the lessons behind this religious duty.

“This was my first time to fast and to be honest it’s very hard, but I tried to remain normal,” said Chariz Serrot who observed the fast with her employer. She said that fasting promotes moral values in a person.

She added: “It is hard but I have always wanted to embark on this spiritual journey and to consider it as a way of spiritual discipline although I am not a Muslim.”

For Muslims, Ramadan is a month of abstention from various evils, teaching moral values and internal discipline, besides strengthening faith. Even when they know that there is no one watching, they continue to abstain from food and drinking water being aware that Allah is watching his servants.

Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to lose weight and regain health especially for those suffering from obesity. To top it, Ramadan teaches them compassion for the poor and downtrodden section of the society.

Muslims all over the world observe the annual month of fasting during the daylight hours of Ramadan in keeping with the divine commandment not only as a spiritual duty but also for its physical and moral benefits.

Through fasting, one demonstrates the highest degree of submission to the divine command by abstaining from lawful food, drink, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset for one month every year. This regimen is an excellent means for spiritual and moral improvement.

For Rayan Mania, another Filipino based in Riyadh, Ramadan is one of the important religious duties during which Muslims show their generosity and respect for the divine system, even though it is a difficult task. But it teaches them the higher values of life. Mania cited incidence of crimes in his country due to the lack of such moral reform from within.

“Through fasting, the human being comes to grips with his carnal self, taming his physical appetites, subduing his greed and lust, and thus traversing a path which progressively elevates his consciousness from the physical to the moral and ultimately to the spiritual dimension of his being. This consciousness and submission is a cultivation of self-discipline and is the ideal catalyst to improve society by improving the individual self,” said Sa’dullah Khan in his article “Why do Muslims fast”.

Fasting makes us deeply conscious of the pangs of hunger and discomfort suffered by the less fortunate among our brethren, who may have to put up with such stringent conditions throughout their lives. It thus kindles in man a spirit of sacrifice leading to charity toward his suffering brethren.

Fasting inculcates a spirit of tolerance in man to face unpleasant conditions and situations without making his fellow-being the victim of his wrath on account of his adverse conditions, such as deprivation of his basic needs in life, which constitutes the common cause of dissension among men.





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