Ramadan and Fasting

By Unus

Turkey is predominantly a Muslim country, and in the month of Ramadan, which starts in mid-August this year, most of the country fasts every day for thirty days. Life continues as usual and the people that are fasting try to go through mundane everyday activities in agony without having a chance to understand themselves and mostly craving food or planning what to eat when they break their fasts at "iftar" in the evening.

Usually during the month of Ramadan either the amount or the quality of work, or sometimes both, declines at least for the small businesses and sometimes even for big companies. Also, at the end of this month, there is usually around a ten day extended official holiday for the whole country, which brings the efficiency levels down both individually and collectively.

The way people fast in the month of Ramadan also seems to put unnecessary physical stress on their bodies. They fast from dawn to full sunset, 11 to 15 hours depending on the season. However, usually the people who are going to fast get up right before dawn for "sahur" to have breakfast (there is a tradition where drummers walk through the streets to wake people up for the meal). Then they mostly go back to sleep for a couple hours before getting up at their regular hours to go to work. If they are not working, they often sleep more than usual. In the evening, they break their fasts with large meals and continue to consume all kinds of foods and beverages until they go to sleep. This cycle repeats itself for thirty days.

Deprived of deep sleep because of digestion during the night and getting up too early to have breakfast in the morning, people usually feel tired or exhausted during the day. Therefore, many people cannot fast for the whole month, and many get sick even if they complete the month. Furthermore, usually almost everyone actually puts on some weight during the month of Ramadan. The whole system seems not to have the Logic and Grace of God, which we can even observe in the manifested universe, any longer.

On the other hand, observing the Sabbath (defined as the day of rest and attunement to God in The Holiest Of The Holies (THOTH), The Last Testament) on Saturdays, and so fasting properly once a week throughout the year, takes care of all these problems and gives the individual the right opportunity to understand him/herself, discipline his/her mind and body, and be close to God:

The very base of God-realization and spiritual progress is to be able to calm the mind, contemplate, and attune the self to the truth of the universe. That is why God has emphasized the Sabbath as being one of the most important Commandments. That is because if a man cannot rest and calm his mind, he would never realize anything. So it is very important that at least one day of the week be for rest, fasting, and kept holy by calming the mind and contemplating creation, God, and the truth behind them. (THOTH, Glossary, Sabbath)

The seventh day of the week is the Sabbath of rest.

The Sabbath day (weekly Holy Day, PURE) will be Saturday as God demanded to be the day of rest ... Saturday should be used to fast. Also on Saturdays the silence should be observed and solitude is recommended. After a day of rest, meditation, and deeper thought, it is a good idea to have the community meeting to resolve community problems. (Explanation of the Calendar of God)

Besides fasting on the Sabbath, God also recommends to fast on the full moon, the first moon, eleven days after the full moon, and eleven days after the first moon, especially for single people and renunciates. Therefore, a person can fast throughout the year, not just for a single month, and continually keep his energy in higher levels physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The other guidelines for fasting given in THOTH are:

<3>The fast should start at sunset until the sunset of the next day. If this seems too long, a fast from sunrise to sunset is advisable.

<4>The purpose of fasting (in addition to many benefits which are derived from it, physically and mentally) is spiritual. That is, fasting should be done to bring the person closer to the Lord and make him realize the self.

<5>That is why it is recommended to keep away from talkativeness and sexual intercourse, and to direct the thoughts toward God.

<6>A complete fast is one without food or liquid.
<7>However, those who do long fasting and/or those whose bodies are not used to fasting, can fast with water and/or juice. (THOTH, Essays 3, Tablet 3, Fasting)

Here once again we can see the logic and flexibility of God, making things Godly, not dogmatic. However, by observing the current systems, religions, and societies, one can easily see that this has been lost. Then again, even examining just a part of the whole package God has now given to humanity can make a person realize how amazing God's system is and how easily it will lead humanity to salvation, individually and collectively.

All thanks to God for His Guidance.


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