RAMADAN IS HERE!!!

Ramadan

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Introduction to Ramadan


Ramadan is the ninth lunar month in the Islamic calendar. Submitters (Muslims) all over the world fast during this month from the beginning of dawn to sunset. During fasting, Submitters abstain from eating, drinking and sexual activity as commanded by God in the Quran (2:187).

Like all other practices in Submission, the practice of fasting during the lunar month of Ramadan has been in existence since the time of Abraham. Full details about fasting are given in the Quran in chapter 2 verses 183 to 187.

{subtitle} Fasting Emphasized and Modified*

[2:183] O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation.
[2:184] Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.
[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.
[2:187] Permitted for you is sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of fasting. They are the keepers of your secrets, and you are the keepers of their secrets. GOD knew that you used to betray your souls, and He has redeemed you, and has pardoned you. Henceforth, you may have intercourse with them, seeking what GOD has permitted for you. You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn. Then, you shall fast until sunset. Sexual intercourse is prohibited if you decide to retreat to the masjid (during the last ten days of Ramadan). These are GOD’s laws; you shall not transgress them. GOD thus clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may attain salvation.

{footnote} *2:183-187 Like all duties in Submission, fasting was decreed through Abraham (22:78, Appendices 9 & 15). Prior to revelation of the Quran, sexual intercourse was prohibited throughout the fasting period. This rule is modified in 2:187 to allow intercourse during the nights of Ramadan.

 

What is a Lunar Month?

A lunar month (also known as synodic month) is the time it takes for the moon to orbit the earth – which is approximately 29.5 days. Therefore, the number of fasting days during Ramadan may sometimes be 29 days, and other times 30 days. Since a lunar month is, on the average, one day shorter than a solar month, a lunar year is 10-12 days shorter than a solar year. The Month of Ramadan therefore comes about 11 days earlier each year. This way Submitters fast when the days are warm and long in summer, as well as when they are cool and short in winter. This beautiful design by God is also a test for the submitters to see if they will fast regardless of the length or temperature of the days of Ramadan.

More information on how to determine when the month begins (using information about the new moon and sunset) is available in a Submitters Perspective article on Ramadan. Additional articles about fasting during Ramadan and related topics like the Night of Destiny are also available.

 

By Abdulbasit "sarkinswagz" Umar

MORALITY!!!

Morality Defined
Morality speaks of a system of behavior in regards to standards of right or wrong behavior. The word carries the concepts of: (1) moral standards, with regard to behavior; (2) moral responsibility, referring to our conscience; and (3) a moral identity, or one who is capable of right or wrong action. Common synonyms include ethics, principles, virtue, and goodness. Morality has become a complicated issue in the multi-cultural world we live in today. Let’s explore what morality is, how it affects our behavior, our conscience, our society, and our ultimate destiny.

Morality and Our Behavior
Morality describes the principles that govern our behavior. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. In today’s world, morality is frequently thought of as belonging to a particular religious point of view, but by definition, we see that this is not the case. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind.

Morality as it relates to our behavior is important on three levels. Renowned thinker, scholar and author C.S. Lewis defines them as: (1) to ensure fair play and harmony between individuals; (2) to help make us good people in order to have a good society; and (3) to keep us in a good relationship with the power that created us. Based on this definition, it’s clear that our beliefs are critical to our moral behavior.

On Point 1, Professor Lewis says most reasonable people agree. By Point 2, however, we begin to see problems occurring. Consider the popular philosophy “I’m not hurting anyone but myself,” frequently used to excuse bad personal choices. How can we be the good people we need to be if we persist in making these choices, and how will that result not affect the rest of our society? Bad personal choices do hurt others. Point 3 is where most disagreement surfaces. While the majority of the world’s population believes in God, or at least in a god, the question of Creation, as a theory of origins, is definitely hotly debated in today’s society.

A recent report in Psychology Today concluded: “The most significant predictor of a person’s moral behavior may be religious commitment. People who consider themselves very religious were least likely to report deceiving their friends, having extramarital affairs, cheating on their expenses accounts, or even parking illegally.” Based on this finding, what we believe about Creation has a decided effect on our moral thinking and our behavior. Without belief in a Creator, the only option that seems to be left is to adhere to moral standards we make up for ourselves. Unless we live in a dictatorial society, we are free to choose our own personal moral code. But where does that freedom come from? The view of many who do not adhere to Creation is that morality is a creation of humanity, designed to meet the need of stable societies. All kinds of life are in a process of deciding between life and death, choosing what to do with power and/or authority. This ultimately leads to a system of virtues and values. The question is: what happens when our choices conflict with each other? What if something I believe I need in order for my life to continue results in death for you? If we do not have an absolute standard of truth, chaos and conflict will result as we are all left to our own devices and desires.

Morality and Our Conscience
Morality impacts our everyday decisions, and those choices are directed by our conscience. Again, we must decide for ourselves where the conscience originates. Many people hold to the idea that the conscience is a matter of our hearts, that concepts of right, wrong, and fairness are “programmed” in each of us. This is in keeping with the writings of Paul the Apostle, who points out that even those who do not believe in God frequently obey God’s laws as given in the Ten Commandments: “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them” (Romans 2:14-15 (NKJV)). Again, those who do not believe in God are left with the only possible conclusion they can come to – that our decisions are based solely on our need to survive. What we call our conscience, then, would be based on learned behavior, rather than part of a Divine design.

By Abdulbasit Umar for SARKIN SWAGZ CORP

By Abdulbasit "sarkinswagz" Umar