Praises are for Allah, the Originator of the skies and the earth. He created everything from nothing. He alone is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Allah is the Lord of Mercy. He says that His mercy encompasses everything. As the Creator, He says that no creature can be like Him.
The human being is a special creation of the Lord. He gave man the capability and capacity to represent Him here on the earth. On one hand, man can behave like the Lord in many ways. For example, man can show love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, etc. And on the other, hand man is blessed with freedom to choose.
Out of His mercy and favor to man, the Lord sent Messengers to all of mankind wherever they would have been living on the earth. Each Messenger had the mission to teach the people what choices they were to make along the journey of life.
The best model that the Lord gave to the whole world was the life of His final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The Lord says about him, “And We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) but as a universal model to mankind.”
Complete representation of the Lord here on the earth was given to mankind with the best lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and the complete and perfect code with the Lord’s unadulterated words that He undertook to preserve, in the book called the Holy Quran.
Muslims know that life in this world is for a short span of time, but if properly managed and the correct choices are made all along the journey, the individual is assured of eternal bliss in the Hereafter. The principles of Islam are five. Each one, when properly upheld, helps the individual to know that he is a traveller towards a destination, and should not become attached to the material universe.
Fasting is one of the five principles. The others are belief in the Oneness of God, worship, zakat (charity) and pilgrimage to Makkah once in a lifetime, if one can afford it. Each of the fundamental principles of Islam helps the individual to understand that material life is just for a time, but it can be used to benefit the individual positively on the rest of the journey. So, each individual is required to humbly submit to the way of life given to us all by the Lord. This way of life is called Islam.
While a person is required to submit humbly to what the Lord says is best for us, the cursed one – Satan – makes every effort to discourage the human being from upholding what will be of benefit to him or her on the next phase of the journey. So many people become forgetful and leave behind only material things which have no value to them as they continue on the journey.
The month of fasting strengthens the conscientiousness of the individual to make the right choices all along the journey. Perhaps this is the reason why the Lord says, “If you keep the fast, it is better for you.” We thank Allah for favoring us to be able to witness the month of Ramadan, and to be blessed to be able to keep the fast.
May the Almighty Lord guide us to make the correct choices in this part of our journey, and strengthen our resolve and firmness to follow the path, in this month of Ramadan.