Friday Sermon 17 January 1997
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious A few days, but whoso is ill or travelling should do so on a corresponding number of other days; and for those who find fasting an unbearable strain is an expiation in the feeding of one in need. But anyone who is anxious and obedient in doing a good deed it is indeed better. And fasting is good for you if only you knew. ('The Holy Quran'. al-Baqarah [The Heifer]: 184, 185). These verses mention the important aspects about Ramadan which should always be kept in view. At present I am seriously concerned about the moral upbringing of the future generations. In this regard I shall teach the method of receiving the bounties of Ramadan. Prayer, Hajj [Pilgrimage] and fasting are the 3 types of worship connected to every religion. Hajj relates to the righteous people of God who remained pure in their faith in God and either sat in one place like a hermit who sits lost in the memory of God with incense burning before or kept coming back to the place and the worship of God became associated with that place through an unbreakable bond of affiliation. When a place acquires this status it is consecrated for pilgrimage and God has set different places for every people but the shrine of the Kaaba was chosen for everyone unanimously and its true purpose was the establishment of the Unity of the Omniscient which was to be manifested through the Holy Prophet ﷺ. That is why the shrine of the Kaaba has not been mentioned as a gathering place for the whole world before Islam although that was its purpose fright from the very beginning. The second form of worship is prayer which is a part of every religion, in different forms. The third is fasting. Allah the Almighty has prescribed fasting in every religion that existed before Islam, in some form or another. Ramadan should be spent in consideration of these 3 types of worship. As far as the shrine of Kaaba being a gathering point for the whole world is concerned one can offer prayers for it. In this way we can achieve the purposes of Hajj to some extent by offering prayers so that humanity may turn to it. These are the 3 aspects which should be kept in mind in working to train the future generations. Tell them that 'Your life is totally abject and false without worship'. This is the awareness you should awaken and Ramadan is a very apt month for it. You are to sow seeds of the love of God in their hearts right from their childhood. Water them every day by telling them about good things so that slowly and gradually they grow into a pure tree. I am observing the advantages that come in hoards especially during Ramadan. Attend to this and collect as many blessings as possible. The purpose of Ramadan is not a game and a plaything. One of its purposes is that one may increase in God-consciousness. Every Ramadan should bring you closer to God and these are just a small number of days and their benefits last a lifetime. Those who have no power to fast have been commanded to feed a poor person as an expiation. The fundamental precept in this should also be noted that feeding the poor should be a common practice. To share the pain of the poor and to fulfil their needs are all subjects that can be taught to children in a wonderful way with reference to fasting. Generally one does not come across such poor people in Europe, America and in the developed countries who are in need of food but one can send the Fidya for such people in the poor countries. The Quranic verses and also the statements of the Prophet mention the importance and the benefits of fasting. The formalities in some places in holding Iftaris clash with the principles of fasting and in some places sessions are held in the Iftar Parties and people forget to offer the formal prayers and neglect to commemorate God. So such pastimes that are held during Ramadan clash with the purposes of Ramadan. The only sessions are those held in Divine remembrance and I have never seen the sessions of Iftari turn into sessions of Divine commemoration. The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19970117-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2015.
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