The Divine Invitation (26)
The blessed month of Ramazan is the month in which the Prophet of Islam said, "Be charitable to your poor and destitute; venerate your elderly and be kind to your young; keep in touch with your relatives; hold your tongues; prevent your eyes from looking at what they are not allowed to look and your ears from what they are not allowed to hear; have mercy to the orphans of people so that your orphans will be treated with mercy; and repent to God from your sins."
Fasting revives the sense of sympathy and altruism in human being. Hunger and thirst causes a fasting person to understand better the state of the hungry in society. Thus, he becomes aware of the condition of the deprived. Imam Ja'far Sadeq (AS) said on the reason for making fasting obligatory by God, "Fasting has been obligated to create equity between the poor and the rich. This is to make the rich taste hunger and pay the poor's right; for, the rich usually obtain whatever they want. God intends that equity prevails among His servants and cause the rich sense the taste of hunger and suffering so that they have mercy towards the weak and the hungry."
One of the supplications of the blessed month of Ramazan is the one which is read after the ritual prayers. It is called Du'a Faraj. It is full of mercy and consideration towards all human beings. It reads,
"O Allah! Instill happiness in the inhabitants of graves.
O Allah! Enrich every poor.
O Allah! Satisfy every hungry.
O Allah! Clothe every naked.
O Allah! Pay the debt of every debtor.
O Allah! Relieve the suffering of every distressed.
O Allah! Return every stranger.
O Allah! Free every captive.
O Allah! Reform every corrupt person in the affairs of Muslims.
O Allah! Cure every patient.
O Allah! Fill our poverty with Your needlessness.
O Allah! Change our bad state to Your beautiful state.
O Allah! Pay our debt and make us needless. Indeed, You are powerful over everything."
This supplication is a universally-oriented supplication. It pays attention to the needs and deficits of every individual across the world. It even doesn't forget the dead and appeals to God to send joy to every dead person.
Spending is highly recommended in the divine religions, especially Islam. Yet Islam tells us to spend from what we endear and not the things that we don't like. This is stressed in ayah 92 of surah Al-e Imran, "You will never attain goodness until you spend out of what you hold dear."
In view of this, the Prophet's daughter, Lady Fatima (Peace upon her), gave her wedding dress to a beggar. The Prophet, informed of what his beloved daughter had done, told her, "You could have given your old dress." Lady Fatima (SA) said, "At that moment I remembered the Qur'anic ayah which tells us to spend what we like. So I gave my wedding dress."
In a part of this supplication we beseech God to relieve the suffering of every distressed. A society where there is no sad person is dynamic and alive.
It would be interesting to recall here the event of three consecutive days in which Imam Ali, Lady Fatima, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (Blessings of God upon them) gave their food to a destitute, an orphan and a captive while they were fasting themselves. The more noteworthy point is that the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet gave their food to a captive though, for sure, he was not a Muslim as captives were taken during wars. This clearly shows that the infallible successors of the Prophet both appealed to God for the improvement of the state of the needy and practically endeavored in this way.
The blessed month of Ramazan is the month of the Qur'an. The noble Qur'an is the book of every divine characteristic and virtue. That's why in another part of the supplication we ask God to change our evil state to His good and beautiful state.
This supplication illustrates an ideal society which all divine messengers and leaders have tried their best and sacrificed their life in this way. Nevertheless, this society has not materialized yet. Such an ideal society will only materialize with the reappearance of the Awaited Savior of mankind, Imam Mahdi (AS). May God expedite the coming of that Savior. Amen!