Blessed Month of Ramadan
Welcome to the 23rd episode of the series “Blessed Month of Ramadhan”. Oftentimes, the derailment of mankind from the righteous path is either due to commitment of sins, or because of ugly traits that have become embedded in one’s innate nature.
In both cases, the consequence of the deviation is corruption, unless the sinner repents, reforms and rectifies his/her behaviour. The sinner should not delay his repentance and should immediately avoid sins. Otherwise, he/she would be bogged down in a quagmire of sins; the avoidance of which becomes an impossible task.
One of the divine blessings of the blessed month of Ramadhan is establishment of a close bond with Holy Qur’an, especially during the Nights of Qadr, in which the recitation of the enlightening ayahs of Holy Qur’an has been highly recommended. Given that the Holy Qur’an was descended in its entirety upon the heart of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) in the Night of Qadr, there is an especial relationship between Holy Qur’an and the blessed month of Ramadhan, such that the month of Ramadhan has been named as Spring of the Holy Qur’an. Similar to the spring season, in which nature is revived, the devotees to Holy Qur’an establish a very close bond with the Word of God in the blessed month of Ramadhan, granting a new life to their hearts and souls via reciting and understanding the ayahs of the Holy Qur’an. In this blessed month, we should try to form a close bond with the Holy Qur’an, because the Book of God displays all plans needed by mankind to attain prosperity and builds up ethical virtues within human beings. Whenever we understand the Holy Qur’an and realize the grandeur of God Almighty, we can say that we have established a close and amicable bond with the Revealed Words of God.
The famous book Nahj al-Balagha, which is a collection of the sermons, letters, and aphorisms of the Prophet’s divinely-designated heir, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who is considered the master of flawless eloquence and gateway of timeless wisdom, puts emphasis on proper perception of Holy Qur’an and implementation of God’s laws in society. In Sermon 193 Imam Ali (AS) in a lengthy description of the characteristics of the pious persons, says:
“During a night they are upstanding on their feet reading portions of the Qur'an and reciting it in a well-measured way, creating through it grief for themselves and seeking by it the cure for their ailments. If they come across an ayah creating eagerness (for Paradise) they pursue it avidly, and their spirits turn towards it eagerly, and they feel as if it is in front of them. And when they come across an ayah which contains fear (of Hell) they bend the ears of their hearts towards it, and feel as though the sound of Hell and its cries are reaching their ears.”
As is clear by the Imam’s wordings, the ayahs of the Holy Qur’an should always influence the hearts and souls of the believers, reinforcing their faith in God and leading to ideological and practical developments in them. Those, who intend to attain and maintain piety, and to purify theirs souls and hearts from any trace of ignorance, polytheism, injustice, and discord, are the ones, who can appropriately make use of the enlightening ayahs of the Holy Qur’an.
Ayah 10 of Surah ar-Roum of the Holy Qur’an notes:
“Then the fate of those who committed misdeeds was that they denied the signs of Allah and they used to deride them.”
This ayah intends to point out that commitment of sins deviates a person from the righteous path. Deviation from the righteous path is highly dangerous. Even if it is a minor deviation, it gradually intensifies to an extent that the sinful person begis to deny the manifest signs of Allah. Based on hadiths, whenever a person commits a sin, his soul and heart darkens, and whenever he/she repents, it is purified. However, if sins are committed continuously, darkness totally engulfs the heart and soul, preventing the sinner from attainment of salvation.
There have been those, who were initially on the righteous path, but were gradually inclined toward falsehood, and eventually destroyed themselves.
The other interesting point which can be concluded from this ayah is that those, who make use of bad and inappropriate means to achieve their goals, face worst consequences. If one truly understands this fact, he would revise the definition of cleverness. Is the one who tramples upon the rights of others for his benefit, smart? The other point is that one of the traits of disbelievers is derision of the signs of Allah. So, a Muslim should not deride a matter he does not comprehend, and should seek a logical answer for the concerned case.
In the blessed month of Ramadhan, avoidance of food for long hours leads to bad breath, which could cause a number of problems in inter-personal relations. Meanwhile, given the divine blessings of the blessed month of Ramadhan, and the development this sacred month makes in human souls and hearts, God Almighty has resembled the bad breath of fasters to the scent of perfumes, because of the obedience of the servitudes toward the one and only creator of the world, God Almighty.
Meanwhile, compliance by a number of principles in one’s dietary regimen can prevent bad breath. Iranian dentist, Dr. Haerian points out: “Food remains between teeth, and some foods such as garlic are some of the root causes of bad breath. In addition, smoking, and consumption of some medicines, results in bad breath.”
He notes that avoidance of food and water for a long while reduces the volume of body’s water and the secretion of saliva, causing bad breath. One of the other root causes of this problem is inappropriate chewing of food. Chewing establishes a contact between foodstuff and teeth, removing a layer of microbes on teeth, and dispelling bad breath. He adds that in order to prevent bad breath among those, who fast, rotten teeth should be treated, and the food remains which get stuck between teeth should be removed.
Meanwhile, consumption of mint distillate prior to sleep, and after eating Sahari, can be highly effective in treatment of ailments of the digestion system, which may result in bad breath. Furthermore, consumption of mint distillate treats other problems of the digestion system such as stomach inflammation, stomach ache, nausea, and abdominal spasms, which are common in this month. Consumption of water and fresh fruits between Iftar and Sahari, and avoidance of excessive consumption of spices, fatty foods, coffee, fizzy drinks, onions and garlic, meat, and smoking significantly prevents a dry mouth and sooths bad breath. Cheese contains a lot of phosphates and is rich in calcium which should be consumed these days, given that it prevents the dryness of the mouth. Body’s need for Vitamin C should be met by eating foods such as oranges and yellow melons. Also, in order to prevent the growth of bacteria, fresh fruits should be consumed.