Blessed Month of Ramadan
Welcome to the 25th episode of the series “Blessed Month of Ramadhan”. Perseverance is the outcome of faith. As one’s faith deepens, the believer shows perseverance. Perseverance in the righteous path strengthens and cements one’s faith, and these two factors have reciprocal impacts on each other.
According to a hadith, when someone approached Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and asked him what he should do to achieve salvation in life and in the Hereafter, he was told that the key to salvation is constant recitation, with conviction in the heart, of the phrase “la ilaha il-Allah”, which means “there is no god but Allah.”
One of the beautiful experiences of fasters in the blessed month of Ramadhan is their close and amicable bond with the One and Only Creator of the universe. This divine bond plays an effective role in preventing or containing anxiety and mental disorders. Sorrow and anxiety are main plagues that are detrimental to a person’s psychological and physical health. Now, let’s pay cite an example. An old tree resists against the scorching heat in the summer season and against the most horrific thunders and freezing weather in the winter season. However, when a small worm penetrates the tree’s trunk and roots, the old tree dries up in a short period of time. When we take a look the seemingly strong tree, we realize that it has weathered storms and harsh climatic conditions, but a small worm that penetrates its trunk and roots, causes it to dry up and fall.
The state of human beings is the same. Factors such as anxiety, doubt, and worries, when they infiltrate one’s body and mind, gradually take away that person’s rays of hope and happiness. In contrast, the person who has strong faith in God and relies upon Him is never harmed by the internal destructive factors. One of the root causes of anxiety is excessive and imprudent expectations. Humans usually want all of the global phenomena and events to be in their favor. But, such wishes are unrealistic because all of mankind’s aspirations cannot be fulfilled. At times, despair over the past and fear of the future lead to the anxiety of the individual. If anyone is entangled in this web, he/she loses realistic outlook toward life. The life of such a person is full of painful moments. However, if someone relies upon the forgiveness and kindness of the All-Merciful Lord, he becomes sure of the never-ending divine blessings, because God Almighty never leaves alone a faithful servant who is constantly cognizant of Him.
The Prophet of Islam has said: Whenever a person beseeches God, and abstains from a sin, God Almighty bestows him one of three blessings – his supplications are answered; his supplications are saved for him for the benefits of Afterlife; or he is saved from difficulties in life.
A Gnostic was asked how, despite our prayers, our requests are not fulfilled? He said, because you do not adhere to divine instructions in your life. You claim to be a follower of the Prophet of Islam, but do not take him as a role model in your daily life. In other words, you claim to be believe in paradise, but you do not take any practical steps to gain access to paradise.
Ayah 30 of Surah al-Fussilat of the Holy Qur’an reads:
“Indeed those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ and then remain steadfast, the angels descend upon them, saying, ‘Do not fear, nor be grieved! Receive the good news of the paradise which you have been promised.”
This ayah refers to the faithful, who submit to God’s commandments. They testify to the indivisible Oneness of God Almighty and tread the straight and unwavering path of righteousness, to the extent that they establish a bond with ethereal heavens in their worldly lives, while fear or grief never overshadows their well-being.
Some individuals claim to love God, but they do not remain steadfast on the right path. They are weak of faith and easily misled by carnal desires, and even lose their fragile faith in God when their supposed interests are endangered. It is easy to make allegations but actions speak louder than words. Some claim to love God, and some others show their love of God in practice, but cannot stand up against, and tolerate unfair enmities, major incidents, and humiliations, so they stop to tread the righteous path. Some are even worse and backtrack upon facing enmities and humiliations.
The blessed month of Ramadhan is the month in which God bestows divine blessings on mankind, more than in any other month. Emphasis has been put on playing sports in this blessed month, and athletic activities can play their role more effectively in the waning days of the blessed month of Ramadhan. Playing sports in an appropriate manner highly contributes to reduction of stress among fasters, reinforcing their peace of mind and patience. Athletic activities in the blessed month of Ramadhan prevent accumulation of fat in the body and facilitate the body’s metabolism. In addition to leaving a positive impact on physical abilities, playing sports highly contributes to the learning ability and mental capacities of mankind. Given that this year, the blessed month of Ramadhan coincides with the warm season, fasters should pay more attention to maintenance of their health. Warm weather could cause problems for fasters, who want to carry out physical activities in this blessed month. However, if you have got used to regularly playing sports, you may not want to halt all of your athletic activities at once.
Continuation of athletic activities is an appropriate approach for maintenance of one’s health and further enjoyment of fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhan. If the individual maintains an appropriate dietary regimen, he could play sports while fasting, thereby maintaining his physical health. In order to prevent physical weakness in the blessed month of Ramadhan, heavy athletic activities should be avoided. Excessive physical activities of the faster in the blessed month of Ramadhan, drains more energy and furthers perspiration throughout the day, which can cause thirst and a fall in the blood pressure of the faster. Upon reduction of the intensity of athletic activities, you can remain active without draining your energy. For instance, if you usually run, try jogging in the blessed month of Ramadhan.
Vice-Chancellor of Iran Medical University, Dr. Ali Mazaheri-Nejhad notes: Fasting refreshes one’s mind and body. If the faster plays sports in an appropriate manner in the blessed month of Ramadhan, he becomes more resistant against daily exhaustions. Playing sports burns body fats and reduces body’s fat reserve. It also establishes a balance between the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. Throughout the fasting hours, body burns further fat, given that the intake of carbohydrates is reduced.
The fasters, who play sports in the blessed month of Ramadhan, are recommended to consume dairy products, bread and cereals, vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, and grains. They can meet their bodies’ needs and benefit from the positive aspects of fasting on their health via adoption of a healthy dietary regimen.