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Into the last ten days of Ramadan | looking back at the purpose of Ramadan

The blessed month of Ramadan, the month of fasting is winding to a close while we enter the final ten days of the holy month. As its about to finish, lets look back at the whole purpose of this practice of month long fasting. Its a good time to ponder on the very divine revelations concerning Ramadan. Perhaps God willing whatever time left we can be mindful and work towards its purpose.

Since the Quran prescribed fasting specifically in the month of Ramadan, it is important to know the significance of this special time. A special feature of the Quran is that whenever it gives a command for action, it also provides the wisdom behind it. It tells what the final result of that action will be in this world, if it is successfully carried out. In this way the Quran provides a pragmatic test for people to see whether or not they are moving toward that desired result. (credit)

Regarding fasting, the Quran says: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint".

Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear signs for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful." (The Quran 2:183, 185) / listen to the above Quranic verses by clicking here in a beautiful Arabic recitation.

In the above verses, 3 purpose or results for fasting in Ramadan have been mentioned:

... 1. Taqwaa : learning self-restraint
... 2. Takbir : glorifying God Almighty because of being guided
... 3. Shukra : being grateful.

In the above 3 terms, glorifying or praising God and being grateful is self-explanatory. Perhaps the first term, Taqwa holds the greatest significance and worth probing in details.

The origin of the word taqwâ meaning "carefulness, Godfearing-ness" is from the Arabic root WQY from the 8th form verb, ittaqâ "be wary, godfearing".

What does taqwa mean? Linguistically taqwa means protection and shield from what is "not good". Taqwa has multiple levels of meanings. In the exoteric dimension, taqwa means to save oneself from the illusion of this world which cause negative karma or punishment both in this world and in the hereafter. Taqwa provides the protection and shield which is established by true faith, which in return will cause great love and fear of God, that will lead to doing righteous deeds and avoiding the negative ones.

On the higher esoteric level of interpretation, "the protection and shielding" meaning part of Taqwa also mean to safe-guard one's lower self (nafs) from duality. This duality is what cause separation from man's own divine essence. God consciousness is the opposite of duality.

Taqwa in the broader sense is the Islamic concept of "God-consciousness" or higher consciousness. Having taqwa allows a person to be constantly aware of both God's omnipresence and attributes and a reminder of their relationship and responsibility to God as his creation and servant. The scholars explain that the way to taqwa is through obedience of God, avoiding disobedience, and striving to stay away from doubtful matters (Islam itself is translated as "submission"). Put simply, taqwa is awareness of God's presence as one moves through life.

Taqwa in Quran: The term comes in Quran in many times. Infact in the universal aspect of the religion, it is mentioned in Quran that the instruction of Taqwa or God consciousness was given to all communities earlier before the culmination to the religion of Islam. Chapter Women, (Verse 131) "Verily we have directed the people of scriptures before you and you (O Muslims) to have taqwa of Allah." Then Quran goes on and mention the idea of Taqwa about many other communities of Biblical Prophets such as Moses (chapter The Poets, verse 10,11); Noah (chapter The Poets, verse 105,106), Elias (chapter Drawn up Ranks, verse 123 & 124), Shuaib (chapter The Poets, (Verse 176 & 177) etc.

God says in chapter Heifer (verse 21), what may be translated as, "O you people Submit to your Lord, the One who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to learn God consciousness (taqwa)." Again in chapter Heifer (verse 197), "and take a provision for the journey But the best of provisions is God consciousness."

In chapter Jonah, (verses 62 & 63), "Behold, verily on the friends of God there is no fear nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and they had God consciousness."

May we be prayerful and mindful that our month long fastings of Ramadan bring and improve upon the quality of Taqwa or God Consciousness in our heart. May peace and blessings of God be with you.

:: Additional references and guidance for last 10 days of Ramadan
. virtues of the last ten days of ramadan and the night of power
. what to do in the last ten days of ramadan?
. the last ten days of ramadan via Islam Online
. maximizing last 1o days of ramadan


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Technology of the Heart: Into the last ten days of Ramadan | looking back at the purpose of Ramadan
Into the last ten days of Ramadan | looking back at the purpose of Ramadan
Technology of the Heart
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