Ramadan : We are Human, we eat Food

Fasting is difficult in the hot weather isn’t it? Pretty much everyone around the world today will have felt thirsty and possibly a tad hungry too. So perhaps it’s understandable that many people don’t get it when we praise fasting and say it’s the gateway to the Divine. Being able to fast the month of Ramadan is truly a gift and requires some sacrifice and determination, if you wish to truly benefit from this gift and protect this trust. For most people, fasting is a mission and therefore sadly few fast outside of Ramadan. It’s a struggle.

But that’s the rules of the game – the very special amongst us such as the Prophets and Companions of Rasulullah (peace be upon him) and the righteous followers struggle all throughout the year, nearly always fasting whenever possible. There are many examples of many pious with their incredible love for fasting, many of them every other day throughout their whole lives, many of them dying in a state of fasting in fact.

Why? Actually you can find the answer in loads of verses and ahadith, but tonight it came to me when I was reading a portion of the Quran from Surah Al-Ma’idah which really goes in hardcore against those who commit shirk – and in particular those who worship others besides Allah. He subhanahu wa ta`ala warns them again and again, not to take humans and turn them into divine figures worthy of worship. And after all the warnings, you know what Allah chose as the number one key evidence to show the weakness, limitedness, dependency, finite nature and indeed miskeen human-ness of those they were worshiping?

The fact that they have to eat food.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

“The  Messiah,  son  of  Mary,  was  not  but  a  messenger;  [other]  messengers  have  passed on  before  him.  And  his  mother  was  a  supporter  of  truth.  They  both  used  to  eat  food. Look  how  We  make  clear  to  them  the  signs;  then  look  how  they  are  deluded.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:75)

Did you see that? Out of the thousands of things that could have been chosen, Allah focused on our need… for food.

Our desire to eat food is overwhelming, and that’s not helped by the human body’s physical dependency on the stuff. What a disaster food is! Wouldn’t it be just amazing if we didn’t have to eat food? Can you imagine the level of happiness in society, the destruction of all diet-misery and self-image issues in one swift blow, just what a life-changing impact that would have upon everyone? But it won’t happen.

It doesn’t matter how many billions are spent on R & D to find that pill which completely suppresses our appetite, it’ll never happen. We will always need to eat food and drink, however well we control it. And that also means we’ll always have to go to the toilet. Now what a mission that is! Man, I cannot think of one single thing that I hate more in this life than having to keep going to the toilet. Everything about the toilet is just a stress. You can pimp your toilet seat and carpet your floor and only have to go once every three days, but no-one will ever praise the fact that we have to go to the toilet!

And this is all linked to our dependency upon food and the eating mechanism created for that purpose. Food is weakness. Having to eat is a weakness. Everything associated with food and the after-effects is a weakness. What a stress. Which is why in Jannah as narrated by Bukhari, we don’t need to go to the toilet. If that’s not my favorite hadith about Jannah, I don’t know what is!

So back to food – Allah describes the weakness and dependent nature of humans by their need for Food, hence rubbishing the stupidity of those who would want to actually worship any Human, even the Prophets.

It is narrated by ‘Aisha that:  “Allah’s Apostle in his fatal illness said, “Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians, for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” And if that had not been the case, then the Prophet’s grave would have been made prominent before the people. So (the Prophet) was afraid, or the people were afraid that his grave might be taken as a place for worship.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book #23, Hadith #472]

Thus the wisdom of Allah – the Blessed, the Most High – was fulfilled, when he sent Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the final prophet and made his Shari’ah the completion of all divinely Prescribed Laws, in that He prohibited all means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk – which is the greatest of sins. For this reason, building shrines over graves and intending to specifically travel to them, taking them as places of festivity and gathering and swearing an oath by the inmate of a grave; have all been prohibited. All of these lead to excessiveness and lead to the worship of other than Allah – the Most High. This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is diminishing, ignorance is increasing, there are few sincere advisors (to the truth) and Shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to take them away from the worship of Allah alone – the Blessed, the Most High.

 

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