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“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the Criterion. So whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein…” HQ 2:185
“The fast of Ramadan and the discipline of prayer at prescribed times during the day is the greatest aid in developing personal discipline and regulating our affairs and habits.” – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
The root meaning of the word Ramadan, is Ramid, which means to be burning with excessive heat, or to be scorched by the Sun.
“Ramadan means to sharpen (a blade) between two stones, and to roast, or burn. A person fasting, by a comparison, sharpens their nature between the two stones of hunger and thirst burning away bad habits, negative character, and improper actions.” – Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad
What are the locations of these two stones, hunger and thirst?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stated in his Self-Improvement Study Guide 18, Rising above Emotions into the Thinking of God.
“Hunger and thirst centers in the hypothalamus track glucose levels in the blood. When supplies of glucose (energy food) are too low, the brain, not the stomach, generates hunger pangs. The sensation of thirst doesn’t originate in the throat, but here in the brain, when receptors indicate the salt level in the blood is too high.”
He continues, “From the hypothalamus arise intense feelings, or emotions. Pleasure and pain, sexual arousal, aggression, rage, as well as hunger and thirst, all emanate from this point.”
The hypothalamus is located in what is called the limbic system; which makes up 20% of the region of the brain, where all emotion lie. The limbic system works with both the cerebrum above and the brainstem below. Its connections with the brainstem help maintain a state of emotional balance and alertness. Therefore, its connections with the cerebrum will allow a person to temper emotion with reason.
A. The goal is for the two processes to work in harmony, but the balance can be easily upset. Have you ever been truly hungry and/or thirsty?
B. The limbic system can become so highly activated that it overwhelms rational thought, making a person speechless with anger or joy.
C. On the other hand, through conscious effort, a person can resist the natural urge to eat or drink, can fight back tears, or suppress sexual desire.
So, Ramadan services as a time of conscious effort for the Muslim Ummah to gain control of the natural urges of self. With being said, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan expressed to the Muslim Ummah, “This fast of Ramadan is one of the greatest means of inculcating self-discipline.”
Therefore, we read 1/30th of the Qur’an and make our prayers throughout the day and night. By the way, each position and every word of our prayers are having an effect on that portion of our brain.
Allah says in the Qur’an directly to the Believer, “…fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” 2:183
The word for guard against evil is Taqwa, to be God-conscious.
Now, we are getting a clearer picture of what Allah’s purpose is for the Believer during the month of Ramadan by abstaining from eating, drinking, and intimacy with your spouse from the Adhan of Fajr to the Adhan of Maghreb.
It is this discipline during Ramadan that allows the Muslims to be appreciative and thankful of his or her own self and the self of their significant other.
Allah says in the Qur’an, “It is made lawful for you to go in to your wives on the night of the fast. They are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them. Allah knows that you acted unjustly to yourselves…” 2:187
How have we been unjust to ourselves?
In this world, inordinate sex containing violence is the order of the day, all day, through radio, TV, internet, social media. Has this wicked world caused us to be unjust to ourselves by shaping and conditioning our natural urges to be outright excessive in our sex drive? Therefore, the Muslim will not feed the hunger of his or her sex drive with their spouse during the daylight hours.
The Minister continues in Study Guide 18:
A. Above the hypothalamus is the amygdala, a mass of nerve cells that is specifically related to feelings of outrage and aggression. The septum, linked to the hypothalamus at the front of the limbic ring, contains a pleasure center.
B. The hypothalamus has connections to the pituitary gland so it has an effect on growth and sexual behavior. It actually orders the pituitary to organize the endocrine glands’ release of hormones into the blood.
What you just read of the inordinacy of this world and the function of the hypothalamus has a direct effect on the everyday practice of the following verse in the Holy Qur’an?
Your wives1 are a tilth2 for you, so go in3 to your tilth when you will4, and send (good) beforehand5 for yourselves. And keep your duty to Allah6, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers.” HQ 2:223
Comes from nis-wa-tun meaning Women.
To till & sow, cultivate, study a thing thoroughly, Land prepared for sowing, Produce of field, Garden, Wife, Gain
Come, bring to, meet, join, and does not just apply to sex. The Arabic word literally means to come towards.
To will (the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates actions), wish, desire.
Faculty- an inherent mental or physical power.
you can influence and change what your wife thinks of you.
Enhancing friendship and romance. Creating the mental environment you desire (happiness, and increase enjoyment).
6. Waqaa God-conscious, to guard against evil.
During Ramadan and beyond our attitude towards the practice of surah 2:223 of the Qur’an should be the tweet of the Minister Louis Farrakhan: “I could not be who I am if God didn’t give me a woman to help me be what I am.”
Now, as brothers, are we coming to our wives in harmony with the beautiful language of the above verse? Having the thought in mind to meet Him (Allah)? Or, are we coming to them (our wives) with a damaged hypothalamus? Thus walking in the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “Men of this world do not desire a righteous woman.”
Therefore, Brothers and Sisters our mental empowerment is rooted in these words of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to us, “True empowerment comes from when we start to look deeply at our beliefs.”
So, what truly is Allah’s purpose of Ramadan for the Muslims?
The Minister tweeted, “Muslims: This fast, if properly followed by you, will lead to your and my ability to put all of our appetites under control.”
We close with the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan from the Ramadan Prayer line, May 26, 2017, “Not to drink water, which is the source of life itself, for the hours of the day which will be long in the month of May and June; not to eat food, not to engage in the natural pleasure of each other who are married? This is hard. But to attempt it, to build your will to do it; to say right now, “I am going to do everything in my power to do this fast, no matter how difficult it may be”—set your mind, right now, that: ‘This fast is for Allah, but it is His gift to me, personally, that I may develop the will to guard against evil.’”
May Allah bless us with a beautiful month of Ramadan to continue our growth into the truth.
Your Brother in Islam,
Eric R. Muhammad
Student Assistant Minister of Muhammad Mosque #45 in the City of Houston. He is a published author; and can be reached via Twitter @qudus or email firstname.lastname@example.org