Time For Heightened Religiousness
Another Ramadan month is here and members of the worldwide Islamic fraternity are engaged in a month-long period of fasting and heightened supplication.
Elsewhere in this edition President Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia have sent their felicitations to Muslims within and without Ghana. We are also joining the two leaders in doing same because being an auspicious month, we do not want to be left out of this gesture.
The Ramadan fasting is one of the cannons of Islam which lessons are spiritually bountiful. The abstinence from food and bodily pleasures is a discipline which brings both the rich and the poor to the same level.
Most of the challenges of the world have to do with mankind's inability to be disciplined. Fasting and indeed adherence to the tenets of one's faith are about discipline. Those who are able to fast and do it well have for the period prescribed sharpened their ability to adhere to the requirements of their faith.
Fasting has not been prescribed for members of the faith for nothing but to reap spiritual benefits and for the learning of important realities of life. But for fasting, many would not have even appreciated what hunger is, let alone understand what people living in drought-stricken parts of the world go through.
The wastage of food in some parts of the world is worrying. Thousands of tonnes of food are thrown away in some parts of the world as hunger kills others elsewhere. As they fast, those who engage in this spiritual exercise understand more than ever before how to avoid wastage and are injected with an important dose of piety.
We should not live by bread alone but everything which emanates from the mouth of the Almighty God. Food which originates from the seeds we introduce to the earth and which go through the process of decay and eventual germination is one of the wonders of the Almighty God.
Hardly do many consider the cycle of the farm produce upon which we depend for the calories of energy to undertake our daily chores and ward off diseases. The fact that consumed food which is eventually excreted rots and constitutes manure to support the growth of another batch of farm produce should be enough to make us appreciate the mysterious work of God.
We are by fasting taken through a process of understanding how in the absence of food we are broken down and unable to carry on living.
As for the spiritual uplifting that fasting brings along to those who engage in it, it is beyond comprehension. Little wonder the religious exercise is not restricted to Islam but to the Christian faith, indeed the three great faiths of the world – Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
As they undertake this religious exercise, let the faithful understand that they are cleansing themselves spiritually only to normalcy at the end of the month-long period of endurance, born again and uplifted.
As we fast let us reflect upon the challenges of the earth and relate these to how mankind is responsible for these and how we can address them.
Strife is threatening mankind as the world powers are engaged in sometimes sabre-rattling rhetoric. Sometimes we wonder whether the button for the nuclear war to commence is about to be depressed.
People no longer consider stealing from the public purse something unworthy of doing. Indeed, the fear of God is waning among many persons.
It is our prayer that at the end of the fasting the indiscipline that has engulfed society – the Islamic community included – would witness a massive decline.