Channel: Lauren Booth
Dr Chanda May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you Welcome to heart and soul. Thank you very much salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. To listeners as well, while it can sell on, our listeners come from many walks of life and different faiths and cultures. So let's begin by looking at the practicalities facing the millions of parents, working adults, students and people from all walks of life during this beautiful and definitely physically challenging months. Well, peace and blessings upon your listeners irrespective of whichever background they come from.
The month of Ramadan, of course, is a very special month
in the Muslim calendar across the globe, it unites the Muslim world in a particular devotional activity, which goes back many, many years. In fact, it predates the advent of Islam in the seventh century, the concept of fasting
is very much understood within Islam, but not necessarily something that Islam has a monopoly on. Rather, it very much is accepted as a concept that is within other faith traditions, and past communities as well. Of course, over time, and across space, the challenges of a fast the understanding of what a fast involves, and is,
has changed, and the challenges can differ. So for example, if a country across the globe is situated along the equatorial line, the challenges will differ to a country that is much nor the much
in the southern hemisphere, the month of Ramadan, if we may begin with that particular point, is subject to a lunar calendar. In fact, all the months of the Islamic calendar are subject to the sighting of the moon.
This, in fact, is a much fairer system. Because this entails that the Islamic year, given that it is subject to the sighting of the moon will fall back 10 days every year. So over a cycle of 36 odd years, the beginning point will come back to its position as it was before. So for example,
in the United Kingdom, at the moment, the fasting month will fall in the first three weeks of June and the first week of July.
And as we move forward in our years, it will fall back into the months of April and May. So over a period of time, we will reach back to June. Now, this is a more fair system as globally, the month of Ramadan changes days. And the length of the fast is impacted because of course, the length of the fast is subject to particular times Daybreak to sunset. So the length of a day is subject to either being the month of Ramadan being within the winter months, or the summer months. Of course in the United Kingdom. The wind, the time of the fast during the summer months, is much longer in contrast to the winter months. I wonder, forgive me, I wonder if we could actually go through that in an A
Practical breakdown of a day say for a London Muslim right now. So you wake up you go to sleep at what time How does that work? Yes. For example, in the summer months, the sleeping pattern is one thing that is disturbed for London, for example, or any city or any town dweller who may have to attend work in the morning or a young adult who may have to attend college
in the mall.
In the morning will entail the D o t or the believer waking up early morning pre dawn for a meal
and this meal will help and assist him through the day
because the day will entail going without food or drink.
So he will have to or she will have to wake up early morning to have the meal. And after the morning pray may well pressed again until he or she has to go to college or has to go to work.
Let's take a moment to reflect on the excellent wisdom you've kindly shared there.
Gina was already yeah Tina.
Tina Emma, our master our Lord.
Gift us grant us you know in Oregon we find attina gives us Athena to give a grand gift. Gift us an unexpected gift a beautiful gift hug Lana This is a gift you're asking a lot of give you and Lana is macadam, this prepositional phrase is brought earlier, especially for us. We're asking for a special favor to Allah. And what is this favorite that we're asking God, Allah xojo grant us from our spouses, and not just our children, which is not good enough. You know whether he atina future generations of us. In other words, you're not even asking for your immediate children, but your lineage for generations to come. Grant us from all of them. coolness of eyes,
make our eyes cool by means of our spouses. And by means of our children.
All of us, all of us have to appreciate the power of this law. Because of the crisis of the world today.
The world's fundamental institution of family is under attack.
Most of the people here even Muslims are not immune from this problem. In many of our homes, the storm that I said when you find coolness of the eyes, you find refuge from the storm. The storm is not outside the house, the storm is inside the house. And you have to get away from home to get away from the yelling and the screaming and the name calling and the insults and the depression and the sadness and the friction between husband and wife and parent and children. Our homes are broken. Brother is not talking to Brother, parents are not talking to children. This is a crisis inside the home.
And what better daughter to ask the exact opposite. You know, the family has become a place of sorrow, of depression, of sadness, of anger of rage. People feel like they want to escape it. And here Allah tells us to ask so perfectly, so eloquently, that the home should become the place of refuge. It's like the outside world is a storm. And you suffer on the outside in your refuge. Your safe haven is those doors in your home is your spouse's your children. When you see them, your worries disappear. But for most of us, when you see them, your worries begin.
And so we ask Allah give us from our spouses and our children, coolness advice. That's what we asked a lot. When somebody said I want to get married, go further, not just get married, I want to get married to a spouse that will cool my eyes, that I'll be the coolness of their eyes, and they'll be the coolness of mine. And the law took the dog out further. And then we understand why talk about future generations, which I'm not in mattina a mama and make us leaders over those who are cautious, conscious, fearful, pious, righteous, those who are fearful before a lot. And you know what that makes you realize it makes you realize your relationships right now aren't just about you. You're
setting a precedent in your family for generations to come. So when you are not acting as good husbands and good wives and good parents and good children, what are your future generations going to be doing? And who's going to be answerable for that negative trend that was started by you? Who's going to be answerable for that? So it's an intelligent draw, that we should find coolness of the eyes, not only in our immediate family, but the future generations should be people that are righteous too. Because when we're raised on judgment day, we are a mom over the entire family, whether they were messed up or not.
We better ask for the kinds of people if they're underneath us, not those who are dragging us down on Judgement Day, but those who are elevating us and be Begala that he gives all of us those kinds of families. So I beg all of you sincerely that we all make this sincere God to Allah.
I have learned I mean, as well Gina was already Yeah, Tina kurata Union maganda mattina Mama, I sincerely pray that Allah azza wa jal gives all of us and makes from our spouses and our children, those that are the coolness of our eyes, and that he makes us not a leader over those that are pious and righteous. May Allah forgive all of our shortcomings except all of our
Not forgiveness easy upon us. Welcome back to heart and soul with me, Lauren booth, where I'm joined today by Chef chandia. The issue we have to understand and comprehend is what drives an individual to endure such an exercise and see it not as a burden rather as a good thing that one does for the not only the physical cleansing of the body and digestive system. But of course, fasting has not only a temporal benefit, an eternal benefit. And it's the only thing driving this individual irrespective of age is the pleasure of the Creator. Because fasting is seen as a form of worship, it is seen as a form of worship that is concealed from others.
People are unaware that an individual is fasting. So in a practical sense, one could be at school or college or university or at work.
And the only person who will know that one is fasting is the individual him or herself. Now, as you have suggested, there will be a very
early morning, breakfast. And in the summer, the likelihood is that after the special prayers at night called the taraweeh prayers, we will listen to the Koran, the individual will have a meal, read the morning, perform the morning prayer, then go sleep for a few hours and go to work. Now, of course, a lack of rest may well impact the energy levels may well be depleting. But an afternoon break or a siesta
can work wonders. And the day carries on. And normally people once they have finished from school or work or college will come home and rest
rest in the evening so that they are fresh again, for preparing for the breaking of their fast attending to the other forms of devotional activities, and attending the masjid for listening to the Quran in the evening. And the cycle repeats itself. So this is a very willing exercise that Muslims go through. And in 21st century, the concept of the fast is very much the same as it was in the prophetic times peace and blessings be upon him. So it can be
challenging the equal for example, it can be
challenging for the person who is ill.
Dehydration wastes that in. But if there's an illness, for example, diabetes,
a lady is pregnant, or any other issue which may allow one to be exempted from fire. So there are dispensations that do kick in.
Despite the working day, the concept behind the fires is to enlighten your spirituality. And this is the main focus of the fasting person. But beyond that, the fasting exercise
provides a very good spiritual lesson on the idea of our existence,
on the face of this globe, and for, of course, the Muslim community, given that they are fasting, and this is a form of worship that is concealed from others. But the driving force behind this is they accepting that their presence on the face of this earth, all the temporary, is to express their servitude to their Creator. So the belief of the existence of a creator is very much consolidated the spirituality bond with other human beings across the globe, who and we must remember this, at the very same time
of fasting for the very same reason. So it's a global phenomenon, that we have millions of people fasting across the globe,
subject to the times of Daybreak and sunset,
and they're fasting for the same reason to please their Creator, consolidating their belief that the purpose of existence on this temporal world is to express their servitude to their Creator. And this may sound like
a top of spirituality or spirituality booster package.
But for human beings during the month of Ramadan.
The lessons are quite similar to those that were there in the prophetic time, life does not stop in the UK.
They this coming Ramadan, students will be sitting exams,
GCSE exams, a level exams,
Students will be sitting their exams, university students may well be sitting their exams, life goes on the working pattern is not disrupted, because employers will need their employees to attend. However, they may will be dispensations around for break times etc. So, life goes on is a critical message for the Muslim devotee,
life going on
the lesson being provided here, that one is providing a fulfillment to the claim that the old superior being has upon this creation. So, the human being by expressing this fast and it may will endure thirst may well be an enduring test for hunger. But that is a sacrifice that this human being makes, and for not only for a temporal reward of a physical cleansing of the digestion system and the organs and medicinal benefits, but also for eternal benefit. And this is very much entrenched within the primary sources of Islamic learning. medical ethics let's take a moment to reflect on the excellent wisdom you've kindly shared their
Do you agree purify you will look around and where you live look at all the good you have to give give a little love
there's a hand somewhere hold on to fee there's so much that we can do for so many who are in need give our time give give give ourselves no loss each and every hidden D
you agreed purify you well look who round and where you live. Oh good. You have to give give.
Take a look at all the people everywhere.
Who begin with open hands and hearts that do what's fair. Can you see the blessings fall on believe is one don't take the time to give and know what's right to
You agreed purify you Well, look who's around where you live. Okay, good. You have to get given a
cue. You agreed purify you well.
Okay. Oh, good. You have to go. If
you're listening to heart and soul, here on Qatar foundation radio, where I'm joined by the esteemed scholar and lecturer, Dr. Mahmoud chandia from the United Kingdom. And we're talking today about the practicalities. For the billion and a half Muslims right now going through their fasting this month share Ramadan sounds like a spirituality booster package? Is that how we we as Muslims use it? Does it have a long term effect? How can you fast and change your habits for 30 days? Do we go straight back to them on 31? And what is what impact is it supposed to have on us? Well, the idea of value added
is a concept that will be familiar to many individuals, particularly in the private sector, that if there is a policy or a form of action,
then what is the value added of this policy or form of action. Islam is very clear on this that the idea of fasting provides value added not just for one month, but it's actually a training course for the whole year.
And of course there are voluntary files which one can
undertake throughout the year. So the value added concept here is to develop a profound consciousness of the Creator a concept that is referred to as Wow, this is an awesome awareness of the Creator. So that when an individual undertakes any duty, any mundane duty or any major duty, it is done with an awareness that this individual is accountable for the behavior of him or her during an impulse.
That particular duty. So for example,
if I'm interacting with my neighbor, if I'm interacting with my employee, if I'm interacting with my customer, the training of Ramadan provides me that my form of and mode of engagement and interaction is accountable in the sight of
Allah subhanho wa Taala, the most majestic, the all pure.
So the concept behind the fasting of Ramadan is not necessarily just a physical deprivation of food and drink, and other forms of deprivation or actions that one cannot do was fasting, there is a much higher spiritual aim. And all Islamic teachings are very much intertwined with higher spiritual lessons. And one of the main ideas behind fasting is that an individual has a one to one engagement with the Creator. And that will develop in a conscious state of vigilance, awesome awareness, consciousness. And this consciousness
provides a very consolidated lesson that is repeated every year. So that individual is aware, I am accountable for my actions, albeit, I have been granted freedom
and its pathway of progress to spirituality. One of the strands of that pathway is the fasting month, which you described earlier on as a spirituality booster package.
It can be seen as a booster package and for many, it is because limiting one's food intake
one's intellectual output, on engagement with other people, we're not slowing down. Our dietary system is much less at work. And we are much more physically able
to do things. My personal experience is I feel very fresh, I feel very alive and kicking. And I'm able to undertake more activities than normal.
Albeit I wouldn't say I overeat
before the beginning of the fast on the contrary, and, of course, during the month of Ramadan, the Muslims will commit more time to read, reciting the Quran, reading the Quran, learning about the Quran, understanding the Quran, and listening to the Quran in nocturnal prayers referred to as the pravi. So the range of spiritual activities that the Muslim undergoes and all of these activities function to consolidate that notion of the highest spiritual aim of developing a critical conscious awareness of accountability
in front of the Creator, that very much helps this Muslim understand it drives him. This is a lesson for throughout the year, and one month of the Muslim community fasting, as you rightly alluded earlier on one and a half billion, strong community, all fasting, and all experiencing this particular lesson, I have friends who aren't of their Muslim heritage,
or have other particular faith, but also joining us during this month of Ramadan. Some undertake the whole of the past some experience one or two days, some may will experience a partial fast in order to experience what this feels like. Because another spiritual lesson, of course, is to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst that individuals across the globe for whatever reason, do not have two meals a day. So the poor were deprived or have to walk for miles just for some water or food, do not have that this is a constant reminder of the blessings that many across the globe take for granted. And that is food on the table or on the mat at a particular time. And this is a lesson to
be very thankful of the most
issued of benefits and favors that I will create to provide sincere thanks to you Dr. chandia. For your time and effort on guiding us towards a more meaningful relationship with our food, and God Willing with our fasting as well. Make sure to share your thoughts on this topic and your feelings about this episode. The producer for this series is a have a chef you've been listening to heart and soul until tomorrow Assalamu alaikum