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Issue 72 September 2010

Ramadan brought discipline into your life. You did not eat or drink whenever and whatever you wanted. There was a time for these things. You had to control your instinct. Ramadan is a powerful symbol that you can control yourself, that you can set yourself a target and stick to it. Taking that discipline and control forward is potentially one of the greatest blessings of the month.


24. Do not over eat. Just because we can eat once Ramadan is over doesn’t mean we have to gorge ourselves. Obesity has been classed as the disease of the 21st century. Consider this saying of the Prophet, where the ‘one third rule’ is a concession to our desires, “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” (Tirmidhi & others)


25.Time keep was essential during Ramadan. You watched the clock to begin and end your fasts. Do not let that slack now. The jokes about “Muslim/Arab/Pakistani/Bengali etc Mean Time having extra minutes in every hour” say something. Punctuality is important in your lives – for prayers, for appointments, for work and school. When the Prophet was asked, “Which deed is the dearest to God?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” (Bukhari) To fulfill obligations and appointments early rather than late will endear you to people in this world too.


26. Watch your anger. The Prophet advised, “Do not become angry”, and those who control their anger are described by the Qur’an thus, “Those who spend (in God’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger, and who pardon men, verily, God loves those that do good.” (3:133-134). In Ramadan one has greater self awareness so this is perhaps easier. Outside of Ramadan follow the Prophetic three point anger management plan of making wudu, sitting or lying down. The Prophet also recommended saying, “I seek Refuge with God from Satan” when feeling angry (Bukhari) and making the dua, “I ask you O God, for truthful speech during times of pleasure and anger” (Ahmad)


27. Sleep less. Sleep is a blessing from God and you should have sufficient hours, but do not sleep more than necessary. The Qur’an describes God’s righteous servants as “They used to sleep but little of the night” (51:17) and those “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope” (32:16)


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