The Month of Allah, or a Fun and Food Fair?



With the onset of the Sacred Month of Rajab, the believer undertakes an intensive course to refine and sublimate the soul through the ranks of servitude to Allah Al Mighty. It is a season of divine proximity which the believer makes good use of in worship, glorification, and soul-searching. Over two full months, he becomes qualified to welcome the Holy Month of Allah during which he detaches himself from many pleasures. He lives in an atmosphere that differs from the circumstances he lives in all year long. He detaches himself from the familiar and shakes off the piling dust of unawareness. With the sight of the moon of the Eid, he celebrates his victorious graduation to be decorated the Merit of emerging from self-worship to the worship of the One and Only Creator and honored the Medal of freedom from the bondage of Hellfire. However, unfortunately, our inner fun-fetching demon does not die with the dawn of such seasons; it rather lurks in its den awaiting any sign that arouses its inclinations and backs it to break the chains imposed on it by the spiritual milieu. Here greed means seek the opportunity to respond to these unbridled inclinations of the soul and drag it towards consuming its exhibited goods to satisfy its craving for proliferous gain. As such the obligation of fasting turned from an exercise to sublimate the soul and control desires and a medicine to heal bodies, to a season for dietary imbalance in the daily meals. Thus the night turned to a festival for being stuffed to the verge after overeating from a table with various dishes and desserts that became more attached and specialized for this Holy Month than its very own supplications and prayers – Doa Al Iftitah and the Sahar Doa.

No doubt, being stuffed, man will not be able to rise from his seat to head to the worship house; he will rather stick to the ground pushed down by three factors: being stuffed to the extent of not being able to take a breath or make a move; a desire to gulp more niceties; and yearning to the media table which is likewise full with various programs – the best of which is void and useless and the worst of which is pregnant with destructive matters that turn the tables of values within the watcher. So he sits aestheticized and unable to look away.

This was yesterday. Today, the internet with its advanced show and communication means has offered an inevitable full package for addiction which can’t be escaped even during working and social communication time. It even transcended that to invade worshipping time which turned to an occasion to seize the moment in a shot to be broadcasted rather than being a means to immortalize the moment with meditation.

Amid this, the course of training the soul to practice daily activities and motivating the body and mind with the help of the agility resulting from an empty belly had turned to a course in which night has become a day for having fun and the day a night of slumber. So fasting became a factor for further lethargy instead of a trigger for extra energy.

Furthermore, voices are being heard now calling for exempting students from fasting under the pretext of it crippling them for undertaking the required duties in crucial seasons; thus from the moment the youth starts blooming, he falls from the peak of determination and commitment to the bottom of feebleness and escape.

It is absurd to say that this overall system did not leave a space for the rich to feel the pain of the poor and to bring to life the hunger and thirst of Doom’s Day. Rather the blessed season had turned to a time of unawareness in which the unbridled soul acts on behalf of the defeated devil who is chained and unable to undertake vices, and it emerges from this season drowning deeper in unawareness and drifting further from absolute loyalty and devotion.

Managing Editor

Mortada Sharaf-Eldin