Islam, March 1996

An Evaluation after Ramadhan

Halil Necatioglu

Islam places a very high importance on man and society. Man is the most honorable, the most perfect, the most revered, the most high creature in the universe. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala created this world and the hereafter for him, made all other creatures subservient to him, and put everything to his use: Man lawfully makes use of the meat, milk, skin, hair, and power of the other living beings. He may hunt them, sacrifice them, till his land with them, ride on them, domesticate them, raise vegetables and fruits, and consume what he raises. He utilizes the earth, sky, air, water and other substances.

With belief, man becomes higher and purer spiritually; he is elevated above the level of angels. Without the belief, he falls to the lowest of the low levels, loses all his value, deserves the torments in the hereafter, and remains in disappointment forever.

Islam also places a high importance on the social responsibilities, code of social conduct, social life, social order, and social prosperity. It protects the society with an unmatched attention and care. It considers everything that would take the society to prosperity as a good deed; everything that would disturb the peace of the society as a wrong doing.

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For the reasons stated above, Islam forbids backbiting, slander, mischief, false accusation and similar actions that would disturb the harmony among individuals. All men are the children of Adam (peace be with him); a believer is the brother of the other believers. It is unlawful for a Muslim to stay offended with another Muslim for more than three days; and the rights of the neighbors must be observed attentatively. It is a virtue to forgive and forget mistakes and shortcomings of others. It is also a virtue to become brothers and friends for Allah. Well-to-do Muslims have to pay zakah and charity to the needy. Each and every Muslim is required to visit his parents and relatives, take care of their needs and show respect and mercy for all. Friends are required to visit one another. Guarding the security of Muslims is an important and rewarding duty.

It is a must for a good Muslim to realize the spirit of Islam, the purpose of the worship and the reasons and wisdoms of the prohibitions because his spiritual advancement and rewards depend on his conscience, sincerity, comprehension and intuition. A ''shallow,'' careless, uneducated Muslim would commit countless mistakes, lose immeasurable benefits and suffer many penalties.

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Another long month of Ramadhan has passed. A great season of spiritual enlightenment and abundance is over. We all had a spiritual training during this month: sins were forgiven; hearts, enlightened; rewards, distributed; states, earned; ranks, raised; minds, cleared; bodies, cleaned. Finally we reached the Eid. Our hearts were filled with the joys of brotherhood and love. Mosques were filled with the chanting of remembrance. Congratulations, greetings, and visits took place.

I feel pity for those who could not overcome their selfish desires and Satan despite the opportunities. I extend my pity for those who could not convert the enmity in their hearts into friendship, who could not abandon bad habits and behavior, who could not learn how to love, respect, forgive, and behave, and who could not attain the pleasure of belief and spirituality of Islam. It is also a pity not to take advantage of the spirituality and abundance of Ramadhan and maintain the enmity, stubbornness and insensitivity throughout the Eid.

It is well known that the younger visits the elder; the lower rank, the higher rank; the lower state, the higher state; the children, the parents; the disciples, the master; and they congratulate the Eid and show their respect. May Allah guide those who went astray.


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