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The West Reveres Ramadan – but it is NOT Taught by the Koran

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While the West goes out of its way to destroy everything Christian, and calls its special days by absurd other names, the period of Ramadan is being revered and promoted, if not praised. Yet, modern Ramadan is NOT part of the Koranic text. This is, then, yet another example of ignorant Westerners (and ordinary Muslims) honouring what is merely a holiday invented by Islam, even though, around the world, Muslims are murdering more people they hate, BECAUSE it is Ramadan. Why? Because, supposedly, Muslims who murder their ‘enemies’ (In Islam the enemy is ANYONE who is not Muslim or who is a ‘bad’ Muslim) during Ramadan get extra Brownie points. Thus, there is nothing ‘holy’ about it.

The month of Ramadan is devoted to fasting, sawm, for no other reason than Islamic preachers say so. The actual dates differ each year according to the Islamic/Arabic calendar. It is one of the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’ and is celebrated because, according to Islamic belief, Mohammed received his first (demonic?) revelation at that time. But, it is NOT a Koranic demand made by Mohammed. Indeed, the month of Ramadan is only ‘believed’ to be the month Mohammed received his revelations. Thus, it is only a tentative assumption.

In the Koran ‘Ramadan’ Does Not Equal ‘Fasting’

 

The verb ‘fast’ means to absent from some kinds of food or drink.

The adjective ‘fast’ refers to an act or period of fasting.

(Almaany English Arabic Dictionary).

It appears to me that fasting (as a period of fasting: an adjective, has been used instead of the verb. That is, hadiths and other opinions have replaced what the Koran actually says. The Koran certainly speaks of fasting, but it does NOT refer to a formalised version. There are plenty of evidences of this misuse in Christian churches and denominations, which readily make a spiritual or other action into a formalised idea that is not found in the original biblical text. Prayer is one such idea. In other words, I am saying that while the Koran speaks of fasting, it does NOT make it a formalised tradition. It is innumerable Koranic scholars who turn the verb into an adjective.

In Arabic ‘ramadan’ is from the root ramida or ar-ramid, meaning scorching heat or dryness and it applies to the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. (https://muslimmatters.org/2012/07/22/the-meaning-of-the-word-rama%E1%B8%8Dan/  ).

Fasting is an entirely different word, so the two words are not equal. However, “Ramaḍān was named such because it burns the sins of the believers.” (Mufradat al-Qur’an by Imām ar-Raghib p 203). This appears to follow the previous statement: ‘’When they changed the names of the months from the ancient language, they named them according to the seasons in which they fell, and this month fell in the days of intense heat and that is why it was named Ramaān’’. (Al-Kashaf 1/171, Zad al Maseer 1/187, Majma’ al-Bayan 1/275, Qurtubi 2/171). And, ‘’It (this month) was named Ramaān because it burns the sins of people with righteous deeds’’. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi 2/271, Fatul Bayan 1/293).

The ‘Fourth Pillar of Islam’ is not the modern idea of Ramadan, but the fasting that now describes the period. At least this is the view of anyone reading the details for themselves, not being led by the academic nose! The point I am making is that an original textual requirement is not the same as a traditional amplified command.

“You may eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinguishable to you from the dark thread at dawn. Then you shall maintain the fast (Siyaam) until the night.” (2:187)

AND

“O you who believe, fasting is decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may be reverent.” (2:183)

That fasting appears to be older than the Koran is irrelevant. It is also found in the Old Testament… and Mohammed copied whole texts of both Old and New Testaments.

AND

“If you fast it is better for you, if you only knew.” (2:184)

Muslims (for example) equate this text with the meaning of Ramadan. But, it says no such thing. It simply advises that fasting is “better for you”… no specific time or other activity.

One Islamic site uses this typical “If-Then” form of argumentation. Now, if the truth of premises lead an argument to a specific end, it is valid. But, an argument is false if the initial hypothesis or statement is false and leads all ensuing threads of argument to also be false. (https://www.iep.utm.edu/ded-ind/  ). It means that an argument is only deductive and valid if the premises are true. In the case of Ramadan (and many Christian traditions) the argument that equates modern Ramadan with the call to fast in the Koran is ampliative. This is because the argument for Ramadan is not truly based on the Koranic texts requiring fasting, but goes beyond what the text actually says. (Christians are also guilty of this). From what I can see, the Koran only calls Muslims to fast, but does NOT make it formulaic or specifically time-related.

To be ‘true’ the equation of fasting with Ramadan must prove that the initial contention is true (modus ponens). The ‘conditional statement’ is one that says ‘If A, then B’. Thus, ‘If A then B = if not B, then not A’. In UK law, if a car is sold to buyer 1, and he sells it on to buyer 2, and so on until there are 10 buyers, the sales are only valid if the original sale was based on a legal right to sell. So, if the car was stolen and fraudulently sold to buyer 1, the sale is illegal and is invalid. It does not matter how many times that car is resold over even a lengthy period, every subsequent sale is invalid. Also see

(http://mechanism.ucsd.edu/~mitch/teaching/w10/phil12/lectures/Phil12_W10_Conditional_statement_valid_arguments%281-11-2010%29.pdf  )

My argument is that Ramadan exists and so does the Koranic advice to fast. But, one does not lead logically to the other as it now stands. Ramadan as we see it is merely a ritualistic tradition, not a valid exemplification of the Koranic text.

Why is this important? It is important in Islam as well as in Christian teaching, not to extend and amplify a simple statement so that it becomes a complex tradition without basis. Though Ramadan is claimed to be a time of contemplation and good, the very opposite is practised throughout the world (see below), though some Muslims are genuine. To my mind, then, a Muslim may fast, even as an Islamic law, but the Koran does NOT make such a duty into a traditional expanded activity with many conditions and demands extra to the text. It means that Ramadan should not to be revered even by Muslims, and should not be taught as an essential part of Islam by ignorant Westerners; fasting yes, Ramadan traditions, no. By insisting on ignorance they strengthen everything said by Islam even when it is invalid.

Hadiths are Not the Koran

It is the hadiths, NOT the Koran, that demand every adult Muslim must observe Ramadan as a fard (obligation). The Koran is far more advisory about it. Exemptions are made for the sick, travellers, the elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding and menstruating women, diabetics, those with a very serious illness. Ramadan did not begin until the second year after Muslims moved from Mecca to Medina in 622 (Wikipedia). Once they had invented modern Ramadan, Islamic teachers then declared that those living in countries with extended daylight, such as Iceland, etc., should follow Mecca timetables, or the times of naturally-occurring day and night in the nearest country. Layer upon layer of enforced rules!

Ramadan appears to be a time of widespread hypocrisy. During the fast Muslims are supposed to abstain from sex, cursing, lying and so on, because they are regarded as sins that negate the benefit of the fast. During Ramadan spiritual rewards are multiplied – hence the wave of extra murders committed at that time, which are apparently given many rewards. So, murderers are rewarded by Allah for terrorism?

The weirdness of the fast as a compulsory activity is evident in the fact that some can elect NOT to fast so long as they pay a fee to the poor! So much for its holiness. However absurd, surveys show a 93% observance rate throughout the Islamic world (Pew Research Centre, 2012). All this proves is that Ramadan is a tradition and that Muslims are taught from birth to observe it – or else. Thus, Islam is very much a tradition of works, with no spiritual value.

Though NOT prescribed by the Koran, those who do not observe Ramadan today and are not exempt, are punished. This is rather like sending a man to prison for refusing to obey a law that does not exist! One reason for this?

“Muslims in general are a "third world" people whose understanding and practice of Islam remain fixed in their pre-modern cultures. To many Muslims, due to their pre-modern worldview, this paradox is mostly incomprehensible. It is also hugely obstructive in easing their transition to modernity.”

(‘Post-Ramadan Reflections of the Muslim World’, Salim Mansw, Gatestone Institute, 19th June, 2018)

Muslims struggle in the West because they come face-to-face with a totally different approach to life. They live in a medieval world where chains and swords are the true arbiters of everything. Islam is a religion of fear not of peace in the West, and Muslims are brainwashed from birth to obey fully or suffer the earthly consequences, let alone the eternal ones.

This is why I write this article, to show that their traditions are a reinforcement of a false religion, and modern Ramadan is just one example of that error. Of course, as a Westerner I will be told I am not interpreting the Koran properly because I do not speak Arabic. No, but I am well-versed in the structure and form of language, and I find much of Islamic belief to be alien to logic and proper linguistics.

What the Koran Actually Says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).

(Fasting is) for a fixed number of days; and if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later, and for those (who miss the fast for illness or travel) who are able to do it, is a ransom of feeding one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him.

And it is better for you that you fast, if you only knew.

The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur'an, guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire hardship for you; and (He desires) that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure you may be thankful.” (2:183-185)

The phrase  “it is better for you” implies personal choice to fast. The words do NOT command a Muslim to fast for specified hours. This is why the Muslim critic quoted below was right to say Ramadan is ritualistic and not Koranic. Note, too, this response from an Islamic site to the Muslim question about fasting for 29 or 30 days:

“There is no aayah in the Holy Quran which states exactly how many days one has to fast. The aayahs state to fast for a fixed number of days in one place and the whole month of Ramadan in another aayah, but there is no ayah that gives the exact number of days.” (http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/1042  ).

The response continues:

“Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 verse 183-184: O Believers, the Fast has been made obligatory on you just as it was prescribed for the followers of the Prophets before you. It is expected that this will produce piety in you. The fast is to be observed for a fixed number of days.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 verse 185: Ramadhan is the month in which the Quran was sent down. This Book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of clear teachings which show the right way and are a Criterion of the truth and falsehood. Therefore from now on, whosoever witnesses it, it is obligatory on him to fast the whole month.”

Those not conditioned will immediately see that a whole month is NOT decreed, nor are the hours of fasting in any day.

It is a fact that some Muslims do not have all-day fasts for a whole month. In an interview, a Muslim film-maker said he followed his mother’s Islamic faith, of the Dawoodi Bohra sect (mainly found in India). He said that this enabled him to fast for one single day in the month of Ramadan. (http://muslimobserver.com/fasting-ramadan/  ). Yet, even he said that fasting during Ramadan seemed to connect him with all other Muslims around the world. This is its power – the power of a collective to maintain its beliefs not because of spiritual truth but by psychological inner pressure brought about by adhering to a lifelong repetitive command by Islam; this is group dynamics at work, not true commitment… and Mohammed knew its power!

Out of this general requirement for fasting comes the usual rules and regulations put onto religion by centuries of human interference, making Ramadan ritualistic rather than an expression of ‘spiritual’ growth. The niyya (intention) of fasting is “to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion” (5:98, as translated by Yusuf Ali, and quoted by the Leeds Grand Mosque). But, as with all things borne of tradition, Ramadan has been made into one big ritual.

“In the United Kingdom, Paigham Mustafa, a Scots-Muslim writer, was threatened with death after he wrote in a Facebook post that fasting between dawn and dusk during the month of Ramadan is not decreed by the Quran. In a series of threatening messages under the post, one critic said: "Shut up or else you will get your head chopped off... shut up or else you will be beheaded... shut up you kafir [disbeliever] dog... you will get beheaded... we will kill you kafir." A separate message sent privately by another critic said: "Quran says kill people like you. You deserve to be killed. We will kill you." Mustafa replied: "I think it is important to emphasize that it is not Islam that I am against. I simply want to make people aware of those rituals that are not in the Quran. I did not say that it is wrong to fast, but ritual fasting is not decreed." Mustafa and his family were offered police protection.” (Gatestone Institute, 17th June, 2018)

Remember, this is a Muslim honestly criticising the ritualistic ‘abuse’ of the Koran that is accepted by tradition. He is not a Muslim ‘disbeliever’ or kafir, but is simply telling the truth. He highlights my main argument, that Ramadan is not the same as fasting, but is just a time period. The heavyweight oppressive rules and regulations put upon that period is ritual tradition, not the Koran. It is about time dissenting Muslims argued their case instead of remaining medieval automatons.

An example of slavish adherence to tradition rather than the Koran is the case in Algeria, where six Muslims were sent to prison for four years and had to pay heavy fines (judgment of the court of Biskra, October 2008). Kuwait imprisoned people for a month and/or also fined the prisoner (Press release by Kuwait Ministry Of Interior; "KD 100 fine, one month prison for public eating, drinking". Friday Times. Kuwait Times Newspaper. 21 August 2009). (Such cases have increased dramatically in recent years). All this for a ‘law’ not given by Mohammed! In a very strict Islamic country such as Saudi Arabia (rewarded by Westerners who spend holidays there!), Muslims can be flogged and imprisoned for something the Koran does not say.

It has been shown that children’s health and education suffer during Ramadan, even though they are not commanded to fast until they are adolescents – they like to cram in as many fasts as they can in preparation for later life. Also, I have myself reported on Muslim police unable to fulfil their duties properly because they have no energy. And, as some concerns put it – who would want a fasting surgeon to do surgery on them when they are weakened by fasting? And, it is dangerous to drive when fasting, as concentration is affected… though I doubt if any Western country would sentence a fasting Muslim for an accident, though, to me, it is equal to driving when drunk or drugged, so in culpable.

If Muslims wish to fast for a month, it is up to them, so long as they do not cause non-Muslims to suffer the consequences, and do not fail in their jobs, or expect to be treated favourably, or do not cause accidents or commit crimes. For more on these non-benefits of Ramadan, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGysOICFRlk 

Tradition Makes Hypocrites

But, my cynicism is mainly reserved for those plenteous Muslims around the world who are hypocrites, making Islamic demands though they cheat. (As so many ‘Christians’ do in Christian churches with regard to their own useless traditions! I only call these Muslims ‘hypocrites’ because they demand that the West bends to Islam, while they themselves ignore their own demands). I have known MANY Muslims who eat pork/bacon, drink alcohol, smoke drugs, and have sexual relations during Ramadan. One Muslim only observes Ramadan when he knows his stricter parents are at home, or his Muslim employers can see him; at other times he breaks not just the demands of Ramadan, but other Islamic ‘laws’.

This is endemic amongst Muslims. In a sense I can understand their carefulness in not being honest, when the possible punishments are severe. But, it also shows that most Muslims obey out of fear rather than for spiritual gain or benefits.

My main complaint is that Islam is forcing the West to make observations that impinge on Westerners. As Ramadan today is NOT Koranic, though fasting is, it has no real force even within Islam. Its only force is that individual Islamic leaders make the demand because they feel like it! Ramadan is already affecting the way Westerners live. It is about time Western authorities stopped praising or promoting Ramadan, and stopped making allowances for Muslims at work… their observances are NOT religious, but cultural, based on tradition.

Westerners must not be expected to change their lives to suit Islam and Muslims. In particular, Christians should never see the Koran as ‘holy’, nor should they give faith-credence to Islam, even if certain demands ARE Koranic. This is because Islamic demands are their own – they are not mine, nor do I want or respect them. I respect all individuals AS PEOPLE, including Muslims… but, I will never respect what they believe or do; The Lord prevents me!

This paper can be termed ‘technical’ but it serves my purpose. There are plentiful Christians who slavishly obey traditions and false interpretations. So, in their own way they are just as ignorant as Muslims who do the same thing. In both instances I feel a certain sadness for each, for their following of traditions prevent them from thinking clearly or for themselves.

A question was asked of an Islamic site that shows the ridiculous lengths to which Islamic Ramadan tradition goes: “Can I hug my wife while fasting (during Ramadan)?” The site advised the man that to hug his wife during Ramadan might give him sexual desires, so it would be best not to touch her! (emirates247.com). If we go by the thousands of rapes conducted by Muslim males EVERY DAY, that advice is amazingly naïve (and invasive)!

In spite of the public pronouncements about the so-called spiritual benefits of fasting, the contrast is the wholesale violence and murders committed during this year’s Ramadan. Islam insists that ANY “wrongdoing will break the fast” (Centre for Islamic Pluralism, 26th August, 2011). This is a consistent message throughout Islam and suggests two things: that murder and mayhem are accepted as part of the fast, and, that there are ‘spiritual benefits’ in killing kafirs (both Muslim and other)!

Even so, the same source says:

“There is a feeling of peace within the soul.”

“Among Muslims each person can see the difference in his personality as the days pass in the month of Ramadan.”

“A unique sense of mental peace is experienced, something that takes a man away from this world for some moments, when he feels God's presence with him.” (The same feeling can be engendered by simply not eating or drinking, because the brain does not function properly!). The hypocrisy continues:

“The day begins with prayer and there is a very distinguished kind of confidence instilled in the hearts of Muslims who perform prayers and are fasting. There is a consciousness that "Allah is watching me and all my deeds, and I need to be a good Muslim."

Well, he is certainly watching the murders and hatred! (No, I do not mean that – for true Christians, Allah is a false god so cannot hear or see anything).

“Through each entire day of Ramadan, every Muslim should try to find an opportunity where he can do something good for others. If he or she could stop a fight between two people it is a great thawab. Doing your work in the right spirit is also a thawab. The more thawab a person earns in his lifetime the better it is for him, but in the month of Ramadan the thawab given to a Muslim for his good deeds is doubled.”

Thousands of Muslims commit murder during Ramadan, claiming that Allah rewards them double. This means murder is counted to be a ‘good deed’! Where is the claimed ‘good’ in murder? And how can any sensible man equate Ramadan with fasting, when they are different forms?

It is my personal belief that modern Ramadan is a useless ritual. If each Muslim was free to choose fasting, it is up to them. But, let them not claim that fasting depends on Ramadan. It is just a tradition, a particular interpretation, that is demanded of all Muslims, whether they wish to indulge in it or not.

Personal Note:

Nothing said above is ‘racist’. It is a Christian interpretation of what is said and done in Islam. I feel deeply sorry for all Muslims, especially those who live in strict Islamic countries, because they have no choice at all in how they live their lives. If they step outside the regime they suffer badly, can be imprisoned, or put to death. This is not the sign of a true religion, but of a totalitarian state.

It is my personal view that if the strict penalties for not being Muslim were removed, few people would remain, or be, Muslims. Especially if they move to the West and see the relative freedom citizens have. It is also my view that apart from this fear, like most people on this earth, Muslims like being ordered to live, so they need not think for themselves. This is no different from most Christians, who either are afraid to dissent or ask questions, or who are so conditioned, they cannot now think for themselves. Thus, my criticism on this issue might be mainly about Islam, but it is also about most Christians! There would be an immense shift in allegiances and beliefs if penalties for dissent were removed from ALL religions!

Finally, I must keep repeating that I do not hate Muslims, though I absolutely do hate terrorism. I cannot accept or respect Islam because it is beyond a genuine Christian to do so, just as it is beyond a Muslim to accept or respect Christianity. I have always said something about free ideas in Christianity, which applies to Islam too – beliefs should be spoken openly in the marketplace of ideas, where they can stand or fall. Only draconian dictators fear this test of ideas, and this is why Islam has so many penalties, and why some Muslims turn to terrorism.

© June 2018

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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