BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: MAY 30, 2017 – 11:49:24 AM
My dear brothers and sisters, once again, by the favor of Allah, we are gathered together to celebrate this book, The Qur’an, that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, during the Holy Month of Ramadan. We thank Allah to be alive one more time to enter this Great Fast.
There were many who were with us last Ramadan who are not with us this year; we pray that those who have gone on that the reward of their faithfulness and the reward of their service to Allah, that we will not be deprived of their reward. But certainly we are now in a great trial after those who lived their life for Islam and died as Muslims that returned to Allah; we who are yet alive are now in a great time of trial, particularly in our world of Islam.
I thank Allah for those who started this prayer line; I thank Allah for those who are going to make this Ramadan hopefully the best that we have enjoyed. But what will make it the best? It is our striving to make the Great Fast.
For those observing their first Ramadan fast
Now, there are many, many, many new Muslims who are coming into the faith, and this is their first Ramadan. The first Ramadan during the hot months of the year are very, very difficult, but let me read to us from The Qur’an the 2nd Chapter [Al-Baqarah “The Cow”] and the 183rd verse. It reads:“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may guard against evil.” What a wonderful thing when you go to a doctor and tell the doctor of some ailment that you have, and the doctor is wise enough to know from your words what to prescribe that you may come back to health.
The world that we live in is a world that is sick with evil; evil that is against the Nature of God and the nature in which He created us. So many of us are sick and diseased, and we are filled with misfortune because we have deviated from the nature of our wonderful creation and our magnificent Creator. So to read these verses (“O you who believe fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may guard against evil”), let us look at this marvelous prescription.
This month of Ramadan we start the fast, as The Qur’an says (Surah 2, verse 187), from “the whiteness of the day that is separated from the darkness of night”; and, we fast for 30 days, and every day we read a portion of The Qur’an so that by the end of the 30th day we have read The Qur’an from Al-Fatihah, the first chapter, to Al-Nas, the 114th [last] chapter. That is a challenge. We drink no water during the daylight hours, we eat no food during the daylight hours, nor do we go into our wives during the daylight hours, nor do we argue, nor do we fight, nor do we do anything that will disturb our quest for closeness to Allah, and to do what this fast is designed by God to do—give us the power to guard against evil.
Now, this is a great trial, especially for the new Believers. Years ago, we did not fast during the hot days of May, June, July, August. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us to take our fast during the month of December when the days are shortest. And some of our Muslim brothers and sisters mocked us, and said that we were not true Believers. In the 184th verse [Surah 2] of The Qur’an, it says that the fast is: “For a certain number of days. But whoever among you is sick or on a journey, (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days. And those who find it extremely hard may effect redemption by feeding a poor man. So whoever does good spontaneously, it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know.”
Let’s look at that for a minute. Not to drink water, which is the source of life itself, for the hours of the day which will be long in the month of May and June; not to eat food, not to engage in the natural pleasure of each other who are married? This is hard. But to attempt it, to build your will to do it; to say right now, “I am going to do everything in my power to do this fast, no matter how difficult it may be”—set your mind, right now, that: “This fast is for Allah, but it is His gift to me, personally, that I may develop the will to guard against evil.”
The Great Fast: An opportunity to make up your mind, develop your will
As you read The Qur’an this month you will know all of the nuances of what “evil” is. It is not just fornication and adultery, abusing our bodies with alcohol and drugs, gambling and games of chance, but it is gossip and slander; it is the doing of evil and sneaking behind your brothers and sisters’ backs. All of these are nuances of evil. So how do we gain power to stop it, and to become as Allah created us to be (righteous men and women)? If I make up my mind that I am going to do all within my power to keep this fast, then I will develop my will. And if I can stay away from what life is, like water and food to maintain and sustain my life, then I can stop lying, I can curb the desire to steal, I can curb the desire to perform acts that are immoral and indecent; I can become a better person if I can hold on to this fast.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew that we, as a people, were made sick because we have been made other than our natural and true selves by following the wicked practices of our former slave masters, colonial masters, and their children. During the month of Ramadan in December, we were guarding against the practice of “Christmas,” which is a mockery of Jesus; and it is really a Roman holiday, or practice of evil that is put on Jesus. So, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad gave us the easiest month because we have been made other than ourselves, and we are on a journey back to ourselves and back to God, so we fasted “a like number of other days” [as it states in Surah 2, verse 185: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the Criterion. So whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or on a journey, (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days. God desires ease for you, and He desires not hardship for you, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of God for having guided you and that you may give thanks”]. But before the Honorable Elijah Muhammad left, he said to me: “Brother, find a way to unite with the Muslim world.” And so, while I was overseas 30 years or more ago in the Muslim world [May 5, 1986, United Arab Emirates], I called back to us in America and said, “Let us fast with the Muslim world.”
So all of the new Believers: It may be hard for you, but set your mind, set your will. Because once you do it one day, you can do it two; if you do it two, you can do it three—and if you do it three, you can do it for 30 days. And at the end of every night, after Salatul Maghrib, and iftar (the breaking of the fast), what a day of joy. As we have been in the Muslim world during Ramadan: When it is iftar over there, it is nothing but joy, joy, joy through the night; fellowship, brotherly love, eating and drinking. Not bad drinks, good drinks of water and juice, and milk. Oh, what a wonderful month this is going to be!
So I thank you, Brother Akbar Muhammad, Sister Nisa Islam Muhammad, and all of you who are involved in making this program, the Ramadan Prayer Line, available to our brothers and sisters in America and throughout the world. Let us make up our minds, and make this a great, great fast. And if you stumble, don’t be hard on yourself. Put it down on your calendar: “I am going to make it up in a like number of other days.”
May Allah bless us during this month; may Allah build our will in this month to resist the temptation of evil. And may He bless us to resist the voice of Satan, that will whisper into our minds: “Oh man, this is hard! I can’t do it”—stop it! Right now, say: “I Can Do It! I Must Do It! I Will Do It!” and see what kind of servant you will be at the end of just the first day of this blessed fast.
May Allah bless each and every one of us during this Holy Month of Ramadan. As-Salaam Alaikum