Before the descent of the Quran, the Ancient Arabs were organized into a mosaic of tribes. Each had its own beliefs and rites that they had inherited from the Jews, Nazarenes, Zoroastrians, Sabeans, Hadramites, Qatabanites, Minaeans, Assyrians, Nabataeans, Babylonians , Lihyanites (descendants of Ishmael), Thamudians (The Thamuds mentioned in the Quran), etc. Among these rites, the one which was particularly known to all, was the fasting of Ramadan.
Except that the way of fasting during Ramadan differed from one tribe to another, and was influenced by the various beliefs they had inherited. Therefore, the Quran did not establish a brand new rite for the Ancient Arabs, but only corrected their practice then.
The Quran having been revealed in this particular context, one can naturally expect that all the terms used therein would use a vocabulary which was perfectly intelligible to the Ancient Arabs, and that all the practices described therein would be completely familiar to them, including that of the Ramadan fast. Indeed, this rite was already observed by most of the pagans among the Ancient Arabs, but also by those among them who had converted to the monotheistic religions of that time, be it Sabaism, Hanifsm, Judaism, or Christianity. Simply said, their practices varied from faction to faction, so God corrected it through Prophet Muhammad, just as God is now correcting it through me, his ultimate messenger YS, 1400 years after it got lost again.
THE CALENDAR OF THE ANCIENT ARABS
The calendar of the Ancient Arabs was in place in the Arabian Peninsula centuries before the arrival of Islam, and was maintained for at least 9 years after the Hegira, i.e. the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Yathrib, renamed Medina afterwards. It was a lunisolar calendar, which means that its months follow the cycle of the moon, while being synchronized with seasons thanks to the addition of intercalary months. Since the two cycles do not correspond (that of the sun being 365.25 days, while that of the moon lasts about 29.5 days, which gives about 354 days for a lunar year, i.e. approximately a difference of 11 days compared to the solar year), the Ancient Arabs followed the practice of the Jews by introducing the intercalary month in their calendar too. Indeed, the Jews also used a lunisolar calendar, still in place until today, that they had themselves borrowed from the Babylonians. By using intercalation, the Ancient Arabs’ main purpose was to ensure that the months of the Hajj (pilgrimage) always occur at the end of the year, which is the ideal period in terms of weather conditions. For this to take place, they added a thirteenth intercalary month to certain years. The Ancient Arabs called this intercalary month Nassi, and the Jews called it Veadar.
Originally, the Jewish calendar consisted of 12 months, the beginning of each month being marked by the new moon, while the addition of the thirteenth intercalary month was determined by the Aviv, i.e. the stage in the growth of grain. If the grain was not stripe enough in the month of Nisan, the 1st month of the Hebrew calendar, a 13th month called Veadar (Second Adar) was inserted after the 12th month (named Adar) in order to delay Nisan for an additional month. This practice is confirmed to us through this quote from Rabbi Gamaliel, around 100 AD, who wrote to the Jewish communities of Babylonia: “We inform you that the lambs are not tender enough and the chickens are too small; The grain is not ripe. Therefore, we have decided me and my colleagues of the Sanhedrin, to add 30 days to this year”.
The addition of the intercalary month in the Jewish calendar continued to follow the rule of the Aviv, thus remaining irregular, until the 4th century BC, when the Jews adopted the model of the Babylonian calendar, whose addition of the intercalary month was regular, since it was based on the 19-year metonic cycle (named after the philosopher Meton of Athens who described this system in 433 BC, on the basis of his study of Babylonian astronomy). The fact that every 19 years, the orbits of the sun and the moon coincide almost exactly, was a well-known phenomenon to the Babylonians. Indeed, the duration of 19 solar years is very close to that of 235 complete lunar months, while 19 lunar years reckon 228 months. It was therefore enough to add 7 intercalary months every 19 years for the 2 cycles to remain more or less synchronized. Therefore, as of the 4th century BC, the Jews started adding the intercalary month in the years 3, 6 , 8, 11, 14, 17, 19, of the 19-year metonic cycle.
The only difference between the Jewish calendar and the Babylonian one is that the intercalary month in the Jewish calendar is always added at the same position, i.e. after the 12th month, whereas in the Babylonian calendar it moves one month forward in each “embolismic” year (year of 12 months + 1 intercalary month).
The Ancient Arabs were strongly influenced by the Jews, who were very present within their aristocracy. Abu Ma’char related that the Ancient Arabs used the same system of intercalation as that of the Jews, but that from AD 358 AD onwards, more and more conflicts began to arise between Arabs and Jews, which prompted the Ancient Arabs to introduce their own system of intercalation. This is confirmed by the fact that most of the time, the embolismic years differed between Jews and Ancient Arabs. However, the Ancient Arabs kept using the metonic cycle in order to keep their calendar synchronized with seasons. Except that the addition of this month was no longer based on a well-defined rule, as was the case with the Jews and the Babylonians, but was now under the responsibility of the Banu Kinanah tribe. A high council from this tribe was in charge of decreeing when the intercalary month shall be introduced, depending on the vagaries of the weather and political alliances (this is explained in detail later in this article). Despite this very “peculiar” practice, Abu Ma’char related that the calendar of the Ancient Arabs was still more or less faithful to the 19-year metonic cycle, allowing it to remain synchronized with seasons. We can see just only through their names that the months of the Ancient Arabs’ calendar were indeed, clearly aligned with seasons.
- Muharram (holy month): One of the 4 holy months of the Hajj during which the Ancient Arabs observed a truce, only defensive wars were authorized.
- Safar (empty month): The houses of the Ancient Arabs were usually empty, as it was traditionally the month when their trade caravans were en route to Syria and Yemen.
- Rabi’ al-awwal (first month of spring)
- Rabi’ al-thani(second month of spring)
- Jumada al-awwal (first month of drought)
- Jumada al-thâniyya (second month of drought)
- Rajab (“revered month” according to the Semitic origins or “month of respect” according to the Arabic origins): One of the 4 holy months of the Hajj during which the Ancient Arabs observed a truce, only defensive wars were authorized.
- Shaʿbân (month of division/dispersion): The Ancient Arabs dispersed to look for water, because this month corresponds to the end of summer, i.e. to the peak of drought, and water therefore became scarcer during this period.
- Ramadan (month of light rain or strong heat): Month corresponding to the end of summer and the appearance of the first fine rains of autumn. Month of fasting for the Ancient Arabs.
- Shawwâl (dry-off month): Originally this month was the month of hunting for the Ancient Arabs. Etymologically, the name of this month refers to camels who give birth during this period, and therefore become leaner because they breastfeed.
- Dhu al-Qa’da (the month of rest): One of the 4 sacred months of the Hajj during which the Ancient Arabs observed a truce, only defensive wars were allowed. The Ancient Arabs generally stayed at home during this month in order to be well-rested for the high season of the Hajj.
- Dhu al-Hijjah (month of pilgrimage): One of the 4 sacred months of the Hajj during which the Ancient Arabs observed a truce, only defensive wars were allowed. Month corresponding to the high season of the Hajj.
The Ancient Arabs systematically made Rabi ‘al-awwal and Rabi’ al-thani (which literally mean “first month of spring” and “second month of spring“) occur over the period corresponding to spring, i.e. from March to June. These 2 months were followed by the 2 months of drought, Jumada al-awwal and Jumada al-thâniyya, which, as their names suggest, mean “first month of drought” and “second month of drought“. As for the month of Ramadan, its name literally means “fine autumn rains” or “strong heat“, because it marks both the end of the summer season and the beginning of the autumn season. The Ancient Arabs always made the month of Ramadan occur at the beginning of autumn in order to have optimal conditions for fasting. Indeed, the period following the autumn equinox is ideal for fasting, and not only in the Arabian Peninsula but in the whole wide world. Whether one lives in Saudi Arabia, Finland, or in the south of Argentina, temperatures are mild and the duration of day and night are very close.
THE MONTH OF RAMADAN ACCORDING TO THE QURAN
Ramadan, 9th month of the Ancient Arabs’ calendar, begins approximately just after the autumn equinox, i.e. between the end of September and the beginning of October, which is confirmed by the very etymology of this word.
Ramadan is rooted in Ramadhu or Ramadhyu.
رمضي: ما كان في آخر الصيف وأوَّلِ الخريف
Ramadhyu: what is at the end of summer and at the beginning of autumn
رَمَضُ : شِدَّةُ الحَرِّ
Ramadhu: strong heat
الرَّمَضُ : المَطَر يأتي قُبُلَ الخريف
Ramadhou: the rains which occur before autumn
The above definitions of the word “Ramadan” are confirmed by the climate found in the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, the period between the late days of September and the early days of October is a time window when the weather, depending on the years, can still be very hot, following summer, as much as it can be very mild, should first autumnal rains occur. It also happens to be the period during which Ramadan begins, in the Ancient Arabs’ calendar.
The name ramadan/رمضانhas been given to the 9th month in the Arab world long before the arrival of Islam. This term is rooted in the semitic word ramadhu/رمض, which refers to the strong heat of summer. According to M. Plessner, it indicates that, in the lunisolar preislamic calendar, this month occurs in summer. For the encyclopedia of Islam, only 2 months separate the month of Ramadan from another month whose etymology could be linked to the cold.
The month of Ramadan is here defined as being 2 months away from a month related to the cold, just like the month of Ramadan of the Ancient Arabs’ calendar is indeed 2 months away from a month related to the cold, i.e. the month of December.
Some Islamic works say that the names of the months in the Ancient Arabs’ calendar were renamed in the Hegirian calendar after the arrival of Islam, but Muslims are far from being unanimous about that.
Those who think that the names of the months in the Ancient Arabs’ calendar are different from those in the Hegirian Islamic calendar are wrong, because the Quran does mention the month of Ramadan while the calendar which was in place at that time was that of the Ancient Arabs, which is an undeniable proof that this month already bore this name long before Islam. The Hegirian calendar completely took up the calendar of the Ancient Arabs, including the names of its months. The only difference is that the Hegirian calendar removed the intercalary month, which is a complete aberration, since this removal completely desynchronized the Islamic calendar with seasons, except for one single year every 33 years!
Notice the lack of fairness in the fasting of Ramadan when observed according to the Hegirian calendar: If we take the same date as that of this Almanac but shifted to the year 2020, i.e. January 14, 2020, the fast goes in Paris, France, from 07:17 AM to 05:25 PM, so barely 10 hours, while in Ushuaia, Argentina, it goes from 3:05 AM to 10:04 PM, which gives 19 hours of fasting. Almost twice the Paris fasting duration!
What logic would explain such different fasting durations, depending on the geographical place where we live? What fairness is there in prescribing a fasting which duration may vary by twice as much? Don’t look for logic or fairness in this, there isn’t any! In reality, the month of Ramadan never occurs at this period of the year, because neither Allah nor Prophet Muhammad ever prescribed such a calendar as the lunar Hegirian one, and I will undeniably demonstrate it to you in the coming sections.
If we now look at what it would look like with the real month of Ramadan according to the Quran, we can clearly see the difference with the Hegirian calendar. Ramadan 26, 2020 in the Ancient Arabs’ calendar corresponds to October 14, 2020 in the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the fast goes from 06:54 AM to 07:10 PM in Paris, i.e. about 12 hours, and from 04:02 AM to 08:15 PM in Ushuaia, i.e. 16 hours. The difference is much more acceptable, knowing that I’ve chosen the most extreme case, as Ushuaia is one of the southernmost cities in the world.
The true month of Ramadan according to the Quran is therefore a month which quite simply corresponds to the definition of its name, which translates to “fine autumn rains” or “strong heat“. It occurs every year at the same period, i.e. at the start of the fall season. This is totally in line with what one might expect from the perfect Justice and Wisdom of God. The month of Ramadan, thus positioned, corresponds to the period of the year offering the best conditions for fasting, and this, wherever one lives.
THE NON-SENSE OF THE HEGIRIAN CALENDAR
The origin of the calendar dates back to Antiquity, and any calendar worthy of the name must allow the prediction of periodic phenomena such as the seasons well in advance, while making it possible to organize agricultural, social, and religious events in society over long periods of time. Such is the case with the Ancient Arabian, Jewish, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Julian, Gregorian, calendars … but absolutely not with the Hegirian Islamic calendar. Nowadays, every Muslim country in the world has dropped the use of the Hegirian calendar, except for one purpose: to determine the dates of their religious celebrations, and one may well wonder why…
As a result, the Islamic calendar based on the observation of the new moon is only used in contemporary Muslim societies to determine dates associated with religious celebrations. For all their other needs, Muslims around the world have been using solar calendars for about two centuries: the Gregorian calendar or the Persian calendar, based on astronomical calculations.
Since the cycles of the sun and the moon are irregular, it is impossible for a calendar of any type to remain synchronized with the seasons without resorting to the regular addition of intercalary periods. For lunisolar calendars, these periods correspond to the addition of 7 lunar months over a 19-year metonic cycle. Whereas for solar calendars, these periods vary depending on the calendar, and generally consists in adding a leap day during “leap” years.
Take, for example, the Julian solar calendar, or the Gregorian solar calendar which is in use all over the world today. The Julian calendar, adopted by the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar in the year 46 BC, remained in place in the Christian world until October 15, 1582, when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar is based on the alignment of months with seasons, so that the spring equinox is always on March 21 and the start of the year is 11 days after the winter solstice, which corresponds to a year duration of 365.2422 days of 24 hours each. To ensure a full number of days during each administrative year, a leap day was added every 4 years, February 29, in what is called a leap year. By making the years divisible by 4, the average length of a year in the Julian calendar becomes 365.25 days; that is to say a slightly higher number than the duration of a tropical year (necessary duration for the sun to return to the same configuration with respect to the earth, i.e. 365.2422 days). This difference corresponds to 11 minutes on average each year, or one day every 130 years. Accumulating over several centuries, this gap had reached 10 days in 1582. As a result, the spring equinox of the year 1582 had occurred on March 11 instead of March 21 as should have been the case.
To reduce the error of the Julian calendar, Pope Gregory XIII decided that the day after Thursday October 4, 1582 would be Friday October 15, 1582, and took the opportunity to switch to the Gregorian calendar, which is still in place today. This calendar maintains leap years for all years multiples of 4 (2004, 2008, 2012, …etc), including years multiples of 400 (1600, 2000, 2400, …etc). But on the other hand, secular years which are multiples of 100 (but not of 400 such as 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, …etc) are no longer leap years. With these adjustments, the average length of a Gregorian year becomes 365.2425 days, which is very close to that of the tropical year (365.2422 days). Specifically, the Gregorian year is about 27 seconds longer than the tropical year. This difference gives the Gregorian year an advance of 1 day every 3’223 years over the tropical year.
We can therefore see, whatever calendar we consider, that the addition of intercalary periods is essential, otherwise it would no longer fulfill its function of calendar, which is to predict periodic natural phenomena and social events long in advance, and in a precise manner. Removing the intercalary month is therefore a complete non-sense and a total heresy on the part of Muslims. Whereas Jews have kept the use of the intercalary month in their calendar to this day (thus celebrating their religious festivals at their right dates), Muslims on the other hand, abolished it and no longer observe their festivals at the proper times. And that has caused them a lot of troubles ever since. As a matter of fact, Islamic Ramadan has been a real ordeal for a significant number of Muslims, for 1400 years now. Among many problems, it is a source of health endangerment, largely due to prolonged dehydration periods coupled with high temperatures. In actual fact, according to the true prescription of God, namely the Quran, Ramadan is always supposed to occur during the most favorable period of the year, and this, for all inhabitants of the earth, wherever they live. But, the dramatic consequences of the adoption of the Hegirian calendar do not stop there.
Just as the Hegirian calendar shifts the month of Ramadan through all seasons, it shifts the period of the Hajj as well. As a result, during the Islamic version of the Hajj, many deaths are deplored every year. Actually, the real Hajj according to the Quran lasts for 4 months and not 10 days only, and always takes place at the end of the year, i.e. during the months when the weather conditions are the mildest in Mecca. If you consider the fact that the Hajj, according to the Sunnah, takes place for several years in a row in the middle of summer, under the oppressive heat of Mecca, when temperatures are bordering 50°C, and if you add to it the fact that millions of Muslims must congregate for 10 days in a confined space, while in reality they have 4 months to do so, no one is really surprised to see hundreds, if not thousands of Muslims, die each year during the Islamic Hajj.
O Muslims who follow the Sunnah, do you see what it costs not to follow the true law of God, namely the Quran? It is not a question of choosing between this or that interpretation, in order to better conform to one’s own desire. But it is rather quite simply a question of obeying the true prescription of God, THE ONE AND ONLY ONE, that is clearly exposed in the Quran.
THE QURAN CONDEMNS THE NASSI AND NOT THE INTERCALARY MONTH!
Muslims justify the abolition of the intercalary month, and therefore the adoption of the Hegirian lunar calendar, on the basis of 2 verses of the Quran, of which here is the first:
The Nassi is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people who disbelieve. S9:V37
The “Nassi“ (ٱلنَّسِىٓءُ) is translated by the proponents of traditional Islam as the month of “oblivion“, to signify that the 13th intercalary month was a month to be forgotten, in the sense: “which did not count“. However, the true origin of this term is not Arabic, but rather Semitic, the Nassi being a Hebrew term meaning “prince“, title given to the highest-ranking member and president of the Sanhedrin, who decides when the intercalary month shall be added in the Jewish calendar. So, the term “Nassi” does not mean that this month shall be forgotten, as the Muslims conveniently interpret it, to the point that they have outright removed it from their calendar. The term “Nassi” rather refers, as its Semitic meaning indicates, to the group of persons responsible for its addition, and who are known as the Banu Kinanah tribe among the Ancient Arabs. You will see further down in this section, that the “addition to disbelief” condemned by this verse is about the peculiar use of this month by the Ancient Arabs rather than the month itself.
The Muslim translators translate the word “Nassi” as “intercalary month“, which completely changes the meaning of this verse:
The intercalary month is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people, who disbelieve. S9:V37
What this verse truly condemns is the Nassi in particular and not the intercalary month in general. The Nassi is the intercalary month specific to the Ancient Arabs, and they used it quite differently from the Jews, and the Babylonians before them. Indeed, while the Jews and the Babylonians added their intercalary month according to a single transparent rule and without any other objective than to synchronize their calendar with seasons, the Ancient Arabs used it for economic and strategic purposes. This is precisely where lies the “addition to disbelief” condemned by this verse.
The Nassi was used as an economic asset by the most prominent tribes among the Ancient Arabs, namely, those who held the greatest military and economic strength. Knowing that the mighty tribes among the Ancient Arabs mainly derived their wealth from their military conquests and their Hajj-related trade, the control of the holy months was therefore of utmost importance to them, as the holy months coincide with the months of the Hajj and since war was prohibited except defensively during these months. Thus, by declaring the month of Nassi sometimes sacred and sometimes profane, the Ancient Arabes used it to make the pilgrimage coincide with the most favorable periods in terms of weather conditions, which benefited their business.
But, the Nassi also represented a major strategic and military asset for them: if they were attacked by surprise, they would immediately insert the Nassi by declaring it sacred, which would force their enemies to stop their offensive. And if conversely, they wanted to launch a surprise attack without their enemies being prepared, they would suddenly insert the Nassi, declaring it profane on that occasion, turning the coming month profane while it was supposed to be sacred.
Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the associaters collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are the pious. The Nassi is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people, who disbelieve. S9:V36-37
The sacred months of the Ancient Arabs (which remained the same with the Quran) correspond to the 3 consecutive months of Dhu al-Qua’da, Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, and the isolated month of Rajab. The most powerful tribes among the Ancient Arabs derived a substantial part of their wealth from their military conquests. Therefore, the truce imposed by the 3 consecutive sacred months would sometimes seem inconveniently too long to them. On such instance, they would insert the Nassi by declaring it profane in the midst of the 3 sacred months, in order to allow themselves to wage war, thus making profane what Allah has made sacred.
In the same vein, if they felt that the weather conditions would not be good enough for the coming sacred month, they would insert the Nassi instead of that month and declare it profane, so as not to have to start the Hajj in conditions which would be unfavorable to their affairs, thus making profane what Allah has made sacred. Conversely, if the weather conditions were good at the end of the month, and the coming month was not sacred, they would insert the Nassi in place of the coming month, declaring it sacred on that occasion in order to start the Hajj earlier, and would desecrate one of the sacred months of Allah in order to adjust their number.
However, the real function of the intercalary month is not to manipulate the sacred months for private interests, but only to keep the months of the calendar synchronized with seasons. It is precisely this perverse and devious use of the intercalary month, specific to the Ancient Arabs that this verse condemns, and not the use of the intercalary month in general. Eventually, The culmination of all this overindulgence is that the intercalary month was abolished completely. What was once the exception with the Nassi has been erected as a rule that has now been in effect for more than 1400 years. Indeed, with the Hegirian calendar, the sacred months of Allah are systematically desecrated every year, and their holy character is only respected once every 33 years!
THE TRUE CALENDAR ACCORDING TO THE QURAN IS LUNISOLAR
The second of the 2 verses on which Muslims rely to justify the abolition of the intercalary month, and therefore, the adoption of the Hegirian lunar calendar, is the following:
Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the associaters collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are the pious. S9:V36
According to the official Islamic version, following the revelation of this verse in the year 9 of Hegira, the prophet Muhammad himself would have interpreted it as an injunction to abolish the intercalary month.
Creation of the Islamic calendar
Contrary to the Jewish practice, the Quran expressly prohibits the intercalary month.
The intercalary month would have been abolished at the end of the Medinan period, at the end of year 9 of the Islamic calendar, during a public proclamation during the pilgrimage, and is mentioned once in the Quran:
« Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred: that is the right religion. »
Year 1 of this calendar began on the first day of the Hegira, the 1st of Muharram (July 15 or 16, 622 AD, according to theological authors). The first period is called “astronomical”, the second “civil”. This calendar was adopted ten years after this event.
If this interpretation had really been that of the prophet Muhammad, then he would have logically changed the names of the Hegirian months, at least those which relate to seasons; such as Rabii al-awal and Rabii al-thani (“first month of spring” and “second month of spring”), Jumada-Al-Awal and Jumada-Al-thâniyya (“first month of drought” and “second month of drought”), and Ramadan (“fine autumn rains” or “strong heat”). Indeed, the Hegirian calendar makes these months occur at any time of the year, therefore rendering their names obsolete and nonsensical. For over 1400 years now, this point does not seem to have bothered any Muslim, even though this would imply that Allah uses inappropriate terms in the Quran when referring to the month of Ramadan! Ramadan, which as its name suggests, is a month which occurs in early autumn, while the Hegirian calendar shifts it in any season, depending on the year. However, falsehood cannot alter the Word of Allah, namely the Quran, and this, neither in the future, nor in the past. For true believers, who attach the utmost importance to the Quran, and therefore to the Word of Allah, this single proof is self-sufficient to definitively rule out the Hegirian lunar calendar.
Falsehood cannot come to it, neither in the future nor in the past; sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. S41:V42
In reality, there is no divine injunction in this verse to remove the intercalary month, as most Muslims interpret it. This verse only informs us of an astronomical reality over which mankind has no control. This astronomical reality stems, on the one hand, from the duration of a tropical year, which is 365.2422 days, on the other hand, from the average duration of a lunation; which is 29.53 days. These figures imply that a tropical year has an average of 12.36827 lunations. Therefore, during a tropical year, there will never be either 11 or 13 months, but always 12 completed months (i.e. 12 completed lunations, as 1 month equals 1 lunation). The purpose of using the intercalary month is therefore not to increase the number of months in the year from 12 to 13, but only to guarantee the synchronization of the months with seasons, by compensating for the shift produced by the accumulation of residual fractions due to the need to measure time using whole numbers of days and months.
The astronomical phenomena presented above being independent, the units they define are not commensurable: their ratio is not a whole number.
In our time, one year equals 365.242201 days; the average duration of a lunation is 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds (29.53 days); a solar year has 12.36827 lunations.
Faced with this difficulty, people have chosen either to let the calendar become desynchronized (choice of the Hegirian calendar) or to reset it empirically on celestial phenomena (lunisolar and solar calendars), even if it means losing the continuity of days. Such a calendar is said to be arithmetic or astronomical.
The Hegirian lunar calendar could in no way have been prescribed by God, for God clearly says in the Quran that the calculation of time is based on both the sun and the moon:
The Cleaver of the dawn, He made the night a phase of rest; the sun and the moon to measure time. This is the disposition of the Mighty, the All-Knowing. S6:V96
It is He who made the sun a glow and the moon a light, and He has determined phases for it so that you may know the number of years and the calculation (of time). Allah has not created all this except with a purpose. He details the signs unto knowledgeable people. S10:V5
The moon and the sun are the clock of the universe, in the literal sense of the word. Man does not know how to make a perpetual clock. God did it for us through the sun and the moon, which He subjected to a perpetual revolution, thus allowing us to calculate the time extremely precisely, without ever deviating.
And for you, He subjected the sun and the moon to a perpetual revolution. And He subjected to you the night and the day. S14:V33
Just as a clock with a single hand is not suitable for properly displaying the time, a calendar which involves only the sun or only the moon does not allow events to be dated with enough precision. Indeed, a pure lunar calendar, such as the Hegirian calendar, loses the thread of seasons as the years go by, while a pure solar calendar, such as the Gregorian calendar, is based on calculation only and is not modeled on celestial phenomena. However, a calendar that combines both the sun and the moon all at once, is synchronized with seasons and reset on celestial phenomena as well, which makes it possible to date cosmic, civic, and religious events, using one and the same calendar. The sun is equivalent to the small hand of a clock, while the moon to the large one, it is therefore the moon which makes it possible to date any event governing people’s lives to one-day accuracy.
They ask you about the new moons. Say, “They serve as temporal markers for the people and for the Ḥajj […] S2:V189
The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran as a guide for the people, also clear evidence for guidance and discernment. So whoever of you witness [the new moon marking the beginning of the] month, shall fast it. […] S2:V185
The orbits and travel speeds of the sun and the moon have been meticulously determined by Allah, just like the cogs of a clock are meticulously positioned and rotate at a skillfully calculated speed.
The sun and the moon [evolve] according to a [meticulous] calculation. S55:V5
The next verse says that the sun shall not catch up with the moon. But what does this mean, given that the sun and the moon both have their own orbit? If 2 runners were to race, each one on his own circuit, how could one catch up with the other?
Neither the sun shall catch up with the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit. S36:V40
The explanation of this verse becomes clear when we draw a parallel with the 2 hands of a clock: If the large hand went faster, the small hand would proportionally go faster. And if the small hand went faster, then the large one would follow accordingly. Neither of the 2 could outstrip the other for the simple reason that the movements of the 2 hands are, in fact, linked. The same relationship exists between the sun and the moon.
By the sun and its brightness! And by the moon as it follows it! S91:V1-2
The above verse definitely confirms us that it is the moon that follows the sun and not the opposite, in the sense that it is the sun that determines seasons, and the moon must follow them. Indeed, the sun regulates the lunar months, which must in turn, conform to its cycle through the intercalary month, while the moon does not regulate the cycle of the sun in any way.
The real way of measuring time according to the Quran is therefore neither through the Gregorian solar calendar, nor through the Hegirian lunar calendar, but is done as Allah teaches us in the Quran, through the lunisolar calendar. The year corresponds to the tropical year, in other words to a complete cycle of seasons, while the months are determined by the moon and remain synchronized with seasons by means of the intercalary month.
When God speaks of the month of Ramadan in the Quran, He does not speak of the month of Ramadan of the Hegirian lunar calendar, nor of the month of September which is the equivalent of the month of Ramadan in the Gregorian calendar. The true month of Ramadan according to the Quran is the month of the lunisolar calendar which occurs at the end of summer and at the beginning of autumn, confirming the 2 definitions related to its very name: “strong heat” and “fine autumn rains“. It is by combining the cycle of the sun, the cycle of the moon, and the addition of intercalary months, all at once, that we are able to correctly count the years and split them into months. By respecting the metonic cycle that God taught all mankind, it is very easy to calculate the years and months of the lunisolar calendar: one just have to count 1 month for each new moon, and add 7 intercalary months over a 19-year cycle. The intercalary month shall be inserted immediately after the month during which the delay of the cycle of the moon exceeds 29 days, compared to that of the sun, which amounts to adding it once every 32 months.
Here is the lunisolar calendar calculated from the period preceding the introduction of the Hegirian calendar, until today:
Given that the month of Ramadan as refered to by the Quran is a fixed month in the lunisolar calendar, it therefore corresponds to a unique period in the year. So, contrary to what I’ve told you in my first article, the month of Ramadan occurs at the same time for all inhabitants of the earth, whether they live in the Northern or the Southern hemisphere.
DEAD SEA SCROLLS CONFIRM THE LUNISOLAR CALENDAR
The Qumran Manuscripts or Dead Sea Scrolls, considered to be the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, are the oldest Hebrew texts to be found from the Old Testament, so far. They contain an extract from the Book of Genesis, where it is clearly said that a year according to God corresponds to the tropical year (approximately 365 days) and not to the lunar year (354 days). This confirms us once again that the Hegirian calendar was never prescribed neither by the prophet Muhammad nor by the Quran, but that the true calendar according to Allah is the lunisolar calendar whose years follow the cycle of the sun and months those of the moon.
In the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, a Sunday, the earth was dry. That day, Noah came out of the ark, just at the end of one year, after three hundred and sixty-four days […] to the day, after a full year.
Source: DEAD SEA SCROLLS, REF 4Q252 Frag. 1 Col. 2
THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD NEVER ESTABLISHED THE HEGIRIAN CALENDAR
A recent study conducted by the Islamologist Wissem-Eddine Ishak and whose results were published in 2018 in a work entitled “Book of Innocence of the Intercalary Month” (كتاب براءة النسيء), presented several historical evidence formally showing that the prophet Muhammad had never abolished the intercalation. One of the strongest evidence is based on the dates of the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Yarmouk.
THE BATTLE OF BADR
Muslim sources say the Battle of Badr began around Ramadan 17, 2 AH, about 7 years before the alleged abolition of intercalation. Historians have estimated that this date corresponds to March 13, 624 AD of the Julian calendar, but it may not be the correct date for at least three reasons:
- Before the abolition of the intercalation, the calendar of the Ancient Arabs still followed seasons, so the month of Ramadan always occurred at the beginning of autumn, which corresponds to October rather than March.
- The estimate of the conversion of the date Ramadan 17, 2 AH in the Julian calendar was made without taking into account the intercalation which was still in place, at least until the year 9 of the Hegira, that is to say for at least 7 years after the battle of Badr.
- This estimate does not take into account the transition on October 15, 1582 from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (I’ve already explained in a previous section the details of this transition).
Taking into account the above constraints, and using a database available at NASA on lunar cycles since 2000 BC, Wissem-Eddine Ishak estimated that the date of Ramadan 17, 2 AH rather corresponds to October 16, 623 AD.
The English Wikipedia page relating to this battle kept the former date of March 13, 624, while the French one took up the new recalculated one, i.e. October 16, 623 AD.
This difference illustrates the confusion that exists around the real period during which the calendar of the Ancient Arabs was replaced by the Hegirian calendar. Given that the prophet Muhammad actually never prescribed the abolition of the intercalary month, and therefore, never introduced the Hegirian calendar, Muslim historians had to find a subterfuge, claiming that this transition would have taken place during his lifetime in 9 AH, but was “made official”, according to the islamic terms, only during the reign of Caliph Umar. The term “made official” does not mean anything and only means to confuse us. Either this change really took place during the prophet’s lifetime, and in this case, it would be verified in the dates of the Hegirian calendar corresponding to this period, which, as you will see, is not the case, or this change never took place during his lifetime, in which case, making the Hegirian calendar “official” after his death does not legitimize it in any way, since this would mean that the prophet himself had never introduced it.
With the new date of the Battle of Badr recalculated with NASA data, the month of Ramadan in the second year of the Hegira had therefore started around September 30, 623, which confirms that the calendar of the Ancient Arabs was still in place at that time. This allows us to formally say that the intercalary month had not yet been abolished at the date of the Battle of Badr, i.e. in 2 AH.
THE BATTLE OF YARMOUK
The Battle of Yarmouk is one of the major battles of early Islam and marks the first great wave of Muslim conquest. It was carried out at the start of the reign of the 2nd Caliph Umar against the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire, and ended the Byzantine rule in Syria. The peculiarity of this battle is that its date is reported by both Muslim and Byzantine (Syriac) sources. Historians date its start to Rajab 5, 15 AH, i.e. approximately 13 years after the Battle of Badr and 6 years after the alleged date of the abolition of the intercalary month. Byzantine-Syriac sources date its beginning to August 15, 636 AD of the Julian calendar. This would mean that the month of Ramadan in the year 15 of the Hegira would have started around October 9, 636 AD. ( If we consider that Rajab and Shabân reckon 30 days each, there are about 55 days between Rajab 5,15 AH and Ramadan 1, 15AH. If we add 55 days to August 15, 636 AD, we get October 9, 636 AD).
It is clear that until the 15th year of the Hegira, i.e. 6 years after the alleged abolition of the intercalation, the months of the calendar followed by the Muslims were still lunisolar, as the month of Ramadan was still starting in early fall. If, as the Muslims keep saying, the Prophet Muhammad himself had abolished the intercalation in the 9th year of the Hegira, the month of Ramadan in the 15th year of the Hegira would have started approximately at the beginning of August of the year 636 of the Julian calendar, and not around October 9 as is evidently the case. Indeed, 6 years separate the years 9 and 15 AH, knowing that the lunar year has 11 days less than the solar year, the Hegirian calendar would therefore accumulate a delay of approximately 66 days over 6 years, compared to the lunisolar calendar of the Ancient Arabs. So if it had been 6 years since the Hegira calendar was in place, then the month of Ramadan of the year 15 AH would not start on October 9, 636 AD as is obviously the case, but rather 66 days before, i.e. around August 4, 636 AD.
This result shows indisputably that the intercalation was never abolished during the prophet Muhammad‘s lifetime, but rather either during the reign of the 2nd Caliph Umar (but in this case after the Battle of Yarmouk), or by one of the caliphs who succeeded him. All evidences suggest that intercalation was abolished during the reign of Muawiya, the first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty, probably in order to allow the young Islamic empire to have its own calendar as was the case with the Persian and Byzantine empires.
As I illustrated in detail in my first warning from God to Muslims, it was Muawiya‘s rise to power that was at the origin of the transition from true free Islam based on the Quran as taught by the Prophet Muhammad, to a sectarian and heretical Islam, turned into a state religion and based on the so-called Sunnah of the Prophet. Muawiya was the first caliph to authorize the use of Hadiths, while until then, they were prohibited both during prophet Muhammad‘s lifetime and throughout the reign of the 4 Well-Guided Caliphs. Muayiwa did not authorize the Hadiths for the laudable purpose of promoting the teachings of the prophet, but rather to use them as a political weapon, sponsoring their mass fabrication by an army of forgers, the best known among them being the infamous Abu Hurairah. Muayiwa used Hadiths not only to establish his political power, but also to neutralize his detractors and forge a new version of Islam according to his own wishes, which he transformed into a state religion for his new Islamic empire. Allah denounces in the Quran those who, like Jews, distort His verses and take them out of context, while they know their true meanings. Muayiwa was undoubtedly one of them. Indeed, his course of action was never motivated by the will to better obey God and the prophet, but rather with the sole intent to propel his own pharaonic ambitions, namely becoming an equal of the Roman emperors.
A later section of this article is entirely devoted to this character, since his influence has been decisive in the construction of the false Islam that we know today, based on the Sunnah.
In the invocations of Ali Zaynn Al-Abidin, nicknamed Assajjâd (the prostrate), and grandson of the 4th Well-Guided Caliph, we can read the following text in the 45th invocation of the Canticles of Sajjâd, titled “doing his farewell with the month of Ramadan“:
O our God, We are the guardians of this month with which You have honored us, and by Your Grace You have guided us to it, while the wretches have ignored its time, and because of their misery, have proscribed its blessings (to themselves and to those who do not follow it in its due time), You are the One to whom we owe to know it, and You have guided us to its good practice, and by Your grace we have fasted and observed it, but with lacks and negligence; And from much, we have accomplished so little!
اللهم إنا اهل هذا الشهر الذي شرفتنا به ، و وفقتنا بمنك له حين جهل الاشقياء وقته ، و حرموا لشقائهم فضله .أنت ولي ما اثرتنا به من معرفته ، و هديتنا له من سنته ، و قد تولينا بتوفيقك صيامه و قيامه علي تقصير ، و ادينا فيه قليلا من كثير
In this invocation, Imam Ali Zaynn Al-Abidin, only survivor of Hussein Ibn Ali’s children after the Battle of Karbala, blames the wretches who ignored the true date of the month of Ramadan. These “wretches” to which Assajjâd alludes, undoubtedly designate the Umayyad caliphs who introduced the Hegirian calendar, while they perfectly knew that this had never been prescribed, either by the Quran or by the prophet Muhammad.
And who is more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied against their Lord!” No doubt! the curse of Allah is on the unjust, S11:V18
Through this first part, we were able to see in a concrete way all the aberrations linked to the adoption of the Hegirian calendar, as well as the serious injustices it generated. We have also seen that the 2 verses, S9: V36 and S9: V37, on which Muslims rely to justify the transition to the Hegirian calendar, absolutely do not say that the intercalary month shall be abolished or that the year according to Allah reckons exactly 12 whole lunar months. On the contrary, we have seen that the measurement of time according to Allah’s prescription is based on both the sun and the moon. In other words, on a lunisolar calendar, hence the absolute necessity of the thirteenth intercalary month. Finally, this last factual proof based on the dates of the battles of Badr and Yarmouk is sufficient in itself to close the debate. Because, it undeniably shows that the Hegirian calendar was never established during the prophet’s lifetime as the Sunnah affirms it, as we’ve clearly seen that the intercalary month was still in place at the beginning of the battle of Yarmouk in Rajab 5, 15 AH, i.e. more than 4 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad.
All this seriously invalidates the very foundations of what Muslims call the Sunnah of the Prophet, but also the significant role which is until now occupied by the scholars. Indeed, how could the sunnah be so wrong? And how come all of the great names of Islam have been making such a grave mistake for 1400 years, missing so much evidence? This discovery of the non-conformity of the Hegirian calendar with the Quran is therefore akin to a real shock wave for the entire Muslim world, completely calling into question both the legitimacy of the entire Sunnah, but also the position of authority occupied by the Islamic scholars.
Allah commands us not to take associates apart from Him, meaning: not to follow the guidance of scholars, hoping that they will guide us instead of Him. And here I am not only speaking of those who take guides in flesh and blood instead of God, but also of all those who follow their writings and interpretations. Indeed, it is exactly the same to follow physical persons as to follow their writings, because it amounts to taking up their interpretations at face value without using one’s own reflection. Allah commands us to use our own reason, to follow what He directly makes us understand from the Quran, and not to follow what others understand from it. Allah also commands us not to blindly follow the beliefs of our ancestors, whatever they may be, but rather to submit them imperatively to our own critical sense and to concrete evidence, and to confront them for ourselves with what He sent down, i.e. the Quran.
When it is said to them “Follow what Allah has sent down” they say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” What! Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they well-guided? S2:V170
THE TRUE PRACTICE OF RAMADAN
Now that we know the true period of Ramadan, i.e. in early fall, let’s focus on its practice according to the prescription of God, namely the Quran. You will see that the Islamic practice does not really equate to what is actually prescribed in the Quran, but takes the most extreme form, which makes it all the less profitable and adapted for most people. This is because Muslims rely on the Sunnah to interpret the verses of the Quran, which completely distorts its true meaning and limitates it. The Quran is by design, clear as water, fully-detailed, and complete, and therefore does not need any so-called Sunnah to help understand or supplement it.
A Book whereof the verses are fully detailed and clearly exposed, an Arabic Quran for people who know. S41:V3
In a general way, the right approach to the Quran is to add nothing to it and remove nothing from it. One has to be extremely attentive to the slightest subtlety in its terms, conjunctions, variations, and turns of phrases, and finally, one must be fully aware that nothing has been omitted in it, not even the slightest detail. What is explicitly expressed in the Quran is on purpose, and what is not expressed is also on purpose. Actually, what is not said is just as important as what is explicitly said, and is by no means negligence from God. Muslims say they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet because they believe it provides details that the Quran does not, and deals with subjects that they believe the Quran does not address. Now, this is precisely where their error lies, because the Quran absolutely contains everything, and nothing is missing in it. But, only those who are under the guidance of God are convinced by that.
We did not neglect anything to write in the Book S6:V38
As for the others, God erected an impenetrable veil between them and the Quran, preventing them from understanding it correctly. For Muslims, this veil takes the form of what they wrongly call the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Who is more unjust than the one who has been reminded of the verses of his Lord but who turns away from them, forgetting what his two hands have done? We have placed veils over their hearts, so that they do not understand (the Quran), and a deafness over their ears. Even if you call them to the right path, they will never be able to accept guidance. S18:V57
When most Muslims are invited to God and the Quran alone, most of them turn their backs, repulsed, and remain clinging to their adored Sunnah, and to their idols which they cherish more than anything, namely the prophet Muhammad, his companions, and their religious scholars.
We have put veils over their hearts, so that they do not understand (the Quran): and into their ears, deafness. And when, through the Quran, you mention Your Lord alone, they turn their backs, repulsed. S17:V46
Because, what the false believers among Muslims seek is not God and the truth, but only to perpetuate the beliefs of their ancestors and to cement their bonds between themselves, seeking to maintain themselves at all costs in their community.
And [Abraham] said, “In reality, it is to cement bonds between yourselves in this life that you have adopted idols, apart from Allah. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other and curse each other, while your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no help“. S29:V25
WHEN DOES THE MONTH OF RAMADAN START?
The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran as a guide for the people, also clear evidence for guidance and discernment. So whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it. And whosoever sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the count and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. S2:V185
In the lunisolar calendars, the month begins with the new moon. So, for the Ancient Arabs, “to witness the month” is a very clear instruction which simply means: “to observe or to witness the new moon which marks the beginning of the month“. In the case of this verse, it’s about specifically witnessing the beginning of the month of Ramadan, which is a month perfectly known by the Ancient Arabs as it has been part of their calendar for centuries.
Allah does not specify how one should “witness the month“, which suggests that this can be done in any possible way, whether directly by observing the new moon with one’s own eyes or by any other means. Already in the time of the Romans, long before Islam, people did not have to observe the new moon through their own means. Indeed, its observation was the responsibility of State officials, who once they had observed it, announced it to the entire population on Calends day. Today it is even easier as anyone can connect to the appropriate website to retrieve, years in advance, the dates of all new moons to the minute, based on NASA extremely accurate astronomical calculations. In reality, no matter how you “witness the month“, what matters above all is the reliability of the information. So you might as well retrieve this information by relying on a third party that you trust, if you are for instance struggling with new technologies or don’t have access to it.
It is quite logical that God does not impose a specific way to “witness the month“. This is neither negligence nor a lack of precision, since the Quran is addressed to all societies and all times, and since there are a great variety of ways of doing it. But, because of their Sunnah of the Prophet, Muslims have remained frozen at the time which relates to it, inventing this false rule that Allah never legislated, stating that it is required to observe the new moon with the naked eye. In terms of reliability, it is hard to do worse, whereas with the technology that we enjoy today, we know their exact dates centuries in advance.
In summary, the fast of Ramadan begins on the new moon corresponding to the month of Ramadan which belongs to the lunisolar calendar of the Ancient Arabs. You don’t even need to recalculate this calendar on your own, as the experts have already done it for you by recalculating the entire lunisolar calendar from the time before the adoption of the Hegirian calendar, and this, on the basis of NASA data and by taking into account all the calendar’s corrections made in the past.
If you still want to complete the above calendar on your own, you just have to add an intercalary month every 32 lunar months as shown in the following document.
Just know that the month starts at the dawn which directly follows the new moon, even if the new moon occurs just a few minutes before dawn. For example, if the new moon occurs at your place on October 1st at 6:59 AM and dawn is at 7:00 AM, then the first day of the month starts directly on October 1st at 7:00 AM, and not the next dawn.
However, given the time difference from one region of the world to another, it is impossible for everyone on earth to start the month of Ramadan on the same day. Which is not a problem, because Allah has only commanded us to observe it from the new moon of the month of Ramadan corresponding to our geographical area.
DURATION OF THE FAST
O you who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that haply you may be pious. During a counted number of days. then whosoever among you is sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days […]. The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran as a guide for the people, also clear evidence for guidance and discernment. So whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it. And whosoever sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the account and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. S2:V183-185
The Sunnah decrees that the fast of Ramadan must necessarily last for a full consecutive lunar month. But is this really what the above verses states? The only way to find out is to simply analyze them thoroughly, without adding or removing anything. You will see that the so called details brought by the Sunnah actually distort and contradict what the Quran really states.
When we read “Whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it“, we can just as easily understand that it is required to fast the whole month of Ramadan, or to fast only part of it. From a purely logical standpoint, none of these 2 understandings really contradicts the verse. So which one to retain? If we do as we said in the last paragraph, and therefore stick strictly to what this verse says without adding or removing anything, then we could not rule out either of these two interpretations, otherwise we would alter this verse. Therefore, the only possible solution would be to retain both interpretations at the same time, which amounts to saying that this verse actually offers us the choice of fasting the entire month of Ramadan or only some days of it. It is therefore up to everyone to determine the number of days that they intend to fast, and you will see that in fact, Allah provides us with all the details, including the upper and lower limit of this number of days.
Let’s start by combining these different excerpts extracted from the verses above:
- “Whosoever of you witness the month, shall fast it“
- “For a counted number of days.“
- “so that you complete the account“
If the above excerpts really meant that one should necessarily fast the entire month of Ramadan, then the expression “for a counted number of days” would be meaningless, since we would already know that we must fast the entire month of Ramadan. On the other hand, if people were required to fast for an entire month, then the verse would not say “so that you complete the account“, but would quite simply say “so that you complete the month“. In fact, the “account” referred to in the expressions “so that you can complete the ACCOUNT” and “COUNTED number of days“, corresponds precisely to the number of fast days. In other words, God invites us to fast a certain “account” of days, and not necessarily a full month.
“…that haply you may be pious. For a counted number of days. then whosoever among you …” S2:V183-184
Indeed, it is not without reason that Allah put this expression in a sentence exclusively devoted to it, without subject or verb, in order to strike the reader. This particular turn of phrase was deliberately chosen by Allah so as to avoid any possible confusion concerning the duration of the fast, namely “a counted number of days“.
The expression “أَيَّامً۬ا مَّعۡدُودَٲتٍ۬“ (‘Ayyāmāan Ma`dūdātin), which means “a counted number of days“, indicates that this number is at least 3, since the form of the word “أَيَّامً۬ا“ (‘Ayyāmāan) applies to a number of days greater than or equal to 3.
We find the exact same expression to designate this time the number of days of the Hajj:
And invoke Allah for A COUNTED NUMBER OF DAYS (أَيَّامً۬ا مَّعۡدُودَٲتٍ۬). Then whosoever hastens in two days on him is no sin, and whosoever delays, On him is no sin: this for him: who fears. So fear Allah, and know that verily unto Him shall you be gathered. S2:V203
This verse confirms us that the expression “a counted number of days” necessarily corresponds to a duration greater than or equal to 3 days, given that Allah adds an additional prescription in case this duration is less than 3 days: “Then whosoever hastens IN TWO DAYS, on him is no sin“. However, the expression “a counted number of days” does not refer to a specific number, i.e. a fixed number, since the expression “and whosoever DELAYS, on him is no sin” does not impose any upper limit on that period.
As for Ramadan, the injunction “So whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it” combined with the number of fast days of denoted by “a counted number of days” shows that this number varies from 3 to 30, 30 being the maximum duration of a lunar month.
However, even though the injunction “Whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it” may be interpreted as fasting a complete month or less than a month, given its turn, it seems that Allah suggests us to fast a consecutive full month in order to reap the full benefits of Ramadan. Indeed, it’s obvious that an effort produced over an entire month is not the same as over only 3 days, for example. Allah recommends the right measure, and it is up to each one to decide for oneself according to one’s faith and dispositions. But, at least, with the true prescription of the Quran, no one is left behind, and it is not all or nothing. Even those who opt for a light formula of Ramadan, still receive a benefit, and do not commit any sin by fasting only a few days instead of a full month.
However, it is not because Allah gives us the freedom to decide our own number of fast days that it means that we can change it afterwards despite our initial commitment, because Allah hates those who do not keep their promises. Allah invites us to fix in advance the number of days that we intend to fast and to stick to it afterwards, even if it means fasting other days later in order to “complete the account“.
[…] And whosoever sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the account and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. S2:V185
In contrast, Allah allows us to modify our initial commitment, should we decide to fast longer than initially planned. Indeed, some may be afraid to commit to a long fast, and therefore opt, at first, for a shorter period in order to be sure of being able to keep their commitment to Allah… But only to realize, in the end, that they could do more. It would then be extremely frustrating if they did not have the opportunity to extend their commitment, and that is precisely why Allah allows and even encourages us, to do more, if we want to.
[…] And if someone does more of his own free-will―it is better for him […] S2:V184
For all efforts we make are only for ourselves, ultimately, and benefit us both in this terrestrial life and in the Hereafter.
That man can have nothing but what he strives for; S53:V39
Whoever does good works while being a believer, his striving will not be denied, and We shall record it in his favour. S21:V94
And that his striving, verily, will be presented to him (on the Day of Judgment). S53:V40
To summarize, it so happens that contrary to “popular” belief, God lays out very flexible and adaptable rules, as everything stated above really does apply to anyone who opts for fasting. But, you will come to realize that Allah is even more compassionate and generous than that. As a matter of fact, Allah, in his infinite mercy, even allows those who do not want to fast at all, to abstain from it entirely, provided that they feed one that is indigent, as a ransom.
ALTERNATIVE TO THE FAST
O you who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that haply you may be pious. During a counted number of days. Then whosoever among you is sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. For those who can endure it [and choose not to], is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. And if someone does more of their own accord, it is for them; but it is better for you to fast; if only you knew! S2:V183-184
This verse has been shockingly mistranslated by Muslim translators, causing it to say the exact opposite of what it really says, even though its translation is not confusing at all. As a result of this poor translation, many Muslims are driven to lie to their community and to God, claiming to be unfit in order to escape the obligation to fast, whereas Allah actually sets no obligation at all, provided that they feed one that is indigent as a ransom. And conversely, many Muslims can fast but won’t do it, because they believe that taking medication on a daily basis exempts them from the fast of Ramadan.
Anyone with an elementary level in Arabic will confirm to you that “وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ ۥ فِدۡيَةٌ۬ طَعَامُ مِسۡكِينٍ۬“ (`Alá Al-Ladhīna Yuţīqūnahu)” translates as “And for THOSE WHO CAN endure it, is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent“, and not the opposite: “And for THOSE WHO CANNOT endure it“.
Indeed, “يُطِيقُونَهُ“ (Yuţīqūnahu) is rooted in the verb “أطاق“ (’Aţaqa), which means: endure, bear
Moreover, with having to pay “a ransom” (فِدۡيَةٌ۬/Fidyatun) confirms us that this verse indeed speaks of “those who CAN endure it” and who choose, all the same, not to. Indeed, why would Allah ask a ransom from someone who is completely unable to fast and of whom it is not the fault? Allah never tasks a soul with more than its capacity, this is a rule of Allah which applies in all matters, including for the fast of Ramadan.
And We task not any soul except according to its capacity, and with Us is a book speaking with truth, and they will not be wronged. S23:V62
Allah tasks not a soul except according to its capacity, […] S2:V286
The very sequence of phrases clearly confirms us that those who are are referred to are indeed those who CAN FAST AND CHOSE NOT TO.
[…] For those who can endure it [and choose not to] is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. […] but it is better for you to fast; if only you knew! S2:V184
Indeed, Allah is not going to insist by saying: “but it is better for you to fast“, for people who simply do not have the capacity to do it anyway, and who have no other choice. Otherwise, it would not make sense at all!
This bad translation of the Muslim translators is all the more improbable since the true fast as prescribed by the Quran is in fact accessible to all, and that nobody on earth “cannot endure it“. I will demonstrate this in detail later in this article, but there are many ways of fasting, not just one, as most Muslims believe. So, if the Quran does not deal with the case of those who are unable to fast, it is simply because there is no one in this situation. Which brings us to the other possible understanding of this sentence which we’ve translated in a previous section as “witnessing [the new moon marking the beginning of] the month“:
[…] So whoever witness the month, shall fast it […] S2:V185
“Whoever witness the month” can also be understood as “whoever is alive, awake, and aware during the month, shall fast it“. This is also a correct translation since anyone alive, awake, and aware, i.e. “who is not in a coma” during the month of Ramadan, can actually fast it. Many Muslims who are diabetic or on medication do not fast in Ramadan because according to their interpretation from the Sunnah, fasting consists only and necessarily in a severe deprivation of drink and food. While in reality, Allah offers us the possibility to modulate the severity of our fast and to vary its forms, which makes it possible for everyone to fast, regardless of their physical condition. We recognize in this the perfect justice of Allah, because all the rites of Allah, whether Salat, Ramadan, or Hajj, are accessible to everyone, and no one is excluded, and even less those who are in a fragile situation, and therefore need them even more than others.
Although God forgives and grants His mercy even to those who refuse to fast, inviting them to feed one or more poor(s), as a ransom, God still strongly recommends that we do it of our own free will, because fasting contains an enormous benefit for us. Indeed, this practice of self-denial that represents the true fast according to the Quran, amounts to denying part of our own inequities, excess, futility, bestiality, in order to welcome the healing of God in us. Fasting is therefore the best possible remedy for us, and is a real gift that Allah offers us and not a chore, hence the insistence of Allah.
Then whosoever among you is sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. For those who can endure it [and choose not to] is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. And if someone does more of their own accord, it is for them; but it is better for you to fast. If only you knew! S2:V184
FEEDING THE INDIGENT
As for feeding an indigent one, Allah says it serves as a ransom for not fasting. This ransom must therefore be proportional to the number of days that we would have fasted if we had chosen to do so. Taking into account that on fasting days, we only have one meal, that of the evening, this ransom therefore amounts to offering 1 meal (and not 2) to a poor per day that we should have fasted. Bear in mind that what is designated by “poor”, is not only limited to the materially poor, but to all indigent people in general, including people afflicted by social distress, like those who, for instance, rarely have the opportunity to eat a real good meal cooked with love, as they are isolated and in great need of socializing with other people.
As for the definition of what is meant by “meal”, Allah commands us to give what corresponds to the average acceptable meal according to our own means.
O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allah is Rich, and Worthy of all praise. S2:V267
Tangibly, you have the possibility of delivering this meal directly to a poor, or giving the equivalent amount of money to a charity. If, for example, the price of an average meal that we consider acceptable for ourselves is 15 dollars, then we have to pay this amount as many days as we would have fasted. For example 10 x 15 = 150 dollars, if we were to fast for 10 days. As I’ve explained earlier, you have the possibility of helping directly by giving in person, on your own time, or indirectly through a charity, the best way being to combine both. For those who have limited means, helping poors can also be achieved by volunteering in a charity, or by visiting people in distress, or by inviting them home … etc.
In a general way, Allah encourages us to be generous, because our souls are by nature, greedy. Now, he who is greedy is greedy only towards himself, for Allah is the Rich, and does not need us at all, while we are the poors, and we absolutely need Him.
Say: “if it were you who owned the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, you would surely refrain for fear of expending; and man is indeed very greedy! S17:V100
Behold! you are those who are called to expend in the way of Allah, then there are of you some who are greedy. And whosoever is greedy is greedy only towards himself. And Allah is the Rich, and ye are the poors. And if you turn away, He will substitute for you another people, and then they will not be the likes of you. S47:V38
This is why Allah invites us to help more than one person if it is within our means, because it helps us to fight against our own greed towards ourselves, and also because Allah multiplies all that we expend for his sake a hundredfold, in this terrestrial life as well as in the hereafter.
The likeness of those who expend their substance in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain that grows seven ears and in each ear one hundred grains: and Allah multiplies unto whomsoever He wants. Allah is Bounteous, All-Knowing. S2:V261
But, helping those in need during the month of Ramadan should not be exclusive to those who have chosen not to fast. Because, God generally recommends that we do more, voluntarily. God therefore invites us to help one or more “poor(s)” in addition to the fact of fasting, knowing that whatever we do to obey Allah, we only do it for ourselves, and we will find its reward in this present terrestrial life, and in the other life, i.e. the true eternal life with Allah.
[…] And if someone does more of their own accord, it is for them […] S2: V184
With this recommendation, everyone wins: by fasting we offer a service to ourselves, and by feeding (in the form of physical food or any other form of “food”) indigent one(s), we also offer a service to others. This allows the most vulnerable people to eat better during the month of Ramadan, and to find solace, by means of moral and psychological support … may they be grateful to God and thus get away from their troubles once for all.
[…] Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the account and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. S2:V185
The special turn of phrase that God uses: “Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship” shows how much Allah wants to make things easy for us. By saying the same thing twice, but differently, Allah shows us that through the fast of Ramadan, the goal is not to impose anything on us or to put us in difficulty, as is often the case with the Islamic Ramadan. Rather, the goal is to provide an opportunity for everyone to obtain benefit and healing from God in the easiest possible way for each individual. Everyone is therefore free to decide the efforts he is willing to put according to his own dispositions and expectations, and God will not deny any of our efforts and will grant His benefit to all according to each one’s investment.
Whosoever works righteous works while being a believer, there shall be no denial of his endeavour; and record it for him. S21:V94
THE FOLLY OF THE “SUNNAH OF THE PROPHET“
[…] And for those who can endure it (and not for those who cannot endure it), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. […] S2:V184
As we have just seen, it is quite simply inconceivable that one could translate a verse as obvious as this one by exactly its opposite. If you take all the translations available in the world, in all possible languages, you will not find any with the correct translation. Yet, this verse is written in elementary Arabic and the way it is expressed is not confusing. If this does indicate one thing, it is that the reason for this bad translation can in no way be of a linguistic nature, but can only result from a general misinterpretation. In fact, Muslims around the world, even the greatest experts among them, agree on the fact that they shall not intend to understand directly the Quran for themselves, but to go through the Prophet’s Sunnah to find the right interpretation. Yet, it is precisely because of this very same Sunnah that all Muslim translators around the world have interpreted this verse by its exact opposite. The truth is that Allah invites us to reason and to meditate directly on what He has sent down, i.e. the Quran, and this, by using our own intelligence and reasoning.
We sent it down, a Quran in Arabic [language], so that you may reason. S12:V2
[Here is] a blessed Book that We have sent down to you, so that they may ponder over its verses, and that men of understanding may remember! S38:V29
Allah commands us to follow only what He has sent down, namely the Quran, and not to follow what He did not send down, namely the Sunnah.
Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any ally besides Him. Little do you remember! S7:V3
And here is a blessed Book (the Quran) that We have sent down, so follow it and be pious, in order to receive mercy S6:V155
[…] And those who do not judge by that which Allah has sent down, such are the unjust ones. S5:V45
So come to the way of Allah and that of his prophet Muhammad, which is precisely the way to which I invite you, I, YS, God’s ultimate messenger. God has instructed me to make His verses clear to you, as I have done it very explicitly throughout this article, so that you may reflect.
And when we say to them: “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger”, you see the hypocrites straying from you. S4:V61
(We sent the messengers) with obvious proofs and holy books. And towards you, We have sent down the Quran, so that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought. S16:V44
I am not inventing my own new way, different from that of the prophet Muhammad. On the contrary, I am restoring the true Sunnah of the Prophet, the actual immutable Sunnah of Allah, i.e. the true Law of the Quran. For, the Law of Allah never changes, and it is the same Law that Allah prescribed to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad … and it is this very same Law that Allah has prescribed to me, His ultimate messenger YS, and that I’m sharing with you now.
This is the Sunnah of Allah for the past generations. And you will never find any change in the Sunnah of Allah. S48:V23
Formerly, the following verse applied to the people of Muhammad, led astray by all the false rules invented by their ancestors. Today, this very same verse fully applies to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, for they too follow the invented rules of their ancestors, rather than what God has truly legislated. God commands us to follow our reason and not our desires. But, people of “religions” today follow their passions for their prophets, ancestors, communities, traditions, instead of following their reason, which would allow them to realize the error of their “religions”, and to rally the path of God and His Scriptures Alone, the only possible path to salvation.
Judge then among them according to what Allah has sent down. Do not follow their passions, and beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know that Allah’s Will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most of men are perverts. S5:V49
Formerly, the following verse applied to Jews and Christians who, while they had the Torah and the Gospel with them, failed to follow them and rather obeyed the false rules invented by their ancestors, such as the Talmud for Jews, presented as the rabbinical tradition of the oral teachings of Moses, or the false rules invented by the Roman Catholic Church for Christians. But, today this verse fully applies to Muslims as well, as they are in the exact same situation as the Jews and Christians before them: Muslims have the Quran 100% unaltered in their hands, and yet, do not follow it. Instead they prefer to follow the tradition of their ancestors: the so-called Sunnah of the Prophet, which is a pure lie against both Allah, the Quran, and the Prophet Muhammad.
Say: “O People of the Book (today Muslims included), you stand on nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been sent down to you from your Lord (the Quran).” And surely what has been sent down to you from your Lord will increase many of them in rebellion, denial and disbelief. So do not sorrow over people who deny. S5:V68
As demonstrated since the very beginning of this article, taking the same approach as Muslims, not only leads to distort and limit the true meaning of the verses of the Quran, but even worse, to make them say exactly the opposite of what they truly mean. Who but the Devil prescribes the exact opposite of what God prescribes? This should be a serious hint for you to guess who is actually behind the so-called Sunnah of the Prophet. God having protected the Quran against any distortion, the Devil could not twist it as he had previously done with the Torah and the Gospel, of which only fragments remain today in what we call the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, the Devil had no other choice but to erect a distorting layer around the Quran, and nothing better than to attribute it to the Prophet Muhammad himself, in order to give it maximum credit. However, this so called “Sunnah” can in no way come from the prophet Muhammad, since the prophet simply cannot say the opposite of what the Quran says.
I’ve widely illustrated it through this article, and there is even more to come. Indeed, the “error” of the Sunnah is not limited to small details, but concerns the very pillars of religion, such as Ramadan, Hajj, Salat, Zakat, profession of faith, the calendar according to Allah … etc. Today, the vast majority of Muslims know the Quran only through the prism of the Sunnah of the Prophet, which is actually, and properly speaking, the Sunnah of the Devil. As for non-Muslims, they picture the same false image of Allah and the Quran that Muslims reflect through their false interpretation of the Sunnah. Therefore, the Devil has perfectly achieved his goal, which was to erect an insurmountable barrier between all people and the Quran, thus preventing them from accessing Allah, i.e. their sole and only way of Salvation.
MUAWIYA, THE TRUE FATHER OF THE “SUNNAH OF THE PROPHET“
It is for a good reason that throughout his mission, the prophet Muhammad had formally prohibited both the writing, distribution, and use of Hadiths, and that the 4 Well-Guided Caliphs who succeeded him did exactly the same. It was only during the reign of Muawiya, whose conversion to Islam had raised many doubts, that new Hadiths fabricated from scratch began to abound. Just like Paul of Tarsus before him, Muawiya went from the status of worst enemy of the Messenger to one of his greatest representatives, only to then spread the greatest lies about him. And just like Paul of Tarsus when he advertised that Jesus was God Himself, or the son of God, Muawiya proved to be as skilled a storyteller when forging lies against Muhammad.
Muʿawiya I (Muawiya) or ʾAbū ʿAbd Ar-Raḥmān Muʿāwiya ibn ʾAbī Sufyān, born in 602 in Mecca, died in 680 in Mecca and died in 680 in Mecca. He is the son of ʾAbū Sufyān ibn Ḥarb, one of the fiercest opponents of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, who then became one of his companions after his conversion.
Although considered to be lacking in the justice and piety of the Rashidun (well-guided caliphs), Muawiya was also the first caliph whose name appeared on coins, inscriptions, or documents of the nascent Islamic empire.
Muawiya and his father Abu Sufyan had opposed Muhammad, their distant Qurayshite kinsman, until the latter captured Mecca in 630, after which Muawiyah became one of Muhammad’s scribes.
Indeed, Muawiya was the son of Abu Sufyan ibn Ḥarb, leader of the most powerful tribe among the Ancient Arabs, the Qurayshs. Abu Sufyan ibn Ḥarb was considered as one of Prophet Muhammad‘s fiercest enemies along with Abu Jahl, and Muawiya quite naturally followed in his father’s footsteps.
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb is one of the most prominent leaders of the Quraysh tribe. A distant cousin of Muhammad, he was for a long time one of his fiercest opponents with Abu Jahl. Then, he embraced Islam during the conquest of Mecca in 630 and died in 652. He is the grandson of Umayya and the father of the first Umayyad caliph, Muawiya.
No need to describe the magnitude of the revolution sparked by the prophet Muhammad when he completely broke the tribal system of the Ancient Arabs, by redistributing the cards, thanks to the teaching of the Quran. Muawiya, long promised to succeed his father at the head of the most powerful tribe of the Ancient Arabs, the Quraysh, suddenly saw his dream of succession shattered, and it is therefore no surprise that he converted to Islam once the prophet had definitively obtained supremacy over the pagans (in 630 AD after the conquest of Mecca), of whom Muawiya was then one of the most prominent representatives. His ambition was barely concealed, and it came as no surprise when Muawiya did all he could to obtain the post of governor of Damascus, from where he was able to quietly organize his coup to regain control of the central power. By refusing to pledge allegiance to Ali (Uthman‘s successor), who was unanimously praised among believers, Muawiya was eventually the one responsible for creating the first great discord ever, within the young Muslim community.
Muawiya, who converted to Islam with his family during the conquest of Mecca in 630, became the Prophet’s scribe and fought alongside the Muslims. Under Uṯmān ibn Affān, Muawiya was appointed governor of Syria. He then refuses to swear allegiance to Ali ibn Abi Talib, successor of Uṯmān, triggering the First Fitna (the first great discordance). After the battle of Siffin (657), Ali accepts arbitration between them.
He was appointed by Caliph Abu Bakr (r. 632–634) the commander of the vanguard of his brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan’s army during the conquest of Syria and he moved up the ranks until becoming governor of Syria during the reign of Caliph Uthman. (r. 644–656)
Muawiya then continued to weave his web relentlessly, until obtaining, in Jerusalem, the allegiance of an assembly of Arab leaders secretly subordinated to him. Their task was to give more credit to his claims to become caliph. The same year, he had his great rival Ali Ibn Abi Talib assassinated by the Kharidjites, in what would be called today, a false flag assassination. Indeed, in order to conceal his role in this operation, he would have asked the Kharidjites to carry out a false assassination attempt against him, an attempt which of course failed, as he “miraculously” survived it. But still far from obtaining unanimity among Muslims, who were anything but fooled by his imposture, Muawiya ended up taking power almost by force, advancing at the head of a large army on Koufa (which Ali had previously erected as his capital) to force its inhabitants to choose him as caliph instead of Al-Ḥasan ibn Ali, son of Ali … In the end, Muawiya had Al-Ḥasan murdered as well, and in a most sordid way, on top of that! He then proclaimed himself caliph and founded the Umayyad Caliphate, with Damascus as capital (instead of Medina, the city of the prophet), his former governor’s headquarters from which he had launched his reconquest.
Foundation of the Umayyad Caliphate
From the year 660, Muawiya obtained the allegiance (bayʿa) of an assembly of Arab leaders in Jerusalem. In 661, the Kharidjites assassinated Ali. Muawiya should have been murdered as well while he was praying, but he was only injured. Following this failed attempt, he had the first maqsura built, so that he could pray in safety. The same year, Muawiya, at the head of a large force, marches on Koufa (which Ali had previously erected as his capital) and “convinced” its inhabitants to choose him as caliph instead of Al-Ḥasan ibn Ali, son of Ali.
As Hassan did not have any military forces, he accepted a treaty with Muawiya, but the latter did not respect its conditions.
Muawiya no longer had any obstacles in front of him and was proclaimed caliph in 661, thus founding the Umayyad Caliphate, with Damascus as capital.
According to Tabari, shortly after his abdication, Al-Hasan died, poisoned by one of his wives (Asmâ) under the directives of Muawiya who promised her in exchange to marry her to his son Yazid.
By taking the head of what would become the Umayyad dynasty, Muawiya immediately assured his power by putting members of his family in all key positions, and by repressing any revolt in a bloodshed. He then embarked on a series of military offensives, whereas up until then, all wars waged by Muslims were exclusively defensive.
Muawiya then finally fulfilled his dream, by creating his own Islamic empire inspired by the Roman Empire which he openly took as model. He will remain in history as the one who created the first great dissension within Islam, being at the origin of the irreconcilable division between Sunnis and Shiites, still current to this day. Muawiya also developed around himself a true cult of personality, which he strategically extended to the person of the prophet Muhammad, in order to give even more weight to Hadiths. For, until the reign of Muawiya, Hadiths were still completely prohibited and their use was more than marginal, and it was Muawiya who not only made them popular, but also commissioned the fabrication of a great number of new ones, notably with the help of a certain Abou Hourayra. This, in order to use them for his own interests and consolidate his political power, and to shape from scratch, and according to his own aspirations, a new State Religion, like all other empires did.
The Umayyad Caliphate being vast, Muawiya I relies on his allies, notably Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, his “adoptive brother”, appointed governor of Iraq and who puts down the rebellion of Ḥugr ibn Adiyy in Koufa. The rest of Muawiya’s reign was marked by political stability and rapid territorial expansion, with the conquest of Crete, as well as part of North Africa, where the city of Kairouan was founded, and Central Asia (Kabul, Bukhara, Samarkand). Chios and Smyrna are conquered in 672, and a base is established in Cyzique. In 674, his son Yazid besieged Constantinople, during the reign of Constantine IV, but was countered by the use of Greek fire. The caliph, who saw the whole of his fleet reduced to ashes, agreed to return the Mediterranean islands, and also to pay an annual tribute to Constantinople.
Muawiya greatly embellished the city of Damascus, wanting it to be like Rome. He also developed a court capable of competing with the Byzantine court, and extended the borders of the Caliphate, going so far as to besiege Constantinople. He is also credited by many Sunnis with saving the Muslim world from the dissensions which followed First Fitna, unlike the Shiites who accused him of being the main instigator of the civil war, of weakening and dividing Muslims, of sinking the blood of the Prophet’s family, even of developing a cult of personality.
Author’s note: The Sunnis are the ones who followed the false Sunnah of the Prophet forged by the Umayyad caliphs, and who completely ignored the recommdndations of the prophet Muhammad and the 4 Well-Guided Caliphs. They have supported the Caliphate and their inventions as they were more interested in terrestrial gains than in earning the Hereafter.
However, many Sunni ulama/scholars blamed him for having instituted a sunnah, a tradition, which would consist in cursing Ali from the top of the minbars (chairs) in order to establish the legitimacy of his power and that of the Banu Umayya to the detriment of the family of the Prophet, the Banu Hashim.
Before Muawiya, the caliphs were all elected by collective consultation, the equivalent of democracy today. And it was Muawiya, once he became caliph, who abolished this fair practice to establish the principle of hereditary transmission. Muslims never forgave him for having installed his son Yazid on the throne to succeed him.
He replaced the system of election, which had prevailed until then to appoint the new caliphs, by the principle of hereditary transmission. This is one of the main criticisms addressed to him in the Muslim tradition: having substituted for the caliphate a system close to royalty (“mulk” in Arabic), although neither he nor his successors have ever used the title of “malik” (king). Towards the end of his life, in 679, he carefully prepared the ground for his son Yazid, to succeed him as a caliph.
However, the thing ended up causing unrest, both under Yazid’s caliphate and after his death.
Ask yourself how such an abject character as Muawiya can be portrayed so positively in the Hadiths, and be presented as one of the closest companions of the prophet Muhammad. The answer is that Muawiya is quite simply the true father of Hadiths, which today are wrongly labelled as the Sunnah of the Prophet. Therefore, you’ll not be surprised to see all the manifest contradictions of the so-called Sunnah of the Prophet with the Quran. For the Devil only made use of this great criminal that was Muawiya, and of the great forger of lies that was Abu Huraira, to establish Hadiths as an indispensable tool for interpreting the Quran.
Here’s some Hadiths to the glory of Muawiya and his tribe, the Qurayshs, that prophet Muhammad supposedly pronounced. I leave it to you to judge.
« For this rank [the rank of caliph], the Qurayshs overcome all people: their muslims overcome all other muslims and their pagans overcome all other pagans » Al Bukhari, op.cit., Vol.2, p.414
« Take this arrow (to indicate to him that he considers him as his successor and to predict him paradise) until you join me to paradise » Ibid., p.254
« Allah has put his trust in 3 persons in order to protect his revelation: me (the prophet), the angel Gabriel and Muawiya » Mahmud Abu Rayyah, Adwa’a Ala As-Sunna Al-Muhammadiah, p.188
«Praise to Allah how He has made you gorgeous. Thanks to your parents for having feed you well. By Allah, I’ve never seen such a beauty except the beauty of Muawiya’s face when he came to the tribune of the prophet » Mahmud Abu Rayyah, Abu Huraira cheikh Al Madirah, p.255
Muawiya was behind the forgery of a great number of Hadiths to support his political power, such as the following one:
« There will be seditions! The one who will stay seated will be better than the one who will stand up! The one who will stand up will be better than the one who will march! The one who will march will be better than the one who will run! The one who will take part to it will be destroyed for sure! Whoever will find refuge must imperatively go there in order to be protected ». Al Boukhari, op.cit., Vol.4, p.361
Today, Allah wants to restore, through his ultimate messenger YS that I am, the whole truth about what really happened after the Prophet Muhammad’s time. Allah wants to rehabilitate the Prophet Muhammad and cleanse him of all the lies that the Sunnah who usurps his name attributed to him. He wants to reestablish His true law of the Quran which has been replaced for more than 1400 years by the Hadiths precepts. Allah wants to designate the real culprits, namely, in the first place, Muawiya and his accomplice Abu Huraira, the real fathers of the so-called Sunnah of the Prophet. Obviously, all of the traitors, including Paul of Tarsus, Muawiya, and Abu Hurairah, were unanimously based in Damascus, from where they set up their plots against The Truth of Allah and His messengers, Muhammad and Jesus. It is from Damascus that these 2 odious lies forged against Jesus and Muhammad started, and which forever disfigured the original Christianity and Islam to make them become the cults of the Devil that we know today. And it is from Damascus that God will now put an end to more than 2 millennia of lies and retribute the traitors once and for all. Indeed, for almost a decade now, Damascus has been in war and God has focused all attention on it, because it is precisely this conflict which will seal the fate of all traitors, cultists, associaters, and idolaters. Where the lie began, where it will end, where traitors are born, where they will be buried.
THE TRUE RITE OF RAMADAN
As for the rite of Ramadan itself, you will see, once again and not surprisingly, that the Islamic version based on the Sunnah distorts what the Quran really says and obscure part of it, making its practice more difficult while being less profitable. First, here is the consensual Islamic translation of what is the rite of Ramadan:
It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts).They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows that you had clandestine sexual relations, so He forgave you and pardoned you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete your Saum (fast) until the night. And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His verses to mankind that haply they may fear Him. S2:V187
WHEN TO START AND BREAK THE FAST?
[…] eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete your Saum (fast) until the night […] S2:V187
One might think that this verse is clear enough that for once, Muslims will interpret it correctly. But, this precise point will illustrate to you in a concrete way how the Sunnah erects an impenetrable veil between Muslims and the Quran, which prevents them from understanding the Quran, even its simplest verses. According to the Sunnah of the Prophet, the fast begins at Fajr (dawn), and ends at Maghrib (sunset). But, where does this verse even speaks of MAGHRIB (مَغۡرِبُ)?
“[…] Then complete your fast UNTIL THE NIGHT (AL-LAYLI/ٱلَّيۡلِ) […] S2:V187
The true prescription of the Quran speaks of observing the fast until THE NIGHT, and not until the MAGHRIB (sunset). However, the night does not start immediately at sunset, but there is an intermediate phase called “dusk” which separates sunset from the night. It seems all the more logical to observe the fast until the night, since we start it at dawn. Just as it would have been logical to observe it until sunset, if the Quran had prescribed to start it at sunrise, which is not the case. There is a clear logic in this prescription, but those who follow the Sunnah have lost all logic a long time ago. I have been plainly trying to explain it to you, in the hope that it triggers a chain reaction in the entire Muslim world, and that the sincere believers among the Muslims finally join the religion exclusive to Allah and the Quran, following the model of the Exemplary Doctrine of Abraham.
According to scientific experts, there are 3 phases of dusk and 3 phases of dawn, called “civil“, “nautical“, and “astronomical“.
It is in the middle of the nautical dawn that we find the exact terms used in the Quran: “until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread “, i.e. the first rays of light which are distinguishable on the horizon.
Astronomical dawn begins when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon in the morning. It is “first light”. Astronomical twilight follows instantly until the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon. At this point a very small portion of the sun’s rays illuminate the sky and the fainter stars begin to disappear. Astronomical dawn is often indistinguishable from night, especially in areas with light pollution. Astronomical dawn marks the beginning of astronomical twilight, which lasts until nautical dawn.
Nautical twilight begins when there is enough illumination for sailors to distinguish the horizon at sea but the sky is too dark to perform outdoor activities. Formally, nautical twilight begins when the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon in the morning; the first rays of dawn can then be distinguished. The sky becomes light enough to clearly distinguish it from land and water. Nautical dawn marks the start of nautical twilight, which lasts until civil dawn.
Symmetrically, it is in the middle of nautical dusk that the last rays of light are distinguishable on the horizon:
Before nautical dawn and after nautical dusk, sailors cannot navigate via the horizon at sea as they cannot clearly see the horizon. At nautical dawn and nautical dusk, the human eye finds it difficult, if not impossible, to discern traces of illumination near the sunset or sunrise point of the horizon (first light after nautical dawn but before civil dawn and nightfall after civil dusk but before nautical dusk).
Sailors can take reliable star sightings of well-known stars, during the stage of nautical twilight when they can distinguish a visible horizon for reference (i.e. after astronomic dawn or before astronomic dusk). Under good atmospheric conditions with the absence of other illumination, during nautical twilight, the human eye may distinguish general outlines of ground objects but cannot participate in detailed outdoor operations.
To determine the beginning and end of the fast, you can find the times of nautical dawn and nautical dusk on the appropriate weather website based on the data of your national weather agency.
Actually, it is not even necessary to know the exact times of nautical dawn and dusk, which are just the scientific terms marking the start and end of the distinguishable day. Because, the Divine Order simply prescribes us to fast when “the white thread (light) of dawn APPEARS TO YOU DISTINCT from the black thread “, until the night, i.e. until the last distinguishable rays of light on the horizon. The verse makes it clear: “appears TO YOU distinct“, which means that a simple observation with the naked eye is more than enough. So all you have to do is to look out the window, and as soon as you see the first ray of light on the horizon, it means that you can start the fast, and conversely, you break it as soon as you hardly distinguish the last ray. Don’t worry, for God is not going to punish you because you’ve missed a few minutes, as long as you remain honest and sincere. Remember, the true practice of Ramadan according to the Quran, is based on sincerity and volunteering above all, so God trusts us just as we trust Him. Notice that if God had commanded us to break the fast at sunset as the Sunnah claims, it would not be possible to detect this moment with the naked eye. However, the Divine Order is supposed to be easily implemented whatever the time, and whatever the means at our disposal.
RECOLLECTION AND SPIRITUAL RETREAT
[…] Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete your Saum (fast) until the night. And do not be in their presence while you are on a ritual retreat in mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His verses to mankind that haply they may fear Him. S2:V187
Muslim translators translate the excerpt thats I have highlighted as:
“And do not be in their presence while you are in ritual retreat in mosques“
But, this translation does not actually make sense to Muslims, since their Islamic fast is limited to a deprivation of food and drink, and therefore does not include any “ritual retreat in mosques“. Even if we consider that Salat Al Tarawih (another invention of the Sunnah) is what is referred to as “ritual retreat in mosques“, that still does not fit since Salat Al Tarawih takes place during the night of the fast, while the “ritual retreat in mosques” is prescribed during the day. If we rule out Salat Al Tarawih as a possible interpretation, we can’t see how Muslims apply this prescription. Indeed, outside of prayer times, very few Muslims gather in mosques during the day, whether during Ramadan or outside this period.
Moreover, if this translation had been correct, then why would this verse prescribe, especially during Ramadan, to not be in the presence of our wives in mosques, when this prohibition is valid at all times according to the Islamic rules of the Sunnah?
That does not make sense at all! But, this illustrates, quite blatantly, the fact that most Muslims are satisfied with simply following the Sunnah, regardless of what the Quran actually prescribes, since such a translation neither shock them, nor invite them to inquire further into the subject. For them, the Sunnah already does the job explaining the whole Quran, so they feel no need to look for its explanation by themselves.
Yet, you will see that this verse is perfectly clear for anyone with an elementary level in Arabic:
“[…] But do not be in their presence while you are on a ritual retreat in the mosques. […]” S2:V187
As women are never supposed to be in presence of men in mosques, one can logically deduce that the word “ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ“ (Al-Masājidi) generally translated as “MOSQUES “, cannot be translated that way in this verse.
The word “ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ” is rooted in “سجد“ (sājādā), which etymologically means “to listen by shaking the head or by nodding” or “to prostrate or to bow down“, which corresponds to the natural behavior of the believer when he is recollecting himself to God. In evoking God, reviewing His blessings, and reading His Divine Word, any genuine believer can only nod or bow down to further emphasize his approval. This behavior was also perpetuated by Jews, who, as often, kept the letter without the spirit, by mechanically shaking their heads when they read the Torah or pray to God.
Translating “ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ” as “MOSQUES” actually shrinks the true sense of this word, since mosques are generally considered as places to pray God and to invoke Him, and therefore places where people “nod” in approval.
In this regard, mosques have unfortunately become, most of the time, places where the Prophet Muhammad and his companions are glorified instead of Allah, and where Hadiths are recited to the detriment of the Qur’an, which should trigger a huge warning to all sincere believers among Muslims. It is now a duty for all true believers not to stand in mosques any longer, and this is in no way a failure on their part. And this also applies to churches, synagogues, and any other places of worship. True believers have nothing to do with the sectarians, idolaters, and associaters, that are people of “religions” (calling them “cults” would be more appropriate) in general, and must therefore completely dissociate themselves from them. They should in no case claim to be Jews, Muslims, or Christians, but rather as totally free men, devoting their entire Religion to Allah, and following the Exemplary Doctrine of Abraham.
Say: “O you who deny! I don’t worship what you worship. And you’ll never worship what I worship. And I will never worship what you used to worship. And you’ll never worship what I worship. You have your religion, and I have my religion”. S109
That said, we cannot translate in this verse the word “ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ” as “MOSQUES “. The correct translation would rather correspond to the etymological meaning of this word, ie “places of obedient listening“, or “places of prostration“, or “places of nodding“. This meaning is confirmed by another word of this verse, “عَـٰكِفُونَ“ (`Ākifūna), which is also poorly translated by Muslim translators, although it is used many times in the Quran, with a crystal clear meaning.
When he said to his father and his people: “What are these statues with which you recollect?” S21:V52
They said: “We worship idols with whom we remain recollected” S26:V71
They said: “We will not cease to recollect to him (the golden calf), until Moses returns to us” S20:V91
With the right translations of the terms ” ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ” and ” عَـٰكِفُونَ“, the sense of this verse now becomes obvious:
[…] But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat) […] S2:V187
One thing led to another, and the Muslim translators having already translated the word “ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ” as “MOSQUES“, could logically not translate the word “عَـٰكِفُونَ” (`Ākifūna) as “in spiritual retreat“, since the mosques generally do not have this use. To fill the void created by their first mistake, they translated the word “عَـٰكِفُونَ” as “in ritual retreat“, implying “in Salat“, in order, at the same time, to get closer to the true meaning of the word “عَـٰكِفُونَ“, while sticking to the usual function of mosques, which is to perform Salat.
Another reason that led Muslim translators to ignore the true meaning of this verse is, once again, their sacrosanct Sunnah of the Prophet. Indeed, according to the rule of the Sunnah, Ramadan does not include any prescription of spiritual retreat or recollection to be observed during the fast. This clearly shows us that Muslims discern the Quran through the Sunnah, and not the other way around as they like to believe it. Indeed, you will gladly hear them say that it is the Quran which allows them to discriminate between the truth and falsehood in Hadiths, even though their understanding of the Quran is absolutely not impartial, but is totally biased by their interpretations of the Sunnah, with said Sunnah being exclusively based on Hadiths … it is the snake that bites its own tail! However, the only source in terms of Law must be the Quran in exclusivity, and not, as Muslims think, the Quran combined with Hadiths. And the only criterion of discernment must be the Quran, and absolutely no other book.
The month of Ramadan in which the Quran was sent down as a guide for people, and clear evidence of well-guidance and discernment S2:V185
Blessed is He Who sent down the Book of Discernment to His servant, that he may be a warner to the whole world. S25:V1
FAST, PRAYER, RECOLLECTION, CONTEMPLATION, RETREAT
[…] Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat). […] S2:V187
The true translation of this verse allows us to rediscover an essential aspect of fasting that Muslims have hitherto completely overlooked, which is spiritual retreat and recollection to God. Indeed, the complete rite of Ramadan according to the Quran combines fasting, prayer, meditation, contemplation, recollection, and retreat, all at once, which amounts to a fast of the body and the spirit. The Quran confirms us its full practice by reminding us that this is also what was prescribed to those who preceded us:
O you who believed! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that haply you may be pious S2:V183
We still see this way of fasting among Jews and Christians, who, unlike Muslims, observe a much more flexible and varied form of fasting, in addition to prayer, recollection, meditation, contemplation, and retreat. With the Quranic version of Ramadan, we therefore find the exact same practice as “those before us“, namely Jews and Christians, with additional details which the latter have lost, such as for instance the true duration and period of the fast.
The Rule of Allah is immutable, so this is no surprise to see that God has actually prescribed the very same practice, combining fasting, prayer, meditation, recollection, contemplation, and retreat, all at once, to all His messengers: from Muhammad, to Jesus and Moses , … and it actually goes back to Adam.
Adam stood in prayer for 40 days and 40 nights, he did not eat or drink until he fell to the ground with hunger and thirst. C1:V71 – Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan (Apocryphal Gospel) – PDF VERSION
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered. Matthew C4:V1-2
And Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Exodus C34:V28
This practice was not only for messengers, but was also observed by all believers. In the first chapter of Nehemiah, we find this man praying and fasting for the destroyed walls of his city. As a result of his prayer and fasting, God influenced the heart of the king for whom Nehemiah was working. The king sent him to Jerusalem to supervise the reconstruction of the walls. This man also obtained God’s answer by means of fasting.
Chapter 1 & 2
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, and said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned. And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work. Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
Even before God elected him as a prophet, Muhammad also used to fast while recollecting himself to God in isolated places. As a matter of fact, he maintained this practice throughout his entire life.
He developed the habit of retreating, like the Christian ascetics, in the Hira cave on the Mountain of Light, around Mecca. Sometimes he stays there for a whole month.
Aïsha, the wife of the prophet, related that the prophet observed a retreat (Itikaf / إعتكاف) during the last 10 days of Ramadan, this, until God took back his soul, and his wives kept this practice after him. Sahih Bukhari, Book of Itikaf.
IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOLLECTION AND RETREAT
We will now see what the practice of recollection consists of, and how it can be practically implemented. The following verse sums up God’s prescription on this subject, and as I have been able to show you so far, everything is said in the Quran and absolutely nothing is missing.
[…] But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat) […] S2:V187
This prescription is extremely simple, but it does not mean it’s incomplete. The simpler the prescription, the more it is purposely broad and invites to personal initiative. God does not impose on us any specific form, duration, or location, and leaves us totally free to organize our recollection or spiritual retreat according to our own dispositions and preferences. The only thing that God explicitly commands us is to not be in presence of our spouses when we are actively recollecting, i.e. connected with Him. In other words, that our spouses shall not be physically near us in our place of recollection or retreat.
As for the details, it is up to everyone to decide the way of proceeding with which they feel the most comfortable to communicate with God. Indeed, the Quran is not addressed exclusively to Muslims, but to the whole world. The divine prescription must therefore be naturally adapted to all, whatever culture, habits, means, and conditions.
I will now describe some ways to implement this practice, but there are actually as many ways as there are believers on earth. The best is that you implement your own method because each one has his own relationship with God, and therefore his own way of communicating with Him. For example, your recollection may very well take the form of reading the Quran and other books of God (even if their present versions have been corrupted, their reading remains nonetheless beneficial, provided that you use the Quran to discriminate the truth from falsehood), of prayers aloud or silently within yourselves, of Salats or ritual prayers, of moments of silence in order to better perceive the answers that God inspires in us, and of phases of contemplation of the work of God if you are in a natural setting. Your recollection can also be observed at home, isolated in a room, or in the form of a retreat in a place specially designed for this purpose, so as not to be tempted by terrestrial matters. It can also be done in full nature if you have the opportunity… and there are many many other ways.
What trully matters above all is to be alone over a sufficiently long period, in a setting which is conducive to concentration and reflection, and, ideally, which allows you to be able to contemplate God’s creation firsthand.
Choosing a place specifically fit for this purpose makes it possible to observe several days of retreat in a row, in order to mark a true break and give ourselves time to disconnect from this terrestrial world, and from all the parasitic thoughts that constantly attract us to it. With the right state of mind, your retreat may well only last a weekend in case you have little time at your disposal, although a longer period would be more ideal for those who can afford it. In case you’ve opted for a multi-day retreat, you are not required to remain in recollection all day long. I would even say that it is not beneficial, because none of us have the capacity to remain efficiently recollected that long. The best is to arrange several short sessions, no more than one hour or two, in order to maintain your level of concentration and fervor for God, while alternating with other activities, such as reading the Quran, walking in full nature in order to contemplate the creation of God (walking being very conducive to reflection), or discussing about God-related topics if you are not alone, etc. You can also very well organize your retreat with fellow believers, to motivate each other and to be able to mark some pauses, as many opportunities to exchange your thoughts on God’s wisdom and teachings, but also to share what God inspires you as you progress in your retreat. It also allows you not to be alone at night, as it can be difficult for some to be on their own for several days in a row. However, beware not to talk about earthly matters, whether during the day or the evening, so as not to undermine your efforts with futile or impure thoughts.
In addition to your retreat, or for those who do not have the opportunity to arrange it, you can simply arrange short sessions at home during fast days, at your convenience, isolated in a room, in order to recollect yourselves to God. Even if you are working or have children, it is always possible to find a little time to devote yourself to God. However, God does not impose on us what is beyond our capacity. Therefore, none of what I’ve mentioned is mandatory, but everything should ideally arise from directly within you.
Recollection, retreat, contemplation, meditation, and prayer are only some of the components of the rite of Ramadan, the one important component being fasting, namely the restriction of enjoyments in all possible forms. Depending on your conditions and habits, you can combine prayer, contemplation, recollection, meditation, fasting, all at once, according to your own formula, adapt it from day to day. It’s all about being as sincere as possible and doing your best. God does not require us to evoke Him without interruption for a whole consecutive month, because no one is able to do that. Therefore, nothing prohibits you from doing earthly things while observing the fast, such as working, practising sports, shopping, meeting friends, playing video games, watching television, reading newspapers, etc.
It’s up to everyone to give what they can according to their own means, the objective being to mark the occasion, and to make an extra effort on oneself, in order to improve as a person, purify oneself of sins as much as possible, and thus get closer to God.
In addition to prayer, meditation, contemplation, recollection, and retreat, the other important aspect of the rite of Ramadan is of course the fast. But, does fasting consist only, as Muslims define it, in a severe deprivation of food and drink?
In reality, the most extreme form of fasting, while being the least suitable for most of the people, is the one recommended by the Sunnah, and I do not even mention the real risk that it may represent for health. Some might think that refraining from food and drink from dawn to dusk is manageable. But, actually, in certain regions of the world and under certain temperatures, even for those who are in the prime of life, especially those who have a job that requires physical force or which exposes them to the sun, the danger remains real. Indeed, all the doctors in the world will tell you that prolonged dehydration, coupled with extreme temperatures, is an explosive cocktail for men’s health, whatever age and shape.
In any case, would Allah prescribe a rite that would especially favor those who are young and in good shape? What logic and justice would there be in this? Has Allah prescribed fasting to endanger our health? Or to do good for us? Because we shall not bury our heads, even for those who can endure it and who have done it for decades (of which I have been a part for more than 30 years now), the Islamic version of Ramadan remains extremely difficult, especially when it occurs in the middle of summer and that the duration of a day can be as long as 20 hours! Believe me, I’m speaking as a connoisseur. With such a duration and extreme conditions, Ramadan according to the Sunnah becomes a real martyrdom for body and mind, as it only leaves us a few hours to eat and sleep, and requires us to eat and drink a lot over a very short period of time. As a result, this prevents us from sleeping well and gaining strength for the next fasting day, as we have to get up very early. Of course, such torture has never been imposed by Allah! Let me say this plainly: it is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the Devil himself who is behind the Islamic version of Ramadan. And, its purpose is not to benefit us or to make things easier for us, but rather to make them as difficult as possible, while causing us maximum harm for a minimum of benefit in return.
[…] Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship […] S2:V185
How could Allah possibly insist so much on saying that He intends for us ease, and not hardship, while imposing on us such an inhumane fast as the one recommended by the Sunnah? Is Allah mocking us? Certainly not! Allah is completely innocent of all of this! But, it is rather the Devil who mocks Muslims through his so-called Sunnah of the Prophet, which only makes their lifes more difficult, while, on the contrary, Allah has sent us the Quran to make our lifes easier.
We have not sent down the Quran unto you to put you in difficulty. S20:V2
Ô Muslims, you now have 2 choices: Allah and the Quran alone, or your associates and the Sunnah. Extreme ease or extreme difficulty, to believe and be grateful or to deny and remain self-sufficient, the final good outcome or the final bad outcome. God’s forgiveness and healing, or God’s wrath and chastisement.
He who gives and demonstrates piety, and who recognizes the great blessing (of God), We will facilitate for him the way to the easiest way, and as for the one who was greedy and dispensed (from the remembrance of God), and who has denied the great blessing (of God), we will facilitate for him the way to the most difficult way. S92:V5-10
Now that we know that Allah never prescribed such a fast as the one practiced by Muslims, Let’s see what Allah has truly prescribed in the Quran.
[…] Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. […] S2:V187
It’s hard to get any simpler than this prescription. Yet, you will see that it says a lot more than it seems to. This prescription tells us that we can eat and drink as we wish, and this, until we distinguish the white thread of dawn from the black thread of night, and from that moment, to simply OBSERVE THE FAST until the night … and NOT TO REFRAIN FROM EATING AND DRINKING ALTOGETHER until the night! Here are 2 very different things! Indeed, “fasting” is absolutely not synonymous with “observing a severe deprivation of food and drink“. Because fasting can take a great variety of forms and be observed at different levels of severity.
- To eat few, to eat less, or even to not eat at all, either voluntarly, or by an imposed abstinence or by lack of food.
- To refrain or to be deprived of certain enjoyments, etc.
- To refrain from food or from cerain foods, by devotion, or by mortification.
The word “fast” may indeed mean “to observe a severe deprivation of food and drink“, but this is far from being its only meaning. As you have seen throughout this article, the Devil’s Sunnah (we can now call it by its true name in order to start cleansing the name of the Prophet Muhammad of the horrors with which it associates him) systematically retains the most detrimental meaning, while ruling out all other possible meanings.
What the Quran really tells us is to “fast“, and not necessarily to refrain from eating and drinking altogether. As the above definitions indicate, fasting can be declined under countless forms, since this word means, all at once: “to refrain to a CERTAIN DEGREE from eating and drinking“, or “to refrain only from certain foods” , or “to refrain from certain enjoyments in a general way“. Eating and drinking are not the only enjoyments that exist, but there are countless others, many of which have nothing to do with nutrition. But, I will illustrate this point in detail later in this section.
In fact, there is no need to even look up the definition of the word “fast” in a dictionary. The Quran being its own dictionary, we also find the same definition therein.
The Quran distinguishes between the words “صِّيَامَ“ (Şiyām) and “صَوۡم“ (Şawm). These 2 words, even if they are very close, do not mean quite the same thing. The word “صِّيَامَ“ (Şiyām) means “THE FAST” in general, i.e. in all its forms, while the word “صَوۡم“ (Şawm) means “A FAST” in particular, i.e. one single type of fast.
Now, the verse S2:V187 says: “أَتِمُّواْ ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱلَّيۡلِۚ“, which means “complete THE fast (in all its forms) until the night“, this is why this verse does not give more details as to the nature of the fast that shall be observed, since this refers to the fast in general.
While in the following verse, it is the word “صَوۡم“ (Şawm) which is used this time, i.e. “only one particular type of fast“, which explains why the verse specifies what type of fast we’re dealing with.
So eat and drink, then and let your eye rejoice! And if you see any human being, say “Verily, I have vowed a صَوۡم/jeûne/Şawm to the Almighty: so I will not speak to any human being today.” S19:V26
In this verse, God ordered Mary to fast, while telling her: “eat and drink“. This confirms us that according to God, there is not one single form of fast, consisting in a severe deprivation of food and drink, as the Sunnah wrongly affirms it, but that there are countless other forms. In this specific verse, the fast assigned to Mary simply consists in restraining from speaking to anyone. By the way, one can see that even this type of fast, limited to speech, is not rigid like that of the Sunnah, but flexible, since Mary still has the opportunity to speak to people if they address her, just to tell them that she has taken a vow of silence as part of a fast dedicated to God. In the same vein, even during your fast, Allah obviously allows you to taste your meals when you cook them in order to not miss them. This does not break your fast in any way, provided that you act with piety and do not commit any abuse.
But, this is not the only bad translation of the Muslim translators in this verse:
It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts).They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows that you had clandestine sexual relations, so He forgave you and pardoned you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, and then observe the fast until the night. […] S2:V187
Muslim translators translate “ٱلرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَآٮِٕكُمۡ“ (Ar-Rafathu ‘Ilá Nisā’ikum) as “sexual relations with your wives“, which once again limits this expression to its most narrow sense. Because, the term “ٱلرَّفَثُ“ (Ar-Rafathu) has a much broader meaning, and encompasses in a more general way all intimate acts within the couple: It goes from caresses, hugs, tender gestures, sweet words, … to sexual acts. The most appropriate translation for this word would therefore be “flirtation/flirt“. But, their mistranslation does actually not end there:
It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts).They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows that you had clandestine sexual relations, so He turned to you and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread […] S2:V187
“أَنَّڪُمۡ كُنتُمۡ تَخۡتَانُونَ أَنفُسَڪُمۡ“ (‘Annakum Kuntum Takhtānūna ‘Anfusakum) translates word by word as “that you betrayed yourselves“. But, the Muslim translators have instead chosen to translate this sentence as “that you had clandestine sexual relations” to preserve their logic of translation.
The right translation of “أَنَّڪُمۡ كُنتُمۡ تَخۡتَانُونَ أَنفُسَڪُمۡ“ (‘Annakum Kuntum Takhtānūna ‘Anfusakum) as “that you betrayed yourselves” confirms us that the meaning we have given to the word “ٱلرَّفَثُ“ (Ar-Rafathu) is the right one. Indeed, this verse is not only limited to sexual relations, but extends to all types of flirtations within the couple. Given the privileged links that God has placed between the members of any couple, we understand that it is difficult for them to restrain, day or night, from any act of tenderness. Allah knew that the believers “betrayed themselves” by flirting here and there with their wives, thus did not observe His prescription properly. He then says in this verse that He “forgave” them for that. This shows that the believers were indeed guilty, which means that this ban on flirting with their wives was truly from Allah, and not a false pagan rule. But, Allah says that He “pardoned” them, which shows that He now allows them to fully enjoy their wives during the night of the fast, contrary to what He had prescribed to past generations. This is the right translation of the verse:
It is made lawful for you to flirt with your wives on the night of the fast. They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows you betrayed yourselves so He forgave you and pardoned you. Henceforth, cohabit with them and fully enjoy what Allah has written in your favor […] S2:V187
But, in addition to the ban on all flirtations during the night of the fast, there was another ban that was in effect among the Ancient Arabs, which was to also refrain from eating and drinking, day or night, and this, for several days in a row. This is why the verse says, “HENCEFORTH … eat and drink until you distinguish the white thread of dawn from the black thread“, which definitely proves that this practice was indeed taking place within the Ancient Arabs.
It is made lawful for you to flirt with your wives on the night of the fast. They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows you betrayed yourselves so He forgave you and pardoned you. HENCEFORTH, cohabit with them and fully enjoy what Allah has written in your favor, and EAT AND DRINK (AS YOU WISH) until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread […] S2:V187
Obviously, this prohibition on eating and drinking during the night of the fast was never prescribed by Allah, since the only thing which is reproached to believers in this verse concerns the fact that they clandestinely flirted with their wives during the night of the fast, while this was prohibited by God. If this verse explicitly allows believers to eat and drink during the night of the fast, this is absolutely not to suggest them, as the Muslim translators have interpreted, that they shall necessarily do the exact opposite during the day, but only to explicitly lift this prohibition inherited from the pagan traditions of the Ancient Arabs.
It is made lawful for you to flirt with your wives on the night of the fast. They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows you betrayed yourselves so He forgave you and pardoned you. Henceforth, cohabit with them and fully enjoy what Allah has written in your favor, and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat). These are the limits set by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His verses to mankind that haply they may attain piety. S2:V187
The particular turn of phrase used in the above verse explains, partly, why the Muslim translators interpreted the word “fast” as a severe deprivation of food and drink. Indeed, given this turn of phrase, they understood that everything that was authorized before dawn was prohibited afterwards. However, this is not how we should understand this verse, because the purpose of God is obviously not to create more confusion, but on the contrary, to clarify things as much as possible. We must keep in mind the context of revelation of this verse: Allah did not establish a new rite, the fast in Ramadan, but only adjusts the way it was practiced by the Ancient Arabs. There is therefore no logical link to be established between the 2 prescriptions that I have colored in green and in red, as the Muslim translators have wrongly deduced. In reality, Allah is content to adjust the current practice among the Ancient Arabs: in green, as regard the night, and in red, as regard the day.
When these verses were revealed, the Ancient Arabs forbade all flirtations with their wives, day or night, throughout the month of Ramadan. Regarding the night, Allah has explicitly lifted this prohibition, although this was prescribed before. On the other hand, regarding the day, Allah has maintained this prohibition, and even added to it an additional constraint:
It is made lawful for you to flirt with your wives on the night of the fast. They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows you betrayed yourselves so He forgave you and pardoned you. Henceforth, cohabit with them and fully enjoy what Allah has written in your favor, and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat). These are the limits set by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His verses to mankind that haply they may achieve piety. S2:V187
This prescription is full of good sense, since it is impossible for us to completely ignore our spouses when they are near us, so God commands us to simply not be in their presence while we are recollecting ourselves to Him, in order not to disturb our communication with Him.
Regarding the ban of the Ancient Arabs to eat and drink, day or night, and this, sometimes for several days in a row, such a rule has never been prescribed by Allah. This is why Allah explicitly allows believers to eat and drink as they wish during the night of the fast. Finally, regarding the day, Allah simply prescribes that we shall observe the fast, which does not necessarily mean that we must restrain from eating and drinking in the strict sense of the term. Because, as I showed you previously, the fast can be applied under various forms and severities.
EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE FASTS
As we have previously seen, fasting can take all possible forms of restrictions. It generally consists in a form of self-denial, a penance, an act of contrition, a restriction of enjoyments, which can be implemented through a great variety of ways, depending on each individual’s own preferences, conditions, and capacities. But, for the fast to be as profitable as possible, it must be sufficiently restrictive to require a real effort on our part.
The criterion of difficulty should not only be focused on the physical plane, but also, I would rather say above all, on the mental plane, because the purpose of fasting has never been to jeopardize our physical health. So if the form of fasting you have opted for does not require sufficient effort from you, then it means that you have to harden it by increasing its severity or varying its forms, so that it becomes more profitable for you. I challenge any Muslim to experiment with a fast that consists in only eating modest meals, day or night, and allowing yourselves only 1 or 2 good meals per week. Such a fast is actually more difficult to observe, because it deprives us of the pleasure of a good meal for several days in a row, while the Sunnah fast turns into a feast every night, and is therefore less difficult to endure. It‘s like the difference between a long distance race and a sprint, it is not the same type of effort. For the former, the effort is less intense but longer, while for the latter, it is more intense but shorter. It’s a matter of choice, but both ways still require a true effort, even if the natures of this effort differ.
Here are some fasting examples that you can also combine together:
- A severe fast: a deprivation of food and drink altogether, as Muslims do. This is the most extreme form of fast. Consequently, it is not adapted to most people. Indeed, not to drink at all can be detrimental to your focus, or can induce an extreme fatigue, or make you feel sleepy …, and I do not even mention the health issues that such a fast can cause, especially for the kidneys.
- A partial fast: to drink and not eat at all, to drink but eat less quantities, to drink but consume only modest meals, for example without flavor, without sauce, without salt, without pepper, without spices, without sugar, without meat, …, or to deprive yourself of small pleasures of life: no desserts, no juice, no sodas, no sweets, no pastries, no tea, no coffee, … etc.
- Fasting from words: not to speak at all during the day, to speak less or only when necessary, to force oneself not to speak of trivialities or earthly matters, not to curse, not to use bad language, not to slander, … etc.
- Your fast can also take the form of any other restriction of enjoyments such as, for a smoker, to smoke less, for the one who drinks regularly, to drink less (God’s Mercy is accessible to everyone without exception, except to the one who excludes himself from it), for those who commit any excess, to reduce this excess, such as watching too much TV, or hanging out too much, or doing too much sports, or spending too much time with people, or working too much, or spending too much, or shopping too much, … etc.
[…] And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. […] S2:V187
However, the above verse suggests, without imposing anything on us, that the most appropriate fast is the fasting of food.
This does not mean that the other types of fasting are to be avoided, but rather that it is better to opt for the fasting of food as a main fast, and to add to it other forms of fasting, which I have just illustrated. Indeed, the fasting of food has many advantages: it requires both a physical and mental effort, it is good for our health when applied with balance, and can be practiced in all circumstances. Other forms of fasting, while strongly recommended, are more limited in terms of benefits and scope. This is why I advise you to observe a more or less restrictive fasting of food (knowing that if it harms you more than it benefits you, then it is better to reduce it), and to add to it secondary forms of fasting.
Personally, my fast consists of a severe deprivation of food, but I now allow myself to drink water from time to time. In comparison to the Islamic fast that I have observed for decades, I’ve seen only benefits without any drawback. Indeed, drinking a little water does not reduce hunger in any way, and may even produce the opposite effect, whereas the effort required physically and mentally remains the same. Drinking just water prevents headaches and sleepiness, and allows us to continue living a normal life (and not to be in a state of semi-death as is the case for most Muslims), and to evoke God and to meditate on His Books in good conditions.
Before starting the month of Ramadan, one should commit to a typical formula of fasting, and then stick to it as best as possible. Because, the commitment to Allah is something serious, it is therefore better to commit to less and keep your commitment, than the other way around.
O you who believe! Faithfully fulfill your commitments […] S5:V1
[…] And fulfill your commitment to Allah. This is what He commands you. […] S6:V152
Those who fulfill their commitment to Allah and do not violate the Covenant. S13:V20
And fulfill the commitment, because we will be asked about the commitments. S17:V34
And whoever fulfills his covenant to Allah, Allah will soon grant him a great Reward. S48:V10
And who keep the deposits entrusted to them, and respect their commitments scrupulously; S70:V32
For example, we can only commit to drinking and not eating at all, which does not prevent us from deciding to add other forms of fasting on certain days, such as for example staying silent as much as we can. Indeed, silence makes us more humble before God, and protects us against the sins that come out from our mouth. It also allows us to attain the necessary degree of focus to be able to evoke God in a more dignified manner, and to better hear the answers He gives us in the form of inspiration. The more you restrict yourself for God through different forms of fasting, the more humble you will be before God and the more it will bring you closer to Him and have a positive effect on you.
With the true prescription of the Quran, fasting becomes accessible to everyone, including to those who are in poor health, or who are too young or too old, or who lack willpower. It is up to everyone to give what they can, knowing that what we do, we do it only for ourselves. So the more we give, the more we can expect to receive as a result (actually, much more than we give).
Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom. And if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. S4:V40
[…] And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Appreciative. S42:V23
And that in truth, man only obtains [the fruit] of his efforts. S53:V39
The true fast according to the Quran produces concrete and visible results immediately, and brings us closer to God in an extraordinary way. Unlike the Ramadan of the Sunnah, it is anything but a community celebration, but it is rather a solitary act, a spontaneous, sincere, and individual approach, an appointment that we take with God face to face, preferably as far as possible from terrestrial matters and from all men. Ramadan according to the Quran is a gift that God offers us, and not an ordeal as is the case with the Ramadan of the Sunnah. It is an act that goes in both directions: we make efforts on ourselves and we accept to surrender ourselves fully to God by exposing all our vulnerabilities to Him, and in return, God accepts our efforts and operates in us in order to make us better men. If God insists so much that we observe this rite, it is not a sacrifice that He asks us to make for Him, but because it is a benefit that we do for ourselves, by seeking to better ourselves and to draw closer to Him, in order to receive healing, answers to our questions, and approval from Him.
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that haply you may be pious. During a counted number of days. Then whosoever among you is sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. For those who can endure it [and choose not to], is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. And if someone does more of their own accord, it is for them; but it is better for you to fast. If only you knew! S2:V183-184
What we do is above all for ourselves, but also to please God, so we should not impose on ourselves what is beyond our means, and then blame God for it, or do it improperly, or with the wrong mental attitude. A sincere and pure donation, however modest, is better than a more substantial donation, wasted by a bad behavior. Muslims observe a very severe fast, which for most of them exceeds what they would have been willing to do on their own if they were aware that they had a broader choice. They then commit all kinds of excesses during the fast itself, as well as the night of the fast, as well as after the month of the fast. One excess necessarily entails other execesses.
Here is the true prescription of God concerning the fast of the month of Ramadan, with the correct translation:
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that haply they may achieve piety. During a counted number of days. then whosoever among you is sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days For those who can endure it [and choose not to], is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. And if someone does more of their own accord, it is for them; but it is better for you to fast. If only you knew! The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran as a guide for the people, also clear evidence for guidance and discernment. So whoever of you witness the month, shall fast it. And whosoever sick or journeying, for him the like number of other days. Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the account and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me; So let them respond to me Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. It is made lawful for you to flirt with your wives on the night of the fast. They are your garments. And you are their garments. Allah knows you betrayed yourselves so He forgave you and pardoned you. Henceforth, cohabit with them and fully enjoy what Allah has written in your favor, and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread, then complete the fast until the night. But do not be in their presence while you are prostrate in your places of recollection (or spiritual retreat). These are the limits set by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His verses to mankind, that haply they may achieve piety. S2:V183-187
In summary, the Ramadan fast takes place every year at the same time, namely at the beginning of autumn. It lasts from 3 days to 1 month, knowing that God recommends a full month to reap the full benefits of it. Even though God strongly insists that we fast, God nevertheless allows those who refuse to do so, not to fast, on condition that they feed the needy. God also prescribes to those who have opted for the fast, to additionally help those in need, materially and humanly. Regarding the fast itself, it comes in 2 main components: the first is physical and mental, and consists of a fast or restriction of enjoyments. God recommends that we proceed to a more or less severe fasting of food, so as to get as much benefits of it without harming ourselves, and on top of that, to limit our excesses and restrict our other everyday pleasures. The second component is spiritual, and comes in invocations, prayers, salats, retreats, recollections, and contemplations, and aims to thank God for all His gifts, evoke Him and meditate on His Word as much as possible. Allah allows us, during the night of the fast, to lead a completely normal life, including within our couple’s life, and does not impose any particular restrictions on us that are specific to the period of the month of Ramadan. Concerning the day, God commands us to observe the fast, and forbids us to flirt with our spouses, and adds to it the prohibition of being in their presence while we are recollecting ourselves to Him.
PURPOSES OF RAMADAN
If Allah has prescribed fasting for the whole of humanity, it is because this practice contains an inestimable benefit, for everyone, and in all times. God prescribed fasting to all his messengers, from the holiest among them, Jesus, to the worst sinners among his servants. This shows that we all need to fast, no matter how pure we think we are, and no one can claim to be able to do without it. It also shows that God does not exclude anyone from this real gift that represents the fast of Ramadan, and we have seen in this article that it is fully accessible to any man who is alive, awake, and aware.
Fasting allows us to sanctify our bodies, to express our submission to God, to purify ourselves, to atone for some of our sins, and to deny part of our ego through the limitation of enjoyments. To a certain extent, it consists in denying a part of ourselves, in order to let God shine through us, which has the effect of producing a healing of our body, soul, and spirit, and to redirect our whole being towards God. It is also a way for us to put ourselves in a position of vulnerability and to entrust our fate in the hands of God. It is the act of surrendering fully to God in order to let Him operate freely within us, to mold us as He sees fit. It is also an invitation to self-control and an opportunity to exercise our will. Fasting allows us, among other things, to experience hunger and thirst, which makes us realize the condition of the poor, who suffers from this condition throughout the year. That is why God strongly encourages us to feed as many indigent people as possible during the period of Ramadan, increasing our efforts compared to the rest of the year. This is to make us realize our unbelievable chance to not be in their situation, and to make us pursue our efforts on a permanent basis. We must not forget the poor, because while we forgot them, they continue to live through their ordeal, day and night. Nothing is more horrible than to continue to live quietly as if nothing happens, while countless people still suffer from hunger and thirst on a daily basis, and are struck by all kinds of other misfortunes. Obviously, no one can bear the misery of all the world solely on his shoulders, but the least we could do is to bring our own personal contribution by helping the poor on a permanent basis and at a regular pace, because it is exactly what we would like others to do for us, were we in this situation.
But, fasting is not only a fast of the body, but also a fast of the heart, which serves to bring our souls closer to God. This should therefore be an opportunity for us to work on both our shortcomings and qualities, making the little extra effort to put an end to our iniquities, such as egoism, hypocrisy, backbiting, jealousy, ingratitude, laziness, ignorance, perversion, lying, dishonesty, violence, rebellion, tyranny, anger, treachery, hatred, revenge, contempt, indifference, … and to further develop our qualities, such as kindness, benevolence, patience, perseverance, justice, solidarity, brotherhood, fidelity, righteousness, forgiveness, fairness, generosity, sharing, openness, questioning, self-control … and to become in a general way better men in the eyes of God.
TO ACHIEVE PIETY
Allah shows us that one of the main purposes of the fasting of Ramadan is to gain piety. Indeed, it is not without reason that Allah starts and ends His prescription of the rite of Ramadan with “that haply they may achieve piety“, but because the Ramadan is simply the best way to achieve this goal. Allah tells us that the best way to approach Ramadan and get the most benefit from it is to do it with the aim of achieving piety. Piety is the first quality that Allah cherishes within a man. Because, it is what gauges us in relation to Allah, in the sense that it is what demonstrates the best how much we fear and honor Him.
It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him […] S22:V37
There is therefore no better provision than piety: better than any other quality, better than any earthly good.
The Hajj takes place in well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj, then no flirt, no perversion, no quarrel during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows its. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is piety. So fear Me, O men of understanding! S2:V197
Whoever God wants to guide and to whom he wants to do the greatest good, He grants him piety.
While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and inspires them their piety. S47:V17
Allah defines piety as the opposite of immorality.
And by the soul and the One who harmoniously shaped it; and inspired it with its immorality and piety! S91:V7-8
Immorality leads to sin. Consequently, there is no better shield against sin than the opposite of immorality, i.e .piety.
O Children of Adam! verily We have sent down unto you a garment covering your nakedness and as an adornment. But, the best garment is that of piety. That is of the Allah’s signs, that haply they may be admonished? S7:V26
Verily those who fear God when an suggestion from the Devil touches them, remember [Allah], and come to his senses. S7:V201
Indeed, only piety can make us reject the strongest of temptations. Because, piety pushes us to put God before ourselves, and therefore to prefer His pleasure before our own. Piety is what enables us to surpass ourselves as imperfect and sinful human beings, in the sense that what we are not willing to do for ourselves, we do it at least for God.
You will not achieve piety as long as you do spend of that you love. And whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well. S3:V92
In reality, the one who acts with piety ends up being a big winner, and eventually gets both the satisfaction of God, but also a greater personal satisfaction. Indeed, God does not ask us to sacrifice our own satisfaction for His, but on the contrary, God promises us greater satisfaction if we give Him satisfaction first.
[…] And the happy end is reserved for piety. S20:V132
TO RECEIVE GOD’S HEALING
Even though our main goal should be to please God, that does not prevent us from always hoping for His Mercy, in the form of a healing of our hearts and a confirmation from Him, by allowing us to get the answers to our questions which will, in turn, allow us to progress in our journey towards Him.
[…] Allah intends for you ease, and intends not for you hardship; so you shall complete the account and shall magnify Allah for His having guided you, and haply you may give thanks. When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me; So let them respond to me Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. S2:V185-186
We are all full of inequities, and our hearts still persist in sin even after God has opened our eyes and guided us to the right path, which makes our sins all the more intolerable to us. Therefore, only Allah can break this vicious circle, and thus put an end to this unbearable pain caused by the horrible obstinacy of our hearts which prefers the fulfillment of our will rather than that of God. Only Allah can complete his blessings on us by giving us the peace of mind and soul, by making us naturally reject evil without any effort, while finding immense relief and pleasure in doing good, without the least embarrassment left in us to obey His Commandments. True Healing is when our ego no longer has a reason to exist, and that we become no more than a shadow of ourselves before God.
TO GET GOD’S ANSWERS
Allah posits a precondition in order to get any answer from Him: “So let them respond to Me and believe in Me. S2:V186“. Before expecting anything from God, we shall respond to God’s Call first, and prepare properly for our meeting with Him. The fast of Ramadan does not begin on the first day of the month of Ramadan, as we must prepare for it far in advance, by purifying ourselves, by evoking God as much as possible, by fighting against our sins, and by multiplying good deeds, in order to approach it in the best possible way. Because, the one who begins the fast of Ramadan without preliminary preparation is like the one who appears before Allah with dirty clothes. There is no point in hoping for Allah’s forgiveness if you approach Ramadan full of sins, without any prior consideration for God. The one who can legitimately hope for healing and answers from God, is the one who prepares for his appointment with God in the best possible way, and who approaches the month of Ramadan with a spirit of piety and redemption. Therefore, fulfill your part of the contract first, and God will surely fulfill His, and only then will you get satisfaction.
Unfortunately, more and more Muslims are now behaving like the Jews, who use the Yom Kippur fast as atonement for their future and past sins. Nowadays, many Muslims believe that because they restrain from drinking and eating during the month of Ramadan every year, they have the right to commit sins with complete impunity, while being overconfident that they will be forgiven. Ramadan should not become for you a license to commit more sins, when its real purpose is precisely the opposite.
TO CELEBRATE BOTH ALLAH AND THE QURAN
The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Quran as a guide for the people, also clear evidence for guidance and discernment. […] S2:V185
Ramadan is also a key opportunity to celebrate the blessings of Allah on us, and to thank Him for having sent us this perfect Quran, without which we would be in complete darkness. Indeed, the Quran descended during the full moon of the month of Ramadan, marking the climax of this month both literally and figuratively. That is why, the month of Ramadan should be an opportunity for us to celebrate the Quran, and this results in spending more time than usual reading it and meditating on it. Thus, we can hope that Allah will give us a better understanding of it, which will allow us to come closer to righteousness and exemplarity.
But, how to celebrate the Quran without celebrating Allah, who has sent it down to his noble messenger Muhammad out of pure Mercy, and who miraculously protected it against any alteration, so that it today reaches us 100% unaltered, despite all the attacks it has suffered for 1400 years? Indeed, the Quran and Allah are inseparable for the well-guided. Because, Allah allows us to know the Quran, and the Quran to know Allah. Giving importance to the Quran is giving importance to Allah, and giving importance to Allah is giving importance to the Quran. There is no better proof to demonstrate the importance that we give to the Quran, and therefore to Allah, than meditating on it with the greatest attention, and concretely implementing on our own life what Allah makes us understand of it.
Here they are those who speak the truth, here they are the true sincere and authentic believers! As for those who take their religious scholars as guides instead of Allah, and who relegate the Quran to a secondary level and give the first role to Hadiths, and who turn the Quran into a horrible song (Tajwid), while daring to claim Allah, his prophet Muhammad, and the Quran. These are the liars, and these are mere cultists, associaters, and idolaters, and these will receive on them the Wrath of Allah and His Retribution.
The Muslims of the Sunnah pride themselves on completing the reading of the Quran during the month of Ramadan alone, but what point is there if in the end they do not follow the Quran but rather follow the Sunnah and take their associates as guides instead of Allah Alone?
And the messenger will say: “Lord, my people have truly abandoned this Quran!” S25:V30
The Muslims of the Sunnah have always studiously ignored this verse, yet very explicit, persuading themselves that it does not apply to them. But if this verse truly doesn’t apply to them, then who else besides them can it apply to?