There are many who expound libertarianism, and encourage others to freedom; however, they are, obliviously, enslaved and bounded, and do not have any determination by themselves. Many who violate others’ freedom and rights for the sake of their desires, and count themselves as the sole ruler of nations and societies are dispossessed of freedom, as well. These two categories are both slaves; however, not slaves to an individual; not slaves who are physically under control of another person while being mentally free. They are slaves to lust, money, wealth, and rank. They are totally enslaved by the men of power, rulers, kings, and slaves to habits and ill thoughts. They are slaves who, as well as their bodies, their spirits and minds are also imprisoned, and all their entities are confined, and have no sense of real freedom, and spiritual self-determination.
Undoubtedly, these people are slaves, and liberating them is a hard task. However, Islam has prescribed various agendas to free the human from the bounds of imprisonment, vicious habits, and desire, and unless he attains this liberation, he will not experience the taste of freedom, and will not attain liberation in other fields. In the viewpoint of the Holy Quran, one of the objectives of the call of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is to release such charges from the human mind and spirit. Therefore the Holy Quran states in this matter, “The Prophet who… removes their burdens and the entanglements in which they are involved.”
In this respect, one of the liberating agendas of Islam is “fasting”. Fasting liberates the human from the bound of animal habits, and elevates him to the celestial world. A Muslim intending to fast gets up from his calm and relaxed sleep, for having a breakfast and doing the prayers and the Salat, and becomes free from the habit of sleeping. During the fast, he pulls himself out from the domination of his body and animal instincts and habits of eating and drinking, and breaks the spell of desires. The fasting person refrains from having delicious food, and sweet fruits, and cooling drinks, and doesn’t think about the habits of the days that he does not fast, and he gives up his routine diet. Thus he liberates his thought, wisdom, and conscience, and finds himself in a higher horizon, and in another light and radiance.
The fasting Muslim reads the prayers of day and night and dawn special to the month of Ramadan; the prayers mostly having contents of wisdom, that have the truth and spirit of freedom. These prayers blend the monotheistic faith with the soul and the spirit, and save the reader from the heavy bounds of vicious and awful traits, and guide to virtuous traits and morality.
People who, due to daily activities, do not have a single moment for observing the spiritual matters, and the waves of society throw them from side to another side, and do not have a shelter, at this time they come to rest in the sanctuary of the Holy Ramadan, and sink themselves in spiritual and religious pleasures, and come to understand that humans can be inattentive to the worldly affairs, and not to heed to the desires, thirst and appetite, and passions of tongue and eyes, etc.
Therefore the auspicious month of Ramadan is a suitable opportunity for the humans to take lessons of freedom, and liberate themselves from vicious traits and improper bounds, and remember that one of the objectives of Islam, like other divine religions, is to set free the individuals and societies from the oppression of despotic rules and personal arbitrations.
(The above is a selection taken from “The Holy Month of Ramadan, the Sublime School of Training and Morality” (1), by the Grand Ayatullah Saafi Golpaygani (with some changes))
Roshd website congratulates all Muslims on the arrival of the month of descent of the Holy Quran, and the time for freedom of mankind, the Holy month of Ramadan.
1. The Holy Quran, (7:157)