"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
الامام الصادق علیه السلام:
لِلصائمِ فَرحَتانِ : فَرحَةٌ عندَ إفطارِهِ، وفَرحَةٌ عندَ لِقاءِ رَبِّهِ
Al-Imam al-Sadiq (ʿa) said:
A fasting person has two sources of joy: his joy when he opens his fast and his joy at meeting his Lord.
Al-Kāfī, v. 4, p. 65, no. 15
What is the ruling of tooth filling in the month of Ramadan?
If the person observes that nothing passes through the throat, whether substances that are used in the operation or water or medicine that enters the mouth, then it has no problem.
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 8th
The supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 8th is as follows:
اللهُمَّ ارْزُقْنى فيهِرَحْمَةَالْأَيْتامِ، وَاطْعامَ الطَّعامِ، وَافْشآءَ السَّلامِ، وَصُحْبَةَ الْكِرامِ، بِطَوْلِكَ يا مَلْجَا الْأمِلينَ
“O’ Lord! I ask You for the opportunity to be kind to the orphans in this day, to feed [the fasting people and the poor], to greet most often with Salām, and to be in the company of the reputable; by Your Benevolence, O’ Refuge of all the wishers.”
The most important points in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 8th are the following:
Emphasizing the importance of being kind to the orphans; explaining the best ways of taking care of the needs of the orphans; emphasizing the importance of respecting other people and providing them with food; the meaning and function of the Islamic greeting of Salām; the necessity of being careful in choosing one’s friends and companions; and a des c r i p tion of Allah’s Might and bounties.
* The significance of being Kind to the Orphans as manifested in the Quran and the Islamic Traditions
The holy Quran has placed considerable importance on the issue of the orphans. It has discussed the significance of the orphans in more than 20 verses, advising all to be careful about using the
properties of the orphans, likening the unlawful usage of the orphans’ properties to “eating fire”! Furthermore, it has emphasized the emotional aspects of their lives, instructing all to respect the orphans and treat them kindly.
The issue of the orphans has also been given considerable attention in the Islamic traditions. For instance, the Prophet of Islam (ṣ) has been quoted as saying:
مَنْ كَفلَ يَتيماً وَ كَفَلَ نَفَقَتَهُ كُنْتُ انَا وَهُوَ فِى الْجَنَّةِ كَهاتَيْن
“I and the person who takes on the responsibility of providing for and taking care of an orphan shall be near each other in Paradise just like the forefinger and the middle finger.”
* The Necessity of Showing the Orphans Affection
Without doubt, the needs of the orphans is not restricted to mere food and clothing. Like any other human being, they also have emotional needs which are more important than their physical needs in building their personality. But an orphan is in even more need of emotional support given the fact that they have lost the emotional support of their parents. Therefore, their need for food and clothes comes second to their need for affective and emotional support.
* Feeding the Poor, the Job of the Righteous and the Chosen Servants of Allah
A part of the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 8th is dedicated to praying for the opportunity to feed the poor in the month of Ramadan. This shows how important the feeding of the poor is within the framework of Islamic teachings. It is of such importance that it has even been referred to as what the righteous and chosen servants of Allah do.
* The Meaning of the Islamic Greeting of Salām
Salām is the greatest way in which a Muslim greets others. Salām originally derives from the phrase “سلام اللَّه عليكم” meaning “may Allah watch over you” used to wish someone safety and good health. Today, greeting someone with Salām means to greet them with peace and amity and to tell them that you mean them no harm.
* Saying Salām Abundantly, a Beautiful Social Etiquette of Islam
The Islamic traditions indicate that a person who is riding must be the first person to greet the walking and those who are riding more expensive mounts or vehicles must initiate greeting when meeting the people who have cheaper mounts or vehicles. It seems that this is an instruction meant to fight arrogance and excessive pride due to having more wealth or a higher social position than the others.
* Your Companion should be Better than You!
A part of this prayer has been dedicated to the issue of making friends and choosing companions. In this part, one prays to Allah to grant them the opportunity of being in the companion of the reputable and respectable members of the society.
This part of the prayer shows that when choosing friends, one needs to choose individuals whose company would increase them in faith and goodness.
* Admitting Total Obedience to Allah
At the end of this prayer, one prays to Allah as follows: “…by Your benevolence, O’ Refuge of all the wishers”. The Arabic term “طول” [translated as benevolence] is a reference made to Allah’s blessings which originate from His unlimited Benevolence.
Moreover, the phrase “O’ Refuge of all the wishers” is in keeping with the following verse from the Quran: “Say: “Indeed [if I disobey Him] no one can shelter me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him.””
Saying that no one and nothing can provide one with a refuge from Allah shows one’s state of total obedience to Allah.
Question 2: We know that the angels are all infallible and obey Allah without refusal; if this is so and if Satan was one of the angels, how did he refuse to obey Allah’s command?
Answer: Satan was not one of the angels; he belonged to the creation known as the Jinn. He was of such a high rank that he was classified as being amongst the angels and this does not pertain to his actual creation.
Question 3: According to the Quran, we have been created in order to attain felicity (through worshipping Allah): ‘I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship me.’ If this is the case, then the question is why does Satan even exist? and doesn’t the existence of an enemy who cannot be seen and thus cannot be easily fought or repelled go against the very purpose of creation.
Answer: The Quran has explained that Satan cannot influence us unless we allow him to. The key to his influence lies in the heart and he can only gain influence if we grant him entrance. In fact, no evil being can influence human beings except when they themselves permit them to do so: ‘His authority is only over those who befriend him and those who make him a partner [of Allah].’ On the Day of Judgment, Satan will tell those, who made him a partner with Allah and obeyed his commands: ‘‘Indeed Allah made you a promise that was true and I [too] made you a promise, but I failed you. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves.’
It is worth noting that Satan is a means of perfection for those who are on the path towards perfection. This is because they must struggle against him and this struggle becomes a means of strengthening their faith. A famous Western historian by the name of Arnold J. Toynbee has written the following in his book on The Philosophy of History: ‘I have studied all of the major civilizations which have come about throughout history and I have noticed that no great civilization has come in to being except after being attacked by a great foreign enemy and after mobilizing all of its forces to defend itself. It was this phenomenon which caused it to blossom and grow’.
This shows that the existence of Satan possesses its own wisdom and if a force of opposition did not exist, then human beings would not be able to progress and grow. The Quran has stated: ‘As for My servants, you shall have no authority over them…’ Now the meaning of this verse isn’t that the Shias are immune to the influence of Satan—it is far from it. What this means is that since these individuals have decided to go towards Allah, in spite of the insinuations of Satan, Allah considers them to be His true servants and so he helps them and this help frees them from the influence of Satan. This is a very high rank which is an honor for the Shias. It also means that those who succumb to the temptations of Satan are not considered to be true Shias.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 Al-An‘ām, 152.
 Al-Nisā’, 10.
 Al-Fajr, 17-18.
 “You will be asked”, a Series of Quran-related Questions from the Prophet (ṣ), p. 118.
 Safīnah al-Biḥār, vol. 8, p. 740.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 3, p. 278.
 Ibid, vol. 27, p. 359.
 The Speech of G. A. Makarem Shirazi broadcast on the National Iranian Television on 29/03/1395.
 A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 5, p. 356.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 4, p. 43.
 Ibid, vol. 4, p. 45.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 3, p. 334.
 Jinn, 22.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 25, p. 131.