Personally, I’ve never perceived Ramadan as a month of obligation or as a divine commandment; rather, I’ve always seen it as a divine opportunity and as an experience that cannot be gained otherwise. Ramadan is the month of generosity; it is the month of unlimited blessing. In this way, Ramadan is the month of clarity.
As part and parcel of our life, we all have to make decisions, face problems, go through difficulties, experience moments of relief and joy, sometimes afflicted by moments of sorrow and hopelessness, and always there is a tomorrow that awaits us until we die. Therefore, we need clarity. We need clarity in order to make a better decision or to cope with the difficulties of life. We need clarity in order to steer towards the right direction at the many intersections of the journey of life. Thus, Ramadan offers exactly this necessary clarity that we all need.
Physiologically, Ramadan requires Muslims to fast from dawn to sunset. No food, no drink, and no sexual intimacy is allowed. The body is restricted from food during the day. Less food in the body decreases the metabolism; as a result, there is a decrease of lusts and desires. The body is given a chance to rest.
In terms of behavior, fasting is not restricted to lack of food and water and sex. That’s just one aspect, which is very important and tangible, no doubt. However, fasting requires one to abstain from foul language, bad behavior, arguments, lies, gossips etc.
While the physiological activity of the body and its metabolism are decreased and suppressed and one’s behavior is modified substantially, Ramadan also encourages Muslims to read from the Quran as much as possible, to do extra prayers, and to give charity. In other words, Ramadan provides a set of concrete actions, which vary from obligatory to recommended, in order to increase the focus on the spiritual aspect and restrict the physiological lusts and desires.
One of the outcomes of all these, in my view, is clarity. Ramadan takes one through certain steps in order to increase his or her clarity, which we all need so much in our daily life. We need clarity to understand the essence of life. We need to isolate ourselves, even for a short period of time, from the society and suppress our worldly lusts and desires in order to gain clarity in our minds and thoughts.
Life moves so fast and it exposes us to so much information and it keeps us much occupied and busy, so we need clarity in order to steer towards the right direction and make the right decisions. Ramadan is much more than merely helping us achieve clarity – physical and mental, but nothing can provide the conditions of gaining clarity than Ramadan. It is a blessed month. With a little bit efforts from our side and with great blessings from God, clarity is one of the great results of Ramadan.