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Dr William Draper said, in History of the intellectual Development of Europe: During the period of the Caliphs the learned men of the Christians and the Jews were not only held in great esteem but were appointed to posts of great responsibility , and were promoted to the high-ranking job in the government ... He (Caliph Haroon Rasheed) never considered to which country a learned person belonged nor his Faith and belief, but only his excellence in the field of learning.
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What Ramadan means to a Muslim
We are simple creatures that can survive with very little. Some food, water, shelter from the elements and air to breathe is about all we need to live life. The many other possessions of mankind are superfluous.

Fasting the month of Ramadan is the controlled self-deprivation of a basic requirement for life, food and drink, during daylight hours for 29 or 30 days. A person who fasts quickly becomes aware of his weakness as a human being. No matter how rich, influential or powerful one may become, the simple act of refraining from food and water during the day proves how quickly the body can become weak and inactive. Millions in gold bullion, oil wells, luxurious homes or military power cannot replace the vitality that is restored by a single sip of water when sunset arrives.

Fasting is performed by the whole Muslim community and is a festive time of year. Its a time when people often meet old friends and family and spend time praying in the mosque every day and night. But Fasting is also a very personal experience and an act of worship directly between a person and Allah (God), his Lord. No-one truly knows who is Fasting except Allah and the Fasting person. If someone was pretending to Fast , but eating and drinking when alone, no-one would know. Because of this, it is not an action that can easily be done simply to fit in or to show off to other people. It can only be an action directly and closely linked to the realisation of an all-powerful Creator.

Ramadan is an annual purification of the spirit of man. That repeated purification is part of the character of Islam. Left alone, human beings quickly become pre-occupied with the many concerns they have in this world. Whether it be money, relationships, family or simply the pursuit of pleasure, one action is covered with another until a person is so deeply embedded in so many worldly interests that life after death and the supernatural become entirely detached from their psyche. When this happens so much corruption and vice can seep into our daily lives in such a way that we may not even be aware of it.

Islam is a state of perpetual purification. A Muslim lives in this world just as any other person, but the rituals of Islam achieve a recurring reminder of Allah and the life of the next world. In this way the Muslim corrects his actions according to revealed knowledge of right and wrong. So, a Muslim prays five times every day reinforcing the spirit , which is his relationship with Allah. Each year Muslims Fast for a month, again reinforcing the spirit and washing away the corruption that can build up in the personality. Fasting restores modesty, humility and the determination for fairness and justice due to the closeness one achieves with the divine. The pilgrimage to Mecca is a once in a life time action, that again works towards the same end, reminding us of our final destination.

That is Islam and that is how Fasting the month of Ramadan is part of Islam. Yes it is a time for family, for celebration and happiness, but more than that, it is a time for reflection and self-purification to restore men and women , who can so quickly become distracted by the trials and pleasures of this world, to their true elevated status as the slaves of the Creator of the universe.

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The following articles are also linked to this article:
Fast, Fasting, Ramadan: Why do Muslims fast? Allah (God) says in the Quran: O you who believe! Fasting has been written for you, as it was written for those before you, in order that you may become God-fearing (Quran chapter 2 verse 183) ...
spirit: Spirituality in Islam Islam has a unique view on spirituality, as it encompasses all aspects of the Muslim's life. Islam doesn't view 'spirituality' separately from everyday activities. All actions that...
women: Women under the Shariah? It is widely believed in the West that Islam subjugates women. Many believe that men force women to cover their hair, to stay at home chained to the stove, that women should remain uneducated and weak...
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Cached: 6/9/2009 at 13:02