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<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 130 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

November 14, 2003

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Entreaty for the Holy Month


The Holy Month of Ramadan, in spirit, as practised

“Oh ye who believe, fasting is prescribed to you just as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)... Allah intends every facility for you; he does not want to put you to difficulties. (he wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify him in that he has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” -- quoting excerpts from translation of Surah al-Baqarah: 183-185

Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to god, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives. There are as many meanings of Ramadan as there are Muslims. The third "pillar" or religious obligation of Islam, fasting has many special benefits. Among these, the most important is that it is a means of learning self-control. Due to the lack of preoccupation with the satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to god. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur'an, giving charity, purifying one's behaviour, and doing good deeds. For Muslims, Ramadan is an opportunity to gain by giving up, to prosper by going without and to grow stronger by enduring weakness. As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties. -- Omnia Allam, Department of Computer Science at Cardiff University

The word "Ramadan" comes from the Arabic root word for "parched thirst" and "sun-baked ground." It is expressive of the hunger and thirst felt by those who spend the month in fasting. Ramadan is by nature a time of sacrifice.
Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
Through increased devotion, Muslims feel closer to their creator, and recognize that everything good we have in this life is a blessing from him.
Through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and goodwill toward others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, "a man's wealth is never diminished by charity."
Through self-control, a Muslim practices good manners, good speech, and good habits.
Through family and community gatherings, Muslims strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, in their own communities and throughout the world. www.islam.about.com

The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word, "Ramida", which means, "to burn" and here it applies to the burning of selfish desires....
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in the following words beautifully explains the actual significance of the fast, "one who, while fasting, does not guard his tongue from telling lies, does not refrain from doing bad deeds, is not respecting his fast and Allah does not approve of mere abstention from food." www.arabtimesonline.com

The most common motives for fasting are religious ones. In a religious fast there are three primary purposes: self-control over the body and its appetites; focusing the mind on god or prayer; making sacrifice to God for offences committed.

We know that all major battles in Islamic history were fought and won during the month of Ramadan. There are still battles to be fought and won against poverty, intolerance, prejudice, racism and terror. -- Capturing the True Spirit of Ramadan, Khaled al Maeena, Editor-in-Chief Arab News.

The Holy Month of Ramadan, in Bangladesh 2003 (News in The Daily Star)

Nov 1: Youth beaten by mob, dies at DMCH
A young man injured in mob beating at Rasulpur in Kamrangirchar Thursday evening died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.

Four law-enforcers held on mugging charge
Four law-enforcers from Khilgaon Police Station were arrested on charge of mugging Tk 2 lakh from businessmen at Goran yesterday and a top official said preliminary evidence linked them to the crime.

'Stop using toxic elements in food items'
Unscrupulous quarters are making quick bucks by selling adulterated and even contaminated food items including those for 'iftari' during Ramadan in the roadside outlets, said activists of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon.

Nov 2: Top company director buys freedom with ransom
A top business executive abducted from the city Friday was released in the early hours of today on payment of an unspecified amount of ransom.

77 Khilgaon policemen transferred
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) yesterday transferred all 77 staffs, except for the officer-in-charge (OC), of Khilgaon Police Station following allegations of criminal activities against some of them.

Hotel manager shot dead
Three unidentified assailants yesterday gunned down the manager of a city hotel reportedly over the ownership dispute of the hotel.

Nov 3: Intelligence agencies asked to watch cops
The home ministry has instructed inter-departmental intelligence agencies to monitor police activities in Dhaka and other major cities in the wake of their increasing involvement in extortion and other...

Nov 4: Transport leader killed in Bogra
A transport leader was shot and sliced to death by his rivals at the Chelo bus terminal yesterday. Maniruzzaman Manik, 35, was a bus owner and executive member of the Bogra Motor Sramik Union.

3 'robbers' lynched in M'singh
A mob lynched three alleged robbers at Char Shikaldi in the town Sunday night. They cut the bodies into pieces and threw those into the Brahmaputra river.

Khulna cops release arms trader hours after arrest
Listed smuggler and illegal arms trader Shamsul Alam alias 'Black' Shamsu, arrested Sunday night on various charges was released from Khulna Police Station yesterday morning.

Nov 5: 3 slaughtered at Shyampur
Unidentified assassins slaughtered three youths near the railway line at Shyampur WASA gate early yesterday.

Police enquiry finds no proof of custodial death, Sumon's family, locals reject report
A police probe committee on the killing of Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury Sumon yesterday said it found no evidence that he was killed in police custody but suggested departmental action against the then officer-in-charge

Nov 6: 10 die after taking spurious alcohol in Kushtia
Ten people have died and about 50 others fallen sick after taking spurious alcohol in the last two days in the town and nearby areas.

Youth gunned down at Sobhanbagh
Unknown criminals gunned down an unidentified young man at Sobhanbagh in Mohammadpur last night. Two bullets hit the youth, aged about 30, in the head and abdomen, killing him on the spot.

Nov 7: Playing upon monga plight
Relief distributors and loan sharks are cashing in on the desperate plight of millions living close to starvation in eight northern districts reeling under near-famine, locally known as monga.

Nov 8: 100 drugged for looting last week
Robbery-motivated sedation incidence has hit a new high in Dhaka ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, despite the launch of mobile courts and daytime strike force to cut crimes, victims and hospital sources said.


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