By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Peace and Blessings upon His servant and His Messenger, Amen.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The whole month of Ramadan is a month of fasting. The correct day to start the Ramadan fact this year is August 5th.
During this 30-day period, Muslims are not to overeat, over drink, oversleep, or overindulge for selfish pleasure. Your daily meal should be the meal of a poor person.
Muslims should sacrifice time from their usual pastimes to give time to Islamic growth. The extra time is to be spent praying, reading the Quran, and helping the propagation (spread) of Islam.
If you eat expensive cuts of meat, etc., you will 'miss one of the important benefits of the fast - which is to bring to your mind the hardships of the less fortunate ones in our community so that we will be aware and more sympathetic to the needs of others.
The Ramadan fast has liven divinely ordered by Allah. If you deviate in any way from the strict instructions, you break the fast.
You are to eat after sunset prayer time and you are to take light food before morning prayer time. During the daylight hours, you are to abstain from food, drink, sex, and non-Islamic activities.
If you fast in excess of the stated time (hours) for fasting (eating every other day or missing whole days), you are ignoring the discipline of the fast. Then you are guilty of setting up and following your own rules, thus 0breaking the fast. It is not how much or how long you can fast, it is how well you can follow the guidance of Allah.
Any food that is "halal" (permissible) for consumption is permissible to eat during Ramadan. Remember, however, that it is expected for you to stay away from expensive food or "rich people's food. The thoughts of all Muslims should constantly be on Allah during the Ramadan season. You should show the love and the unity that we have as Brothers and Sisters in the path of Allah.
Loudness of voice (talk), excessive talk, gossip, and aggravating others is strictly forbidden during the fast.
May Allah bless you with the light of understanding.
Your brother, Wallace Deen Muhammad