Detroit News- October 8, 2007
Muslims seek spiritual discipline in Ramadan fast
Metro Detroit Muslims this week joined their co-religionists around the world in beginning the observance of Ramadan. The month-long fast is a time of introspection and rededication to the faith of Islam.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. The observance requires that believers refrain from food, water, smoking and marital relations from dawn to dark.
The goal of the fast, as Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi noted recently in The Detroit News, is to help the faithful "develop a new discipline in their relationship with themselves, their Lord and fellow human beings based on piety, humbleness and courtesy." The fast is difficult, but Islam demands deeds as well as words from its followers.
The fast, as the imam observed, is meant to help believers cleanse their hearts of "sin, selfishness, greed, pride, impatience and, most dangerous and addictive of all, hypocrisy." The end of the fast is marked by a feast of celebration.
Muslims are a growing part of the population, totaling from three million to six million adherents, depending on the estimate. Their willingness to sacrifice comfort in the pursuit of spiritual renewa
l should be admired and supported by their fellow citizens.