“Ramadan Keeps People Away From Worldliness”
The month of Ramadan, also called “The Sultan of the eleven months”, has a very important position in Islam. We talked to the Dean of IU Faculty of Theology Prof. Dr. Mürteza Bedir about the holiest month of the world of Islam and the month in which was revealed the Qur’an.
Prof. Dr. Mürteza Bedir said Sawm that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam prevents worldliness. Prof. Dr. Bedir said “It presents the people who have lost their spirituality because of occupying with earthly affairs with a chance to gain their spirituality and worship, to find their inner selves again and it also presents them with a kind of revival.
“Ramadan is a kind of Guide”
Indicating that Ramadan is about worshiping day and night, Prof. Dr. Bedir said “We spend the days of Ramadan with fasting and the nights with prayers such as tarawih prayer. Ramadan is a kind of guide and light for Islam and worship. Our servitude and worship to God revive with Ramadan. The commandments and prohibitions of Islam that all believers should follow are especially reminded in this month. The fact that this month is happening every year with great amount of spirituality makes it a kind of a preparation to the other prayers.”
Stating that worshiping is about sparing a moment only for God, doing something only for him at that moment and getting into a spiritual state, Prof. Dr. Bedir said “Worship is a more extensive concept in Islam. It actually means living every moment of your life according to God’s intention, commandments and prohibitions. In Arabic, “ibadet” meaning worship and “ubudiyet” meaning servitude have the same root. So it indicates that people are reminded of their servitude by worshiping God.”. Prof Dr. Bedir indicated that in the month of Ramadan, believers can also read the Qur’an and perform prayers such as tarawih and tahajjud in addition to fasting and daily prayers. He continued, “When we think about worship, we have to think of it as being a ‘good person’. It is bad to lie and hurt other people’s feelings, but it is especially to be avoided while fasting.”
“Misinformation is Detrimental to Worship”
Mentioning the fact that it is now very easy to reach the information with the developments in Internet and Information Technology, however it causes the emergence of ‘information pollution’, Prof. Dr. Bedir said “People nowadays easily reach informations online and use them uncontrollably. Religion is one of the most delicate subjects. It is very important to reach the right sources, because it is your faith and worship that are in question.”. Later on he talked about how there are many ways to reach the religious knowledge in Turkey and said “The strongest and the most serious religious institution in Turkey is ‘Religious Affairs Administration’. People should ground on their publications and statements about the religion related subjects. These informations are brought out in our faculties and then passed on to the religion community using the right paths. Religious Affairs Administration is not like any other institution, it is an institution that feeds off those scholarly sources.”
Prof. Dr. Bedir, who has explained that both worship and socializing appear with iftar times, emphasized the importance of suhoor like this: “ People, friends, relatives are coming together and eating iftar. Both worship and socializing are occurring. Iftar is so important that it should be eaten at once. Even if the evening prayer should be performed quickly, we are delaying it. Actually, our religion wants us to eat iftar first, experience this joy moment first. Iftar is a very important religious moment that ends the whole fast and our Prophet emphasizes insistently. Besides, suhoor is the beginning moment. You can fast without suhoor but our Prophet advises and pays attention to eating suhoor.” Prof. Dr. Bedir added that people fasting can obey definitely the calendar of Religious Affairs Administration at the beginning and ending of fast.
“We Should Accustom Our Children to Prayers and Fast”
Prof. Dr. Bedir, who implies that waste in iftar tables is a sin, said : “Waste is something that Islam definitely forbids. In developed countries, an incredible waste occurs. It should be a culture that people do not waste. We waste by eating too much. This is a health problem; for instance we face to it as obesity. Then, we are thinking diets, sports to be able to get rid of it. However, if we obey the food culture that our Prophet advises, we can prevent waste as individuals.”
Prof. Dr. Bedir, talking about the importance of accustoming our children to prayers and fast, implied: “Responsibility is something that is gained in young ages. While we are trying to construct a nice world for our children, we should also prepare them for after life at the same time.”
“There are Some Worships like Fast in Every Religion”
Prof. Dr. Bedir, giving information about penance and make up for fasting, put an end to his words like that: “ We should keep away from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse as earthily while fasting. When these three things are violated, the punishment and compensation change according to how violation is. If you eat when you forget, your fast continues. However, if you eat something because you do not pay attention, your fast is not valid any more. If you do it by mistake, you should make up your fast for one day or if you break your fast early, you should again make it up. In another different day, you should fast again instead of it. Again, starting fast deliberately and then breaking it by eating, drinking or sexual intercourse deliberately requires compensation. Compensation means fast in 60 days continuously. If you start fasting and then harm the respect and prestige of it, God gives you a chance to make it up with 60 days in this world. Compensation means you will make it up in this world. He added: “There are worships like fast in every religion. They are not exactly same but very similar. Some of them stay away from eating meat while some of them stay away from doing some behaviors and they are all called fast. That means staying away from something for a while.”
IU Press and Public Relations Department