First we need to understand that the lexicon and contextual meaning of Ramadan normally understood as 9th month of Islamic calendar. Ramadan in Quranic context is intensely heated or thoughts that are thoroughly cooked and are ready to serve. The root word of رَمَضَانَ is رمض - it basically means which becomes vehemently heated by the sun, became intensely hot, burnt. The Quranic context of the verse suggests that ramadan is not an ordinary effect of heat but a kindle of notable manifestation (shahr) of valuable knowledge which acts like a criterion for the progress of an agitated mind and its a source of guidance and healing for the agitated minds [Al-Naas]. According to Lexicon, Ramadan also signifies heaving of the soul, tendency to vomit, internal fever, spread or purveying of an idea or sharpening the blades / knives. In short the context of the book Quran signifies that the term Ramadan connotes a combustion process that yearns to ignites or illuminate or sharpens the knowledge which is burning inside us.
A bright shining full moon or a month is one of the modern meaning of shahr, that all are familiar with. Mashoor (famous) is also one of the derivatives of shahr. The stage of conceiving any idea or notion which gradually settles in the mind to guide and act as a criterion [Furqan] for the agitated minds [An-Naas] and appears as a notable manifestation [Shahr] that Kindles [Ramadan] revelation in us [2:185]. Ramadan is a pressure cooker type situation where the dish is cooked [in the mind] due to continuous heated arguments going inside the brain, between different types of inquisitive thoughts. We must ponder what Ramadan [intense inner heat] has to do with the revelation of the Quran [our expression] in which there is guidance, criterion and wisdom for Al-Naas [agitated minds]. Please check the meaning of Naas in lexicon EWL page 2866 - the root word is ن و س - contextual meaning of الناس is agitated mind. Rameez name of a boy in Arabic - رمیض it is one of the derivative of word Ramadan; it means learned / dignified / wise / organised / spear / javelin - one of the meaning of رمض is to consumed by grief and sorrow.
Ramadan is a very critical stage of understanding; one cannot go back from this evolutionary state or stage. If anyone among us attains / witness / experience such notable manifestation [shahr], where the noble Quran is being revealed upon us or whoever experiences / witnesses [shahadah] such type of a situation of Ramadan he/she has to suppress or restrain / abstain [saum] from talking or disclosing until total clarity or breakthrough [Fajr] of thoughts are achieved. It is like you are pregnant with an idea, but you are told in the situation not to deliver the baby. In this delicate phase of Ramadan the inherent flame kindles up the mind to deliver or impart the knowledge given by the teacher Rehman. But after conceiving the brilliant idea or an expression (Quran), an individual is instructed to suppress or practice discipline (taqwa) and restrain (saum) from openly propagating it. The restrain or suppressing of an idea within ourselves creates a tremendous urge within to deliver the message. Whosoever experiences or witnesses such symptoms or signs is going through a very prominent situation or period called Ramadan and he / she should restrain from exposing those ideas immediately.
What an individual should do in the situation like Ramadan when the understanding is at its peak, is explained in the following verses (2:185-187) while the subsequent verses discuss about the final journey towards the evolutionary level of Hajj where hidaya and taqwa is achieved - (2:196-197).
Saum of 'Maryam' is restrained to communicate while allowed to “eat and drink” means to consume intelligence and imbibe the guidance by the Rabb. Silence, control and steadiness is a must criterion for the Teacher Rehman to act - (19:26) (78:38) – Rehman is the faculty which teaches and explains the Quran – (55: 1-4). Maryam is depicted as an urge [nisa] to seek knowledge [3:42] one who is pregnant with knowledge or carry the unconventional thoughts / sense (Bashar) of her Rabb, she then delivers the word (Kalimat) of Rabb known as Isa Masih (3:45) (4:171), that's why he / it is called Isa ibn Maryam.
These Quranic names or personified as characters are all senses / sensors depicted in human forms and framed or molded in parables for the purpose of our understanding. But unfortunately we treat them as holy personalities and begin to either revere or hate them. All these names are not proper nouns or biologically related to each other, but they have their particular functions according to their meanings and they are psychologically related / ingrained with our psyche [Nafs]. They reflect a peculiar form of characteristic and each one holds an important value that we need to understand or heed to understand / feel how their behavior and the behavior / conduct / ways / habits of their allies / communities affect us.
Now we will discuss the word shahru [شَهْرُ] in detail. Shahru is traditionally understood as month, but its nominative masculine noun which indicates it is a state / condition rather than a month. Linguistically Ramadan simply is a object which kindles the fire within, which is manifested [shahr], so the word shahr cannot be perceived as month. The basic derivatives of shahr according to classical denotation are famous (mashoor), banner (ashaar), fame (shaurat), celebrity (ishtehaar), publicity (Ashaar). I can understand the reverence attached to Ramadan by Muslims around the world. Note we don't have to understand the meaning of this denotation according to the popular notions, feelings or the holy tales attached to this word. According to the Quranic context the word Ramadan signifies one of the highest period or level of contemplation, guidance and criterion. The word Ramadan and the chain of derived words must carry the core essence of its meaning which correlates with the context of the subject of the Quranic verse.
Breaking the methodology of classical thematic meanings and choosing an odd meaning is injustice to the classical language, context and the overall message of the book Quran. Therefore I completely reject the meaning of shahr as month, figured 21 times in the entire context of the Quran. The philosophy of Islam is against giving reverence to any month, year or day or night, person or any events. It is against the spirit of Islam to revere anything, be it a month or a book or any person or any language or any specific place. It is against the human dignity to revere anything except to understand his / her own self. Reverence or attachments to things block our invaluable faculty to think and infer.
Now we will see the relationship of the book Quran with the reference to these two words (Shahru and Ramadan). What this magnificent book has to do with the "9th Islamic month"? What is so special about Ramadan that revelation of notable manifestation [shahr] occurs in this period / moment (yaum)? Why Ramadan is so important for the revelation of Al Quran? Why the book Quran is not revealed in any other 'Islamic Month"?
The state of notable manifestation (shahru) and the revelation of Al Quran are the part of a crucial mental journey one takes in his/her lifetime and not because of arrival of some specific night or month. The terms Ramadan, Al Quran and Saum are the essential characteristics for accomplishing the final mental journey called Al Hajj. The persistent effort of an individual to ponder over his own embedded script [Al-Kitab] makes the revelation of the Quran possible from our own script [Al-Kitab]. When the Quran is fully downloaded in oneself, one of its main characteristics is that whatever is settled / accumulated in the mind in the form of thoughts is Quran, has to come out of mind for articulation. The author of the book Quran cautions us that when you experience or witness the advent of such rousing inspiration (wahi) in you then you should control your urge of sharing the information with others for some stipulated period. The time / moment of sharing of information is fixed / destined when you complete / attain or reach the zenith of evolutionary stage of Hajj, not before that.
When the Quran is installed in the mind, it rejects all types of ignorance / traditions / customs and simply promotes using of the intellect on the basis of touch stone called Furqaan / Criterion. The revelation of Quran helps in witnessing or realizing and understanding the true / pure Oneness / Harmony / Synchronization of system of consciousness [Allah]. Quran also warns the self from serving many gods and persuades to do righteous deed. These are revolutionary ideas that are produced by the process of regular thinking. These sudden occurrences of new ideas should be curbed until we reach the evolutionary stage of Hajj. It is foolishness to understand Saum, Ramadan and Hajj in isolation or picking selected verses and breaking the order of sequence of the verses to understand them. Unless we understand the overall basic terms like kitab, mutaqi, gayab, salat, zakat, Allah, rasul, Rabb, Rehman, Naas...in a completely new dimension we cannot understand Islam and the book Quran.
The revelation of the Quran occurs due to critical thinking, which is revealed in the form of unique expression, and this is recognized in Quranic terminology as Al-Quran. The Shahru-Ramadan is a condition which occurs by diligently observing and pondering over our own inherent script [Al-Kitabu]. Man is not capable of understanding even 1% of the outside world. If man endeavors to understand his own script that is the pathway to understand the outside realm. In Quranic context Al-Kitab is a script inside all of us in our own language which we have to follow, read and understand. Each one of us have their own unique script and role which they should learn to read, follow and act.
The unique accumulated thoughts and expression (Quran) enlightens the period of ignorance or darkness or uncertainty (Lailth) in which agitated minds [Al-Naas] suffered due to lack of understanding and education. So we are instructed by the book Quran to feed the agitated minds with knowledge for advancement of the mental journey to know our Rabb [consciousness]. The journey through the period of ignorance or darkness or anxiety is called lailth [لَيْلَةِ] in classical Arabic. In this period of anxiety, path breaking ideas or expressions are conceived by individuals which are considered very valuable (Qadar) because it brings dawn / breakthrough (fajr) of peace/soundness (salam) to the agitated minds of specific individuals. This revelation of thoughts / expressions [Quran] can happen to any person or individuals who have questions in their mind and are sensitive to the needs of others and are committed to find the solutions to difficulties or problems faced by them. Such notable manifestations happen when we reach the evolutionary stage of Ramadan. The situation of Ramadan can occur to any individual who ponders or is anxious to remove the hindrance of darkness. This revelation of the Quran is not dependent on any season or any "holy month" but on man's own endeavor.
The process of thinking / contemplating is done by many committed personalities and will continue in the future. The Author of book Quran was one of them, though his expression failed to reach the present masses due to misinterpretation done in translations. Nevertheless history has witnessed the phenomenal conquest of Arabs in the field of science. I am not saying that it happened because of the book Al Quran but it certainly has to do with mental development which the eloquence of the book Quran provides to its readers. The 7th and 8th centuries Arabs knew the actual message of the book Quran. They knew the book Quran is against all religions, it was never the purpose of Quran to introduce a new religion. The main purpose of the book Quran is to bring peace / soundness to the agitated minds. The thought provoking philosophy of Quran had made a great impact on the minds of medieval Arabs and then subsequently passed to Europeans who were going through "Dark Ages" due to the shroud of mindless religious rituals impose upon them by the clergy.
Those whose thoughts have contributed to the society, their works are manifested (shahr) like a shining moon and no one can deny its existence. This is what the essence shahr is, it is the manifestation of a higher level of understanding which can be clearly seen as the full moon and there is no space for further argument or debates. Shahr is the clear manifestation of evident knowledge with proofs. The shining manifestation of enlightened knowledge compels the agitated mind to reveal the the thoughts in the form of expression (Quran) to mankind through articulate signs in our mother tongue [Arabic]. The expressive speech pours out is the result of intense thinking process undertaken by an individual or individuals. The results of unique accumulated expressions or speech (Al-Quran) are the manifestation (Shahr) due to the intense kindle (Ramadan) in us.
According to the lexicon and root word shahru ramadan is an intense process in which temperature rises due to certain internal or external factors like heating of earth due to sun or burning of the eyes because of extensive concentration while studying or lack of sleep. But what does it have to do in the context of revelation of Al-Quran? When the intensity or conviction of the thoughts pile up layer upon layer, the individual begins to feel the burden of pain / sorrow of carrying such phenomenal thoughts in his mind without sharing with others. The person becomes restless as he is no longer able to hold back the flame which is kindled inside him due to his ripe and valuable thoughts, same situation as of the 9th month pregnant lady who is impatient to deliver the baby. I consider Ramadan as the 9th evolutionary stage of one's own self study that becomes matured.
Information for history lovers, in the period of Mohammed [pbuh] Ramadan was not even considered as a month, the name of the ninth month was 'Nātiq', nor the month of Hajj was called Zil Hajj at that time, the twelfth month was called burak / maymūn or an-nasīʾ. It is said that during the reign of Hazrat Umar [R] in 17 A.H, the present "Islamic Calendar" was introduced. Don't know how far this information is true nevertheless it has nothing to do with the message of the book Quran and Islam. I never link historical events with the message of the book Al Quran although some information may help us in our quest to understand the message of Islam.
The essence of word shahr; it is a valuable manifestations of thoughts that are revealed ahead of its time to any individuals who sincerely contemplates. But at the same time society is not prepared to receive / conceive such manifestation (shahr) of unusual thoughts that are ahead of its time. The people may begin to react in a negative manner and may humiliate the person on whom the breakthrough of compiled thinking [Quran] is revealed. To protect such overzealous persons from exposing their ideas to those who are not yet ready to understand, it is instructed by the Quran that they should refrain / abstain (Saum) from talking or discussing or disclosing their ideas, discovery, inventions with others. Rather they should further commit themselves to perfect the idea by concentrating more on the subject until they convert their thought process into reality. When the idea or expression or formula becomes a reality, it does not need any explanation, as it becomes a self-explanatory expression (Al-Quran) that can be proclaimed on the occasion of Hajj, the twelfth evolutionary cycle of man and not any specific month.
Saum is the prescription to become cautious / diligent / thoughtful (Mutaqi) (2:183). Mutaqi is the one who has faith in the unseen system of consciousness (2:3) and works within that system (2:177). One who is a strong believer in the phrase “As You Sow, So Shall You Reap.” Saum - in short it means - to take a strategic pause or practice before you preach. This practice can be of any nature which rehabilitates or disciplines a person to achieve higher goals. The dictionary meaning of Saum is to stop, pause, refrain, control, abstain, but in this context it means to refrain from talking openly unless the person is seeking to know [miskeen]. Here in this context of Ramadan, saum means to give a break from external influences and let the faculty of autonomous thinking (Rehman) activate itself to teach us (55:1-2) the Quran so that we are able to understand our own mind and discipline it.
UNDERSTANDING AL-SIYAAM, RAMADAN AND TAQWA :
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O those who want to become faithful/trustful/believer [in themselves], decreed/ written/ scripted/ registered upon you is the abstinence, same as what was decreed/written upon those who were accepting you [like-minded], so that you persistently remain diligent / thoughtful [Conscious about your Rabb].
This is the direct address to those who sincerely want believe or become momin (one who believes in self) take note that the abstinence or al-siyaam [الصِّيَامُ] is decreed upon them. It is very important to restrain our confuse urges, remain calm and quite for personal peace, safety and security [Aman] in order that you become cautious / thoughtful / diligent / judicious [mutaqi]. The essence of the word saum generally used in practice of restraining oneself from indulging in all the bad habits. Saum (صَوْمًا) is a collective noun like the word qaum (قوم) and siyaam (الصِّيَامُ) is plural practice by individuals like the essence of the word qayaam (قيام). The actual function of saum is to preserve / restore our originality and remove the layers of artificiality, restrain ourselves from all types of temptations so that we can return to our originally inherent script [Al-Kitab]. It is important to believe and trust the content of our script in order avoid temptations and to preserve our original state. In an atmosphere of any kind of fear and insecurity it is difficult to maintain or preserve the original state. No doubt the inherent script [Al-Kitab], has guidance written in it for those who ponder, think, contemplate, prudent and are cautious [mutaqi]. Mutaqis are the ones who guard their thoughts, careful, take precaution and are diligent about what thoughts they are entertaining - they are those who understand the importance of understanding their own script [Al-Kitab] and strive to achieve it and live by it - To follow the script one should have tremendous faith and trust in the unseen potentials [bil-gayab] and wisdom of the natural script [Al-Kitab], for that they should establish the 24x7 process of connection [salat] with the script [Al-Kitab] but it is not easy except those who are patient. To establish the process of connection [salat] is not easy, it requires lot of patience and discipline. Taqwa is patience, discipline, modesty, humility that comes from understanding or knowing the humble self.
The purpose of Al-Siyaam is TAQWA, which means self restrain is precaution. It is dictated upon us the guidance to follow the inherent script [Al-Kitab] or at least recognize our true destiny. But we have been piled up with layers upon layers from false information, thus the true script of our life is hidden as a result we be covered in ignorance [Kafir]. So through the exercise of patience, humbleness and restrain [Al-Siyaam] we have to retain our ignored script back. For that one has to continuously remain cautious/diligent/ thoughtful [Mutaqi]. To become Mutaqi one should believe in unseen [Bil-gayab 2:2-3]- Allah, Yaumul Akhira, Malaikah, Al-Kitab, Al-Nabiyeen, Al-Rasuls, Iblees, Shaitaan, Jannah, Jahannum all come under the ambit of Bil-Gayab. There are 18 points that we are instructed in verse 2:177 for becoming Mutaqi out of which top 5 points come under the ambit of bil-gayab. Out of these 18 points there is no mention of Saum and Hajj because it is discuss in detail between 2:183-200. The best provision for performing Hajj is Taqwa [2:197] - Al-Hajj is inside our own agitated mind [Al-Naas] it is a development process of our own self (nafs) - [22:27], Hajj is not a pilgrimage to Mecca.
تَتَّقُونَ - second person masculine plural (form VIII) imperfect verb - the basic essence of Taqwa according to the overall Quranic context is one who preserve or guard himself against bad thoughts or influences. Al-Siyaam is the exercise to develop self control so that one becomes mutaqi. Trusting in our hidden potentials [bil-gayab] is important in knowing our script. We cannot witness [مَشْهُودًا] the part of the script [Quran] if we don't believe in bil-gayab. The entire message of the Quran is based on unseen forces which controls human behaviour. To become Mutaqi is to be diligent, cautious, thoughtful or observant of the unseen forces [Allah, Malaikah, Iblees, shaitaan, Al-Nabiyeen, Rasul, Jannah, Jahannam, Al-Kitab etc comes under the ambit of bil-gayab...]
أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
This is for period of self accountability / reckoning / evaluation but any from you fall short [of knowledge] or get carried away [by the knowledge], then reckon / evaluate from later moments, And for those who find it inconvenient / difficult, they can fulfill it by educating / nourishing those who ceased to think [miskeen]. But those who do on his own accord, it is better for him. Keeping your mind still / calm / quite is better for you if only you know.
Al-Siyaam is for those who earnestly desire to raise themselves for the evolutionary stage of Ramadan, if some who are not prepared and are short of knowledge but are carried away by the effect of knowledge, for them they must delay the manifestation of their views on their own accord.
Now 2:185 - SHAHRU RAMADAN
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Experiencing of notable manifestation (shahru) of intense heat / kindle (ramadan), revealed in it the compiled Expression (Al-Quran), which is the guidance for the agitated minds and clear explanation (bayanati) from the guidance and the Criterion (Al-Furqan). So whoever among you experiences / witnesses such a notable manifestation, should control / restrain (saum) himself or whoever fall short [of knowledge], or is carried away and experiences such a phenomena may postpone the abstention period to later date because Allah [the system of consciousness] does not want to make things difficult for you. So complete the process of reckoning and take into account the guidance which Allah has given you and magnify [make the expression a reality which crept into your mind] Allah upon what He has guided you so that you may be grateful.
The verse does not discuss about sighting of the moon or month of fasting. It describe the condition in which Quran is revealed and when the revelation of wahi is experienced by anyone among us, what he/she should do or abstain from exposing and take a pause, think over it once again before sharing the details with others..
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servant ask you concerning Me (Rehman), then indeed I am near. I respond to the calling when the caller calls Me. So let them respond to Me and trust Me, so that they be rightly guided.
The revelation and guidance of Al-Quran occurs with the help of the Rehman (55:1-2). The Teacher is closer to those who are obedient and seeker of knowledge. He is closer than his jugular vein. This verse confirms that the theme of saum is about closeness with Allah / Rabb / Rehman/ Maryam saum is for Rehman and that was keeping quite, not speaking and seeking knowledge (the word of God). The purpose of saum is guidance.
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
It is allowed for you to loosen up / relax / open up in the situation of anxiety [Lail], the abstinence [Al-siyaam] is the state of resistance / fighting / struggling [Al-Rafas] towards your urges [nisa], they are natural cover / consort [libas] for you and you are natural cover / consort for them, Allah [System of consciousness] knew that you are depriving your psyche [nafs] so He turned upon you and completely changed you. So now make sense [Baashir] to them [let not your urges become a hindrance] and seek what is scripted [Kataba] by the system of consciousness [Allah] for you - use intellectual curiosity [Kulu] and imbibe [Ashribu], until it becomes clearly distinct to you as the black thread easily distinguishable from the white thread from the breakthrough thinking [Al-Fajr]. Then complete abstinence [Al-Siyaam] till the period of anxiety remains and refrain from indulging with them (urges) while you are devoting yourself in acquiring state of humbleness / submissiveness [Al-Masjid]. These are the utmost level by which one can understand the system of consciousness [Allah], so do not go near them (urges), thus the system of consciousness makes clear His signs for the restless / agitated minds [Naas] that they continuously strive to return to the original state of God consciousness [yataqun].
Please try to grasp the spirit and sense of the message fairly and with an open mind. The message is for all of us. So understand carefully without prejudice. Meanings of the words are mainly derived according to the context with the help of classical lexicons so that the reader may verify it easily.
According to 2:187 Al-Siyaam is basically a resistance / battle / struggle [al-rafas] with our urges [nisa] to become Mutaqi. It has nothing to do with dirty talks for the purpose of cohabiting with our women. Abstinence is actually a fight with our urge [nisa] and nafs [psyche]. The urges are always embedded (libas is part of our natural disposition - the libas of taqwa is best libas) in our nature and are ingrained with our psyche. Al-Siyaam or becoming Mutaqi is not at all easy unless he/she is a firm believer in his/her own script, it is all about not easily giving in to our urges[Nisa] and imitating others scripts. Imitating or following other's script will only bring in rivalry and aggression. Imitating others is shirk. "To be yourself, first know yourself."
Laith - period of anxiety, dark period - EWL page: 3015
الرَّفَثُ - to talk or engage or vied in enticing manner, seduce, fight, struggle, in 2:187 context it is a conversation or engagement with our urges. - رافث صاحبه means he joined with his companions or vied with each other - ترافثا - They two joined mutually or vied with one another ...
نِسَائِكُمْ - Nisa - Root word is ن س ا and not ن س و - Nisakum means your urges and not your women...Quran gives utmost importance to urges as it(urges) can motivate or divert our focus or concentration from the subject or from the progress...Please check EWL page no. 2785 for Nisa [Urge].
لِبَاسٌ - to put on or wore the garment, protect himself from pudency / confusion, feign himself, consort, inattentive to him - تَلْبِسُوا means mix up [2:42] - يَلْبِسَكُمْ signifies confuse [6:65] [6:137], the essence of the word libas in the context of nisa is our moral compass or conscience that represent our disposition.
الْمَسَاجِدِ - Masjid - Place / Humble state of acceptance or understanding - our body is a temple let not any impure thoughts enter in enshrined state of humbleness (9:28)
كُلُوا - Use intelligence - Actually it is a derivative of اكيل - which means intelligent and ميكائيل the source of intelligence who provides food for thought is also one of the derivative of اكل it also signifies something going into the body without chewing. Intelligence goes into the body without going through chewing process. the phrase رجل ذو اكل means a man possessing intelligence and judgement - please check page 72 ewl lexicon.
أُشْرِبُوا - Ashribo - absorb / implement / imbibe (2:93)
ابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا - And seek what is scripted by Allah and then suddenly changing the topic to eating and drinking, does it make any sense...? It actually signifies to use intellect and absorb its reasoning until the idea becomes clear to you…
The word اكل and its derivatives have occurred in the Quran 119 times and it is interpreted as eating or swallowing all the time as if the book Quran is all about eating and drinking. Translators have portrayed Islam as if achieving peace is all about eating, drinking, sex and then starving for the sake of Allah. These people with their wrong interpretations have brought the standard of Allah very low as if Allah is interested in all such activities. The food for agitated or restless mind is good intelligence but our theologians are more concerned about the food habits of the people.
There many examples where meaning of اكل as eating does not make sense in Quranic context, one such example is 2:168.
2:168 - يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. [traditional translation]
Does the above translation of 2:168 makes sense? What eating good things from the earth has to do with following Satan's footsteps? If one follows the intelligence he won't follow the food steps of Satan [falsehood/away from truth] and that will make sense to the message -
The actual translation of 2:168 will be:
O Restless / Agitated mind use intellectual curiosity from whatever is in the lower consciousness that is lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of falsehood [Satan]. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
The conclusion is that Shahru Ramdhan and Al-Siyaam are exercises towards understanding our own inner script [Al-Kitab] by controlling / wrestling with our urges. Al-Quran is the part of Al-Kitab through which one develops Taqwa/diligence.
The crux of the Al-Siyaam self control of your urges (nisa). Take a pause, don't give in to your urges in a hurry for your gratification, understand the yourself thoroughly before making any declaration or taking decision. Also take precaution before disclosing new concepts or ideas to the general public, as new ideas are not for the general public. New ideas are always ahead of its time and usually the masses would not accept it. So to guard the Mutaqi from unnecessary harassment, the Quran instructs them to take a pause or restrain from revealing as its the trait of a Muttaqi to take precaution and remain silent. Mutaqi are those who believe in their own script, read and understand it without doubt, for them there is guidance in it.
Shahru Ramdan and Al-Siyaam are actually the precursor of Al-Hajj the final stage of evolution in man [22:27]. But without understanding our own Al-Kitab no one can reach there.
In brief everyone of us is bestowed with their own unique script. Mutaqi's are those who diligently connect to their own script, without imitating or copying others.
The purpose of Al-Siyam is to become Mutaqi. Through the exercise of Al-Siyam one curbs his/her urges in order to work towards their script as nobody can play their script better than their own selves.