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Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Is Ramadan?

(This blog post previously published on July 30, 2011.  Updated for 2015)

Ramadan 2015 began at sunset yesterday and continues for 30 days; the Ramadan calendar of the Fiqh Council of North America shows that Ramadan 2015 begins on June 18 and ends on Friday, July 17. Muslims, ever contentious about nearly every matter, even disagree among themselves as to when Ramadan should begin.

What does Ramadan really celebrate, particularly Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan? If one understands the history of Islam and, especially, that of Ramadan, one will come to understand that such a commemoration, including iftar dinners at the White House, should be unacceptable to all those who oppose Islamic supremacism.

Ramadan involves more than prayers, fasting, and the giving of alms — all of which are part of the month long observance but which are also the outward signs of another message. By literal definition, of course, Ramadan commemorates Allah's "revealing" the Qur'an to Muhammad. But history clearly indicates that the "revelations" from Allah to Muhammad began around 610, some fourteen years earlier than 624.

Those earlier passages, sometimes referred to as the Meccan verses, are the oft-quoted peaceful verses in the Koran. Contrary to what one might expect, however, the last day of Ramadan does not celebrate the actual date of the earliest peaceful "revelations" of Allah to Muhammad but rather the Battle of Badr, the first significant military victory by the forces of Muhammad.

The Battle of Badr of March 17, 624, is one of the few military conflicts specifically mentioned in the Qur'an and holds a great deal of significance in Islam. Eid ul-Fitr, the final portion of Ramadan, has as its origin the aforementioned battle. Furthermore and most importantly, this battle marked the turning point for Islam, both politically and ideologically.

Having earlier fled to Medina along with followers who accepted him as their prophet whereas most of the tribes of Mecca did not, early on that morning in 624 Muhammad got word that a rich Quraish caravan from Syria was returning to Mecca. He therefore assembled the largest army he had ever been able to muster, some 300 men, with the original intent of raiding the caravan. After his men successfully overtook the caravan and brought back the booty, Muhammad then conveniently received a new "revelation" from Allah — a "revelation" which not only included rejoicing in having captured an enemy's caravan but which also called "proved" that Muhammad had been preaching the true way all along. Fulfilling Destiny, Muhammad and his forces proceeded to trounce the Quraish as punishment for having earlier rejected the prophet's teachings. From this source:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful.

The battle of Badr was the most important among the Islamic battles of Destiny. For the first time the followers of the new faith were put into a serious test. Had victory been the lot of the pagan army while the Islamic Forces were still at the beginning of their developments, the faith of Islam could have come to an end.

No one was aware of the importance of the outcome of the Battle as the Prophet (S.A.W.) himself. We might read the depth of his anxiety in his prayer before the beginning of the Battle when he stood up supplicating his Lord:

God this is Quraish. It has come with all its arrogance and boastfulness, trying to discredit Thy Apostle. God, I ask Thee to humiliate them tomorrow. God, if this Muslim band will perish today, Thou shall not be worshipped.
[...]

This battle laid the foundation of the Islamic State...
In other words, victory at the Battle of Badr proved to Muhammad and his adherents that Islam should from that time forth take on a militant aspect because such is the will of Allah. From the day of the Battle of Badr on, the tone of the verses in the Qur'an changed. These more recent "revelations," sometimes referred to as the Medinan verses, abrogated the earlier and peaceful Meccan ones. Because preaching and tolerance had not brought Muhammad the following which he needed in order to establish himself and Islam as political forces to be reckoned with, Allah, via a military victory, showed the prophet a more effective way to spread Islam. Therefore, Muhammad's victory at the Battle of Badr symbolizes both the way to bring about the will of Allah and the will of Allah itself.

It is no coincidence that in 2011 the Taliban bestowed the name "Badr" upon their spring offensive.

In sum, Ramadan is, in and of itself, a statement advocating submission to Islam and to the will of Allah. Ah, the dhimmitude and submission of all Western leaders when they send Ramadan greetings to the Islamic world!

31 comments:

  1. A decent historical rundown of the events surrounding the Hijrah, but lacking the geopolitical aspect of the friction between Muhammad and the ruling elite in Mecca. But the piece took a predictably unfortunate turn at "Ah, the dhimmitude and submission of all Western leaders when they send Ramadan greetings to the Islamic world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CI,
      My views are my views -- and stating them is one purpose of this blog.

      I don't expect all readers to agree with my views.

      I do think, however, that you might have found a way to state your disagreement with my brief commentary other than by using the words a predictably unfortunate turn. Such snideness directed at the blog owner is not welcome.

      Delete
    2. I did not intend it to sound snide. My apologies.

      Delete
    3. Johann Gottfried Hoechstenangstler said

      That one always sounds snide. Sneering derisiveness is built into his character.

      Delete
    4. Johann,
      Actually, CI and I get along quite well -- in spite of our many disagreements.

      Then again, I'm a fairly easy-going person when it comes to my blog.

      Delete
    5. I wonder if we are sent official CHristmas or Easter greetings from the Arab world to the White House, for example?
      Or maybe our society can't even accept those greetings because that'd be CHristian and we hate to acknowledge that in the public square? Just curious.

      Delete
    6. Z,
      I wonder if we are sent official CHristmas or Easter greetings from the Arab world to the White House, for example?

      Excellent question!

      Perhaps somebody in this thread can find out. Right now, I'm pressed for time.

      Delete
    7. I haven't really seen where other Heads of State issue the same sort of religious holiday greetings as our POTUS's do.

      Delete
    8. CI, we don't send greetings to anybody but Muslims, either. Thanks.

      Delete
    9. CI, we don't send greetings to anybody but Muslims, either. Thanks.

      Delete
    10. Incorrect. We do likewise [with nearly identical verbiage] for Jews and Coptic Christians. Possibly more, that's all the farther I needed to look.

      Delete
    11. CI,
      Perhaps it seems as if we don't send greetings to anybody but Muslims because Obama so often speaks of Muslims' contributions to America and the founding of America. Does Obama often acknowledge the role of Christians and Jews with regard to those two matters?

      As you are not a person of faith, perhaps you don't readily know the answer to the above question. So, answer me this: Does he often acknowledge the role of atheists with regard to those two matters?

      Delete
    12. I'm not entirely certain what 'those two matters' are.

      But to clarify, I'm a "devout Agnostic".....not an Atheist. I do believe that there is some higher power, in some fashion. But I'd rather not have my government endorse my beliefs....nor legislate in deference to them.

      Do you have a tally of how often Obama references Muslims versus Christians? Could there also be the aspect that to someone who is in opposition to Islam in general....it will seem that he does reference one more so than the other?

      Other than including Atheists in the framing of 'those with faith and those with none', I'm not certain Obama has made much reference to Atheism...but I can't be certain.

      Delete
    13. CI,
      The two matters:

      1. Contributions to America today (right now)

      2. Contributions to and participation in the founding of America (18th century).

      Could there also be the aspect that to someone who is in opposition to Islam in general....it will seem that he does reference one more so than the other?

      Sure. But I don't think that's my case. Believe it or not, I'm a person who is more objective than one who madly slings arrows.

      I don't recall Obama's ever specifically praising Christians, Jews, atheists for their contributions to American today or America's founding. Full disclosure: I don't listen to all his speeches -- particularly the past few years. For a variety of reasons. I did listen to or read every speech I could during his first term.

      Delete
    14. CI,
      Agnostic? Okay. I will try to remember that. You often come across as a hardcore atheist.

      Delete
    15. Thank you for clarifying. Speeches that employ rhetorical devices such as attributing 'contributions' to a nation, by a specific demographic....is unadulterated pandering. There is no metric to define said 'contributions' by a nameless mass of people, and as such, are tangibly irrelevant.

      Due to the lack of any shred of specificity, and the relative population of "Musselmen" before and during our founding.....it's rather absurd to proclaim that they proffered some great 'contribution'.

      Pandering speechifying is generally divisive and adds little value; which is why I prefer our suit and tie vaudeville acts in Washington, keep faith as a personal article, rather than a prop.

      I'm a person who is more objective than one who madly slings arrows.

      I concur.

      You often come across as a hardcore atheist.

      I don't concur. I don't equate opposing government endorsement or bestowment of special privilege, of any religious belief to be a narrative of Atheism from me.

      Delete
    16. CI,
      When I said, You often come across as a hardcore atheist, I was referring to an impression. At least two other bloggers have mentioned that impression to me. Those two bloggers don't frequent your blog site as far as I know, but do read your comments here.

      Delete
    17. CI,
      Pandering speechifying is generally divisive and adds little value; which is why I prefer our suit and tie vaudeville acts in Washington, keep faith as a personal article, rather than a prop.

      When it is pandering, I agree. But if it's a genuine expression, I don't have a problem with it. Just my two cents on that topic.

      Delete
    18. I was referring to an impression.

      That's sort of perplexing, as I've never denied the existence of a deity, nor decried someone's personal belief in such. I have to wonder why someone would put such little rigor in an impression, but no matter.

      Delete
  2. What is Ramadan ? It's Obama's holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for the educational material, AOW. A lot there I never knew.

    I have no objections to what foreign peoples choose to do in their OWN lands. In fact I think it's been a dreadful mistake for "us" with our assumption of superiority to barge in on other peoples' territory and try to tell them how to live.

    That said, I think it's worse for "us" even to consider changing "our" customs and mores one IOTA to accommodate aggressive, hostile, invading forces who have no intention of ASSIMILATING but of COLONIZING, instead, and eventually TAKING OVER our territory.

    ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION; it is an INCURSION.

    ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION; it is an INVASION.

    ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION; it is a SUBVERSION.

    ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION; it is a COERCION.

    ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION; it is a CONTAGION.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FT,
      You know how I am...Research, research, research!

      I strongly agree with this statement that you made:

      it's been a dreadful mistake for "us" with our assumption of superiority to barge in on other peoples' territory and try to tell them how to live.

      Have you ever heard of John Kenneth Press's book Culturism? He makes a case in which you'd have a great deal of interest. You can read a bit about culturism on the web HERE. If you have time, explore the right sidebar at that site.

      Delete
    2. So well put - on both counts, FT.

      Delete
  4. Osama bin Loafin

    I sing this song for you, to tune of favorite 1950's Doo Wop (no offense to Italean mens and lady peoples)


    I gotta gal in Burkha City

    Her parents tell me she sure it pretty

    Maybe one day she'll float my boat

    Meanwhile I'm stuck here with this goat!


    Ohhhh, I gotta gal, Ramadan-a-ding-dong!

    Man in the tower, howls all night long!

    Dung fire burn, I'm bored so I sing song

    Rama-lama, rama-dama-ding-dong!

    Rama-dama, Ramadan-a-ding-dong!



    My future wife wrapped head to toe

    what does she look like? Nobody know...

    Why Mooslimas have to be this way

    Any wonder Haji turn gay...


    Ohhhh, I gotta gal, Ramadan-a-ding-dong!

    They cut my throat if they hear me sing song

    man in tower still howling all night long

    Rama-lama, rama-dama-ding-dong!

    Rama-dama, Ramadan-a-ding-dong!

    Rama-lama, rama-lama-ding-dong-ding!

    Ramadan-a-ding-dong!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is fascinating, AOW.

    There is one thing I do know about how Saudis extended 'Christmas greetings' to their American contractors. A friend of mine managed some big Saudi jobs in an architectural design office here years ago. These were HUGE contracts, with strong competition for all that money. Each year as we got into December they would get a schedule push from the Saudis moving up the deadline. So they all had to work feverishly through Christmas to meet this new 'deadline.' After the 4th year I protested "don't they understand this is your major holiday time with family, etc.?" (it's usually DEAD in design offices then). He said "they know that; the timing is no accident."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baysider,
      I can't say that the Saudis' schedule-demands around Christmastime surprise me at all. The concept of parity toward other religions is anathema to Wahhabists.

      Delete
    2. Everyone on the job in Taif, which I worked on from here (my bus. partner had to go there, while the president of another company we worked for sent me to Hawaii...my partner was NOT amused) left Saudi Arabia during Christmas.
      What you describe stinks...'no accident,' indeed

      Delete
  6. A holiday celebrated by savages?

    ReplyDelete

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