Posted by: Mhd. Isman Kanafsky
Brothers and Sisters,
We are now approaching the month of the ancestors, which begins Thursday, April 27th. According to Bapak, this is the month that God allows our ancestors who are spiritually developed to visit us in this world. This is the month before Ramadan, which begins in North America on May 25th, which is the new moon and the first night of Ramadan. The first day of fasting is Saturday, May 26th. (These are the dates that I am fasting). May Almighty God bless all of us who are fasting . Amin!
For those observing the fast of Ramadan
Explanations of the Ramadan Calendar
Compiled from explanations given by Bapak, by Mas Sudarto and by Mas Prio
Eve of Ramadan: The way to observe Ramadan is to take a full bath, including hair washing, and also cutting the hair and the nails, the evening before the fast. Then, after you are clean, to state your wish to observe Ramadan as a sincere expression of your worship of Almighty God. Then stay up at night, preferably spending the night together with other Subud brothers and sisters, in the home of a member who is also observing Ramadan.
Around three o’clock in the morning, you should take breakfast and you should brush your teeth no later than 4:30 in the morning, and after this, no more smoking, not even gargling till 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM – along about sunset. (The local mosque can clarify as to the hour for breaking the fast.)
To break the fast, start slowly by drinking warm tea and a light snack; you can eat your dinner about half an hour or an hour later. Bapak also recommends no sexual union during the whole month of Ramadan. It is also beneficial to sleep as little as possible during Ramadan, not only on Nights of Power.
During the month of Ramadan: it is not permitted to have sexual intercourse, and our fasting must also include abstention from the following:
a) We must not use our ears to listen to gossip, quarrels or bad words.
b) We must not use our mouth to say anything wrong or unkind.
c) We must not use the emotions to reach the emotions or passions of others.
d) We must not use our eyes in a way that is not good or nice.
e) We must not use the heart and mind to imagine or think about unhappy things, fantasies or unrealities.
f) We must not eat or drink or smoke anything between dawn and sunset each day.
During the month of Ramadan, we have to fast thirty days, and during the thirty days of fasting we go through three important periods:
The first ten days (ending evening of 9th day Ramadan):
This is a period of putting the passion in an inactive state. During this period we are made aware that our passions become weaker and weaker day by day, and on the 9th day of fasting, it is felt that our passion is completely inactive.
The second ten days (ending evening of 19th day Ramadan):
This is a period of becoming aware that in general our attitude and actions are guided by our inner-self and the guidance day by day becomes stronger and stronger and on the 19th day of fasting our actions are as if in a complete latihan state, but in harmony with our daily activities.
The last ten days (ending evening of 30th day of Ramadan):
This is a period of receiving the lailatu ‘lkadar (the Nights of Power), and this is sent by God on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th days of fasting. This lailatu ‘lkadar is not something that falls from above, but it forms a certain power which can change our state.
Most of the Subud members who fasted felt, after completing the fasting, that there were changes to their inner. Mostly, their spirit to worship became stronger and stronger and also the intention of doing ‘prihatin’ became stronger and stronger.
LAILATUL-QADR (The evening preceding 27th day Ramadan): Although it is generally accepted in the Moslem community that the last ten days of Ramadan are days of receiving, this particular evening is celebrated with special prayer, in the Moslem community, because it is thought that this is the day upon which the Messenger Muhammad received the verses of the Qu’ran.
TAK-BARAN: (30th day Ramadan): The last day of fasting. Sundown marks the end of the month.
The Night of Forgiveness. At the end of Ramadan, we again take a full bath and put on new clothes, and then we should go to our family and our friends and ask forgiveness for whatever sin we have done. This is a time of special celebration and thanks to Almighty God.