The month of Ramzan is dedicated to the holy task of remembering and practicing the teachings of Hazrat Muhammad to attain that stage of unity and purity which is truly Divine. Islam gives importance to the Moon which regulates the months. With the darshan (sighting) of the New Moon, Ramzan fast begins and when the New Moon is seen again, the fast ends. 'Fast' is not merely desisting from food and drink, it is subjecting the body, senses and mind to rigorous discipline. Fast begins at sunrise and is broken only after sunset. Waking early at four, prayer begins, and throughout the day, constant presence of God is sought to be experienced. This is the meaning of Upavasa (fast). During the Ramzan month, rivalry is avoided, hatred is suspended, and all follow the same spiritual regimen with an atmosphere of brotherhood. The Quran emphasises that all should cultivate the sense of unity, of interdependence, of selfless love and of the immanence of the Divine. (Divine Discourse, Jul 12, 1983)
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