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Supping with Devils

Benson C Saili

The Last Supper took place at Qumran and had none of the cannibalistic connotations the modern church associates with it

In Christendom, the Last Supper has arguably come to be the most iconic sacrament. Catholics call it the Eucharist whilst Protestants simply refer to it as the Breaking of Bread or Holy Communion. The frequency with which the rite is conducted varies  from denomination to denomination.

Some churches break bread every time they meet; others only once a month. On the occasion, wafers or pieces of bread and a bit of wine, or any semblance of it such as red juice for instance, are ingested by the congregants.

To Protestants, the bread and wine are simply emblematic of the body and blood of Jesus. To the Catholics, they actually corporealise, a phenomenon referred to as transubstantiation, meaning what you consume are not simply emblems but real flesh and blood!

The meal, if it can be called that, is meant to commemorate the supper Jesus had with his disciples the night before the Romans cuffed him up and dragged him off to be crucified.  It is informed by a statement attributed to Jesus, which says, “Do this in remembrance of me as often as you meet (LUKE 22:19).

When I was a young Christian, I innocently partook of Holy Communion as a member of Evangel Temple in Chingola and Maranatha Assemblies in Kitwe, both of which are Zambian towns. Then having gained in knowledge about the origins of Christianity, I decided to refrain henceforth. What I learnt was that the idea of ingesting bread and wine as symbols of the body and blood of Jesus was an age-old pagan ritual which was written into the gospels by Illuminati elements.

Every time you partake of Holy Communion, you are acting out a satanic practice. It equates to killing somebody and then drinking the blood that gushes forth (vampirism) and gorging on the body parts (cannibalism) – something that is only done at  satanic sacrifice rituals.

Jesus never instituted such a ritual. In the mechanics of the “Last Supper”, Jesus by no means intended to convey the paradigm of his apotheosis to mankind. It’s a pity that modern Christianity fuses both good and fiendish elements in its devotional practices. No wonder acts of moral turpitude are so prevalent among the Christian clergy today.


If one point ought to be underlined, it is that the Last Supper did not take place in an upstairs house in your familiar Jerusalem. It took place at Qumran, code-named Jerusalem (in the plural) by the Essenes. Another is that its occurring on Passover was sheer overlap:  it was not a Passover-oriented event at all. The author of the gospel of John was aware of this element as he did not remotely associate it with the Passover.

The Last Supper was actually one of those meals which was a daily feature  at Qumran. It took place in the vestry, a huge, rectangular room running north-south that attached to the Qumran temple. The vestry was called the Body, or the Heavenly Man, because when the council met in the room, they imagined a super-sized image of a man superimposed on the room floor.

It was divided into two parts – the northern and southern part. The northern part was elevated by 18 inches, like a stage, and was therefore nicknamed the katalyma, meaning the upstairs room. The dining table was placed east-west on the katalyma. Jesus and the six seniormost members of the council sat on chairs on the katalyma, whereas the junior six members sat on seats below the katalyma.   

The seating arrangements in the main corresponded to the various parts of the Heavenly Man. The highest ranking men, for instance, sat in positions that corresponded to the head; those of middle rank positioned in the section that matched   the thorax, such that when  somebody sat in the “bosom” or “chest”,   it  meant  he was of intermediate rank. The so-called “beloved disciple” who sat in the “bosom of Jesus” did not sit by his chest: he was simply a middle-ranking disciple.

There was an afternoon meal and an evening meal. Flavius Josephus says the afternoon meal was the holiest: it was a strict religious ritual with no diversions or polemics whatsoever. The evening meal  was divided into two parts – the common meal and the sacred meal, altogether spanning 4 hours.

The common meal ran for two hours,  from 6-8 pm, and was meant to satisfy common hunger.  The sacred meal began at 8 pm and ended at 10 pm. This was not simply about eating and family devotion: a number of  issues – political, religious, socio-economic – were discussed during  the sacred meal, especially at Passover times as this was the time when the seasonal council was held.  

The participants in the meals were always 13 people. These were the  seniormost Essenes. In the 30s AD they comprised of Jesus and the so-called 12 disciples. As we have emphasised time and again, they were not disciples as such: they were the governing council of the Qumran community who also styled themselves as the future cabinet of a liberated Israel.

Jesus was their leader only in terms of politics, being the Davidic heir; otherwise,  their real leader was the Essenes’ chief priest, the so-called Pope or Father of the  Community. Presently, the chief priest was Jonathan Annas, known as Nathaniel/James the son of Alpheus in the gospels.   

In each section of the two meals, the first hour was for solid food and the second hour for drink. The food was bread (and some fish in the afternoon meal) and the drink was wine. The loaves were 12 in number: this evoked the Old Testament’s 12 loaves of the Presence which were eaten by the priests as a sign of gratitude on behalf of each of the 12 tribes of Israel for the harvest that gave them food (LEVITICUS 24:5-9).

At Qumran, the chief priest ate his loaf on behalf of God. Since he stood in the place of God, his other titles were “God” and “Lord”. This is where Christians just don’t get it:  the terms God and Lord in the gospels do not always mean creator, just as angel does not always mean a heavenly figure.


Even before the Last Supper got going, Judas Iscariot, Jonathan Annas, and Herod Agrippa I had already compacted as to how Jesus was going to be dealt with.  Jesus had already served notice that he was going to formally challenge Jonathan Annas as chief priest in the course of the sacred meal.   Jonathan’s heart was thus even more hardened against Jesus.

It was agreed that midway in the sacred meal, Judas would excuse himself and proceed to make arrangements to alert Pontius Pilate that the men who were behind the November AD 32   riot in which some Roman soldiers were killed had been where at large at Qumran and were sitting ducks for arrest. Pilate had already been told to await a messenger who would  deliver the message in person on horseback and he had indicated that he would come over to Qumran, try the culprits in a kangaroo court setting, and sentence them summarily.   

Judas’s reward for this betrayal was that he would not be arraigned for his role in the November insurrection; instead, Jesus would take his place as the third accused. In addition, Judas would be elevated to the position of No. 2 in the Essene priestly hierarchy. In other words, he would be deputy to Jonathan Annas. Furthermore, Judas would now preside over the 30-man group the late John the Baptist had established and which was currently overseen by Jonathan Annas.  The unofficial name for this group as we now know was the 30 Pieces of Silver. Judas said he was game.

When the common meal was in progress, Jesus acted as the host, which was very much in keeping with his status as the Davidic King. There were 13 people in attendance. Normally, these should have been Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples. On this occasion, however, Simon Zelotes was not allowed to take his place at the table. It had been taken by Agrippa. Simon Zelotes was present all right but he did not occupy his designated seat. He sat at the periphery, the place normally occupied by invited  observers.  

It seemed his reinstatement by Jesus was still a moot point as far as Jonathan Annas was concerned. Agrippa had been invited by Jonathan Annas so that he could witness Jesus’s pitch for the chief priesthood  and see how that could be twisted to pad his imminent indictment before Pilate. Agrippa was  expected to be named King of the Jews after the death of Tiberius Caesar and so Jonathan Annas wanted to curry as much favour from his as possible. Jesus, unaware that Agrippa had betrayed his trust, did not protest his presence.

Jesus sat next to Jonathan Annas. The two occupied the august chairs of King and Priest respectively.  Directly opposite Jesus  was his ministerial deputy Simon Peter. Judas sat opposite Jonathan Annas as his deputy-designate too.

As host, one of Jesus’s   roles was to wash the feet of all in attendance – his guests. This was not only peculiar to Jesus but was a standard gesture  on the part of every host  at periodical meals held in Qumran  homesteads. That done, Jesus went back to his seat, following which he blessed a cup of fermented wine and distributed it.


Once the  common meal had concluded,  the sacred meal commenced. Since this was not an ordinary meal but was taken in the context of a seasonal council, there were a host of issues  to be addressed. They included  the November riots against Pilate; Jesus’s  unilateral reinstatement of Simon Zelotes to the Essene fold, which was endorsed by Herod Antipas but frowned upon by Agrippa; and of course the pros and cons of Jesus’s tilt at the position held by Jonathan Annas. The sacred meal that coincided with the seasonal council therefore typically went beyond the allotted two hours well into the wee hours of the morning.

Jonathan Annas, who as chief priest was presiding over the proceedings, procedurally blessed the bread and wine. Then Jesus got into his stride. He turned to Jonathan and observed to him that he was contesting the papacy. He then instructed Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot to  change positions. In other words, Jesus had promoted Judas as his deputy:  now that he had laid claim to high priesthood, he was now Priest-King.

Resultantly, Jonathan Annas had now been relegated to third in the hierarchy. With this stroke-of-the-pen restructuring of the Essene organisation chart,  we can now understand why Simon Peter would later deny Jesus three times. By nature a temperamental fellow, the guy was livid at being sidelined in favour of  Judas.

With the plot against Jesus already at an  advanced stage, Jonathan Annas did not resist Jesus’s gesture. He meekly exchanged seats with Jesus,  thus formally acknowledging that Jesus was now the Priest-King, or the Melchizedek. As to what Judas felt in regard to his unheralded promotion by Jesus, we can only surmise. Be that as it may, it was too belated an honour as Jesus’s days as a free man were numbered.

In fact, shortly thereafter, Judas excused himself from   the meeting and asked that Theudas Barabbas (the other “Judas”  on the list of apostles in the gospels), his deputy as Zealot commander, act on his behalf.  He then proceeded to detail an agent to rush to inform Pilate that he had better come immediately as the wanted men were at the scene.

Meanwhile, Jesus addressed a number of questions in his new portfolio as Priest-King as the gospels document. Agrippa and Jonathan Annas must have adduced a lot of subjects to make sure the meeting unduly prolonged to allow Pilate enough time to travel to Qumran. For some reason though, Pilate did not pitch till the following morning: only his troops arrived.  


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28th March 2023

In recent years, using personal devices in working environments has become so commonplace it now has its own acronym, BOYD (Bring Your Own Device).  But as employees skip between corporate tools and personal applications on their own devices, their actions introduce a number of possible risks that should be managed and mitigated with careful consideration.  Consider these examples:

Si-lwli, a small family-run business in Wales, is arguably as niche a company as you could find, producing talking toys used to promote the Welsh language. Their potential market is small, with only some 300,000 Welsh language speakers in the world and in reality the business is really more of a hobby for the husband-and-wife team, who both still have day jobs.  Yet, despite still managing to be successful in terms of sales, the business is now fighting for survival after recently falling prey to cybercriminals. Emails between Si-Iwli and their Chinese suppliers were intercepted by hackers who altered the banking details in the correspondence, causing Si-Iwli to hand over £18,000 (around P ¼ m) to the thieves. That might not sound much to a large enterprise, but to a small or medium business it can be devastating.

Another recent SMB hacking story which appeared in the Wall Street Journal concerned Innovative Higher Ed Consulting (IHED) Inc, a small New York start-up with a handful of employees. IHED didn’t even have a website, but fraudsters were able to run stolen credit card numbers through the company’s payment system and reverse the charges to the tune of $27,000, around the same loss faced by Si-Iwli.  As the WSJ put it, the hackers completely destroyed the company, forcing its owners to fold.

And in May 2019, the city of Baltimore’s computer system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers using a variant called RobinHood. The hack, which has lasted more than a month, paralysed the computer system for city employees, with the hackers demanding a payment in Bitcoin to give access back to the city.

Of course, hackers target governments or business giants  but small and medium businesses are certainly not immune. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported that they had experienced a cyber attack across a period of 12 months, according to a 2018 survey carried out by security research firm Ponemon Institute. Additionally, Verizon issued a report in May 2019 that small businesses accounted for 43% of its reported data breaches.  Once seen as less vulnerable than PCs, smartphone attacks are on the rise, with movements like the Dark Caracal spyware campaign underlining the allure of mobile devices to hackers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission released a statement calling for greater education on mobile security, coming at a time when around 42% of all Android devices are believed to not carry the latest security updates.

This is an era when employees increasingly use their smartphones for work-related purposes so is your business doing enough to protect against data breaches on their employees’ phones? The SME Cyber Crime Survey 2018 carried out for risk management specialists AON showed that more than 80% of small businesses did not view this as a threat yet if as shown, 67% of SMBs were said to have been victims of hacking, either the stats are wrong or business owners are underestimating their vulnerability.  A 2019 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests the latter, stating that the majority of global businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.

Consider that a workstation no longer means a desk in an office: It can be a phone in the back of a taxi or Uber; a laptop in a coffee shop, or a tablet in an airport lounge.  Wherever the device is used, employees can potentially install applications that could be harmful to your business, even from something as seemingly insignificant as clicking on an accidental download or opening a link on a phishing email.  Out of the physical workplace, your employees’ activities might not have the same protections as they would on a company-monitored PC.

Yet many businesses not only encourage their employees to work remotely, but assume working from coffee shops, bookstores, and airports can boost employees’ productivity.  Unfortunately, many remote hot spots do not provide secure Wi-Fi so if your employee is accessing their work account on unsecured public Wi-Fi,  sensitive business data could be at risk. Furthermore, even if your employee uses a company smartphone or has access to company data through a personal mobile device, there is always a chance data could be in jeopardy with a lost or stolen device, even information as basic as clients’ addresses and phone numbers.

BOYDs are also at risk from malware designed to harm and infect the host system, transmittable to smartphones when downloading malicious third-party apps.  Then there is ransomware, a type of malware used by hackers to specifically take control of a system’s data, blocking access or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid such as the one which affected Baltimore.  Ransomware attacks are on the increase,  predicted to occur every 14 seconds, potentially costing billions of dollars per year.

Lastly there is phishing – the cyber equivalent of the metaphorical fishing exercise –  whereby  cybercriminals attempt to obtain sensitive data –usernames, passwords, credit card details –usually through a phoney email designed to look legitimate which directs the user to a fraudulent website or requests the data be emailed back directly. Most of us like to think we could recognize a phishing email when we see it, but these emails have become more sophisticated and can come through other forms of communication such as messaging apps.

Bottom line is to be aware of the potential problems with BOYDs and if in doubt,  consult your IT security consultants.  You can’t put the own-device genie back in the bottle but you can make data protection one of your three wishes!

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“I Propose to Diana Tonight”

28th March 2023

About five days before Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed landed in Paris, General Atiku, a certain Edward Williams was taking a walk in a woods in the Welsh town of Mountain Ash. Williams, then 73, was a psychic of some renown. He had in the past foretold assassination attempts on US President Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30, 1981, and Pope John Paul II, which came to pass on May 13, 1981.

As he trudged the woods, Williams  had a sudden premonition that pointed to Diana’s imminent fate as per Christopher Andersen’s book The Day Diana Died. “When the vision struck me, it was as if everything around me was obscured and replaced by shadowy figures,” Williams was later to reminisce. “In the middle was the face of Princess Diana. Her expression was sad and full of pathos. She was wearing what looked like a floral dress with a short dark cardigan. But it was vague. I went cold with fear and knew it was a sign that she was in danger.”

Williams hastily beat a retreat to his home, which he shared with his wife Mary, and related to her his presentiment, trembling like an aspen leaf as he did so. “I have never seen him so upset,” Mary recounted. “He felt he was given a sign and when he came back from his walk he was deeply shaken.”

The following day, Williams frantically sauntered into a police station to inform the police of his premonition. The officer who attended to him would have dismissed him as no more than a crackpot but he treated him seriously in view of the accuracy of his past predictions. He  took a statement and immediately passed it on to the Special Branch Investigative  Unit.

The report read as follows:

“On 27 August, at 14:12 hrs, a man by the name of Edward Williams came to Mountain Ash police station. He said he was a psychic and predicted that Princess Diana was going to die. In previous years, he has predicted that the Pope and Ronald Reagan were going to be the victims of assassination attempts. On both occasions he was proved to be correct. Mr Williams appeared to be quite normal.”

Williams, General, was spot-on as usual: four days later, the princess was no more.

Meanwhile, General,  even as Dodi and Diana were making their way to the Fayed-owned Ritz Hotel in central Paris, British newspapers were awash with headlines that suggested Diana was kind of deranged. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana in Pursuit of Love: “In The Independent Diana was described as ‘a woman with fundamentally nothing to say about anything’. She was ‘suffering from a form of arrested development’. ‘Isn’t it time she started using her head?’ asked The Mail on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror printed a special supplement entitled ‘A Story of Love’; The News of the World claimed that William had demanded that Diana should split from Dodi: ‘William can’t help it, he just doesn’t like the man.’ William was reportedly ‘horrified’ and ‘doesn’t think Mr Fayed is good for his mother’ – or was that just the press projecting their own prejudices? The upmarket Sunday Times newspaper, which had first serialised my biography of the princess, now put her in the psychiatrist’s chair for daring to be wooed by a Muslim. The pop-psychologist Oliver James put Diana ‘On the Couch’, asking why she was so ‘depressed’ and desperate for love. Other tabloids piled in with dire prognostications – about Prince Philip’s hostility to the relationship, Diana’s prospect of exile, and the social ostracism she would face if she married Dodi.”


Before Diana and Dodi departed the Villa Windsor sometime after 16 hrs, General, one of Dodi’s bodyguards Trevor Rees-Jones furtively asked Diana as to what the programme for the evening was. This Trevor did out of sheer desperation as Dodi had ceased and desisted from telling members of his security detail, let alone anyone else for that matter, what his onward destination was for fear that that piece of information would be passed on to the paparazzi. Diana kindly obliged Trevor though her response was terse and scarcely revealing. “Well, eventually we will be going out to a restaurant”, that was all Diana said. Without advance knowledge of exactly what restaurant that was, Trevor and his colleagues’ hands were tied: they could not do a recce on it as was standard practice for the security team of a VIP principal.  Dodi certainly, General, was being recklessly by throwing such caution to the winds.

At about 16:30, Diana and Dodi drew up at the Ritz Hotel, where they were received by acting hotel manager Claude Roulet.  The front entrance of the hotel was already crawling with paparazzi, as a result of which the couple took the precaution of using the rear entrance, where hopefully they would make their entry unperturbed and unmolested. The first thing they did when they were ensconced in the now $10,000 a night Imperial Suite was to spend some time on their mobiles and set about touching base with friends, relations, and associates.  Diana called at least two people, her clairvoyant friend Rita Rogers and her favourite journalist Richard Kay of The Daily Mail.

Rita, General,  was alarmed that Diana had proceeded to venture to Paris notwithstanding the warning she had given Dodi and herself in relation to what she had seen of him  in the crystal ball when the couple had consulted her. When quizzed as to what the hell she indeed was doing in Paris at that juncture, Diana replied that she and Dodi had simply come to do some shopping, which though partially true was not the material reason they were there. “But Diana, remember what I told Dodi,” Rita said somewhat reprovingly. Diana a bit apprehensively replied, “Yes I remember. I will be careful. I promise.” Well,  she did not live up to her promise as we shall soon unpack General.

As for Richard Kay, Diana made known to him that, “I have decided I am going to radically change my life. I am going to complete my obligations to charities and to the anti-personnel land mines cause, but in November I want to completely withdraw from formal public life.”

Once she was done with her round of calls, Diana went down to the hair saloon by the hotel swimming pool to have her hair washed and blow-dried ahead of the scheduled evening dinner.


Since the main object of their Paris trip was to pick up the “Tell Me Yes” engagement ring  Dodi had ordered in Monte Carlo a week earlier, Dodi decided to check on Repossi Jewellery, which was right within the Ritz prencincts, known as the Place Vendome.  It could have taken less than a minute for Dodi to get to the store on foot but he decided to use a car to outsmart the paparazzi invasion. He was driven there by Trevor Rees-Jones, with Alexander Kez Wingfield and Claude Roulet following on foot, though he entered the shop alone.

The Repossi store had closed for the holiday season but Alberto Repossi, accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law,  had decided to travel all the way from his home in Monaco  and momentarily open it for the sake of the potentially highly lucrative  Dodi transaction.  Alberto, however, disappointed Dodi as the ring he had chosen was not the one  he produced. The one he showed Dodi was pricier and perhaps more exquisite but Dodi  was adamant that he wanted the exact one he had ordered as that was what Diana herself had picked. It was a ploy  on the part of Repossi to make a real killing on the sale, his excuse to that effect being that Diana deserved a ring tha was well worthy of her social pedigree.  With Dodi having expressed disaffection, Repossi rendered his apologies and assured Dodi he would make the right ring available shortly, whereupon Dodi repaired back to the hotel to await its delivery. But Dodi  did insist nonetheless that the pricier ring be delivered too in case it appealed to Diana anyway.

Repossi delivered the two rings an hour later. They were collected by Roulet. On inspecting them, Dodi chose the very one he had seen in Monte Carlo, apparently at the insistence of Diana.  There is a possibility that Diana, who was very much aware of her public image and was not comfortable with ostentatious displays of wealth, may have deliberately shown an interest in a less expensive engagement ring. It  may have been a purely romantic as opposed to a prestigious  choice for her.

The value of the ring, which was found on a wardrobe shelf in Dodi’s apartment after the crash,  has been estimated to be between $20,000 and $250,000 as Repossi has always refused to be drawn into revealing how much Dodi paid for it. The sum, which enjoyed a 25 percent discount, was in truth paid for not by Dodi himself but by his father as was the usual practice.

Dodi was also shown Repossi’s sketches for a bracelet, a watch, and earrings which he proposed to create if Diana approved of them.


At about 7 pm,  Dodi and Diana left the Ritz and headed for Dodi’s apartment at a place known as the Arc de Trompe. They went there to properly tog themselves out for the scheduled evening dinner. They spent two hours at the luxurious apartment. As usual, the ubiquitous paparazzi were patiently waiting for them there.

As they lingered in the apartment, Dodi beckoned over to his butler Rene Delorm  and showed him  the engagement ring. “Dodi came into my kitchen,” Delorm relates. “He looked into the hallway to check that Diana couldn’t hear and reached into his pocket and pulled out the box … He said, ‘Rene, I’m going to propose to the princess tonight. Make sure that we have champagne on ice when we come back from dinner’.” Rene described the ring as “a spectacular diamond encrusted ring, a massive emerald surrounded by a cluster of diamonds, set on a yellow and white gold band sitting in a small light-grey velvet box”.

Just before 9 pm, Dodi called the brother of his step-father, Hassan Yassen, who also was staying at the Ritz  that night, and told him that he hoped to get married to Diana by the end of the year.

Later that same evening, both Dodi and Diana would talk to Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi’s dad, and make known to him their pre-nuptial intentions. “They called me and said we’re coming back  (to London) on Sunday (August 31) and on Monday (September 1) they are

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RAMADAN – The Blessed Month of Fasting

28th March 2023

Ramadan is the fasting month for Muslims, where over one billion Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset, and pray additional prayers at night. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to Allah, and self-control. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As you read this Muslims the world over have already begun fasting as the month of Ramadan has commenced (depending on the sighting of the new moon).

‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for people, in it are clear signs of guidance and Criterion, therefore whoever of you who witnesses this month, it is obligatory on him to fast it. But whoever is ill or traveling let him fast the same number of other days, God desires ease for you and not hardship, and He desires that you complete the ordained period and glorify God for His guidance to you, that you may be grateful”. Holy Qur’an  (2 : 185)

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars upon which the structure of Islam is built. The other four are: the declaration of one’s belief in Allah’s oneness and in the message of Muhammad (PBUH); regular attendance to prayer; payment of zakaat (obligatory charity); and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

As explained in an earlier article, fasting includes total abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking, refraining from obscenity, avoiding getting into arguments and including abstaining from marital relations, from sunrise to sunset. While fasting may appear to some as difficult Muslims see it as an opportunity to get closer to their Lord, a chance to develop spiritually and at the same time the act of fasting builds character, discipline and self-restraint.

Just as our cars require servicing at regular intervals, so do Muslims consider Ramadan as a month in which the body and spirit undergoes as it were a ‘full service’. This ‘service’ includes heightened spiritual awareness both the mental and physical aspects and also the body undergoing a process of detoxification and some of the organs get to ‘rest’ through fasting.

Because of the intensive devotional activity fasting, Ramadan has a particularly high importance, derived from its very personal nature as an act of worship but there is nothing to stop anyone from privately violating Allah’s commandment of fasting if one chooses to do so by claiming to be fasting yet eating on the sly. This means that although fasting is obligatory, its observance is purely voluntary. If a person claims to be a Muslim, he is expected to fast in Ramadan.


The reward Allah gives for proper fasting is very generous. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) quotes Allah as saying: “All actions done by a human being are his own except fasting, which belongs to Me and I will reward it accordingly.” We are also told by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the reward for proper fasting is admittance into heaven.

Fasting earns great reward when it is done in a ‘proper’ manner. This is because every Muslim is required to make his worship perfect. For example perfection of fasting can be achieved through restraint of one’s feelings and emotions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that when fasting, a person should not allow himself to be drawn into a quarrel or a slanging match. He teaches us: “On a day of fasting, let no one of you indulge in any obscenity, or enter into a slanging match. Should someone abuse or fight him, let him respond by saying: ‘I am fasting!’”

This high standard of self-restraint fits in well with fasting, which is considered as an act of self-discipline. Islam requires us to couple patience with voluntary abstention from indulgence in our physical desires. The purpose of fasting helps man to attain a high degree of sublimity, discipline and self-restraint. In other words, this standard CAN BE achieved by every Muslim who knows the purpose of fasting and strives to fulfill it.

Fasting has another special aspect. It makes all people share in the feelings of hunger and thirst. In normal circumstances, people with decent income may go from one year’s end to another without experiencing the pangs of hunger which a poor person may feel every day of his life. Such an experience helps to draw the rich one’s conscience nearer to needs of the poor. A Muslim is encouraged to be more charitable and learns to give generously for a good cause.

Fasting also has a universal or communal aspect to it. As Muslims throughout the world share in this blessed act of worship, their sense of unity is enhanced by the fact that every Muslim individual joins willingly in the fulfillment of this divine commandment. This is a unity of action and purpose, since they all fast in order to be better human beings. As a person restrains himself from the things he desires most, in the hope that he will earn Allah’s pleasure, self-discipline and sacrifice become part of his nature.

The month of Ramadan can aptly be described as a “season of worship.” Fasting is the main aspect of worship in this month, because people are more attentive to their prayers, read the Qur’an more frequently and also strive to improve on their inner and outer character. Thus, their devotion is more complete and they feel much happier in Ramadan because they feel themselves to be closer to their Creator.

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