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Final Word on James the Just

Benson C Saili

This week we deal with questions on the iconic brother of Jesus

The truth of the matter is that   the official early church was led neither by Paul nor Simon Peter but by James the Just, the immediate younger brother of Jesus. The top three in the apostolic hierarchy were James, Simon Peter, and John the “Son of Zebedee” in that order. These three were referred to as “The Pillars” (GALATIANS 2:9).  Paul was the so-called Thirteenth Apostle. He was a John-Come-Lately who was unilaterally commissioned into evangelistic duty by Jesus at the say-so of the behind-the-scenes Anunnaki. Although he was at long last welcomed into the fold by James and company, he was never fully embraced as an apostle owing to his unsavoury track record as a persecutor of the church and because of his brand of theology that was at cross-purposes with what James and others preached.  It explains why in 1 CORINTHIANS chapter 9, Paul goes out of his way to set down his bona fides as an apostle with full stripes.  

There is ample evidence yes. Let’s start with the testimony of Paul. In  GALATIANS 1:18-19, Paul says when he decided to close ranks with the Christian movement after three years of introspection, the only apostles he met were Peter and James, that is, the top two.  In ACTS 12:17, Simon Peter, after his escape from prison, relays word to some people that “James and the brothers” (that is, the other brothers of Jesus) should be notified of his freedom.  Obviously, the reason it was necessary for James to be informed of Peter’s circumstances was because he was the head of the movement.

In ACTS 21:17-18, Luke relates that when he went to Jerusalem as part of a deputation led by Paul, the person they sought to meet was James. When the meeting was held the following day, “all the elders were present”, incontrovertible evidence that James was the leader of the early church. Perhaps the most persuasive evidence that James was the head of the Christian movement after the crucifixion   can be gleaned from ACTS chapter 15. At a Jerusalem conference (“Jerusalem” here meaning Qumran, as that was one of its nicknames) held in AD 50, at which matters of crucial importance were to be deliberated and codified and where Paul and  all the apostles and elders were present, the concluding speakers were Simon Peter and James. But of the two, it was James who spoke last and pronounced the binding decision. He said, “It is my judgement that …” That doubtless was the voice of the highest authority.

True, that is not made plain in the Bible but it is in extra-biblical sources. In the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, for example, saying 12 has the disciples say to Jesus:  “We know that you will leave us. Who is going to be our leader then?” Jesus answers: “No matter where you go, you are to go to James the Just,” meaning that the authority of James was not restricted to Jerusalem but was inclusive of the Diaspora.  A Syriac source titled The Ascents of James, says, “The church in Jerusalem that was established by our Lord was increasing in numbers being ruled uprightly and firmly by James who was made Overseer over it by our Lord”. 

The Clementine Recognitions also has this to say of James: “Wherefore observe the greatest caution that you believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord’s brother, or of whosoever may come after him.” The elevation of Simon Peter at the expense of James was a ploy by the Vatican to undermine the Jesus dynasty and write it into oblivion. The Vatican claims apostolic descent from Simon Peter, who they say was the first Pope. Yet Peter never held any formal office. The first Pope was Britain’s Prince Linus. This fact, ironically, is recorded in the Vatican’s own Apostolic Constitutions. Prince Linus wasn’t even installed by Peter: he was installed by the apostle Paul in 58 AD and this was during Peter’s lifetime.

The inference that Simon Peter was Jesus’s anointed successor stems from MATTHEW 16:18, which reads, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it”.  The statement, which was uttered by Jesus in AD 32, that is, before the crucifixion, has been taken wholly out of context.  The English translation from the original Greek has also contributed to the distortion. We know Simon Peter was nicknamed “Rocky” by Jesus because of his tough-man demeanour and owing to the fact that he was Jesus’s chief bodyguard in his capacity as the Davidic King. But Peter did have other responsibilities. Not only was he Jesus’s chief spokesman but he was also his lead evangelist being a dynamic and fiery speaker. At Qumran, the Essene headquarters, Peter was in AD 32 put in charge of the ekklesia, meaning “the called-out”, by Jesus, who at the time was third in the Qumran priestly hierarchy.  

The ekklesia were married men (as opposed to celibates, another specific Essene class) from Essene villages who from time to time were called upon to bring along food tithes for the Essene priests.   Since they came from all over, they spent some time at Qumran before they returned to their families. The ekklesia were also known as the Kath holon, meaning “according to the whole ones”. They were whole (holos) because unlike celibates they were married and so were complete. It is the term Kath holon which gives us the English word Catholic, meaning “universal”.

Thus in MATTHEW 16:18, Jesus was simply assigning Peter a new Qumran responsibility and not designating him as his successor. In any case, the nickname Peter, Petros in Greek, means “small stone” or “pebble”. You don’t build a globalwide church on a pebble; you build it on a real rock. As for the statement “the gates of hades will not overpower it”, this was figurative language. The “gates of Hades” were a set of objectionable vices. In the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Community Document, they are also known as the “three nets of Belial”. They were fornication, love of riches, and conduct that served to defile the Qumran sanctuary. In employing the term, all Jesus was saying was that Simon Peter’s assigned ministry would never be corrupted by these kinds of temptation because he was a married man, principled, and content with his standard of living.  

MATTHEW 16:19 reads, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Again this is another passage of the scriptures that has been blown out of proportion, much like MATTHEW 16:18, and upon which the Vatican seized to elevate Simon Peter to a status he did not remotely deserve.   If we are to properly contextualise the statement, it is crucial that we turn to IASIAH 22:22, which reads as follows: “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David.

He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” This is Enlil, the Anunnaki god of the Jews best-known as Jehovah, talking about Eliakim, the royal chamberlain (an officer who managed the household of a monarch) of King Hezekiah of Judah (who was of the Davidic lineage).  The “keys of the kingdom of heaven” is thus synonymous with the “key of the House of David”. But the key in Isaiah was not promised to the King’s heir: it was promised to a chief of staff of the King’s palatial personnel.

Eliakim was not the King’s heir apparent but his right-hand man. Similarly therefore, what Jesus was saying to Peter was that he was designating him as the right-hand man to his successor – his younger brother James the Just. That’s what Peter actually became post the crucifixion. He was James’s right pillar, whereas John was James’s left pillar. Peter was commissioned by James to minister to Jews in the Diaspora (GALATIANS 2:2). He was given the authority to admit Diaspora Jews (pry them loose from worldly shackles) into the Essene fraternity (codenamed “Heaven”, whereas non-Essenes were said to be “of Earth” or “of the World”) or expel them where they were errant (bind them).  

Simon Peter was initially deliberately promoted by Luke – in his book of Acts – at the expense of James. Now, although Luke is impeccable when it comes to the historical settings of his narratives (places, civic institutions and authorities, etc), he is unabashedly biased in one particular vein – his marginalisation of the role of the family of Jesus in the evolution of the early church. I will give only a few examples though they abound both in his gospel and in Acts. In the gospel, he never mentions a single name of Jesus’s brothers though Mark, his main source, categorically does so. In Acts, he starts by casting Peter as the leader of the church, instead of James; then at some stage, once Paul is introduced, the story becomes a one-way trumpeting of the exploits of Paul. Luke was a fan, physician, and travelling companion of Paul and therefore Paul had to be exalted.  At the first formal meeting of the apostles at Qumran forty days after the crucifixion, Luke mentions all the names of the apostles who were present. But the family of Jesus he simply generalises thus: “… including Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers”. 

When he finally mentions James in the course of his story, he does not introduce him the way he did Paul, for instance. James simply floats into the narrative from without. Of course he does imply James was the leader of the early church as we have seen, but he does not directly state so. Aware that after James was killed he was succeeded by another member of the Jesus family – something he does not wish to make known to his readers for fear that it will put the Jesus dynasty on a pedestal at the expense of Paul – he terminates his story at the time Paul was evangelising in Rome. Scholars have puzzled over the abrupt ending of the book of Acts. The reason is simply that it was a deliberate ploy by Luke: he didn’t want people in the Roman world to get to know that after the death of James in AD 62, his successor was his first cousin Simeon and for the next sixty years or so, members of the Jesus dynasty continued to be at the helm of the Jerusalem church.

Flavius Josephus relates that James was stoned to death in AD 62 at the orders of Annas, the youngest son of the Annas who interrogated Jesus in AD 33. Annas had just been appointed high priest of the Jerusalem Temple by the recently deceased governor of Judea Porcius Festus. What happened was that James, who had been high priest of the Qumran temple for almost 30 years, decided to forcefully take over the Jerusalem temple as well and Annas hit back by seizing him, trying him hurriedly in a kangaroo court setting and having him executed outside the Jerusalem temple in broad daylight before the new governor Albinas arrived. The outraged Essenes, however, sent a vehement protest to Albinas while he was on his way to Jerusalem and the moment he arrived, he had Annas fired after only three months in office. According to Eusebius and Epiphanious, James, who was the most respected Jew of the day, was succeeded by his cousin Simeon, the son of his uncle Cleopas. Simon was in office up to AD 106. Meanwhile, Annas was a marked man: when the Zealots overthrew the Romans in the AD 66 uprising, Annas was one of the first to be put to the sword.  

Actually all members of the Jesus dynasty were put on a wanted list by Roman emperors.  For instance, Hegesippus writes that Vespasian commanded that “the family of David to be sought, that no one might be left among the Jews who was of royal stock”. Emperor Domitian was also dead set against the Jesus clan. Hegesippus says he ordered the execution of all the “Desposyni inheritors of Jesus”. In AD 106, Simeon, the cousin of James who was in charge of the Jerusalem church, was crucified by Emperor Trajan.  The apostle John in REVELATION 12:17 cryptically captures the victimisation of Mary Magdalene and her offspring  in these words: “Then the dragon (Rome) was enraged at the woman (Mary Magdalene) and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring (Jesus’s children and the extended family) – those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus”. And of course Jesus Justus, Jesus’s heir, was crucified at Masada during the reign of Vespasian.

Yes they did. This happened in the mid-second century when Aminadab, a great-grandson of Jesus and Mary Magdalene through their last-born son Joseph, married Eurgen, a great-grand daughter of James and his wife Anna. The conjoined line became known as the Fisher Kings (that is, Enki’s Kings). In the 4th century, a Fisher King married into a family of the Sicambrian Franks of France, spawning a new dynasty known as the Merovingians, who ruled a great swathe of Europe and were reputed to be very popular kings. In the latter-day world, the best-known descendent of the Jesus dynasty was Princess Diana.  But the linear descendant, who has being completely ignored and even vilified thanks to Illuminati intrigue, is 7th Count of Albany, Prince Michael James Alexander Stewart, now 57 years old.


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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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