They are Earth’s senior citizenry and not us humans
About 65 million years ago, a global war arose on planet Earth. The two belligerents were not Earthlings at all: they were from other parts of the universe and were of different races.
One race was from the Procyon star system. It was humanoid, exactly as we are. Procyon is a binary star system, meaning it comprises of two suns – Procyon A, the main star, and Procyon B, a white dwarf. Procyon A is 1.42 times larger than our Sun and is about 12 light years from Earth. It is one of the ten brightest stars in the evening sky. The humanoids in question came from the fourth planet in Procyon A’s planetary system. They were tall, blonde-haired, and blue-eyed.
The other race was Reptilian. It was from Alpha Draconis (also known as Thuban), another binary star system in the Draco constellation which is 3.5 times our Sun’s size and 300 light years from Earth. The Reptilians came from a planet called Tiphon, the fourth in order of orbit.
The clash between the two foreign races was the first global war on our planet.
The first to arrive were the humanoids. When they so did, they established two colonies on Earth, one on the continent we today call Antarctica and another on the continent we today call Asia. This was at a time when the Earth’s land mass was essentially one whole, the so-called Pangea. The land mass had already cracked and the continents had drifted from each other but not to the extent they have today: they were much closer. It was a time when dinosaurs and other giant reptiles roamed the Earth.
About 150 years later, the Reptilians from Alpha Draconis touched down on the planet. Just like the humanoids, the Reptilians had come to Earth to look for one very vital commodity – copper. In the annals of Earth’s history, copper has been vastly underrated (maybe deliberately so) but it has a host of key uses most Earthlings are not aware of that make it a highly-sought-after metal by advanced races from other worlds. Our planet was, and still is to some degree, very rich in copper, one of the reasons it has been a magnet for ETs.
Reptilians are a very pugnacious and violent-prone race, particularly versus humanoids. Whilst the humanoids were prepared to co-exist with the Reptilians, the latter were not interested. They wanted to rule the planet and make the humanoids subject to them irrespective of the fact that the humanoids were the pioneers. The humanoids told them to go get stuffed and war broke out. It was a high-tech war which was mostly fought in the higher reaches of the sky and in orbit.
Initially, the humanoids had the upper hand: they were very good at conventional warfare and therefore inflicted substantial casualties amongst the enemy ranks. Fearing decimation and possible annihilation, the Reptilians, who are the oldest race in our universe and therefore the most advanced technologically, decided to employ an experimental, non-conventional weapon whose exact consequences they were not even sure of.
The weapon was a special kind of fusion bomb and was meant to destroy life but leave raw materials intact in the Earth’s crust. It was fired from space and detonated somewhere around the Bermuda Triangle in Middle America. The result was so catastrophic even the Reptilians regretted having used the weapon just as Americans continue to regret having used the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The radiation from the bomb was so phenomenal that the humanoids were practically wiped out, with the few survivors hastily beating a path back to Procyon, and much of animal life, which included the dinosaurs, perished partly from the immediate effects of the detonation but mostly from the nuclear winter that resultantly engulfed the planet and lasted for more than 200 years. The dinosaurs actually became extinct within 20 years. Forget about the oft-pedalled and now ingrained lie that it was a meteor or asteroid impact that wiped off the dinosaurs. It was not. It was a Reptilian-made fusion bomb. One of the fallouts from this same fusion bomb was the coming into being of new elements such as iridium for instance.
Having messed up the planet, the Reptilians took to their celestial boats and sailed back to Alpha Draconis. For the next 200 to 300 years, no outsiders showed interest in the wasteland and hazardous place that now was Earth.
EARTH’S FIRST GLOBAL WAR
In every cataclysm though, not all life goes into oblivion. Some animals survived the fusion bomb holocaust. They included fish species such as sharks; little creepy mammals (our ancestors); crocodiles; and some other small reptiles. One of the surviving reptiles resembled what scientists call an Iguanodon, which had developed alongside the creature we now call Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Although this 1.5 metre tall creature was a pure reptile organically, some of its external features looked mammalian. The creature was able to walk on two legs and grab things. This creature proceeded to evolve and in the span of about 30 million years (evolution is so glacially slow), it was able to think more or less rationally, living in caves instead of the open air, using branches and stones as tools, and making fire to protect itself from the cold.
During the next 20 million years, nature divided this reptile into 27 sub-species. In the course of time, 24 of these species ceased to exist owing to primitive wars of dominance among themselves and natural attrition occasioned by evolution itself. Thus 50 million years after the Reptilian-Humanoid war and the extinction of dinosaurs, only 3 Earth-bred Reptilian species remained. These were very technologically advanced and had reached a stage of sophistication beyond where we humans are at today. Being so thoroughly versed in genetic engineering, the three species decided to merge into one through natural and artificial cross-breeding on the one hand and self-induced genetic manipulation on the other.
The resultant, unified species was able to eliminate from its genome the dividing-prone genes so that it could retain its identity indefinitely. At this juncture, which was 10 million years ago, this unitary Reptilian species ceased to evolve physically. The only minor changes that have taken place in the intervening period relate to the aspect of its looking more humanoid and mammalian-like in outward appearance as every other species does in the fullness of time. Otherwise, the species has not sub-divided.
This Reptilian species was the first civilisation to evolve on our planet and now resides under the surface of the Earth (at a depth of about 2 to 8 km) in inconceivably sophisticated cities.
In December 1999, a young Reptilian female emerged from this subterranean society and gave a now famous interview to a Swede who lived in an isolated cottage in southern Sweden. Her name was "Sssshiaassshakkkasskkhhhshhh" but she opted to be simply called Larceta, which is Latin for “Lizard”. She said she was 28 years old and was a social scientist with a keen interest in terrestrial civilisations.
“We live in large and advanced cities and colonies,” she told the bemused Swedish recluse. “Major sites of us are beyond the Arctic, the Antarctica, Inner Asia, North America, and Australia.” She confided that the entry points to the Reptilian underground dwellings were usually found inside caves but were not easy to spot by humans because their doors were fitted with a device that made humans see an ordinary cave wall and not the door itself. This device sent a scrambling signal to the human mind.
Larceta was interviewed on two occasions. At first, she appeared just like a normal human being. In a subsequent session, however, she presented herself in her true Reptilian form, which scared the daylights out of the Swede. The human form, she said, was an optical illusion she implanted in the minds of humans by telepathy, using a biological switch we have somewhere inside our brain which was deliberately installed by the Anunnaki when they genetically upgraded us about 40,000 years ago.
THE ANATOMY OF INDIGENOUS REPTILIANS
How do the Reptilians indigenous to Earth look like? The following is how Larceta described the physical characteristics of her race to the Swedish recluse:
“Imagine the body of a normal human woman and you have at first a good imagination of my body. Like you, I have a head, two arms, two hands, two legs and two feet and the proportions of my body are like yours. As I’m female, I have also two breasts (despite our reptile origin, we have had to start to give milk to our babies during the evolution process — this happened around 30 million years ago — because this is the best thing to keep the young alive. Evolution had done this for your species already in the dinosaur age and — a little bit later — also for ours. That does not mean we are now real mammals.) but our breasts are not as large as those of human women and their size is generally equal for every female of my kind.
“The external reproduction organs are for both sexes smaller than those of humans, but they are visible and they have the same function as yours (another gift of evolution to our species).
“My skin is mainly of a green-beige colour – more pale green – and we have some patterns of brown irregular dots (each dot of the size of 1 – 2 centimeters) on our skin and on our face (the patterns are different for both sexes but females have more, especially in the lower body and in the face). You can see them in my case as two lines over the eyebrows crossing my forehead, at my cheek and at my chin.
“My eyes are a little bit larger than human eyes (for this reason, we can see better in the darkness) and usually dominated by large black pupils, which are surrounded by a small bright-green iris (males have a dark-green iris). The pupil is slit and can change its size from a small black line to a wide-open egg-shaped oval, because our retina is very light sensitive and the pupil must facilitate this.
“We have external round ears but they are smaller and not as curved as yours though we can hear better because our ears are more sensitive for sonic (we can also hear a wider range of sonic). There’s a muscle or "lid" over the ears which can completely close them (for example under water).
“Our nose is more pointed and there is a V-shaped curving between the nostrils, which enabled the ancestors to ‘see’ temperature. We have lost most of this ability, but we can still feel temperature much better with this ‘organ’.
“Our lips are shaped like yours (those of females a little bit larger than those of males) but of a pale brown colour and our teeth are very white and strong and a little bit longer and sharper than your soft mammal teeth.
“We have no different hair colours like you (but there is a tradition to colour the hairs in different ages) and the original colour is —like mine— a greenish brown. Our hairs are thicker and stronger than yours and they grow very slowly. In addition, the head is the only part of our body where we have hairs.
“Our body, arms and legs are similar in shape and size to yours, but the colour is different (green-beige, like the face) and there are scale-like structures on the upper legs (over the knee) and upper arms (over the elbow).
“Our five fingers are a little bit longer and thinner than human fingers and our skin on the palm is plain, so we have no lines like you but again a combination of a scale-like skin structure and of the brown dots (both sexes have the dots on the palm) and we have no fingerprints like you. If you touch my skin, you will feel that it is smoother than your hairy skin. There are small sharp horns on the upside of both middle fingers. The fingernails are grey and generally longer than yours. You see that my nails are not so long and round at the top. This is because I’m female. Males have sharp pointed nails with a length of sometimes 5 or 6 of your centimeters.
“The following feature is very different from your body and is part of our reptilian origin: if you touch the backside of my upper body, you will feel a hard bony line through my clothing. This is not my spine but a very difficult shaped external plate-structure of skin and tissue following exactly our spine from the head to the hip. There is an extremely high number of nerves and large blood vessels in this structure and in the plates (which are around two or three centimeters long and very touch sensitive (this is the reason why we always have problems sitting in chairs with a back like this chair).
“The main task of these small plates (beside a role in our sexuality) is simply the regulation of our body temperature and if we sit in natural or artificial sunlight, these plates become more blood-filled and the vessels become wider and the sun is able to heat up our Reptoid blood (which circulates through the body and through the plates) for many degrees and that gives us a great pleasure similar to and even greater than what you humans feel when you have sex.”
OUR ANCESTOR SPECIES EVOLVES
Meanwhile, our mammal ancestors, the simians, had been evolving alongside the dinosaurs for about 150 million years and also survived the fusion bomb of 65 million years ago being very tiny animals at the time. Then 10 million years ago, they became land-dwelling animals from the exclusively tree-dwelling animals they used to be.
During the evolutionary process, they divided into various species of all sorts – the larger chimpanzees, gibbons, orangutans, etc, and the smaller baboons and monkeys. It was only in the last 2-3 million years that one particular simian species was able to become relatively intelligent, the species that was to become known as Ape-Man, Homo Erectus, or Cro-Magnon man over time and Homo Sapiens eventually. Prior to that, this primate ancestor of ours was a simple, purely instinctive animal without an ounce of intelligence.
“We are a very old race in comparison to your kind, which was jumping around as small monkey-like animals in the trees at this time while we invented technology, colonised other planets of the Solar System, built large cities on this planet – which disappeared without a trace in the ages – and engineered our own genes while your genes were still those of animals,” Larceta iterated to the Swede.
“If nothing extraordinary had happened to your kind, we wouldn’t be able to sit here and talk because I would be sitting in my comfortable modern house and you would be curled up in your cave clothed with fur and trying to discover the secrets of fire. Or maybe you would be sitting in one of our zoos.
“But things developed differently and you believe now you are the ‘crown of creation’ and can sit in your modern house on the surface of the Earth in natural sunlight whilst we hide and live beneath the Earth or occasionally venture to the surface in remote and secluded places.”
What “extraordinary” thing happened to our ancestor simian species and how did Larceta’s species end up living underground instead of on the surface?
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!
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.”
DIANA AND DODI AT THE RITZ
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.
THE“TELL ME YES” RING IS DELIVERED
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.
DIANA AND DODI GUSH OVER IMMINENT NUPTIALS
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
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.