Human beings have been created differently with regard to their livelihoods. In consequence of this, God Almighty invites the rich to assist the poor, so that through the hunger experienced in fasting, they can truly understand the pains and hunger which the poor suffer. If there were no fasting, many self-indulgent rich would be unable to perceive just how grievous are hunger and poverty and how needy of compassion are those who suffer them.
Compassion for one’s fellow men is an essential part of true thankfulness. Whoever a person is, there will always be someone poorer than himself in some respect. He is enjoined to be compassionate towards such a person. If he were not himself compelled to suffer hunger, he would be unable give the person – through compassion – the help and assistance he is obliged to offer. And even if he were able, it would be deficient, for he would not have truly experienced hunger himself.
F o u r t h P o i n t
One instance of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan with respect to training the instinctual soul is as follows:
The instinctual soul wants to be free and independent, and considers itself to be thus. According to the dictates of its nature, it even desires an imaginary dominicality and to act as it pleases. It does not want to admit that it is being sustained and trained through innumerable bounties. Especially if it possesses worldly wealth and power, and if heedlessness also encourages it, it will devour God’s bounties like a usurping, thieving animal.
Thus, in the month of Ramadan, the instinctual soul of everyone, from the richest to the poorest, may understand that it does not own itself but is totally owned; that it is not free, but is a slave. It understands that if it receives no command, it may not do the simplest and easiest thing; it cannot even stretch out its hand for water. Its imaginary dominicality is therefore shattered; it performs its worship and begins to offer thanks, its true duty.
F i f t h P o i n t
One of the many instances of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan from the point of view of improving the conduct of the instinctual soul and giving up its rebellious habits is as follows:
Due to its heedlessness the human soul forgets itself; it cannot see its utter powerlessness, want, and deficiency and it does not wish to see them. It does not think of just how weak it is, and how subject to transience and to disasters, nor of the fact that it consists merely of flesh and bones, which