Minutes are passing as though they are hours. All eyes are on the clock's second hand, which appears to be as slow as the minute hand. Millions of people over the massive land extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, are racing against time which doesn't know how to pass. Some, with the excitement of having sacrificed their bodies to their Creator, are about to break their fast while other have just gotten up from the sahur table. While the lips, dry with thirst and hunger, brace themselves for a shower of mercy that will be sufficient for all of mankind, a difficult trial awaits those who have just gotten up from sahur.
As iftar inches closer, the entire globe turns into a cemetery of desires. All of the details comprised enthusiasm, appetite and desires, which conquer mankind, are buried into the dark along with the sun, which is about to surrender its light to the horizon. With Ramadan, the soul rids the soul of all of the excess of the roots buried in the desires' ego.
All of the blessings which became insignificant during the rest of the year, because we became so accustomed to having possession of them, gain new meaning in this month. Bodies are washed with the grace of giving up on blessings after a year of having tried gaining hold of those blessings. This shedding of evil, worldly desires and then sacrifice of sustenance occurs through the abandonment of blessings.
The curtains are lifted and eyes become locked on to the value of the unparalleled flavors on the tables of humanity where time has taken silence as hostage. Following long hours of hunger, one black olive, one date, a sip of water and even a dab of salt become the most incredible flavor tasted until that moment.
With fasting, a successful session in which the mind and soul are saved from the desires of the body and the subconscious is inspected takes place. In the melting pot where choices and desires are melted, a feverish educational mobilization towards gaining new experiences begins. Bodies, which have become rejuvenated with the discipline which extends to every corner of the world, are preparing to wake up to a perennial morning. Because Allah's beloved gives the glad tidings that the sins of those who spend the month of Ramadan fasting with sincere belief to please Allah will be forgiven and they will be granted the highest point in heaven.
Fasting is undoubtedly an act of worship which exhausts the body. However, the reward of this fatigue, this tolerance, this regimen is not limited to the breaking of fast alone. Iftar only becomes a crown in the attainment of the tolerance of fasting. However in fasting, the purpose is not reaching a destination as is the case during a race. The value of fasting is measured by how a body which is burdened with fasting spends its' time. It is for this reason that the value of these difficult times is rewarded in heaven.
The time of iftar initially excites fasting bodies as the harbinger of the real reward to come. Messages are lit up on the majestic minarets charmed by the soul of Bilal-i Habashi and whose heights cannot be attained by an architectural style. Afterwards, a breeze comes through carrying the spiritual vibration of all the people, the fasting and non-fasting alike, who have been locked in to eating and drinking;
"Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar..."
Hands are raised to the heavens with this cry that envelops the celestial heavens. All that is heard in the heavens is the pleading of those fasting who embrace the light:
"Oh Allah! We fasted for your acceptance and broke our fast with the sustenance you have provided us with, accept our worship! Because you are one the All-knowing and All-hearing."
Hearts fill up with the peace of knowing that the prayers of the one who fast are not rejected.
Satiated bodies which have moved to state of tranquility following the grattitude they feel for their blessings, multiply their good deeds by the everlasting prayers of the poor and guests who have been fed.
Those who have defeated their ego, those who are satiated, those who have fed the hungry, those who have benefited from prayer.... Everyone is inhaling peace at the iftar table.