Society and lifestyle
25 September 2021, Fathi Mahmoudi
This question comes in a context where the blessed month of Ramadan coincides with the summer holidays. This circumstance has led the Muslim community in France and elsewhere to program their holidays differently.
In addition, the activity of Parisian luxury tourism, largely supplied by the wealthy families of the Middle East, was considerably reduced during this period. Non-Muslim tourists to Muslim countries wonder about the consistency of their trip during this month: I'm going on vacation to Morocco or Tunisia during Ramadan, how will it be there? Is it different from the rest of the year?
Each year, Ramadan imposes itself majestically and comes to change habits and upset the course of events. This month does not leave humanity indifferent. Each year, it challenges and arouses admiration and respect. The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him, comes to enlighten us on the miraculous effect of this surprising guest:
Ibn Khouzayma reports that on the last day of the month of Sha'ban, the Messenger of God (PBSL) addressed a speech: "O people! A magnificent and blessed month comes your way, a month which contains a night which is better than a thousand months God has made his fast a prescription and his nocturnal prayers a supererogatory act.
Whoever, during this month, approaches God by a supererogatory act, is like one who fulfills one of the prescribed obligations outside this month, and whoever fulfills an obligatory act, is like one who performs the same act seventy times outside [Ramadan]. It is the month of patience, and patience will only be rewarded by Heaven. It is also the month of comfort and a month in which the goods of the believer bear fruit.
Whoever gives a faster enough to break his fast, this act will earn him an absolution of his sins and a preservation of the Fire; he will have the same reward as him without anything being reduced from the faster's reward ".
He was asked: "O Messenger of God, is it the same when we are not in the capacity to give the faster enough to break his fast?" He replied: "God bestows this reward on whoever gives a faster even a date, a sip of water or milk cut with water. It is a month whose beginning is a mercy, its middle an absolution of sins and ends with a preservation of the fire of hell.
Whoever lightens the labor of his slave there; God absolves him and preserves him from fire.
During this month, multiply four actions: two consist in satisfying your Lord and two others are essential to your Salvation. The first two are the fact of attesting that there are no other deities than God (saying abundantly La ilaha illa Allah) and imploring His forgiveness.
The other two are asking God to grant you Heaven and keep you from Hell.
Whoever gives drink to a fasting person, God will give him a drink from my basin after which he is no longer thirsty on the Day of Judgment until his introduction into Paradise. "[Bokhari]
Our question concerns the compatibility of swimming in the context of Ramadan. Can they go together or agree?
In the texts nothing prohibits the immersion of the body in water during the fast. Indeed, from a legal point of view, fasting consists of abstaining from drinking, eating and having sex from sunrise to sunset. An additional condition is added for the woman who can practice the fast only if she is not indisposed.
Is the purpose of the month of Ramadan, which consists of gaining piety each year, compatible with swimming? While fasting is a major component of the month of Ramadan, it is not an end in itself. To sum up Ramadan to the practice of fasting is very simplistic. Like the pilgrimage, the month of Ramadan is one of the most ideal contexts for fostering the blossoming of Faith like a flower in the breast. It is therefore a process that requires a minimum of care, attention and support.
If the context of swimming can slow down or alter this spiritual blossoming, it is preferable to find other alternatives that can meet the need to relax with family or friends during the holidays. It is up to everyone to find the right balance to fully live their spirituality without cutting themselves off from others. For everyone, the answer to this imperative will be very personal.
To conclude, we will give the floor to a great man of the twentieth century, Muhammad Asad [1900-1992] who writes in one of his works entitled ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS OF PATHS: Islam not being a repressive religion, grants man a large margin of personal and social existence, so that the various qualities, temperaments and psychological inclinations of different individuals can find their path of positive development in accordance with their personal predisposition.
Thus a man can be an ascetic, or enjoy the full extent of his sensual possibilities within the framework of legal limits; he can be a nomad wandering in the deserts, without food for the next day, or be a rich merchant surrounded by his goods. As long as he submits sincerely and consciously to the laws decreed by God, he is free to shape his personal life according to the form in which his nature directs him. His duty is to give the best of himself, so that he can honor the gift of life that his Creator has granted him and to help his fellow men, by means of his own development, in spiritual efforts, social and material. As for the form of his personal existence, it is by no means fixed by a standard. It is free to choose from the legally unlimited options.
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