RAMADAN 2021 is about five days away. But this spiritual medicine for the sleepy spirit and weakened flesh may pass many people by without impacting its healing balm. The oncoming twenty-nine or thirty days of compulsory fast is the fourth of the five pillars on which Islam stands. Every year, it transforms, if not electrifies, Nigeria’s social life. For thirty days, the daily bread and butter hurly-burly partially surrenders to sometimes feeble, sometimes roaring efforts of the human spirit to free itself from the world of matter and ascend homewards, to Paradise.
I say some of the efforts are feeble because many people observe Ramadan out of habit, not from deep stirrings of the soul. This year, the priests will, as usual, expend energy reminding the faithful that it is not the fast on its own which connects them with Allah, their Maker, and to the Blessings which come from His Throne. Rather, as I, too, believe, it is the CHANGE which the opportunity of withdrawal from matter and introspection can bring about in the participant. That is why, I, too, follow Ramadan in spirit. For my faith has permitted me to recognize that GOLD IS GOLD, irrespective of whether it is in the hands of slaves or kings and princes. Man is meant to be close to the WILL OF ALLAH every minute of existence. The surrender of “hands and feet” to Him in five daily and compulsory prayers is not enough for this. Every minute of one’s existence, every thought, word (spoken or written) and every deed of the hands, not to mention our activities even in dreams, should fulfil ALLAH’s WILL. In my faith, I am taught always: KEEP THE HEARTH OF YOUR THOUGHTS PURE…BY SO DOING, YOU WILL BRING PEACE AND HAPPINESS. Isn’t that what Ramadan seeks to achieve? But is there peace and happiness in any part of the earth today?
Peace is tranquillity, equilibrium, absence of fear, pain, worry, freedom from disturbance, lack of conflict, stillness. But Peace is not an end in itself. It is a means of transforming personal and group existence for the better, spiritually and materially. We cannot say peace abounds in Nigeria today, despite 62 Ramadans since the country’s independence in 1960. We hear of a devastating Boko Haram war in North-Eastern Nigeria. The Northcentral is riven with banditry and kidnapping. In the Southeast and Southwest, arms-bearing castle herders fall upon farmers diligently tilling the soil to feed the nation, maim, rape or murder them and harvest their farm crops to feed the cattle. The marauders are not brought to the book. The farmers, afraid to farm, stay at home, hungry and insolvent, while food prices rise beyond the reaches of the poor. Doctors are on strike, demanding the arrears of salaries and allowances while their patients languish in hospitals and die. It does not matter to these doctors that their patients who are dying provided the taxes with which the government subsidized their education. Psychiatric hospitals are overflowing with people in depression. More women than as ever been reported in Nigeria are becoming rape victims. Police brutality is not abating. Believe in the power of money, like the worship of it, is rife. As is to be expected, fraud continues to eat deeper into society. Brigandage is not letting up. In daylight or at nightfall, bus rides and taxi rides are no longer safe. Unemployment is very high. Young citizens are dehumanized and fallen into depression. In many parts of Lagos, residents either have to dig bole holes for water or purchase from water merchants, water for cooking, bathing, laundries and other uses. Rents and other expenses are growing faster than income while direct and indirect taxes are competing to outpace them. This week, the President lamented that arms from unofficial sources were flowing into Nigeria. That means the borders are porous, corruption is rife, and danger and more insecurity is looming ahead.
Everywhere you turn, Peace has been overturned. If Ramadan is meant to help us move closer to Allah and to help us find peace and happiness, can it not be said that the state of affairs today, far distant from peace and happiness, is evidence that the gift of Ramadan has not been profitably employed over several decades? This suggests that Ramadan after Ramadan had been approached merely out of habit and had not wrought beneficial changes within the souls of many adherents with beautiful outward effects on individuals and the society.
We need not despair, however. The beautiful ones’ may be born sooner than we probably can imagine. Let us gird our loins better this time so the labor of the PROPHET will not be in vain. He did not self ancient himself for the Mission in Arabia. He was one of the four eminent men who appeared on the face of the earth with a message for a particular region of the earth adapted to the spiritual maturity of that region. In some spiritual circles, they were regarded as Four Runners to a great event in human spiritual history. The other eminent spiritual teachers of humanity were Buddha and Krishna in India, Lao Tse in Tibet and China, Zoroaster in Persia (the historic Southwestern region of Asia which comprised in the Persian Empire such modern nations as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, “Armenia, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, many part of Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Isreal, the West Bank, Central Asia, Libya and other Northern parts”, according to Google).
Each message was willed by the Almighty Creator and sent through appointed Messengers to his Creatures who had been sent by him to a different part of the earth for their spiritual development. Each message was adapted to the level of the spiritual maturity of the audience and, basically pointed in the same direction and goal…submission to the WILL of the Almighty Creator for spiritual maturation and ascent to Paradise before the life of planet earth comes to an end in a FINAL JUDGMENT. Had these Messages not been corrupted by their followers and successors, they all would have formed a united, harmonious, partway to Almighty Allah, who sent us all out of Paradise and sowed us, like seeds, in the earthly soil, to sprout, germinate, flower and fruit. Unfortunately, these messages were turned into a religion by the successors of the messengers. Thus, every religion became a cage or prison in which the adherents leave, believing only in their own religion and forsaking the others which are meant to offer them additional spiritual profit. Thus, many Christians are unlikely to think much of Ramadan just as Muslims did not value Lent.
History reminds us of the brutish life in the Arabian peninsula before the PROPHET shown the light of Islam. Before him, some Arabian traders evangelized in Jerusalem and who were returning to Arabia had brought Christianity from St.Peter, St.Thomas and St.Paul. Thus, ancient Arabian Christianity was strong in Southern Arabia while Nestorian Christianity was the dominant religion in Eastern Arabia. Alongside Christianity were Judaism and Zoroastrianism. The pure teachings of Christianity and other religions had become deformed by errors that require clearance to be of any use for spiritual development. Islam brought the hope of a reformation. But it would also encounter the machinations of humanity lusting for power and influence especially after the departure of the PROPHET. It is interesting that the Prophet and the Christians did not quarrel. In fact, the Christians supported the Prophet when the Arabian Establishment saw him as a Rabble Rouser and tried to kill him. It is unfortunate that a beautiful message of peace and love could not link up with the others and suffered distortions because of the penchant of men for power and influence. Today, the Iran of Zoroaster is the custodian of a violent variant of Islam.
This is the stage in which we stand today, especially with the beautiful gift of the RAMADAN which is meant to help a faithful turn his or her gaze upwards to Allah. Fasting on its own merely to please the Creator in my view does not bring profits as fasting to provide the opportunity for introspection and spiritual purification which makes for a better human being. At best, it is self-deceit.
The earth body is no more than a “housing or casing” in which the Spirit dwells. The Spirit is MAN. When I say “my head” or “my hand”, it is “I”, the spirit, speaking of my possession. It is like when I say “I am coming”. It is not my body that is coming, but “I” carried by my body. This dust body has no life of its own. It is animated by the indwelling spirit. It gave the first kicks of pregnancy when the spirit hovering around a pregnant woman takes possession of its midway through pregnancy. It will be Lifeless in the death of the flesh the day the spirit vacates the dwelling. This dwelling is important for the spirit’s development on earth. For if it is sick, it cannot generate enough energy to provide anchorage or housing for the spirit. In many cases, almost everyone is sick without realizing it. It is either that the body is overloaded with toxins which the excretory system does not completely remove every day, or heavy metals and free radicals have piled up, most cells have developed mucus and inflammation, or there is an overload of bacteria, viruses, fungi and mould, or all sorts of growths including the well known uterine fibroids, had begun to shape up, or the vessels which supply blood to the eyes and heart, for example, have become blocked and oxygen and other nutrients deficiencies to these and other organs was making them to rapidly age and to die instalmentally. I shivered the day I learned that the Plasmodium parasite injected into the skin and blood through mosquito bite can cause cancer of the blood in certain circumstances!
There is evidence that a well organized fast helps the body rid itself of waste, toxins and disease. Paul and Patricia Bragg say it is their MIRACLE OF FASTING. Dr. Jenson shows the light in DR JENSON’s JUICING THERAPY. DR SHELTON tells the same story in FASTING CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE. Not only is the rest from digestion afforded the body empowers it to commit more energy to eliminations, it actually breaks down renegade tissues, such as growths, for nutrients in the absence of new resources.
For these and more reasons, I have an unfailing relationship with my Muslim friends every Ramadan. We discuss the herbs and food supplements that may help the body improve on its dexotification efforts during Ramadan and those which may help to nurture the body. Malam Alfa Aliu, now resident in Minna, is about the first to always ask if there is anything new in the treasure trove. Today’s column suggests small head-to-toe support for detoxification and nurture.
This is one of the powerhouses of the body. Heavy metals such as Lead and cadmium from the daily diet or aluminium leached from cooking pots, or iron from iron filings in the commercial pepper grinding machines may disturb articulation, memory or mood, or weaken the neurons and make system or organ co-ordination inefficient. Chlorella is good for detoxifying heavy metals from the brain into the blood circulation from where cilantro can drag them out of the blood and kidneys. Gingko Biloba and Gotu Kola are good for blood circulation too and in the brain. Lecithin provides the neurones with Choline and Inositol for energy. Kava Kava helps alertness. Spirulina, the blue-green algae, provides all Amino acids, chlorophyll, beta carotenoids and other nutrients. Fish oil, like Grape Seed Extract and Alpha Lipoic Acid, are great antioxidants. Banana, nuts and vegetables help the production and signalling of dopamine, the brain’s “happy juice” which eases depression, anxiety and mood swings.
In oriental medicine, challenges of vision are tackled by clearing dross in the kidneys and liver as well as strengthening the Optic nerve plate, addressing retinal attachment or detachment, aqueous and vitreous chamber articulation and cataract of the lens, among other steps. Carqueja is a good one for clearing the liver. Chanka Piedra should address kidney and gall bladder stones in the liver as well as a cataract of the eye lens. Vitamins A, C and E are traditional eye vitamins. Selenium and Zinc complement them as antioxidant minerals. Ionic Magnesium may reduce the need for dangerous beta-blocker pharmaceutical pressure-lowering eye drops, which Bitter Kola eye drops and Chanka Piedra eye drops also do. Lutein, Zeaganthin and Astazanthin, commericially extracted from marigold flower, are wonderful antioxidants from the carotenoid family. There are many stem cell proprietary products in the market, ranging from the likes of stemgevity and stem Grow to Super life Neuron care from the STC30 stable. Vitamin B2 combined with a high dosage B-Complex formulation may cracks cataracts as well. Some people say a drop of early morning urine in both eyes work wonders.
It was from my sixties that I knew the teeth and the mouth could pose a healthy challenge. My teeth taught me I had lost plenty of calcium through stress and that I did not replace it. Teeth inflammation and pain would wake me up in the middle of the night. My gums had also yielded grounds for germs. Chewing Orange peel before bed was helpful. So was swirling around with the tongue one or two tablespoonfuls of Black Seed Oil as a carrier for three to five drops of Super Strength Oregano Oil. Sometimes, I used Frakenscence oil or Onion curtains or juice or oil. I cannot forget lime juice, too.
This organ is always abused, overloaded at every meal, not allowed to rest before another call to duty. The prophet advised it be one-third filled with solid food, one-third filled with fluid and digestive juices and one-third filled with air. In Ramadan, the stomach will be on holiday in daylight hours but will probably be overtasked from sunset to before sunrise. Day time rest may provide recuperation from inflammation and pain or aggravate whatever challenge(s) a stomach faces such as a peptic ulcer or gastritis. Fruits that are good for these conditions include banana, pawpaw, watermelon, golden melon, sour sap, cabbage juice, cucumber juice etc. In the herbs, the category is Aloe vera gel, Goldenseal root, Marigold tea, chamomile, Mint family tea etc. In the proprietary medicine brackets, help come from indigestion tea, Acidic stomach and Akaline balance, Natural calm etc.
This is the heart of the matter. The liver is the chief detoxifying organ. In a fast, all cells of the cost release their toxins to the liver for detoxification or break down into less harmful poisons to be evacuated through urine, faces or breath or sweat. There is a tendency to feel somewhat sick as these poisons congregate in the bloodstream and in the liver. They are loaded with free radicals which damage and weaken the cells. Antioxidants are required to quench them. Traditional antioxidant Vitamins(A, C and E) and minerals(Selenium and Zinc) have key roles to play. Oxygen tablets are scarce nowadays. They may be substituted with chlorophyll dense plants and leaves for their oxygen content. Proprietary blend help comes from such formulas as Pure Excel, Seed Nutrition etc.
The Liver may have become fatty for which it may require Lipotropic agents such as Lecithin. If gall stones are its problem, Chanka Piedra combined with Ionic Magnesium and Radish should help. Hepa protective herbs such as Milk Thistle and Jerusalem Artichoke, which, in experiments, protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride damage do insulate it against the poisons it detoxifies. Carqueja has a knack for cleaning the liver inside out. A Yoruba adage says whatever affects “ABOYADE” affects all “OLOYAs”. Aboyade is a priest of the river goddess. Oloya is a worshipper or minister of the goddess. Thus, we can say whatever troubles the liver will trouble all the cells because it is the chief detoxifying organ of the body. Accordingly, the following herbs and food supplements should facilitate detoxification of the 100 trillion or so cells of the adult human body in this fast season when the body has a rare opportunity to offload its loads of toxins, they include…Liver Balance Plus, Kidney Rescue, Heart and Lungs, Paracleanse, Parashield, Colon Booster, Lymph support, DMG crystals, Vitamin B-50 complex, Organic coffee(for enema only), Vitamin C, Organic sulphur, SDG powder(an immune booster), Perfect Aminos, Immune Defence Probiotic, Transdermal Magnesium oil, Astragalus, Asparagus, Aloe vera gel, Burdock roots, Goji juice and Noni juice. The least is endless.
May this Ramadan uplift our spirits and heal our sick bodies.
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