In the Aqdas our maturity begins at age fifteen.
Maturity means we’re finished with toys and childish thoughts.
If we try to blame another for what we have or have not done,
Or try to get away with minor thefts and not get caught,
Responsibility will grab us by the ear, no place to run.
Among the mandates given us by that perspicuous book
Is self-restraint and abstinence for one entire month.
Now this could be a challenging farewell to junior youth.
A formidable entry to the realm of obligation, and once
You’ve crossed the line there is no way to avoid this truth.
Still growing and developing, the appetite voracious,
This pubescent tree has only just begun to sprout
The discipline and duty that will render it fructiferous.
Yet, this initiation rite will lead beyond a doubt
To a lifetime application which will yield, proliferous.
Now friends and family might say you’re damaging your health.
Best listen to your heart, to your Divine Physician.
He says the body benefits, it could be therapeutic,
Been known to cure the maladies of various conditions.
Every faith prescribes it, God knows what He is doing.
But most of all this abstinence will lead to transformation
From a sleepy conformism to an avid, watchful state,
From a lesser understanding to higher inspiration,
Stagnation put to pasture, our souls invigorated,
The heart imbued with tenderness, all else eliminated.
It’s not just what goes in, most important is what comes out.
No testiness, no cursing, no impatience, no backbiting.
No looking at your neighbor with a hankering, crafty eye.
No outbursts of derision, and certainly no fighting.
To prove ourselves worthy of the trust we have been given.
The laws are our protection, the keys of His mercy,
The lamps of His guidance, chartering the way
Towards a new civilization. For the famished and the thirsty
The selected wine unsealed, will gladden them, uplift them,
Reunite those gone astray. It’s for love that we obey.
We’ll feel the pangs of hunger that for some are too familiar.
We’ll share with them the plenty that we’ve never been denied.
We’ll care for those whose daily bread is anguish and confusion.
We’ll welcome them to enter, give them promise and provide
The warranty to recover their faith in humankind.
We’ll gain a new awareness of time and its constraints,
Of calendars and days, of sunsets and the dawn,
The slowing down of motion in the season of restraint.
The fast, as in steadfastness, not acceleration.
The frenzied pace eclipsed by prayer and meditation.
Time takes on importance as it never has before.
We’ll realize there’s little time to purify the soul.
To reignite the fervor that lies latent in our core.
We’ll become increasingly impatient to behold
The treasures of His hidden knowledge ready to unfold.
When that hour approaches his ardent lovers will forsake
Their couches and their will, their thirst to satiate with
The cup of His remembrance, so eager to partake of
The wine of His utterance, His beauty contemplate.
A portion of the virtue goes to those who are awake.
This hour exceeds all other hours, let us enter through the walls
Accompanied by the Wronged One in this restricted place.
Partake with Him a soul-reviving feast in the banquet hall.
Savoring the sweetness of His good pleasure and His grace.
Transgressions all forgiven, our hearts and minds enthralled.
If you’ve completed seven decades then check this off your list.
But you’ll have to find another means to get yourself attuned
To the mystic melodies that flood those nineteen days,
To catch the musk of hidden meanings, gaze upon His beauty.
Clinging to His raiment, you’re sure to find a way.