What Ramadaan? Part III
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
* I’ve divided this last post into two parts to prevent it from becoming too long so one more part to follow inshaAllah! *
The first thing most people probably think about when they hear the word ‘Ramadhan’ is abstinence from food, drink and sexual relations (between spouses) while in a state of fasting. While Ramadhan is the month of fasting, the important point is what our fasting, and other acts of worship that we exert ourselves in, lead to. There is a very beautiful narration of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم (amongst many) on the value of Ramadhan:
“Ramadan has arrived to you, a month of barakah (blessings). Allah envelops you (with His mercy and blessings), so He descends His mercy, erases the sins, answers the du’aas, and He watches in (this month) your competition / race for goodness, and He boasts to His angels about you. So let Allah see the best from you, for truly, the miserable one is the one who is prevented Allah’s mercy.” (Tabaraanee)
The life of this world is fleeting yet it consumes so much of our time, efforts and energy. Alhamdulillah many Muslims perform the five daily prayers, but how many of us really perform them with khushoo’? Many of us read the Quran daily, but how many of us can say that Quran has truly entered our heart?
This is why Ramadhan is such a mercy and blessing from Allah. Knowing our nature (as humans we are always forgetful and distracted) He has given us a month in which to re-focus our priorities and train ourselves for the next eleven months ahead; A time to refresh and renew our intentions and aspirations when it comes to our relationship with our Lord and to put them into action through our exertions for His sake in this month and hopefully beyond.
Allah tells us in the Quran that fasting has been prescribed for us because it creates taqwa in us. Ask any Muslim about the truth of this statement! When you are going about your day feeling pangs of hunger and you know you are only enduring them for the sake of your Lord, that is remembering Allah and being conscious of Him. Alhamdulillah when we are faced with these constant reminders of our Lord throughout the day, we desire to exert ourselves in obeying and pleasing Him, the very thing which makes us Muslims. Ramadhan is a month long reminder for us, further boosted by the fact that the ones who are always attempting to distract and dissuade us from remembering and obeying Allah- the devils- are chained up for its duration.
So how do Muslims take advantage of the reminder that is Ramadhan? Many are suddenly able to exert themselves more in this one month than they did for the whole of the last year! The key thing is not only exerting oneself in Ramadhan, however, but also taking that positive attitude and action beyond Ramadhan, inshaAllah.
The Quran reflected in the glasses of a brother as he reads the book of Allah in a mosque after noon prayer on the first day of Ramadan this year (Jordan)