‘The Month of Hunger & Happiness – Ramadān…’
It has been four days since Ramadān knocked on our doors – a month of hunger, but more than that a month, that brings real happiness in the heart of millions of Muslims and sows the seed of faith and spirituality. All around the world, Muslims will become connected to the Almighty God through their fasts, and feel the divine connection purifying them from within.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
When Ramadān is mentioned though, what everyone thinks of is those days we starve, without touching the food or water from sunrise to sunset. Exercise of the body though is not that difficult, than exercising the rusted soul and mind.
The real purpose of Ramadān is not feeling the hunger. It is ‘Controlling’ ourselves.
I am alone. The bottle of water is closer to me, and I am feeling thirsty. The box of the cake I so love is in the reaching distance. And no one’s there to watch me eat them or drink. But I wouldn’t, because I know that Allah is watching over me… Waiting for me to complete this fast as I started. He trusts me to obey Him, and I do.
It is this mind control and body control that the month of Ramadān emphasize. Allah doesn’t want to torment me by making me starve, instead He wants to straighten the zig-zagged path I traversed and strengthen my faith and spirituality and leading me back on track. He wants to Give another chance to correct the mistakes I committed throughout the year in this one blessed month. This is my second chance and His way of saying that He’s ready to forgive.
Ramadān is the month for Allāh and Me. Only Us. For me to stay in touch with Him, throughout. To connect wirelessly through the prayers. To stay in contact with the faith and religion and to smell the sweet scent of His Mercy.
In this fast pace of life, we often ignore and neglect God.
When in affliction, we call out for the Lord to help us, and when in happiness, we totally discard Him and put him in the sidelines. We humans are funny, often selfish creatures! We see God only when we want to… God has become a secondary source in our life…
This Ramadān is for bringing us back to Allāh. This month is to rest from the worldly desires and hunts, and do something for the future… For the ‘Day Of Judgement.’
But more than that, this Ramadān is for cleansing the souls.
A fast is incomplete, and this holy month is not properly reached if our souls are not cleansed and the grime in it are not removed.
Abstaining food is the second – but abstaining from bad behaviors is the first and foremost of this Ramadan.
Stop Backbiting and Gossiping – One of the dirtiest thing a human can do is backbiting and gossiping about others. It is one of the most disgusting deeds in Islam. If I do not refrain from such activities, there’s no goodness in my fast.
“O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (Al-Qur’an 49:12)”
Backbiting is considered as a great sin, and Allah forbids it by saying…’If you backbite, it is as of you’re eating on their flesh.’
Put the fire of envy, ego, anger and rage to a stop – envy, ego, anger and rage are something that will ultimately destroy us and our happiness. Feeling jealous of others is a crime we do for ourselves. Ramadān dictates us not to follow the greed and ego of Shaitan and instead embrace the purity and love of The Lord of the world.
“Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger, and who pardon men, verily, Allah loves the the good-doers.” (Al-Qur’an 3:134)
Hasad (jealousy and envy) is the most destructive emotions which a man have towards his fellow human being.
Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” (Abu Dawood)
Keep in touch with Qur’an – not only by reading it, but by bringing its advises forth in every one of the actions. Read, understand and then act upon its valuable teachings.
Enjoins Peace, show Mercy, offer Zakah and help the unfortunates – Offer charity, help the poor, the orphans, the needy and walk in the trails of peace may enrich the prosperity of this month and help us to achieve a higher level in attaining the ‘purity’ of hearts and soul.
And… At the final note, Ramadān is also the month of sharing and strengthening the relationships. As I walk back the memory lane, I remembered the sisters and brothers from other religion joining us for breaking the fast. Also, I can remember… During the travels, if it’s time for breaking the fast, the sisters and brothers from other religions have kindly given up their food and water source for us to fill our stomachs. So yes, Ramadān is also the month for sharing, caring, creating new bonds and becoming a greater, dependent, loving community of large.
Welcome, O’ blessed month of Ramadān and bless the Earth with peace and happiness and remove the evil…
Zakat definition –
– in Arabic terms, zakat literally means purification and growth
– Zakat in Islamic finance refers to the obligation that an individual has to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year for charitable causes.
Ramadān – The ninth month in Islamic calendar, and a month where Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise to sunset, without eating or drinking.