Ramadan: A Month of Benign Blessing for Reaping Rich Rewards



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Holy Quran

By N.U.A. Razzak Udayar


Muslims across the globe actively and eagerly make preparations to warmly welcome the advent of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the Ramadan that is certainly packed with the power of benign blessings and a great mercy of Allah for the whole world.


 "In Ramadan, Gates of paradise are opened, Gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up"- Sahihal Bukhari.


  Hence, it is crystal clear, that every Muslim or for that matter non-Muslim gets this rare opportunity to turn a new leaf to get success for himself/ herself in this world and the Hereafter. Obviously, Ramadan is the ideal occasion where a Muslim can easily display the excellent qualities proper behavior, positive attitude and the ideal actions that are promoted by Islam encouraging unity in diversity. The Blessed month of Ramadan is at hand! Can any of us slip away this golden opportunity without reaping the rewards that are readily offered by the Almighty Allah. Undoubtedly, Fasting is the 4th obligatory duty that should be adhered to the letter as other duties. Simply, it is not a mere ritual where we put an end to the consumption of drinks, food etc. It really is an act of worship done with dedication and spirit. Therefore, it is high time, the Muslims in every nook and cranny of the globe took a keen interest for the preparation of this momentous occasion. Let us make use of every moment of this great month with our everyday activities plus good deeds ranging from reciting the Holy Quran, offering compulsory and voluntary prayers to giving charity to the poor and the needy and minus the commitment of vices.


 


Challenges and Grievances


Today Muslims in Sri Lanka welcome this blessed month with open arms and a lot of expectations as there was a time of tension recently that affected the whole nation in general and the Muslims in particular. The unwanted incidents in Kandy and some other parts of this isle have taught a good lesson for everyone to be kind, cautious and reasonable. The minute slice of unruly elements that has caused unrest and tension among communities should not be allowed to continue their agendas. It has brought a black mark to the untarnished image of our beloved isle. Let by gones be by gones. May the blessings of Ramadan help firmly rebuild the rapport between the Muslims and other communities that has been kept intact since time immemorial. How can the Muslims make their contributions toward this end. Obviously, it is through their words and deeds that they should win the hearts and minds of their non-Muslim counterparts. Islam that always promotes unity among all communities has given fasting as a training for the purification of the soul, and refining of the character via controlling cravings and unlimited freedom. When a Muslim strictly adheres to fasting he causes no harm to anyone but promotes friendship and peace. It is apt to remind that Muslims are essentially expected to have a healthy relationship with neighbours regardless of ethnicity and other differences. In Sri Lanka, there are families of various communities who live next to Muslims in many villages, towns and cities. Therefore Muslims are duty bound to take an interest in the welfare and betterment of their neighbours. Islam never said that Muslims should look after only their Muslim neighbours. The following Hadith clearly proves this.


The Prophet, (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.’’ It was asked, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?’’ He said, "One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil" (Sahih Bukhari).


This Hadith strongly stresses that a Muslim cannot irresponsibly behave giving irritation and trouble to his neighbours. He should readily help when they are in need. Ramadan is the ideal occasion where good qualities of the Muslims will attract the members of other communities of this beautiful nation.


Food is one of the basic needs of human beings and nobody can survive without it. But fasting asks the Muslims to abstain from taking it from dawn to dusk. This gives the first-hand experience to the person who keeps the fast to realize the pangs of hunger thus showing mercy towards the poor and the destitute. Almighty Allah has again asked the Muslims not to forget their neighbours when the time comes for taking meals. He categorically did not mention the neighbour to be a Muslim.


The Messenger of Allah, (Peace and blessings be upon him) says:" He is not a believer who eats his fill whilst his neighbour beside him goes hungry" (Bukhari).


Hence, it is quite evident that no Muslim can escape from the wrath of Allah if he fails to take care of the neighbours in terms of food in their surroundings .We should take this Hadith as an eye-opener to deal fairly with our neighbours.


Unfortunately, today the picture of the Muslim world is in a sorry state of affairs as many Islamic countries are in tension and trouble. A considerable portion of Muslims encounter various challenges and hardship in the form of conflict, war, racial discrimination poverty etc. There are thousands of hapless Muslims languishing in refugee camps or confined to a limited area due to hostilities and unwanted wars. The plight of the Palestinians for their legitimate rights and the statehood, the woes of the displaced Rohingiya Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh and the untold hardship of Muslims in war torn nations such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and the like cannot be easily forgotten as Ramadan has joined us giving an opportunity to work for their betterment as well. Therefore, it is our bounden duty to make plans and take some meaningful measures that will wipe away the tears of these brothern of these countries and many more countries where poverty has placed a substantial portion of them below the line.


 


God Fearing


 The main purpose of fasting is to instill God Fearing or taqwa so that every person will lead a life that strictly helps them do the good deeds and avoid them from committing vices. The Holy Quran clearly indicates this in the following words.


Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness" (Q 2:183)


In fact, Ramadan is a great opportunity for every Muslim to lead a pure life as Almighty Allah promises forgiving of the sins of them when they sincerely abide by this obligatory duty.


 


 Abu Hurairah (Rali) reported the Messenger of Allah said, the five salat and from one Jumah prayer to the next Jumah prayer and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiation for the sins committed in between (their intervals) provided that major sins are not committed.


 Then, with this strong assurance, can we take Ramadan for granted? Essentially, everyone should keep fast not half heartedly but actively and piously to get this elevated status.


 


Duties and Daily Activities


 Ramadan is not an excuse to ignore our chores, daily duties and other essential activities at home or the work station. A person who is attached to an organization for his livelihood cannot show an apathy towards the given duties that may range from drafting letters to cleaning up the premises during this period or at any other occasions. Similarly, at home we are shouldered with different activities in our day to day life. For instance, when a child makes an errand to buy the groceries at the nearby shop, he gets merits for this task. Hence, we should have the good intention before we get engaged in any activity so as to get the satisfaction of Allah. Remember, Ramadan multiplies the rewards.  In the same manner, a student is required to diligently get engaged in studies while holding the fast. If he prepares for an examination, he could methodically plan his preparations as per his convenience. Timings can be arranged giving priority to daily five time prayers and the like. Fasting makes Al mighty Allah so satisfied and the following Hadis proves it. 


 


Every good deed of Adam's son is for him except fasting. It is for me and I shall reward (fasting person) for it. Verily, the smell of the mouth of fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk. Hadith-Bukhari


 The blessings of Allah are numerous and cannot be forgotten easily without making the mention of Night of Power that comes in the latter part of Ramadan. Indeed, it is the greatest night that witnessed the revelation of the Holy Quran that is the clear guidance to mankind. Can any of us miss out on this glorious night without getting engaged in good deeds such as the recital of the Holy Quran, offering of prayers, pleading supplication and importantly seeking repentance and forgiveness.


The night Qadr is better than a thousand night. (Quran-97:3)


In conclusion, Ramadan is a time for the preparation of the entire life. It helps us control all our desires and actions. It teaches us the importance of the qualities such as humility, patience, cooperation, friendship, honesty, love and what not. It is not an end though it makes its departure after 30 days or so. Every Muslim is expected to get the training and continue the good life that is filled with good deeds throughout his or her life. Aptly, Almighty Allah reminds us this message via Bukhari and Muslim in the following lines.


The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly.


 May Allah guide us lead a perfect Islamic life that helps everyone have a peaceful and prosperous life in this undivided country as the glorious month of Ramadan has just visited us bringing so much blessings and matchless mercy.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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