Ramadan Reminders 1435 (2014)
Ramadan 1435 (2014) is just a day or two away. The whole Muslim ummah is anxiously waiting for its arrival to witness this blessed month and all the good that accompanies it. Before we enter this month, I thought of sharing some quick ‘Ramadan Reminders’ which, I pray, would help all of us to set our perspectives & fix our priorities.
Month of fasting, not feasting:
The first thing that a Muslim should understand is the purpose of the month of Ramadan. No rocket science is required to figure it out as Allah made this job easy for us in the Quran.
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (Al Quran, Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 183)
This verse clearly indicates the obligatory nature of fasting and also the ultimate purpose of this month long exercise. But unfortunately for many, Ramadan has become a month of lavish eating of variety of foods. i have personally met individuals who admitted gaining weight in Ramadan although they were expecting to loose weight. We must realize, that whatever we do in this month, should collectively contribute in helping us achieve the much needed righteousness. Imagine a whole month of hard work and you end up not achieving its ultimate purpose. Its just like driving a long distance and at the end you realize that you reached the wrong city.
Over socializing in Ramadan:
Beginning of Ramadan initiates a series of iftar parties, picnics & gatherings. It seems as if people have misunderstood the below hadith.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” (Al-Tirmidhi, authenticated by Al-Albani)
Although this hadith confirms a reward for the one who feeds a fasting person, it does not justify our delayed maghribs, hyped gossips, political discussions, missed taraweehs, over eating and even wastage of food in some cases. It would be preferable to have sober gatherings & simple food accompanied by congregational salah and discussions that would increase the spirit of Ramadan among the attendees. Best would be to organize iftars or provide food for the needy and less privileged as it falls in more with the spirit of the mentioned hadith.
Abstaining from what?
I will not write much on this, instead will share the below hadith as it is too easy to explain it
Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume #3, Book #31, Hadith Number 127.
Seeking the Laylatul Qadr:
One of the main aims of a Muslim in the month of Ramadan is to catch the Laylatul Qadr. It should be noted that this night can be anyone of the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan and not just one of them. Plan and prepare in advance to accommodate waking up extra hours at night. Take your family members as well (if they are able) for Qayam ul Layl. This will highlight the importance of this night among them, specially the teens.
Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume #3, Book #32, Hadith Number #2014.
Ramadan night matches and tournaments:
This is not a fatwa against sports, but spending continuous nights working hard to lift a trophy (which may not be you or your team) has nothing to do with the month of Ramadan and does not befit the ultimate purpose of this blessed month i.e. achieving righteousness.
In conclusion, take this month as a crash course to improve your next eleven months as a Muslim. Do not stop going to the masjid immediately after the moon is sighted for Eid. Do not revert back to foul speech and evil actions after Ramadan, and be easy with your stomach as it has a right upon you. And also remember that the football world cup 2014 is no match to your priorities in Ramadan. If it is becoming a hurdle in being your best this Ramadan, then don’t hesitate to keep it at bay for a successful Ramadan will get you past the gate of Rayyan while the world cup cannot.
By Muhammad Iqbal