Thursday March 25, 2021
Of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan lasts the longest and is cherished deeply by Muslims all over the world. We as Muslims are expected to abstain from food, drinks and worldly engagements and desires while observing fasts. But is that all Ramadan is about? Definitely not! This is because even just the simple act of abstention makes manifest a wave of goodness that is hidden in us all.
We all must have felt it at one time or another that there is something about the spirit of Ramadan that makes us all come together as one Muslim Ummah. The whole month, there is an air of calm and serenity where people leave behind the sins of the past and try to do good that God Almighty expects of us. It is almost like turning over a new leaf.
“Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari: 2008)
In addition to a new chance at life, the spirit of Ramadan is about forgiveness, taking care of each other and remembering the Almighty and a little more.
Reconnect and seek forgiveness in the holy month
First and foremost, when we abstain from the worldly material needs and desires, it allows us to bond with Allah (SWT) much more easily. Since Ramadan was the holy month when the Quran was sent down to the Prophet (PBUH), this month holds significance not only for the Muslim Ummah all over the world but for Allah (SWT) who has hidden in the last 10 nights of the month a wonderful treasure – the night of Qadr. 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 Bukhari: 2014)
For this reason, the whole month of Ramadan, especially the last ten nights, is a great opportunity to reconnect with God Almighty: talk to Him, pray to Him and read His Quran with devotion and He will bring you closer to Him and grant you peace.
Abstention paves way for keeping a check on your actions and thoughts. In the month of Ramadan, police yourself and be polite towards others. It is sometimes easy to get frustrated but the spirit of Ramadan demands something otherwise. Muslims should keep their peace within themselves and with those they interact with because not only does God love those who fulfill their duty towards Him but He also loves those who abstain from wrongdoing and care for their duty towards their brethren.
Spread goodness in Ramadan
Ramadan allows us to feel the pain of those brothers and sisters who live in poverty and cannot afford even the very basic human needs. One should remain conscientious of those around them and focus not on lavish Iftars for self but for those who deserve it most; a neighbor who has gone hungry, a beggar, a poor child, a hardworking poor man, anyone who you can help out, you should. It’s a month of sharing and if you can help even a single person out, the purpose of Ramadan is fulfilled.
So while fasting is the basis of the month of Ramadan, the spirit of Ramadan is much more than the mechanical act of abstaining from food and other desires. To reap the full rewards of Ramadan, one should keep in mind that it is a great time to reconnect with God, with our own self and with the community around us. In reaching back to these basics, we will find the true purpose of fasting and of this beautiful and holy month we so eagerly await.