Ramadan is back again, a Mutasim Billah Pritam's Article

Ramadan is back again, a Mutasim Billah Pritam's Article

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

After a year the long awaited Ramadan is back again. Full of blessings and forgiveness, the month is here to give us the opportunity to wash ourselves off our past sins and turn ourselves into better slaves of Allah. Muslims all over the world are excited about this month. Most of us have major plans for this month regarding acts of worship. We all want to pray the fard prayers more carefully and the nafl prayers for longer time, recite the Qur’an more, restrict ourselves from sins, engage ourselves in charity and righteous deeds, and make the most of the days of blessings. When the month ends, it seems to have ended too soon, but many of us forget that the month always leaves us messages which we forget very easily. I hope to write on a regular basis insha’Allah, and since this is the first one going out in the open, I’d like to start with something very basic.

At the very beginning, I would love to address the largest ‘group’, in which even I happen to fall. The rewards for ibadah is much greater in this month, which encourages us to strive more to go closer to Allah. Naturally, when we engage ourselves in a lot of ibadah all day, we automatically go further and further away from our sinful habits. Moreover, one other thing that we have working at the back of our heads is that, Ramadan is a month of blessings and forgiveness and it’s full of ‘purity’, which makes it look really bad if we get involved in sinful activities. We keep telling ourselves things like this – “I shouldn’t lie when I’m fasting.”, “I shouldn’t misbehave with someone while I’m fasting.”, “I shouldn’t miss my prayers while I’m fasting.” etc. Now let’s take a moment to think like mature sensible people. If something is sinful in Ramadan, isn’t it also sinful the rest of the year? If Allah is watching us commit sin in this month, doesn’t Allah also watch us the entire year? Any act of sin is displeasing to Allah, and lowers our level in Allah’s sight, be it in the month of Ramadan or some other time. To summarize, we should always strive to refrain ourselves from sinful activities. If we can do it in Ramadan, we can do it the rest of the year. We can master the practice of keeping ourselves away from bad habits which we make in Ramadan, and then use this skill to keep ourselves pure and perfect the rest of the year.

My second message goes to those brothers and sisters in Islam, who happen to waste a lot of time in this holy month, either planning for the Eid that is to come when the month ends or planning the day’s exquisite iftaar the whole day. Since we get this month once a year, we should be very careful about utilizing the time in making the most out of the opportunity. I see Muslim women getting busy in the house preparing delicious dishes for iftaar, or I see them getting exhausted in the shopping malls, busy trying to find the best clothes to wear on the Eid day. Sometimes it happens that during a shopping spree, many of our brothers and sisters also end up missing prayers! Is this really acceptable? We always happen to act very thoughtful, mature and sensible when it comes to very insignificant matters, while in case of understanding and following religion, we act like we either do not need to know well about it, or we don’t need to do that much for it. It is therefore extremely important that, instead of wasting our time on insignificant worldly matters like shopping and cooking (much more than what is sufficient), we should use the days we fast to get involved in rewarding activities which would be pleasing in Allah’s sight.

Our religion is not a culture or a tradition. It is not also something to keep on the side. It is not just a set of do’s and don’ts. Islam is the complete way of life. We should understand that instead of taking our acts of worship as mere rituals, we should accept that our religion is the very purpose of our lives. Let us take an initiative in this holy month, to rectify and purify ourselves and devote our hearts and minds towards understanding the religion in true sense and in depth. Not from the mouths of the general Muslim, not from the stories of our ancestors, not from the word-of-mouth of the people around us, but from the divine revelation – The Holy Qur’an, and the books of authentic ahadith, so that we free ourselves from all sorts of confusion and make certain that we all become absolutely successful in the true eternal sense.

May Allah guide the ummah towads the light of beneficial knowledge. Aameen.

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