Ramadan : Chance to build yourself
Millions of Muslims across the globe look forward to the holy, merciful and blessed Ramadan which falls on May 16 and 17. With the sighting of the moon, the devotees will initiate the Ramadan fasting.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) used to get ready for this special month two months ahead of Ramadan because of its significance and numerous benefits. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for 30 days with the solid anticipation of seeking forgiveness and blessings of Allah.
The 30-day period comprises three divisions. The first 10 days is for blessings (Rah math). The second 10-day duration seeks repentance for the sins committed (Magfirath). The last 10-day duration seeks protection from the Hell (Ethukum Minannar). Fasting is compulsory for every healthy Muslim though there are exemptions for the elderly, the pregnant, the breastfeeding mothers, the patients and the travelers. The real purpose of fasting is not the abstinence from eating and drinking. Its genuine purpose is to purify the soul and body of the people who fast in the month of Ramadan.
During the Ramadan, the Muslims engage in religious activities and rituals such as reciting Holy Quran, performing special prayers such as tharawi and withir to obtain the utmost satisfaction of Allah. Almighty Allah states in Hadithkuthsi, on Ramadan: The followers of Islam perform various worships for himself but fasting is absolutely for me and I myself only bestow reward for the fasting besides, Allah does not want the mere starvation of His men but He expects the pure and pious involvement of believers who fast only seeking higher ranks during the rewarding day. Allah orders his angels to open the gates of heaven and close the gates of hell and chain up Satan during the month of Ramadan in order to honour the fasting month.
The people who tend to commit sins during other eleven months of the year intentionally get ready to fast and make themselves free from committing sins during the month of Ramadan. Once, the Prophet climbed the steps to make a sermon on Friday. He said Amen when the Jibreel (Ali), the leader of all Angels, stated that those who had the opportunity to fast in the Ramadan and failed to obtain forgiveness for his sins from almighty Allah would go to hell.
The Muslims, fasting in Ramadan, should be patient, avoid getting angry and should refrain from speaking lies, backbiting, speaking ill of others, making false promises, looking at women with lustful thoughts, mouthing foul, unnecessarily quarrelling with others and forming nasty and suspicious ideas about other people. Such acts will nullify the real intention of Ramadan. Muslims should genuinely involve in charity (sadaqua) and take a solitary position to plead with Allah for forgiveness for the sins committed in the past.
Practically speaking, the people tend to waste away their precious time in this gifted month. They watch television, engage in idle talk and play various indoor games such as carom and chess. In fact, this will not bring any reward from Allah. Quite the contrary, these will erode away our good deeds and finally make us bankrupt on the doomsday.
The Muslims should pray five times during the Ramadan period. The fasting is only the fourth pillar of Islam while the prayer is the second pillar. The rewards are multiplied for prayers during the blessed period of Ramadan. When a Muslim performs (Nafeel prayers) normal prayers, he will get the benefits of (Farl Prayers) compulsory prayers.
The Farl Prayer is 70-fold greater than the prayers performed during an ordinary period. This month has also been recognised and respected by Muslims owing to the night of power (Lailathul Qadr). It is greater than thousand months. It lies hidden in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan in which the Almighty Allah revealed the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Muslim fraternity must realise the meritorious power of this month and strive to obtain the maximum benefits. No one can assure of our existence next year. Perhaps this may be our last Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said that two significant things will intercede for us from Allah in the doomsday. First, it is the Quran that we recited during our lifespan. Second is the fasting.
Allah has created a special entrance (Entrance of Raiyan) through which only the people who fasted will enter the heaven. Considering the benefits and uniqueness of this blessed period, the Muslims should utilize every single minute to seek spiritual satisfaction. Some quarters idle around on the roads, at night-time, disturbing the people fast asleep.
The fraternity shall refrain from such nefarious activities. The parents shall keep the children from wasting their precious time on the road. The children should be guided on capitalising on the precious time. They can make use of the precious time by reciting Quran or engaging in thikkr or prayers.
The spiritual practice will benefit us during the Ramadan. (M Jalaldeen Isfan)