A mockery of Ramadan
(Quran 2:183, O ye who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous)
With the inception of this blessed month of Ramadan, a non-Moslem friend asked, “are Moslems only good during Ramadan?”.
This question got me to do some reflection, and I found out that my friend wasn’t far from right in his general observation of some Muslims approach towards Ramadan and beyond.
Ramadan is supposed to be a springboard or a refiner of our virtues (good deeds) and not just a 30 day period of observing virtues. It is also supposed to be a landmark of assessment of your level of commitment to certain virtues you refined in the previous years.
So we have to ask ourselves, after every month of Ramadan are we able to read the Quran often as we read during Ramadan? Are we able to offer our five daily prayers and on time as we do during Ramadan? Do we offer tahajud that often? Do we give sadaqah as a habit? Are we always humble, tolerant and peaceful in all our dealings? Are we able to fully exhibit all the tenets of Islam like we do during Ramadan?
As Ramadan has just begun, some people have even started planning on what to wear on Eid-ul-fitr. Some are planning on the jamboree and all kinds of immoral enjoyment they will have on “salafest”. People go on the streets and celebrate like they have been set free or unleashed from a burden or released from a gruesome 30-day prison sentence under hard labour.
Ramadan is supposed to be a spiritual cleansing exercise which will transcend above the 30 days into every single day of our lives. May Allah have mercy on us so that we don’t just go hungry for 30 days, but rather undergo a 30-day spiritual rehabilitation which will leave footprints in our lives forever. It might look like a mockery of Ramadan, but it’s a mockery of our own self.
May Allah bless us all, forgive our shortcomings, and give us every drop of blessing in this Holy month of Ramadan, Amen!!!
Nine-day wonder of virtues
Very often we hear some Muslims say, Ramadan is over, we are going back to our “normal lives”. This is one of the most heartbreaking and unfortunate statements, to say the least, to have come from a Muslim. Because it is directly antagonistic to the philosophy behind the essence of Ramadan. It’s more or less like saying, let us remove the clean garments we are wearing now, and go and pick the dirty and torn ones we have removed.
Are we tired of the life of virtues and thrilled to go back to our “normal life” of vices? I should think so because our celebrations on Eid-ul-Fitr speak volumes to that effect. Debauchery and unnecessary forms of excitement (jams, clubbing, street carnivals, utmost disregard to the prescriptions of chastity etc). Our celebrations are like, “aahh, 30 days of suffering, at long last, the battle has ended, we are now done so let’s enjoy”.
Ramadan is supposed to be a refiner of our virtues, a 30-day training experience of virtues we must carry out for the rest of our lives. On social media, there were so many interesting, innovative, exciting and blessed “challenges/invitations/friendly competitions” during the month of Ramadan.
However, the real challenge lies in making these virtues and noble practices a habit as expected of us. Are we going to read the Quran as often as we did during Ramadan? Are we going to be regular and punctual in our five daily prayers? What about our tahajud? And our Friday Jummah prayers? Are we going to give sadaqah often? Are we always going to be humble, tolerant and peaceful in all our dealings? Are we going to fully exhibit all the tenets of Islam like we did in Ramadan? Indeed, that is the real challenge.
Being a good Muslim is not only for Ramadan, being a good Muslim is a complete way of life which transcends beyond Ramadan. Let not our virtues during the month of Ramadan be a nine-day wonder, that will only be a mockery of our own selves.
Allah, have mercy on us all and make us a model for the righteous; Ameen!!!