By HAROON BALOGUN
Bismillahi-Rahamani-RaheemThe Qur’an says: “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.
So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days.
Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”(Q 2:185)
IN less than 24 hours from now, Muslims all over the world would be in Ramadan, all things being equal. It is expected that by now, preparation should have reached cresendo. We were thought that the companions of the Prophet began preparation for the glorious month six months in advance.
Those who have failed to use the opportunity of Rajab and Shaban to get adequately prepared for the glorious month or failed to internalise the acts of ibadaah required in the month of Ramadan ma be caught napping during the course of fasting the whole month.
It is not only about abstention from food and drink, it is about clutching tenaciously with your Holy Quran, reciting it and ruminating over its message.
Ruminating over message
It is about observing your Tarawih regularly, it is about Nawafil/Tahjud (night supplication), it is about attending tafsir where the exegesis and analysis of the Quran is done; of course it is about giving generously, especially to the fasting Muslims, it is about all these and many more; a busy time indeed.
That is why some people after the first week, or so, they return to their former self, panting and giving excuses. Mosques are usually filled up within the first few days of the month and become scanty after a couple of weeks into Ramadan especially during Tarawih. It is nothing but inadequate preparation.
Some erroneously believe that a few weeks before Ramadan, they will have to eat voraciously to make up for the period of fasting in the month of Ramadan.
This is antithetical to the teachings of the Prophet. One hadith says: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah ) Besides, by controlling what we eat now, we will not only benefit our health in the short and long term, but moderate eating will make us less heavier and enable us to maximise the amount of worship we do everyday during Ramadan and the rest of our lives.
We must start controlling our tongues now. Bad habit can not be controlled in overnight process. We must make a start now so that by the time Ramadan comes we would have achieved the necessary changes in our manners and characters. Let us begin to feel that Ramadan is here and anything we want to do must be in consonance with what is permitted in Ramadan.
Mar’aba Bika Yaa Ramadan. Allah gives us the grace to witness this forthcoming Ramadan, observe it and grant us the strength and ability to maximise the reward therein. Amin.