THE Ramadan has ended. Its demands of abstinence from food and water are some of the easily remembered aspects of the month-long observation, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Ramadan is more. It provides an annual period of profound introspection of a believer’s relationship with the Almighty, his Maker. Major decisions about life and the hereafter are meant to issue from the deeper relations with the Almighty Allah.
The blessings of the month of spiritual elevation are for those who are faithful to its tenets. For the individual, it is a month of re-awakening, a time to reflect on the understanding of the person’s life and its purpose.
Many aspire to improve their spirituality during Ramadan. The tougher challenge is to retain it. A better relationship with the Almighty would translate to a better appreciation of life, care for others, their positions on issues, and even their belief.
Our focus on the beneficence and munificence of the Almighty Allah have no meaning if we do not extend same to others, particularly the down-trodden. There is growing need in our society to care more for others.
African traditions promote caring for others. The society is built on the social safe nets communities provide for themselves in a one for all, all for concept of society. Islam is one of the religions that preaches care, as exhibited in the giving of alms, another pillar of the religion.
Part of the mercies that Nigerians want to see is the extension of benevolence to the search for peace. The campaign to stop the killings in the North is a request that is made with some religious flavour as we appeal for peace in daily encounters with each other.
Islam is a peaceful religion and would not support killings, whether before, during or after Ramadan. Attacks in different parts of the North killed more than 200 people during Ramadan. These attacks negate the peace associated with Islam, especially during Ramadan.
Individual appreciation of Ramadan, across religions, decides convictions, which determine how people act in their relation with the Almighty, and their fellow man.
Ramadan is challenging to all. The poor, whose circumstances are such that daily they are in want and deprivation, must have felt the challenges more. Appeals that the wealthy ones should help the poor – something some governments do – are admissions that we should do more to minimise excruciating poverty among our people, well after Ramadan.
The piety of Ramadan is a reminder of the peaceful relations we should have with each other in obedience to the Almighty Allah, the fountain of peace.
Happy Eid el-Fitri to our readers. May the blessings of Ramadan endure.