THERE is more to Ramadan than the abstinence from food and water. Ramadan is a time of evaluating one’s relationship with the Almighty, his Maker. It is a month for major decisions about life and the hereafter.
Ramadan is a month of spiritual elevation for those who faithfully stick to the tenets of the period. It should be a month of spiritual re-awakening reflecting the understanding of the individual about his life and its purpose.
During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking any liquids from sunrise to sunset, which can be a challenge, especially with the high humidity in most places. The discipline of maintaining this regime is one of the things that direct the focus on Almighty Allah.
Needs are local which must have informed the call by Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Ramalan Yero made on insurgents to end the killings that have torn parts of Nigeria into bits, particularly since 2011. His simple “end the killings now” message though appropriate gives the impression that it would be acceptable to continue the killings after the month of Ramadan.
Islam is a peaceful religion and would not support killings, whether before, during or after Ramadan. Yero’s other messages about using the Ramadan to forge more friendships across borders of religion and region are on target.
“Let us seize this divine mercy through worship and prayers for Allah, the Almighty, to bring the present spate of insecurity in our land to an end. Ramadan is a period of enormous divine grace and salvation. It is, therefore, a time for us to pray for Allah’s mercy in bringing lasting peace and harmony to Kaduna State and Nigeria at large,” he said.
Kaduna State has had its share of the killings with new ones beginning before the past ones are addressed. Most recently, unknown gunmen killed more than 200 people in villages in different parts of the State.
“We are all created by God Almighty and the only way to glorify God’s gift of life to us is by living peacefully with one another,” Yero said. The profundity of that claim lies on how individuals, across religions internalise their relation with the Almighty, and the practices that their beliefs entail.
Ramadan can be more challenging to the poor, whose circumstances are such that daily they are in want and deprivation. Appeals that the wealthy ones should help the poor – something some governments do – are admissions that we should do more to reduce excruciating poverty among our people.
The piety Ramadan produces is a reminder of the peaceful relations we should have with each other in obedience to the Almighty Allah who is the fountain of peace.