By ISHOLA BALOGUN
Almighty Allah has offered us another opportunity to be alive to witness another glorious month, Ramadan. Alhamdullilah. Not all those who prayed for it got it. Within the last 12 months, innumerable souls have gone to the great beyond, so many who had wished and prepared for the month few days back could not have the grace to witness it.
Some though not dead yet in critical conditions without the consciousness of observing the first Ramadan. We, of course are not better than them, we are rather specially blessed by Allah (SWT). Allahuma, Laka lihamdu-Shukran.
Yes, fasting has begun, in its fifth day today, but there is more to the act of abstinence from food and drink, there is deeper fulfillment, there is spiritual re-evaluation and divine rewards. We need to be asking ourselves all the time how we are going to benefit from the holy month. What are we going to do to make the most of Ramadan?
As we try to achieve this goal, we have to use the period more in not only recitation of the Qur’an but internalising the message; we should take the focus away from mundane things we have been doing in the last 11 months, turn a new leaf, see one another as brothers, share from what we have and build better spiritual lives. We should engage in supplication and invocations to Allah to change our situation, especially in the country. We are undoubtedly passing through difficult times and only divine intervention can bring the desired change.
Again, Ramadan fast is neither a diet nor a punishment. A fasting Muslim is expected to be happy because we are doing it in obedience to Allah’s ordinances. We don’t have to be irritating while fasting just because we abstain from food and drink, even at the slightest provocation, a fasting Muslim must maintain decorum. A fasting period is a communication period with the Supreme Being – Allah.
Fasting does not only teach us to control our unruly behaviours, but it also helps us to remember others who are less priviledged in the society, because fasting let us understand the sufferings of those who go without food as a part of life; so, give light and hope to their lives.
Since giving is central to what Ramadan is all about; from the begining of this Ramadan, you have to plan how you are going to affect the lives of others. In doing so, we not only heap down blessings on ourselves, insha’ Allah, but we also show others who don’t know anything about Islam other than the concept of violence which they erroneously ascribe to it that Islam is about love and caring for the have nots.