As we look out for the moon today for new month of Shawwal, how much has Ramadan affected you positively and how have you adjusted to the requirements of the month? What have you been doing that you would not want to do again? Would you like to continue doing what you always do in Ramadan? It is indeed a rewarding time.

Muslims are expected to be better persons at the end of this month. That is why the Prophet advised that this month must not pass without Muslims seeking forgiveness of sins from Almighty Allah and turning out to be a better person. Therefore, a re-appraisal is necessary at this juncture.

Fasting during this month is a way to protect you from evil and learn patience, humility and control. It is also considered to be a shield against evil and allows Muslims to get rid of their sins. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” So, we can say that with some degree of certainty that we are a new born, we have been cleansed of our sins and we should henceforth refrain from sins, maintain that status, help other needy Muslims and make the society better.

One important benefit of fasting is that it helps you to understand the suffering and pain of the poor. It also allows human beings to understand how those who do not have enough money for a meal survive through the day. Therefore, it is believed that fasting makes individual a better person as it allows them to associate with the pain of others. No fasting Muslim will observe the Ramadan fast very well, keeping all the dictates and remain the same. It will no doubt leave us a better person both physically and spiritually.

Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) said: Allah decorates Paradise every day saying to it, ‘My righteous slaves are about to be comforted of their burdens and sufferings and enter you’; Shaytan is chained during this month and sins of the believers are forgiven by the last night of Ramadan. Those who really appreciate this cry as Ramadan winds down.

Remember to give your Zakat-ul-Fitr.   We have dealt so much on that in the last few days. Endeavour to give it in staple foods or in cash as the case may be.   A Saudi scholar’s view, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mutlaq coroborated the payment with money a few days ago when he said: “the poor need cash more than rice in Zakat ul-Fitr. “We should not blame those who want to give Zakat al-Fitr in cash; there are considerable doctrinal views which allow it, and we must respect each other in such matters.”

Another senior scholar, Sheikh Qais Al-Mubarak backed it, saying it is permissible to take the Hanafiah model to pay the Zakat ul-Fitr in cash.

May Allah grant us the grace to observe many more Ramadan. Amin

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