Getting the best out of the Month of Ramadhan

Assalaamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you

Alhumdulillah (all Praise belongs to Allah) the month of Ramadhan has really set in now as we come towards the end of the first Ashr’aa (the first 10 days).

And in this blessed month we see so many changes around us.  We see the masjids packed with worshippers morning, noon and night.  We see our womenfolk doing more acts of worship within the homes.  Yes the fasts are long, the hours of sleep few and we’re all feeling the tiredness and fatigue as we near the end of the working week, but hey, this is what it’s all about!

These little sacrifices, the extra long Taraaweeh (nightly prayers) and the increased inclination towards our One, True Allah is what this beautiful month is for.

Yet, there are some people I have met and encountered who seem to be gaining little more than an empty stomach and bags under their eyes…..

These are the people who, although they are fasting, are missing their Salaah (five daily prayers).  They do not increase in the recitation of the Qur’an.  They do not pray their Taraaweh, and worse still, indulge in all sorts of forbidden activities such as backbiting, swearing and telling lies, etc.

What we have to ask ourselves is what does Allah want us to gain from this fasting?  Is it just so that we can go hungry?  Is it so that we’re tired all week for no reason?  Can we get closer to Allah on just an empty stomach?

The answer to all three is no.  Our problem is that we think that all we have to do is fast and by that the criteria for having completed a successful Ramadhan is fulfilled – that is a complete fallacy.

What we must understand is that through a combination of our hunger, our increased recitation of the Qur’an, our long nightly prayers, by giving in charity and by refraining from evils such as backbiting and general bad character, we can attain Taqwa - piety, which Allah has described as the purpose of Ramadhan.

And if done, these acts of worship will create a certain spirituality within us and provide us with spiritual strength to go through the rigours of the day on an empty stomach.  Once a person involves him or herself in these activities then they will feel that ‘buzz’ you only get in this amazing month.  And as we all know, it’s not just about the ‘buzz’ but in reality it is about making up all that ground we have lost throught the course of the year in our race to reach the Most High, the Most Merciful, our Creator, Sustainer and Provider, Allah, and get closer to Him than ever before.

No wonder our Prophet (PBUH) used to increase his acts of worship in Ramadhan.  It is the month to better ourselves and re-establish that ailing relationship with Allah.

But if we do not do try to increase in our worship and do not try to refrain from our usual bad habits, then I’m afraid all we’ll get is an empty stomach, a parched throat and a terrible temper from the lack of food.  And this, I’m sure you’ll all agree, completely defeats the object of fasting and instead of gain, we will get nothing but loss at the end of Ramadhan.

And Allah knows best.

M’as-salaam

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