“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” – Surah Al-Baqarah (Quran 2:183)
Good Morning, Abusuapanin. My write-up today is a mark departure from the usual political discussions in this column. The topic under discussion today is the just ended Ramadan fast and its significance. I’m sure you would understand considering the fact that today is a national holiday to mark Eid-ul-Fitr (Ramadan fast festival).
I woke up around 3 am yesterday (Sunday) to take my “Sahoor” (dawn meal) and prepare for the 30th day of this year’s Ramadan fast when news of the sighted crescent reached me. It thus implies that this year’s fast was for 29 days. Alhamdulillah, it does not matter whether 29 or 30 days because the value is the same.
Muslims all over the world underwent the month long fast to renew their spirituality and faith. Without a doubt, the spiritual exercise was very demanding. But we were able to endure and resist all temptations. Indeed, to deny oneself food, drink and abstain from sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk for one month requires a lot of perseverance. All thanks to Allah for granting us long life and making us see the back of this year’s fast.
The level of spiritualism we see among the Muslim “Ummah” (community) every Ramadan is very commendable. The devotion to religious duty in that month cannot be equaled by any other month. It is thus justifiable to celebrate the month-long fast with the “eid” (festival).
I’ve heard many people ask what is so special about the Ramadan fast. Ramadan is special to the Muslim because it is believed that the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saw) during this month. It is also believed that during this month the gates of hell are closed and the gates of heaven opened. According to the Qur’an, “Laylat-ul- Qadr” (The Night of Power) also falls in this same month.
The importance of the Night of Power to the Muslim cannot be overstated. Surah Al-Qadr (Qur’an Chapter 97:3-5) says “…. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”
Clearly, the significance of the month of Ramadan and what happens therein cannot be overemphasized. But the question to ask is: What usually happens after the one month spiritual exercise is over? Do we continue with the good deeds we imbibed during Ramadan? Or do we revert to our sinful ways?
I wish I could choose the former, but what I usually see after Ramadan makes it difficult for me to do so. Clearly, the latter is the more obvious answer between the two. What one usually sees immediately after Ramadan makes one wonder if some of our brothers and sisters in the faith have learnt anything during the one month fast.
Indeed, it is not uncommon to see people who are supposed to be our kindred in faith engaging in very questionable acts such as drinking alcohol, licentiousness and sexual promiscuity. These immoral acts are sometimes committed on the day of Eid- the very first day after the month-long spiritual exercise. The Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) is said to have likened such acts after Ramadan to one building a beautiful house and then foolishly demolishing it. For sure, that is the height of foolhardiness!
I’m not an Islamic scholar and I don’t pretend to be one. But I’m a student who, by the grace of Allah, has an appreciable level of understanding of both English and Arabic. If for nothing at all, I can read the Qur’an and understand.
Without a doubt, the Almighty did not intend for us to learn piety and righteousness in the month of Ramadan and discard those good values after the fast. The bearded Old Man’s desire is for us to learn piety and righteousness in the Holy Month of Ramadan and continue with them in subsequent months.
While I congratulate all my kindred in faith for enduring the difficulties associated with the month-long fast, I entreat all of us to remember that our “ibadat” (worship) does not end after Ramadan. Indeed, as we bask in the glory of Eid-ul-Fitr, we should be minded by what is “halal” (permitted) and “haram” (not permitted).
It was indeed a very long month and it is apt to wish all my Muslim kindred a very loud EID MUBARAK! May the Almighty accept our ibadat!
Source: Daily Guide/Editorial
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