The holy month of Ramazan has begun. Muslims, all across the globe are fasting from dawn to dusk, their hunger and thirst magically more controlled than usual. The sublime sense of piety takes over everyone as they try to reap all the blessings that this month brings.
Ramazan is a month of forgiveness, blessings and rewards. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Its significance comes mainly from the act of fasting made obligatory for healthy Muslims, and the fact that the Holy Quran was revelation upon the Prophet Muhammad during this month. Hence, we must conduct ourselves in a way that ensures we reap the maximum benefits of this spiritual month.
To state the obvious, Ramazan is a month for worshipping Allah. Fasting, praying, reciting the Quran and doing Zik’r (remembering Allah) — these are the main ways through which we worship and give thanks to Allah Almighty for the infinite blessings showered down upon us.
Throughout the year, we go about navigating the daily struggles of life, and in the process, we end up piling up many sins. Being rude to our parents, getting into verbal arguments with friends, telling little white lies here and there, backbiting and so many more sins we end up being guilty of. To make mistakes is human nature. but here is a massive opportunity to atone for all those sins by asking for forgiveness from Allah. Take it a notch further, and before or during Ramazan, apologise to all those you may have hurt consciously or otherwise. Ramazan is a month to forgive and forget grudges.
Do good to others
Fulfilling our duties toward God is just one part of Ramazan. We also have a duty towards our fellow beings. Allah has made it binding upon us to fulfil the rights towards His creations. We are all aware that Allah will not forgive any violation of Huqooq-ul-Ibad (rights of people). In fact, a Hadith states that on the Day of Judgement, if a person fails to fulfil the rights of his fellow brother/sister, Allah will take the good deeds of that person, and transfer them to the scale of the person who was wronged. This shows that it is of utmost importance that we take care of our fellow humans.
Share the blessings
The love of Allah will come naturally in our hearts when we realise how much He has blessed us with. The fact that you are reading this is actually a blessing of Allah — that He has blessed you with eyes to see, with a mind that is sharp and the skill to read. So be it financial, educational or social — we are doing way better than so many people in our society. Isn’t it enough for us to be grateful to Him?
One of the ways to be grateful for the blessings we have is to pass it on to others and to help others. The recent inflation has pushed several people below the poverty line. Many parents can no longer afford to send their children to school. Look around you. If your maid brings her child to your house, teach him/her how to read and write. Take out ten minutes from your schedule every day and devote them to that little one.
Do your parents give you daily or monthly pocket money? Give a small percentage of that in charity. There are so many charitable organisations which are working tirelessly for the welfare of our people. You can either donate to those or find needy individuals.
Acts of kindness we can all do
Did you know that the reward for every good deed done in Ramazan is multiplied by 70? That’s pretty amazing, right? Better take full advantage of that!
A great way to do that is to start a chain of little acts of kindness. Make someone’s day better by giving them a nice compliment. Or just smile — even smiling is an act of charity.
Are you walking to the mosque and spot a piece of garbage or a stone on the footpath? Remove that and ta-dah! You just did a good deed.
Giving water and food to people who are not fasting is another example of charity. Do the same for animals, for they are also God’s creations.
Or if your mum is working in the kitchen, offer your help and lighten her burden, for she is also fasting. That’s instant brownie points and more love from mum!
Build good habits
Ramazan is a month to build good habits that will last you the whole year. Make a schedule. Since the schools are open this Ramazan, you will have to make a schedule and follow it with discipline so that you can do well all that you need to do.
After coming back from school, set time for rest, studies, prayers and doing any extra good deeds that you have planned. Yes, you can do it all, if only you don’t think of it as tough or difficult. Give yourself the initial few days to set into a routine, see how best you can fix your sleep schedule to make sure you are rested, can wake up in time for a hearty Sehri and also make it to school without dozing all day.
Ramazan doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. A big charm of Ramazan lies in the inevitable Iftar parties. Nothing is more fun than dressing up and breaking the fast with family and friends, with a chilled glass of lemonade, piping hot samosas and spicy chaat. Oh, the joy! However, this festivity should not make us forget the true purpose of Ramazan. We must remain focused on the end goal — to please Allah and to become a better version of ourselves than we were at the start of the month. And amid all our efforts, obviously the party must go on. Good luck!
Published in Dawn, Young World, March 25th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.