The month of Ramadan isn't only about forbidding food and drink from dusk to dawn but is much more than that. It's a practising month for spiritual enhancement paralleling benefiting health. Although fasting is a physical exercise, the optimum purpose is to gain God's pleasure by abstaining from nullifying actions. Understanding the essence of fasting and acting accordingly with good intentions is highly rewarding in this world as well as hereafter.
The truth that lies behind one abstaining from hunger and thirst is to fathom the starvation of the poor. On the contrary, one must avoid indulging in inappropriate actions and cut ties to worldly desires. Fasting comes once every year so the auspicious month should be utilized to discipline oneself from prohibited actions. Remember, good deeds must continue to impact one's daily life too.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Rah) the messenger of Allah (saw) said; "Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his sins are forgiven" (Imam Buhari).
While fasting with sincere faith, one must guard their ears, eyes, tongue, hands, feet and other organs free from sins. As such that to keep their mind from useless concerns and thoughts, eyes from watching unnecessary stuff, tongues from lying to backbiting, hands from interest and stealing, bodies from sexual relations and so on. It is a total devotion to the person's body and soul. Learn to be patient as:
Allah's Messenger (sal) said "Fasting is a shield, so when one of you fasts he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say, 'I am fasting, I am fasting" (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
Remember, there are no whispers of Shaitan as Shaitan is locked up. So all the actions performed in Ramadan are at your own will. Hence be mindful to control your nafs (soul) and strive for good deeds. This must turn into a habit on normal days too to enhance the love of Allah.
A Muslim who is observing a fast is advised to engage in Taraweeh and Witr prayers for additional rewards. It is performed in the congregation at night after Isha (the last prayer of the day) for both males and females. Muslims who are unable to go to the mosque due to any circumstances can pray at home individually. It is an established sunnah followed by the companions and the caliphs after the Prophet (PBUH)'s death which is continued till this day.
Although it's optional, Muslims pray to gain the maximum benefits in the blessed month. Taraweeh is eight rakahs with three rakahs for Witr. Taraweeh is limited only during Ramadan while Witr can be prayed even after Ramadan on normal days. Allah is pleased and considers beloved when his servant makes efforts to get closer to him.
The month of Ramadan is in which the Quran was revealed as the Holy Quran states: "The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination".
One must invoke the Quran in their life as connecting with the Quran brings Muslims closer to the creator. Along with reciting, you must learn its meaning to understand the purpose of existence. Moreover, it purifies the heart, raising your status in the eyes of Allah.
The Holy Quran will intercede on the day of Judgement for those who recite it. To learn the insight of the Quran even more during Ramadan, you can watch videos of authentic scholars related to it to expand your knowledge.
Ramadan is also a month of benevolence to share the blessings of Ramadan. Involvement in simple activities to develop a sense of unity in society. To start with, Share iftar with your neighbours to develop a relationship with them and to earn lots of rewards.
You can also get together with your friends or family to pack iftar meals for the poor, needy or even the orphanage. It is better to break the fast and communicate with them to make them feel included. The pack can be consisting of dates, water, a sandwich, a drink and fruit. This is a form of charity to gain the bounty of Allah.
It is mentioned that "Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward" (At-Tirmidhi)
Invite non-muslim friends to allow them to learn the Islamic culture. Help your younger siblings to read the Quran and teach Islamic stories. You can include the children in the neighbourhood to talk about the benefits of fasting. Arrange Islamic quizzes and plays to make it fun. In the end, prepare gifts like stationary items or books for them to enjoy.
Ramadhan should change one's behaviour and outlook towards life to change their life so let us keep in mind that exercised piety is utilised throughout our life. May this positive article open the doors of Rahmah within our Muslim community and provide ease in our daily life.
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