Ramadan, a time to reflect and become better servants of God
There are five main tenants in Islam: faith, prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage.
As the month of Ramadan approaches I am especially concerned about my sisters and brothers in warmer climates who will have to endure the extreme heat.
They will be challenged, but rewarded for enduring both hunger and thirst for the sake of Allah. Because of Allah’s mercy, I know that they will be OK, because Allah gives you what you strive for and we are all striving to complete the fast and incur His pleasure.
The Noble Koran states that Allah prescribed fasting as a frequent ritual but specifically in the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan holds extraordinary conditions and benefits and it is important to know the significance of this special time. A special feature of the Koran is that whenever it gives a command for action, it also provides the wisdom behind it. It tells what the final result of that action will be in this world, if it is successfully carried out.
In this way the Koran provides a realistic test for people to see whether or not they are moving towards their desired result. Regarding fasting, the Koran says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may [learn] self-restraint.” Al-Baqarah 2:183; translation: Yusuf Ali
Ramadan is the month in which the Koran was sent down as a guide to mankind, along with clear signs for guidance and judgment between right and wrong. So every one of you who is present at his home during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period should be made up by days later.
“God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. He wants you to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.“ Al-Baqarah 2:185; translation: Yusuf Ali
In the above verses, three results of fasting in Ramadan have been mentioned:
• Taqwaa: learning self-restraint
• Takbir: glorifying Allah Almighty because of being guided
• Shukra: being grateful.
The above combined is a recipe for success as humans in this world and the next. Let us reflect on the benefits of self-restraint, praising God and being grateful. Surely, the signs are there for those who reflect.
The following is an excerpt from Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon in the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat: “Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of God. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which God has deemed the best of months. Its days are the best of days, its nights the best of nights, and its hours the best of hours.
“It is the month which invites you to be guests of God and invites you to be one of those near Him. Each breath you take glorifies Him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and your supplications answered.”
Allah is ever merciful and each year we have a time to reflect, renew and become better servants of God and humanity.
• Linda Walia Ming is a member of the Bermuda Hijab Dawah Team, a group of Muslim women who reside in Bermuda and have a goal of educating the community about the religion of Islam
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