The fact is not all who fasted last year will also fast this year due to different reasons surrounding their vicinity. Some of the major reasons are diseases or deaths. When you are still alive and healthier, you should ask yourself ‘why Allah is still letting me alive?’ Definitely, Allah has something to do with you. You should know that your existence is not void before Allah.
The awaited and blessed month of Ramadan is approaching. The faithful have been preparing to welcome it. Some of the preparations include optional fasts in the months of Rajab and Shabaan, arranging for charity giving, planning community Iftaars, and getting special supplications ready for this month. Non-essential and optional travel is postponed. People pray for good health and the ability to observe the fasts. They are looking forward to breaking their fast with their families, friends, and community members, at their homes, at the mosques, and at the religious institutions. Optional Prayers and Qur’anic recitations become a daily routine.
Every Muslim knows that Islam has five pillars and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is one of the most important pillars of Islam. Allah made this pillar to be the harvest season for blessings and the strongest soap that is capable of dealing with chronic dirty of sins leaving the cloth with its original colour after thirty days. It is in this month when the Noble Qur’an was revealed to our beloved prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him). “The month of Ramadan in which was sent down the Qur’an – the guidance for mankind” Al-Quran 2:185
What is meant by Sawm (fasting) during Ramadan? In Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and other sensual pleasures from dawn to dusk. The fast is performed to obey Allah’s command with an aim to inculcate discipline, humbleness and self-restraint, to experience what the poor and destitute feel, and to develop the noble habit of generosity. Hadith. It is attributed to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A.S.) that he said: “Your day of fasting should not be like ordinary days. When you fast, all your senses, eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet must fast with you.”
Every year the month of Ramadan comes and goes; every year we fast, yet without proper appreciation of the potentials of character building that the fasts hold for us. We find ourselves as spiritually backwards after the fast are over as when the month began. In fact our lack of knowledge of the real objectives of fasts often tends to produce an adverse effect in us, for, as is well known, the best of medicines could have ill effects if not taken in accordance with the physician’s directives and instructions. Thus it is, that the fast tends to make many of us irritable and quick tempered (expecting, as we do, VIP treatment from others, especially our subordinates and family members because of our fast) while the fast was in fact meant to mellow us into exhibiting the finer tracts of human character as illustrated by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Fasting is there for you as a believer; “O People who Believe! Fasting is made compulsory for you, like it was ordained for those before you, so that you may attain piety.” [Al-Baqarah 2:183]
Why do we fast by the way?
The most important consideration in undertaking a fast, as in any act of devotion, is to seek nearness to Allah, and seek His pleasure and Forgiveness. This itself generates a spirit of piety in man. Creating the conditions of hunger and thirst for oneself, simply in obedience to the Divine order, measures the faith of man in Allah and helps strengthen it by putting it to a severe test. Fasting makes us deeply conscious of the pangs of hunger and discomfort suffered by the less fortunate among our brethren. They have to put up with difficult conditions all through their lives. It thus kindles in man a spirit of sacrifice leading to change towards his suffering brethren.
Let us supplicate together “Lord! The month of Ramadan has arrived, and You have required us to fast during it and revealed the Qur’an as guidance to mankind and a clear distinction of the guidance and the right criteria. O Lord! Help us observe its fast; accept the same from us; surely You can do everything.
The Author, Idrissa Chirombo is a student at International University of Africa in Sudan, studying Pharmacy. He is a regular contributor to this website.