by Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar echoing from the minarets all around the globe, happiness and joy on the faces of young and old, and humble generosity being witnessed around us. Yes, Eid has finally arrived and Muslims have bid farewell to the beloved month of Ramadan. A new beginning is at the footsteps and a fresh start to people’s personal and professional lives is anticipated.
As with every journey in life, the fasting and good deeds of Ramadan have a precise purpose, and that is to attain piety and be conscious of the actions we perform.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain piety” -The Holy Quran [2: 183]
That said, it should be of no surprise that the fruit of the time and effort invested in Ramadan should be evident throughout the year. Let us take a step back and assess if Ramadan truly allowed its participants to attain the year round piety mentioned above. First of all, allow me to define piety as the state of “God-consciousness” that brings forth self-restraint; fear of displeasing the Almighty, and as a result, conscious behavior. Second, let us split piety into the realms of worshiping the Most Merciful and good conduct towards others.
In the realm of worship, Ramadan has taught Muslims many lessons through its rituals. Through the act of fasting, Ramadan has taught Muslims to be patient (restraining oneself from food, water and desires). Furthermore, through the repeated nightly prayers, Ramadan has taught Muslims persistence in achieving their goals, commitment to specific deadlines, and abiding by specific rules of fasting and prayers. As we transition into the post Ramadan period, the traits of patience, persistence towards achieving any kind of goals, prompt timing, and abiding by regulation can and should be maintained throughout the year. This could be applied to all areas of Muslims’ daily lives and is not restricted to worship alone.
I believe an excellent way to keep this segment of piety alive throughout the year is to practice some Ramadan rituals regularly. These include praying late at night as well as fasting certain days of the week or the month.
“Deeds are shown (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.” – Prophet Muhammad- Peace be Upon Him (al-Tirmidhi :747)
In the realm of good conduct towards others, Ramadan has taught many to be gentle and wary of others’ concerns in an effort to seek the All-Knowing’s pleasure. Acts of charity, gift-giving, visiting family members, controlling temper, and encouraging good behavior have been typical in the holy month. Again, as we transition into the post Ramadan period, these acts can and should be preserved and regularly performed.
“Those who spend (freely in the path of Allah), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) people;- for Allah loves those who do good” – The Holy Quran [3:134]
However, as Ramadan passes by every year, a lot of the piety that was attained disappears along with it. Therefore, failing to achieve its purpose as explained above. In order to maintain this piety and ensure Ramadan’s success, it is incumbent for Muslims to learn from this holy month and evaluate themselves throughout the year by feeding their piety via consistent acts of worship and acts of good conduct towards others. As a result, Muslims celebrating this Eid should base their happiness and joy on the achievement of a lasting level of piety that will fuel the year ahead.
In summary, the purpose of Ramadan is to attain piety. This piety is achieved through the lessons Muslims have learnt in Ramadan in patience, persistence towards achieving goals, and abiding by timelines and regulations. In addition, this piety is reflected in Muslims’ actions of kindness towards others. The piety achieved in Ramadan is intended to persist throughout the year and only then is Ramadan’s effectiveness validated.
“To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad has passed away, but if (anyone of) you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die.” – Abu Bakr Al Siddique, 1st Caliph of Islam, Sahih Al Bukhari [vol 5, book 59, 733]
Similarly, if anyone amongst you used to worship just Ramadan, then Ramadan has passed. But if anyone of you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die. Let us ensure that our efforts and time contribute towards a bigger goal. Let us keep the fruits of Ramadan alive throughout the year. Let us attain piety.
Sail eMagazine’s 18th Issue – September 2011
Here We Start – Art of Living 101 – Community Talk – Food for Thought
Just Another Undergrad – Society of Tomorrow – The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s Eye – To the Point – Too Blunt for Words – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Mohammed’s bi-monthly column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region. The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues.