A week before Ramadan approached us, a friend informed me about the closing parties some restaurants and clubs are hosting to send off the season before Ramadan begins. Thus, some people misunderstood this as a ‘last chance, more partying week’ to get consumed in drinking and other things; but, it is fine as these will be repented during the holy month of Ramadan. Well, I guess for most people Ramadan is the month to repent their sins of the year before.
Unfortunately, many of these ‘last minute party-goers’ are Muslims who will pray for forgiveness during this holy month. The sad truth is right after Ramadan is over the parties are louder than ever to make up for the “lost” time. The first day of Eid Al Fitr is greeted by concerts, parties and other opportunities to undo that forgiveness they prayed for. Aren’t they contradicting themselves?
According to Prophet Mohammed (SAAWS) who said:
“If anyone drinks wine Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents Allah will forgive him. If he repeats the offence, Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents again Allah will forgive him. If he again repeats the offence Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, but if he repents Allah will forgive him. If he repeats it a fourth time Allah will not accept prayer from him for forty days, and if he repents Allah will not forgive him, but will give him to drink of the river of the fluid flowing from the inhabitants of Hell.”
Why do people think Ramadan is the only month they can do good deeds? The only month where they can repent in? Suddenly, everyone becomes a religious scholar, preacher and advisor in religious matters during this month.
What we are supposed do in this holy month is feel grounded and escape away from all the materialism found in the world around us. In this month, a person should feel the pain and hunger of the less fortunate people and live a simple life.
A person should take this time to renew his faith in his creator, the world and the people around him. During this month, we should heal our spiritual beliefs and find equilibrium in ourselves. We take the time to meditate, read Quran and try not to gossip or hurt anyone around us with our harsh words. This month should not be seen for Muslims only. The purpose of this month is for us to better ourselves and the quality of our lives. This month is designed for people to learn piety and add to the righteousness of their deeds.
Another misconception is, people assume they can gossip or verbally abuse people and be forgiven when they repent by praying five times a day. These are not the teachings of Islam or any religion for that matter. Religions teach people to be modest and learn how to forgive the people around them.
As narrated by Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah (SAAWS) said:
“Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Imam Bukhari)
When repenting, it should be out of sincerity where we vow to try not to repeat these sins again. Only then will we be forgiven. However, some think this an easy matter where they can sin every time and then ask for forgiveness.
We have one month to try to make better people out of ourselves. Let’s take the time to spend it with our family, heal our spiritual faith and see the good in the people around us. In this month let us repent for our sins and try not to make the same mistakes again. But remember, Ramadan is not the only month a person can improve himself; we do have eleven more months in the year. What we learn during this month should be our guide for the years to come.
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.