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Are you Ramadan Muslims?

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Oye who believe! bow down prostrate yourselves and adore your Lord; and do good; that ye may prosper (Qur’an 22:77-78)
What type of Muslims are you after Ramadan? Or rather, what type of Muslim have you become since the end of the glorious month? One way to answer these questions might be to say that who you are and what become of you after Ramadan would largely be a function of the type of fasting you embarked upon during the month. In other words, for those who fasted in the month of Ramadan in the manner of the believers – those who fasted with the consciousness that to fast is to be in His presence and to exit the month of Ramadan is to continue to walk with Him, the Almighty – life after Ramadan would be like life in the month of Ramadan. This category of Muslims are indeed the successful ones- those who have attained higher status in the reckoning of the Almighty; those whose consciousness and awareness of the presence of the inimitable power of the Almighty knows no boundary or space. These are Muslims who are acutely aware that the Almighty does not go on leave; that He the Almighty does not and would not go on vacation.

To be conscious of the above is to be conscious of the impossibility of vacation from attending to the duties given to you by the Almighty. Thus those who fasted the best way in Ramadan would equally have been those who observed the daily prayers at the right time and have since continued to do; those who fasted the best way in Ramadan would equally have been those who took care of the poor and the needy and have since continued to do so; those who fasted the best way in Ramadan would equally have been those who took care of the kith and kin during the month and have continued to do so since then; those who fasted the best way in Ramadan would equally have been those who were conscientious in their places of work and have continued to so since the end of Ramadan. For those who fasted the best way in Ramadan, they would likely have been those who read the Quran diligently during the month and have started new rounds of Quranic recitation since the end of the month. The point I wish to stress here is this- every point of arrival in our service to the Almighty is equally a point of departure for new service; every ending of Quran recitation should mark the beginning of new recitation. The only point at which we take a leave from His service is the moment the beat stops in and for us; we rest in and from His service the day ‘certainty’ comes to us.

To be conscious of the above, and quite ironically too, is to be conscious of the other Muslims – the Ramadaniyyun. The word Ramadaniyyun refers to Ramadan Muslims. Ramadan Muslims are those who suddenly became Muslims or those who suddenly realized they were Muslims during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan Muslims were those who became Mosque goers during the month. These are Muslims whose presence was felt throughout the month among the congregation. They were constantly present for the tarawih prayers. They were there during the Fajr prayers. They were there, occupying the front rows, during the Maghrib and Isha prayers. A week after Ramadan, they have ceased their attendance of mosques for prayers. A week after Ramadan, they have resumed ‘duties’ in the ‘inner circles’, among the charlatans and the swashbucklers; they are now shouting ‘money is great’ not the Almighty anymore.

Thus for you to know the type of Muslim you are after Ramadan, for you to know whether your acts of worship during the month was accepted or not, ask yourself what station of life are you presently. Have you transited, at least for now, and hopefully permanently thereafter, from station of anger to that of calmness? Are you now in good control of your tongue such that you are no more the highly irascible man and woman known by all for the vituperation and indignities that constantly come out of his/her tongue? In this post-Ramadan mode, are you still the generous type loved by all and known by all during the month of Ramadan or you have started counting the countable and have forgotten the uncountable? In the post-Ramadan mode, are you still maintaining that humble, reverential, courteous and highly unobtrusive facade loved by all during the month of fasting or you have moved backward into the abyss of egotism and incivility? Do you now invoke other names apart from our Creator in whose name and by whose grace we derive meaning for and in life?

I am concerned by and with all of the above for many reasons the least of which is the fact that the last month of fasting witnessed the greatest opportunity for self discovery that the Almighty could give to any of His servants. I am equally disturbed to recall that during the just concluded month of Ramadan we witnessed the desecration of the sacred and the holy by elements which claim affiliation to the religion of Islam. We were reminded, once again, and in the most heinous and inglorious way possible that every religion in this world today has its own sickness- that the sickness of Islam is violent extremism. Thus if indeed there are lessons to be learnt as a community from the month of Ramadan such might include the necessity for Muslims to return back to Islam. And what an irony such a necessity is for you and me!
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