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The blessed month of Ramadan is here! – Part 2

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ramadan-kareem“The number of months in the sight of the Almighty is twelve (in a year)- so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight path; so wrong not yourselves therein… “(Q9: 36)

Further, whoever owes an obligation to the Almighty or his fellow human being and has not fulfilled it since the end of the last Ramadan till date would have failed to adequately prepare for the coming Ramadan. Such a Muslim could very well be referred to as a sinner and an oppressor: a sinner in the sight of his Creator and an oppressor of her or his own soul. Brethren, let us discharge all our obligations, the spiritual, the social, the economic, the cultural and even the political before this year’s Ramadan begins.

A Muslim who does not heed this admonition could be likened to a student who proceeds to the examination hall with “forbidden documents and materials”. He could also be likened to yet another student who desire to sit for the second year examinations though he still has some outstanding courses for the first year. A student who engages in the latter would most likely not be allowed to sit for the examinations.

Dear brethren, one wrong way to prepare for Ramadan is to have unresolved disputes with your fellow Muslim brethren. Since Ramadan is first of all a spiritual exercise before being a communal or social one and since the locale of the spiritual is the human soul – the heart, and since anger, animosity, envy, hatred and all ill-feelings are diseases which assail the heart, corrupt it and render it unsuitable for spiritual re-awakening, it then becomes highly important that we empty our hearts of all these “spiritual viruses”.

Thus dear brother, endeavour to settle all existing disputes and issues with your fellow human beings before the onset of Ramadan. Remember, dear sister, that you should not expect your supplications to be granted while you unjustly sit on the right or rights of your neighbour, your sub-ordinates in your office, or even that of your husband, wife and children. “Return the trusts to their owners…” that is the injunction of the Almighty in the Qur’an. Not to do this is to prepare wrongly for the coming Ramadan.

Brethren, one other way by which a Muslim could prepare inappropriately for Ramadan is to leave a threat to his health unattended to. Since Ramadan is a month of action, it is incumbent on every mature Muslim who knows and believes that fasting is obligatory on him to seek every lawful means by which she would be in the best state of health before it begins. Such a Muslim could go for a medical check-up.

Remember dear Sister that the only friend you will have left on that ‘day’ is your acts of worship: the salat you observed at the right time, the indecency you shunned even when you were all alone with that “babe” in your office, the smile you put on the face of that neighbor of yours who was in distress, the contract you won and which you conscientiously executed and the duties you discharged for your parent. Each of this act that you do before Ramadan would put you in the “Ramadan mood”. You would be happy to “meet” with Ramadan and it would be happy to meet with you.

What is axiomatic in the above is that one important way to prepare for the coming Ramadan way is to imagine the possibility that this could be the last for you. As you are reading this, a soul is departing this world; moments before the onset of Ramadan, some creatures of the Almighty would transit to the great beyond. Muadh b. Jabal was in the presence of the Prophet one day when the latter asked: where are the believers in this assemblage? All the companions said: we are all believers.

Then the Prophet asked: what is the evidence for your faith? Muadh b. Jabal said: “A pointer to my belief is that each time I take a step while walking I am certain that I may not be alive to take the next step”. What a credo? What an ideology? Here Muadh is instructing me and you as follows: Some people would not witness the Ramadan of this year though they desire it. While we live with the ‘certainty’ of the ‘uncertain’; the certainty of death whose time is uncertain, it is reasonable that we prepare for the uncertain by doing that which is certain: righteous deeds.
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