Eidul-Fitr: Muslim clerics on benefits of Ramadan
As Muslim faithful celebrate this year’s Eidul-Fitr this week, clerics share gains and benefits of Ramadan and how to sustain them. CHRIS IREKAMBA and PAUL ADUNWOKE report.
‘After Ramadan We Still Need To Continue With Experience Of New Birth’
(Prince Fasasi Gbagba, former President, Jamaat-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria and Overseas)
Almighty Allah has enjoined all Muslim faithful to observe 30 days or 29 days fasting during the month of Ramadan, and the gains are so enormous. From the first to the last day of Ramadan for those who observed Ramadan injunctions correctly, their sins are forgiven. And whatever they requested from Almighty Allah during the period will be given to them. From the first 10 days to the second 10 days, one is cleansed, as if you have never committed sin before. The last day is to make you enter Paradise, that is, if anything happens to you within that period of fasting or afterwards. And so, within the 30 days, you have been cleansed. The period also serves as a health therapy, especially for those that are diabetic, due to excess of food intake. Such problems are reduced during Ramadan, just like other diseases.
To sustain Ramadan gains, Muslims are expected to abide by the guiding rules of fasting, after which they should still continue with the new birth. For instance, those who used to consume a lot of alcohol and stopped it for 30 days shouldn’t return to it. The same goes for those who used to indulge in fornication and adultery. If you return to it after Ramadan, it means you didn’t learn anything during the period.
As we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-fitr, we call on all Muslim brothers and sisters, especially President Muhammadu Buhari and other Muslim leaders in government to know that Nigerians are suffering. The economy is down; education and health sectors need serious attention. The government should provide jobs for the teeming population of unemployed graduates roaming the streets, if they want to prevent kidnapping and armed robbery in the land. In our hospitals, there are no drugs and other facilities. The government should fund hospitals, so that people will stop going outside the country for treatment abroad. Also, the issue of light and insecurity should be tackled with all the seriousness they deserve. Again, house rent is too high, especially in Lagos, where government houses are higher than private ones.
The Federal Government should ensure that all states pay their workers the N30, 000 minimum wage and even if they have agreed to pay N28, 000 or N29, 000, it should be regular.
‘It’s A Month Of Spiritual Retreat And Character Reformation’
(Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, Director/CEO Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, Abuja)
Eidul Fitr is the lesser festival in the Muslim world, which signifies the completion of fasting in the month of Ramadan by glorifying and thanking Allah for His favours, mercies and divine guidance at all times.
On the other hand, the occasion is a day of celebration for coming out of a month of spiritual retreat, rebirth and character reformation and building. Furthermore, Eidul Fitr is a period for self-reflection, humility, generosity, empathy for the less privileged, love to all and sundry, peaceful co-existence, harmony and unity of mankind. If somebody has gone through all these processes, no doubt, he/she has cemented his/her relationship with Almighty Allah. He/she is expected to add value, not only to him/herself, but also to humanity as a whole. We are expected to manifest that spirit of love and charity to the less privileged. All the teachings one was exposed to during Ramadan will sustain one till the next one.
During Ramadan, Muslims prayed for forgiveness from Almighty Allah. We asked for His grace, mercy and emancipation from the shackles of poverty and oppression… It is expected that one will be able to transmit all these values to their fellow brothers and sisters, including those who have offended you consciously or unconsciously. You are also expected to be merciful to people you come across, whether you know them or not. We are also expected to solve the problems and needs of fellow neighbours and compatriots, because you have sought all these needs from Allah and He has given them to you, therefore, you should help others in need.
In order to consolidate on the gains of this occasion, government should redouble its efforts to provide adequate security, socio-economic welfare to the citizenry and an enabling environment for all and sundry to develop their potentials, with a view to improving their standards of living.
‘Benefits Of Ramadan Are Both Spiritual And Physical’
(Sheikh Ishaq Adebayo Tejidini, Chief Imam of Ar. Rahmat Islamiyyah society of Nigeria, Ikeja, Lagos)
IN the name of Allah, the most Beneficent and the most merciful. Ramadan has two major benefits: Physical and Spiritual. Physical in the sense that for almost eleven months in a year, the stomach works day and night without rest. During those eleven months, food and drinks are always put in the stomach, which does not help the stomach. Allah then prescribed a full month fasting to mankind to have his stomach work less for the period, as well as provide him with good health.
The spiritual is that Allah has provided many additional rewards towards fasting during Ramadan, which He does not give to the other months. After He ordained fasting, Allah said fasting is made obligatory, so that you may attain to His consciousness and righteousness. Only someone who recognises the purpose of fasting and strives to achieve it will receive its blessings. But for somebody who does not, he/she cannot hope to gain anything from it. He said: “Whoever observes the Fast, believing and counting, has all his past sins forgiven.”
To sustain the gains and benefits, Muslims should comply with all the teachings and lessons received during Ramadan. For example, The Prophet mentioned the condition of True Fasting and said: “If one does not give up speaking falsehood and acting by it, God does not require him to give up eating and drinking.”
He also said: “Many are the people who fast, but gain nothing from their fast, except hunger and thirst. And many are those who stand praying all night, but gain nothing except sleeplessness.”
‘It’s A Period To Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You’
(Alhaji Hakeem Adejiun, is one of the leaders at Abdul Kareem Shodunke Memorial Mosque Oshodi, Lagos)
The Gains and benefits of Ramadan cannot be over-emphasised, because fasting is part of exercise that is good for our health. Fasting will remove toxins from your body system and make you healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically. It is an exercise that happens once in every 12 months, and every Muslim is expected to fast, excluding those with health problems.
During Ramadan fasting, Muslim faithful repent from their sins and pray more than ever to Almighty Allah. It’s a time true Muslims say no to alcohol intake, womanising and give generously to the less privileged. It’s a time of sober reflections and those who are rich put themselves in the shoes of the less privileged and needy in the society. They relate with them, because these sets of people do not have food to eat on daily basis. Therefore, it is a time to show them love. It’s a time to forgive anyone who has offended you, because before you ask Allah’s blessings, the person must first of all forgive his neighbours. During Eid-el-fitr, Muslims are expected to read Holy Qur’an and Holy Bible because 50 per cent of what is in Qur’an is also in the Bible.
To sustain the gains, you are not expected to go back to your old habits anymore. You’re to continue to pray for grace to sustain the good habits, even after Ramadan. During this period of fasting, I would advise people to visit motherless baby homes, the centres for the blind, among others, to put smiles on their faces. This will go a long way to open doors of blessings.
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