Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Islamic Calendar in which Muslims all over the globe keep away from eating, drinking and fulfilling other physiological needs from dawn to dusk just for the sake of Pleasure of Allah SWT. It is deduced from the Arabic word, “Ramada” which means “extreme heat”. As it is commonly known that intense high temperature can twist and curve even the strongest metals, same is the case with this Holy Month which is a great source of shaping the lives of believers for their own betterment. The Almighty Lord says in the Holy Quran:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Quran, 2: 183]
The above mentioned Ayah Kareema clearly suggests that Ramadan is not any normal time of the year rather it is an absolute blessing from the Gracious God which makes Muslims more productive through “Taqwa”. It comes from the Arabic root word “Waqa” meaning “to guard or protect”, which implies that Taqwa is the name of Consciousness of the Exalted One through actions. More specifically, it tells us to do what pleases Him and avoid anything that displeases the Most Merciful. The modern science also advocates that a normal individual needs about 4 weeks time in order to change its habits. Similarly, Ramadan serves as fixing up the bad patterns of a Muslim through a highly disciplined schedule of fasting, performing Salah, Quran Reading, and giving charity and so on.
Now let us take some considerations to keep in mind in this consecrated period to benefit from it to the fullest.
Inconceivable Amount Of Reward For Fasting
The biggest incentive for anyone in Ramadan could be that the return as a result of restraint from all kinds of daily necessities for the Creator of the universe is unimaginable. No one has the idea about how great in number and magnitude the reward could be because this deed is solely for Allah SWT and He is the One Who knows about its worth. Narrated by Abu Hurraira that the Messenger ﷺ of God said:
“By the One in Whose hand my-self is, the smell of the breath of a man fasting is better with Allah than the scent of musk.’ He leaves his desires and his food and drink for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I reward it. Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.’ “(Muwatta Malik)
It means that the Almighty Lord loves His servant who is a state of fasting many more times than the one who is not performing it. This Hadith also shows that “Soum” is the action that is only done for the sake of attaining pleasure of the Most Beneficent by refraining from good and water throughout the day. Although it seems like a very extreme kind of activity but it is also a great test of one`s faith which is to be fulfilled through deed of fasting. In Ramadan, each good action is rewarded from ten to seven hundred times in return and that is concerning normal acts. On the other hand, fasting is rewarded to a degree that no one can even dream about. Thus, fasting in Ramadan is an immense means of encouragement and motivation in terms of its greatest number of rewards.
Drawing Closer to Allah SWT Through Night Prayers
As compensation for normal deeds increase manifold in Ramadan, there is also a very important task to accomplish during this holy month, i.e. Night Prayers. Compulsory Salah itself is a great source of attaining closeness to Allah SWT, which results in His Mercy and Forgiveness. But praying in the dark hours (Nawafil/non obligatory prayers) when most of the people are asleep, it shows one`s determination on its religious conviction. The Apostle ﷺ of God is reported by Abu Hurraira (R.A) to have said:
“Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)
It shows that during Ramadan, Nafl Ibadah with honest conscious causes one`s pardoning of all of its past wrongdoings. This routine will also result in constant memory of the Almighty Lord even in other months and will serve as benchmark for bringing one near to Him.
Building A Habit Of Reading Quran
The Sacred Book of Quran Majeed is nothing but a great source of clarification and enlightenment in all walks of life. The demise of Muslims in this day and age is also due to negligence about teachings of Furqan e Hameed and living in darkness. Ramadan provides a great opportunity for all believers to learn the Holy Quran and know about their purpose of life. It is also the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ to recite this Highly Revered Manuscript in Ramadan regularly.
“Jibreel used to come to the Prophet (PBUH) every night in Ramadan, and study the Quran with Him.” (Bukhari)
It means that Jibrael (A.S) used to visit the Holy Prophet ﷺ every day in this hallowed period of the year and study Quran Kareem with Him which he did not do in normal days frequently. Reading this Sanctified Scripture in Ramadan will not only fulfill the Prophetic ﷺ tradition but also help in developing a custom of understanding and learning the Holy Quran daily.
Caring For Others And Thankfulness to Allah
Ramadan is the time when Muslims come to realize about the good things like assets and money which Allah SWT has blessed them with. It is also the occasion when believers all over the world pay Zakah (Charity) to the poor families from their own wealth to a certain proportion.
Narrated by Anas (R.A):
“The Prophet PBUH was asked which fast was most virtuous after Ramadan. He said: “Sha’ban in honor of Ramadan” He said: “Which charity is best?” He (PBUH) said: ‘Charity in Ramadan.’”
The previously stated account of conversation of the Holy Prophet ﷺ suggests that aiding deprived ones in Ramadan is indeed the best of the charities one can ever accomplish. This act not only teaches one to feel for others` needs but also be grateful to the Gracious God for everything.
Adopting A Well Balanced Diet and Routine
For all those who complain about their fitness problems, Ramadan is that time period which automatically gives those best results. Developing right kinds of eating habits at Suhoor and Iftaar make one able to know about its finest possible dietary plans. Thus, Ramadan is not only a name of fulfilling religious responsibilities alone, rather it provides a complete package in order to make one`s routine more fruitful and well disciplined.
In short, the holy month of Ramadan comes up with many lessons that eventually transform the lives of Muslims in the best way.