RAMADAN: A MONTH OF TRAINING FOR PIETY
Witnessing a month of Ramadan in one’s life is a great favour bestowed by the Almighty Allah (SWT) upon his servant. As because many were the believers who looked forward to be part of the worshippers in this Ramadan. But, by the power of Allah some have passed away while some are still lying in hospitals unable to worship their Lord Allah. Unlike those two categories of people who cannot benefit from this Ramadan, what have we done as acts of worship in order for Allah to bless us with Holy month? Obviously, the answer can only be negative. That is the reason why we must all be thankful to Allah not only for having extended our lives but also for having bestowed on us good state of health to live this magnificent month of Ramadan. So, let us praise the Creator for such a great honour towards His creators that we are.
The occurrence of the month of Ramadan, in addition to observing the fasting for 29 or 30 days (which is an obligatory institution) aims at bringing the believer to cultivate Piety, God fearfulness or God consciousness. And God consciousness is generated in the believer by accomplishing lots of acts of worship in this holy month that will eventually bring him or her closer to his/her Lord Allah. In this regard, the Merciful Allah said: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may reach Piety or God fearfulness (Takwa)”S2, V183. By the way, why does the month of Ramadan is called “the school of spirituality”?
In fact, the month of Ramadan is known as a school of spirituality, for it is the only month which offers a huge opportunity to the believers to gain countless rewards both in this world and in the Hereafter by performing acts of worships. In a word, it helps the believer book a house in Paradise while in the Dunya. In addition, it is a period for them to have all their sins forgiven by Allah, the most-Forgiving. But more important, the blessed month of Ramadan provide the believers with an intensive training based on taking six (6) major modules known as welcoming the month of Ramadan, Fasting, Prayers, Sadakat, Qur’an recitation and making supplications or Douas.
1)Welcoming Ramadan: The true believer, rather than perceiving the month of Ramadan as fear, anxiety or worries , should welcome it with happiness, enthusiasm, and enchantment. He or she should comprehend that the month of Ramadan represents the Mercy of Allah (S.W.T) bestowed upon the Ummah of the prophet Muhammad (saw) that includes him/herself. He or she should also understand that beyond refraining from eating, drinking and other fasting rules, this blessed month is an unprecedented chance for them to benefit from the huge Mercy of Allah, to have their sins expiated and to be saved from the Hellfire.
2) Fasting: This is the fact of refraining from eating and drinking from sunrise till sunset throughout the entire month of Ramadan. Moreover, the believer who fasts must observe all the rules and attitudes in this regard in order that his/her fasting be accepted. They should also understand that this act, far from depriving the believer from their desires and other lusts, represents and endurance and patience that the faster cultivate in his/her innerself. In addition, the believer who fasts should know that an enormous recompense is kept for him before Allah. Above all, a magnificent dwell in Paradise known as RAYYAN will be theirs. With regard to the reward of the fasters in Ramadan, the prophet (saw) in a hadith Kudsi mentioned this: “Allah said: Fasting is (observed) for Me and it is ME Who rewards the fasters”.
3) Prayers (Optional): The five obligatory daily prayers remain intact. However, the merits (Hasanaat) of those prayers are multiplied 70 times when performed in Ramadan against 10 merits in other months. That is why believers are strongly recommended to perform more and more optional prayers such as Taraweeh and Tahajjud whose merits are also multiplied. So, looking at these abundant merits, believers should seize the precious opportunity as if it were the very last in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that a person who fasts without performing the compulsory prayers will see his /her fasting nullified and rejected by Allah, and therefore, will end up with no reward at all.
4) Qur’an recitation: “We sent it (the Qur’an) in the night of Qadr(Decree)”.S97,V1. The Night of power is within the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. Quranic recitation is known to be best of Allah’s remembrance. This shows, thereby the importance of the Qur’an as the Word f Allah. Reciting the Qur’an makes the believer think, ponder over the various creations of his Lord, gives him more understanding of the facts mentioned therein and helps him to maintain his faith. All this is known as a form of worship. This said, during Ramadan, though optional, believers are recommended to read the whole Qur’an at least once in Ramadan month. This will soften the heart of the believing reader, increase his/her piety or God fearfulness, in a word the constant reading of Qur’an comprehend better his religion. The merits linked to the Qur’an recitation are enormous and innumerable with Allah (SWT). This must be a real incentive encouraging all Muslims to learn how to read the Holy Qur’an.
5) Sadakat / Charity