Source: Saudi Gazette
GOD says in the Holy Qur’an, “The month of Ramadhan (is that) in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights (the new moon of) the month, let him fast it.” The days have gone by very fast and within days from now, we will greet the Holy Month of Ramadan.
It just feels like yesterday that we were fasting and worshiping during the month of Ramadan. All the piety and good deeds seem still fresh despite the fact that nearly a year has passed. Now Ramadan is on our doorsteps. The Holy Month of Ramadan is the month of worship, mercy and the month we are supposed to forgive people for any mistake or harm they have done to us and, we apologize and seek forgiveness if we were the ones who committed mistakes or caused harm in any form — physically or verbally.
This is the month where we must reconnect with relatives and loved ones. This is the month where we have to make peace with others and ourselves. This is the month where we must reflect on our actions of the past and work hard not to repeat them and to improve ourselves in every aspect of our lives and to stick to the positives even after Ramadan. In addition this is the month that rekindles the spirit of giving and charity while making us spare a though for the disadvantaged.
The only winners in this month are those who devote their time in worship and in doing good deeds. The winners are those who take advantage of this month to reconnect with their relatives by visiting them. The winners are those who initiate and take the first step to make peace with relatives and friends after a long time of boycott, even if it wasn’t the person’s fault. The biggest reward is for those who take the initiative first to win back the spurned or the snubbed. The winners in this month are those who kick off bad habits, such as smoking, carelessness toward work and other inherent bad habits that directly or indirectly affect others.
The biggest losers in this month are those who do not know or realize the true message and meaning of the month of Ramadan. They are those who think that Ramadan is a month to spend their morning hours sleeping and only wake up few minutes before Iftar time. The losers are those who think that Ramadan is a month to spend their time in front of TV watching the latest series in a near comatose state after indulging in a feast after the fast daily. The losers are those who think that Ramadan is a month where they spend their nights in the so-called, “Ramadan tents” smoking shisha and watching TV while the prayer is going on. The losers are those who use Ramadan as an excuse to be rude to others and initiate fights, some just for the sake of it, while hiding behind the excuse of fasting when called out.
There are those who stand in the first line of mosques during prayers and yet they do injustice toward their family or employees or colleagues at work. There are those who make sure to pray in the Grand Mosque or the Prophet’s Mosque yet they overwork their domestic workers by forcing them to work for longer hours in Ramadan with lesser pay and sometimes delaying pay to them for many months.
Sadly the meaning of Ramadan, since the last decade or so, has taken on a different turn. It has been changing into a month to pursue commercial or personal pursuits instead of it being a month of reflection and giving. It is beginning to turn into a month of watching TV as competing channels unleash all their productions in this Holy Month. Some channels come up with more than six serials and their own productions in this month in a bid to ace all others in the ratings. I am not talking here about programs that benefit worshippers or add value to all by promoting education or health issues. What is surfeit on TV during prime time is pure entertainment and it surely diverts people’s attention from worshiping, one of the prime pillars of Ramadan.
People should know that time should not be wasted in this month, for this Ramadan, once it passes, will not offer them the chance to reap the good rewards that can be gained till Ramadan ends. For their next opportunity to earn rewards will be after a year. Living the true spirit of Ramadan will earn them more in this life and the Hereafter for time will not wait for anybody or repeat itself. They should know that all the TV series advertised for this month will be repeated many times and in many channels after the end of this month. So they wouldn’t miss anything if they give the TV serials the miss, and focus on worship, reading the Qur’an and doing good deeds instead of wasting time before the screen.
I conclude here with this saying, Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others. The oppressed will each be given from his good deeds. If his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.”
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org