Allah, Most High, says,
“Blessed be He in whose hand is the Sovereignty, and He is able to do all things. He created death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed. He is the Exalted in Might, oft Forgiving.”
(Al-Mulk 67: 1-2)
Also, He says,
“It is He who made the night and day follow each other for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude.”
(Al-Furqan 25: 62)
Life and death and the succession of the night and day have a purpose, and that is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and goes. We must examine ourselves and see what we can learn and achieve during this month. The test of the success of this month lies in the effects it leaves upon us, as follows:
We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for the sake of Allah. In the morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule of eating and drinking. We are constantly aware that even in such mundane activities as eating and drinking, we must remain under divine injunctions. We change our habits in our daily routine because we learn that we are not the servants and slaves to our habits, but always the servants of Allah. Then after Ramadan, we should keep this spirit of discipline in other modes of our life and must continue with our submission to the commands of Allah.
2) Renewal of Devotional Life
Ramadan renews our enthusiasm to worship and be devoted to Allah. In this month we are more careful of our daily prayers and perform special prayers at night. There is no religion without prayer and Muslims learn in this month how to strengthen and deepen their religious life.
3) Renewal of Our Contact with the Qur’an
Ramadan and the Qur’an are linked together from the beginning. It was in this month that this divine message was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Fasting prepares the believers’ hearts to learn the Word of Allah. It is the most suitable condition for our spiritual and mental communication with the Qur’an. The Muslim Ummah (nation) pays more attention to the Qur’an in this month. This renewed contact with the Qur’an helps us to follow its message.
4) Renewal of Our Identity with the Ummah
Ramadan is not only an individual experience, but it is a community experience as well. The whole Muslim Ummah fasts together in one and the same month. We identify with one another in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new sense of togetherness and association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim Ummah is the community of piety and being devoted to Allah and its members derive their strength from each other through deeds of piety and virtue.
The bonds that are based on piety and virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds that prove good for mankind. The strength of the Muslim community lies in its commitment to the values of goodness, morality and piety. Ramadan leaves an imprint of all these values upon the Muslim Ummah.
5) A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy
Fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and needy. By our voluntary hunger and thirst we realize what it means to be deprived of the basic necessities of life. Ramadan is called the month of charity and sympathy. We learn how to be more kind and generous in this month. Many Muslims also pay their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.
6) Jihad or Struggle
Fasting in Ramadan and Jihad, both of them, were prescribed in the same year, that is, the second year of Hijrah in Madinah. Fasting prepares one for hardships and sacrifice. These are two important points without which Jihad is not possible. Muslims learn in Ramadan how to struggle against the forces of evil in their own selves, in the society around them, and in the world at large.
To summarize all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of taqwa (piety). Taqwa is the overall result of an Islamic life. It is the highest virtue in Islam. It means God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good, and rejection of all that is evil and bad.
CONTENT SPONSORED BY RT. HON. ABUBAKAR YAHAYA KUSADA,
SPEAKER, KATSINA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY