KA'ABABy Muhammad Ahmad

As Muslims across the globe completes the one month obligatory fast of the blessed month of Ramadan this year 1442AH, the question to ask is what lessons have we learnt in the course of fasting during this Ramadan. What are we taking away from all we have gone through in this blessed month of Ramadan? Muslims are quick to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fast with feasts, without taking into cognizance the real essence of Ramadan.

As Muslims, we must always bear it in mind that, every act of Ibadah has some underlying benefits and lessons. Besides, Almighty Allah has made it explicitly clear in Suratul Baqarah verse 286 of the Holy Qur’an that the true essence of fasting in the month of Ramadan is to attain righteousness. It’s most regrettable, that most Muslims today just go through hunger and thirst, without gaining anything from the Ramadan fast.

 However, our enthusiasm to gain eternal bliss and righteousness fades away gradually due to lack of enthusiasm on our part to fulfil our mission and continue with the good and righteous deeds after Ramadan. If we desire to attain the true pleasures of the Lord, we must inspire ourselves work harder and push ourselves to aspire for greater heights throughout the year. Hence, whatever we believe in our hearts, affirm by our tongues, we must always illustrate by our deeds at all times and all year round.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of moral, physical and spiritual benefits that can be derived from fasting in the month of Ramadan, studies have shown that there are 4 basic lessons to be learnt from the month of Ramadan, these lessons are evident and if actually carried through, it will go a long way in helping us manage our day to day affairs and activities, as well as helping us to stay off evil and learn to be a better persons. The lessons are;

* Self-control/ Self-restrain

* Self-discipline

* Selfless sacrifice

* Perseverance

1- Self-control means self-restraint, if we can control ourselves in the month of Ramadan, by avoiding lies, Zina, taking alcohol, quarrels, unnecessary arguments, nagging, fighting, etc, then we can always exercise self-control in anything we do in life and learn to overlook others’ shortcomings. In the month of Ramadan we restrain from food, drink and sexual intercourse, for the sake of Almighty Allah, if we can give up our food and drink for one whole month, then why can’t we give up sins? There are a lot of restrains and restrictions in Islam, prescribed by Allah for our own good, all these do(s) and don’t(s) laid down for us in Islam is simply for our well-being. This was why our beloved Prophet(SAW), said this world is like a prison for the believers,  which means we have to always exercise self-restrain and be mindful of our duties and obligations as Muslims. Hence we must be very careful, not to commit excesses and also avoid anything that will lead to sins in our day to day activities.

2- If we can discipline ourselves in the month of Ramadan, by staying away from zina, alcohol trespasses of the eyes, intoxicants, debauchery, phonography, etc. Then why can’t we continue after Ramadan. Self-discipline is what most Muslims lack today, which has led to the high level immorality and indecency amongst Muslims today. So if we can all be self-disciplined we’ll be a much better and morally upright Muslim Ummah. To be disciplined means to avoid acts of indecency and wrong doings.

3- One of the most important lessons of Ramadan is selfless sacrifice. As Muslims, we sacrifice our comfort and well being for the sake of Almighty Allah. Selfless sacrifice is important in everything we do. For instance, Selfless sacrifice is the hallmark of the early Muslims and all other pious predecessors, particularly the Sahaba. They sacrificed everything for us to have Islam, so without sacrifices it’s impossible to achieve any success. So we should all be ready to make any sacrifice no matter how big to bequeath a legacy for the next generation of Muslims to come, because if the early Muslims didn’t make the sacrifices they made; there would probably be no Islam today. Besides the Qur’an and hadiths are replete with calls to sacrifice our persons and possessions for the progress and development of the deen.

4- Perseverance is the greatest lesson of Ramadan, because to endure the pains and pangs of hunger patiently and continue to pray and hope for Allah’s blessing is not easy. To persevere is to continue to work hard without losing faith or get deterred in anything. So if we can have that type of courage, faith and approach life with such spirit, then we can overcome any challenge or difficulty in life no matter how big. Hence, the essence of Ramadan is not to undergo hunger and thirst, rather it’s to learn to persevere, so that no matter how bad the situation we find ourselves in life, we should be strong and determined.

Lastly, all these lessons are intertwined and works perfectly together, once someone lacks self-control, it leads to indiscipline, being undisciplined means lack of self-restrain, not been able to exercise restraint, means one cannot make certain sacrifices, while the absence of self-control, self-discipline, self-restrain and selfless sacrifice automatically leads to lack of perseverance. On the other hand, self-control leads to self-discipline, then self-discipline leads to self-restrain, while self-restrain enables one make selfless sacrifices, and ultimately self-control, self-discipline, self-restrain and selfless sacrifices, all put together leads to perseverance.

If we can all apply these in our lives, then we have actually benefited from Ramadan. May Almighty Allah strengthen us all, guide us aright and enable us achieve our desired goals here and hereafter.

 

Muhammad Ahmad is of

Ahmadiyya Missionary, Nigeria

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