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Why Muslims should observe Ramadhan in a pious approach

Muslim faithful break their fast at Abraar Tent Mosque, Ganjoni in Mombasa. Ramadhan is a holy month in which Muslims pray for peace and share food after a long day's fast on April 5, 2022. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

 

Most of the faithful ask themselves: What is the ideal Ramadhan? The answer is simple: Just imagine it’s the last Ramadhan of your life!

For an ideal Ramadhan, one should prepare and get into the Ramadhan like it is their last. Allahumma ballighnaa Ramadhaan, (O Allah, please let us reach Ramadhan) is a common dua that people use to submit six months prior to the holy month.

And because the benefits of the month of Ramadhan are unique and abundant unlike in any other month, it is deemed quite a blessing for the privilege of participating in Ramadhan.

In the post-Covid-19 era, Ramadhan 2022 is going to be the first holy month in two years with all the trappings of unrestricted Islamic rituals. Covid-19 restrictions had made the last two Ramadhan a dull affair.

Calls for prayers from minarets all over are competing to announce salat with faithful packing mosques to capacity.

Acts of worship

The supererogatory and other additional acts of worship are also registering full attendance with the taraaweh especially restoring its former ceremonial status as the special Ramadhan Swalat.

But according to Islamic scholars, the ideal Ramadhan requires deeper than what Muslims project, present and display during the fasting period.

“Ibadat (worship) requires the correct intention to be conducted according to the teachings of the Prophet and consistency,” says Sheikh Rishad Rajab Ramadhan.

He explains that fasting is an exercise designed to inculcate in individual qualities of worship that will power his spiritual habit and routine for the rest of the year till the next Ramadhan.

However, to be seen to display piety that expires with the end of the month of Ramadhan is retrogressive and a sin.

Giving the analogy of businesses related to Ramadhan, the Sheikh says, “Just as they stock up with Ramadhan related merchandise, we too require to adequately prepare to rake in the most reward during the holy month.

Therefore, Ramadhan is not a month of laziness, sleepiness, negligence and neglect, it is a time for supplication and worship.

Scholars say the month of Rajab is the planting season with Shaaban the watering season and Ramadhan the time of harvest.

According to a tradition of the Holy Prophet, a person who does not give up on bad behaviour gains nothing from his fasting apart from starvation.

Islam teaches that repentance is an important requirement so that a person fasting is successful in his endeavour.

“The prophet who was infallible said that he asks Allah for forgiveness 100 times a day,” says the scholar.

Another very important aspect of Ramadhan is swadaqa. Islam teaches that swadaqa extinguishes the wrath of Allah drawing us nearer to our Lord.

Among the benefits of swadaqa is that it helps us manage our excess while helping the less fortunate.

Cost of living

And ironically, it is during the month of fasting and abstinence that wastage and extravagance are most prevalent. With the cost of living at an all-time high, it is time that Muslims extend a hand of charity to their brothers.

Lastly, a fast cannot be effective if it does not revolve around swalah. The five prescribed prayers should be observed on time and with devoutness.

The ideal Ramadhan is where you observe all the rules of fasting and communicate with your Lord, seeking his forgiveness and making dua for yourself and the community.