Welcome Ramadhan

The Holy month of Ramadhan is about to commence. Muslims shall get yet another chance to go for self-introspection and to learn how to live with life. The holy month brings with it so many bounties and rewards for the Muslims. The Muslims, therefore, must welcome this month. They should not raise their brows or express displeasure on the last day of Shabaan.

 Remember welcoming Ramadhan is Sunnah of the most revered Prophet (SAW). It is, therefore, necessary (if not obligatory) for all the Muslims to follow suit. Expressing displeasure on the commencement of Ramadhan is a detested act and all Muslims must refrain from it to safeguard their Imaan (faith).

A few years ago, a scholar from Pakistan addressed a group of Indians and Pakistanis in the Masjid-ul-Haram. A Pakistani posed a question. The answer from the scholar stunned the listeners. The question and the answer need special mention here. “My wife has been telling me to shave off my beard. What shall I do?”  The scholar replied in a fraction of a second: “Divorce her. If she hates the beard, she ceases to be a Muslim. If there are other reasons still she deserves punishment.” This was not an ordinary scholar speaking. He commands great respect in the entire sub-continent. Therefore, his ruling cannot be rejected on the face of it.

The Muslims have to exercise utmost care and caution during conversations. What has been prescribed by Allah the Most Gracious and the beloved Prophet (SAW) must be accepted without any hesitation and without any arguments. This is the reason that knowledgeable people never tell a Muslim to come for Salaat. They say come, let us go to the mosque. The wisdom in this, needs to be appreciated. If a person says I do not want to perform prayers, he isin trouble. And, if he says I do not want to go to the mosque, the sin is not that grave.

Like salaat fasting during Ramadhan is also obligatory. And, if anybody expresses displeasure (does not welcome Ramadhan) his fate can be similar to one who says, “I do not want to perform salaat.” And, according to the above mentioned scholar if a person can be deprived of his faith by criticizing a Sunnah, the fate of a person who hates a Farz (an obligatory act) can only be imagined.

Allah the Most Beneficent has repeatedly mentioned in the Holy Quran to follow the beloved Prophet (SAW). At one place Allah the Most Exalted makes the message clear by saying: “Tell the people if they want Allah to love them they must follow you.”  Therefore, the ultimate salvation of a Muslim lies in obedience of the most revered Prophet (SAW). The Holy Prophet (SAW) used to make preparations for Ramadhan right from Rajab-ul-Murajab (two months in advance). The beloved Prophet (SAW) would express happiness at the sighting of the Ramadhan moon and so did the pious companions (RA).

There are other reasons for welcoming the holy month. It is an opportunity for seeking pardon for the past sins. It is a month, which purifies one’s soul and teaches him how to spend rest of the life. It is a training session, which forces Muslims to think of the poor and the destitute. It makes Muslims feel the pain of hunger and thirst. It, according to modern science, relieves a Muslim of many a disease. There are other physical, psychological and spiritual benefits. A big fat book is needed to describe them all.

Abu Huraira (RA) quotes the most revered Prophet (SAW) as having said: “He who fasts during Ramadhan with faith and seeking reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadhan will have his past sins forgiven; and he who passes Lailatul Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al Bukhari).

Some ignorant and pseudo scholars express displeasure over the commencement of Ramadhan. Some do it to show that they are modern and some do it out of fun. In both the cases they are the losers. Muslims, in the light of arguments put forth above have no choice but to welcome Ramadhan with open arms.