By Zeeshan Rasool Khan
All months of Islamic Calendar are virtuous but the month of Ramadan has special importance, for it literally is the training session for Muslims. It trains Muslim to purify the self from materialism and to polish it with divine blessings .It also serves as guide, guiding a Muslim how to live life in this materialistic world.
Ramadan is month that has lessons in it for the Ummah which indubitably, without any exaggeration is code of conduct for a Muslim. The fundamental aim of Ramadan is to inculcate attributes like perseverance, self-control, empathy, punctuality and so on among Muslims which have a great impact on our everyday lives. Let’s analyze how blessed month of Ramadan: In a short period of thirty days, it induces all such attributes in us but whether these attributes gain permanence or vanishes with time completely relies upon a person’s consciousness -whether he realizes their importance and continue with them or not.
Many a times while fasting , we experience different sorts of temptations but we stick to our fast according to the prescribed course of action. This is what perseverance is all about. It is said, perseverance pays. One who perseveres even if hindered by distraction, difficulty, obstacles or discouragement finally emerges victorious without uncertainty .Victor Hugo; the renowned writer, describes perseverance as secret of all triumphs. Perseverance is a great element of success and in fact the key to success .Thus a Muslim must consider himself fortunate that he is being trained to develop this attribute that can furnish him ability of achieving any goal in life.
One more important lesson is self control by which we can develop greatness of character. Ramadan teaches us self-control, during Ramadan it is impermissible to eat or do even permissible things from dawn to dusk. Sometimes, we feel thirsty during fast, if someone would serve us water, naturally we won’t even touch that. How many times while dealing public, were you about to burst, but soon enough you realized that you are fasting and you held back. This is highest form of self-control that we exhibit during fasting. Self-Control has utmost significance in our everyday life. Studies conducted by researchers on self control concluded with findings that self-control increases decision making capacity helps to curtail impulsive behavior like lying, binge drinking etc. and increases chances of success.
Ramadan is a school for learning generosity. According to authentic Hadith Prophet (PBUH) used to be more generous than ever in month of Ramadan. Fasting calls for the feeding of the hungry, giving to the indigent and offering to the poor. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said: ‘Whoever feeds a fasting person, he will have the same reward like him, without there being any reduction in the reward of the one who is fasting’ thus encouraging Muslim to be generous and affectionate toward his needy fellow. This catalyzes promotion of love, peace and harmony in society.
Ramadan promotes empathy; it is natural phenomenon that, when we suffer, only then we feel the sufferings of others, this is what we call “Empathy” .Likewise, when we feel hunger in Ramadan; we realize the pain of lacks of others who fail to meet two ends and die of hunger . Thus, Ramadan awakens our conscience to understand the agony of others, which means to strive individually for its elimination.
During month of Ramadan we have to do many things in given period of time, prayers, taraweeh (special prayers in month of Ramadan), recitation of Quran along with our daily duties and this is for everyone, no matter what their position, no one can stop time, no one can slow it down, nor can anyone speed it up. Thus, time needs to be effectively managed to be effective and in Ramadan we learn to manage it properly. In this way we are equipped with ability to manage time, which is essential to transform wish into goal.
Another lesson that Ramadan teaches us is punctuality, which means doing something at appointed time. In Ramadan, there is specific time to start and to break the fast which is unchangeable .We do all fasting related activities at appointed time whether it is Suhoor (referring to the meal consumed early in the morning before fasting, before dawn during the Islamic month of Ramadan), Iftar (meal served at the end of the day during Ramadan, to break the day’s fast) or prayers, all activities are done at specific time and if we would make punctuality our attribute, surely we can make our worldly life more felicitous.
These are few points from the lesson which blessed month of Ramadan carries for believers and Almighty Allah (SWT) wants us to memorize the lesson imparted by Ramadan and to act according to it throughout our life. However, as soon as sun of last day of Ramadan sets, we forget the lesson and revert back to routine life with little, if not big sins attached to it ,lacking all such attributes that marks the essence of human and humanity, proving that the training course has failed to borne fruits. The need of hour is to realize the significance of lesson that Ramadan imparts and to include it in our lives as a course to live life of success, dignity and prosperity.
—The author is a Postgraduate student of Zoology. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org