Ramadan Kareem!!

Ramadan Kareem!!

The blessed and holy month of Ramadan has arrived and people across the Muslim world will welcome it with great devotion and fervor. The nature, purpose and philosophy of Ramadan is known, absorbed and imbibed by all Muslims. But, to dwell a little on it, the holy month is not just about remaining hunger from dawn to dusk. The purpose of this self denial is to actually reorient our lives, spiritual, psychical and physical to the commands and commandments of the Almighty, yet again for our own benefit in these domains. ( Such, obiter dictum, is the love that Almighty Allah has for us). The very nature and philosophy of Ramadan then means and clearly implies a total and comprehensive reorientation of our selves. It then is not merely mechanical. That is, Ramadan is not just about remaining hungry from dawn to dusk. It is about fostering an attitude that makes us attuned to the tenets of Islam. Broken down, this should be reflected not only in the injunction on fasting but also in our mu’aamilaat(business dealings, social and individual lives and so on), our attitudes, thinking and action. Ramadan must also make us more sensitive and sensible. There are, for instance, an innumerable people in our society that are underprivileged. We must not only think about them but also make efforts to assist them in whatever way possible. The holy month should make us more humble, more caring and more compassionate. By and large and generally speaking, all these orientations and attitudes are fostered and generated in most people during Ramadan. But, the key challenge is that these should not be merely ephemeral. That is, the change in attitude must be long lasting and long duree. What is usually observed is that after Ramadan, the effect of the holy month wears off and most people revert to the normal, hum drum routines which include aspects of ungainly attitudes and behaviors. All this is not to suggest that we have to and must fast 365 days of the year. No. What is meant and alluded to here is the shift in attitudes that must happen in and during Ramadan must remain. For this to happen, it is not merely the mechanics of the holy month that must be observed and imbibed but also its spirit. It is the spirit of Ramadan that must determine the locus of our beings and existence during and after the holy month. May the Almighty then give us Taufeeq and endow us with His Raza!