Farhad Ahmad Pir
The month of Ramadan is considered to be the most holy month because in this month the Holy Quran was revealed. The acts of worship, of which fasting is the most important and mandatory during this month are loved by God. Fasting is the willing abstinence from all kind of food and drink for a particular period of time. The fast begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In a general way we think that fasting is only to abstain from food and keeping our belly empty from dawn to dusk. But the core and underlying purpose associated with hunger is something sublime. No doubt to be in the state of hunger is the physical commencement and the gateway of abstinence from all other strictly forbidden actions related to soul. Some people think only to observe hunger we can get the complete benefit of fasting.
In order to please Allah and get the complete reward from Him than we have to act and bring complete moderation of other prohibited things. We can only call ourselves in a real fast when we really abstain from not only food and drink but also refrain from the material things of this temporal world. In observing the complete fast we have to stop all the bad stuff like we have to avoid lying, gossiping, deceiving, bribery, theft, innocent killing, backbiting and so on. Besides these negative acts, the present generation is engulfed in many sinful acts like drinking, drugs and having involved in illicit relationships, so this month will be a golden month for them to throw away the wrong stuff and take good acts in return.
Muslims, particularly in Kashmir, hold a different perceptions regarding this month. One segment of people from our society whom we call true believers are very happy about the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan and are counting the days before the arrival of the month. These people make preparations and lessen the burden of their work before its arrival, so that their work does not have any effect on their fasting. The second category of people, however , does not make any preparation before its outset but they try to observe fast reluctantly. Their mind is not occupied with the fear of remaining hungry from dawn to dusk but mostly they are afraid of waking up before the dawn. Many complaints are coming from people of this category that the eating at that time is totally sickening and hardly can they eat even a single loaf of bread as a meal. Mostly people keep their stomach empty. Nevertheless, such people still having the fear of God they do keep fast regardless of these complaints and complications. The third category of people does not keep even a single day of fast and also do not like to do other rewarded worships and obligatory worship like praying even in Ramadan. They feel pride in not observing the fast and when somebody asks them about fast, they answer a big ‘No’ with showing teeth without any hesitation and fear of God.
Even their parents also have the same approach towards their children. When anybody complaints about their son’s or daughter’s non observance, their answer is that they are little, weak and cannot tolerate the hunger during day time. It is also said from them they have lot of office work and their exams are about to come. If parents’ approach is like that and are not strict towards their children’s life hereafter, how can they expect great deeds from their children? Here it is a request for such parents to introspect and do not destroy the everlasting life of their children. It is high time to shun glamorous and destructive favoritism of their children. We should also give a deep thought to consider which deed will make our life better in this world and hereafter.
Moreover in this month we could find a great brilliance and hustle and bustle in our local Masjids and short Islamic discussions are held at every nook and corner. People are seen rushing during prayer times towards Masjids. We spend extra time in reading the Quran and performing special prayers. But it’s very unfortunate that we people think only in this month we have to make connection and remember Allah and do great deeds. The true essence of this month actually is that it is a training period through which we have to continue the same God pleasing activities all through the year. This month is a road map of how to live our whole year of life according to the practice we get from this month. This month teaches us how to live other months in the light of Ramadan. We should take this month as a great reward from Allah and we must be grateful that Allah has bestowed us this month as a training course for spiritual improvement and through this our whole year ought to be governed according to the same intense spiritual rejuvenation.
— The author, from Tujar Sharief, is working as lecturer in Government Degree College, Leh. He can be reached at: email@example.com