The True Spirit of Ramadan: Beyond Hunger and ThirstHe told me that his calendar was full for the month of Ramadan as he was unable to join us for
Every year in the month of Ramadan, especially among a majority of Muslim Americans, Ramadan
But wait a minute?
This is how Ramadan is celebrated in a majority of Muslim homes who have been endowed with resources. In our
We do not have to wait for the entire Ummah to have consensus on these issues. Those who feel that such practices are genuine should follow them.
Let us look at the positive aspects of the month of Ramadan. For an entire month, we live in an environment where we are conscious of our creator every second, regardless of where we are provided we are fasting or aware of the importance of fasting. It is a month we can train ourselves in some of our behavioral aspects.
Some of our scholars remind us that we should focus on offering extra prayers and extra reading of the Quran. But there are two other aspects that were part of Prophet’s behavior, yet ignored sometimes.
The prophet was very generous this month and he spent long hours seeking the protection and forgiveness of Allah. Obviously, the Prophet taught us that the month should be used to evaluate our own behavior and attitude towards ourselves and others and seek protection in the guidance of Allah. In other words, besides being generous, he taught us to ensure that we control our anger, egos, arrogance, and show humility, politeness, kindness, and forgiveness to others.
The fasting demonstrates our ability not only to conquer hunger, but also our capacity to control psychological aspects of our behavior, such as our reaction to things that we dislike. If we learned how to tame our ego, everything that we do will multiply in reward in our life and if we fail, then regardless of the number of nightly prayers and extra reading of the Quran, our fasting would not go beyond an exercise in controlling our hunger.
Here are a few suggestions that we can try to apply in our daily Ramadan life.
1. If we dislike anything, we would not react immediately. Rather, we would take time and try to respond in a calm and polite manner.
2. We would ignore those useless talks that serve no purpose.
3. We would ensure that we do not indulge in backbiting or demeaning anyone.
4. We would ensure that we show kindness to youngsters and respect to elders.
5. We would not focus on food and consume things that are not nutritious because Allah asks to be mindful of our health also.
6. We will control our anger, egos, arrogance, and rash talking.
7. We would not hurt anyone and if we cross our limits, we would immediately apologize.
8. We would maintain quietness most of the time.
9. We would greet everyone with a sweet smile.
10. We would visit the mosque with our family at least once a week if possible.
11. We would give our children a feel of Taraweeh prayers by praying with them this nightly prayer.
12. We would invite the poor and the needy families to our homes at least once in the month of Ramadan to honor them.
13. We would be generous in sharing our resources to the poor and the neglected.
14. We would try to read the Quran with translation and understanding if we do not know Arabic and with reflections, if we know Arabic.
15. We would spend some time alone observing prayers and recite the Quran and reflect on our life.
16. We would focus on some of the suras of the Quran so that we could either memorize them or understand them in depth.
17. We would invite some non-Muslim neighbors or colleagues to our homes to share the Ramadan spirit at Iftar time.
18. We would give the Zakat
ul Fitr so that the money could be
distributed in an organized manner to the poor and the needy.
19. We would ensure that not a single prayer is delayed.
20. We would give one book on Islam to anyone who wants to learn more about Islam.
21. We would hug our children, our parents and our dearest ones, thank them for their presence in our lives and to remind ourselves of the importance of family.
22. We would ignore the minor or major behavioral issues of people and treat them with patience.
23. We would ensure that we would not visit internet sites that are provocative or that promote immorality.
24. We would help our spouses with home chores and avoid criticizing them for their mistakes.
25. We would always remember that all that we are doing is to fulfill our obligations to our Creator who seeks our well being in this life and the life hereafter.