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Friday, July 29, 2011

Welcome! Oh Ramadan

Another chain of opportunities of opportunities are here again before us. It is a time for another high level spiritual devotion, for cleansing of our iniquities, for attracting divine blessings, for prayers, alms_giving, dhikr, re_direction of destinies, and a set of hundreds of opportunities for a ticket to al_janah.
Ramadan, the blessed month opens up a new vista for spiritual shopping, a month of intensive worship, reading of the Qur’an, giving charity, purifying one’s behaviour, and doing good deeds and moving the believers closer to his creator. It is a month in which good deeds are multiplied and bad deeds are overlooked.  A month of forgiveness and mercy, a month so great that flings the door of paradise open and with its might chains the devils and closes the doors of hell fire.
The night month of Islamic calendar and the third pillar of faith that is so honoured so much by Allah that the Glorious Qur’an was revealed.
For those who are drifted into swirls of sins and rebellion in different ways, to cleanse and purify themselves.
In this respect, one should make good use of the fruitfulness of Ramadan. It will amount to absolute loss in this world and a wanton miss of mercy and forgiveness of Allah if the month passed by without observing it.  What will be worse than digging one’s own grave and tumbles down in it?
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Amin, amin, amin.” The companion asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Amin, amin, amin.” He said: “Jibril (peace be upon him) came to me and said: ‘If Ramadan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.’ So I said Amin. He said: ‘O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.’ So, I said Amin. He said: ‘If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.’ So, I said Amin.”
Allah says in the Qur’an “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed for those before you.  That you may learn self restraint.”
Fast for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later.  For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent.  But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him.  And it is better for you that you fast, if only you knew.”
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).  So, every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.  Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulty.  (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you, and perchance you shall be grateful.” (Q2:183-185)
Fasting for the period of 29 or 30 days in the month of Ramadan is not meant for self torture neither is it merely a temporary abstention from food and drink but a spiritual exercise to move believers closer to God and offer him divine blessings.  During the period,  a measure of ascendancy is given to one’s spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God while Allah makes good His promise by descending mercy on the believers.
Fasting is also a way of developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to appreciate Allah for His bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.Many Muslims insist on the local physical sighting of the moon to mark the beginning of Ramadan, but others use the calculated time of the new moon or the Saudi Arabian declaration to determine the start of the month. Since the new moon is not in the same state at the same time globally, the beginning and ending dates of Ramadan depend on what lunar sightings are received in each respective location. As a result, Ramadan date vary in different countries, but usually only by a day. This is due to the cycle of the moon. When one country sees the moon, mainly Saudi Arabia, the moon travels the same path all year round and that same moon seen in the east is then seen traveling towards the west. All the countries around the world see the moon within a 24 hour period once spotted by one country in the east.
While being appreciative of the grace of Allah for witnessing another Ramadan, it is also important to welcome the glorious month by saying Mar’aba bika yaa Ramadan, wa baraka llahu fiha.

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