Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ramadan Objectives

On a sweltering hot day your throat has become parched. You are in the privacy of your home and the refreshingly cool water is within hand’s reach. You desire to drink it, but you do not. Why? Simply because you are fasting and while fasting you cannot eat and drink. If somebody prompts you to nevertheless drink it and says: “Nobody is watching,” you will immediately rebuke him with the words: “But Allah is watching”

Allah is watching. Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing, He is Omnipresent. He sees and knows when we cheat while fasting, thus we resist all temptations of food, drink and lawful conjugal relations from dawn to dusk. We have learnt the lesson of Taqwa. We have learnt that lesson which the fasting was meant to teach us. Allah is watching! Yes, Allah is watching! Every time there is an urge to eat or drink while fasting, the voice from within cries out: “Allah is watching!” Dozens of times daily for an entire month this reality is reaffirmed. Allah is watching. So deeply is it embedded in the heart that by the time Ramadan is over, a person becomes conscious of Allah to such an extent that he is now guided by an inner force that propels him in the direction of righteousness and turns him away from sin?

The fasts of Ramadan were prescribed for the purpose and object of attaining Taqwa. This is clearly declared in the Qur’an-al-Kareem. Taqwa simply is to obey the commands of Allah and refrain from all sin, the increased rewards for lbaadah (worship) in Ramadan and all the blessings of this great month should be considered as the bonus. The object is Taqwa. If one performs an abundance of Salaah, completes the recitation of the Qur’an thirty times and engages in many other acts of lbaadah, but fails to give up sins – one has failed to achieve the object and purpose of Ramadan. One has failed to firmly embed the reality of Taqwa in the heart, the Taqwa that cries out “Allah Is watches” whenever one contemplates committing any transgression.

The dictates of Taqwa are not restricted to abstaining from drinking, gambling, adultery, transacting in interest and other such vices. Indeed Taqwa demands that while abstaining from the entire above vices one also observes Taqwa in one’s business. When the temptation to cheat the customer beckons, or when one is tempted to buy stolen goods or to indulge in fraud, at that time also the heart should cry out “Allah is watching” and it should restrain one from the sin.

This then is the object of Ramadan. This will only be achieved if we conduct ourselves in this great month with Taqwa. Or else the object of Ramadan will be defeated. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “He who does not forsake lying and other futile actions, Allah has no need for him to give up his food and drink.” Thus together with fasting, performing Salaah, reading the Qur’an, serving the cause of Deen, etc,, one must totally abstain from every sin in the month of Ramadan and adorn oneself with Taqwa. Insha-Allah this will then carry one along for the rest of the eleven months to abstain from all sins.

May Allah enable us to make this Ramadan a month where we will truly attain Taqwa. Aameen.

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