The month of Ramadan or Ramazan brings abundant happiness and a wave of changes among Muslims all around the world. Muslims are seen fasting for the whole month. The mosques are filled like they were never before in the whole year. The eateries are jammed with people in groups soon after dusk sets in. Everyone around feels the change in winds. Some question their Muslim friends ‘How can one stay hungry for the whole day?’, ‘Can you at least drink water?’, and many such enquiries out of curiosity.
But all these are a normal sequence of events that follow year after year, with people and circumstances changing each time. Though there might be a lot of difference in this Ramadan. So, what is special about Ramadan?
For a Muslim, the month of Ramadan is a training session which he or she has to undergo once in a year. Just like any other training, this one is also not as easy as apple pie. In a world where immorality is depicted as the new morality, to stay focused on track with the hereafter in the mind, you need to carry lessons from here to the coming months. In the current circumstances, it is this training that is going to help a Muslim spend the time in lockdown ahead with ease and in remembrance of the Almighty.
Ramadan teaches one to be punctual. Time management is an essential part of one’s personality. It is this essence that elevates one in the eyes of others. The timings for Suhur just before dawn and Iftar just as soon as dusk sets in, and importance given on timing, are not a ritual. A Muslim has to learn and understand the value of time and utilize it to its fullest before /she has nothing of it left. Ramadan teaches a Muslim how to manage time. Every day completing daily chores seems a big accomplishment. But in Ramadan all of the things seem to fall in place. Time management, an art taught to all of us by setting boundaries so we can learn how to.
Ramadan teaches one to plan. To manage time one has to have a plan for the day, every day. By sketching the food timing, prayer timing, Allah Almighty makes it easy for us to suitably make space for all other things throughout the day. Due to which many tasks are accomplished in a single day during Ramadan. Effective plan is one which utilizes whole of the time available. The day begins with Fajr, Dawn. With offering of Fajr prayers and beginning the day when it actually starts, makes it easy for the day to be utilized to its fullest. For a plan to work out, one also requires enough deep sleep. Having fasted for the day and offered prayers during the day and at night, makes one feel exhausted, and hence he sleeps as soon as he rests on his bed. “And Allah is the Best of planners” – Surah Anfal (Al Quran 8:30).
Ramadan teaches one to be patient. During fasting, one has to refrain not only from food but also from attachments of different sorts. Staying away from something that is dear to heart, one nurtures himself to be patient. Allah, the Exalted says heaven is the reward for the patient ones. The patience, waiting for the day to end and then again stand in prayer at night, repeating the routine for a whole month teaches us that Sabr can be an attribute for life and one should learn to be patient.
Ramadan instills empathy in a Muslim. To feel what the other feels, sometimes one has to be repeatedly reminded of the pain. Fasting helps a Muslim realize and experience a pinch of hunger which many humans undergo on a daily basis. So, when he sees someone hungry he provides food to him out of what The Lord has bestowed on him.
Ramadan teaches us to be in control. Staying away from many humanly desires during the month of Ramadan, helps us realize that we can live a life within Islamic boundaries if we will. The art of controlling oneself is taught by the most basic need of a human for survival, The Food. During the fast, though food items are kept right before the hungry servant of the creator, he decides to wait patiently for the day to complete so he can open his fast and please The Almighty. The doors for many sins take the path of stomach, more the need or desire, more the chances of choosing the wrong path to acquire them. We Humans have to realize that it is us who has to decide how to use the given time out of free will granted by The Lord.
Ramadan helps us realize ourselves of the gift of Allah to the human body – The food. And through Suhur and Iftar helps one understand the importance of having it on time and in time. There are lectures and discussions on food index, poverty, food wastage and its management, so much and so less. And yet, there isn’t any visible change. By realizing the existence of small gifts of Allah, for instance the change in food timings leading us to ponder over how beautifully bountiful the Lord has been to His creation.
There’s so much more to obtain from the month of Ramadan. Realization demands a bit of time, and with this lockdown we have loads of it at our doorstep. Let us all observe, ponder, learn, unlearn and relearn during this Ramadan. Let us wake up to lives that are lived to please the Almighty Allah and tread a path that leads nowhere but to Jannah.