The gift of the year
Setting the scene for Ramadan, God, the Most High, says: “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (The Qur’an, 2: 185)
This blessed month is a great occasion for good, worship, devotion and obedience to God. It is an important month, a great occasion, a month in which good deeds are multiplied, doors of paradise open and doors of hell closed. God, Most Compassionate, is pleased with the repentance of sinners. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, middle is forgiveness and end is salvation from hell.
Believers need to incessantly thank God, Most Generous, for the opportunities of good and blessing He has given mankind. They ought to be grateful for the myriad causes of grace and abundant categories of blessings He has put in their way. The believer is required to enjoy the advent and departure of these sacred moments and privileged occasions by furnishing them with acts of piety and abandoning the forbidden ones. This is the key to leading a good life and looking forward to happiness after death.
For the true believer, every month is an opportunity for devotion, all his life being an opportunity for obedience to God. But his desire for the good is considerably strengthened in Ramadan. His heart, rejuvenated in this month, gives himself more energy for devotion. He turns to his Lord, Most Transcendent. For His great generosity, God bestows His grace on fasting believers and gives them multiplied rewards during this particular time.
How similar is today to the day before! Days dash off quickly like moments. Hardly have we welcomed Ramadan than we say goodbye to it. Shortly after, we will welcome another Ramadan. It is up to everyone to hurry up to multiply their good deeds in this important month and to look after all that can please their Lord and bring them happiness on the day they meet Him.
Appropriate mindset for Ramadan
The believer is called upon to evaluate their behavior so that Ramadan marks an acceleration in their progress along the ranks faith. The latter is volatile; obedience increases it but disobedience weakens it. Obedience begins with the fulfillment of true connection to God alone. This is marked by the firm belief that He is the only one who really deserves to be worshiped. Then, the believer is required to dedicate to Him all forms of adoration without associating with Him any being.
It is equally essential for believers observing the ordained fast to do some self-examination for the neglect they manifest in ritual practices such as performing group prayers, abundantly remembering and praising God, the Mighty and Majestic, reading the Qur’an and embodying its teachings, respecting the rights of neighbor, relatives and other Muslims and fellow humans, and the like. Ramadan is an annual check point to assess our relationship with God and how well we are faring along the way towards Him.