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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Spiritual Provision from Ramadan

Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa. It is the highest of all virtues
in the Islamic scheme of things.

Allah says in the Qur'an: "It is He who made the night and day to follow
each other for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show
their gratitude." (25:62)

Life and death and the succession of nights and day have a purpose and that
is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and
gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and goes.
We must examine ourselves now and see what we have learned and achieved
during this month. The test of success of this month lies in the effects it
has left upon us.

1. Discipline:
We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for the sake of Allah. In
our morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule of eating and drinking.
We are constantly aware that even in our such mundane activities as eating
and drinking, we must remain under divine injunctions. We change our habits
in our daily routines because we learn that we are not the servants and
slaves to our habits, but always the servants of Allah. Then after Ramadan,
we have to keep this spirit of discipline in other modes of our life and
must continue with our submission to the commands of Allah.

2. Renewal of Devotional Life:
Ramadan renews our enthusiasm for worship and devotion to Allah. In this
month, we are more careful of our daily prayers and have special prayers at
night. There is no religion without prayer and Muslims learn in this month
how to strengthen and deepen their religious life.

3. Renewal of Contact with the Quran:
Ramadan and the Qur'an are linked together from the beginning. It was in
this month that this divine message was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).
Fasting prepares the believers' hearts to learn the Word of Allah. It is the
most suitable condition for our spiritual and mental communication with the
Qur'an. The Muslim Ummah pays more attention to the Quran in the blessed
month of Ramadan. This renewed contact with the Quran must help us in
following its message.

4. Renewal of Identity with the Ummah:
Ramadan is not an individual experience only, but it is an experience in
community. The whole Muslim Ummah fasts together in one and the same month.
We identify with one another in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new
sense of togetherness and association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim
Ummah is the community of piety and devotion to Allah and its members derive
their strength from each other in deeds of piety and virtue. The bonds that
are based on piety and virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds
that prove good for mankind. Ramadan leaves an imprint of all these values
upon the Muslim Ummah.

5. A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy:
Fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to understand the suffering and the
pains of the poor and needy. By our voluntary hunger and thirst we realise
what it means to be deprived of basic necessities of life. Ramadan is called
the month of charity and sympathy. We learn how to be more kind and generous
in this month. Many Muslims also pay their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

6. Taqwa:
To summarise all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we can say that
Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa. Taqwa is the sum total of Islamic
life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It
means, God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies
submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection
of all that is evil and bad."

Courtesy:ali bahadur qadmi Dubai

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