Muslims in Brunei are preparing to welcome the holy month of Ramadhan, this week. Ramadhan, a month of obligatory daily fasting in Islam, is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, every healthy adult Muslim has to refrain from eating drinking and sex from dawn to dusk.
Allah (Subhanu Wa Ta’ala) says in Al-Quran “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become God-fearing.” (QS Al-Baqara/2:183)
This is a month of immense physical and spiritual training for Muslims in their quest to achieve piety. In Ramadhan, Muslims forgo eating and drinking to please their lord. They learn how to control their desires and guard against evil.
In this way, they also express solidarity with all those who cannot afford three daily meals through experiencing hunger and thirst. In the end, they are able to feel the pain, suffered by those who have to forgo eating because of poverty. They become more compassionate towards poor.
In the night they stand for mass tarawih prayer and recite verses from Al-Quran. In this way they strengthen their link with the book of Allah (SWT) and try to understand the message sent to them by their lord.
“The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein.”(QS Al-Baqara/2:185)
In this month, Allah (SWT) showers his blessings on Muslims. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadhan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah (SWT) will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari, Muslim).
However, Ramadhan is not all about being hungry or thirsty. This is a month of total dedication towards Allah (SWT).
A Muslim is supposed to follow Allah’s (SWT) commandments throughout his life. His every action is supposed to be aimed at pleasing his lord.
Ramadhan is a month when a Muslim practically learns how to implement Islam in every aspect of his/her life. He should not see what displeases Allah (SWT). He should speak no evil, hear no evil and seek forgiveness from his lord.
The rewards for these efforts are countless. The scientific research has proven the health benefits of fasting. It does not only purify the body but also the soul. And no one can even imagine the rewards of fasting in hereafter that have been promised by Allah (SWT).
Prophet (PBUH) said. “Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times it’s like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the most high said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give reward for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah (SWT) than the smell of musk.” [al-Bukhaaree]
Therefore, the month of Ramadhan is a great opportunity for every Muslim to explore ways to strengthen his relationship with Allah (SWT).
According to scholars, one should spend most of his free time in mosques praying, seeking forgiveness and reciting Al-Quran.
During this month, one should also try spend his money to please Allah (SWT) by extending maximum financial assistance to his poor relatives and others who are in need.
Being hungry and thirsty during fasting month does not mean that one should lose temper with others, especially family members. A Muslim must treating everyone nicely and Ramadhan is a time to learn and practice that. One should also make sure that all parts of his/her body are used in a way that entitles him for more reward from Allah (SWT).