is seen through festive lights in Amman August 26, 2009.
REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN RELIGION)
SubhanAllah, with the long hot days and the beautiful recitation of Tarawih in the night, you can feel the nurturing that the ruh (soul) receives. All year round, we cater to every whim and fancy of our nafs (our base-self) and our ruh is deprived of what it really needs; having a intimate connection with our creator! Alhamdulillah we have been given the opportunity to witness yet another month of Ramadhan. Not making the most of it would be very pitiful indeed.
Before Ramadhan began, everyone (married ladies) that I talked to would always ask, “Are you ready for Ramadhan (or Ramzan :D)?” Now as you may have seen in one of my resent posts, I am currently doing a Ramadhan program for sisters, and it started before Ramadhan. In the first talk, I mostly talked about preparing our selves, spiritually, for Ramadhan so that we can take maximum benefit of it inshaAllah. I talked about the meaning of Ramadhan and how it’s an opportunity from Allah taa’la to turn back to Him. So, whenever I got asked this question, you know what I’d be thinking that they meant right? But boy was I wrong! I would reply,
“Oh so what did you (or are you) make(ing)?”
That’s where I would say, “huh?”
Then I realize what they meant. “Oh that! My mum made them all for me. Alhamdulillah.”
And the conversation would continue regarding the food.
It sounds funny, but if you think about it, it’s actually very sad! I mean, this is what happens all the time before every Ramadhan! The ladies prepare for Ramadhan with food and ask one another how many items they’ve made and how much they’ve stocked up in their freezers. What we should be asking one another is, how are you preparing yourself for Ramadhan so that you don’t miss out on the blessings? Have you taken out the TV plug? Have you made a goal for how many times you’ll complete the Qur’an? Are you going to go for Tarawih this year? See, these are the questions, we should be asking (to others as well as, more importantly, our selves). We should be encouraging one another to make the right and much needed preparations for Ramadhan.
Sure, the food is great, but that’s not what Ramadhan and sawm (fasting) is about.
As Imam al-Ghazali (May Allah be pleased with him) puts it,
Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.
Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet -- and all other organs -- free from sin.
Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.”
You can read the rest of it here and I really recommend it.
So I’m going to ask the obvious question, what level of fast do we want to achieve?
The answer to this rhetorical question obviously is (or it should be) that we want to achieve the highest level possible. Our goal should be to reach for the Extra-special Fasting. At the very least, we should be shooting for the Special Fasting.
All year long we’ve overfed ourselves and sinned beyond comprehension with our tongues (gossip, backbiting, slander, telling lies, etc.), our eyes (checking out the opposite gender, watching things we shouldn’t be watching, etc.), our ears (MUSIC, backbiting, etc.) our hands, our feet, our mind (evil thoughts) and with our heart (hatred, arrogance, jealousy, etc.).
We don’t know how long we’re going to live or if we’re going to get the next Ramadhan. Now is the time to change our habits and to mould ourselves the way we aught to be as true Mu’mineen, in this Most Blessed Month. Once the heat of Ramadhan moulds us, we can carry on our good habits after Ramadhan inshaAllah.
May Allah taa’la give us all the tawfiq (guidance) to take full advantage of this Blessed Month so that we may enter into Jannah and have freedom from the Hell Fire.
May He (subhanhu wa ta’ala) accept all our du’as and ibadah (worship) and forgive our sins whether they reach the heavens or are small like an atom.
May He (subhanhu wa ta’ala) shower the entire Ummah of Sayyidinah Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wassalam) continuously with His infinite mercy, blessings and forgiveness throughout this Blessed Month.
Please remember this sinful sister in your du’as and forgive any shorting comings whether done knowingly or unknowingly.
Also, check out these images of Ramadhan from around the globe.
Ramadan 2009- The Big Picture. They're amazing MashaAllah!
Oh and here is the updated poster with the updated programs that are taking place at IAOS.