The message of holy Ramzan

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“O Muslims’ fasting is prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you, that you can attain Taqwa.”

(Al Baqarah 183)

Fasting is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam and Muslims all over the world shun eating and drinking during the holy month of Ramzan from dawn to dusk. The month is one of the holiest month of Islamic calendar during which the faithful are expected to not only fast but pray and recite Quran frequently. In the pre-Islamic era and even during the life time of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) conflicts and bloodshed were forbidden during Ramzan and the month was reserved to retreat from worldly activities to focus on the spiritual happiness closeness to Almighty Allah. Every Muslim should be of the firm belief that his shunning the food during Ramzan days is not the sole aim of the fasting. The fasting is aimed at to purification of the soul so that the believers develop within them compassion and concern towards fellow humans. While fasting for specific hours, they can understand the pangs and pain of those who are under privileged and have no luxury of having healthy food every day.

This year, like last year, we are observing the fasting under the shadow of deadly Covid-19 and are not able to offer daily congregational prayers and the Taraweh. Though the very idea of not offering Nimaz in Masjids is painful, but Islam being the religion of logic and reasoning directs its believers to do nothing that threatens the wellbeing of others. Narrated Al Bukhari quotes Abdurrahman bin ‘Awe saying, “I have heard Allah’s Messenger saying, ‘If you hear about it (an outbreak of plague) in a land, do not go to it; but if the plague breaks out in a country where you are staying, do not run away from it’.  The message explicitly conveys what in modern time we describe as quarantine and social distancing. It has been noted by the Islamic scholars that “Allah’s Messenger used to tell the Muezzin (who calls Azaan) to pronounce Azaan and say, Al Salat Fi Beyootikum” (Pray at homes) in place of “Hayya Alasalah” (Come for the prayer) at the end of the Azaan, on a rainy or a very cold night during the journey”.  Muslims should recall the teachings of their Prophet and thus offer prayers at homes instead of congregating in Masjids in the wake of the pandemic.

The month of Ramzan should make Muslims more conscious about their civic responsibilities towards fellow humans. The lockdowns and disturbances due to Covid-19 have had a serious toll on the economy of the people and there are fellow human beings who are in desperate need of financial help. Fasting Muslims, who have been bestowed by the Almighty with sound financial backup should come forward during the month of Ramzan and help the poor and needy. If this pious month can’t make us to feel for the others, we are terribly missing something. Helping needy is one of the fundamentals of Islam and that is why there is more stress on Sadqa-e-Fitr and Zakat. Muslims, those who are in a position to do so, should wholeheartedly help their fellow humans who are in dire need of financial assistance. That is the message of the Islam and that is the message of holy month of Ramzan.

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