“O Believers! Fasting has been made obligatory upon you just as it was made obligatory upon those before you so that you may adopt Taqwa.” (c2 v 83)
“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger..” Sunan Ibn Majah
The Purpose of Life
Allah Ta’aala has not created Insaan in vain. He has made this plain and clear to everybody: “Did you think We have created you in vain and that you will not return to Us?” (C. 23 V. 115)
Each and every soul has a purpose and a role to play in life. Nobody has been created in vain or to spend his days loafing in this world.
Each and every one of us has a mission to fulfill even as we go about our daily task. When we look at the skies and ask the question: “Yaa Allah why have you created me?” we will find the answer in The Holy Qur’aan: “(My servant), I have not created mankind or Jinn accept that they worship Me.”
The answer is clear. It is straightforward and simple. “Worship me!” says Allah. Though the answer is basic, it requires some elaboration.
The need for ’Ilm
No matter how sincere and dedicated a person may be in his desire to worship Allah, if he does not have the Knowledge of what worship entails, he will be prone to mistakes. Take the example of someone who wishes to fast during Ramadhaan. He has no knowledge of the time when to commence his fast, or when to make Iftaar, or what to abstain from. Obviously, such a person will not succeed in worshipping Allah Ta’aala! He will require knowledge of how to keep a fast. Armed with this ‘Ilm he will now be in a position to worship Allah. Knowledge, with the Fadhl of Allah, protects one from Shaytaan’s deceptions. There is no greater a robber, or more dangerous a thief, than ignorance.
Deen is Ahkaam (Divine Laws)
Islam is Ahkaam. If there are no Ahkaam there is simply no Deen. There is no religion which continuously guides its adherents in all facets of life, like Islam.
There is no moment wherein we are free from the Ahkaam of The Shariah. From the moment we open our eyes until we go and sleep, we are constantly subjected to a host of Ahkaam. Abiding to these Ahkaam is the essence of worshipping Allah Ta’aala. The Ahkaam take different forms and structures. Sometimes it is in the form of Fardh, sometimes Sunnat. Other times it is in the mode of Mustahab and Nafl. Similarly, it is the Ahkaam of the Shariah which labels acts to be Haraam, Makruh and Mubah.
Ahkaam are not limited only to acts of Worship. In cleanliness we find the Ahkaam concerning Paaki/Na-paaki (purity/impurity). Ahkaam in the consumption of food revolves around Halaal/Haraam/Mushtabah (Doubtful), in Akhlaaq (character) Ahkaam orbit around Akhlaaq-e-Hamida (meritorious qualities) and Akhlaaq-e-Razeelah (despicable attributes). In social relationships it is based upon Huqooq (Rights of others). The more firmly one adopts the Ahkaam of Allah Ta’aala and The Shariah, the more one is engrossed in worshipping Haq Ta`aala. The more meticulously one observes the Ahkaam, the more Taqwa one’s heart will be inspired with.
“Taqwa is here, and he pointed to his heart”
Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam once explained the concept of Taqwa. He pointed to his Sacred heart and said: “Taqwa is here.” Ramadhaan is that special time when many Ahkaam manifest themselves. The Ahkaam of Sehri, Iftaar, Taraweeh, Laylatul-Qadr, I’itikaaf etc. if abided to sincerely will sow the seeds of Taqwa in the heart in the form of self-sacrifice, humility and the solitude which Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam so dearly loved. Ahkaam pertaining to spending generously in the Path of Allah will generate in the heart the lofty Taqwa of gratitude and glowing contentment.
Sabr and Ma’iyyat:
Ramadhaan is the month of Sabr, a Sabr which if observed correctly, will, Insha-Allah, strengthen and fortify the heart to cope with and bear future tests, trials and difficulties. With Allah a Muslim lives alone in the World. The seeds of this Ma’iyyat (companionship) with Allah Ta’aala are found in Sabr. And, verily Allah is with those who make Sabr.
Man is hopelessly addicted to food and drink and pursuing his pleasures. This in turn increases his desires for all forms of merriment and amusement which ultimately makes him forget Allah Ta’aala and His Ahkaam.
Ramadhaan with all its splendour has arrived in order to teach us how to curb our pleasures. The beast within us needs to be tamed. Heads filled with humility and hearts overflowing with submission need to bow to Allah Ta’aala.
Free from the burden of a filled stomach, the Muslim journeys on the saddle of Ramadhaan with the fuel of Ahkaam propelling him to his ultimate destination of Taqwa and a brilliant success.
“These are the limits Allah has set, so do not even come close to breaking them. In this manner Allah explains His Aayaat to people so that they attain Taqwa.” (C. 2 V. 87)
Yes, Ramadhaan is here, but are we ready to train ourselves to surrender to the Shariah of Allah Ta’aala?
Are we prepared to become true Muslims?
Are we prepared to please our Creator?
Are we prepared to make our numbered days in this ephemeral world count?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to perform all our Salaah from now up until our last breath?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to pay all our Zakaat?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to give up all our Riba (interest) transactions?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to stop wasting away our precious lives watching TV, sport, youtube etc?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to stop listening to music?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to practice on all the Divine Laws of Hijaab?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to only eat what is Halaal and Tayyib (beyond a shadow of doubt)?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to dress in proper Islamic attire at all times and hold up the flag of Islam and the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Salam instead of the flag of kuffaar sport clubs and western satanic culture?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to obey and respect out seniors (even if they are at fault) and forgive their weaknesses with humble silence and without any reproach?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to mend our family ties at all costs?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to abstain from pride, anger malice, jealousy, greed and all other evil qualities of the lowly self (nafs)?
Are we prepared to make a firm intention to keep our tongues pure from lies, gheebat, slander, backbiting etc and keep it busy in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala and in the Tilawat of His Holy Quran?
Let us make this Ramadhaan count!
Let us turn to our Creator and repent and atone for our evil past with sincere Taubah!
Let us make the object of our existence be to please only Him as best as we can and not to please our nafs, our egos and shaytaan.
Oh Allah, we fast the month of Ramadhaan, we forsake the essentials of existence, our food, drink and our spouses, in respect of Your law. Through the barakaat of this sacrifice help us to abandon sin and our immoral ways and enter us amongst Your chosen servants, the people of Taqwa.