You might have seen lots of food stalls and fruit markets are set to get ready for Ramadan. In my city I lived there used to a chain of Haleem counters. Fruit markets are set to sell record during this month. Indian fabric industry sees a great high during this month. As the month progress there starts shopping for Eid and before Eid events are set to go ahead.
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Overall since my childhood I saw Ramadan as a full of joy of eating 30 days and then get ready for Eid at the end of Ramadan. When I was in engineering my classmates used to force me to take them to these food stall. Once I took them there and then they forgot me and started going on their own. One day I went there to take soon Haleem for my family, the owner said your friends are our daily customers. Do most of them live in US now, Ramadan comes and they send an email for food.
Apart from all these, Muslims perform daily additional prayers at night and in last ten days they worship Allah SWT all night. Though few people wake up all night and waste their time on the streets. If you ask me the real essence of Ramadan is to realize the pain and suffering of fellow mates, be humble and be thankful to God. But most of Muslims and Non-Muslim friends don’t get to the real essence of it. Muslims don’t understand because it’s tough for them, and non-Muslims don’t know because their friends usually practice something else.
Just read the following passage that give the clear essence of whole Ramadan and the practices one need to follow to gain mercy and forgiveness from the Allah SWT.
On the authority of Salman al Farsi (May Allah be pleased with him) it is narrated that during the last Jumu’ah of the month of Sha’ban the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recited a Khutba (sermon) in which he said:
‘O people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day, and has made Sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such a person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a Fardh (Obligatory act) in any other time. And whoever performs a Fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy Faraa-idh in any other time.
This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (Paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq (sustenance) is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and freedom from the fire of Jahannum (hellfire), and for such a feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.”
Thereupon we said, “O Messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” (They were at the time under the impression that Rasullulah(saw) referred to a full meal). Rasullulah (saw) replied: “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk (for Iftar).”
“This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy (i.e. the first 10 days), the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings freedom from the fire of Jahannum.”
“Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (or those under his authority) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannum.”
“And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kallimah Tayyibah Laa ilaha illallah) and make much Istighfaar (repentance, beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astagfirullah). And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into Paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannum.”
“And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that a person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.”
[Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh]
Ramadan is totally to make one feel of their guilt and wrong deeds, stand in front of the Lord and ask repentance. Understand the pain and suffering of other and suppress anger and be kind to family and fellows.
Let’s try to find the real meaning of worship and its ways of purifying ourselves, instead of focusing on food and cloth. Food and cloth we wear are not eternal, good deeds and good actions are eternal, therefore let’s focus on something that is long lasting instead of wasting time on short term benefits.
I pray Allah SWT to make this month, a month of forgiveness and show his mercy, make it on of the most productive and memorable month of life. Ameen.
Do not forget to share what do you know about Ramadan.