Assalaamu Alaykoem wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu — May the peace and blessings of Almighty Allah be Upon you.
Allah Almighty says, “O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may be Allah-Conscious (come closer to Allah). [Fasting] is for a fixed number of days. But whoever of you is ill or on a journey, shall fast – instead – the same number of days [duly lost during Ramadhan] later on. Those of you who find fasting a strain and too hard to bear may compensate for it by feeding a needy person (Fidyah). He who does good of his own account, does himself good thereby. To fast is better for you if you only knew it” (Holy Quran, Chapter2: V183-184)
Ramadan is a month of heightened awareness for Muslims, wherein they reflect on their spiritual relationship with their creator Almighty Allah. It is also a time for reflection on their relationship with mankind and their own inner transformation towards purifying the heart. All of this is to ensure that Muslims remain conscious of the purpose of creation and the benefits of living within the guidelines of the All-Knowing, Most Merciful Creator.
With these intentions, Muslims maintain and increase prayers, reflect and ponder on the beautiful guidance for mankind in the Quran, spend time focusing the mind on love for Allah Almighty and thereby suppressing the desires towards worldly attractions.
Remaining without food between sunset and sunrise during the month of Ramadan, is purely for Allah Almighty. A command performed out of love and gratitude with the hope that He will shower us with his intense Mercy, Forgiveness and Freedom of Jahannam (hell).
Let us use Ramadan as a stepping stone toward emulating the character of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and effect positive transformation within our ourselves, our families and humanity.
We can start with a simple smile or a kind word to family and strangers, a sympathetic ear or even removing a harmful object from the road as a form of charity
If we are still not convinced of Allah Almighty’s mercy during Ramadan, Muslims are provided with the last ten days of the blessed month which contains Laylatul Qadr – the Night of Decree/Power.
Allah Almighty says about this night:
“We have indeed revealed this message [The Quran] in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!… This until the emergence of dawn.” (Quran, Chapter 97: V1-5)
Allah Almighty equates this night, in which the Quran was revealed, to be better than a thousand months (83+ years). The Quran is a book of spiritual, social, moral, political and economic guidance for humanity. The message of the Quran should, therefore, permeate all aspects of our daily lives and not only in Ramadan.
In closing, we wish success and acceptance for all Muslims observing the Month of Ramadan and may Allah Almighty’s peace, blessings and mercy descend upon us all, Ameen.
Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams
President of Muslim Judicial Council (SA)