Ramadan: a call for return and reform- II
The month of generosity and giving
Another blessing of the month of Ramadan is the increase in brotherhood, mutual love, care, and generosity and charity towards the poor and the needy. The meetings of the Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and the Iftaar, the post- dusk breakfast, are supposed to be the epitome of joy and manifestations of brotherly and familial love and rejoice. At these times, the Muslims who have these blessings are supposed to think and care about those less fortunate than them, those who do not have loving fathers and mothers to care for them and provide them with nutritious meals and soothing comfort, those women who no longer have caring husbands to provide for them and protect them, those families that do not have the wherewithal to afford such meals. These meals are supposed to be meals of gratitude and meals of sharing, not of decadent luxury and wastefulness. These meals are supposed to be simple and modest because they are accompanied by charity and giving and sharing anything that is not necessary ought to be given away to the poor and the needy.
Those who fast during the day and experience the pangs of pain are supposed to remember the hunger and deprivation of those who starve out of poverty and helplessness. Those who pray during the night next to each other are supposed to be one brotherhood— all members of which are like one body, and when any of its members gets hurt, all the rest of the body feels the pain. Hence, these nightly prayers in congregation remind the believers of each other and their rights upon each other. None of the Muslims, therefore, is forgotten, and no one overeats, overspends, or overindulges—because they give all they can in charity to those who need it.
Yet, is this what really happens?!
How far have we come from the teachings of the Prophet who said that you are not a believer if you sleep well-fed while your neighbor is hungry- how many believers are hungry, deprived and needy while many overspend and waste away their food and clothing in ostentation and wanton competition?! There are Muslim countries in which tons of food is wasted away annually, enough to feed a continent of hungry people, and then there are Muslim regions in which people routinely starve to death or kill and get killed for scrapes of food!! This is the state of the followers of the Prophet who was more generous than the wind which indiscriminately gives anyone and everyone. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that “the Messenger of Allah was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during Ramadan... at that time the Messenger of Allah would be more generous than the blowing wind.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Our example, the Messenger would give the last morsel of food that he had, and the last piece of clothing that he had on. While we Muslims today have become some of the most divided nations in which the disparity of the wealth in the world is the greatest!
The month of reform
The month of Ramadan is the time of holding ourselves accountable, reforming ourselves and returning to our Lord before we are held accountable and have no chance of reform or return.
To those of us who are heedless of Allah and are lost in the deceptions of this world, this is the chance to turn about and return to the Most Generous Lord.
To those who are given to usurp others’ rights by hurting or killing them or stealing from them, now is the chance to return and repent.
To those who are given to sexual promiscuity, seeking enjoyment in illicit sights and pleasures, and wanton display of their beauty that Allah has prohibited, now is the chance to purify themselves and return to Allah.
To those given to drinking and drugs and the wasting away of their wealth, minds and time, now is the time to give up their evil ways and return to their Most Merciful Lord.
To those who deal in interest and take it lightly, now is the chance to purify their wealth and cease their war against Allah Almighty and His Messenger before it is too late.
To those who are disobedient and uncaring towards their parents, now is the chance to repent and beg for the Mercy of Allah and make up to their parents.
To those who are hateful of other Muslims and sow seeds of division between them for the mean gains of this world, now is the time to repent and review their deeds.
To us all, now is the time to repent and return.
Ramadan: a call for return and reform- I