An Urgent Message to My Muslim Sisters in Ramadan-I
Dear Muslim sisters everywhere,
I wish all goodness for every Muslim woman on earth, and I ask Allah The Almighty to make you and us all to witness the month of Ramadan, accept our acts of obedience in it, and assist us during it. I am writing this especially for you, my sister, and wish to highlight some thoughts and ideas within it that could be of benefit to you during this blessed month.
Firstly, you should be delighted at the advent of Ramadan and display this happiness, for the Prophet, , would give glad tidings of its advent to his Companions. It is quite okay for you to contact your relatives and neighbors to congratulate them on this occasion and remind them of the rights of Allah that they should observe in Ramadan. The purpose of doing so is to fill the hearts and souls of our neighbors and relatives with happiness, so as to accustom them to loving the occasions of goodness and to performing the Sharee‘ah obligations and voluntary acts with pleasure and love.
Fill your home with happiness as you await Ramadan and make the children feel that they are about to receive a dear guest. Ask them to clean their rooms before fasting, so that such tasks will not prevent them from performing acts of worship. Show optimism and activity for the advent of that month, even if you are tired or sick. Beware of using the same statements as some other women do, such as saying that Ramadan is the month of suffering and hard work because they have to cook a lot, wash the dishes and do other tasks. If the children hear such statements, these ideas will be inculcated in their hearts, and they will continue to have this concept for the rest of their lives.
Ramadan is the month of generosity, openhandedness, goodness and blessings. Try to instill the love of such morals in the hearts of your children, and repeat them frequently until they dominate their thoughts and then, their hearts. Always describe Ramadan as the month of goodness and worship in which the Quran was revealed. It is also the month of forgiveness, charity and Zakah (obligatory charity) in which Allah The Almighty honors His slaves and showers them with His bounty. Thus, we should adopt these morals, and the wealthy in particular should check the condition of the poor and treat them generously. Let every son and daughter give charity to the poor and needy people out of his/her own purse, and empty their wardrobes to pick the good clothes that they no longer use or need and give these things to those who deserve them as a gift or present, not as charity, to avoid hurting their feelings.
Ramadan is the month of affection, love and psychological and inner purity. Hence, teach your children that it is obligatory to purify their hearts, and that there should be no quarrels, fighting, disputes or severing the ties of kinship in it. In Ramadan, friends, relatives and neighbors visit one another, ties of kinship are maintained and people are reconciled. Also, in it there is no cheating, deception, lying, backbiting, tale-bearing, falsehood, calumny or saying anything but good and permissible words, because Allah The Almighty has no need for a fasting person to abstain from eating and drinking if he does not abstain from saying false things and working accordingly.
Ramadan is the Month of Worship
Buy a prayer rug for every boy and girl and provide the girls with head covers. Perfume the carpets and head covers so that their appearance and scent is alluring and attractive. Take the children with you when you perform the prayers, and the boys who are old enough to go to the mosque should accompany their father, and those who are not old enough should stand beside you until they are all used to performing the prayers and feeling and appreciating the meaning of worship in Ramadan.
Ramadan is the Month of the Quran
We should remind ourselves of this and try to inculcate it in our children’s hearts. Ramadan is the month in which the revelation began; hence, the Quran has a special significance in this month and there should be keenness on reciting, studying, learning and applying it. Prepare a Mus’haf (copy of the Quran) for every member of the household: Mus’hafs for adults and small parts for the youngsters. It is preferable that a session for recitation is held where the household, old and young, sit and each recites part of the Quran. It would be beneficial if they gathered to make a complete and collective recitation of the Quran. Ask each of them about the amount he recites daily and motivate and encourage them with gifts in order to recite the Quran frequently and fill the house with the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.
Ramadan is Not the Month of Eating and Drinking
Ramadan is a time that should be used in worship. Therefore, do not waste it in preparing many types of food, drinks, appetizers and grilled and fried dishes. If you are not careful, you will spend your Ramadan in the kitchen. I do not mean thereby that you should not care about the food, but I mean that it should not be your and your family’s main concern. Everyone should know that a little food is sufficient, so that we can dedicate most of our time to worshiping Allah The Almighty. It is very important to organize your time. It will be very useful if you do not allow the time of cooking and preparing food to override the time of Thikr (mentioning Allah), prayers and recitation of the Quran. At the same time, nothing should override the time of cooking so as not to leave those who fast feeling hungry afterwards.
I am not one of those who like gatherings in Ramadan; however, if it is necessary, you should prepare a planned program. Tell each of the attendees to bring with her the best thing she learnt or heard about fasting, Taraaweeh prayers, voluntary acts of worship, Zakah, I‘tikaaf (seclusion) and all that is related to Ramadan. There is no harm in specifying a particular topic to search or discuss, but of course it should be a topic pertaining to Thikr, so that the gathering will not turn into a session of tale-bearing, backbiting and distraction. It is also possible to prepare a quiz that is made up of questions about Fiqh (jurisprudence), creed or any other information that the Muslim woman needs in her religion like the rulings of purity, prayers, fasting, the children’s upbringing or taking care of the house, husband and family.