Ramadan is one of the most important events in Islam. It is also one of the most anticipated and exciting holidays of the year. Just like any other large holiday, excitement starts to build weeks before the month actually begins! It officially begins when the first silver crescent of the calendar 9th month's moon is spotted in the night sky. What if we made a resolution to Allah that this Ramadan is the beginning of the new me? As others make their resolutions for New Year, Ramadan would be a starting point as a new resolution for Muslims.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours. Fasting in this way allows Muslims and their families' time to revitalize many of the teachings of the Qur'an in their lives. By fasting, Muslims have an opportunity to focus on many lessons that make up the very tenets of their religion; some of the most important lessons are self-control, inner reflection and the importance of charity. Muslims often make a special effort to donate money, food, and goods to charities or people in their community during the month of Ramadan.
Just as fasting is an opportunity to learn the lessons of Qur'an, so is the daily ritual of breaking the fast. Suhoor (breakfast) and Iftar (evening meal) are times to bask in the importance of community and family, and to experience thankfulness for the good things that are in their lives. During Ramadan, the morning and evening meals are treasured because they offer the chance for family and friends to eat and celebrate together. People meet at the Mosque or in each other's homes and appreciate the unity of Islam.
Of all the deeds we keep ourselves busy with, it is only fasting which Allah considers purely for Himself. This means that fasting is a gift from you to Allah! When you give a gift to someone you love, you make it as special as you can ... even choosing the best wrapping paper. What about giving a gift to Allah!
Try to make each day you fast as special as you can. How? Pray on time, give a charity each day, DON'T COMPLAIN, fill your day with deeds that you know Allah loves. And stay away from the things you know He hates such as backbiting, gossiping, lying, etc. Instead let us reflect people who are actually starving without a meal at the end of the day.
People need to understand that we are brothers one of another in our faith. There is only one God no matter what. No matter how you relate to Him, Our God is your God.
Make your "wrapping paper" taqwa (God-Consciences) and fast a day that you can be proud of. Remind yourself that you are not just fasting to get to maghrib and eat, your are not just fasting because everyone else is, you are not fasting to lose weight. You are fasting for ALLAH. (And be sure Allah knows exactly why you are fasting). This is your time to give Him something back for all He gave you. You give such nice gifts to your friends. But He is Allah. Why not give Him the best gift that you can?
We would like to ask each of our readers to remember us in your Duhas. May Allah strengthen our remembrance in Him, and help us strive to become better Muslims, Ameen.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
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