RAMADAAN ROBBERS!
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RAMADAAN ROBBERS!

Many of us begin the blessed month of Ramadaan with great zeal and enthusiasm resolving to fulfil and uphold every act of Ibaadah in the month simply because we are aware of the tremendous rewards offered for Ibaadah in this great month. However just within days into Ramadaan we begin to ‘lose steam’ and slowly many acts of Ibaadah are abandoned or undermined thereby giving them little or no importance. Some feel that Ramadaan is only for fasting and as long as the fasts are all kept then the rights of Ramadaan have been fulfilled. Fasting is undoubtedly the main feature of Ramadaan but the full benefits of the fasts can only be achieved by doing the other Ibaadah associated with it.

And thus very early into Ramadaan we lose focus of the objective and goal of this great month and become indulgent in actions that snatch away and deprive us of the goodness and many blessings that Ramadaan brings. We could easily call them Ramadaan robbers! Some of these acts are the following:

SUHOOR or SEHRI

Apart from the nutritional benefit that suhoor provides the fact that it is an emphasised sunnah cannot be ignored. Ramadaan is more about spiritual benefit and by evading suhoor especially out of laziness we deprive ourselves of the rewards afforded to those who partake of suhoor leave alone the harm it causes to the physical body. In addition to the above we deprive ourselves of the tremendous rewards afforded to those who perform Tahajjud Salaah. And then even worse in some cases we miss the Fajr salaah thereby beginning even a day in Ramadaan in sin.

IFTAAR PARTIES

Providing for a fasting person earns one the reward of that person’s fast without diminishing his reward in the least. Trying to earn these rewards we mess up big time. Iftaar parties whereby relatives and friends are invited have become quite the norm nowadays in Ramadaan. With an iftaar banquet laid out before us we lose the true essence and meaning of the fast as it draws to its close. The time for breaking fast marks the beginning of a feast. In this feast many injunctions of shariah are violated i.e. intermingling of ghair mahram, laxity in modesty, overeating, the missing of maghrib salaah either totally or in Jamaat and a host of other actions. And then due to all eyes fixated on the ‘array of goodies’ spread before them, the value of Duaa at this great moment is forgotten. We try to secure one reward but in the process lose countless others. Worse is that we emerge at the time of Iftaar laden with a little more sin instead of having them washed away thus defeating the purpose of fasting.

TARAWEEH SALAAH

The skipping of Taraweeh salaah after the first few nights have become common practice for many men and women included. We sadly observe that after the Eshaa Salaah in the Musjid, the Masjid drains out and the courtyards fill up with small groups all over engaging in frivolous and futile talk as the taraweeh salaah continues within ear-shot of them. Even sadder is that some of these people hold on to the deviated view that Taraweeh salaah is 8 rakaats or but ‘a sunnah’.

In ahadeeth great rewards are promised to those who fast the days of Ramadaan and spend its nights in worship.

When we discard Taraweeh we deprive ourselves of the tremendous rewards of this Ibaadah which is so closely related to Ramadaan.

RAMADAAN AS RITUAL

For many of us Ibaadah has become a mere ritual thereby lacking the essence of the prescribed ibaadah. Ramadaan and fasting is no exception to the above. We fast because everyone around us is doing so and it’s the ‘normal’ thing to do in Ramadaan. And like this we merely ‘go through the motions’ and when we reach the end we emerge gaining very little or no benefit simply because we have not understood nor grasped the essence of Ramadaan.

Ramadaan has become a routine and a ritual rather than a step to spiritual elevation. Allah Ta’ala is in no need for our starving ourselves from dawn to dusk. This is not the purpose of fasting-the attainment of perpetual Taqwa is. Such Taqwa can only be attained if Ramadaan is spent in the correct manner and way. Otherwise it still maintains the standing of a mere ritual in our lives. Rituals cannot bring change-the correct attitudes and understanding does this in the best way. Unless this is understood Ramadaans would come and go but our lives would remain unchanged.

FOOD & DRINK

It is said that some of us eat to live whilst others live to eat. For some food and drink has become pivotal whilst they fast and their thoughts the entire day revolve around the iftaar table. Many people instead of lightening the scales of body mass in Ramadaan and tipping the scales of A’amaal (righteous deeds) do the opposite.

The whole month of Ramadaan is focussed on what to eat and what not to. Many a deep freezer in our homes prior to Ramadaam would bear ample testimony to this. Thus Ramadaan has become more of feasting than fasting. Here again we lose the essence of this great and illustrious month.

THE STORM IN THE KITCHEN

Slaving over the stove has become priority for many a housewife in Ramadaan. When Ramadaan begins her troubles as housewives mount for in Ramadaan there are ‘expectations’ from family members. Iftaar is not iftaar without haleem and samoosas. Samoosas cannot be enjoyed fully without chutneys and the list goes on. The preparation of all these are time consuming and snatch away precious ibaadah time in Ramadaan. Every housewife before the advent of Ramadaan should warn her household that most of her time in Ramadaan will be spent in Ibaadah and not in the kitchen and thus they should lower their ‘expectations’. Sufficient is water and dates for iftaar- samoosas, pies and all other savouries can wait till after Ramadaan.

SLEEPING ALL DAY

People are with the understanding that sleeping while fasting is great as they won’t feel the gnawing pangs of hunger as much as they would if awake. Thus they seek refuge in their beds and while away, at times the entire day in sleeping, needless to mention that the day’s salaahs all go by. Ramadaan is about perseverance and patience against all odds. Sleeping away may drive away the hunger and thirst but does not bring and nurture and foster the essence and spirit of patience and perseverance to the fore which is another objective of Ramadaan.

WHILING AWAY THE TIME IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION/INTERNET/PLAYSTATIONS

Gone are the days when a few days before the dawn of the month of Ramadaan the television set of every Muslim household was banished to one remote part of the home. Nowadays the television amongst all other high-tech entertainment gadgets are taken as a saviour to help with the passing of time. Hours on end are spent before these ‘entertainment’ avenues and more often than not the entertainment that is screened is off a total haram nature. Only the Muslim world observes Ramadaan and holds it in value. The rest of the world continues with their open and flagrant disobedience of Allah Ta’ala exploiting every possible avenue. Is it these avenues before which we too choose to spend our time even in Ramadaan?

The above are just some acts which gnaw away and snatch away the true and real barakaah of Ramadaan. Indulgence in these acts, at the end, greatly diminish the rewards of fasting.

May Allah Ta’ala protect us from these acts and bring us to the realisation that Ramadaan is no ordinary month. Aameen. It is a month of countless blessings and mercies-but only made accessible to those who are willing to put out a hand and draw from the unlimited treasures of Allah Ta’ala. Otherwise like how we started Ramadaan short changing ourselves, we will end Ramadaan on the same note-the loss can be only ours then. We will rob ourselves of Ramadaan!

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