By Nasser Ijaz Moghal
There was this guy in a wheel chair who wanted to make a statement that even people in wheel chairs are capable. So he decided to enter into a marathon. He noticed something very interesting about the race that he was running. He noticed that there were many people at the beginning of the race and many people at the end of the race but all throughout the middle he was by himself. The only people present in the middle of the race are the participants. It has been my personal observation that the same wheel chair marathon happens in Ramadan. As soon as the moon is sighted people get all excited about Ramadan and flock to the Masjid and at the end particularly the 27th people come flocking back to the Masjid but somewhere in the middle of Ramadan people drop off. The ratio that I have devised for this is 5:2:4 ratio. Meaning there will be 5 rows in the Masjid at the beginning of Ramadan, 2 in the middle and 4 at the end. This phenomenon is the Ramadan Dip.
Now Ramadan is a training camp in which people can boost their Imaan at record levels and survive the rest of the coming year. It is essential that we find a way to overcome this Ramadan dip.
On the night before Ramadan I went to get a haircut. As my hair was being trimmed I thought wait this is a Dawah opportunity. So I started a conversation:
“What’s your name bhai?”
“Afaaq bhai. So…..what do you plan to do for this Ramadan?”
In a totally casual manner he answered
“Well…..keep fasts, pray 5 time Salaat in the Masjid but I will miss the Taraweeh prayer because of the job but no biggie. That’s all”
SubhanaAllah. He has something planned but then again we should be doing all these even if it weren’t Ramadan. What about Quran? Any plans for Quran? No! What about feeding people or sitting for Aitekaaf? No.
You know when your exams are near, some students quit their time wasters like watching series, net surfing, etc and really open the books and study. Then when they are done with the exams tranquility and sweetness descends upon them and they truly feel freedom from all the hard work .Then again they are some to whom it doesn’t matter exams or no exams they are going to do whatever they want and so they don’t truly feel the sweetness of being free after exams. Such is the case with Ramadan those who work hard and take maximum benefit from Ramadan will truly enjoy Eid while those who were sleeping in Ramdan they will be sleeping on Eid too.
Have big intentions. Make a connection with Quran, ponder over its meaning, and memorize some Surahs. Go and feed people. I don’t mean have Iftaar parties. I mean take some good food to the Masjid and hand it out to people. Remember Ramadan is a month of feeding not eating. Don’t be fooled by all what you see on billboards; FAST and FEAST (McDonald’s Ramadan theme).
The only purpose of fasting is that you may adopt Taqwah. “What is Taqwah?” you may ask. Well…..look at it this way. Imagine there is a mouse and it comes out of its hole but as soon as it hears something in the distance it immediately scurries back into its hole. Then once again it comes out looking for food and again it runs back into the hole on hearing the slightest sound. See? The Mouse is afraid and very cautious. Similarly the word Taqwah comes from the root letters Waqiya which means to take a shield and so Taqwah means to protect yourself from the punishment of Allah by following His commands and refraining from all those actions that bring about his wrath and displeasure. Some people do a lot of good in Ramadan but they don’t stop doing evil. Wallaahi this is not Taqwah. Both, committing of good and restraining yourself from evil is Taqwah.
I remember my most memorable Ramadan was not the one in which I went to the finest dining places for Iftaar or slept throughout the day but rather the one in which I read the Quran everyday understood it and when the Imaam recited the Quran in Taraweeh prayer it felt as if the Ayaat of Allah were being revealed on my heart.
How are you going to make this Ramadan memorable? So that at the end when it’s Eid you are like
“LOOK AT ME NOW! I MADE IT! I HAVE TAQWAH! ALLAH HU AKBAR”
Arabic Vocabulary used:
Wallaahi: By Allah (I swear by God)
Eid: Muslim festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan
Iftaar: Breaking of fast (includes variety of traditional meals)
Taraweeh: Optional prayer that Muslims offer at night in congregation