Prelude to Ramadan 2013

source: weheartit
 Allahumma balighna Ramadan.
O Allah, allow us to reach the month of Ramadan.

"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. 
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me.
Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.
{Surah ad-Dhariyat, 51:55-58)

Verse 56 of Surah ad-Dhariyat is one of the most quoted lines from the Holy Qur'an and understandably so. "What is the purpose of life?" is after all the biggest philosophical question out there and through the Qur'an, God tells us the answer and He couldn't be more direct and succinct.

Last night I contemplated on verses 55-58 and it made me think about Ramadan. To be honest, I haven't had the chance to really think about what I hope to achieve from Ramadan this year. All I know is I want to regain my sense of focus and direction. I believe one of the biggest fitna (trials) of being a Muslim in the twenty first century is the amount of distraction we deal with every single day. From social expectations to digital obsessions to worldly ambitions, we are being bombarded with messages and images that are driving our thoughts and intentions away from the Hereafter. That is not to say being passionate about something apart from our faith is bad but if that passion is rooted in anything other than a desire to please Allah (swt) it will take you further and further away from Him.

"(Satan) said: ‘O my Lord! Because You have put me in the wrong, I will make the wrong fair-seeming to them on the Earth, and I will put them all in the wrong except Your servants among them, sincere and purified.’ " 
{Surah al-Hijr, 15:39-40}

InshaAllah (God willing), Ramadan is going to be a "refresher" for me; a reminder that our main purpose in this world is to worship Allah the Almighty. Even the best of intentions can be debased by succumbing to Shaytan's evil whisperings. We always have to remind ourselves that we are never safe from Shaytan's mission to mislead the Children of Adam (as) to heedlessness.

"[Satan] said, "Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path." 
{Surah al-A'raf, 7:16-17}

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has warned us: "Satan sat, waiting for the son of Adam in all his pathways. He sat for him on the path of Islam and he said, "Do you become a Muslim and leave the religion of your fathers and grand fathers?" And after this temptation to become a disbeliever, there are different ways where he takes the sons of Adam into innovation, desires and doubts".{an-Nasa'i}

Isn't it unfortunate that Shaytan clearly knows his mission while us human beings are always asking ourselves, "What is the purpose of my life?".

As a prelude to Ramadan I would like to reflect on Imam al-Ghazzali's (ra) words:
“Struggle against your soul with the swords of self-discipline. They are of four kinds: little nourishment, sleeping little, speaking only when there’s a need and bearing wrongs enacted against you. Restricting your eating will be the death of unwanted passions; sleeping little clarifies ones aspirations; speaking little keeps one safe from afflictions and bearing injustices against oneself will help you obtain your goals, for there is nothing more arduous against God’s servant than to grant clemency when one is repudiated, bearing wrongs inflicted on oneself by others. And when your passions begin to stir your soul to unwanted ends and sins, and one feels delight in indulgence, unsheathe the sword of eating little from the scabbard Tahajjud and sleep but little. Strike these desires with the fists of lethargy and silence until they no longer oppress you nor avenge themselves against you and you are safe from their calamities til the end of your days, having purified them of the darkness of carnal desires, so that you escape unscathed from their perilous consequences. From this point you will become pure, immaculate and radiant, subtle in spirituality, free to roam about all that is good, traversing the paths of obedience to God like a fleet-footed steed in the field, like a king promenading in his garden .” (from Kitab Riyadhah al-Nafs via Marc Manley)
Ramadan al-Mubarak to all my Muslim brothers and sisters. May Allah (swt) grant us peace in our communities and ourselves through the increased remembrance of Him this Ramadan. May Allah (swt) inspire us to remind ourselves and each other about our purpose in this temporary world so we can continue doing good and neglecting evil desires. And may Allah (swt) accept our ibadah and forgive us for our sins. Ameen.


Cik Zeeyta said…
salam ramadhan :)