If you’ve been Muslim for more than a day, you probably have the Ramadan fever right now too. Ramadan is around the corner and even folks who aren’t Muslim can feel the arrival of the month (it may be because the supermarket shelves are being left bare because we love stocking up).
Before we embark on this blessed month, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves what the actual purpose of Ramadan is, so that we can focus on what matters most (clue, not the lavish 10 course Iftar meal).
You know that Ramadan is the month that we Muslims fast, do extra acts of Ibadah, and watch out for that magical night in the last ten days of the month. But is there something more? Is there a different way to look at Ramadan beyond this norm that we are used to?
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain Taqwa (piety).” (Quran, 2:183)
Ramadan is a Reminder
The month of Ramadan is a reminder of our purpose in life, and that is to worship Allah (swt). More importantly, the month also helps us zone in on the type of worship that matters, and that is spiritual (direct) worship that is compulsory for everyone of us.
There is worship, and there is worship. With the right intentions, even running an errand for your elderly neighbour can be an act of worship. If you are sincere, Allah rewards you for even the most mundane of activities if they are not forbidden in Islam.
But let’s look at the types of worship that are amplified during Ramadan, which makes the month a month that helps us focus on the type of worship that matters.
- Reciting the Qur’an
Everything we are told to do more of during Ramadan falls under these four.
Did you ever make the connection? Every good deed that we’ve been tagging as #RamadanGoals falls under these four acts of worship. Well, everything except the iftar dinner ideas and Eid OOTDs of course!
Why are these acts of worship important?
Remember how we said that Allah has only created us to worship Him? Fasting, Salah, reciting the Qur’an and Dhikr are direct (spiritual) aspects of our worship that help us to do just that.
You may decide that you are too busy to help your neighbour do the grocery run. Or that you are too broke to give Sadaqah, and there will be no sin on you for that. But when it comes to these four spiritual acts of worship, we absolutely must do them because this is how we forge a stronger relationship with our Lord!
In the words of an eminent scholar, “Ramadan is the month that helps us maintain a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of human life.” So, if you have been spending the previous months chasing after your dream job, the slick car, or the fancy schmancy things in life (we all have), Ramadan is the month to slow down and zone in on what really matters.
Ramadan is the month when we recharge our spiritual batteries with a lot of direct worship so that we can face rest of the year renewed, more focused and on a spiritual high (that will hopefully last until the following Ramadan, Insha-Allah).
Wishing you all a blessed and a transformational Ramadan that helps us all reconnect with our Lord. Ameen.