Ramadan Posts : Enter, Ramadan.

And that time of the year is here again. Ramadan yaay! Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic year, is a special month whereby all Muslims all over the world irrespective of their nationality come together as one to fulfill the fourth pillar of Islam which is Saum-fasting as prescribed in the Quran –> “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint” (Q2:183). Fasting here doesn’t mean just abstaining from food and drinks from dawn to sunset, but also from all forms of immoral acts. Those who are unable to fast like the sick, elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women are exempted from this compulsory act but must make up the fast in the following months.

Ramadan is a month filled with blessings and mercies of Allah as stated in the following hadiths-

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.’” (Imam Bukhari).

“Narrated Abu Huraira(R.A): The messenger of Allah (SAW) said:’…..whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, the all his past sins will be forgiven.’ (Imam Bukhari)”.

In the past months, we as Muslims might have taken so many acts of worship for granted, succumbed more to Shaitan’s whispers, or generally neglected our duties as Muslims and that is why the main purpose of Ramadan is not just to know what it’s like not to have food and drinks but also to purify ourselves, to focus more on our spiritual being, to get closer to Allah by reading more of our Quran and carrying out acts of Ibadah, and basically to improve our spiritual state. The main aim is to improve our relationship with Allah (SAW).

Lest I forget, I wish all Muslims brothers and sisters Ramadan Kareem and may Allah (SAW) make it easy for us all. Ameen. 😀

By Toye Aeesha, @aeesha_T.

Ramadan Posts : Ramadan

The season of fasting for the Muslims has come again. It is RAMADAN. Ramadan is a month in the Islamic lunar calendar, the 9th month precisely. It is a much anticipated month in which fasting is observed worldwide by Muslims at the same time.

Here a few things you should know about the special Islamic month;

  • Ø It is the month in which Muslims all over the world observe fasting absolutely. The fasting is not just about abstaining from eating and drinking in the day; there is a lot more to it.
  • Ø The month is a special visitor to Muslims and it is gracefully welcomed and everyone notices its arrival, presence and demise. In this month, one has the opportunity to be completely emancipated from sins. In the first 10 days, the Supreme Being, Allah (SWT) sends down his mercy to the Muslims. The following 10 days is filled with Allah’s forgiveness and in the last days, there is emancipation from hellfire.
  • Ø The Qur’an was revealed long ago in this month on a special night in the last 10 days; this night is known as the Night of Majesty. Prayers and supplications are better answered and this night is worth more than a thousand nights. Muslims compete to finish reciting the Qur’an over and over again.
  • Ø This fast lasts about 14 hours daily for about 29 or 30 days. Muslims, mostly wake up as early as 3.30 am to pray and eat till about 5:15am after which they abandon meals until the stipulated time to break the fast which is usually late sunset almost seeping to darkness. Everyone is implored to be careful and considerate in dealing with them.
  • Ø The fast is not a means to starve oneself but to be on a better spiritual plane. It is not a punishment but a spiritual exercise to move closer to the Creator. It is a means to curb vices, correct bad manners, an opportunity to get closer to Allah and the reward is known to no man, God Himself gives the reward.
  • Ø The mosque is unusually filled up in this month and you can get to know and meet all the Muslims you want to meet.
  • Ø There is increased spiritual devotion and more supplication and prayers are made by Muslims during this month because answering of prayers is guaranteed.
  • Ø Gifts are usually exchanged during this period; the best gifts are food and fruits.
  • Ø Traders of food stuff items make tremendous sales and usually record bountiful profits at this time.
  • Ø The Muslims get to eat just at two periods of the day: early in the morning and in the evening as well
  • Ø Fast food joints and eateries do not get to sell off their snacks and food completely during the day. There is marked increase in the consumption of fruits and dates.
  • Its end is not marked by killing a ram even though the period is RAM-ADAN, so be careful not to ask for ram meat.
  • Ø And lastly, the greeting for this season is Ramadan Kareem.

 

                                                                                              Zainab Adebayo

Ramadan Posts : THE METAMORPHOSIS

In a couple of days the atmosphere will be charged with righteousness. In multitudes, Muslims will march to their various mosques to observe the superogatory night prayer (taraweeh) after the crescent has been sighted. This heralds the commencement of Ramadan. For 29 or 30 days, Muslims have to adopt a new lifestyle especially when it comes to eating. Meals would have to be taken just before dawn and immediately after sunset. Between these periods abstinence from food and drinks and sexual relations is mandated on every believer. Compliance to these changes is almost perfect. This is because it is an order from above.
Allah says: O believers, fasting is enjoined on you as it was on those before you, so that you might be righteous (Qur’an 2 verse 183).
What I personally find interesting is that we would all be in the same boat. We would all be united by a pleasurable hunger. Although there are some exempts; heavily pregnant women, lactating mothers, the aged ones and the travellers. In short, all those who fasting would have far-reaching consequences on are excused.
Even the lifeless can testify to the” lifelessness” that accompanies Ramadan. My cousin said brothels and pubs will lose patronage. Artistes and their fans will mellow during this month because of the holiness in the air. Baba ijebu gambling stations will lose clientele. All these corroborate what the prophet said, “when Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

Ramadan is also a month of discovery when we discover “new Muslims”. It is the time when some Muslims unveil their Islamic identity. You see them bury their heads somewhere, may be in the class, mosque or in a vehicle reciting the Qur’an. Guys and ladies try to be modest in their dressing. Women previously unknown with hijabs will then be seen concealing their hair under a piece of cloth at least. This metamorphosis also has effects on our conversations. Our topics of discourse change; vain and lewd talks are avoided. We divorce vulgarism and embrace austerity in our speeches.
For some people this new life is a transient thing that would come back to what it used to be before Ramadan just after 3 days into the period. Some would come back to their usual ways after the end of Ramadan while very few people will make those changes permanent. This hypothesis of mine can be verified from what happens in the mosques. In the first 3 days of Ramadan, the mosques are usually filled to the brim. The numbers of worshippers at times exceeds the capacities of the mosques. On my Ramadan curve, I call this the period of exponential growth or geometric progression. After which there is a plateau which lasts for almost 10 days. A sharp decline follows and populations will be reduced to pre-Ramadan levels.
No doubt, this period is the apogee of spirituality among Muslims all over the globe. Crime rate is reduced to the barest minimum. Vices are eschewed and virtues are absorbed. Although, fasting is pertinent in this month, it is not the most important. As a matter of fact, we basically miss lunch. This is almost the norm in College of Medicine. Virtually everyone eats twice daily. So “Ramadan” is every day for a medical student. What is quintessential is that we imbibe the moral values Ramadan has come to teach us; is that we should not go back to our evil ways. The perseverance and kindness we would learn in this month should become part of us. Peaceful coexistence should be the watchword. Benevolence should also be extended to non-Muslims. Let’s make the world know that we Muslims are vanguards of peace and tranquillity and we are in no way advocates of terrorism.
To my beloved brethren in faith, I say RAMADAN KAREEM as I drop my calamus scriptorius.

Lawal Azeez Adeola

Ramadan Posts : The Ramadan Folks

Ibraheem, Idris – @the_legalhermit

Hmmm, I was asked by Zubair to write something on Ramadan and I will admit it took me like days before I could come up with this piece I am writing. I was challenged by different writer’s block and some other things kinds of block…

Anyway, here I am now, and I am going to go on and talk about Ramadan and the attitude of people, before, during and after…  ok, ok, I will go straight to the point.

Ramadan is one of the four sacred months in Islam, and it is not a debatable fact that the Month of Ramadan is the most sacred of all the four sacred months.

The month of Ramadan is when Muslims from all over the world Fast as an act of worship to their Lord. And it should be noted that Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, in which a person must perform before he dies as long as he or she has the capacity to carry out the acts required in these Five Pillars.

The month of Ramadan is to me the month the month of ‘make-overs’, did I hear you ask “why?” well the reason why is very simple really, well let me illustrate what I mean.

Imagine these girls, who on a normal day is just a ‘Friday Muslim,’ I mean she is always going to mosque to pray on Fridays, but on every other day she is as oblivious to solat as it gets.  You wouldn’t even know that she is a Muslim,

There are also those who are the dressers, these ones are those girls who before Ramadan wear dresses which we can be referred to as being religiously offensive.  Anyway these set of folks will then during Ramadan turn a new leaf and will start dressing appropriately.

There is also this category of folks who will deny the fact that they even Muslim, till its Ramadan and you’d see them Fasting along with the Muslim nation, but when Ramadan is over they fall back to their personal denial of what they may or may not believe in.

Right now these set of folks mentioned above are the ones I can remember, however there are more folks out there who have their faults too and I the writer of this piece isn’t without my own fault too.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean we all shouldn’t try to be better persons when practicing our religion.

Islam isn’t a religion of a particular period, it is not a religion in which people should know that you are associated to / with when it is Ed El Fitr or Ed El Kabir i.e. people shouldn’t know you are Muslim when Muslims are celebrating the two Eds Celebrations.

If you are that type who is the ‘Friday Muslim’, please try and improve on your worship, try and put more time into worshipping your Lord God. What are expected of you are just the Five Daily prayers (Solat) and honestly, minus the prayer after the solat, the Five Prayers won’t even last an hour.

If you are one of those who only dress like a Muslim appropriately during the month of Ramadan, well I think it’s may be time to actually pick a side you want to fall on. Do you want to be seen as a Muslim all the time or do you just want to be seen as a Muslim during a particular period? And mind you no one is saying you should compulsorily wear or dress the whole nine yard, I am just saying why not at least be decent with that which you wear and add a scarf or an Hijab, as you think will be appropriate for you.

Ramadan is not a one month stand, where you decide to go back to that thing you stopped doing because doing it will break your fast, Ramadan is a month where you drop those bad and not so good deeds  or things you may have been doing prior to the month with the intention of not ever picking up these deeds again.

Ramadan is the month of Forgiveness, going back to that deed we dropped because of Ramadan will practically defeat the purpose of your fast during the month itself.

We should all think about this in order to be better persons, because, hell is real after all.

Thank you for reading .