Ramadan is the ninth month of lunar calendar. This month is not only important for Muslims but for entire humanity as well. This is the month when the Almighty responded to the calls of wandering humanity in search of divine guidance. He chose the barren land of Arabia to reveal His final word – whence it was destined to reach out to every nook and corner of the world.
This is the month when the Lord graciously responded to the human demand to know right from wrong. He revealed the Quran as the “Criteria” to distinguish between what is right and just and what is wrong and unjust. This is how the Quran brought light to a world full of darkness, a perfect habitat for evil and injustice.
Ramadan is about to come. Today, humanity is engulfed by darkness of ignorance – ignorance from the divine guidance. Hence, the solution to the problem is to present the Quranic guidance to the humanity. The Almighty describes the relationship of Quran and Ramadan as follows:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنْ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ.
The month of Ramadan, in which Quran was revealed, the guidance for mankind, and clear proofs for guidance and the criterion of right and wrong. (Al-Baqarah 2:195)
What is the guidance of the Quran? If it is described in a single sentence, it is creating awareness about the fact that all human beings have to face on the Day of Judgement. They will be held accountable for their deeds in this world; a perfect court of justice would be set up, which shall pronounce verdicts for each person. They might loose the eternal enjoyment of paradise and be sent to the eternal punishment of hereafter.
It is an amazing fact that the Quranic guidance, which is related to hereafter not with this world, and related to death not the life, is the only thing which can solve our problems of this world.
What is the real problem of human beings in this world? People struggle for an eternal enjoyment within this transitory world. People want benefits of a permanent nature while living temporarily in an inn. What Iqbal said about British people is true for all mankind.
ڈھونڈ رہا ہے فرنگ عیشِ جہاں کا دوام
وائے تمنائے خام وائے تمنائے خام
People are in search for endless enjoyment within this world. It is an unachievable goal. It is an unachievable goal.
People ignore God and the real life of hereafter in pursuit of pleasures in this world. They also ignore the ethical values in achieving their worldly objectives. As a result of this, they not only violate rights of their Lord but also their fellow human beings. This attitude results in all forms of offence. Violence is the product of this human desire. The sacredness of life, property and respect of human beings is violated by similar human beings. Ethical aspect of humanity is destroyed by its physical aspect.
The only solution to this problem is to submit to the Quranic guidance which warns mankind about the day of reckoning. The Holy Quran admonishes all people about the day when the earth will be transformed into a large plain after destroying its beauty. The court of justice will be established on it. People will forget everything except their fate.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَيْءٌ عَظِيمٌ. يَوْمَ تَرَوْنَهَا تَذْهَلُ كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ عَمَّا أَرْضَعَتْ وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَارَى وَمَا هُمْ بِسُكَارَى وَلَكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ.
O mankind! Have fear of your Lord; the catastrophic quaking of the Hour of Doom will be terrible indeed. On that Day you shall see that every nursing mother will forget her nursing-babe and every pregnant female will miscarry, and you will see people as if they are intoxicated, though they will not be drunk: such will be the horror of Allah’s chastisement. (Al Hajj 22:1-2)
The people who pay heed to this call of the Quran and make the success of the Hereafter their life mission, Quran presents a clear plan to them. God says:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ تَزَكَّى.
That human being is successful who purifies himself (herself). (A’ala 87:14)
وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا. فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا. قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا. وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا.
The human personality witnesses, and Him Who perfected it. And inspired it with knowledge of what is wrong for it and what is right for it: Indeed successful will be the one who keeps it pure, and indeed failure will be the one who corrupts it! (Al Shams 91:6-10)
These verses clearly describe that the success of hereafter is dependent on the purification of the soul. This purification is not monasticism. It is the name purifying one’s soul from all kinds of impurities. These verses clearly explain that the basic concept of right and wrong is inherent in human nature. Based on this knowledge, people already know that they should purify themselves of whatever filth besmear their characters.
This is a fact that human beings are not impure by birth. Every child comes in this world with a clean personality. This clean personality is without the filth of polytheism, atheism, offence, greed and other sins. The satanic attractions, the basic desires and impact of an unethical environment entice us away from the right path. We start following the emotional desires after ignoring the natural concept of right and wrong. As we move further on this path, these impurities make our personality filthier and filthier.
The filth of bitchiness and the dirt of neglecting the natural voice transform the beauty of human personality into a filthy soul. Initially, people lose sight of distinction between the right and the wrong and subsequently, an evil looks right and a right looks evil. In order to solve this problem in human nature, Almighty sent His messengers in all eras in the human history. Divine books were revealed, the lost lesson was recalled, and at final stage, Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم). This Quran not only presents the plan for personality development to human beings, it also identifies the filth in human thought and practice.
The mission of a believer must be purifying his/her personality from this filth. The guidance for identifying this filth is available in Quran as well as in human nature. As soon as a person starts this process, it creates a strong impact on moral his/her character. After removing the filth of atheism and polytheism, a person never declares other alike people or his / her own inner desire as the ‘god’.
The mission of eternal success requires that a person should spend a part of his / her life, wealth, time and capabilities for the benefit of humanity. In a society of such purified personalities, powerful people do not hurt the weaker ones, and the wealthier people do not engage themselves in enjoying luxuries by ignoring the poor. Human beings deal with other persons with the belief that all their affairs will be submitted to their God. In His court, all decisions will not be made on materialistic bases, but on moral bases. Therefore, cheating, deceit, dishonesty, telling a lie and all other moral impurities find no place in that society. As a result of that, the land glitters with the light of faith.
The major motivating factor for this success is the fear of God. A believer knows that (s)he is accountable for his deeds before his Lord. This attitude is called “Taqwa” in the Quran and it is the basic objective of fasting. The Quran says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ.
O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint. (Al Baqarah 2:183)
How to develop this “Taqwa” or ‘self-restraint’ behavior? During Ramadan, reciting Quran again and again alongwith reading its translation makes a human being careful about the punishment of God. On the other side, fasting tells a person the etiquette of being conscious about the Hereafter. It establishes a strong will-power in human personality, by using which every person can gets rid of the moral filth.
Therefore, in Ramadan, let us decide the right use of our time in this month. In a society, where Quran is recited only to get reward, let us decide to read the Quran to seek its guidance. Let us decide that we will read the Quran with an aim to understanding its message. We will recite and read it to know about the Day, about which the Quran is warning us continuously. We will read it to know about the impurities of our thoughts and practice. The objective will be to remove this filth from our personality.
Ramadan is the month of Almighty’s reward. Let us make it the month of guidance. It is the month of abstaining from food and sex; let us make it the month of becoming God-conscious. It is the 9th month of lunar calendar; let us make it the 1st month of our moral edification.
(This article is adopted from the works of Rehan Ahmed Yousfi, Translation & Presentation: Mubashir Nazir, Review: Jhangeer Hanif)
Think about it!
- Prepare a plan for the month of Ramadan. Identify your clearly defined objectives to achieve.
- Think about your practical life after Ramadan. How will you keep following the ethical practices adopted during Ramadan after its end?
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