The spiritual rays of Ramadaan beckons beyond the horizon ready to make an appearance, to all those hearts ready to be rejuvenated by this beautiful month.
However the question remains: are we ready? Will people embrace this month and draw every ounce of spiritual essence from it so that they can metamorphasise their lives?
The excitement which Ramadaan draws is unparalleled. Or is it? I ask this question very skeptically because although there are many who are looking forward to Ramadaan, there are just as many who don’t do justice and reap all the benefits from this month.
I won’t harp on about the hypocritical redundant actions that are seen year after year, but the following are worth a mention.
Ramadaan has arrived. The television is switched off and the radio switched on with beautiful naats and nazams being recited in the background. The Holy Qur’an is taken out from the cupboard unwrapped and the dust blown off. Has it been that long?
The house has become a home and place of worship and holy sanctuary.
The men have packed away their Levis and body fit t-shirts and start sporting a five o clock shadow that Mashallah will be cultivated into a beard, just to be slaughtered after Ramadaan.
Out come the Daffa kurthas, ice-cream tub toppies and expensive Hajre Aswad attar and oud that are only opened once a year, delighting passerby’s with its sensual fragrance. Joe has become Yusuf, Subhanallah.
The women have packed away their tight fitting dresses, jeans and halter necks only to be replaced by designer abaya’s with genuine and not fake Swarovski crystals specially imported from Dubai that apparently is part of a designer collection and the only one created, just for her.
Also the scarf with a camel hump becomes a permanent fixture and is a must especially when going to work. After all it’s the month of Ramadaan right? Tima has become Fatima. Subhanallah.
Then Masaajid. During the year the masaajid are literally empty especially Fajr and on some occasions it’s only the Imam and Muazzin and a few uncles from the down the street who live close to the masjid that make a concerted effort to attend.
In Ramadaan the masaajid are so full that carpets have to be placed outside for extra Musallees, and sometimes even the Muazzin doesn’t get place. There’s also the careless parking of cars blocking peoples driveways, where even the family cat can’t get out.
New faces adorn the masjid and regulars begin to wonder: “Hey isn’t that brother Shiraz? He lives next door to me and surprisingly this is the first time I’ve seen him for Esha and Subhanallah for Taraweeh.”
Dear uncle Shiraz has also brought along his little son warning him before leaving for the masjid how important going for salaah in Ramadaan is and that he should behave, to no avail however.
The little boy runs a racket making noise driving the musallee’s up the wall and prompting the Imam after every two rakaats to stand up and give a lesson in the etiquettes of the masjid.
Lo and behold. But don’t be fooled because that taraweeh is also short-lived suffering a sudden asphyxiation.
After getting up for Sehri, you still have to commute to work and back and then there’s Iftaar. After downing a dozen samoosa’s and half a dozen pies it’s off to masjid for Esha and Taraweeh. Well for 15 days at least. Or is that too much?
It doesn’t end there, people than get frustrated because the taraweeh is too long and they get tired, and only read eight rakaats or the Haafizh is reading to slow, all the while burping the odour of the ifthaar samoosa’s and pies to the detriment of the uncle reading alongside him in salaah.
So they go to another masjid and find a speedster and then boast about it: “Ek se, what time you guys klaar taraweeh huh? 9 Bells? That’s niks bra, we klaar like 8:30. This hafez is a mamoo, my bra. You must vaai to my masjid.”
Oh and lets not forget that one uncle who is in-charge of opening and closing the windows, switching on the fans and changing the time on the electronic board in the masjid. Besides him there is no one else that is qualified to handle the job and god forbid someone else should try.
Some youngsters and even older men don’t go to the masjid. The youngsters frequent notorious “hangout joints” that has become synonymous with Ramdaan. Remember Select? What does go on there? I am sure there is a story to that, but lets leave that for another time.
As for the slightly older men, the “fibrositis” and bad back start playing up and they become more worried about reading salaah on a chair then reading salaah at all or becoming the next “chairmen.”
It’s also worth mentioning that the spiritual ecsatacy of Ramadaan has all but vanished from the hearts of certain people. I say this because Ramadaan is about sacrifice and some people don’t sacrifice and in particular, don’t fast at all.
The flimsy and lame excuses for not fasting is deplorable and have become a norm and it seems to have a contagious effect among the youth that fasting is “not for me” or beyond them.
In recent years it’s been noted that people adopt a pseudo persona. Show people that you are fasting only to be caught smoking a ciggie around the corner or gobbling an Akhals bunny chow like someone who’s been starved.
After Taraweeh people go home and open the Quraan and recite in a beautiful and audible manner, mimicking a Sudais, Hudaifi or Shatri voice or even better, dependendant on the mood of course.
The home resonates with the recitation of the beautiful Qur’an.
This lasts for just more than 12 or 15 days and the Qur’an is never to be opened again. The marker rests on the 15th para and “Sudais” has resigned himself to other tasks.
With half the month of Ramadaan gone, it’s time to frequent malls and the many Egyptian shops that are lined with the latest abaya’s and pink kurthas specially imported for Eid.
Is Islam a religion of convenience that you can be a Muslim throughout the year flouting rule after rule yet when Ramadaan dawns a flower is about to bloom?
Don’t fool yourself. Take adavantage of this holy month.
Ramadaan is like the pure sweet honey that oozes from a honeycomb after wild bees have gathered there. But do we deserve it, are we worthy of such sweet mercy that Allah will soon bestow upon us?
It was the dua of one of the pious scholars of Islam, he used to continuously make this dua to Allah (SWT), “Oh Allah don’t deprive us of your favours because of the wrongs that we do. Oh Allah don’t grudge us because of our evil, our vice and our transgressions. Oh Allah don’t hold our wrongs against us.”
Allah (SWT) says in the Quraan, “If I have to start punishing man proportionate to his wrongs, there would not remain a living creature on this earth.” Despite our wrongs from last Ramadaan to this coming Ramadaan, we can safely say we are not in a position that we deserve another Ramdaan. Yet it is the sheer mercy of Allah (SWT) that He will once again afford and favour us with this great month of Ramadaan.
Let us make dua to Almighty Allah that he give us the taufiq to welcome Ramadaan, honour Ramadaan and cherish it and fast with the correct zeal and desire and make it the turning point of our lives.
In moments of hunger and thirst, let us revive the likes of Sahabah as this was their daily condition. Allah (SWT) has made it so easy for us. Let us value it, welcome it, let us enjoy it and let us anticipate it.
May Allah (SWT) make us amongst those fortunate souls whose emancipation and deliverance from the fire of Jahannam is confirmed and entrance into the gardens of Jannat eternally. Ameen