The headline which I am writing about is a subject of topical interest and we are very familiar with it. Before going deep into the subject, it is relevant to mention the significance of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Muslim year. The superiority of the month is implied in the fact that, in this month, Allah first revealed the words of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed (SM). Ramadan is often called a month of great sacrifice. It enables us to form a habit of self-control, self-restraint and the spirit of tolerance in every aspect. It is because fasting has been made compulsory for us as it was for our predecessors. According to the holy Quran, those who are ill or on tour will keep an equal number of fasting at other times. Moreover, those, who find it very difficult to fast and have the ability, have to give food to the needy or poverty-stricken people. Besides, fasting persons have to offer their Tarabi prayer in jamaat and pay Zakat and Fitra to the poor and the needy as per the rules of Ramadan.
Now, let me come to the main point. We had been waiting with great expectation for this sacred month. It is very dear and favourite to us as a month of great significance as it offers ample opportunities to a person to rectify himself through a lot of sacrifices. Through fasting, a Muslim person gets the chance to realise the suffering of the poor who have to go hungry very often. The fasting teaches them a lesson to feel sympathy for them. Besides, by giving zakat and fitra, they are in a position to enlighten their mind, develop the spirit of generosity and fellow-feeling and cultivate the quality of mercy, a divine attribute. Then again, offering Tarabi prayer at night in jamaat fosters the spirit of strong solidarity among us. Apart from this, the first, the second and the last ten days of Ramadan are respectively called Rahmat (kindness), Magfirat (pardon or forgiveness and Nazat (salvation or deliverance). Through sincere devotion and prayer to Almighty Allah, we can obtain His sympathy, forgiveness and redemption or salvation and, thereby, get the chance to attain success in the hereafter by getting his best reward, heaven. In this month, there is a special night, Laylatul Qadr, a night greater than a thousand months. To get God's favour, we leave no stone unturned to spend the night in saying prayers, reciting the holy Quran, begging Allah's pardon, and repenting with tears for past sins and doing dua for His mercy.Ramadan is, indeed, the greatest month of blessing, a month which knocked at our doors with manifold gifts of Gods and now it is departing from us with only a few countable days remaining. We who have properly spent this month doing good works and Ibadat are lucky enough.
The sanctity of this month has given us a much-needed uplift in our morals and values against the backdrop of rampant crimes and vices. On the other hand, the tight schedule in Ramadan has kept us busy and reduced the fear of the pandemic with regular prayer in every mosque. Furthermore, due to Ramadan, we are accustomed to leading a well-disciplined life and come to the nearness of God for receiving his mercy. We have developed a sense of intimacy and affinity with Ramadan in pursuing the path of Allah for our success both in this world and the hereafter, so to speak. Just as it costs many a tear to bid adieu to our near and dear ones, so is also the case in according farewell to Ramadan which arrived with the blessings of Allah. It reminds me of the famous words of Alfred Lord Tennyson: “For though my lips breathe adieu / I cannot think the thing farewell.”
As a matter of fact, time is running out so fast since the inception of Ramadan and its days are drawing to a close. We feel a deep sense of love and despair that this month will very soon depart from us. Leave-taking is always very painful. So in one of his best-known goodbye poems Robert Burns Said,
“Had we not loved so blindly,
Had we not loved so kindly,
Never met, never parted;We have never been so broken hearted.”
However, the days of Ramadan will come to an end very soon with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, but its healing impact will remain indelible in our minds. Ramadan has endeared itself to us as a month of great sacrifice and blessing and with the fondest love and reverence, we bid it farewell.
The writer is a former VC, Britannia University. He can be reached at: [email protected]