Ramadaan not the time to profit
YOUR correspondent Mohammed Saeed made an important point about the different ways in which Ramadaan is observed by Muslims around the world. In a recent letter, he stated that the Ramadaan spirit is being marred by consumerism, commercialisation and materialism.
The escalating trend towards commercialisation in the month of Ramadaan is increasingly substituting the true meaning of the occasion, including humility, devotion and the desire for forgiveness, with more “worldly” concerns.
Ramadaan is a blessed month in which the rewards for its true observance are multiplied. It is for this reason that devotees allocate more time for prayer and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an in this period.
The pursuit of unnecessary social or commercial activities merely detracts from this Holy purpose.
Ramadaan is also the month in which most of the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur’an, was revealed. To commemorate its revelation, Muslims devote special prayers and try to find time to reread it and recommit to its teachings and commandments.
The purpose of this month is to bridge the existential gap between the created and Creator. The ultimate goal is to annihilate (Fana’a) one’s own self in order to be united with the ultimate and universal self.
The great Sufi Ibn Arabi captured this longing for unity with the divine more beautifully than anyone. He wrote in his The Secret of Fasting: “Myself, had it not been for you, I would not have been as if I were Him. Were it not for you! Were it not for you, indeed, the sense of longing for a taste of the Divine is never felt more acutely than it is in the month of Ramadaan.
“In Ramadaan we control our appetite for the created things with the fond hope that desire for the Creator will be finally satisfied.”
The last 10 days of the Holy Month are extremely important. Sadly, though, some Muslims are side-tracked by commercialism and fail to reap the eternal rewards promised by true and genuine worship
From Friday, Ramadaan enters the Laylatur Qadr period – a time in which the rewards of devotion, when carried out in accordance with Qur’anic requirements and the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) guidelines are most valuable and profound.
The Night of Decree is more significant than 1 000 months and we should, therefore, increase our prayers and devotion during this period, without fail.
Fashions and celebrations are observed with simplicity in religion. Muslims celebrate only two festivals – Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha annually.
The celebration begins with praising the Lord and expressing gratitude to Him, offering prayers, charity, scarification, and strict obeisance to the Supreme Master.
The Muslim community should distance itself from the culture of commercialism during Ramadaan.
There is a need to observe the month in an appropriate manner in order to preserve the true essence of the spirit of Ramadaan.
It is a time to recommit to the Qur’an and its commandments
Eklera Bhanondra, Gujarat Province of India