Ra­madaan not the time to profit

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Hanif A Pa­tel

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

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