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Muslim Students

By: Sidhra Yakub

On an annual basis, Muslims around the world prepare for the age-old tradition of fasting in Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Since the days of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), fasting has been a compulsory element in developing the spiritual persona of a Muslim. As directed by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), Muslims avoid eating and drinking between dawn and sunset – a unique ritual performed in unison during one of the most physically and spiritually influential months in Islamic history.

In one Hadith narrated by Hadrat Abu Huraira (Rady Allahu Anhu), the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said, “He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking reward from Allah will have his sins forgiven”. Ultimately, the finest reward one can receive is the Mercy of Almighty Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). The month of Ramadan is almost a privilege for the Muslim population in the sense that there are many opportunities for a Muslim to improve his/her spiritual conditions both physically and mentally.

Food and drink are essential to the sustenance of human life, and we are fortunate enough to have these necessities readily available without difficulty. However, when our materialistic interests are abstained during Ramadan, we realize the value of some of the components of life which we overlook on a daily basis. As a result, we build self-discipline and learn to consider the less fortunate who struggle to survive famine each day. Personally, the importance of nutrients in our lives reminds us of our own mortality, and the role Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) has in our existence.

As Muslims, we are in firm belief that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) is the All-Seeing Creator of beings in the universe. In essence, His Greatness cannot be matched and we must sequentially worship and obey Him alone. To achieve the status of good human beings, Muslims are motivated during the month of Ramadan to perform good deeds and restrain from the bad in order to be rewarded. Fasting and Ibada (especially during the Night of Lailatul-Qadr) are the most rewarding acts of good since they are performed for the sake of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

In the month of Ramadan, we should be pleased with the feeling of being closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Fasting allows the nourishment of the spirit and soul of a human being, and cleanses one’s heart and mind. Thus, one’s personal relationship with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) becomes strengthened.

In many written accounts, the first battle fought by Muslims (the Battle of Badr) took place on the 17th of Ramadan in 2 A.H. A Quraish force consisting of more than 1000 well-armed men was to meet with a Muslim army of 313 near Madina. Although the Quraish were favourable for the win, a strong spirited Muslim army drew the victory with the Blessing of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and His Help. Because they stood firm under the banner of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and defended the religion of Islam, these Muslims were guided. Likewise, Muslims today who stand by the same principles, encouraged in the month of Ramadan, are rewarded. The story of Badr shows that Ramadan is an important time in which decisions are made and goals are achieved.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, a celebration to commemorate a successful month which contributed to self-growth and religious maturity. On the day of Eid we are filled with joy as we recite these takbiraat of Eid.

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
laa ilaha Illallahu Wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar wa Lillahil Hamd

Allah is Supremely Great, Allah is Supremely Great, Allah is Supremely Great
None is to be worshiped but Allah, and Allah is Supremely Great
Allah is Supremely Great, and all Praise is for Him

Each year, as we grow older and fast for the many more months of Ramadan to come, we face a constant reminder of how we must act in order to be the ideal Muslims most admired by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Enforcing good deeds during Ramadan helps us turn an annual tradition into a way of life. Although the month of Ramadan is completed in 29 or 30 days (according to the lunar calendar), its teachings live on in an endless continuum and mould our hearts and minds into those of a sincere, humble believer.

Dhu’l Hijjah 1423, March 2003

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