Lessons from Ramadan

Time flies quickly and Ramadan this year is now about to end.  The timely question is, “What do we learn from Ramadan?”

The Almighty Allah tells the Muslims in the Holy Qur-an, thus:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become God-conscious.” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

It is for this reason that during Ramadan, the Muslims throughout the world observe fasting by refraining from eating, drinking and sexual intimacies from immediately before dawn until sunset.  Nay, it is not permissible for a fasting person to insult anyone.

The persons who are exempted from fasting are the insane and those who have not yet reached puberty.   Menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding women and travelers can defer their fasting to a later time.  The elderly and chronically ill for whom fasting becomes strenuous are exempted from fasting but they are required to feed at least one poor person every day in Ramadan for which he or she has missed fasting.

As mentioned earlier, one reason for prescribing fasting in Ramadan is for a person to develop God-consciousness.

A person who is God-conscious is ever aware that the Almighty sees whatever he or she does.  Therefore, he or she cannot commit injustice or anything wrong against anyone knowing that in the hereafter, he or she will suffer punishment in the hell-fire.  Conversely, the person will be rewarded fairly for every good deed that he or she does.

Moreover, a fasting person learns the importance of self-control.  One of the most pleasurable habits is eating and he or she stops that habit during the day just for the love of the Almighty.  

Ramadan is in a sense a social equalizer.  The rich and the poor suffer virtually the same pangs of hunger while fasting.  So the rich can easily have empathy with and compassion for the poor.

Whether or not we learn the necessary lessons from this Ramadan will be known as we put those lessons into practice in our day-to-day undertakings even after this holy month this year shall have left us.  Otherwise, we fail to experience the true essence of Ramadan.