Al Wahhab. The One Who bestows His gifts consistently. Is not the bond of love formed between those who give and receive gifts? Allah gives to us but of course He is free of all need and so it is with appreciation and servitude to The Most Merciful, we strive to please him by obeying His commands and in turn we give to others and care for His creation. By His permission. SJD
The Holy Month of Ramadan is quickly approaching and for a moment I’d like to reflect upon the abundant gifts that are bestowed upon us during this special time.
One might think that the month solely revolves around abstinence and where’s the gift in that? To be sure Ramadan does require the garnishing of one’s ongoing account in order to purify the hearts of the believers through the process of abstaining from food, drink, sexual desires, rudeness, and all that one may consider immoral. The Holy Month of Ramadan is an annual reconciling and atoning for much of the wrong we commit against ourselves and others throughout the year but in truth it is much more. It’s an opportunity to know and appreciate not just the bounties (gifts) of this life but the unlimited bounties (gifts) of Allah’s Mercy, His Forgiveness, and Safety and Security from Jahannam (Hell-fire). Fasting prepares the soul for the hereafter and an ultimate life independent of the obsessive nature of pleasing one’s self in this world.
It was mentioned in the Bible that the Prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) both fasted in seclusion as a means of worshipping and drawing closer to Allah, The Most High.
As Muslims we are reminded…
Holy Quran 2:183
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous
Jesus spoke of Fasting in the Book of Matthew
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Similarly, In the Hadith Qudsi, “All the actions by the son of Adam are for him, except fasting for verily it is for Me and I shall reward for it.” Related in Sahih Bukari, hadith of Abi Hurayrah]
Our beloved Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was a Mercy to the World and the ultimate gift to mankind loved fasting and was known to fast often as recorded. By fasting one is, in essence, entering into a private state of worship between the individual soul and Allah, The All Knowing, Omniscient.
The One who bestowed upon His servant Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) the final revelation and who imparted those exact words to us in The Holy Quran. Another precious gift bestowed upon man, it is a book of inspiration and instruction, Ramadan is the month of which revelation is celebrated as The Holy Quran is a treasure by which believers are enlightened by the very words of God. It is the medium of which He has chosen to communicate all that He deems necessary for us to know. The ultimate guide for every aspect of our lives and it is in the month of Ramadan most choose to read it in its entirety. Allah says:
Holy Quran 2:185
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
All these gifts we receive from The Bestower in the Blessed month of Ramadan are of infinite and unimaginable worth not only in this life but more importantly in the hereafter. But what is the true value of any gift if it is not shared? How can one be truly grateful if not to show their appreciation by bestowing monetary gifts and or gifts of knowledge and kindness to others? Sharing the beauty of Islam by being friendly to neighbors, colleagues, classmates, friends, and others is one of the joys of being a Muslim and highlighted throughout the month of Ramadan. Charity and giving to those in need is of utmost importance during this beautiful time of year. The Holy Month of Ramadan is the month when all the most exemplary acts of worship, charity, and good character are concentrated and put into practice. There are many and we accept that we will not reach perfection be we pray that we will hold onto the beautiful gifts bestowed upon us by Al Wahab and that we will turn many of these pious attributes into habits that will last throughout the year. In Sha Allah.