Understanding Ramazan

31 Aug

By Salman Latif and Anas Shafquat

Fasting in the month of Ramazan is an obligation for Muslims. However, ritualistic observation alone is not rewarding unless it entails a spiritual insight, too. The task is laborious, but rewarding because of the spiritual bounties. Only an understanding of the concept of fasting fulfills the purpose. This year we thought of finding out how, if at all, Ramazan affects the lives of the young people, during and after the month. We put forth different questions to some youngsters and here are their answers… Anticipation Many people wait anxiously for the spiritual gains of the month, kids are found anticipating the platters of samosas and pakoras on the iftari menus. There are also those who await Ramazan to celebrate Eid after it. Yusra Shafquat, a college student, says, ‘It’s the feeling of reward one gets when breaking the fast at sunset that I anticipate the most. It’s a great sense of accomplishment to know that I have spent another day without food or water or indulging into something bad.’

Waleed Khalid has a rather funny thought about it. ‘I look forward to seeing people getting fat on the heavy diet that particularly marks the iftari meals. Although many people I know wait the whole year to take a break from heavy meals in this blessed month, hoping to shed a few pounds, they end up doing exactly the opposite – gaining a few more pounds! However, there’s something more than that. It’s the mosques filled with people, even on days other than Fridays, that’s the best thing about Ramazan.’ The change in the behaviour of people during the 30-days is of great significance indeed. It’s like an entire society transformed overnight in exhibiting its traits – adopting the good ones and shunning the bad ones. Momal Mushtaq looks forward to the month to observe everyone exhibit such behaviour. ‘I love to see everyone behaving so nicely, staying away from foul language and trying to treat everyone well.’ However, she feels sad because this change is temporary. ‘As soon as Ramazan is over, the change disappears. I wish it would stay, and the month would truly bless us by altering our attitudes in a positive manner.’ F.D. Sheikh also wishes that the good change in the blessed month would stay. ‘Throughout Ramazan people are seen offering prayers regularly. Those are really good deeds, but to me the real thing about Ramazan is to change the soul within – and I look to this month to improve our attitude, behaviour and moralities. ‘ He thinks people ignore this aspect. ‘Often people exhibit peevishness during the fast, which simply fails to fulfill the very purpose of fasting – patience.” Influence Ramazan has a positive impact on nearly everyone’s lives. People like the month for the tranquility that prevails through it. Waleed Khalid is thankful that the month helps him become regular in his prayers. ‘I try to be regular in other days but fail due to laziness. In Ramazan, when everyone is offering prayers five times a day, I also become regular, thanks to the environment that’s created all around. It helps me refrain from uttering profanity. In this way, the month blesses me by teaching me both punctuality and self-control.’ There are also those who believe this is their chance for spiritual and physical gains. ‘I have this feeling of spiritual contentment throughout the month, which also persists even after Ramazan concludes,’ says F.D. Sheikh. Yusra Shafquat has something different to relate. ‘My routine seems less hectic after Ramazan because it becomes easier for me to rise in the morning and to get rid of the usual lethargy. I feel more active and responsive to different situations,’ she says with a grin. Momal Mushtaq feels the pain of the poor more vividly in Ramazan. ‘I feel the hunger and thirst of those who cannot afford to have even two square meals a day. In this month, I have an opportunity to help the needy during Ramazan and on Eid.’ Learning from Ramazan Many of us have been fasting for years now. What should one learn from this month? ‘The most important thing that Ramazan induces is self-control – and once accomplished, this becomes a base for goodness. Ramazan teaches us to abstain from committing sins, profanities and acting rashly,’ thinks Waleed Khalid. Yusra maps out her thoughts in a rather organised manner. ‘I believe there are three important lessons to be learnt from Ramazan: perseverance, patience and tolerance.’ Momal’s take is interesting. ‘Poverty can be eradicated through collective goodness and determination,’ she observes. ‘Helping the poor is not something to be done exclusively in Ramazan. It’s something which Ramazan teaches us to adopt permanently,’ she proclaims. Have a blessed month and a jubilant Eid. :)

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Posted by on August 31, 2009 in Events


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