Is Ramadan causing an impact on the Ummah leading to a spiritual renaissance or is it treated as just another dry routine. This is the burning question. The month will come and go like a spiritual flood but will it leave behind its rich deposits or will it wash away whatever little we had?
Why is the impact not there?
A deep question many would like answered in a simple and down to earth way. Some of the leading scholars provide us the answers. It should be remembered that this is mainly due to bad habits formed over years that continue to plague us during Ramadaan, even though the Shayateen are chained.
Allah has chained up the Shaitaans. These were the ones who troubled us all year round. They are the ones that showed us and taught us various types of sins. Allah has now saved us from these (evil ones). And the mischief of Shaitaan is such that not everyone is able to detect them. “Shaikh Maseehullah Jalalabadi (R).
Because a proper time table is not structured before or upon the advent of time, a lot of time is wasted in useless & unproductive activities. In the meanwhile, the clock ticks away silently. Before long, a week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 20 days, 27 days are gone…and Ramadaan is almost over in a flash!
Solution: Design a good timetable, allowing reasonable time for necessary tasks. The balance of the time is for Ibadah. Most important stick to the time table strictly.
Lethargy and laziness
Ramadaan is a month of intensive activities. Hardly a month for those who are lazy and laid back. Laziness and lethargy will deprive one of most of the blessings of Ramadaan. The lazy ones do not awaken for Sehri, sleeping right through and even missing Fajr Salaah in such a holy month! Reciting the Holy Quran is a huge effort for the lazy, some of whom do not complete even one completion (Khatm) of the Quran in the whole month! Taraweeh Salaah is like climbing a mountain for the lazy. They read a few Rakaats and leave or do not read at all or sit down talking until the Imaam goes into Ruku and then hastily join in. In this way these, lazy ones are deprived of listening to the entire Quran in Taraweeh, which is an important Sunnah practice of this Holy month. These are the ones who dred the coming of Ramadaan and cannot wait for it to be over.
Solution: Realisation that being lazy and indolent will deprive us of many benefits, blessings and rewards is the first step in over coming laziness. Laziness must be fought vigorously and overpowered with strong will power and courage. There is no better time and opportunity to fight it than the month of Ramadaan.
Strange as it may seem, many people put on weight in Ramadaan! Yet it is supposed to be a month of fasting! This is because of over indulgence and over eating at Iftaar, at night and at Sehri. As it is, Lavish dishes are prepared in Ramadaan that are packed with colonies, and due to being hungry throughout the day, there is a tendency to gobble huge amounts of these Ramadaan delights. The result is not just a feeling of gloated ness and lethargy, but also results in rapid weight gain and also makes a person lethargic and drowsy, which results in missing out on important acts of Ibadah.
Solution: The objective of Ramadaan is to teach us self control, discipline and trying to eat less. Overeating defeats this objective. It contributes to bodily ailments and diseases whereas Ramadaan contributes to good health and gives the body a chance to recover after eleven months of abuse and indulgence. So eating should be reduced.
For many Ramadaan is the carrying out of Ibadah in a routine and mechanical way without reality tasting the secret flavour of spirituality in their Ibadah. Although the ability and Tawfeeq of Ibadah, Tilawah, Nafl Salaah, Zikrullah, Dua is by itself a great blessing, the benefit would be if it is spiritually rich and charged. Spirituality makes these acts of Ibadah highly enjoyable and enhances the rewards a hundred folds and more.
Solutions: Spirituality is developed by suppressing animalistic tendencies. This is achieved through Mujahada, fighting excessive bodily demands of food, sleep, comfort and luxury. There is no better time for this than Ramadaan, which is a month of Mujahada. Once the batteries of spirituality have been fully charged, it only requires a small recharge from time to time. This is the month to put our spiritual battery on full charge.
Mufti Zubair Bayat