The Impact of Ramadan on Family ValuesReply
Ramadan is a month of self regulation and self training with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims abandon regular everyday activities in order to be fully forgiven by Allah and to find that everlasting happiness within Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims are generally aware that this is their one and only chance in a year to be exonerated by Allah and given another chance to shape up. During this holy month, many Muslims slowly try to purify their souls from afflictions and impurities while turning their grief stricken faces toward salvation and safety.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims remove their hearts from its ill state by giving it the best medicine out there, which is the Holy Quran. Hudhayfa ibn al-Yamani, may Allah be pleased with him said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) had said: ‘Temptations are presented to the heart one by one. Any heart that accepts them will be left with a black stain, but the one that rejects them will be left with a mark of purity’ so that hearts are of two types, a dark heart that has turned away and become like an overturned vessel, and a pure heart that will not be harmed by temptation for as long as the earth and the heavens exist…” the pure heart, the heart of a pious believer, contains the light of faith which is bright and which is visible to all of mankind. When temptations are presented to pure hearts such as this, they oppose it and reject it, and so their light and illumination only increase. It is this type of heart that many Muslims hope to acquire during the month of Ramadan and that Allah (T) will allow to enter al- Jannah.
Muslims during Ramadan tend to move out of oblivious states into fully alert and aware ones. They begin to instill fear in their hearts by prolonging their prayers and staying up for more than half the night, seeking forgiveness from Allah (T). One of the companions of the Prophet (SAW), Ibn al-Mubarak said: “When the night is completely dark, it finds them staying up in the night, fear (of Allah Ta’ala) has chased away their sleep so they stay up, while those who feel secure in this life quietly sleep on.”
True that whenever Ramadan comes around, many Muslims refrain from things that are haraam but nevertheless apart of their everyday activities such as, online chatting, and watching television. Rather, they focus on what important things they need to catch up on such as observing fasts, performing the 5 daily prayers supplicating to Allah (T) and even taking the time to read at least one juz’ from the Qur’an everyday until the end of the month. They turn to Allah (T) sincerely and Allah (T) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: “And when my servants ask you about Me, I am indeed near (to them), I answer the prayers of every supplicant who calls on Me.” An-Nu’man ibn Bashir said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Supplication is worship itself.’ Then he recited the ayah: ‘And your Lord has said, “Call on me- I will answer you. Surely those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Hell in humiliation.’”
As Muslims go about their daily lives, they are more cautious as to what they should be doing. Take for example, unnecessary talking, which is one of the four poisons of the heart. A believer would never talk or dare open their mouth unless it had something to do with Allah (T). It is reported in Al-Musnad on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (SAW) said: “The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right.” This shows that the Prophet (SAW) has made the purification of faith conditional upon the purification of the heart and the purification of the heart conditional upon the purification of the tongue. Abu Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realize, and for which he is sent down into the depths of Fire further than the distance between the east and the west.” Uqba ibn Umar said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (SAW), what is our best way of surviving?’ He, may Allah (T) bless him and grant him peace, replied: ‘Guard your tongue, make your house suffice for sheltering your privacy, and weep for your wrong actions.’” At-Tirmidhi relates in a hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar: “Do not talk excessively without remembering Allah (T), because such excessive talk causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allah (T) is a person with a hard heart.” Therefore, a Muslim should, as an alternative to focusing on unimportant things, feel regret for his previous sins, and focus on what to say before he says it while thinking of the consequences it may bring.
Another example of the four poisons of the heart is eating too much food. During suhoor, Muslim families eat their fill in order to keep their stomachs satisfied until sunset when they break their fast. The consumption of small amounts of food guarantees the tenderness of their heart, strength of their intellect, humility of their self, weakness of their desires and gentleness of temperament. Immoderate eating brings about the opposite of these praiseworthy qualities. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakrib said:”I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say: ‘The son of Adam (AS) fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah (T) than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink, and a third for easy breathing.” Excessive eating induces many kinds of harm. It makes the body incline towards disobedience to Allah (T) and makes worship and obedience seem laborious – such evils are bad enough in themselves. A full stomach and excessive eating have caused many a wrong action and inhibited much worship. Whoever, and in this case the Muslim families, tries to prevent or safeguard against the evils of overfilling his stomach has prevented great evil. It is easier for shaytaan to control a person who has filled his stomach with food and drink, which is why it has often been said: “Restrict the pathways of shaytaan by fasting.” During Ramadan Muslims refrain from this poison by only eating what is necessary to keep up their strength because one who eats too much, will drink too much, and one who drinks too much will sleep too much therefore causing them to lose too much, (good deeds that they might have spent much time in acquiring).
The third example of the four poisons of the heart that many Muslim families try to abstain from is keeping bad company. Unnecessary companionship is a chronic disease that causes much harm. How often have the wrong kind of companionship and intermixing deprived people of Allah (T)’s generosity, planting discord in their hearts which even the passage of time – even if it were long enough for mountains to be worn away – has been unable to dispel. In keeping such company one can find the roots of loss, both in this life and in the next life. A servant should benefit from companionship. In order to do so he should divide people into four categories, and be careful not to get them mixed up, for once one of them is mixed with another, evil can find its way through to him. The first category are those people whose company is like food: it is indispensable, night or day. These are the people with knowledge of Allah (T) – His commands, of the scheming of His enemies, and of the diseases of the heart and their remedies – who wish well for Allah (T), His Prophet (SAW) and His servants. Associating with this type of person is an achievement in itself. The second category are those people whose company is like medicine. They are only required when a disease sets in. The third category are those people whose company is harmful. Mixing with this type of person is like a disease, in all its variety and degrees and strengths and weaknesses. During the blessed month, Muslims refrain from talking to those whom they believe may cause them harm and those who may be an obstacle in their way on the road to the purification of their soul.
The last of the four poisons of the heart are unrestrained glances. Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan try their best to refrain from looking at things that attract them by lowering their gaze. They know that the unrestrained glance results in the one who looks becoming attracted to what he sees, and in the imprinting of an image of what he sees in his heart. This can result in several kinds of corruption in the heart of the servant. The following are a number of them: It has been related that the Prophet (SAW) once said words to the effect: “The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytaan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah (T), He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness which he will find in his heart the day that he meets Him.” Also, another corruption is that shaytaan enters with the glance, for he travels with it; faster than the wind blowing through an empty place. He makes what is seen appear more beautiful than it really is, and transforms it into an idol for the heart to worship. Then he promises it false rewards, lights the fire of desires within it, and fuels it with the wood of forbidden actions, which the servant would not have committed had it not been for this distorted image. This distracts the heart of a Muslim and makes it forget its more important concerns.
During Ramadan, young boys and men go to masjids to pray their daily prayers and try to guard their modesty by lowering their gaze and refrain from socializing with women. Women, likewise also guard their modesty by doing things like lowering their gaze and refraining from socializing with the opposite gender, backbiting, gossiping, and raising their voices. It is these Muslims who strive to remove the marks of impurity from their souls and prove to Allah (T) that they indeed are worthy of His love and mercy. However, never does a time come during the year in which the true beauty of Islam is revealed besides the month of Ramadan. Never does a time come when the kuffar actually see and experience the Mercy of Allah (T) that was bestowed upon mankind. Never does a time come during the year when Muslim families take out the Qur’an and read the beautiful verses from it. Never does a time come during the year when Muslim families actually take the time to spend time with each other from their pointless and busy schedules and actually listen to what the other has to say. NEVER DOES A TIME COME when Muslims finally realize the error of their ways and sincerely seek repentance from Allah (T) besides the month of Ramadan. Alas it is an ironic twist of fate to realize that during the month in which EVERY LITTLE DEED COUNTS, Allah would cause for the most sinful of believers to become pious and full of humility to be a clear sign to all how Allah (T) guides whom He Wills.
08-11-2005, 01:46 AM
I miss Ramadan. I guess living in a non-muslim country Ramadan is extra special because that is when you feel and experience the Islamic culture fully.
08-11-2005, 01:53 AM
Asalamualaikum wr wb, Reply
I miss Ramadan too...
I like fasting....I actually love it...its amazing....so I try fasting like on monday & thursdays allahmdulillah.....so dis way I don really miss Ramadan...but like always I can't wait...for all dat taraweeh prayers and especially qayimul layal wid jammah at the mosquee.....aahh man...i wish i was back in saudi :(
wasalamualaikum wr wb.
08-11-2005, 03:19 AM
Inshallah ramadan will come soon So you will not miss it for long
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