Friday, August 12, 2011

What to Do and Avoid in Ramadan

In his Friday Sermon of August 12, 2011 Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib of Mauritius spoke about the larger message of Ramadan for the collectivity of believers or the Muslim Ummah.  The signature tune of the speech was an impassioned plea for unity and brotherhood and harmony in intra-community relations. Fasting in this month of Ramadan being one of the pillars of the Islamic edifice, the Khalifatullah points out the extraordinary opportunity it represents to all denominational groups within the fold of Islam to rise above their differences and celebrate the spirit of Islam as One Community.

The Khalifatullah said: 

Brothers and sisters in Islam, let us live in harmony; harmony is not a slogan but a mission. Harmony does not fall from the sky like rain! This is a personal work that everyone should do; it requires an individual commitment; that is to put aside one’s own ego and not to promote our interests, but to promote the religion of Allah. Then uproot weeds in the garden of our heart – Hatred, resentment, jealousy, lust for power, the feeling of superiority towards our brothers and sisters in Islam, the belief that we alone are on the right track and the others are in the wrong – but what should be cultivated instead is tolerance, compassion, kindness, patience and forgiveness, forgiving others constantly.

Has not Allah, Exalted is He, taught us,
“Let them forgive and overlook (any mistake from their part). Would you not love that Allah should forgive you?” (24: 23)

So we need to analyse ourselves during the month of fasting and ask, “What is my role in preserving harmony?” And each of us has a role and duty – to help this precious Ummah;
“Verily this community of yours is a single community” (21: 93) – to regain its honour and strength by cultivating harmony. Similarly, we should reflect on our own character and actions and ask: “Are we helping the process of harmony, or are we a barrier to it?” In His Book (the Quran), Almighty Allah gives us the best way to cultivate harmony: “And hold fast all of you to the ‘Habl’ (rope) of Allah and be not divided.” (3: 104)

Besides this vibrant appeal for unity, harmony, forgiveness and understanding, the Khalifatullah put forth a comprehensive guide to help Muslims to take advantage of the golden opportunity of Ramadan for the multiplication of pious and laudable works. He draws out a list of what to avoid in this blessed month:

 1. Avoid sleeping excessively at night as well as during the day.

2. Do not overeat during Sehri (Suhur) or the Iftaar.

3. Do not waste time in futile dialogues: at the exit of mosques, the corners of the street, near small shops etc.

4. Avoid hassles, anger and futile discussions, not to insult and not hitting (anybody).

5. Do not spend long hours watching TV to pass the time.

6. Do not waste your time in the kitchen. Do not cook more than is reasonable. Avoid the daily preparation of delicious dishes which wastes valuable time and tires women.

7. Avoid window shopping, 'shopping' everyday to fill the time, is not on the agenda of the believer who wants to get closer to Almighty Allah.

8. Do not rush the reading of the Quran to end earlier the thirty parties. Focus on quality over quantity.

9. Avoid unnecessary reading: magazines, journals etc., which bring us nothing.

10. Avoid backbiting, slander, dishonesty, deceit, lies and shameful acts which reduce the value of fasting, or at worst, nullify it.

11. Avoid family disputes that disrupt the Islamic atmosphere at home.

12. Avoid illegal locations from the Islamic perspective: such places which rub shoulders with the forbidden: music, indecency, mixed places etc.

It is only by remaining within the limits prescribed by Allah, Exalted is He, that the servant who is concerned to use this world as the scope for the hereafter, could benefit from this golden opportunity which once again Allah, Exalted is He, has provided us with. May Allah cover us with His blessings and reward us abundantly. Ameen.”

Summary of the Friday Sermon is available @: