Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is incumbent upon all those who have the physical and mental capacity to do so. It involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk. It is also an exercise in self-control and in avoiding temptations and it encourages doing good and showing empathy for the poor.
However, in the past couple of decades, the month of Ramadan has slowly transformed into a period of entertainment. Weeks before its arrival, TV stations advertise their special programs for the month Ramadan, ranging from comedy shows, romantic dramas and song and dance skits.
Invitations are sent out inviting people for iftar, the breaking of the fast at sundown. Social programs are held by the elite. And, of course, the malls advertise their products and services. It is almost like carnival time.
These actions erode some of the spirituality that should be a part of the holy month. However, for many this still remains a month of worship, good deeds and charity.
The last 10 nights of Ramadan, when the night prayers are held, see the overflowing of mosques as people offer supplications and beseech the Almighty for forgiveness which is what every Muslim should do. We should utilize the month for instilling discipline in our body and soul and for being aware of the need to care for others. We should develop a sense of forgiveness and above embrace the virtues of tolerance and acceptance.
Let us, therefore, make Ramadan resolutions to better ourselves. We should all thank our Lord for his blessings and work together to make this world a better place for humanity.
Let us pray for peace in war-torn regions. Let us beseech the Lord to deliver the oppressed from tyranny. Prayers too should be offered asking for people of all faiths and ethnic groups to be able to live in peace and prosperity.
Let us pray that the God of all removes malice, hatred and bigotry from our hearts and that the descendants of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) be able to live in harmony with those of all other faiths. We should resolve that the harbingers of hate should not succeed.
Our main goal as humans is to alleviate the suffering of the poor worldwide.
Ramadan is the month of charity. Let us be generous in kind words and good deeds and strive to better ourselves to serve humanity and our Lord.