Ramadan, one of the pillars of Islam, has a distinct flavor. It is not the same as other Hijri months. It is a time when a different lifestyle, albeit temporary, is practiced.
And for the spiritual and not so spiritual too, it affords a chance to sit and contemplate, analyze one’s self and reflect about our lives.
It is not a matter of going hungry all day and gorging with food all night.
This is truly a time for soul searching and many of the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly illustrate that the spirit of Ramadan should infuse us with charity, acts of compassion and empathy.
However, this should not be a one-month tryst, but should continue well beyond the month.
Many of our actions totally negate the sayings and actions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). He was the most active of men in this month. We tend to be lazy, do shoddy work, are nonproductive and, worst of all, are short-tempered.
The Prophet (pbuh) exercised self-restraint in the face of grave provocations. Many of us while away the day sleeping and fill the nights with idle gossip and raucous laughter. Instead of prayers and good deeds, our eyes are glued to satellite TV channels some of which offer programs that directly contradict our values.
For believers of Islam, this is a month of miracles when sincere prayers are answered and good deeds rewarded.
The teachings are clear.
Let us avail ourselves of these 30 days with acts of humanity and offers of aid and assistance to all in order to alleviate the sufferings of the underprivileged. By bringing joy and contentment, we can in many ways reduce tension in society and decrease the gap between the haves and have nots.
It is important also to reflect on our own lives and gauge if we are living up to noble ideals.
My Ramadan wish is to be a better human being and my main prayer is that peace and tranquility will prevail and that no child in the world will have tears of anguish streaming down his or her cheeks.
Let us pray and work for that.