RAMADAN; TOO PRECIOUS TO BE WASTED ON FRIVOLITIES- Ustadh Sa’eed Salman
It is another giant stride in the history of Gbagada Ladi-Lak branch of The Muslim Congress, as members prepare to usher in the holy month of Ramadan in grand style. The branch held its Annual Pre-Ramadan Lecture, an event, conceived years ago to welcome and sensitize Muslims ahead of the glorious month of Ramadan.
The speaker at the event was the renowned erudite scholar, Ustadh Sa'eed Salman who spoke on the topic "Towards attainment of Righteousness in Ramadan". The learned Cleric, while stressing the significance of the Blessed month, maintained that in the same manner Allah (SWT) chose the cities of Makkah, Madina and Palestine over other cities of the world, Ramadan was most honoured and sanctified of all other months.
On The Significance Of Ramadan
Ustadh Salman stated that all heavenly revealed Books were revealed in the month of Ramadan, including the Holy Qur’ an stating that the Blessed month is the most important period of the year for the true believers who get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and protection from Hellfire. According to him, Ramadan offers every Muslim a great opportunity to strengthen his Iman (faith), purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of sins committed. It is the month for renewing commitment and re-establishing relationship with the Creator.
The respected Scholar also held that Ramadan serves as a spring of season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. He, therefore, exhorted Muslims to be mindful of every passing moment in the Holy month as a moment in Ramadan is enormous in the scale of reckoning before Allah and such moments must not be wasted on frivolities.
To further give credence to the excellence of the month of Ramadan, Ustadh Salman related from the collections of Trimidhi and Ibn Maajah (Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Page 153 and Ibn Maajah, Vol. 1, Page 118), how the Arch- Angel, Jibreel (alihis-salaam), revealed to the Prophet the three kinds of people cursed by Allah. These includes the one who grows up and both his parents, or one of them is still alive, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise. Also, the one who, at the mention of the Prophet (SAW), does not say, Peace be upon him. Then, he, who witnessed the month of Ramadan yet does not have his sins forgiven. And , also, how at the first night of Ramadan, Satan and the rebellious Jinn are chained, the doors of hell closed and not one of the doors are opened (during the entire the month of Ramadan) while the doors of Paradise are opened and none of them are closed (for the entire month of Ramadan) and how many are redeemed from Hell by Allah (SWT) every night of Ramadan.
Preparing for Ramadan
Being a month of spiritual overhaul demanding comprehensive activities,the erudite Scholar enunciated the kinds of preparation required of believers ahead of the Blessed month, namely Spiritual Preparation which according to the revered Cleric entails sincere and honest repentance from sinfulness. Physical Preparation which includes a thorough medical examination by individuals on their health status and acting upon the recommendations of the medical experts with regards to staying healthy before and during the blessed month. On Financial Preparation, the speaker held that making adequate financial preparation involves the estimation of expenses for the month and sourcing for the funds legitimately.
Other kinds of preparations mentioned by the Scholar are Societal Preparation to sensitize congregations in Mosques as well as religious Organisations’ planned activities, Such as Tafsir, Tarawih, Timing of Salat and so on. Enlightened preparedness, he said, is key, as adequate knowledge on ways of relating with the Holy month is pivotal for a successful Ramadan. He noted that this preparation should be made ahead of Ramadan Such as studying Fiqh Siyaam, that is understanding what vitiates fast, what is forbidden and other Ramadan- related issues . And on the part of scholars, to start the review of the previous year’s Ramadan Tafsir (exegesis of The Holy Qur’an) to relatively aid preparation for the current year.
Advice for Muslims
Ustadh Salman concluded by imploring faithful Muslims preparing for the Blessed Month to endeavour to make the most of the month by not only abstaining from eating, drinking, sexual relations but to also practice self-restraint by lowering their gaze always and to protect their sight, ears,tongues and limbs from all sort of vices. He urged the believers to keep righteous company and to intensify their oft-recitation of the Qur’ an during and even after the month.
He enjoined Muslims to maintain increase in performance of dhikr (conscious remembrance of Allah) and to embrace the spirit of the month by being compassionate , extending the hands of charity to others. He called on the faithfuls to shun violence, hooliganism, and fighting but to rather offer the olive branch as encouraged in Ramadan by saying to the aggressor “I am fasting, I am fasting, I am fasting”.
Finally, while noting that the 28th of June 2014, corresponding to 29th day of Sha'ban,the day after which the hilal, the crescent, signifying the beginning of the month of Ramadan will be sought, falls within the period when the whole world will be agog with the frenzy of the World Cup holding in Brazil. He registered with dismay the manner by which many Muslims are often distracted by the football craze. He, however , sounded a severe note of warning that Muslim needs to be resolute so as not end up wasting this precious and rare opportunity of The Blessed month.