One pillar of Islam is fasting during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan comes with a lot of blessings and spiritual benefits. The focus of this month is self-purification. It helps Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, devotion, and worship. Along with all this, it encourages actions of generosity and zakat to instill compassion for the less-privileged people. We are going to share some of these spiritual aspects of Ramadan in this article.
What is the significance of fasting?
Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, where they abstain from eating or drinking. But it is more than that. It also means that we have to avoid bad behavior, no gossip, practice patience, or control our temper or any social habit that hurts people. It helps to keep in account that you become aware of the things you do.
How to Attain Piety (Taqwa)?
The main aim of fasting is to attain piety. It means total submission and obedience. The hardship during fasting becomes insignificant in front of the reward and attaining Allah’s pleasure. As Allah says in Quran, “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain taqwa.” (Qur’an 2:183)
Is Taqwa just a process?
Taqwa is not just a concept, but an attitude and a process. A proper attitude that drives the human toward the divine denotes love, devotion, and fear. It includes “love to the source of good and beauty that makes life worth living; devotion to God’s boundless wisdom and majesty; and fear of misunderstanding the divine intent or failing in maintaining the posture and relationship.”
What are Divine Revelations of Courage?
Taqwa is not just an internal thing, but it is depicted through expression and action as well. It is a commitment “to the sublime values stressed by divine revelations of courage, generosity, compassion, honesty, steadfastness, and cooperation in pursuing what is right and true.”
As Quran says, “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West: But it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, the Book, and the Messengers; to give out of the things you hold dear to your kin, the orphans, the needy, the wayfarer, the one who asks and to free the slave. And to be steadfast in prayer and to give for charity. To fulfill the covenants you have made, and to be firm and patient in times of pain, adversity, and panic. Such are the people of truth, and such is the God-conscious.” (Qur’an 2:177)
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Taqwa has its rewards, and Allah will reward the person from the places he cannot even imagine. As Allah promises in Quran, “Whoever has taqwa of God, He prepares a way out for them, and He provides them from sources they never could imagine.” (Qur’an 65:2-3)
How to achieve Willpower?
It helps in developing a strong personality and character. Likewise, it also inculcates the quality of willpower and determination. When we undergo hunger, it helps us to empathize with less-privileged people and to display affection towards them as well. As it is mentioned in Quran, “Have you seen one who belies judgment; it is the one who repulses the orphan and does not insist on feeding the needy. So woe to those who pray but are neglectful of their prayers. Those who are guilty of duplicity and refuse to provide for the ones in need.” (Qur’an 107:1-7)
How to reconnect with Allah?
This is an opportunity for us to reconnect with Allah and to reflect on our faith with no distractions. This is a time of transformation where we can become better people and strengthen our relationship with the Almighty. Making dua abundantly and Taraweeh (the night prayer) is an added way to reconnect with Allah. Taraweeh carries a lot of significance as Prophet P.B.U.H said, “Whoever prays during the nights of Ramadan (Taraweeh) with a firm belief and hoping for reward, all of his previous sins would be forgiven.”
How moral character is built?
The development of moral character empowers a community. It will help to achieve mutual respect based on fair and honest dealings and a sense of duty, which will “encourage people to observe the principles of right and justice as they pursue their varying and competing interests.” It leads to societal strength and prosperity, as mentioned in Quran, “Verily the earth is God’s to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases, and the end is best for the God-conscious.” (7:128)
What is the Community Building Aspect?
Where there are individual benefits, Ramadan also has a community-building aspect. The mosques are open for the communal iftar. It is a month of festive joy, where families sit together for Sehar and Iftar.
Make the best out of Ramadan. Keep praying for yourself and your loved ones.