We’re finally now back in our old routines and pre-Ramadan lifestyles.
We no longer feel guilty about eating breakfast, and we no longer feel like we need to have a long prayer at night. We are back to where we were.
However, Ramadan is like a University. It teaches us things that we learn for life, and are meant to use them for the rest of our life. So, before we completely forget Ramadan, let us remind ourselves of some of the lessons that Ramadan taught us:
Yes I can
Can you imagine going 18-20 hours without food? Probably not, but you have already done it! This is proof that if we put our mind to something then we can do it!
“When there is a will, there is a way” goes the old English saying. And it is so true. So for every Islamic obligation that I am not yet doing, and for every thing that I find a struggle to do, Ramadan has taught me that no matter what, I can do it- especially if I seek from Allah.
When My slave comes to Me walking, I go to Him running. (At-Tirmidhi)
Halal Stronger than Haram
Ramadan is a month when we abstain from food, drink and intimate relations for the part of the day when there is sunlight. We give up on things that we not only like, but that which are also clearly halal!
This is where the University teaches us that whatever haram activities that we might get indulged in are also possible to be given up on.
If we can give up things as important for our functioning as food and drink for part of the day, then we can give up that which is just a passing urge, a desire, a temptation for our lives until we go on to the Day of Judgment. Ramadan has taught us, now it’s our job to implement.
Reaching a State of Ihsan
Ihsan is defined in the hadith as:
…to worship Allah as if you see Him. And even if you do not see Him, He sees. (Narrated by Bukhari)
It is being in a constant awareness of Allah. It is knowing and understanding that because Allah is seeing us, we are going to do our best for Him.
Why do we not eat when we are all alone? Because we know Allah is watching. Similarly, for doing our good deeds and not doing our sins, we are learning an important lesson.
Ramadan is helping us reach that valued state of Ihsan that is otherwise a very difficult station for all of us.
Loving one’s Family
Part of Ramadan is eating Suhoor and Iftar with family. For many families it is the month where the whole family prays together. It is the month where families invite others over for food.
Ramadan reminds us of the importance of our family, and of praying for them. It is a month when bonds are strengthened and relationships are reinforced.
Being Patient is a Virtue
For the patient shall be reward without accounting. (Quran 39:10)
Ramadan is the ultimate test of patience. Even though we are hungry and thirsty, we wait till the appointed hour to eat. And when we finally do, it is like the best food we have ever had. This is an important teaching in patience. Patience is difficult, but the fruits and rewards are beautiful. And Ramadan ensures that we learn it.
Good Manners is King
“I have been sent only to perfect good manners,” said the Prophet (peace be upon him. (Narrated by Ahmad).
Being good while everything is rosy is easy. The test of good manners is when we are under stress, when people are rude to us or when it is not so easy.
Ramadan is that time of the year when unleashing our anger, irritability and displeasure is so easy. However, to preserve our fasts we abstain from harsh behavior. Similarly, we abstain from bad behavior for the rest of our lives because we know that it is detrimental to our lives and our hereafter. Ramadan teaches us about manners.
Allah is Lord
Throughout Ramadan, there is the constant remembrance of Allah. There is the mention and the remembrance of Allah at every corner of our lives. It is the month when we really do understand that Allah is our Lord. It’s when we are closest to Him, and are most at awe of Him.
It is the month when we call upon Him the most and love His nearness the most. Allah is at the forefront of our lives at all times. And it is also the time when we are usually our happiest.
It is when we understand the importance of Allah in our lives and thus all the difficulties are made so much easier. And it is essentially this point which probably covers all other. And it is this point that ensures that despite where our practicing of Islam might be, we are always going to be missing Ramadan.
I pray that we learn these lessons and many more from Ramadan, and let it impact us as it impacted the lives of those before us. Ramadan is an intensive training session from Allah meant to uplift us, and Insha’Allah it has.
(This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.)