The forgotten virtues of Ramadan

Ramadan and patience are inseparable as the Holy month of Ramadan approaches Muslims around the world prepare to fast and refrain themselves from evil.  It is essential that the teaching of Ramadan should be followed throughout the year.  As the Holy month approaches, a lot of us think of fasting, offering prayers, Iftar parties and much more. A lot of us have forgotten that Ramadan brings a greater joy with a much bigger message than we have interpreted.  Ramadan preaches patience and self-control which is the essence of humanity.  The world has witnessed wars, calamities, epidemics, hunger and poverty but what evokes the feelings of compassion, unity and brotherhood is the teaching of Ramadan.

The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar and is of paramount importance in Muslim faith being the fifth pillar of Islam. Ramadan preaches self- control and patience by remaining hungry and thirsty from dawn to dusk. It is essential for Muslims to practice self- control and patience during Ramadan and to refrain from being impatient, impolite and selfish. Unfortunately some of us have forgotten that practicing virtues of self-control and patience are essential for the betterment of society.  The data collected by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (EMHJ) informs that the highest number of car crashes witnessed in different Pakistani cities is during Ramadan. The Report further suggests that these accidents mostly occur between 2 to 6 pm owing to the impatience and intolerance shown by drivers who violate traffic laws. Often times reaching home early for Iftar inadvertently becomes the reason for the waste of human lives.

Pakistani society at large must remember that at the time of fasting, the speech of a Muslim is restrained and his conduct is purified.  Thus, it is important for us to be kind, polite, patient and keep all rules and regulations including traffic rules during Ramadan.

One of the many benefits of Ramadan is that it teaches us to consider the plight of the people living in poverty by experiencing hunger and thirst ourselves. By remaining hungry and thirsty even an extremely rich person can feel what an extremely poor person goes through.

We should always remember the example of the Holy Prophet PBUH who always forgave all those who persecuted Him. Once the Holy Prophet visited Taif to preach the message of truth but some vagabonds persecuted him as they wanted him to stop preaching. The Holy Prophet was tortured and thus Hazarat Jibreel came down and said to the Holy Prophet PBUH “If you want, command me and I will cause the two mountains of Taif to collapse upon them.” The Prophet’s shoes were filled with blood but still he said “No! Rather, I pray that Allah (S.W.T) blesses their children to be Muslims and worship Allah (S.W.T) alone. Even if they have rejected Islam, I pray that Allah (S.W.T) blesses their progeny to be Muslims.”

Today virtues like patience, self-control and unity seems to be eroding from our society as people are becoming more and more acquisitive. Ramadan encourages Muslims to help all those who are in need by laying aside a portion of their wealth which has been given to them by Allah. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and purifies the heart of the giver. In return the recipient is filled with joy and his heart is also cleansed from feelings of envy and jealously.

The Holy month of Ramadan is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by Muslims all around the world. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) large tents are setup near mosques and in the streets to feed the poor and needy.

It is essential for us to practice self- control and patience during the Holy month of Ramadan as these are the core virtues of humanity.

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