Ramadan Reflections

It has been found that in times of difficulty that people with faith are much more adept at coping with the challenging situations, and we are now facing one of the most difficult times that most of us have ever had to encounter.

In His Noble Qur’an, Allah reminds us to be steadfast in faith many times, but specifically when He tells us that above all we should hold onto the rope of faith in Sura 3 verse 103 :

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.
And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies, and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, Brothers.
And you were on the edge of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it.
Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.

The message from this to be taken to our hearts is that, in testing times particularly, we need to remember from whence we came an unto whom we shall inevitably return.

In that statement from Allah there is both the Guidance of Allah, but also the demonstration of His Mercy.

Ramadan is a month in which we are urged to upgrade our faculty of self control.
Allah tells us that this fasting is here for our benefit, so that we become better people.

This is also reflected in commentary by Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he tells us to offer something better when we are confronted by something or someone which is or are malevolent.

What does that mean with regard to our behaviour? To give something better is not determined as, for example, – he hit me, so I will hit him harder. It is not the use of combative force either physically or verbally. It is the defusing of the situation by offering a response which at least may make the other person reflect on their disposition, or may even diffuse the animosity between two parties.

And to act in this way is not, as some may construe, an act of weakness. Far from it, it is a sign that this individual can assess the situation and take steps to control the immediate, instinctive response to retaliate, and proffer something far better and more reflective of our ability to aspire to the higher order of behaviour and thinking to which we humans can attain.

We have to ask ourselves, especially now, when we find ourselves in the spotlight of much malevolence, who really are the beneficiaries of conflict?

It is clear that someone has an agenda to foster this animosity and hatred, and from our understanding of the religion which Allah has perfected for us, it does not come from the teachings of Islam.

So from where is it coming?

Cast your mind back to what Allah says in response to the Shaytaan.

The Shaytaan asserts that he will lead people in Allah’s Creation astray, and Allah says in response, I will grant you leave to attempt to do this for a period. Up to the Day of Judgement, but you will only be able to take those away who have deserted their remembrance of Me and  have lost the hold of faith in Me.

That’s crystal clear, and Allah backs it up by repeatedly reminding us to be aware of the whisperings of the Shaytaan to us.

It is a reminder to take hold of things and exercise that self-control, not just something for the month of Ramadhan, and then let it slip away.

The aim is to cultivate this disposition so that we can exercise it at all times.
Indeed it is a shield of mercy from Allah, and when someone offers us something beneficial it would be churlish not to accept it, especially when it comes from our Creator.

~ Hassan Burrows