The heat is on! Once a year a dramatic change occurs in the Muslim community. Once a year Icky baby and the Sams becomes Iqbal and Sameera.
Off come the baggy jeans, the Nike 180's and the Raiders cap. On come the yellow Shalwar Kameez (clothes most Pakistanis wear), the brylcreamed hairstyle which glues on that terribly uncool Towpee(cap) and in comes the miswak in the top pocket, making you look like something like "Karachi cops".
It's during this HOLY month of Ramadan that we ditch the daytime raves and the frequent visit to the library (and we don't mean for the reference section) and begin to act it out. Icky baby becomes temporarily religious.
It's a sort of spooky feeling. The Mosques are full and you feel good. Good cos' you've done your bit for the year. One by one you scratch the days from your Ramadan timetable that your dad brought back from the Mosque-and then-thank crunchie it's Eid.
The Mosques again becomes museums for the old and for those deprived "ACHA BACHA"- a good kid. The crease-free shalwar kameez comes off and comes the baggy jeans, whilst the libraries reopen for "business as usual". Just 11 more months of "freedom" to go before the smelly breath season come back with vengeance.
Year after year it goes on, almost as a ritual. You know it's rough. Yet Allah(swt) is Al-Rahman and Al-Raheem as we are told by our parents (who probably also have gone through this). And anyway religion is for the old men in the mosques- with smelly breaths, and beards that sweep the floor everytime they walk from one end of the mosque to the other.
Religion is for those "fundies"(fundamentalists) at school/college, the "weirdoes" who only talk to the opposite sex about the benefits of the Khilafah ruling system or the fallacies of Western ideology such as Capitalism and Marxist Philosophy.(i.e.try saying that in one breath!).
So you go around playing this game. It's like an endless spiral. You think you're a rebel or tough-yet you're just one of the pack- a zombie, conforming to master-plan, when you turn 40s you grow your beard and take your seat in front row of the mosque, invest in a miswak, pack your bags for Hajj, and then everything is gonna be safe!- well no! It doesn't quite work like that. The million dollar question is will you ever turn 40?
Suppose you die. Just suppose you snuff it before you turn 40? What then? It could severely damage that master-plan of yours. Alright, the chances may look slim yet the stakes are high. Nobody knows when he or she is going to die. Just suppose you're locked up in a room and there's no way out. Just suppose there's a time bomb-ticket away in this room. Now if this bomb has "6 days" on it you would probably turn "fundy" and spend all six days reading namaz(salah).
Just suppose the bomb had a "?" on it? What then? That's exactly how life is. A ticking-bomb with a "?" on it, you never know when it's gonna blow-up. Wherever you are, death will find you.
Even if you are in tower built up strong and high!" (Translation of the meaning of the Qu'ran)
30 days or a lifetime? And anyway, even if you do go along with this "dodgy" game, don't you think your Creator will know your intention? Many people have sussed out Islam as a blind faith or and emotional/spiritual/spooky belief which leaves you a contemplating rationally about the meanings of life. Where did you come from? Why are we here? Or the question that puts a dampener on all raves, " what's going to happen to us when we die?"
Islam asks you to answer these vital questions and come to a conclusion, the correct one. Islam doesn't rely on the dodgy culture we are brought up with either from your parents or from the Molvi-Saab(imam). Islam is far from being a "religion" as it is often coined in the media.
Islam is a complete system of life- with solutions to all our problems be it for Muslims or non-Muslims. Check out Islam for yourself and freeyourself from this shallow zombie-like culture. Before your credits run out!
There is no Life or Dignity without Islam either here or in the here after. "O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger (SAW), and turn not away from his Messenger Muhammad (SAW) while you are hearing. 8:20
Hadith: Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Ramadan has come to you -- a blessed month. Allah has made obligatory upon you it's fasting. In it (i.e. the month of Ramadan), the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allah SWT belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good (blessings), then he has been deprived (of something really special.)" (Collected by Ahmad and An-Nasai)
This Hadith is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him)informed his companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news! Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it, its due estimate.
This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained in it (i.e. the Hadith) what Allah SWT has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness- and there are many ways! So whosoever has forgiveness escape from him/her during the month of Ramadan, then he/she has been deprived with the utmost deprivation.
Let us welcome this year's Ramadan with good actions and the intention to change ourselves.
[Compiled from the article, "Spreading the Good News of Ramadan" by Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan. Source: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 13-15)]