By Irfan Khan and Sajid Iqbal
Jamal: Assallamu Allaikum Ali, Ramadan Mubarak to you
Ali: Eh...what Mubarak?
Jamal: Ramadan Bro
Ali: Has it started....I thought there was bare time for it yet?
Jamal: Woah......wake up man...this is the month we have been waiting for!
Ali: Why..are United playing Chelsea? Crap! I forgot to book the tickets man!
Jamal: Ali, Ramadan is the greatest month in the Islamic calendar and I've been waiting for Ramadan to start for ages, its such a beautiful month
Ali: Why you been waitin' Jam? You don't need to lose weight, you're in good shape man. Maybe a little extra weight around the belly but I guess that's all the halva you molvi types eat!
Jamal: Thanks for your compliment...but I'm more worried that you don't even know its Ramadan.
Ali: Chill Jam, don't get your beard in a twist! Its only another month man, whats the friggin' big deal anyway?
Jamal: Just listen to what the Prophet (pbuh) said about Ramadan. He said: 'This is a month in which the first part brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last part of which brings freedom from the fire of hell.' (Ibn-e-Huzimah)
The prophet also said: "God does not refuse the prayers of three people: the fasting person until he opens it, the just ruler and the oppressed.”(Tirmizi)
Ali: Just ruler ? what's maths got to do with it?
Jamal: There's more Ali. The prophet(pbuh)stated: "My people have been blessed with five special favours in Ramadan: 1) the breath of the fasting person is better than the fragrance of musk
Ali: MUSK, MUSK what type of musk is that... must be one of those cheapo ones for 10p a litre, cos my mates gob stinks when he's got a roza!
Jamal: As I was saying Ali....2) the angels pray for them 3) Paradise is prepared for them 4) the mischievous devils are chained 5) the fasting people are forgiven". (Ahmad)
The prophet (pbuh) also said: "All the deeds of the son of Adam are increased in value from ten to seven hundred times except for fasting, since it is for me alone, I shall reward my servant as I please." (Muslim)
Ali:Raas! didn’t know that. How come no molvi guy told me that before? I do normally fast Jam...do you know how hard it is for me to have a spliff until after dark? It's a killer!
Jamal: What? don't smoke that haram stuff during this blessed month? What's wrong with you?
Ali: Easy now Jam. Calm down man, it's only a few spliffs. I know when its Rozay I only smoke a few spliffs and I keep them strictly to night time, told u I was being good. Chill out dude... you sound like a right miserable sod you know that.
Jamal: Listen Ali, do you even know why we fast?
Ali: yeah..erm....the girls do it to lose weight and erm.... to know what the poor blokes feel like innit....and I do it cos if i don't fast me dad will beat the crap out of me!
Jamal: No Ali. That's not why you're suppose to fast. We fast because Allah says in the Quran: Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so you may become Godfearing. [al-Baqarah 2:183] So that's why we fast Ali, so we can fear God, be conscious of God, know God is watching us at all times. So we follow His teachings and improve to become better Muslims.
Ali: : Me don't get it jam. How is fasting gonna make me fear God. It makes me fear waking up in da mornin' when me dad drags me out of bed with his size 9 boots!
Jamal: Bro, let me tell you how you can gain taqwa through fasting.Ali, did you know that there are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special?
Ali: Sounds like a McDonald's milkshake!
Jamal: Ordinary fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.
Special fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes,tongue, hands and feet-and all other organs-free from sin.
Extra-special fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah.
Ali: Huh....what you chatting about?
Jamal: Most of us only do 'ordinary fasting' thats why we never change.
Ali: Speak for yourself, me is always fighting the ladies off me!
Jamal: Whatever…..If we did 'special fasting' then we will improve as Muslims, get the best out of Ramadan, give up our bad habits and start to Fear Allah. So we need to read the Quran, lower our gazes, listen to Quran, naats and nasheeds and not the latest tracks. Also not to swear or argue, don't go to dodgy places...and so on. Then taqwa will enter your heart and you will get something out of fasting.
Ali: Woah..so you're saying apart from starving myself, staying away from birds..i should also not even look at birds, not even blast the music, don't cuss anyone and dat whilst i'm fasting. Jam i aint no molvi!You havin' a laugh?
Jamal: Give it a go, it's not as hard as you think...trust me, its much easier to be good in Ramadan cos the devils are banged up and there’s an increase in the mercy of Allah- just try it. If you really wanna get something out of Ramadan then you have to bro, otherwise what's the point. The prophet (pbuh) said:
'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say:"I am fasting, I am fasting!'
The prophet (pbuh) also said:
'Five things break a man's fast: lying,backbiting, scandal mongering, perjury and a lustful gaze.'
Ali: Don’t say dat …….cos that means all my rozays are broken!
Jamal: Ali, the prophet(pbuh) also said: 'Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast.”
Ali: Raas man! Me didnt know dat Jam. I think I better be a good boy in Ramadan then innit!
Jamal: So please Ali, make most of this month. I've told you what the benefits are, so now do your best and come to the mosque.
Ali: I do come to the mosque Jam. Me is always there at iftari time when the geezers bring da food...excellent scran I must say! I stuff myself silly Jam.
Jamal: Bro, the mosque isn't just for eating. Come and read your prayers as well. Try and make an effort for Tarawih.
Ali: Yeah, i been bro but standin' for that long in tarawih is missions Jam...and then you always get the dude who's had bare kebabs and burps as if he's got a microphone stuck down his throat! Boy does it stink!
Jamal: Come on bro, it's not that bad.
Ali: Not that bad!...I've smelt better in the toilet! Then you get the geeza who's white socks have turned yellow and man do they stink...and I have to stick my head right next to his feet...so Jam, me knows we get tested by God but...come on...that stink is too much to take man!
Jamal: I'm sorry you've had a bad experience but let me tell you what reading tarawih prayer is all about bro.
Ali: Nah, me knows what Tarawih is all about. Me has clocked that one. As soon as da molvi is in sajda me and da boyz are out of there and go for a chill.....me mum and dad think we're at mosque. How cool is dat!
Jamal: Don't be a fool Jam! You're losing out...this is the month to sort yourself out, gain extra blessings and become a better Muslim
Ali: But whats tarawih got to do with it Jam? I understand the fasting and reading the Quran bit and dat...
Jamal: Ali, do you wanna know why tarawih is so important? Well, listen to the words of the prophet (pbuh): 'The month in which Allah has prescribed for you fasting and I have initiated for you the night prayer(tarawih). Whoever fasts in it and prays with sincerity and faith, sins leave him clean as the day his mother gave birth to him'. (Ibn Maja)
Ali: A clean slate …..Wow! I'll try to read ma tarwihs and dat. But da best part of Ramadan is da end man, when its Eid and me gets to put on me new gear..and go cruising on Wimmy Road and chill innit?
Jamal: Ali, that’s not what Eid is all about. Eid is a family and social event. After the Eid prayers people visit each other, exchange gifts, spend time socialising with extended family and community, visiting the sick and offering prayers for the deceased. For those who fasted during the month of Ramadhan, there is a sense of triumph and accomplishment.
Ali: Man..that sounds BORING! I'll tell you how it's done...you should hook up wid me on Eid. We can pick up a score and burn all day and night. We'll cruise down to Wimmy Road, we'll have some drinks and have one big party...what you say Jam?
Jamal: Astagfirullah! Bro you don't fast for a month, go mosque everyday, read the Quran and try to become pious so we can smoke weed, get drunk and commit zina on Eid day! Wake up Ali!
Ali: It's only a bit of fun Jam, it's Eid innit...you're suppose to chill man! Ain't Eid suppose to be a celebration?
Jamal: Yes Eid is a celebration and you can have as much fun as you like. The only thing is, whatever you do has to be halal. So NO haram activities like drinking, smoking weed, committing zina etc. You can have fun by going to Blackpool, paint balling, ice skating, Go-Karting, going to a restaurant, meet your friends and so on. You can even hire a car out but behave properly and don’t miss your namaz!
Ali: Right Jam, that's you off my Eid list....you is toooo boring man!
Jamal: Oh no..i have fun… loads of fun on Eid Jam, I love it...but what I do is the halal way of having fun and what you do is totally haram! That's the difference bro.
Ali: Woah! Is it that bad Jam? But don't tell me old man I 'm going to Wimmy road...ok!
Jamal: Look Ali. I've told you what a blessed month this is. You can wipe your slate clean, so please bro, don't throw it all away by having a haram Eid. Forget what you have done in the past....use this month and try to be a good Muslim. I will help you all the way bro.
Ali: OK Jam, i will try...in a bit.