Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Gates of Paradise are Opened...

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you who will start fasting on Tuesday. And an early Ramadan Mubarak to those fasting on Wednesday. I haven't posted anything of much use on my blog lately, so I decided to post this piece I wrote for The Muslim Link... There's Something Special about Ramadan Narrated Abu Hurayra: Allah's Apostle said, "When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened." It's a wonderful thing, the excitement that Ramadan brings with it. Since I was young, my siblings and I would eagerly stay awake until late at night to see whether there was any news of the moon sighting for the start of Ramadan. There was something special about this month, even when we were too young to fast – a sort of peaceful atmosphere that prolonged and sincere worship tends to bring about. Narrated Abu Hurayra: Allah's Apostle said: "Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven." As I reflect, it seems that through all of the differences and disagreements that Muslims around the world have, the month of Ramadan is one of the common threads that unites us. There is nothing like the remarkable feeling of praying Taraweeh side by side with a brother or sister that you have never met before, yet still feel a sort of unexplainable bond with; shoulder to shoulder in one line, facing the same Creator. The bond that Islam creates between people is an amazing one, unique to this way of life. We are equal in our mosques and places of worship in the sense that we all leave our worldly possessions, deadlines, and mad schedules behind as we stand in line to pray in the same direction, for the same purpose. "Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other)." (21: 92) Through all the chaotic events that take place in Ramadan, Iftars are also one of the few times in the day when we can sit and interact with our fellow brothers, sisters, and families. "O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint" (2:183) Hunger, in itself, makes one feel humbleness; we are all fasting for the sake of Allah. It is He, in His Wisdom, who set the time of Iftar for us. Coming together at the end of the day, in humility, to break our fasts is part of the worship that we perform in Ramadan. And nothing brings believers' hearts and minds together more than collective worship does. It is only natural for a person to seek out people who believe in what he believes and there is comfort in knowing that in this country where Muslims are few and live far apart, we can still find friendship and reassurance among one another; and Ramadan is an opportune time to do so since Muslims are feeling just a little more kind, a little more generous, and a lot closer to Allah. "Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth. He Who is in heaven will show mercy upon you." (Abu Daud: Tirmidhi) We have shifted from a time where tribalism was the system by which society functioned, to a time where all are viewed as equals in the sight of Allah. There was a call, made by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to all Muslims to replace former tribal affiliations with brotherhood and love for their fellow believers, whether or not they were from the same family. Think about it this way: your family does not end at mere blood relatives; it continues and encompasses all Muslims. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. (3:103) Therefore, take this month to build bridges between yourselves. In these blessed days, Allah, in all His Wisdom and Mercy, causes the rewards for our good deeds to be multiplied manifold. Take these most brilliant days of the year and perform one righteous and kind action for your brother or sister in Islam. The rewards will, God willing, be greater than we can imagine. The Believers are but a single brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy. (49:10)

16 comments:

sara said...

Ramadan Mubarak!

I think my mum says we're going to fast today (Tuesday). I'm not fasting this week so, I dunno what I think about the matter. How about you guys?

brotherhood said...

RAMADAN MUBARAK!!!! :D

brotherhood said...

great post mashallah! May your Ramadan be full of blessings for you and your family :D Ameen!

Asmaa said...

Ramadan Mubarak to you guys too :)

Sara, I start fasting on Wednesday. I thought you guys always went along with ISNA/the North American moonsighting committee...ah well.

Sigh, I'm not looking forward to having iftar during my classes.

Squeeky said...

Assalaamu Alaikum!!

Ramadan Mubarak Asmaa!!

We're starting Wednesday insha'Allah. I hope you have a blessed month. Yay, iftaars at Uni

sara said...

Okay, so I was wrong. We ARE starting on Wednesday. My mother didn't fast today.

How did you know, Samaa, how did you know?

Asmaa said...

Sara, I know these things.

brotherhood said...

Samaa? :o omg

AP said...

Asmaa was MC at York U's marhaba dinner?

noooooo!!

One week, just one week, I went all academic intensive and didn't log on to the net to study, and look what I missed.

When are you making your next public appearence? I'll be there if it's the last thing I do, unless of course, there's money to be paid. Nothing in excess of $20 is acceptable.

Asmaa said...

ap, umm I don't see the relevance of your comment to my post >:)

I don't know which "Asmaa" you're referring to since I don't go to York. I'm a U of T snob :)

Next time I make a "public appearance," I'll be sure to let you know. But even if there is no cost involved, you'll still have to pay.

brotherhood said...

i wanna be at one of ur public appearances :p get a signed autograph :p

AP said...

UofT? Not York? Oops, my bad. btw, relevant posts are so cliched - i try to be cool. if i can't do it in real life, i sure can try online.

olde woman said...

love the article. Ramadaan kareem..

hahah, Asmaa, remember what I said at the dinner? It's already happening...*wink,wink*

I need my Asmaa fix
>hug<

H.H. said...

'already happening' what is?
I have a feeling its related to ahm ahm whose gonna follow in Mar's footsteps :P

Random you appear a lot serious nowadays, penny for your thoughts

Asmaa said...

h.h. You would only give me a penny for my thoughts? How sad. Actually, I don't think I've become any more serious...I'm more of a joke now than I ever was.

I actually have no idea who you are, though I'm sure I should somehow know.

Faraz said...

Hey, I edited that article!

Actually, I don't think I made any actual edits to it, it was quite good as it was. Good work!