THE SEASON CALLED RAMADAN


The Muslim season of Ramadan is here again. Once every year, Ramadan creeps into the world like the early morning light and moves kaleidoscopically into an arena where the centre becomes its stool. it lifts its veil in the days and beams a focus on the world with an arresting attention. It envelops the nights in a shroud of covenant linking the dream of man with the fulfillment of the creator. All we know of it is that of a guest that is so vividly present in our world and yet invisible. RAMADAN! That is the name by which it is christained. Its coming is often heralded by a retinue of envoys. The months of “Rajab and “Sha’ban are the immediate escorts that alerts us of its imminent arrival. Like the sun in the midst of stars, Ramadan ascends the throne in full regalia and all other months, quickly take their bow.
Having taking its name from a natural healing phenomenon, this ninth lunar month is truly baking in effect. The word: Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word ramd (to burn). The name came from the time before the Islamic calendar, when the month of Ramadan fell in summer. The entire month is spent fasting from dawn to dusk. Such fasting is not only abstinence from foods and drinks alone. It is also about repackaging one’s destiny through a new but sincere resolution.
Fasting during this month is believed to figuratively burn away all sin. It was in this glorious month my fellow Muslim brothers were taught that the revelation of the Quran to prophet Muhammad (SAW) first began. In this month all gates of paradise, according to the prophet are open while those of hell are closed. The first ten days in it are blessings galore for those of the Muslim Ummah who need blessings and seek for them. The next ten days personify forgiveness for those who realize the gravity of their sinful acts, repent on them and resolve never to return to such acts again. The last ten days are meant for liberation of mankind from the manacles of Satan.
In these last ten days is a particular night called Laylatul Qadr in which the secret of human destiny is encapsulated. It is otherwise known as the “Night of power”. Meeting that night consciously and spiritually is like securing the key to one’s own apartment in paradise. But one needs to remain awake throughout those nights to be fortunate to meet the night. Allah did not disclose even to prophet Muhammad (SAW) which particular night it is. But by asking the Muslims to look for it in the odd nights of the last ten days, the prophet has indeed helped us tremendously.
It was probably more to Ramadan than to man that prophet Muhammad (SAW) referred when he said: “whoever believes in Allah and the “last day” should venerate his guest” that guest is Ramadan. That is why Muslims often say in this unique month: “RAMADAN KARIM” which means venerable month.

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