Ramadhan – a month of reflections

Posted on May 21, 2020

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASinga Terhormat

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The blessed month of Ramadhan this year was a time of particular intensity, difficulty and unusualness in the many trials that it posed.

Whilst there were the growing challenges posed to an ageing person with the accompanying physical frailties, these however did not pose too much of a challenge, but rather the greatest challenges and trials were those faced by the soul during this blessed month.

The soul this time around was presented with and subjected to such an array of emotions, which are naturally heightened by a sustained period of fasting, ranging from one’s consciousness of the insignificance of oneself as compared to all of Creation and yet to the immense majesty that the soul possibly bears to all of such Creation.

The soul during this period was also “put through the wringer” and made, by circumstances, to submit to feelings that ranged from extreme disappointment to that of revulsion, from frustration to that of dejection and depression, and from a sense of helplessness and desolation to that of deep pain and anger.

There were many events and factors that contributed to this state of utter anguish.

Even during this auspicious holy month and amongst those claiming themselves to be Muslim, acts of slander, character-assassination, betrayal, treachery, duplicity and disloyalty were thriving and flourishing in the ranks of all manner of leadership in the nation, including those in Government, and also encompassing all sides of the political divide.

Anything and everything seemed fair game and par for the course for those involved.

There were great machinations at work in the pursuit of positions in Government, in political parties and in Government-linked corporations, as well as extraordinary efforts made for the overthrow of State Governments, fuelled by the most treacherous of betrayals imaginable. Duplicity, deceit and hypocrisy seemed to rule the day and stood out even in the arena of law enforcement.

It was crowned by the discharge from legal proceedings of one who had agreed not to contest the return to its rightful owner of approximately half of what he had in the first place wrongly taken.

The vast majority of the nation meanwhile stood idly by in largely muted observance of the ongoing shenanigans on display. To the religious-inclined, there were innumerable messages in cyberspace, both sent and received, that kept reminding each of the many blessings of the holy month and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and motivating one to avail oneself of the many opportunities that Ramadhan presents one with.

It was apparent that for the most part they were largely focused on and content with their own little safe havens so long as they perceived it not to directly affect them, their selfishness apparent in their choosing for the main part to be inaudible in the face of the ongoing assault on the various civil and democratic institutions and practices that were designed, amongst others, to protect and safeguard the rights of an individual and in ensuring equality in the applicability of the law to all.

Questions then inevitably arose in the mind:

Of what moral fibre are we, as a people and as a society, made of?

Where lies our moral compass, or, do we not have one?

How do we, in the blessed month of Ramadhan, whilst endeavoring to recite the Holy Qur’an from cover to cover, manage neither a squeak nor whimper about all the injustice, oppression, exploitation, discrimination and bigotry that suffocate our people and nation?

Does our commitment to the Almighty, to scripture and righteousness go no further than our throats, never to be in the neighbourhood of our hearts?

Can we then, when it is time to meet our Creator, tell Him the equivalent of what is often-quoted in Christian parlance as:

” I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race”?

“Had I then fought the good fight?”, I asked myself.

In which category of believer described in Surah An Nisa (4:95) do I fall into?

“Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allâh with their wealth and their lives.” – Surah An Nisa:95

Have I lived by the dictates of Surah An Nisa (4 :135)?

“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” – Surah An Nisa :135

Have I always fulfilled what Surah Al Anaam (6:152) expects of me?

“…When you speak, speak with justice, even if it is against someone close to you…” – Surah Al Anaam (6:152)

Did I take heed of the warning of the Prophet (pbuh):
“O people, those who have gone before you were destroyed, because if any one of high rank committed theft amongst them, they spared him; and if anyone of low rank committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off.”…(Sahih Al Bukhari)

Have I always stayed away from those who are unjust in compliance with Surah Hud
( 11:13)?

 “And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped.” – Surah Hud:13

Have I sufficiently reminded myself of the warning from the Prophet (pbuh) that:
“O Muslims! Allah has commanded you to exhort people to good deeds and prevent them from sins; otherwise a time will come when you will pray to Him, but He will not listen to you; you will ask your needs of Him, but He will not grant them; you will demand His help against your enemies, but He will not help you.”…(Ibn Majah)

I make no pretence nor claim to have the answers for you to the several questions raised. Nay, the nature of those questions are such that each, exercising the utmost honesty to himself, needs find his own answers to the several questions posed and then decide for himself what he must then needs do.

It is after all, a time for deep reflection.

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Posted in: Digressions