Cultivating Taqwa in the Holy Month of Ramadan
Ramadan is a holy month for so many Muslims around the world. It is considered as the month of blessings and rewards.
During Ramadan, we are not only required to sustain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, but we are also expected to refrain from speaking and committing unkind acts. We are asked to place ourselves in the shoes of our under privileged brothers and sisters by giving to them. This, in turn, will remind us of how blessed we are with all that we have in this life. We are prompted to volunteer with organizations that promote charity and give alms to the less fortunate, and we are instructed to focus on our spiritual well-being and to continue to practice self-control and discipline. For many, Ramadan marks the beginning of striving to become a better Muslim and becoming closer to God. During Ramadan, many people will focus on their physical and mental health which will ultimately bring a greater sense of peace in their daily lives and help one to attain Taqwa (piety, righteousness, shielding against evil, and self-discipline).
Fasting helps our piety to ripen, and brings one closer to our Creator. It builds the acknowledgement that everything we have in this life is a blessing from Allah (swt). It instills discipline, restraint, and overall virtuous habits.
As mentioned in the Qur’an (33:35), Allah promises forgiveness and vast rewards to a fasting person. In a distinguished hadith, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), said, “Allah, the Almighty and Master of Honor, says: ‘All actions of a person are for himself, except the case of his fasting which is exclusively for Me and I shall pay (recompense) for him for the same.’ The fast is a shield (against vice and the fire of Hell). Therefore, when anyone of you is fasting he should abstain from loose talk and avoid verbosity and noisy exchange of words.”[Bukhari and Muslim: Abu Hurayrah]
When one combines prayer, fasting, and charity during the month of Ramadan, Allah assures vast rewards. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) 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.” [Bukhari: Abu Hurayrah]
May this Ramadan lay the groundwork for all of us to accomplish sincere Taqwa and become better Muslims for Humanity!