Imam Ilyas Sidyot

Ramadaan – A Guiding Light to Cleansing and Emancipation

As the beautiful rays of the month of Ramadaan lurks on the horizon with a plethora of mercy ready to dawn upon us, have you asked yourself one question? Are you ready for this auspicious month? Are you prepared to strive and sacrifice your daily mundane routine and convalesce your time and efforts to reap the benefits of this month that comes only once a year?

Ramadaan is like the pure sweet honey that oozes from a honeycomb after wild bees have gathered there. But do we deserve it, are we worthy of such sweet mercy that Allah will soon bestow upon us?

It was the dua of one of the pious scholars of Islam, he used to continuously make this dua to Allah (SWT), "Oh Allah don't deprive us of your favours because of the wrongs that we do. Oh Allah don't grudge us because of our evil, our vice and our transgressions. Oh Allah don't hold our wrongs against us."

Allah (SWT) says in the Quraan, "If I have to start punishing man proportionate to his wrongs, there would not remain a living creature on this earth." Despite our wrongs from last Ramadaan to this coming Ramadaan, we can safely say we are not in a position that we deserve another Ramdaan. Yet it is the sheer mercy of Allah (SWT) that He will once again afford and favour us with this great month of Ramadaan.

It is a pity that even with this gift of Ramadaan that we may once again have the pleasure of seeing, we are nonchalant to the beauty of this month which is unrivaled by any other. We must remember and be conscious of the wisdom and essence of Taqwa. Allah (SWT) says it inculcates within you the fear of Allah, to discipline yourself.

If in the month of Ramadaan Allah (SWT) has made lawful things unlawful in the form of food, drink and cohabitation with ones spouse. If the halaal things have become haram, then what words can describe the level of prohibition of those things that are always forbidden?

The Ulema say taubah is accepted for five reasons:

• Acknowledging ones wrong

• Regretted ones wrong

• Blamed oneself and no one else

• Hastening towards repentance

• Not becoming despondent of the Mercy of Allah

This month of Ramadaan is a month of forgiveness. In the heart of every Muslim, there is a subtle desire that I need to reform my life. Every Muslim in his heart and mind has this desire, "I cant live like this and I can't die like this. I need to change my life, I need to strengthen my bond with Allah (SWT)."

This Ramadaan may be the chance to capitalize on making amends with our Creator and make this ambition a reality before it is too late. We need to "abandon our life of personal desire to adopt a life of Allah's desire".

Every Ramadaan we make an intention, "for Ramadaan I will change my life, I will not look at wrong, I will perform salaah". Proportionate to our intentions, Allah (SWT) aids us. We find that man, who before Ramadaan could not start his day with Fajr salaah, however during the month of Ramadaan he is starting his day with Tahajjud salaah. That man who couldn't listen to Quraan' in Ramadaan is completing Quraan.

This is the strength that Allah (SWT) has given man, when he makes that commitment; this is how Allah enables him. Let us not be foolish to restrict our good intentions for Ramadaan. Till today we have been intending Ramadaan and accordingly Allah (SWT) has been helping us.

Let us make dua to Almighty Allah that he give us the taufiq to welcome Ramadaan, honour Ramadaan and cherish it and fast with the correct zeal and desire and make it the turning point of our lives. In moments of hunger and thirst, let us revive the likes of Sahabah as this was their daily condition. Allah (SWT) has made it so easy for us. Let us value it, welcome it, let us enjoy it and let us anticipate it.

May Allah (SWT) make us amongst those fortunate souls whose emancipation and deliverance from the fire of Jahannam is confirmed and entrance into the gardens of Jannat eternally. Ameen.