Am I a Seasonal Muslim?

Sep 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Religion, World

I am all alone at home, no one is watching me. The fridge is full of yummy food and my favourite chocolates and desserts. But I wouldn’t eat. The world would still think I am fasting if I quietly take a sip of water or a chunk of chocolate. But I wouldn’t. Why?

When a drop of water gets into my throat during ablution, I persistently try to cough it out as I don’t want to ruin my day long fast due to that one drop which I haven’t deliberately take in. Why?

A month long tough exercise of abstaining from Halal (permissible) things and be extra watchful of forbidden stuff, staying hungry for on the average 16-18 hours, bearing thirst during the hottest days of the year; is it just an annual ‘Mega Event’? Is hunger and thirst prescribed and acted upon for no reason? Avoiding lies and abusive language, opting out of a useless quarrel, being polite and well mannered, tolerant and caring for humanity; is it for one month only?

It doesn’t make any sense, does it?

It is an extremely private form of worship, only between me and my Creator and that is why Allah promised that all good deeds are rewarded up to 70 times but for fasting He Himself is the reward. Such a special form of worship can’t be accidental part of the syllabus. A time when good deeds are multiplied with matchless profit rates, charity is encouraged, and the less fortunate are thoroughly reminded of to us, through hunger pangs, dizzy spells and promised rewards. What is all that for?

It is an exercise just like the ones designed for making of a tough soldier against the enemy (in this case: sins).  It includes protecting eyes, ears and tongues from the wrong, and stopping hands from engaging in the forbidden and withdrawing feet from the wrong path.  The goal of this exercise is to make a stronger person from the existing ‘me’, to have excellent self-control in the materialistic world, a strong posture, a beautiful tongue and a soft heart. It is to attain a higher level of piety and God consciousness (as described in the Qur’an as ‘La’allakum Tattaqoon’) and it would surely not make any sense if it goes futile and doesn’t bear any fruits in myself, in particular, and the society, in general.

It is the best time when there was no external push from Satan and I can evaluate my inner weaknesses and correct them. The  soft heart, crying eyes, repenting forehead cannot be a pointless workout.

Yes! It is an important drill. The reason why I will not eat despite no one watching and why I would cough the one tiny drop out is nothing but God-Consciousness (I am on CCTV).

Then, how come when Ramadan ends, God Consciousness just evaporates like it was never there. How come telling lies, dishonesty, abuse, deceit, and small & big corruption at all levels becomes so acceptable. The ban is lifted on Satan, not on me. God will always be there, won’t He? So how does the CCTV affect die out so soon?

Obeying Allah when asked to leave Halal things is so easy and abstaining from the forbidden becomes a burden?  How the ‘home alone pious’ state is replaced by ‘boasting about my sins’ attitude?

Ramadan is ‘a month of blessings’; Oh yes! I know that but why do I pack those blessings away and ruin my one month long vigorous exercise with my own hands? What would happen to those rewards I am collecting?

I starve the body, feed the soul, cry for repentance, seek refuge from hell-fire and start disobeying the Lord again? I open the Quran, try to understand and pack it away for next year as if it was part of the Ramadan Plan and had no role in my day to day life? Do I even know the message inside? Am I a seasonal Muslim? I don’t want to be among those for whom the Quran says ‘Habi-tut Aamaluhum’ (their (good) deeds went wasted), do I?

Enjoining the good and avoiding the evil needs strength, togetherness and eyes fixed on the goal. And the goal, for good, is seeking peace in the obedience of the Creator, just like it was in Ramadan.

No, I am not a seasonal Muslim. I won’t let it go waste. I’ll save it, utilize it, trend and multiply it with togetherness, till the next refill becomes available.

Aisha Aijaz

About the author

Aisha Aijaz is a medical doctor, MA History, a photographer and a dreamer who longs for a kind and tolerant world. She loves Urdu poetry.

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  1. Thought provoking article! I must add that , If we spend our life like Ramazan Spirit, the end of it ( death) would be like Eid! (jubilant to meet Allah)

  2. Asalam o alikum the article looks quite near to reality its the story of almost all of us but thnku so much this article did shake me a bit nd i bet did the same to others too i hope i just pray may ALLAH gve us the strength to b grt as we r in ramazan

  3. May Allah help me and all the Muslims to become full time Muslims and submit our will to him, and stop us from exchanging anything for his verses.Ameen. A thought provoking blog from sister Ayesha, May Allah bless you

  4. I had the exact same thoughts going through my head when I read this piece. I looked around and saw the world go back to it’s worldly desires. Please let me put down what happens in Dubai.

    Before Ramadan starts, all the mujra & bar dancers are given a week off, and then they leave Dubai. All drinks are banned. But come “chaand raat”, and you don’t even have to wait for Eid prayers. It’s party all around. Don’t make any false assumptions about me. I was raised here, amongst a variety of people, & I thank my Allah for giving me the best of both educations.

    If I look at my Pakistan, prices of ordinary items sky rocket, like there is no tomorrow, like there is absolutely no accountability of sorts. And then these same traders go back home for Iftar, not having the slightest clue that the Almighty Allah is the most better of all judges, and He will definitely be holding each person accountable for his deeds. We keep forgetting…!

    People are not afraid of Allah anymore, and this is the harshest reality. Pathans fight more, be they in Dubai or Peshawar(I am from here), because they don’t get their naswaar, Shias were murdered like cows in Quetta, women paraded naked in Kashmir. Seasonal Muslims, yes, but afraid of Allah…not anymore.

    May Allah guide us.

  5. MashaAllah …. much appreciated

  6. Mashallah.. an amazing article! Sadly we all become a victim of this and forget the real.purpose of Ramada.. just want to share something i heard on tv which i really found beautiful: spend your life as if it’s ramadan, and then death will be like eid 🙂

  7. excellent piece! ramadan serves two purpose. one is very clear as its a month for self discipline. second, it also provides a bench mark for ‘as is status’ vs ‘where one has to be’. lesser this gap, better we are.

    quite rightly pointed out, once ramadan starts we pick ourselves up try to get to a level of spirituality & self discipline, once ramadan ends, let this not slip away.

  8. oh Aisha… once again u came with thought provoking words of wisdom..! its simply marvellous… we all are really seasonal Muslims…! well-done…!

  9. Baraka Allahu fika wa fi fika , nice article , facts to be realized and come back to straight path rather than the stream we are flowing in.

  10. There is a very good lecture by Nouman Ali Khan which I think is a must watch before every Ramadan. Here is the link.

  11. ماشاءاللہ بہنا ، بہت ہی اچھا
    جزاک اللہ خیرا

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