Ramadan in the Present and the Past - II

Ramadan in the Present and the Past - II
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With the arrival of Ramadan, the righteous people strive hard and make every effort to sincerely worship Allah The Almighty even as they fear that their fasting and Qiyaam may not be accepted. One sees them submissive and pale during Ramadan, as if they are ailing while they are not. When Ramadan ends, they feel sad as if they have lost a dear and beloved one who can enable them to reach the ranks of the righteous. One sees them fearful asking Allah The Almighty to accept their prayers, fasting, charity and I‘tikaaf. Days and nights pass while their hearts are eager to witness the next Ramadan for they have tasted the sweetness of worship and private communication with their Lord and the beauty of drawing near to Him. Therefore, they observe voluntary fasts to await the absent beloved one and to have a permanent connection to this great form of worship. Years pass while they long for the future that brings such a beloved one to them and and devote themselves to worship during its nights. They struggle against their desires, staying up late and sleeping little,, standing in prayer to recite the Verses of Allah The Almighty and speaking privately with their Lord in the deep night. They experience the greatness of Allah The Almighty and become certain that He is very near, for our Lord descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of the night to forgive sins and accept the repentance of sinners. When the blessed month ends, they engage in reciting Thikr (words of remembrance) and supplications constantly so that Allah The Exalted may accept their deeds. Indeed, He is The Most Generous and Bountiful.

This is how the righteous predecessors in the past used to receive Ramadan and this was their condition during it. As for the miserable condition of the people nowadays, it fills the heart with sadness and pain. You may see some of them feeling distressed and extremely anxious when Ramadan arrives, as if an unwelcome guest has visited them. They feel anxious and sad because, according to them, Ramadan restrains their desires and prevents them from different pleasures and the enjoyment of food, drink and sex. You see them counting the days and nights and feeling relieved when its days and nights come to an end. They indulge in all sorts of pleasures and desires -- permissible and prohibited matters since the advent of Ramadan deprives them of all such matters. They find observing the etiquettes and obligations of this blessed month a heavy burden that stops them from what they used to do in the past.
They may even welcome the lowly and insignificant happenings of the worldly life with greater enthusiasm and happiness. Thus, they spend all their precious wealth and time – in fact every valuable thing they have -- to welcome events, for example, a football match, which becomes even more precious to them than Ramadan and dearer to their hearts.
If we look at our present time, we will see the markets crowded with people a few days before Ramadan, carrying enough food that can suffice them for many months not just for one month. It appears as if the markets will shut down in Ramadan and will not reopen for the entire duration of the month. Nowadays, the month of fasting has virtually become a month of inventing new recipes and indulging in new kinds of food until it has become known as the month of overeating, obesity and stomach disorders. This blessed month has changed from a month of Qiyaam, Tahajjud, crying out of fear of Allah The Almighty and humility before Him to a month of sleeping in the day and spending most of the time before TVs and computers or wasting time in parties and in bad company. This month has changed from being a month of sympathizing with the hungry, poor, needy and consoling them to a month of indulgence in desires – except those upon whom Allah The Almighty has mercy. When will the people wake up and take heed?
Therefore, we realize that the gap between the pious predecessors and us is very wide, which is a bitter reality that acknowledge today. Hence, it is necessary to recall the lessons and examples of the school of fasting in which the past generations have been raised. We hope that the present generations will return to this school of thought so that we may see men like the past generation arise again in our Ummah, may Allah be pleased with them all. 
Reminding ourselves of the state of our righteous predecessors rouses one's determination and motivates us to follow their great example. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
  • {Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so from their guidance take an example.} [Quran 6: 90]
  • {Who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.} [Quran 39: 18]
We ask Allah The Almighty earnestly to enable us to adopt the way of our Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his honorable Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

Ramadan in the Present and the Past - I

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