Ramadan marks the ninth month on the Islamic calendar. This holy month is associated with a lot of spiritual, moral, social and physically uplifting. As soon as you hear, read, or say the word “Ramadan”, what comes in your mind instantly? Definitely, the notion of immense peace and pleasure occupies you! This month radiates irreplaceable positivity, light, and happiness. That’s why I like to call it the shams of holy months. Shams is an Arabic word for ‘sun’. And the sun is the brightest star. The warmest one too and the sun illuminates our lives. Hence, it’s justified to associate this holy month with it.
All the holy months in the Islamic calendar owe great respect to us. And every Muslim truly does respect every month. But Ramadan is different. Among the Muslim community, this month is seen as the king of months Even the holy book Quran and the precious sayings of our last prophet PBUH state a valuable degree of importance of this month. The thirty days of your life each year will not go wasted if you seak through the real essence of it. It’s the only month in which we’re more focused on our religious practices than any other month. The health benefits of Ramadan are like no other prayer. It does good to both our physical and mental health. The rewarding day of Eid ul Fitr, dated 1st of Shawwal brings a joyful outcome of the piety one maintained all thirty days. Ramadan is a refresh button for our soul.
What are some other distinguishing characteristics of this month which make it shine brighter?
1. THE BOOK OF LIGHT AND THE MONTH OF NOOR
Noor means light. The book of light, quran, was sent on the last messenger PBUH in the month of ramadan. Although the Quran was sent upon him in verse by verse, the last verses were sent in this month. This is the most important characteristic of the blessed month. If the light was sent in its complete form, how could the month itself not be light? SubhanAllah. The reward of reading the Quran in this month is also greater than reading it on other days.
2. TALK TO THE GOD IN THE ILLUMINATED NIGHTS OF DECREE:
Although the merciful lord gives us the opportunity to talk to him in every dua,but he has announced a special package for ramadan! Yes, the last ten nights are very important, out of which one night amongst the five odd nights is layla-tul-qadr. The reward of praying on this night is equivalent to 70,000 nights and he accepts every supplication you make. Isn’t this an amazing offer and I think we all must subscribe to it!
3. THE HELL;LOCKED,THE PARADISE;UNLOCKED,THE SHAITAN;BLOCKED:
Yes, you read it right! The almighty god unlocks the gates of heaven. They are open all through the month. Any person who dies in these prestigious days enters heaven. The gates of hell are locked and shaitan, the man’s enemy, is chained. It makes it easier for the believer to fight his nafs in his absence.
4. THE REWARDING TREATS;SEHR O IFTAAR:
Eating food becomes rewarding too. Yes indeed, how merciful the Lord is. When you fast for him, he rewards when you eat for yourself at sehr o iftar- its sunnah! The elaborate dastarkhwan decorated with mouth watering delights is one of the happiest parts of the month. Aloo ke pakore, qeemay kay samosy, ammi kay hathoun ki kachori, dada jan ka hissa fruit chaat, aur sharbat. Many more favourites are laid on and everyone truly enjoys them. Lachedar paratha, aloo keema, lassi, garam garam chai, khajoor rejuvenate the sehri table.Don’t lick your lips, we finally have the good news- the beautiful month is fast approaching us! // Ramadan- the shams of holy months
5. FAMILIES AND FRIENDS REUNITED:
The tranquil iftar and suhoor times become more relaxing and enjoyable when the whole family is around. Sharing the dastarkhwan with your beloved ones, makes each moment priceless. From red sharbat or green sharbat conflict to the battle lines drawn when eyeing the last pakora. The tinnie minnie fights over whose glass was more full, and the endless complaints about unsatisfactory iftar menu. these are a few things we all encounter. These little brawls surely add to the entertainment at these times. Also, the iftar parties are so much fun, to arrange and to visit alike! These little things revitalize the pleasures of ramadan.
6. THE AMPLITUDE OF COMMUNITY WORK, KINDLINESS AND INTIMACY:
As the shams of holy month rises from the chaotic human life, we observe the people becoming keen towards community help and services. Rations are provided, zakat is given out, charities are amplified, feeding the poor, sharing iftar delights, helping the needy for eid preps, all become common rituals. The light of this month truly brightens up the hearts of people. The air carries a peaceful, Joyous intimacy. Love might not be in the air throughout february but the right kind of humane love is truly in the air when this bright month is passing by.
7. THE TARAWEEH PRAYER AND THE CALMNESS IN THE AIR:
I always feel that the taraweeh hours have a unique restfulness in them. They are those hours in which we offer the nawafil prayer of taraweeh, the recitation of holy quran is so heart rending. The precious moments freshen us up after the long day’s errands.
- ALLEVIATION OF THE SOUL,BACKSCATTERING OF LIFE:
8. ALLEVIATION OF THE SOUL,BACKSCATTERING OF LIFE:
“When the lord is happy, he gifts the month of ramadan to his believers”- i read it somewhere, and it hit home! When the lord gifts us something it surely will be beautiful. This exquisite month, radiating its positivity acts as a soul therapy. We surrender to god, we practice good deeds, we are more focused on the duties god assigned us. Hence, our soul revives and thrives in all these vibes! We get the chance to sneak into our souls. In addition, we get to learn about our sins. We openly ask for forgiveness and reconnect to god. We ponder upon the reflections of life and learn the purpose of being sent to earth. // Ramadan- the shams of holy months
9. EID PLANS AND EXCITEMENT:
The finest joy of the pleasure-giving month is planning for eid. Buying churriyan, getting mehndi done, planning eid day menu, designing the dress, rushing to the tailor, getting the haircut and salon trips! Surely eid preparations are exhilarating. The month of Ramadan is such a box of warmth and light.
This month stands out among all others because of all these reasons. Just if we start practicing the exact things the almighty told us to, we will definitely attain peace of heart, mind and soul.
May the approaching shams illuminate your life.
Allahumma balighna ramadan- o allah bring us to ramadan.
By Ayesha Anwar
// Ramadan- the shams of holy months