Ramadan KareemUpper hand and pricked conscience [Archives:2005/884/Culture]
By Mohammed al-Hakimi
For the Yemen Times
Worshippers of Ramadan
Mosques are not wide and abundant enough to embrace all those worshippers. Now, mosques are very crowded, although we have quite profuse number in every Yemeni area.
Throughout the rest of the year, those “Ramadan worshippers” rarely visit or go to mosques for prayers. They mostly perform their prayers at home. However, they might do the Juma (Friday congregation prayer) at the mosque.
Though only few believers go to do it at the mosque in the rest of the moths, al-Fajr prayer is done by lots of worshippers during Ramadan. When you see them scrambling at mosque gates, you believe that all of them hold the faith that the future of this Ommah is their responsibility. Others may think that the Last Day is approaching.
Yet, as soon as Ramadan leaves us, “Haleema clings to her old habits afresh,” as the Arab proverbs says. In fact, those who have not been influenced by the great sense of fasting are destined to such eventuality.
Forgoing eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse is “fasting”. The goal of fasting is never testing your capacity to put up with the above four most compulsory fast conditions. Fearing Allah now and then is the destination, however.
The Indian who wondered that some practices do not apply to genuine believers of Islam was true. Anyhow, if the prayers do not create real improvement in the mind, soul and spirit of the believer, his prayers would be in vain. This is also true with fasting.
Though some fasting people seem to be angels in Ramadan, I believe that wicked persons and evil souls are not always tied up at the bottom of the sea, as some assert.
Tale 1: I still remember that lady (may Allah forgive her) whose husband was in SAudi Arabia and had five children. Once on a Ramadan day, she set her house to fire as well as herself and the neighbor's son.
Tale 2: I was preoccupied with breaking (having Iftar) and seizing the opportunity to do praising and prayers to Allah, my newly bought pair of shoes didapper as soon as I closed my eyes. I delved deep into the relief of prayers.
Many have had similar experiences. Neither Ramadan nor “Muharram” (another Muslim month) can predominates over those wicked characters. The reason is quite clear: it is because they themselves do not change what is in their hearts.
Recently, Yemen has witnessed a terrible surge of a wide scale begging phenomenon. Not only from the marginalized segment of the society (Akhdams) but also from the common laity.
In Ramadan, the rate of begging get increased. Almost all main streets in Yemen are full of beggars. Sometimes, all members of the family are lying on street pavements with blanket over them, milk bottles, etc.
I have come across a family/families who don't have bread. I swear that I found a lady moaning of hunger. In fact, she had fainted down to the ground before I came. She whimpered, “I go to sleep and get up hungry.” She had seven children all of whom were ill and very thin.
Lots of tragedies exist almost in every neighborhood in here, and this is also well known to people in positions of responsibility.
Hundreds of little girls and boys below the age of ten carrying their toddling brothers and sisters going from one village to another to catch the people who give charity and zakat.
A: We have already given those children a charity in the village we passed by an hour ago.
B: Oh, yes. This is almost right.
A: But why do tyou think should they do this, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar?
B: It's but the need Mr. Khazragi. See how poverty and destitution humiliate people of the community!
A: How sad and painful! It is actually something pricking the conscience.
Little charitable Abdul-Jabbar:
I was deeply impressed by the way a little boy from the Hayel Sa'eed An'am family (a family known for its industrial group of companies in Yemen and worldwide) is directed to do the good to other poor children and taught to give charity lavishly to poor families in the remote areas of Taiz province.
Charity to most people of Taiz:
Hayel Sa'eed An'am group of companies does the good to all people in Yemen. A month before Ramadan, those people was giving charity and zakat to almost all people of Taiz province which is the third most populous and among the most important areas in Yemen.
They themselves struggle hard to visit most villages and give charity to the poor and needy families. All our countrymen bear witness to Hayel Sa'eed An'am group of companies in doing the good around the year.
More charitable societies:
A number of charitable societies appear more serious in Ramadan. Their role lies in offering Iftar meals to fasting people, distributing versions of the Holy Quraan to mosques and doing funding medical treatment for the poor people. They give charity and clothes to the orphaned and poor and give meat to the needy families especially on the last day of Ramadan, right before Eid al-Fitr (the happy religious festival).
Eid meal from charity:
In some villages, rich people give honey and natural ghee bottles to the poor the last day of Ramadan, the month of charity and bounty.
Boosting belief and achievement:
It seems that we ourselves do not want to be typical. Why should not we be straightforward? And why shouldn't we be the ever best Ommah?
We have proven to neglect each other and one another. In fact, we believe how shamefully big is the rate of destitution, unemployment and illiteracy. However, we don't really aspire to any improvement. We have been in the habit of boasting about exploits of the past and lying to each other and to the world as a whole.
We must adhere to our belief and be men of higher most remarkable goals in life. We should make use of our potentials and start at the soonest. Otherwise, none will provide us with change!