Ramadan misunderstood [Archives:2005/887/Reportage]

October 20 2005


While life continues to go on, people convincingly try to fit themselves with the hardness and difficulties of everyday life. Sometimes in this situations, they forget about themselves, and ignore priorities, which in reality will benefit them in this life as well as the next. People ask for special occasion to come for a chance to change one self to the better, but humans are forgettable. When they have a chance, they do not realize it. Therefore, never utilize these blessed times throughout the year.

These days, people are passing through the special month of “Ramadan”. It is a precious month for Muslims, but are people aware of its real meaning? Unfortunately NO. People prepare for it in advance by buying as much food as they could. They shop so fiercely in store as if they are going through poverty and may die of hunger. They are looking for ward it to eat all the different kind of food.

What is more worrying is their behavior during the length of the day. If you happen to be passing by in streets, especially in 'Souks' (shops), you would notice things that would make you wonder and ask yourself “what's up with these people”. Is this what Ramadan is all about? What happened to the practices of the prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) which advises us in situations of argument to say I am fasting and walk away. These days if you say that to someone he would think of it as a threat towards him. This implies that people can't control their nerves any more, and may lose their control at any moment especially before 'Iftaar'. When driving around streets, people act as if they want to eat each other from hunger. It becomes dangerous to go out in that time. Drivers are driving crazily, and people are walking carelessly as if the world will end at any moment.

All that for what? For six or seven hours of fasting! People sleep most of the day. They are afraid to feel hunger so they escape from it by staying up late 'chewing Qat', and sleep to noon. As if life stops in our country during Ramadan. It seems more like a graveyard. Employees don't go to work, students are forced to go to school, and stores open only the later part of the day.

Is that what Allah wants from us? Is this how we are supposed to act in this great month? Definitely 'No'. Ramadan is a month in which we build our relationship with Allah. We have to learn how to be tolerate, and in the same way feel how poor people live, and what suffering they pass through. If we only sleep and eat in this valuable month as much as other months, how could we feel the difficulties that poor people around the world go through. We have to know that Allah will never change our situation until we change from within ourselves. We have to go back toward Allah with love and repentance. It is time that we ask Allah to forgive and help us.

This is the month of change, and for those who seek a change to the better, no other time would be more appropriate. In this blessed month, prayers and repentance are accepted more than any other. We just hope that people utilize these days in the best interest of themselves, furthermore looking for the gifts of both lives before its too late.