Writer: Sherica Mohammed Cumberbatch
Assalaamu alaikum, In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar has begun. Its start was affirmed by the sighting of the newly born crescent of the moon. And throughout its 29 or 30 days, Muslims will strive to abstain from food and drink and intercourse during the interval between dawn and dusk. Allah swt states in Sura 2 Verse 183 of the Holy Qur'an: "O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you - that you may learn taqwa." Taqwa is loosely translated as piety, forbearance, and most compellingly, as God-consciousness. Taqwa is the state of consciousness that we strive for - to be ever mindful of Allah swt at all times, and to strive to please Him. This is the month in which the Prophet Muhammad (saws) received his first revelation - an ayah from the Holy Qur'an. Revelation to the Prophet (saws) continued periodically over the next 23 years. The Holy Qur'an is that guide which Allah (swt) sent down full of blessings so that we may meditate on its signs and that men of understanding may receive admonition (Sura 38 Ayah 29). This guide is replete with verses which tell us what pleases Allah (swt). A sampling of those verses is: "Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not faith." - Sura 2 Ayah 152 "And Allah loves the patient." - Sura 3 Ayah 146 "For Allah loves those who are fair (and just)." - Sura 49 Ayah 9 " Certainly Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." - Sura3 Ayah 159 "Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home." - Sura 13 Ayah 22 "Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance." - Sura 2 Ayah 222 So InshaaAllah, this Ramadan, let us each strive and encourage others to strive to remember Him, give Him thanks, be patient, be fair and just, trust in Him, persevere, seek Him, establish regular prayers, spend on others out of what He has bestowed on us, repel evil with good, and turn unto Him in repentance so that we may learn Taqwa and earn the good pleasure of Allah (swt). - Ameen.
"Allah hath promised to Believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity." - Sura 9 Ayah 72