Ramadan a month of purpose and introspection for Muslims

In these volatile times of extremism, the microscope seems firmly fixed on every Muslim; it’s become increasingly difficult for many to differentiate between good and bad. We are all painted with the same brush.

Most Muslim (the peace-loving ones at least); Ramadaan is a time when we take an introspective look at ourselves. We imbibe the universal spirit of what’s good and right daily, however the month of Ramadaan brings something deeper.

It’s a time to honour love, the spirit of giving, cementing unity and forgiveness. Which should be practiced every day however we are fallible and there is wisdom why this month is so important.

Compassion. Generosity. Discipline. Honesty. Selflessness. Tolerance.

These principles lie at the heart of Islam. The more fortunate Muslims’ get to feel what those less privileged people feel daily, those who go hungry 24/7/365. We get to feel the pang of hunger from sunrise to sunset. After sunset we are still lucky enough to dine with hot meals; whilst many don’t even get that.

This in itself makes us more conscientious of the struggles. We are bound to give, share and take care of others – from our family members, to our friends or simply those who do not have anything irrespective of their race or religion.

Faith doesn’t just mean believing in God. Faith is multifaceted.

As a Muslim; our actions cement the 5 pillars of our faith.

Imaan, Believing in and Serving God;

Salaah, Your time with the one who created you, he simply asks for 5 connections on a daily basis

Sawm, fasting during Ramadaan;

Hajj, if one is able to afford this, to visit the Holy Land; the Almighty only asks this once of you, and if it is within your means.

Zakat – charity, giving with your heart and not for the sake of it.

These 5 pillars is a Muslim’s compass

During Ramadaan this essence is about sacrifice and self-discipline; giving generously of yourself not just money, but your time. Feeding the poor, helping another. We cut down all social activities which will distract you from the importance of this month. In a world filled with greed and vanity, it is a time to bring us to the basics in life and to appreciate all we have been blessed with which is real.

For me, Ramadaan is a time for increased patience (Sabr), because it’s something I find I struggle with. It’s a time to reflect and be grateful to my Creator for everything that he has given me. Ramadan is a great time to connect and strengthen bonds.

More than anything else this month is a reminder that we are not defined by our possessions, but by our purpose.

About Saffiya Ismail

Born in Pietermaritzburg, she now resides in Johannesburg and says her most important role in life is being a mother. Saffiya is a freelance writer. A contributing author in “Riding the Samoosa Express” (Anthology launched 21st March 2015). With a second chapter submitted for the next book, Saffiya says her passion is writing.

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