People approach Ramadan in different ways. Its perception differs from people to people.
Some people view Ramadan as a period of expressing their undying love for the Beloved. For them, Ramadan is a valuable, precious, and rare occasion. They spend all their time doing good, convinced that the reward of each act is multiplied manifold. Patience, sympathy, and generosity beautify the demeanor. They guard their tongues and remain preoccupied in recitation of Quran and Duaa, seeking forgiveness, begging for Jannah, and seeking protection from Jahannam.
There are others who regard Ramadan as a painstaking task. It is a painful practice and a torturous month for these so called moderates. They reluctantly keep Sawm and offer Salat. Their concept of Siyam is limited to physical abstention of food, drink, and marital relationship with wife. They spend their time in chitchat, watching TV, and wasting their nights in markets and restaurants. They are not ever inclined towards Khairat, nor are they careful of their Ibadah. Their goal in Ramadan is to prepare for Eid.
The following Hadith suitably describes their spiritless actions:
"Many are the ones who keep Sawm attaining nothing by such except hunger, and many perform Salat by night attaining nothing by it except the discomfort of staying awake."
(Ibn Majah)Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) further stated that: " Allah does not require the discarding food and drink of the person who fasts but does not refrain from bad speech and action ." (Sahih Bukhari)
There is yet a third group who is hardly ever moved by Ramadan. They never believe in Ibadah and remain busy in their worldly activities. They are less concerned with religion, and nor have the will or the time to change their daily routines, as per injunctions of the Shariah.
The following Hadith should serve as a harsh warning to them:
"Jibrael appeared before me and said: "Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it passes by without gaining forgiveness". Upon that I said: Aameen". (Sahih Bukhari)
He also said: "Whoever does not fast for even one day in Ramadan..., without a valid excuse, shall never be able to repay that day even if he fasts for the rest of his life" (Ahmad)
Ramadan is a School which after completion of one month course gives result to each believer, to evaluate his position. Ramadan is a sacred training School where a believer learns how to recharge ones spiritual batteries-to gain ones provision for the Akhirah.
If one can not attain advantage from this month then when will he do so? This is the month for renewing our Aqidah, strengthening our willpower, and seeking Taubah, a unique opportunity to fortify the bond of love with our Creator, through Ibadah Zahirah & Aamal Batinah. Salat and Zakat are inter-connected and linked to the category of Ibadah Zahirah. Instructions have been given that Faraid should be done openly, so other people should incline towards it. Khairat is under the head of Aamal Batinah which has direct link to Allah alone.
It is a noted fact that after each Ramadan, on Eid holidays many people indulge in immoral, shameless and indecent activities of enjoyment, which Shariah condemns. People revert to entertainment of music, forbidden films, and women displaying their beautification etc.
They spend lavishly on gambling, drinking, and profligacy, and consider it as a part of joy of the festival. Involvement of the Muslims in such nefarious activities is the major cause of humiliation and fall of Muslim Power worldwide. When non Muslims observe the ugly life style of Muslims they enjoy, and support them. Ramadan ends with Eid al Fitar but the deeds and actions displayed during Ramadan should serve as facilitator which should be followed throughout the year. Eid is a bliss occasion of Islam which has no concern with the festival of other faiths.
Brothers and sisters in Islam! Fear Allah Taala and beware of wasting your life away in futile activities. Make use of your time by being positive and constructive, for it is by doing so you can achieve the pleasure of Allah Taala.
This may well be your last Ramadan..., your last opportunity to benefit from the special blessings and forgiveness that accompanies this month .
Know that Ramadan... is a manifestation of Allah Taalas bountiful blessings on His slaves. Use it as a turning point in your life; a time for transformation towards a better way of life; a change from the ignominy of sins to the glory of obedience; from weakness and laziness to strength and vigour; from bad customs and detestable habits to righteousness and upright conduct.
Perhaps it may be our last Ramadan, our last opportunity to benefit from the special blessings and forgiveness that accompanies this month, for who knows we may be there or not to receive the blessings next year.