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সংবাদ শিরোনাম :

Ramadan: A month of Sawm and Taqwah

        Md. Mainul Islam

Every year at the end of the Sha`ban, the half-crescent appears in the western sky to announce the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. This is the month that opened the doors of paradise and closed the doors of the fire. The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word “Ramida” or “Ar-Ramad” which means “become burning, become scorching. As in Ramadan all previous sins of believers are burned through spiritual acts, and is an opportunity to recharge newly ourselves, it is considered Ramadan. Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that the prophet Muhammad (pbum) said this: “Whoever stands in prayer in the month of Ramadan, truthfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s reward, all of his past sins are forgiven. (Bukhari; 37, Muslim; 759)

 

Ramadan is the holy month in which observing sawm is obligatory. The Arabic word “Sawm ” stands for abstaining or refraining from something. Terminologically, to refrain from food, drink, sexual intercourse, and all that which breaks the fast from dawn to sunset, intending to do so in obedience to Allah. In the month of Ramadan, Sawm has been made compulsory. Allah, the Most High, mentioned in the holy Quran this; “O you who believe! Sawm has been made compulsory (Farj) upon you as it was done upon those who preceded you so that you can attain Taqwa. (Surah Al- Bakara;183)

 

The question is why Almighty Allah has made Sawm compulsory ? It has been said in the above verse that the reason for making Swam compulsory is attaining Taqwah. Allah mentioned the word taqwa many times in the holy Quran and attached no end of importance to it. Taqwa is to have fear of Allah, to abstain from, and to protect oneself. In the terminology, to be conscious of the punishment of Allah every single moment and for this fear to lead life by saving oneself from all kinds of sinful deeds in pursuance of the directions of Allah and His Rasul (pbuh) is called taqwa.

 

The people who have taqwa are called Muttaqin. There are blessed and pious people. A Muttaqi person feels every minute and hour the presence of Allah and reminds himself repeatedly that Allah Himself will take account of all deeds and then he will punish for sinful deeds. Fear of Allah (Taqwah) refers to being afraid of standing before Him for giving an account of all worldly deeds on the Day of Judgement. The person who gains this quality, s/he refrains from all sorts of misdeeds, injustice, obscene words, evil ideas, and thoughts. Al-Qur’an states “The person who is afraid of standing before Allah and keeps himself/herself away from evil inclinations, Jannat will be his/her abode.” (Surah An-Naziat: 40-41).

 

Achieving Taqwah, Allha gifted us with swam in the holy month of Ramadan. So, Ramadan, Swam, and Taqwah are very closely inter-connceted. This month presents a golden opportunity for attaining Taqwah and Swam is a helping ingredient in many ways.

 

Sawm and taqwa are the same in terms of meaning. The meaning of both is ‘to abstain from.’ During observing sawm in Ramadan, a fasting person abstains from eating, drinking, and sexual pleasure. This habit encourages him/her attaining taqwa. Especially when anyone observes sawm, s/he does not take any food, or drink in a secret place though s/he has the chance of taking those inside any locked room. Nobody except Allah knows about his/her secret act of eating or drinking. So, Sawm is the best training for taqwa. A man of taqwa practices this in every activity. S/he does not do sinful acts in secret places only for the fear of Allah.

At the time of observing Sawm during Ramadan month, a believer tries his/her best to protect all of his/her organs of the body for better performance of sawm. S/he keeps his/her tongue, eyes, ears, hands, legs, etc. from all sorts of sinful use. Because s/he knows that not controlling these organs will harm his/her sawm. Hazrat Abu Huraira (Ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Whoever does not give up false talk and action according to it, there is no need of Allah that he should give up food and drink.”(Bukhari). So, this habit of keeping away from sinful acts helps attain taqwa.

Sawm is like a shield’s believers and is a firm weapon that guards the believers against evil deeds. As a result, it becomes easier for them to attain taqwa by saving themselves from sinful acts and by doing more ibadat. Hazrat Abu Huraira (Ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Sawm is a shield. So when the fasting of someone of you comes up, he shall not utter foul words, nor shall he cry hoarse. If anybody rebukes him or fights with him, let him say I am a man observing fast.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Ramadan is the proper time for attaining taqwa. In the holy month of Ramadan, devils are put in chains. So men can perform righteous activities without hindrance and they can attain taqwa easily. Hazrat Abu Huraira (Ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “When there appears the first night of Ramadan, the devils, and evil jinn are put in chains and the doors of the hell are shut up as no door therefrom can be opened, and the doors of paradise are opened up, so as no door therefrom can be shut up, and a proclaimer proclaims: ‘O seeker of good come forward, o seekers of evils, cut short.’ And for the sake of Allah, they are free from fire, and that for every night.” (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad).

Ramadan is a month that is considered the spring season of Ibadat and is also the month of revelation of al-Qur`an. In the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan, there is a powerful night that is better than a thousand months called Lailatul Qadr in which the holy Quran is revealed. It is the month of reciting the Al-Quran and gaining many rewards. Etikaf is also a very rewarding activity that is done during the month of Ramadan. Sadaqatul Fitr, Zakat, and other optional donations are paid more by the believers in this holy month.

 

The holy month of Ramadan comes for a short time like the seasonal rain and passes by. But the question is how much do we utilize to clean our hearts with spiritual water? Offering Tarawih Salat, Tahajjud Salat, Sahri, Iftar, etc. brings much sawab (reward) which cleans believers’ hearts. After all, a holy environment prevails all over the world in this month which helps attain taqwa.

 

Writer: Md. Mainul Islam

Teacher, Islamic Studies, Daffodil International School, Dhanmondi. Dhaka.

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