AS WE enter the second week of the holy month of Ramadhan, advertisements by eating outlets offering sungkai buffets can be seen everywhere. But if we just concentrate on the eating part, then we'll miss the entire spirit and essence of Ramadhan.
Fasting is one of the rituals of Ramadhan. Many people talk about medical and health benefits of fasting. But Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits which are of a secondary nature. We forget that fasting has been made obligatory for Muslims so that they can learn Taqwa and become better Muslims and human beings.
The Arabic word Taqwa is translated in many ways including God consciousness, God fearing, piety, and self-restraining.
So in this holy month, Muslims should make a pledge to try their very best to achieve excellence of character.
We all must remember that genuine goodness is something drawn from the heart, the soul of a person. The authentic goodness is shown in actions, more than pretty words. When we live a life of authenticity, our spirits soar and we give flight to those around us. A cursory glance of the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will help us in defining a "genuinely" good person and assessing what characteristics are representative of a good person. Some people have a few characteristics that depict a good person, but may have characteristics that overshadow the good. A genuinely good person stands firm by the definition of good, in public as well as private. They are consistent in character. They are real.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said "If one does not give up falsehoods in words and actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink".
Islam encourages us to push ourselves to increase our levels of doing good and Ramadhan gives us an opportunity to broaden our horizons for doing good deeds that we repeatedly have learned from both the Quran and hadith but rarely practice in our lives. These include: Visiting the sick, repairing fractured bonds and relationships with family members and close relations, being kind and respectful to all, attending funerals, assisting others in times of need and showing kindness to neighbours.
A good person is filled with kindness. They plant seeds that help others thrive. The kind person offers of themselves to others. They don't wait until a catastrophe strikes, but practice kindness in everyday life. They recognise needs in others without having to be asked to step in and help. Their conscience doesn't allow them to neglect others. They don't just help within their comfort zone, but are willing to make sacrifices.
Forgiveness is a characteristic of a good person. They let go of resentment, the anger and bitterness. They don't allow toxins to overshadow joy in their lives and the joy they can offer to others. They unfold a loving heart without seeking revenge. They aren't a doormat to be walked on, but realise we all make mistakes.
So let's pray for Allah's (SWT) mercy, let's focus on a sustained transformation of our hearts and souls something that can carry us forward for the days and years that remain for us on this earth as well as in the Hereafter. KPS,
Monday, July 30, 2012
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