Saturday, 5 September 2009

Of Ramadhan, charity and the beggars

The holy month of Ramadhan is the month of us Muslim conduct good behaviour besides refraining ourselves from all of the things that we must avoid doing from dawn to dusk.
This is also a month where (as witnessed by yours truly) for some who seldom go to the masjid to pray, will mark the masjid on their daily list of thing-to-do, which is good, of course. This is also the month where you'll find parking lots nearby masjid will be congested and obviously pack during Friday prayers.

Besides taking this month as a time for us to conduct an evaluation on what and where we are heading in life, this is also a month of giving. We Muslim must pay our zakat al-Fitri(tithe)so we could share our goodness in life with the poor and unfortunate.


Allah, the Exalted, says:

"O you who believe! the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).

(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any
of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for
him.

And that you fast is better for you if only you
know. The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days.''
(2:183-185)


Here, in this country and like many other middle eastern countries, the holy month of Ramadhan is celebrated with an air of festivities. This is the time where the locals will get together with friends and families after the Terawikh prayers to common places such as the souqs, which will be very crowded with them buying things, spending time sipping coffee or smoking sisha until the around 3am in the morning.
Due to the rules and regulations here, all shops including fast food eatery will only be opened after the Iftar, and that will be at 7pm right up to 1am or later.
Places of attractions such as the Souq Wakif, will have some of their shops opened till 3am to cater to the incoming crowds.

Unlike the scenario in Jakarta ,where during this month, thousand of beggars most of whom women and children will come swarming the city begging from drivers and passengers, running between cars knocking windows asking for few rupiah. I had personally witnessed a crawling-age child being put just at the curb of a roundabout on the way to Kelapa Gading Jakarta, being left alone by the guardian(s) who is rushing to catch a slow moving car in traffic jam.

Whatever and however vast the difference some countries having the same faith, i am sure Ramadhan will be a month of victory for us Muslim.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw)and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) passed through approximately nine Ramadhans together after the Hijrah. They were filled with decisive events that took place in Ramadhan and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah the Most High in the cause of making His Word the highest.

Among them were the Incident of Masjid al-Dhirar, The Battle of Badr, The Battle at Wadi al-Qura, The Opening of Makkah and the Destruction of the Idols which Ramadhan of 8 A H., the treaty of Hudaibiyah had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines in the North. Muhammad (saw)felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquered the city of Makkah in Ramadhan.

This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula. During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the major centres of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed.

Such was the month of Ramadhan in the time of the Prophet (saw)and was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding evil and striving hard with one’s life and wealth to make the word of Allah the highest and Islam the dominant Deen.
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