The role of Ramadan in making the society stronger
Ramadan creates a sense of social responsibility and feelings of empathy in us. The role of Ramadan stands out in developing spiritual, social, and moral values. When we experience thirst and hunger in Ramadan, it reminds us of those who are suffering from unstable financial, economic, or social situations. Ramadan is the month of obligatory fasting in which Muslims are not allowed to drink, eat or commit any sinful act. There is no mechanism to monitor that he\she is committing sin. It’s only Allah who is hearing, listening, and seeing our every action.
Taqwa (Awareness of Allah) is the monitor for him\her. In this article, I will reflect that how we can create a good society through Ramadan. Through fasting, we attain empathy for mankind – which involves helping the needy and sharing drinks and foods with others.
The role of Ramadan in creating a sense of empathy for mankind
According to hadith, “Ramadan is the month of sympathy (Khan,n.d.). The thirst and hunger that we experience in Ramadan remind us of the social, financial, and economic hardships of others.
“We should help and assist our fellow human brothers and sisters, Muslims and non-Muslims alike who are in need (Doi 1994, 427-429)”.
The life of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) is an example of universal kindness and love.
Once in Makkah, there was severe famine due to drought. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) prayed for rain at the request of disbelievers. On the request of the Holy Prophet, it rained severely. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) sent some silver on another occasion of famine to help the needy despite their enmity and disbelief (Ahmad 2013). This is the reason that Allah gives Him the title of Prophet of humanity (Quran, 7:158; 34:28).
Sharing drinks and foods
When a person keeps himself away from sinful acts while he is fasting only to please Allah, He likes it the most. Even the bad odor that may come out of a fasting person’s mouth (due to emptiness of the stomach) is more beloved than the fragrance of musk (Sunan an-Nasa’I 2212).
That’s why angles will pray for him\her who share foods or drinks in iftar with such beloved servant of Allah. If anybody hosts the one who is on fast will be rewarded the same as the fasting person.
The role of Ramadan in social bonding
Hosting iftar creates mutual love, social bonding, and affection. The Holy Prophet advises us for hosting guests, feeding the hungry, and visiting the sick. The Holy Prophet says about keeping ties with relatives: “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life is prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his kith and kin” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5986).
We can understand the importance of good relations with neighbors with the following hadith, “Jibra’il (Gabriel) kept enjoining good treatment of neighbors until I thought that he would make neighbors heirs” (Sunan Ibn Majah 3673).
Giving towards Charity
Ramadan is also known as the month of selflessness and charity. Giving to charity is just as important as fasting. It is said the charity is one of the characteristics of believers in Islam. Charity includes optional charity (Sadaqah), obligatory charity (Zakah), and after spending on his\her own family. Remember, a charity in the month of Ramadan may be of various types. Charity may be zakat al-mal, zakat al-fitr and fidiya. Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. It is the month of forgiveness. May Allah grant us strength to fulfill all the requirements of Ramadan.
(Written by Sadaf Riaz)