[Qur’an in Ramadan 1: Q1.01-Q2.141]

Ohkay! It is finally here! That much anticipated month that we can never get enough of. It may begin tomorrow for some based on moon sightings but for us in Nigeria, it begins today. Ramadan comes every year but we do not tire of eagerly expecting it and welcoming yet another chance to get closer to Allah.

It is the 1st of Ramadan! Alhamdulillah, we are alive to witness it. We’ve got to gird our loins and make the most of it before it leaves us in a jiffy. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we allowed the benefits of this month fritter away like desert sand between our fingers?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar in which it is compulsory for mature, sane Muslims to fast. A pre-dawn meal is taken before the morning Fajr prayer and the fast begun from dawn till sunset when the fast ends for the day.

The month is not only 29 or 30days of abstinence from food, water and sex from dawn to sunset; it is a month where the tongue, eyes, ears, hands, feet and indeed the entire body also abstain from evil. The purpose of the fast is to make us of the Muttaqun (those who have piety and God-consciousness).

Crucial to our fast in Ramadan is the intention which is between Allah and us. You will agree with me that the intention changes everything. You could abstain from food the entire day but
intending to fast for Allah’s Sake changes a mundane non-rewardable action to an act of Ibadah (worship). Let us embark on this spiritual journey with the right intention, and not just because we would like to shed a few pounds. If we need to drop shed some kilos, it should be off our scale of bad deeds. Whatever deed we perform in this month and beyond, it should be done to gain Allah’s Favour and to increase our good deeds on the scale. With the right intention, we end up achieving more than we thought possible because Allah blesses and multiplies the reward for us.

At Iftar, let us remember to break our fast with an odd number of dates &/water after saying Bismillah and ‘Dhahabazzama’u wabtalaati-l-urooqu wathabata-l-ajru in sha Allah’ meaning ‘The thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah wills.’ Remember to break your fast with only halal food gotten through halal means!

I am going to commence a series in a few days’ time, in sha Allah. This series will be called NOT ONLY IN RAMADAN (NOiR). They are a list of challenges to be carried out this Ramadan but are by no means supposed to be restricted to the Holy Month alone. Also, in parentheses is the quota of Qur’an to be recited daily if you intend to complete the Holy Book within 29 days. I hope you will join me on this journey to make the most of Ramadan.