Most Muslims who fast in Ramadan focus on the benefits and rewards of it. But in doing so, we often make mistakes that instead of adding to our experience actually detract from it. Mistakes that can make us commercialise Ramadan as so many other religions have commercialised their sacred days. Insha’Allah the following will serve as a reminder to, first, myself and then to all Muslims. May Allah help us in spending our time wisely this Ramadan and help us in avoiding these mistakes. Ameen!
- Taking Ramadan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting, too. We forget that it’s a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil. We forget to beseech Allah SWT to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Hell-Fire. Surely, we stay away from food and drink but that’s about it. Although the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
Jibra’eel said to me, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.” [Tirmidhi, Ahmad and others. It is classified as Saheeh by al-Albaani]
- 2. Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking only about food, instead of concentrating on Salah, Quran and other acts of worship. They think so much about FOOD that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘feasting’. Come Iftar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. Besides, it leads to wastage of food and extravagance.
…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) [Qur’an, al-Araaf :31]
- Spending all day cooking
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Isha, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read the Qur’an. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!
- Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Sehri until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to ‘make up for the food missed’. However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: ‘The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.’ [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. Classified as Saheeh by al-Albaani]
Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless. It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
- Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss the Maghrib prayer. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
- Missing the golden chance of having your Dua’a accepted
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: ‘Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveller.’ [al-Bayhaqi, classified as Saheeh by al-Albaani]
Instead of sitting down and making Dua’a at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it…Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfilment of your Dua’as.
Added to this: Most of the masjids are devoting more time serving drinks and lavish food at different stages of the taraweeh prayers.27th night is the worst for this kind of lavishness. Last year in a Colombo 7 mosque, even 250 buriyani savans was insufficient to feed them! . The idea behind this appears to be a bait to entice all those devotees stick to this Masjid so that they make more moneytary gains by which they become more popular than the other mosques.Otherwise, will this in any way bring blessings?
Disclaimer: COMMON MISTAKES MADE DURING RAMADAN - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view