Ramadan: A Chance for Change
This is one of the most important lessons to be learned from this month. If we
look at the reality of Muslims today, many of us will say that it is difficult
to change this negative reality. The streets are full of evil: newspapers,
magazines, television and satellite channels air vice day and night. How can
we change the people's conditions? Most people would say this is difficult and
can only be corrected at the hands of a revivalist scholar. Some people hold
However, there is the best example for us in Ramadan. How?
First: If we look at the Masjids after Ramadan, especially in Fajr prayer, we
will find them empty except for a few Muslims. When this month comes, the
Masjids are filled with Muslims bowing and prostrating to Allah The Almighty
and the condition of people changes for the better.
Second: Changing deeply rooted practices and habits easily. On ordinary days,
you may find someone smoking and when you forbid him from it, he comes up with
excuses. Nevertheless, when Ramadan comes, he patiently refrains from smoking
most of the day and endures going without it. It is the weakness of the soul,
passion, domination of Satan and his friends that encourage him to smoke
These examples give us hope to change the unfortunate reality to a better one,
and that we should not despair of changing people's conditions or our
conditions for the better. I ask you a question, "When was the last time you
read the Qur'an completely?" The answer may be, "Last Ramadan!" When Ramadan
comes, how many times do you read the Qur'an completely? Look at your morals
before Ramadan and during it. Notice how you are keen to join the first row in
congregation in the mosque and so on. Thus, there is a possibility for change
for the better and for quitting the bad habits and deeds.
You only need to strive and have a strong will, and Allah The Almighty
promised to help and guide. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
''And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And
indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.'' [Qur'an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29:69]
Ramadan is indeed an opportunity for change, but who persists in having such a
will even in Ramadan? The fasting person should not do anything that breaks
this will after breaking his fast, and thus destroy in the night what he built
in the day in terms of the strong will and ability to change.
The Muslim who is not spiritually affected by the words of Allah The Almighty,
and whose character and behavior do not change for the better upon performing
the pillars of Islam and acts of worship, has not gain any benefited from the
obligatory acts of worship – except discharging his obligations. In this case,
they would be merely movements that he performs perfunctorily, and he moves on
to another thing when they come to an end.
Did Allah The Almighty order us to pray only for the mere movements that
prayer entails, that bring about no effect on our lives? Did Allah The
Almighty ordain Hajj and other acts of worship only for the sake of bodily
movements and rituals? Or did He ordain them for greater benefits?
Muslims have not failed in their duties; it is simply that their hearts have
hardened after suffering the political and cultural onslaught of their
enemies, to the extent that they are no longer affected by the words, deeds
and beliefs of the pillars of Islam and the rituals that they perform
repeatedly. If they were affected by what they say and do, it would have
ignited the flames of protective zeal for the sake of Allah The Almighty in
their heart and the desire to support His religion. Regretfully, the acts of
worship of Muslims today have become mere images without a soul, mere rituals
and movements, having no effect on their behavior.
Therefore, Ramadan is an opportunity for change. Many people are captivated by
things they are used to, and whenever they try to give up these things, they
stumble. Some of them achieve success in overcoming their bad habits for a
certain period of time and then suffer a setback.
Ramadan is a great opportunity for lasting change. Fasting is an effective
remedy for many of these common harmful habits and an opportunity to get rid
of their stranglehold over us. It reminds man that these habits are not
necessary or unavoidable; they are either self-imposed or are imposed by the
circumstances of his life, and that one can give them up by determination and
Source: Benefits and Secrets of Fasting