بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A welcomed guest is about to visit us all very soon and we all pray that we are alive to meet his arrival. This guest is a mercy of Allah (swt) and our hearts become soft, our worship is increased and our character is forever changed for the better because of this precious visit.
I’m sure all of you are waiting eagerly just as I am for this guest we call Ramadan and preparing to meet Ramadan with lofty goals. In my preparation for ramadan I came across a lecture in which this ayah that we often hear during this time was mentioned:
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” Surah Baqarah Verse 185
The part in this ayah that I want to talk about today is when Allah subhanahu wa ‘tala (Exatled is He) says He intends for us ease and does not intend for us hardship. Living in the United States we see how others can “enjoy” life and do whatever they please while we Muslims must live by a set of rules. On the surface it seems like they have it all while we have to live a difficult life filled with many obligations. Yet if we look a little deeper we will see that having and practicing Islam gives us immense ease in life, a type of ease that the non-Muslims around us try numerous things to attain, yet failing miserably to even attain a tenth of the ease they were seeking. Let me explain. If you work you will see that your co-workers around you have one thing they particularly love, be it shopping, eating, museums, roller coaster rides, movies, dancing, house renovations and the list goes on. Whenever they get any free time, they are engrossed into doing that one thing, into spending time and effort towards this. Or you will meet people at school who will complain of being bored of not having anything to do, and they fill their time with music or video games to kill time and not be bored.
When you observe the lives of the disbelievers you will see their life is indeed very difficult. They don’t have the very purpose of their life occupying their thoughts five times a day, they don’t have a Book in which there is Guidance for every part of their life, they don’t have a goal for anything beyond this life and they are engrossed into the illusion of this life. In practical terms they don’t have laws that govern their relationships with their spouses, their children, their parents or anyone else. And since no one in their lives have a set definition of how to treat them they end up mostly being mistreated.
Many of us get into the habit of thinking I can’t do this because it is too hard. For little children climbing stairs, talking, reading, drawing, learning how to go to the bathroom on their own is hard, yet we know that they can learn all of these things. In fact they must learn all these things! Similarly for us to enter Jannatul Firdous (Highest level of Paradise) looks difficult yet Allah (swt) knows we can enter it. So if you are a new Muslim and have never fasted before or if you are Muslim who just doesn’t practice fasting, I invite you to this month try fasting and see for yourself that this indeed is not an injuction to make your life hard. If you do practice than step up your goals and know that in this month of Mercy you CAN meet them all if not at least 80% of them.
May Allah (swt) enable us to reach Ramadan and make it easy for us to accomplish our goals for this month and May He Forgive our sins and enter us into Janatul Firdous.