Giovanni Spraggs, Kingston, Jamaica
The word Muslim means, “total submission unto God Almighty and His will”. As Muslims we are driven by gaining any opportunity to be exceptional servants to God Almighty and to be considered a pillar for humanity to emulate.
As a university student, I am pressured with many obstacles that can pull youth, especially young men, into predicaments that are considered harmful, but with the knowledge of the true teachings of Islam and the practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the path of righteousness becomes more vivid and alludes the greatness that God Almighty can bestow upon you.
An opportunity that Islam prescribes is a sacred celebration that has been practiced since the beginning of Islam; this celebration is called Ramadan. Ramadan is a whole month of fasting, from dawn until sunset.
Ramadan is a period of spiritual reflection, self-improvement and heightened devotion and worship. These efforts bring you closer to God Almighty as you abstain from eating and drinking for 30 days, practicing the teachings of Islam and becoming a righteous servant of God.
Ramadan in this day and age builds a solid relationship between you and God Almighty by fostering a new, unbreakable bond that garnishes your spirituality and manifests into a higher level of supplication. The pressure of having to balance the practices and teachings of Islam, the prescriptions of society that varies and your studies. It becomes an eco-system that has more contrasts than overlapping similarities, which poses a challenge, but with the sufficient intervention and interjection of having daily conversations with God Almighty before, during and after Salat, it creates a less blurry and confusing kaleidoscope of expectations and the path to God Almighty is communicated, acknowledged and embarked on.
During the first 10 days of Ramadan, the body slowly adjusts to the changes and as a result, reacts in a way where the stomach churns at a certain time of day and limbs begin to also ache. During these 10 days, I find myself repenting, studying harder and asking God Almighty to bestow upon me His grace and mercy to fulfil the covenant and mitigate any possibilities of displeasing him during this blessed month. Gradually, I feel that my body starts to adjust and the fast (sawm) becomes more fluid. Alhamdolillah!
During this holy month, as the pandemic strikes fear into our hearts, total supplication to God Almighty makes the thoughts of immense danger not so tantalising and burdensome as before. As we aim our focus towards the teachings of Islam and the practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa during Ramadan, we realise that in this time, Ramadan becomes more than just a relevance but a necessity that can pull humanity to the fear and love of God Almighty to usher ourselves from worry and panic.
Ramadan allows for the self-growth, self-control and self-discipline that an individual need to foster into a righteous servant of God Almighty. Jazakumullah.