Ramadan is a month of worship, giving, patience, charity, forgiveness, and planting of deeds. From a personal perspective, beyond abstaining from water and food, Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, self-development, and realisation. It encourages us to make amends on past actions, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and aspire to become God-abiding, pious and progressive Muslims. It is also a month for us to enhance and renew ties, seek forgiveness from one another and build strong and cohesive relationships with our families, friends, and communities.
With the easing of Covid19 restrictions, this year’s Ramadan is one that many Muslim Singaporeans have been waiting for. Mosques are once again filled with terawih congregants standing shoulder to shoulder in worship. While online tadarus and tazkirah classes are still going on, we see more face-to-face classes being resumed once again. The ritual distribution of iftar meals and porridge to the community and Ramadan bazaars ushered in the atmosphere we all missed for almost four years.
In a gist, if we can choose three words to encapsulate what Ramadan means for this year, they would be “gratitude, compassion, and togetherness.”
In Singapore, we have much to be grateful for. Many of us are blessed with decent jobs, have sufficient rezeki for our families, and a roof over our heads. While we usher in the spirit of Ramadan and look forward to Eid, unfortunately many others are in distress, sadness, and despair. Ramadan therefore, emphasises the value of gratitude in us. When we acknowledge the rezeki in different forms in our lives, we will recognise the source of this goodness, and that is from Allah SWT. This is when we are reminded constantly to remain humble and kind, do things from our heart, and increase our level of patience when faced with adversities.
While we strive to improve our relationship with Allah SWT this Ramadan, we should not forget the relationships with our loved ones and those in need. Islam places so much emphasis on the importance of building strong relationships, rekindling and forging ties with each other. While we work hard to fulfill our obligations to our families, extending our love, care, and concern for others can elevate our sense of humility and compassion for those in need.
With social gathering now extended to 10 pax, the excitement of breaking our fast together with our extended families and friends is something we appreciate. With mosques opened to the community with some safety measures in place, being involved in mosque community events or other campaigns led by charity organisations foster community unity. In this era of social media, there are many campaigns calling to help those in need. Make a difference in someone else’s life by donating any amount to your mosque’s infaq programmes, or supporting a local community campaign to provide groceries, food for iftar, and Eid clothes for our needy community.
Ramadan creates an opportunity for us to shift our focus to becoming better Muslims than before. Let us be thankful for the blessings that we have in our lives, strive to improve ourselves by submitting our worship, and intent only to earn Allah SWT's love.