Ramadan is the time to leave
all bad habits for good

DUBAI — Is the holy month of Ramadan all about abstaining from food and drink, or is it about more? Does it play a more profound role in changing us for better?

As stressed in the holy Quran, fasting, which is done by other communities also, is basically prescribed to Muslims to learn piety and righteousness, Egyptian Islamic researcher Dr Sheikh Mohammed Ashmawy says.

People offering Taraweeh prayers after the sighting of the moon heralding the holy month of Ramadan, at the Grand Mosque in Karama on Tuesday. — KT photo by Rahul Gajjar

“Fasting provides us with motivation, self-control, and a firm will to give up the bad manners and habits; otherwise such a vital worship will turn futile and we’ll become real losers for fasting in Ramadan and yet having failed to get our sins forgiven,” he says.

He cites the Hadith, sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): ‘Whosoever does not give up telling lies or acting in a false manner while fasting, Allah has no need for his giving up eating or drinking.”

Dr Ashmawy says fasting makes us more conscious about our behaviour. “Being more mindful for 30 days does help us maintain better habits after Ramadan.”

He adds: “Muslims are told not to utter any word or deed that may hurt others all year round, but in Ramadan people tend to be more careful about what they say and do and become more obedient to God’s orders.”

Ramadan is the time for forgiveness when the mercy and blessings of Allah Almighty descend upon believers all day and night.

“In a bid to attain the maximum benefit of the blessed month, Muslims should prepare an action plan to utilise time wisely. Daily evaluation is of great essence. Focus on good deeds and avoid bad things,” he says.

“Making duaa (supplication), going to bed early to avoid missing Fajr (dawn) prayers, reading more Islamic books and listening to lectures are also important for inspiration and motivation.”

Dr Ashmawy advocates what he calls a ‘technology diet’ — less TV, Internet and unnecessary phone calls. “Less distractions save more time for reading the holy Quran, offering prayers, doing community activities, feeding the homeless, doing charity work, visiting friends and relatives, and helping others.”

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