Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
24 April 2020M / 1 Ramadan 1441H
Ramadan: A Month to Strengthen Our Faith
My dear brothers,
Have taqwa in Allah in its truest sense. Let us strive to perform all His commands and abstain from all His prohibitions.
Alhamdulillah! All praises be to Allah, the Most Benevolent, the Most Preserving. Today is the first day of Ramadan. It turns out that Allah has gifted us life till we get to meet Ramadan again, with faith blossoming in our hearts. Such is the vastness of Allah’s mercy that has been promised, with His paradise always prepared and the doors of repentance ever open for our sins to be forgiven.
Today, our longing as believers towards a special gift of Allah, that is the month of Ramadan has been satiated. Clearly, my dear brothers, Allah has granted us this opportunity to experience this joy, one that cannot be depicted by words. Thus, let us increase in our praises to Him. Alhamdulillah!
Today is the first day we perform the ritual of fasting that Allah has made compulsory. Despite the hunger, exhaustion, and thirst, we are still willing and happy to perform it as we respond to this command of Allah with faith in our hearts. When Allah made fasting obligatory, Allah made direct communication with us, the believers. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 183,
Meaning: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God.”
Such is the faith we have in us in welcoming Ramadan. Although the atmosphere of Ramadan this year is not as per usual, our faith remains as the source of strength throughout the month. For the first time, we are celebrating Ramadan just by staying at our respective homes, as part of our role in containing the spread of this virus. For Ramadan this year, we do not have the luxury of congregating at the mosques as usual. We are also unable to break our fast together.
Surely our hearts are filled with longing: a longing for that moment of us breaking fast together in the open space of our mosques; a longing to exchange greetings, shake hands and hug one another, feeling the warmth of fraternity among us; a longing for the joy of praying tarawih at the mosque every night; a longing to hear the recitation of Allah’s verses at His mosques; a longing to perform qiyamullail together, making prostration in utter humility before His majesty.
We feel sad, but we have been nurtured by our faith to be patient in accepting the decree of Allah, based on the phrase “La ilaha illallah” as our life principle. We cannot let our soul be drowned in weakness when facing any situation or trial. Instead, we are taught to always strive to think of the wisdom behind every trial, and to continue having good assumptions of Allah s.a.w. In a hadith qudsi narrated by Imam Ahmad, Allah asserts:
Meaning: “I (Allah) is as what My servant thinks of Me. If he assumes well of Me, the goodness is for him. If he assumes evil of me, then the evil is for him.”
Thus, my dear brothers, let us establish and affirm faith in our hearts throughout the month of Ramadan. Do not let the constraints and obstacles be an excuse for us to keep lamenting and blaming the situation. Rather, we should continue searching for the many opportunities that Allah has prepared for us to gain His love. Ramadan this time is an opportunity for us to strive to perform our acts of worship with perfection. Let us strive to perform tarawih without missing a night of it. This is the opportunity to train ourselves to be an imam for tarawih. This is the golden opportunity to learn to read the Quran. In fact, this is an opportunity for us to complete reading the Quran. For every believer always look at the bright side of every condition and situation.
Perhaps this is part of the wisdom of the One and Almighty when He allowed us to meet Ramadan this time in such a condition. He wants to gift us a Ramadan that is truly special, a Ramadan where we can solely focus on fasting and acts of worship, a Ramadan that allows us to have all our sins forgiven, be granted due reward, and attain a high stature in His sight.
My dear brothers, let’s enliven the feeling of gratitude in ourselves in celebrating this gift of Ramadan. Although the atmosphere may be different, the Owner of this Ramadan is still Allah, the One and Only, Ever Loving and Ever Benevolent. Even if it is not as joyful as usual, we need to take the opportunity from this peace and serenity that Allah has given us to continue strengthening our faith. Let’s contemplate the words of Allah in Surah Al-Fath verse 4:
Meaning: “He is the One Who sent down serenity upon the hearts of the believers so that they may increase even more in their faith. To Allah alone belong the forces of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
May we succeed in becoming a community that is able to face the pain of today with a blossoming faith, that is able to plan our steps with readiness to face tomorrow with confidence and resolve. May Allah cleanse our hearts and souls so that we can embrace His love through His gift of Ramadan this time