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Ramadan: A Month To Purify Our Souls

Ramadan: A Month To Purify Our Souls
By: M. Zafir K.

Ramadan is always depicted as a month of fasting and to refrain ourselves from eating or drinking during the day. Clearly, the ayat from Surah Al-Baqarah ( 185 ) stated more than that, {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an…} which shows that one should also think of Al-Quran when mentioned about this holy month. Ustadz Nouman Ali Khan in one of his speeches in Malaysia (2014) emphasized on further strengthen our relationship with Quran as a way for us to get closer (taqarrub) to Allah SWT. The month of Ramadan also could be a new beginning for those who intend to repent and turn over a new leaf.

In his speech, Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan quoted Surah Al-Jumuah ( 1-4 ) as a reminder for us to be well prepared for Ramadan. During the years of sufferings and oppression by the Quraisy in Makkah to the muslim minority, the muslims had high level of iman and full dedication towards Islam. However, after the Hijrah of muslims to Madinah al-Munawwarah, the muhajirin would later integrate with new comers of Islam and also Munafiks whose intention is to intervene and stop the dakwah of Islam there. Thus, this surah is one of the ‘Surah Musabbihat’, revealed upon Rasulullah to increase the iman of muslims.

In the first ayat, Allah SWT begins the surah with {yusabbihu lillahi ma fissamawati wa ma fil ard} which brings the meaning that everything around us are praising Allah without us knowing it. All the trees and animals that are frequently doing tasbih serve as a reminder for us to also do the same in our everyday life. Allah SWT then continues with his four names, Al Malik or King of a kingdom that rules His subjects with Greatness and to be worshipped by them. Al Quddus shows that Allah is not only just the ultimate pure but He also purify to His creations. Al Aziz is a very special word as it brings the meaning that He has the authority and respect. In our reality, one who has authority will not have full respect and vice versa. For example, an elderly woman crossing the street may get the respect from car drivers to help her but will not have the authority to go against the law on roads. Lastly, Al Hakim meaning the Wise one and He who will make the wisest decision.

Moving to the second ayat, Allah SWT now explains about the responsibility for the Messenger SAW to be fulfilled upon the muslims. {huwallazi ba’atha fil ummiyyina rasula} explains a greater meaning that the words brought by Muhammad to the Arabs are not his own words but a revelation by God. ‘Ummiy’ is a term which is used upon those people who can’t even read or write and Rasulullah SAW is among those people. A friend of mine will surely recognise my way of talking with the type of grammar being used and he would be startled if I would start literate with full philosophy as well using old English words. That example equals the situation in Makkah when Rasulullah SAW reads the Quran to the sahabah which eventually make them interested in Islam because they knew that those words were not his but by God.

Rasulullah’s task was to bring the Arabs out of the darkness and into the light and the first one is {yatlu alaihim ayatihi}, which was to recite to the Arabs on His signs and verses. Miraculously, every corner of the Quran is fill with mu’jizats and these first two ayats are also included. A king will have his signs to indicate people around that they are entering his Kingdom. This goes by the same concept with Al Malik which was the first name of Allah in the previous ayat meaning that He has His ‘signs’ that shows His existance to the Quraisy.

Let’s take a look at the second name of Allah mentioned, Al Quddus and the second ayat {yuzakkihim} which means that He is the Purifier and Rasulullah SAW is to purify the minds and the hearts of the Arabs. As we all know, the Jews are endowed with their brilliant minds and the Christians believe on spirituality only, putting aside intellectual factors. Because of this imperfection, both congregations are now well astray from Islam because both the hearts and minds need to be purified. This clearly shows that Islam is a ‘syumul’ religion and none loopholes can be found in the Quran.

Al-Aziz, He who is the Authority {yuallimuhumul kitab} will teach them the ‘Kitab’. Kitab here does not only means the Quran but Islamic laws and Islamic jurisprudence. That is why He must be an Authority to be able to make the laws and rules upon the muslims. And the last name, Al-Hakim will have the {hikmah}, wisdom to make those Islamic laws because not only you need power to implement an order but wisdom for the people to obey on it. {wa in kanu min qablu lafi dolalimmubin} shows that Allah SWT still provide hope to Rasulullah SAW to do dakwah on the Quraisy eventhough they had been in worst hopeless condition ever before. As we all see, the first and the second ayat are both connected on top of another on these four methods of giving message to the ummah (dakwah).

In the third ayat, we should be proud and honoured because Allah SWT mentioned us here in this ayat, the people who would come later into Islam. Islam was spread here in Tanah Melayu since 700M by Arab traders who came to trade and they assimilate with the Malay communities during that time. Today, we are proudly a majority muslim country, implementing syariah law and practicing Islamic values. And lastly the fourth ayat explained that the arrival of Islam in our community is a gift from Allah and He only gives it to whom He wants to.

As a conclusion, we should be grateful to be muslims and living in a muslim country peacefully. All of these would not happen if the sahabah during the time in Madinah did not care about Rasulullah’s messages and did not follow the four methods stated in the second ayat. Furthermore, the akidah and syariah of Islam should not stop at us but we should continue this message of Islam to others as stated in Surah Al-Baqarah (143). We had received this gift and it is our responsibility to share it with others. Wallahu alam.

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