Today is the first day of this year’s Ramadhan – the months of fasting. An entirely different atmosphere is witnessed in the Muslim societies during this month. People pray more, and try to purify their souls. At the same time people spend on others more than the rest of the year. This way the month of fasting is the time when we nurture our relationships. The greatest and the foundational relationship is that of ours with the Creator. The emphasis on prayers during this month is to strengthen the bond with God. From this core relationship emanate all other relationships. That is why God wants us to spend more on those of us who are poor, and in need of help. The beauty of Ramadhan is that it makes an individual look beyond one’s self. The other becomes important. And in a world where the other is important life is most beautiful. We are right now passing through terrible times, where people have suffered in many ways.
There is a pandemic that has unsettled human societies. People have lost livelihoods, and it has made their lives stressful. It is a full scale crisis. In our respective neighbourhoods we will find such people who are in need of our help. This is the time to open up our hearts towards such people and share our resources with them. Connecting to God must translate into connecting to people. If this month doesn’t create an atmosphere of fellow feeling, and if we don’t rescue each other in this month, we lose the spirit of this month. Piety, in the eyes of God is not in the symbolism, but the substance; and this substance is to be conscious of God, and be responsible and loving towards poor and the weak. Those of us who are well off must spend on others more than before, because this time the scale of crisis is higher than before. Blessed are the people who do charity, and help those in need. There is no bigger act than making others happy.