Ramadhan is the blessed month of the Islamic year that sets purification of body and soul. There is a popular prophetic saying that tells us that the devils are chained on the first eve of the month.
This fact being an eternal truth what is that yet leaves us unresolved and indifferent by the end of the month? When the devils are gone who is ruling the dark world of destruction and of major and minor sin? Unfortunately the answer is ‘us’.
We humans are not so naive or innocent, in fact our base desires and materialistic goals keep the trade of human race robust throughout the year.
If the devils are gone, who then is whispering in the hearts of humans to still carry on the same traits? We see fights, jealousy, dishonesty, arguments, and moments of anger at every level in this holy month too.
May be the month leaves us a little less polluted but once the month is over, the devils reboot our system to play evil games again. It is only a short temporary ceasefire or could be none for many.
At the sehri time, what is one busy thinking? It could be about Facebook updates, some political news bit, cricket score, Bollywood gossip, some trending news or the food to be relished morning and evening. We see men and women, young and old scrolling the mobiles at every hour.
Have the devils left us really? Yes, but it is as if the devils whisper, still echoes in the human world from their caged realm. We are the same they left us by the end of Ramadhan today.
Our heroes in this age are celebrities, sport stars or film actors and not Omar (R.A) or Ali (R.A). Our minds are still occupied by the present. Self-purification is a far dream, we are still quagmired in the worldly trap.
Ramadhan for many has become a weight training month or simply a month to be silently gulped down as soon as possible. Yes many do redefine themselves and bring in piety. Very few benefit from this month in the real sense. Having said that what could possibly be the real benefit? It is in true sense being closer to self even before being closer to Almighty.
Self-control over physical needs and desires and not just food and sleep. The temptations to hate, react, argue, commit sins, and so on are under thorough check during this month than any other.
This month is itself created to hold the self under a magnifying glass, to cleanse every big and small weaknesses of self. This is the time for the reconfiguration of thoughts and desires.
Remember by the end of the month we train our body through regular fasting wherein we realise that our stomach is empty but not hungry anymore.
The mind may not be without thoughts but must empty its negative energies. We need this detoxification. This we do by disengaging from wrong, and practicing the right. Ramadhan is a divine scheme to enable the worldly man to detoxify the whole being and acquire pious attributes.
Repentance, forgiveness, self-correction, soul searching are not small acts. This month brings man back to the ‘zero mile’ milestone not that the journey is over but it is the opportunity to start the journey again with better goals, fuller energy and reach the destination with a refreshed enlightened mind and soul.
And then we play the same game of life to achieve life goals but with a nourished self. The entire thought process can be corrected if one brings oneself under the radar of this divine month.
This has become difficult today. To disengage from gossip, slandering, aimlessly scrolling social networks, lazing around with no targets, prioritising work issues over everything else is not easy anymore. The devils could be chained but they have already captured the human mind with their age old craft of sinning.
We are in an auto mode of indulgence. The devils do not need to control us. They have set us on all the traps of material world. Even if they disappear for a while, human degradation will still continue.
Realisation is the first step to break the shackles of this evil game. The moment of realisation of the deceived self and repentance, itself acts as a moral compass to guide man further towards righteousness.
Along with the noise of the high decibel world we still hear the silence of this holy month that comes every year. This month still sends the vibrations to our corrupted self, even though we have a hundred excuses not to follow the goals of fasting and praying during this month.
This month reverberates in every believer’s heart to connect to his ultimate creator. The weak in mind find ways to escape the trials of the month, some comeback and straighten their affairs of the world, and the strong welcome this month wholeheartedly.
Nevertheless it leaves no one untouched. Sadly the practising community often remains bereft of the blessings of the holy month.
This month is about acquiring less of everything and not of iftar parties with sumptuous meals, decoration and a show of the tradition. The day must pass with less food and drink, with more of prayer and silence. The noise of the world must be silenced for a while.
We cannot have both worlds, one needs to be subdued. The glitter and shine of the fleeting life must not be traded for the eternal. It is the time of the year to unplug from all trivialities and absorb the self for the major purpose of existence that is to worship the one true God in silent devotion.
Rehmat Maqbool Nadaf , Kashmir based Karnataka origin, presently
Assistant Director Tourism, J&K.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.