The Blissful Triad: Noble Qur’an, Ramadan, and Piety

When we say something or do something, we do it as we see Allah
The Blissful Triad: Noble Qur’an, Ramadan, and Piety

For Muslims, observing fasting in the month of Ramadan—themonth in which the Qur'an was revealed—is prescribed to achieve Taqwa (Q. 2:183, 185)

Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan) is the third pillarof Islam. Ramadan is the blessed month in which the noble Qur'an was revealedand fasting prescribed: "You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as itwas prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God. …It wasin the month of Ramadan that the Qur'an was revealed as guidance for mankind,clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong" (Q.2: 183-85). These verses make it clear enough that it is month of Ramadan inwhich Sawm/ fasting was prescribed for the Muslims so that they may be mindfulof God, or achieve Taqwa. These verses also state, very clearly, that theQur'an was revealed in this very month, and that the Qur'an is a guide tomankind (Huddan lil-Nass) with clear 'signs' (Ayaat) for guidance and acriterion between right and wrong (al-Furqan).

In verses 183-187 of Surah al-Baqarah, it states in detail,about the fasting in Ramadan, its terms and conditions: in Q. 2: 183, it statesthat fasting is a prescribed duty on Muslims, and the purpose is "so that youmay be mindful of God". Later, it says about its 'number of days' and who areexempted from the fasting: "Fast for a specific number of days, but if one ofyou is ill, or on a journey, on other days later. For those who can fast onlywith extreme difficulty, there is a way to compensate—feed a needy person. Butif anyone does good of his own accord, it is better for him, and fasting isbetter for you, if only you knew" (Q. 2: 184). In the next verse, Q. 2: 185, itis mentioned that noble Qur'an, which is Guidance for mankind and is al-Furqan,was revealed in this very month.

Thus, one notes that the importance of the month of Ramadanis the advent of the Revelation of the Qur'an, and it is through understanding,followed by action, of the Commandments (ahkam) in this Divine Book, that wecan achieve Taqwa—Piety, Righteousness or God-consciousness. The Qur'an clearlystates, in surah Az-Zumar, 39: 28: "[It is] an Arabic Quran, free from anydistortion—so that people may be mindful".

Taqwa—rendered into English generally as Piety,God-consciousness, Righteousness, Good conduct, or Fear of God or God-fearing(which comes from the awe of Allah)—is very frequently enjoined, directed andcommanded in the Qur'an: for instance: "In God's eyes, the most honoured of youare the ones most mindful of Him: God is all knowing, all aware" (al-Hujjurat,49: 13). The Qur'an repeatedly commands to have Taqwa, and the implication ofthe term is that one protects oneself by always keeping Allah in view. In otherwords, when we say something or do something, we do it as we see Allah and weare very careful, vigilant and cautious about this, because we know that Allahsees not only our actions and dealings, but also knows our thoughts andintentions, what we conceal in the inner of our hearts: "if you do good and aremindful of God, He is well aware of all that you do" (An-Nisa, 4: 128); "Bemindful of God: God has full knowledge of the secrets of the heart" (Al-Maidah,5: 7).

Thus, to put it precisely, a very important trio of bliss,delight, and gladness is seen here: fasting in Ramadan, the Qur'an, and(achieving) Taqwa; and this blissful connection is possible, at its highestlevel, only in the month of Ramadan.

The author is Assistant Professor, Islamic Studies, at GDCPulwama.

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