Ramadhaan is the month of mercy, the month of forgiveness, wherein we increase our ‘ibadaah and hope to gain a closer connection with Ar-Rahmaan. But for many, the sweetness of this month lies solely in the special, savory dishes they are served during iftaar. Ramadhaan then becomes a month wherein they may gather with family and eat special foods they do not eat for the rest of the year. And if Ramadhaan looms significant only for this aspect, how then are we to extract the many benefits of this blessed month?
If one spends his day fasting only thinking of the dishes and delicacies they will have after sunset, then they may only think of this month in black and white; that is, fasting as a time of hunger and thirst and the time after the fast as a time of food, drink and perhaps indulgence. Compare this to the one who doesn’t hold this simple mentality, but one who understands the reality of this month. For them, fasting during this month is not a time to dwell on the lack of food and anticipation for the special dishes that await, but rather a time to race towards good deeds, to increase in their Qur’aan recitation, to make fervent du’aa & istighfaar, to pray their salawaat with the utmost khushoo, and to strive to please Ar–Rahmaan. As for the time after fasting, it is a time for gratitude for the food that has touched our lips, to increase the bonds with family and friends as we break our fast with one another, to make it to the masjid to pray Ishaa and Taraweeh, and to continue with the du’aa, the Qur’aan and the salaah. SubhaanAllah, and once we realize the immense value of this month, the simplistic view of it as the month of special foods shall vanish, rather the remembrance of Allah ta’ala will loom large and be of our utmost priorities.
Yet the admonition here does not cease upon us acknowledging and appreciating the true value of this month and what it offers. Rather, it must be followed by action. And insofar as food, this involves not filling oneself. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has stated: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1381), Ibn Maajah (3349); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2265).
Many of us may forget this admonition at the time of breaking our fast, and as such a typical feast may ensue afterwards. But it is upon us to be mindful of it, and more so to ask yourself how it is you will gain khushoo in Isha and Taraweeh if you have just filled your stomach in this way. So you refuse to take that extra bite or take on that appetizing dish, because of the admonition of our beloved Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but also because you anticipate the salaah that shall come afterwards. You want to have the utmost concentration, you want your heart to be softened, and you want that tranquility to descend in your prayer; undoubtedly such a state of khushoo cannot coincide with one who has eaten past their limit.
Ramadhaan – the month of food, savory dishes and delights? Truly, Ramadhaan is so much more.
May Allah ta’ala make us those who have a fruitful Ramadhaan, immersed in ‘ibaadah and seeking the Pleasure of Allah. And may he accept our du’aa, our siyaam, and all our good deeds. Ameen.
Wa Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu