Ramadan Reminders – Guard your tongue

Fasting during Ramadan does not only consist of refraining from food and drink, but also that  we must protect ourselves from using bad language, backbiting, lying, and giving in to anger. Unfortunately, for many of us, refraining from food also means an increase in anger and irritability, causing us to say some things we probably do not mean to.

It happens to all of us sometimes. In the heat of the moment we tend not to be aware of what is coming out of our mouths and sometimes, the words that do come out are not befitting of a servant of God to utter. It is at these times that we need to be extra mindful of what we are saying precisely because this is when we lose control over our tongue. Everything we utter, no matter how insignificant we believe it to be, is being written down by the angels and will be shown to us on the Day of Judgment.

This Ramadan is a perfect time to intensify our practice of cultivating a disciplined tongue. These are not only days of peak restraint but also of increasingly remembering God, seeking forgiveness and longing for salvation.

Guard your tongue, don’t make it as the reason for your efforts to gain His blessings rejected.

Ramadan Reminders – Don’t waste Food!

In Islam, there are many verses in the Quran and numerous hadiths on eating and matters associated with it. Food is seen as not only to fulfil one’s need or hunger, but also as something that benefits our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Additionally, food is also something that connects humans to The Creator through the sense of dependency, gratefulness and responsibility

But in some countries, a third of all food goes to waste. This has a negative impact on the environment and also goes against the teachings of Islam.

Allah command Muslims to avoid waste – “Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not those who waste.” (Quran 7:31) The Prophet (pbuh) encouraged people to avoid leaving leftovers, saying, “You do not know which part of your food carries the blessings.”

To avoid wasting food, Muslims must uphold the true teaching of Islam especially moderation in buying, preparing and eating food. In order to achieve that, planning what to buy and eat is crucial. We must have certain skills to manage our food. Thus, we should learn those skills in order to be a good consumer and to avoid wastage.

We must try our best not to waste food. Remember that it is not easy to produce food. There are people who endure hardship in order to provide the food on our table. Food is a blessing from Allah, thus do not waste it. Even more so in the glorious month of Ramadan, we must make an extra effort to avoid wasting food.

Ramadan Reminders – Eat less, share more

Eat less, share more.

Ramadan teaches us to understand how it feels to be poor and hungry. Many people around the world live in dire poverty, with very little means to overcome the misery they live in. Young children are forced to live under extremely miserable conditions. They have to struggle daily to get food, many have no homes or shelters, and some have to join the workforce to earn for their families. For such children, childhood as a period of carefree days filled with play and laughter is non-existent. Toys, delicious food, new clothes and all the other comforts of life taken for granted by many of us, are all unattainable dreams for them.

It is the duty of those who are fortunate in terms of material wealth, to help the less fortunate in different parts of the world. An important point to remember is that the wealth which human beings enjoy actually belongs to Allah. The Qur’an continuously brings men’s attention to the fact that wealth is only Allah’s, and that man is no more than a proxy of God in supervising it; consequently, man should not disobey God regarding the trust put under his charge. “Allah is the Owner of heavens and the earth: To God belongs the dominion of heavens and the earth” (3: 189). “And it is God Who provides sustenance to all people: Is there a Creator, other than God, to give you sustenance from heaven or earth?” (35: 3).

Ramadan is a month of fast, not a month of feast. It is not about eating, but feeding.

Just as fasting teaches us to sympathize with the poor and the needy, it also teaches us to be grateful for all the blessings of the Almighty we enjoy. The food and wholesome drinks so abundantly available are great blessings of Allah. Because we have them everyday, we do not realize their importance. But when we are forced to restrain ourselves while fasting, we understand the importance of having enough to eat and satisfy the pangs of hunger.

Learning from this Ramadan, together we shall start to eat less, and share more.

Learn to give

[Learn to Give]
Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) was sent as an example for mankind. Throughout his life he showed us the importance of Sadaqah by giving whatever he had as charity and saving very little of what he owned for himself.

The poor are entitled to receive adequate charity for them to meet their basic needs, while the well-to-do are duty bound to give them charity. This arrangement is not equal, but it is equitable and produces justice.

Don’t worry! No one has ever been reduced to poverty because of giving charity. The Almighty promises us that if we train ourselves to give in times of ease and hardship, our sustenance will increase. Giving awakens our souls and triggers genuine concern for the well-being of others. Priority is given to feeding the poor and the needy, as that is one of the best acts in Islam.

Giving from what we are given – from The Provider and Owner of everything – not only releases us from the disease of selfishness in our heart but also reminds us that everything belongs to Allah (swt) and must be used for the well-being of all humanity.

We will never attain righteousness until we spend what we love, loving for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves.
Know that everything you have is not absolutely yours. Learn to give.

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