By Al Qalam Reporter
In these troubled times, Muslims must grasp the opportunity – especially in Ramadan – to make a concerted effort to become more generous and actively join efforts that promote social justice for the poor, says Islamic scholar, Imam Rashied Omar of Cape Town.
“In response to the advice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) let us during this blessed month of Ramadan open up our hearts, and in a spirit of magnanimity, embrace the poor. Let us use this great month of Ramadan as the starting point for a new consciousness and appreciation of our role in our troubled world”
Imam Omar pointed out that it was our responsibility as Muslims “to reflect on the problems of our broader society and to contribute to the creation of a more just, caring and compassionate world.”
“Let each one of us during this blessed month of Ramadan resolve to make a difference in our own small way.”
Imam Omar mentioned a Hadith on what Ramadan symbolizes.
He quoted the Prophet’s companion, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said that Allah, the Exalted, will (question a person) on the Day of Resurrection (asking): “O child of Adam, I asked you for food but you did not feed Me.’
The person would submit: ‘My Lord, how could I feed You and Thou art the Lord of the worlds?’
Allah would say: ‘Did you not know that such and such a servant of Mine asked you for food but you did not feed him? Did you not realize that if you had fed him, you would certainly have found (its reward) with Me? O child of Adam, I asked water from you but you did not give it to Me.’
He would say: ‘My Lord, how could I give You (water) and Thou art the Lord of the worlds?’
Thereupon He would say: ‘Such and such a servant of Mine asked you for water to drink but you did not give it to him. Did you not realize that if you had given him to drink you would have found (its reward) with Me?’
Imam Omar said Ramadan is a celebration of the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an. In our troubled world, Muslims should turn to the Quran for hope and in times of difficulty.
“One such Qur’anic reference is the well-known verse from Surah al-Zumar, chapter 39, verse 54, in which Allah, the Sublime proclaims: Do not ever despair of God’s Mercy. (Q39:54)
“We can also find great solace in Allah’s promise in Qur’an chapter 94 verses 5-6 that after difficulty there will be ease. However, a change and transformation of our fragile world will not come merely by hoping. People of faith and hope, are at the same time realists, who do not close their eyes to reality with all its positive and negative aspects. Social transformation and moral elevation does not come about merely by hoping. In the Islamic tradition hope has to be accompanied by three other qualities: Sabr (spiritual perseverance; Islah (social reform) and Tajdid (intellectual renewal).
“Hope can only be sustained by the three elements of mind, body and spirit, or intellectual renewal, reform and spirituality. The blessed month of Ramadan during which we intensify our acts of worship is an ideal time to nurture all of these qualities,” Imam Omar said.