Ramadhan is a special time for Muslims all over the world. Here in South Africa, we too, are eager to partake in the bounties and blessings of Ramadaan. It is like having an old and valued friend revisiting our homes, as we envelope ourselves in Allah Ta’ala’s mercy during this blessed month.

In Ramadaan, our senses are heightened. The words of the Glorious Quraan resonate throughout our homes and communities. Our Huffaaz, children, elderly, womenfolk and menfolk recite the Quraan and ponder over its meanings. As the tongue recites the noble Quraan with tarteel, the tongue cools and the reciter is able to “taste” the words.  The ears take in these mubarak words, and the soul awakens. Ramadaan is a time to take stock of ourselves and to reflect.

The Muslim community buzzes with a sense of compassion, love, patience and muhabbat for the creation of Allah Ta’ala. This is extended to family, friends, total strangers and animals too. We are reminded of the pangs of hunger and thirst that is felt by the less fortunate. There is great admiration for the little children, who defy the odds and keep their fasts voluntarily. They proudly begin by keeping “half” fasts, and hurry over to their reward charts at iftaar, to note their efforts for the day. As parents, we encourage them, and Insha Allah we too will be rewarded. Our fasts are approximately 12 to 15 hours long, depending on the time of year.

Plates of food are swapped between fellow believers before iftaar. The children eagerly await the azaan at Maghrib, whispering in hushed tones and listening intently at their room windows. As the words of the azaan echoes through the evening air, the little ones shout out “Azaan! Azaan!” They rush over to the iftaar table to get their dates and Zam Zam. Iftaar tradition in South Africa calls for savouries, Haleem, Curry and a cooling desert such as Falooda. Suhoor is equally exciting, with cereals, hot beverages, toast, yogurt and fruits. Unfortunately many of us get side tracked and spend hours in the kitchen preparing delicacies, and lose out on this time for ibaadah. Let us refrain from doing this, Insha Allah.

Taraweeh salah is offered by the men at the Masaajids, whilst the women perform their Salah at their homes. The young boys attend the taraweeh salah with the menfolk. At home, the girls join the womenfolk in salah in their toasty warm homes, during these winter nights. Little children doze off in their beds, as the mums make ibaadah beside them. The children wait eagerly for the men to return from the Masjid after taraweeh, and welcome them home with a hot cup of tea.

Everybody yearns for this mubarak month where the reward of a fardh act is multiplied 70 times; and where a nafl act is rewarded with the blessings of a fardh act. Many South Africans discharge their Zakaat during the month of Ramadhan to take advantage of this exponential increase in reward. So just imagine, the reward if we use Miswaak, before carrying out any act of ibaadah.May Allah Ta’ala reward us all and accept our efforts, Ameen.

The heart beats with the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala, as the soul tugs on the invisible thread that binds it to the Almighty. Nafl actions are increased during Ramadaan, and nafl salahs performed may be that of Salah Al Hajat, Salah As Shukr, Salah Istigfaar and Salah Chaast to name a few. Charity takes on many forms such as feeding schemes, teaching, da’wah, Islamic studies, sending isaale sawab and making extra dua.

With each passing day in Ramadan, the believer’s soul feels nourished and connected to his Rabb. He feels as though he is the most fortunate from all creation, for experiencing this glorious month. But secretly his heart aches, as he realizes that just as everything comes to pass, so will Ramadaan. But as we prepare to send off our beloved Ramadaan, we are promised one more gift by our Merciful Allah Ta’ala…. Laylatul Qadr – The Night of Power. We search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan and upon the last fast, we bid farewell to this beautiful month. May Allah Ta’ala allow us the privilege of enjoying many more Ramadhans.

South Africa is ALIVE in Ramadhan, as the members of our Muslim communities strive harder to become firmer believers. The disbelievers are curious about our religion and ask questions. We are ambassadors for Islam, regardless of whether it is Ramadhan or not. Let us try and carry these habits of Ramadhan into the rest of the year, and into every season of our lives.

Written by – Sister Ayesha Vadia Moola for idealwoman.org

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