“I say bismillah before stealing!”
Years ago, one of my senior narrated me an interesting and small incident – she told me that she once caught a small child who used to steal things and when she asked him – “Don’t you fear Allah?”
He replied – “I was once told that we should start our work with these words, in the name of God, and things will become easy and there will be barakah in it for us.”
My senior left me with these words to wander.
I had lot to ask about – “What then? What you said to him then? What happened next?” But we always used to meet briefly, and after some time, she returned to Him – to Whom she belonged, to Whom we all belong!
I thought, the child case was interesting and sad both.
Interesting was his faith and belief that if he will start anything in the name of Allah swt, saying bismillah then there will be barakah in it.
Sad was the part that he didn’t know that doing forbidden even in His name won’t earn any good and khair or barakah.
Perhaps, because he was a small child, he didn’t know that stealing is forbidden, he only get to know that saying bismillah is good and beneficial.
Sometimes our connection to faith is interesting but we often fail to recognise that with emotional connection, we need to know, we need to have knowledge as well.
Our aql (mind) should also be aware of what is allowed and what not.
Having said that, it is not enough that our aql is aware of right and wrong, there should be application of the right and avoiding the wrong as well.
For e. g – one is well aware about Islam, but is not practising, then he won’t be categoried as an Islamic personality.
And similarly, one is connected with Islam, says bismillah but is not aware that stealing is haraam (forbidden) and will remain so even before bismillah.
So, only this emotional connection, devoid of knowledge will also not make an Islamic personality.
We need to strike the balance between the two, knowledge as per Islam and our behaviour as per our emotions – both should be as per Islam.
Now, let’s connect some dots.
Alhamdulillah, we are in the blessed month of Ramadan. The month of Holy Quran, the month when the devils are chained and the doors of Mercy are wide opened.
Ramadan, indeed is a blessing of Allah swt upon us.
As we know, we are not the creators of ourselves, we are a creation and our Creator has clearly laid down our purpose and that purpose is mentioned in surah adhdhraiyat ayat no 56
Whose English translation is – “I have not created jinn and ins (humans) except to worship Me.”
Worship is not a ritual or few hours submission.
Worship is to live a way of life full of submitting to Him, The One and Only, to Whom belong everything that exists.
Now, obviously to worship is not easy.
There are trials, tribulations, hardships and our enemies!
We have two enemies.
The external and the internal.
The external is shaitan, the chief deceiver, the evil whisperer, the aduwun mubeen – the open enemy.
And the internal enemy – our own nafs.
SubhanAllah, it is indeed Allah swt’s Mercy that He has blessed us with a month where the devils – our enemy are put to chains.
If we see Ramadan, then obviously one is well aware that from dawn to dusk, we are suppose to refrain from eating and drinking and even from being physical with spouse – things which are halal (permissable) in other months, we are stopped from it in Ramadan from dawn to dusk and along with it we are commanded a big list like for example – not to lie, backbite, hurt, steal, involve in any immodest act – things which are always a big no for us.
And we while fasting remains away from all this.
SubhanAllah. A beautiful training for us that while being hungry and thirsty we can abstain from His laid down forbidden things then why not stay away from the forbidden the rest of eleven months, when we are allowed to have halal food and drinks?
Ramadan gives us a tough training to make us learn how to endure.
How to be ready once the devils will again be unchained.
We all know how the soldiers are prepared and has to go through rigourous training to be able to face the enemies and fight them in the battlefields.
Ramadan is our training period and indeed it is a blessing from Him, to prepare us to overcome the enemies and carry forward our purpose of life that is to worship Him, to submit Him – which is not easy.
But unfortunately what we see is the submission of Muslims from Ramadan moon to Eid moon, as if the Lord of ramadan was different and the Lord of non Ramadan is different.
Nodoubt, one increases in voluntary worship in Ramadan as the reward is multiplied and generally people don’t follow those optional rituals afterwards and here Iam not talking about optional acts.
But abandoning the obligations and faraaid after Ramadan is what I am trying to put into frame here and not optional ibaadah.
The purpose of ramadan is what He swt has clearly told us in surah baqrah ayat no 183 – La’allakum tattaqoon – “so that ye may achieve Taqwa.”
Taqwa is described by scholars as love of God, fear of God, God consciousness, loving God to an extent that now one fears going against His limits.
Some say that we fast because it makes one to feel the pain and suffering of poors and needy, it may be a complimentary benefit of fasting but not the purpose. The purpose is to attain Taqwa.
This Taqwa is what will make us an Islamic personality in truest sense.
What we need to understand is that those who start submitting Him seeing Ramadan moon and go back to square seeing eid moon, may be because they see the environment, the society, the ambience such and they do the same.
Or whatever may be the reason behind this temporary change in them, let’s see the positive side.
The positive side we can see in them is that they have atleast the emotions and behaviour which changes be it temporarily as per Islam in Ramadan.
What we need to see in them is the reflection of that little child who is emotionally attached but doesn’t know, whose aql is not well aware.
They are also emotionally attached but they don’t know that Ramadan is all about attaining Taqwa so that the purpose to worship Him can be achieved by confronting the shaitan and our nafs, which we learn well how to confront by being in this heavy training of ramadan.
Let’s not belittle or mock our Ramadan Muslim brothers and sisters.
Let’s educate them about the purpose or our existence and the purpose of ramadan and what better days will be to educate them lovingly other than Ramadan when the devils are chained and they are emotionally inclined towards Islam?
Let’s try to make Ramadan productive by keeping in mind its purpose and by being connected to Holy Quran which was revealed in the month of Ramadan, The Furqan, the criterion to judge between right and wrong, the blessing and Mercy for those who believe and follow.
May Allah swt bless us all with the purpose of ramadan.
May our sins be forgiven.
May we attain His pleasure.
May Allah swt keep us steadfast on His Deen.
May Allah swt ease the sufferings of the oppressed worldwide and make things easy for us all and put not a trial upon us which we cannot endure.