What Should All Muslims Do This Ramadan?

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Right now Muslims are being hit from all sides.  Islam is indeed being attacked by the West, in particular America (though they deny it).  They claim they’re only after terrorists, yet they are hitting innocent civilians.  Muslims are suffering in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya, China and all over the world.  They are suffering in various degrees. 

Where should we give support?  What can we do?  Ramadan is coming and America is probably going to continue their war while disrespecting the month of Ramadan.  Israel, as usual, will continue its atrocities in Ramadan.  They have no respect for religion or for Allah.  They should fear Allah. 

Our suffering, even in the Muslim lands at the hands of our own governments, can be considered an examination of our faith or a punishment for our weakness and sin.  In either case, we are in a critical period at the moment.  There are good, sincere, practicing Muslims among us, but there are so many who are disobedient to Allah and who bow to the West rather then to Allah (this is a form of “shirk”-they are taking another Master).  One should obey Allah before listening to anyone else. 

What should all Muslims do this Ramadan?  Ramadan is a beautiful, holy month with a lot of reward.  This time should be spent in raising our spiritual level.  We need it very much.  How can we succeed if our own souls are weak and if we (as a society) are not obeying Allah and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)? 

Imam Ibn Taimiyah says:  “Allah guards the justice-loving government, even if it is the government of the infidels, and destroys the tyrant government, even if it is the government of the Muslims.”

Also, a hadith says: “When Allah wants to deal kindly with a nation, He entrusts its reins in the hands of the wise men, gives wealth to its generous people, and when He wants to deal with a nation harshly, He entrusts its control in the hands of foolish people, and gives wealth to its miserly men” (Abu Daud). 

So, in the midst of our suffering, we must ask if our nation has deserved their corrupt governments.  Also, have we, as a nation, lost our real Islamic values of justice and righteousness?  Some Muslims disobey Allah due to ignorance in their religion.  Allah may overlook ignorance but Allah will punish the hypocrites. 

We must work to change our societies and communities, then, insha’Allah (God willing), Allah will ease our hardships and change our condition.  Also, we must not step away from the obligation of “jihad”.  Some people may call for jihad while they are being disobedient to Allah.  We must be careful to examine the calls for jihad.  If we see a legitimate jihad, and we see our Muslims brothers and sisters being occupied, killed, oppressed and abused, then we must come to their aid.  How can we ignore jihad?  Some of us are fighters.  Others of us are doctors, speakers or writers.  Some may be wealthy and give financial support.  We must do whatever we are able to do to help our brothers and sisters.  Yet, we must do it in accordance with Islam and in a condition of purity to be successful.

We must not kill innocent civilians, especially women, children, elderly and the handicapped.  We should not destroy places of worship (like in Nigeria).  We should not destroy the environment.  Looting and burning of buildings must be avoided; we need them later.  Let us exercise wisdom and planning rather than ignorance and pure emotion alone that may lead to sins in Islam and to crimes against humanity.  

One must follow and obey Allah’s Laws and must obey Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him).  Jihad is a duty placed upon all Muslims.  Someone must fulfill it.  Now, because we have no Caliph, our situation is more critical.  Both men and women are responsible for jihad.  Allah places a lot of reward upon jihad, even more than fasting.  The one who dies in jihad (as a shaheed) gets a great reward in Paradise and is placed in great honor.  He gave the greatest sacrifice-that of his own life.

However, besides going out and making jihad in all the necessary places, one must make the ultimate jihad with his soul.  This is the most difficult jihad.  How can we go out and teach others what we do not do? 

This Ramadan, all the Muslims must make a commitment to change themselves.  Even the best of us can always strive to be better.  If we have bad habits, then get rid of them.   If one does not usually pray or fast, then please pray and fast and be committed to change-obey Allah.  If a woman does not usually wear Islamic dress, then please wear it in obedience to Allah.  Continue these habits from Ramadan throughout your life.  Learn to read Qur’an and understand its meaning (tafseer).  Give more charity.  Be kind to those around you.  If you see a sin, do not accept it; say that it is a sin.  If we see wrong things daily around us and do not reject them, then they become normal to us; Allah does not like this.

Please make active change.  First, we change ourselves, then our families, then our neighbourhoods, then our communities, then our countries and then, insha’Allah, the whole Muslim Ummah.  We must begin now. 

If we obey Allah and gain his pleasure, then, insha’Allah, Allah will ease our hardships and change our condition.  How can we, as a nation, expect success or victory if we are not obeying Allah in everything?  We must constantly, throughout our lives, attempt to raise our spiritual levels.  Allah knows our hearts and intentions.  May Allah help us.

Omar bin Al-Khattab sent a letter to Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas when he was at the conquest of Persia:

“I order you and all the troops that are along with you to be obedient to Allah in all circumstances as this (being obedient to Allah) is better than the weapons against the enemy and a stronger stratagem (device) in the war.  I order you and the soldiers who are with you to be more cautious and afraid of your own crimes and sins (and not to commit them) than your enemy, as the crimes and sins of the soldiers are more dangerous to them than their enemy.  The Muslims are victorious only because their enemies are disobedient to Allah and had it not been so, we have no power over them, because neither our number is equal to their number, nor our weapons are like theirs.  If we commit crimes and sins as they do, then they (our enemies) will have superiority over us in power.  And if we will not gain victory over them by our merits, we do not overpower them by our strength.  And you should also know in this marching of yours (for Allah’s Cause) there are guards (angels) upon you from Allah (to watch you), and they know all what you do.  So, be shy from them and do not commit disobedience to Allah while you are going in Allah’s Cause…”

Thus, we see the importance of obedience.  This applies to all aspects of our lives.  Success comes only through obedience to Allah.  Let us reform ourselves this Ramadan. 

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