Friday, 19 July 2013

Ramadhan: A Muslim's recharge period

Assalamualaikum,

Is this how we respond to Ramadhan?
How's about a rerun? This is a post I wrote in my old blog, back in 2008. I wrote this post after listening to a tazkirah given by an ustaz before Friday prayers. The content is still relevant so I thought I'd give it a second life here in my new blog. Sticking with my previous few posts, it's about Ramadhan and how many people become better Muslims during Ramadhan, but few of those people are actually able to maintain their improvements after Ramadhan has left. I draw parallels to how an electronic device charges to maximum capacity and then drains continuously until needing another recharge. We should use Ramadhan to become better Muslims holistically, not just for one month. Read on for a more in depth explanation.

During Ramadhan many people go to the masjid/surau for terawih, they act nice and polite, hold their tongue and suppress their anger, recite the Quran more frequently, everyone becomes better Muslims basically. Which is good. But that's not exactly how Ramadhan is supposed to affect us. An analogy might explain my point.

When we charge our handphone, laptop, MP3 player or any electronic device, the batteries will charge until they become fully charged, or in other words, they become "complete" or they are considered to be at their optimal performance. Now, regardless of what item it is, or what brand it is, whatever the specifications it possesses, when it is charging, we would expect the batteries of all electronic items to reach full capacity, and stay there as long as it is charged. What we want to see, is how long the batteries will remain charged after unplugging them before needing another recharge. So the ustaz said that Ramadhan is somewhat of a "recharging" period for Muslims. A period where we would expect everyone to be on their best behaviour. But what we want to see, and what we should see is Muslims being on their best behaviour even after Ramadhan has left.
Image: Deviant Art
When we go away to a motivational camp, to a leadership seminar or something similar, we are expected to practice what we learn throughout the camp for the rest of our lives. Not to just learn during the camp and forget everything after the camp is over. Same thing goes for Ramadhan. We are expected to better ourselves during Ramadhan, and remain that way for the rest of the year. And when the next Ramadhan comes, we should improve ourselves even more. And so on for the coming years. Just imagine, if we really did do that, in just 5 years, we would be 5 times a better Muslim. As opposed to bettering ourselves during Ramadhan, and after which we return to our old selves. We would always be going up 1 level, and coming back down to our original level every year. So we wouldn't really be improving every year, would we?

We should not go to the masjid/surau only during Ramadhan. And even in Ramadhan, not only for terawih. We should go throughout the year, and for every prayer that we can, not just the night prayers. We should recite the Quran on a daily basis throughout the year, not just in Ramadhan. We should guard our language throughout the year, not only in Ramadhan. I think you get my point now don't you?
Recharge and stay charged. Image: Design Molvi
Now, we can't be expected to be perfect Muslims, that's understandable. But there's nothing wrong in trying to be perfect, right? Even if we somehow, alhamdulillah manage to be 70% the perfect Muslim, that's not too bad, is it?

Act like every month is Ramadhan. That would be best.