Transformation of the heart

Our experience this month is supposed to create gratefulness to God for what we have, and lead us to form some new resolutions for the remaining chapters of our life.

MUSLIMS all around the world are currently observing the month of Ramadan by fasting and perfor­ming ibadah or religious rituals, to gain the blessings and mercy of Allah.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Hijri calendar. In this month, it is obligatory for all Muslims to fast from fajr (sunrise) to sunset.

Prophet Muhammad addressed his companions on the last day of Sha’ban (the month before Rama­dan), saying: “Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as perfor­ming an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time.

“It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.” (Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah).

For many Muslims, the month of Ramadan offers countless blessings promised by Allah.

Fasting is one part of it because, through the act of fasting, we learn to appreciate God’s sustenance for us and at the same time empathise with those who are less fortunate.

Ramadan is mainly about purifying the heart and being closer to God. The act of fasting and other rituals related to it are ultimately to achieve that purity.

For the heart, when it is pure, is drawn to its Master. And when we make submission to God, the most valuable element of our existence on Earth, life becomes so worthwhile.

This experience is supposed to create gratefulness to God for what we have, and lead us to form some new resolutions for the remaining chapters of our life.

The heart that seeks pleasure from its Creator must first be sincere in its intention. From the Isla­mic point of view, sincerity acts as a foundation for all of our actions in life.

It is about focusing on desiring the pleasure of Allah in everything that we do as the basis of our intentions and actions.

Allah says in the Quran of those who are sincere:

They [are those who] fulfil [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [saying], “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude”. (Chapter 76, Verses 7-9).

Sincerity of this kind will ensure that every action that is taken, is done out of the realisation that God wants us to do good deeds, possess high moral character and be kind towards the people around us.

by  ENIZAHURA ABDUL AZIZ.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/IKIM-Views/Profile/Articles/2015/06/30/Transformation-of-the-heart-Our-experience-this-month-is-supposed-to-create-gratefulness-to-God-for/

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