….And eat and drink until the white thread of
dawn becomes distinct to you
from the black thread [of night]. …. (Surah 2: 187)
So yet another Ramadan dawns and SubhanaAllah we are in the midst of it. Before we know it, it’s going to be a thing of the past.
World over Ramadan is the month where delicacies are prepared, the shelves are stocked and the larder brims with goodies. Ironic considering the fact that in the month in which we are supposed to abstain from food, we end up making, spending, buying and indulging in so much more food than we would in other days!
Ramadan is indeed a special month. The month where the reward for we every little good deed is multiplied many folds. Where we race to earn the reward by racing to feed those who fast, by sharing Ramadan delicacies with neighbors, kith and kin.
Encouraging the children
We’ve been asked to encourage and motivate the children from a very young age to fast and feel the hunger pangs and reap the rewards of fasting.
Narrated Ar-Rubi’ bint Mu’awadh (radiallaahu `anhaa):
“The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sent a messenger to the village of the Ansar in the morning of the day of ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) to announce: ‘Whoever has eaten something should not eat but complete the fast, and whoever is observing the fast should complete it.’ “She further said, “Since then we used to fast on that day regularly and also make our boys fast. We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast.”
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 181
Just like the saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” in my house, surrounded by the male species (as I am a mother to 3 boys) – motivation for them comes with food. They don’t expect a feast Alhamdulillah, because they understand this month is not about food! But they expect that a “favorite” of theirs be prepared.
And so yes, I get them to help me, I make ahead and freeze and do whatever I can to ensure that we have a win-win situation. They get their special and I get not to spend too much time in the kitchen!
Feeding those who fast.
“He who gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting person’s reward.” (Tirmidhi)
The reward for aiding another to fast is not like any other. So like with all matters – we need to find the balance in feeding others and being fed, especially in this month of abstinence.
This feeding, this toiling in the kitchen will all be rewarded definitely. But we need to ensure that we do not over tire ourselves and go to extremes in this regard. We must strive to keep performing salah on time, the nawafil salah’s and increase in Tilawah in this blessed month. And seek to abstain from that extra socializing and entertaining! Let’s leave that for beyond Ramadan!
For, this ‘feeding those who fast’ has become like everything else a gimmick. A trap by the accursed Satan to make us lose the reward, distract us from the main goals by making us forget the priorities. So now adverts are filled with “All you can eat Ifthar buffets!” where indulgence goes to another level. Where socializing results in not being able to reap the reward of salah on time and Qiyam. May Allah protect us!
It is a dilemma I know, because we Muslims have somehow gone into extremes with regard to invitations. This feeling of having to reciprocate every invite. Last year we simply had to refuse a few invitations! May Allah reward them for their intention to feed us!
In the month where the reward for every act of Ibadah is magnified let us remember to supplicate for the host:
“May the fasting (people) break their fast in your home, and may the dutiful and pious eat your food, and may the angels send prayers upon you.”
Islam is a moderate religion, where in we are urged to be balanced in all our affairs. Let us take heed and give this month the reverence due and focus on nurturing our spiritual selves and remember that Ramadan is a month to fast and not feast!
Um Ayyoob Shaaziya Binth Fayas is a bloggermum, educator, poet and aspiringwriter. You can find her blogging at Umayaraa