Monday, 27 June 2011

Islamic Articles: CAMP RAMADHAN



In the west, the United States in particular, there is the tradition of going to a specialty camp of applied interest to the individual. Particularly in the summer vacation months.

At these camps, you will find a concentration towards the topic of interest of which the camp was set up to begin with. For instance, there are the various types of sports camps (such as baseball camp, canoe camp, etc.), as well as there are other specialized camps such as band camp for those inclined towards school band activities and music, as well as the various religious camps (namely Christian youth activities camps).

As a previous Christian, I attended several of such camps in my youth. Christian Youth Fellowship camps. Those camps were dedicated towards renewing the attendees' faith, and learning something new as well. But basically for the social aspect of the camp itself, and renewing one's faith through the fellowship that such a camp provided, in a different atmosphere than the normal daily routine of the family life.

Now, after having been a muslim for 25+ years, and experiencing the coming and going of many Ramadhans, I compare this yearly experience of Ramadhan to those camps, in a sense.

The month of Ramadhan is a holy month to Islam. It is the month in which the first revelation of the Quran occured. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed. It is the month in which we are reassured that the devils are chained, and the doors to paradise are open to all. It is the month which contains the 'night of power', which we are told directly from Allah, is better in it's value and importance than one thousand months.

It is during this month that all muslims worldwide come together under the one flag of fasting for the sake of Allah. It is also during this month that muslims worldwide gather together in a more concentrated effort of increased prayers and other forms of worship, in following suit to the example set for them by their beloved prophet Mohammed(PBUH).

Hence, my comparison of this month which occurs yearly, to the camps of the west.

I call it 'Camp Ramadhan'.

Whenever a western youngster (or even adult) goes home from a summer camp (regardless if it is a religious camp or otherwise), they are somehow changed by the effects of the change of lifestyle that camp has provided for them of the time period they spent at the camp.

The memories of that camp remain with them for a long time, even after returning home to their daily routines and families.

So it should be for us muslims, that the effects of Ramadhan remain with us throughout the year, and continuing on to the upcoming of the next Ramadhan.

I humbly remind all muslims now reading this to ask themselves seriously: what lessons have you learned from this Ramadhan? Or what practices did you put into effect during this Ramadhan which is even slightly different from your daily routine year-round? Or what feelings spiritually and emotionally have you experienced throughout this month or perhaps at it's closing?

Why not make the extra effort this year to carry those practices or lessons or feelings throughout the rest of the year? Why save those practices or feelings or lessons only for Ramadhan??

My dear brothers and sisters...I implore you to carry on with the nafal (superrogatory) prayers you began to do during this holy month.

I implore with you to continue making the extra effort daily to recite from the Quran and learn it's meaning, as you have in this special holy month.

Make the extra effort to make the lessons of Ramadhan last and make a true difference in your life, and perhaps the deciding factor of your very survival from the hell fire!!

Were you able to contain your anger during this month better than at other times?

Then why not apply that to your daily life through the rest of the year.

Were you able to realize your duty to Allah in your prayers or remembrance and praise of Him?

The surely, apply that to your daily life throughout the rest of the year!!

I pray humbly to Allah that He will bless us all to come away from this year's 'Camp Ramadhan' with the lessons it has to teach us engrained in our hearts, and with the firmer determination to apply those lessons to our lives throughout the rest of our time on this earth.

And I also pray humbly that Allah will bless us all and have His mercy to shed upon us to forgive us our sins, and grant us the reward of this month of the fasting we have observed, and bless us even further to live long enough to witness yet another great Ramadhan to serve Him better!!



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