Ramadam Message To Ramadam Muslims and Muslims

Abdulkadir Salaudeen

Abdulkadir Salaudeen

There are different categories of Muslims. There are Muslims by birth who can only be known as Muslims when they say they are Muslims. One cannot find any trace of Islam on them, even by their names, because they do not bear their Muslim names. This is common among the Yoruba where you see someone who bears Lanre Ishola and he is a Muslim. You hardly know he is a Muslim but in Ramadan. You know what I mean!

There are also Muslims by name. These are found almost everywhere. For instance, in the north, you find someone whose name is Abubakar Abdullahi who doesn’t pray too but fasts in the month of Ramadan. The difference between Lanre Ishola and Abubakar Abdullahi is that while the latter apparently looks like a Muslim, though he is hardly seen in the mosque, the former does not look like a Muslim in all ramifications.

It is disturbing to note that some people prioritize fasting Ramadan more than the five daily prayers. Whereas, the five daily prayers are far more important than fasting for the following reasons.

One, prayer is the second of the five pillars of Islam while fasting is the fourth. That is to say prayers are to be offered before fasting. Two, prayer is a prerequisite to the acceptance of fasting and any other righteous deeds by Alla. Allah does not accept any good deed if the doer does not pray. The Prophet (SAW) said “Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled” (Bukhari). That means they will be rendered invalid—they will not be accepted. This is to tell you how important prayer is.

Three, prayers are accepted by Allah even without fasting. In other words, fasting is not a precondition for the acceptance of prayer. Four, one can be excused from fasting under some conditions. Same is not applicable to prayer under whatever condition. Aside women who are temporarily holidayed from prayers due to menstruation, the only person whose exception from prayer is valid is not actually a person in the real sense of the word. He is a child who has not attained the age of responsibility, a mentally deranged, or one who is in a very long state of coma, and the likes.

But why do people earnestly observe fasting but neglect prayers? I can think of few reasons which are not in any way exhaustive. First and foremost, it is ignorance. Many Muslims do not know that fasting is not accepted by Allah when it is not accompanied by REGULAR prayers. Note that I stressed ‘regular’ because observation of prayers that makes fasting valid has to be regular; not just praying in the month of Ramadan. Are you Ramadan Muslims? Please do have a rethink.

Two, while neglecting prayers does not come with shame, at least in our cultures, it is not so with fasting. If you do not fast in our various cultures, people see you as a very lazy person and even irresponsible. It is common to hear people say “As old as you are, you are not fasting”; “Even children within the age bracket of 6, 7, 8… fast, so why you?”.

Three, there is element of show off in fasting; and people like to show off. In addition, Ramadan period is a time where most nominal Muslims reassert their identities as Muslims. Truly, fasting is one of the greatest expressions of discipline which makes one not to eat from dawn to dusk for a month long, many people think it is the only act of worship through which they can validate their Muslimness. This is very wrong! A Muslim is duly recognized as one by their regular observation of the five daily prayers.

From the above reasons that explain the reality of Ramadan Muslims, do you think such people fast for the sake of Allah? Evidently no! They fast to reassert their Muslimness; they fast not to be shamed; and they fast to do show off. Fasting is not accepted by Allah if it is for any of the above reasons. If you are a Ramadan Muslim, please do have a rethink.

As a parent, how do you feel when your child only obeys you in a month out of twelve months? Mind you, they obey you for this short period of time not because they love you but because they want people to know that they are your children. Or because they do not want to be shamed that they do not have parents. Or due to ignorance which makes them think you (parents) only deserve their obedience once in a year. Sadly, this is how we behave towards Allah, the Most High.

All in all, Ramadan Muslims display a very strong trait of hypocrisy; that is if we assumed they are not hypocrites. They also exhibit an unbelievable sign of ignorance; if we assumed they are not ignorant. They struggle, in futility, to re-assert the Muslimness which they never were. “They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!”, says the Qur’an in Chapter 2: 9.

I hope we all can identify Ramadan Muslims in our midst. Let’s not look down upon them as usual. Let’s educate them to break the barrier of ignorance which has kept them in the dark for long. Let’s educate them to understand that prayer comes before fasting and fasting without regular prayer is a nullity and will remain a nullity till eternity. Let’s let them know that their yearly reassertion of Muslimness might not necessarily qualify them as Muslims. We should encourage them to enquire about their status as Muslims from competent scholars.

Let’s also share this article with them perhaps it will be of great help to them. May Allah guide us and them. Let’s not also forget to pray for the restoration of security in Nigeria (especially the north). May Allah accept our righteous prayers.

 

 

Abdulkadir Salaudeen

salahuddeenabdulkadir@gmail.com

@salahuddeenAbd

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