Ramadan 2021 / 1442 Juz 22
“Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and warning, as one who calls people to God by His leave, as a light-giving lamp.” 33:45-46
Islam is like a light-giving lamp. If we treat the religion like it’s a set of rules and prescriptions, we burden ourselves and weigh ourselves down. We take on all the difficult parts of religion and ignore the uplifting aspects.
Islam should be good news, a warning about the big questions and where we go. A “light-giving lamp”, filling our hearts with the light of divine love and giving us peace, happiness and guidance in our everyday lives.
Islam teaches us a holistic way of life, aiming to achieve peace and having a contented soul in this life and the next. Through gratitude (shukr) for what we have; regular rememberance (dhikr); and mindfulness of the self (murāqabah). All of this is encompassed by our five prayers a day that aim to ground us in our purpose while laying the foundations for a mindful life in between prayers.
Islam teaches us not only through prayer and gratitude but also teaching us a minimalist life (zuhd), free from excess. This is exemplified in Ramadan when we make a concerted effort for the month to fast from food, drink as well as other excesses and bad deeds throughout the day. Many will continue this throughout the year, by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays as recommended by the prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), sometimes jokingly referred to as being a 1400 year old intermittent fasting. We see nowadays there a health benefits to this too.
Ultimately though through all this combined — our constant struggle and striving — we hope to purify our soul (tazkiyyah al nafs) and ultimately draw closer to Allah. Seeking contentedness through his pleasure and hoping for paradise.
“Not even the weight of a speck of dust in the heavens or earth escapes His knowledge, nor anything smaller or greater. It is all recorded in a clear Record so that He can reward those who believe and do good deeds: they will have forgiveness and generous provision.’” 34:3-4