Agenda Proposal for Ramadan

Yahya Basalamah
If we look at the annals of the Muslim Ummah, we will see that in the Golden centuries of this Ummah people used to have a special agenda for this great occasion, the month of Ramadan. This agenda could be summarized in four components:

The first one was to strengthen their preference for the life of al-‚khirah (the life after death) over the life of this world (the Dunya, the lower standard of life). As God says in the Quran:

And indeed, whatever you are given now is but for the passing enjoyment of life in this world, and for its embellishment, whereas that which is with God is so much better and more enduring. Will you not, then, use your reason? Is, then, he to whom We have given that goodly promise which he shall see fulfilled on his resurrection comparable to one on whom We have bestowed all the enjoyments of this worldly life, but who, on Resurrection Day, will find himself among those that shall be arraigned before Us? [28: 60-61]

This longing for the good and durable life of khirah is the most important aim to be established in every Muslim individualís soul. God also says:

Those who are preferring the life of this world to the life to come, and turn others away from the path of God and try to make it appear crooked, such as these have indeed gone far astray. [14: 3]

The second component is to strive to keep away from following their personal desires. As God says: "And who could be more astray than he who follows but his own desires without any guidance from God? Verily God does not grace with His guidance people who are given to evildoing. [28: 50]

God also says: And as for him who shall have in fear of his Sustainerís Presence, and held back his inner self from base desires, paradise will truly be the goal. [79: 40-41]

And as we all know, the great disasters caused by criminal wars waged against poor nations are committed because the aggressors are following their base desires. And any bad action committed by anyone is because this person follows his personal desires, although it is forbidden by God's law.

The third component is not to obey stinginess. In fact, this peculiarity is inborn in every person, but religious and moral education require people to diminish it as much as possible. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has warned his followers against obeying stinginess, because he said that this peculiarity has caused disasters against many communities before us.

God says: And they [i.e. those who obey stinginess] should not think they who niggardly cling to all that God has granted them out of His bounty that this is good for them. That to which they so niggardly cling will, on the Day of Resurrection, be hung about their necks: for unto God alone belongs the heritage of the heavens and of the earth; and God is aware of all that you do. [3: 180]

The fourth component is to establish mutual respect between people and widening their horizons, so that no one should be obsessed with his own opinion. Each one should be trained to listen to others and try to benefit something out of it. The various opinions should be allowed to be put forth for mutual benefit and not to be the reason for dividing people.

It is our hope that during this coming Ramadhan, we could also put these four components as the basic of our agenda, so that we can come out of this Ramadhan Training Occasion with a good refreshment, with great benefit and with a step forward to a better condition for a healthier community in this country.

Summary of the Khutbah (Friday sermon) held in the Mosque of Geneva on the 8th of October 2004.
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