Watatita: The Lessons of Ramadan, So Quickly Forgotten
The month of Ramadan is finally over and we’re back to our normal eating and sleeping habits. However, many people are also back to their worst habits — which is ironic when you consider that the fasting month is supposed to help us reach spiritual enlightenment. The trouble with many Muslims in this country is that they follow the rules, but don’t really know the meaning of them. People like to follow each other without bothering to learn and understand what it is they are following. So what is the purpose of fasting, and how does it affect the rest of our lives?
When Muslims are fasting, other than not being permitted to eat and drink, they are also supposed to be more patient, control their temper, be kinder and more generous and feel empathy for others. Some people are able to do all this — but only during the month of Ramadan. As soon as the fasting month ends, it seems, people start to be rude and cruel to each other again, as if they’ve learnt absolutely nothing.
I think those things we learn during Ramadan are supposed to be applied on daily basis, regardless of what month it is. Of course, we’re allowed to eat and drink the rest of the time, but we should also put into practice our newfound skills of controlling our tempers and giving generously to the less fortunate.
It’s the same with those rich businesspeople, ministers and government workers who can afford to travel all the way to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage, only to come back to Indonesia and continue their corrupt practices the same as before. Shouldn’t they have been spiritually enlightened there? Did they learn nothing? Why did they go there in the first place?
Ramadan comes around just once a year, but it can give us the tools to create a positive life.
Did you learn anything during this fasting month? Do you think you can apply those lessons in your everyday life?