By Hasib Noor
It was the last prayer of Ramadan. Isha Prayer on the 29th.
The Imam of Makkah did something amazing that struck me. The Imam recited the ayaat that normally many of us hear in reminders and we reflect over at the beginning of Ramadan.
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
❝ The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed. A Guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it…❞ [Qur’an 2:185]
The entire masjid was emotional when he recited those ayaat. It was a powerful reminder because those ayaat discussed the central theme of Ramadan, the main reason we stood that month in prayer at night, we fasted, we abstained from food, struggled against our carnal desires and temptations, fought our human instinct to react to those who may have harmed us, tasted hunger, so that we may understand our purpose in receiving, reflecting, implementing, and yearning for guidance from the Divine.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala describes the reason why we commemorate this month. It was the month that the Qur’an was revealed. A Guidance for all people.
Many years ago when I questioned myself to what the purpose of the Qur’an was, what was my need for it? I realized that the question itself was selfish. To ask what good the Qur’an can do for me. It was my attitude that was the problem. It was about seeking the guidance in it. It was about feeling needy. It was about humbling in the presence of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It was about wanting direction.
I realized over the years in my studies that I had to read the Qur’an with an open heart. Seek knowledge to understand its meanings, and reflect over it in times of hardship and ease. I realized I had to really tune into what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was directing me to in everything that happened in my life. Nothing happens by coincidence. Every movement. Every situation. Every problem. Every hardship. Every person you meet.
The reality is, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guides us like that every single day. Every moment. Every breath. Every movement.
It’s just about us tuning in; truly seeking and yearning for that guidance. Reflecting on it actively to find His specific direction for us.
❝…There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses by His Will unto light, and guides them to a straight path.❞ [Qur’an 5:15-16]
This is why that final day last year in Makkah was so powerful. This is why so many were teary eyed at the ending of Ramadan. The ayaat which he recited end with,
❝Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and wants for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which He has guided you; and perhaps so that you will be grateful. And when My servants ask you, concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be guided.❞ [Qur’an 2: 185-186]
These ayaat powerfully echoed something that in the wisdom of the imam of Makkah in reciting them at the end of Ramadan that should reverberate in all of us, it was the reason why so many were teary eyed. It was happiness at the guidance and blessing of knowing purpose, grateful to have been given the chance and grateful for this guidance.
It was the realization that Ramadan is not just about a season, it’s about constantly seeking that guidance and individual instruction. It’s discipline. It’s a lifestyle.
The article has been modified and is only an extract. Kindly read the entire article at Muslimmatters.org where it was originally published.