This Ramadan let us take a journey through the Qur’an inshAllah and focus on the verses that are particularly helpful in our recovery. There are many verses that could help us to find a path towards Allah while we strive to get clean or sober or give up addictive behaviours that take us away from Allah. So let’s journey together….
WIth Ramadan just around the corner let us have been pondering upon the verses regarding fasting and Ramadan. All these verses appear in one place in the Qur’an and do not appear in any other chapters. From Surah Baqara, the second chapter, from verse 183 Allah states many reminders that can help us to correct our intention. He begins with the verse;
“Oh you who believe! As’Saum (abstaining) has been prescribed for you, as it has been prescribed for those upon you, that you may achieve taqwa (God-Consciousness)
“Oh you who believe! As’Saum (abstaining) has been prescribed for you, as it has been prescribed for those upon you, that you may achieve taqwa (God-Consciousness) Quran, 2:183
Initially, there is no mention of Ramadan itself. Here Allah is stating that the way to achieve Taqwa is through as-Saum. As-saum is literally translated from Arabic into English as ‘to abstain’. This is particulary important for us to think about as we are on the path to recovery with complete abstinence of all things that Allah is displeased with in mind. That by abstaining we are able to achieve closeness to Allah, by remembering Him. And when we often remember Allah, we naturally begin to want to please Him, and stay clear of all behaviours that may lead to His displeasure. And that is having taqwa.
Also in this verse Allah describes that he has ‘prescribed’ fasting for us. This word in Arabic is ‘kutiba’ here, which literally means ‘to write’. Let us think about this more deeply. Allah has written fasting for us as a means to attain Taqwa. It is something that we are in need of. Allah is The Creator and He Knows what is required for us more than we know ourselves. When we visit a doctor when we are sick, he or she will prescribe us with medication to get well. What about the one who is spiritually sick, who remembers Allah little, who has litte or no taqwa? What do they need to get better? They need taqwa and the way to attain, it is through fasting. In our addiction, we moved away from Allah therefore we are in need of fasting in order to reach closer to Him on His Straight Path.
The first mention of the month of Ramadan appears in verse 185 when Allah says;
“The month of Ramdan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs and (the Criterion between right and wrong). So whoever of you observes the month, he must observe as-Saum that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey the same number from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. He wants that you must complete the same number of days and that you must magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”.
What is special about this verse, is that when Allah mentions Ramadan for the first time, He reminds us that this is the month in which He sent down The Qur’an with clear proofs and guidance.
Allah also mentions with great emphasis that He wishes for us ease. He follows this up by telling us He does not to make things difficult for us. That’s like me telling you I want to bake you a cake and I want it to be delicious and I don’t it to be disgusting. I don’t need to tell you the latter part because I have already said I want it to be delicious therefore I do not need to add that I don’t want it to be disgusting. The words that Allah has chosen to use here tell us that He is greatly emphasising how much He wants to make things easy for us. Therefore, when we approach Ramadan we must remember that Allah is helping us and that we can get through this month without too much difficulty. We must believe in ourselves that we are able to complete and perfect all the number of days and then be grateful to Allah for having helped us.