Ramadan Day 18 -Strengthening Willpower and Determination

Syed Bukhari

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Strengthening Willpower and Determination

Strengthening Willpower and Determination –As the eighteenth day of Ramadan unfolds, the Muslim world is called upon to cultivate the virtues of willpower and determination – qualities that are essential for navigating the challenges and tribulations of life, and ultimately achieving spiritual growth and personal fulfillment. In a world that often values instant gratification and fleeting pleasures, Ramadan serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of perseverance, self-discipline, and an unwavering commitment to one’s goals and values.

The Significance of Willpower in Islamic Teachings

The concept of willpower, or “Iradah” in Arabic, holds a significant place in Islamic teachings. The Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasize the importance of cultivating a strong willpower, as it is this quality that empowers individuals to resist temptations, overcome obstacles, and remain steadfast on the path of righteousness. The Prophet himself was renowned for his unwavering determination, persevering through countless challenges and adversities in the pursuit of spreading the message of Islam.

The Test of Fasting

One of the most profound tests of willpower during Ramadan is the act of fasting itself. As believers abstain from food, drink, and other indulgences from dawn until dusk, they are forced to confront their own weaknesses and cravings head-on. It is through this daily struggle against physical desires that individuals have the opportunity to strengthen their willpower, developing the mental fortitude and self-discipline necessary to navigate the numerous temptations and distractions that life inevitably presents.

Overcoming Spiritual Obstacles

In addition to the physical challenges of fasting, Ramadan also presents believers with a multitude of spiritual obstacles that must be overcome through sheer willpower and determination. From resisting negative thoughts and emotions to maintaining a steadfast commitment to prayer, charity, and acts of kindness, the holy month serves as a powerful training ground for cultivating the inner strength and resilience needed to stay true to one’s spiritual path.

Strengthening Willpower and Determination

The Lessons of the Prophets

Throughout the ages, the prophets and revered figures of Islam have served as shining examples of willpower and determination, their lives a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. From the unwavering resolve of Prophet Musa (Moses) in leading his people out of oppression, to the steadfast determination of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in spreading the message of Islam, these remarkable individuals have left an indelible mark on the hearts and souls of believers, inspiring them to embrace the virtues of willpower and determination in their own lives.

Cultivating a Mindset of Resilience

By strengthening their willpower and determination during Ramadan, believers are not only enriching their spiritual journeys but also cultivating a mindset of resilience that will serve them well in all aspects of their lives. Whether facing personal challenges, professional obstacles, or the inevitable ups and downs of daily existence, those who have honed their willpower through the rigors of fasting and spiritual discipline will be better equipped to navigate these trials with grace, fortitude, and an unwavering commitment to their goals and values.

A Journey of Spiritual Transformation

When the holy month of Ramadan arrives, Allah doesn’t merely want us to abstain from food and drink. The true essence of this sacred period lies in cultivating taqwa – a profound consciousness of God’s presence and a commitment to living righteously.

Taqwa:

Taqwa is not some elusive, spiritual quality; it’s a tangible way of being that should be evident to all around us. The Qur’an states: 

“O you who have committed to Allah! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of Allah [and His power to implement justice].” (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 183)

In another verse, Allah reminds us: 

“…Be just: this is closest to being conscious of Allah’s [corrective power]…” (Surah Al-Ma’idah, verse 8). 

These profound teachings aren’t meant to remain confined to pages; they’re meant to shape our lives, where injustices still prevail.

Cultivate Crystallised Human Being:

The purpose of fasting during Ramadan is to cultivate a crystallized human being – one whose behavior, feelings, and thoughts align with Allah’s standards. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

 “Whoever does not abstain from false statements and false actions during any time of fasting, then Allah has no need for this person to abstain from food and from drink” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

  • If we don’t part with falsehood, Allah has no need for us to abstain from food and drink.
  • During Ramadan, when we abstain from meals, we should remember those who struggle with hunger year-round.
  • The objective of fasting is to attain taqwa – a deep consciousness of God and a commitment to justice.

Allah says,

“And when my obliging subjects ask you about Me, behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls upon Me; let them, then, respond to Me, and commit themselves to Me, so that they might [maturely] follow the right way” (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 186).

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Where is Allah?

How often do we question, “Where is Allah? If He existed, He would have responded to me! If He existed, He would have shown more compassion!”

 Allah responds to these questions when we’re truly ready to receive His answer – when we observe Ramadan correctly.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that Allah is near and responsive when we “make the ma’ruf (that which is self-evidently good, moral, and virtuous) the legal order in life, and…make the munkar (that which is self-evidently bad, immoral, and evil) illegitimate and illegal in life” (Sahih Tirmidhi). Otherwise, our calls to Allah will go unanswered.

Allah says, “…it is thus (through this cultivation of taqwa), that Allah makes clear His messages to people, so that they might remain cautious [of Him]” (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 187). Through those who truly believe, Allah’s signs and presence become manifest in human affairs.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said fasting is a protection for these human beings (Sahih Al-Bukhari). But is this protection evident when decision-makers fast yet make choices that harm Muslims? If Ramadan passes without a manifestation of Allah’s power and presence, then it was merely a physical and mechanical activity.

Let’s not allow this Ramadan to come and go without cultivating taqwa. May Allah grant us the privilege of extending ourselves to those in need, even if only through our thoughts and intentions.

How does Ramadan support Muslims in developing self-discipline?

The holy month of Ramadan is a profound journey of self-discipline and spiritual growth for Muslims worldwide. During this sacred period, we must abstain from indulging in food, water, and other physical desires from dawn until dusk. This act of fasting is not merely a physical exercise but a means to cultivate self-control, patience, and a heightened awareness of our relationship with the Divine.

Through this experience, we learn to tame our impulses and cravings, developing a sense of discipline that extends beyond just physical needs. It’s a time to reflect on our actions, thoughts, and intentions, aligning them with the teachings of the Qur’an and the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Ramadan serves as a reminder that true self-discipline encompasses all aspects of our lives – our speech, our behavior, and our interactions with others. By consciously abstaining from negative habits and hurtful actions, we strengthen our ability to live in accordance with Islamic principles, ultimately drawing closer to Allah (God).

How Ramadan is determined?

Ramadan is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins with the sighting of the crescent moon. In many Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, the start of the month is officially announced based on the testimonies of qualified moon sighters.

These individuals are tasked with physically observing the appearance of the new crescent moon in the sky, marking the beginning of the lunar month. This traditional method of moon sighting has been practiced for centuries and holds great significance in the Islamic tradition.

What are the important points of Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast from dawn until sunset. This means that we must refrain from consuming any food, water, or engaging in any immoral acts during daylight hours. Fasting is not only a physical act but also a profound spiritual practice that brings us closer to Allah (God).

Beyond the physical aspect of abstaining from food and drink, Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, increased acts of worship, and charitable deeds. It’s an opportunity to purify our souls, strengthen our faith, and develop empathy for those less fortunate by experiencing hunger and thirst.

Furthermore, the evenings during Ramadan are filled with special prayers, recitation of the Qur’an, and gatherings with family and friends, fostering a sense of community and unity among Muslims worldwide.

Conclusion

As the eighteenth day of Ramadan draws to a close, the Muslim world is reminded of the profound importance of strengthening willpower and determination. Through the act of fasting, the contemplation of the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet, and the emulation of the exemplary perseverance displayed by the revered figures of Islam, believers are able to cultivate the inner strength and resilience necessary to overcome obstacles, resist temptations, and stay true to their spiritual path. It is through these virtues that the true essence of Ramadan is revealed, guiding the faithful towards a life of purpose, personal growth, and a deeper connection with the Divine.