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Zakatul Fitr

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Like any aspect of human life, Ramadan is a test which every Muslim should endeavour to pass. Without waiting to be asked, a good Muslim must be able to sincerely ask him or herself in this sacred month the following vital questions; What was my spiritual status at the commencement of this year’s Ramadan and what is it at this stage of the sacred month? There are many reasons for this:

Ramadan has become a transit period for most Muslims especially in Nigerian society. Whenever the month of Ramadan comes around such Muslims just dust up their instruments of worship and pretend to be genuine Muslims. At least for the first few days in the sacred month Mosques are full of worshippers, regular and irregular. They come from all strata of the society to join other Muslims in observing congregational prayers especially Salatu-t-Tarawih in the Mosques. They endeavour (if pretentiously) to do away with drinking alcohol openly even as they discard fornication or adultery as well as other crimes temporarily in the month.

Even when some of such pseudo Muslims do not find Ramadan fasting interesting, they do pretend to play along. Such people are easily recognizable by their uncultured attitudes in the sacred month. For instance, most of them do not wake up for ‘Sahur’ in the night. Neither do they involve their mental and physical beings in fasting. To them, abstaining from eating and drinking should be enough as fasting. Thus, as long as they go about with empty stomach, fasting is on course.

Such people are like self-deceptive students who believe in marking their own scripts after writing examinations. The question is: can they award themselves the needed certificates? If they can, who will recognize such certificates? Thus, sincere self-assessment in the month of Ramadan is a necessary means of reassuring oneself of the right performance in the sacred month of Ramadan. The first ten days of the month were for free blessings of Allah. The second ten days are for forgiveness against all sins and iniquities.

If Allah can grant unlimited blessings to fasting Muslims in those first ten days, one should, at least work for forgiveness before the last ten days when fasting Muslims will be granted total spiritual liberation from the shackles of Satan. Therefore, to be sure of being on course, during this spiritual journey, a self-assessment at this stage is a sine qua non. Ramadan Karim!

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