Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

It is easy to list the constants during the month of Ramadan as we expect it every year to happen, and it shapes Ramadan the way we know it. But I will mention three main important constants about Ramadan.

First, it is the honor of fasting as a response to the call of Allah (ﷻ). Allah (ﷻ) said: {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous} 2:183. Fasting Ramadan is one of the five main pillars of Islam which identifies who we are and gives us a sense of existence as servants of Allah (ﷻ), as all rituals are under the banner of worshiping our Lord. Allah (ﷻ) said: {And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me} 51:56.

Second, it is time to cleanse our sins. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven”.[1] People look to blessed times and places to make up for things they have done wrong. Fasting Ramadan is a real chance to seek forgiveness from Allah (ﷻ). The prophet (ﷺ) said: “May he be abased who passes through the whole month of Ramadan before his sins are being forgiven for him”.[2] That means, if a person misses forgiveness during Ramadan by not utilizing time and effort engaging in good deeds, he is indeed a loser.

Third, it is a chance for acquiring good deeds and (Hasanat) that will be rewarded greatly by Allah (ﷻ) at the Day of Judgment. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “If anyone fasts for a day while engaged in jihad, God will remove him seventy years’ distance from hell.[3] And Allah (ﷻ) said in the holy hadeeth: “Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.[4] Scholars say that the uniqueness of such open reward from God is that fasting is a secret act of worship between the servant and his Lord that no one knows, and thus it is a genuine proof of faith with no chance of being a hypocrite.

Now as to the variables, there could be many to list, but I will mention only three.

First, we are still processing and living the aching pain, feeling with our brothers and sisters in the besieged Gaza. It is not enough that they are under constant bombing, displacement and without shelter or medicine! But now, it seems that the war is meant to break the spirit of the people of Gaza by causing them to suffer in hunger! It is very clear that the people of Gaza are meant to be forced out of their land in another flux of forced migration. Food trucks and aid are waiting for weeks on the border by Egypt. The food relief program that used to reach north and middle Gaza is at a halt and now we are all hearing the possibility of invading south Gaza which will cause another catastrophe on top of the ongoing catastrophe. In such a time and circumstances, I hope that we can remember the blessings we are enjoying here in the US including unlimited food and luxuries while our brothers and sisters are deprived of even the basic necessities of life, and sadly, life itself. Remember the less fortunate around the world and try to restrain yourselves from showing off on social media with videos and pictures of big tables of Iftars with all kinds of food and drinks. Let us also make an intention to donate to relief agencies that can bring aid to the people of Gaza as much as we can.

Second, we are also still grieving the shocking crime that happened in our community a few weeks ago leaving four females dead tragically. Ramadan is the month of Tawbah and purifying the self from all its illnesses. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best of you is he who is best to his family.[5] That means our homes should be places of love, tranquility and mercy, not places of abuse and domestic violence and crimes! Let us make the intention during this month to strengthen the bonds with our family members by following the steps of the prophet (ﷺ) who is the role model for all of us in all aspects of life, including relationships with family members.

Third, mosques are built to be centers of service to the community and also a place where we can produce future leaders that can carry the honor of the message of Islam. Ramadan is a great opportunity to invite your children and youth to take part in the activities we have in the Masjed and volunteer to better serve the community at large, insha Allah. Bring all your family for Salat and Taraweeh, but most importantly, bring the youth to be part of the future legacy of the Prayer Center.

By Imam Kifah Mustapha

[1] Bukhari

[2] Tirmithi

[3] Bukhari

[4] Bukhari

[5] Tirmithi


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