The month of fasting is over and life is now slowly returning to the pattern that we all had before Ramadan. Let us take a moment to reflect on what we gained during this month besides the reward from God, Almighty. Let us also plan to use the training in self-control we have developed during Ramadan for the next eleven months. A simple way of doing that is to compare ourselves to the branches of Iman as identified by the Quran and the Ahadith.
The Prophet said in several of the statements attributed to him, that there are some sixty or seventy branches of Iman. The highest is to bear witness there is no god by Allah and Muhammad is his messenger and the lowest is the removal of harm from the road and modesty is also of faith.
Imam Bayhaqi (d. 486 A.H) identified over seventy aspects of Iman. About 40% of these branches deal with the heart, 10% with tongue and about 50% with our actions.
Let us see how the self-discipline exercise in Ramadan would help us to impact our behavior, attitude, and actions in relation to these branches of Iman.
The aspects of Iman related to the heart
- Believe in the oneness and uniqueness of Allāh Most High.
- Believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah, the Most High created these things and subsequently, they came into existence.
- Believe in the existence of angels.
- Believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true and the Quran is the final divine testament.
- Believe that all the prophets are true and Prophet Muhammad is the last messenger and Prophet of Allah.
- Believe that Allah Most High is the creator of the knowledge of everything.
- Believe that Resurrection will definitely occur.
- Believe in the existence of Heaven.
- Believe in the existence of Hell.
- Have love for Allah, the Most High.
- Have love for the Messenger of Allāh, ﷺ.
- Have the intention of serving God.
- Fear Allah Most High.
- Trust in Allah Most High.
- Hope for the mercy of Allah Most High.
- Regrets and remorse when a sin is committed.
- Have modesty.
- Show gratitude over a bounty or favor.
- Be committed to promises.
- Have patience.
- Have humility.
- Show mercy on all the creation.
- Acceptance of the reality that we face in our lives
- Be humble.
- Do not have malice or hatred towards anybody.
- Do not be jealous towards anyone.
- Control over our anger.
- Show goodwill to all.
- Maintain a balanced attitude for the world.
Aspects of Iman dealing with our tongue
- Recite the Testimony of Faith [Kalimatu-sh Shahādah] with our tongue.
- Recite the Qur’an regularly.
- Communicate knowledge through our speech.
- Make supplications [du’a] to Allāh Most High.
- To make invocations [dhikr] of Allāh Most High.
- To evaluate ourselves to ensure that we do not lie, backbit, use vulgar words, curse, and indulge in useless talks and actions.
Aspects of Iman concerning our actions.
- Make ablution [wudu], take bath [ghusl], and keep one’s clothing clean.
- Being steadfast in offering the prayer [salat].
- Pay the tithe zakāt and Zakat-l Fitr.
- To fast regularly.
- Perform the Hajj if we have the means.
- Make i’tikāf during the Hajj.
- Move away or migrate from that place which is harmful for our practice of religion [din].
- Fulfill the vows that have been made to Allāh Most High.
- Fulfill the oaths that are not sinful.
- Pay the expiation [kaffārah] for unfulfilled oaths.
- Cover those parts of the body that are obligatory [fard] to cover.
- Perform the ritual slaughter.
- Enshroud and bury the deceased.
- Pay off our debts.
- Abstain from prohibited things when undertaking monetary transactions.
- Do not conceal something true which we may have witnessed.
- Do not go close to fornication and other lewd actions.
- Fulfill the rights of those who are under us.
- Provide comfort to one’s parents.
- Bring up children in the proper manner.
- Do not sever relations with one’s friends and relatives.
- Obey one the law
- Be just.
- Do not initiate anything that is contrary to the generally accepted legitimate ways of Muslims.
- Obey the legitimate rulers, provided what their governance is not contrary to the principles of justice.
- Make peace between two warring groups or individuals.
- Participate in noble tasks.
- Commend the good and forbid the evil.
- Reprimand ourselves for mistakes according to divine guidelines.
- Stand up to those who are bent on destroying the divine guidance
- Fulfill one’s trusts (amana).
- Give loans to those who are in need.
- See to the needs of one’s neighbor.
- Ensure that one’s income is pure and from good sources.
- Spend according to the divine guidelines
- Reply to one who has greeted you.
- Say yarhamuka-Llāh [Allāh have mercy on you!] when anyone says alhamduli–Llāh [all praise is for Allāh] after sneezing.
- Do not cause harm to anyone unjustly.
- Abstain from actions contrary to Islamic teachings.
- Remove pebbles, stones, thorns, sticks, or obstructions that may harm someone from the road or pathway.
Let us use this list as a barometer to determine the impact of Ramadan on our Iman and let us be prepared to correct ourselves once we realize that we are lacking in some aspects of our behavior and character.
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