Normally, a guest does not stay long with his host. After dropping by for a while and completing his purpose or courtesy call , he shall finally say goodbye and depart. When he will return is something that cannot be determined exactly by the host since he does not possess the will of his visitor ,nor does he have any control and authority over him. Such visitor could return at his appointed time but may not find the same host for he could have left for the destination from which he will never return at all.
This is how Ramadan manifests itself to the Muslim Ummah so that when it leaves and departs in a few days from now, none of us has the assurance of receiving it again next year simply because none of us knows his fate - whether he will be still around , or will already have joined his Creator - by the time Ramadan returns again next year.
This blessing and virtue-filled guest of the believers has only come and stayed with us for a while to bring us a chance to purify and cleanse ourselves of wrongdoing and misdeeds and lay before us the opportunity to invest for the next world for which all living creatures are inevitably bound.
A person who has been indifferent since the beginning of this month and who only pays little attention to the essence and greatness of Ramadan can still rise up and toil on any act of worship he willingly chooses so as not to be totally deprived of the immense reward lying in wait for him in the life after death.
So much is the time spent in roaming around or staying awake at night for senseless things.
"The worth of time is the worth of man 's life", the popular Arab writer Abbas Aqqad said.
Once Hasan Al-Basari passed by a group of people who made mockery of Ramadan . He then said: " Indeed, Allah has created the month of Ramadan as a racetrack for his servants where they compete with one another in worshiping Him. A group has advanced ahead and won while other groups have lagged behind and failed to win. What is more astonishing is one who laughs and makes fun in the day. Those who have come ahead are the winners and those who have mocked are the losers. "
Lucky is the one who is able to grab the Laylatul-qadar (Night of Power), a single night which could only be found in the last ten days of Ramadan from 20th until 30th - which is better and superior to one thousand months of worship. Allah said: " We have indeed revealed this message in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. There come down the Angels and the spirit by Allah's permission on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of morning (Qur'an 97:1-5).
It has been suggested that the Night of Power could be on 23rd , 25th , or 27th . The reason why Allah , the almighty, did not make known on which night this virtuous night falls, is so that His servants will strive hard to seek and seize that particular night by performing various acts of worships starting on the night of 21st especially like in acts of ibadah such as tahajjud, recitation of the Qur'an and many more in the middle of the night.
Margani U. Mohammad is from Mindanao, Philippines. He has a degree in Shari'a and Engineering. From 1988-1999, he worked with the High Shari'a Court of Jeddah, KSA, as Arabic-English-Filipino translator. He also wrote as a freelancer for Saudi Gazette from 1998-2001. Presently, he works as a language and culture instructor for Filipinos in Manila. He can be reached at email ad: marmohammad16yahoo.com