Holy month offers an opportunity to rid oneself of bad habits
The fasting month of Ramadan is the best opportunity for people to give up bad habits, such as smoking, drug addiction and prostitution, says Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, a preacher at the Omar bin Khattab Mosque in Faisaliya in Jeddah.
Al-Ghamdi highlighted the significance of Ramadan in fostering good behavior. “In Ramadan, the doors of paradise are kept open and the doors of hell are closed, encouraging the faithful to compete with one another in good deeds to win God’s rewards,” he told Arab News.
Everything changes in Ramadan. “There are people who say they cannot change, but during this holy month, they learn how to change their lifestyle. They stop smoking in the daytime. They also keep away from liquor and drugs. Many take it as an opportunity to settle disputes and strengthen better relations with others, including family members and friends,” Al-Ghamdi explained.
“Ramadan comes to our lives every year to make positive changes, so we have to make use of this golden opportunity,” the khateeb said, urging the faithful who have quit their bad habits during Ramadan not to return to such habits when the month ends.
“During Ramadan, we see a large number of people coming to the mosque for the five prayers and taraweeh. They are not coming from a different planet; they live in our neighborhood, but they were inspired to come for prayer during Ramadan,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He urged Muslims to make use of the God-given lives to engage in righteous deeds.
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Make use of five things before five things; your life before death, your health before sickness, your free time before you become busy, your youthfulness before getting old, and your wealth before becoming poor.’”
Al-Ghamdi said God has offered several concessions for those who fast, including making up for the days if sick or traveling.
“People who are very old and suffer from chronic diseases may not be able to fast. Such people are obliged to provide meals to poor men or women every day instead of fasting.”
He advised the faithful to make use of the holy month to recite the Holy Qur’an and understand the meaning of its verses. “We can make use of modern technological facilities, such as iPads and cell phones, to learn the Qur’an.”
He reminded Muslims of the great blessing of being able to welcome the holy month again this year. “Many people who fasted last Ramadan and joined Eid Al-Fitr celebrations have passed away.”