By Dr. Ebrahim Kazim
Just like the â€œgreat saleâ€ of the departmental stores which are advertised during certain times of the year, Allah also advertises during the month of Ramadan, the â€œGreatest Saleâ€ of the year, when He gives away lots of blessings, mercy and forgiveness besides free hand-outs of gifts, perks, bonuses, gift coupons, lagniappe (i.e. an extra or unexpected gift or benefit) and extra points in exchange for any act of goodness, however small.
The VAT (Value Added Tax) that we see registered on the counter while spending money and shopping in Allahâ€™s Plaza would appear instead as Virtue Added Tag on the divine screen in the Hereafter on the gates of Ar-Rayyaan where we would meet. Allahâ€™s stocks are so huge that He is never out of stock. Prophet Muhammad (s) is reported to have said that the first 10 days in Ramadan is when Allah showers His mercy, the middle ten days is forgiveness and the last ten days are reserved for saving the fasted persons from Hellfire.
Four hundred and twenty five hours of intensive study in any subject of oneâ€™s choice in any university, qualifies a student for a diploma in that particular subject, provided certain standards are met.
Similarly, 425 hours of intense devotion in Ramadan is certainly expected to uplift the practising Muslim to a stage of higher spiritual achievement, and get a certificate of merit from Allah.
Allah does not deny the reward of his/her good deeds, and therefore this is a month of harvesting the fruits of our actions. Ramadan is also known as the month of Allah since He Himself rewards it.
Exam results: If we have passed this Ramadan examination, only then are we entitled to celebrate the Achievement Day called â€˜Id-ul-Fitr.
This patiently-awaited, well-deserved and rightly-earned day is best celebrated by those of us who have fasted for the full month.
On this auspicious occasion, may I, on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the Islamic Academy of Trinidad, and on behalf of my wife and myself, extend to all of you our heartiest congratulations and most fraternal felicitations.
Eidukum Mubarak: Ayyaamukum Saâ€˜eed.
Dr. Ebrahim Kazim