The end of Ramadan means different things to different people. To some, it is a period to flap their wings again and flock away with the rest in a flight to the 'good life'. Some others see it as a period to relapse back into their annual slumber only to wake up by the next Ramadan. For me, it is quite different. The end of this Ramadan brought back to me the joyful memories of my childhood. As a young boy with. frail but adventurous limbs, conquering the height of Olumo Rock presented to me a glorious feat. Relatively, whatever the glory the conquerors of Mount Everest or Kilimanjaro felt was a side show the rugged, slippery and rough edge cliff terrain of the famous hill against my weak limbs made it so.
From the summit of Olumo, I could see practically every stretch of the ancient city of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. At that height, men in a labyrinth of activities appeared to me like ants whose lives I could rub off with the tip of a toe. Thinking positively however, from the same advantageous view of life below, I could as well prevent a head-on collission of two vehicles approaching at opposing angles with an earlier and timely warning. This is the way I felt coming out of Ramadan.
Throughout the noble month, all I was doing was climbing the pinnacle of taqwa and conquering the summit of self restraint. I slipped and stumbled sometimes but even with my weaknesses, I still forged ahead to get at the top. Throughout Ramadan, I kept the fast, shook off my lethargy and slumber to heed Allah's promptings
"...As for the night, keep awake a part of it as an additional prayer for you, soon will your Lord raise you to a sttdion of praise and glory"(Q17: 79).
Spiced with other supererogatory acts, I have a firm belief that I am at the promised station which Allah has placed me by the taqwa and restraint gained through fasting by Allah's Grace.
Just as I felt at the top of Olumo Rock decades ago, from my station of taqwa close to the divine altitude, the air is cleaner, the breath fresher and the height is a safe distance from the vast stench of sins that have turned human societies into one big refuse dump. From here, I could see the lower ways of the multitude of men and I revile them. I could see more of the realities of life, its transience and futility and I could see clearly, the higher vision of a life of bliss in Allah's Pleasure.
Though I revile the ways of the multitude, on a second thought, my position gives me an ample opportunity to do something more. Just like from the height of Olumo, I could do something to avert the rush of the multitude to the crevice of Hell just as Rasulullah (PBUB) did to us. He (PBUH) said:
"My example and your example is that of a person who lit a fire and insects and moth began to fall in it and he would be making effort to take them out, and I am going to hold you From fire but you are slipping from my hand". (Muslim).
With a good and effective communication, I could halt the mob for a moment of reflection and invite them back to the way of Allah
"...with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue in ways that are best and are most gracious." (Q16:125).
My climb unto the height of taqwa in unison with other band of believers for we are all in this together should be complemented by
"inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong ... " (Q3:104).
Allah's charge rings out clear:
" O you who believe! Stand out firm for Allah as witnesses to fair dealings... that is next to piety and fear Allah for He is wen acquainted with all that you do" (Q5:8).
That is it! No I will not slide down from the pinnacle of piety, in a company of the few, to the stream of sins to join the multitude of men. Rather, I and the few believers will set the standard and save the multitude from drowning in the stream. We are ready for this task, right?
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited