Without further ado, I'd like to wish all my Muslim brothers and sisters a very happy and blessed Ramadan! Let's make the best use of our time while we still have it, and may Allah grant us the strength to do so.
I know how long it has been since my last post, and believe me, I'm not proud of it. If this blog were my wife, she would've filed for divorce and left me by now and I'd probably be trying to piece together my life again. Luckily though, this is just a blog and I can toy with it however way I wish. In my defence, I've been extremely busy, doing lots of traveling around the country and abroad. So I managed to interact with some very interesting characters which is good news since it has given me a lot to write on this blog. But let's leave it to another day and make an in-depth study on those quirky characters we see during the blessed month of Ramadan every year; the Ramadan Muslims.
I think it's safe to assume that the term probably started out as an inside joke within a circle of Islamic scholars. Here's my definition of the term:
Ramadan Muslim - A peculiar species of Muslim which comes out of its shell of excessive materialism during the first week of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Now, there are many ways in which you can identify RMs. The most widely used method is by observing the way people behave inside mosques. RMs just aren't used to spending time at the mosque. During the other months, while attending Friday prayers, they
1. turn up late so that they do not have to listen to the whole khutbah
2. sleep throughout the khutbah or
3. stay outside the mosque so that they cannot hear the khutbah. Or all three at once, if possible.
Of course, during the first Friday of Ramadan, RMs take special care to attend the prayers on time. They even try to stay awake through the whole sermon without thinking about food. They try. Of course, succeeding is a totally different issue.
RMs have their religious batteries charged to the brim during the first week, and this, unfortunately, lasts only 7 days. They'll attend prayers on time (some even manage to wake up for Fajr, to their enormous surprise), but their lack of mosque etiquette will be there for all to see.
It is evident from the Hadeeth of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w) that we should attempt to fill the rows while preparing for the prayers in an orderly manner. Fill the rows starting from the front, begin from the middle directly behind the Imaam and gradually fill the sides. This undoubtedly will make it easier for everyone. Unfortunately, RMs have other ideas, all of which center around, "I have to get outta here as soon as possible." They stay at the back rows, and believe me, there are a lot of RMs when you think about it! This usually gives rise to a horrendous bottleneck at the mosque entrance and several people will have to make do by praying outside amongst the slippers and shoes, some of which do not smell very nice.
Obviously, due to their apparent tight schedules, RMs don't bother performing the sunnah prayers. They leave as soon as the fard prayer ends, causing yet another bottleneck around the entrance. Personally I find it rather odd that they prefer getting jostled around in the middle of a crowd for ten minutes rather than taking that time to perform the sunnah prayers.
With Ramadan comes the Tharaaweeh prayers. Most RMs perform these prayers and are proud to do so. Until the end of the first week, that is. Afterward, they'll begin to skip this particular prayer by leaving after 'Isha, sheepish expressions plastered on their faces. The speed at which they leave the mosque is quite astonishing; they will shame any Olympic athletes who're lucky enough to witness it.
After the first week, everything will go normal for RMs. They won't touch the Quran, set foot inside a mosque and will sleep till noon. An exception will be the eve of 27th, which for some reason they are convinced is THE night; Laylath-al-Qadr. I wonder who started this rumour, because it really isn't helping the RMs to carry out their religious duties properly.
And so the process repeats itself, once a week every year.
So, ask yourself this; are you a Ramadan Muslim? In any case, here are a few articles that I hope you will find to be useful.