Your letters: Ramadhan to improve human qualities
Paper Edition | Page: 8
The month of Ramadhan is here. It is a month that believers await with eagerness. Muslims fast for Allah (God) and refrain from eating and drinking. They also pray more. Fasting teaches Muslims about patience, discipline, integrity, sincerity, humility and spirituality.
Fasting is prescribed for Muslims in order to become taqwa, which does not only mean self-restraint and piety, but a combination of many feelings: fear of God, heeding, things that can be closer to the God.
One’s taqwa (piousness) can be directly proportional with the ability to manage self performance at an optimal level. For the pious person there’s not a day goes by without doing an act that generates benefits for others. We know that we have many qualified people in this country. Many of our students have won competitions or contests in science and technology, getting international recognition in world forums.
But there are still many poor people in this Republic. If using the United Nations’ poverty standard, which equals US$2/day, then the number of poor people still numbers more than half the population.
It is difficult to imagine that there is still great poverty in a country that has immense natural wealth. Unfortunately, our elites and leaders who have high intellectual academic abilities remain unable to solve the problem properly. In fact, some of them have even become part of the problem. In recent years, Indonesia has often been affected by various problems, such as natural disasters, violence, corruption, unrest, famine and plague.
During Ramadhan, believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from hell. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. The fasting month for Muslims is to improve the quality of one’s own personality, especially raise social sensitivity, discipline, motivation, initiative, creativity and sincerity, which are individual soft skills.
Fasting, prayer, alms giving and other worship, if executed with great humility (tawadhu) will bring Muslims to a higher level of soft skills. We need Ramadhan to inculcate these qualities. We need to control our desires.
We also need to control our tongues and limbs, and learn self-discipline. We need to control our anger. By continuous practices during Ramadhan, piety is created in the human heart and it grows by the passing of this program. He who succeeds will remain pious.
As a pious person, he or she will never be in despair, pessimistic, lazy and hopeless. Muslims are required to provide sublime morality exemplified by the Prophet. It is written in the Koran that Prophet Muhammad had a noble spirit and a sublime morality (Sura al-Qalam: 4 or Chapter 68: 4).
The Prophet is a role model for any Muslim in this world. We spend our time during Ramadhan to do various ibadah (act of devotions) as mentioned above to get closer to Allah as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad.
Finally, the presence of the holy month of Ramadhan is expected to be an important moment for Muslims to improve themselves in order to increase their devotion to God and realize social piety through morality.
When Ramadhan ends, if the quality of personality is still not changed significantly, then of course we waste the momentum of this holy month. On the other hand, if the quality of our soft skills is improved, then we are the winners. The advancement of human qualities can solve the problem of the nation’s character building.
Postgraduate student, UIN Malang
Malang, East Java
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