The importance of the month of Ramadan does not lie solely in the fact that it is a month reserved for the observance of obligatory fasting. Of greater importance is that it was in this month that the Quran was sent down from heaven to serve as the primary source of reference for humankind, as Allah’s injunction in verse 185 of Surah al-Baqarah clearly states:
"The month of Ramadan is the month wherein the Quran was sent down to be the source of guidance for humankind, with clear descriptions that explain the guidance and the criteria that help differentiate between right and wrong…”
It is, therefore, clear that the month of Ramadan is not just a month of spirituality for the edification of those who wholeheartedly immerse themselves in it. In fact, it is the month that highlights the comprehensive code of life for all humanity because it was in this month that the Quran was sent down replete with all the guidelines for the management of the vicissitudes of everyday living.
In this noble and holy month, we fulfil the observance of religious fasting and are served by Allah, the Most Glorified and Exalted, with sustenance for the body and soul, which nourishes our life in this world so as to enable us to reap a manifold harvest in the world hereafter.
The pious practice of fasting also increases our devotion to Allah, the Most Glorified and Exalted, when we willingly abstain from indulging in thoughts, words, and deeds that are proscribed even though they are considered lawful and acceptable at other times. For certain, this practice can instil in us the discipline to eschew prohibited practices throughout our lives, especially in relation to the world of work - practices such as corruption, incitement of rivalry, absenteeism, and the like.
While enduring the pangs of hunger and thirst, we will be willing to fulfil every commandment of Allah, the Most Glorified and Exalted, with unfailing patience and faith and complete confidence in every word of His promise. This practice that disciplines the self will ultimately transform us into individuals who are steeped in piety, as well as into employees who never compromise their integrity, and hold fast to the belief in the assured livelihood promised by Allah, the Most Glorified and Exalted.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish every Muslim employee of Universiti Utara Malaysia a Bountiful Ramadan (Ramadan Kareem). Hopefully, we will be able to translate the strength and spirit that will be formed and fostered throughout this month of Ramadan, into gainful efforts towards greater efficacy in our world of work. I hope that this noble month of Ramadan will awaken in us a keen awareness of the need to intensify religious practice in an effort to attain the acceptance of Allah, the Almighty. I also pray that the blessings and grace of this holy month will continue to encircle us, our families, and all Muslims till we meet again on the advent of the next Ramadan.
I wish all a Happy Ramadan Al-Mubarak.
Professor Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
CORPORATE COMMUNICATION UNIT
UNIVERSITI UTARA MALAYSIA
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