Ramadhan and Repentance
People indulge in frequent worship during Ramadhan. This is a good thing to do. However, a person with true insight of Ramadhan would first spend time and energy on frequent repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness. This is because repentance is the actual starting point of a virtuous life.
The basic law of fasting requires one to abstain from intake of food and drink, and sexual activities. This is a very stern and difficult prohibition. Unfortunately, people abide by this prohibition but fail to understand its true purpose. The basic purpose of this law is to make us so used to submitting to our Master that we have no hesitation in foregoing even our basic human needs in order to please Him.
When a person experiences an extremely strong urge to eat while in a state of fasting but he refuses to even look at food; or when he experiences a severe throat-burning thirst and resists the urge to drink, he needs to think at that moment about the significance of his actions and the wisdom behind them. When a person fasts with this insight, he will definitely realise that if he can perform such difficult tasks for the sake of his Lord, then undertaking the rest of the obligations desired by Him is a much easier task. This appreciation will encourage him to review other aspects of his life and to realise all other instances where he is guilty of disobedience to his Lord. This will encourage him to make a firm commitment to avoid such actions. He will then truly repent to his Lord and will seek forgiveness for his sins.
People pay a lot of attention to doing more worship during a fast whereas they need to first focus on doing a lot of repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness. Only after this is the abundance of worship going to bear some fruit.