The quest of becoming a better person in Ramadhan

It is a certainty that we will worry about our world, about what we will leave for future generations, and how the current generation of the Sultanate sees their faith and their future. Sometimes we don’t need to go very far to find ‘diamonds!’ Rahab Nasser Ali Al Ghafri is one such. A determined young scholar with an open personality, a phenomenal work ethic, and an incisive mind, balanced with a bright, engaging personality, she shared her Ramadan thoughts recently.
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” Quran 2:185
It is with these simple, somewhat heartfelt words, that Ramadan became a holy month in which a faith, and a people, express themselves openly to the world, and commit to supporting those less fortunate, whether in their communities, their nation, region or their world.
Simply put, in the words of Al Ghafri, “Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim Calendar, when Muslims are required to fast from the break of dawn until the sunset. Before the month begins, people start asking each other for forgiveness, so they welcome the month with pure hearts and souls.” Ramadan is the ninth is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and celebrates the revelation of the holy Quran during the Night of Power, Laylat Al Qadr, and the one in which the Islamic religion believes the gates of heaven are opened, and the gates of hell, closed.
Living in the rural settlement of Al Rustaq, with four brothers and five sisters, and being the youngest, Al Ghafri has grown up in a loving and supportive family environment and is mindful of those with less, saying “it’s the month in which families are gathered, and the one that spiritually cleans the hearts. Ramadan makes fortunate people like me who have homes, food, and clean water realize just how many times blessed we are, and this is a time to thank Allah for those blessings.”
This earnest young scholar, who has realistic teaching, and PhD educational objectives, thinks that sometimes children get more excited to welcome the holy month than adults do, explaining that “They love families gathering, so they can play with their friends. And also, in some regions of Oman there is a tradition in which Mashkik (meat barbecue) and soft drinks are being sold after the Al Traweeh prayer, and the kids love it. We have a nice Iftar, and it’s great that the wider family gets together like this to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.”
“I would like the world to be a peaceful place, free from manipulation and hypocrisy, wherever it lies, however that may not be realistic. Ramadan though,” she continued, “is the holy month that purifies the soul and somehow lets us genuinely feel the suffering of the poor, so one of the most beautiful things about it is that it encourages us to donate to those in need. Of course we cannot ease all suffering and need, but we do what we can, don’t we?”
‘Fixing’ rights and wrongs, developing her personality, and keeping life simple, are life objectives for this willing young student with an intense commitment to fulfillment of her potential. Driven by humanitarian concerns, family devotion, and religious responsibility, she wears her heart on her sleeve, with no deception or illusion about her.
Rahab Nasser Ali Al Ghafri unselfishly concluded saying, “Personally, I love Ramadan, because it encourages me to reflect upon my behaviors and attitude, and to evaluate who I am, and where I am going, but most of all during this spiritual month, I feel closer to my family, and closer to Allah.”