Ramadan, the ninth month of Islam, is here and Muslims across the globe are enjoined to adhere to the rules that guide fasting in the glorious month.
Scholars have opined that there are some acts that must be avoided in the holy month. While Islam preaches that every Muslim must abstain from these acts in their everyday life, total abstinence is more pronounced in the holy month because engaging in any of them might invalidate one's fasting. Here are 10 things that must be avoided in the month of Ramadan:
1. Control your gaze
Purity of the mind and soul is encouraged in the holy month; hence, Muslims are advised to watch how they gaze at the opposite sex during Ramadan. Gazing at the opposite sex without caution could pollute the mind.
2. Do not smoke
Smoking is highly prohibited during Ramadan. The act is a subject of controversial debates in Islam, with some scholars suggesting that it should be avoided totally in everyday life. It is however not accepted in whatever form during fasting.
3. Avoid alcohol, wild parties
Alcoholic drinks are highly forbidden in Islam; during Ramadan, it is pointless saying that it is not accepted. But because there are Muslims - in Nigeria too - who drink alcohol, it must be stated that it is totally prohibited in the month of Ramadan.
4. Avoid excessive consumption
Fasting avails Muslims the opportunity to feel the pang of hunger and know how the needy feels. But sometimes, the urge to make up for the long hours of fasting pushes people into excessive consumption during 'Iftar' (break of fast) period. Muslims should avoid this.
5. Do not be lazy/Inactive
Muslims are not expected to stay idle all day because they are fasting. Laziness is not encouraged in the holy month as fasting is no excuse to remain unproductive.
6. Avoid meaningless, non-productive engagements
As much as Islam advises Muslims to be active during Ramadan, it does not encourage involvement in baseless activities. Muslims are expected to limit their engagement with things of the world during Ramadan and engage in lots of Ibadah - acts of worship.
7. Do not hold grudges
Islam is a religion of peace and it is expected that Muslims should reconcile with people against whom they hold grudges even outside Ramadan. It is doubly so in Ramadan as doing otherwise could invalidate one's fasting.
8. Do not 'socialise' too much
The advent of the internet and the proliferation of social media have changed how people live their lives. Many Nigerians, the youth especially, spend long hours on the internet engaging in frivolous conversations. Ramadan should be a time for sober reflection and lots of Ibadah.
9. Avoid excessive sleep
While it is not prohibited to sleep in the holy month, Muslims are enjoined to spend a significant part of the month observing prayers and reciting the Quran - day and night.
10. Avoid adult talks and lewd conversations
Adult talks and lewd conversations are commonplace today, especially on the internet. A Muslim is expected to be decorous in the Holy month (and beyond) by avoiding lewd, immoral talks or acts.