MONTH of sacrifice, month of purification, month of learning, or month of giving are just few of the many descriptive phrases I get from friends who would illustrate the meaning of Ramadhan to them.

As a Muslim woman born in this community called the Islamic City of the South, it cannot be denied that there are many expectations I would have from my own leaders and people.

To us, Ramadhan is one of the most awaited months in the Islamic calendar, not only for its significance of being part of the five pillars of Islam but rather personal. I might call it ‘socially personal.’

It is socially personal to us because Ramadhan is the month that we see lesser evil acts in the community.

It is during this month that the security of the city is a bit tighten because of the many people, young and old, going to mosques every night to pray for the ‘Tarawi’— a prayer time at night that is regularly performed by the Prophet in his time.

Since this month is a month that will purify the soul, we expect people to restrain from many things.

This makes this month a magical one.

In my previous article, I said something about our restrains for every part of our body.

The tongue must restrain itself from gossip and backbiting.

This allows everyone in the community to work on their own thing without noticing other people’s misfortunes.

This encourages everyone to pray always including ‘sunnah’ (optional) prayers instead of doing other things.

In fact, this is the month that allows every pious Muslim to finish reading the Qur’an.

By being someone using his tongue away from evil, many would be doing and speaking good things in order to have a blessed month.

Another way to purify one’s soul is through restraining one’s eye from looking at unlawful things.

There are so many temptations that the eye can be so susceptible.

For as long as we have our eyes open, we can see many things including unlawful ones.

This is the reason why most people would just stay home and do prayers and Qur’an reading because they don’t want their eyes to be tempted.

Most Muslim parents use this restrain in reminding their kids of not watching movies that have sinful acts in them.

In the reminder that the hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it, one is reminded how to value other people’s belonging.

Theft is one of the sins that Islam hates.

This purification of the soul reminds not only the thieves on the streets but more of the corrupt individuals.

This reminds them not to take the money of the people otherwise their sacrifice in the month of Ramadhan will not be blessed or even granted.

Another restrain is for the ears to must not listen to idle talk or obscene words. This reminder allows one to always find time to listen to religious sermons and speak with friends about good things for them to hear good things. This goes along with restraining oneself from gossiping and backbiting.

Lastly, the feet must not go to sinful places can also be an effective one.

This reminds one person not to go to places that will allow them to do evil acts.

This is also an antidote of parents to children who would insist going to places not allowed in Islam such as discos or bars.

Nonetheless, all the above reminders are but a few of the means to purify the soul.

But, even the fasting from food and drinks has magical purposes too.

By fasting from food and drinks or any form of intake such as smoking cigarette, one is saved from many unnecessary health risks.

Indeed, to us Muslims, Ramadhan is one of our magical months in a year.