By Femi Abbas
Nigeria is a home of temptations. The agents of Satan are many and ubiquitous. They are most active in the sacred month of Ramadan. You will meet them in the neighbourhood, in offices, in commuter buses, in the markets and on the roads. Like Satanic rainbow, they come in various colours carrying with them, all sorts of tempting arsenals. Some of them are men.
Most of them are women.
Their temptations come in different forms and shapes. Some will make jest of you in a provocative but jovial manner. Some will deliberately bring food to your presence and start eating right in front of you during the days of Ramadan. Some will pretend not to be aware that you are fasting and, therefore, offer you prohibited drinks. Some women will tempt you with the most sensitive contours of their bodies.
The powders on their faces and other cosmetic materials on their bodies alone are enough to disarm you spiritually if you are not endowed with formidable faith. The antics of the agents of Satan are many. But your resistance to all these is the most vital ingredient for the acceptance of your fast by Allah.
This is a situation in which Muslims are expected to close their eyes and their minds, at the same time, to the evil machinations of satanic agents. Muslims should close their eyes to any eyesore and close their minds to all spiritual irritants in this sacred month.
In no Islamic society can such temptations as common in Nigeria be experienced. In any sane Muslim society, it is a punishable offence to deliberately tempt or provoke fasting Muslims in the month of Ramadan.
As a matter of fact, all food vendors and restaurants are statutorily prohibited from operating in the days of Ramadan. They can only trade in the nights. And, of course, there is nothing like alcohol or nudism in such societies even outside the sacred month.
Resistance to temptation in Ramadan is a function of two things: high level of discipline and strong faith in Allah.
Any Muslim who lacks these two is surely bereft of the necessary armour against temptations. Ramadan in the life of a Muslim is like a delicious food given to a hungry man. If he handles it carelessly, the food may end up in the belly of a goat or that of a dog. Satan is always on standby to snatch any reward accruing to pious Muslims from good deeds. To avoid becoming a victim of satanic machinations therefore, do not be careless with Allah’s bounties for you in this sacred month as you do not know when last you will benefit from it. RAMADAN KARIM!