Al-Riyadh newspaper | Ramadan in the writings of Sheikh Ali Tantawi

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Ramadan in the writings of Sheikh Ali Tantawi

The blessed month of Ramadan is linked to the conscience of every Muslim in the east and west of the earth, and is unique among the other months of the year in a spiritual relationship that is formed between the servant and his Lord. In fact, the Muslim prays for this season and proceeds to open a new life that qualifies him to be closer to God and build the closest relationship with his Creator. It is not surprising that The month of the Qur’an has a role in this, because of the great rewards that a Muslim achieves in his fasting, standing, and other forms of obedience: such as reciting the Qur’an, doing good deeds, offering alms, and paying zakat. This month even has social features that are shaped by its days and nights, which are imprinted on its character and become clear as part of its personality, such as food and drink. I would be exaggerating if I added some of the personalities that this month brings to us with all love, and among these personalities that are close to many people, and have been for years, is the personality of His Eminence Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi – may God have mercy on him (1327-1420 AH) – and the perfume of his remembrance, as his program is still “on the table.” Iftar, which was awaited by fasting people shortly after Iftar, is stuck in the memory of a crowd of his fans, because Sheikh Tantawi had a disposition of acceptance among most of his followers and speakers. He delivers his words as they are, without affectation, and it flows towards the hearts, without being blocked or rejected by any response, so it takes hold of the gatherings of hearts, and the viewer becomes attached to it. He listens to his refined speech, which rarely comes from a good sermon, a quote from a biography, a pleasant memory, a rare anecdote, an eloquent piece of wisdom, or a line that was passed down by the riders. This was reflected in most of his works, so his prose product came to be imbued with these cultural advantages in everything he addresses and puts forward from his fluid pen and I claim. Many of those who follow Tantawi’s writing efforts notice his wide interest in many religious obligations and pillars of Islam, and he takes the position of the scholar and preacher with a refined literary style and sublime statement. This is the month of Ramadan and the fasting, Tarawih prayers, prayers, charity, and zakat that it brings, which he has saturated with research and study with his extensive religious culture and mind-blowing statement. Look at him in an article he wrote entitled “Where are the Repentants” from his book “Nour and Guidance”: In it he urges the Muslim to turn to God with a clean slate in this holy month, as he says: And this month of Ramadan is about to end, so settle your accounts with God so that you will emerge from Ramadan with white sheets and pure souls. And repent to God in sincere repentance, and in an article of his titled (Ramadan) that came in his book “With the People,” it is considered one of the most creative writings by Sheikh Tantawi about this blessed month. He says about it: (And the sweet and beautiful Ramadan in which people stand up during the calm of the dawn and the stillness of the night. When the horizon thins, the stars bloom, the universe clears, and God appears in existence, He displays the treasures of His grace to people and opens the door of His mercy to them, the Almighty says: “Is there not one who seeks forgiveness, so forgive him?” Is there not one who asks that I may give him?” So the seeker asks and asks for forgiveness for the sinner, and the questioner is given and the repentant is forgiven – and Al-Tantawi continues his sweet speech – then they hear the voice of the muezzin walking in the outer space, the walk of healing in the bodies and joy in the hearts, calling: “Prayer is better than sleep,” so they stand up to pray and stand. In the hands of the Governor of the universes, they commune with the Most Merciful, the Most Merciful, and faith spreads in every garden, praise flows on every tongue, and mercy descends in every place.

The role of the month of Ramadan appears in the social and humanitarian aspects to establish equality between Muslims, encourage them to a number of virtues, and purify the soul from the perceptions of vices. The Sheikh says about this from the same article: Ramadan in which the meanings of humanity are fulfilled and equality is established between people, so that one does not go hungry and the other gets satiated, but rather people participate. They are all in hunger and fullness, whether rich or poor, so the rich person feels the pain of hunger and remembers it – later – if someone comes to him and says to him: “I am hungry.” And the poor person knows the value of God’s blessing upon him when he knows that the rich person desires, despite his wealth, a loaf of bread or a glass of water. .. People become as if they were brothers in one family, or comrades in a boarding school, all of them breaking their fast in one moment and all of them fasting in one moment.

Our Sheikh concludes his article with the importance of abandoning grudges and grudges and mentioning virtues so that love can spread among members of society, and in that he says: Ramadan in which goodness spreads and love and harmony prevail. If you want to fast truly, fast from grudges and remember what is in your enemies through goodness, so love them for it, forgive them, and repel with what is. better.

Because the month of Ramadan resides in Sheikh Tantawi’s mind and does not leave his pen, he has more than one article about it. If you consider his article (Annoying Things of Ramadan), which appeared in the same book, you will find it laden with the fragrance of Ramadans that have exceeded four decades, and he says about that: (And I know the Ramadan that used to come to Damascus from More than forty years ago, and I still remember the features of his face and the color of his clothes, which I missed a long time ago and I no longer see him. He has changed, just as Ramadan and I have changed. The most beautiful stage on the path of time, during which the knees of humanity pass on the elegant meadow, and the brilliant viewer sees and smells the fragrant perfume and hears the sound of nightingales and the cooing of pigeons. What makes the hearts dance with joy, it is the month of contemplation, worship, pleasure of the soul, and comfort of the heart.

The Sheikh concludes this article with a conclusion that contains a lot of ridicule and criticism of the profession of “Al-Masharati”, whose importance has faded with the presence of the radio, the presence of the clock, and the sound of the cannons. He says about this profession: If the radio is silent at twelve o’clock and you try to sleep, half an hour will not pass until (Abu Tabla) arrives. This scourge that has no motive, the magician who was fed up with industries and professions and could not find any craft except carrying a drum and then coming at midnight to knock on your head and wake you from your sleep. It is astonishing that society recognizes this craft and considers it one of the approved crafts and you must say to it: “ “I thank you” and that you pay him his wages at the end of the month, given that he has broken your nerves and broken your brain, even though there is a radio in the country, and there is a clock in every house, and in every neighborhood there is a beacon, and in the country there is a cannon whose sound wakes up the people of the cemeteries, so magic has no place among us.

Sheikh Tantawi’s camera roams between the alleys of Damascus, its old neighborhoods, and its ancient houses to depict what Ramadan was like during the Sheikh’s childhood, and how people were one unit, with respect and love prevailing among them, familiarity uniting them, and appreciation prevailing among them, so tranquility envelops them, after each person was safe from the other, so that tranquility could descend between them. Listen to him as he says In an article of his titled “Ramadan,” the ancient Ramadan used to flood all over Damascus, and you could feel it wherever you walked. You would see it in the mosques filled with worshipers, reciters, and those gathered around teachers’ chairs, and you would see it in the markets, and you would not find visible nakedness, nor apparent evil, nor an open restaurant, nor a smoker nor a drinker. You buy the goods and you are safe from fraud and dishonesty, and the woman works reassured that no matter how much she makes a mistake, she will not hear a word of blame from her husband, because the fasting person does not insult or blame, and the man comes to his home and is safe from finding distress or abuse from his wife. Indeed, if you left your door open, he would not enter. A thief, because thieves go on strike and repent for stealing during Ramadan.

Images of sadness and sorrow are evident in Sheikh Al-Tantawi when he feels the approaching month of the Qur’an and tries to cling to his last nights after living his enjoyable days, his humble nights, his good people, and his atmosphere full of mercy and forgiveness. I look at him bidding farewell to his last nights with all sadness and sorrow through his article with the title “My Friend Ramadan”: And it happened: Regarding the last nights, there is no embarrassment, be grave, and do not be afraid of lying, for the truth is about to be preceded by an exaggeration. These are the nights of farewell, in which people sit in rows around the street after Tarawih prayers, and the muezzins and singers stand up and sing poems in farewell to Ramadan in the saddest and saddest tone, then all the people repeat: O our month, we bid farewell and upon you. Peace be upon you, O this month of ours, and the mosque shakes from crying in grief over Ramadan, and Al-Tantawi continues his sad talk about Ramadan, which has passed for many decades, saying: I wish that the days that were described would return to me so that I could return to them. I would turn around and search in my absence for Ramadan and not find it, no. In the mosque, in the market, or in school, did Ramadan die?

Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi – with good or bad luck – lived several Ramadans outside Damascus and Mecca. He witnessed Ramadan in Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq, and touched its days and nights in Pakistan and Indonesia. He even saw it in the Netherlands as well. If we were given the space, we would contemplate what he wrote about this holy month in his memoirs. Which included his fragrant conversations about Ramadan during his preaching tours and stages of his work, especially in parts (third, fourth, and seventh).

Muhammad Bawazir

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