Ramadan message from Sultan Choudhury
Assalamu Alaikum and Ramadan Kareem. I pray that this message finds you all well.
The great and blessed month of Ramadan is upon us once more. I see Ramadan as a month full of opportunities, although it means something different to each and everyone of us: Hope, contemplation, discipline, mercy, forgiveness and salvation, are but a few.
For many it is also a time when we think of those less fortunate than us, particularly, when paying our Sadaqah and Zakat. Charity truly is a gift from Allah; it provides the giver with the opportunity to receive His blessings, and offers the receiver a means to obtaining some much needed help.
Fasting offers us a similar opportunity to think about those going through genuine hardship. Feeling thirst, hunger and sometimes, weakness, serves as the perfect way to create empathy within us, which we may otherwise not feel. By stepping into the shoes of those suffering pain and difficulties, it also encourages us to remember them in our worship and prayers even more than usual.
This is why the work of the charities in our community is so vital. They ensure that the plight of the needy and sick is kept at the forefront of our minds, as well as making it easy for us to give the help that is often so desperately needed.
Ramadan is also a time when we can give thought to how we nourish our bodies, as well as our minds and souls. The discipline required to keep the fast gives us a great opportunity to introduce better self-control over ourselves. This can pave the way for a more healthy and balanced way of life, during Ramadan and beyond.
The aim of fasting, of course, is to strengthen our connection with Allah. By abstaining from food and drink, the hunger we feel concentrates the mind, so that prayer and contemplation can take centre stage.
I know I am not alone when I say that I enjoy the month of Ramadan for all of its opportunities and multi-faceted qualities. It is a month like no other for the Muslim community and one that arrives and leaves us more quickly than we realise.
On behalf of the whole Al Rayan Bank family, I sincerely wish you a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. May Allah accept our prayers, fasts and good intentions to please Him, and bring peace and ease to those undergoing hardship. Ameen.
Sultan Choudhury is Chief Executive Officer of Al Rayan Bank