The Imam or Preacher at the mosque always asked the question: Did you come out of the month of Ramadhan last year as a changed man (or woman)? If not the month most special in Islam is here again and this is your chance to cleanse yourself from the evils of life, renew your faith in Allah SAW and seek His clemency. For, this could be the last Ramadhan al-mubarak in your life.
Some ulamas described Ramadhan as a Training Instituiion where good Muslims learn to face the hardships of life with patience and earn bountiful credits for whatever good deed that one does in the month.All prayers and good deeds ( Amal Soleh) will be rewarded 700 or more times than what is usually awarded in the normal month and abstaining from what is prohibited by Islam will earn one the same enhanced bonus.
Yes, we see Muslims thronging the madrasahs and mosques to overflowing capacity in Ramadhan , especially at night until after the marathon prayer session (taraweh) and the al-quran recital ( tadarus). There will be talks and lectures given by various Imams through the month.
But what do we see in the day especially late afternoon? People thronging the Ramadhan Bazaars, now found all over the country, to buy all kinds of goodies and delicacies for breaking their fast at the setting of the sun. You can find all the varieties of traditional and modern cookies and dishes being sold, so much so that non-Muslims also take advantage of the fare. You'll never find such offerings at any other time in the year. For all food connoisseurs in the world, this is the best time to visit Malaysia and tickle your taste-bud to no end.
I am sure that even in the war-torn Muslim countries, this is a time to cease fighting the evils of the world and politics, and concentrate on fighting the inner evils of the soul, if you've not already sold it to Satan. Why,you can even try to reprieve it if that has already happened. For the warlords and evil-mongers it's time to dig ( I quote Ken Wilber in Boomeritis) "beneath the veneer of civilized madness to find, it is devoutly hoped, an original human goodness long buried by the brutalities of a modern world rubbed raw by viciousness."
We still hear people saying that the Muslims are belligerent and warlike in nature. Talk to them in this fasting month, share their thoughts and reflections, their values and their ideals. You'll find that they are among the most friendly people in the world. Of course there are the extremists and fundamentalists - even the average Muslims could not see eye-to-eye with them.