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3 money lessons from Ramzan

By Rajiv Raj
July 05, 2016 13:56 IST
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The principles and lessons of Ramzan are not just applicable to Muslims, but contain the wisdom that can help one and all, whether in life or with one's finances, says Rajiv Raj

The month of Ramzan has just gone by and it is time to celebrate the festival of Eid with pomp and fervour. If you are a non-Muslim individual all you know about the month of Ramzan is perhaps it is considered a holy month during which Muslims fast from dusk to dawn. But this holy month is of far more significance and teaches a lot of lessons.

If you really read between the lines you will find that there are quite a few life lessons you can apply to your finances. If this has raised your curiosity, read on, as we have decoded some lessons from Ramzan that can do a world of good to your life and finances.

Every action should have a starting point and a goal

During the month of Ramzan, Muslims fast in order to attain 'taqwaa' or the goal of achieving nearness to Allah shorn of daily habits, pleasures and desires. They believe that by observing the holy fast and praying with a pure heart and the purest of intentions helps them earn the reward of blessing from the almighty Allah.

The lesson this teaches is that no financial action should be taken without a final goal. You should not only chalk out your long term financial plan before you start on your investment journey; you should remain focussed on it shorn of any distractions and see to it that all actions that you take in the course of your financial journey is taking you closer to attaining your financial goals.

Knowledge and practice are key virtues

The month of Ramzan also serves as a reminder to Muslims that with patience and self-restraint alone can one resolve to pray to Allah in all sincerity in an unhurried and calm manner thus attaining closeness to Allah. It serves as a reminder to Muslims that with patience one can subdue ill temperament and thus prepare for the ultimate endurance of 'Hajj'.

It is also pertinent reminder that without knowledge of the universal Allah will not truly reward His most penitent of devotees; the rituals of Ramzan mean nothing and will only remain as hollow rituals.

In the very same manner you must know that when you are investing for the long term, you cannot expect to make a quick buck and instantaneous rewards. To see fruition of your goals you must invest for the long term and be patient to see your goals of wealth creation being fulfilled over time. Time, not timing, should be your ally while investing.

Introspection and reflection

According to the tenets of Islam, those who are fasting during the month of Ramzan must introspect, brood and reflect upon their words and actions and think hard about one's moral and conduct. It is during this month especially that Muslims believe that Allah calls upon them to look deep inside and carry out their own prayers in seclusion to assess whether or not they are walking on the path of Allah, a path that is righteous and moral. This is an important lesson that you can apply to your finances as well.

While you should build your portfolio in a manner that investments are made for the long term, you should periodically introspect whether or not the actions you have taken are meeting the goals that you have set out. More often than not, like life itself, you may have some gleaning to do to ensure what you have taken is taking you closer to your financial goals.

Thus as you can see, the principles and lessons of Ramzan is not just applicable to Muslims, but contain the wisdom that can help one and all whether in life or with one's finances which ultimately aims to enhance one's wealth.

Photograph: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.

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Rajiv Raj