Articles

Ramadan: The Month of Goodness and Mercy
Author : Sheikh AbdulKareem Al-Khasawneh
Date Added : 13-03-2024

Ramadan: The Month of Goodness and Mercy

 

 

Muslims rejoice at the end of the month of Sha'ban every year as the month of Ramadan approaches. It is their right to rejoice and celebrate this great month because it is filled with blessings and abundant goodness. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam as well as a fundamental support upon which Islam is built.

 

The Almighty Allah does not decree anything or impose any obligation without profound wisdom, hidden secrets, and immense benefits that only those with sound intellect, firm faith, and sound thinking can comprehend.

 

The secrets of fasting are profound, its wisdom is lofty, and its fruits are precious, beyond the grasp of books and researchers. This is a clear advantage in the noble obligations of Islamic law. Time passes, but its wonders do not cease; days go by, yet its secrets and rulings do not expire. It's as if the Almighty places acts of worship before the human intellect to gather their thoughts and ideas, stirring contemplation and exploration. It leads to the creation of wisdom and the extraction of treasures and secrets, which continue to be discovered anew.

 

Ramadan is distinguished as a month of blessings, mercy, forgiveness, and liberation from the Hellfire. In it, sins are forgiven, mistakes are erased, and prayers are answered for those who show Allah the goodness in themselves. They control their tongues, preserve their chastity, lower their gaze, and maintain the remembrance of their Lord. They recite the verses of Allah throughout the night and at the edges of the day, observing Ramadan with faith and anticipation of reward from Allah the Almighty.

Therefore, the fasting person speaks only goodness and does only good deeds. If someone insults or abuses them, they do not raise their voices or become angry. Instead, they respond with beautiful words: "Indeed, I am fasting." Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "If one of you is fasting, he should avoid obscene language or raising the voice. If someone curses him or fights with him, he should say: 'I am fasting.'" (Transmitted by Bukhari & Muslim).

 

Therefore, we notice that the manifestations of piety increase in Ramadan, and goodness prevails, righteousness spreads, seeking forgiveness becomes abundant, and the recitation of the Quran intensifies. The fear of Allah becomes apparent among people, love proliferates, family ties are strengthened, hearts are purified, and souls become serene.

Throughout generations, Muslims have preserved the sanctity and distinction of this month. They eagerly await its arrival, doubling their righteous deeds and increasing their diligence and efforts, fasting during the day and standing in prayer at night. They awaken frequently during its nights and sleep sparingly. Muslims, young and old, men and women, eagerly anticipate the arrival of this blessed month to stock up on righteous deeds and noble conduct.

 

Indeed, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) set a strong and distinctive example for himself and his ummah in terms of obedience and worship during this blessed month. He combined various acts of worship and obedience to attain closeness to Allah and His reward, and to reach His paradise. Scholars have stated that the combination of fasting, night prayers, charity, and remembrance of Allah are among the means to attain paradise. In an authentic hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Indeed, in paradise, there are rooms whose outside can be seen from the inside, and the inside from the outside." An Arab man stood and asked, "For whom are these rooms, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet replied, "For those who speak well, provide food, maintain fasting, and pray at night while people are asleep." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).

 

To achieve this blessed and virtuous outcome, it is necessary to follow the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during this blessed month.

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to welcome this month with supplication and address. Regarding supplication, when he saw the new moon, he would say: "O Allah, let this moon rise upon us with blessing, faith, safety, and Islam. Our Lord and your Lord is Allah. It is a moon of guidance and goodness." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).

 

As for his address, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) would say on the last day of Sha'ban: "O people! A great and blessed month has come upon you, a month in which there is a night better than a thousand months. Allah has made fasting in it obligatory, and the standing (in prayer) at night voluntary. Whoever draws near to Allah with a good deed in it will be like one who performs an obligatory act in other months." (Reported by Al-Bayhaqi in "Shu'ab al-Iman").

 

From the guidance of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) during the nights of Ramadan was his prolonging of recitation. He would not pass by a verse of mercy without stopping to ask for it, nor a verse of punishment without stopping to seek refuge. When the last ten nights of Ramadan approached, he would strive harder in worship. It's narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, that she said: "When the last ten nights of Ramadan began, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his waist belt, spend his nights in worship, and wake up his family."

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "Since the rectification and steadfastness of the heart on its journey towards Allah, the Most High, is contingent upon its complete inclination towards Him – for the disarray of the heart can only be rectified by turning fully towards Allah – and since excess in food and drink, excess in socializing with people, excess in speech, and excess in sleep are all factors that increase the disorderliness of the heart and hinder or weaken its progress towards Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate has, out of His mercy towards His servants, legislated fasting for them. Fasting removes excessiveness in food and drink and empties the heart of impurities that hinder its journey towards Allah. He has legislated it according to what is beneficial, such that the servant benefits from it in both their worldly life and the Hereafter, without it causing them harm or cutting them off from their immediate or ultimate interests."

 

He (Allah) legislated for them the practice of iʿtikāf (Seclusion in the mosque for worship), the essence and spirit of which is to dedicate one's heart to Allah, the Most High, to seclude oneself with Him, and to disconnect from preoccupation with creation. Thus, one's remembrance of Him, love for Him, and inclination towards Him replace the concerns and dangers of the heart, taking over its domain. All worries are replaced by thoughts of Him, and contemplation is focused on attaining His pleasure and what draws one closer to Him. Thus, one finds solace in Him instead of in creation, preparing oneself for the solace in the graves when there will be no companion and nothing to bring joy except Him. This is the ultimate purpose of iʿtikāf." [Ibn al-Qayyim, "Zād al-Maʿād fī Hidāy Khayr al-ʿIbād" (Vol.2/P. 82)].

 

It has become customary for those fasting to wake up in the last third of the night to adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, which is having the pre-dawn meal (suhur). Suhur typically involves consuming a small amount of food or water. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Partake in suhur, for indeed there is blessing in it.'" (Reported by Bukhari & MUslim).

 

I advise that a Muslim prays two units of prayer before the break of dawn, for whoever performs two units of prayer at night will be recorded among those who are not heedless in the sight of Allah. After that, one should go to the mosque and pray the Fajr prayer in congregation, for whoever prays Fajr is under the protection, care, and guardianship of Allah. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: When anyone offers the Fajr (dawn) prayer, in congregation, he is in the Protection of Allah. So let not Allah call him to account, withdrawing, in any respect, His Protection. Because, He will get hold of him and throw him down on his face in the Hell-fire."' (Reported by Muslim).

 

After the Fajr prayer, it is recommended for the fasting person to occupy themselves with reciting the Quran and to allocate a portion of their time for reflection and contemplation upon the Book of Allah. This is because the Quran will intercede for its companions on the Day of Judgment, and there are numerous hadiths highlighting the virtues of reciting the Quran. 

 

During the daytime, it is incumbent upon the fasting individuals to abstain from indulging in offensive speech, particularly speech that leads to sin, such as backbiting, gossiping, and other prohibited actions. As narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari: "If one does not abandon falsehood and action in accordance with it, God had no need that he should abandon his food and his drink." This indicates that mere abstention from food and drink during fasting is not sufficient if one continues to engage in sinful behavior.

 

In Ramadan, you see the wealthy empathizing with the suffering of the poor and the hungry, recognizing that they have brothers and sisters with empty stomachs. We also witness others who have no shelter or refuge, yet the hand of compassion extends to them without expectation of reward or harm, solely seeking the pleasure of the Most High, and following the example of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him.

 

Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was the most generous of the men; and he was the most generous during the month of Ramadan when Jibril visited him every night and recited the Qur'an to him. During this period, the generosity of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) waxed faster than the rain bearing wind."

 

Thus, O believers, the Prophet, peace be upon him, would increase in generosity upon meeting Gabriel, peace be upon him, for his study of the Quran renewed his commitment to the richness of the soul, which is the cause of generosity and kindness.

 

Therefore, the fasting person, under the protection and care of Allah, resembles the close angels. They restrain their tongues from idle talk and foul speech. If someone insults them or engages in conflict, they respond only with the words: "I am fasting." The fasting person is characterized by generosity.

 

Therefore, whoever engages in these acts is among the allies of Allah, whom Allah mentions in His Noble Book, giving them glad tidings of gardens of bliss and great success. Allah says: "Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who have believed and were fearing Allah. For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what is the great attainment." (Yunus: 62-64).

 

Al-Tabari chose in his interpretation that the glad tidings could be through righteous visions and through the angels giving glad tidings at the time of death.

 

We ask Allah, the Almighty, to make the days of Ramadan, for us, a mercy, forgiveness, and salvation from the Fire. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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