Ramadhaan is a month of countless blessings and virtues. The word Ramadhaan is derived from "ramdh' which means "burning of the feet from heat" This is because of the fast, which burns the sins of a Muslim into ashes.
Ramadhaan has been given the name of blessed month because:
- In this month, the whole Qur'aan was sent down to the first sky from Lawhe Mahfooz.
- In this month, there is the night of Qadr which is better than 1000 months.
- In this month, the thawaab of good deed is equal to the fardh of another month.
- This is the month of patience and the reward of this patience is Jannah.
- This month teaches the lesson of kindness towards others.
- In this month, the daily-bread of Muslims is increased.
- In this month, the first ten days are of mercy, second ten days are of forgiveness and the last ten days are of being freed from Hell.
- The month of Ramadhaan is a month in which the Mercy and Blessings of Allah Ta'ala descend upon us continuously.
This month is so precious that one should fast, recite Qur'aan and keep himself engaged in worship (Ibaadah) day night. One should perform Taraaweeh, Nafl Salaat, make du'aa, etc. In this way, by giving preference to religion over self-desires, a person can acquire the Pleasure and Nearness of Allah. Each day and night of this blessed month can bring the reward of Ibaadah of years.
RAMADHAAN IN THE LIGHT OF AHAADEETH
Ka'b Ibne 'Ujrah radhiyallahu anhu relates that the Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "Come near the pulpit," and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit, he said, "Aameen." When he ascended the second step, he said, "Aameen." When he ascended the third step, he said, "Aameen." When he descended, we said, "O Prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before." He said, "When I ascended the first step, jibra'eel appeared before me and said, 'Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhaan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.' Upon that I said: Aameen. When I ascended the second step, he said, 'Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not read Durood (Salaat) on you. 'I replied: Aameen. When I ascended the third step he said, 'Woe to him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise.' I said: Aameen." (Bukhaari)
Salmaan radhiyallahu anhu relates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "Ramadhaan is a blessed month. In this month is a night better than a 1000 months. Fasting has been made compulsory and Taraaweeh Sunnah. Whosoever tries drawing nearer to Allah by performing any virtuous deed in this month, for him shall be such reward as if he had performed a 'Fardh' in any other time of the year. And whoever performs a 'Fardh' for him shall be the reward of seventy 'Fardh' in any other time of the year. This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise; it is the month of sympathy with one's fellowmen; this is the month wherein a true believer's Rizq is increased." (Bayhaqi)
In this month the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of hell are closed. And the Shayaateen are chained. (Bukhaari, Muslim)
This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah's Mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last part of which brings emancipation from the fire of Hell. (Bayhaqi)
During each day and night of this month, Allah sets free a great number of souls from Hell. And for every Muslim during each day and night, at least one prayer is certainly accepted. (Bazzaar)
In this month, the Ummah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam are given these things specially.
- The smell from the mouth of a fasting person is more sweeter in the sight of Allah than the fragrant smell of musk.
- On their behalf the fish in the sea seek forgiveness until they break their fast.
- For them, paradise is decorated everyday.
- For them, the evil minded shaytaan is chained.
- On the last night of Ramadhaan they are forgiven.
THINGS TO DO IN THIS MONTH
Four things have been instructed in the Hadeeth which one should continue to practice in abundance:
- Recite the Kalimah Tayyibah.
- Make Istighfaar.
- Ask for Jannah.
- Seek refuge in Allah from Hell.
In this month one should fast, perform all Salaat with congregation, engage in recitation of the Qur'aan, perform Taraaweeh, give charity and do whatever is possible to acquire the Pleasure of Allah. One should make sure that he does not do anything contrary to the Command of Allah and the teachings of His beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
In Ramadhaan, Allah has made fasting compulsory. It is one of the five pillars of Islaam. Just like the flower which outsmarts other flowers in its smell and colour, and like the fruit which surpasses the other fruits in its taste, the Ibaadah of fasting outweighs the other forms of devotions in reward. A person gives up everything whilst fasting, only to please his Almighty Creator. It is one of the most accepted forms of Ibaadah, because Allah Himself will give the reward for fasting.
Allah and His Angels send Mercy upon those who eat Sehri. Allah has made Sehri full of mercy and blessings. People of other religions also fast, but they do not eat Sehri, therefore, to differ from them, it is advisable to have at least a sip of water with the intention of Sehri
Many virtues have been narrated for those who feed others when breaking fast. A person who feeds another who fasted in order to break the fast (at sunset), for him there shall be forgiveness and emancipation from the fire of Hell. Allah grants the same reward to him who gives a fasting person a mere date or a drink of water to break his fast.
In Ramadhaan, Allah has made 20 Rak'at Taraaweeh Sunnah. It is also Sunnah to complete the full Qur'aan in Taraaweeh. Taraaweeh is Sunnah for women too.
This is a night of great blessings. It is better than a thousand months. The people of the past had very long lives compared to the much shorter lives of this Ummah. If this Ummah then wished to compete with them in doing of the good deeds, it would mean that because of the shorter lives it would be impossible for this Ummah to either emulate or surpass them. For this reason, Allah in His Infinite Mercy granted this Ummah, this night of great blessing. This night has great virtues i.e.
- The Qur'aan was revealed in this night.
- The reward of worship in this night is better than the reward of 1,000 months.
- On this night, Jibraeel descends to the earth with a group of angels, reciting salaam and praying for the blessings for those they see in Worship and Praises Allah.
- This is a night of peace. The blessings and mercy descends right until the break of day.
The author of Mazahir-e-Haqq states the following significance and virtues of this auspicious night:
- On this night, the angles were created.
- On this night, the matter from which Adam alayhis salaam was created had been collected.
- On this night, Jannah and Jahannan were created.
- On this night, 'Eesaa alayhis salaam was raised up bodily into the heavens.
- On this night, the repentance of Banoo Israa'eel was accepted.
- It is stated in a Hadeeth: "Whosoever stands in Ibaadah on this night with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven." Bukhaari, Muslim
WHICH NIGHT IS LAYLATUL QADR
There is a difference of opinion amongst the Ulamaa about this night. According to the vast majority of them, the Laylatul Qadr falls on the odd dates of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhaan - i.e. 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. However, one should strive to search for this great night in all nights of the month of Ramadhaan, particularly in the last ten nights.
It was the general practice of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam to perform I'tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan. The women should also try to perform I'tikaaf in their homes. It is stated in a Hadeeth: Whoever performs I'tikaaf in the final ten days of Ramadhaan, for him is the reward of Hajj and Umrah.
Moulana Muhammad Uthmaan Ghani
PREPARATION FOR RAMADHAAN
AS THE GRAND MONTH APPROACHED, EVEN BEFORE THE CRESCENT COULD BE SIGHTED, Nabee (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gathered the Sahaabah( radhiyallahu annum )on the last day of Sha'baan and according to the narration of Salmaan Faarsi( radhiyallahu anhu) addressed them thus: "O people, there comes upon you now a great month, a most blessed month, in which lies a night greater in worth than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made fasting incumbent during the day while farad-week salaah at night is Sunnah. Whoever tries to draw nearer to Allah by performing any virtuous deed will be given the reward of an obligatory act per formed at times other than Ramadhaan. And whoever performs a fardh (obligatory act), will receive the reward of seventy faraaidh (plural of fardh) performed at other times. It is indeed a month of patience and the reward for patience is jannah."'
While this is the kind of preparation Nabee (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exhibited, we begin to stock our refrigerators with all kinds of food which we normally do not partake of during the other months of the year. Although it is totally permissible to purchase food and other items, it is not the kind of preparation that is required of a true Believer. Ramadhaan is a month of spiritual cleansing and devotion - freeing oneself from mundane secular affairs and devoting the maximum time for the Worship of Allah in the form of the recitation of the Qur'aan, zikr and optional Salaah. It is that time of the year when one’s batteries of Imaan' would be charged to a peak. As the Hadeeth of Salmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) exhorts us to perform the following four acts in abundance;
- Recite the Kalimah Shahaadah profusely,
- Seek forgiveness for one's sins,
- Implore Allah for entry into Jannah,
- Seek refuge from the Fire of Hell.
The ideal situation would be to free oneself completely from all secular matters and devote the entire month for Deen. The most beneficial way of spending Ramadhaan would be in the company of a pious saint or going out in the Path of Allah. Those who cannot free themselves completely could nevertheless use every spare moment and draw up a daily programme. Mundane activities that can be totally given up should be avoided. If something can be postponed till after Ramadhaan, it should certainly be postponed. Many tasks can be scaled down while one's working hours could be adjusted. Closing the business earlier than usual can allow more time for the recitation of the Qur'aan, while a longer lunch-break can allow for more rest so that one is fresh for taraaweeh salaah at night. Remember that your sustenance is pre-ordained and by having fewer business hours, it will not decrease your income. In fact, by devoting more time for Deen, there will be more blessings in one's livelihood.
Muslim employers should make concessions for their Muslim staff during this month and encourage them to use that time for Deen. Their workloads should be decreased to whatever extent possible.
Besides engaging in various forms of worship, it is absolutely essential to refrain from all forms of sin and not to ruin one's fast. Idle chatter usually leads to backbiting and slander and should be totally avoided.
Approach Ramadhaan with the correct concept and preparation. Be physically and spiritually geared up for this auspicious month by reading books on the virtues of Ramadhaan to the whole family. It will certainly bring about the desired change
Provided by Haleema Saadia Uppal