RAMADAN

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Verses regarding Ramadan in the Quran:



2:183 O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-


2:184 (fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.


2:185 Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.

This paper will address six benefits of Ramadan and six actions one should do in the blessed month. The time of Ramadan has finally approached once again this year. This month is special for many reasons. During this time, Allah has closed the gates of hell, and ordered the gates of heaven to be opened. It is also the month where Allah has tied the devils.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 123:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained."
Ramadan was the only time the Rasul salla Allahu alayhe wasalam used to pray to Allah to increase his life. When one studies the life of the Rasul, it is made apparent to him that the Rasul always seeked death, except in the time of Ramadan. He would ask Allah to prolong his life. The Prophet salla Allahu alayhe wasalam used to supplicate "May Allah bless Sha'aban and allow us to live until Ramadan."

It was from the traditions of the sahaba that they would prepare for Ramadan six months in advance. They would pray to Allah for forgiveness, and pray that Ramadan would arrive in a time where they were at the peak of iman. For five months after the completion of Ramadan, the sahaba would ask Allah to accept their deeds.

Benefits of Ramadan:

1) The forgiveness of Allah.

In Sahih Al-bukhari there are many hadith that show the mercy Allah has towards his servants. Below are three:

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 36:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said: "Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven."
The prayer this hadith is referring to is salatul tarawih.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 37:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven."
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 125:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."

These hadith illustrate the mercy Allah has with the Muslims. He is allowing the son of Adam numerous times to repent and seek his forgiveness.

Allah says in the Quran:

4:27 Allah doth wish to Turn to you

The Prophet refered to the person that is cursed as the Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek his mercy.

This hadith reiterates the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for humans to repent and seek Allah's forgiveness, so there should be no excuse not to have one's sins forgiven.

The Prophet stated that Ramadan to Ramadan is a forgiveness between them.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhe wasalam) said : "The time between the five prayers, two consecutive Friday Prayers, and two consecutive Ramadans are expiations for all that has happened during that period, provided that one has avoided the grave (major) sins." [Muslim]

One should take advantage of all the rewards and blessings of this holy month, especially since he does not know when his time of death will come.

2) Being saved from hell.
Every night in Ramadan, Allah chooses people to be saved from the hell fire. Simple acts can be a reason for people to be saved. This includes even feeding a fasting person.

He (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted.

3) One's dua is accepted
The person who fasts in Ramadan, will have his dua accepted before the time of iftar (the breaking of the fast). Allah has created this life as a test for human beings, and there comes times where he faces difficulties and problems. Therefore, he should always turn back to his Lord, who will help ease and eliminate the obstacles he is facing. Allah offers the time before iftar as a means for Muslims to have their dua answered and accepted.

2:188: "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them):I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way."

4) One will receive mountains of reward on the judgment day.
In the month of Ramadan, Allah multiplies the good deeds by 70. If one is to do a deed now, he would have to do it 70 times in order to receive the equivalent amount of one deed done in Ramadan.

The Prophet said:
One day of fasting keeps a person away from hell 80 years (In other narrations 100 years, and the distance between the sky and the earth).

Hadith:
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.'
This hadith shows that Allah has a great reward in addition to what he has already promised the Muslims for fasting.

Inside heaven is a door that is named Ar-Rayan (means: that satisfies one's thirst). It is given this name due to the fact that the Muslim gave up his thirst and desires, purely for the sake of Allah. Therefore, Allah will allow that person to enter the door and choose whatever that is pleasing to him. When one gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah rewards him manifold.

5) Laylatul Qadr
Laylatul Qadr is one of the biggest mercies that Allah has bestowed upon the Muslims. Allah desires to continually reward his servants, as long as they continue doing righteous acts. As regards to its excellence, it is more than sufficient to say that Laylatul Qadr is equivalent to a thousand months. Allah says in the Quran:

97:15: " Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Gabriel) by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn."

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 125:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."

One who misses this blessed night then has missed much good for no one misses it except one from whom it is withheld. There are many acts that are recommended to be done during this night including praying, reading Quran, and making dua.

6) The reward of Ramadan is Allah's blessing upon the Muslim.
One who continues to fast and worship Allah in Ramadan, Allah becomes pleased with that servant. When a person fasts for the sake of Allah, Allah informs his angels that he gave up his food and drink only for His sake. He goes on to say his servant left his desires purely for His sake. Allah asks his angels to ask for that person's forgiveness, which their dua is accepted. Then Allah declares to his angels that he forgives that person. Allah then orders heaven to decorate itself for the people who are forgiven due to their fasting, even though heaven is already beautified. Finally, Allah promises to forgive all the previous sins of the person.

Actions to be done in Ramadan:

In order to receive the benefits of Ramadan, one must also do actions that will help him achieve the rewards. Before Ramadan starts, one must look forward to it and greet it as if it is a precious loved one that has been away for some time. The Rasul salla Allahu alayhe wasalam and the sahaba used to encourage each other to do good in this blessed month. One should have high goals for this month, and promise himself that he will do as much as he can in order to receive its full benefit.

There is a great lesson to be learned from Abu Bakr's example:

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 121:
'Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah's Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, 'O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.' So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Raiyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity." Abu Bakr said, "Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Apostle! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?" The Prophet replied, "Yes, and I hope you will be one of them."

In another hadith the Prophet said:
"Take advantage of five before five: your life before your death, your health before your illness, your free time before becoming busy, your youth before your old age and your wealth before your poverty."

This hadith teaches one to take advantage of the life, health, and free time that one has and worship Allah has if this was his last Ramadan.
Ramadan is the month for rebuilding spiritual strength. How much one benefits from it, is up to him.

1) Read Quran
An aya in the Quran states that the Quran is for those that are alive. One should make a habit of reading Quran every night, especially in Ramadan. Imam Shafii used to recite the Quran 60 times in Ramadan. Aisha, radiya Allahu anha used to read the Quran all throughout the day and night, sleeping very little. These are examples for one to learn from. The Rasul salla Allahu alayhe wasalam said it is recommended that one does a little amount of deeds and continues with it, than for one to do something big and then stop. So one should have realistic goals for himself, and read as much as he can, even if just a few lines per day. If a person wants the Prophet's intercession on the day of judgment, then he needs to read and act according to the Quran.

The Rasul states whoever reads one letter of the Quran receives at least ten good deeds. Alif, Lam, Meem is not one word, but rather he receives ten hasana for alif, ten for lam, and ten for meem. In Ramadan, the reward for reading each letter is multiplied by 70.

Also in Ramadan, one should do as much prayer and dhikr as he can. If a person prays 12 rakah in a day, he is promised a palace in heaven. During Ramadan though, this is multiplied by 70, so he will receive something 70 times better than a palace in heaven.

The Prophet said:
Two words that are light on the tongue, yet very heavy on the judgment day, "subhana Allah wa bi hamdi, subhana Allah al-atheem."

2) Dua
One should make as much dua for himself, family and the Muslim Ummah as much as he can during Ramadan.

3) Family ties
Ramadan is a time where a person who may have problems or disagreements between his family members should clear them. There is great reward for one who does silat arRahim, and more so in Ramadan.
The Prophet said whoever abandons his family will never enter heaven.

4) Praying Tarawih
The hadith about praying tarawih is mentioned above. If one is not able to pray in the masjid, then he should still pray at home. There reward for praying the night prayer in Ramadan is forgiveness of sins.

5) Making Dawah
Ramadan is a perfect time for Muslims to make dawah to those that are not practicing, as well as non-Muslims. One can do this by being a kind person and showing the right example of the good Muslim, or even reminding his fellow Muslims what the obligations are of Islam.

6) Give charity in Ramadan
One who gives charity in Ramadan will receive the reward of 70 times than one who pays outside of Ramadan. It does not necessarily have to be in the form of monetary funds, but rather could be feeding a fasting person, even with a sip of water or a date. The person who does this, will receive the reward of the person who fasted.

It is important to remember in Ramadan, Muslims are not just fasting from food and water, but also from all evil. This includes evil in talk, like gossiping and backbiting.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)"
Allah is asking to leave the halal (food and water) for his sake, so there is more of an obligation to leave that which is haram (false talk, lying, etc). If one trains himself in Ramadan to follow the commands of Allah and worship him more, then insha'Allah, he will continue to do these deeds.

Oh Allah allow us to make the most of Ramadan. Oh Allah, let us meet you with a clean heart, with all our sins erased. Oh Allah grant us mercy, and make us from those that you have freed from hell fire. Oh Allah allow us to be from those that you enter in heaven.


 
 

 

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