بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Need a quick refresher on what fasting and Ramadan are all about?
Well, here’s an extremely nice article which mentions many of the virtues of fasting and Ramadan: Fasting in Ramadan
Oh and they even have a version for kiddies. [The differences aren’t immediately obvious but they are definitely there.]
“Oh, my kids are too young for that.”
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
What is this great event, you ask?
Well, it’s the revelation of the Quran, of course.
We know (from Surah Al-Qadr) that it was revealed on Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree).
This great event took place on the 24th (which is tonight).
أنزلت صحف إبراهيم أول ليلة من شهر رمضان ، و أنزلت التوراة لست مضت من رمضان ، و أنزل الإنجيل بثلاث عشرة مضت من رمضان ، و أنزل الزبور لثمان عشرة خلت من رمضان ، وأنزل القرآن لأربع وعشرين خلت من رمضان
“The Suhuf of Ibrahim were revealed on the first night of Ramadan. The Tawrah was revealed on the sixth of Ramadan. The Injeel was revealed on the thirteenth of Ramadan. The Zaboor was revealed on the eighteenth of Ramadan. And the Quran was revealed on the twenty-fourth of Ramadan.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 1497. There seems to be a small dispute over its authenticity but quite a few scholars authenticated it. Also, it would explain why Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) did what he did on the 24th.]
Now, does this hadeeth mean that tonight is Laylatul Qadr?
Well, as most scholars say that the date changes from year to year, no not necessarily. However, what this hadeeth does show us is:
1) The magnificence of Ramadan and how it was historically a month of guidance.
2) The fact that the original Laylatul Qadr was on the 24th means that the 24th (and any of the even numbered nights for that matter) could also be Laylatul Qadr.
So, let’s not wait for the odd nights. Let’s give the even nights our best efforts as well.
[Note: Let me clarify things again. When we say that “it was revealed on this night”, it means that a copy of it was sent from the Lawh Al-Mahfoudh (the Preserved Tablet) to Bait Al-Izzah in the first heaven. (After this, it was revealed to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) over a period of 23 years.)
Many people seem to think “it was revealed on this night” means that this was the night that Jibreel (alaihissalam) came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and said “Read.”
No, that’s not Laylatul Qadr, although from what I heard, that also took place in Ramadan.
What’s the proof for this, you ask? It’s from the language used. I would need an entire post to talk about it….]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Month of Righteous Deeds (which are done to earn Allah’s Pleasure)
رب صائم ليس له من صيامه إلا الجوع ورب قائم ليس له من قيامه إلا السهر
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690. Graded “hasan sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690.]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Part 1.]
The Month of Istighfar (Seeking Forgiveness), Prayer, Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree) and Dawah (inviting to Islam)
إذا دخل رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة وغلقت أبواب جهنم ، وسلسلت الشياطين
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) 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.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 123]
[Here’s an explanation of how the devils are chained up.]
الصلوات الخمس . والجمعة إلى الجمعة . ورمضان إلى رمضان . مكفرات ما بينهن . إذا اجتنب الكبائر
Abu Hurairah reported (radiallahu anhu): Verily the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 450]
[Want to know more about major sins? I’ve provided two resources here.]
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر شد مئزره ، وأحيا ليله ، وأيقظ أهله
Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 241]
سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لرمضان : من قامه إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 226]
من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ، ومن صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on Laylatul 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.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 125]
“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night (i.e. the night of Qadr). Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].” [Surah Ad-Dukhan (44) : 3]
An entire surah (chapter) was revealed concerning this great night:
“Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) “
“And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?”
“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, (i.e. 83 years and 4 months).”
“Therein descend the angels and the Ruh (Jibreel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees.”
“Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.”
[Surah Al-Qadr (97) : 1-5]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I thought that it would be a good idea to remind ourselves of the virtues of Ramadan from the Quran and the Sunnah.
[Yes, many of us might know these but we all need reminders now and then.]
The Month of Fasting
“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]
“[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 184]
The Month of the Quran, Guidance, Gratitude and Generosity
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة
Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel* met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]
[*For those new to Islam, Jibreel = Gabriel (the angel).]
The Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and Dua (supplication)
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]
To be continued…
Another day, another article.
[The Learning Arabic Post will be continued tomorrow, insha-Allah.]
You know what makes me sad? Let me tell you.
This blog got a whole lot more visitors during Ramadan.
Am I sad because my blog traffic went down? No, because ultimately blog popularity is not at all important.
I’m sad because people seemed to have lost their enthusiasm for Ramadan a mere two weeks after it has ended. If this is what happens a few weeks after Ramadan, then what will happen after a few months??? Subhan Allah, it’s really sad.
What’s also sad is that we do things the wrong way around. We start advertising Ramadan a few weeks before it starts (rather than a few months ahead as it should be done) and then after the last day of Ramadan, we hear one or two lectures on steadfastness and that’s it.
The early generations prayer for Ramadan for 6 months in advance and prayed to get Ramadan 6 months after it ended.
[Actually, it should be 5.5 months if you do the math, but anyway…]
Here’s another Adios Ramadan article:
[This lecture seems to have been right at the end of one of the previous Ramadans, hence he mentions zakaatul fitr, etc.]
[Note: I has some issues formatting the article so it looks a bit strange in some places. My apologies.]
Abdur Rahman As-Sudais
1) The course of life.
2) The anguish at the end of Ramadaan.
3) Those who rejoice during Ramadaan.
4) Acceptance of good deeds was the greatest concern of the salaf.
5) Acts of worship performed during Ramadaan.
6) The wonderful opportunity that Ramadaan represents
7) Persistence on obedience.
8) The effects of Ramadaan upon the soul.
9) The painful predicament of our Ummah.
10) Propaganda against Islaam and Muslims.
11) Salvation is achieved through sound faith.
12) Good deeds at the end of Ramadaan.
13) Zakaatul-Fitr (charity paid at the conclusion of Ramadaan).
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah, for that is the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. It is the best provision for the Abode of Peace and whoever possesses it will prosper and be saved from all evils.
Fellow Muslims! When one ponders over the history of nations, they will realise that all are in the process of constant change. This is the course destined for them by Allaah and nothing can change that.
Brothers in Islaam! Tell me, if an honourable guest visits you in your dwellings, showers you with goodness and loves you – which you reciprocate; then the time for his departure arrives, how are you going to bid him farewell and how are you going to feel? What separation is then greater and more emotional than that from the beloved guest of the Muslims, the blessed month of Ramadaan?
I think many people dream of being religious one day, or at least that’s what I understood after talking to many sisters.
The key word here is “dream”. Many of us dream. So we think that one day, it will all fall into place and we’ll be great slaves of Allah and we’ll go to Paradise.
Brothers and Sisters, we can’t sin day and night and barely remember Allah and then expect to get that house in Paradise.
Paradise is earned. And who will earn it? The ones who strove hard for it.
[Note: We do not get into Paradise solely through our good deeds, but rather through the Mercy of Allah.]
Let’s all ask ourselves a few questions:
1) Have we changed at all in the last few years?
-Do we have more tawheed than before?
– Are we more conscious that Allah is watching us?
– Do we pray more?
– Are we more attached to the Quran? Do we apply it more?
– Do we have more knowledge of Islam?
– Do we have better manners?
– Do we give in charity more?
– Are we more modestly dressed than before? [This applies to both men and women.]
– Do we control our tongues more? Do we use them more for the remembrance of Allah or for the remembrance of this worldly life?
– Do we sin less? And if we sin, how long does it take us to ask for Allah’s Forgiveness?
We should all try to ask ourselves in which areas we have improved.
2) If we didn’t change at all or didn’t change much, then why not?
Are we really in it to please Allah? Or are we still worried about what created beings have to say?
Created beings who, like us, fall ill, need to go to the bathroom, will get old and will die (and when buried, will rot in the ground).
Are we attached to them* more than we are to Allah?
[*Them = Spouses, children, family, friends, colleagues, celebrities, you name it.]
And saying “no” doesn’t prove we aren’t. Our actions are what will prove if we are or are not attached to them.
3) When is the time for change going to come?
“Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allah’s Reminder (this Quran), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Hadid (57) :16]
Isn’t it way past time?
Here are two resources that talk about repenting in Ramadan. Don’t we want to be different people in Shawwal than we were in Shaban?
Here’s the article: Repentance in Ramadan.
Repentance in Ramadan by Said Rageah
Still struggling to explain Ramadan to your kiddies?
Try the following lecture:
Ramadan for the Youth by Abu Taubah