Ramadan 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.”[al-Baqarah: 185]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers till the end of time.
Habitually, humanbeings are the same throughout time by their nature. One of these very common traditions is exchanging visits between them. The most interesting outcome is that both the guest and the host are filled with eagerness and happiness to meet each other. The guest wears his best dress and packs his gift items, while the host arranges for everything that will make his guest enjoys his brief stay. He stocks the kitchen with varieties of foods and delicacies stuff, cleans the guest room, orients the members of the family to treat him courteously and with dignity. In fact, everything will be put and arranged in its proper perspective. Then each of them will be in a state of thrills and ecstasy to give, and receive surprises that will delight each other…awaiting a kind ofgratifyingexhilaration and pleasurable excitement to happen.
It is in the same experience that all Muslims find themselves when the silent steps of Ramadan begin to be sensed and felt in both their spines and psyche, from a distance, not faraway! When the fragrances of the worn perfumes and the smokes of the burning incense begin to be felt and smelled from all angles. That is when the counting is almost finished, Muslims all over the globe get set, get ready, get prepared and get resolute to be very good host in every ramifications. But, all these preparations may not necessarily be the same with all and sundry. However, what makes the arrangement pass the tests of enthusiasm, keenness, eagerness and excitement is witnessed during first ten days of Ramadan. Even Satan becomes completely disconsolate, demoralized and disappointed with the sudden changes in the habits, conducts and lifestyles of the Muslims. The bad habits are dropped and suddenly disappeared; the bad friends and accomplices are abandoned and left alone, and the bad places are deserted, completely. The Mosques are filled up to the brim, beggars disappear from the streets, restaurants become closed throughout the day, ‘red areas’ of the city become ghost regions and brothels and bars become as silent as the grave! Every unholy, ungodly, satanic and blasphemous behaviours and activities are completely shunned and spurned! The Satan and his foot soldiers are picked up and jailed under a very tight custody;all the hosts have metamorphose and transmogrify into angels as a result of the arrival of Ramadan the great, the holy and the sacred!
There is a kind of feeling of happiness that runs in the souls of the faithful immediately the crescent is sighted anywhere in the world. There is a kind of whispering vividly heard by all with apt attention and responsiveness in the following revelation:
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you As it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint”[al-Baqarah: 183]
That day,that moment, and instantly the Satan and his agents will disappear to be cramped and confined for the whole holy month! Never to be seen or heard by those who aptly heard the call of their Lord. The Prophet (SAW) described what would happen at the commencement of the Ramadan, he said:
“When it is the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils and the resolutely evil jinn are enchained, the gates of Hell are firmly locked such that none of them are opened, the gates of Paradise are opened such that none of them are closed, and a caller proclaims, ‘O Pursuer of good, proceed and O Pursuer of evil, refrain’. [There are those] whom God salvages from Hell and that is in every [Ramadan] night.”
No wonder when the Ummah becomes merciful to the trodden masses and the less privileged!No wonder when the Ummah becomes generous to the poor and the needy! No wonder when the Ummah becomes one and united after it was asunder and disorganized! No wonder it was the commencement of the month of mercy and generousity! Read this:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Qur’an carefully together. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.”[Vol. 4, Book 54, Hadith 443]
Abu Hurairah narrated that:the Messenger of Allah said: “On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the Satans are shackled, the jinns are restrained and the gates of the fires are put off such that no gate among them would be opened. The gates of Paradise are opened such that no gate among them would be closed, and a caller calls: ‘O seeker of the good; come near!’ and ‘O seeker of evil; stop! There are peoplewhom Allah frees from the Fire, and that is every night.”[Vol. 2, Book 3, Hadith 682]
Thus, since it is the Satan that restricts and hinders people from doing good deeds and obeying Allah tenaciously, in Ramadan they will be completely off the roads and parks. Ramadan indeed is a blessed month and exceptionally a very rareand remarkableoccasion for goodness, sanctification, devotion, and unreserved submission to Allah (SWT) in whatever we think, say and do. It is a great month ofselflessness, a period in which rewards for good deeds are multiplied, a season of devoutness,and a phase of time in which bad deeds is abhorred and detested. It is a month in which the gates of Jannahare throughout opened, and those of hell are firmlypadlocked. It is a moment in which offenders are invited to repent. In other words, their repentancesare immediatelyacknowledged and forgiveness granted. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its end is redemption from the hell fire. All good deeds are recompensed in manifold and abundance.
Thus, it is worthwhile for every serious Muslim to utilize and make the most of it in anyway possible. Ramadan detests an atmosphere of anger, tension and sadness, hence whenever anybody attempts to bait or provoke him to slip into any of them, he politely replies; I am fasting!
One of the attitudes is that he does not watch television but only during news. He also does not watch uneducational or religious films. Sports of whatever types are abhorred by Ramadan. He does not listen to any type songs and music. He even does not indulge in vain talk or argument. But, his tongue is perpetually wet with remembrance of Allah; zikr. He does not sit in a place where the people are not engaged in useful talking or actions.
Other fascinating attitudes of this great guest are that despite fasting the whole day, he also remains sleepless most of the time in the night. He keeps vigil either by rehearsing the Qur’an, praying nawafils (voluntary prayers) or celebrating and glorifying the sublime names and attributes of Allah. This guest does not hoards any excess of his belongings either. His becoming excessively bounteous and generous is very remarkable in Ramadan!
Abubakar Siddiq, the first Caliph (RD) once said, “The likeness of the month of Rajab is that of the wind, the likeness of Sha’aban is that of clouds and the likeness of Ramadan is that of rain. So, whoever does not plant or sow in Rajab irrigates in Sha’aban, how then can he reap in Ramadan?
The point I am from, is that Ramadan, though an engaging moment, it does not require to be completely some magnificent, enormous, extra special issue very different from our usual daily, or weekly or monthly choruses. In fact, it is the same thing with pinch of sincerity, devotion and exhilarations!
Ramadan is almost here and very ready to flow with its blessings, goodness, mercies and salvations, where the Paradise has been prepared to receive those who sincerely and devotionally fast at the gate of Al-Rayan (the door through which those who fast will enter Paradise) on the day of judgment. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “In Paradise, there is a gate called ar-Rayan, through which those who fast will enter, whoever enters through it will never be thirsty.” Therefore, let us prepare ourselves and seize this great chance in order to gain Allah’s mercy, Paradise, remissive, forgiveness and be saved from fire.
Finally, may Allah grant us the respite to witness this Ramadan in good health, strength and iman. May He forgive our inadequacies, inadequacies and incapacitations in all doings and offerings.
Ramadan Kareem! Ramadan Kareem!! Ramadan Kareem!!!