THE MONTH OF BLESSINGS
RAMADHAAN THE MONTH OF BLESSINGS
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:
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 1ascended 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."
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."
In this month the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of hell are closed. And the Shayaateen are chained.
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.
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 (du'aa) is certainly accepted.
In this month, the Ummah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam are given these things specially:
THINGS TO DO IN THIS MONTH
Four things have been instructed in the Hadeeth which one should continue to practice in abundance:
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 Sahri, therefore, to differ from them, it is advisable to have at least a sip of water with the intention of Sehri before morning. After all, Sehri is a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
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.
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.
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.