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Category: Truth of Islam

People have various ideas and ways of receiving the blessed month of Ramadan and invest this occasion in fulfilling their favorite actions and activities. Some of them make this an occasion for laziness, idleness, sleep and neglecting the different acts of obedience that they could otherwise be doing. Others find this a good opportunity for watching shows on satellite television while others stay up late at night and use this precious time to pay visits, go to markets, relax, make trips and the like while others make it an occasion for exaggeration in eating, drinking and doing whatever they like, as if Ramadan is the month of food and drink, and not the month of fasting.

However, there are some other people for whom Allaah The Almighty wants good for and thus guides them to the right way so that they became able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. Such people receive this blessed month warmly and happily since they believe that it is a golden opportunity to attain forgiveness for sins and make a new start that would be sin-free. In fact, the blessed month of Ramadan is the month of forgiveness, mercy and emancipation from Hell. The Prophet, Peace be upon him, used to give his Companions glad tidings on the arrival of Ramadan saying: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months - whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” [An-Nasaa’i, Al-Albaani: Saheeh (Authentic)]

Consequently, these people knew well the virtues, rewards and goodness of this blessed month and thus they decide to reap all these fruits and benefits so that they may not be among those who will say [what Allaah The Almighty Says (which means)]: {I wish I had sent ahead [some good] for my life.}[Quran 89: 24] or say [what Allaah The Almighty Says (which means)]: {My Lord, send me back, that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.} [Quran 23:99-100] They do not wish to be among those who will regret their negligence at a time when regret will be of no use.

Therefore, those people whom Allaah has guided to receive the blessed month of Ramadan properly, are determined to do the following

1. Sincere Repentance

Repentance of sins is obligatory at all times, especially in the month of Ramadan. If a person does not repent in Ramadan, then when would he repent? If one does not feel regret in Ramadan, then when would he feel regret? Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And turn to Allaah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Quran 24:31]

O you who delay His repentance, until when will you postpone it?

You told yourself: When I observe fast in Ramadan, I will repent. Well, here are the days of the blessed month of Ramadan fast approaching, yet you still refuse to turn to your Lord in repentance. You are turning away from Him, not coming closer to Him. You still insist resolutely on your disobedience. Do you not fear that the Angel of Death may come to you while you are in such a state? How could you be guided to the path of repentance while you firmly insist on going in the opposite direction?

Allaah The Almighty forgives all sins: He spreads out His Hand at night to accept the repentance of the one who has sinned during the day, and He spreads out His Hand by day to accept the repentance of the one who has sinned during the night. Allaah The Almighty rejoices over those who turn to Him in repentance and over the regret of the sinful people. Therefore, He opens a door from the direction

the west for seventy years for the purpose of repentance, and it will not be closed until the sun rises from the west as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said. [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

So where are those who long to turn to Allaah The Almighty in repentance?

2.     Receiving Ramadan by devoting all actions sincerely and solely to Allaah The Almighty

One concept should be very clear to all from the onset: If your acts lack sincerity, then do not bother exhausting yourself because no action will be accepted without sincerity. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):{So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.}[Quran 18: 110] It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allaah The Almighty Says: ‘I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus whoever does an action for someone else’s sake as well as mine, I will leave him to whom he has associated with Me.’”[Muslim]

Fasting is one of the greatest acts of worship that instill sincerity in the heart of the Muslim. This is because the fasting person cannot be known except by Allaah The Almighty, The Most Exalted, especially if he observes fasting in days other than the days of Ramadan and even in Ramadan, for one can pretend that he is fasting while he is not. In addition to this, the fasting person keeps away from the slightest thing that can affect his fasting out of sincerity to Allaah The Almighty and seeking His pleasure. Therefore, Allaah The Almighty has hidden the reward of fasting and made it for Himself in much the same way as the fasting person has hidden his fasting from other people, and of course Allaah The Almighty only gives that which is bountiful and plentiful. Allaah The Almighty says in a Qudsi (Sacred) Hadeeth: {Every deed of the son of Aadam (Adam) will be rewarded between ten and seven hundred fold, except fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward it Myself.}[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

3.     Receiving Ramadan by adhering strictly to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him:

No act can be accepted unless it meets two conditions: that it is accompanied by a sincere intention, which is that one should do it only for the sake of Allaah The Almighty, and in that it is in accordance with the guidance of the Prophet, peace be up on him.

The verse mentioned above refers to both of these conditions.

{So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work} refers to following the guidance of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and

{And not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.}[Quran 18: 110] refers to a sincere intention.

Indeed the Prophet, peace be upon him, clarified everything about the matter of fasting such as when to start and stop fasting, its pillars, its obligations, its recommended acts, its manners, its virtues and its benefits, things that break the fast, what cannot affect the fast, excuses that allow one to break the fast, and everything else that is related to the fast.

4.     Receiving Ramadan with patience

In fact, Ramadan is the month of patience and forbearance. In it, one abstains from some of his usual habits, food, drink, sexual intercourse and anything else that would break the fast as a form of obedience to Allaah The Almighty and worship that brings one closer to Him.

Patience is one of the most difficult things for the soul. Therefore, patience represents half of faith and the patient will be given an immense reward as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.} [Quran 39: 10]

Patience is of three types:

1-    Patience concerning the obligations (required by Allaah The Almighty) that one should fulfill;

2-    Patience in abstaining from actions forbidden by Him, that one should not do;

3-    Patience concerning afflictions, that one should not resent or complain of his Lord to.

One should have all three of these.

There are many reasons why one should observe patience, including:

1-    Love for Allaah The Almighty.

2-    Fear of Allaah The Almighty.

3-    Nobility and purity of the soul.

4-    Lack of worldly desires and certainty that one will soon depart this world.

5-    Avoiding excess in food, drink, clothing, sex, and mixing with people.

6-    Feeling shy and embarrassed before Allaah The Almighty.

7-    Remembering the blessings that Allaah The Almighty has given as well as his kindness.

8-    Acknowledging the evil and dire consequences of disobedience.

9-    Certain knowledge of the consequences of disobedience and the harm that may result from it.

10-     Knowledge of the good consequences and rewards of obeying Allaah The Almighty .

11-     Faith that is firmly-rooted in the heart.

If one pays attention and adheres to these factors, then they will be the finest help for him in fulfilling acts of obedience and refraining from doing sinful acts, particularly, in this month of fasting that entails exerting oneself in doing many righteous acts and keeping away from committing sins.

5. Receiving Ramadan by making the best use of time

Time is very precious because every minute that passes can never return. Ramadan is also a means of success or failure, salvation or destruction…

Amongst the obligatory and recommended acts of worship in Ramadan are:

First: Fasting during the daytime:

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days.} [Quran 2: 185]

Moreover, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and seeking the reward of Allaah, his previous sins will be forgiven.”  [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Second: Performing voluntary night prayers (the Taraaweeh prayer):

It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever stands (in voluntary prayer at night in) Ramadan out of faith and seeking the reward of Allaah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Third: Reciting the Quran:

Ramadan is the month of the Noble Quran. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.} [Quran 2: 185]

The angel Jibreel (Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, would study the Quran with the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the month of Ramadan. Hence, our righteous predecessors would devote themselves and their time to reciting the Quran in Ramadan. So would used to recite the Quran in the prayers and at other times. Az-Zuhri, may Allah have mercy on him, said at the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan, “It is only for reciting the Quran and giving food.”

Fourth: Giving Iftaar (the fast-breaking meal) to fasting people:

It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever gives food to someone who is fasting to break his fast with will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.”[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Fifth: Generosity:

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace be upon him, was the most generous of people, and he was the most generous during Ramadan. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

Sixth: Performing ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in Ramadan:

It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “‘Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent (in reward) to Hajj.”In another narration:“To Hajj with me .” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Seventh: Performing I‘tikaaf (seclusion in the mosque):

I‘tikaaf is in the last ten days of Ramadan. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah may Allah have mercy on her, said, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, would practice I‘tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until he passed away and then his wives would practice I‘tikaaf after him.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Eighth: Seeking the Night of Al-Qadr (Divine decree) and spending its time in prayer:

It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Night of Al-Qadr out of faith and seeking the reward of Allaah, he will be forgiven his previous sins.”  [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

This is is during the last ten days of Ramadan.

6. Receiving Ramadan by perfecting and excelling in deeds

 

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{Indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.} [Quran 18: 30] and, {For indeed, Allaah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.}[Quran 11: 115]

 

We mentioned this because some people, may Allaah guide them, made the fast a pretext for neglecting public duties and the tasks that they are assigned. If one were to ask one of them why, he would reply, is it not sufficient that I am fasting? It is as if fasting entails laziness, neglecting public duties, and making things difficult for others. On the contrary, it calls for being active, striving, treating people kindly and making things easy for them.

 

7. Receiving Ramadan with forgiveness, tolerance and good morals

 

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace be upon him, said:“If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relations with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody fights or quarrels with him, he should respond: 'I am fasting.’”[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

 

Thus, we have to adhere firmly to the noble morals of Islam in this month as well as in all other months. That is to say, everyone should fulfill his obligations towards his Lord, the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his fellow Muslims and ask for his needs kindly so that he may attain piety, which is the main aim behind fasting as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 2: 183]

 

Consequently, fasting entails:

1- Refraining from satisfying the desires of the stomach and the sexual organs.

2- Restraining the eyes, tongue, feet, ears and all other organs of the body from committing sins.

3- Making the heart refrain from ill thoughts and thoughts that would direct it away from Allaah The Almighty and from thinking about anything except Allaah The Almighty.

 

8.  Receiving Ramadan by calling oneself to account

 

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allaah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allaah. Indeed, Allaah is Acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allaah, so He made them forget themselves.}[Quran 59:18-19]

Furthermore, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah have his mercy upon him, said, “Hold yourself to account before you are held to account, and weigh yourselves before you are weighed, as reckoning yourselves today will make it easier for you to be reckoned tomorrow.”

Self-reckoning should be before and after doing any action:

Doing it before doing any action is to reckon oneself on his intention and in following the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

Reckoning after the action is of three types:

First, one should reckon his soul for its gross negligence wit respect to the acts of worshiping Allaah The Almighty which it has not performed properly, and the right of Allaah, in acts of

Worship, has six requirements:

1- Sincerity of intention in doing any action.

2- Attempting to do it perfectly and in a way that would Allaah The Almighty.

3- Doing it in accordance with the guidance of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

4-    Worshipping Allaah as though one sees Him

5-    Acknowledging the Blessings of Allaah The Almighty upon him with regard to enabling him to do the act.

6-    Acknowledging one’s shortcomings with respects to it.

Second one should reckon his soul for any action that he has done when it would have been better for him not to have done.

Third one should cast a critical look back at whatever permissible acts he has done and ask himself why he did them: Were they for the sake of Allaah The Almighty and the Hereafter? If so, he will be rewarded greatly, however, if he did it for this world and its trivial gains, he will miss great rewards.

Therefore, we could receive, live, feel delighted and benefit from the blessed month of Ramadan, and if we cannot do that, we would be like the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “It may be that all a fasting person gets from his fast is hunger and thirst, and it may be that all a person who prays at night gets from his prayer is sleeplessness.” [Ahmad] [Al-Albaani: Saheeh (Authentic)]

 

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