Friday, August 29, 2008

Let’s try even harder this time! (Ramadhan)

The month of Ramadhan is coming and for Muslims, Ramadhan is a special month where the chances for reward from Allah are aplenty. It’s all up to the individual to seize it and do their best in making the month a fulfilling one.

The general idea behind it is to fast, pray as much as you can, read and ponder upon the Qur’an as much as you can and do lots of other good deeds. Here are some of the special characteristics of Ramadhan as compared to other months.

---> It is the month where observing fasting is prescribed to Muslims

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an

‘O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious) [surah al-Baqarah: 183]

In a hadeeth by Rasulullah (peace be upon him)

Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) : Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said,As-Saum(fasting) is Junnah (protection or shield or a screen or a shelter from the Hell-fire*). So, the person observing Saum (fasting) should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if anybody fights with him or abuses him he should say to him twice, ‘I am fasting.’” The Prophet (peace be upon him) added,” By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better with Allah (ta'ala) than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The Saum (fast) is for Me**. So I reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.’ [Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/1894 (O.P. 188)]

* See Fath Al-Bari, Vol. 5, Page 5
** Although all practices of worshipping are for Allah, here Allah (ta'ala) singles out Saum (fasting), because fasting cannot be practiced for the sake of showing off, as nobody except Allah can know whether one is fasting or not. Therefore, fasting is a pure performance that cannot be blemished with hypocrisy. (Fath Al-Bari)

---> It is the month when the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says in the Qur’an,

‘The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Criterion (between right and wrong). [Surah al-Baqarah: 185]

---> It is the month where the Gates of Heaven are opened to provide endless rewards to those who are consistent in their worship and deeds for the sake of Allah. Prophet Muhammad said in one of his hadeeth:

”When the month of Ramadhan arrives, the gates of heaven will be opened.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

---> And in this month lies the Night of Al-Qadr(Decree) where a night is better than a thousand months.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree^). And what will you know about 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 [Jibrail (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn."^^ (Surah Al-Qadr: 1-5)

^ Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments i.e. the matters of deaths, births, provisions, calamities, etc. for the whole (coming) year as decreed by Allah.

^^ Narrated A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) Allah Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in th odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan,” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/2017 (O.P.234)]

So with this little knowledge at hand, let us strive for the best! May Allah give us strength and motivation to do our best in the coming Ramadhan, and to maintain it after that.. May Allah protect us from the evil of our nafs, from Syaitan, his Army, those that are similar to it and other distractions that may lead us astray.. May Allah guide us to be sincere in our worship and deeds and perform our worship and deeds only for Allah.. May Allah accept our worship and deeds. Ameen.


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