How to receive Ramadaan
Sheikh ‘Abdul Muhsin al Qaasim
Sha’baan 26, 1423 ~ November 1, 2002
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Prophet, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Allaah has selected from the time seasons of righteous deeds. He selected some days, nights and hours out of His favour and kindness. Each time the moon of Ramadaan is sighted, days of blessings and its fragrance return to Muslims. For Ramadaan is a month in which fasting Muslims live in the horizons of purity and wipe off their foreheads the toils of this life.
Ramadaan is received while it fills the minds of righteous men in light and happiness. It is a source for joy for devoted worshippers. An hour of acceptance that a man attains in that month may elevate him to the pleasure of Allaah. Fasting is a secret act of worship between the Creator and man, which he observes sincerely in abstention from food and lawful lusts.
In a Qudsee hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) narrated that Allaah says, “Every act of man is for him except fast. For it is for me and I am going to reward him for it.” In fasting, man learns the lesson of sincerity of purpose by which he can perform other acts of worship, far from hypocrisy and showing off.
Fast reforms the hearts, encourages commendable deeds and prevents from corrupts deeds. It removes sins and increases reward. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadaan with faith and hoping to be rewarded by Allaah, all his past sins will be forgiven him.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
The month of Ramadaan is that of righteousness, acts of worship, kindness, forgiveness and mercy. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “When Ramadaan comes, gates of the heaven are opened, gates of Hell are closed and devils are chained down.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
Nights of Ramadaan are blessed ones. It has a night which is the mother of all nights; it is Lailatul-Qadr that is better than 1000 month. Whoever wakes up and prays on that night faithfully and hoping for the reward of Allaah, all his past sins will be forgiven for him.
It is a month in which the Muslim patiently bears the pains of hunger and thirst and in which he denied his soul of its desires. The reward of the fasting Muslims would be entrance into Paradise through a gate that none except them will be allowed to enter. Fasting reminds one of the conditions of the poor and destitute who suffer the pain of hunger throughout the year. Fasting removes the gap that is between the poor and the rich, for all is fasting, seeking the forgiveness of his Lord, abstaining from eating and drinking and breaking the fasting at the same time. They are equal in all these so that the word of Allaah: “And I am your Lord, so fear Me.” may be actualized.
The Glorious Qur’aan which is the foundation of Islaam, the symbol of Prophetic Message and the soul of human life was revealed in the greatest of all months, the month of Ramadaan. Allaah says: “Indeed, We have revealed it (the Qur’aan) in the Night of Decree.” [Surah Qadr: 1]
There is in its revelation in this month covert directive for Muslims to recite it and reflect over it and recite it in that month. Angel Jibreel used to descend from the heaven in that month and would study the whole of the Qur’aan with the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). And in the year in which he (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) died, Jibreel studied the Qur’aan with him twice.
Some righteous predecessors would completely recite the Qur’aan every three nights, some would recite it completely every seven days and some every ten days. Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) would devote himself to the recitation of the Qur’aan and leave hadeeth aside, whenever Ramadaan entered.
Brother in faith! Let your sayings and deeds be righteous. Believing hearts’ love for voluntary good deeds increases the scope of generosity. Generosity and charity do not impoverish. It is rather a good loan that is guaranteed with Allaah. Allaah says: “And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allaah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of Providers.” [Surah Saba’: 39]
Allaah multiplies the reward of good deed in this world and reward it with Paradise in the Hereafter. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “There is not a single day in the life of man except that two angels descend on the earth. One of them says, ‘O Allaah! Give replacement for the one who spends‘ and the other says, ‘O Allaah! Destroy the wealth of the stingy.‘” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
Look for the homes of the poor, the destitute, the widows and orphans. For that will remove sorrow from you and avert affliction from you. The Messenger of Allaah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was the most generous of all people. He used to give generously and abundantly and he would give like the one who never fears poverty. He received Ramadaan with generosity and would be more generous like wind. Try therefore, to emulate the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) by being generous through the month of Ramadaan. For wealth can never be retained by covetousness and stinginess, as it can never be removed by spending in the right cause.
Brethren in faith! Ramadaan nights is the crown of all nights. Its darkness is precious. Its hours are the purest and it is then that meditation is most enjoyable. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “The best prayer after obligatory ones is the night prayers. Whoever prays behind the Imaam until he finishes, the reward of night prayer will be recorded for him.” Whoever does not subject his soul to patience over acts of worship and subjects it to the love of Allaah, he will be afflicted by subjecting it to sins and their humiliation.
Every night, the doors of acceptance of deeds are opened fro the heaven. Ask then, Allaah for His bounties and beseech him to have mercy on you, for this month is that of gifts and mercy. The weakest person is the one who cannot invoke Allaah.
Fellow Muslims! Days are pages of life and the prosperous is the one who does best deeds. Whoever Allaah removes from humiliation to the honour of obedience to Allaah, he will enrich him without any money. Peace of mind lies in committing few sins. There are in this blessed month in which the Qur’aan was revealed great opportunities to seek for Allaah’s forgiveness, perform righteous deeds, making a lot of invocation and carrying out many acts of worship. However, there is a loser for every season. Some people use their Ramadaan nights in watching TV programmes, engaging in illusionary thinking and aspiring for imaginary happiness. And at the end of Ramadaan, such people gain nothing worldwide and achieve nothing for their Hereafter.
Brethren in Islaam! Women are snares of Satan and they are the greatest fuel of Hell. In order to save herself from Hell, she must multiply her good deeds and she should fear Allaah in this blessed month ad not go out of her house except under pressing needs. It is better for her to observe her Taraaweeh prayer at home, for doing so is better than to observe it in the two Sacred Mosques. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Woman’s prayer at home is better for her than her prayer in the mosque.”
When she however does go out, she should go out fully dressed without exposing anything of her beauty. She must remain modest and fear her Lord. Righteous women are promised the Pleasure of Allaah. A woman’s adherence to her religion and her pride in her hijaab respect her and give her honour in the society. Such a righteous woman is a source of pride for her society, a crown of chastity, a jewel of life and a model for other women. Allaah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who were before you that you may have piety.” [Surah Baqarah: 183]
Fellow Muslims! Remedy for heart diseases lies in five things: recitation of the Qur’aan with reflection over its meaning, freedom of the stomach from excess food, performing prayers in the night, invoking Allaah with humility in the dark of the night and keeping the company of righteous men.
Dear Muslim brother! Let there be for you in Ramadaan good deeds, night prayers and recitation of the Qur’aan. Take an opportunity to perform ‘Umrah in Ramadaan, for that is equivalent in reward to Hajj. It was part of the Prophets guidance to do I’tkaaf in Ramadaan; for that which is to stay in the mosque for the purpose of worship. It also means, to devote one’s heart to Allaah alone, to shun the world and to preoccupy oneself with acts of worship and recitation of the Qur’aan.
Abstain from things that invalidate fasting. Keep away from attacking honours of Muslims and guard your tongue, ears and eyes against forbidden things.
Imaam Ahmad (Rahimahullah) said, “The fasting Muslim should protect his fasting from evil of his tongue and he should not argue with people. When the righteous predecessors fast, they would remain in the mosque and would say, ‘We shall protect our fasting and shall not backbite anyone.’ Whoever is wronged by an ignorant person should not reward that with another wrong.” The Messenger of Allaah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Fasting is a protection. On the day of your fasting, you should not say obscene thing nor should he rage; and if anyone should abuse or insult him he should say: ‘I am fasting.’ ” [Al-Bukharee]
Let your month of fasting be that of continuous struggle against lusts and of devotion for acts of worship and of a study for verses of the Qur’aan and a sincere night prayers.
Ramadaan is a season for repentance. The gate of acceptance of repentance and that of infinite divine blessing are open in this month. When will the one who has committed excessive sins repent if he does not repent in the month of Ramadaan? When will he return to Allaah, if he does not return to Allaah and ask for His Forgiveness.
Dear Muslim Sister! Keep away from competing with different kinds of food and drink. For seasons of good deeds deserve better and more useful deeds. Make use of your month in acts of worship and righteous deeds.
Brethren in faith! Use the opportunity of these few blessed days in good deeds. Do not waste them with pastime, fun and useless things. For you do not know when you will be returned to Allaah. You do not know whether you will live till next Ramadaan or not. The wise person is the one who ponders over his condition, reflect over his faults and reforms himself before death suddenly comes.