Before Ramadan Elapses
Sheikh ‘Abdul Muhsin al Qaasim
August 2, 2013 ~ Ramadan 24, 1434
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Praise be to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrong deeds. He whom Allah guides, none can misguide, and he whom Allah sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners, and I bear witness that our master and Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s servant and messenger. May Allah bestow his bountiful peace and blessings upon him and upon his Household and Companions.
O Muslims! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and grasp the trustworthy handhold of Islam.
O Muslims! Allah favours His servants by providing them with blessed seasons so that they may do more acts of obedience to Him. In Allah’s perfect wisdom, the blessed days do not last so that His servants may compete with one another to do as many good deeds as they possibly can before these days are over.
Muslims are now in a blessed month which they have fully enjoyed. During its days, they observe fast and demonstrate generosity; and during its nights, they stand in prayer, recite the Qur’an, and supplicate Allah. During this month, sinners are forgiven their sins, the deprived of all good receive divine blessings, the miserable are granted bliss, and supplications are answered.
These blessed days are now about to come to an end, and Muslims will soon bid farewell to this season. Many among the living will never again witness next Ramadan and will soon be among the dead; they are thus held in pledge for what they are doing now. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Every person is a pledge for what he has earned.” [Surah al-Muddathir: 38]
The wise person is one who takes full advantage of the rest of this month by engaging in acts of obedience to Allah, doing deeds that bring him closer to Him, and replacing evil deeds with good ones. Those who have spent this month turning to Allah in repentance and doing good deeds must take care to keep up the good work and not ruin the good deeds they have done by committing sins, and thus be like a woman who unravels her yarn after its strands have been firmly spun.
Once a Muslim has completed an act of worship, he must dread that such an act may not be accepted by Allah, or if it is, it may soon be blemished by sins that may follow it. Ali رضي الله عنه said: “Be more anxious about [Allah’s] acceptance of your deeds than about the deeds themselves.” Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are the pious.” [Surah al–Maidah: 27]
Salamah ibn Dinar (Rahimahullah) said: “Concern about Allah’s acceptance of your good deed should be greater than concern about the deed itself.”
We have been ordered to worship Allah, the Most Beneficent, all the time. Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, says: “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” [Surah al-Hijr: 99]
Those who have been doing good deeds in Ramadan should keep doing them. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The deeds most beloved to Allah are those that are regular and continuous, even if they are few” [Agreed Upon] An-Nawawi (Rahimahullah) said: “Few deeds done on a regular basis are better than many deeds done sporadically. The reason for this is that when deeds are done regularly, they perpetuate the acts of obedience to Allah, remembrance of Allah, awareness of Allah, purity of intention, and sincerity and total devotion to Allah. Few deeds that are done regularly are far more fruitful than many deeds that are discontinued.”
One sign of Allah’s bounty is that the virtuous acts performed in Ramadan can still be performed throughout the whole year. Thus, fasting six days in the month of Shawwal is a recommended act and the reward for that is equivalent to fasting the whole year. We are also enjoined to recite the Glorious Qur’an at all times. Similarly, we may stand in prayer every night. Charity is not limited to a particular time, and supplications are indispensable to man throughout his life.
A sign that a good deed has been accepted by Allah is that it is followed by another act of obedience. Conversely, a sign that at an act of obedience has not been accepted is that it is followed by a sinful act. It is great to perform a good deed after any sin committed to wipe it out. It is even greater to follow up a good deed with another good deed. However, a sin committed after a good deed which wipes it out and erases it is all the more abominable. Therefore, purify yourselves by doing acts of obedience to Allah in full devotion to Him in worship and end this month by continuously asking Allah for forgiveness, for our deeds are determined by the last actions we do.
Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) said: “What eventually counts is the perfection of the final deeds, not the defects of the first ones.” So turn to Allah in repentance at the end of this month; ask Him to forgive all your sins, as repentance is more likely to be accepted on these blessed days; and fear Him at all times and in all places. I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan: “. . . and My Mercy embraces all things. That (My Mercy) I shall ordain for those who are pious, and give Zakat, and those who believe in Our signs.” [Surah Al-A’raf: 156]
May Allah bless you and me with the Great Quran and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah for myself, for you, and for all Muslims, for any sin that we have committed. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah for His kindness to us; and all forms of gratitude are due to Him for the success He has blessed us with and His graciousness. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who has no partners, in glorification of His dignified position. I also bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O Allah! Bestow Your bountiful prayers, peace, and blessings upon him and upon his household and Companions.
O Muslims! Allah has enjoined the fasting person to pay zakatul-fitr (the obligatory fast-breaking zakah) at the end of the month of Ramadan to feed the poor and to purify himself from any idle talk or any foul language he may have used while observing the fast. It is recommended to pay zakatul-fitr on behalf of the foetus. It is recommended to pay it in the country where one lives, although it is permissible to pay it in another country. It may be paid one or two days before the ‘Id (Feast Day), but it is recommended to pay it when one sets off to perform the Feast Prayer.
The ‘Eid is an expression of joy and optimism that the good deeds one has done in the month of blessings will be accepted. The Takbeer (one’s saying: Allahu akbar ‘Allah is the greatest’) is prescribed from the eve of the ‘Eid until the ‘Eid Prayer is due to start. The Prophet ﷺ would go out on the day of ‘Eid dressed in his best clothes. Before he set off for the ‘Eid Prayer, he would eat a few dates, take one route to the place of prayer and return home through a different route.
If someone misses the Feast Prayer, he should perform it as prescribed, in the place of prayer or elsewhere, individually or in congregation. Al-Bukhari (Rahimahullah) said: “He who misses the ‘Eid Prayer should pray two rak’ahs.” A woman is not allowed to reveal her adornment when she goes out to the place of prayer, or anywhere else for that matter.
The Feast brings forth joy and hope that Allah will shower His servants with His blessings. Therefore, the servant should remember Allah much on the ‘Eid Day. The Prophet ﷺ said: “These are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He.” [Reported by Abu Dawud]
Muslims must be careful not to transgress the limits set forth by Allah during the Feast and thus ruin the good deeds they have done in Ramadan. Let your faces, on the Feast Day and at all times, bear the light of obedience and the mark of worship, for the Lord of Ramadan is the Lord of all the months.
Servants of Allah! Know that Allah has commanded you to ask Him to send His blessing and peace upon His Prophet. Allah says in His perfect Revelation: “Allah sends His Salat on the Prophet and also His angels too. O you who believe! Send your Salat on him, and greet him with the Islamic way of greeting.” [Surah al-Ahzab: 56]
O Allah! Bestow peace and blessings upon our Prophet, Muhammad, and be pleased with the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, who ruled by truth and thereby established justice, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, along with all the Companions, and also be pleased with us together with them, by Your grace and generosity, O Most Generous of all the generous!
O Allah! Grant power and glory to Islam and the Muslims, humiliate polytheism and the polytheists, and destroy the enemies of the religion. O Allah! Make this country of ours, as well as all other Muslim countries, safe, secure, and prosperous.
O Allah! Accept our fast and our night prayers and make us among those You will save from Hellfire in this great month.
O Allah! Elevate our rank and accept our acts of obedience to You.
“Our Lord! Give us that which is good in this world and that which is good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Hellfire!”[Surah al-Baqarah: 201]
O Allah! Improve the condition of Muslims everywhere. O Allah! Bring their hearts together upon piety, make them achieve unity on all that is good and Your guidance, and illuminate their countries with the light of Your shari’ah (law), O Lord of the Worlds!
O Allah! Lead our ruler to Your guidance, make all his deeds pleasing to You, and guide all the leaders of the Muslims to act according to Your Book and rule by Your Shari’ah, O Owner of Majesty and Generosity!
Servants of Allah! “Verily, Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving (help) to kith and kin, and forbids all types of lewd acts, and all kinds of oppression. He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” [Surah An-Nahl: 90]
Remember Allah, the Great, the Sublime, and He will remember you. Thank Him for His blessings and favours and He will give you more. Verily, remembrance of Allah is greater than all, and Allah knows what you do.
Translated by Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University