Do Not Miss the Fragrance of Ramadan
Sheikh Saalih aal Taalib
August 2, 2013 ~ Ramadan 24, 1434
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Praise be to Allah! Praise be to Allah: Owner of creation, command, glory, and subdual. We praise and thank Him for this blessed month and for keeping us alive until we have reached its last ten days. We therefore praise Almighty Allah and thank Him. We also ask Him to forgive us and protect us from all sorts of evil. We pray Him to grant us more bounties and favours. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship save Allah alone without associate. May His name be glorified and His pardon magnificent! I equally bear witness that our Master and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is Allah’s Servant and Messenger, the one who was best in fast and i’tikāf and who was closest to his Lord. May Allah send His bountiful Salāt, Peace upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who have followed their footsteps till the Day of Judgement!
Now then, O people! Observe taǭwa, for it is the best garment to be worn and is our only hope when we depart this life: “O you who believe! Fear Allâh as He should be feared. And die not except in a state of Islâm.” [Surah Ale ‘Imran: 102]
Let it be known to you that you are doomed to appear before Allah on Doomsday. Then, you will be exposed to close scrutiny for all your deeds. You will be rewarded or penalised, depending on your own deeds. Whoever shows laxity or proclivity for mundane affairs will surely regret it on the Day of Judgement. Let it also be known to you that tombs are the site of utter desolation which only good deeds can dissipate and substitute by delightful company. The darkness of the grave can only be eliminated by taking advantage of propitious worship seasons (like Ramadan). Thus, beware the temptations of the herein and let not this life distract your attention from the hereafter. Surely, he who competes for pursuing worldly desires will never move up the ladder of pious deeds.
Nonetheless, never lose hope because of the multitude of people doomed to perdition and the supremacy of the godless: “O you who believe! Take care of your own selves. If you follow the (right) guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allâh, …” [Surah al-Maîda: 105]
O Lord! Give us remedy for our pitfalls, forgive our slips, and grant Your pardon for the ignorance of those who sought help with anyone but You. Your pardon is so encompassing that no sinner is able to escape from the sphere of his own sin except through returning to You.
O Muslims! Although most of the month of Ramadan has elapsed, what remains of it is the best. Despite the passage of its days, what remains of it secures salvation. Even though its nights have passed by so quickly, there are still some (nights) during which a worshipper can fulfil his hope. It is a graceful month whose hours and seconds are imbibed with good; it is a great religious season whose moments are all blessed by Allah. It offers a track for every competitor to hasten his paces; its race course is still wide open for anyone (hindered by certain excuses) to join in the race again.
O Allah’s servant! You do not know the exact moment when you will be shaded by its graces and perfumed with its fragrance; nor will you be able to know which night you will be delivered from hellfire in order to join the righteous. Indeed, Allah has imparted His blessing to the entirety of the month of Ramadan. Therefore, the gates of heaven are still wide open to allow prayers to ascend thereto, and the angels are still holding their pens to record all good and pious deeds. Thus, no fortunate person will ever give up doing good deeds until he actually enters Paradise.
Worshippers and righteous people have never regretted departing this life except when it has to do with missing such religious occasions. In fact, they have never shed tears on departing this life except when they feel certain they will no longer perform night prayers, fast during extremely hot days, and make jihad for the cause of Allah.
Now, you still have time. Have you made up your mind about how to proceed? Keep in mind that you are still in the herein where there is room for further action. So, what are you going to do? Remember that the same occasions had been presented to previous communities, but they kept postponing action for some indefinite future time until the agony of death took them unawares. Thus, they just became part of history after having enjoyed capacitation and self-confidence during their lifetime. Allah commented on such people by saying: “Lest a person should say: “Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allâh, and I was indeed among those who mocked. Or (lest) he should say: “If only Allâh had guided me, I should indeed have been among the Muttaqûn.”Or (lest) he should say when he sees the torment: “If only I had another chance, then I should indeed be among the Muhsinûn.”Yes! Verily, there came to you My Ayât and you denied them, and were proud and were among the disbelievers.” [Surah az-Zumar: 56-59]
Quite certainly, one of the greatest effects of the month of Ramadan on the rightly guided and successful servants of Allah is their return to their Lord and their repentance (for sins). In an authentic hadith, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “Ameen” in response to Archangel Jibreel’s prayer, “Whoever witnesses Ramadan without being forgiven his sins, let him be expelled by Allah! O Muhammad, say ‘Ameen’.” “Ameen”, Muhammad said acquiescently. Thus, there is no choice but to resort to repentance. In this regard, Allah says: “And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn.” [Surah al-Ĥujurât: 11]
O Muslims! There remain a few nights of Ramadan which are likely to coincide with the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree); so, do your best and try hard to worship Allah and do good deeds. It is a little effort during a short period of night time, but its result will be a bounteous reward and eternal bliss. Beware the erroneous beliefs about the possibility of recognizing the Night of Al-Qadr through visions and dreams, for if Allah had ordained the disclosure of the Night of Al-Qadr to His creatures, He would not have kept it unidentified; so, just work harder. Do not merely depend on Allah without doing anything, but rather take the initiative. Each single night of the last ten days of Ramadan is expected to coincide with the Night of Al-Qadr, but odd numbers are more likely to coincide with it, especially the twenty-seventh night. In addition, every night Allah salvages a number of people from hellfire.
Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ teachings about how to experience the last ten nights of Ramadan represent the most accurate and perfect guidance. Such last ten nights are sanctified by Allah Who eulogized them and promised abundant reward for worship associated with them. As reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, “With the advent of the last ten nights, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would tighten his i’zar [i.e. keep awake at night ready for prayer], bring his night to life (through prayer), and wake up his family.”
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to lead Muslims in prayer until they started worrying about missing their saĥūr. In addition, during the last ten nights of Ramadan the Prophet would make I’tikāf. He would perform acts of worship day and night and, together with his honourable Companions, try to identify the Night of Al Qadr. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whoever performs the night prayer on the Night of Al-Qadr with firm faith and while seeking reward, his past sins will be forgiven.” [Narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim]
It is called ‘the Night of Al-Qadr’ because of its high “qadr” (great importance and high status) and because of what Allah had ordained for all creatures, including the (size of) means of living and the instants of death.
Allah revealed the Holy Qur’ān on the Night of Al-Qadr and endowed it with His blessing. Allah said: “Hâ.-Mîm. By the manifest Book (this Qur’ân) that makes things clear. We sent it (this Qur’ân) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. [Surah ad-Dukhân: 1-4]
Allah revealed about it an entire surah in the Holy Qur’ān: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: “Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rûh by Allâh’s Permission with all Decrees,there is Peace until the appearance of dawn.”[Surah al-Qadr: 1-5]
The successful believer is the one who does his best and sincerely searches for it by performing night prayer during all nights, for Allah never dissipates the reward of the performers of good deeds. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Aisha رضي الله عنها also reported that: “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to seclude himself in the mosque for worship during the last ten days and said: ‘Search for the Night of Al Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.’”[Bukhari and Muslim]
Ubada Ibn Essamit is reported to have said: “When the Prophet ﷺ went out to inform us about the Night of Al Qadr, two men came into sight. So, he said: ‘I went out to inform you about the Night of Al Qadr but so-and-so as well as so-and-so came into sight; therefore, it was blurred and lifted. This might be good for you. So, search for it in the 25th, 27th, and 29th night.’” [Imam Bukhari]
This is evidence of the misfortune brought about by disagreement, conflict and division, and all that stands in the way of benevolence.
O fasting believers! Make your supplications for Allah with utmost insistence for He appreciates those who do so. Beseech, invoke and ask Him goodness in this life and the Hereafter for your relatives, homelands, and for those to whom Allah has entrusted your affairs as well as all Muslims. Make a portion of your supplications for the sake of those who are distressed among your fellow Muslims, particularly in Syria, Palestine, and Burma and for the healing of every bleeding wound of theirs. Verily, it is no surprise that Allah lifts their distress in response to a supplication by a true believer to whom others would pay no heed but who would be highly regarded by Allah.
Make your supplications for Allah with utmost insistence for He appreciates those who do so. See how many misfortunes have unexpectedly been set right and how many oppressors have been struck by the fatal arrow of response (from Allah to the supplications) before they could live to witness the next morning! See how many deadlocks have so miraculously been broken!
Verily, Allah appreciates the devoutness of those invoking Him: “And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” [Surah Ghafir: 60] In the context of highlighting the merits of fasting Allah says: “And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then, I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah al Baqarah: 186]
Make your supplications for Allah with utmost insistence for He appreciates those who do so, and maintain your submissiveness to Him: “Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors and do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers.” [Surah al A’araf: 55-56]
Aisha رضي الله عنها reported that she once asked the Prophet ﷺ : “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night (of Ramadan) is the Night of Qadr, what should I say?” He replied: “Say OAllah! You are Most Forgiving and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.” [Hadith sahih on the authority of Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
May Allah bless you and me by the Qur’ān and Sunnah and benefit us with their verses and wisdom! Having said this, I ask Allah (I) to forgive me and you!
Praise be to Allah, the Possessor of heavenly glory, and thanks are ever due to Him! I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no associate. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, the best among those who have ever fasted, undertaken night prayers, given zakat and worshiped Allah. May Allah send His Salat, Peace and Blessings upon him, his family and his Companions, those men of merit and honour, and upon those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment!
O Muslims! Allah, may He be exalted, has legislated for you at the end of your month (Ramadan) the undertaking of zakat al-fitr, which is unanimously decreed (by Muslim scholars) as an obligation incumbent on every Muslim. Indeed, Zakat al-Fitr constitutes one of the bright facets of this great religion where Eidis for all, the poor and the rich, the haves and the have-nots.
For Eid to be a genuine festivity and celebration it must bring joy and happiness to all. Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah reported that the Prophet ﷺ “made zakat Al fitr an obligation in order to cleanse the fasting Muslim from previously committed acts of falsity and obscenity and to feed the needy.”
Therefore, make certain –may Allah have mercy on you– that your zakat reaches those who are duly entitled to it. With respect to the value thereof it is estimated at one saa’ (equivalent to 2.5 kilograms) of dates, barley or whatever the staple food such as wheat or rice. Zakat al-Fitr is to be delivered locally. However, it is permissible to deliver it outside the country of the fasting Muslim where there is more need for it. With respect to zakat delivery time, it should be one or two days prior to Eid day up until before the Eid Prayer time.
Then, make certain to perform Eid prayer in congregation with the rest of the Muslims and to bring along your children and wives as it is one of those manifest rituals of Muslims. It is also part of the Prophet’s sunnah to make takbir during the night of Eid up until the morning of that day and before the arrival of the Imam. Takbir is to be carried out loudly and in public (in the markets and streets). In this context Allah says: “(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah al Baqara: 185]
Muslims’ festivities are different from those of Jahiliyain that they are meant to be a means of establishing closer rapport with Allah and to worship Him. Such festivities feature the exaltation and mentioning of Allah through takbir in both Eids, performing congregational prayer, delivering zakat al-Fitr, showing joy and happiness for being blessed with Islam and the ability to fast successfully.
Let us rejoice then, thank Allah for enabling us to carry out our fasting, and ask Him to accept our worship in this regard and grant us a happy ending.
Remember that Allah gave you a command, which He Himself started as He said: “Allâh sends His Salât on the Prophet, and also His angels. O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah al-Ahzaab: 56]
O Allah! Send Your Sala, Peace and Blessing on Your Servant and Messenger, Muhammad, and on his good and pure family! O Allah! Be pleased with all of Your Messenger’s Companions and those who followed them in righteousness until the Day of Judgement!
O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims and fail tyrants, infidels and corruptors! O Allah! Grant glory to Your Religion, Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet and Your believing servants!
O Allah! Foreordain for this Ummar a matter (an affair) of rationality whereby the people of piety are honoured and sinful people are guided, and whereby al-ma’roof (good deeds) is enjoined and al-munkar (evil deeds) is prevented! O Lord of the Worlds!
O Allah! Grant victory to the Mujahideen in Your cause in Palestine and everywhere! O Allah! Lift the siege around them, improve their conditions, and suppress their enemy!
O Allah! We beseech You by Your Supreme Name to have mercy on our brothers and sisters in Syria! O Allah! Have mercy on our brothers and sisters in Syria! O Allah! Lift their distress and grant them speedy relief! O Allah! Have mercy on them, for they are defenseless! Mend their breakage and take charge of their case, You, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!
O Allah! Lift the siege around them, spare their blood, reassure them, feed the hungry among them, preserve their dignity and honour, strengthen their stamina, and grant them power and victory over their oppressors!
O Allah! Set right their conditions, unite them around righteousness, and protect them against the evil doers among them! O Allah! Suppress their enemy! O Allah! Suppress their enemy! O Allah! Defeat the tyrants and oppressors and those who side with them! O Allah! Defeat the tyrants and oppressors and those who side with them!
O Allah! Liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque from the oppressors’ injustice and the occupiers’ aggression!
O Allah! Improve the conditions of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Egypt and everywhere! O Allah! Bring them close together on the paths of righteousness and guidance! O Allah! Set right their conditions and protect them against the evil doers among them!
O Allah! Guide our leader, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to do whatever you love and accept! O Allah! Guide him to piety and righteousness! O Allah! Grant him, his Crown Prince, his brothers and assistants success to do what is good for the people and the country and reward them with blessings for the efforts they are investing in the service of the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors!
O Allah! Grant success to our security forces and to those working in the service of the visitors of the Two Holy Mosques and those coming to perform Umrah, and bestow on them profuse rewards!
O Allah! Grant success to all the leaders of Muslims in order to govern by Your Sharia and follow the Sunnah of Your Prophet (r)! O Allah! Make them a Mercy on Your true servants!
O Allah! Make safe and prosperous our country and those of all Muslims around the world! Protect us against the evil of wrongdoers, the maliciousness of the lecherous and the evil of those plotting to carry it out by day or night!
“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” [Surah al-Baqarah: 201]
O Allah! Forgive our sins, cover our flaws, make easy our affairs and make come true our wishes in what pleases You!
“Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folks.” [Surah Ale ‘Imran: 147]
O Allah! Forgive our sins, those of our parents, our grandparents, our wives and children, You are All-Hearing!
O Allah! We ask You to be pleased with us and grant us Your paradise, and we seek refuge in You against Your wrath and hellfire!
O Allah! Grant us, our loved ones, those who urged us to make supplication for them, and all those to whom we are indebted the most of whatever good we have implored you to bestow on us throughout this holy month!
O Allah! Grant us success to observe prayer during the Night of Al-Qadr! O Allah! We implore you to accept our good deeds and spare us the torment of hellfire!
O Allah! We beseech you to accept our fasting, night prayers, supplications and good deeds as You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing! O Allah! Do accept our repentance as You are Most Forgiving, Most Merciful!
Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! You are free from what they attribute unto You! May peace be upon all the messengers! And all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!