Ramadan – Divine Gift to “Khair-ul-Umah”
Alhumdoelillah, the entire Muslim Ummah is once again preparing to welcome the Most Holy and Auspicious Month of Ramadan. The great month that belongs exclusively to Almighty Allah. We all know that Almighty Allah Subahanahoo wa ta’ala has blessed the Ummah with this Glorious month of fasting and the month in which the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n was revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam for so declares Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala in verse 185 of Surah Al-Baqara with words of wisdom:
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down The Qura’n as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement between right and wrong.”
It was a practice of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam to deliver a lecture before the beginning of the month to educate the Muslims on the merits and rewards of this most blessed month. It was reported by Salman Al Farsi R.A. that our Nabee Sallalahoo Alayhi Wasallam used to deliver a speech at the end of Sha’baan in which he said:
“O People! we will shortly be in the shade of the most blessed and Holy Month.
During this wonderful month, there is a night which is better than a thousand months. Allah has prescribed as obligatory fasting for all Muslims during daylight and to stand in worship during the night a Sunnah.”
“The reward for actions or deeds considered as Sunnah during this most Auspicious month will be rewarded as a Fard and the reward for a Fard in this month will be increased seventy fold.””This is the month of Sabir and the reward for Sabir is Janna’h.
This is the month of charity, caring and sharing and during this month, Almighty Allah Subahanahoo wa ta’ala will increase everyone’s sustenance. For those who feed a fasting person, their reward is forgiveness and they will also have a share in the reward of those who fasted, without diminishing the reward of the fasting person.”
Upon which the Sahaba Ridwanullahi ta’ala alayheem Ajima’een said to him:
“O Beloved Prophet of Allah! not everyone of us is in a position to feed those who fasted.”
The Prophet Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam answered them by saying:
“The rewards of feeding those who fast are for those who give even a single date or a glass of water or milk.”
Hazrat Ibn Masood Radhi’allahu Anho reports that on every night of Ramadhan,
a Mala’eeka from the heavens calls out:
“O you seeker of good, come near; O you seeker of evil, turn away from evil and open your eyes”
Thereafter the Mala’eeka calls out: “Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that he may be forgiven?
Is there any one with a prayer, that his prayer may be heard? Is there anyone wanting anything
so that their wish may be fulfilled?”
Fasting has another characteristic. It makes us obey the injunctions of the Holy Shari’ah with sustained intensity for prolonged periods of time. Salaat lasts only a few minutes at a time. Zakat is paid only once a year. Although the time spent on Hajj is long, it may only come once in a lifetime, and for many not at all. In the school of fasting, we are trained to obey the Shari’ah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam for one full month, every year, night and day. Every year, for one full month from dawn to sunset and from sunset to dawn, like a Mujahhid in Jihad, or like a soldier in an army, we continuously live a disciplined life, following certain rules and regulations at all times. We are then sent back to continue our normal duties for eleven months so that the training we received during this most Auspicious month of Ramadan may be reflected in our conduct and behaviour.
The glorious month of Ramadan is earmarked for the entire Muslim Ummah to fast together, to ensure similar results. This measure turns individual Ibadah into collective Ibadah. Just as the number one, when multiplied by thousands, becomes a formidable number, so the moral and spiritual benefits accruing from the fasting by one person alone are increased a billion fold if a billion people fast together. Just as plants have their season of flowering, so too is Ramadan the time of year for the growth and flourishing of good and righteousness. For this reason our Beloved Nabee Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam said:
“Every good deed of a person is granted manifold increase, ten to seven hundred times.”
But Says Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala:
“Fasting is an exception; it is exclusively for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish” (Bukhari, Muslim.)
All good deeds grow, this shows, in proportion to both the Niyaa’h of the doer as well as their results, but there is a limit to their growth. Fasting however has no such limit. During Ramadan, in the season for the flourishing of good and piety, not one but millions of Muslims water this beautiful garden of virtue. The more we perform sincere good deeds during this month that belongs exclusively to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala, the more will we radiate their benefits to all those around us. Almost all of Almighty Allah’s Divine scriptures were revealed during the Holy month of Ramadan. Similarly in this month, the Most Glorious and Holy Qura’n was brought down from the “Lowhul Mahfuz” to the “Sama’ud Dunya” from where it was revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam over a span of twenty three years.
Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salatu Wasallam received his scriptures on the first or the third day of Ramadan. Nabee Dawood Alayhis Salatu Wasallam received the Zabur on the twelfth or eighteenth day of Ramadan. Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salatu Wasallam received the Taurat on the sixth and Nabee Esa Alayhis Salatu Wasallam received the Injeel on the twelfth or thirteenth day of Ramadan.
From this, we note the very close connection between all the Divine Scriptures and the month of Ramadan. It is stated that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam used to recite the Glorious Qur’an and that Sayyidina Jibra’eel Amin Alayhis Salatu Wasallam used to listen. By combining these reports, it is said that it is Mustahab to read the Holy Qura’n in such a manner that while one person recites, the others listen. Thereafter another person recites while the others listen. Our Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam termed the first part of Ramadan as the period of Rahma’h (Mercy), whereby it is meant that Almighty Allah’s Mercy is showered on the Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. The middle part of Ramadan is the period when forgiveness is granted to the believers as a reward for their fasting during the first part. The last part of Ramadan brings immunity from Jahannum. Hazrat Abu Hurairah Radiallaho Anho relates that Rasoolullah Sallalahoo Alayhi Wasallam said:
“My Ummah” has been given five special favours that were not given to any other Ummah.
The smell from the mouth of a fasting Muslim is sweeter to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo wa Ta’ala than the fragrant smell of musk. The fish in the sea seek forgiveness on their behalf until they break their fast.
“Almighty Allah Subahanahoo wa ta’ala decorates his special Jannah everyday and then says to it:
The time is near when My faithful servants shall cast aside the great trials of the world and come to you.
“During this Most Holiest of months, the rebellious “Shayateen” are chained, so as not to provoke those evils which they normally do during the other eleven months. “On the last night of Ramadan, the fasting Muslims are forgiven.”
In these times of tension and heartache, we should not neglect the power of Ibadah and supplication to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala. In this blessed month, we pray Insha’Allah to Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala to cleanse the hearts of the Muslims of all traces of conceit, vainglory, ego, pride and rancour. Let us not for a single moment forget the great sacrifices, the brutality, the pre-meditated murders, the suffering, the oppression and repression of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosova, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Algeria and Gujerat state – India. Their suffering is our suffering and if we consider ourselves to be confirmed Muslims, it is our foremost duty and obligation to do whatever we must to alleviate their suffering as well as the suffering all over the world.
We pray that blind sectarian passions and narrow self-interest would not irreparably destroy the bond of unity, Muhabbat and brotherhood that must exist between the Muslim Ummah. May Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala in His Infinite, Mercy and Bounty grant us all the strength and Sabir to display forbearance, magnanimity, mercy and compassion in our dealings with others. This is essential if we are to realize the strength that comes from unity if we are to attain to the Divine Favour which is the object of all our striving.
Ya Ummatul Muslimoon! let us not ever forget that Islam is the Din of Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen. Islam is the Din of humanity, the Din of moderation, the Din of wisdom, the Din of Muhabbat, the Din of Absolute Truth, and the Din of submission to none other than Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. Islam is the Din that invited mankind towards humility and an inner relationship of the Most Glorious Creator and Sustainer. It taught man and exhorted him to combat evil, aggression and corruption and to a constant struggle against egotism, selfishness and the pursuit of carnal desires. Liberalism, communism, socialism, and all isms have gone through their tests and proved their incapacity. As in the past, Islam today is the only remedy and angel of deliverance. This call echoes today my most beloved brothers and sisters as it did fourteen centuries ago when Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen Most Gracious declared with words of Truth in verses 15 and 16 of Surah Al Ma’idah:
“Indeed! There has come to you a Light and a clear Book from Allah;with it Allah guides whoever will follow His Pleasure on the Path of Peace and brings them out of manifold darkness into Light by His Will and guides them to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem.”
Alhumdoelillah! The vision of the future horizons of the entire Muslim Ummah is to make use of the untold blessings of Ramadan that Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal has blessed us with. Let us get closer to one another. Let us strengthen the centre and junction that links us together as the nation of “Khair-ul-Uman” – the best of all peoples – Insha’Allah; Bie Itt’nillah – Ameen Ya Rabbul Ala’meen.
“Allahummah Bariek Lana fie Rajab wa Sha’baan – Wa Baliegna Ramadan.”