Friday, March 24, 2023

Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Welcome to Ramadan and First Lesson on the Virtues of Ramadan

By Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi, New Age Islam Translated into English by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam Welcome to Ramadan Ramadan, the holy month, has begun. Mercy and light are coming to rain down. The hearts of the believers have started to overflow with every ounce of gladness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to look forward to this month with great fervour, and in contrast to other months, he used to show diligence for more worship and austerity in it, as well as to prepare his family for it. Umm al-Mumineen Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) "used to tighten his waist belt with the beginning of the month of Ramadan, and did not go to bed until it passed" (Imam Al-Bayhaqi, Shu'ab al-Iman, 3/310) (The phrase "tighten his waist belt" is a metaphor for keeping away from women, i.e. abstaining from sexual relations and occupying oneself with worship). Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “As Ramadan began, the colour of the [face of the] Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would change. He would also perform several nawafil, pray passionately, and became extremely frightened of Allah.” (Imam Al-Bayhaqi, Shu'ab al-Iman, 3/110) Despite this arrangement, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have been in a more dedicated and impassioned mood, as narrated by Hazrat Ayesha [may Allah be pleased with her] for the last ten days of Ramadan: "With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. remain away from his wives) and used to pray all through the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 2024] Another narration from Hazrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) states that “the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) used to strive harder in worship during Ramadan than he did at any other time of the year and that he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he did in the earlier part of the month.” [Sahih Muslim 1175/Riyad as-Salihin 1194] It is narrated by Hazrat Salman Farsi that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) delivered a sermon on the last day of Sha’ban. The Prophet said, "O you people! A great and blessed month has arrived for you. A month that includes a night is preferable to a million months. Fasting during this month is an obligation, and the extra prayers during its nights are voluntary. Anyone who comes closer to Allah through a good deed during this month is as if he performed an obligatory duty during times other than Ramadan, and anyone who does an obligation during this month is as someone who performs seventy obligations during another month. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is the month of visiting the poor, the sick and the needy so as to share their sorrows. The believing Muslim is blessed throughout this month as their money, sustenance, and nutrition all grow. Anyone who invites others to break their fast with them at Iftar will gain forgiveness for his crimes, be spared from hellfire, and receive a reward equal to that of the person who is fasting without any diminution of his own reward. Some of the Companions of the Prophet said: Not all of us may find food to share with someone else so that he could break his fast. The Prophet said: Allah would reward you even if you give a fasting Muslim a date, a sip of water, or a glass of milk to assist him to break his fast. It is a month that starts with Mercy (Rahmah), moves into Forgiveness (Maghfirah), and ends with deliverance from the flames of hell. Allah will pardon and release everyone who aids in the release of a slave from the torment of Hell. Develop four qualities in yourself: two that will make you please your Lord and two that you cannot live without. The first two qualities one must do to please Allah are to testify that only He is deserving of worship and to beg for His forgiveness. The other two things are, however, asking Allah for Paradise and requesting His protection from the Fire. Anyone who provides water to a Muslim during Iftar will receive water from the fountain of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the Day of Judgment, which will prevent him from being thirsty until he enters Paradise. (Ibn Khuzaymah recorded it in his Hadith collection ‘Sahih’, Vol.2, p.119, Chapter on the Merits of Ramadan) Hazrat Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying: “When the first night of Ramadan comes the devils and the rebellious jinn are chained, the gates of hell are locked and not one of them is opened; the gates of paradise are opened and not one of them is locked, and a caller calls: 'O seeker of the good; come near!' and 'O seeker of evil; stop! Some are freed from hell by Allah, and that happens every night.” [Mishkat al-Masabih 1960, 1961/ Sunan Ibn Majah 1642/Jami` at-Tirmidhi 682] Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) relates a hadith about the first night of Ramadan from the Prophet (peace be upon him) “An announcement is raised in the heavens until dawn on every Ramadan night, 'O seeker of goodness! Fulfil your worship of Allah and be joyful, O you who work evil! Quit up being evil and learn a lesson. Is there anyone who asks for forgiveness? His desire will be fulfilled. Is there anyone repenting? Their repentance will be accepted. Is there anyone who can make a Dua? His Dua will be accepted? Is anyone out there looking for anything? He will receive whatever he asks for. In the course of Ramadan, at the stroke of dusk, Allah Almighty releases from Hell 60,000 sinners, and on the day of Eid, He pardons as many individuals as there were throughout the entire month. (If the month has 30 days, 18 lakhs of people are pardoned; if it has 29 days, 1740,000 people are pardoned.)” [Imam Al-Bayhaqi, Shu'ab al-Iman, Vol. 5, Page 221, Hadith 3334] They are heavenly words. The Prophet (peace be upon him), our beloved master on earth, used to make wishes for the beginning of Ramadan in the month of Rajab. As Rajab arrived, according to Hazrat Anas, the Prophet of Allah prayed to Allah, "O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha'ban and bring us to Ramadan." [Mishkat al-Masabih 1369/Sahih Muslim] The Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) used to welcome this blessed guest ‘Ramadan’ the two months before. He would gather his companions on the last night of Sha'ban and expound with great zeal on the significance, benefits, and virtues of Ramadan. Ramadan was first welcomed two months ago. From these blessed hadiths, it is known that welcoming Ramadan before its arrival is a blessed Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). May Allah grant us the wisdom to respect and honour Ramadan! Aameen First lesson on the Virtues of Ramadan Ramadan is a significant and priceless reward that Allah Almighty has bestowed upon his worshippers as one of his treasured gifts. Something to say about Ramadan, the blessed month: Every hour of it has been filled with blessings and favours from Allah Almighty, and the angels who carry the throne recite Aameen to the prayers of those who are fasting. Also, the following hadith: “The river fish keep pleading Allah for forgiveness on behalf of the fasting people during Ramadan up to Iftar.” (At-Targhib wat-Tarhib, Vol.2, p.55) Islam recognises two distinct forms of worship. Both Salah (Namaz) and the Hajj are examples of external worship, whereas fasting, sincere intentions and pure imagination are examples of inner worship. Inner worship is more important in both of them since internal matters are kept hidden between Allah and the servants until the servant reveals them. As a result, it is stated in a holy hadith that “Fasting is the door to worship.” (Al-Jami' as-Saghir, p. 641, Hadith 2410) The Divine Favour During this beautiful month, Allah Almighty gives the Ummat-e-Muhammadiyah (peace and blessings be upon him) five special gifts. Blessed is the statement of the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) that “My Ummah has been granted five things in the month of Ramadan that no Prophet before me has received: (1) On the first night of Ramadan, Allah Almighty looks at those who observe fasts with mercy, and He never punishes those whom He looks at kindly. (2) In the sight of Allah, the smell of their evening breath (induced by hunger) is preferable to the scent of musk. (3) Every day and night, the angels ask for their pardon. (4) Allah Almighty directs the heavens “Prepare yourself for my virtuous servants. In my home and grace, they will soon find solace from the burdens of the world.” (5) On the last night of Ramadan, Allah Almighty forgives everyone. Some companions then asked, “O Prophet of Allah, is that the night of Laylatul Qadr?” The beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “NO, but it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his duty” (At-Targhib wat-Tarhib, vol.2, p.65, Hadith 7) Names of the blessed Ramadan Hazrat Allama Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Naeemi writes in his ‘Tafsir Naeemi’: There are four names for this blessed month (1) Month of Ramadan (2) Month of Patience (3) Month of Mowasaat. (4) The month of expansion of provision. He continues, "Fasting is patience, which the Lord Almighty rewards and it is observed in this month, which is why it is named "the month of patience." The definition of Mowasat is "to do good," which is why this month is referred to as "the month of Mowasat" because doing good deeds for all Muslims, especially family members, will lead to more rewards. This month offers a wide variety of gastronomic possibilities. This month is known as "the month of expansion of provision" because the underprivileged also consume these blessings in large quantities that they are unable to do in other months. (Tafsir-e-Naeemi, vol.2, p.802) Spending abundantly on family: During this blessed month of mercy and blessings, one should generously spend on his family members. It is recorded in a Hadith, "Spend generously on your family in the month of Ramadan." (Al-Jami' as-Saghir, p.261. Hadith: 6172) Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Umar Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him) says: “Welcome to this month that purifies us. Ramadan is wonderful overall. Spending throughout this month, whether it be by fasting during the day or staying up late at night, is regarded as spending in Jihad.” (Tanbih al-Ghaflin, p. 671) Reward Equivalent To One Hundred Thousand Months Of Ramadan It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever is in Makkah during the month of Ramadan and observes it by fasting and making as many night-time prayers as possible, Allah will record for him (a reward equivalent to that for) one hundred thousand months of Ramadan observed elsewhere. Allah will record for him a reward comparable to liberating a slave every day, a reward equivalent to providing a horse for Allah's cause every day, and merits for each day and each night.” (Ibn Majah, vol.3, p.325, Hadith 7113) This has also been expressed with reference to the glory of Ramadan: “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of heaven are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1899, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi) According to another narration from Sahih al-Bukhari: “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the Paradise are opened” (Bukhari, Chapter on Fasting) There is no doubt that Allah has blessed this lovely month with many blessings and that He has listened to the prayers of the faithful during this holy month. The advantages and virtues of Ramadan are numerous, and the hint is plenty for the intelligent. Simply make an effort to benefit as much as you can from the holy hours of Ramadan and increase the significance of your good deeds. (Continued) ... Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi is the author of multiple books. He has also lectured and held positions such as Mufti, Shaykhul Hadith, president, founder, and director at a number of institutions, including Dar Uloom Ghousia in Hubli, Karnataka, and Darul Uoom Solemaniya Rahmaniya in Bikaner Darul Uloom Reza-e-Mustafa, Bihar, Madrasa Shah Khalid, Vanwa Libo Muslim League, Fiji (near Australia), Madina Educational Society, Rajasthan. He currently holds the positions of Mufti in the Sunni Darul Ifta in the Madina Masjid, General Secretary of the Raza Foundation, Director of the Darain Academy, Founder of the Afkar-e- Raza Institution, and Chief Editor of the Do-Maahi Raza-e-Madina (Urdu, Hindi) in Azadnagar, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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