Asalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah,
Please find below the notes taken at the talk with Shaykh Umar al Khatib (Tarim, Yemen).
Topic: The Blessings of Ramadan
Disclaimer: Any mistakes are due to my own shortcomings, please do not attribute it to the Shaykh.
wa JazakumAllahu Khair
The blessings of Ramadan
The nights and days of Ramadan are for a believer to make up for the time he/she may have lost during the year.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has placed specific mercies in specific times and we must try and be aware of these times and make the most of them.
Summary of Hadith:
Once the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was with his companions and about to climb the mimbar. When he took the first step Gibreel (alaihi salam) came to him and said:
“whoever enters the month of Ramadan and is not forgiven, then may Allah distance him.” He asked the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to say ameen and he did.
When the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) took the second step Gibreel (alaihi salam) said “whoever spends time with his parents until they reach old age, and if his servitude to them does not become a means for his salvation and entry to Paradise, then may Allah distance him.” Again he asked the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to say ameen and he did.
When he (Sallallahu alahi wa sallam) took the third step up Gibreel (alaihi salam) again said “whoever hears your name being mentioned and does not send salawat on you, may Allah distance him.” Again he asked the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to say ameen.
Facts about Ramadan:
There has never been a better month for the believer than it and never been a worst month for the hypocrite than Ramadan.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala writes the reward for it for the believer even before the servant enters Ramadan. This is due to his intention of doing good in it.
A believer must schedule oneself in advance to take the maximum benefit of its blessings.
This month is booty for the believer and a sin for the hypocrite.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala made it obligatory on the believers out of mercy for them so that they could make up for what they had lost of opportunities in life.
He replaced the hardships like hunger and abstinence from pleasures with subtle kindness and mercy.
Only those blessed with a portion of belief (Iman) fast in this month.
Elaboration on the ayah of Surah Baqara - “Kutiba a’laikumus Siyamu kama kutiba a’lalladheen min qablikum la’allakum tattaqoon ayyamam ma’doodat”
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala out of His mercy didn’t say ‘Allah has ordained for you fasting’, instead He said ‘Fasting was ordained for you’. This is because He did not want His servants to feel burdened by the weight of responsibility in obeying His direct command.
In order to make it easy He reminds that it was also ordained upon the nations before this nation.
He then concludes the ayah with the reminder of the fruit of fasting – attainment of Taqwa.
Again out of His mercy in order to make it appear easy for the believers He did not say the exact amount of days i.e. whole month that one has to fast but said ‘a number of days’.
Then He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala specifies those people who are allowed not to fast.
We should strive to perceive the blessings and virtues of Ramadan. We should take the opportunity and fill our time with worship.
The reward for a single good deed in Ramadan is increased to 70 times the normal reward. This gift was not given to previous nations.
In a Hadith from Abu Huraira through Imam al Bayhaqi, the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam mentions 5 specific gifts his Ummah was given in this month, not given to previous nations
1) In the first night of Ramadan Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala gazes upon His servants, and on whom the Gaze falls upon will be forgiven forever and blessed with a life of extreme felicity. So what should be the state of a slave on that night in order to attain the Gaze of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala?
- Be kind to parents
- Maintain ties of kinship
- Have mercy towards fellow Muslims
- Remove all rancour and anger from heart
- Refrain from haram
- Be in worship the first night and beseech Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
If Allah’s Gaze falls upon you that first night, you have nothing to worry about after that.
2) The odour that comes out of the mouth of a fasting person is more beloved to Allah than the smell of musk.
3) There are angels that seek forgiveness for a fasting person the entire day until he breaks his fast. It is amazing how there are angels allocated specifically for a fasting person to seek forgiveness for him.
4) In the first night of Ramadan, the doors of Heaven are flung open and Allah asks it to adorn itself for those who will one day come to it to rest.
5) The last night of Ramadan Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala forgives the people of faith. The Companions (RadiAllahu anhum) asked whether the night was Laylatul Qadr. The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said no, then said - do you remember how a labourer gets his wages at the end of day? This night is when those fasting get their wages from Allah.
Some other blessings:
- Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala places devils in shackles and throws them in to the sea. According to one opinion, only the minor devils remain. These are those that can be easily overcome by a believer. And the Nafs A’mmara remains which can be overcome through fasting.
- The first part of Ramadan – Rahma
Middle – Forgiveness
Last – Emancipation from Fire
- Every night 60000 are freed from Fire. In the last night of Ramadan, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala frees slaves equivalent to the sum of what was freed beginning from the first day.
- For every act of good deed, the reward is increased 10-70 times. Except fasting, the reward lies exclusively with Allah.
- If Allah accepts one day of fasting then know that the servant will have Husn al Khatima (a good ending).
- A good deed may be wiped out by angels due to sins committed by a person. But not the good deed of fasting because it is written exclusively with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala as it is a good deed that a person does for Allah only, forsaking food and drink and other ease.
- A believer should look forward to two types of happiness:
Happiness when he breaks his fast as he has succeeded in fulfilling an act of worship and obedience to Allah
Happiness when he meets his Lord.
Description of the fruits in Paradise:
The fruits in Paradise need not be picked by climbing up a tree or doing something similar. Just gazing at them and wishing to eat them will cause the branch laden with fruits to bow down towards you so you will be able to pick the fruits. When plucked, Allah will replace it with one of more superior quality in its place. When the believer eats the fruit, the whole body will experience its deliciousness and with every bite the tastiness of the fruit will increase. When the believer eats to his full and is satiated, the food will melt away and leave one in a sweat which will give out noor and a beautiful fragrance like musk. Then the tree will straighten up again.
Birds of Paradise:
Just by looking at a bird and desiring to eat it will cause it to be laid out in a silver platter. When the believer finishes eating it will gather itself up and become an even more beautiful bird and fly away.
Similarly desiring to drink something from the different rivers of Paradise will cause the drink to be given to the person in a golden goblet.
All this and much more will be the reward for forsaking of food and drink in the life of duniya during fasting
Some acts in Ramadan:
- By standing in the night in prayer, we try to show Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala that we love Him. According to a hadith we must show Allah the good things that we can do for Him.
- According to another hadith, Allah made fasting obligatory during the day and the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam made standing in prayer a Sunnah during the night.
- Whoever fasts in faith and sincerity will come out like a newborn baby. Thus Ramadan purifies one totally so it is a chance one should not let pass by.
- We must also develop the habit of wanting good for our brothers in faith and humanity.
- Every night in Ramadan two angels come out. One says “O the one coming for khair (good) move forward!” and the other says “O who wishes shar (mischief) Beware!”
- Four continuous acts one cannot do without in Ramadan:
Remembrance of Shahada
Asking of Jannah
Seeking refuge from Fire
- As the night of Laylatul Qadr is ambiguous, u’lama say one should make these supplications every night in Ramadan
- Ramadan is a school where one is trained to do all things pleasing to Allah and to leave all things despised by Allah. E.g. practice of
Scheduling of time
Controlling of tongue
- Controlling tongue especially important – if someone comes with the intention to fight then say “I am fasting”.
- One should not be among a group that curse or gossip
- Ramadan especially teaches one how to schedule one’s time. A believer is always covetous of his time and his actions.
- Ramadan is a month that puts a believer in a state of increased trust with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
- Acts which people find hard to do in normal times e.g. fasting, tilawa, controlling tongue and dhikr, are able to do it in Ramadan. This proves that one can actually undertake these acts outside Ramadan as well if one has the conviction.
- Ramadan teaches us trust and confidence in ourselves.
- How Ramadan is made easy:
If one tries to understand the stories and news given in Quran, then one can take heed from them and learn.
If we take the affair of Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam seriously, Allah makes the month of Ramadan and all that is required in it, easy for us.
It teaches us that incorporation of good works through mutual cooperation will make them easier on us. In fact any affair done with mutual cooperation is made easy.
Ramadan teaches us that we are interacting with Allah and not with the people.