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Ramadan, The Month Of Countless Blessings

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All What You Need To Know About Ramadan Fasting

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and His Messenger.

Dear brothers and sisters! Alhamdulillah, the blessed month of Ramadan is upon us once again! For Muslims across the globe, these few weeks are a sacred time for worshipping Allah the Almighty.

They offer an opportunity for devotion, reflection and celebration of the mercy and love of Allah the Almighty.

As the Islamic calendar is based around the lunar cycle, the Noble month of Ramadan rotates by approximately ten days each year. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on Sunday, March 10th, or Monday, March 11th 2024 In Shaa Allah, depending on the sighting of the moon and announcement by our leaders.

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do good all the time, and seek to be recipients of the ‘outpouring’ of Allah’s mercy. Indeed, Allah showers down these (special) ‘outpourings’ of His mercy to whomsoever He wills from His servants.” (Tabarani)

Although Allah constantly showers His mercy, love and blessings upon us throughout the year, there are certain times of the year wherein He is even more Generous to us. These are the special seasons, days and moments in which it is even easier to acquire His pleasure, earn His forgiveness and be saved from the Hellfire.

The blessed month of Ramadan is one such season when we witness the fruits of Allah’s love and kindness.

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The month of Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month in which Allah – Exalted and Majestic is He – has obligated (its) fasting upon you. In it the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it, Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is truly deprived!” [Nasa’i]

Imam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) quoted the earlier scholars as saying:

“This Hadith is the basis for congratulating one another for the arrival of Ramadan. Why shouldn’t the believer be congratulated when the gates of Paradise have opened? Why shouldn’t the sinner be congratulated when the gates of the Hellfire have closed? Why shouldn’t the intelligent one be congratulated for a time when the devils are chained?”

Allah instructed His beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“Say: In Allah’s grace and mercy let them rejoice. That is far better than whatever (wealth) they accumulate.”

Ramadan is indeed from the mercy, kindness and generosity of Allah upon us. Let us rejoice and feel happy with its arrival.

Let us be from those who are pleased with Ramadan and are eager to strive in it. Let us show Allah how happy we are with His special month through our intentions, worship and desire for reward.

Let us not be of those who become miserable with Ramadan’s arrival and feel ‘forced’ to fast its days. Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

“(Fast for) a limited number of days…” [Qur’an, 2:184]

Respected brothers and sisters! Fasting is obligatory upon us only for a limited number of days (29 or 30 days). From His mercy, Allah made this amount manageable and easy for us. Furthermore, He made this short amount of time a source of immense blessings.

Hafsah Bint Sirin (rahimahallah) quoted Abul-Aliyah (rahimahullah) as saying:

“The fasting person is in a state of worship so long as he does not backbite anyone, even if he is sleeping in his bed.” Then Hafsah would say, “How wonderful it is that I am in a state of worship whilst I am sleeping on my bed.”

We also witness the immense generosity of Allah in the following Hadith:

“A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, if I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and that you are the Messenger of Allah, I pray the five prayers, I give zakah, I fast Ramadan and I stand in prayer during its nights; then who do you think I am from?” He (Peace be upon him) said: “From the Siddiqin and the martyrs.” [Ibn Hibban]

The Siddiqin are those who have attained the highest status of faith (Iman), conviction and truthfulness. Even in difficult times, their actions consistently verify their words. Examples of such people include the best of the Prophet’s followers, such as Abubakar al-Siddiq (RA).

Dear servants of Allah! Just as Friday punctuates our week, and the five daily prayers punctuates our days, Ramadan punctuates our year. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The five daily prayers, Jumuʿah to Jumuʿah, and Ramadan to Ramadan expiate for (the sins perpetrated) in between them, so long as one stays away from the major sins.” [Muslim]

Ramadan is the benchmark of the year. If we strive hard during it to stay away from sins and attain the pleasure of Allah al-Karim (The Most Generous), we will enjoy its fruits throughout the year. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:

“Whoever’s Jumuʿah is safe from evil, his week will be safe from evil. Whoever’s Ramadan is safe from evil, his year will be safe from evil. Whoever’s Hajj is safe from evil, his life will be safe from evil.”

Imam Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullah) said:

“It has been said that the example of the 12 months is like the children of Prophet Yaʿqub (AS): Ramadan is like Prophet Yusuf (AS), while the remaining months resemble his brothers. Just as Prophet Yusuf was Prophet Yaʿqub’s most beloved child, Ramadan is likewise Allah’s most beloved month. From his mercy and compassion, Prophet Yusuf forgave his brothers and said: “There is no blame on you today.” [Qur’an, 12:92] Ramadan is likewise the month of compassion and mercy. It is a month of blessings, goodness, freedom from the Hellfire, and forgiveness from the All-Powerful King (Allah). The brothers of Prophet Yusuf (AS) came to ask him if he could remedy their situation. Subsequently, Prophet Yusuf (AS) treated them with kindness and was hospitable to them. He provided them with food and told his servants: “Put their (traded) goods back into their saddlebags, so that they may recognise them when they go back to their family, and perhaps they may return.” [Qur’an, 12:62] Thus, one person remedied the shortcomings of eleven others. Likewise, the month of Ramadan is one month that remedies our shortcomings and deficiencies of the other eleven months. Prophet Yaʿqub (AS) had eleven sons who were living with him and whose actions he would see at all times. However, his eyesight did not return due to any of their clothing. Instead, it returned due to Prophet Yusuf’s shirt. Likewise, if the sinner smells the scents of Ramadan, sits with those who remind him of Allah, recites the Qur’an, and avoids backbiting and vain talk, he will be forgiven after being a sinner. He will become close after he was far. His heart which was previously blind, will now have the ability to ‘perceive.’ Throughout his entire life, he will be granted tawfiq (divine providence) to obey Allah, and in his last moments, his soul will be extracted gently from his body. When he eventually meets Allah, he will be blessed with forgiveness and lofty ranks in Paradise. So, by Allah, take advantage of this blessing during these few days; and you will soon see endless blessings and a very long period of rest and relaxation, Allah willing.” [See Bustanul Waʿizin]

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“When it is the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils and the rebellious jinn are tied up; the doors of Hellfire are closed, and none of its doors are opened. The doors of Paradise are opened, and none of its doors are closed. A caller calls out: ‘O seeker of good, come forward! O seeker of evil, stop!’ Indeed, Allah frees servants from the Hellfire every night.” [Tirmidhi]

Respected brothers and sisters! As we enter the blessed month of Ramadan, let us supplicate like our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) did:

“O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, firm belief, safety, and in the state of Islam. My Lord and your Lord is Allah.”

Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi (rahimahullah) said:

“By Allah, if it was said to the people of grave, ‘make a wish!’ they would wish for one day of Ramadan.”

Dear brothers and sisters! Let us welcome the most awaited month of the Islamic calendar, the Noble month of Ramadan. The month of countless blessings. The month in which over 2 billion Muslims all around the world fast separately, yet together.

It is during this month the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was visited by Angel Jibril who revealed to him the beginnings of what would later be known as the Qur’an.

Dear brothers and sisters! Please, what are you intending for in this blessed month of Ramadan?

What do you hope you get out of this month?

How do you wish to grow during this month?

How can you be of service and help others?

Please, don’t just try and go through the motions of fasting and prayers. Try to absorb as much rewards and good deeds as you can (this is something we should be asking ourselves everyday. Don’t just let this moment slip by without having gained something, let it move you).

My beloved people! Wallahi, Ramadan is not just about testing your will power and abstaining from food. At a deeper level, Ramadan is about transcending to become the best versions of ourselves to please Allah Almighty. To abstain from all things negative, be it in wicked thoughts, words, or actions.

It’s a reflective period where we analyse the person we are becoming.

Are we on the right path or headed down a bad direction? To err is human and Ramadan is the time to course correct.

In Shaa Allah, I hope the best for you this coming Ramadan. May we all grow spiritually. Ameen.

Respected brothers and sisters! There are a total of five different Qur’anic verses which mention Ramadan. Here they are as follows:

1. Surah Baqarah verse 183.

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”

2. Surah Baqarah verse 184.

“[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.”

3. Surah Baqarah verse 185.

“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

4. Surah Baqarah verse 187.

“It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the Mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.”

5. Surah Al Qadr:

“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”

Respected servants of Allah! Humankind has evolved tremendously over the years, not just in technology, medicine and how we live but also in how we treat each other. As human beings, we have an inbuilt desire to help others if we can. This attribute is greatly endorsed in Islam, which gives immense importance to charity and helping others. Muslims are advised and encouraged to share what they have been blessed with and distribute it to those who are not so fortunate. Charity is not only beneficial for those who receive it, but it also lays a great reward for the ones who give. It is essentially food for the soul and serves as a means of salvation as well.

It’s our duty as Muslims to help those who need it most. It’s for this reason that we created our appeal for feeding the orphans, widows, poor and needy every year, which you can donate to FISABILILLAH.

It is designated by Allah Almighty Himself, as it is said:

“Ramadan is the month of giving and mercy, and in it, Allah blesses the believers with forgiveness and being saved from Hellfire. Therefore, whoever is merciful and giving in Ramadan, Allah will be even more Merciful and Giving and will bestow upon him countless bounties and blessings.”

An act of goodwill that is prescribed by Allah Almighty Himself should be carried out throughout the year with the sole intention of pleasing Him Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. However, when the Noble Month of Ramadan arrives, every type of worship and the act of pleasing our Lord should be increased, including the noble act of charity.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“Ramadan is an honourable and blessed month, and the rewards for generosity are multiplied in it.”

Ramadan brings many blessings, which is why plenty of Muslims choose to pay their Zakat during this month. Generally speaking, Ramadan is spent in a state of meditation and prayer; however, time is also invested in aiding others. From the support of orphans to the aid of children and widows, Zakat provides Muslims with a feeling of salvation. And one of the many great things about Ramadan is Eid-ul-Fitr, when the entire Muslim Ummah reunites and celebrates the occasion together, enjoying all the festivities that follow afterwards.

In Ramadan, when we experience the effects of hunger during our fast, we establish a closer association with those people who usually go through the condition due to a lack of food. So, fasting serves two purposes. It tests your obedience and devotion to Allah Almighty and how well you can restrain yourself from the pleasures of life, and it also reminds you of the people who are starving and living in famine and hunger. This feeling inspires and enables us to help others. Charity to these families in this blessed month will not only help them financially but will also help them out spiritually.

The notion of charity is so powerful that those who are unable to fast must make up for it via daily Ramadan charity donations. This is otherwise known as Fidyah. If one’s health or physical conditions don’t permit one to partake in Ramadan fasting, one must, instead, donate enough to feed a single person per missed day of fasting.

While it’s important to perform charitable acts throughout Ramadan, as well as the rest of the year, the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) offers many rewards for generosity. The exact date of the Night of Power is unknown; however, we know that it falls within the final 10 days of Ramadan. The odd-numbered nights during the final 10 are of particular importance, especially the 27th night of Ramadan.

The Night of Power is the time in which Allah Almighty first revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) via Angel Jibril (AS). As a result, any rewards for good deeds are greatly multiplied.

With Ramadan just a few weeks away, there is an ever-increasing need to give to charity and donate.

We urge everyone to put in the extra effort this coming Ramadan and graciously donate to Muslim Aid, who will help others in need on your behalf. Charity is the truest salvation for a person, and such a noble deed never goes unrewarded in the eyes of Allah Almighty.

You can ease the hardship of the orphans and widows by donating Iftar Food Parcels this Ramadan. Thousands of women and children have lost their husband and father and are left bereaved, in pain and without income to meet their daily needs.

Remember, your Iftar Food Parcel could become their lifeline!

Your compassion can save their lives!

Insecurity, conflict and natural disaster claims lives every day. When women lose their husbands, they often become vulnerable, ostracised and taken advantage of. Because of their status, their children are also subjected to the same treatment. Reeling with grief, they are left starving and alone without any income or support.

With your generosity, our Islamic center can provides Food Parcels to widows and orphans to help relieve their hardship.

Last year, your donations meant we were able to provide thousands of meals to our needy widows and orphans, giving them sustenance, comfort and letting them know that you care.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com; or +2348038289761.

This Friday sermon (Jumu’ah Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today Friday, 06 Sha’aban, 1445 AH (February 16, 2024).

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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