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Characteristics of the Month of Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). I praise Him, Exalted be He, with all the praise due to His glory, greatness, might and power. All the praise be to Allah who imposed fasting upon His slaves in the month of Ramadan. And peace and blessings of Allah be upon he who started the Sunnah of staying up at night praying and worshipping to be followed by his companions and followers.

Praise be to Allah that we have achieved Ramadan of this year. The standing of Ramadan in hearts is not a secret for each Muslim. Why not, as this is the month of mercy, forgiveness and salvation from hellfire; a month full of bounties, gifts and favors from Allah Almighty. We will treat the characteristics of this month as unique from the other months.

The Characteristics of Ramadan

1- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: Allah Almighty has revealed the Quran in it. He, the Almighty has said: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185].

{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ...} البقرة: 185

Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani

It is the constitution of this nation. It is the Clear Book. It is the straight path. It contains promises, threats, intimidation and menacing. It is the guidance for whoever keeps and resorts to it. It is the manifest light; a light for those who work upon it, who legalize whatever it permits and prohibit whatever it prohibits. It is the separation between right and wrong. It is serious not joking. We all Muslims must take care of the Book of Allah Almighty by reading it, memorizing it, interpreting it, pondering about its contents, working according to it and applying its rules.

2- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: The gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the giant devils and the disobedient are chained so that they do not reach what they used to achieve before that. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." And in another narration: "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of Paradise are opened." [Reported by al-Bukhari].

«إذا دخل شهر رمضان فتحت أبواب السماء، وغلقت أبواب جهنم، وسلسلت الشياطين» وفي رواية: «إذا جاء رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة» رواه البخاري

3- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: Good deeds are multiplied

4- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: This who breaks the fast of a fasting person has the same reward as the fasting person without decreasing the reward of the fasting person. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "This who breaks the fast of a fasting person has the same reward of the fasting person without decreasing the reward of the fasting." [Good and Authentic: reported by at-Tirmidhi and others].

«من فطر صائما كان له مثل أجره، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيئا» رواه الترمذي، حسن صحيح

5- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: It has the Night of Decree which is better than one thousand months. This is the Blessed Night in which Allah predetermines what is to happen during the year. So, whoever is deprived from its reward; is deprived from much good. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said "It has a night that is better than one thousand months, this who is deprived from its good, is deprived" [Ahmed and An-Nasa'i; it is authentic].

«فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر، من حرم خيرها فقد حرم» رواه أحمد والنسائي، صحيح

Whoever establishes the prayers in it out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's reward then all his past sins will be forgiven. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Decree out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's reward, all his past sins will be forgiven." [Agreed upon].

«من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه

What a little deed with a great reward from He in Whose hands are the treasures of the heavens and the earth, so all praise and thanks be to Allah.

6- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: The increasing descending of angels: Allah Almighty has said: {Therein descend the angels and the Rűh [Jibrîl (Gabrîl)]} [Surat Al-Qadr 97:4].

{تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا...} القدر: 4

Transliteration: Tanazzalu almalaikatu waalrroohu feeha

7- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: It is characterized by the pre-dawn meal that differentiates our fasting from the fasting of the previous nations. It has great good as has been told by the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who has said: "The difference between our Fasting and that of the people of the Scripture is the meal taken before dawn". [Reported by Muslim].

«فصل ما بين صيامنا وصيام أهل الكتاب ، أكلة السحر» رواه مسلم

He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "eat the meal of the Sahűr (the last light meal before daybreak), surely there is a blessing in Sahűr". [Agreed upon].

«تسحروا فإن في السحور بركة» متفق عليه

8- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: The Great Badr battle has taken place in it. This is the battle in which the angles descended to fight with the believers. The believers achieved a marked victory and the polytheists were defeated. O there is no god but Allah, the Owner of Power, the Most Strong...

9- From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: The conquest of Mecca, may Allah Almighty honor it, has happened in it. It is the conquest through which the light of Islam flowed to the east and west. Allah rendered His Messenger victorious and people embraced the religion of Allah in multitudes. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has eradicated the idolatry and polytheism in Holy Mecca so that it has become the homeland of Islam. Islamic conquests followed that everywhere.

10-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: the Lesser Pilgrimage ('umrah) in it is equal (in reward) a pilgrimage with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. In the two authentic books of Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim) the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "'Umrah in Ramadan equals (in reward) a pilgrimage" or he has said "a pilgrimage with me".

«فعمرة في رمضان تقضي حجة. أو حجة معي» رواه البخاري ومسلم

11-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: It is a reason for expiating sins. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said "The five obligatory prayers, the congregational prayer of Friday to the other congregational prayer of the following Friday and Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations of what happened between them if the greatest sins are avoided." [Muslim].

«الصلوات الخمس. والجمعة إلى الجمعة. ورمضان إلى رمضان. مكفرات ما بينهن. إذا اجتنب الكبائر» رواه مسلم

12-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: Taraweeh prayer (Ramadan optional night prayers) takes place in it. Muslim men and women gather in the mosques to perform this prayer. They do not gather in any other month than Ramadan to perform it.

13-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: Deeds multitude during this month more than other months.

14-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: People are best generous in Ramadan. This is clearly seen nowadays. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: "The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was the most generous person and he was the most generous in Ramadan..." [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وأجود ما يكون في رمضان...» رواه البخاري

15-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: It is one of the pillars of Islam. Islam is not complete for one but with it. The one who denies it is a disbeliever. Allah Almighty has said: {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqűn (the pious)} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183].

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} البقرة: 183

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo kutiba AAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena min qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoona

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "Islam is founded on five principles, i.e. to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the performing of the prayers, the fasting of Ramadan, the payment of Zakat (obligatory alms giving), and the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Ka'ba)". [Agreed upon].

«بني الإسلام على خمس: شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، وإقام الصلاة، وإيتاء الزكاة، والحج، وصوم رمضان» متفق عليه

16-From the characteristic of the month of Ramadan: Good is abundant and benevolent persons are a lot. Individuals and groups go to mosques in this great and blessed month more than they do in any other month. How sorrowful it is to find the intensive marching to the houses of Allah Almighty in Ramadan, however in other months we complain to Allah. How wretched those people are who do not know Allah but in Ramadan.

A month with such characteristics, grants and gifts we, Muslims, must benefit from its opportunities and invest its time with comprehensive benefits to us from the Lord, the Omniscient, the Most Forbearing. We must, then, have obligations towards such month.

Our obligations in Ramadan

1- To recognize that Allah wants to test our belief in Him, the Almighty to know the faithful and unfaithful in fasting. Allah is the One Who knows the secrets of hearts.

2- To observe the intention of fasting it as there is no reward for those who fast without intention.

3- Not to spend the long day in sleeping.

4- To increase our reading of the noble Quran.

5- To renovate our repentance to the Creator, Glorified and Exalted.

6- Not to spend its nights staying up late in useless talking and causerie.

7- To increase praying, asking forgiveness and humbling to Allah Almighty.

8- To maintain observing the five obligatory prayers in congregation in the Houses of Allah Almighty.

9- To fast and prevent all limbs from all that is prohibited by Allah, Glorified and Exalted.

This is, O servants of Allah, the month of Ramadan in which the Quran has been revealed. This is the month of approaching Paradise and keeping away from Hellfire. O you who have wasted your life in other than obedience, O you who have wasted your month, rather your life and have lost it, O you whose goods are procrastination and negligence -how miserable your goods are-, O you who have made the Quran and Ramadan as your opponents, tell me by your Lord how do you want salvation by what you make as your opponents. How many fasting men there are whose share of fasting is only hunger and thirst. How many men there are who stay up at night for worship whose share of the night is only staying up and fatigue. Each praying at night that does not prevent Al-Fahshâ' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed) will not increase its owner but farness from Allah. Each fasting that does not prevent from prohibitions does not provide the fasting person but with hatred and desertion.

O people, where are we from those who have responded to the call when they heard the caller of Allah; and when the verses of Allah are recited to them, they polish their hearts; when they fast, their tongues, hearings and visions fast along with them. Do not we take an example by them? We complain to Allah for our conditions. O Allah: have mercy on us for our deeds. O there is no god but Allah, how much we have wasted from our lives. The better the words are, the worse the deeds are. Verily, You are our Sufficient and our Refuge.

O soul the righteous have won piety
Have seen the true, while my heart is blinded
How beautiful they are when the night comes
And their light is superior than the lights of stars
They have chanted with remembrance in their night
Their life is better by chanting
Their hearts are devoted for remembrance
Their tears are like the organized pearls
Their pre-dawn shines by them for them
And forgiveness gives the best division
Woe O soul do not you wake up
To benefit before my leg slips
Time has passed in negligence and desires
So rectify the remaining and benefit

O Muslims I ask you by Allah for the sincere repentance and the true return to Allah Almighty. Ramadan is a chance for the smokers to provide them with the definitive evidence that they can stop smoking. But they follow the devil. How can a person be patient for not smoking for more than fifteen hours and that he cannot stop this religiously prohibited matter? By Allah, they can; but it is only the whim and lustrous desires. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.

This is what Allah has facilitated for me to write in this subject. I ask the Helper Glorified and Exalted, to make these words sincere for His Countenance, Glory be to Him, to benefit us by them in the day when we will be presented to Him and to put them in the balances of the good deeds of all of us. He is All Hearing, Near and Responsive to invocations. And the close of our request will be: Al-Hamdu Lillâhi Rabbil-'Alamîn (all the praises and thanks are to Allâh, the Lord of 'Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)). Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.


Yahya ibn Musa Az-Zahrani
Ibn Khuzaymah House

 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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