Others This Ramadan
We've focused on ourselves mostly up till now.
How can I get the most of Ramadan?
How can I get ready for such an auspicious occasion?
But is Ramadan only about the self?
In a way, it's only about the self. And yet. Strangely. In order for it to
truly be about just you, it has to include others.
In Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
''And whoever was at the need of his brother, Allah will Be there for his
need. And whoever relieves a difficulty from a Muslim, Allah Relieves from him
difficulty of the difficulties of the resurrection, and whoever hides the
faults of a Muslim, Allah will Hide his faults in the resurrection'' (Al-Bukhari)
You'll notice how the prophet (peace be upon him) uses the past tense. This is
an Arabic linguistic technique to indicate the strength of action, like saying
''that you could do something with your eyes closed''. It also indicates that
you should not be so distant from your brother that you need to start helping
him, rather, that you are already there and the Prophet (peace be upon him) is
merely showing you the magnitude of what you are already doing.
In the Sunan of ibn Majah, it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him)
said (translated according to meaning):
''Indeed Allah, half way in the month of Sha'ban looks at his creation and he
forgives them all – except a mushrik (polytheist) and one that carries
negativity towards others''
May Allah purify our creed and our hearts. The one who's creed is correct and
yet he hates or loathes others – Allah will not forgive him as per this hadith.
In a famous incident*, as Ibn Abbas was leaving i'tikaf, he was asked: ''how
can you leave i'tikaf ?''
He replied that he had heard the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say
that helping a brother in need was better than 10 years of i'tikaf in the
prophet's mosque (in another narration, 2 months).
It seems that everyone's aspirations for Ramadan is to be able to go on Ummrah
and pray at the haram. There's nothing wrong with that. But few people realize
that so many of our brothers and sisters around the world are dying and you
could easily feed a village with the money of a ticket to Ummrah.
Each and every one of those people is better for you than 1,000 months of
i'tikaf at the prophet's mosque!
Source: The Ramadan Countdown – http://theramadancountdown.wordpress.com
* There is contention as to the authenticity of this incident, but even
without it, there are plenty of hadiths to support the validity of and indeed
the obligation of being there for others.
Abdel-Rahman Mussa is an emerging Manchester based speaker. He graduated
from the European Institute for Humanitarian Studies with an undergraduate
degree in Shariah. He has strong community connections, and has served as the
Head of the Muslim Association of Britain Youth Department for 2 years and is
the chair of the biggest Muslim Scouts group in the United Kingdom.