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Ramadan Pointers

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Shaikh Haitham Al-Haddad

The bounties and opportunities of Ramadan are many and unlimited yet the number of days we have to take advantage of it are few and limited.

Patience

{...those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!} [Az-Zumar 39:10]

{إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ} الزمر: 10


Transliteration: innama yuwaffaalssabiroona ajrahum bighayri hisabin

Patience is inseparable from the purpose of Ramadan. Scholars mention four areas where patience is required: fulfilling acts of obedience to Allah; refraining from prohibitions; bearing trials and tribulations; and preserving one's heart and intellect from misguidance. Fasting allows us to exercise and develop all these types of patience.

For Days Passed By!

{Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!} [Al-Haqqa 69:24]

{كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الْأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ} الحاقة: 24

Transliteration: Kuloo waishraboo haneean bimaaslaftum fee alayyami alkhaliyati

Al-Hasan al-Basri is reported to have said, 'The Hur al-'Ayn will say to a wali of Allah whilst reclining with her by a river of honey and being presented with a cup, ''Allah looked upon you on a very long hot day, experiencing severe thirst and so Allah boasted about you before the Angels saying, 'Look at my slave, he has forsaken his wife, desire, pleasure, food and drink for my sake and for what is with me, bear witness that I have forgiven him!' So he forgave you that day and wed me to you''.'

The All-Seer

The fasting day is much longer this year and it will get even longer with the years to come. This creates more difficulty for everyone, especially those at work. It is important to realize that we are all under the watchful gaze of the One who is above us all and that He is reserving our reward for us and soon enough we will find that reward with great happiness and joy. This is a matter we should often remind ourselves of throughout the day especially when we feel the pangs of hunger; when we fast all the while being conscious that Allah is watching us, our rewards multiply.

A Private Affair

The fast is a secret between the slave and his Lord, no one knows about the difficulty and hardship the fasting person is going through except Allah. He is the one who determines the reward, and His bounty is unlimited! Allah's Messenger said, 'Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, 'Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.' [Authenticated by Al-Albani]

«كل عمل ابن آدم يضاعف له الحسنة بعشر أمثالها إلى سبعمائة ضعف، قال الله سبحانه، إلا الصوم فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به» صححه الألباني


Fasting is a type of communication with Allah just as prayer is. It is as though we are calling out to Him, 'I am only doing this action that no one knows about except for you. And this action that I do, even though I am doing it, it belongs to you.'

The Highest Objective

{O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa (piety).} [Al-Baqara 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

We fast in order to attain taqwa. One scholar defined it in the following manner, 'Taqwa is to act in obedience to Allah, upon a light from Allah, hoping for reward from Allah; and to abandon disobedience of Allah, upon a light from Allah, fearing punishment from Allah.'[1]

The Glorious Qur'an

{The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).} [Al-Baqara 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 almost as though Allah is telling us that we should shift our focus and efforts during the holy month of Ramadan to reading the Qur'an. This is what some of the past scholars did as they would stop delivering lectures and answering questions. Many of them completed it dozens of times during this blessed month. This is a great opportunity for us to become more proficient in our recitation and ponder much over the Quran.

Translating Guidance

We should read the Quran with its translation as this will help us to understand what Allah is saying to us and will aid us in learning the Arabic words that appear in the Quran often. Reading the Quran is not enough; we must understand and ponder over it. This is why Allah said it is guidance for mankind so that we know what is right and what is wrong. Only when we know what is being read can we take it as a source of guidance. An easy step to take in this regard is to simply select a small portion of your daily recitation and read the English whilst following the Arabic. By doing this every Ramadan one can really build up their Quranic Arabic vocabulary.

Intimacy of Tawheed

{And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.} [Al-Baqara 2:186]

{وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ} البقرة: 186


Transliteration: Waitha saalaka AAibadee AAannee fainnee qareebun ojeebu daAAwata alddaAAi itha daAAani falyastajeeboo lee walyuminoo bee laAAallahum yarshudoona

This verse is among the same set that commands us with fasting; as we read the words of Our Lord and comply with what is asked from us, we should also ask Him what we need and want from Him. We should feel close to Allah in this month more so than any other month. As Allah speaks to us through his words in His book, we should speak to Allah in our supplications.

Whenever people questioned the Prophet about a matter and Allah addressed it in the Qur'an he would start by saying, 'Qul' (Say) Yet, when Allah was asked about Himself as in this ayah, he did not say, 'Qul'. This shows us that we do not need to go through anyone to reach Allah and ask of Him, emphasizing the greatness and importance of His Oneness. This also shows us how close Allah is to us. Allah also expresses His nearness to us by attaching the slave to Himself, 'And when My slave asks you.' This also shows the great heights a human being can reach by being a slave of Allah. Other verses refer to the slave as though they are distant and many, whilst here the slaves are being addressed as being near and as one individual.

So we know how close Allah is to us and that He promised to respond to His slave. Now imagine that this slave is fasting and the Prophet has told us that the supplication of the fasting Muslim will not be rejected![2]. The bounties and opportunities of Ramadan are many and unlimited yet the number of days we have to take advantage of it are few and limited.

Let us make this Ramadan different to all our previous ones. They say that actions speak louder than words, so let your actions (worship) therefore be as though you are speaking to your Lord.


Source: www.islam21c.com
With little modification
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[1] Talq Ibn Habib, related by Ibn Abi Shaybah in Kitaab al-Iman (no. 99)
[2] Three people's supplication will not be rejected: a just ruler, a fasting person until he brakes his fast, and an oppressed person. [Al-Tirmidhi, authenticated by Al-Albani]

 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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