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Seizing the opportunity of Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Sheikh 'Abdul-Muhsin ibn Muhammad Al Qasim

Seizing the opportunity of Ramadan

The Khutbah of The Prophetic Masjid

Praise be to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and Forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah against the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions, whom Allah guides no one can mislead and whoever has been misled no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah send peace and blessings on his family and his Companions.

O servants of Allah, fear Allah truly and hold fast with the strong bond of Islam. O Muslims, Allah gave preference to some nights and days to others and has chosen from these months the month of Ramadan in which Allah revealed the Qur'an, opened the gates of Paradise, shut down the gates of Hell-Fire, and chained the devils. Whoever fasts its days out of faith and seeking the reward from Allah his past sins shall be forgiven; moreover it has a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah (Glory be to Him) has made it a season for pardon and forgiveness, the month of favor and mercy that is received by joy and glad tiding. "Say: In the Bounty of Allâh, and in His Mercy (i.e. Islâm and the Qur'ân); - therein let them rejoice. That is better than what (the wealth) they amass." [Surat Yunus: 58]. Allah (Glory be to Him) ordained it for the purpose of achieving piety. "O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fast) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqűn (the pious)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 183].

Sincerity is the pillar of accepting deeds, so if the deeds are mixed with hypocrisy, they shall be corrupt. If actions are mixed by seeking the help from the dead or invoking them, it shall have no benefit or reward. Furthermore, Allah (Glory be to Him) is cherishable and does not accept any action from a person in which the intention is dedicated to someone else. Allah (Glory be to Him) says in the Divine Hadith: "I am the One Who is most free from want of partners. He who does a thing for the sake of someone else beside Me, I discard him and his polytheism." [Reported by Muslim].

The righteous action which is accompanied by piety will increase and remain, but if the righteous action is mixed by a corrupted intention, it will have no reward and shall be void. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust." [Surat Al Furqan: 23].

Salah is the second pillar of Islam and whoever abandons it, the rest of his actions shall not be accepted [i.e., fasting, Hajj, or paying charities]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Between a man and disbelief and paganism is the abandonment of Salat (prayer)." [Reported by Muslim]. Whoever corrects his intention with Allah, performs Salah as should, fasts the month of Ramadan, and performs Qiyam has won and succeeded.

Zakah is the mate of Salah in many Ayahs and one of the fundamentals of the Shari'ah that purify the soul from misery and niggardliness, increase money and preserve it from destruction, and place a person in the class of the righteous generous. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allâh for them." [Surat At-Tawbah: 103]. Charities protect man from the consequences of sins and divert away the great calamities. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allâh and fears Him, * And believes in Al-Husnâ. * We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). * But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. * And denies Al-Husnâ (See the footnote of the Verse No: 6). * We will make smooth for him the path for evil." [Surat Al Layl: 5 - 10].

Paying Zakah is the sign of success and a proof to certainty. Zakah is the right of the poor that the rich give to them without humiliation or reminding of favor, by which man completes his religion and protects his money. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Anyone who has wealth on which he has not paid zakah will, on the Day of Recompense, find his wealth made to resemble a white headed serpent with a sac of venom in each cheek which will seek him out until it has him in its power, saying: I am the wealth that you had hidden away. Then he (the Prophet) recited Allah' Saying: "And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allâh has bestowed on them of His Bounty (Wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakât). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection." [Surat Al 'Imran: 180]" [Reported by Al Bukhari].

From Zakah you pay debts, meet the need of the poor and the needy, help wayfarers, attract the hearts, moreover, Zakah shall be saved for you and shall be doubled. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Say: "Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allâh's Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers."" [Surat Saba': 39]

Ramadan is the season of giving, spending, piety, and benevolence. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all the people, especially in Ramadan. When Allah destines goodness for His Servant, He makes him meet people's needs. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in this world and in the Hereafter." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Ibn Hajar (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "Of the things which show the great favor of Allah is that the people are the servants of Allah, and the most beloved to Allah is the kindest to His Servants." There is nothing greater than a person who is trying to reform his heart and nothing will reform it but the Qur'an which is the light, the guidance, and the cure. Reciting it one of the righteous actions and the best deeds; whoever recites one letter of it, he shall gain ten good deeds and one good deed equals ten good deeds. The one who masters reciting the Qur'an shall be with the honorable pious angels, whereas the one who recites the Qur'an with hardship as if he stammers while reciting it shall have two rewards.

Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an where Gabriel used to study the Qur'an with the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Qur'an was revealed during the night and reciting it at night is more perfect because of the harmony between the heart and the tongue, so recite a portion of it in your houses day and night. The best Salah after the obligatory one is Salatul-Layl (the voluntary night Salah during Ramadan). Whoever performs this Salah along with the Imam until he finishes Salah shall take the reward of performing Salah for one night, and whoever performs it during the nights of Ramadan his past sins shall be forgiven. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to stay up at night for worship until his feet became tired. As for the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), the traces of prostration were seen on their faces. When a person prostrates to Allah, Allah raises his degrees, and when a person keeps to Salah, he shall be summoned to enter Paradise from the gate of Salah; and the closest point between a person and his Lord is when he prostrates. So, approach your Salah rejoicing with the promise of Allah.

A person cannot do without his Lord even for a blink of an eye. The happy one is the one who comes closer to Allah to fulfill his needs: Fulfilling a desire or removal of something undesirable along with seeking the times and positions of answering the invocations such as during prostration, the last portion of the night, and the daytime of Ramadan. He (Glory be to Him) is near to those who invoke Him and He promised to fulfill the needs of the askers. "And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islâmic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)." [Surat Ghafir: 60]. Frequent invocations to Allah is one of the qualities of servitude, and the status of a person will be according to the degree of his humbleness before Allah.

I'tikaf during Ramadan is one of the Sunan of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to purify the heart from faults and mistakes, to reckon oneself for negligence, to approach Allah, and to raise the degrees at Allah, so seize the opportunity of I'tikaf during that month. Ramadan is a season for repentance and returning to Allah, in which Allah relieves the burdens and erases sins, so approach Allah by regretting what you missed of good deeds and make up your mind to avoid sins, for He (Glory be to Him) loves those who return to Him in repentance and He rejoices with the repentance of His Servants. So, seize these times and ask for sustenance by seeking forgiveness because the days of Ramadan are few; we receive it tomorrow and will see it off the following day. I seek refuge in Allah against the cursed Satan. "O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fast) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqűn (the pious). * A fixed number of days." [Surat Al Baqarah: 183 - 184]. May Allah bless the Glorious Qur'an for you and me, and benefit you and me from its Ayahs. I say what you are hearing and I ask for Allah's Forgiveness for me and for all Muslims of every sin, so ask for His Forgiveness, for He is the Most Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving.

The Second Sermon

Praise be to Allah for His Benevolence and thanks are due to Him for His Guidance and Favors. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Alone who has no partner. I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger; May Allah send peace and blessings on his family and his Companions.

O Muslims, the world is short-lived and transitory. Ramadan is the season of returning to Allah, regretting what a person missed of good deeds and the bad deeds he has done, making up one's mind to compensate what he missed, so seize these opportunities, for how many people were rescued from Hell-Fire and how many people won the mercy and pleasure of Allah?! Guard your fasting against lying, backbiting, idle talks, and foul language; purify your hearts from envy, malice, and hatred; exert efforts in the obedience of your lord, and beware against wasting your times in joy and forbidden matters. Let your month be a season for good deeds and staying away from evil. Let it be known that Allah (Glory be to Him) commanded you to send peace and blessings on His Prophet when He says in the Qur'an: "Allâh sends His Salât (Graces, Honors, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet (Muhammad peace be upon him), and also His angels (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salât on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad peace be upon him), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islâmic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As-Salâmu 'Alaikum)." [Surat Al Ahzab: 56]. O Allah, send peace and blessings on our Prophet Muhammad. O Allah, be pleased with His Rightly-Guided Caliphs who died on the truth and used it to reach justice: Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali, and be pleased also with all the Companions and include us with them by Your Generosity. O the Most bountiful!

O Allah, make Islam and Muslims glorious, humiliate polytheism and polytheists, destroy the enemies of Islam. O Allah, make this country secure, assured, and prosperous as well as all Muslim countries.

O Allah, we ask you for sincerity in words and deeds.

O Allah, accept our fasting and our Qiyam. O Allah, accept from us our fasting and Qiyam.

Our Lord! Grant us goodness in this world and in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the Fire! O Allah, we have wronged ourselves, and if you do not forgive us and bestow mercy on us, we shall be of the losers.

O Allah, release our necks from Hell-Fire. O Allah, admit us to Paradise without reckoning or torment by Your Mercy, O the Most Merciful.

O Allah, guide our Imam and leader to success, make his actions solely for Your Sake, and guide all Muslim rulers to act according to Your Book and resorting to Your Shari'ah in arbitration, O Possessor of majesty and honor.

O servants of Allah, "Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-'Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone ? Islâmic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet peace be upon him in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help), and forbids Al-Fahshâ' (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islâmic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression). He admonishes you, that you may take heed." [Surat An-Nahl: 90].

Mention Allah, the Great and the Ever-Magnificent, so that He would mention you, and thank Him for His Favors and Bounties so that He would increase them for you; the mention of Allah is greater, and Allah knows what you are doing.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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