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Shawwal (1): The Sermon of Shawwal

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Dr. Khalid ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz Al Qasim

The sermon of Shawwal

Praise be to Allah who granted us fasting and Qiyam, and made us catch the months of Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah. We ask Him (Glory be to Him) to accept from us, to win Paradise, and to save us from Hell-Fire. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner. I bear witness that our master is Muhammad, the servant and Messenger of Allah, who was the best to offer Salah, to fast, and to repent to Allah; may Allah send His Peace and Blessings upon him.

O servants of Allah, fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islâm [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allâh)]. "O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwâ' (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you." [Surat An-Nisa': 1].

O servants of Allah, Ramadan has elapsed and some have won, whereas some were deprived of goodness, so who among you has been accepted to congratulate and who has been rejected to console?

It is a great season that is full of profits, gifts, offers, forgiveness, mercies, and emancipation from Hell-Fire. We ask Allah, the Generous, to make us from those whom He accepted by His Favor, Grace, and Generosity.

O servants of Allah, of the signs of accepting actions are: The improvement of the conditions of good-doers and performing a good deed after another. Of the signs of rejection and deprivation of reward is negligence after Ramadan. The meaning is not to make Shawwal as Ramadan but to change the conditions to the better.

O servants of Allah, Allah did not put an end to actions except by death. "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)." [Surat Al Hijr: 99]. The lord of Ramadan is the lord of Shawwal and the lord of the rest of months. Yes, Ramadan is a virtue and a believer increases his good actions during Ramadan but he should not stop after Ramadan. So, do not abandon Salah in masjids because obligatory duties have some virtues and they are more beloved to Allah than voluntary actions even if they are performed in Ramadan. Listen to the Prophet's saying in the divine Hadith: Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him." [Sahih Al Bukhari]. Sins are forbidden in all months and the repentance of sins is obligatory to give up all sins. "And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allâh with true repentance." [Surat Al Furqan: 71]. Abandoning idle talks and false speech is required in all days, as it is one of the qualities of righteous believers. "And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity." [Surat Al Furqan: 72]. Allah (Glory be to Him) commanded His Prophet with the following: "And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islâmic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best." [Surat Al Isra': 53];
and this is in all months of the year.

Likewise, the case in spending and feeding where Allah (may He be Exalted) described the believers by saying: "And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskîn (the needy), the orphan, and the captive * (Saying): "We feed you seeking Allâh's Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you." * Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible (from extreme dislike to it). * So Allâh saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty) and joy. * And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient." [Surat Al Insan: 8 - 12].

Voluntary night Salah is stressed during Ramadan, but it is a Sunnah all year long. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O people, promote the greetings, feed (the poor and needy) and perform Salah when others are asleep so that you will enter Paradise safely." [Reported by Ibn Majah and Ad-Darimy]. Furthermore, the voluntary night Salah is the best in reward after the obligatory ones as was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Likewise, offering voluntary night Salah is stressed in the last ten days of Ramadan, it is desirable all year long. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?" [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. Allah described His believing servants by His Saying: "And those who pray and beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night." [Surat Al 'Imran: 17]. They realized the greatness of this time, the virtue of seeking forgiveness, and believed in the mercy of the Most Forbearing. Voluntary Night Salah is easy because it may be one Rak'ah, three, or more of odd number Salah that is performed between 'Isha' and Fajr. It is the best Salah in reward after the obligatory Salah then the daily Sunnah Salah. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever performs twelve Rak'ahs for the sake of Allah, Allah shall build for him a house in Paradise. They are as follows: Two Rak'ahs before dawn, four Rak'ahs before Zhuhr, two Rak'ahs thereafter, two Rak'ahs after Maghrib, and two after 'Isha' Salah."

O servants of Allah, do not abandon the Book of Allah after Ramadan and recite some portions of it because it is the light, the guide, and the cure. "Verily, those who recite the Book of Allâh (this Qur'ân), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, they hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. *That He may pay them their wages in full, and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense)." [Surat Fatir: 29 - 30].

It was authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that he said: "Whoever keeps to these obligatory Salah shall not be written among the heedless. And whoever recites one hundred Ayah during a night, he shall be written as one of the obedient." [Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Abu Shaybah].

Keep to reciting the Glorious Qur'an, for it is the profitable trade and the booty. These rewards shall not be granted except for those about whom Allah said: "And the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) will say: O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'ân (neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and teachings)." [Surat Al Furqan: 30].

O servants of Allah, Qur'an is a proof for or against you, as it intercedes to its reciters. Fasting is obligatory during Ramadan and desirable all year long, so do not miss the six days of Shawwal. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who observes As-Saum (the fasts) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes As-Sawm for six days in the month of Shawwal, it is as if he has observed As-Saum for the whole year." [Reported by Imam Muslim].

Fasting for three days of each month because of the Prophet's saying: "Fasting three days of each month and Ramadan to the next Ramadan makes it as if a person fasts perpetually." [Reported by Muslim]. It is permissible to fast the 13th, 14th, and the 15th of each Arabic Month because of the Prophet's saying: "O Abu Dhar, if you are to observe fasting for three days of each month, then fast, the 13th, 14th, and 15th." [Reported by At-Tirmidhy and Al Bayhaqy].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was asked about the best fasting after Ramadan and he said: "The best month for observing Sawm (fasting) after Ramadan Fasting the month of Al Muharram." [Reported by Muslim]. It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of the Mother of believers 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on Monday and Thursday. [Reported by An-Nasa'y Ibn Majah].

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked, he said: "Deeds are presented (before Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays and I prefer that my deeds should be presented when I am fasting." [Reported by An-Nasa'y and At-Tirmidhy].

Listen to the commandment of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said:

"My friend (the Prophet (peace be upon him)) advised me to do three things and I shall not leave them till I die, these are: To fast three days every month, to offer the Forenoon Salah (Duha), and to offer Witr before sleeping." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

The Forenoon Salah contains a great reward as was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said:

"Allah (may He be Exalted) says: O son of Adam, do not be helpless in performing four Rak'ahs for Me at the beginning of the day: I will supply what you need till the end of it." [Reported by Ibn Hibban and Al Bayhaqy]. Its prescribed time is ample from the sunrise until Zhuhr Salah.

O servants of Allah, keep to performing righteous deeds as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The acts most pleasing to Allah are those which are done most continuously, even if they amount to little." [Reported by Muslim].

So, you have to be straight all year long to attain the great honor which Allah promised you: "Verily, those who say: Our Lord is Allâh (Alone), and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! *We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. * An entertainment from (Allâh), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Surat Fussilat: 30 - 32].

May Allah make you and me benefit from the Glorious Qur'an! This is my speech to you and I seek Allah's forgiveness for you and for me, for He is the Most Merciful The all-Forgiving.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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