The Merits of Ramadan
Mufti Taqi Usmani
The Holy Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has mentioned the merits of
Ramadan in a large number of ahadith. Some of them are reproduced here with
Salman, the Persian (radhyAllahu ‘anhu) has reported the following: The Holy
Prophet addressed us on the last day of Sha'ban wherein he said:
"O men, a great, blessed month has cast its shadow upon you. It is a month
which contains a night far better than one thousand months, a month that Allah
has made it obligatory to fast therein and made in commendable to stand up
praying in its nights. If someone seeks Allah's nearness by offering an
optional act of worship in this month, it will be as rewarding as to offer an
obligatory worship in other days, and if someone performs an obligatory act of
worship in this month, it will carry as much reward as the reward of
performing seventy obligatory acts of worship in other days. It is the month
of patience and the reward of patience is Jannah (paradise). It is a month of
sympathy, a month in which the provision for a believer is increased. If
someone provides another person with food to make iftar (terminate one's fast
by eating or drinking something), it will cause forgiveness to his sins and
freeing his neck from hell and he will be awarded the same thawab (reward) as
the fasting person will be rewarded for his fast, without decreasing his own
The companions of the Holy Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, "O
Messenger of Allah, every one of us does not have enough food to offer for
iftar to another fasting person." The Holy Prophet said:
"This thawab will also be given to a person who offers to a fasting person one
date or a drink of water or a little milk for his iftar. And this is a month
the first part of which is the forgiveness from Allah and the last part of
which is liberation from hell. If someone relaxes the burden of work from his
slave in this month, Allah will forgive him his sins and will free from the
Fire. In this month you should do four acts frequently. Two acts are such that
you will please your Lord through them and two are such that you can never
claim to be need-free of them. As for the two acts you please Allah through
them, they are: to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and to seek
forgiveness from Allah. And the two acts you can never be need-free of them
are: to pray Allah to give you the Jannah and to seek refuge to Allah from the
Fire. And if someone serves a drink to a fasting person, Allah will make him
have such a drink from my canal (the Kauthar) that he will never get thirsty
after it until he enters Jannah."
This hadith gives us a detailed account of the peculiar merits of the month of
Ramadan and of what we should try to do in it. The upshot of the hadith is
that one should not restrict himself to fasting in this month; rather, he
should maximize the number of his virtuous acts and take this opportunity to
seek forgiveness for his sins and to secure as much thawab as he can, by
offering the nafl acts of worship including charitable acts.
In another hadith, reported by Abu Hurairah (radhyAllahu ‘anhu) the Holy
Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said:
''My ummah has been given five characteristic honours in the month of Ramadan
which have not been given to any other ummah before.
1. The smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better with
Allah than the smell of musk.
2. Fishes (in the water) keep praying Allah to forgive the fasting persons
until they make iftar.
3. In every day of Ramadan, Allah decorates the Jannah and addresses it
saying, "It is not too far that my righteous servants shall throw away the
burdens (of the worldly life) and shall proceed towards you."
4. The rebellious satans are shackled in this month, and they cannot do in it
what they do in other days (i.e. instigating men and women to commit sins).
5. In the last night of this month, they (the fasting persons) are granted
In a hadith narrated by 'Ubadah ibn al Samit (radhyAllahu ‘anhu), the Holy
Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said:
''Ramadan has come to you. It is the month of blessing in which Allah envelops
you (with His kindness). He makes His mercy descend upon you, He forgives your
sins and accepts your prayers. Allah witnesses you when you race one another
(in virtuous deeds) in this month and becomes proud of you before His angels.
Therefore, show Allah the best of deeds from your side, because unfortunate is
that person who deprives himself from Allah's mercy in this month.''
These ahadith are sufficient to explain the great merits Allah has invested
this month with.
Source: The Month of Ramadan