The Hijri year is full of religious events and occasions. It begins with the Prophetic migration, the birth of the best mankind (i.e., Prophet Muhammad), Al Isra' and Al Mi'raj, the month of Ramadan and `Eid-ul-Fitr then the Hijri year ends with the season of Hajj then `Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice) in addition to many battles and expeditions. The Qur'an interacted with most of these events, yet the month of fasting contains Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) which is better than a thousand months (of worship) i.e., equals the worship of eighty two years. "Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). * And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? * The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). * Therein descend the angels and the Rûh [Jibrîl (Gabriel)] by Allâh's Permission with all Decrees, * (All that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn." [Surat Al Qadr: 1 - 5].
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "This month has come and therein is one night which is better than a thousand month. So, the one who is deprived of its good shall be deprived of all good." [The degree of the Hadith is good, see Hadith No. 2247 in Sahih Al Jami`]. Moreover, the Qur'an which is the everlasting miracle was revealed in that blessed night. "We sent it (this Qur'ân) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the night of Al-Qadr, Sûrah No. 97) in the month of Ramadân - the 9th month of the Islâmic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]." [Surat Ad-Dukhan: 3].
In this blessed month: "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 185]. the voluntary act equals an obligatory act and the obligatory act equals seventy acts in any other time.
All these gifts make it the year spring in which hearts assemble, sins are forgiven, and defaults are covered. Here, we do not compare between the acts of worship, but the state of fasting elevates the soul, the act of worship of Qiyam promotes oneself, maintaining the ties of kinship increases lifetimes, and gatherings to take breakfast in masjids and institutions add joy to the hearts that are full of faith, making them full of lights and secrets as gardens grow flowers, and hence mercies come down from the sky.
Equality: During the month of Ramadan, equality is achieved where all the people start fasting in one time: The rich and the poor, the low and the noble, young and old, employers and employees, rulers and their people. All people abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from the emergence of the true dawn until sunset as a precise system and a straight raw like in war. "Verily, Allâh loves those who fight in His Cause in rows (ranks) as if they were a solid structure." [Surat As-Saf: 4]. Why not? The month of Ramadan fights desires and stops sins, faults, and lusts. It contains equality because the rich sympathizes with the poor, the old shows mercy to the young, and the non-travelling offers food for the travelling.
Training: It is the month of training for observing patience for obedience, observing patience for abstaining from disobedience, observing patience for restraining desires and lusts, observing patience for resistance, observing patience for hope and action not for dispair and laziness. It is a training for fearing Allah in your fasting and Qiyam, movements and stillness, in your traveling and staying, and while going out and in. You do not need the monitoring of anyone but you only fear Allah. You have delicious food but you abstain from it for the sake of Allah, besides you a beautiful wife but you do not approach her in execution to Allah's Commands, and there is cold water around you but you do not drink it for the sake of Allah, therefore Ramadan is the month of sincerity.
Piety: No wonder that fasting generates 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-Muttaqûn (the pious)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 183]. Piety is the source of all good attributes and the commandment of Allah to the former and the later. "And to Allâh belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allâh, and keep your duty to Him. But if you disbelieve, then to Allâh belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and Allâh is Ever Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise." [Surat An-Nisa': 131].
The impact of piety on a person when he ascertains it will reflect on his nutrition, drink, clothes, and heritage which he shall leave for his children to be the best provision: "And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!" [Surat Al Baqarah: 197]. The best garment: "O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your private parts and as an adornment; and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth)." [Surat Al A`raf: 26]. The best heritage: "Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slaves who have been Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)." [Surat Maryam: 63]. It is the best heritage you leave for your children after you: "And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear Allâh and speak right words." [Surat An-Nisa': 9]. Hence, piety protects a person against every evil and affliction and draws him nearer to the lord of the Heaven and the Earth. There are things which Allah provides a Muslim to help him reach these stages during the month of Ramadan. "When it is the first night of Ramadan the evil devils are chained. The gates of Fire are locked- not a single gate is opened, and the gates of Paradise are opened- not a single gate is locked, and a caller calls out: 'O seeker of good come forward, and O seeker of evil withhold, and there are many whom Allah frees from the Fire - and that is every night." [The grade of the Hadith is good, see Hadith No. 759 in Sahih Al Jami`].
A spring and a garden: The month of fasting is the year spring in which souls are harmonized, obedience increases, and the hearts feel joy. The fasting person has two joys: One at breaking his fast and the second at meeting his lord. [Authentic, see Hadith No. 5183 in Sahih Al Jami`]. "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]. It is also the garden of people in which they plant goodness and spread love and intimacy to gain the reward. "And perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât, and lend Allâh a goodly loan. And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, (i.e. Nawâfil non-obligatory acts of worship: prayers, charity, fasting, Hajj and 'Umrah), you will certainly find it with Allâh, better and greater in reward. And seek Forgiveness of Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful." [Surat Al Muzzammil: 20]. Yes, they find all these kinds of goodness present: "On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allâh warns you against Himself (His punishment) and Allâh is full of kindness to (His) slaves." [Surat Al `Imran: 30]. When that and where? "The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, * Except him who comes to Allâh with a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifâq (hypocrisy)]." [Surat Ash-Shu`ara': 88 - 89].
Qays ibn Sa`d ibn `Ubadah (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the richest people and of the most generous and often gave loans to the people. Once, he became sick and his friends did not visit him. So, he wondered and asked about them. They said: We are shy to visit you while we are indebted to you. He said: May Allah destroy the money which prevents brothers to visit one another then summoned his servant to announce: Whoever was indebted to Qays, his debt is overlooked. During that night his doorsill was broken due to the frequent visitors who visited him.
Someone embraced Islam in Ramadan, therefore he was named Ramadan: Someone narrated the story of his Islam as follows: I wondered at the actions of Muslims in my village and how they were turning their faces toward the sky when the month of Sha`ban ended as if they were waiting for a sign from their Creator to do something. When they saw the crescent, they gladdened as if they had been given glad tiding with something very pleasant. I did not expect that their joy was because they would abstain from lawful desires during the month of Ramadan. These desires are the object of fight by all human beings and for their sake battles are fought. They also would pray for their lord at night and that fascinated me. I observed fasting with them while I was still a Christian and did not utter the two testimonies of faith, but I only abstained from food, drink, and sexual desires as Muslims do. I broke my fast when I heard the Maghrib Adhan and went to offer Salah with them at night as they did. I felt a great comfort, but when it was the middle of the month, the imam noticed that I am a stranger and not a Muslim. When he asked about my story, he was astonished and called upon the people to hear my story. When I finished, they taught me Islam and taught me the two testimonies of faith then they pronounced Takbir, ever since I was named Ramadan.
So, is there a seeker for goodness? Is there a seeker for the truth? Is there a seeker for piety? Is there someone who wants to rescue himself from Hell? O Allah, guide us to act according to Your Book and follow the Sunnah of Your Prophet. O Allah, make us rejoice at Islam, the Qur'an, and Ramadan. O Allah, make fasting and the Qur'an intercede for us. O Allah, send peace and blessing upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions. All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
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