Preparation For Ramadan

Preparation For Ramadan

Allah has given us eleven months and kept one month for Himself. The least we can do is show Allah our best during this month. Ramadan, in my opinion, is advertisement of Allah. It is advertising the Rahma of Allah, the karamah of Allah, the generosity and forgiveness of Allah, His 'affw, His promise of purification from hellfire, and paradise. Allah is advertising about all this and what do we do?

Before we talk about Ramadan and its importance, let's examine why we do not value this month the way it ought to be valued.

A Muslim is either of the two categories
seeker of knowledge of Allah
Or Ignorant. An ignorant person is an enemy of himself
The two people who do not benefit from knowledge and wisdom
are the dead and ignorant...

Scholars have summarized the signs of ignorant into six:

  1. He gets angry easily without any reasoning.
  2. He talks without any purpose or benefit.
  3. He gives to those who do not deserve it.
  4. He is blind to the point he is unable to differentiate his enemy from his friend.
  5. He betrays the trust and secrets of others.
  6. He trusts everyone, even the fools.

Luqman the wise said;the ignorant person believes that he is on the right path And that is why he will never change...

Ignorant person has the disease of Iblees, arrogance. An arrogant person is ignorant and an ignorant person is usually arrogant. He never asks questions and he does not inquire what he doesn't know. He never admits his mistakes; never says 'I am wrong', neither does he correct himself; he believes himself to always be right. Why? Because of the lack of niyyah (intention);

Niyyah is the core of all actions and it defines the personality of a person... If the person lacks niyyah, meaning it is corrupted,if the niyyah is corrupted, meaning the heart is corrupted,if the heart is corrupted, meaning the imaan (belief) is corrupted And this is why he lacks the will and cannot be an achiever!

Niyyah is located in the heart and it contains two elements:

  • Knowledge
  • Action
When a person's imaan (belief) is alive, he thinks about the consequences of his actions. He seeks to know the things that can benefit him and the things that can harm him. He always questions his intentions and the purpose of his actions. He seeks knowledge that benefits him and others. He seeks to determine the purpose of this knowledge and defines the reason for seeking it; its benefit and harm. This allows a believer to strengthen his niyyah and determine whether he should or should not carry out an action.

Good deeds have following elements...

Will, Knowledge & Taufeeq (ability) from Allah

If the knowledge is right and the will is strong, Allah will give a person taufeeq to carry out the action. If the knowledge is corrupted and the will is weak, then Allah will withhold the ability from a person. This is the crux of knowledge; based on this you can examine yourself as to who you are.

Are you knowledgeable or ignorant? Do you have a strong will?
Or Do You Have a weak will And where is it coming from?
Ask yourself... Are my actions a product of my knowledge?
Or do I let my desires dictate my behaviour?

What has this got to do with Ramadan?

A lot! Because here I am in front of Allah and He has invited me to a fountain of goodness to grab whatever I can.

Ramadan is like a market
where you go to buy and sell or window shop...

If you go and benefit at the market, then you have gained something and it is considered a successful trip. If you come back empty handed, then it is a waste and you have to wait until next time to be able to benefit from it.

What about people who have excuses?

People complain that they are busy and are unable to spend enough time for Allah. They are so occupied with jobs, school, children, business etc that they are unable to give Allah the one month that He has set aside for Himself. All of these excuses are not legitimate, because the things that they are busy with are part of life but if they become overwhelming, then it means that the person has lost his goal;

It is the goal that allows one to set priority, organize time,and focus on the prize. This is sidq or truthfulness of the intention!

Every one of us has time but we prioritize our time differently. We all have twenty four hours during the day but some people accomplish more in that set time than others. We also have allotted time from Allah which will end with the visit of the angel of death; it is then that one will have no time!

Do any of us know...
when The visit Of The Angel Of Death be?
No! No one has guarantee of old age;
in fact surprises such as accidents,diseases, calamities
predicaments hardships, financial problems,
health problems, family issues
Are all part of the package of life Which can hit us any time!

Friendship With Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala

We have discussed the issue of qadr (fate) before; how qadr is of two kinds: one that is chosen for us and which we have no control over, and the one we choose. The same goes for our social circle.

we have family that we have no option of choosing,
but we can choose our friends
according to our niyyah and our goal in life!

Imam Al-Qurtubi said: if we know what will happen to us at the moment of death, we will never have friendship except with Allah . Because he is the only one who can benefit us in the moment of death and after death, when the real life begins.

Why is it that we neglect this friendship?

Why do we get busy with worldly matters and surrender to conditions and predicaments? Because we do not value the goal or we do not have it in the first place. Instead we make our daily routines to be our goals, which is the case with the majority of people.

Conditions and calamities are a procedure To bring the best out of a person. Take the example of an olive,how it is ground and squeezed between rocks in order to extract its best "Olive oil"!

The same goes for fruits and flowers; they have to go through severe processes in order to produce their very best. So what about you and me? We have all kinds of issues and problems in our lives; why did Allah put us in these predicaments? Why doesn't Allah give us what we like? Why does Allah allow us to go through calamities and what does he want from us?

Allah squeezes and grinds us through life
in order to get the very best of us- iman (faith).
Our trust and reliance in Allah are developed at times
when we are really stuck and in a desperate situation,
when we are squeezed in life and are surrounded
By problems that we can't control.
Allah squeezes us in order for us to say Ya Allah ;
this humbleness to his Lord is the very best of a person!

Calamities and trials are always going to be there and a believer will overcome them due to his belief and reliance on his Lord. But what happens if a person doesn't have Iman?? When Allah squeezes a person like that, what comes out is kufr, rebellion, whining and complains, uptight and rigid behavior, questioning Allah's wisdom asking things like 'why don't you give me what I want?' Asthagfirullah! A mo'min always returns to Allah with all his difficulties.

Ramadan: Refresher Course of Islam

The core of the journey of Iman is Sabr (patience). RasulAllah SAW said: "This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah." Ramadan is the month of patience and patience is half the Iman. You cannot achieve anything without patience; neither any quality nor closeness to Allah can be gained without patience. And since it is half the iman, if there is no patience, meaning it is a shortcoming in your iman. Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) said:

"Patience is to faith, what a head is to the body,
when patience goes, faith goes,
When the head goes, the body goes."

It is from among the qualities of a mo'min that he is always patient. This characteristic has been mentioned in the Qur'an hundreds of times. Fasting enhances this quality of a believer. If a person stays away from food and drink but loses his patience, he loses his manners and thus his fasting. RasulAllah SAW said:

"Whoever does not stop speaking falsehood
And acting in accordance with it, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink."

The person who is fasting needs to be vigilant about his behavior and avoid all kinds of haram (forbidden) actions such as backbiting, obscenity, and lies, otherwise his reward may all be lost.

The Prophet (SAW) said:
"It may be that a fasting person gets nothing
From his fast except hunger."

Why does a person loses his manners or falls into haram in the first place? Because he is unable to remain patient and abstain himself from rebelling against the command of Allah; so in reality patience is the opposite of rebellion against Allah. Therefore, when a person is patient and remains in a state of thanks and contentment with Allah, Allah SWT blesses him with His closeness and grant him unlimited reward.

Allah Grants Victory to the Patient Believer

When a person is afflicted by calamity or facing a difficult situation and calls on His Lord for assistance, meaning he places his trust in Him and thus believes in Him SWT.

when a person believes in Allah
and relies wholly on Allah
Allah never lets him down and comes to his aid
even if it is after some time.

Allah's assistance or acceptance of du'a is many different ways. He SWT elevates, cleanses and supports a person who believes in Him; supports him in this life's trials as well as going to jannah. Today, we see calamities as just problems but they are so much more. They are designed by Allah SWT to grind us in order to get the best out of us and to make us closer to Him. Our pious predecessors understood that hardships and calamities are only for the one that Allah chooses.

A pious believer once said:
if you understand what Allah is doing to you
while being in the middle of a calamity,
your heart will be submerged in the love of Allah.

Why is that? Because you will realize that Allah SWT has chosen you over so many others and is grinding you in order to bring out the best of you.
Characteristics Of A Best Person
  • The best of a person are two characteristics:
  • Patience
  • Gratitude
These two traits are for the believer like two wings of a bird. If one of the wings is broken, the bird cannot take flight. Just like this, if a believer is missing either of the traits, his spiritual journey will not be successful.

So what does this have to do with Ramadan?
It is the very essence, the pillar of Ramadan. The essence of Ramadan is patience. Abstaining from food, drink, intercourse with our spouses, while retaining our manners are all instated to strengthen our patience. RasulAllah SAW has instructed us regarding patience during Ramadan in the following words:

"Allah the Exalted and Glorious said: '
All acts of worship a man does, belong to him,
except fasting which is for Me, and I will reward for it.
'Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is fasting,
he should not engage in sexual activities nor raise the voice;
or if anyone reviles him or quarrels with him,
He should say: 'I am fasting.'"

Abstaining from what Allah has ordained and adhering to what He SWT has commanded becomes easy if we understand the value of Ramadan. In it is a night called 'laylat-ul-qadr' wherein worship is equal to the worship of one thousand months-meaning a little over 83 years. How can we not value this blessing?

Laylatul Qadr is a blessing,
a gift that is given to believers
who really fast as it ought to be done.
Along with this blessed night believers receive...
insight, guidance, develop a closeness to Allah,
and a better quality than they had...
when they entered the month.

On the other hand, if a person is fasting only from food and drink, instead of elevation, they receive further rebelliousness; they end up wasting this precious month and instead of gaining quality, they end up losing it. It doesn't matter how many prayers you carried out or how many supplications you made, if your heart is corrupted and attached to worldly matters. It is the quality that Allah SWT cares about, not the quantity.

Qualities We Should Gain From Ramadan

Have we gained any qualities from last Ramadan? Is this year better than the last? Ramadan is like the ICU, a rehab centre; it is your bank account for the year and the mirror of your life. It allows you to see yourself as you really are, away from the influence and control of Shaytaan since they have been chained.

One of the scholars said that if you are really fasting you'll gain four qualities:
  1. You can see your own mistakes.
  2. You will hate your own mistakes.
  3. You will be able to stop your mistakes and develop the quality that is opposite of your bad habits.
  4. Allah will give you the ability to erase your negative qualities and bad habits, and replace them with good habits.

Beware of Being Ramadan Muslims

It is common to find people in the Muslim world who have beautiful qualities and manners during Ramadan, but once the month ends there's no quality anymore!

One of the scholars said-
'It is as if you worship Ramadan!'
He used to scream saying:
'if you worship Ramadan, the month is gone a
nd if you worship Allah, know that Allah is always alive
and will never go away'.

Ramadan is a training camp on how to be an 'abd (slave to Allah) for the rest of the year, an exercise to be close to Allah and to realize the purpose of life. All the things that are halal during regular days such as food and relationship between spouses, become haram during certain hours in Ramadan. All so we can train our souls to be subservient to Allah SWT and remove everything from our hearts so we can focus all our energies on Allah SWT.

Maximize the Benefit of This Month:

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: During Ramadan increase four practices:

  1. Saying 'la ilaha illallah' (there is no one worthy of worship except Allah),
  2. Istaghfar to Allah (Asking forgiveness)
  3. Ask Allah for protection from hellfire
  4. Ask Allah to admit you into Paradise

A Lost Sunnah

Taraweeh is the supererogatory prayer after Isha salah where the entire Qur'an is recited at least once during the month. The prayer is in sets of two and consists of either eight or twenty units. It is a very valuable practice whose reward is great, but is that the only purpose of taraweeh?

Taraweeh is like Allah SWT is telling you,
'You are ready after disciplining your soul during the day,
now listen to my words and may be you will wake up
From your spiritual slumber'

Blessing is something which you will get by reciting the Qur'an anyway; the purpose of taraweeh is not just receiving blessings, it is to listen to Qur'an so that even if you were away from the message of Allah the entire year, this will serve as a reminder and a cause to reaffirm your faith.

Pardon of the Most Merciful

Aisha (RA) asked RasulAllah SAW about laylat-ul-Qadr and what to say during that blessed time. He(SAW) said, say:

Al-laa-hum-ma in-na-ka 'afoow-wan
tu-hib-bul-'af wa fa-fu 'an-ni
"O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness, so forgive me"

Forgiveness towards a slave is the sign of love of Allah Almighty for His slaves.

Afw is the highest form of forgiveness Where Allah Almighty not only forgives but forgets also.Allah commands the angels to erase the evil deeds of the believer from his book and the earth to forget any evil that he committed on it so that the slave starts anew and meets Allah SWT with a clear record. This is Allah SWT, the Merciful Lord! Can you find anyone better than Allah to love? Can you find someone better than Him to benefit you? Can you find anybody better than Allah to spend your time for and with?

Upon closely examining our lives we will realize that majority of us are mushrik! There is no sin after shirk and we have deep shirk in our hearts! We have made our worldly life not only as important but even more important than Allah SWT and His message, astaghfirullah!

Everything in our lives from school to job, from children to housework takes precedence over what Allah SWT wants from us. Is this valuing the gift of Allah SWT? If we don't value the precious gift that He is granting us without asking, will He give us more? What's more, Allah SWT wants us to utilize this gift and value it because He is advertising the numerous bounties He offers during this month in order to make us realize this month's greatness! Besides Laylat-ul-Qadr, Allah SWT tells us how He frees people from Jahannam during this month.

Allah SWT out of His abundant grace
calls His angels and says
'Oh my angels bear witness, I give this person
The title of being pure from Jahannam'

Imagine when Allah looks at you and gives you a certificate that you're pure from Jahannam! Allah has also promised immense forgiveness to the point He SWT said: 'Oh son of Adam! Do whatever you want and I will forgive you!' Allahu Akbar! To the point that even if it is written in his Qadr that this person will commit sins in the future, they have already been pardoned.

Why is Allah advertising Ramadan?

If I hear about a person that he can do this and that for me will I not go to him? Will I not love him? Will I not try to get closer to him? Will I not show him gratitude? And who can do anything better for us than Allah Once this is manifested in my heart, what will be Higher for me... "Promises of Allah" or an assignment from my professor? Everyone needs to answer this question for his or herself!

If your answer for the above is Allah,
then just saying it is not enough.
You have to show it through your actions.
You have to cut some time for Allah and give Allah quality time;
You have to elevate Allah SWT and His message above all
and thus show the best of you in Ramadan...

If you can't value Allah Almighty, how can you value anybody else? If you fail to love Allah then how can you love anybody else? Those who have real iman in their hearts, then they would value the advertising of Allah. They would make a conscientious effort to increase their effort to get closer to Allah SWT during Ramadan. Only then can they hope to receive the promised bounties such as forgiveness, purification from hellfire, and Laylat-ul-Qadr. What would be a bigger loss for a life to spend time on earth and not avail from this great opportunity?

Ramadan is Barakah

Rasul-Allah SAW called Ramadan the month of barakah, blessing. It is the month in which provision increases for believers.

During this month, good deeds are multiplied seventy times. Each sunnah and nafl act is rewarded like a fard. What more can a believer ask for? Ramadan is divided into Three Parts:

RasulAllah (SAW) has informed us that the holy month of Ramadan is divided into three parts,
each part consisting of ten days:
Rahmah, Maghfirah and Najah.

Rahmah means mercy, Maghfirah refers to forgiveness and Najah means salvation or purification from fire. It is recommended to call on Allah asking for these particular blessing during their respective periods. Islam is Clean so Cleanse Yourselves:

RasulAllah (SAW) has said:
"Islam is clean so cleanse yourselves,
For only the cleansed shall enter paradise"

Allah SWT from His grace has given us various opportunities to cleanse ourselves in order to live up to His teachings. Salah is cleansing, fasting is cleansing, hajj and 'umra are cleansing. Allah gives us chances after chances to elevate our souls and be pure "But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart." (26:89) Just imagine how much Allah loves us? Do we love Allah above everyone and everything else in our lives?

Allah Almightys Gifts for the Muslim Ummah

As if the mercy, forgiveness, increase of rewards and Laylat-ul-Qadr were not enough gifts, the Most Generous Lord granted us more.

Prophet Muhammad SAW said
Five gifts have been given to my Ummah
In the month of Ramadan that they haven't been given to
any of the prophets before me

  1. When it is the first night of Ramadan, Allah SWT looks at my Ummah with a glance of mercy. Allah doesn't punish eternally whom He looks at with a glance of mercy.
  2. When they reach the evening, the smell of their mouths is more beautiful than the smell of musk (perfume) before Allah SWT.
  3. Angels ask Allah for their forgiveness every day and night.
  4. Allah SWT commands the paradise as following: "Get ready and adorned for my servants. Their getting rid of the worldly hardships and coming to My bounty for rest have come closer."
  5. When it is the end of the night, Allah SWT forgives them all."

One of the companions present there asked: "Is that night Laylat-ul Qadr (the Night of Power)? Our Beloved Prophet SAW responded: "No. Do you not see the employees? When they work and finish their work, they are paid precisely." (Bayhaqi)

Ramadan is the bank account of a believer,
his income and source of elevation.
The successful ones are those who gain from this month.
If you want to know...
what the rest of your year will look like
in terms of your spiritual actions,
look at your state during Ramadan.

Oh Allah, grant us the blessing of Sh'abaan and allow us to reach Ramadan and benefit from its limitless treasures. Oh Allah, grant us your mercy, your forgiveness and free us from the fetters of hellfire. Make us among those who gain Laylat-ul-Qadr. Make us among your devoted slaves and the beneficiaries of humanity. Ameen!

Daee Ahmed Moait

  • Posted: Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:37:06 GMT
  • In: Uncategorised
  • Permalink : Preparation For Ramadan
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