Ramadan for Dummies

Ramadan offers us an all-inclusive programme for our spiritual overhaul and an opportunity and an opportunity to strengthen our Iman, purify our hearts, and cleanse our souls from all evils. It is a month of Allah’s Mercy, forgiveness and protection. Allah’s Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

In this act of fasting Muslims from all over the world, from all backgrounds, leave aside their most basic needs and turn their attentions to Allah, acknowledging that none besides Him can provide. It is a time when the rich feel the hunger of the poor, and thus increase their alms-giving and their expression of gratitude. It is a time when the irreligious leave bad habits behind them to present themselves before Allah, the All-forgiving.

Allah’s Last Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

Allah’s Blessed Prophet (saw) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari)

One automatically notices the increase of religious fervour that Ramadan brings about. This would be a natural step, judging that Ramadan brings about an increase in reward of each deed by a minimum of ten times.

Fasting is exclusively for Allah: in a Hadith Qudsi Allah says, “Fasting is for me and I shall give its reward. And good is (rewarded) with ten times it’s like.” (Bukhari)

Abu Umaamah (ra). Said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action by which I may enter Paradise’. He said: ‘Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.’” (Ahmed)

In this hadith, the Prophet (saw) singled out fasting out fasting when asked about a deed that leads its doer to Paradise. This fact alone is sufficient for us to understand the greatness of fasting.

The first step for a Muslim to realise is the fact that fasting the month of Ramadan is obligatory and that Allah has prescribed it for us in His Book:

“Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa.” [2:183]

Thus Allah teaches us that Fasting is an obligation and a means to attain taqwaa, that which increases believers in their ranks with Allah swt:

“The most honoured by Allah amongst you are those best in Taqwaa.” [49:13]

Furthermore, we should realise the words of the Prophet (saw) in which he tells us that Allah the Exalted said: “The most beloved deeds with which my slave comes closer to Me are the obligatory deeds.”

Ramadan is a month that goes by very fast. And if we don’t make the most of it, you’ll be the one to loose and you’ll not have benefited from your fast much. We may not have the health or the time in the future to harvest from the spring season of goodness and virtue. Ramadan is a unique opportunity to gain proximity to Allah and to “charge our spiritual batteries” How much we can benefit from it is up to us!

Harvesting the Fruits of Ramadan - Sheikh Ahmad Sa'ad