#34 – The Virtue of Ramadan
Mar 28 – April 3, 2022
Sha’baan 25 – Ramadan 2, 1443

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The Virtue of Ramadan

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

The Virtue of Ramadan

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
The month of Ramaḍān [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’ān, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the crescent of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.

[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 185]
أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَاتِمٍ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا حِبَّانُ بْنُ مُوسَى، – خُرَاسَانِيٌّ – قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا دَخَلَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ ‏”
It was narrated Az-Zuhri, from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said:
“When Ramadan begins, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hall are closed, and the devils are chained up.”

[Sunan an-Nasa’i 2105]
الرابع عشر‏:‏ عنه عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏ الصلوات الخمس، والجمعة إلى الجمعة، ورمضان إلى رمضان مكفرات لما بينهن إذا اجتنبت الكبائر‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The five (daily) Salat (prayers), and from one Jumu’ah prayer to the (next) Jumu’ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals); provided the major sins are not committed”.

[Riyad as-Salihin 130]

The Merits of Ramadan

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called “Ramadan” and it is the most meritorious month of the whole year. Since there are many specific rules peculiar to this, month, we would like to deal with its characteristics in a rather detailed manner under different sections.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF RAMADAN

The Holy Qur’an has expressly told us that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah is that he “worships” Him

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ ٱلْجِنَّ وَٱلْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I did not create Jinn and human beings except that they should worship Me

The word used by the Holy Qur’an for the worship is “Ibadah” which has a much wider sense than “worship”. In English, the word “worship” normally indicates to some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one’s reverence to his Creator. But the word ” ‘ibadah ” is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah’s commands and to seek His pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature included in the word of ” ‘ibadah ” like earning one’s livelihood through halal (permissible) means and in orded to fulfill one’s obligations towards his dependents.

However, ibadah is of two kinds. At the first place there are acts meant exclusively to worship Allah, having no worldly objective, like Salah, fasting etc. These are direct acts of ‘ibadah’ while the other kind of ‘ibadah’ includes the acts which are primarily mundane, but they are converted into an ibadah’ when they are performed in full conformity with Shari’ah and with an intention to discharge one’s obligations. Therefore, these acts are treated as ‘ibadah in an indirect manner. It is obvious that the direct acts of ibadah’ should be superior to the indirect ones.


Now, while prescribing very few acts of direct ‘ibadah in one’s daily life, like the salah which is performed five times a day, Islam has left its followers mostly with the indirect acts of ‘ibadah like eating, drinking, earning the livelihood and association with one’s wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and other human beings. But the primary nature of these acts being mundane, one becomes so absorbed in their worldly pleasures that their material aspects prevail on their spiritual aspect. Therefore, these acts have less spiritual strength than the direct acts of worship.

Since the direct acts of ‘ibadah are very few in one’s daily life as compared to the indirect ones, his spiritual progress becomes slow vis-à-vis his material progress. The month of Ramadan has been designed to maintain a balance between material and spiritual aspects of the human life. This month is meant to maximize the direct acts of ibadah and to minimize the pure’ mundane activities, so that one may accelerate his spiritual progress to make up the distance and to repair the spiritual loss one may have suffered through his deep involvement in the mundane activities during the year.

The days of Ramadan are designed to keep fast which is an act of ibadah for the whole day, and depriving oneself from any material food for many hours, it lessens the bad spiritual effects, if any, of the material pleasures. The nights of Ramadan on the other hand, are spent in offering Tarawih and waking up for tahajjud and suhur, reducing the time of one’s sleep much less than in the normal days. Moreover, apart from the prescribed acts of worship one is supposed to offer as much optional (nafl) ibadah in this month as he can. In this way the level of one’s spiritual activities in this month is raised up much higher than in other days of the year.

This philosophy of the month of Ramadan makes it clear that this month should be devoted to the direct acts of worship as far as possible. That is why the reward of the virtuous acts in this month has been multiplied. This is to encourage the Muslims to the maximum possible acts of ibadah.

[Taken from “the Month of RAMADAN” by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani]

Spiritual Reminders

HOW TO SPEND RAMADAN

The month of Ramadan is the season of divine blessings. It is the month of purification, it is meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his Iman, to purify his heart and soul and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him. This month invites a Muslim to minimize his other mundane involvements and maximize the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month before-hand, so as to spare maximum time for ‘ibadah.

Here is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadan with due care :

(1) To offer every prayer with jama’ah in a masjid.

(2) To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the salah of tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajud prayer. Yet, it is better to pray 8 Rak’at.

(3) To offer the nafl prayers of Ishraq (two rak’at after sunrise) Duha (Four rak’at which may be performed at anytime after Ishraq before noon) and Awwabin (six rak’at after maghrib).

(4) The recitation of the Holy Qur’anNo specific limit is prescribed. But one should recite as much of it as he can

(5) Dhikr or Tasbeeh, specially the following recitations :

a) سبحان الله وبحمده سبحان الله العضيم
b) سبحان الله و الحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر
c) استغفر الله ربي من كل ذنب وأتوب إليه
d) اللهم صل علی محمد النبي الأمي وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم
e) لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم


Apart from reciting these words, one hundred times each, at a particular time, they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.

(6) Prayers and supplications: No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the supplications of the Holy Prophet (SAW) are so comprehensive that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his death. It is therefore, much advisable to pray Allah Almighty in the prophetic words used by the Holy Prophet (SAW).
There are several books where these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Here is the name of two books which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily: i) Al-hisnul-hasinet By Allamah aljazri. ii) (ii) Munajat-e-Maqbool Janie By Maulana Ash-raf Ali Thanvi.

(7) Sadaqah (charity) Apart from paying zakah, which is obligatory, one should also pay optional sadaqah in Ramadan according to his best ability. It is reported in authentic ahadith that the Holy Prophet (SAW) used to pay special attention in Ramadan to look after the poor and to help them financially Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in sadaqah as he can afford.

WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN RAMADAN

All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in Shariah, whether in Ramadan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking, during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins in Ramadan, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts never allowed in Shari’ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes all the more necessary in this month.

Specially the following acts should be avoided totally :

(1) Telling a lie

(2) Gheebah or backbiting i.e. condemnation of a person in his absence.

(3) Quarrelling
(The Holy Prophet (SAW) has particularly forbidden from it when one is in the state of fasting. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.)

(4) Eating unlawful things

(5) Earning through unlawful means,

(6) Any act which may harm a person without a valid cause.

(7) Burdening one’s servants or employees with a toilsome job beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.

In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins, and protect his eyes, ears, tongue and all other organs from indulging in an unlawful activity.

Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadan in this way he will insha’allah, find himself equipped with a spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the pleasure of Allah

[Taken from “the Month of RAMADAN” by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani]

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF

Sirah

Conquest of Makkah
After making full preparation, the Prophet [pbuh] proceeded to Makkah at the head of ten thousand soldiers on the 10th of Ramadan, 8 A.H. On the morning of Tuesday, 17th. Ramadan, 8 A.H., the Prophet [pbuh] left Mar Az-Zahran. He ordered Al-‘Abbas to detain Abu Sufyan at a commanding gorge that could afford a full view of the Muslim army parading on its way towards Makkah, and hence give him the chance to see the great and powerful soldiers of Allah. The Prophet [pbuh], on his part, was quite modestly and calmly drawing the final touches for the military breakthrough awaiting the Muslims, by Allah’s Will. He appointed Khalid bin Al-Waleed as a leader of the right flank of the army with Aslam, Sulaim, Ghifar, Muzainah and Juhainah tribes under his command to enter Makkah through its lower avenues. Az-Zubair bin ‘Awwam was to lead the left flank and would storm Makkah from the upper side holding up the Messenger’s banner. Abu ‘Ubaidah took command of the infantry and was to penetrate into the city via a side valley. They were given full and decisive orders not to kill unless in self defence and in that case they would exterminate any aggressive elements and quell any opposition. The Muslim battalions marched out each in its already drawn route to fulfill the missions they were supposed to carry out. All-Mighty Allah, Who, out of His immense grace, had granted him a splendid victory. But he did not repose long. He, in the company of the Helpers and Emigrants, got up and proceeded towards Al-Ka‘bah, the Sacred House, which is an emblem of the Oneness and Supremacy of Allâh. It was unfortunately infested with 360 idols that. he knocked them down with his bow.

[Al-Raheeq Al-Makhtum, page 251-252, Issam Diab’s English Translation]

Sunnah Acts

Night Prayer During Ramadan
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying regarding Ramadan,
“Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 2008]

I’tikaf During The Last Ten Days

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.

[Sahih al-Bukhari 2025]

Adhkar/Dua

Du’a for reaching Ramadan
اللَّهُمَّ سَلِّمْنِي إلى رَمَضَانَ وَسَلِّمْ لِي رَمَضَانَ وَتَسَلَّمْهُ مِنِّي مُتَقَبَّلًا
Allahumma sallimni ila Ramadan wa sallim li Ramadan wa tasallamhu minni mutaqabbala

O Allah! Preserve me until Ramadan, safeguard Ramadan for me and accept it from me (receive my deeds with acceptance).

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