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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Excellence of Ramadan

Allah has enjoined observing Ramadan as a pillar of Islam, and performing in it night prayer (Qiyam, or Taraweeh) as supererogatory devotion for augmenting the rewards. Allah, the Exalted, revealed the first portion of the Qur'an in it. In it too the battle of Badr took place between the Muslims who were 300 and umpteen men, and the pagans who were about a 1000. The Muslims emerged victorious and killed seventy of the leaders of Quraish and captured another seventy as prisoners of war.The third occasion, Makkah was conquered by the Prophet (S) without fighting. He entered it victorious on Friday, the 20th of Ramadan in the year 8 of Hijrah.


We are grateful to Allah for giving us the opportunity to enjoy another blessed month of Ramadan. It is indeed, the month of ibadah, divine bounty and blessing in which the reward of good deeds are multiplied greatly. Abu Hurairah, with whom Allah is pleased, reported that the Prophet, (s), said: "My Ummah is given five privileges in the month of Ramadan that no Ummah was given before:

* The khuloof of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter in the estimation of Allah than the fragrance of musk.

* The angels keep praying to Allah to forgive them (i.e. those who are fasting), until they break their fast.

* Allah decorates Jannah every day saying to it, 'My pious slaves are about to be relieved of their burdens and sufferings and enter you'.

* Satans are chained in this month, so that they are not able to accomplish their evil

* The believers' sins are forgiven by the last night of Ramadan.

Someone asked the Messenger of Allah (S): Is it the night of Lailatul-Qadr'? He said: 'no. But the laborer is usually paid upon finishing his task.'


Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: ""He who observes the month of Ramadan believing (it is fardh) and expecting (the reward for fasting), Allah forgives his past sins."

The rebellious Satans, according to the authentic hadeeth, are chained, during the month of Ramadan, and the gates of Jannah are opened, and the gate of Hell-Fire is closed. In the month of Ramadan, a caller announces: "O you who intends to do good, come forward, and you who intends to do evil, relinquish your evil deeds. The real bereft is the one whose sins did not wash away in Ramadan.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (s) said that Allah said: "All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, it is for Me, and I will reward for it. And fasting is a means of protection (against Hell-Fire and committing sins). When one of you happens to be fasting, let him avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarrelling. If someone fights or quarrels with him, let him say, 'I am fasting.' By the One in Whose hand is my life, the odor of the mouth of the person who is fasting is sweeter in estimation of Allah than the odor of musk. The fasting person has two occasions in which he rejoices: When he break his fast, he rejoices, and when he meets his Rubb, he rejoices for having observed fast."

The Qur'an will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection on behalf of the person who reads it and applies it, and so will fasting on behalf of the person who observes it. Abdullah bin Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: "Fasting and Qur'an will intercede on behalf of the slave on the Day of resurrection. Fasting will say to Allah, 'My Rubb, I deprived him from eating and curtailed his desires, so permit me to intercede for him. And the Qur'a will say: 'I deprived him from his sleep, so permit me to intercede for him.' The Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: 'Both will be given the permission to intercede on behalf of that that person."

Fasting is a pillar of Islam. It is obligatory which is known by necessity as an integral part of Islam. Whoever denies it as a pillar of Islam apostatizes, and should not be buried in a Muslim graveyard.

Once a trustworthy Muslim sights the new moon of Ramadan, it becomes incumbent on everyone to begin fasting. If the new moon of Ramadan was obscured, then the previous month of Sha'ban must be completed as thirty days, according to the instruction of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention.

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