Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
It is human psychology that we love anything extra that has been given to us. A child is happier when he/she gets not one, but two chocolates. A teenager is happier when he/she gets extra pocket money for the month. Likewise an adult is happier when they get a bonus in their salary.
I’ve never been fond of summer. The scorching heat always gets a frown from me. A few days back on one such summer day, the weather turned its course. As I sat on my college stairs talking to my friend, lost in words, the sound of water drops brings my attention to the change. It’s pouring! It’s raining! I rush to watch one of Allah’s delightful blessings.
There’s something about rain that makes me happy; and rain during summer is an added bonus to the year. The rain drops bring with them a sign. When Allah cools the heated ground by the coolness of the droplets – His mercy pours. When He wets the dry earth by the rain – His mercy pours.
For a believer, the month of Ramadan is like that rain during summer time. For 11 months the believer struggles fighting the shaytan, works hard toward pleasing Allah(swt) and as a bonus Allah blesses his year with the pleasure of Ramadan – when it rains of Allah(swt) mercy and forgiveness for not one, two or three days but an entire month, alhumdulillah!
During the month of Ramadan, Allah makes things easier for us by chaining the devils and eliminating one factor that might pull us away from getting close to Him.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle salAllahualayhi wa sallam 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.”
Out of His mercy, He makes way for us to bring a positive change in our life. It is this month that teaches us discipline when we are compelled to get up for suhur on time. It is this month that brings the entire family together every day when we sit in the iftar table making dua before magrib. It is this month that reminds us of the condition of the poor and makes us aware of how they feel when they stay on just one or no meal per day. It is this month that opens our hearts and minds to the presence of Allah when we fast for no one but His sake, when we stand up for taraweeh prayer for none but His sake and when we leave the things that nullify our fast for none but His sake.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle salAllahualayhi wa sallam said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”
Once in a year, Allah subhanahuwatala gives us an extra opportunity to have all our sins forgiven. We should be glad that Allah made Ramadan a pillar of Islam, because by doing so, He bestowed His mercy on us and gave us a bonus opportunity to do good and seek forgiveness for our sins that we would have accumulated the entire year either knowingly or unknowingly.
The Prophet salAllahualayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
SubhanAllah, there’s blessing in His every order, there’s mercy in His every command and the month of Ramadan is one such sign of His blessing and mercy on us.
The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, salAllahualayhiwasallam said, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.”
[Narrated by Tabarani]
Let’s not be amongst the unfortunate ones that Prophet salAllahualayhi wa sallam mentions in the above hadith. Let’s make best use of this month by –
· Strengthening our bond with Allah by fasting with the right intention in mind, i.e. for His sake alone.
· Reading the Quran with tafseer even if it is just one or two pages that we are able to complete everyday. Let’s put our heart and mind to understand what Allah is trying to convey to us through His book.
· Standing up for taraweeh prayer and the other 5 fard/ nafl salah with khushoo.
· Establishing prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah.
· Sitting in I’tikaf in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
· Put some extra effort to do good deeds like giving charity etc., and by doing all that which will help us make the best use of this month.
Above all, by making use of every moment to ask for His forgiveness, ask Him to lead us on Sirat-al-Mustaqim (the right path that pleases Him), ask Him to give us good in this life as well as the next and ask Him to protect us from the hell fire. So, let us open our arms wide and grab all of Allah’s blessings. Let’s drench ourselves in the rain of His mercy and pray that the shower of His forgiveness cleanses all our sins in this blessed month.
Wishing everyone a blessed Ramadan!
 Dua from the Quran: “Rabbanaaatina fid-dunyahasanah, wa fil-akhiratihasanah, wa qinaaathabannaar.”
Translation: our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201]