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 The Approach of Ramadan

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PostSubject: The Approach of Ramadan   The Approach of Ramadan EmptyTue Aug 11, 2009 7:40 pm

salaam


The Approach of Ramadaan

Author: Abdullaah ibn Salih al-Fawzaan
Source: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 13-15) (trans. Ahl
ul-Qur'an was-Sunnah Association, NY)
Article ID : IBD090004 [2100]
www.spubs.com

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi
wasallam) said: "Ramadaan has come to you - a blessed month. Allaah
has made obligatory upon you its fasting. In it, the gates of heaven
are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are
chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a
thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has
been deprived." [1]

The hadeeth is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allaah, of
the coming of the blessed month of Ramadaan. The Prophet (sallallaahu
alayhi wasallam) informed his companions of its coming and it was not
just a simple relaying of news. Rather, his intent was to give them
the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the
righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it its due
estimate. This is because the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
explained in it (the hadeeth) what Allaah has prepared for His
servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment
and they are many ways. So whosoever has forgiveness escape from him
during the month of Ramadaan, then he has been deprived with the
utmost deprivation.

From the great favors and bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His
servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that
they may be of profit for those who obey Him and a race for those who
rush to compete (for good deeds). These meritous occasions are times
for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and
deficiencies by self-rectification and repentance. There is not a
single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allaah has
assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him.
And Allaah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He
bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy.

So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of
these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian
in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from the acts of obedience.

Thus, perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of
those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that saves him
from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat. [2]

Being able to reach Ramadaan is a magnificent bounty in itself,
bestowed upon the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by
standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it,
he returns to his Protector -- from disobeying Him to obeying Him,
from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from
Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance.

A Muslim must be conscious of this bounty and acknowledge its
magnitude. For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either
because they die before they reach it or because they are not capable
of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it. Thus,
the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and
should welcome this month with the joy and delight that a magnificent
time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is
welcomed. He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds. And he
should invoke Allaah to grant him fasting and standing in night prayer
and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength and
energy in that month. And that He awaken him from heedless
oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of
good.

It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of
this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the
month of Ramadaan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience,
worship, reciting the Qur'aan, giving in charity and making
remembrance of Allaah. Rather, to some people it becomes a significant
time for them to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare
different types of meals before the month begins. Some other people do
not know Ramadaan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant
recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that
some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus
not praying them in congregation or in their proper times. Other
people do not know Ramadaan except as a significant time for
conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting
affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying and
selling, and they stay in the market areas, consequently abandoning
the masjids. And when they pray with the people, they do so in such a
hurried manner. This is because they find their pleasure in the market
places. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadaan)
have been changed.

Some of the Salaf have used to say: "Indeed Allaah, the Most High, has
made the month of Ramadaan as a competition for His creatures, in
which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him.
Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group
comes last and so they fail." [3]

Also, the individual does not know if this is perhaps the last
Ramadaan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it. How many
men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now
they lie buried in the depths of the earth, depending on their good
deeds. And they expected to fast many more Ramadaans. Likewise, we too
shall all follow their path. Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to
rejoice at this magnificent occasion for obedience. And he should not
renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and
what will cause its effect to remain. For what else is it, except
numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly.

May Allaah make us, as well as you, from among those who are foremost
in attaining good deeds.

NOTES

[1] This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa'ee. See Ahmad
Shaakir's checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh At-Targheeb
wat-Tarheeb of Al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)

[2] These are the words of Ibn Rajab in Lataa'if-ul- Ma'aarif: pg. 8

[3] Lataa'if-ul- Ma'aarif of Ibn Rajab: page 246
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