بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Friends, Sunday night will be the beginning of Ramadhan for those of you in North America, insha’allah. Other areas please check with your local Masjid as to the beginning of this most holy month.
Today I remind myself and I remind you not to let this time slip through your fingers.
It is like carrying water in your hands. When you fill your cupped hands there is plenty, but as you walk the water seeps through your fingers or splashes out of your hands and before you know it, it is gone.
Ramadan is like that. When we are at the beginning of it, it looks like there is plenty of time. We make promises to ourselves and to Allah (SWT) to do extra prayers, to read Quran, to give in Charity and to fast in all the aspects of fasting. It is such a blessing that we have been allowed to come to and, insha’allah complete this Ramadan, we have a great opportunity for coming nearer to Allah (SWT). Yet before we know it, it is gone and what have we done to avail ourselves of the mercy that Allah shows us in Ramadan?
Ramadan is no small matter. It is one of the pillars of this Deen of Islam – without it one’s Islam would not be complete. In this month, Rasul Allah (saw) would intensify his worship of Allah (SWT). In doing so, he laid the foundation for his Ummah after him to emulate.
Think about the word “Pillar” In a building it is what holds every thing else up. It can be the foundation. Nothing else in the building would exist without the pillars. Or we say about a person “He or she is a pillar of the community” what do we mean by that? We mean that this person is essential to the healthy functioning of the community, that they hold up and exemplify the values of the community. Without these pillars of Islam in our lives we have nothing else. Each one is essential to all the rest of what we do.
Narrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal
I said to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him): Inform me about an act which would entitle me to get into Paradise, and remove me away from Hell-Fire. He (the Prophet) said: You have asked me about a matter (which ostensibly appears to be) difficult but it is easy to those for whom Allah, (swt), has made it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him, establish prayer, pay the Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan and perform Hajj to the (sacred) House (Ka’bah).
This time of Ramadan is given us as part of our deen for the purpose of increasing our acts, Rasul Allah (SAW) used to increase all his acts of worship during Ramadan.
Prayers at night, Rasul Allah (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.”
We should also follow Rasul Allah in acts of generosity and charity during Ramadan, it is said about him in a hadith reported by Ibn Abbas:
Allah’s Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).
The people of that time knew that the wind brought cooling and rain and ease from the heat. It was generous in that it did this for all, without judgement. And here we hear that Rasul Allah’s (saw) generosity was even greater than that. And this should be a reminder to all of us to pay our Zakat-al-Fitr. Acts of generosity and charity are magnified during this month.
And again I remind myself as I remind you that as it is narrated by Abu Huraira
Rasul Allah (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.”
But soon the month will be over and the gates of Hell will be unchained again, what have we done during this time to make our deen better?
When we fast and when we break our fast, we should always remember to fast for the sake of Allah.
Rasul Allah (saw) used to say when he broke his fast:
Allahumma laka sumtu wa ‘ala rizqika ‘afthartu
“O Allah, for you I have fasted and with your sustenance I break my fast.”
The Prophet also said:
“There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan,and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection.”
And remember our inner state during this time, we remember that Rasul Allah (saw) said:
“Whoever does not give up false statements, evil deeds and speaking (harshly) to others, God is not in need of his giving up food and drink.”
Allah (SWT) tells us in the Quran Sharif:
Truly! For Muslim men and women, and for believing men and women, and for devout men and women, and for true men and women, and for men and women who are patient and constant, and for men and women who humble themselves, and for men and women who give in charity, and for men and women who fast, and for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in remembrance of Allah – for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
Surely these are clear instructions from our Rabb (SWT) for every moment of our lives and surely they are even more important for us and our deen during this holy month.
We do not know if we will ever come to Ramadan again, considering the great benefit and mercy that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us in coming to this time, let us not let it slip through our fingers this time.
Wa allahu alim.