If my Ummah know, if my people knew how much virtuous how important this month of Ramadan is, they would wish and desire that the entirety of the whole year is Ramadan.
So Rasulullah [SAW] told us: that this is the month of Rahma. The mercy of Allah [SWT] descends. This is the month of forgiveness. This is a month where we can return to Allah [SWT]. And it is the month where Allah [SWT] protects people from hellfire.
Ramadan Mubarak !
But we must ask ourselves: how are we planning for this month? How will we welcome the month of Ramadan?
It is narrated that Sahabah [RA] used to prepare six months in advance, six months in advance for the month of Ramadan, because they truly understood how important this month is for the Muslim, and unfortunately you find my brothers in Islam.
That for many people today, it has become something cultural, it is become something routine and we are missing the point, and the essence of the holy month that Allah [SWT] has given me and you. As an oppor tunity to return to him.
We do not spend the first week trying to overcome with the fasting and the headaches and all that, and spend the second week with some invitations, and then the last ten days you find that the month of Ramadan has just slipped away and gone.
This is preparation my brothers in Islam, we all want Allah [SWT], we all want to change, Allah [SWT] says in the Qur’an he will never change the state of a nation, unless they start with the change that’s within themselves.
The change starts with me, you find that the majority of the preparation that we do my brothers in Islam. Is not the one that will draws near to Allah [SWT], it’s you find that majority of the preparation that we do, is to stocking up the pantry in the fridge, Subhanallah.
In fact Allah [SWT] says in the Qur’an that Allah [SWT] has ordained and made fasting obligatory upon uou, not so that you can abstain from food and water, no, so that you may attain piety.
So that you can draw nearer to Allah [SWT], that’s the true objective my brothers in Islam.
The fuqaha mention: fasting of the eyes, fasting of the ears, fasting of the tongues, fasting of the eyes, the hands, the feet, what does it mean: the fasting these bodily parts?
To fast your eyes is to not look ata anything wich is disobeying to Allah [SWT], to not look at anything Haram. Likewise (that fasting of the ears), How many Muslims in the month of Ramadan listen to music? Saying: this is passing time. And (fasting of our tongues), people beckbiting, gossiping, slandering, you find cursing, reviling, swearing, spreading of rumours, backbiting, unfor tunately increases in this month of Ramadan.
Because some of us don’t understand the intent of Ramadan, thus you find a person may only gain hunger and thirst and fatigue in this month of Ramadan cause they’ve not really understood the whole purpose of this month of Ramadan, (the fasting of the hands), not to touch anything Haram, or to take anything Haram. (the fasting of the feet), not to walk to anything Haram, the many young Muslim begin to indulge in Haram.
These are elements of fasting we need to develop, the elementually you find that the person guards their faculties, then Allah [SWT] loves that individual, will call out to Jibra’l: that I love so and so.
The eventually that I become the eyes by which the believers sees, the hands by which the believer touches, the legs by which the believer walks. What does the hadith mean?
The person only looks at which pleases Allah [SWT], only touches that pleases Allah [SWT], only walks to that which pleases Allah [SWT]. Till eventually the believer, if he asks me, then I will give him, if he was to seek my protection, my refuge, I will protect him.
But imagine if you are prepared and planned?
To meet the month of Ramadan wanting Allah [SWT]’s forgiveness, wanting to improve yourself as a Muslim, wanting to get closer to Allah [SWT].
Ask yourself the question: how can I get the best out of this month? What are my objectives? How can I make sure that I seize the opportunity that Allah [SWT] is presenting to me?
Subhanallah, you find something amazing about this month, Allah [SWT] says, He says: in the month of Ramadan is the month that the Qur’an was sent down, when you look into these verses and analyse, you realize that Allah [SWT] when he first makes mention of the month of Ramadan, he associa it to the book of Allah, He makes an association with the book of Allah, before He makes an association with the month of Ramadan with fasting, this has a great lesson for us.
A great lesson for me and you to realize that the month of Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food, it’s about connecting with the book of Allah, and this is one of the objectives and one of the plans that we must make.
If you are unable to read the book of Allah, make a plan, do whatever you could do to make sure that you improve, in your connectivity, on your relationship with the book of Allah [SWT], if you are able to read, it’s an opportunity for you to memorise, it’s an opportunity for you to read, do a complete Khatm of the Qur’an, connect with the book of Allah. This is how the relationships start my brothers in Islam.
Rasulullah [SAW] tells us something amazing about the benefit of the book of Allah and the month of Ramadan, he says: the fasting will come on the day of judgement, and the Qur’an will come on the day of judgement, (Fasting) he says: Ya Allah, I prevented this person from his food and from his water, please make me his intercession, make me his intercession. So the Qur’an will come and say: Ya Allah, I have made this person I prevented him from sleeping at night, because he stayed up reading the book of Allah, let me, and make me his intercession.
So you have the Qur’an and the fasting fighting, who will intercede for you on the day of judgement, so Allah [SWT] will allow both of these both of these, the Qur’an and the fasting to intercede for you on the day of judgement.
My brothers in Islam, start from now, if you start from now by Allah, you will find that by the time the month of Ramadan is here, you are tasting the beauty of it, and this book of Allah [SWT] my brothers of Islam, it’s a means of guidance and we all need the guidance of Allah [SWT].
The book of Allah my brothers in Islam is a means of therapy, and Allah [SWT] is presenting us with an amazing opportunity.
Rasulullah [SWA] tells us in a hadith: whosover fasts in the month of Ramadan, Allah [SWT] will forgive hs previous sins, and in another narration, he says: whosover stands up in prayer in the month of Ramadan Allah [SWT] will forgive his sins.
From now start practicing your Nawafil Salawah, imagin praying twelve Raka’ah of Sunnah every single day, that Rasulullah [SAW] promised that for the person that does this Allah [SWT] will give him a palace, and we all know about the Sunnah of Taraweeh my brothers in Islam.
To come in a congregation, a buil that relationship with the book of Allah [SWT] in our salah, and unfortunately, we find may people today; they seek out the shortest possible opportunity to pray Taraweeh. They actually complete who can perform Taraweeh quickly and go back home first.
The Sahabah [RA] used to perform long Qiyam, and one the things that we find also my brothers in Islam, that many people, they leave very quickly, they come pray couple of Raka’ah and leave, and Rasulullah [SAW] tells us that whosoever completes the salah with the Imam, Allah [SWT] will give him the rewards for night prayer, for the entirety of the night praying, if you stay and remain until the Imam finishes, what an amzing opportunity my brothers in Islam.
My brothers in Islam, the month of Ramadan is a month of Dua, it’s an amzing opportunity for us to call and supplicate to Allah [SWT], so a man comes to Rasulullah [SAW], he says: Ya Rasulullah, is Allah [SWT] far a way to call him or is he close, that we can just call upon to him? So Allah [SWT] brings down Qur’an and says: if my slave asks you about me, tell them that I am near, I am close, I am here to accept their call, I am here to answer their Dua.
The Da’wah and the supplication of the person that is fasting is answered, and Subhanallah, Allah [SWT] presents us with an amazing opportunity in the month of Ramadan, that before you break your fast, there is a golden opportunity, where Allah [SWT] will answer your Dua.
But you find majority of people today my borthers in Islam, they are so excited about the food, that they forget and they mis that golden opportunity, that Allah [SWT] had made available for them.
Allah [SWT] is telling you: ask me whatever it is that you want, and your Dua and supplication will be answered, don’t miss that opportunity, and in fact from now start planning.
Whether it’s for yourself, whether it’s for you Deen, whether it’s for your finances, whether it’s for you family. Whether that Allah [SWT] allows you to be one of the memoriser of the Qur’an, whether it’s about becoming righteous, whether it’s about financial abilities, whether you want Allah [SWT] to gurantee you Jannah, whether you care about the Ummah.
If you truly care about the Ummah, and all the oppresiion that’s happening around the world, this is your opportunity my borther in Islam, this is the opportunity to call upon Allah [SWT], and call him, beg him, Wallahi, it’s something worthy of discussion with your family, with your spouse, what Dua are we going to make this month of Ramadan?
Rasulullah [SAW] tells us in a hadith, He says: wake up for that pre-dawn meal, because in that meal before Fajr there is amazing blessing for you.
A lot of people say today, I do not need to wake up. In fact you find some of the Ulama, they say: even if you have a young breastfeeding child, wake them up at that time and give them a few suckles, because in these few suckles, there is a blessing and Barakah for them. What an amazing opportunity, let’s plan that with our family from now.
My brothers in Islam, one of the Sunan that has been forgotten in our day in time is the Sunnah of I’tikaf, Rasulullah [SAW] never missed this Sunnah.
In fact Aisha [RA], she narrates and says that when the last ten nights of Ramadan would come, He [SAW] would stand up in prayer, he would perform I’tikhaf, he would not go home, he would stay in the Masjid, he would stay in the Masjid and perform long Qiyam, long Salah.
Subhanallah, and he would wake his family up, he would become more serious in the last ten nights, and of course there is nothing more greater than finding the night of Layl Al-Qadr in that last ten nights, and one of the best ways that you can guarantee my brother in Islam, is to make sure that you are performing I’tikhaf in the last ten nights.
Make a plan from now, imagine knowing that you covered al the last ten nights, and you have guaranteed yourself Layl Al-Qadr, and Allah [SWT] is telling us that worship in this night is equivalent to what? It is better than one thousand months of worship and not miss on the reward that Allah [SWT] has up for grabs for us, because by Allah, no one has a guarantee.That we will see another Ramadan, no one has that guarantee, how many people were with us last year?