The month of Ramadan is a great blessing of Allah Almighty. In this month there is a flood of light and blessings from Allah. His blessings rain down like torrential rain in this month. And yet we are not aware of the value and status of this blessed month – because all our thoughts and struggles are for materialism and worldly business. This blessed month is appreciated by those whose thoughts are for the Hereafter. You may have heard this hadith from Hazrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the month of Rajab came, the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) used to ask for this prayer:
“O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha’ban and bring us to the month of Ramadan” – that is, prolong our life so that we may see the month of Ramadan (explanation by Shobul Emaan).
Consider that two months before the arrival of Ramadan, there is a longing for Ramadan and prayers are being offered for its attainment.
The meaning of Ramadan
“Ramadan” is an Arabic word meaning “scorching”. The month was named because when it first appeared in Islam, it was in the scorching heat. But some scholars say that in this month, Allah by His special mercy burns and forgives the sins of the fasting servants (explanation by Abi Dawood)
Month of mercy
Allah Almighty has bestowed this blessed month because man stays in the fog of the world for eleven months due to which negligence is created in hearts and closeness to Allah is diminished. Ramadan can remove this neglect and rust of the hearts, so that by getting closer to Allah Almighty, a new beginning of life can begin. Allah has fixed this blessed month for the purification of man.
In order to attain piety, fasting of one month in a year was imposed on the Ummah and the time of fasting was kept from sunrise to sunset. Then the month was fixed in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed and in which there is a night of innumerable blessings and blessings (Shab-e-Qadr). In addition to the fasts of the day, a special and general system of worship has been established at night in this month, called Taraweeh, which further enhances the effectiveness of this blessed month. And in the ahaadeeth of these two acts of worship, it is narrated that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: وَِّحِتَصَابًا غُفِرَ لَهَ مَاتَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِہ (Sahih Bukhari 2/3, Sahih Muslim 1/2) Translation: Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan in the state of faith and hopeful reward, his past sins will be forgiven.
The purpose of fasting in Ramadan
The main purpose and subject of the ritual of fasting is to make man obedient to the commands of Allah and to the rules of faith and spirituality. Fasting suppresses lusts, and since this is one of the special purposes of Prophethood and the Shari’ah, fasting has been prescribed in all the first Shari’ahs, although the duration of fasting and some other detailed rules are different between special circumstances and needs. If man is hungry, he lies down and then does not feel sinful. The purpose of fasting is to keep the nafs hungry and to prevent it from exercising its material and sexual needs so that the urge to sin becomes sluggish and this is “taqwa”.
In the same way, it can be said that the pure creatures of the heavens (angels) do not eat, drink or have wives, while fasting (from dawn to sunset) is to abstain from these three things (eating, drinking and intercourse). It is as if Allah Almighty has commanded His servants to fast and said:
O my slaves! If you abstain from these three things and imitate our pure creatures, then the pure attribute of our pure creatures will also be created in you and that attribute is: (Surat at-Tahrim) Translation: They (the angels) do not disobey God in anything that commands them, and they do what they are commanded to do. (Bayan-ul-Quran). And the result of this is “Taqwa”.
Almost the same thing has been said in this hadith which is narrated in Ibn Majah from Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Everything is Zakat and Zakat of the body is fasting (Ibn Majah, p. 5). For everything, one or the other is the means of cleansing and the means of cleansing the body is “fasting”.
In any case, the purpose of fasting is piety.
Things that help in attaining piety
But it is not just a matter of fasting and reciting Taraweeh. The main purpose of this month is to remove the veil of negligence from the heart, to return to the real purpose of creation, to seek forgiveness for the sins committed in the last eleven months. In the next eleven months, the believer should inculcate in his heart the zeal of not committing sins, with a sense of accountability for the greatness of Allah Almighty and accountability in the Hereafter, which is called “Taqwa”. In this way the true spirit of Ramadan and its enlightenment and blessings will be obtained, otherwise it Ramadan will come and go and we will not benefit from it properly, but remain empty as we were before.
A few things are pointed out, by following which we will get the purpose of fasting (taqwa) and the light and blessings of Ramadan:
(1) Increase in the amount of worship. In order to receive the blessings of Ramadan, you have to increase the amount of your worship. Try to recite the Nawafil on other days that you are not able to recite in this blessed month, for example, after Maghrib, more or less from the Sunnah. Recite at least six rak’ats with Sunnah. Come a few minutes before Isha prayers and recite four or two rak’ats of Nafl. If you have to get up for Sehri, then at least get up a few minutes earlier to recite four rak’ats of Tahajjud. Similarly, the prayers of Ishraq, and if sleep predominates during Ishraq, then recite a few rak’ats of Chasht. After Zuhr, recite two rak’ats of Nafl with two Sunnahs and four rak’ats of Nafl before Asr. The characteristic of prayer is that it establishes man’s relationship with Allah Almighty, as a result of which man attains nearness to Allah, as in the hadith narrated from Hazrat Abu Hurayrah. It is: اَق اَرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَّبِ وَه وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ (The worshiper is closest to his Lord in prostration).
(2) Abundance of recitation of the Holy Quran. The second task is to pay special attention to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, because the month of Ramadan has a special relevance and relationship with the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an was revealed in the same month. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) himself used to recite the Qur’an with Gabriel (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Ramadan (Bukhari Sharif 2/3, Hadith 2). In the lives of all the religious leaders, the use of the Holy Qur’an is very much seen, but with the arrival of the month, the routine of recitation should increase dramatically. The common man should recite at least three verses daily.
(3) Reciting the Holy Qur’an correctly in Taraweeh. In this blessed month, every believer must also consider that the Qur’an should be recited correctly and clearly in Taraweeh, because reciting the Qur’an in this way is the word of God. Our situation is that the Hafiz is cutting out or reading the letters very fast, the Surah Al-Fatiha is finished in one breath, bowing, prostration and tashahhud are not being performed properly. When the prayers are over, there is gossip in the gatherings for hours and neither Hafiz sahib nor his listeners realise how much we have participated in insulting the Holy Quran. May God protect you from this situation and may you not close the door of blessings in this blessed month. Try to attain happiness by arranging to read and listen to the Holy Qur’an correctly.
(4) Abundance of asking for forgiveness. The fourth thing is to repent for one’s sins. It is narrated in a famous hadith from Hazrat Ka’b bin Ujrah that once the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) stepped on the first, second and third steps of the pulpit (mimbr) and he said, “Amen.” When asked by the companions about this act, the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Jibreel al-Amin came to me, and when I stepped on the first step of the pulpit, he said, ‘Perish that person.’ (Mustadrak Hakim 1/2, Kitab al-Barr wa Salat, Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib 1/2)
Obviously, there is no doubt about the misfortune of the person for whom Jibreel angel (peace be upon him) cursed and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said Amen, so in this blessed month we should repent and seek forgiveness of our sins.
(5) Arranging prayers. In order to receive the blessings of Ramadan, it is also necessary to make arrangements for prayers. In many traditions, it is announced that the prayers of the fasting person will be accepted. It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: لاَ تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ اَلصَّائِمُ حَتّٰی يُفْطِرَ ، الحدیث. (Tirmidhi Sharif 2/3, Hadith 2, Musnad Ahmad Hadith 2) Translation: The supplication of three men is not rejected (must be accepted) at the time of fasting: one, the fasting person, second, the king of justice, and lastly, the prayer of the oppressed.
So, this is the month to attain piety, so pray as much as possible for yourself, your loved ones, relatives, and country.
Good prayers should be asked for the world of Islam, Allah Almighty will surely accept it.
“O my lord, save us from all evil, guide us to the path of righteousness. Aameen.”