Friday, September 5, 2008

The Virtues of Ramadhan

The Virtues of Ramadhān

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

There are many virtues during Ramadhān that a good thinking Muslim should not missed, its merits in fasting and standing at night for Solātul Tarawih and the virtue of competing to do righteous deeds during it. Along with this is an explanation of some important rules that some people are not aware of.

Abdullah Ibn Salih Al-Fawzan (rahimahullah) said: Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) informed the Ummah through his Companions (radiallāhu’anhum) the good news of Ramadhān. He (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) informed them that it is a month in which the Gates of Mercy and the Gates of Paradise are opened and the Gates of Hell are closed

A hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) substantiate the virtues of fasting and the great position it possesses in the sight of Allāh.

Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:   “Every [righteous] deed of the Son of Adam will be rewarded ten to seven hundred times its worth. Allāh, Mighty and Sublime, said: ‘Except for the fast, for indeed it is for Me, and I will reward it. He leaves off his desires and his food for My sake. There are two times of joy for the one fasting. The time of joy when he breaks his fast and the time of joy when he meets His lord. And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allāh than the smell of musk.’” 

[Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

There are four of its virtues mentioned in this hadith.

1. Reward in full without any reckoning.

Those who fast correctly will receive their reward in full without any reckoning; for every good deed is rewarded ten to seven hundred times it’s like in worth, except for the fast. Indeed, its reward is not limited to this number, but rather Allāh will reward it with manifold its likes in worth. This is because the fast is from (the forms of) patience and Allāh has stated:  “Verily, the patient ones will be given their reward in full without any reckoning.” [Surah Az-Zumar, 39:15]

2. Allāh attached the fast to himself in conjunctive form, above all other types of deeds.

This conjunction is enough to show its noble status. Allāh knows best, it is due its state of encompassing the entirety of the day. One would find that the individual fasting has neglected his desires, while his soul constantly yearns after them. Along with its length of the duration is not found in anything else besides the fast, especially in the days of summer due to their length and severity in heat. The individual’s abandonment of the things he desires is an act of worship, which will be rewarded. The fast is something a secret kept between the servant and his Lord. No one knows of it except Allāh, the most High. It is an inward action, which cannot be seen by the creation, thus riya’ (showing off) cannot enter into it.

3. When the one who fasts meets his Lord, he will be delighted by his fast.

When the one who fasts meets his Lord, he will be delighted by his fast due to what he will see in it from its abundance, good standing and his reward by having his fast accepted, which Allāh granted him in the first place.

As for his joy at the time when he breaks the fast, then it is due to the completion of the act of worship and its being free from evil and those things that have been forbidden in it. This is from the praiseworthy types of joy since it is a joy that emanates from the obedience to Allāh and the completion of the fast, due to which great reward has been promised. This is as Allāh says: “Say: By the grace and mercy of Allāh, and by that, then rejoice.” [Surah Yunus, 10: 85]

4. The breath coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allāh than the scent of musk.

This beautiful smell will be for the Day of Judgment for that is the day when the rewards for deeds will be manifested. This is based on one narration of the hadith:  “…more pleasant in the sight of Allāh on the Day of Judgment…” [Muslim]  “And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting when he breaths out from the food (he ate previously) is more pleasant in the sight of Allāh than the smell of musk”[Ibn Hibban and Ahmad]

This scent, although disliked by the people who smell it in this world will, however, be more pleasant in smell in the sight of Allāh than the scent of musk. This is because it is something that originates from the obedience to Allāh: “The sign that will mark the believer on the Day of Judgment is the brightness (of their faces) due to their ablution (wudhu’) in this world, causing a distinction between them and the rest of the nations. And their mark on the Day of Judgment due to their fasting will be pleasant smelling breath, more pleasant in the sight of Allāh than the scent of musk. This is in order that they may be known amidst that group for that deed. We ask Allāh to grant us blessing on that day.”  [Ibn Hibban]

Ar-Rayyan

And from the merits of Ramadhān is that Allāh has distinguished those who fast with a specific door from the doors of Paradise. No one more righteous than them will enter through it.

Sahal Ibn Sa’ad (radiallāhu`anhu) narrated that Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “Verily, there is a door in Paradise, which is known as Ar-Rayyan. On the Day of Judgment, the ones who fasted will enter in through it; no one other than them will enter in through it. And when they have entered, it will close, so no one will enter through it (after them).”  [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim] “And whosoever enters will be given to drink. And whosoever drinks will never feel thirsty again.” [Sahih of Ibn Khuzaimah no. 1903]

The Qualification of the Virtues

However, these merits will not be attained except by the one who fasts with sincerity by abstaining from food, drink, intercourse, abstaining from hearing the unlawful, looking towards the prohibited and earning from unlawful means. Thus his body limbs must fast and abstain from sinful acts. His tongue must fast and abstain from lying, foul speech and false swearing. This is the obligatory for the fast, the result of which will be great reward.

Abu Hurayrah (radiallāhu`anhu) said that the Messenger (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) of Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala said: “Whoever does not avoid false speech and acting on it, Allāh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala does not have any need for him to leave his food and drink”.  [Al-Bukhāri]

The Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Perhaps, that entire one who fasts will get from his fast is hunger and thirst. And perhaps that entire one who stands at night in prayer will get from his standing is sleeplessness.”  [Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Majāh, Darimi].

[Hadith As-Siyam: Ahkam wa Adab; Via Allāhuakbar]

The Virtues of Ramadhān
Ramadhān is one of the twelve Islamic months. It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following.

1. It is the Fourth Pillar of Islam.

Allāh has made fasting the month of Ramadhān the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says:  “The month of Ramadhān in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadhān i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…” [Al-Baqarah, 2:185]

It was narrated in Al-Sahihain from the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar (radiallāhu`anhu) that Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh; establishing prayer; paying zakah; fasting Ramadan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka’abah).”  [Al-Bukhāri, 8; Muslim, 16]

2. The Qur’an was Revealed Ramadhān.

Allāh revealed the Qur’an in the month of Ramadhān, as He says in the verse quoted above:  “The month of Ramadhān in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…” [Al-Baqarah, 2:185]  And Allāh says: “Verily, we have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadar (Decree).” [Al-Qadar, 97:1]

3. Allāh Has Blessed Ramadhān With the Lailatul-Qadar.

Allāh has bestowed the Lailatul-Qadar in Ramadhān, which is better than a thousand months, as Allāh says:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadar (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadar (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allāh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril (Gabriel)] by Allāh’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allāh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn” [Al-Qadar, 97:1-5]

“We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadar) in the month of Ramadhān — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]” [Al-Dukhan, 44:3]

Explaining the great status of this blessed night of Lailatul-Qadar, Surah Al-Qadar was revealed, and there are many hadith which also speak about it, such as the hadith of Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) who said: The Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “There has come to you Ramadhān, a blessed month which Allāh has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”  [Al-Nasa’ie, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classified as sahih by Al-Albāni in Sahih Al-Targhib, 999.]

And Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) said: The Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever spends Lailatul-Qadar in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.”  [Al-Bukhāri, 1910; Muslim, 760]

4. It is a Means of Seeking Forgiveness

Allāh has made fasting Ramadhān and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins, as was proven in Al-Sahihain.

The hadith of Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) according to which Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhān out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhāri, 2014; Muslim, 760)]

Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) also narrated that Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadhān in prayer (Tarawīh) out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhāri (2008) and Muslim (174)]

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyam at night in Ramadan. Al-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said that what is meant by praying qiyam in Ramadhān is to perform Tarawīh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyam by praying Tarawīh.

5. Allāh Opens the Gates of Paradise and Closes the Gates of Hell
 
In this month, Allāh opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils, as is stated in Al-Sahihain, from the hadith of Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu`anhu) who said that the Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “When Ramadhān comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” (Al-Bukhāri, 1898; Muslim, 1079)

5.1 Every night Allāh has people whom He redeems from the Fire. It was narrated from the hadith of Abu Umaamah (radiallāhu`anhu) that Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allāh would have people whom He redeems.”  [Imām Ahmad (5/256); Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnad; and it was classed as sahih by Al-Albāni in Sahih al-Targhib, 987.]

Abu Sa’id (radiallāhu`anhu) who reported: The Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “Allāh would have the people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadhān – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.”  [Al-Bazaar (Kashf 962)]

7. The Expiation of Sins

Fasting Ramadhān is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadhān, so long as one avoids major sins. Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadhān to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.”   [Muslim (233)]

8. The Fasting In Ramadhān Is Equivalent To Fasting Ten Months.

Fasting in Ramadhān is equivalent to fasting ten months, as is indicated by the hadith in narrated from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (radiallāhu`anhu):  “Whoever fasts Ramadhān then follows it with six days of Syawwal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.”  [Muslim (1164)]

It was narrated that Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “Whoever fasts Ramadhān, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitri will complete the year.”  [Ahmad (21906)]

9. The Qiyam in Ramadhān with the Imām until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.

Whoever performs qiyam of Ramadhān [Tarawīh] with the imām until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the hadith of Abu Dharr (radiallāhu`anhu) reported that the Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:   “Whoever prays qiyam with the Imām until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.”  [Narrated by Abu Dawud (1370) and others; Classified as sahih by Al-Albāni in Salat al-Tarawih, p. 15]

10. ‘Umrah In Ramadhān Is Equivalent To Hajj.

Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallāhu`anhu) said: The Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to a woman among the Ansar, “What kept you from doing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only had two camels that we used for bringing water.” So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water.” He (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “When Ramadhān comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in Ramadhān is equivalent to Hajj.” According to a report narrated by Muslim, “… is equivalent to doing Hajj with me.”  [Al-Bukhāri (1782) and Muslim (1256)]

11. Sunnah to Observe I’tikaf

It is Sunnah to observe I’tikaf (retreat for the purpose of worship) in Ramadhān, because Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) did that, as it was narrated in the hadith of ‘Aishah (radiallāhu`anha), “Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to spend the last ten days of Ramadhān in I’tikaf until he passed away, then his wives observed I’tikaf after him.”  [Al-Bukhāri, 1922; Muslim, 1172].

12. Mustahabb to Study and Recite Great Deal of the Qur’an.

It is mustahabb in the sense of being strongly recommended in Ramadhān to study the Qur’an together and to recite it a great deal. You may study the Qur’an together by reciting it to someone else and by having someone else recite it to you. The evidence that this is mustahabb is the fact that Jibril used to meet Rasūlullāh (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) every night in Ramadhān and study the Qur’an with him. [Al-Bukhāri, 6; Muslim, 2308].

Reading Qur’an is mustahabb in general, but more so in Ramadhān.

13. Mustahabb in Ramadan to offer Iftar and Charity.

It is mustahabb in Ramadhān to offer iftar to those who are fasting, because of the hadith of Zaid Ibn Khalid Al-Juhani (radiallāhu`anhu) who said: The Rasūlullāh(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:  “Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.”   [Al-Tirmidzi, 807; Ibn Majāh, 1746; classified as sahih by Al-Albāni in Sahih Al-Tirmidzi, 647]

And Allāh Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted with modification from Islam QA]

1 comment:

Rosli said...

Thanks for sharing this great article and may Allah blesses us all in this month of Baraqah.