by ‘Alî Abd-ur-Rahmân al-Hudhaifî – Imaam of Haram
All praise is due to Allaah, the Mighty, the Generous. I thank Him and seek for His forgiveness. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship save Him and that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is His servant and messenger. O Allaah! Shower peace and blessings upon him as well as his family and companions.
Brethren in faith, always be conscious of Allaah by doing good deeds and abstaining from forbidden acts for, it is only through fear of Allaah that you can attain prosperity in this world and the pleasure of Allaah in the hereafter.
Fellow Muslims, it should be known to you that acts of worship that Allaah ordained on His servants have two aims:
First: To purify Muslim’s soul in order to make it elligible for dwelling in the everlasting Paradise. Allaah says:
“Indeed, whoever purifies himself (by avoiding polytheism and accepting Islamic monotheism) and remembers (glorifies) the name of his Lord and prays will have success.” (Al-A‘laa 87:14-15).
Second: To make all the mankind benefit therefrom. This is evident in this verse:
“You are the best of peoples ever raised up for the mankind; you enjoin all that is good and forbid all that is evil and you believe in Allaah.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:110)
Ibn Katheer, while commentig on this verse said that Muslims are the most beneficial to the mankind by virtue of their enjoining good, forbidding evil and belief in Allaah. In a Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Mankind are Allaah’s dependents and the dearest of all His servants to Him are the most beneficial to His dependents.”
Furthermore, abstaining from forbidden acts drives away impending evils and puts an end to continous ones. Allaah says:
“Truly, Allaah defends those who believe. Verily, Allaah loves not any treacherous ingrate to Allaah.” (Al-Hajj 22:38.)
Ramadaan is a month of blessing and good deeds. Allaah honoured it and blessed its nights and days rather, every hour of it. He ordaines fasting during its days and enjoins prayers and supplication during its nights. He made it a period in which good deeds earn multiple reward. He makes a ‘Umrah that is performed in this month as equivalent in reward to a Hajj performed with the Messenger of Allaah r. It is in this noble month that many great events occured in the history of Islam like the victory of Imaan over Kufr in the Battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, Battle of ‘Ayn Jaaloot and other decisive battles.
During this month, Muslims by their fasting have spiritual gains and avert retributions that usually accompany the commitment of forbidden and destructive acts. This meaning is manifested in the verse:
“O you who believe! Observing fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may become pious.” (Al-Baqarah 2:183).
Among the merits of this month also is that it puts demarcation between one and Satan, so that he is no more capable of doing what he easily does in other months. This fact is explained by the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) when he said:
“When Ramadan comes, gates of Paradise are opened, gates of Hell are closed and devils are chained.”
You are therefore obliged dear brethren, to praise Allaah for this great favor with your hearts, tongues and limbs and thank Him for all good things that He facilitates for you. Allaah says:
“Say: ‘In the Bounty of Allaah and in His Mercy therein let them rejoice.’ That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.” (Yoonus 10:58)
Endeavor to do as many good deeds as possible during this blessed month and always keep yourself bussy with the glorification of Allaah and seeking for His forgiveness. Observe your obligatory prayers regularly in the mosque with the congregation, pay Zakaah out of the wealth that Allaah has given you and spend in voluntary charity and protect your fasting from forbidden things such as backbitting, slandering and the like.The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever does not abstain from falsehood in saying and deed and acts of ignorance, Allaah is in no need of his abstention from food and drink.” Al-Bukhaaree
I implore you also dear brethren, to observe the fasting of Ramadaan purposely for the sake of Allaah alone. The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever observes the fasting of Ramadaan with Imaan and the hope of getting reward from Allaah, his past sins will be forgiven for him.”
Pleasure of your parents should also be a goal you should work towards always and particularly during this blessed month for Allaah will be pleased with you only when they are pleased with you. Maintain good relationship with your kith and kin, show mercy and compassion to the poor and the orphan and render back the trusts to whom they are due. Maintain good relations with your neighbours for he whom his neighbour is not save from his evils is not regarded as a believer. Ensure that Muslims’ properties, persons and blood are save from your harm for every wrong done to another person shall be atoned for on the Day of Judgement. You should know that this month of fasting has kept you on the path of piety, do not therefore deviate from that path and recommend one another to the truth and patience.
Fellow Muslims, the greatest gift that Allaah gave to His servants during Ramadaan is the Glorious Qur’aan. Allaah says:
“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
Read the Qur’aan frequently in this month for whoever reads a single letter from the Book of Allaah will have a reward of ten good deeds. Frequent recitation of the Qur’aan blesses a believer and leaves the effect of that blessing on his heart and body. The Qur’aan is the guide to all good and the preventer of all evil. Human soul cannot be on the right path unless it is nourished with the Qur’aan and all corruptions that occurs in the human mind are caused by keeping away from the Glorious Book. People of Qur’aan are those who work by it even if they do not memorise it. The Qur’aan is Allaah’s Miracle that addresses the human intellect in all ages and all places with various proofs and complete certainty in order to make it submit to the realities of faith.Therefore, nourish your souls and purify your limbs with the Qur’aan. Abide by the do’s and don’ts of this Book and ponder over its marvelous verses that Allaah may open the blessings of the heaven and earth for you and admit you into the Everlasting Paradise.
Fellow Muslims, advance towards acts that will make you win the pleasure of your Lord. He says:
“For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good.Wheresoever you may be, Allaah will bring you together (on the Day of Resrrection). Truly, Allaah is Able to do all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2:148)
Dear brethren, it is part of the perfectness of your fasting to observe suprerogatory prayers like Salaatu Taraaweeh. Aboo Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever observes night prayers during Ramadaan with Eemaan and seeking reward from Allaah will have his past sins forgiven for him.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Fellow Muslims, let us get prepared for the day of departure from this world for none of us knows when death will come and none of us knows what is going to be his fate in front of His Lord.