Quarterly: Issue No 75
Ramadaan - its preparatioNS
All Praise is due to Allah, Glorified be His Name, and the Blessings and Mercy of Allah be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions. Ameen.
Insha Allah, we will be witnessing the Mubaarak month of Ramadaan very soon. It is never too late to start preparing for it. Let us look at some beneficial guidelines to get ourselves prepared, and enjoy this Ramadaan at its best. Our beloved Mother of the Believers, Sayyidah A’ishah (Radhiyallahu Anha) said: “I have never seen Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) fast in any month of the year more than he did in Sha'baan. He used to fast all of Sha'baan.” and in another narration, “He used to fast almost all of it, except a little.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Most Islamic scholars (Ulama) advise us to fast as much as we can in Sha'baan, and increase other acts of worship in the same way, by getting up at night for Tahajjud, additional Qur’an-recitation and extra Dhikrullah. This will help to make Sha’baan a month of Ibaadah so that we prepare ourselves for the Mubaarak month of Ramadaan. Sweetness of any Ibaadah does not come automatically. It requires a lot of patience and striving. We have to start early to taste the sweetness of Ibaadah in the month of Ramadaan. Before running a marathon one has to do some preparation. In the same way, we need to do some preparatory warm up tasks to be spiritually fit and healthy during the whole month of Ramadaan.
We have to renew our Tawbah (repentance) and do so continuously. Tawbah is a lifetime affair. We have to clean our hearts from all the dirt, junk and rust of sins before we decorate and fill them with the beautiful, powerful acts of worship and Dua in Ramadaan. We have to make Tawbah from:
- Sins of the tongue (backbiting, lies, slander, insulting people, making fun of others etc.)
- Sins of the heart (show-off, self-admiration, envy, hatred, arrogance and pride)
- Lack of modesty (in dressing, mannerism, way of speaking with the Non-Mahrams)
- Tawbah from pleasing others while displeasing Allah
- Tawbah from all the time wasted (in shopping centres, phone calls, long chats, browsing internet, facebook etc.)
- Keeping a dirty heart. Clean up our heart, forgive others and forget, hoping for Allah’s forgiveness
When making Tawbah, remember that there is no sin (besides SHIR-K) too big that Allah cannot forgive. Let us be confident that Allah will forgive our sins.
Increase our level of motivation by increasing Ibaadah (acts of worship) during the month of Sha’baan.
Pray and increase the nawaafil (supererogatory) prayers.
Pray Salaat-ud-Duhaa (If you are already praying it, then try to increase the number of its raka’aat)
Pray the Tahajjud Salaah (night prayer)
Fast (Mondays and Thursdays to make up for our missed fasts)
The Morning and Evening Zikr (Adhkaar). These are protection and shield against the Jinn and Shayaateen
Make lots of Dua (during the accepted times i.e. the last 3rd part of night and the last hour of every Friday)
Read the Qur’an-e-Majeed after Fajr Salaah daily.
REFRAIN FROM SINS:
We need to train our senses (tongue, ears, eye-sight). These are the avenues or ways to the heart. We have to train them to get them used to the act of worship and to refrain from sins.
We have to train ourselves and our souls to hate sins. Naturally our fitrah (inborn natural state) hates sins, but we have become so accustomed to sins that we have now become morally insensitive to them. Our beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: ”Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out against it); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling within our hearts that it is wrong).” (Saheeh Muslim).
All this is part of cleaning the inside (heart and soul) for Ramadaan to be really effective and to feel the real sweetness of Ibaadah during Ramadaan.
HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE ALLAH:
Train ourselves to be humble and break ourselves apart before Allah. Let us understand this with full conviction that you are in desperate need of Allah. Human beings transgress when they feel self-sufficient. Teenagers rebel against parents when they feel they no longer need them. Ask Allah to keep us steadfast upon His Path. We are in desperate need of Allah to survive in both this world and the Akhirah. If Allah doesn’t help us to keep steadfast on His Way, we will be doomed.
We are in need of Allah to fulfill any act of our worship. We have to realize within our own selves how desperate we are in need of Allah for everything in every day of our lives.
MAGNIFY THE SYMBOLS OF ALLAH:
Salaah (prayer), Hajj, Fasting, Masaajid, these are all symbols of Allah. We should magnify and elevate the symbols of Allah. We should not take these acts of worship routinely and lightly. We have to give them their right & take them as something with great responsibility. Being heedless (in the state of Ghaflah) is very dangerous to our Imaan and our Deen. We must be aware of this danger at all times.
Ramadaan is a big symbol of Allah. It comes once a year. The doors of Jannah are open, doors of Jahannam are closed. Allah boasts to His angels about us on the night of “Laylatul-Qadr”. One way to help magnify these symbols is to reflect on these very acts of worship before we do them. For example, when we start the salaah, reflect and think: “We about to pray. We are going to meet Allah. Put Jannah (Paradise) to our right and the Fire (Hellfire) to our left. Think what if we are on the Siraat (Path over Hellfire on day of Judgement) right now?” The nafs will start talking and reminding us of other tasks. Tell our nafs to be quiet as we are the only one talking right now, and we are talking to our most beloved Allah, Our Creator and Sustainer.
Al-QUR’an - the eternal miracle
Allah, the Exalted, says:
Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).
And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Angel Jibreel (AS)] by Allah's Permission with all Decrees,
Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing servants) until the appearance of dawn. (Surah Al-Qadr: Chapter 97)
This night of Lailatul Qadr is in the month of Ramadaan, as Allah Himself confirms:
The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah wishes for you ease; He wishes not hardship for you; and (He wishes) that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, so that you may be thankful. (Surah Al-Baqarah: Verse 185)
Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu anhu) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadaan out of sincere Faith (imaanan) and hoping for a reward from Allah (ihtisaaban), then all his past sins will be forgiven; and whoever stood for prayers in the Night of Qadr out of sincere Faith (imaanan) and hoping for a reward from Allah (ihtisaaban), then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu anhu) relates, that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said at the beginning of one Ramadaan: “This month which we have entered, contains one night which is more beneficial than a thousand months. Any person who abstained from the worship of this night has rejected the good that is received during it; and any person who rejected the good received during it is undoubtedly a rejected person.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah)
Whoever holds fast unto the Qur’aan it guides him and whoever abandons it becomes accursed. Allah says:
“Verily, this Qur’aan guides to that which is most just and correct and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and in the Messenger) who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward.” (Al Israa’:9).
He also says:
“Whoever follows My guidance shall neither go astray nor fall into distress and misery. But whoever turns away from My Reminder (the Qur’aan) verily for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” (Taa Haa: 124).
The Glorious Qur’an is the everlasting miracle of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that addresses all human generations and shall continue to do so till the end of time. It convinces the human intellect with various proofs in order to subject it to the truth and make it surrender to Allah willingly; or it makes people turn away—out of their pride and arrogance - from the truth after they have recognized it .
The Qur’an does not give its blessings of guidance to anyone except the one whose soul is ready to receive it unconditionally, whose heart is opened for its light and humbles oneself before it. Allah says, “Allah has sent down the best Statement, a Book (this Qur’aan), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth) and off-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shivers from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance fo Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He guides herewith whom He will and whoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.” (Az Zumar: 23).
Reciting the Noble Qur’an at appropriate times will assist us in having an impact on our souls and cover us up with the light (noor) of guidance. Ramadaan is the best time to increase the recitation of the Qur’an for it is a food for the soul, and because of the fact that the authority of the mind - that tells man to do evil - weakens during this month. The soul will then prevail and get strength by the Qur’an, resulting in deriving the highest possible benefit from it. The Noble Qur’an is like a beneficial rain, the soul is like the earth and Ramadaan is like the good season for rainfall that enables the hearts to produce blooming crops.
Let us take advantage of the opportunity of the days of Ramadaan to increase the recitation of the Glorious Qur’an – with reflection and understanding of its meanings. Put its injunctions into practice. The Righteous predecessors used to preoccupy themselves in Ramadaan with recitation and reflection of the Noble Qur’an.
Let it be known that any one who puts the injunctions of the Qur’an into practice is among the people of the Qur’an even if he has not memorised it. The quite opposite is one who does not practise and live by the injunctions of the Qur’an - is not among the people of the Qur’an - even if he has memorised the Complete Qur’an.
O Allah! divert my restlessness in the grave into peace.
O Allah! let me receive Your mercy by means of the Noble Qur’an and make it my guide as well as a source of light, guidance and grace for me.
O Allah! revive my memory of whatever I was made to forget from the Noble Qur’an, grant me understanding of whatever part I know not,
And enable me to recite it during hours of day and night and make it my main argumentative support (in all matters).
O Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds. Ya Rabbal Alameen!
May Allah grant us all the tawfeeq to make these Adhkaar every day and night. Ameen!
May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, the WITNESS to all Mankind. Ameen.
O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa