OPINION

Ramadan: the month of piety, salvation

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Ramadan is a time to empty your stomach and feed your heart and soul

By: Aubaid  Akhoon

In the context of Ramadan 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 said, ‘Amen’ on each step. When asked by the companions about this act, the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Jibreel al-Amin (AS) came to me, and when I stepped on the first step of the pulpit, he said, ‘Perish that person.’ Whoever found the month of Ramadan but was not forgiven, I said Amen. (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 Angel Jibreel (AS) cursed and the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) said Ameen! So in this blessed month we should repent and seek forgiveness for our sins.

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 (Pbuh) said that the supplication of three men is not rejected (must be accepted) one who is fasting, second who is King of justice and lastly the prayer of the oppressed. “But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” — Surat Al-Baqarah.

Besides, science and medicine today have all but confirmed that there are numerous health benefits to fasting for a month in a year. It is a great way to cleanse the stomach and also has many health benefits for the brain.

Quran says that Allah is with those who restrain themselves and Fasting teaches restraint; the ability to control worldly desires and spent time in prayer and meditation. Fasting is a noble act that is much beloved to Allah (SWT) and the holy prophet (PBUH). It is not just restraining from food and drinks but keeping our eyes, ears, tongue and all parts of the body away from sins and sinful activities. That is why it is mandated that one has to stay away from lying, backbiting, cursing, suspicion etc besides restraining from food and drinks.

One of the greatest gifts besides fasting during the month of Ramadan is Lailatul Qadr- the special night which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says…The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. ‘Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, there is peace until the appearance of dawn.’ — Al-Qadar 97:1-5

Lailat-ul-Qadr is the prized jewel of Ramadan. This night carries more blessings than a thousand months. Muslims spend this night in prayer and meditation; to make dua and to seek forgiveness for past sins. There is salvation in this night; a chance to cleansed of all sins and be reborn again.

It is narrated on the authority of Ibadah bin Samath that the Messenger of Allah, (Pbuh) , said: Shab-e-Qadr is the odd night out of the last ten nights of Ramadan, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th (Musnad Ahmad). Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said: Look for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan when there are nine days left or seven days or five days left till the end of the month (Bukhari). Most of the scholars have taken this to mean that the Holy Prophet meant odd nights. Also narrated from Hazrat Ayesha that the Prophet (Pbuh ) said: Look for the night of Qadr in the odd night of the last ten nights of Ramadaan. (Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi). Hazrat Ayesha said: I asked the Holy Prophet (Pbuh): O Messenger of Allah! What should I do if I find out Shab-e-Qadr Prophet said: Recite this prayer: “O Allah! You are the Forgiver. If you like to forgive, forgive me.”

In order to increase our emaan (faith) we should increase knowledge of our deen (Religion). Undoubtedly, in the holy month, the chain of worship and austerities increases and we spend most of our time in recitation, dhikr. But the worship that is considered best and has high stature is acquiring right knowledge during Ramadan. So make this month the best opportunity to learn the essentials of religion.

We must realize that the moon of Ramadan does not come alone, it is accompanied by heaps of bliss and favors. May we as a whole Ummah know the value of this respectable month! The Prophet Muhmmad (pbuh) said: when the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the Heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained  (Sahih-Al Bukhari  Fasting book 30, hadith 9 Sahi Muslim the book of fasting).

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” — Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183

In order to receive the blessings of Ramadan, we have to increase the amount of our worship. Try to recite the Nawafil, besides all the Fard and Sunna prayers  in this blessed month as the characteristic of prayer is that it establishes our relationship with Allah as a result of which we attain nearness to Allah Almighty at all times. As in the hadith narrated from Hazrat Abu Hurayrah which states that a worshiper is closest to his Lord in prostration.

A believer must also 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 as the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during this time. The Prophet (Pbuh) used to recite the Qur’an with Hazrat jibraeel  (may God have mercy on him) in Ramadaan-(Bukhari Sharif 2/3, Hadith 2).

In the lives of all the religious luminaries, the recitiation of the Holy Qur’an was an essential part of their daily routine and it would be higest during the month of Ramadan. Traditions say that Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (may God have mercy on him) used to complete one recitation of Holy Qur’an during the day, one in night and one during the Taraweeh, respectively. The recitation of the Holy Qur’an was a common sight during Ramadan. Therefore, we also have to increase the amount of recitation in this blessed month as compared to normal days. The common man should also recite at least three verses daily, so that at least three verses of the Holy Qur’an are recited throughout the month.

In this blessed month, every believer must also consider that the Qur’an should be recited correctly and clearly in Taraweeh. Great care should be taken to recite Quran and hasty recitation that might go wrong in pronunciation etc is against the greatness of Almighty and the Holy Qur’an itself curses the reader.

It is also important to understand that the month of Ramadan is about breaking bad habits, not putting them on pause! Anyway, this is the month to attain piety, so as much prayer as possible should be arranged for yourself, your loved ones, relatives etc. Good prayers should be sought for the world of Islam, whole of Ummah and Allah Almighty will surely accept it. “O my lord , save us from all evil, guide us to the path of righteousness Aameen ”

The writer is working as Sr. Edp Head & Counsellor in DD Target and can be reached at  akhoon.aubaid@gmail.com.

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