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Information about the month of Ramadan.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan / Ramadhaan / Ramazan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar, known as the ‘Hijri Calendar’ [Arabic language Hijri is the calendar of migration. It starts from the day the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) migrated from Makkah to Madinah]. Millions of Muslims across the world observe fast during the whole month of Ramadan as this is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture. 


The Arabic word ‘Ramad’ means heat or drought.  So Ramadan symbolizes abstinence from eating anything and drinking water from dawn till dusk.


As one of Islam’s five pillarsfasting in Ramadan was prescribed by Allah as an obligatory act for all those who are able to. Fasting, however, is more than just a simple act of worship. It has a holistic influence on our physical and mental states, offering benefit for both.


Visit our page on Ramadan 2020

Visit our Ramadan Calendar 2020


Month of Revelation of Quran:

Besides fasting, this month also significant for all the Muslims because Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) during this holy month. As Allah says in Quran:

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, 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 Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…”  (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185)


Fasting is Obligatory during this month:

In Arabic, the word ‘Sawm/Siyam’ (Fasting) means to abstain or refrain from something. It means to refrain from food, drink, sexual intercourse and all that which breaks the fast from dawn till dusk (sunset) with only intention to do so for obedience to Allah.


The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to Allah and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. Ramadan is a time to detach oneself from worldly pleasures and focus on one's inner self. It is seen as a way to physically and spiritually purify, refraining from habits such as smoking and caffeine etc. Muslims often donate to charities during the month and feed the hungry. Many spend more time at mosques during Ramadan and use their downtime to recite the Quran.


As Almighty Allah says in Quran:

“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 2:183)


Allah increases reward of Obligation by Seventy times:

Salmaan Farsi (R.A.) says that on the last day of Shabaan, Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) spoke us and said:

‘O People, there comes to you a great month now, a most blessed month, in which is a night greater in value and goodness than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah Has made fasting fardh (obligatory) by day and has made Sunnah the Taraweeh Salah by night. Whosoever wants to be close to Allah by doing any good deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time and whoever performs a fardh (obligation), shall be given the reward of seventy faraaidh (obligations) in any other time.’
This is indeed the month of patience and the reward for true patience is paradise (Jannah). It is the month of showing kindness to everyone. It is the month in which a true believer’s rizq (food, money, etc.) are increased. Whosoever feeds a fasting person in order to break the fast at iftaar (sunset), for him there shall be forgiveness of sins and freedom from the fire of Jahannam (hell) and he shall receive the same reward as the fasting person (whom he fed) without the fasting person losing any reward.

Thereupon, we said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), not all of us can afford to give a fasting person something to break his fast with.’ Prophet (S.A.W.) replied, ‘Allah gives the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast, just one date or a drink of water or a sip of milk.’                                                                                  (Ref: Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith No. 1887)


Prophet (S.A.W.) gave this lecture at the end of month of Shabaan because he (S.A.W.) wanted to show us the great importance of Ramadan so that we do not allow one second of this month to go to waste.  


From his Hadith, we learn that the command for ‘Taraweeh Salah’ too comes from Allah Himself. Besides this, in all the Hadiths where Prophet (S.A.W.) says, ‘I have made it Sunnah’ is to stress its importance. All the Scholars are agreed upon the fact that Taraweeh is Sunnah. 


The entire month of Ramadan is mercy from Allah and the entire month is also forgiveness and ransom from the Fire. None of these blessings is restricted to any one part of the month to the exclusion of any other part, and this is a reflection of the vastness of Allah’s mercy.


As narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.), The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 

“On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the Shayatin (Satan/Devil) are shackled, the Jinns are restrained, the gates of the Fires (Hell) are shut such that no gate among them would be opened. The gates of Paradise (Jannah) are opened such that no gate among them would be closed, and a caller calls: 'O seeker of the good; come near!' and 'O seeker of evil; stop! For there are those whom Allah frees from the Fire.' And that is every night” (Tirmidhi: 682)

According to the Hadith, during the blessed month of Ramadan, the doors of Paradise (i-e Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and kindness are opened) are specially opened and the doors of Hell (i-e punishment) are closed. This is also evident from the following Hadith:


As narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.), The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 

"Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari: 38)


Gifts of Ramadan from Allah:

As narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.), The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 

"Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire (Hell) and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose Hands my soul is' The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting." (Sahih Bukhari: 1904)

In the above Hadith, we are told that the smell from the mouth of the fasting person is more pleasing to Allah than the smell of musk (perfume). We all know that even a bad smell from a person, whom one loves truly and sincerely, is in itself attractive to the lover, who in this case is Allah Himself. What is shown is how close to Allah a fasting person is.


According to the Hadith, the reward of fasting will be given by Allah as fast is only for Allah. Allah knows best what will be the reward given by Him in the afterlife to a fasting person. Some scholars say that it means Allah Himself will ask a fasting person what is his/her wish and whatever he/she will ask for, Allah will grant him/her that wish. This shows how important and significant is the fasting of Ramadan. 


Allah will protect the fasting person from the fire of hell as Allah Has said in this Hadith Qudsi that Fasting is a shield from the fire and committing sins. And we all know that freedom from the fire of hell means Paradise (Jannah) which is ultimate goal of every Muslim. 


The month of Ramadan is also distinguished by Laylat ul Qadr (The night of Decree). This a blessed night in Ramadan and Laylat ul Qadr is better than thousand months. Allah says in Quran:

“Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Night of Decree). And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr (Night of 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).” (Surah Al-Qadr 97:1-3) 


The significance of the month of Ramadan and Laylat ul Qadr is also evident from many authentic Hadiths of our Prophet (S.A.W.). It was narrated that Anas bin Malik (R.A.) said:

‘“Ramadan began, and the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: “This month has come to you, and in it there is a night that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it is deprived of all goodness, and no one is deprived of its goodness except one who is truly deprived.’” (Ibn Majah:1644)

This blessed night is said to occur during the odd nights of the last last 10 days of Ramadan as the same is evident from the following Hadith.


Narrated by Aisha (R.A.), who said:

‘Messenger of Allah's (S.A.W.) said, Search for the Night of Qadr (Laylat ul Qadr) in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan”’. (Sahih Bukhari: 2017)

Another favour which Allah bestow upon His servants during Ramadan is that evil ‘Shayateen’ (devils/satan/demons) are chained, so evil is much less. One would have expected that because of the great desire for worship of Allah in the blessed month of Ramadan, the shayateen (devils) would try just as hard to the faithful away from the right path, so that much more evil would be committed. That is not the case. Instead we see so much less evil. How many drunkards do we see, who just because of the blessed month of Ramadan, do not drink any wine? How many other sinners we see giving up evil acts during the blessed month of Ramadan?


You may wonder that, when the devils are chained, how is it that we still see sins being committed, even though in lesser amounts? The reply is that all evil may not necessarily be caused by the evil shayateen. Having for eleven months lived in obedience to the wishes of the shayateen, the doing of evil actions caused by them becomes a habit and so evil is being done in Ramadan and also out of Ramadan. For this reason, we find those who normally commit sins continue to do some of it in Ramadan. Thus, even though shayateen have been chained, their effect on us has become so strong that we follow their ways from our own side even in Ramadan.  


Unfortunate People would not get forgiveness from Allah in Ramadan:

Fasting has not been prescribed by Allah for the purpose of being hungry and thirsty, rather Allah Has told us of the great wisdom behind the prescription of fasting, which is so that a person may attain piety and fear of Allah thereby. As Allah says in Quran: 

“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Piety means doing acts of obedience and worship, and abstaining from acts of disobedience and sin.


Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) told us that in many cases, people fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst. 


It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) that The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 

“There may be people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there may be those who pray qiyaam and get nothing from their qiyaam but a sleepless night.” (Ibn Majah: 1690)

 

Another Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.):

‘The Prophet (S.A.W.) ascended the minbar (a raised platform in the front area of a mosque, from which sermons or speeches are given) and said: “Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” He (S.A.W.) said: “Jibreel (A.S.) came to me and said: ‘If Ramadan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen. He said: ‘O Mohammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen. He said: ‘If you (S.A.W.) are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen.”

(Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, 3/188; classed as Sahih by Al-Shaykh Al-Albaani in Saheeh Al-Targheeb: 1679).


One of the persons described in the above Hadith is he who, even in the blessed month of Ramadhan, spends the days in sin and does not worry about his duties, thus he does not get forgiveness. Ramadhan is the month of Allah’s mercy and if even this month is spent carelessly, how can he expect to be forgiven for his sins? If he cannot gain Allah’s forgiveness in Ramadhan, when will he do so? The way to seek Allah’s pardon for his sins is to complete his duties in Ramadhan as ordered by Allah, such as fasting, offering Taraweeh Salaah, repentance and asking for Allah’s forgiveness for past sins through dua (supplications).


Supplication (Dua) of a Fasting Person is surely accepted by Allah:

Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reports that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said: 

“There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast. And, the supplication of one who has been wronged is raised by Allah up to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My Might I will help you (against the wrongdoer) even if it is after a while.’” (Ibn Majah: 1752)


There are many other duas for breaking the fast, but no special dua is fixed. This time (at breaking the fast) is a time when duas are accepted; ask and put all your needs before Allah and also remember all Muslims brothers and sister in your dua.


So Ramadan is a month of worship and contemplation. Every Muslim should prepare themselves to receive blessings from Allah during this month by standing in prayer, asking for Allah’s forgiveness, worship with sincere faith and hoping for Allah’s reward (in both worlds).


Click here to learn about Ramadan Duas

Click here for Ramadan Ashra Duas

Here you can also find our featured page of Ramadan.

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