The blessed month of Ramadan is a Muslim’s recurring opportunity for spiritual enhancement and soul redemption. It is also an annual exercise in self-control and self-restraint, but above all, it is a physical manifestation of our total submission and obedience to Allah. Because of this submission and obeying of His order, the Muslim fasts, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse during the days of Ramadan, this is the physical aspect of fasting. By nightfall, the spiritual aspects take over, because while eating, drinking, and sex are permitted during nighttime, the Muslim then engages in prayers that take him/her deep into the night. It is a well-balanced programme that lifts the spirit, strengthens the resolve, and asserts Tawheed as no other act of worship can.
The conduct of our Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companions may Allah be pleased with them in Ramadan differs a lot from the way Muslims do today. They dedicated their days and nights for worship. Their lives revolved completely around the book of Allah, the Qur’an. Reciting it in and out of prayers. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to review the whole Qur’an with Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) once every Ramadan. Imaam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated: “Jibreel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, once a year (in Ramadan) but he repeated it with him twice in the year he died.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to stay in I’tikaaf (seclusion in the Masjid for the purpose of worship) for 10 days every year (during Ramadan) but in the year of his death, he stayed in I’tikaaf for 20 days.”
Manisfestation of Mercy
Ramadan is the month of mercy. This is manifested in the revelation of the Qur’an and the commission of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to the Prophethood during this blessed month, as Mercy from Allah. Allah, The Most Exalted, asserts this in numerous verses of the Qur’an; such as (what means):
“And We have sent down to you the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” [Qur’an 16:89]
And (what means):
“So there has [now] come to you clear evidence from your Lord and a guidance and mercy.” [Qur’an 6:157]
And (what means):
“And We had certainly brought them a Book which We detailed by knowledge — as guidance and mercy to a people who believe.” [Qur’an 7:52]
And (what means):
“And We send down of the Qur’an, that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” [Qur’an 17:82]
And when Allah Almighty referred to the commission of our beloved Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, He said (what means): “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” [Qur’an 21:107].
Moreover, when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said describing himself and listing his attributes: “I am the Prophet of mercy.” [Al-Bukhari]
There is no question that our beloved Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, possessed the highest forms of moral and human attributes. Among human beings, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was the most generous, the most merciful, the most courageous, the ‘most’ and the ‘best’ of everything good in Islam, and as described by his wife ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, his morals were the Qur’an.
The question is: where does this leave us? Some people dismiss their shortcomings by saying: “I am not the Prophet”, but where does it say that you have to be a prophet to be merciful, or to be generous, or to be anything for that matter? Granted, that no one can be compared to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, or even hope to partially attain his high levels and standards, but that should not be an excuse for not following his example and striving to be the best Muslims that we can be.
There are many Prophetic narrations that refer to the deprivation of an individual from the very thing he deprives others from, or the rewards, in multiples, of that which he provides. Among these narrations are:
1. “Allah will not be Merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.” [Al-Bukhari]
2. “Allah does not bestow His mercy except on the merciful among His slaves.” [Al-Bukhari]
3. “Every good deed will be rewarded tenfold, up to seven hundred times, and Allaah multiplies to whomever he wills.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
4. “Allah Says: Spend, o son of Aadam and I shall spend upon you.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There is no better time to start making positive changes in our lives than this blessed month. In Ramadan, many good things occur: the rewards are multiplied, the devils are chained, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the gates of Paradise are opened. Every night of Ramadan, Allah redeems believers from the pains of Hellfire. It is the month of mercy, repentance, and charity. Use it or lose it!
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
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