As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Warahmatu Allah Wabarakatuh,
Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
I pray that you and your families will find this Ramadan to be very rewarding – one of charity, good deeds, recitation of Qur’an, reflection, repentance, attainment of taqwa and Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, Ameen.
Once again, Allah’s favor has descended upon us as He has selected us to witness the month of Ramadan this year. We should welcome Ramadan with joy and happiness and thanking Allah for enabling us to reach it, for He has caused us to be among the living who compete in doing righteous deeds. Reaching Ramadan is a great blessing from Allah. Hence the Prophet (pbuh) used to give his companions the glad tidings of the arrival of Ramadan and explain its virtues, and the great reward that Allah has prepared for those who fast and who spend the night in prayer. It is prescribed for the Muslim to welcome this blessed month with sincere repentance and preparations to fast and pray qiyam, with a sound intention and sincere resolve.
Ramadan is the month of Allah and the best month in the year. Allah has chosen it to make fasting this month obligatory and the fourth pillar of Islam as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “lslam is built on five (pillars): testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadan and performing pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah).” Agreed upon.
Allah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, 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…” [Al-Baqarah 2:185]. Fasting during Ramadan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadan, so long as one avoids major sins.
It was proven in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” Fasting Ramadan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins, as was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, Muslim) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever fasts out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” Saheeh by al-Albaani.
Allah has people every night whom He redeems from the Fire. Imam Ahmad narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems.” Saheeh by al-Albaani. Fasting in Ramadan is equivalent to fasting ten months, as is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” Ahmad narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.”
The Qur’an was revealed in Ramadan “Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).” [al-Qadr 97:1]. In Ramadan, Allah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allah says: “Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) 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 [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn” [Al-Qadr 97:1-5]
Allah has blessed Ramadan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” Saheeh by al-Albaani.
Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” Narrated by Al-Bukhaari & Muslim. Allah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils, as is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari & Muslim), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
Performing ‘Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that lbn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to a woman among the Ansaar, “What kept you from doing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only had two camels that we used for bringing water.” So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water. He said, “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Um rah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj.” According to a report narrated by Muslim,” … is equivalent to doing Hajj with me.”
The best time to study the Qur’an, is Ramadan. You may study the Qur’an together by reciting it to someone else and by having someone else recite it to you. The evidence that this is mustahabb is the fact that Jibreel used to meet the Prophet (pbuh) every night in Ramadan and study the Qur’an with him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari & Muslim.
May Allah grant us all the health and towfeeq to fast this beautiful month of Ramadan; and to count us amongst those who shall inherit Jannatul Firdous Al-Alaa! May we all witness the Night of Al-Qadr in a state of perfect faith and full expectation of His Rewards and Mercy, Ameen ya Rabb! And Allah knows best.
Sheikh Hassan Aly
Imam & Religious Director
The Mecca Center
Confidential family and youth counseling is available with our Imam sheikh Hassan Aly. Anyone wishing to contact the Imam to discuss matters and get Islamic advice can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to setup an appointment or phone call at (630) 241-2000.