اَللّهُمَّ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان
Oh Allah, let us reach the month of Ramadan
Subhan’Allah it is almost that blessed time of the year. This year’s Ramadan will be radically different from previous Ramadan’s. A huge part of Ramadan revolves around the community and unfortunately this year communities around the world will find themselves quarantined due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. However, even though doors of the masajid may be closed, the doors of mercy and forgiveness are open. There are a number of virtues of Ramadan that we can be reminded of to hopefully make us feel better.
1. Allah (swt) has made Fasting in Ramadan the 4th Pillar of Islam
Allah (swt) has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says in Surah al-Baqarah,
“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…”
Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 285
In addition, narrations found in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim cite a hadith from Ibn Umar (ra) where the Prophet (saw) said, “Islam is built on five pillars, the testimony that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (swt), establishing prayer, paying zakah, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and Hajj to the House (Kabah).
2. Allah (swt) Revealed the Qur’an in Ramadan
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).”
Surah al-Qadr, Ayah 1
3. Allah (swt) has made Laylat al-Qadr in this Month. Laylat al-Qadr is Better than a Thousand Months.
“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 (Jibreel) 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”
Surah al-Qadr, Ayahs 1-5
Allah (swt) has blessed Ramadan with the greatest night, Laylat al-Qadr. To explain the status of this beautiful night, Surah al-Qadr was revealed, in addition to many hadith which describe the night. It is reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said,
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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.”
4. Allah (swt) has made Fasting in Ramadan and Spending its Night in Prayer out of Faith and in the Hope of Reward a means of Forgiveness of Sins
“Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (2014) and Sahih Muslim (760)
“Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (2008) and Sahih Muslim (174)
Muslims all over the world agree to the fact that it is Sunnah to pray qiyam at night in Ramadan. Qiyam in this sense is Taraweeh.
5. In Ramadan, Allah (swt) Opens the Gates of Jannah and Closes the Gates of Jahannam
In addition to opening the gates of Jannah and closing the gates of Jahannam, Allah swt also chains up the shayateen.
“When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (1898) and Sahih Muslim (1079)
6. Every Night, Allah (swt) has People who are Redeemed from the Hellfire
Imam Ahmad narrates from the hadith of Abu Umamah, that the Prophet (saw) said,
“At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems.”
7. Fasting in Ramadan is a way for Expiation of the Sins Committed Since the Previous Ramadan
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.”
Sahih Muslim (233)
8. Fasting in Ramadan and Shawwal is Equivalent to Fasting a Lifetime
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said,
“Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.”
Sahih Muslim (1164)
9. It is Sunnah to Observe I’tikaaf in Ramadan
This year, most people will probably observe i’tikaaf in their homes. I’tikaaf is the spiritual retreat for the purpose of worship, and it is Sunnah to observe it. The Prophet (saw) always used to do it as reported in the hadith of Aisha (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (swt) used to spend the last 10 days of Ramadan in i’tikaaf until he passed away.
10. It is Strongly Recommended to Study the Qur’an in Ramadan
With so much extra time this Ramadan, it would be a crime if we didn’t study the Qur’an more. This is the month of the Qur’an. It’s as simple as that. Studying the Qur’an can be done in a number of ways. We can recite it out loud. We can recite it to someone else. If we don’t understand Arabic, we need to make sure we follow along with a translation of tafsir that tells us what we’re reading.
This year’s Ramadan will truly be a test for the Ummah. Those with strong faith will continue to do the righteous deeds in their homes away from the crowds. However, those with questionable intentions may not reap the opportunities Allah (swt) has provided.
May Allah (swt) forgive us and may He re-open the masajid for His worshippers, ameen. And Allah (swt) knows best.