by Imaam al-Haramain Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad Al-Qaasim
In the name of Allaah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Al-Jum‘ah, Ramadaan 5 , 1421 A.H. (December 8, 2000)
All praise is due to Allah Who made the succession of day and night a lesson for those who reflect. I thank him for his bountiful blessings and I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah. I equally testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his household and companions who are the people of righteousness and piety.
Dear brothers, fear Allaah as He should be feared, for whoever fears Him earns his protection and he who follows his desires is doomed. It should be known that physical and spiritual felicity can only be attained by subjecting ones heart and body to the worship of Allaah and that it is through worshipping Allaah in complete sincerity that this mundane world can be of no importance.
Dear brothers, it is a manifestation of Allaah’s mercy on His slaves that He ordained fasting for them in order to purify them from excessive tastes and to cleanse their hearts from lustful things. These days, Muslims all over the world are receiving the month of Ramadaan; leader of all months; the month of forgiveness, merits and gifts; the month that gladdens the hearts of righteous people. No wonder that a pious man said in his death bed giving a reason for his weeping:
“I am only weeping for the fact that people will continue to be fasting and performing prayers after my death while I will no longer be in a position to do likewise.”
Ramadaan is the month that contains the leader of all nights; a night that is better than a thousand months. Whoever spends the night in prayers with faith and hoping for Allaah’s reward will have all his past sins forgiven. The Prophet sallallahu 'alaihi wassalam said:
“When the month of Ramadaan enters, gates of Paradise are opened, gates of Hell are closed and devils are chained.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).
Dear brothers, whoever wants eternal prosperity should endeavor to worship Allaah and do good deeds sincerely. For, good deeds without sincere intention is of no use. Also, it is a glory for a believer to wake up in the night and perform prayers for, the best prayer after the obligatory ones are the prayers performed in the night. In fact, righteous people do compete with each other to make use of its darkness for doing acts of Ibaadah that bring them closer to Allaah and they loved this world only because of its nights. Aboo Sulaymaan Ad-Daaraanee said:
“By Allaah! If not because of waking up in the night and performing prayers, I would not have loved this world; for, the night is precious because of its darkness and performing the prayers during the night is one of the characteristics of righteous people.”
Al-Hasan Al-Basree said:
“Nobody abandons night prayers except that it is regarded as a punishment for a sin he has committed.”
You should also endeavor to supplicate to Allaah during the nights of this noble month because, supplication is the link between man and his Lord; it is an effortlessly clear profit and easy booty; it prevents calamities and brings forth Allaah’s treasures and bounties. By supplicating to Allaah during the night, He answers by granting the request generously for, His Hands never get tired of giving.
Dear Muslims, the Qur’aan is Allaah’s message to His servants and a light for the mankind.There is no way to Allaah’s pleasure except through it. It is revealed in the best of all months. The best way you can spend your time during this month is to recite the Qur’aan as frequently as possible. Read it, reflect on its meaning and work by its injunctions. This is because the Qur’aan contains admonitions and lessons that increase one’s humility and humbleness.
As regards charity, the Prophet was the most generous of all people and his generosity manifested most during the month of Ramadaan. Whenever he gave, he gave in plenty as if he had no fear of poverty. He would never be asked of anything except that he gave it unless if he did not have it.
Charity, dear brothers, has its positive effects on the giver. It causes blessings to his wealth and children, prevents calamities and brings forth bliss. Ramadaan is a month of charity. Spend out of your wealth for the poor and needy and be aware that avarice and stinginess does not keep the wealth for eternal just as charity does not decrease it. Ibnul-Qayyim said:
“Nothing brings Allaah’s blessings and prevents His punishment than obeying Him, moving closer to Him through acts of Ibaadah and being kind to His creatures.”
Therefore, spend in charity for, charity elevates one’s rank in front of Allaah and know that, man is going to stay under the shade of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.
Dear brothers, make good preparation for this honorable month because it is a transient visitor. Receive it with a sincere repentance and spend your time during the month is acts of obedience to your Lord.
Further, try to perform ‘Umrah during Ramadaan for, a ‘Umrah during Ramadaan is equivalent in reward to a Hajj performed with the Messenger of Allaah. Also, provide food for fasting Muslims for whoever does that gets an equivalent of their reward without causing any deduction to the reward of the fasting Muslims.
I‘tikaaf (seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allaah alone) is also a Sunnah that should be kept during the last ten days of Ramadaan. Ibn Shihaab said:
“It is a strange thing that Muslims should abandon I‘tikaaf while the Messenger of Allaah e never skipped it right from the time he entered Madeenah until his death.”
Use the period of this noble month to join the cord of kinship (by keeping good relations with your kith and kin). Also repent sincerely to Allaah as long as the door of repentance is still open. Be cautious of undesirable end because leaving this world is actually painful.