So, the month of fasting, spirituality and the Qur’an has come to meet us once again. Many who were here last Ramadaan, are no longer with us to reap the fruits of this blessed month. We ask Allah to accept their good deeds and forgive them. My dear brothers and sisters, we have been supplicating Allah, saying, ‘Allahumma balighna Ramdaan,’ asking Him to allow us to live to see Ramadaan. We have been repeating this duaa, yet do we truly know why we so badly want to see Ramadaan? Do want Ramadaan, because we look forward to the Eid celebrations that follow? Or do we love Ramadaan due to the delicious meals, and delicacies that prepared in this month?
There is a hadith that captures the value of Ramadaan so clearly, and I would like to share it with you.
It was narrated from Talhah bin ‘Ubaidullah that two men from Bali came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). They had become Muslim together, but one of them used to strive harder than the other. The one who used to strive harder went out to fight and was martyred. The other one stayed for a year longer, then he passed away. Talhah said: “I saw in a dream that I was at the gate of Paradise and I saw them (those two men). Someone came out of Paradise and admitted the one who had died last, then he came out and admitted the one who had been martyred. Then he came back to me and said: ‘Go back, for your time has not yet come.’” The next morning, Talhah told the people of that and they were amazed. News of that reached the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and they told him the story. He said: “Why are you so amazed at that?” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, the first one was the one who strove harder, then he was martyred, but the other one was admitted to Paradise before him. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Did he not stay behind for a year?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “And did not Ramadan come and he fasted, and he offered such and such prayers during that year?” They said: “Yes.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The difference between them is greater than the difference between heaven and earth.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Sahih)
Witnessing one Ramadaan, and working through it made the one who died later, and who worked less than his companion, enter Jannah first! Not only this, it made the difference between the two men, greater than that between the heavens and earth, despite the fact that the man who died first was a martyr. And what is the status of a martyr?! As we know the souls of martyrs are in bodies of green birds flying round the throne of Allah in paradise wherever they please, and He (Glory be to Him) provides for them. To add to this the martyrs also have seven favours from Allah (as per the various Ahadith): he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed; he will be shown his place in Paradise; he will be spared the trial of the grave; and he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror (the Day of Judgement); there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it; he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn; and he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.” (Tirmidhi) Imagine my brothers and sisters, this is the honour of the Shaheed, this is his status, and yet a man who worked for one Ramadaan, was able to trump it. This is the blessing of Ramadaan if we use its limited days wisely.
Moving on; what are the rewards that await us in Ramadaan?
- Multiplication of Reward for all good deeds: The reward for any good deed is multiplied in quantity and quality. Meaning the number of rewards the deed yields is greater, as is the reward is made more abundant.
- The amount of reward of the fast is in the Hands of Allah: “Except for fasting which is only for My sake, and I will reward him for it. (Bukhari in Al-Fath, Saheeh al-Targheeb)
- Breaking the fast: Oh…we all look forward to hearing the athan of maghrib to begin eating! And I’m sure we all feel that the food is so rewarding and satisfying after the days fast!
- Meeting Allah: The Prophet is reported to have said, ‘The fasting person has two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast and one when he meets his Lord and rejoices over his fasting(Muslim)
- The reward of Hajj with the Prophet: It was narrated that the said: “Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent (in reward) to Hajj – or to Hajj with me.” (Bukahri and Muslim)
Al-Qaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “equivalent (in reward) to Hajj” means: it is equal in terms of reward. (Mirqaat al-Mafaatih)
- Forgiveness of all past sins:
-The Prophet said: “whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)
-It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
-Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
- Entrance into Jannah by the gate of Ar-Rayyan: “In Paradise there is a gate called Ar-Rayyaan, through those who fast will enter, and no one will enter it except them; when they have entered it will be locked, and no-one else will enter through it. (Bukhari)
- The acts of worship done on Layla-tul-Qadr are better than a thousand months:
-“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months” [Al-Qadr 97:3] That is, worship on that night is better than worshipping for a thousand months.
-Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah said: “There has come to you Ramadaan, 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.” (An-nasaa’i, Ahmad, Sahih by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb)
- Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins. The Prophet said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” (Muslim)
- Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months:
-From Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari, “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” (Muslim)
-The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.” (Ahmad)
- Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer: Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” (Abu Dawud and others, Sahih by al-Albaani in Salaatal-Taraaweeh)
- Same reward as the fasting person if you feed him: Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Sahih by al-Albaani)
- Duaa is answered: Abu Sa’eed said, the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah has people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadaan – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.” (Al-Bazzaar)
- The intercession of fasting in the grave and on the Day of Judgement: The Prophet said, “Fasting will intercede for a person on the Day of Judgement, and will say, “O Lord, I prevented him from his food and physical desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.”(Ahmad, Al-Haythami classed its isnaad as hasan in al-Majma’. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb)
- A protection against the hellfire: The Prophet is reported to have said, “Fasting is a protection and a strong fortress that keeps a person safe from the Fire.”(Ahmad, Saheeh al-Targheeb and Saheeh al-Jaami’)
- Spared seventy years distance from the hellfire: The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will remove his face seventy years’ distance from the Fire.” (Muslim)
- Being saved from the hellfire:
-There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted.” [Ahmad]
-Abu Umaamah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems from hell.” (Ahmad, Sahih by Al-Albaani)
- The reward of Paradise: The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts one day seeking the pleasure of Allah, if that is the last day of his life, he will enter Paradise.” (Ahmad; Saheeh al-Targheeb)
This is just a few of the many rewards that can be attained during Ramadaan. Allah’s mercy is vast and All-Encompassing, and so the rewards will be many more! We ask Allah to enable us to utilise this month in seeking His reward and pleasure, to shower us with His Mercy, to grant us forgiveness, to save us from the hellfire and to enter us into Jannah, and allow us to His Majestic Face. Ameen.