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West London Islamic Centre & Jamia Masjid

Islamic Articles::Worship & Supplication

The Exalted Month of Ramadan

 

O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves.The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion. [Quran: Chapter 2, 183]

Aromatic foods, morning and evening meals with our familes or at the Masjid, congregatory taraweeh and night prayers, Radio Ramadans, feelings of brotherhood, talks and presentations. Brothers and sisters how fortunate we are to witness Insha'Allah another Ramadan.  

It is stated that the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) used to spend 6 months mourning the passing of Ramadan and 6 months in anticipation of its return. It is appropriate that every Muslim should receive this blessed month with repentance, sincerity, resoluteness and earnestness. We should make the intention to perform extra acts of devotion and worship therein, including the Night Prayer (qiyam), recitation of Quran, and giving abundant charity to the poor and needy.

On the authority of Anas (ra): The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), used to say the following when the month of Rajab began. 'Oh Allah! Bless us in Rajab and Sha`ban, and bring us, oh Allah, to Ramadan.' [Narrated by Tabarani and Ahmad]

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, ' Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.'  [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says, ' Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.'  [Narrated by Tabarani]

The preceding hadiths bring attention to readiness and preparation for receiving Ramadan. This is achieved by having a clear understanding of this month in one's mind, and greeting Ramadan with love and yearning. Also, one should have the determination and intention to perform good deeds and worship, and one should lay down a program to accomplish this in the days of the blessed month.

It is communally obligatory upon the Muslims to seek the crescent at the time of sunset on the 29th day of Sha`ban, and the 29th day of Ramadan, in order to verify the status of the start and end of their fasting. When seeing the crescent, it is sunnah for the Muslim to supplicate with the following supplication, which has been reported from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

On the authority of Talhah ibn `Ubaydullah (RA): when the Prophet (pbuh) saw the crescent, he used to say, ' Oh Allah! Cause it to appear over us with prosperity, faith (Iman), security and Islam. (Then to the moon:) My Lord and your Lord is Allah.' [Narrated by Tirmidhi]

The month of Ramadan has excellences over the other months, as is testified to by the Quran and Sunnah, and out of these we will bring to attention the following virtues:

1. It is the month of the Quran, with regards to revelation and study. 'The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran.'  [Quran, 2:185]. On the authority of Ibn `Abbas: Angel Gabriel used to meet the Prophet every night in Ramadan and used to study Quran with him.

2. It is the month of seclusion. Ibn `Umar said, 'The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to seclude himself for the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.

3. It is the month of generosity. Ibn `Abbas said, 'The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to be at his most generous in Ramadan.'

4. It is the month of standing (in voluntary night prayer). On the authority of Abu Hurayrah: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, 'Whoever stands (in voluntary night prayer) during Ramadan, with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.'

5. It is the month of the compulsory fast, because of Allah's saying, 'So, whoever among you witnesses the month should fast.' [Quran, 2:185] An error prevalent among people is to talk about Ramadan just as they talk about the obligation of fasting, as if Ramadan and fasting are synonymous, each carrying the meaning of the other and not anything more nor less. Yet, fasting is one of many acts of worship in Ramadan.

Many reports have been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explaining the distinction of Ramadan,

'Whoever fasted Ramadan with faith and in expectancy of reward, his previous sins are forgiven him.' [Bukhari and Muslim]

'When Ramadan comes, the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.' And in a narration from Nasai, the following words are added: 'and a caller calls out every night: 'Oh seeker of Good, draw near! Oh seeker of Evil, desist!'

Significantly brother and sisters remember that no good deeds will be accepted from one who does not pray – no zakah, no fasting, no Hajj or anything else.

Al-Bukhari narrated that Buraydah said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.'What is meant by 'his good deeds will be annulled' is that they will be rendered invalid and will be of no benefit to him. This hadeeth indicates that Allah will not accept any good deed from one who does not pray, so the one who does not pray will not benefit at all from his good deeds.

The hadith relays that there are two types of those who do not pray: those who do not pray at all, which annuls all their good deeds, and those who do not offer a particular prayer on a particular day, which annuls the good deeds of that day. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen from Saudia Arabia was asked about the ruling on the fasting of one who does not pray.He replied:

The fast of one who does not pray is not valid and is not accepted, because the one who does not pray is in a state of apostacy, because the Prophet (pbuh) said: 'Between a man and shirk and kufr stands his giving up the prayer.' Narrated by Muslim. And he (pbuh) said: 'The covenant that separates us from those who who do not believe is prayer' Narrated by al-Tirmidhi,

This is also the view of most of the Sahaabah, if not their consensus. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Shaqeeq (RA), who was one of the well-known Taabi’een, said: The companions of the Prophet (pbuh) did not think that omitting any action made a person disbelieve, except for prayer. Based on this, if a person fasts but he does not pray, then his fast is rejected and not accepted, and it will not avail him anything before Allah on the Day of Resurrection.

Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is the most important pillar after the Shahaadatayn (Testimony of Faith). It is an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn), and whoever does not do it because he denies that it is obligatory, or he does not do it because he is careless and lazy, falls into disbelief.

The scholarly opinion with regard to those who fast in Ramadan and pray in Ramadan only, is that they are trying to cheat and hoodwink Allah the Majestic, and unfortunate indeed are those who only acknowledge Allah in Ramadan. Their fasting is not valid if they do not pray at times other than Ramadan, unless they sincerely use this noble month to repent and mend their attachment to Salah (prayer). And Allah(swt) knows best.


'And remember your Lord by your tounge and within yourself, humbly and in awe, without loudness, by words in the morning and in the afternoon, and be not amongst those who are neglectful' [Al Quran 7:205]
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