“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).” (2:184).
By the immense grace of Allah, we are again witnessing another blessed month of Ramadan. It is a month like no other month as it is the very special and blessed month of Allah, for Allah. From the moment that this exceptional month approaches us and welcomes us in its arms, the emotion becomes stronger and the heart becomes more sensitive. Every sincere Muslim waits impatiently for this great day.
They all ask: “Ramadan! When will you come? We need you so much!”
This impatience to welcome the month of Ramadan is found in the need for the believer to purify himself both physically and spiritually.
If a Muslim expresses himself with these words, certainly, he is undoubtedly aware of the true value of this month and the many benefits it contains. This is the month of blessing, whose beginning is mercy, the middle forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from hell-fire. It is a month which includes a night better than a thousand months and reward of good deeds is multiplied. The substance of the believer increases and favours coming from Allah the Exalted is constantly bestowed upon him. This is the month of endurance and forgiveness. And the reward of endurance is paradise.
When the servant realizes all that, his heart softens and his chest is opened to the acceptation of the truth. Thus, submission becomes his priority throughout this intense month of blessings.
Is the time not ripe for the Muslim to make manifest his joy, appreciation and gratitude to Allah the Exalted who kept him alive until the arrival of Ramadan? Every Muslim is recommended to welcome this month with repentance and with the preparation to fast and to spend his nights in prayer with good intention and strong determination. Is there a goal better than this?
Meditate on the following words of Allah:
“Say: ‘In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy - therein let them rejoice.’ That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.” (Yunus, 10: 59)
Ramadan has come to you! It is a month of blessing because Allah the Exalted envelops you with peace and sends down mercy. He unloads the believer of his sins and He fulfils his demands. Allah the Exalted watches you compete ardently for this purpose and He praises you with His angels. Show Allah the best of yourself, because he is very unfortunate one who is deprived of the mercy of Allah, The Mighty and Majestic! The opportunity is being given to you to turn over a new page and start to live for the cause of Allah, and showing Him all the love which you have for Him.
The coming of the blessed month undoubtedly intensifies the faith of all Muslims. That faith which unites us and which exhorts fraternity. During this month we must all adhere to the same law, that is, to refrain from eating or drinking and from sexual relations at the onset of dawn until sunset. The rich refrains just like the poor, the worker as well as the student and the youths as well as the older ones. Brotherhood is well and truly present. It usually manifests itself in the sharing of meal for the breaking the fast at the mosque, with family or neighbours.
We all wait for this moment when we can share our experience of Ramadan, because really, Ramadan is us first. If we want a part of this brotherhood, we’ll have to make the first move. It is for us to take the lead in spreading good and strengthening ties.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” (Bukhari).
Ramadan certainly generates this sense of unity! Ramadan develops and amplifies human relations through the support of each other and mutual assistance. Generosity is at its height. The individual (believer) does not hesitate to spend because he finds himself in the same position as the deprived, living this situation of hunger and poverty. He may therefore see them with more compassionate eyes and be more generous to them. Generosity is expressed in many ways; each gives what he can, and he who is generous to the servants of Allah the Exalted, Allah the Exalted will be generous to him. The best generosity is to remain helpful to the servants of Allah and help them in the best ways (within one’s capacity). This includes feeding the hungry, taking care of the needs of others and helping the poor.
Ibn Abbas reported that “the Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous man, and he was even more generous during the month of Ramadan when the angel Gabriel came to meet him.” (Bukhari)
Another major benefit of Ramadan is in the beautification of family relationships. It is sad to note that today responsibilities towards the family lose their importance in the face of technological advents of information and communications such as access to the internet, video games or the boom of social networks. Ramadan gives family members who, alas, do not meet to spend some time together the opportunity to meet during Suhoor, that is, the meal which we take before starting the fast. This leads to unity in the family. A united family strengthens the virtuous individual, and helps build a healthy home, which is the main factor and essential to the foundation of a good society.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Muslims are like the foundations (of a building), strengthening and supporting each other.” (Bukhari).
Ramadan shows us that this is indeed the case. However, often the departure of Ramadan also leads to the departure of these values. Many return to their selfish life where they are the only protagonists. How is it that man can change so much? Are we at the end of the day so weak in the face of the schemes of satan and his army?
ADVICES FOR THE FASTERS
For fasting to bear its fruit, the faster must strictly observe the rules prescribed on the subject. The following advices will help the faster to fast in a suitable manner which shall purify him and draw him closer to his Lord:
§ Take account of your good intention, because no action is accepted without intention. In this regard, you can make your intention before the appearance of dawn.
§ Take account of the termination of the time of Sehri because many Muslims continue to eat even after the onset of dawn. They claim that the timetables published in calendars or pamphlets are false.
§ Likewise, the faster must wait for sunset to break his fast (Iftar). That is to say, the sun’s circumference should disappear below the horizon.
§ Spend most of your time in good works like reading the Quran, doing Zikr, reading du’as, performing the Salat-ul-Tahajjud and Salat-ul-Taraweeh, doing charity, etc.
§ Keep clear of all prohibited commandments of Allah the Exalted that have a detrimental effect on fasting, such as backbiting (ghibah), slander (attacking someone’s honour), gossiping, etc.
§ Do not listen to music; do not watch soap operas or movies even after Iftar. Do not waste time with football matches on TV.
§ Do not take too much time making your purchases in stores or supermarkets.
§ Do not waste your valuable time, playing dominoes, or cards, or billiards or bowling etc. with the intention to kill time because Ramadan was not prescribed for all this.
§ Try to maintain your balance by doing good works throughout Ramadan. Beware of the attacks of Satan. Do not give up the fight halfway and do not lose courage. Because all this is an intense workout for you to obtain the favour of the Lord Almighty for the rest of your life.
§ Keep a check on your passion for this is your biggest enemy, and controlling it is a great Jihad.
§ Keep a check on your food intake during Sehri and Iftar. Be very moderate, as it plays an important role in your spirituality.
§ Keep your energy for the end of Ramadan, for the last ten nights hold great value. You need to seek at all costs the Night of Destiny (Laila-tul-Qadr).
By the grace of Allah, I can humbly say that all my followers and truth seekers who have recognized me as the Messenger of Allah, the Reviver of faith of this era already enjoy an exceptional moment in their lives, because they are already living an exceptional Laila-tul-Qadr which only appears during the coming of a Messenger of Allah. Blessed are those who have not rejected me and whom Allah has approved of and blessed by their membership in the Divine Manifestation of this century. And joyful are those among the Muslims of the world who fight their egos and satanic impulses constantly to serve the religion of Allah in the right way. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of majesty and munificence. Ramadan Mubarak!
- Friday Sermon of 19 June 2015 ~(02 Ramadan 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.