Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ramadan in Islamic History

Alhamdulillahil Rabbil Aalameen, all praises belong to Allah Almighty, Master of the Heavens and Earth. We shall welcome once again by the grace of Allah the blessed month of Ramadan and Insha-Allah Ramadan will begin around 16 or 17 May 2018.

O Believers, Ramadan is a sacred month in which Allah (swt) constantly tries His creation and gives humanity the opportunity to attain infinite joy. Fasting is a complete purification and a means to develop awareness and recognition of the presence of Allah, and find His manifestation everywhere. And fasting allows the fasting person (i.e. the faster) to acquire more Taqwa and in truth Taqwa is a protection against all the plans of Satan, and against the suffering in this world.

Allah (swt) informs us: And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. (At-Talaq 65: 3-4).

Many Muslims today have a bad conception of fasting and fasting activities. Fasters nowadays prefer to enter a state of semi-hibernation, and spend most of their time sleeping. If Muslims really fast for Allah and have a fear for their Creator, then they will certainly remain awakened to read the Holy Quran and when the time comes for prayer, they pray and remember Allah (through Zikrullah). But there are some who get up for prayer, but after that go to sleep again. This second sleep makes them become lazy, and then they lose the golden opportunity to purify themselves through spiritual activities and fully enjoy this blessed month. They lose this divine blessing.

Ramadan is a time of intense activity for the believer where he finds himself being rid of the constraints related to food. He is therefore free to do even more effort in the way Allah (swt), and give more time in meditation (Zikr), supererogatory prayers, and the reading in abundance of the Holy Quran. He can now control his ego, his passion (Nafs), become a wiser person, more humble and get away from all kinds of sins like spying on people and gossiping about them etc. On the contrary, they must seize this opportunity to get away from all disputes (useless discussions, quarrels, hatred, jealousy, and doubts). You must focus more on doing good deeds and asking Allah's forgiveness (Istigfaar) for all your sins so that the Creator forgives you of your sins and accept your fasts and acts of worship (Ibadat).

Ramadan in history

If you know the history of Islam and Ramadan in history, then you should know that our beloved Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh) lived close to nine Ramadan after the Hegira where every Ramadan was filled with very important decisions and showed us an example of sacrifice and submission to Allah (swt). 

In the first year of the Hijra, the Prophet (pbuh) sent Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib (ra) with thirty Muslim horsemen to Saif al Bahr to intercept an army of 300 Quraishs who were there. The Muslims were ready for a battle but this was stopped by Majdi ibn 'Amr Al-Juhani who was a person who had a cordial relationship with both parties, the Muslims, and the non-Muslims from the Quraish clan, and thus he acted like mediator between the two parties to prevent a battle. As for the hypocrites of Medina, they had built their own mosque (Al-Dirar) to break the unity of the Muslims. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) ordered his companions to destroy this mosque during the month of Ramadan.

The battle of Badr

On 17 Ramadan 3 AH, Allah the Exalted separated the truth from falsehood through the great battle of Badr. This war was made against a well-equipped army of non-Muslims from the Quraish, whose goal was the extermination of Islam. There were only 313 Muslims. But despite this difference in the number of fighters, and also despite the lack of equipment and weaknesses in the army of Islam, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came out victorious because the Muslims were armed with the will to defend their faith (Iman), protect the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) and also to join their Master, Allah the Exalted through their martyrdom. Allah (swt) gave them a decisive victory during Ramadan, a day that no one will forget in the history of Islam.

In the year 6 AH, Zaid ibn Harith (ra) was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of an expedition to confront Fatimah bint Rabiah, the most powerful woman in this region who had previously managed to attack a caravan led by Zaid (ra) and stole the property of Muslims. She was notorious for her hostility to Islam. During a battle in the month of Ramadan, the Muslims killed her.

Towards the end of Ramadan 8 AH, the treaty of Hudaibiyya was broken while the Muslim armies campaigned against the Byzantines in the north. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) felt the need to give a fatal blow to the non-belief that ruled in the Arabian Peninsula and eventually conquer Mecca. Allah (swt) has declared His sanctuary as a place of peace, security and religion. The time had come to cleanse the Ka’aba of nakedness and abominations. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was at the head of a very large army, in unimaginable numbers (never seen before in the history of Islam prior to the conquest of Mecca). Their strength grew as the (Muslim) army approached Mecca. The determination of the believers, guided by the will of Allah, was so great that Mecca was conquered without battle on the 20th of Ramadan. This is one of the most important dates in Islamic history because it was after this conquest that Islam became firmly anchored in the Peninsula. In that same month and year several statues of great idols like Al-Lat, Manat and Suwa and the other idols were destroyed, and all this happened during the month of Ramadan.

Our noble prophet (pbuh), despite all difficulties encountered, had during the month of Ramadan faced many trials and at the same time it was a moment of purification, to encourage good, and discourage evil and to fight for the life and well-being of everyone. In such a very difficult time when they were facing these trials, but despite that, they did not give up. They observed their fasting and accomplished their Ibadat, and they encouraged good, and discouraged evil, and they found time to perform all these noble deeds, without depriving themselves of other good deeds. Alhamdulillah.

The Sahaba (Companions) at the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were sincere believers who were not afraid of the threats of the infidels. They were kind and humble to the believers and their fasts were not only completed with hunger and thirst, but with all the honourable deeds they did during the month of Ramadan and beyond. It is with such sacrifices that they have succeeded. They struggled during this blessed month; they did not do the lazy ones, and did not take the way to the bed to sleep as a way to kill time. They never took Ramadan as a burden. No! They did nothing of the sort.

On the contrary they made all kinds of sacrifices and did what Allah commanded them to do in the month of Ramadan, and they also protected the perfect religion (Islam). They fought, gave their lives for the sake of Allah and His religion (Deen), and Alhamdulillah through such sacrifices Islam has spread to the four corners of the world and now it is our duty to preserve this true and great teaching of Islam....

---Extracts from the Friday Sermon of 11 May 2018 (24 Shabaan 1439 AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.