Dear brothers and sisters!
In preparing for this coming Ramadhân it is our obligation to reflect upon the message of the Prophet Muhammed s.a.w.s conveyed to his companions on the last day of Sha`ban: “O 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]
Several important points have been mentioned in this, one of the last messages, of the Prophet s.a.w.s.
The first one is the importance of Lailatul Qadr, which is described as the night better than a thousand months. The date of this highly valuable night is not known, but according to the verified traditions of the Prophet s.a.w.s., Muslims seek it among the last ten days of Ramadan. It is the wisdom and mercy of Allah s.w.t. to keep the uncertainty of this night, as to encourage the believers to increase and maintain their ibadât over the whole period of Ramadan and not to limit their attention to one night only.
The second point is the Prophet’s s.a.w.s. encouragement to perform obligatory prayers especially during this holy month, as their value is increased many-fold. Muslims throughout the world attempt not to miss a single prayer in their lives, as the obligatory prayers are mirrors of their imân or inner state of their belief in God. Ramadan is thus an excellent opportunity to reinforce their discipline in performing obligatory, but also supererogatory deeds – a discipline that will be retained during the consequent months after the holy month has ended. The month of Ramadan, therefore, can be compared to any particularly valuable season in which human endeavor yields an extraordinary quality whose blessed benefits can not be seen during other periods.
The beloved Messenger of Allah in this comprehensive hadith further underlines the social aspect of the month of Ramadan, during which a special attention is paid to the needy, poor and sick. The copious examples of the Prophet’s s.a.w.s. generosity to whomever extended his or her hand is widely known to Muslims. The books of Islamic history and the Prophet’s biography have recorded a highly respectable tradition that he was more generous during the holy month than the wind that brings rain. Nothing he was asked for but he would give it.
I hope that this hadith will be a herald of excitement for the members of our community, so that they dedicate their time, knowledge, energy and wealth in the coming month of Ramadan for their spiritual and physical wellbeing. May Allah s.w.t. accept our prayers, fasting and other ibadât. Ramadan Kareem.
Imam Hazim Fazlic
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