Saturday, August 22, 2009

thinkin fast like Ramadan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

" The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 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]

Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

There’s always something special about Ramadan that I can’t quite put my finger on; a certain distinctness about it that really isn’t felt at any other time of the year. And I’m really not being politically correct here. In years past, I couldn’t wait until Ramadan ended, but over time, I’ve grown to feel an emptiness and a longing whenever the blessed month ended each year. I never feel that calmness and serenity at any other time of the year. When else have you gotten the same feeling at some other time of the year that you experience during Iftaar and Taraweeh prayers? So it’s gotta be SOMETHING.

Is it the shayateen being enchained?

You definitely experience something change once Ramadan begins. In my opinion, the significance is two-fold: 1) less temptation from their whisperings, 2) you realize your own shortcomings, and now have the opportunity to better yourself without their obstruction. A couple of points we really need to take advantage of.

Is it Lailatul Qadr?

If you do the math, 1000 months come out to roughly 83 years.1000/12 = 83.3(repeating). So the night of Lailat’ul-Qadr is better than 83 years (roughly) without a similar night. Factor in the fact that the current average life span is somewhere in the 60s-70’s and you start to see the value of this blessed night. Now I’ve heard that even 1000 months is just to indicate a lengthy period of time, but regardless, a single night being more important and special than 83 YEARS is pretty significant. It’s almost like an entire lifetime within a span of hours. I remember Br. Suleiman Jalloh doing the math with us in class, and then dropping another gem on us…Just like any other night, if you catch Isha and then Fajr in congregation, it’s as if you prayed the entire night….now imagine that on a night worth more than 1000 months…subhanAllah

Is it b/c this is the month in which the revelation of Scripture took place?And I’m not talking about just The Glorious Qur’an, but other scriptures as well. I just learned today, the Torah, the Zaboor, the Injeel were all revealed or started to be revealed during this month…I kid you not.

Is it because through fasting one attains Taqwa?

Is it because one gains a better understanding of what those less fortunate than us experience through fasting?

Is it the patience that one can gain by fasting?

Is it the inclination towards worship and dhikr while fasting, and restraining from haram, and/or the makrooh and halal while fasting?

What about the special status of fasting? As the reward, is with The Most Merciful.

What about the special gate of Ar-Rayyan through which those who fasted will enter Paradise?

…starting to get the picture about fasting?

By restraining ourselves from our appetites for food, water, marital relations, etc., one leans more towards his/her relationship with their Lord. The beautiful thing about fasting is unlike giving to charity or performing your prayers, other people do not know if you’re fasting or not. There’s less of a possibility for showing off. Controlling our carnal instincts allows us focus more on our spiritual state (even though what we’re abstaining from, may be Halal). So then the question I have to ask myself, and so do you: if we can abstain from the Halal, shouldn’t we make more of a concerted effort to abstain from the Haraam throughout the year? I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. I do not consider myself a role model. Many times, the same things I prohibit others from doing, I may fall into committing myself. But that shouldn’t stop me or anyone else who may feel similarly, from trying to better themselves inshAllah.

What about the constant recitation of the Qur’an?

Or what about standing for prayers throughout the night?

Did I mention that Allah SWT multiplies and increases His rewards during Ramadan?

Is it the possibility of having our sins wiped away?

Is it because the doors of Heaven are opened and the doors of Hell are closed?

…I hope I don’t have to keep going.

I don’t want to get into a lecture about doing this and doing that during Ramadan. That should be left to a more qualified person. I’m sure there are other aspects of Ramadan I either forgot to mention or don’t know about myself, but I just want us to realize some of these blessings, and make sure that we try to seize the opportunities presented to us inshAllah.

May all of us make the most out of this Ramadan, worshipping and making dhikr to the max, performing good deeds to the max, and growing spiritually to the max. Ameen. And may the Most Gracious shower His Blessings on us, forgive our sins, and keep us on The Straight Path. Ameen. May He save us from ourselves, from His Punishment, from the fire of Hell, and may He bless us to be amongst those who enter Jannat-al-Firdaus through His never ending Mercy. Ameen.

"Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire." - The Prophet (pbuh)[Ahmad, Saheeh]
If you have seen or heard any goodness in this message, that goodness comes from The Strong, The Firm, and you should be thankful to Him for that. If you see any weakness or shortcomings in this message, it is from my own weakness and shortcomings, and I ask The All-Powerful and the people to forgive me for that. Ameen.

Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.

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