Alawiye Habeeb: Am Ready for Ramadan. Are you

“Believers! Fasting is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you, that you become God-fearing”. (Qur’an 2:183) As a child, Ramadan was the worst period of my existence. I used to wish it away, 30 days of no food, no cursing, no video games, no films, just gentlemanly behaviour and loads of prayers. That was not me. I am older and wiser now and know much better. Fasting is Almighty Allah’s injunction for ALL Muslims. The significance of the month of Ramadan cannot be over-emphasized, its virtues cannot be found in any other month. It is the month of forgiveness, blessings, acceptance of supplications, and multiplication of rewards among others. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) made us understand that, in Ramadan, the gates of hell fire are closed; the gates of paradise are opened, during this month all the evil spirits including Satan are tied down, this blessed month also include the night of power (Lailatul Quadri) that any of our Ibadah (worship), in it is better than that in a thousand month. It is the period to be introspective, to meditate and a time to worship Allah faithfully and fervently. Ramadan is the best of all months in my opinion. Here are 10 steps to maximize the benefits in this glorious month. As-siyam (fasting): As-siyam in the month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam and it is considered the basic part of worship in this month. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah (s.w.t) will have all of his previous sins forgiven (reported by: Bukhari). Another hadith reported by Muslim says; “when you see the crescent, begin fasting and when you see the crescent again, stop fasting. If the sky is overcast, then complete the month of Ramadan in thirty days”. As suhur wal iftar (Pre-Dawn and Break of Fast Meals):It was related that Anas Ibn Malik said that the Prophet (s.a.w) said; “Take your pre-dawn meal as there is blessings in it. The Messenger of Allah also said; “The people will remain on the right part as long as they hasten to break their fast” sodaqa Rosullu-l-kareem. Tilawatul Qur’an (Reading the Holy Qur’an): The revelations’ of the holy Qur’an started during the month of Ramadan. Allah said in (Suratul Baqarah verse 185) “During the month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance to the people with Clear Signs of the true guidance and as the Criterion (between right and wrong). So those of you who live to see that month should fast it”. It is much rewarding to read as much as possible in this month because all acts of ibadah done shall be rewarded in 70 folds by Allah. The Qur'an can be divided to portions like 20 pages a day for easier completion of one whole Qur’an in the month. Qiyamullail (Vigil): It is a recommendation that Muslims should always wake up at a part of the night especially the later part of the night to observe prayer, this in (Suratul Muzzamil verses 2-5) says “Stand up in Prayer by night, all but a small part of it; half of it, or reduce it a little; or add to it a little; and recite the Qur’an slowly and distinctly” It was related that Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says: “when the last ten nights of Ramadan commenced The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) remained awake at night, he wake his family up and prepared to offer prayer (reported by Muslim). It is important to note that Solatul Tarawih is also included in Qiyamullail. Abstaining from indecent acts and unnecessary talk - The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said; “When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, I am fasting” (reported by Bukhari). Sadaqah (Giving charity) - The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said; “The best sadaqah is the sadaqah of Ramadan (reported by Tirmidhi) It is also narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “whoever helps in breaking the fast of the one who is fasting will get his reward without reducing any part of the reward of the one who is fasting. Umrah (pilgrimage) - Ramadan is the best time to perform Umrah, which is a lesser Hajj. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj (collected by Ibn Majah). Itikaf (especially during the last ten days of Ramadan) - It was related that Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (alei salaam) said; “The prophet (s.a.w) used to go into retreat for the last ten days of Ramadan until his death, thereafter, his wives used to go into retreat (reported by Muslim). Dua’u, Az khar and Istigfar (excess supplication, Remembrance of Allah and asking for His forgiveness): - The period of Ramadan is the best period for Istijaabah, multiple rewards and forgiveness. Therefore, Muslims should increase in asking for Allah’s mercy, blessing and forgiveness especially during the Sahur and before Iftar. Almighty Allah says in suratul Baqarah after the verse that mention the month of Ramadan “When my servants asks you (O Muhammed) concerning me, then (answer them) I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicants when he calls on me, so let them listen to My call and believe in Me; so that they may be led aright” (Qur’an 2:186) In conclusion, the ultimate goal of the month of fasting (Ramadan) is to develop taqwa (consciousness of Allah) in people. The way to taqwa is through obedience of Allah, avoiding disobedience and striving to stay away from doubtful matters. “O believers, fasting is an obligation upon you as it was ordained upon the (Muslim nation) before you to help you become pious” (Qur’an 2:183). May Almighty Allah count us among those that will have the full benefit of this Ramadan and have our Iman (faith) increase by it, bijaahi Rosullu Allah. RAMADHAN KAREEM.

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