The glad tidings this blessed month brings to us

THE PROPHET'S companion Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said:

By Abid Ishaq

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Published: Sat 8 Oct 2005, 10:13 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:48 PM

Now this is how Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, informed his Companions of Ramadan and it was not just a simple relaying of news either. Rather, the Prophet's intent was to give us (followers) the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year to let the fortunate avail mercy. So how unfortunate is the one who is deprived of the Lord's forgiveness and mercy in this blessed month of Ramadan?

Dear readers, the Muslims never feel more blessed than they do in Ramadan for the greatest favours and bounties that Allah bestows upon His servants are found in the profitable exertions of obedience and sincerity through self-denial and repentance. There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him.

It is obvious that the one who achieves true happiness is the one who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from acts of worship. Thus perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that is enough to save him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat.

Dear readers, fasting in Ramadan is in itself a magnificent bounty that is bestowed on the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it, the faithful servant returns to his Protector —from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from Him to turning towards Him, pleading and beseeching repentance!

It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the month of Ramadan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Quran, giving in charity and remembering Allah. Rather, to some people, it becomes a significant time to diversify their food and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins.

Some other people do not know Ramadan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying in congregation or at the stipulated times. Other people do not know Ramadan except as a significant time for conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying, selling, and spending most of their time in the market, consequently abandoning the mosques. And when they do pray with the people, they do so in such a hurried manner. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadan) have been changed.

Little wonder some of the Prophet's Companions used to say: 'Indeed Allah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadan as a competition for His believers in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.'

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