Asalam ul laykum rahmatullahi wabarakatihu, my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, and dear respected non-muslim viewers. Ramadan is the month of Sawm, but even more important the Month of Ramadan is the month of Quran. Is the most blessed month for mankind not only is it the start of the new Islamic Year. It is also the Month for asking of Forgiveness from Allah(God) (swt) and what ever that your heart desires:
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Quran 2:185)
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –“ (Quran 2:183)
The significance of Ramadan is so Great! to mankind that the Quran the Final Revelation to mankind was revealed on the night of Power, Laylat-ul-Qadr, which within the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
“Indeed We have revealed it (Qur’an) in the night of Power. And what will explain to you what the night of Power is? The night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein descends the Angels and the Spirit (Jibreel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: (they say) “Peace” (continuously) till the rise of Morning!” (Quran 97:1-5)
Even though Quran was revealed a bit at a time throughout 20 years of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prophethood, what Allah(God) (swt) is stating is that the very first verses of Quran were revealed on Laylat-ul-Qadr. The significance of this night is even greater. For as Allah(God) (swt) stated that “And What will explain to you the night of Power? The night of Power is better than a thousand months,” He the Almighty Lord of all the Worlds is telling us is that the Abadah(worship) that you do at this night, the blessing and rewards of it is better than a thousand months worth of fasting. Such is the Glory of Allah(God) (swt) that if you are lucky enough to take advantage of this night you will be saved from the Hell fire. Even though for a Muslim Jannah is Guarrenteed, the fact that we will still go to hell to pay for our sins to purify from our sins, this is the month(Ramadan) and the night(Laylat-ul-Qadr) to take advantage to be saved completely.
Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings from Allah(God) (swt) and us his Ummah(Nation) be upon him, spoke significantly of this Glorious Month.
Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah:
A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers.” He replied: “You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting.” He replied, “You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me.” Thus, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, “By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise). (Sahih al-Bukhari 1891)
Not only is Ramadan what gets us close to Allah(God) (swt), it is also the pillar of our iman(faith) without it we cannot be proper muslim.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1894)
Allah(God) (swt) is telling us that Sawm is a shield for our Iman(Faith) so we may gain Takwah(piouty). Allah(God) (swt) is also telling us that even though most forms of islamic worship, men do it for then our benefit to gain Jannah(paradise). However, the act of Islamic fasting, we are doing it for the sake of Allah(God) (swt) and he will multiply our good deeds on this month by 10 times. Alhamdulillah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1896)
‘Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.’ So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Raiyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity.” Abu Bakr said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes, and I hope you will be one of them.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1897)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened.”(Sahih al-Bukhari 1898)
The Significance is so great of Ramadan that whoever observes Sawm on this Sacred Month, If you are able to take advantage of it properly by Observing the Sawm and give charity, 2 gates of haven the gate of charity and gate of prayer will open for you on the day of judgement.
Also it is important to remember that those before us, the Christian and Jews used to fast. However, the most important thing that they did not take importance of was Takwah(piouty), without Takwah( piouty) you then lack the essence of Fasting for the sake of Allah(God) (swt).
How To Take Advantage of this Sacred Month:
What to restrain from, Dusk till Dawn:
- sexual acts
- eating any food and drinking, including water
- backbiting & Cussing
What To Do:
- wake up for sahoor
- Eat and drink then recite: وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتُ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ (Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri ramadan (I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan)) before Fadr Adhan. (Prophet Muhammad pbuh prescribed the best way to keep a balanced diet is by the capacity of your stomach of being 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid and 1/3 empty (Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah))