The virtues and distinct features of Ramadan

The virtues and distinct features of Ramadan
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Allah has made the month of Ramadan a distinct one and attributed to it many virtues, such as: 

  • Allah made fasting it one of the pillars in Islam. Allah Says (what means): “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” [Quran 2:185]. Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Islam is based on five (pillars): testifying that none is worthy of being worshipped except Allah and that   Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger; performing the prayers; paying Zakah; fasting during the month of Ramadan; and performing Hajj to the House [of Allah (Ka`bah)].”[Al-Bukhari & Muslim] 
  • Allah revealed the Qur’aan during the month of Ramadan as in the abovementioned verse. 
  • Allah placed the night of Al-Qadr as one of the nights of this month, and this night is better in reward than the worship of one thousand months. Allah Says (what means): “Indeed, We sent it [i.e. the Quran] down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit [i.e. Gabriel] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is (Upon the believers) until the emergence of dawn.” [Quran 97:1-5] 
  • Allah made fasting it with full faith and in hope for the reward result in the forgiveness of all previously committed sins. Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan faithfully (out of sincere faith) and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
  • Allah opens the gates of Paradise and seals the gates of Hell. Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
  • Allah frees chosen slaves from Hell daily. Abu Umaamah may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah frees a number of people every night when it is time for breaking the fast (i.e. sunset).”(Ahmad) In another narration he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah frees a number of people every day and night (i.e. during the month of Ramadan) and each slave has a supplication that will be responded to”.
  • Fasting this month expiates ones sins so long as one refrains from committing the major great sins. Abu Umaamah may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The five (daily) prayers, and from one Jumu`ah prayer to the (next) Jumu`ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between their intervals; provided the major great sins are not committed”.[Muslim]
  • Fasting it followed by six days from the month of Shawwaal is counted like fasting the entire year. Abu Ayyoob, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “He who fasts in the month of Ramadan, then fasts for six days in the month of Shawwaal, it is as if he has fasted for the whole year.”[Muslim]
Performing ‘Umrah during this month is counted as the performance of Hajj in reward. Ibn `Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to one of the women from the Ansaar: “What prevented you from performing Hajj with us?”She said: “We only had two camels which we use to get water on and my husband and son went on one of them to Hajj and left me and the rest of the family the other one to get water with”Thereupon he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:“When Ramadan comes, go and perform ‘Umrah, as doing so is equivalent to performing Hajj” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). In another narration he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “it is equivalent to performing Hajj with me”

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