Seizing the Opportunities of Ramadan-I


Ramadan is the chance of a lifetime for a believing slave of Allah The Almighty. There are hundreds of opportunities in this month that can be utilized in an optimum manner so as to have the best result,  such that a believer will be pleased to see in his record of deeds.

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {On a Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.} [Quran 24:24]
Some of these great opportunities are:
1-    The opportunity to give:
This month gives us numerous opportunities for giving and being generous towards people, such as providing fasting people with food to break their fast, giving charity, teaching people, helping the destitute and distressed people, and so on. It is an opportunity for those involved in charitable work to urge people to give more and utilize the positivity of people.
2-    Opportunity to do good deeds:
Ramadan gives you a push, an impetus and incessant energy to do righteous deeds. In this month, you pray the Taraaweeh (voluntary supererogatory prayers) for the sake of Allah The Almighty and give charity. The companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to do Jihaad (armed struggle) in this month to make the word of Allah The Almighty superior. Thus, it is also a chance for the Mujaahids (soldiers) in all the occupied Muslim lands to invest their power in resisting the disbelievers and supporting Islam and Muslims.
3-    The opportunity of achieving self-discipline:
Whoever fasts the entire month of Ramadan, achieves a great training in discipline and obedience that gives him a spiritual push to perform good deeds and abandon procrastination and excuses which only lead to distress and grief.
4-    The opportunity to be organized:
Whoever ponders on this noble month will discover the need to be very organized so that a person sticks to a particular schedule because there are times specified for various acts, such as a time for fasting, breaking the fast, and so on. Accordingly, this will lead to better utilization of time by doing useful action. Hence, the person would try to organize his time to achieve his goals in the best way.
5-    Opportunity to make Da‘wah:
In this month, people have the desire to do all kinds of good deeds. Devils are chained in this month and hearts are more inclined to doing good deeds. Thus, this is your opportunity to make Da‘wah with your relatives, kindred, and neighbors. It is a good chance to spend one's time and resources in the field of Da‘wah to spread Islamic teachings among Muslims.
6-    Opportunity for social solidarity:
This month is a golden opportunity for being dutiful to parents, maintaining kinship ties, doing friends favors, fulfilling the right of the Ummah (Muslim nation) by supporting the poor and the needy and providing assistance to charitable societies through guiding them to the poor and needy who do not ask people to give them charity. In this month, the Muslim pays Zakah (obligatory charity) if its time is due, to be paid to its deserving recipients. People in this month empathize with and experience the feelings of the weak and poor people and do their best to support them. Hence, Allah The Almighty will give them the best reward.
7-    Opportunity to strengthen one’s will:
This noble month is a great chance for the seekers of goodness through which a person can cultivate resoluteness which helps them fast completely for the entire duration of Ramadan. Accordingly, the person can start putting an end to smoking, consuming drugs and alcohol and other harmful habits in this month, as well as other months. The person would also be able to control his desires and whims which prevent him from exercising his will-power and resoluteness. Shaykh Mustafa As-Sibaa‘i was right when he said, “Fasting is a manifestation of manhood and high resoluteness.”
8-    Regulating food intake and losing weight:
Ramadan is an opportunity to preserve one's health for those who would like to regulate their eating habits and try to decrease eating and drinking, which is  essentially for the benefit of the body, but becomes harmful when it exceeds the limits. Hence, this leads to harmful effects for the body and soul.
9-    Increase in the number of repenting people:
It is well-known that devils are chained in Ramadan, so it is a good chance to utilize the inclinations of the heart to perform worship and good deeds. There are large numbers of people who repent and stop committing sins and misdeeds. Thus, Ramadan is a chance for mentors to exert more effort in disciplining the souls which turn to worship and provide them with a program that strengthens their faith. Repentant hearts are full of goodness.
10-                       Rewarding the self:
There is a great chance in this month to reward or punish the self for its good or bad deeds. Therefore, ‘Eed comes as a reward for those who did well in this great month. On the other hand, those who do evil acts in this month, Allah The Almighty does not need them to abstain from their food or drink. During this month we can enjoin ourselves to do righteous deeds. If our souls rebel, we should discipline them by depriving them of their desires in order to help us obey Allah The Almighty.
11-                       Motivation:
This month motivates the believing souls and revives dormant energies in the souls to obey Allah The Almighty. In this month, the person is motivated to exert efforts against his own self. In a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration), the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that Allah The Almighty said: “He (the fasting person) abandons his food, drink and sexual desire for My Sake.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Moreover, every night some people will be freed from Hell because of their fasting and piety. This great motivation is a main reason behind fasting and offering voluntary night prayer. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and seeking the Reward of Allah, his past sins will be forgiven.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Is there a greater reward or motivation than this?
12-                       Being attached to mosques:
During this great month, we can accustom ourselves to becoming attached to mosques. Hence, we will be among the seven categories of people to be under the Shade[1] of Allah The Almighty on the Day of Judgment when there will be no shade but His. Waiting for the next prayer after finishing the current prayer is one of the reasons to be under the Shade of Allah The Almighty. A person will gain the virtue of staying in obedience to Allah The Almighty by waiting for the ‘Ishaa’ (night) Prayer, for example, after ending the Maghrib (sunset) Prayer. One can utilize this time by reciting the Quran, remembering Allah The Almighty and praying. One should observe I‘tikaaf (staying in seclusion) in the last ten days of Ramadan to be in seclusion with the Lord of the Worlds seeking His Guidance and hoping for His acceptance and an answer to his supplications for being saved from Hell and admitted to Paradise.
13-                       Asking for forgiveness in the hours before dawn:
Ramadan gives us the chance to ask for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty at a time during which most Muslims are negligent. It is the time preceding dawn because this is the time to have Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) before starting the fast at the break of dawn. This time is a great opportunity that must be seized by the believers to ask for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty at this time when Allah The Almighty descends[2] to the lower heaven. Among the characteristics of the believers mentioned in the Quran, Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
- {and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.} [Quran 3:17]
- {And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness.} [Quran 51:17]
14-                       Repentance in Ramadan:
The mercy and blessings of Allah The Almighty descend abundantly and Allah The Almighty frees many people from Hell in this month. Thus, it is a good chance for sinful and negligent people to turn over a new leaf with Allah The Almighty by sincerely repenting and abandoning sins and misdeeds. 

[1] We believe in the Attributes of Allah The Almighty that occur in the Quran and authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without distorting their wordings or meanings, nor denying, nor asking how, nor drawing resemblance between Allah The Almighty and any of His creation.
[2]We believe in the Attributes of Allah The Almighty that occur in the Quran and authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without distorting their wordings or meanings, nor denying, nor asking how, nor drawing resemblance between Allah The Almighty and any of His creation.

Monday 02/08/2010