Preparing for Ramadan (III) – 17th May 2015
“Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Power) in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.”
In order to attain the promised reward from Allah our actions should be based upon belief with sincerity and hope.
We need to purify our hearts from the sicknesses so that Eeman can enter it.
One of the sicknesses of the heart is love of the Dunya.
Love of the Dunya is the head of every sin, which is shown when you prefer your desire and worldly gain, or a beloved’s desire over what Allah loves.
❖ It makes the person disobey Allah,
❖ It causes one to be displeased with what Allah has decreed for him,
❖It makes the person fight others for the Dunya.
❖ It turns the person into a hypocrite, as the person will do deeds for the sake of his own interest and not for Allah’s sake.
❖ It makes the person to believe that if Allah gives him worldly enjoyment (pleasures), he will be pleased with Him; and if He afflicts him or gives him contrary to what he likes, then he will be displeased with Allah.
We must check our hearts to see how pleased we are with Allah, especially when we are in distress.
If we claim that we are pleased, Allah will test us.
Surat Al-‘Ankabut Verse 1 to 2:
Alif, Lam, Meem
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
Do the people think that they will be left to say, “we believe” and they will not be tried?
One can purify the heart from all its sicknesses by knowing the reality of this worldly life, the Here-after and Allah whom we are going to meet.
It is out of Allah’s favor to His slaves that He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala enjoined upon them seasons of obedience, like Ramadhan, which are the means of increasing faith.
Increasing in knowledge about Allah and the articles of faith will increase our sincerity in performing the good deeds. We should learn the ahadeeth regarding this blessed month, in order to increase our Eeman, and receive Ramadhan with belief that will help us perform the deeds in a way pleasing to Allah.
The Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When the first night of the month of Ramadhan (comes), the devils and the defiant Jinn are bound in chains and all the gates of Hell are closed and none of them remain open, and all the gates of Paradise are opened and none of them remain closed, and every night a caller from heaven will announce, ’O seeker of goodness and virtue! Come forward;’ and ‘O evildoer! Halt (desist), and do not come forward;’ and a large number of sinners are released from Hell at the command of Allaah (i.e. decision of forgiveness and deliverance is taken for them), and all this takes place on every night of Ramadhan.”
[Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah)
GLAD TIDING No.1: THE DEVILS AND THE DEFIANT JINN WILL BE BOUND IN CHAINS
The Prophet (SallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “When the first night of the month of Ramadhan (comes), the devils and the defiant Jinn are bound in chains;“
This hadeeth mentions unseen matters that will happen on the first night of Ramadhan which we have to believe in with Certainty! The devils cannot harm you during Ramadhan.
Allah’s help has come to help you perform the acts of worship. What remains is the evil self and human devils who make a lot of mischief in Ramadhan. Therefore, beware of them.
Devils are the main source of distraction of our hearts. They are spread everywhere in times other than Ramadhan.
Unfortunately, many of us do not feel the Shaytaan’s great enmity. Our Isti’aadha is so weak that it doesn’t repel him enough.
We have to strengthen our belief in the enmity of Shaytaan and free ourselves from this cold feeling towards him, in order to attain the true essence of Isti’aadhah (seeking refuge from him).
Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’ala) has warned us against Shaytaan in many verses.
In Surah-al-Ibraheem Verse 22:
وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.”
We should believe with certainty that this will happen.
Shaytaan may be unseen but his enmity should be clear to us by keeping in mind the clear verses about it.
GLAD TIDING No.2: THE GATES OF HELL ARE CLOSED AND GATES OF HEAVEN ARE OPENED
“All the gates of Hell are closed and none of them remain open, and all the gates of Paradise are opened and none of them remain closed;“
Before the first night of Ramadhan all the gates were open, but as soon as the first night of this blessed month appears, all the gates of Hell are closed. This is a golden opportunity for attaining the Mercy of Allah. You should take advantage of it by pushing yourself to do good deeds which will lead you to Paradise.
To be able to act upon this hadith, you must believe in Hell, its description and the description of its dwellers as Allah described in the Qur’an. You must also believe in Jannah and all the facts we read in Qur’an and Sunnah regarding it.
Since Hell and Paradise are unseen to us, we do not think of them in detail. Which is why we don’t fear Hell nor do we aspire for Jannah. Most of the people’s hearts are preoccupied with the matters of the Dunya.
The true believer’s prime concern is his status with Allah and how to attain Paradise.
Detailed knowledge about Hell and Paradise will motivate the person to avoid all what leads to Hell and encourage him to engage in all what leads him to Paradise.
GLAD TIDING No.3: RELEASE OF SINNERS FROM HELL BY ALLAH’S COMMAND
“And every night a caller from heaven will announce, ‘O Seeker of goodness and virtue! Come forward;’ and ‘O Evil doer! Desist (stop) and do not come forward;’ and large number of sinners are released from Hell at the Command of Allah, and all this takes place on every night of Ramadhan.“
Human souls naturally possess the love for good and the hatred towards evil. The caller from heaven calls us according to this nature; which means, come forward with good that is in you and stop the evil.
After knowing about Hell and Paradise in detail, the primary thing that one should hope for is attaining the release from Hell-Fire by Allah. So, every night during Ramadhan your concern should be whether or not you are one of those people who have been released from Hell-Fire.
Weak hope is the only reason why our time is wasted during Ramadhan.
We should always hope that Allah accepts our deeds from us, makes us among those whom He releases from Hell and among those who rejoice when they meet Him on the Day of Resurrection.