Ramadan is opportunity of a lifetime (PART 2)

Sources:

  • Translation of the lecture “Ramadan is an opportunity of a lifetime” by Dr. Nawal al-‘Eid
  • Saheeh at-Targheeb by al-Albaani
  • Riyadus-Saliheen by Daar-us-Salaam

Read the article:Ramadan is the opportunity of a life time” (part 1)

Third: Establishing the night with Qiyaam (Voluntary Prayers)

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night of Ramadan with voluntary prayer (i.e. Taraweeh or Qiyaam) with sincere faith and Ihtisaab [i.e. hoping for the reward from Allaah (Ta’ala)], all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Sincere faith means to believe in the promise of Allaah’s granting reward for establishing the night with prayers sincerely for His Sake only.

Ihtisaab is to hope for the reward from only Allaah (Ta’ala) and no one else. It is to hope for the forgiveness of past sins, to hope for attaining Allaah’s love for following the Sunnah of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), to hope for entering Paradise in peace, and so forth.

Abu Dhar al-Ghifaari  (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night prayer with the Imaam till he (the Imaam) finishes, it will be written for him the reward of establishing the whole night [with prayer].” [At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jamie’ no. 2417]

Allaah (Ta’ala) praises those who establish the night with prayers in Surat as-Sajdah (32:16) and witnesses for them the complete and perfect faith:

“Their sides forsake their beds, they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend.”

They forego sleep and the desire for resting on a comfortable bed in fear of Allaah’s punishment and in hope of His reward and mercy.

“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” [32:17]

Allaah (Ta’ala) will grant them the everlasting joy and delight in Paradise, a fitting reward which suits their deeds. Because they concealed their good deeds, Allaah conceals the reward for them which no eyes have seen and what has never crossed the mind of any man.

       The following Ahadeeth indicate the virtue of establishing the nights with Qiyaam:

1.    Sahl ibn Sa’ad  (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Jibreel came to me and told me: ‘O Muhammad, live as much as you wish, but (one day) you will die, and love whomever you wish, but (one day) you will leave him, and do whatever you wish, and you will be recompensed for it.’ Then Jibreel added, ‘O Muhammad, know that the honor of the believer is in offering the night prayer, and his respect and glory is in feeling self-sufficiency from the people (being free from wanting anything from the people).’” [Al-Silsilah as-Saheeha no. 831]

2.    Abu ad-Dardaa’ (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever goes to bed with the intention of getting up to offer the night prayer and then misses it and sleeps till morning, it will be written for him what he had intended, and his sleep will be as a Sadaqah (charity) for him from his Lord (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala).” [An-Nasaa’i and authenticated by al-Albaani]

3.    Abu Umamah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Exert your utmost to offer the night prayer because it is the way of the righteous predecessors before you. It brings you closer to your Lord, it expiates sins and prevents one from committing sins or evil deeds and it repels diseases from the body.” [At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani in al- Irwaa’]

4.    Abu Maalik al-Ash’ari (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “In Paradise there are rooms (lofty dwellings) whose outside can be seen from the inside, and whose inside can be seen from the outside. Allaah has prepared them (the lofty dwellings) for those who feed others, speak nicely, observe fast frequently, spread Salaam (greeting) and offer the night prayer while people are asleep.” [Ahmad and authenticated by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jamie’ no. 2119]

5.    Abu ad-Dardaa’ (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Three people are loved by Allaah, and He laughs for them and He grants them glad tidings. [The first is] a man who fights behind a group that flees and does so with his own soul for Allaah’s Sake, regardless of whether he is killed or he is supported by Allaah and made victorious. Allaah says: ‘Look at My slave who is patient with his life for My Sake.’ [The second is] the one who has a beautiful wife and a soft bed and he rises during the night. Allaah says: ‘He leaves his desire and remembers Me and if he wished he would sleep.’ [The third is] a person who is travelling with a group and they pass the night awake and then sleep, but he still observes his prayer in hardship or ease.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb no.1384 and authenticated by al-Albaani]

6.    ‘Aishah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) used to say: “Do not leave the night prayer because the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never left it and if he became sick or became tired he would pray while sitting.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb and authenticated by al-Albaani no. 632]

7.    ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night prayer and recites ten verses, will not be written down as one of the heedless, and whoever prays at night reciting 100 verses, will be written down as one of the sincere devotees (Al-Qaaniteen) and whoever prays at night reciting 1000 verses will be written down as one of Al-Muqantareen [i.e. those for whom is written a Qintar (a weight-measure equal to Mount Uhud) in reward].” [Abu Dawoud and authenticated by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah as-Saheeha no. 643]

Be keen to retire to bed while you are pure (perform Wudu’ to remove the state of minor impurity), because this will help one to get up for the night prayer.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever retires to bed at night while he is pure, an angel will stay in his Shi’aar [i.e. that what covers the body of garment, etc.] such that if the slave did not wake up during any hour of the night, he will say: ‘Oh Allaah! Forgive your slave so-and-so, for he slept in a state of ritual purity.” [Al-Silsilah as- Saheeha and authenticated by al-Albaani no. 2539]

Fourth: Remember Allaah Profusely

If you intend to change to a better person, then it is a must to change your tongue [i.e. your utterances]. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) often joins between good speech and good action, saying in Surat al-Ahzaab (33: 70-71):

“O you who have believed! Fear Allaah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will (then) amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins, and whoever obeys Allaah and his Messenger has certainly attained a great success.”

Some Virtues of remembering Allaah (Ta’ala)

1.    Allaah (Ta’ala) has promised forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise) for those who remember Him profusely.

“And the men and the women who remember Allaah much (with their hearts and tongues, while sitting, standing, lying, etc.), Allaah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).”  [Surat al-Ahzaab 33:35]

Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “Remembering Allaah is performed most of the time, such as in the morning and evening and after every obligatory prayer.”

Ibn as-Salaah said: “Whoever maintains the morning and evening supplication, the remembrance after the obligatory prayer and the remembrance said at the time of retiring to bed, will be considered of those men and women who remember Allaah much (often).” [Al-Lajnah Ad-Daa’imah Fatwa no. 19212]

The Shaytaan may remind one of his worldly affairs and make him get up after offering the obligatory prayer without remembering Allaah; similarly, at the time of retiring to bed, he (the Shaytaan) may overcome him and divert him from remembering Allaah. Therefore, we must be aware of this matter and strive against the Shaytaan.

2.    The remedy for heedlessness is remembering Allaah in the morning and evening.

Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-A’raaf (7:205):

“And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech in the mornings and in the evenings. And do not be among the heedless.”

Al-Bukhaari reported a Hadeeth which indicates the superiority of remembering Allaah (Ta’ala). Abu Musa (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The example of the one who remembers (glorifies the praises of) his Lord (Allaah) in comparison to the one who does not remember his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one.” [Al-Bukhaari, Kitab ad-Da’waat (invocations)]

3.    It is a means of hastening one’s entrance into Paradise.
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was walking on the road to Makkah when he passed by a mountain called Jumadaan. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “This is Jumadaan. The Mufarridoon have succeeded and gone ahead.” They said: “Who are the Mufarridoon?” He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Those who remember (and glorify) Allaah much.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
This indicates the hastiness in entering Paradise due to remembering Allaah more often.

4. The word “La ilaaha illa Allaah” opens the gates of Heaven. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When the slave says: ‘La ilaaha illa Allaah’ with sincerity, all the gates of Heaven will be opened for it till it reaches the Throne, as long as the person avoids the major sins.” [At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani no. 3590]

5.   If you want to be remembered at the Great Station
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The words to remember the Majesty of Allaah with are: Tasbeeh (Glorifying Allaah), and Tahleel (remembering the Oneness of Allaah) and Tahmeed (Praising Allaah). They revolve (circulate) around the Throne making a sound like that of the buzzing of the bees remembering (by the remembrance of) those who said them. Do you not want to be remembered by that which you remembered?“ [As-Silsilah as-Saheeha and authenticated by al-Albaani no. 3358]

6.  The best Dhikr is ‘La ilaaha illa Allaah.’
Abu Umamah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever is in terror of enduring the night (has difficulty offering the late night prayer) or is stingy about spending his wealth or who is fearful in fighting the enemy should frequently repeat: ‘Subhaan-Allaahi wa bihamdihi’ (Glory be to Allaah the Most Great and for Him is all praise). Verily, these words are more beloved to Allaah than spending one mountain of gold in charity.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb no. 1541 and authenticated by al-Albaani]

7. Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Take your protection (shield).“ The Sahabah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) said: “From an enemy?” He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, but from Hell-Fire; say, ‘Subhaan-Allaah (Glory be to Allaah), Al-Hamdulillaah (all praises are due to Allaah), wa ‘La ilaaha illa-Allaah’ (no deity worthy of worship except Allaah), wa Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is most Great).’ Verily, they will come on the Day of Resurrection as a protection and presenting forward (forth) (i.e. they will stand out), and they are the good deeds that last.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb no. 1567 and authenticated by al-Albaani]

Fifth: Giving Charity in the Month of Ramadan

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan than the fair winds [sent (by Allaah) with glad tidings (rain) (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds)]. [Reported by al-Bukhaari, Book of Revelation]

There are two kinds of charity:

1-    Financial charity
2-    Non-financial charity, such as removing harm from the path (way) of the people, smiling, helping a distressed person, fulfilling the need of people, etc.

Allaah (Ta’ala) tells us about the believing slaves in Surat Faatir (35:29-30):

“Verily those who recite the Book of Allaah (this Qur’an), and offer prayers perfectly, and spend (in charity) out of what We have granted them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full; and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily! He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to Appreciate (good deeds and to recompense).”

Spending in charity is a means of attaining multiple rewards from Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala).
When one gives in charity one should hope that Allaah (Ta’ala) accepts it from him and increases the reward for him as Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “If one gives in charity what equals one date-fruit from lawfully earned money – and Allaah accepts only the lawfully earned money – Allaah takes it in His Right (Hand) and then enlarges its reward for the person (who has given it) as any one of you brings up his baby horse, so much so that it becomes as big as a mountain.” [Al-Bukhaari]

It is a trade that saves one from the painful torment, as Allaah says in Surat as-Saff (61:10-11):

“O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a trade what will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allaah and His Messenger, and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allaah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but knew!”

This is better than the trade of this life and striving hard for it and amassing it. Allaah the Exalted says in (61:12), “He will forgive you your sins and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in ‘Adn (Eternal) Paradise; that is indeed the great success.”

Meaning, “If you fulfill what Allaah commanded you and guided you to, then He will forgive you your sins and admit you into the Gardens of Paradise. In them, you will have exalted residences and high positions.” [Ibn Katheer]

Then Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in verse (61:13):

“And also another (blessing) which you love, help from Allaah and a near victory. And give glad tidings to the believers.”

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Wudu’ is half of the Faith (Salaat), and Al-Hamdulillah fills the scale, and Subhaan-Allaah (Glorified is Allaah), Al-Hamdulillaah (Praise be to Allaah) fill up the space between the heavens and the earth. The prayer is a light, and charity is a proof (of one’s Faith) and patience is brightness and Qur’an is an argument either for you or against you.” [Muslim]

This Hadeeth indicates that Sadaqah (giving charity) is a proof of one’s faith.
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allaah the Exalted says: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, you will also be spent upon.’” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) will enhance the provision of such a man and grant him the best recompense.

Asma’ (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) said: “Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to me: ’Do not hold back; otherwise Allaah will withhold from you.’” [Agreed upon]
If we accumulate wealth in a miserly fashion and avoid spending it in the way of Allaah, He will also restrain the flow of His bounty to us. This Hadeeth warns us of the consequences of stinginess and miserliness.

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “(On the Day of Judgment) everyone will be under the shadow of his charity (that he has given in this life) until the matters are settled between the people (i.e. the Judgment starts).” [Saheeh al-Jamie no. 4510 and authenticated by al-Albaani]

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) also narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed, charity extinguishes the heat of the grave upon its people; and the believer will be in the shadow of his charity on the Day of Resurrection.” [As-Silsilah as-Saheeha no. 3484]

Anas ibn Maalik (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The beloved ones are three. One of them will say, ’I am with you [until you reach the gate of the King, then I will return and leave you behind, and that is your own family and tribe] following your funeral procession till you reach your grave, [then they will return and leave you].’ The second Khaleel (beloved one) says, ‘For (what remains for) you is what you have given in charity and whatever you withheld (did not give) is not for you,’ and that is your wealth. The third Khaleel (beloved one) will say, ‘I am with you wherever you enter or come out’ and that is your deed. The dead person will say, ‘You were the easiest of the three upon me.’“ [Saheeh at-Targheeb no. 919]

Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The slave says, ‘My wealth, my wealth.” Then he said: “(Whereas (in reality) you have nothing) except what you eat and finish, or what you wear and wear out, or what you give in Sadaqah (charity) [to those who deserve it] and acquire; other than these it is gone and was left for the people.” [Muslim]

It is important that one gives in charity in the month of Ramadan, either by sponsoring an orphan or by giving food to  the fasting people to break the fast, by sponsoring a Da’iah (one who invites to Islam), sponsoring a family, etc.

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Posted on June 10, 2016, in Ramadan, Sacred Months. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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