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Preparing for Ramadan (Part 5)

One of the things that will increase our faith before we enter the month of Ramadan is to study the Ahadeeth that are particular to this blessed month.

In one such Hadeeth the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إذا جاء رضان فتحت أبواب الجنة، وغلقت أبواب النار، وصفدت الشياطين

When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah (Paradise) are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Explanation of the Hadeeth:

As the sun sets on the last day of Sha’ban, the gates of Paradise are opened. The scholars say that the gates of Paradise will actually be opened and the gates of Hellfire will actually be closed; a true opening and closing. It is required from Muslims to believe that the gates of Paradise will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed.

Some scholars like Al-Baaji said that the opening of the gates of Paradise means abundant forgiveness, elevation in ranks, and the giving of abundant reward; while As-Suyooti, when explaining Sunan an-Nasaa’i said: “The gates of mercy are opened. This most probably refers to Allah opening the acts of obedience for His servants which are a means of entering Paradise. The closing of the gates of Hell means the diverting of intentions from committing sins which lead people to Hell.” [End quote]

All these interpretations are correct.   Read the rest of this entry

Preparing for Ramadan – Heart & Soul (Part 4)

One of the greatest blessings of Allah upon us is that Allah teaches us about His Noble Self. He chooses from among His servants and teaches them about Himself.

Sha’ban is the month in which the deeds are raised to Allah, and a month in which the Prophet (ﷺ) used to fast.

عن أبي موسى الأشعري عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” إن الله ليطلع في ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن

It was narrated from bu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’ban and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbors hatred against the Muslims.” [Ibn Maajah, 1390]

مشرك Mushrik = The one who associates partners with Allah in worship 

مشاحن Mushahin = The one who holds grudges in his heart

If we believe with certainty that this happens, then it should motivate us to take action. This is a warning for us to clear our hearts of hatred, malice, and grudges against other Muslims.
Read the rest of this entry

Preparing for Ramadan – Heart & Soul (Part 3)

We praise Allah abundantly for allowing us to reach the month of Sha’ban; a month which most people do not pay attention to.

عن أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمْ أَرَكَ تَصُومُ شَهْرًا مِنَ الشُّهُورِ مَا تَصُومُ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ “‏ ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ ‏”‏ ‏

Usamah bin Zaid (Radia-Allahu ‘anhu) said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Sha’ban.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.“‘ [An-Nasaa’i]

Because the month of Sha’ban falls between the month of Rajab (which is a sacred month) and the month of Ramadan (which is a great month of fasting), people are occupied with these two months and neglect Sha’ban. Read the rest of this entry

Preparing for Ramadan – Heart & Soul (Part 2)

One of the greatest blessings of the gatherings of remembrance of Allah is that the Angels look for them. When they find such gatherings, they come and sit with its people. And when the gatherings have concluded, it will be said to those people, “Get up while your sins are forgiven.”

This only happens in the gatherings of religious knowledge.

Allah swore in the Qur’an, in Surat Ibrahim [14:7], that if you are grateful, He will increase you:

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” Read the rest of this entry

Preparing for Ramadan – Heart & Soul (Part 1)

Some of the Salaf said that the month of Rajab is for sowing the seeds of Imaan and Sha’ban is the month for irrigating the crops, while Ramadan is the month for reaping the harvest of Imaan.

We need to sow the seeds of faith now, before and whilst we are in the month of Rajab. When one increases his faith, his certainty increases, and accordingly his actions will increase. Sha’ban is the month of action. We will not be able to take action unless we have strong faith. We need to increase in faith then act upon our faith in these months, so that we can attain the fruits when Ramadan enters upon us. This means that we will enjoy the acts of worship, Allah will make it easy for us and we will get the reward which Allah has promised. But we have to prepare ourselves in advance, before we enter the month of Ramadan. Read the rest of this entry