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Allah Glorified and Exalted has characterized Ramadan with special traits and shiny virtues. He has made it the month of belief and piety, the month of the criterion (between right and wrong) and guidance. The rewards of deeds are multiplied. The degrees of the fasters are increased in this world and in the Hereafter.

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All praise and thanks be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evils inside us, and from the evils we commit, those whom Allah guides are not misled by others, and those who are misled by Allah have no other to guide them, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

 
Allah Glorified and Exalted has characterized Ramadan with special traits and shiny virtues. He has made it the month of belief and piety, the month of the criterion (between right and wrong) and guidance. The rewards of deeds are multiplied. The degrees of the fasters are increased in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah Almighty has said: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]
 
{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ...} البقرة: 185
 
Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani
 
Blessed is this who fasts it out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off). Blessed is he who escapes from fire by it; in the morning, he is among those who remember Allah; in the night, he is among the thankful worshippers. He is patient and hopes of reward for his hunger and thirst. The Messenger of Allah, Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: “whoever observe fasting in Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Agreed upon]
 
«من صام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» متفق عليه
 
So, what were the conditions of the ancestors in Ramadan?
 
 
Ramadan is the month of worshipping and repentance
 
Dear brother: there is no doubt that worshipping Allah is the utmost goal of any Muslim in this life. Worshipping Allah Almighty includes all the outward and inward deeds and words that please Allah Exalted and Glorified. Therefore, it is a continuous goal that lasts as long as the life of a Muslim lasts. However, such goal is more sought in a month of noble traits, which has many advantages and great virtues. Allah has revealed the Quran in it, and He has spread the gifts of repentance and multiplied good-will. Allah Almighty has said: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’ân,} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]
 
{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ} البقرة: 185
 
Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu
 
He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him has said, “The scriptures of Abraham were revealed on the first day of Ramadan, Torah (the Old Testament) was revealed on the sixth of Ramadan, the Bible (the New Testament) was revealed on the thirteenth of Ramadan, and the Quran was revealed on the twenty fourth of Ramadan.” [Declared good by Al-Albani]
 
«أنزلت صحف إبراهيم أول ليلة من شهر رمضان، و أنزلت التوراة لست مضت من رمضان، و أنزل الإنجيل بثلاث عشرة مضت من رمضان، و أنزل الزبور لثمان عشرة خلت من رمضان، وأنزل القرآن لأربع وعشرين خلت من رمضان» حسنه الألباني
 
Ramadan is a consolation for each sinner, remembrance for each negligent, cultivation for each ignorant and arousal of the interest of each doer. O you who have transgressed against yourselves by sins, followed your own desires, committed mistakes and gone astray on your days, the Generous has bestowed upon you with a generous month in which you can renew your faith, eradicate your acts of disobedience, push the consequences of sins away and come back to Allah in repentance!
 
Brother, remember that your achieving to this month is a great blessing and a generous grant. It is a chance and advantage!
 
In it, rewards and devotions are multiplied, gates of paradises are opened, the fasters’ prayers are accepted, the previous sins of this who fasts it out of sincere faith and hoping to attain the reward of Allah are expiated!
 
Make, brother, Ramadan as the month of worshipping, a guide for happiness, goodness and increasing.
 
Allah Almighty has said, {And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.} [Surat An-Nûr 24:31]
 
{...وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ} النور: 31
 
Transliteration: watooboo ila Allahi jameeAAan ayyuha almuminoona laAAallakum tuflihoona
 
If Allah Glorified and Exalted has called for repentance for success at each time, the best and most flourish times of repentance are in the gracious month of Ramadan due to the gifts, virtues and traits given by Allah that show its blessing and great status.
 
As-Sirry As-Saqaty said, “A year is a tree, months are its branches, days are its twigs, hours are its leaves, and people’s breaths are its fruits. The month of Rajab is the days of its foliation, the month of Sha’aban is the days of its branching, and the month of Ramadan is the days of its reaping. And the believers are the ones who reap its fruits”.
 
Brother, if the dead were given a gate for hopes, they will wish to live for a day in Ramadan: to be hungry for the sake of Allah, to be thirsty for the sake of Allah, to spend the day reciting the Quran, increasing the belief and asking for forgiveness. They will stay in the night worshipping, praying, crying, supplicating and asking to be rescued from fire.
 
Brother, here you are; alive and healthy and you have achieved Ramadan. You, however, forget it. Have you forgotten its virtues? Have you ignored its traits? Have you guaranteed forgiveness, so you have not aroused your belief upon achieving Ramadan?
 
Ponder, may Allah protect you, on such a great month, and remember the day in which you will be buried in the grave.
 
Say, o soul help me by being patient for one hour
It is only one hour then it passes
Upon meeting toil vanishes
And the sad becomes happy
 
Remember that there are manumitted persons from fire daily in Ramadan and that each Muslim has an accepted invocation.
 
Remember that in Ramadan there is the Night of Decree which is better than one thousand month. Allah Almighty has said, {The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).} [Surat Al-Qadr 97:3]
 
{لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ} القدر: 3
  
Transliteration: Laylatu alqadri khayrun min alfi shahrin
 
Remember that: “whoever observe fasting in Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven, and that whoever establishes prayers during the nights 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.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«من صام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غُفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه، ومن قام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» رواه البخاري ومسلم
 
Remember that by the beginning of Ramadan the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and devils are chained.
 
And remember that Allah Glorified and Exalted says: ‘‘All the deeds of adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for me, and I will give the reward for it.” [Agreed upon]
 
«كل عمل ابن آدم له إلا الصيام فإنه لي وأنا أجزي به» متفق عليه
 
Brother, think about what you lose in the month of mercy and forgiveness. Remember those who observed fasting the previous Ramadan with you. Have they achieved today’s Ramadan, or have they been struck by death?
 
Hurry, may Allah have mercy on you, for worshipping, repentance, asking for forgiveness, keeping praising Allah, devoting your life to Allah and invoking Him in the hours before dawn.
 
Upon the beginning of Ramadan, Imam Malek used to leave reading from the Hadiths and sitting with scholars and he embarked upon reciting the Quran from a written copy of it.
 
Some ancestors used to finish reciting the Quran each three nights in Ramadan, others used to do that in seven nights; among them was Qatadah, while others used to do that in ten days, among them was Abu Ar-Raja’ Al-Ataredy.
 
Al-Aswad used to recite the Quran within each two days in Ramadan.
 
An-Nukha’i used to do that especially in the last ten days, but in three days in the rest of the month. Qatada used to finish reciting the Quran in seven days, it was in regular basis, while in Ramadan he was doing that each three days and in each day in the last ten days.
 
Al-Shafei used to finish reciting the Quran sixty times, not during praying. It was reported about Abu Hanifa something like that.
 
Brother, remember that the success in this life and the afterlife is related to your achieving of piety. In addition, remember that Ramadan is the way to piety. Allah Almighty has said {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183]
 
{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} البقرة: 18
 
Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo kutiba AAalaykumu alssiyamu kama kutiba AAala allatheena min qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoona
 
So how can a Muslim worship his Lord in Ramadan and how does he spend his moments in order to be among the pious who win His bounty and reward?
 
 
How to spend Ramadan?
 
While people are happy for the arrival of the season of fasting and find a lot of goodness and blessing, only a few of them spend it in a way that pleases Allah and occupy it with acts of obedience, good deeds and performing the obligations. In Ramadan, some breaches that do not occur in the previous months may happen, such as extravagance, wasting of prayers, staying late at night in front of TV programs, wasting time in playing and loitering in streets, all that under the pretence of stress, fatigue and entertainment while waiting for the hour of breakfast.
 
If we ponder on the status of the ancestors, look at how they spent their days in Ramadan, and how they occupied them with good deeds, we will know how far the distance between them and us is.
 
All goodness is in following of the ancestors
And all evil is in the heresy of the successors
 
 
How can we live in Ramadan in the same way as the ancestors?
 
First, observing the rules of fasting
 
Fasting Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Such pillar is only right by two provisions
 
1 - Sincerity to Allah Glorified and Exalted: the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«إنما الأعمال بالنيات وإنما لكل إمرئ ما نوى» صححه الألباني
 
2 - Following: as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, “Whoever innovates in our religions a heresy, [this innovation] will not be accepted from him.” [Reported by Muslim]
 
«من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد» رواه مسلم
 
It is obligatory for each fasting Muslim to observe these two provisions without which fasting is not accepted
 
Observing sincerity is by directing heart to and asking reward from Allah alone. Observing following in fasting is by knowing all the provisions of fasting in order for the fasting to be right and to achieve favor and rewards and push punishment away.
 
Is it believable for a Muslim to follow the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in fasting while he ignores the obligations, nullifiers and pillars of fasting?
 
Dear brother, in order to make your fasting in accordance to the guidance of the Prophet, I advise you to learn the laws of fasting, ask scholars and attend the cultivating and guiding lessons. Ignoring the rules of fasting may lead a Muslim to do one of the nullifiers of fasting.
 
 
The following is a synopsis of what must be known:
 
First, the four pillars of fasting:
 
Intention, refraining from fasting violators, time -from dawn to sunset- and a fasting person - who is the adult sane Muslim who is able to fast and who is free from withholders.
 
Second, the nullifiers of fasting:
 
1-   Sexual intercourse during the daytime of Ramadan
 
2-   Deliberate ejaculating of semen
 
3-   Deliberate eating and drinking
 
4-   What take the ruling of eating and drinking such as feeding needles and blood transfusion
 
5-   Cupping
 
6-   Deliberate vomiting
 
7-   Menstrual and childbed blood.
 
Third, the undesirable actions in fasting, which include:
 
1-   Extravagation in rinsing out the mouth and in inhaling during performing ablution
 
2-   Continuing fasting after sunset
 
3-   Collecting saliva and swallowing it
 
Fourth: the obligatory morals in fasting, which include:
 
1-   Avoiding lying
 
2-   Avoiding backbiting
 
3-   Avoiding gossip
 
4-   Avoiding perjury
 
5-   Avoiding fraud in dealing with people
 
Fifth: morals in fasting for the hope of reward
 
1-   Delaying the sahur (pre-dawn meal) and hastening the fast-breaking meal
 
2-   Stopping idle and needless talking
 
3-   Breaking the fast of a fasting person
 
4-   Approaching to Allah with charity and good deeds.
 
Dear brother, remember that success in fasting Ramadan in faith and hope of reward cannot be achieved but with observing its rules and conditions, and following the guidance of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in that. Fasting is not just hunger and thirst. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him has said “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به، فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه» رواه البخاري
 
Brother, do not miss learning the rules of fasting as they are its bases, and do not miss observing them, as those who observe them are few.
 
 
Second, observing ordinances:
 
Prayer is the pillar of religion and accepting fasting requires accepting it. How some people, then, accept neglecting and missing obligatory prayers, while they are fasting in the same day, though they know that observing prayers in time is more obligatory and more stressed on in Islam? The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: “the pledge between us and them is prayer, whosoever leaves it has rejected faith.” [Reported by At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«العهد الذي بينا وبينهم الصلاة فمن تركها فقد كفر» رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني
 
Thabet Al-Bannany, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “A worshipper cannot be ever a worshipper even if he has all the good traits unless he has two characteristics, praying and fasting, as they are a part of his flesh and blood”
 
Mubarak Ibn Fudala said, “I visited Thabet Al-Bannany in his illness. He was still remembering his friends. When we visited him he said: O brothers, I could not pray yesterday as I had used to pray and I could not fast as I had used to fast. I could not get to my friends to remember Allah as I had used to do. He said, then, O Allah if you prevent me from doing the three [matters], so do not let me live in this world for one hour. He died at once.” Many people are interested in movies and series or sleeping and negligence, so they shun praying. They counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great.
 
 
Third: observing taraweeh prayer
 
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him has said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights 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.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«من قام رمضان إيماناً واحتساباً غُفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» رواه البخاري ومسلم
 
In the Hadith narrated by As-Sa’ib Ibn Zaid, “The reciter (the Imam during taraweeh prayer) used to recite hundreds of verses, so we leaned on sticks due to the long standing. He said, they were only leaving at dawn”.
 
You have my dear brother not to leave before the Imam, as the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said “He who prays with the Imam till he leaves, a night in prayers and remembering Allah will be written for him (in his book of deeds).” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«أنه من قام مع الإمام حتى ينصرف كتب له قيام ليلة»  صححه الألباني
 
Caring for praying at night without being bored of it or preoccupy oneself from it in Ramadan is a part of the perfect fasting in faith and for hope of reward; especially in the current time where there are many reasons of attraction. There are several channels that show tempting programs, movies and series immediately after breaking the fast that makes people interested in such entertainment and profligacy while they are negligent from praying at night.
 
 
Fourth: increasing the remembrance of Allah and the reciting of the Quran
 
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, narrated that: “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was the most generous of all people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Quran carefully together. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وأجود ما يكون في رمضان، حين يلقاه جبريل، وكان جبريل عليه السلام يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسل» رواه البخاري
 
We have previously mentioned examples of the keenness of the ancestors to recite and study the Quran in Ramadan, just imagine that Allah Almighty has revealed about it: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]
 
{شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ...} البقرة: 185
 
Transliteration: Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alquranu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqani
 
Allah has ennobled it with the honor of the Quran. He has made its reciting in such month with multiplied reward and abundant goodness.
 
In Ramadan, Al-Zohery used to leave reading the Hadiths and sitting with scholars and embark upon reciting the Quran from a written copy of it.
 
In Ramadan, Sufian Al-Thawry used to quit all acts of worship and embark upon reciting the Quran.
 
You have, my dear brother, to recite it with reflection and humbleness to taste the fruit of reciting. Observe remembrances of Allah as they are hooked rods of the devil and the way to achieve the pleasure of the Most Merciful, especially the morning and evening remembrances, praise, glorification and asking for forgiveness. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him “After praying the dawn prayer used to sit in his place of praying until the sun rises.” [Reported by Muslim]
 
«كان إذا صلى الفجر جلس في مصلاه حتى تطلع الشمس حسنا» رواه مسلم
 
It is authenticated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, “Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation, sits remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rak’ahs is rewarded as the reward of a pilgrimage and a umrah: complete, complete, complete.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«من صلى الفجر في جماعه ثم قعد يذكر الله حتى تطلع الشمس ثم صلى ركعتين كانت له كأجر حج وعمرة تامة تامة تامة» صحيح الألباني
 
 
Fifth: generosity and charity
 
Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said “The best charity is the charity in Ramadan”. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has showed that gathering between fasting and charity are reasons for entering Paradise. He has said “Paradise has chambers that their outsides are seen from their insides and their insides are seen from their outsides. It is said, for whom O Messenger of Allah? He said: to whoever makes his speech good, feeds food, maintains fasting and prays at night while people are sleeping.” [Declared good by Al-Albani]
 
«إن في الجنة غرفا ترى ظهورها من بطونها، وبطونها من ظهورها. فقام أعرابي فقال: لمن هي يا رسول الله؟ فقال: لمن أطاب الكلام، وأطعم الطعام، وأدام الصيام، وصلى بالليل والناس نيام» حسنه الألباني
 
A beggar came to Imam Ahmed who gave him two loaves which he prepared for his fast breaking. He then slept and woke fasting in the morning.
 
There are many forms for charity and generosity, which include:
 
- Breaking the fast of a fasting person, as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, “Whoever breaks the fast of a fasting person will be rewarded the same reward without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«من فطر صائما كان له مثل أجره، غير أنه لا ينقص من أجر الصائم شيئا» صححه الألباني
 
Many ancestors were giving preference over themselves for their breakfast while they were fasting. Among them were Abdullah Ibn Omar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, Dawud at-Ta’i, Malik Ibn Dinar, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Ibn Omar was breaking his fast only with orphans and the needy.
 
 
Sixth: I’tikaf (Seclusion at mosques) and increasing worshipping in the last ten nights:
 
The Sunnah of seclusion at mosques has been abandoned by many persons who are able to perform it; though it is mentioned in both the Quran and Sunnah. The ancestors were very careful for observing it because of its great reward and suitability for the last ten nights in which the Night of Decree, which is better than one thousand month, is requested.
 
Seclusion at mosques is a devotion with which many devotions are facilitated such as reciting the Quran, praying and remembrance. Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to seclude at the mosque in Ramadan for ten days. In the year in which he died, he secluded at the mosque for twenty days.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعتكف في كل رمضان عشرة أيام فلما كان العام الذي قبض فيه اعتكف عشرين يوماً» رواه البخاري
 
Seclusion at mosques has some rules that must be known by a faster who wishes to do such a great devotion, in order to be in compliance with the Sunnah.
 
 
Seventh: seeking the Night of Decree and increasing invoking Allah
 
Fasting is a reason for accepting invocations, so a fasting person has to observe that during the whole month of Ramadan. It is the widest gate and quickest way for goodness. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, “The most unable person is the one who is unable to pray (invoke, supplicate, ask Allah).” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«أعجز الناس من عجز عن الدعاء» صحيح الألباني
 
This is especially if a Muslim observes praying and invoking Allah at night at the pre-dawn time, which is a blessed time in which prayers are accepted, sins are expiated and needs are fulfilled.
 
Beware my dear brother not to miss the great good and noble favor: The Night of Decree. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: “Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
«من قام ليلة القدر إيماناً واحتساباً غُفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه» رواه البخاري ومسلم
 
How great this night is, in which all sins are expiated and degrees are achieved. It deserves seeking for and observation in hope for success due to its great goodness.
 
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and upon all his family and companions
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