SEEING OFF RAMADHAN

Since 2012-11-29

In the near past, we were expecting for Ramadhan to come, and now, we are bidding farewell to it.

 
 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid, and pray for His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of ourselves and from the evil of our deeds. None could mislead him whom Allah guides aright; and none could guide aright him who goes astray. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except for Allah, Who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His servant and Messenger. May Allah send blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions, and those who follow him with good conduct to the Day of Judgment. To go further:

In the near past, we were expecting for Ramadhan to come, and now, we are bidding farewell to it. That is the last Friday of Ramadhan. Deeds are going on; and man is but a set of days, if one of which elapsed, this means that a part of him has gone away. Ramadhan now is leaving, and in the near past, it was coming. Exalted be He Who turns the night and day, and causes times and years to run: in this, there is a lesson for one to learn, and an instruction for one to ward off (evil).

People are now seeing off Ramadhan of this year, with its books of the deeds of servants being folded, and will not be spread but on the day of Judgment for reckoning; and we do not know whether or not we will (live until we) catch up with the next Ramadhan: it is Allah Whose aid is sought. It is due then to Ramadhan that the people should weep for and on it. How should a faithful believer not weep for Ramadhan given that in it the gates of the Gardens (of Paradise) are opened? How should a sinner not weep for its departure given that in it the gates of the fire (of Hell) are closed? How should one not weep on the time at which all devils are chained? How grief-stricken are the submissive (believers) for losing it, and how burned are the pious for leaving it!

What was the state of the righteous in Ramadhan?

From among them, there was the devoutly obedient standing (at night in prayer) in his place of prayer, “fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord” [Az-Zumur 39:9]


 
{يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ}
الزمر: 9

Transliteration: yahtharu alakhirata wayarjoo rahmata rabbihi

and fearing His punishment.

There was the one who devoted himself wholeheartedly to the obedience and remembrance of Allah Almighty, and deprived himself of all worldly benefits, and severed all relations with them, and rather dedicated his heart and person to his Lord and to all acts and deeds that draw him close to Allah. Nothing remained in his heart other than Allah Almighty, and his main concern was to please Him, setting forth as example the statement of Dawud At-Ta’i, may Allah have mercy upon him, in his nightly private conversation with his Lord: “My concern with You has suppressed all other concerns, and caused me to forsake comfortable sleep; and my longing for You prevailed over all pleasures, and put a barrier between me and the worldly desires.” [Lata’if Al-Ma‘arif: 348]


That is the state of the fasting (by day) and standing (in prayer at night). They spent their times in the mosques and seclusions. They used to prolong their standing (in prayer at night), recite the Qur’an (by day as much as they could), persist in invocation, announce their turning (to Allah in repentance), and talk in private to (Allah) the Most Merciful. But others used to gather in the assemblies of falsehood, on the display of Satan, and programs of the wicked.

Why do they work?

What has happened to the righteous? What has led them to prolong Tahajjud prayer and undergo insomnia and fatigue?

Indeed, they seek the Night of Al-Qadr, which is better than one thousand months. Were the mosques to speak, they would have said: “O Night of Qadr! Be a witness to the worshippers! O feet of the devoutly obedient (of their Lord), bow and fall in prostration to your Lord! O tongues of the askers be determined and importunate in your question!” [Al-Lata’if: 349]

Ramadhan is leaving, where its nights have witnessed the whining of the sinners, the stories of the repentant, the tears of the submissive, and the news of these devoted (to worship); its hours before dawn witnessed the forgiveness prayers of those who prayed for forgiveness; and its days witnessed the fast of the fasting, the recital of the Qur’an reciters, and the generosity of the charitable.

They hope for the pardon of Allah, for they knew that He is Generous Pardoning, Who likes pardon, thereupon they ask Him to pardon them.

When the Gnostics learnt about His Majesty, they submitted (to His power); and when the sinners heard about His pardon, they coveted (of forgiveness). That is because there is no flight from the pardon of Allah but to the fire (of Hell).

Had it been for the sinners’ covet of the pardon of Allah Almighty, surely, their hearts would have burned with despair of His mercy. But once they remember the pardon of Allah, they feel the comfort of its coldness. One of the righteous used to supplicate saying: “My crime is grievous, and Your pardon is great. So, please, avert my crime with Your pardon, O Most Generous!” [Al-Lata’if: 370]

That is the supplication of the righteous, and as such they have spent Ramadhan. So, they are right to weep at its end due to the pleasure it has in their hearts. But even, they are fearful of their Lord, afraid of being rejected by Allah, for they know that reliance is on (Allah’s) acceptance (of their deeds), and not their diligence (in doing them), and what counts is the righteousness of hearts rather than the work of bodies.

How many a standing who is deprived (of reward); and how many a sleeping who receives the mercy (of Allah)! That is because the former is standing with his heart wicked, and the latter is sleeping with his heart remembering (Allah). But one is commanded to seek to gain good things, endeavor to do righteous deeds, ask Allah to accept (from him), and engage in what makes righteous the hearts. That is the usage of the righteous.

According to Yahya Ibn Abi Kathir, may Allah have mercy upon him: “The following is among their supplications: ‘O Allah! Deliver me to Ramadhan, and deliver Ramadhan to me, and receive (my deeds in) it as accepted (by You).’” [Hilyat Al-Awliya’: 3/69]

According to Ibn Dinar, may Allah have mercy upon him: “The fear for the deed not to be accepted (by Allah) is more severe than the (suffering from the) deed itself.” [Al-Hilyah: 2/387]

According to ‘Abd-Al-‘Aziz Ibn Abi Rawad, may Allah have mercy upon him: “I saw them striving their utmost to do the righteous deed. But once they did it, they would become anxious, whether or not it would be accepted from them (by Allah).” [Al-Lata’if 375]

Sign of acceptance

The most evident sign of acceptance is that the servant continues to do good and righteous deed even after Ramadhan is over. According to a scholar: “The reward of a good deed is (to be helped to do another one) after it. whoever does a good deed, and then another one following it, this is a sign of accepting his first good deed; and whoever does a good deed followed by a misdeed, that is a sign of rejecting his good deed.”

Rewarding the favor of catching Ramadhan and being helped to observe its fasts and stand (in prayer at night) in it with committing misdeeds after it, is, in fact, to exchange the favor of Allah for disbelief. If one decided, during his fasting, to return to misdeeds after the termination of fasting, then, his fasting would be rejected, and the gate of mercy closed in his face, unless he hastens to offer a sincere repentance: how excellent is the good deed following a misdeed to erase it; and more excellent is the good deed following a good deed! How odious is the misdeed following a good deed to blight and obliterate it, for “A single sin to be committed after repentance is more grievous than seventy sins before repentance! How odious is the relapse (into sin) after repentance!” how terrible is the humiliation of disobedience after the honor of obedience!

O assembly of repentant! Revert not to sin after Ramadhan, and rather endure the (loss of the) pleasure of inclination with the sweetness of faith. Persevere for the sake of Allah Almighty, so that He would recompense you with good reward (as He stated what means): "If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." [Al-Anfaal 8:70]


 
{إِن يَعْلَمِ اللَّـهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ خَيْرًا يُؤْتِكُمْ خَيْرًا مِّمَّا أُخِذَ مِنكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ}
الأنفال: 70

Transliteration: in yaAAlami Allahu fee quloobikum khayran yutikum khayran mimma okhitha minkum wayaghfir lakum waAllahu ghafoorun raheemun

O assembly of obedient! No doubt, the deeds therewith the servant draws near (to Allah) in Ramadhan do not cease with the termination of Ramadhan. On the contrary, they remain effective after Ramadhan is over as long as one is living. It is true that he may have no power to do them all. But in this case, he could alleviate them rather than stop from doing any of them. It was said to Bishr Al-Hafi, may Allah have mercy upon him: “Some people multiply acts of worship and strive (in doing good deeds) only in Ramadhan.” On that he said: “How bad are those people who do not know Allah as is fitting for Him but in the month of Ramadhan! The righteous is he who persists in the acts of worship along the whole year.” [Al-Lata’if 369] This is a rule whose foundation was laid by the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in his statement: “The dearest deed in the Sight of Allah is that to be done regularly, no matter how little it might be.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]


 
‹‹ أحب الأعمال إلى الله ما دام وإن قل››
رواه البخاري ومسلم

‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The dearest act of worship in the sight of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was that whose perpetrator did regularly.” [Al-Bukhari]

 
‹‹ وكان أحب الدين إليه ما داوم عليه صاحبه››
رواه البخاري

To be sure, the Lord of Ramadhan is the same Lord of all months, Exalted and Hallowed be He; and the believer’s deed never ceases until death comes to him. Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in this context: “No doubt, Allah Almighty has fixed no term for the believer’s deed (to end) other than death.” Then he recited (what means): “And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” [Al-Hijr 15:99] [Al-Lata’if 398]

 
{وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ}
الحجر: 99

Transliteration: WaoAAbud rabbaka hatta yatiyaka alyaqeenu

Do such people not feel shy of their Lord Almighty? When Ramadhan is over, they make idle the mosques and abandon the Qur’an and rather revert to the unlawful: we seek refuge with Allah from being of them.

This talk is relevant to those who have spent Ramadhan in obedience of Allah Almighty, and those for whom Ramadhan was a good occasion for their repentance and rebirth.

But what should be said to those who missed the opportunity and wasted Ramadhan in diversion and falsehood?

Nothing is better than to say to them: “Repent to your Lord, for your Lord is still in the habit of stretching His Hand at night in order for the sinners of the day to repent, and stretching His Hand by day in order for the sinners of the night to repent. The gate of repentance is still open. So, turn to your Lord. If mercy is for the doers of good, then, let no evildoer despair of it; and if forgiveness is doomed to the pious, then, (it should be known that) the one who has wronged himself is not veiled from it, as confirmed by Allah Almighty (what means): “Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."” [Az-Zumur 39:53]


 
{قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ}
الزمر: 53

Transliteration: Qul ya AAibadiya allatheena asrafoo AAala anfusihim la taqnatoo min rahmati Allahi inna Allaha yaghfiru alththunooba jameeAAan innahu huwa alghafooru alrraheemu

O one who has wasted Ramadhan! Do not waste your lifetime. Conclude it with a sincere repentance, perchance your term would be concluded with good.

O sinner – and we all are so, do not despair of the mercy of Allah for the evil of your deed. At the end of that month (of Ramadhan), the like of you are released from the fire (of Hell). Be true to Allah (in your repentance), so that He would be true to you (in His promise), and have a good assumption of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, since none but a desperate (of Allah’s mercy) would be ruined by Allah.

It may be that a pause for seeing off would extinguish the fire of longing! It may be that an hour of repentance and giving up (sins) would mend such of fast as become corrupt! It may be that one who is far off the caravan of those (whose deed are) accepted would join them! It may be that one captured by his burdens would be set free! It may be that he to whom the fire (of Hell) has been assured, would be released! It may be that a sinner would be helped to obtain the mercy of the Lord! [Al-Lata’if 387]

How should we conclude our month?

‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd-Al-‘Aziz, may Allah have mercy upon him, sent to the different regions, ordering them to conclude the month of Ramadhan with prayer for forgiveness and giving in charity, i.e. Sadaqat Al-Fitr, for Sadaqat Al-Fitr purifies the fasting from falsehood and obscenity, and prayer for forgiveness mends such of fast as become corrupt with falsehood and obscenity. For this reason, one belonging to the early generations said: “Sadaqat Al-Fitr for the fasting is like the prostration of forgetfulness for the prayer.”

‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd-Al-Aziz, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in his letter (referred to): “Say the same as your father Adam, peace be upon him, said: “"Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers."” [Al-A’raaf 7:23]


 
{ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ}
الأعراف: 23

Transliteration: rabbana thalamna anfusana wain lam taghfir lana watarhamna lanakoonanna mina alkhasireena

Say the same as Noah, peace be upon him, said: ““And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers."” [Hud 11:47]


 
{ وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُن مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ}
هود: 47

Transliteration: wailla taghfir lee watarhamnee akun mina alkhasireena

Say the same as Abraham, peace be upon him, said: ““And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the Day of Recompense."” [Ash-Shu’araa 26:82]


 
{وَالَّذِي أَطْمَعُ أَن يَغْفِرَ لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّينِ}
الشعراء: 82

Transliteration: Waallathee atmaAAu an yaghfira lee khateeatee yawma alddeeni

Say the same as Moses, peace be upon him, said: “"My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me,"" [Al-Qasas 28:16]


 
{ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي}
القصص: 16

Transliteration: rabbi innee thalamtu nafsee faighfir lee

Say the same as (Jonah) the Man of the Fish, peace be upon him, said: “"There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers."” [Al-Anbiyaa 21:87]


 
{لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ}
الأنبياء: 87

Transliteration: la ilaha illa anta subhanaka innee kuntu mina alththalimeena

The deeds of the ‘Id night

Since both forgiveness and release from the fire (of Hell) are based on the fasting and standing (at night in prayer) of Ramadhan, Allah Almighty ordered that on completing the prescribed period, people should glorify Him, and give thanks to Him. He said (what means): “and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Al-Baqara 2:185]


 
{وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ}
البقرة: 185

Transliteration: walitukmiloo alAAiddata walitukabbiroo Allaha AAala ma hadakum walaAAallakum tashkuroona

the gratitude for Him Who conferred favor upon His servants, by helping them observe fast, aiding them to endure it, forgiving for them because of it, and releasing them from the fire (of Hell), is to remember Him, give thanks to Him, and fear Him as He should be feared. To fear Allah as He should be feared means, as explained by Ibn Mas‘ud, may Allah be pleased with him, to be obeyed rather than disobeyed, remembered rather than forgotten, and appreciated rather than denied.” [Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim: 2/446: Sahih, Mawquf]

Takbir (to glorify Allah) is ordained as of the sunset of the day prior to ‘Id to the ‘Id prayer, to be pronounced publicly by men in the mosques, markets and homes, as was the usage of the righteous predecessors.

It is out of Sunnah to eat before setting out for prayer of ‘Id Al-Fitr, an odd number of dates, say, three, five, or more, due to the statement of Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him: “the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, never came out in the morning of ‘Id Al-Fitr before eating an odd number of dates.” [Al-Bukhari]


 
‹‹ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يغدو يوم الفطر حتى يأكل تمرات . وقال مرجأ بن رجاء : حدثني عبيد الله قال : حدثني أنس ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ويأكلهن وترا ››
رواه البخاري

Women also should come out for ‘Id prayer, but neither displaying their beauty with adornment, nor perfumed, to attend the prayer and celebration.

It should be brought to mind that some men are careless about the clothing of their wives and daughters, which may violate rules of Shari‘ah, and if they come out as such on the ‘Id day, people would be tempted by them. Of course, he would be questioned about that on the Day of Judgment. So, it is due on him, whom Allah has made a guardian over women, to take heed of their clothing on the ‘Id day: if it agrees with Shari‘ah, that is good, otherwise, he should prevent them from wearing it, in order to protect them from falling in sin, and fulfill the trust with which Allah has entrusted him.

On the other hand, once the ‘Id day is announced publicly, some people hasten to come out to markets, and waste the ‘Id night in touring in the markets, with their evildoings. In this way, their visitors would not be safe from falling in evildoing and sin. That is not the right way to give thanks to Allah Almighty on the ‘Id day, on which one should multiply his prayer for forgiveness and remembrance (of Allah), in order for the month to be concluded with good conclusion.

I ask Allah, the Most Exalted, the Omnipotent, to accept us with good acceptance, set right our hearts and deeds, and return Ramadhan on us with good, fortune and blessings: He is All-Hearing, ready to respond (to supplication).

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And may Allah send blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his family and Companions.



Translated by Wathakker.info website

 

 

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