The State of the Salaf in Ramadan
by Shaykh Rabia’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah)
Translated by Umm Yahya
A questioner is asking about the state of the Salaf in Ramadan.
In answering this question I say, that the state of the noble Messenger –alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- in Ramadan is well known and he used to prepare for this month by fasting more in Shabaan. As is narrated in the Hadeeth of Aeysha –Radhi Allaahu anha-: ‘He –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- used to fast all of, or most of Shabaan.’
Then he –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- would fast in this noble month of Ramadan and exert himself even more so in the last ten nights of Ramadan.
When the last ten nights entered he would exert himself in worship and tighten his waist wrapper (meaning to exert him self in worship), he would perform Itikaaf and his wives would too and many of his –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- Companions would also make Itikaf.
He –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- would establish these great actions of fasting perfectly, performing good deeds and showing goodness and sacrifice.
The Messenger –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- was extremely generous, he was the most generous of people and when Ramadan came, he –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- was more generous than a wind that had been sent and more so if Jibraeel was sent as is narrated in the Hadeeth of Ibn Abbas Radhi Allaahu anhumaa.
The Messenger of Allaah would recite, or present the Qur’aan to Jibraeel once every Ramadan, and in the last year of his noble life he recited the Qur’aan to Jibraeel twice, as is narrated in the Hadeeth of Ayesha and Abu Hurairah Radhi Allaahu anhumaa. This was a sign of his –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- eminent passing away.
So the Salaf held a special concern for this great month of paying attention to reciting the Qur’aan, increasing in the remembrance of Allaah, abstaining from sins, as fasting necessitates all these things. Fasting is not merely abstaining from food and drink indeed it is a way of refraining from all that Allaah The Most High The Most Blessed hates in terms of sins etc.
Fasting is also turning in obedience to Allaah –Azza wa Jal- and to have Ikhlaas (sincerity) for Allaah in this action.
May Allaah be pleased with the Salaf. It is said of Malik that he would teach the people and when Ramadan approached he would free up his time for fasting and reciting Qur’aan.
Thus you should give importance to reciting the Qur’aan in this noble month, along with reflecting upon it and pondering about it, and to take heed of the admonition and take heed of that which is rebuked, and comprehend the Halal and Haram and the clear understanding of Allaah’s threats and promises and things of this nature from the noble Qur’aan, with this the soul is purified and hearts are illuminated.
This illustrates to us that the Qur’aan is life, light and a guidance for us as Allaah -Tabaraka wa Ta’ala- has described it as such.
وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ رُوحٗا مِّنۡ أَمۡرِنَاۚ مَا كُنتَ تَدۡرِي مَا ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ
وَلَا ٱلۡإِيمَٰنُ وَلَٰكِن جَعَلۡنَٰهُ نُورٗا نَّهۡدِي بِهِۦ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَاۚ
وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهۡدِيٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ
<< And thus We have sent to you Ruhan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path.>> [ash-Shura: 52]
Regarding the way of the Righteous Salaf, you should read about their striving, their patience and their sincerity for Allaah, how they exceeded in their efforts in this noble month and other months. That is to say that we do not only remind ourselves of performing these actions only in the month of Ramadan and then become heedless and forsake our obedience to Allaah in the remaining months, on the contrary we continue to stand in the night with prayer and continue to worship Allaah and turn to Allaah in addition to all the other acts of worship in order to gain closeness to Allaah in Ramadan, we should not be heedless.
Some people turn in obedience to Allaah in this month and once it has passed they fall short, become lazy and forget many acts of worship.
No, there is no doubt that we should have more concern in this month than in the other months, however, we must remember Allaah continuously throughout the year and throughout our lives.
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرٗا كَثِيرٗا
وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةٗ وَأَصِيلًا
And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and ‘Asr prayers]. >> [Ahzab: 41-42]
Therefore, the believer remembers Allaah -Tabaraka wa Ta’ala- continuously, obeys Him, has Taqwa of Him, has Khushoo (humility) of Him and awareness of Him in every hour of his life.
I beseech Allaah to grant us and you the ability to perform the night prayer, fast and all that which is obligatory upon us in this noble month and grant us eagerness and zest regarding its virtues
I also beseech Allaah to grant us the ability to continuously uphold His obedience and turn to Him upon that which pleases Him. Verily our Lord hears the supplication.’
[Taken from: ‘Majmoo’ Kutub wa Rasail wa Fatawa Fadeelatu Shaykh alaama Rabia’ bin Hadi Umayr al-Madkhalee’ 15/337-339]