Remaining Steadfast After Ramadhaan : Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan

‘Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 155-157)
Al-Ibaanah.com

Sufyaan Ibn ‘Abdillaah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allaah, tell me something about Islaam of which I will not ask anyone else besides you (after that).” He said: “Say: ‘I believe in Allaah’ and then be steadfast (on that).” [1]

This hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having Eemaan in Allaah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it to the right or to the left.

If a Muslim lived through Ramadaaan and spent its days in fasting and its nights in prayer, and in that month he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allaah at all times (after that). This is the true state of the servant (‘abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing His servants at all times.

Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadaan and the rectification of one’s statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadaan and that he struggled in obedience. They are tokens of acceptance and signs of success.

Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another. Rather they continue and extend until one reaches death, for Allaah says: “And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e., death) comes to you.” [2]

If the fasting of Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year, and all praise is due to Allaah. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadaan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Qur’aan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is desirable, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has placed for them many different types of acts of worship and He provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Master.

It is unfortunate to find some people performing worship by doing different types of righteous acts during Ramadaan – they guard strictly their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur’aan abundantly and they give in charity from their money. But when Ramadaan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the Fajr prayer!

And they (even) commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of ‘Eed! Obtaining help from these evils is only through the Grace of Allaah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and they destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allaah for His safeguarding and protection!

Indeed, these types of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to (only) the month of Ramadaan. So they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadaan, and not out of fear for Allaah! How evil are these people who do not know Allaah except in Ramadaan!

Truly, the success that Allaah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadaan. And Allaah’s assisting him to do that is a great blessing. Thus, this calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. And this understanding can be found in Allaah’s saying, after having completed the favor of the month of fasting: “(He wants that you) must compete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allaah (by saying Allaahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him.” [3]

So the one who is grateful for having fasted, he will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds.

Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make qiyaam (night prayer). His condition after Ramadaan is better than it was before Ramadaan. He is more ready to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts. This is since he has acquired benefit from this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa.

The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that they would be accepted and fearing that they would be rejected. From the reports of ‘Alee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) is that he said: “Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than with the deed itself. Did you not hear Allaah say: ‘Verily Allaah only accepts from those who have Taqwaa’?” [4] [5]

‘Aa’ishah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning the aayah: ‘And those who give away that which they give (i.e., charity and other good deeds), while their hearts tremble with fear.’ Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal?” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddeeq. But rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity, yet fear that it won’t be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them.” [6]

So be warned and again be warned – of turning backward after having attained guidance, of going astray after persevering! And ask Allaah to provide you with endurance in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allaah that He grant you a good end, in order that He may accept our Ramadaan from us.

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim (no. 38)

[2] Surat-ul-Hijr: 99

[3] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 185

[4] Surat-ul-Maa’idah: 27

[5] Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif (pg. 246)

The Virtues of the Night of Al-Qadr : ‘Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Author: ‘Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam (pg. 141-143)
Translator: Al-Manhaj.Com Staff

Abu Hurairah (radhi Allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever performs the night prayer on the night of Al-Qadr with Eemaan (firm belief) and seeking reward will have all his past sins forgiven.” [1]

This hadeeth is evidence for the virtue of the night of Al-Qadr as well as performing qiyaam (night prayer) during it. And it indicates that it is a grand night, which Allaah has honored and made better than a thousand months, with regard to its blessing and the blessings found in the righteous deeds that are performed in it. Thus it is better than the worship of a thousand months and that is equivalent to eighty-three years and four months. Due to this, whoever performs qiyaam (night prayer) with true faith and while seeking reward in it, will be forgiven his past sins. There were certain verses revealed concerning this virtue:

Allaah says: “We sent it (the Qur’aan) down on a blessed night. Verily We are Ever-Warning. Therein (on that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.” [2]

Therefore, it is a “blessed night” meaning it possesses much good and blessing due to its merit and the great reward that awaits the one who does good deeds in it. Among its blessings, is that Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in it. Allaah says:

“Verily, We have sent it (the Qur’aan) down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (Jibreel) by their Lord’s permission with all decrees. (All that night) there is peace, until the appearance of dawn.” [3]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said concerning Allaah’s saying: “Therein descend the angels and the Rooh: “This means that the descending of the angels increases during this night due to the vast amount of its blessings. And the angels descend along with the descent of blessing and mercy, just as they descend during the time when the Qur’aan is recited and encompass the gatherings in which Allaah is remembered and spread their wings for the true seeker of knowledge, out of respect for him.” [4]

This night occurs only in Ramadaan, since Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in it. He informs us that its revelation occurred during the month of Ramadaan in His saying: “Verily, We have sent it (the Qur’aan) down in the night of Al-Qadr.” [5]

And His saying: “The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan” [6]

This means that its revelation from Allaah to His Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) began in it.

Allaah’s statement: “The night of Al-Qadr” is either an indicative of the honor and station of that night, as it is said: “Such and such person has great Qadr”. The conjunction of “the night” to Al-Qadr is the joining of a descriptive feature to it, thus making it mean “An honorable night”. The word “Al-Qadr” may also be in reference to the ordainment and disposal of affairs. Thus, its being joined to the word “the night” would be in order to denote a place or time for it. So it would mean “the night in which all that will occur in the following year will be decreed.” This is similar to Allaah’s saying: “Therein (on that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.” [7]

Qataadah said of this: “Therein is decreed every matter for the (upcoming) year” [8] and Ibn Al-Qayyim said that this is the correct opinion. [9]

What seems most correct is that there is nothing that restricts the possibility of these two understandings and Allaah knows best.

His statement: “with Eemaan means with firm conviction in what Allaah has prepared for those who stand in prayer during this magnificent night. And “seeking reward” means looking for reward and the attainment of recompense.

Thus, this is a grand night, which Allaah has chosen for beginning the revelation of the Qur’aan. So the Muslim must acknowledge its weight in worth, by guarding it and spending it in worship whilst having firm conviction and seeking the reward of Allaah, in order that Allaah may forgive all of his previous sins. This is why the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) warned us about being heedless of this night and being neglectful of spending it in worship, for the Muslim would be prevented from its good.

Abu Hurairah (raa) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory upon you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” [10]

The Muslim should supplicate much on the nights in which the night of Al-Qadr is sought. And he should supplicate with that which the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) instructed ‘Aa’ishah (raa) with, when she asked him: “What if I know on which night the night of Al-Qadr occurs, what should I say?” So he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Say: O Allaah, indeed you are All-Pardoning. You love forgiveness, so forgive me.” [11]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “It is recommended to supplicate a lot at all times and (to supplicate) more than that during the month of Ramadaan, its last ten days and its odd days. And it is highly recommended to increase ones invoking with this supplication: ‘O Allaah, indeed you are All-Pardoning. You love forgiveness, so forgive me.'” [12]


Footnotes:

[1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/2550 and Muslim (759)

[2] Surat-ud-Dukhaan: 3-4

[3] Surat-ul-Qadr: 1-5

[4] Tafseer Ibn Katheer: (8/465)

[5] Surat-ul-Qadr: 1

[6] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 185

[7] Surat-ud-Dukhaan: 4

[8] Reported by At-Tabaree in his Tafseer (25/65) as well as Al-Bayhaqee in his book Fadaa’il-ul-Awqaat (pg. 216). Its chain of narration is saheeh.

[9] See Shifaa’-ul-‘Aleel of Ibn Qayyim (pg. 42)

[10] This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee. See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of Al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)

[11] Reported by At-Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah with an authentic chain. [Translator’s note: The supplication transliterated from Arabic reads: “Allaahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun Tuhibbul-‘Afwa Fa’affoo ‘annee.” ]

[12] Tafseer Ibn Katheer: 8/472

Spreading the Good News of Ramadaan : Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 13-15)
Translator:isma’eel alarcon (for al-manhaj.com)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Peace be upon him) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory on you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” [1]

The hadeeth is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allaah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadaan. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed his Companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news. Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it its due estimate. This is because the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) explained in it (the hadeeth) what Allaah has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment – and they are many. So whoever has forgiveness escape him during the month of Ramadaan, then he has been deprived with the utmost deprivation.

From the great favors and bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that they may be of profit to those who obey Him and a race for those who rush to compete (for good deeds). These meritous occasions are times for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and deficiencies through self-rectification and repentance. There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allaah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him. And Allaah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy.

So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from acts of worship.

Thus perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that is enough to save him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat. [2]

Being able to reach Ramadaan is itself a magnificent bounty that is bestowed on the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it, he returns to his Protector — from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance.

A Muslim must be conscious of this bounty and acknowledge its magnitude. For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either because they die before they reach it, or because they are not capable of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it. Thus, the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and should welcome this month with joy and delight that a magnificent time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is welcomed. He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds. And he should invoke Allaah to grant him the ability to fast and stand in night prayer, and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength, and energy in that month. And that He awaken him from heedless oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of good.

It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the month of Ramadaan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Qur’aan, giving in charity and making remembrance of Allaah. Rather, to some people, it becomes a signifcant time to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins. Some other people do not know Ramadaan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying them in congregation or in their proper times. Other people do not know Ramadaan except as a signifcant time for conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying and selling, and they stay in the market areas, consequently abandoning the masaajid. And when they do pray with the people, they do so in such a hurried manner. This is because they find their pleasure in the market places. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadaan) have been changed.

Some of the Salaf used to say: “Indeed Allaah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadaan as a competition for His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.” [3]

Also, the individual does not know if this is perhaps the last Ramadaan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it. How many men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now they lie buried in the depths of the earth, relying on their good deeds. And they expected to fast many more Ramadaans. Likewise, we too shall all follow their path. Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to rejoice at this magnificent occasion for worship. And he should not renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and what will cause its effect to remain. For what else is it, except numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly.

May Allaah make us, as well as you, from among those who are foremost in attaining good deeds.

Footnotes:

1. This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’ee. See Ahmad Shaakir’s checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)

2. These are the words of Ibn Rajab in Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 8

3. Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif of Ibn Rajab: page 246

Some of the Merits of Ramadaan : Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan

‘Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 27-29)
Al-Ibaanah.com

Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Every deed of the Son of Aadam will be rewarded ten to seven hundred times its worth. Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, said: ‘Except for the fast, for indeed it is for Me, and I will reward it. He leaves off his desires and his food for My sake. There are two times of joy for the one fasting. The time of joy when he breaks his fast and the time of joy when he meets His lord. And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk.'” [1]

This hadeeth is proof for the virtue of fasting and the great station it possesses in the sight of Allaah. Four of its many virtues occur in this hadeeth, and they are:

1. Those who fast will receive their reward in full without any reckoning, for every good deed is rewarded ten to seven hundred times its like in worth, except for the fast. Indeed, its reward is not limited to this number, but rather Allaah will reward it with manifold its likes in worth. This is because the fast is from (the forms of) patience and Allaah has stated:

“Verily, the patient ones will be given their reward in full without any reckoning.” [2]

Al-Awzaa’ee said of this (ayah): “It will neither be weighed for them nor measured, but rather it will simply be served to them as food is served.” [3]

2. Indeed Allaah connected the fast to Himself in conjunctive form, above all other types of deeds. And this conjunction is enough to show its noble status. This, and Allaah knows best, is due its state of encompassing the entirety of the day. Thus, one can find that the individual fasting has neglected his desires, while his soul constantly yearns after them. This, along with its lengthened duration, is not found in anything else besides the fast, especially in the days of summer due to their length and severity in heat. The individual’s abandonment of the things he desires is an act of worship, which will be rewarded. This is because the fast is a secret kept between the servant and his Lord. No one knows of it except Allaah, the most High. It is an inward (hidden) action, which cannot be seen by the creation, thus riyaa’ (showing off) cannot enter into it.

3. When the one who fasts meets his Lord, he will be delighted by his fast due to what he will see in it from its abundance, good standing and his reward by having his fast accepted, which Allaah granted him in the first place.

As for his joy at the time when he breaks the fast, then it is due to the completion of the act of worship and its being free from evil and those things that have been forbidden in it. This is from the praiseworthy types of joy since it is a joy that emanates from the obedience to Allaah and the completion of the fast, due to which great reward has been promised. This is as Allaah says: “Say: By the grace and mercy of Allaah, and by that, then rejoice.” [4]

4. The breath coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This beautiful smell will be for the Day of Judgement for that is the day when the rewards for deeds will be manifested. This is based on one narration of the hadeeth: “…more pleasant in the sight of Allaah on the Day of Judgement…” [5]

Likewise it will be in the life of this world, since that is the time for the manifestation of the signs of worship, due to the report:

“And the scent coming from the mouth of the one fasting when he breaths out from the food (he ate previously) is more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk” [6]

This scent, although disliked by the people who smell it in this world will, however, be more pleasant in smell in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This is because it is something that originates from the obedience to Allaah.

Ibn Hibbaan (rahimahullaah) said: “The sign that will mark the believer on the Day of Judgement is the brightness (of their faces) due to their ablution (wudoo’) in this world, causing a distinction between them and the rest of the nations. And their mark on the Day of Judgement due to their fasting will be pleasant smelling breath, more pleasant in the sight of Allaah than the scent of musk. This is in order that they may be known amidst that group for that deed. We ask Allaah to grant us blessing on that day.” [7]

And from the merits of Ramadaan is that Allaah has distinguished those who fast with a specific door from the doors of Paradise. No one more righteous than them will enter through it. Sahl Ibn Sa’ad (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, there is a door in Paradise, which is known as Ar-Rayyaan. On the Day of Judgement, the ones who fasted will enter in through it, no one other than them will enter in through it. And when they have entered, it will close, so no one will enter through it (after them).” [8]

And in addition to the wording: “And whosoever enters will be given to drink. And whosoever drinks will never feel thirsty again.” [9]

However, these merits will not be attained except by the one who fasts with sincerity by abstaining from food, drink, intercourse, abstaining from hearing the unlawful, looking towards the prohibited and earning from unlawful means. Thus his body limbs must fast and abstain from sinful acts. His tongue must fast and abstain from lying, foul speech and false swearing. This is the legislated fast, the result of which will be great reward. And if this is not so, then the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Whosoever does not abandon false speech and acting upon it, then Allaah has no need for him to abandon his food and drink.” [10]

And Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Perhaps, all that one who fasts will get from his fast is hunger and thirst. And perhaps all that one who stands at night in prayer will get from his standing is sleeplessness.


Footnotes:

  • [1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/103) and Muslim (1151)
  • [2] Surat-uz-Zumar: 15
  • [3] Tafseer Ibn Katheer (7/80)
  • [4] Surah Yoonus: 85
  • [5] This wording is found in the hadeeth of Muslim (Book of Fasting: 163)
  • [6] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan and Ahmad
  • [7] See Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan (8/211)
  • [8] Al-Bukhaaree (4/111) and Muslim (1152)
  • [9] This increase to the hadeeth is found in the Saheeh of Ibn Khuzaimah (no. 1903)
  • [10] Al-Bukhaaree (10/473)
  • [11] Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan and others with an authentic chain of narration

Reading the Qur’aan in Ramadaan : Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg.63-65)
Translator:isma’eel alarcon (al-manhaj.com)

Abu Umaamah (radhi Allaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Recite the Qur’aan for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgement as an intercessor for its Ashaab (those who read, memorize and implement it).” [1]

This hadeeth indicates the virtues of reciting the Qur’aan, the greatness of its reward and that it will intercede for its holders on the Day of Judgement towards their entrance into Paradise.

An-Nawaas Ibn Sama’aan (radhi Allaahu anhu) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) say: ‘The Qur’aan will be brought on the Day of Judgement as well as the people who used to act upon it. Surat-ul-Baqarah and Aali ‘Imraan will then approach them.’ The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) likened them to three examples, which I have not forgotten afterwards. He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: ‘As if they were two clouds or two dark black canopies with light between them both or like two flocks of birds stretching their wings in the air pleading for the one who recited them.'” [2]

‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr (radhi Allaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) said: “The fast and the Qur’aan will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say: ‘My Lord, I restricted him from food and drink, so allow me to intercede for him.’ And the Qur’aan will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night, so allow me to intercede for him.’ So they will be allowed to intercede.” [3]

Therefore, it is essential for the person fasting to recite the Qur’aan much during these blessed days and honorable nights. For indeed, there is a special virtue for the abundance of recitation in these days, which is not found in any other month. He should take advantage of the nobleness of time during this month, in which Allaah revealed the Qur’aan.

There is a special merit to reciting the Qur’aan in the nights of Ramadaan. For indeed, the night brings an end to the busy daily affairs, the enthusiasm is roused and the heart and the tongue mount upon reflecting. And Allaah is the one in whom we seek assistance.

It is reported that Jibreel used to meet with the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) during each night of Ramadaan and they would study the Qur’aan together. [4] So if making thikr (remembrance of Allaah) were better than the Qur’aan or equal to it (on these nights), they would have done that all the time or at certain times along with constantly gathering for that occasion.

Thus, this hadeeth illustrates the precedence of studying the Qur’aan during Ramadaan and gathering together for that occasion as well as turning towards one who is more prominent in the memorization of it.

The predecessors of this ummah would recite the Qur’aan constantly during Ramadaan. And when they would fast, they would sit in the masaajid and say: “We will guard our fast and not backbite anyone.”

They would recite the Qur’aan in their prayer and out of it. ‘Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu anhu) would complete the recitation of the (whole) Qur’aan once a day. And some of the Salaf would complete it during their qiyaam in Ramadaan every three nights. Some of them would do it every seven days and some every ten days.

Ash-Shaafi’ee would complete the Qur’aan sixty times during Ramadaan, while reciting it outside of prayer. Al-Aswad would recite the whole Qur’aan every two nights of Ramadaan. Qataadah would always compete the Qur’aan every seven days. He would do it every three days in Ramadaan, and during the last ten days, he would do it every night. Their reports concerning that are famous.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “The forbiddance of reciting the Qur’aan in less than three days (as stated in a hadeeth) has only been mentioned in regards to its being done on a normal basis. As for the specific times that are virtuous, such as the month of Ramadaan and especially the nights in which the night of Al-Qadr is sought. Or those places that are virtuous, such as Makkah for the one who enters it without residing there, then it is recommended to recite the Qur’aan a lot in these times and places, seeking the merits connected with their time and place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Abu Ishaaq and other scholars. And the actions of others indicate that as has been stated previously.” [5]

The person reciting the Qur’aan must observe the proper etiquettes of recitation. Some of them are that: He make his intention sincerely for Allaah, that he recite it whilst being in a state of purity, that he use the Siwaak and that he recite it while pondering on its meaning and observing total consciousness. Allaah says:

“A Book, which We have revealed to you in order that its verses may be pondered upon, so that the people of understanding may be reminded.”

Also, from the etiquettes of the recitation is that one does not stop his reciting in order to speak to someone else. Indeed, when many people sit to recite the Qur’aan, and there are people sitting next to them, a majority of the time, they stop their recitation and speak to their neighbors. This is not proper since it is turning away from the recitation without a valid reason.

And it is on the one who recites, to act upon the Qur’aan, making permissible its Halaal and forbidding its Haraam, so that the Qur’aan can be a proof for him on the Day of Judgement and intercede for him in entering the gardens of bliss.

Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim [2] Reported by Muslim (804) [3] Saheeh Muslim (804) [4] Al-Bukhaaree (1/30) and Muslim (2308) [5] Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 102-103

Exerting Oneself During the Last Ten Days of Ramadaan : Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Author:’Abdullaah Ibn Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg. 133-135)
Translator:isma’eel alarcon (for al-manhaj.com)

‘Aa’ishah (raa) said: “When the last ten days (of Ramadaan) would come, the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would spend his night in worship, wake his family (at night), exert himself and tighten his Izaar (waistcloth).” [1]This hadeeth is proof that the last ten days of Ramadaan have a special virtue over any other (set of days), in which one should increase in obedience and acts of worship, such as prayer, making dhikr (remembrance) and reciting the Qur’aan.

‘Aa’ishah (raa) has described our Prophet and role model, Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), with four attributes:

1. He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would “spend his night in worship”, meaning he would not sleep during it. Thus, he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would remain awake throughout it in worship and he would liven his soul by spending the night in sleeplessness. This is since sleep is the brother of death. The meaning of “spend his night” is that he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would spend all of it in the state of qiyaam (night prayer) and performing acts of worship that are done for the sake of Allaah, Lord of the worlds. We must remember that the last ten days of Ramadaan are fixed and numbered.

As for what has been reported concerning the forbiddance of spending the entire night in prayer, which has been mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr (raa), then it is in regards to someone who does that consistently throughout every night of the year.

2. He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would “wake up his family” meaning his (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) pure wives, the Mothers of the Believers, so that they may take part in the profiting of good, the dhikr (remembrance) and the acts of worship during these blessed times.

3. He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would “exert himself”, meaning he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would persevere and struggle in worship, adding more to his deeds than what he had done in the first twenty days (of Ramadaan). He only did this because the night of Al-Qadr occurs during one of these (last ten) days.

4. He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would “tighten his Izaar (waistcloth)” meaning he would exert himself and struggle intensely in worship. It is also said that it means he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would withdraw from women. This seems to be more correct since it inclines with what was mentioned previously and with the hadeeth of Anas (raa): “He (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would rollup his bed and withdraw from women (i.e. his wives).” [2]

Also, he (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) would observe ‘Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan and the person who is in the state of ‘Itikaaf is restricted from interacting (sexually) with women.

So, O Muslim brother, strive to characterize yourself with these attributes. And guard the prayer you make in the depths of the night (tahajjud) with the Imaam in addition to the Taraaweeh prayer (which is prayed in the early parts of the night), so that your exertion in these last ten days may go beyond that of the first twenty. And so that you may achieve the attribute of “spending the night in worship” by praying.

And you must be patient in your obedience to Allaah, for indeed, the tahajjud (night) prayer is difficult, but its reward is great. By Allaah, it is a great opportunity in ones life and a profitable thing to take advantage of, for the one whom Allaah grants it to. And a person does not know if perhaps he will encounter one of Allaah’s many rewards during the night prayer, thus serving as assistance for him in this world and in the Hereafter.

The righteous predecessors of this ummah would lengthen the prayer at night, exerting themselves. As-Saa’ib Ibn Yazeed said: “‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab ordered Ubay Bin Ka’ab and Tameem Ad-Daaree to lead the people in prayer with eleven raka’aat. The reciter would recite one hundred verses, to the point that we had to lean upon wooden staffs due to the long standing. And we would not stop until the early parts of Fajr.” [3]

‘Abdullaah Ibn Abee Bakr reported: “I heard my father (i.e. Abu Bakr) say: ‘During Ramadaan, we would finish (the night prayer) late and we would hurry the servants to present the food (of suhoor) for fear that Fajr (morning) would come upon us.” [4]

There are two struggles of the soul that the believer faces during Ramadaan: the struggle by day with fasting and the struggle by night with qiyaam (night prayer). So whosoever combines these two and fulfills their rights, then he is amongst the patient — those who will “be given their reward in full without any reckoning.” [5]

These ten days are the last part of the month and a person’s actions are based on his last ones. So perhaps, he will encounter the night of Al-Qadr, while standing in prayer for Allaah and thus have all his past sins forgiven.

And one must incite, animate and persuade his family to perform acts of worship, especially in these great times in which no one neglects it except that he has been deprived. What is more incredible than this is that while the people are performing prayer and making tahajjud, some individuals spend their time in forbidden gatherings and sinful events. This is indeed the greatest loss. We ask Allaah for his protection.

Therefore, embarking on these last days means entering into the profiting from righteous deeds in what remains of the month. From the unfortunate matters is to see that some people excel in righteous actions, such as prayer and recitation of the Qur’aan, in the first part of the month, but then signs of fatigue and weariness begin to show on them afterwards, especially when the last ten days of Ramadaan come in. And this is in spite of these last ten days possessing a greater standing than the first ones. Thus, one must persevere in striving and struggling and increase his worship when the end of the month draws near. And we must keep in mind that a person’s actions are based on his last ones.


Footnotes:

[1] Al-Bukhaaree (4/269) and Muslim (1174)

[2] See Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif: pg. 219

[3] See Al-Muwatta (Eng. Dar El-Fiker): vol. 1, pg 154

[4] Also in the Muwatta of Imaam Maalik: vol. 1, pg. 156

[5] Surat-uz-Zumar: 15