Entering Ramadan – 1443

Dear brothers and sisters, this coming Friday night Allah will allow us to enter once again into the sacredness and blessedness of Ramadan Kareem insha’allah. This is one of the times of the year when all Muslims are united in this single quest.

This is a month of tranquility and spiritual development. It is the month for self-examination, conscience reawakening and freedom from selfishness and lustful desires. Allah says

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ002.183

Ya- ayyuha- allath-eena a-manoo kutiba ‘aalaykumu alss-iya-mu kama- kutiba ‘aala- allath-eena min qablikum la’aallakum tattaqoona

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint,-

Fellow Muslims! The month of Ramadan is a time for us to look deep into ourselves. A time of self restraint; a time for fasting not only from food and water and sexual intercourse but also from those diseases of the heart which we have begin to look at in the preceeding weeks. Fasting from anger and greed and jealousy. Fasting from arguing and from enmity, hatred, prejudice, stinginess and covetousness.

Rasool allah (swt) has said that if you do not give up anger Allah does not want your hunger.

This month is also a month for us to read and understand the book whose light will never fade and which is a path that never leads one astray. The Quran Kareem is a light for guidance. Whoever does not read Quran or doesn’t put its guidance into practice has gone far astray even if they are apparently successful in other areas of life.

As Allah SWT tells us:

أَوَمَنْ كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Awa man ka-na maytan faah-yayna-hu waja’aalna- lahu nooran yamshee bihi fee alnna-si kaman mathaluhu fee al{thth}uluma-ti laysa bikha-rijin minha- katha-lika zuyyina lilka-fireena ma- ka-noo ya’amaloona

006.122 Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come out? Thus to those without faith their own deeds seem pleasing.

No, brothers and sisters a human being who has accepted this life and light is rightly guided and is truly alive and fulfilling the purpose which Allah swt put them here for.

The endeavors of any human being without this guidance of Quran will end up in darkness and unfulfillment

Fellow Muslims! There is such great guidance and benefit in the recitation and implementation of the Quran in our lives! And we must ponder its meanings and bring its spirituality back into our lives. It is no exaggeration to say that the diseases of past nations have affected the Muslims, and they are unaware of this. Allah says

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلا يَظُنُّونَ

Waminhum ommiyyoona la- ya’alamoona alkita-ba illa- ama-niyya wa-in hum illa- ya{th}unnoona

And there are among them unlettered people who do not know not the Scripture except indulging in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming.” Al Baqarah/ 78

Scholars of Tafsir say about this verse: ‘It means: they know nothing about the Book except for its recitation, for it never passed their lungs and throats and went truly into their hearts. This is because of the fact that there was a spiritual absence in their recitation and; therefore, they were unable to ponder over its meanings’.

The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. lived for sixty-three years; nowadays we are used to believing that old age and the vicissitudes of life cause hair to turn grey. What then will you think of a man who attributed grey hair to some verses of the glorious Quran that he used to recite? At-Tirmidhi reports that Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him asked the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. about what caused some of his beard to become grey, he p.b.u.h. replied: ‘It was caused by Soorah Hood, Soorah Al-Waaqi’ah, Soorah An-Naba’ and Soorah At-Takweer.” Surely there is guidance here for one who listens!

It is a sad thing when we see the stance that many in our Ummah have adopted with regard to the Book of their Lord. Repeating it by rote and not by heart. It is as if they wander aimlessly, all the time the light of guidance is there for them; the foreign systems and ideologies that they have embraced have done nothing for them.

Brothers in faith! The blessed month of Ramadan is also a wonderful opportunity for every Muslim to purify their soul in night prayer. Allah says

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلا

Inna na-shi-ata allayli hiya ashaddu wat–an waaqwamu qeela-n

Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing the soul, and most suitable for framing the Word of Prayer and Praise.

Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence of heart and tongue and more suitable for words i.e. for recitation of Quran and for hearing and understanding it.” Al-Muzzammil/ 6.

Truly the hours of the night impress the mind most strongly and speak with the clearest voice.

And so I remind myself as I remind you that the blessed month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for the Muslims to wake up for night prayers, seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him for their needs, for none has the power to answer their call except Allah alone. Remember the hadith which says that The Lord descends to the nearest heaven, in a way that befits his majesty, in the last third of the night and asks: “Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness so that I can forgive him?” Let us not miss this opportunity during this month for dhikr allah at this time in prayer.

Imam Tirmidhi reported that the Prophet of Allah p.b.u.h. said: “There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allah will say, ‘By My Glory! I shall assist you even if it is after a while.'”

And brothers remember Sabr. There are; those perhaps even me or you who raise their hands in dua and are impatient for a rapid answer; they may even feel despair if their supplications are not speedily answered. The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. said: “Allah will answer the supplication of any one of you as long as he is not hasty and says: ‘I called my Lord and He did not answer.’”

Perhaps it may be due to the fact that the prayer emanated only from the tongue and was not rooted in the heart. The Prophet p.b.u.h.: “Allah does not accept the supplications from an inattentive heart.” The heart is not free from turning to the desires of this life and we all know that one who always looks back does not reach his goal in time. Keep your hearts focused on Allah during this sacred month.

Therefore, I implore myself and you O Muslims, to make plentiful supplications to Allah, for supplication is the essence of worship. Let nobody slight their requirements however great or small they may be.

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

Waqa-la rabbukumu od’aoonee astajib lakum

“And your Lord says: ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you. Ghaafir/ 60

Here is an example for those in sorrow and distress:

Hadith reported from Abu Dawood

The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. entered the mosque one day and saw an Ansari a resident of Madinah man there by the name of Abu Umaamah. The Prophet p.b.u.h. asked him: ” O Abu Umaamah, why are you sitting in the mosque at a time that is not a prayer time?” He replied: ‘I was forced to do so by sorrow and debt.’ The Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. then asked: ‘Shall I teach you a supplication by which Allah will remove your sorrow and pay for you your debts?’ He answered: ‘O yes, Messenger of Allah!’ The Prophet p.b.u.h. then said: ‘Say every morning and evening: Allahumma innee a’oodhu bikka minal-hammi wal hazan, wa a’oodhu bika minal-‘ajzi wal-kasal wa a’oodhu bika minal-jubni wal-bukhul wa a’oodhu bika min ghalabatid-dayn wa qahrir-rijaal.’ Meaning: O Allah, I seek refuge with You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men. Abu Umaamah said: ‘I did that and Allah removed my distress and paid for me my debt.'” Abu Dawood

Fellow Muslims! The month of Ramadan is also a month of generosity and spending in ways that are virtuous. Each of us should take part in the generosity of this month and not hesitate to spend of our compassion, our rahma for those that are destitute. Let each of us keep away from stinginess and covetousness These are two of the bad qualities from which the Messenger of Allah p.b.u.h. sought refuge with his Lord from. The Rasul Allah SAW was the most generous of mankind and his generosity multiplied during the month of Ramadan

For our own sakes as well as the recipient, for when we are generous our heart becomes gladdened and we know Allah SWT is pleased with us and we are pleased with that. And in this we should remember that all we have, Allah SWT has given us as a sacred trust. When we choose to distribute that which we have received we are doing the work that Allah SWT has entrusted us to do. Nothing destroys the tricks and insinuations of Shaytan more than giving sincerely in charity.

Insha’allah, we will enter Ramadhan with the sighting of the hilal on this Friday evening . Let us remember to enter it in a state of ‘abd and may Allah accept our fast this year once again, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

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