When we are growing up, it is normal to assume that the month of Ramadan is merely a test of our worship of Allah SWT. After all, it is abstinence from things that we would otherwise do in the course of our day and it is refraining from certain things that provide us with pleasure.
However, as we grow up we come to the realisation that the month of Ramadan is far from being just a test for our devotion to the commands of Allah SWT but instead, it is actually a source of benefit and great blessing.
And make no mistake, despite the attempts of some to dismiss the importance of the act of fasting, this month forms the absolute pillar of what it is to be a Muslim. The imam reminded us of this by referencing the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
Islam is based on five things – the testimony that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the observance of the prayer, the payment of zakat, the Pilgrimage, and the fast during Ramadan.
Dear brothers and sisters, we live in a time where there is a constant effort to dilute the practices of our faith. From people saying that fasting is only to be done during weekends or office hours to even more absurd ideas which are all designed to take us away from the blessing of this month.
There is no room for misunderstanding as Allah SWT has clearly stated that the month of Ramadan is incumbent upon us to perform fasting and other acts of worship in this blessed month. The imam reminded us of this in the following references from the Quran in which Allah SWT taught us in Sura Baqara, ayats 183 and 184 that:
You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be mindful of God.
Fast for a specific number of days, but if one of you is ill, or on a journey, on other days later. For those who can fast only with extreme difficulty, there is a way to compensate- feed a needy person. But if anyone does good of his own accord, it is better for him, and fasting is better for you, if only you knew.
Dear brothers and sisters, fasting in the month of Ramadan is not something that was given to just the Prophet SAWS. It was actually in fact, restored by the Prophet SAWS and it was always an act of worship that was expected of man.
So before we move onto the benefits of the month of Ramadan, we need to be mindful of this fact.
And so, the reminder today moves onto the benefits that we receive from the act of fasting. The reminder lists 10 benefits or blessings that are both for us in this life and the next.
- This is the month in which the book of Allah SWT was revealed to the Prophet SAWS. The glorious Quran is the single biggest blessing each of us have accessible to us at any time and the month of Ramadan is the month in which we received it through the Prophet SAWS.
- It is a month of forgiveness. The imam reminded us of this through the following hadith he referenced in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.
- It is the month in which we have the night of power. Insh’Allah we will go into this more in the near future khutbas.
- Our good deed in this month are boosted in that each one has double or more reward attached to it. The Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied for him, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit. Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it
- The act of fasting will act as a source of forgiveness on the Day of Judgement insh’Allah.
- The dua of the fasting person is not rejected. The Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
There are three whose
supplication is not rejected:
one who has just ended a fast, a just imam, and one who has been wronged whose supplication is raised by God above the clouds and for which the gates of heaven are opened. The Lord says, ‘I swear by my might that I will certainly help you, though it be after some time’.
- Those who fast will be presented with their own entrance to Jannat as explained by the Prophet SAWS in the following hadith which is translated to say:
“In Jannah there is a gate which is called Ar-Raiyan through which only those who observe Saum (fasting) will enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” So they will stand up and proceed towards it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.”
- The month of Ramadan goes hand in hand with night prayers usually for those who observe fasting and this act has great reward as well.
- The Umrah performed in this month is equivalent to Hajj.
- And lastly, the one who performs Ramadan correctly each year has their sins forgiven between the two.
Dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadan is full of blessings and reward. Let us use the reminder today to begin our preparations so that we can make the most of the month insh’Allah.