What is Befitting that the Time Be Occupied with during the Blessed Month of Ramadan
By: The Noble Scholar Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
Translated by: Raha ‘Azeezuddeen Batts
All the Hamd is for Allah for His Bounty and Beneficence. He has favored us by allowing us to reach the month of Ramadan and established for us therein from righteous actions which bring us closer to Him. May the prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the first to proceed in good actions, and upon his family, and companions, who have believed in him, helped him, aided him and followed the light with which he was sent. They are the successful. As to what follows:
I advise you and myself to have Taqwaa of Allah within this blessed month and other than it from the months. However, this month has a status with which Allah has particularized it, for it is a season of good actions. It has been narrated that he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to invoke Allah for the reaching of Ramadan. So he would say when he entered the month of Rajab: “O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan; and let us reach Ramadan.”(Bayhaqee and others. Al-Albaanee declared it to be weak.)
It has also been narrated that he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would give his companions glad tidings of its approach and clarify to them its virtues; saying: “O people, a great and blessed month has come upon you.”[On the authority of Aboo Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Ramadan has come upon you, a blessed month. Allah the Mighty and Majestic has obligated upon you its fast. The doors of the heaven are opened therein and the doors of the Hellfire are shut and the rebellious devils are chained up. Allah has a night therein which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is truly deprived.”](Ahmad and others)
He would urge his companions to strive hard therein with righteous action, from the obligatory and the supererogatory; from the prayers and the charity; and striving in goodness and ihsaan; and patience upon obedience of Allah; spending its day with the fast, its night with standing in prayer and its hours with reciting the Qur’aan and remembering Allah ‘Azz wa Jal.
So do not squander it with heedlessness and aversion, as is the case of the wretched ones who have forgotten Allah so He caused them to forget themselves. So they do not benefit from the passing of the time of good nor do they recognize its sanctity. And they do not give it its just due.
Many of the people do not recognize this month except as a month for alteration of the eating and drinking; so they exaggerate in giving their souls what they desire and they frequently purchase luxury items of foods and drinks; and it is known that abundance of eating and drinking makes one lazy from doing actions of obedience. That which is required of the Muslim is that he eats and drinks little so that he will be active upon obedience.
Some of the people do not recognize the month of Ramadan except as a month of sleep during the day and wakefulness during the night upon that which is of no benefit or that which is actually harmful. So he stays awake most of the night or all of it, then he sleeps during the day even (neglecting) the obligatory prayers; so he does not pray with the Jamaa’ah nor in the times of the prayers.
Some of the people sit at the table for Iftaar, abandoning salatul-Magrib with the Jamaa’ah.
These groups from amongst the people do not know the worth of the month of Ramadan nor do they refrain from violating its sanctity, they are vigilant upon the Haraam and they abandon the obligations. They do the forbidden acts and with regards to this group, they do not recognize the month of Ramadan except as a month for trade, laying out the commodities and seeking after the fleeting dunyaa. So they are active in buying and selling so that they cling to the marketplaces and they make hijrah from the masaajid. And if they go to the masaajid, they are in a hurry and reluctant, they do not stay therein; because the coolness of their eyes is in the marketplaces.
Another group from the people does not recognize the month of Ramadan except as a time for begging in the masaajid and in the streets. So that one passes most of his time going and returning; travelling here and there and moving from land to land to gather wealth by begging. He makes himself look as if he is in need while he is actually rich; and as if he has an ailment in his body while he is actually healthy. He denies Allah’s blessing upon him of richness and health, and takes the wealth without due right. He wastes his valuable time in that which is harmful to him so nothing remains of virtue for Ramadan with these groups.
Slaves of Allah, Allah’s Messenger(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)would strive hard in this month more than he would strive in other months; and he, upon him be prayers and peace, would be serious in al-‘Ibaadah during all of its times. He would remove himself in this month from most distractions which are in actuality worship, but he would remove himself from the virtuous acts for that which was more virtuous than it. And the Salafus-Saalih would follow his example in that and would particularize this month with an abundance of importance and they would dedicate themselves therein to righteous actions. They would spend its night in Tahajjud and its day in fasting, remembrance and recitation of the Qur’aan. They would spend time in the masaajid with that; so let us compare our affair to their affair and what is the extent of our knowledge with this month. And let us know that just as the good deeds are multiplied therein, the sins committed therein are likewise and their punishment is increased. So let us fear Allah the Glorified and honor His sacred things: “And whoever honors the sacred things of Allah that is better for him with his Lord.” (Al-Hajj 22:30)
May Allah grant success for all righteous statements and actions, and may Allah send prayers and peace upon our prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
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Author: Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Bin Muhammad Al Junaid
Translated By: Abu Afnaan Muhammad Abdullah
All praise is due to Allah the All Powerful and All Mighty. Peace and blessings be upon the Master of all of mankind (Muhammad), his family, his companions and the tabi’een .
Abu Huraira -May Allah be pleased with him- has related that the Prophet (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) said,
“Hasten to do good deeds; (there will be) fitnah like a portion of a dark night, wherein an individual wakes up as a believer and begins the night as a disbeliever or he begins the night as a believer and wakes up as a disbeliever. He sells his religion for a portion of the dunya (this worldly life).”
This hadith will be explained in light of the different issues related to this hadith:
1. The analysis of this hadith and its authenticity.
Imam Muslim narrated this hadith (n.118) and the abovementioned phrasing is from his narration. Also, Imam Ahmad related this hadith (n. 10,772) and (n. 8,030), At Tirmidhi also related it (n. 2,195), along with Ibn Hibban (n. 6,704) and other narrators of hadith have narrated this hadith as well.
Those (scholars of hadith) who deemed this hadith authentic (sahih) were: Muslim, At Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, Abu ‘Awaana, Al Baghawi, Al Albani and other scholars of hadith.
2. The subject matter of the hadith:
The topic of this hadith is to warn from the threat of fitnah and an explanation of the dangers and harms it presents to mankind.
3. The third issue of the hadith: The explanation of the hadith.
This hadith is related to fitnah, which is of two types:
The first type is the fitnah of As Shubuhaat (doubts). What is meant by this type of fitnah is that fitnah which is connected to the religion/deen. This type of fitnah is more severe than the fitnah of As shahawaat (base desires) because it (may) expel an individual from the purity of At Tawheed and cause him to enter into the filth of As Shirk (polytheism), Al Kufr (disbelief), Al Ilhaad (atheism or misguidance with regards to Allah’s names and attributes), or Az Zandaqa(hypocrisy) and cause him to exit from the light of the Sunnah and cause him to enter into the darkness of bid’ah and misguidance.
This type of fitnah appears from time to time. Read more…
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him, said,
“Indeed those things which inhibit a person from attaining what he is aiming for are numerous. But by seeking Allaah’s Aid, the Mighty and Majestic, and by expending [the required] effort he will achieve his goal. And let it be known that every time the diversion is stronger then the one seeking [his goal] will be in a jihaad, and that every time the distraction is stronger but the person drives it away then through that he will receive two rewards: the reward for doing the [righteous] action and the reward for repelling the hindrance and for this reason the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said,
“Ahead of you there are days of patience, when patience will be like grasping live coals, and the one who does good deeds will have the reward of fifty Companions,” because of the numerousness of the things that hinder.”
Ash-Sharh al-Mumti, vol. 1, pp. 22-23.