In this ever-changing world, there are a few constants in one’s life. One of these constants for Muslims is Ramadan. It is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar or Hijri calendar (Hijri for when the prophet Muhammad (ppuh) Emigrated from Mecca to Medina).
Even if the month of Ramadan is a staple in one’s life, it is nonetheless the month of change; since the time of the prophet (ppuh) to nowadays. The Quran was brought down on the holiest night of this holiest month (Laylat ul-Qadr), the Battle of Badr was waged in this holy month (which is known as the decisive day since it was the first battle and victory for Muslims at the time of the prophet (ppuh)), the conquest of Mecca, that purged the Arabian peninsula of idolatry, was also in this holy month.
Ramadan is the month of change. It is a month for one to become better. And when one betters himself, he will surely better his surroundings. However, this change must be guided, and the best guide is the word of Allah: the Quran. Not only the Quran was first revealed in this month, but the Sahaba (companions of the prophet (ppuh)) would devote themselves to its recital and study even more than usual.
Now, we saw what makes this month so holy, but what is in it for us? Let’s see what the prophet Muhammad (ppuh) said on the matter:
“When Ramadan begins, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 3, Book 22, Hadith 2107.
“Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 3, Book 22, Hadith 2207.
“Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Laylat ul-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 6, Book 47, Hadith 5030.
‘When Laylat ul-Qadr comes Gabriel descends with a company of angels who invoke blessings on everyone who is standing or sitting and remembering God who is great and glorious. Then when their festival day comes (i.e. the day when they break their fast) God speaks proudly of them to His angels saying, “My angels, what is the reward of a hired servant who has fully accomplished his work?” They reply, “Our Lord, his reward is that he should be paid his wage in full.” He says, “My angels, my male and female servants have fulfilled what I have made obligatory for them, and then have come out raising their voices in supplication. By my might, glory, honour, high dignity, and exalted station, I will certainly answer them.” Then He says, “Return, for I have forgiven you and changed your evil deeds into good deeds.”’
Mishkat al-Masabih, Book 7, Hadith 137.
Can you imagine? Mercy, forgiveness, and reward, all in one month through sincerity and deeds! These are the keys as to how to succeed in this holy month. However, there are always going to be losers.
“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.”
Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1690.
“Whoever does not give up evil and ignorant speech, and acting in accordance with that, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.”
Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1689.
May Allah avoid us from being losers and grant us success in this holy month of change.