Ramadan is Fast Approaching, are you Ready to Receive it?

A year has passed and here we are once again at the doorstep of another month of Ramadan. It seems as if it was only yesterday that we were bidding farewell to this holy month. Last Ramadan we had begged Allah to forgive us our sins and had promised ourselves not to return to those sins ever again. Many of us fell short in that and soon returned to our old ways after Ramadan. It is due to the vast mercy of Allah that he has granted us another chance to receive this year’s Ramadan so that we can turn to Him in repentance. How many family members, friends, classmates, and coworkers who were with us last Ramadan parted from us and are now buried in the soil beneath the earth? Let us wake up and prepare ourselves to receive this Ramadan with seriousness, for we do not know whether we will see another Ramadan after it!

The month of Ramadan is a unique month due to the special virtues that have been mentioned with regards to it. Of those virtues are the following:

1. It is the month of fasting, Allah says:

“O you who believe! Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Al-Baqarah 2:183]

2. It is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, Allah says:

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

3. In it is a night that is better than a thousand months, Allah says:

“Indeed We sent it (i.e. the Qur’an) down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” [Al-Qadr 97:1-3]

4. It is the month of forgiveness, the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Whoever stands praying (the night prayer) in Ramadan out of faith and with the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

5. It is the month of charity, the Prophet (SAW) said:

“The best charity is the charity given in Ramadan.” [Tirmidhi]

6. In it the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained up, the Prophet (SAW) said:

“A blessed month has arrived. Observing it in fasting is mandatory upon you. During this month, the gates of Paradise will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed. The devils will be chained up. In it there is one night during which worship is better than a thousand months of worship. Whoever is denied its blessings has been denied the greatest blessing.” [Ahmad, Nasa’i, and Bayhaqi]

These are just some of the virtues that have been mentioned of this great month. How can we allow a month of such great merit to pass us without having taken advantage of it?

In conclusion, I’d like to point out a dangerous matter which has become common amongst many who attribute themselves to Islam today. That is neglecting the month of Ramadan and the obligation of fasting in it. Whoever breaks the fast during Ramadan without a legitimate excuse has committed a serious major sin, so how about the one who does not fast to begin with? The Prophet (SAW) once said when describing a dream that he had seen:

“… until I was at a mountain where I heard loud voices. I asked, ‘what are these voices?’ They said, ‘this is the howling of the people of Hell-Fire.’ Then I was taken to another place, and I saw people hanging from their hamstrings with the corners of their mouths torn and dripping with blood. I said, ‘who are these?’ They said, ‘the people who broke their fast before it was the proper time to do so.’” [At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb]

And the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever breaks one day’s fast of Ramadan without an authorized permission from Allah, he will never be able to redeem it with another day’s fast, even if he fasts to eternity.” [Tirmidhi]

Al-Hafidh Adh-Dhahabi said: “It is well-established among the believers that whoever does not fast in Ramadan without a valid excuse is worse than an adulterer or drunkard; they doubt whether he is even a Muslim at all, and they regard him as a heretic and profligate.”

And Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “If a person does not fast in Ramadan knowing that it is Haram but making it Halal for himself to do so, he must be executed; and if he does it because he is immoral (but believes it is Haram), then he must be punished for not fasting.”

So let us not be from among the neglectful ones this Ramadan, and let us prepare ourselves for its arrival, receiving it with strong determination, fasting, praying, and performing various types of worship in it, and constantly turning to Allah in repentance.

Madeenah, Saudi Arabia
28th of Sha'ban 1428