Spiritual Benefits Of The Ramadan As Revealed In The Prophet’s Sermon
Muslims throughout the world including Ghana have commenced the month long Ramadan fast in unison. They observe the fast daily and pray through the nights for forgiveness of their sins and for guidance by Allah to follow the right path in life. The following piece depicts how the Prophet Mohammed PBH described the mercies bestowed on Muslims who fast in accordance with the laws of Islam.
Baihaqi reported on the authority of Salman Al-Farsi (Radhi Allah 'Anh) that Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) delivered a sermon on the last day of the month of Sha'ban. In it he (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said,
'O People! The month of Allah (Ramadan) has come with its mercies, blessings and forgiveness. Allah has decreed this month as the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among other nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among other hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Allah (to fast and pray). Allah has honored you in it. In every breath you take in is a reward from Allah. Your sleep is worship and your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.
Therefore, you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur'an. Indeed, miserable is the o¬ne who is deprived of Allah's forgiveness in this great month. While fasting remember the hunger and thirst o¬n the Day of Judgment. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard.
Be kind to orphans so that should your children become orphans they will also be treated with kindness. Do repent to Allah from your sins and supplicate with raised hands at the times of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Almighty looks at His servants with mercy. Allah Answers their prayers if they supplicate, responds if they call, grants if He is asked, and accepts if they entreat. O people! You have made your conscience the slave of your desires.
Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate yourself before Allah for long intervals, and make this load lighter. Understand fully that Allah has promised in His Honor and Majesty that, people who perform salat and sajada (prostration) will be guarded from Hell-fire o¬n the Day of Judgment.
O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for iftar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins. A companion asked: 'but not all of us have the means to do so' The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) replied: Keep yourself away from Hell-fire though it may consist of half a date or even some water if you have nothing else.
O people!, anyone who during this month cultivates good manners, will walk over the Sirat (bridge to Paradise) o¬n the day when feet will tend to slip. For anyone who during this month eases the workload of his servants, Allah will make easy his accounting, and for anyone who doesn't hurt others during this month, Allah will safeguard him from His Wrath o¬n the Day of Judgment. Anyone who respects and treats an orphan with kindness during this month, Allah shall look at him with kindness o¬n that Day. Anyone who treats his kinsmen well during this month, Allah will bestow His Mercy o¬n him o¬n that Day, while anyone who mistreats his kinsmen during this month, Allah will keep away from His Mercy.
Whoever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whoever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whoever repeatedly invokes Allah's blessings o¬n me, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heavy, while the scales of others will be tending to lightness. Whoever recites during this month an ayat (verse) of the Holy Qur'an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur'an in other months.
O people!, the gates of Paradise remain open during this month. Pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. While the gates of Hell are closed, pray to your Lord that they never open for you. Satan has been chained; invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.'
Ali ibn Talib (Radhi Allah 'Anh) said: 'I asked, 'O messenger of Allah, what are the best deeds during this month'?' 'He replied: 'O Abu-Hassan, the best of deeds during this month is to be far from what Allah has forbidden'.'
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