Ramadhaan is a month of immense blessing and mercy and is among the greatest bounties of Allah Ta’ala upon this Ummah. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) fervently explained the greatness of this month and the countless blessings which it brings. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Had my Ummah only known the great virtues and abundant blessings of Ramadhaan, they would have desired that the entire year be Ramadhaan” (Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah #1 886). Approximately two months prior to Ramadhaan, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would begin eagerly anticipating the arrival of Ramadhaan. Upon witnessing the crescent of Rajab, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would recite the following dua:
اللهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَبٍ، وَشَعْبَانَ، وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان (شعب الإيمان، الرقم: 3534)
“O Allah! Bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan and make us reach the month of Ramadhaan.”
Striving in Ibaadat during the month of Ramadhaan
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed the Sahaabah regarding the abundant virtues of Ramadhaan prior to the month of Ramadhaan dawning upon them. In this way, he motivated and encouraged them to prepare themselves mentally, physically and spiritually for the month in order that they may be able to acquire the maximum blessings of this month.
Hazrat Salmaan Faarsi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed us on the last day of Sha’baan saying: “O people, a great and blessed month is soon to dawn upon you, in which lies a night greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah Ta’ala has made fasting compulsory by day and has made Taraweeh Salaah sunnah by night. Whoever draws near to Allah Ta’ala by performing any nafl deed, for such a person shall be the reward like the reward of one who performs a fardh deed at any other time. Whoever performs a fardh deed during this month shall be blessed with the reward of the one who performs seventy faraaidh at any other time. This is indeed the month of patience and the reward for true patience is Jannah” (Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah #1887).
Making Dua for the Acceptance of One’s Ibaadat
Apart from striving in ibaadat during this blessed month, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had taught us to make dua for the acceptance of our ibaadat.
Hazrat Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that when the month of Ramadhaan would arrive, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would teach us the following duaa (to secure the blessings of Ramadhaan):
اللّهُمَّ سَلِّمْنِيْ لِرَمَضَانَ وَسَلِّمْ رَمَضَانَ لِيْ وَسَلِّمْهُ لِيْ مُتَقَبَّلًا
(رواه الطبراني والديلمي وسنده حسن -كنز العمال ، الرقم :24277 )
O Allah! Safeguard me for the month of Ramadhaan (by keeping me healthy and fit so that I can take maximum benefit from it), and safeguard the month of Ramadhaan for me (by preserving the blessings of the month in my life) and accept it from me.
Being Deprived of the Blessings of Ramadhaan
While it is essential for us to fast, be punctual on our Salaah, perform Taraweeh, engage in tilaawat and strive to acquire the maximum blessings of the month of Ramadhaan, it is incumbent upon us to preserve our good deeds through refraining from committing sins. Committing sins and evil deeds deprives one of the blessings of Ramadhaan and destroys the noor of one’s ibaadat.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “There are many who fast during the day yet receive nothing but hunger, and there are many who stand up during the night in Salaah yet receive nothing but sleeplessness” (i.e. on account of their sinning, they do not receive the reward of the fast and of standing up at night in ibaadat) (Ibn Maajah #1690).
The Most Unfortunate Person
Hazrat Ubaadah bin Saamit (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “In the month of Ramadhaan, Allah Ta’ala turns His special mercies towards you, forgives your sins and accepts your duas and supplications. He looks at your vying with each other in carrying out good deeds (to please Allah Ta’ala) and boasts to His angels about you. Hence, show Allah Ta’ala your works of piety and righteousness. For certainly, the most unfortunate one is he who is deprived of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala in this blessed month” (Targheeb #1490).
The blessed month of Ramadhaan affords one the golden opportunity to reform oneself and correct one’s relationship with Allah Ta’ala. One of the main purposes of fasting is to acquire piety and self-discipline. Allah Ta’ala says: “Fasting has been ordained upon you as it had been ordained upon the people before you so that you may learn self-restraint” (Surah Baqarah, Aayah 183). Hence, we should endeavour to fulfil the rights of this auspicious month by fulfilling the commandments of Allah Ta’ala and restraining ourselves from committing sins or anything displeasing to Allah Ta’ala in order that we may be blessed with the true spirit and noor of Ramadhaan until the end of our lives.