Ramadan – A few words
Insha”Allah in a few hours we will know whether we will be seeing the blessings of this year’s Ramadan-ul-Mubarak in our life time or not. There must be many in the world who will not have that blessing if it was not written for them. Its indeed a time to hold our breath and pray that we be allowed to have one more chance.
In the next few lines I will try to lay in front of you a few things about Ramadan that we learn from the Ahadith of our beloved Messenger (saw). You probably know that the creation of Allah (swt) is divided into two types. One is called Alam-alKhalq (the Created World) and the other is Alam-alAmr (the Commanded World). The created world includes everything that we can see and feel with our senses, the earth and whatever is in it, the planets etc. and Alam-alAmr includes the Arsh, Jannat, Jahannum, Angels etc. While we human beings can not perceive with our sight what is in the Alam-alAmr, there is another creation of Allah, the Jinns, who, while being from Alm-al-Khalq, can witness things from the Alam-alAmr.
Now in Ramadan, Allah (swt) not just ordains fasting upon the believing men and women, He (swt) moves things around and changes matters the way they are done in both Alam-alAmr and Alam-alKhalq and what’s in between them, just for the blessed month of Ramadan. How? Lets take a look:
1. It comes in ahadith that the doors of Jahannum are closed during Ramadan. (major change in Alam-alAmr)
2. It comes in ahadith that Jannat is beautified even more for fasting believers and it is increased in its beauty every day of Ramadan. (change in Alam-alAmr)
3. It comes in ahadith that the Shayateen are tied (a change for creation that interfaces between Alam-alKhalq and Amr).
4. And it comes in ahadith that for the fasting believer, the birds flying in the air, the fish in the waters and the ants in their holes all get busy in making dua-e-maghfirah. (a change in the system of Alam-alKhalq)
Subhan’Allah this is what Ramadan is and so many of us enter it without preparation to welcome this Grandest Event in the Universe that comes in our life time (noting that the ultimate grand event, Akhirat will come in the afterlife). Can we imagine doing the same to any other significant event in our home or work place? Probably not.
So how should we prepare for Ramadan? The thing that comes in between us and Allah’s blessings is nothing but our own Sins. When Allah (swt) has done so much to realign His Creation so that we may benefit from His blessings during this time, it only behooves us that we make sincere and complete taubah from all our sins before entering the month of Ramadan.
Taubah does not mean actually leaving the sins because that is a process that takes time. Some sins are so entrenched in our system that it might even take a life time to get rid of them, such as we become so habitual to lying or backbiting that even if we want we are not able to leave this habit easily. But taubah is actually making a pure intention of the heart that I realize this is a sin and I will do all I can to leave it, and then seeking Allah’s help. The way Allah (swt) helps a person who had made sincere and complete taubah is by providing him the taufeeq to join in the company of those people who are also striving to get rid of all sins. This change of company and in some ways his/her environment helps even the worst of sinners to change. Ramadan further helps us to leave our sins by at least providing us a changed environment. Lets make the best use of it and try to adopt good company as well to complete the cycle.
Allah (swt) has commanded us in the Qur’an to leave all sins, whether done openly or secretly. Wazaro zahiral ithm-e wa batinah. While many of us think that only drinking wine, fornicating etc. are sins, there is a whole range of internal sins that we are constantly engaged in doing but we do not even realize it. Let me list some of them here for our own reflection so that when we make taubah to Allah we are conscious of these sins also. Anger (ghussah), Uncontrolled Lust (shahwat), Pride and Arrogance (takabbur), Conceit and Vanity (khudpasandi and ujub), Greed (hirs), Envy (hasad), Hatred towards others (bughs wa inaad) and last but not the least, Love of the Dunya (hubbuddunya). In fact Rasoolullah (saw) said, Hubbuddunya raso kulley khatee’ah. love of dunya is the root of all sins.
Of course the blessings of Ramandan are so many and the points that our teachers have elaborated about how to make the best use of them are so much in detail that I can go on and on, but I know it will not be easy for you to take out the time to read it either. So I will finish it here with just one hadith I recently read that should be enough for all of us to appreciate such reminders.
The Prophet (saw) once said to his beloved wife: “Ya Ayesha, laisa kullunnaase murkhan alaeh”. Aei Ayesha, Har banday ko Muhlat nahi dee jati.
May Allah (swt) allow us despite our negligence to appreciate these chances of turning to Him in full repentance before our time is up.
Wa ma taufeeqee illa biAllah
Requesting your duas in your moments of solitude with Allah
Syed Kashif Karim
Shaban 29, 1434 / July 8, 2013