RAMADHAAN THE BLESSED MONTH
Ibne Abbaas radhiyallahu anhu says that he heard our Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam say: Jannah (paradise) is made fragrant with the sweetest perfumes in Ramadhaan From the very beginning of the year till the end, it is brightly decorated for the coming of this blessed month.
And when the first night of Ramadhaan appears, a wind blows from beneath the Arsh (Throne). It is called Mutheerah and causes the leaves of the trees of Jannah to rustle and door handles to vibrate, thus giving forth such a melodious sound as had never been heard before. The dark eyed damsels of Jannah then step forth till they appear in the centre of the balconies of Jannah, exclaiming, "Is there anyone praying to Allah for us that Allah may join us in marriage with him?" Then these damsels call out "O Ridhwaan, (Keeper of Jannah)! What night is this?" He replies: "Labbayk, it is indeed the first night of Ramadhaan, when the doors of Jannah are opened to those who observe the fast from among the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam." Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam further said: Allah says, "O Ridhwaan, open the doors of Jannah and O Maalik (Keeper of Jahannam), dose the doors of Jahannam for those who fast from among the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam. O Jibra'eel, proceed down to the Earth and bind all the rebellious shayaateen (devils), put them in chains, cast them in the oceans, so that they make no mischief, to spoil the fast of the Ummah of My beloved Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam". Allah commands a caller from the heavens to call out three times on every one of the nights of Ramadhaan: "Is there anyone begging of Me that I may grant him his desire? Is there anyone repenting to Me that I may turn in mercy to him? Is there anyone begging My forgiveness that I may forgive him? Who is there who shall give a loan to the One whose wealth does not diminish, and the One Who duly pays back without any deductions."
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi
wasallam said further: Every day at the time of iftaar,Allah sets bee one thousand
souls from the fire of Jahannam who had previously been found deserving Jahannam. On the last night, He sets bee as many more as had been set bee throughout the month. On the night of Laylatul Qadr, Allah commands Jibraeel to descend
to the earth with a large group of angels. They descend
carrying a green flag, which is then planted on top of the Kaa'bah. Jibraeel alayhis salaam himself has one hundred wings, two of which
are spread out on this night only. He spreads out these two wings so that their width
extends from east to west. Jibraeel allies salaam then
sends out the angels in all directions to offer salutation to anybody they find standing in prayer or sitting,
performing Salaat or celebrating
the praises of Allah. They
shake hands with them and say Aameen to all their du'aas (prayers) until dawn. When dawn comes, Jibraeel alayhis
Salaam calls out 'Depart O angels of Allah,depart." The angels then inquire: "O, Jibraeel what did Allah do regarding the needs that the faithful ones from among the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallamput before Him?" Jibraeel alayhis
salaam replies: "Allah looked
at them with Mercy and pardoned them all, except four kinds
Thereupon, we the sahaabah inquired: "Who are they O Rasulullah?" Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied: "They are the ones who are addicted to wine, those disobedient to their parents, those who cut themselves off from their near relatives, and those who harbour ill-will against their fellow beings and break off relations with them."
And then the night of Eid-ul-Fitr, the night that is called Laylatul Jaa'izah, (the night of prize giving), comes along. On the morning of Eid, Allah sends down the angels to all the lands of the Earth, where they take their positions on all the streets and lanes, calling out with a voice that is heard by all except men and jinn: "O Ummah of Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wasallam come forth from your houses towards the Lord, Who is Noble and Gracious, Who grants abundantly and pardons the major sins." When they proceed for their Eid Salaat, Allah says to the angels: "What indeed is the reward of that employee who has rendered full service?" The angels reply "O our Lord and Master, it is only right that he shall receive his reward in full for his services." Allah then says: "I call you to witness, O My angels, that for their having fasted for Me during the month of Ramadhaan, and for their having stood before Me in prayer by night, I have granted to them as a reward of My pleasure and have granted them forgiveness. O My servants, ask now of Me, for Iswear by My Honour and Greatness, that whatsoever you shall beg of Me this day in this assembly of yours for the needs of your Hereafter, I shall grant you; and whatever you shall ask for your worldly needs, I shall grant what is to your advantage. By My Honour do I swear, as long as you shall obey My commands, I shall cover up your faults.By My Honour and My Greatness do I swear, that I shall never disgrace you in front of the transgressors and disbelievers. Return now from here; you are forgiven. You have indeed pleased Me, and I am pleased with you."
The Angels, on seeing this great reward bestowed upon the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam on the day of Eid, become greatly pleased and happy.
We see in this Hadeeth that there are a few people who are deprived of the general forgiveness in Ramadhaan and are unfortunate indeed in not being able to get a share even on the morning of Eid.
Among them are those who fight and quarrel among themselves and those disobedient to their parents. One may well ask them:
"You have displeased Allah, and having done so, what other refuge do you now have?"
We feel indeed sad that, for some worldly gain or honour, you have made yourselves the target for the curse of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam and Jibraeel, while at the same time being excluded from Allah's freely granted forgiveness. You may have gained a temporary victory over your adversary and gained some worldly honour, but this short-lived gain will avail nothing when the Prophet's sallallahu alayhi wasallam curse is on you, confirmed by Jibraeel, and you are being refused Allah's forgiveness and mercy. I implore you, my dear
brothers and sisters, think about your position at this moment and desist from all your quarrels. There is still time to repair and repent today. Tomorrow you shall have to stand before a Judge, before Whom no rank, honour, position or wealth shall avail you - a Judge before Whom only your actions shall count and Who is aware of your movement. Remember that Allah may forgive our failings as far as our relationship with Him is concerned, but will not forgive, without equivalent penalty the transgressions in our relations with our fellow-men.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "The bankrupt one from among my Ummah is that person, who shall appear on the day of Qiyaamah, bringing with him righteous deeds like Salaat, Sawm (fast) and charity; but he had also sworn at someone, falsely accused someone else, and hurt someone, with the result that all these people shall come forward with complaints against him bearing witness against him. As a penalty his good deeds shall be taken away and given to the injured ones. And when his good deeds are exhausted in this manner, their sins shall be loaded upon him (when he is not able to pay the furl penalty through lack of good deeds); because of this load he shall enter Jahannam." So we see that, in spite of many good deeds, he shall be in great despair.
This Hadeeth also states that
the night before the day of Eid is called the night of prize giving, the night when
Allah gives a reward to his
servants who should also properly value this night.
It is usual that, once an announcement is made that next day is Eid, the majority of us (including the good Muslims) feel fatigued because of Ramadhaan and prefer on this night to enjoy rest and sleep, whereas this too is a valuable night that should be spent in Ibaadah.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "Whoever stays awake for Ibaadah on the night preceding either Eid, with the aim of gaining reward, his heart shall not die on that day when hearts shall wither".
The meaning here is that at the time when evil will have over-powered everybody, his heart shall stay alive (guarded against evil). It may also perhaps refer to the time when the trumpet shall be blown to hold the Day of Judgement (Qiyaamah), on that day his soul shall not become unconscious.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is also reported to have said, "Whoever stays awake for Ibaadah (prayers) on the following nights shall enter Jannah; Laylatul Tarwiyah (the night after the 7th Zil-Hajjah), Laylatul Arafah (the night after the 8th Zil-Hajjah), Laylatun Nahr (the night after the 9th day of Zil-Hajjah), the night preceding Eid-ul-Fitr, and the night preceding the 15th of Sha'baan."
The Jurists of Islam have written that it is Mustahab (desirable) to remain in Ibaadah (prayers) on the nights of both Eids. Imaam Shaafi'ee is reported to have said that prayers are answered on the nights of Friday (the night after the day of Thursday), the nights before two Eids and on the night preceding the 15th of Sha'baan.
I beg and implore all readers to pray for me, the humble
writer of these pages, during those special hours (of acceptance) in Ramadhaan.
Do mention me too in your prayers and Allah may in His infinite Grace and Mercy also bestow His Grace and Pleasure upon us.