Blessings of Ramadan (Part 2 of 2)
By Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad
The Methodology of Pleasing Allah
The righteous predecessors used to worship Allah like someone who works hard to appease an annoyed beloved. If a house servant erred gravely and was caught, he would beg forgiveness from his master and vow to be more careful in the future. Such was their worship. Our attitude needs to be the same in this blessed month. We must acknowledge and understand the gravity of our sins, be ashamed in front of Allah, beg forgiveness, and vow righteousness in the future.
Peace and Rest
The noble elders would sacrifice their rest during this month for the sake of worship, and we need to follow their example. If we sleep and awaken according to our own will eleven months out of the year, then surely we can sacrifice our sleep and rest for the blessed month of Ramadan. People experience no difficulty in staying awake all night for worldly purposes, and it would also be good if for once, the eyes and body are forced to stay awake for the sake of worship and consequently, cry out for rest. When raised in front of Allah u on the Day of Judgment, we will at least be able to say that there was one month out of the year during which the eyes and body were fatigued and wanted to rest, but were forced to stay awake and working for the sake of worship.
Muslims today find it difficult to listen to one Holy Quran to completion and search out mosques where tarawih prayers are completed in the shortest amount of time. This is the sad extent of laziness today that Muslims try to search for places where they can save five minutes.
Women’s Connection to the Holy Quran
Women would also attend tarawih prayers at Hadrat Shaykh ul-Hind’s (May the mercy of Allah be upon him) residence where his son would lead and the women would listen behind the curtain. One day, when his son was ill, Hadrat sent another qari to lead the tarawih.
The next morning when Hadrat Shaykh ul-Hind came home for suhur, he noticed that the women of the house seemed very annoyed. He asked them what was wrong and his wife said, “That qari that you sent ruined our whole tarawih!” Hadrat grew concerned and asked why and his wife continued, “I don’t know what his hurry was that he just recited four juz and ran away.” It was later learned that these women were accustomed to listening to a total of seven completions of the Holy Quran every Ramadan. This is the manner in which our righteous predecessors strove hard and pushed themselves to the limits during this precious month to earn righteousness. Ramadan is the month of tiring oneself in the pursuit of rich rewards.
The Month of Striving
Although waking up for tahajjud might prove difficult the rest of the year, we wake for suhur anyway during Ramadan, so a few rakats should be easy to pray at this time. For this one month, we should strive to spend our waking hours reading the Holy Quran, staying away from gatherings that waste time, and control our tongue from vain and hurtful speech such as backbiting. Every Muslim should cut all negative ties with society at least for this month and view it as the month of working diligently on oneself. This is the month of earning and we should work hard to earn reward and righteousness.
Hadrat Jibril’s Curse
Hadrat Jibril once came to the Messenger of Allah and cursed to eternal Hellfire anyone who did not repent and have himself forgiven in Ramadan, to which the Messenger a of Allah said amin. An Archangel’s curse would have been more than enough on it’s own as a stiff warning, but the Prophet’s a amin and stamp of approval makes this curse all the more potent. There is no doubt that whoever is fortunate enough to live through Ramadan but does not seek repentance, will be sentenced to Hellfire.
The Cure to Laziness
We will be terribly ashamed on the Day of Judgment when the righteous predecessors present worthy deeds in front of Allah such as forty years’ regular tahajjud. At that time, we will wish that we had enormous number of fasts and recitations of the Holy Quran to present to Allah, had we not been lazy during Ramadan. If we are lazy and unable to conquer our nafs eleven months out of the year, we should be able to say to Allah that there was one month in which we tried our utmost to worship and win Allah’s favor.
Please accept O Lord,
These flowers that I have picked for You
An Elderly Woman’s Love for Hadrat Yusuf
When Hadrat Yusuf was put up for sale in Egypt, an elderly woman set out for the slave auction with just a ball of yarn and needles. Someone asked her where she was going and she replied that she was going to buy Hadrat Yusuf. The man said in amazement, “Rich people and statesmen will be gathered from across the land to buy (Hadrat) Yusuf. How do you think you will be able to buy him?” To this, the elderly woman replied, “I am fully aware that I will not be able to purchase him. However, at least I’ll be able to join in the group when Allah commands all the bidders of Hadrat Yusuf to come forward on the Day of Judgment.” Likewise, the Muslims today may not be able to compete on any level with the righteous predecessors on the Day of Judgment, but at least, they should be able to put forth the
worship and hard work of the holy month of Ramadan.
A Bird’s Love for Hadrat Ibrahim
King Nimrud had Hadrat Ibrahim put in a fire that was so strong that it blazed for forty days and was so fierce that no one could approach it. All this time, a small bird would fill water in its small beak and pour it over the fire. Another one of the birds questioned the futility of this act since it was obvious that such small efforts would have no effect on such a huge fire. In reply, the bird carrying the water said, “I know that, but at the same time, Hadrat Ibrahim KhalilUllah is a friend and I must fulfill the rights of friendship.”
A Way to Salvation
The Muslim nation today is weak and the baggage of sins is very heavy and unlikely to decrease because of this very same weakness. The only way to forgiveness and salvation is to humbly admit this weakness and beg for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness during this holy month.
Even a rich man of this world will open his door if a beggar knocks and cries at his doorstep for a month. In the month of Ramadan, Muslims knock at the door of the “Most Merciful of the merciful ones”, and if they humble themselves and repent with true sincerity, then Allah’s infinite mercy will be awakened and will envelope them in forgiveness. The fate and destiny of a Muslim depends on but a glance from the Lord.
Nor is that (at all) difficult for Allah [35:17]