RAMADHAN : THE MONTH LONG SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL

Islaam is the unique religion which provides the longest Festival period to its followers. And this festival is not marked with dance, drama, gambling, drinking and dining but it stands for moral uplift and spiritual enhancement. The main task is the fasting from dawn to dust, which is the third pillar of Islaam. This helps to improve the health in many ways and at the same time gives a real feeling of the pain of hunger suffered by the millions people around the world. This creates real sympathy for their less fortunate brothers around them. The UN has not yet assessed the other benefit of Ramadhan. When a billion people fast around the globe for complete one month, they save (1000,000,000 x.50 x30 = 15 billion kg ) fifteen million tons on food stuff annually for their hungry brothers. There no such great contribution by any other community of the world.
Ramadhan is the month of Salaat, Saum (Fasting), reciting Holy Quran and Sadaqaat. The people try to supersede each other in these moral pursuits. Every day of the whole month is full of benefits.

Here we mention few of them:

1. THE GRAND AMNESTY:

The first part of ten days is termed as the period of Rahmah, (Mercy) the other ten days as Maghfirah (forgiveness) and the last ten days for Release from the Fire of Hell. Almighty Allah awards Muslims great prizes through Mercy, Forgiveness and Release from the Fire. He releases thousands of sinners every night of this month and a total of all thirty days on the last night of Ramadhan.

2. TEN FOLD REWARD:

The time of Iftar (breaking the fast) is a blessed moment for acceptance of the prayers. Further if a person invites another person to Iftar he earns the reward of another Saum. Subsequently if you invite ten persons to your Iftar (even with a date or curd) you get reward of ten Saum in one day. The people arrange long Iftar parties. It is estimated that spread sheet of Iftar goes upto five kilometer in Harem Sharief Makkah Mukarramah where over a million people attend it daily in Ramadhan. It is reported in the press today (25/08/09) that three million cups are being used daily to drink Zamzam in Harem Sharief of Makkah Mukarramah.

3. SEVENTY TIMES REWARD:

It is reported that Nafil salaat is accounted as Fardh, and Fardh Salaat is rewarded seventy times more in Ramadhan. And when these Salaats are offered in Harem Sharief Makkah Mukarramah, the reward is increased to 100,000 times more. So try to offer more and more Nafil Salaat earning great reward.

4. TARAVEEH, THE GIFT OF RAMADHAN:

To offer twenty rak’at additional salaat called Taraveeh, is the special gift of Ramadhan. Generally one part is recited daily in Taraveeh thus completing the whole Quraan in thirty days of Ramadhan. According to Hadith, when the full recitation of Holy Quraan is completed, 70,000 angels pray for the people attending it. There are people who recite the whole Quran once in the month. But there are people who recite it 10 times, some other 30 times and Imam Shafeii and Imam Abu Hanifa used to recite over 60 times full Holy Quran in the month of Ramadhan.

5. A NIGHT OF 83 YEARS:

This is one of the greatest gift of Allah for Ramadhan that He designated one night as Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power) in Ramadhan. This Night is more virtuous than a thousand months for worshipping. So if you stay in worship in this Night you get the reward of worship for more than 30,000 nights which is equivalent to 83 years and four months. This Night lies in the last ten days (generally on 25th 27th or 29th night) of Ramadhan every year. Most of the people stay awakened whole night offering prayers on these dates.

6. REWARD OF HAJ IN RAMADHAN:

According to a Hadith, An Umrah performed during the month of Ramadhan is equal to a Haj. In another version it is equal to the Haj performed with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). This is the great Boon of Ramadhan. The people from distant lands, like Iran, Turkey, Egypt, India, Indonesia, U.K. and USA, Canada and Australia come by road and by air to perform an Umrah in Ramadhan. Subsequently more than 2,000,000 people visit Harem Sharief in Ramadhan every year. This is the Largest organized gathering of the people on this planet.

7. BILLION RIYALS OF ZAKAT:

Islaam ordains the regular support of the weaker section of the society. Every Muslim having annual saving equal to 95 grams of gold or its price, is required to distribute 2.5 % of it, to his or her poor relatives and for the noble cause. Thus if a geographical community has a reserve of 40,000,000,000 riyals, they should distribute Zakaat worth
SR. 1,000,000,000. And if only SR. 10,000 is given to an Islamic organization, from such amount, 100,000 centers, orphanages and Quranic schools will get support with this amount. This is the perpetual monetary worship of Islaam which has supported the noble causes around the globe for the last fourteen centuries. Generally the people distribute Zakaat in Ramadhan and get double rewards of Sadaqa.

8. SALAATUL -LAIL OR TAHAJJUD:

The last ten nights of Ramadhan are most virtuous. So the people arrange to offer Night prayer called Tahajjud during theses nights. This salaat may also be offered in congregation in a mosque. Grand Salaats are offered during the last ten nights in Harem Sharief at Makkah Mukarramah and Madina Munawwarah where more than a million people attend it.

9. FESTIVAL OF EIDUL FITR:

When the month of Ramadhan is completed the worshippers arrange a grand celebration. Dressed in colorful dresses, they go out for Grand Prayer of Eid, beseeching their Lord Allah to grant them the Prize for this long Endeavour. Salaat or Thanks giving to Allah is the main theme of all Muslim celebrations. They pray five times a day, then they offer weekly prayer on every Friday and then larger prayer on Eid day in every village, town or cosmopolitan city around the world and finally they offer the largest prayer during the Haj annually at Makkah Mukarramah.

10. SADQAH OF FITRAH:

Muslim community never forgets their poor brothers on their festivals. It is ordained to distribute by every well to do person, dry food stuff like cereals, dates (app 2.5kg) or their equivalent price to the poor of their locality. Thus a billion kg food stuff is distributed worldwide to the needy families on or before the Eid day. No family remains hungry or sad on that day.

11. SPENDING UPON THE FAMILY:

Eidul Fiter is the main annual festival of Muslim Ummah. Every person spends upon his family modestly to increase the joy of his wife and children. Every penny so spent is rewarded by Almighty Allah. According to Hadith what ever a person spends modestly upon his family is accounted as Sadaqa or a monetary worship.

12. FASTING THE WHOLE YEAR:

According to a Hadith, if a person observe fasting for six days more after Eid (or in the month of Shawwal) he or she gets the reward for fasting the whole year. But it is not obligatory and voluntary only.

13. A’ITEKAAF IN RAMADHAN:

This is a unique practice of devoting solely to the worship of Allah. A person (male or female) performing Aitekaaf confines himself in a mosque (or corner of her house) devoting full time to concentrate on the favors and blessings of Almighty Allah on him (or her) and spending his time in salaat, recitation of Holy Quraan and Zikr etc earning great benefits. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) used to perform A’itekaaf in Masjid Nabavi for the last ten days every year.

14. WINNERS & THE LOSERS:

The whole month of Ramadhan is full of occasions and opportunities to win the Pleasure of Allah and His forgiveness, which is the goal of every Muslim. The people who observe Ramadhan with full interest and care have been promised great rewards from Almighty Allah. It is reported in Hadith that Almighty Allah says that “The Fasting is for me and I shall grant (enormous) Award for it”. It is said that there is a VIP gate called Bab al Rayyan reserved for the entry of the Fasting persons to the Paradise.

But those who do not care for Ramadhan or spoil their fasting by bad habits, a painful doom awaits for them. It is said in a Hadith that “The person who got the month of Ramadhan and could not win his forgiveness from Allah through his (or her) good deeds, is really perished.” So it is best chance of winning the Paradise within thirty days through your fasting and beseeching Allah for His forgiveness.

15. GREAT HAPPY NEWS:

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah the Majestic and Exalted said: “Every deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Siyam (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord” (Muslim).

Let us all, try to observe it faithfully. May our Lord Allah accept your prayers and award His pleasure to us all. Aameen.

BY ABU TARIQ HIJAZI