Author Ms. Seen Noon
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala narrates in the Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah, verse 183;
‘O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah˺.’ (2:183)
Every once in a while, one needs to revisit their targets and goals so the direction towards them can be maintained steadily. Similarly, Allah has ordered us to fast in the Holy month of Ramadan so we can reconnect with the Almighty and remind ourselves of our purpose of coming to dunya. Never forget that our stay in this material world is temporary, whereas our final abode is the after-life, and hopefully Jannah insha Allah.
Time flies like anything, a whole year has passed by and here I am planning for the upcoming Ramadan amongst the COVID lockdowns. Alhamdulillah, for all the blessings and mercy bestowed upon us by Allah, the Almighty, for He forgives our sins and grants us with way more than we deserve.
Ramadan is all about Allah’s mercy, His love for the believers, and His bonus chances for the ones who have become astray from the path of righteousness. This sirat al mustaqeem, a way full of piety, humility, kindness, and compassion is the key for all the fasting believers so they can unlock the doors of Jannah. Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala has mentioned multiple instances of the rewards and blessings of Ramadan in His Holy Book, and also the Sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ tells us about the gifts in this Holy month.
Night of Power / Lailatul Qadr
Allah sheds light on the Holy Ramadan in Surah Al-Qadr, verse 1 through 5:
‘Indeed, ˹it is˺ We ˹Who˺ sent this ˹Quran˺ down on the Night of Glory (97:1)
And what will make you realize what the Night of Glory is? (97:2)
The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months. (97:3)
That night the angels and the ˹holy˺ spirit descend, by the permission of their Lord, for every ˹decreed˺ matter. (97:4)
It is all peace until the break of dawn.’ (97:5)
The most sacred Holy Quran was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ via Hazrat Jibreel (A.S.) in the blessed month of Ramadan on the Night of Glory or Lailat al Qadr. This night is, in Islamic belief, the night when the Quran was first sent down from Heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. According to many Muslim sources, it was one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Holy Quran is the last of all the holy books sent to mankind and its revelation was also made special by sending it in a very special and blessed month of Ramadan. The rewards of prayers and supplications in the night of the last ten days of this month are multiplied manifolds. Allah has hinted that the Night of Decree is in one of the odd numbered nights, like 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th. This pushes the believers to consider all these aforementioned nights critically important for their ibadah and good deeds.
Heaven Gates Open
Abu Huraira reported:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1800, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1079. Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim
In one other Hadith, our beloved Prophet ﷺ mentions about the gates of heaven:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, said, “Anyone who spends a pair in the way of Allah will be called from all the gates of Paradise: O servant of Allah, this is good! The people of prayer will be called from the gate of prayer, the people of jihad will be called from the gate of jihad, the people of fasting will be called from the gate of al-Rayyan, and the people of charity will be called from the gate of charity.” Abu Bakr said, “One who is called from all those gates would need nothing. Will anyone be called from all those gates, O Messenger of Allah ﷺ?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Yes, and I hope you will be among them, O Abu Bakr.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3466, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1027. Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim
Wow, what a great sign of mercy and compassion by our creator, He wants us to leave no stone unturned in order to reap the benefits of this month. The Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful, He even closes the gates of hell and chains the devils so we can fast comfortably and piously, while staying away from major and minor sins.
Rescue from Hellfire
In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ said:
‘On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils are chained, the jinn are restrained, and the gates of Hellfire are closed and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. A caller announces: O seeker of good, come near! O seeker of evil, stop short! Allah will save them from the Hellfire and that is during every night of Ramadan.’ Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 682, Grade: Sahih
The above hadith shares with us how Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala will save the fasting folk from the hellfire during every Ramadan night. The devils, jinns, hellfire and the gates of hell are closed, whereas all the gates of Paradise are opened, impatiently waiting for the believers to enter heaven.
Rewards Multiplied Manifolds
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
Every deed of the son of Adam is multiplied, a single deed as ten times the like of it up to seven hundred times. Allah Almighty said, ‘Except for fasting, as it is for Me and I will reward it. He leaves his desires and his food for My sake.’ Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1795, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi
Subhan Allah, our Most Loving and Considerate Allah the Almighty, shares with the followers of Quran and Sunnah, how He adores and cherishes the fasting men and women, and gives them the fortunate news of special rewards for fasting religiously.
Expiation of Sins
Abu Huraira reported:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, said: ‘The five prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan will be expiation for the sins between them, so long as major sins are avoided.’ Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 233, Grade: Sahih
In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ said:
‘Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.’ Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 760, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi
Charity / Sadaqah during Ramadan
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting person reward.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh]
Islam is the religion of peace, kindness, compassion, and care for our fellow brothers and sisters. Looking after the needy and deserving, and sacrificing our own benefit for the sake of others is the teaching of our deen. Fasting is for Allah and helping a fellow brother break his fast will bless us with unlimited rewards, and the most important prize – the pleasure of Allah!
Parting away from our expensive and prized possessions can be a bit difficult for all of us. But once we realize it, and look towards the greater future gains, our hearts will automatically be filled with contentment and glee.
May Almighty bless us to realize that we have to plan ahead before the arrival of this month in order to aim for the limitless rewards.