During Ramadhaan, a mixture of feelings overwhelm the hearts of Muslims all over the world. The hearts are full of hope, based on truthful promises and great tidings, given by Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), of great bounties and endless bliss.
We are promised that the past sins will be forgiven for those whose fast is based on belief (Iimaan), sincerity and on truly expecting the reward from Allah (Ihtisaab).
We are also promised that the past sins will be forgiven for those who offer night prayers (Qiyaam) during the whole month, and who do that with the same two conditions of Iimaan and Ihtisaab.
We have further been told that there is one night in this month which is better (in rewards) than a thousand months of worship, and that all the past sins will be forgiven for those who spend it offering Qiyaam with both Iimaan and Ihtisaab.
We have been told that the devils are chained down, that the gates of Hell are all shut and that the gates of Paradise are all open throughout this month.
We have been told that Allah frees (from punishment) some of his ‘ibaad (worshipers) on every single night of Ramadan.
We have been told that Allah answers the du’aa of the fasting person at his iftaar (fast-breaking).
We have been told that Allah multiplies the rewards of fasting beyond limits or imagination.
We have been told that the fasting person will be joyous and happy when he/she returns to his/her Lord.
We all hope and pray to be among those who offer the fast in the right way, in order to cultivate its glorious fruits.
We hope to be granted forgiveness of our previous sins, to be able to do much more good and to overcome all our weaknesses.
We hope to be among those who receive the gifts from the Jannah, whose gates are open.
We hope to humiliate our enemy (Satan), who is chained down, by rejecting any of his deceitful advice.
We hope to be among those who shall be granted full atonement of their sins by the end of this month, and among those who will be most happy with their fast when they return to their Lord.
We hope that all Muslims, will be pleasing Allah in order to deserve His Mercy and victory.
Together with hope, we have some concerns in our hearts. There are conditions for the fasting to be acceptable and to obtain its desired results. The conditions are: Iimaan and Ihtisaab as mentioned above. Are we going to perform our fast with the true belief and the full surrender to Allah, or is it going to be just a hard exercise for us in order to lose some weight? Are we going to fast because Allah imposed it on us or just because we have been used to it from our childhood? Is our intention to please Him or to please our friends and family?
And even when we feel that we do satisfy the conditions for an acceptable fast, we are still concerned that our deeds may not be accepted from us for some deficiency on our side that we may have overlooked. A great (Sahabah) companion of the prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: “I will not feel quite safe even if I see that one of my feet is already in the paradise (Jannah) – not until both of them are in there”.
Successful indeed are those who, during this Ramadan, will fast during the day and pray at night. Those who did not will regret it, and regret it bitterly…
Ramadan comes only once a year, therefore, we should host it in the best possible way. Ramadan is not about tables full of dishes, useless parties, extravagance, etc…but rather is about reading of the Qur’an, purifying our intention to Allah and following the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH), and his companions, the remembrance of Allah, the prayers at day and night behind imams, the Suhour (late last meal), the supplications (du`aas) at the Iftar and other times, the charity etc…
We ask Allah to make fasting easy on us, to help us perform it in the perfect way that pleases Him, to reward us with all the bounties that He promised to the fasting people, to grant victory, and supremacy to the Islamic Ummah, and to make our most pleasant and happy day the Day that we shall return to Him.
We pray to Allah SWT that He makes us among His `utaqaa’ [freed people from Hell] in this month and that He prevents our bodies, our skins, our flesh and our bones from Hell Fire. He is the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent, the Oft-Forgiving.
Allah the Exalted said [in the meaning of]:
Those who believe and do good works, their Lord guideth them by their faith. Rivers will flow beneath them in the Gardens of Delight. Their Prayer therein will be: Subhanaka Allahumma (Glory be to Allah) Their greeting therein will be Salam (peace). And the conclusion of their prayer will be al-Hamdu liLlahi Rabbi-l-`alameen (Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds).[Yunus, 10:10-11].