3 Things You Should Know about Ramadan

Ramadan is one of the most important months in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims perform fasting (Sawm), one of the key practices in the religion of Islam. However, aside from being a month of fasting, Ramadan provides Muslims with the opportunity to engage more in their routine religious activities and have a fuller experience of an Ideal Islamic life. There is more to this month, then, that makes it a special time. Let’s see.

 

About Ramadan

 

1. Ramadan is a Gift from Allah


Ramadan is a door that has been opened to get Muslims nearer to Allah and to feel His presence more in their lives. This is the time when Allah forgives most and rains down His blessings more than any other time which can wipe away our sins and mistakes [i]. If we knew the real value of this month and were aware of all its rewards, we would wish every month to be Ramadan, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) believed [1].

 

We are so close to Allah in this month and so occupied with his divine remembrance that no time will be left for us to think or do what is not good for us, or what is against Allah’s command. So the inward and outward evil stay far from us in this month of mercy, and it has been promised by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that in Ramadan, “the gates of hell are sealed, and the gates of heaven are wide open, and the devils are chained” [1].

 

Ramadan 

 

2. Ramadan is the Month of Salvation and Forgiveness

 

Ramadan begins with mercy, continues to bring forgiveness from Allah and ends in granting our wishes and salvation from what has contaminated our souls [2]. It is a time to think about our past mistakes and to make up for them, to make them right.

 

One of the prominent attributes of Allah is His excessive forgiveness and mercy which reveals itself manifestly and in a fuller sense in the month of Ramadan. It is as if Allah has held us tightly in His embrace and washed away whatever has separated us from Him, and we would be like a child who has just been born, like a soul united with its source. So, when is a better time to be forgiven than this month? [3].

 

Ramadan

 

3. Ramadan is the Spring of the Quran and Celebration of the Nights of Qadr

 

In this beautiful month, the whole content of the Quran was revealed to the heart of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in an immediate revelation [ii], [4] & [5]. Therefore, this month can be considered as the birth of the holy Quran [iii], and Muslims celebrate this birth through dedicating more time and attention to this holy book.

 

Thus, reading the Quran with careful consideration and pondering on its deep meanings is highly recommended during the month of Ramadan and it is considered to be more rewarding, to the extent that reading one verse of the Quran is equaled to reading all of it [iv]& [v]. In the month when Allah is closer to us more than ever, He desires to speak to us through the Quranic words, just as we speak to Him, through our prayers.

 

What Are the Nights of Qadr?

 

There are three nights in this month [vi], called the nights of Qadr [vii], one of which is considered to be the night when Quran was revealed to the heart of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in an immediate revelation by the Archangel Gabriel. However, we are not sure which of these nights is exactly the night of Qadr. Therefore we commemorate all of these three nights.  

 

According to the Quran: “The Night of Qadr is better than a thousand months”(97:3); in other words, the reward of any good deed in this night is a thousand times more than any other night or occasion [8].  Muslims celebrate this night by staying awake throughout the night until the time of Dawn prayer (Salat al-Fajr), supplicating to Allah and asking for His forgiveness of their past deeds and guidance for their future actions.

 

The night of “Qadr is a celebration to commemorate the arrival of the final guidance for humans. It is a tribute to the commencement of the message revealed to mankind by their Creator, a message which shows them the way to achieve happiness in both worlds” [8].

 

Aside from being the night in which our sins are forgiven, according to some narrations (Hadith), the night of Qadr is also the night of our destiny; the night in which our fate in the next year is foreseen by Allah [viii], [9].

 

Finally, life is too short, and chances are slipping away from your hands like spring clouds [10]. Ramadan is one of these chances, to look back and build a better future. It is a starting point, or shall we say a turning point! So embrace this holy month.  

 

Notes:

[i] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, and a month in which Allah highlights the virtues and wipes away the sins, this is the month of blessing” [1].

[ii] It is believed that there are two kinds of revelation for the Quran, the immediate revelation that occurred in one of the nights of Qadr and the gradual revelation which sent down to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the span of twenty-three years of his prophethood [11]. 

[iii] Imam Baqer (AS) said: “There is a spring for everything, and the spring of Quran is the month of Ramadan”. [6]

[iv] Imam Reza (AS) said: “whoever read a verse of Allah’s book [Quran] in the month of Ramadan, it would be equal to his/her reading of the whole of Quran in other months” [7].

[v] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Read Quran abundantly during the month [of Ramadan]” [7].

[vi]  19th, 21st and 23rd of Ramadan.

[vii]. Qadr literally means measure.

[viii]. Note that the concept of destiny or Qadr is not in conflict with human beings freedom of choice in Islam. For more information see Men and Destiney by Murtada Mutahari.

 

References:

[1] Bihar al-Anvar, vol.93, p.340, 346 & 348.

[2] Usul al-Kafi, vol.4, p.67.

[3] Sheikh al-Sadugh, Amali, p.53.

[4] (44: 3), (97:1), (2:185)

[5]. For further information, see: Al-Mizan, vol. 8, pp. 130-134; vol. 2, pp. 14-23; vol. 13, pp. 220-221.

[6] Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.360, Hadith no. 10.

[7] Sheikh al-Sadugh, Fazail al-Ashhar al-Salasah (the benefits of three months), p. 95.

[8]. https://www.al-islam.org

[9]. Muhammad ibn Hassan Tussi, Tahdib al-Ahkam, vol.4, p.332.

[10]. Imam Ali (AS), Nahj al-Balaghah, wisdom no. 21.

[11]. Shaykh as-Saduq, A Shi'ite Creed, p. 60.