By Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, August 5, 2011
All praise is due to God, the Creator of the universe, who says in the Glorious Qur’an: “… ۖ وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ “My Mercy embraces all things that I shall write for those who are pious.” Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Messenger, Muhammad (a.s) which he says: “Whoever fasts Ramadan with firm belief and conviction all his past sins shall be forgiven.” May peace and blessings be upon his family, upon his companions and upon all of those who follow his path with piety until the Day of Judgment.
If in this world exists something good and with a great value, which it cannot be described in words, it certainly is the month of Ramadan. Because, how much we speak of its virtues, blessings, mercy, value and all its benefits which the month of Ramadan has, to benefit us in this world, and specifically in the hereafter, we can never be able to count them all.
From whichever side or from whichever point you start talking about this holy month of Ramadan, it is filled with kindness and bounty. Truly, to begin this speech I cannot find a better word to start with a hadith of our beloved Prophet, who says:
والصيام لله عز وجل لا يعلم ثواب عامله إلا الله عز وجل (رواه الطبراني – صحيح بشواهده)
“Fasting is for God and no one knows the reward of the one who fasts except God.” (Tabarani)
The Prophet has said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “قال الله عز وجل: كل عمل ابن آدم له إلا الصوم، فإنه لي، وأنا أجزي به…
Allah says. “Every work for the sons of Adam is his; except fasting is Mine and I reward them for it…” (Buhari & Muslim)
There is no grater honor and appreciation for a worker, for his work to be taken by His Supreme Lord Himself and this work is fasting.
﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقٌونَ(
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-
Brothers and sisters in Islam, we have entered the month of Mercy, the month of forgiveness of our sins, the month where our prayers are answered, the month of multiple rewards , the month of physical and spiritual cure, the month of salvation and blessings. Use this month therefore in good deeds, with fasting, with prayer, with reading the Qur’an, with charity, with harmony and forgiveness with one another before this month ends.
Listen as how our beloved Prophet describes the month of Ramadan:
قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم: ( أتاكم رمضان شهر بركة يغشاكم الله فيه فينزل الرحمة و يحط الخطايا و يستجيب فيه الدعاء ، ينظر الله إلي تنافسكم فيه ويباهي بكم ملائكته فأروا الله من أنفسكم خيرا فإن الشقي من حرم فيه رحمة الله عز وجل) رواه الطبراني
“The month of Ramadan has come upon you, a month of blessing from God which God’s mercy descends upon you, the month of forgiveness of your sins, your sins are erased and prayers are answered. God sees you racing with one another in performing worship and good deeds and He boasts to His angels for you, therefore, reveal from within you good deeds, because the lost and those in anguish is that person who is deprived from God’s Mercy in this month.” (Tabari)
Without a doubt the lost and the depressed is that person, which within this month does not receive God’s Mercy, forgiveness and salvation.
O you who believe, Allah has filled this month with all good things. From the first night of Tarawvih, before we started fasting Allah has opened the doors of his bounty for those, who have firmly intended to be devoted to this month of Ramadan.
Once more listen as what the Almighty God has give for the umma of the prophet Muhammad in the month of Ramadan:
عن جابر بن عبد الله قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أعطيت أمتي في شهر رمضان خمساً لم يعطهن نبي قبلي: أما واحدة فإذا كان أول ليلة من شهر رمضان نظر الله تعالى إليهم، ومن نظر الله إليه لم يعذبه أبداً، وأما الثانية: فإن خلوف أفواههم حين يمسون أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك، وأما الثالثة: فإن الملائكة تستغفر لهم في كل يوم وليلة، وأما الرابعة: فإن الله تعالى يأمر جنته فيقول لها: استعدي وتزيني لعبادي، أوشكوا أن يستريحوا من تعب الدنيا إلى داري وكرامتي، وأما الخامسة: فإنه إذا كان آخر ليلة غفر لهم جميعاً، فقال رجل من القوم: أهي ليلة القدر؟ قال: لا، ألم تر إلى العمال يعملون فإذا فرغوا من أعمالهم وفوا أجورهم. (رواه البيهقي، و الإمام أحمد، و البزار(
Jabir relates that the Prophet has said: “Five things were given to my ummah that were not given to any prophet before me:
First: In the first night of Ramadan, God sees my ummah and that which He sees He will never punish him.
Second: The smell of the mouth of the person who is fasting is better then the smell of a misk.
Third: The Angels ask forgiveness for them day and night.
Fourth: Allah orders His paradise saying: Prepare and adorn yourself for my slaves.
Fifth: In the last night of Ramadan He has forgiven all.
One person asked: Is that night the night of Kadr (Power)? The Prophet said: No, have you not seen a worker when he finishes his work than he gets his reward.”
How can a wise person run away from all these blessings and verily, in what people we shall find all these blessings but in the umma of our Prophet?
O people! Let us not lose these chances, because none of us know how long we shall live. No one of us knows nor has guaranteed whether we will reach neither the next Ramadan, nor anyone of us knows whether we’ll be a live to fast tomorrow. Therefore, fasting is prescribed to every Muslim, and we have to understand that God does not have a need for our fasting; rather we have a need for Him and ourselves that we may receive a reward from this.
Whoever fasts in faith, with a firm conviction in worship which he performs, at the end of fasting that person will be clear from his sins.
Abu Hurayra transmits that the Prophet has said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: « إن الله-
“God Almighty has made fasting during the month of Ramadan obligatory upon you, while I have made sunna its prayer (taraweeh). Hence, whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and prays taraweeh, with firm faith, with conviction and piety, that person is rendered clear from his sins, as the day he was born from his mother.” (Nessau)
How many mistakes have we made and still do daily! How many times perhaps we have angered God, with our tongue, with our eyes, with our hearing, with our deeds! How many times we have broken our covenant with our God and how many of our duties we have neglected? With what else we can erase and clean these sins but with fasting?!
God Almighty desires from His slaves to sacrifice in this world in order to attain a better life, whether in this world or in the hereafter. And to sacrifice for the sake of God it does not mean only to die in the path of God, as some people think, perhaps this is the easiest sacrifice, but rather to LIVE in His path and that is the ultimate sacrifice.
One contemporary Muslim scholar have said: “It does not amaze me that some people say they want to die in the path of God, but it amazes me the fact that people do not say they want to live in the way of God.”
This is true indeed and today that is what is required, especially during the month of Ramadan which a Muslim should live in the way of God. The month of Ramadan shows us that a Muslim wishes to live in the path of God or if he chooses otherwise.
Every one of us should practice one month straight a life of a true believer, while fulfilling completely the duties towards God, while abstaining not only from food and drink, but as his tongue, anger, eyes, hearing and so on… In order that after Ramadan it will be easier to continue living in the path of God. This is, therefore, the purpose of fasting, which God has made it obligatory upon us: “In order that you may be devoted”, so you become disciplined.
That is why the Prophet has said:
“من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به، فليس لله حاجةٌ في أن يَدَعَ طعامه وشرابه”. رواه البخاري
“Whoever does not abstain from bad words and evil deeds, Allah has no need for that person that stays without food and drink.”(Buhari)
Before we hear few more hadiths from our beloved Prophet regarding the blessings and goodness which the month of Ramadan has, let us ask ourselves: How is my fasting going this far, How am I fasting this far? Are we only fasting from eating and drinking which God has no need for that, or are we fasting with all our faculties and our being, with all our limbs and faculties. If in fact we are fasting with our body and our soul, then rejoice with these sayings of our beloved prophet Muhammad which says:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( من صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا ، غُفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ) رواه الشيخان
“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith, conviction and determination, all the past sins will be forgiven.” (Buhari & Muslim)
“إن في الجنة بابا يقال له الريان يدخل منه الصائمون يوم القيامة، لا يدخل منه أحد غيرهم يقال أين الصائمون؟ فيقومون فإذا دخلوا أغلق”
“In paradise there is a door called Rayyan, through that in the Day of Judgment will enter those who fasted. No one else shall enter it except those who fasted. It will be said: Where are those whom who fasted? They will rise up and enter that door and then it will close.” (Buhari & Muslim)
قال رسول الله –
“To three kinds of people the prayer shall not be ignored, among them, one who fasts while breaking the fast for iftar.”(Tirmidhi)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لو أن رجلا صام يوما تطوعا ثم أعطي ملء الأرض ذهبا لم يستوف ثوابه دون يوم الحساب”. رواه أبو يعلى والطبراني
“Even if someone has fasted one day voluntarily, then if earth of gold is given to him, he will not receive his reward until the Day of Judgment.”
Brothers and sisters let us not forget that every good deed that we do during this month that will be compensated in reward many more times than any other month, therefore let us increase in good deeds.
Perhaps it was Allah’s decree that the project to expand the parking lot is to be realized these first days of Ramadan, in order that Allah may reward and multiply our contributions in order that we may fulfill and complete this project which is an utmost need for the functioning of this Masjid and for the accommodation of our growing ummah in this area.
Do not hesitate to give from that which Allah has given to you, because for surety you shall be compensated and prosperity and its goodness it will never cease as long as you’re alive in this world, but more importantly in the hereafter. That which you give for the sake of God, it will lighten your faces during that day when you’ll give an account. Therefore, GIVE, and may Allah increase you in wealth and health and may Allah pour His mercy upon you. May Allah reward you with every good thing in this world and in the hereafter. AMIN!