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How we should receive Ramadhaan - I

Under category : All about Ramadan
3719 2011/07/28 2024/06/22

people have various ideas and ways of receiving the blessed month of ramadhaan and invest this occasion in fulfilling their favorite actions and activities. some of them make this an occasion for laziness, idleness, sleep and neglecting the different acts of obedience that they could otherwise be doing. others find this a good opportunity for watching shows on satellite television while others stay up late at night and use this precious time to pay visits, go to markets, relax, make trips and the like while others make it an occasion for exaggeration in eating, drinking and doing whatever they like, as if ramadhaan is the month of food and drink, and not the month of fasting.

however, there are some other people for whom allaah the almighty wants good for and thus guides them to the right way so that they became able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. such people receive this blessed month warmly and happily since they believe that it is a golden opportunity to attain forgiveness for sins and make a new start that would be sin-free. in fact, the blessed month of ramadhaan is the month of forgiveness, mercy and emancipation from hell. the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), used to give his companions glad tidings on the arrival of ramadhaan saying: “there has come to you ramadhaan, a blessed month which allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of paradise are opened and the gates of hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. in it there is a night which is better than a thousand months - whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” [an-nasaa’i, al-albaani: saheeh (authentic)]
consequently, these people knew well the virtues, rewards and goodness of this blessed month and thus they decide to reap all these fruits and benefits so that they may not be among those who will say [what allaah the almighty says (which means)]: {i wish i had sent ahead [some good] for my life.}[quran 89: 24] or say [what allaah the almighty says (which means)]: {my lord, send me back, that i might do righteousness in that which i left behind.} [quran 23:99-100] they do not wish to be among those who will regret their negligence at a time when regret will be of no use.
therefore, those people whom allaah has guided to receive the blessed month of ramadhaan properly, are determined to do the following:
1.     sincere repentance
repentance of sins is obligatory at all times, especially in the month of ramadhaan. if a person does not repent in ramadhaan, then when would he repent? if one does not feel regret in ramadhaan, then when would he feel regret? allaah the almighty says (what means): {and turn to allaah in repentance, all of you, o believers, that you might succeed.} [quran 24:31]
o you who delay his repentance, until when will you postpone it?
you told yourself: when i observe fast in ramadhaan, i will repent. well, here are the days of the blessed month of ramadhaan fast approaching, yet you still refuse to turn to your lord in repentance. you are turning away from him, not coming closer to him. you still insist resolutely on your disobedience. do you not fear that the angel of death may come to you while you are in such a state? how could you be guided to the path of repentance while you firmly insist on going in the opposite direction?
allaah the almighty forgives all sins: he spreads out his hand at night to accept the repentance of the one who has sinned during the day, and he spreads out his hand by day to accept the repentance of the one who has sinned during the night. allaah the almighty rejoices over those who turn to him in repentance and over the regret of the sinful people. therefore, he opens a door from the direction of the west for seventy years for the purpose of repentance, and it will not be closed until the sun rises from the west as the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), said. [ahmad and at-tirmithi]
so where are those who long to turn to allaah the almighty in repentance?
2.     receiving ramadhaan by devoting all actions sincerely and solely to allaah the almighty
one concept should be very clear to all from the onset: if your acts lack sincerity, then do not bother exhausting yourself because no action will be accepted without sincerity. allaah the almighty says (what means):[quran 18: 110] it was narrated that the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), said: “allaah the almighty says: ‘i am so self-sufficient that i am in no need of having an associate. thus whoever does an action for someone else’s sake as well as mine, i will leave him to whom he has associated with me.’”[muslim]
fasting is one of the greatest acts of worship that instill sincerity in the heart of the muslim. this is because the fasting person cannot be known except by allaah the almighty, the most exalted, especially if he observes fasting in days other than the days of ramadhaan and even in ramadhaan, for one can pretend that he is fasting while he is not. in addition to this, the fasting person keeps away from the slightest thing that can affect his fasting out of sincerity to allaah the almighty and seeking his pleasure. therefore, allaah the almighty has hidden the reward of fasting and made it for himself in much the same way as the fasting person has hidden his fasting from other people, and of course allaah the almighty only gives that which is bountiful and plentiful. allaah the almighty says in a qudsi (sacred) hadeeth: {every deed of the son of aadam (adam) will be rewarded between ten and seven hundred fold, except fasting, for it is for me and i shall reward it myself.}[al-bukhaari and muslim]
3.     receiving ramadhaan by adhering strictly to the sunnah of the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention )
no act can be accepted unless it meets two conditions: that it is accompanied by a sincere intention, which is that one should do it only for the sake of allaah the almighty, and
the verse mentioned above refers to both of these conditions.
*{so whoever would hope for the meeting with his lord - let him do righteous work} refers to following the guidance of the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), and
*{and not associate in the worship of his lord anyone.}[quran 18: 110] refers to a sincere intention.
indeed the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), clarified everything about the matter of fasting such as when to start and stop fasting, its pillars, its obligations, its recommended acts, its manners, its virtues and its benefits, things that break the fast, what cannot affect the fast, excuses that allow one to break the fast, and everything else that is related to the fast.
4.     receiving ramadhaan with patience
in fact, ramadhaan is the month of patience and forbearance. in it, one abstains from some of his usual habits, food, drink, sexual intercourse and anything else that would break the fast as a form of obedience to allaah the almighty and worship that brings one closer to him.
patience is one of the most difficult things for the soul. therefore, patience represents half of faith and the patient will be given an immense reward as allaah the almighty says (what means): {indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.} [quran 39: 10]
patience is of three types:
1-    patience concerning the obligations (required by allaah the almighty) that one should fulfill;
2-    patience in abstaining from actions forbidden by him, that one should not do;  
3-    patience concerning afflictions, that one should not resent or complain of his lord to.
one should have all three of these.
there are many reasons why one should observe patience, including:
1-    love for allaah the almighty.
2-    fear of allaah the almighty.
3-    nobility and purity of the soul.
4-lack of worldly desires and certainty that one will soon depart this world.
5-    avoiding excess in food, drink, clothing, sex, and mixing with people.
6-    feeling shy and embarrassed before allaah the almighty.
7-    remembering the blessings that allaah the almighty has given as well as his kindness.
8-    acknowledging the evil and dire consequences of disobedience.
9-    certain knowledge of the consequences of disobedience and the harm that may result from it.
10-     knowledge of the good consequences and rewards of obeying allaah the almighty .
11-     faith that is firmly-rooted in the heart.
if one pays attention and adheres to these factors, then they will be the finest help for him in fulfilling acts of obedience and refraining from doing sinful acts, particularly, in this month of fasting that entails exerting oneself in doing many righteous acts and keeping away from committing sins. 
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