The unequalled blessings in Ramadan

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The month we were all expecting few days ago with zeal and zest is getting ready to bid us bye. “Can Ramadan remain longer”, faithful souls cry out.

There can be no argument to the fact that the month of Ramadan is the greatest month in the Islamic calendar and should be so in the life of a faithful Muslim. It is only Ramadan that was singled out for mention by its name in the Holy Qur'an. How should people who witness this unique month feel and act? How should Muslims revere this few days (according to Almighty Allah) full of unequalled spiritual, physical and phychological bounties? None can comprehensively enumerate what Ramadan encompasses and all the blessings therein?

But with the limited human powers and knowledge, the following outstanding qualities and benefits have been identified in Ramadan. It is the only month whose fasting is compulsory on every mature and capable Muslim. Simply put, it is a month which accommodates a pillar of Islam.

Al-Nasa' and Ibn Khuzaimah narrated from Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) who said, I said O Prophet of Allah, command me with (righteous) work. The Prophet (phb) said, “You should fast for nothing equals it”. I said O Prophet of Allah, command me with a work. The Prophet (pbh) said, “You should fast for nothing equals it”. I said (the third time) O Prophet of Allah, command me with a work that will lead me into the Paradise. The Prophet (pbh) said, “You should fast for nothing is like it”.

Allah (SWT) says “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). ….. that you must magnify Allah, i.e. to says Takbir (Allahu Akbar).

This is an illustration of the few fasting days written upon the Muslim i.e. the days of the month of Ramadan which deserve all praises and attention for being honoured by the revelation of the Divine Books in them.

Ibn Kathir said, “Allah praises the month of fasting from among all other months as He chose Ramadan especially for the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. It was reported in a Hadith that it was the month the Divine Books were revealed to the Prophets of Allah (peace be on them all).

In another narration from Waa'ila Ibn Al-Asqa', he said that the Prophet of Allah (pbh) said, 'The Book of Ibrahim was revealed in the first night of Ramadan, the Torah six days in Ramadan, the Bible (Injil) thirteen days in Ramadan and the Holy Qur'an in twenty four days of Ramadan”

The revelation of the Qur'an in Ramadan means it was started in it. And the beginning was in the Night of Power as clearly stated in the verse “Verily we revealed it (the Qur'an) in the Night of Power” i.e. we started to reveal this Holy Qur'an in that blessed Night. It was, then, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbh) in pieces within the period of twenty three years approximately with the first verse which is “Read by the Name of your Lord Who created”, revealed to the Prophet in Ramadan while he was in the Cave of Hirah, meditating and worshipping Allah.

From what we read and understand in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith, there are very many benefits of Ramadan which could be some of the reasons why Allah (SWT) chose the month; here are some:

Allah the Almighty, in His infinite wisdom, has preferred some people over others; nations over nations and individuals over individuals. The Prophets of Allah were also not equal in certain extents.

Some places were also preferred to others. Some time, periods, days and months were over others endowed with divine gifts and nourishments. Those who attend them engaging in worships and obedience to Allah meet happiness and spiritual victory and sanctity, while those who attend them but keep busy in vices and unlawful merriments fall and lose.

The Prophet (pbh) has confirmed this saying, “Verily there are grants from Allah, within the days of your life. Search for them (even with difficulty) for one may meet a single grant that will keep him off misery forever”

Some other divine favours, spiritual and material gains are:

Ramadan is the head of all the months specially mentioned in the Qur'an, discussed and called by its name. It has been praised and preferred by Allah. Had man known exactly the good and mercy in it, they would wish the whole year to be Ramadan. But Allah is so merciful and wants easiness for His servants.

It is essential to mention here that the pre-Islamic people - Jahiliyyah - honoured and considered this month very special in their life. Islam came and increased the honour and holiness. Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (pbh) before his prophethood when he sought wisely and tirelessly for divine guidance, spent this noble month worshiping and meditating in the cave of Hirah.

Ramadan is the month when the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell closed, because as reported from the Prophet (pbh) when Ramadan approches, “An angel will call out saying, O ye that desires good, rejoice; O ye that desires bad, restrain” i.e. when the noble month of Ramadan comes.

It is the month of refining the soul and availing it of uprightness and cleanness. A believer who fasts is, therefore, closer and more watchful of Allah, fearing His punishment and desiring His reward.

It is a month that engenders in man the power of will, true intention and decision to overcome the ordinance of the mind, and to withstand pains and difficulties with patience and hope. Such perseverance is not for a transient benefit or urgent merriment but it is all for the sake of attaining happiness of Allah, the Creator of everything in existence.

It is a month, beyond doubt, which helps those who observe fasting to live and adopt a life good and fair, a life above whims and useless enjoyments, since they aims what are noble, high ad everlasting.

When Prophet Yusuf (pbh) was asked, “why do you fast so much while you are in charge of the land treasuries? He simply answered, “I fear that if I am satisfied (full) to forget the hunger of the hungry men”.

It is a month for strengthening the body, gaining health, curing various sicknesses because, according to medical analysis, most of the ailments man suffers sprout from the stomach which is filled with all assorted stuff, clean or unclean, done or undone, lawful and UNLAWFUL.

It is a month when a Muslim, especially when fasting should be very generous. The Muslim should recite the Holy Qur'an more than ever before. He should always seek for Allah's forgiveness and repeat at the time his repentance from sins. He should encourage himself in worship, seek for Allah's blessing and mercy. He should exert efforts in worship and carry out good deeds in the last ten days and nights of Ramadan, then engage in the pursuit of useful knowledge, teaching and reciting of Qur'an and praying.

One of the most significant distinctions of Ramadan is the Night of power which is appropriately extolled by Allah. A gate in Paradise called Arrayyan has been dedicated for those who fast the month of Ramadan.

Muhammad Ajah is Abuja-based writer, author and commentator. E-mail: [email protected]

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Articles by Muhammad Ajah