Ramadan : The month of Al-Ihsaan

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Ramadan : The month of Al-Ihsaan

By: Imam Ghazali (from al-Arba`in fi Usul al-Din)

29 Shaban, 1435 : June 27 2014


Khutbah (Sermon) of the Holy Prophet (saws) about Ramadan

'O you who believe, prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that haply you will have taqwa.' Qur`an 2:183

The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said that God said:Every good deed is ten times its likeness, up to seven hundred times, except for fasting, for verily it is for Me, and I will reward it. [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:

For everything there is a door, and the door of worship is fasting. [Ibn al-Mubarak]

Fasting has been singled out with these amazing qualities for two main reasons:

1. Its essence is that it is a personal abstinence, and such is a hidden action that no one but God can see, unlike the prayer, the zakah, or other (acts of worship).

'A great month, a blessed month, a month containing a night which is better than a thousand months has approached you people. Allah has appointed the observance of fasting during it as an obligatory duty, and the passing of its nights in prayer as a voluntary practice. If someone draws near to Allah during it with some good act he will be like one who fulfills an obligatory duty in another month, and he who fulfills an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfills seventy obligatory duties in some other month. It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of sharing with others, and a month in which the believer's provision is increased. If someone gives one who has been fasting something with which to break his fast it will provide forgiveness of his wrong actions and save him from the Fire, and he will have a reward equal to the fasting man's reward without his reward being diminished in any way... Allah gives this reward to anyone who gives one who has been fasting some milk mixed with water, or a date, or a drink of water with which to break his fast, and anyone who gives a full meal to one who has been fasting will be given a drink by Allah and will not thirst until he enters Paradise. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from the Fire. If anyone makes things easy for his slave during it, Allah will forgive him and free him from the Fire.'

From a khutba (sermon) given by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the last day of Shaban.

Reported by Salman al-Farsi (Mishkat al Masabih)

Some Hadiths About Ramadan

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: 'Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the gates of the Garden are opened, the gates of the Fire are locked, and the rebellious Shaytan is chained. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good indeed suffered deprivation.'Ahmad and Nasa'i transmitted it. Every good deed will be rewarded from ten to seven hundred fold except fasting which is endured for My sake and which I shall reward.

'Hadith Qudsi, Sahih al-Bukhari

'By Him Who holds my life in His hand the breath of the fasting man's mouth is more fragrant before God and better pleasing to Him than redolent musk.'Sahih Muslim

'Paradise has a gate which is called al-Rayyan through which not one shall enter except those who have observed the fast.'Sahih

'Two joys are prepared for him who observes the fast, the joy of breaking the fast and that of meeting his Lord.'Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim

Excerpts from the Book of the Mysteries of Fasting from the IhyaUlum al-Deen of Imam al-Ghazali

'Praise be to Allah who has shown great favor to His servants, Who has frustrated the hopes and plans of Shaytan by making fasting a bulwark and a shield for His friends.' The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, 'The reward of the fasting man will be generous beyond imagination or estimate.' And so it should be because fasting belongs to Allah and by virtue of this relationship it has been rendered noble.

The fast belongs to Allah in two respects. First because it is a form of desisting and relinquishing, in its very nature concealed from human sight, whereas all the other acts of worship are apparent and exposed to it. And secondly because it is a means of vanquishing the enemy of Allah, Shaytan, who works through the appetites and desires.

These appetites and desires are increased by eating and drinking. For this reason the Prophet said, 'Shaytan affects the son of Adam by pervading his blood. Let him therefore make this difficult for Shaytan by means of hunger.' For the same reason he told A'isha, 'Persist in knocking on the door of Paradise.' When she asked what she should knock with he replied, 'With hunger.' The excellence of fasting established, what follows is a basic description of the outward and inward conditions for fasting.

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