Another year, another blessed month of Ramadan! Known as the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, it’s that time of the year when Muslims around the world celebrate this holy month by fasting from sunrise to sunset.
The revelation of the Quran was made to Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) during the month of Ramadan, making this holy month a highly significant one. What makes the month of Ramadan so blessed for the Muslims? Let us count the 8 beautiful blessings from this holy month of fasting.
- The Act of Fasting:
The act of fasting is a blessing on its own as it is one of the pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam, with the Quran as a guide, shape a Muslim. It is an obligation for Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan.
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Fasting, in the case of Islam, is self-restraint. A Muslim must abstain from food, drink and sexual relations and restrain from negative thoughts during their fast in the month of Ramadan. Fasting is not only beneficial for your physical well-being; it benefits your mental and spiritual health too.
- Multiplication of Rewards:
The month of Ramadan is all about patience and sincere commitment, and you will be rewarded for them. These rewards come from sincerely performing good deeds and fulfilling your duties as a Muslim during this holy month.
Rewards will be especially plenty for Muslims who spend most their time in the mosque during the holy month. But since the closing of mosques during the COVID-19 outbreak, doing your ibadah at home with family during Ramadan also has its virtues. Muslims who fast during the month of Ramadan and follow it with the six optional days of fasting in the month after that (Shawwal), will also be heavily rewarded.
The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mentioned, “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal (Syawal) will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year” (Narrated by Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari, Bulugh al-Maram)
The five pillars of Islam include the Shahadah, daily prayers, fasting, charity and pilgrimage. It is beneficial for Muslims to perform such duties especially during the month of Ramadan including heading to Mecca for their Umrah (minor pilgrimage). The rewards will be stacked up and these will in return, draw up the path to Paradise in the afterlife, In Sha Allah.
- Forgiveness of Sins:
The month of Ramadan is also a month of forgiving. Allah SWT is the most forgiving to all his believers. Most Muslims would make use of this holy month to pray for forgiveness for the sins, intentional or unintentional, they’ve committed in the past year.
The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mentioned, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, Sahih al-Bukhari)
Few Muslims can and will use this holy month as an opportunity to rebuild or renew ties with friends or loved ones. With the current situation, you can keep in touch with your loved ones through social media or video communicating tools. Others may wish to turn over a new leaf and get rid of their bad habits, some of which may be toxic to their religious faith. This may include addictions or bad habits such as smoking.
- Door of Rayyan:
The Door of Rayyan (or Ar-Rayyan) is one of the doors in Heaven that is specifically “reserved” for Muslims who fast during the month of Ramadan. Those who are committed sincerely in fasting during the holy month will enter through this door on the Day of Judgement.
The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mentioned, “For those who fast, there is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, through which no one but they will enter. When the last of them has entered it, it will be closed. Whoever enters through it will drink, and whoever drinks will never thirst again”. (Narrated by Sahi Bin Sad, Sunan an-Nasa’i)
This is one great blessing as it affects a Muslim in the afterlife, bringing him or her a step closer to Paradise. Allah SWT will reward those who are hardworking and steadfast in prayer and their duties as a Muslim in the afterlife.
- Pre-dawn Meal (Sahur):
How many of you have always felt lazy or too tired to wake up before sunrise for your pre-dawn meal (Sahur)? I’m sure there are a few who have done it at least once before, with your parents pulling you out of bed every time. Did you know every pre-dawn meal during the month of Ramadan has a blessing in disguise?
Have Sahur for verily there is a blessing in it (Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud, Kitab Al-Siyam)
From a religious standpoint, it is beneficial for Muslims to witness the start of their fast at sunrise, at the same time, performing their Subuh prayers.
From a medical standpoint, Sahur provides Muslims with the energy to last a day, to prevent dehydration and weakness in the body. A Muslim should always be energetic and active during his fast and not laze around the whole day.
- Breaking of Fast (Iftar):
Fasting Muslims would break their fast after sunset (during the call for Maghrib prayer). The breaking of their fast for the day, or Iftar, is truly a blessing for every Muslim as he or she completes a day of worship to Allah SWT.
“There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord, then he will be pleased because of his fasting.” (Narrated by Abu Huraira, Sahih al-Bukhari)
Muslims are advised not to delay their Iftar and do so as soon as the call for Maghrib prayer sounds.
“The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten their breaking of the fast.” (Narrated by Sahl Bin Sa’d, Sahih al-Bukhari)
Dates are mentioned in Hadiths and the Quran numerous times, showing its significance in the religion. It is advisable for all Muslims to break their fast with dates and milk or water, just like the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) when he broke his fasts. This is also to prevent indigestion as you have been abstaining from food and drink for almost the entire day.
The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mentioned, “When one of you breaks his fast, then let him do so with dried dates. And whoever does not find dates, then water, for it is purifying.” (Narrated by Salman bin Amir Ad-Dabbi, Jami’ at-Tirmidhi)
- Recitation of the Quran:
The revelation of the Quran was made during the month of Ramadan, so it is only fitting that Muslims celebrate this by reciting verses from the Holy Book. Fasting during the month of Ramadan would not be complete without spending some time with the Quran.
“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185)
The rewards reaped from reciting the Quran on any ordinary day is already beneficial but if it is recited during the month of Ramadan, the rewards are 1000 times better! It is also mentioned in the Quran of the beauty and power of the holy Book, with the ability to aid a Muslim in his life, especially so during the month of Ramadan.
“And we send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:82)
- Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power):
The Night of Power or Decree (Laylatul Qadr) falls on one of the last ten nights of every month of Ramadan. The exact time and date have been a mystery to all Muslims but rewards for your good deeds and prayers on this specific night will multiply enormously as said in the Quran,
“The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” (Surah Al-Qadr 97:3)
Muslims are advised to spend their final ten nights in the month of Ramadan (sometimes overnight) performing various acts of worship including additional sunnah prayers, spending your nights at the mosque and reading the Quran.
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala accept our fasting and deeds during this holy month of Ramadhan by His Guidance and Grace. Aameen Ya Rabbul Aalameen.