A company promises its employees a triple bonus, based on the production. Undoubtedly every employee will eagerly work overtime to meet the production target so that he may receive the triple bonus. Whatever he earns for the month, he will want to receive an extra cheque for three times that amount at the end of the year. For this he will slog as hard as he can.
The month of Ramadhaan is super bonus time. Every fardh (compulsory) action performed is rewarded with a bonus of 70 times the normal reward. For every nafil (optional) action, one is granted a reward equivalent to a fardh action. The latter reward must be understood in context. For instance, tahajjud Salaah (performed in the last part of the night) is an extremely great nafil ibadah. The rewards are tremendous. However, a lifetime of tahajjud cannot equal the reward of one day’s fajr Salaah. Yet in the month of Ramadhaan Allah Ta'ala grants a reward equivalent to a fardh action for every nafil action performed. It could therefore be safely said that one tahajjud Salaah in the month of Ramadhaan is worth more than a lifetime of tahajjud at other times!!! The same applies for every other nafil action such as recitation of the Qur'an, zikr, recitation of Durood Shareef, etc. Therefore, maximum effort should be made in this Mubaarak month to acquire these multiplied rewards.
Hereunder are the virtues for some nafil Salaah which one should endeavour to perform, especially in Ramadhaan..
Ishraaq: It is performed approximately 15 minutes after sunrise. The one who performs two rakaats of ishraaq salaah gets the reward of performing one Haj and Umrah.
Salaatud Duha (chasht): This Salaah is performed when the sun has risen high (approximately midway between sunrise and zawaal). Among its virtues is that it is sadaqah for all the 360 joints in the body. One's (minor) sins are also forgiven. A minimum of 2 rakaats and a maximum of 8 rakaats can be performed.
Awwabeen: Six rakaats of nafil prerformed after Maghrib are known as awwabeen. One's (minor) sins are forgiven, even if they are equal to the foam on the sea. According to a narration of Sahih ibn Khuzayimah, one is granted a reward of 12 years of ibadah.
Tahajjud: This Salaah is performed in the last part of the night. This is the most virtuous of all the salaahs after the fardh Salaah. It is a means of one's forgiveness and a means of safety against committing sins. The time of tahajjud is also a special time for the acceptance of duas. It is very easy to perform this salaah in Ramadhaan due to waking up for sehri. However if one cannot wake up at tahajjud time, the virtues will still be attained (though to a little lesser degree), by performing at least two rakaats nafil after the Esha salaah with the intention of tahajjud.
GOING FOR UMRAH
Those who are in the Haramain Shareefain during Ramadhaan must take full advantage of the time in those Mubarak lands. The rewards already mentioned are further multiplied in Makkah Mukarramah by a hundred thousand!! This applies for every salaah, zikr, tasbeeh, etc. The calculators cannot compute the reward to be earned. Thus one should spend the maximum time in ibadah in the Haram Shareef. Wasting one’s time in the bazaars should be strictly avoided. May Allah Ta'ala grant us the ability to fully engage ourselves in good deeds in Ramadhaan. Aameen.
The Greatest Return
There are many great “returns” that people experience in their lives. The returning of a missing child, finding a very valuable lost item or a close family member returning home after spending many years overseas are some instances of a great return. These are moments of immense joy and happiness. The greatest “Return,” however, is when a sinful servant who had abandoned Allah Ta'ala and fallen into sin makes sincere taubah (which literally means “to return”) and returns to his Creator. There can never be a happier moment for such a person.
Retuning to Allah Ta'ala in sincere repentance brings down the showers of the Mercy of Allah Ta'ala. Due to his repentance, the one who was previously known in the court of Allah Ta'ala as a faasiq (sinner) earns the title of Habibullah (the beloved of Allah). His crying and sobbing while begging for forgiveness is more beloved to Allah Ta'ala than the recitation of tasbeeh of those who are busy glorifying Allah Ta'ala. Can there be a greater return?
YARDSTICK OF PIETY
The object of the auspicious month of Ramadhaan is to truly return to Allah Ta'ala by repenting from all sin and adopting piety. The Qur'an-al-Kareem declares: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed upon you, just as it was pescribed upon those before you, so that you may acquire taqwa (piety)” (S2:183). Taqwa, in simple terms, refers to giving up every sin. The one who forsakes all sin is the greatest worshipper and the most pious person, even though he may not be performing nafil (optional) Haj and Umrah every year, giving thousands in charity or standing the entire night in tahajjud salaah. Indeed, these great acts of worship should be performed as much as possible. However, the yardstick of piety is taqwa – abstaining from sin. Taqwa cannot be acquired without first making sincere taubah. It thus follows that the one who does not make taubah has to a degree defeated the purpose of Ramadhaan, even though he may have performed many other good deeds in the blessed month.
It is thus evident that in order to acquire the object of Ramadhaan, one must start with sincere taubah (repentance). One should sit in solitude and list down, or make a mental note, of all the laws of one's beloved Master and Creator which are being disobeyed. Think: Have I performed all my Salaah, Zakaah, Qurbaani, etc? Have I taken anyone's property wrongfully? Did I lie, backbite, slander? Do I have pride, harbour jealousy and do actions for name and fame? What about the laws of hijaab? Am I obeying my most beloved Rabb in this regard or do I disobey Him? Am I involved in any illicit relationship? Have I sinned with my eyes, ears, tongue and heart? Have I fulfilled the rights of my neighbours and relatives? Do I take intoxicants? Am I shaving or trimming my beard to less than a fist length? … After having carefully taken note of all the sins in one's life, sincerely repent from each one. Beg Allah Ta'ala’s forgiveness. For one's taubah to be accepted, the following pre-conditions apply:
* Give up the sin immediately.
* Regret having sinned. Feel the pain in your heart, just as you would be pained if you lost a million rands.
* Resolve never to commit the sin again.
* The unfulfilled rights of Allah Ta'ala (salaah, zakaah, etc.) and the rights of people (debts, etc.) must be discharged.
Often many people stop committing various sins in Ramadhaan. Gambling comes to a hault. The T.V. is switched off. Intoxicants are given up. Lying, vulgar languages, zina and a host of other evils are forsaken. Similarly, many actions that were previously neglected are performed in Ramadhaan. Salaah is performed regularly. The Musjid is full even for Fajr Salaah. Many other good deeds are performed. It is indeed a great gift from Allah Ta'ala that one respects the month of Ramadhaan by refraining from sins and engaging in good deeds. However, the tragedy is that as soon as Ramadhaan leaves, it is as if Deen has left. The day after Eid the Musjid is crying out for those who were regularly there for the entire month. The gambling dens are once again frequented by those who were frequenting the Musjid. Numerous other evils which were given up during Ramadhaan are once again perpetrated. One of the fundamental reasons for this speedy slide into a life of disobedience is that, while we respected Ramadhaan, we did not sincerely return to Allah Ta'ala and repent from our sins. Thus this is our need of the moment: To undertake the Greatest Return.
Having repented sincerely, one should also closely link oneself to a pious personality who one feels comfortable with. Take his guidance in all aspects and one will be saved from the many hazards, Insha Allah.
Furthermore, actively encourage others to undertake the Greatest Return. While your encouragement will insha Allah benefit them, it will also greatly help you to remain steadfast.
May Allah Ta'ala grant us the ability to repent sincerely, forgive us and enable us to refrain from every sin in future. Ameen.
Is Ramadan causing an impact on the Ummah leading to a spiritual renaissance or is it treated as just another dry routine. This is the burning question. The month will come and go like a spiritual flood but will it leave behind its rich deposits or will it wash away whatever little we had?
Allah Ta'ala honoured and blessed certain days, nights and months in the Islamic calendar. The Mubarak month of Ramadan, the entire month, every second of the twenty four hours is entertained by the mercy (Rahmah) and blessing (Barakah) of Allah Ta'ala.
Fortunate are those who witness and embrace this blessed month in the manner prescribed and practically demonstrated by our beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Perhaps the foremost lesson to acquire is, “That you may become God-fearing” which is fundamentally and essentially the quintessence of a Mu'min's life.
The month of Ramadaan is graced by some of the most glorifying events and important accomplishments. Some of these include the flood of revelation which manifested the complete and thorough preparation to receive revelation. It was Friday, the seventeenth of Ramadaan when the Battle of Badr took place which the Noble Quran refers to as Yaum-ul-Furqan (the day of distinction). Another distinctive event was the victory of Makkah (Fathe-Makkah) which culminated in the eradication of Shirk (idolatry) and the purification of the Muslims.
Ramadaanul Mubarak, a month pursued by virtuous deeds and spiritual devotion; a month trained to bring in control every limb and organ of the body in obedience to Allah Ta'ala. This month has the potential to dispel bad habits and sins.
Finally, Ramadaan is not seasonal and confined to the month of Ramadaan, but to better our lives and carry over into the months to come.