All praise be to Allaah for His blessings and generosity. He has blessed us by allowing us to reach the month of Ramadaan and enabling us to do good deeds by which we can draw nearer to Him. And may the peace and blessings be on our prophet Muhammad – who was the first to hasten to do good deeds – as well as upon his family and Companions – those who believed in him, supported him and followed the light that was revealed to him. They are the successful ones.
As for what follows, then:
I advise you and myself to fear Allaah during this blessed month as well as in any other month. However, this month has a special merit by which Allaah has distinguished it, since it is a unique occasion for performing good deeds. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would supplicate to Allaah to allow him to be able to reach Ramadaan. So when the month of Rajab would come in, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say: “O Allaah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’baan and allow us to reach Ramadaan.”
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would also give his Companions the glad tidings of its arrival and explain to them its many virtues, saying to them: “O people! A great and blessed month has come upon you.”
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would encourage his Companions to strive hard in performing good deeds during this month, both the obligatory and recommended ones, such as prayer, charity, showing goodness and kindness, being patient while obeying Allaah, spending one’s day with fasting, one’s night with praying and one’s hours with recitation of the Qur’aan and remembering Allaah.
So do not waste time by being heedless and refusing, as is the case with the wretched ones who have forgotten Allaah and so He has caused them to forget themselves. Such people do not extract benefit from the passing of occasions for doing good, nor do they realize their sanctity or know their worth.
Many people don’t know this month except as a month for various types of foods and beverages. So they go to great extents in giving their souls what they desire. And they exceed in buying fancy types of foods and drinks. It is well known that the intake of too much food and drink causes one to be lazy with acts of worship. What is required for the Muslim is that he decrease in his intake of food and drink such that he is energetic when it comes to acts of worship.
Some people don’t know the month of Ramadaan except as a month in which one sleeps during the day and stays up all night doing things that have no benefit or things that cause harm. So these people stay awake most of the night or all of it then sleep in the daytime even over the times of the obligatory prayers. So they don’t pray with the congregation or in the prescribed times of prayer.
Another group of people sit at the dinner table when it’s time to break fast and abandon performing the Maghrib prayer in congregation. These types of people do not know the value of the month of Ramadaan nor do they refrain from violating its sanctity by committing the forbidden type of sleeplessness (i.e. all night), abandoning the obligations and doing the prohibited.
Next to these people are those individuals who don’t view the month of Ramadaan except as an opportunity for doing business, displaying their products and chasing after the worldly life, which is temporary. So they are active in buying and selling, thus spending all their time in the marketplaces and abandoning the masaajid. And if they do go to the masaajid, then they are in haste and anguish. They do not relax while in the masaajid since their joy and comfort lies in the market areas.
And there is another type of people that do not know the month of Ramadaan except as a time for begging in the masaajid and in the streets. So they spend most of their time going back and forth from here and there and traveling from one country to another in order to collect money through begging and by presenting themselves as being needy when they are in fact wealthy, and as injured when they are in fact healthy! Such people are denying Allaah’s blessing on them and taking the people’s wealth unjustly. And they are wasting their precious time in things that are harmful to them. So there are no special merits that can be found in Ramadaan for these types of people.
O servants of Allaah! The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would strive hard during this month more than he would in any other month. Even though the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was strong in performing worship at all times, he would free himself up during this month from many of the duties, which in reality were acts of worship, leaving off these righteous deeds for deeds that were better than those. The Salaf would follow his example in this regard and so they would particularize this month with higher ambitions, thus keeping themselves unoccupied in it so that they could perform good deeds. They would spend their night in Tahajjud prayer and their day in fasting, remembrance of Allaah and recitation of the Qur’aan, thus frequenting the masaajid for that purpose. So we should compare our conditions to their conditions and see what the extent of our abilities is in this month.
And we should know that just as the good deeds are multiplied during this month, then likewise, evil acts are worse and their punishment is greater. So we should fear Allaah and magnify the sanctity of this month.
"And whoever magnifies the sacred things of Allaah, this is better for him in the sight of his Lord." [Surah Al-Hajj] May Allaah grant us all the ability to have righteous statements and actions.
And may the peace and blessings be on our prophet Muhammad, as well as all of his family and Companions.
SOURCE: Ittihaaf Ahlil-Eemaan bi Duroos Shahri Ramadaan