Welcome the month of blessings
It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) spoke the following in the beginning of the month of Ramadan (Independent translation of a hadith reported by Ali bin Moosa from Ali bin Abi Talib):
O my people, the month of Allah, the Almighty has come with blessings mercy and forgiveness. The most exalted month in the eyes of Allah. The days of that month is the most supreme among the days and the nights of that month is the most supreme among nights. The hours of this month is also the most high among hours. That is the month where you are invited as the esteemed guests of Allah. That you are in fact entitled to be given His extraordinary favours. Where your sighs are considered as praise to Allah, slumber as worship, actions are acceptable and prayers are materialised. So with purity of heart and good intention invoke the blessings of Allah for observing fasting during this month and reciting the Holy Qur'an for Allah's sake. Those who are denied the forgiveness of Allah in this month is the most unlucky. Let the hunger and thirst of this month might remind you of the hunger and thirst and turbulent hours of the Day of Doom. Liberally give alms to the poor and the destitutes, honour the elders and show kindness to the little ones, strengthen your kinship, take care of your tongue, desist your seeing and hearing from that which are forbidden, show mercy to the orphans among you so that you maybe bestowed with mercy from others, return to Allah with true repentance and extend your arms in your prayers and performing salat seeking His blessings and mercies. Remember that it is the most suitable time for your prayers to be answered. Then Allah will look up His slaves and would shower up on them with His blessings and mercies.
O my people, your souls are pledged against your own actions. Liberate them by seeking His forgiveness. Your shoulders are being hard pressed by your sins. Emancipate them by prolonged prostrations. Allah has taken a vow upholding His own exalted majesty that He will neither punish nor terrorise those who had prayed and prostrated before Him.
O my people, if you honour a faster by feeding him at Iftar, Allah will give you the reward of emancipating a slave, besides He will forgive all your sins. Hearing this a companion of the Prophet asked, O messenger of Allah, all of us are not in a position to feed the faster as you say, upon which the Prophet said: guard yourself from the Hell fire even with a piece of date fruit or with one gulp of water.
O my people if one of you rectifies your character during this month, Allah will help him pass the Sirat (the bridge between the Hell and Heaven) firm footed on the day when people shiver in their shoes. Allah will lighten the judgement to those who shows clemency during this month to those who are under his control. Allah will eschew anger when He meets His slaves on the day of judgement to those who abstain from sinful actions during this month. Allah would cut His mercy to those who breaks consanguinity during this month. Allah would keep those who observe non obligatory prayers during this month from the Hell fire, the reward for fulfilling obligatory prayers tantamount to those who have rewarded 70 obligatory prayers in other months. Those who increase Salat during this month that would weigh heavily in the balance on the day of judgement. Even if some one recite a verse of the Holy Qur'an during this month he will be rewarded for the entire recitation of the Qur'an in other months.
O people, the gates of the Paradise are being opened during this month. Pray Allah not to shut down those doors before you. The gates of the Hell are closed and pray Allah not to open those gates for you. Satans are in fetters, pray Allah not to have their sway on you.
Upon this Ali bin Abi Talib stood up and asked: What is the most sacred action during this month, on which the Prophet replied: the most sacred and rewarding action during this month is to be extremely careful for the forbidden things by Allah. - AV
ZAHILA HJ MOHD NOR
DEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA