Ramadan is a month full of blessings like no other. There are countless ways of gaining good deeds, whilst remaining in a state of worship for hours on end as we fast in the day and pray at night. To add to these good deeds, Allah (swt) multiplies each deed in Ramadan as a sign of the blessings of this virtuous month.
The Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan
The Quran is the primary source of guidance that we have been given by Allah (swt), and it was revealed in the month of Ramadan. When Ramadan is mentioned in the Quran, it refers to the Quran being revealed:
Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard (to distinguish between right and wrong). So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then (let them fast) an equal number of days (after Ramadan). Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful. (Surah Al-Baqarah)
Allah (swt) wants to elevate the status of the month of the revelation of the Quran to a very high status, and it’s as though fasting is a celebration of the Quran being given to us. No doubt without the Quran, what guidance would we have? What ethics and laws can be lived by? The Quran guides us to what is right and wrong and outlines the values and etiquettes that Allah (swt) would be pleased with. The month of Ramadan is that blessed month, the one that we elevate, the one in which the Quran was revealed, the biggest blessing of all.
Learning to control one-self
Allah (swt) has made fasting obligatory in the month of Ramadan, but fasting itself can also be done during the remaining days of the year as an additional form of worship. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us don’t fast outside of Ramadan, but let’s take a closer look at an important verse:
O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you - as it was for those before you - so perhaps you will become mindful (of Allah). (Surah Al-Baqarah)
Many of us when fasting can only think about the time that we are going to break our fast and what we are going to eat. We create a sense of deception in our minds and block the purpose of fasting. This verse mentions the purpose of fasting, which is to become mindful of Allah. When we fast, we refrain from a lot of things, and we promote worship and good actions. This is a means of forcing us into a position where we become more mindful of what we do to please Allah (swt) and be mindful of him. We are already in a state of hunger and battling our bodies against our own will to eat or drink. But the masaajid are busier, charity is given so much more, and most of us make a conscious effort to be better behaved. So no doubt, the difficulty of fasting brings out the best in us.
The expiation of sins
Expiation means making amends of something that has been done wrong (ie. sins). Allah (swt) says, “surely, good deeds erase the bad deeds”. The good deeds in Ramadan are surely a means of making amends and seeking forgiveness for the bad deeds that we have done too. Ramadan is a month in which so many good deeds are done, that they begin to wipe out our bad ones like in no other time of the year. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
Whoever fasts Ramadan and knows its limits and avoids whatever he should avoid in it, it (Ramadan) will be an expiation of what is before it. (Ahmad)
For any God-fearing person, Ramadan encourages us to engage in these good deeds so much more so than in any other month. This encouragement (in the form of being compulsory) is a great blessing for us. How many of us would fast in the month of Ramadan if it was not compulsory? Maybe 1%? How many would give to charity in this month? So rather than looking at Ramadan as being a month of difficulty, we should look at what we are achieving from this blessed month. We can liken it to the words of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) when he said:
Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains. (Al-Bukhari)
Allah (swt) is forcing us to do something that we naturally don’t want to do, and then forgives us our sins and makes us better people. It’s a one-sided deal in our favour! The Hadeeth implies that we don’t want to go to Jannah (Paradise), we would rather stay here in this World. But Allah (swt) wants much better for us. He (swt) would rather force us to fast and pray and give zakat, just so that He (swt) can take us to His Jannah. And Ramadan is that month, the month in which we can engage in worship, so that we can be forgiven – all for that end goal of a place in Jannah, and Allah’s (swt) mercy.
Ramadan brings people together
All year round, everyone is busy with life. Situations that affect us all can bring us together, whether in difficulty or happiness. Ramadan brings us together, especially families. We wake up at the same time and eat together. We break our fast together and again, eat together. We engage in worship together in numbers that don’t exist outside of Ramadan. We are unified in the same cause and are supportive of each other. Following Ramadan, we celebrate Eid together. These are times when we are engaging in a common cause and appreciate one another like in no other month of the year.
So how is this a blessing? One of the effects of fasting is that it slows you down, and naturally, the body will reserve energy so that we can sustain ourselves until we can re-energise at Iftar. Slowing down allows us to engage with people better, our families become more conscious about each other and share the burden of the fast. So not only are we becoming more conscious of Allah (swt), but we are humbling ourselves to also become more conscious of the people around us. We begin to appreciate what is around us, what we take for granted outside of Ramadan, and we learn to become more forgiving.
So this Ramadan, let’s not think too much about the difficulty of fasting but contemplate and appreciate all of the blessings that it has to offer. So many times we focus on the negatives and difficulties, but we never think about how Allah (swt) has blessed this month for us, just so that He (swt) can forgive us. Perhaps by the end of Ramadan, we may celebrate Eid as people many times better than before Ramadan (in shaa Allah!).
Before you go…
Here in the West, Allah (swt) has blessed us with the ability to have a nutritious meal, to have a cosy place to stay, water on tap, and many gifts from Allah’s (swt) Treasury. However, many people in poor areas don’t have the basic amenities and struggle throughout the year. Consider the difficulties they are facing along with having to fast too. How difficult it must be for them. Why not support them by donating your Zakat in time to aid them? Use our Zakat Calculator now to quickly calculate how much you need to donate this year.