By: Abu Hamzah
This is the text of Khutbah delivered on Friday 21.08.09 in Medium Hradec Kralove
Points to ponder:
1. The blessings behind the raising and choosing of certain place, time, creations.
2. The example from Abu Bakr - his excitement and hs princples.
3. The virtues of Ramadan and its significance as a Pillar of Islam.
4. Our blessing as the Ummah of Muhammad - Ramadan is a Hidayah.
5. 12 tips on how to make this your best ever Ramadan - inshaAllah
How To Make This Your Best Ramadhan Ever
- It is of the blessing of Allah that Allah has made certain places, certain creations, object and time as special. The prophets are specials, the angels there are more special than the Jinns, the book of Allah is more special than any other book, even certain places are more special than the others; Makkah is more special than in any other town in this world, praying in Masjid al-Haram is more special than praying in any other mosque – in terms of the deeds, we are offered more deed when we pray there. And so, similarly Allah chooses Ramadan as a month that is more special than other months. Allah chooses some things over other, and in this choosing and raising, there is so much barakah.
- If Allah had willed, the whole year could pass without any special day, there will be no holy day, no holy month, no Eid, no blessed month. And what would that mean? What would that constitute? It would mean there will be no time in year, that our energy level, our enthusiasm is increased. Every day would be the same. An example, Allah has made Friday as the Holy day in a week. It is blessing, Friday. Muslim prepare themselves with best clothing, and be present early to listen to the khutbah, to increase their Iman, to meet their friends etc. Similarly, Allah has given eid, holy day, rejoice. And if you realize, both Eid occur after pinnacle of religious act. It’s not on first day of calendar, on the birthday, or on any other special day, no. The purpose is to remind us of the blessing of Allah. And the biggest of the blessing is Ramadan, and Hajj.
- On the occasion of this blessed month, I believe it is an important question for us that, how can we try to make this Ramadan our best Ramadan ever. I believe it is a great question. I believe that, as much as we try our best to make it our best Ramadan ever, we would be able to do it. It all begins with us.
- I would like to begin with a story mentioned in the hadith of al-Bukhari and muslim, prophet said:
"Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah's Cause, will be called from the gates of
Abu Bakr asked an amazing question. In another narration in Ibn Hibban, Rasulullah s.a.w. said it would be Abu Bakr. Now, we have listened about the character or the principle of Abu Bakr. One of them is that, Abu Bakr is always, the foremost of the foremost. He wants to be the best in everything. Here is another example of his character. Abu Bakr knew that once a person enters Jannah, you would enter it through only one of the gates. Because you would never leave Jannah once you enter it. But why he asked? Because he wants to be the best. He has this principle. He want to be the one who made Solah the most, do jihad the most, give charity the most. This is the principle of Abu Bakr. This kind of mentality is needed for those who want to have his best Ramadan.
And if we compare ourselves with Abu Bakr, most of us, we would be glad just to enter Jannah, even, if it is by crawling, by jumping through the window etc. But not Abu Bakr. He wants to be called by all the gates of Jannah. He is excited by it. Similarly, we should be excited by the offers that come knocking to us with the coming of this blessed month. Now, before we ask the question how, we should ask the question why?
- In a hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. said:
“He’s a great loser a person who will witness the moth Ramadan, and Allah s.w.t. will not forgive his sins” -Shahih, by al-Bukhari in Adaab al-Mufrad
Why? If we can’t seek the forgiveness of Allah in this month, we will never be able to get His forgiveness in other months. If we can’t act to the best of our capabilities in this month, we will never be able to do it in any other months.
- Now, you might be surprised by what I’m saying. Ramadan is short. Only 29/30 days. And believe me, in no time, we will find ourselves in the 15th day of Ramadan, and then suddenly, we are 2 days away from Eid. This is the nature of this month. And since it is such a short period of time, with all the great benefits that come with it, we should be smart and take advantage of it. Because, again why should we try to make this the best of Ramadan? It is because we don’t know whether we will be still alive when the next Ramadan arrives. So many of our brothers and sisters were expecting Ramadan this year, but they do not get the chance as we get. At any moment, our life can be taken. We wouldn’t be able to delay it even by a second. We should do our best now then. This could be our last.
- I expect all of us to know that fasting is one of the pillar of Islam. By fasting we are doing one of the pillars of Islam. That is a lot. It’s a big thing. But we don’t realize that often. We are all excited about Hajj for instance, because we feel we are doing something that is really special, because it is a pillar and that we are doing it once in a lifetime. While we are fasting we are doing something similar. We should have the feeling that we are doing something great. That should motivate us. Allah has chosen this act of worship as one of the pillars because it is one of the greatest, one of the special and one of the most beloved act of worship for Allah. Realise this when we are eating our Suhur every night. That tomorrow I am going to do something Allah love very much. And at the end of day, when we are doing Iftar , say to ourselves, I have today completed one of the act of worship Allah loves the most.
- In a Hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. said:
“ Every deed of the Son of Adam is for him, except al-Siyam, which is exclusively for me, and I alone would reward him for it”
Allah said, only He will reward us for us Siyam. He didn’t tell us. He kept as a surprise and only in the Day of Judgement we will know it.
In another Hadith narrated by al-Imam Muslim, the Prophet s.a.w. said:
“ The person fasting has joy at 2 occasion. One during the breaking of the fast, and second during his meeting his Lord”
Yes, the Prophet has told us in other authentic hadith that, whoever observed fasting in Ramadan with Faith, while seeking the reward from Allah, would have his past sins forgiven. And in another authentic hadith, we were told that those who fast a day in the path of Allah, not necessarily in Ramadan, Allah will remove the hellfire seventy years further away from his face. That;s seventy year of journey. A life time for some of us. That’s for a day, only a day of fasting. Imagine that. What else do we want from this world?
- We are so blessed. Allah has chosen us to give us his favor by making us one of the ummah of Muhammad s.a.w.. He gave us this month to fast and worship him with all its virtues, fadilat- lots of rewards. He gave it as an opportunity for us. He guided us to this month. Isn’t this a hidayah, a guidance from Allah? Haven’t we thought about this? And by keeping that in our mind, we should try our best in this Ramadan, and also inshaAllah, in the coming ones. Now, how do we do that?
- Number 1, is by making doa – don’t ever forget to ask Allah to help us in this month. It was said that the Sahabah used to make doa 6 months before Ramadan, so that Allah will help him in Ramadan, to observe siyam and to do the best. And after Ramadan, for another 6 month the sahabah would ask Allah to accept whatever deeds or ibadah that they have done during Ramadan. . This should teach us how much our heart should be connected to Allah. Ask Allah everyday, so that Allah will help open our heart, to save from the evil of our soul, evil and to help purify our heart in this month and to do the best in this month, to read more Quran, to pray Tarawih every night. Ask from Allah because He Sees us, He Listens to us. Ask him to help us to make us a better Muslim in this month and in the coming ones.
- Number 2, don’t let Ramadan start with us having envy towards our brothers and sister. When we have envy, it’s a disease for our heart. Our heart will not be healthy, it will not be able to taste the sweetness of iman and to reach a high level of iman.
- Number 3, we should also repent to Allah. We should start Ramadan with a new record. We should start this month by not carrying any sins. We should repent so that, we would start ramdan with a pure clean heart. With heart full of regret of the sins an evil that we have done. And so that the heart will be full of love of Allah s.w.t. and hope that we wil able to do our best in this month and enjoy this month.. Repenting means we quit all sins that we have made. We feel sorry for what we have done, it means we switch from wanting to do bad to wanting to do good. It means we want to change our lifestyle from those who don’t care about his religion, to one who make religion his first priority in life.
- Number 4, also in this month, do as much sunnah as you can. Example, delay your suhur, doing it just before Fajr, next, break the fasting exactly when it is Maghrib. We shouldn’t delay our Iftar. Then, break fast with dates. Not necessarily because we like them, but because we love the Prophet s.a.w.. Purchase it if you don’t have. Also, it is recommended for us to do Suhur with the dates. The taraweeh, try our best not to miss any taraweeh, try to complete it everyday. Don’t even miss the takbeer of taraweeh. Be there before the Imam is there. Don’t miss any rakaah. Don’t be tired. Also it is highly recommended for us to make doa when we are breaking our fast.
- Number 5, choose a friend to help us during this month. It can be anyone. Our spouses even. Choose someone you think can help you. Who is better than you and who can motivate you. Come to Taraweeh with him. Spend your iftar with him and by buying food sometimes for him. Not only that, spend iktikaf with him, learning about Islam or reading the Quran also with him. Ask him to help you memorise some verse of the Quran. Find this someone. Ask him to help you. Think about something that would be beneficial to both him and you. And also spend your time learning more about your deen. Listen to lectures. Attend any circles of knowledges. Share with each other.
- Number 6 – stay away from sins, both major and minor. Every sins that we make would put a black spots in our heart. And we don’t want that. We want our soul to be pure so that it would be able to absorb the sweetness of Iman.
- Number 7 – be good to our parents and relatives. If we are staying with our parents, try our best to do Iftar and Suhur with them. Because indeed, the hearts are more open during this month. And you will find yourselves to be closer to them as a result. If our parents are away from us, call them. Call our relatives, who maybe we didn’t call for the last couple of months. Call them now. Indeed it is an important act of worship and because every sunnah worship will receive more rewards in this month. Also try to join our community more. Join the taraweeh, the Iftar. Stay longer after jumaah to talk and know each other more. Participate yourself more. By being present. By your money. By cooking food for them etc. The prophet s.a.w. said, those who provide food for those who are making Iftar, receive the rewards of those who fast.
- Number 8 – Take a vacation – Yes, serious. Why not? Especially, during the last ten days of Ramadan. Why not spend full time to make worship for Allah? What better way is there to spent your holiday? Read more Qur’an, read the Azkar, do Iktikaf etc. Even if you are lucky, to spend umrah in Makkah. The best time to do umrah is during Ramadan.
- Number 9 - Do a lot of charity. That’s what the prophet s.a.w. use to do a lot in Ramadan. Don’t hesitate. Give and Allah will reward us for that. Here, in this world by blessing our wealth, and also in Akhirah by Jannah. Make this Ramadan the best by giving the most.
- Number 10 – for us brothers, don’t make it difficult for our wives by making them cook for us the extra meal, extra sweets etc until they have to spend more time in the kitchen than with worshipping Allah. Don’t ask her to cook a lot. Then she will lose her day. In the day by cooking while in the night getting tired of cooking. More so, when anytime she can have her period. In fact try to together join in act of worship. Reading Qur’an, listening to some lectures etc. Don’t waste your time. Every minute is very valuable in this Ramadan. We should give the same opportunity to our wives and sisters to make the best out of this Ramadan. Why should they spend their time in kitchen while we get on with our ibadah or other matters?
- Number 11 – every night ask yourselves, how was your day. Evaluate yourselves. Think about how you have wasted your day. And then think abut how you can improve it the day after. Always imagine that, this will be your last day, and you will not have tomorrow. You will not have the chance to fast again tomorrow. You will not have chance to do taraweeh again tomorrow. Think about this deeply. Let it sink in our heart.
- Last but not least, we should realize that Allah swt opens His hands for us. He don’t need us, we need Him. Allah open his Jannah for us to enter, to be with him. So, are we going to turn our back on him, neglect him, when we agree that, we need him the most? Realise that and think about it so that we would be motivated to make it our best Ramadan.
- May Allah help us to make this Ramadan our best inshaAllah. As it told you, I believe it is an important question. These are all suggestions. It is up to us to do our part.
This is my note based on the lecture by Syeikh Waleed Basyouni on the same title which can be found here