Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
Assalamu Alaikum. I wish you and your families Ramadhan Mubaarak. May the Barakah of Allah SWT descend on us as individuals, as families, as a Jamaa’ah and as an Ummah.
May Allah help Muslims from all over the globe to have a peaceful and blessed Ramadhan. Let us also hope that by Fasting in the month of Ramadhan we as a community will exemplify the best of the Muslim character as we interact with the wider society especially when the opinion of Muslims is at an all time low.
Ramadhan is about faith, kindness, generosity, perseverance and striving to achieve a higher spiritual reality with our Creator and a deeper consciousness of Allah within ourselves known as Taqwa.
Allah affirms in 2/183: O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn.
Taqwa is the first quality that Allah mentions as He describes those who truly will benefit from His Book. The people of Taqwa are the successful people in this life and in The Hereafter where they will be the dwellers of Paradise. Taqwa requires that our intentions be very sincere for Allah. So as we fast everyday throughout this Month let us be very clear on our intentions and goals going into this month. It is a complete immersion, submission and interaction of the Abd with his Rabb. Ramadhan is a month of special generosity from Allah. He sent down the best book to the best of humans through the best of Angels and in the best of nights. So we glorify and praise Allah who has allowed us to dwell in His Kindness and His Generosity. The gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the Shaitaan and his henchmen are locked up. We should use this month to rid ourselves of any bad habits, and deeds which are serving as a barricade between us and our Creator! At the same time adopt all those good deeds into our lives that we may be lacking.
The Prophet said: “As-Siyam and the Quran will intercede on behalf of the slave. As-Siyam says, ‘O Lord! I prevented him from food and obeying his desires in the morning. Therefore, accept my Shafa’ah on his behalf.’ And the Quran says, ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Therefore, accept my Shafa’ah on his behalf,’ and they will be accepted as intercessors.'” [Ahmad, Al-Hakim & Al-Bayhaqi]
Ramadhan is blessed by night as we stand for Qiyaam and by day Fasting for the pleasure of Allah. The rewards of both are immense. Rasoolullah said: “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadhan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven and whoever establishes prayers during the nights of faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards all his past sins will be forgiven. [Bukhari]
Let us remember those who are suffering across the globe. We should pray for them as prayer of a Fasting person is accepted by Allah. Rasoolullah said:”There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks the fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed”. [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban]
Finally the month of Ramadhan is the month of the Quran and I urge myself and all of our brothers and sisters to study the Quran during this month. Sisters have online Quran sessions and so do the brothers. Sit with your families and recite and study the Quran. This Ramadhan our children will be at home on school vacation. Let them not waste their time with games and on the internet. Perhaps it will be a good time to explain to them what is ICNA and what is Islamic Movement and why is it different from other groups.
I would like to close off with the reminder of this Hadith.
“Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me’. For the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time of joy when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of Musk.” [Muslim]
May Allah forgive us and have mercy upon us and give us the taufeeq to make the best use of this month of Ramadhan.
Your Brother in Islam
President, Islamic Circle of North America