Verily all praise is due to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we praise Him as He deserves to be praised and we seek refuge in Allah from evil of our souls and consequences of our bad deeds. Indeed we ask Allah’s guidance and seek refuge from His displeasure and misguidance.
As to what follows, my dear Muslims, realise that the month of Ramadan is now upon us. This sacred and beautiful month, a month that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during it’s time, he stood up on the mimbar and he called the Sahaba and he gave a khutbah to them and he said:
O people, know that the month is now upon you. Know that you are now witnessing a month that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made sacred. That Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made obligatory to fast during its days and He has requested that you stand during its nights; it is not obligatory to stand but it is good that you do it. This is a month that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that all of the doors of hell are shut and chained and all the gates of Jannah are opened up. Meaning that there is every opportunity for you to be saved from the fire of hell and go to Jannah. This is a month that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that all the evil shayateen, all of the satans are locked up and they are not allowed to go around whispering to you evil thoughts. And this is a month that every single night Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala saves people who are destined to go to the fire of hell. And this is a month, he concluded, this is a month that has one day in it and that day is better than 1000 months of your worship.
Brothers and sisters this is that very month, this is the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is the holiest time of the year. We thank Allah that not all of the timings of the year are the same rather Allah has preferred some timings over others. And this month is the most preferred and the most blessed timing. And what this does for us is that it encourages us to be good, it makes us want to do extra good deeds in this month. And realise my dear brothers and sisters that the month has been made so easy for you; every aspect has been facilitated for you. Jahannam is closed, Jannah is wide open. There are no devils, nobody can now come and say: Oh! shaitaan whispered into my ear. There are no shayateen whispering; if you do a bad deed in this month realise that 100% this deed is from you. Not that if you did it outside of Ramadan you can blame shaitaan. Shaitaan can only whisper but in Ramadan – he cannot even whisper in Ramadan. Even that is taken away from him. Any evil that you do in this month, it comes from your soul. So Ramadan is a reflection of who you are. If you are good and righteous in Ramadan this shows that you have a good side to you. But if you cannot be good in this month, if you fail to live up to the expectations of your religion in this month then, realise that there is no hope for you at all. And this is not my words, this is not my speech; this is the speech of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
One day when he (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was giving the Friday khutbah, he climbed up his mimbar, he climbed up the pulpit – and his pulpit had 3 steps to it. And so he climbed up the first pulpit and he said out loud Ameen. Then he climbed up the second and he said Ameen. Then he climbed up the third and he said Ameen. So the companions were confused and they said: “Oh! Messenger of Allah we have never seen you say Ameen every time you climb the pulpit; this is the first time we have heard you say Ameen. What was the reason for this?” The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “When I was climbing up the pulpit, Jibreel (AS) came to me and told me: O Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)! Anyone in your nation who manages to be alive when Ramadan comes & yet cannot get his sins forgiven, then may he perish in the fire of Hell. Say Ameen.” So the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said Ameen. Then he climbed the second step, Jibreel (AS) said: “O Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)! Anyone who manages to catch Laylatul Qadr & he does not manage to get his sins forgiven, may he perish in the fire of hell. Say ameen.” So the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said ameen. And then he climbed the third one and Jibreel (AS) said: “O Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)! Anyone of your ummah who manages to catch his parents one of them or both when they are elderly and they need his help and he is not able to service them properly and get his sins forgiven then may he perish. Say ameen.” And so he (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said ameen.
So three dua’s were made. That there are three golden opportunities; three opportunities that even the worst of mankind can get their sins forgiven if they only turn to Allah. Two of those opportunities, two, related to Ramadan. Two of them deal with Ramadan. And these are – the entire month and Laylatul Qadr. In other words what Jibreel (as) is saying and what the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said Ameen to – and ponder over this my dear brothers and sisters and think about it. If you cannot be righteous and good in this month then really you have no hope there is no hope for you. Why? Because there are no excuses. Shayateen have been chained up. There is no way to go except Jannah. Jannah is open, Jahannam is closed. Every night Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala frees hundreds and thousands and millions of people who have been destined to go to hell. He frees them because of their good deeds. If you can’t be amongst them, if you are not able to be good in this month then really and truly there is no hope.
But the question is: what do you have to do? Very simple! The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
Three things he said, any one of them will forgive all of your sins, all – unconditional, no matter what sin you have done, if you repent properly in this month and you do what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wants you to do and what the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) told us to do, all of your sins will be forgiven. What are these three things? He said: Whoever fasts the entire month of Ramadan believing in Allah and hoping for Allah’s reward. Those are the only two conditions; that you are a believer in Allah and you do the fasts wanting the reward from Allah. You are doing it expecting Allah to reward you. You are not doing it because society is doing it, you are not doing it because your parents want you to do it; you are not doing it because all of your friends are doing it. You are not doing it because the culture of your country requires you to do it. You are doing it for the sake of Allah. You are doing it purely to please Allah. If you did it with this intention, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: all of your previous sin are forgiven. The second thing he said, whoever stands up at night in Ramadan and Ramadan has a beautiful prayer, that we call taraweeh. This prayer is a prayer that is the equivalent of the tahajjud of the other nights in Ramadan. We call it taraweeh. It is the same prayer. This prayer is a prayer that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did occasionally and the sahaba also did and it is something that he did it in congregation occasionally and he did it at his home all the time. And so in our times it has become a congregational prayer that is encouraged to do. You are encouraged to pray taraweeh. It is not obligatory but you are encouraged to do so and if you do so every single night, if you do so then that is one more opportunity to have all of your sins forgiven.
And the third opportunity to have all of your sins forgiven is the opportunity known as Laylatul qadr. And what will make you understand what Laylatul qadr is? It is one night of Ramadan, it is one night of Ramadan than when you worship Allah properly when you are standing in prayer and reading Quran and doing dhikr for this one night that all of your previous sins will be forgiven. This is Laylatul Qadr! So the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) gave us three opportunities in this month to get all of our sins forgiven.
One more blessing of Ramadan – Ramadan is the month that when you perfect your fasting in it, you may enter Jannah by a special door. It is a special door set aside for those who fast. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: In Jannah there is a special door called Ar-Rayyan. And Ar-Rayyan means ‘that which will give you lots of water’. So it is called ‘that which will give you water’ because the way to get to it is to deprive yourself of water. How so? The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: It is set aside for those who fast frequently. For those who perfect their fast, and you cannot perfect your fast until you have perfected the fast of Ramadan. So fasting Ramadan forgives your sins. Fasting Ramadan causes you to enter Jannah. Fasting Ramadan brings about a sense of taqwa and Imaan.
Remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
“O You who believe, fasting has been made obligatory upon you as it was made on those before you so that you may achieve righteousness and piety.”
So remember – that the purpose of fasting in Ramadan is to achieve righteousness and piety. This is the ultimate goal. Allah does not benefit when you tire yourself out, rather you are the one that benefits. So we pray to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that may He make us amongst those whose sins are forgiven in this month, whose fasting is accepted, whose reading of the Quran is accepted and whose Qiyam is accepted. And may He make you amongst those who enter Jannah through the gate of Ar-Rayyan.
والله تعالى أعلم
وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين
أخوك أبو ناصر