Ramadhaan: The Month of Training



"All praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to Islam, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us." Q7:43.

All praise is for Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of the universe. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever Allah guides, cannot be lead astray and whomever Allah does not guide, none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone without associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, his companions and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may LEARN SELF-RESTRAINT (and become pious)." Q2:183

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

"Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink". (Bukhari 8.83)

Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah's Apostle (PBUH) said,

"Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting …". (Bukhari 3.118).

Allah knows us better than any other being because He created us.

"Should He not know He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them)". Q67:14.

He knows that we are capable of observing His commandments if we choose to and submit to Him. The commandments of Allah are not beyond our capabilities, only evil and arrogant people who follow their personal desires, passion and ego will consider Allah's commandments impracticable or too difficult to be observed.

Self-restraint is very important in the life of every individual; lack of self-restraint can debase human beings to the level of animals. Faith, righteous deeds and avoidance of evil cannot be achieved without consciousness of Allah, self-restraint, patience and perseverance. Allah, the Exalted, prescribed fasting to teach us self-restraint in order that we may become conscious of Allah and become pious. The month of Ramadan is the training month for Muslims to imbibe self-restraint and learn kindness, righteousness and how to leave time, out of tight schedule, for the worship of Allah, the Exalted. The training acquired in Ramadan should be used throughout the lifetime; it is not to be abandoned immediately after Ramadan. A person who actually grasps the true meaning of Ramadan is he/she that retains the righteous deeds he/she performs and does not return to the bad deeds he/she leaves during the month of Ramadan.

Praise be to Allah. Many Muslims now regularly attend mosques for prayers at the scheduled time, read the Holy Qur'an, share their food with others or feed others, restrain their eyes, hands, tongues, private parts, etc, and wake up in the mid-night for the pre-dawn meal (sahoor) and Tahajjud. We should resolve in our minds and be determined to continue with these good acts after Ramadan.

Some Muslims are too lazy to wake up for Tahajjud and solatul Fajr (the early morning prayer) in other months except Ramadan despite the fact that they know their importance. They should know that if they can always wake up for these prayers in other months if they take Ramadan as the month of training.

On Tahajjud, Allah says:

"Only those believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) who, when they are recited to them, fall down in adoration and celebrate the praises of their Lord nor are they (ever) puffed up with pride. Their sides do forsake their beds of sleep the while they call on their Lord in Fear and Hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them". Q32:15-16.

"Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night and recite the Qur'an in the morning prayer: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. And pray in the parts of the night (Tahajjud): (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a station of Praise and Glory! ". Q17:78-79.

"Truly, the rising by night (for Tahajjud) is very hard and most potent for governing (the soul) and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah)". Q3:6. See also Q11:114, Q3:16-17.

May Allah accept our acts of worship, good deeds and forgive our sins. May Allah accept our fasting and make it possible for us to continue with all the good deeds we do and keep away from the bad deeds we leave during this month. We should not forget the people of Chechnya in our supplications, may Allah help them and all people that are oppressed.

I wish you all Ramadan Mubarak. Peace be on you.