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What is Ramadan

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Ramadan

source: Islam-QA.com

reads: 4431

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Ramadaan is one of the twelve Arabic months. It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following:

1 - Allaah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month..." [al-Baqarah 2:185]

And it was narrated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka'bah)."

2 - Allaah revealed the Qur'aan in this month

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)..." [al-Baqarah 2:185]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree)." [al-Qadr 97:1]

3 - Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months

"Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees,

(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn" [al-Qadar 97:1-5]

"We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan - the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]" [al-Dukhaan 44:3]

Allaah has blessed Ramadaan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived."

Narrated by al-Nasaa'i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.

4 - Allaah has made fasting Ramadaan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins

This was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 2014; Muslim, 760) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And al-Bukhaari (2008) and Muslim (174) also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyaam at night in Ramadaan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is to pray Taraweeh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyaam by praying Taraaweeh.

5 - In this month, Allaah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils

It is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.

6 - Every night Allaah has people whom He redeems from the Fire.

Imam Ahmad (5/256) narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "At every breaking of the fast, Allaah has people whom He redeems. Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnaad; and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 987.

Al-Bazzaar (Kashf 962) narrated that Abu Sa'eed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah has people whom He redeems every day and night - i.e., in Ramadaan - and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.

7 - Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins.

It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The five daily prayers, from one Jumu'ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.

8 - Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months

As is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (1164), narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime. Ahmad (21906) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.

9 - Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer

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