First Pearl - The Month of Mercy
Many a secular person has gone and many pious saints have passed away, but we that read this pamphlet have this opportunity once again to correct our lives by following the sunnat of our prophet Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam and pleasing Allâh. Ramadhân is for the Muslims a very great favour from Allâh. The reality of this favour can only be felt in our lives and heart if we appreciate it, otherwise this blessed month of Ramadhân will come and go without gaining anything.
Kâb bin Ujrah (RadiAllâhu Anhu) relates, that once while climbing the pulpit (mimbar), Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Âmîn." The Sahabah asked, "O Rasul of Allâh, today we have heard something that we have never heard before." Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said that Jibraeel (Alaihis Salâm) said, "Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhân and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness." Upon that I said "Âmîn."
Let us ask ourselves who is making the du'â and who is saying Âmîn. Now can we still let this month of Ramadhân go by idly or are we going to spend it in accordance to the teachings of Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam?
Second Pearl - Fasting
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reports that Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "The du'â of a fasting person is not rejected until he breaks his fast." Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Whoever eats during one day of Ramadhân without a valid excuse, shall never be able to recoup that day even by fasting for the rest of his life."
Third Pearl - Sehri
Ibne Umar (R.A.) relates that Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Verily Allâh and his angels send mercy upon those who partake of Sehri."
Fourth Pearl - The Qur'ân
There is a very great link between Ramadhân and the Qurân. Ramadhân is the month of the Qurân. Therefore read as much Qurân as possible. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibne Umar (R.A.) narrated that Rasulullah Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "The hearts become rusted as iron rusts with water." When someone asked, "What could cleanse the hearts again?" Rasulullah Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Frequent remembrance of death and recitation of the Qurân." The month of Ramadhân and the Qurân is with us. Let us use it to cleanse our hearts of rust.
Fifth Pearl - Tarâwîh Salâh
Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said that Allâh made fasting fardh for the day and Tarawîh sunnat for the night. Let us realize that through our fasting we kill the desires of our Nafs (carnal self) and through our Tarawîh we can reach Allâh. What a blessing!
Sixth Pearl - Itikâf
In Kashful Ghummah, Allâma Sha'râni relates a Hadith wherein Rasulullah Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Whoever performs Itikâf for the final ten days of Ramadhân, for him is the reward of two Haj and two Umrahs and whoever performs Itikâf from Maghrib until Esha doing nothing except performing Salât and reciting the Qurân, Allâh will prepare a place for him in Jannah."
Seventh Pearl - Laylatul Qadr
Amongst the nights of Ramadhân, Laylatul Qadr is one of the most blessed. The Qurân describes it as being greater in spiritual virtue than a thousand months, which in turn means that it is more valuable than 83 years and 4 months. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said "Whoever stands in worship on the night of Qadr with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all his previous sins are forgiven."
Hadhrat Ayesha (R.A.) reports that Nabi Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Seek Laylatul Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhân." Hadhrat Ayesha (R.A.) reports that she said, "O Messenger of Allâh, if I find Laylatul Qadr, what should I read?" The Prophet Sallallâhu Alayhi Wasallam replied, "Say, 'O Allâh, thou art the one who grants pardon for sins, thou lovest to pardon, so pardon me."
Advice on How to Kindle Our Spiritual Upliftment
Reduce all business or worldly commitments to a minimum.
Do not waste time doing Eid shopping or eating with friends and other family members just because it is Ramadhân.
Increase Nafl Salât or complete Qaza Salât as much as possible.
Increase the recitation of the Qurân, Zikr and Tasbeeh.
Make a total commitment to avoid all sins. If any sins are committed, (major or minor), make taubah (repent) immediately.
Free the mind from all evil thoughts and make an effort to reform oneself (eg. remove pride, hatred, jealousy, anger, looking down upon others, etc.)
Increase acts of charity and assist the needy as much as possible. Do not forget to pay your Zakât.
Spend time reading good Islamic books (eg. Teachings of Islam, Bahishti Zewar, Good Character, Upbringing of Children etc.)
Bear in mind that each of one of us will be asked by Allâh how we spent our Ramadhân . Let us not forget that we will be punished equally for our sins just as we are rewarded for our good deeds.
Four Acts To Perform In Abundance
a. Read Kalima Tayyibah
b. Read Durood Shareef
c. Ask for Jannatul Firdous
d. Ask to be saved from Jahannam
Twenty-four Hour Programme
Hereunder we suggest a 24- hour programme for the month of Ramadhân. It is an example of spending our time correctly. The programme starts from Maghrib till Maghrib the following day.
Read: "O You who are Great in Bounties, forgive me", as many times as possible before Iftâr.
Make du'â 5 to 10 minutes before Iftâr. The du'â of a fasting person is readily accepted at this time.
Make Iftâr quickly. Thereafter perform Maghrib (for men with Jamât and for women at home).
After Maghrib perform 6 to 20 Rakâts Awwâbîn Namâz.
Read Surah Tabarak after Maghrib. The benefit of it is that it will save us from the punishment of the grave.
Read Surah Waqiyah. The virtue of it is that it will save one from poverty.
Have supper quickly. Our suggestion is that due to the long days, have a rest for 15 - 20 minutes before Esha, so that one may be fresh for Tarawîh and Esha salâh.
Prepare for Esha before the Esha Azân and proceed for Esha and Tarawîh Salât. Return home immediately after Tarawîh or after any Deeni programme in the Masjid. Do not waste time talking and discussing political and business issues.
On returning home, read Surah Sajdah. Thereafter spend a few minutes with the family and try to sleep as early as possible allowing one to arise at 3.00 a.m. for Tahajjud salâh.
Read Tasbeeh-e-Fatimi before sleeping.
Perform at least 4,8, or 12 rakâts Tahajjud salâh, thereafter read the first kalima 100 times and then make du'â before partaking of Sehri.
Immediately after Sehri proceed to the Masjid for Fajr Salâh. After Fajr recite the Qurân till Ishrâq time.
Perform 2 or 4 Rakâts Ishrâq. The benefit is that your daily work will become easy and you will attain the reward of an accepted Haj. After Ishrâq rest before going to work. People who are self employed should take advantage of this rest and also give their employees this opportunity.
At work or at one's business, one should keep one's tongue moist with Zikr eg. Kalimah Tayyibah, Istighfâr and Durood Shareef. Those who are bay't to a Sheikh should complete their prescribed Zikr.
Try to be early for Zohar Namâz so that one could read the Qurân immediately after one has read the 4 Sunnat-e-Muakkadah before the Jamât Namâz. If possible try to read Qurân after Zohar Namâz as well, depending on how long one's lunch break is.
After completing Asar Namâz, read Durood Shareef at least 100 times and Istighfâr 100 times. Thereafter spend the balance of the time reciting Qurân till Iftâr time, not forgetting the du'â before Iftâr.
Remember : If we have Qaza Salâh to perform, then instead of all our Nafl Salâh eg. Awwâbeen, or Ishrâq, we should perform all our Qaza Salâh. The first question on the day of Qiyâmat after Imân will be about Salâh.
A great spiritual mentor (Sheikh Zakariyya) always told his Mureeds, "Eat as much as you want to (Halâl Food), sleep as much as you want to, "BUT DO NOT TALK." In other words, one should not waste any time in Ramadhân in futile acts. Our time should be spent in Salâh, Tilawat of the Qurân and Zikr.
An Example of How Our Elders Spent their Ramadhân
Sheikhul-Hind Moulana Mahmudul Hasan (R.A.) used to remain in Nafl Salât form after Tarawîh until Fajr and would listen to the Qurân recited by various Huffâz. Moulana Shah Abdur Rahim Raipuri (R.A) remained busy with tilawat of the Qurân day and night throughout Ramadhân.
The Three Parts of This Month
In a Hadith it is mentioned the month of Ramadhân is divided into 3 parts. The first part is that of Allâh's mercy, the second part is that of forgiveness, while the third part is that of freedom from the fire of Jahannam.
Note: We find that many of us are absent from the Masjid without a valid reason. Now ask yourself how will one get freedom from Jahannam, when one was supposed to be forgiven during the middle ten days while absenting oneself from the most important act of worship.
One should draw a resolution every Ramadhân to stay away from all sins and to remember Allâh. Remember also to make a dedicated resolution eg. from this Ramadhân I will control my gaze and make five times Salâh. Each resolution will bring us closer to Allâh. Control the gaze and you will attain respect in this world and peace in the hereafter - Insha Allâh.