Readying for the month of Ramadan
Readying for the month of Ramadan
The main axes of the subject:
1- The month is the month of Allah (The Exalted)
2- Standard manners when receiving the noble month
We will explain the level of the significance of the tasks that the obligated person carries out at the end of Sha’aban, reading to enter the hospitality of Allah (The Exalted) in the blessed month of the Ramadan as well as receive the divine generosities.
Exporting the subject:
Imam Abu al Hassan (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Sha’aban is almost over and this is the last week of it. Therefore, catch up with the remaining days if you are negligent and you must encourage yourself to approach that which concerns you. Keep asking for forgiveness and recite the Quran. Repent to Allah from your sins so that Ramadan will arrive to you while you are being loyal to Allah (The Exalted).”1
The month is the month of Allah (The Exalted)
The blessed month of Ramadan is a special time of the year, which Allah (The Exalted) attributed to him apart from the rest of the months, knowing that all days, months and years as well as times belong to Allah (The Exalted). However, Allah gave the month of Ramadan a special attribution that differs from all the months of the year. For example, the prophet (s.a.a.w.) said when receiving the blessed month of Ramadan, as quoted by commander of the faithful (a.s.):
“People, you are receiving the month of Allah with blessing, mercy and forgiveness…”2 Allah valued the prizes in this month and gave his gifts openhandedly as well as doubled the prizes to the point where: “He who volunteers a prayer, Allah will ordain him to be saved from the hell. He who practices an obligatory service will receive the reward of someone who practiced seventy services in other months. He who extensively sends blessings on me, Allah will add weight of good deeds to his scales on a day when the scales will be light. He who recites one verse of the Quran will be rewarded the value of someone who concluded the Quran in other months.”3
Standard manners when receiving the noble month:
Because visiting the mosques – considering they are houses that Allah attributed to himself – necessitates a special moral conduct, such as cleaning and purifying the clothes, purifying oneself from both minor and major ritual impurities with complete body purification. It also necessitates that one prepare himself to receive the divine awesomeness.
Because the blessed month of Ramadan was a month that Allah (The Exalted) attributed to him apart from the remaining months, therefore, we must give consideration to special conduct as we receive it. As a result, “this is a month in which you were invited as guests of Allah, and you were regarded as part of the people of God’s generosity.”4
Here are a number of these manners:
1- Faithful intentions regarding the tasks that we wish to perform during the month of Ramadan, whether they were obligatory or voluntary. The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: “Hence, ask your God with sincere intentions and pure hearts.”5 Moreover, one must clear his heart of manacles of hatred and grudges and must oust out of his heart all the feelings that can tarnish his purity and hurt his clearness.
2- One must accustom himself to bear the necessities and difficulties of fasting coupled with all the favorite tasks that require extra efforts, giving them precedence than physical retirement. One must also be convinced that the rewards which Allah prepares for these good tasks that are purely performed for his satisfaction cannot be matched with all the costs that the obligator pay such as time, effort and money, “…and remember while you are hungry and thirsty the hunger and thirst on the Day of Judgment.”6
“…and he who treats an orphan with hospitality Allah will confer honor upon him on the day when he meets him.”7
“…and he, who breaks the fasting of a believer in that month, will have the equal reward of setting free a slave and forgiveness for all his past sins. Hence, the prophet was told ‘but not all of us are capable.’ And the prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: “Avoid hell even by giving a small piece of dates; avoid hell even by giving a sip of water.”8
3- Start being accustomed to these tasks. It is known that he, who does not prepare himself to bearing the difficulties of the road, will not be able to continue. Moreover, man must be accustomed to the tasks that will bring him nearer to Allah and must call to mind the satisfaction of the lord of the worlds in order to sense the enjoyment of obedience and ask Allah (The Exalted) success for more or his eagerness will weaken and languor will strike him. This issue can be seen and sensed by most obligors for two reasons:
1- Not accustoming oneself to such tasks
2- The seducing soul that is a persistent enjoiner of evil, where the condition for faithfulness can become weak or unavailable in the first place.
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said regarding the daylight supplication of the month of Ramadan: “…and take away during it sleepiness and laziness, boredom, slackness and heart hardening, inadvertence and self-esteem…”9
In addition, scholar al Majlisi speaks of “a kind of fasters who joined the hospitality of Allah during the month of Ramadan while their hearts were inattentive, their de-termination weak, their organs lazy, hence, their situation was like someone who carried presents to offer to a king while hating such cargo, which caused flaws that will hinder acceptance and welcoming.”10
3- Asking forgiveness and repentance so that man can receive the month of Ramadan clear of sins with pure heart and determination to obedience and abandoning wrongdoing through the success of Allah. Abd al Salaam Bin Saleh al Harawi said: “Once I visited Abi al Hassan Ali Bin Moussa al Rida (pbut). It was the last week of the month of Sha’aban. He said to me: ‘O Abu al Salt, most of Sha’aban has passed and this is its last week. Therefore, catch up with the rest regarding your negligence; and you must encourage yourself to what concerns you. Perform numerous supplications, asking forgiveness and reciting the Quran; repent from your sins so that the month of Ramadan will come to you while you are faithful to Allah (The Exalted). Do not keep any deposit unless you pay it back. Do not leave any grudge inside your heart for a believer unless you uprooted it or a sin that you are committing unless you abandon it. Fear Allah and depend on him in your secrecy and publicity. “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.’11 Also re-cite extensively for the rest of this month the following words: O Lord, if you did not forgive us in the past stage of Sha’aban please do so for the remaining part of it. This is because Allah (the Exalted the Blessed) frees in this month several servants from hell as a generous gesture of his for the sanctity of the month of Ramadan’.”12
In addition, there are other manners and terms that can also be available should the aforementioned terms be found easy in performance.
1- Oyoun Akhbar al Ridha, Vol. xxx, P. 51.
2- The complete speech by sheikh al Saddouq in his book “al A’mali”, session 20, P. 84, P. H. 4
3- Noon Meem, P. 85
4- Noon Meem, P. 84
5- Noon Meem, P. 84
6- Noon Meem, P. 84
7- Noon Meem, P. 85
8- Noon Meem, P. 85
9- The daylight supplication of the month of Ramadan, book Mafateeh al Jinan (Keys to heavens), by Sheikh Abbass al Qummi, P. 300 – quoted from book Mosbah al Mutahajid, by Sheikh al Tousi as well as Book Iqbal al-A’amal al-Hasanah, by Sayyid Ibn Tawous.
10- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi, Vol. 94, P. 345.
11- The Holy Quran, Surat At-Talaq (the Divorce): verse 3.
12- Oyoun Akhbar al Ridha, by Sheikh al Saddouq, Vol. 2, P. 51. Also al Iqbal, Vol. 1, P. 42