Etiquettes in the Month of Ramadaan
Respect for the Month of Ramadaan
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “The person who serves his parents according to the best of his abilities in the month of Ramadaan, Allah Ta’ala looks at him with special Mercy and takes the responsibility of forgiving him upon Himself. The wife who remains busy in Ramadaan in pleasing her husband will be granted the companionship of Hazrat Mariam and Hazrat Aasiya (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhuma) in Paradise.”
Once, in the city of Bukhara, the son of a fire worshipper was eating in the market of Muslims during the month of Ramadaan. Upon seeing him, his father slapped him on the face and expressed great disappointment. The son said, “O my Father! You also eat all day long during the month of Ramadaan.” The father replied, “I do not fast at all and do eat but I do it in secret at home. I do not eat in front of the Muslims out of respect for this month.” Sometime later, the fire worshipper died and a pious resident of Bukhara saw in his dream that the fire worshipper was walking in Paradise. He asked him, “You were a fire worshipper, how did you get into Paradise?” The fire worshipper replied, “It is true that I was a fire worshipper but, close to the time of death, Allah Ta’ala granted me the guidance to accept Islam. This is the blessings of respecting the month of Ramadaan that I died as a Muslim and Allah Ta’ala granted me Paradise as a result of respecting Ramadaan and accepting Islam.” [Nuzhatul Majaalis]
Subhaanallah! When a fire worshipper who respected the month of Ramadaan was granted faith and Paradise by Allah Ta’ala, if we Muslims respect the month of Ramadaan and do not violate its sanctity, then we will definitely be deserving of the Grace of the Almighty, Insha Allah.
On the Day of Judgement, a person will be brought in such a state that the angels will be beating him mercilessly. He will seek support from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who will ask the angels, “What is his sin? Why are you beating him so much?” The angels will reply, “He obtained the month of Ramadaan but still continued to disobey Allah Ta’ala.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will be about to intercede for him when a voice will state, “O My Beloved! The petitioner against him is the month of Ramadaan.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) will say, “I am disgusted with those people whom Ramadaan petitions against.”
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The person who safeguards three things is undoubtedly a Friend of Allah Ta’ala, and know that the person who forsakes these three is an enemy of Allah Ta’ala. These three things are fasting, Namaaz and compulsory bathing (Ghusl-e-Janaabat).”
The Paradise of Allah Ta’ala longs for four kinds of people:
- A person who fasts in the month of Ramadaan.
- A person who regularly recites the Holy Qur’an.
- A person who safeguards his tongue.
- A person who feeds his hungry neighbours.
On the Day of Judgement, when Allah Ta’ala orders the people to rise from the graves, He will say to the Angel of Paradise, “O Ridwan! Go and greet my bondsmen who used to fast, and used to go hungry and thirsty for My sake. Go with all the bounties of Paradise and present it to them.” Hazrat Ridwan (Alaihis Salaam) will call out, “O workers of Paradise, bring large serving plates of Paradise, and bring food and drink equivalent to the grains of sand in the world, equal to the drops of rain, and equal to the stars in the sky and leaves on the trees.” This will all be brought and placed in front of the people who used to fast. They will then be told, “Eat as much as you please. This is the reward for the fasts that you observed in the world.”
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “On the night of Me’raj, I saw an Angel at Sidratul Muntaha that I had never seen before. It is so big in length and breadth that it would take a hundred thousand years to cover its size. It has 70,000 heads and each head has 70,000 faces and each face has 70,000 tongues. On each tongue is 70,000 birds of light and on each bird there is a hundred thousand pearls dangling. Each pearl contains a large river and there are huge fish in the river. The size of each fish is 2 years travel time. On the stomach of each fish is written ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallaah Muhammadur Rasoolullah.’ The angel has one hand on his head and the other hand on his back. When he praises Allah Ta’ala in his sweet voice, the Throne of Allah Ta’ala is overjoyed and sways from side to side in happiness. I asked Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) about this angel and was told that this angel was created 2000 years before Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) was created. This angel has been ordered by Allah Ta’ala to pray rosaries (Tasbeeh) on behalf of me and all those from my Ummah who fast.”
Safeguard Yourself from Sin
When looking at the meaning of fasting, most of us think it only entails the apparent conditions of not eating or drinking and not having sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. However, there are certain hidden etiquettes of fasting as well which must be respected and obeyed. The hidden etiquettes are that all parts of the body must be prevented from committing acts that are against the laws of Shariah. Only then can we truly benefit from the blessings of fasting and only then will we be successful in receiving the reward of becoming pious, as Allah Ta’ala says “O Believers! Fasting has been made obligatory upon you as were made obligatory upon those before you, so that you may become pious. [Surah 2, Verse 183]” Therefore, let us study the fast of the parts of the body and try to act upon them.
- It is essential to safeguard the tongue from committing sin by lying, backbiting, using vulgar language etc. Lying is a grave sin that destroys the reward for fasting. We should always refrain from lying but it is especially critical to stay away from lying in the month of Ramadaan because if we lie whilst we are fasting, then we have defeated the purpose of fasting. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “If a person does not refrain from lying, then Allah Ta’ala has no need for him to give up his food and drink.” [Bukhari Shareef ]
- Backbiting is a sin that many of us commit daily, often without realizing it. During the time of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), two ladies were fasting but became so thirsty that they feared for their lives. Finally, they asked Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for permission to break the fast. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sent a bowl to them and told them to vomit everything that they had eaten into the bowl. They did as they were told and their vomit contained running blood and clots of blood also. The people were astonished at seeing this and Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “These two women ate Sehri with those things that Allah Ta’ala has made lawful, but then broke their fast with something that has been made unlawful by Allah Ta’ala; in other words, they remained busy in backbiting.” Remember, backbiting is such an evil sin that Allah Ta’ala has compared it to ‘eating the meat of your dead brother.’ Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “…and do not backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abominate it… [Surah 49, Verse 12]” Therefore, we must always, and especially in the month of Ramadaan, attempt to refrain from backbiting or speaking ill of others.
- It is essential to safeguard the ears from hearing evil things at all times, but special attention should be paid to ensure this whilst fasting. It is said that there is fasting for every part of the body, and fasting of the ears is that they should be protected from hearing evil and useless things as hearing such things has a great effect on the heart, which turns thoughts towards sinning. It is essential for a fasting person to refrain from listening to backbiting, lies, jokes, film stories, film songs and crude talk. Listen to recitation of the Holy Qur’an and Naaths and Insha Allah, the heart will be illuminated and the spiritual benefits of fasting will be obtained.
- It is essential for us to safeguard our eyes, especially whilst we are fasting. We have to safeguard our eyes from looking at na-mahram women, TV, dancing, songs, movies and nude or obscene pictures. Looking at such things turns the mind towards committing sins and that destroys the spirit of fasting. Therefore, we must save our eyes from such things and should rather look at and recite the Holy Qur’an and Insha Allah, we will obtain untold benefits.
- The aim and object of fasting is to instil in our hearts the enthusiasm to refrain from all kinds of sins. All sins that are committed by humans are first thought about in the heart before they are carried out. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “There is a piece of meat in the body of humans, if that remains safe then the whole body is safe, and if that becomes corrupted then the whole body is corrupted; that piece of meat is the heart.” Therefore, it is essential for us to safeguard our hearts from false and evil thoughts.
- And lastly, one of the major sins that many of us neglect to safeguard ourselves from, is not reading our five times Salaah. Salaah is compulsory and one would never be able to truly benefit from the blessings of fasting by neglecting the Salaah. In fact, one would be committing a grave sin by disobeying the command of Allah Ta’ala in such a sanctified month, which can only lead to the Anger of Allah Ta’ala.
After saving every part of one’s body from committing sin, out of fear of Allah Ta’ala and for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, a person has full faith that I obeyed the orders of the Almighty Allah completely and Allah Ta’ala will definitely accept the supplication that I make at this time, just as Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “The supplications of three types of people are never rejected; a fasting person at the time of Iftaar, a just ruler, and an oppressed person.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
Recitation of the Holy Qur’an
The revelation of the Holy Qur’an onto the blessed heart of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) began in this very month, and who can know this relationship better than Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The relationship between the month of Ramadaan and the Holy Qur’an can also be seen in a Hadith that is narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) in which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede on behalf of a person. The fast will say “O Almighty Lord! I stopped him from eating and fulfilling his desires during the day, accept my intercession on his behalf.” The Qur’an will say, “I prevented him from sleeping at night, accept my intercession on his behalf.”” Therefore we should make it a habit to recite the Holy Qur’an so that we may thrive on the blessings and excellences thereof.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that, “If a person desires that he loves Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he should recite the Holy Qur’an.” Many of us claim to love Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) but our claims are short-lived without any action. Therefore, if you claim to love Allah Ta’ala and want to be truthful in that claim, then make it your habit to recite the Holy Qur’an and firmly act on its orders.
The Holy Qur’an is such a book that looking at it, reciting it, learning it and contemplating its meanings are all forms of worship. Our minds are unable to comprehend the reward that Allah Ta’ala grants for reciting the Holy Qur’an. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “One who recites the Qur’an and then thinks that someone else received more reward than him, such a person has definitely taken lightly, something that has been made very exalted by Allah Ta’ala.”
When a heart is drowned in fulfilling its desires and committing various kinds of sins, becomes neglectful of the remembrance of Almighty Allah, and forgets its reason for being alive, the result is that, little by little, it becomes rusted, and this rust is the cause of dissension in the whole body. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Undoubtedly, hearts get rusted just as iron gets rusty when water falls on it.” The Blessed Companions asked, “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), how is the heart cleaned?” Our Beloved Aaqa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Remembering death often and reciting the Holy Qur’an.” [Mishkaat Shareef]
If any of us are guilty of disobeying the commands of Allah Ta’ala in this blessed month, let us make Taubah (repent) and try to stay away from committing sins. Let us also try to make as much Ibaadat as possible in these last ten days that are left because we do not know if we will see another Ramadaan Shareef. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to always respect the month of Ramadaan, and to always seek His pleasure and the pleasure of His Beloved, our Aaqa Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, Ameen.