Many of us will not be able to witness Ramadan even though it is only few days away. There is no guarantee in our existence, as Allah has power over our soul, and he has determined a time and place for our death. But it is Allah’s command that if any one of us witnesses the month of Ramadan, then it is obligatory upon every person to fast during this holy month unless one is excused due to illness, extreme old age or on a journey. The purpose of Ramadan is to attain Taqwa: Piety in religion, that include God consciousness, righteousness, avoiding what is forbidden and following what is commanded by Allah the most noble and high.
Many peoples understanding of Ramadan is to refrain from food and drink, some people even fast thinking that it is a good way to loose weight. May Allah forbid, but action is by intention. If the intention is not for Allah, then one will not get what he intended. It is important to remember all our worship should be solely to please Allah. If we can make our intention good, results will follow. The prophet (SM) has said, if anybody fast during the month of Ramadan with full conviction believing it to be obligatory on him, and hoping for reward from Allah, his past sins will be forgiven. Do remember though, if you have committed major sins, you must do sincere Tauba to Allah for the sins to be forgiven.
Once prophet (SM) was climbing his pulpit in Madina, and his pulpit had 3 steps. Every step he climbed, he said Ameen; hearing this, the companion of the prophet said, “Oh messenger of Allah, why you had said Ameen thrice which you never said before?” He said, “when I was climbing the steps, angel Gabriel came and said Oh Muhammad (SM) if any one of your nation manages to be alive and witness the month of Ramadan, and can not get his sins forgiven, may he perish in the fire of Hell, say Ameen, so he said Ameen, Then he climbed the second step, Gabriel said, “Oh Muhammad if anyone who manages to catch Laylatul Qadar, and he does not get his sins forgiven, may he perish in the fire of Hell, say Ameen,” and he said Ameen. Then he climbed the 3rd step, and Gabriel said,” Oh Muhammad(SM) anyone of your Ummah who manages to catch his parents, one of them or both, alive in old age, and did not manage to get his sins forgiven by serving them, may he perish in the fire of Hell. And so he said Ameen. So you see my brothers and sisters, we have 3 golden opportunity to get our sins forgiven and two of them is in the Month of Ramadan. In other word, what angel Gabriel had said, and the Prophet (SM) said Ameen to, is that, if you cannot be righteous and good in this month then you really have no hope. What excuse can you have when the Shaiateen had been chained up and are unable to whisper you, yet you persist in sin and can not be righteous? Every night of the Month hundreds of thousands of people are being forgiven by Allah that had been destined to go to Hell, he frees them because of their good deeds, and if you can not be amongst them, then really and truly there is no hope for you.
So brothers and sisters, what you have to do to get your past sins forgiven? Very simple, the prophet (SM) said three things that if you do, your past sins will be forgiven, no matter what sins you have committed, if you can repent properly and sincerely to Allah. These are:
1. Narrated Abu Hurayrah: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." Bukhari (Book #2, Hadith#37)
2. "Whoever establishes prayers (Taraweeh) during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven." Bukhari (Book #2, Hadith #36)
3. “He who observed prayer on Lailat-ul- Qadr with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven. Sahih Muslim (Book #004, Hadith #1664). This one night of Ramadan, if you worship Allah properly, recite Quran , do zikr of Allah, your previous sins will be forgiven. So brothers, the prophet (SM) gave us three golden opportunity and we should not miss these opportunity to have all our sins forgiven. Know also that if you fast the whole month with sicerity , you will be given to enter Jannah by a special Door called ‘AR Raian’and Raian means that which gives you plenty of water, and to get there you need to deprive yourself of water. The prophet said that this gate Raian is set aside for those who frequently fasts and perfects their fasting. May Allah give us the ability and Tawfique to be amongs them.
So to sum up, fastig in Ramadan forgives your sins, fasting in Ramadan causes you to enter Jannah, fasting in Ramadan brings about a sense of Taqwa and Emaan. So remember the purpose of Ramadan is to attain piety and Taqwa, this is the ultimate goal. Allah does not benefit when you tire yourself out rather you are the one that benefits. So may Allah make us among those whos fasting is accepted, whos recitation of Quran is accepted, whos sins are forgiven and make us among those who has attained Taqwa. Ameen
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