Written by Bintus Sabeel
We praise Allah for having blessed us with Ramadhan, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the Truthful one, the one who informed us that in Ramadhan:
“…the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained…”[i]
May the Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, his family, his companions and all those who follow his way till the day of Judgement. Ameen
My Dear Sister, did you know:
You will die by next Ramadhan
How would you feel if this was to be the case, since no soul knows when and where their death is written and each souls time is appointed; how sure are you that you will be here next Ramadhan?
If you could see when the wrongdoers taste the pangs of death and the angels stretch their hands out, [saying], ‘Deliver up your souls. This day you will be awarded a degrading punishment.’[ii]
Hundreds of Muslims that were present last Ramadhan have now given up their souls and departed into the next realm. For those who neglected Ramadhan, deep regret is their destiny.
How many wail, screaming in the bottomless pit of the fire, pleading to Allah for one prostration in these blessed nights? How many cry tears of blood to witness one Night of Power- Laylatul Qadr? How many would cut off their limbs, sell their beloved ones, jump out of their graves with eyes full of hope, tears full of regret, when told that fasting is a shield that can protect one from the hellfire?[iii] Many, who have left this world, will do anything to witness one more Ramadhan.
O you who are in need of Allah! Take heed from the words of Ibn Umar (rah) when he said:
“When you survive till the evening, do not expect to live until the morning; and when you survive until the morning, do not expect to live until the evening; (do good deeds) when you are in good health before you fall sick, and (do good deeds) as long as you are alive before death strikes.”[iv]
O Believer, remember the day when the graves will turn out their contents and all that was buried in the bosoms will be revealed. On the Day of Judgement everyone will wish they had done more righteous works; a day when even a mother will throw her new born baby and run, screaming ‘Nafsy! Nafsy!’ (Me! Me!).
For many this Ramadhan will be a source of regret, whilst for others a source of happiness and joy. How will you feel, o servant of Allah, when your fast pleads to the Lord of the worlds,
“O My Lord I prevented him from food and desires so accept my intercession for him.” [v]
On that day, those who fasted with sincerity and hope, will neither grief nor remorse. This is because fasting with sincerity and hope for the reward from Allah erases past sins.[vi] On a daily basis, Allah multiplies our good deeds manifold; some rewards receiving ten times its like, others seven hundred. Yet for fasting, Allah says:
“.. it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ [vii]
O Believer, indeed the time of opening the fast is a joyous one, yet know with certitude that there will be yet another time of joy – when you meet your Lord, the Almighty. [viii]
Make your choice
Join the caravan of those who love Ramadhan and Ramadhan loves them. Attune your heart with Allah; polish your heart and set its gaze focused towards the heaven. The Prophet (saws) said,
“Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; and have no desire for what people possess, and the people will love you.”[ix]
Free your mind from the concerns of a world that is not even worth a mosquitoes’ wing in Allah’s sight, as the Prophet (saws) said:
“Were this world worth a wing of mosquito, He would not have given a drink of water to an infidel.”[x]
Let your heart rest in the remembrance of the Paradise, under which rivers flow beneath the feet and all that which your heart desires awaits you. In these days and nights: “…the gates of heaven are open…””[xi] Drink from its valleys, eat from its fruits; how true the words of the Prophet are,
“The world is the believer’s prison and the disbelievers Jannah”.[xii]
This month is a delight for the pious and a hardship for the sinners. The month is blessed, the days are beautiful, and the nights are fragrant.
O you who Believe! Know that if you do not avail Ramadhan, and you allow it to pass – without having attained the forgiveness of Allah – then destruction will be your lot. Once the Prophet (saws) was ascending the mimbar, on each of the three steps he said “Aameen”. The Companions, curious, said to the Prophet (saws) “We have heard from you today something which we never heard before”, the Prophet (saws) said:
“When I climbed the first step, the angel Gibraeel appeared before me and said: “Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.” Upon that I said ‘Aameen’…”[xiii]
Let your heart shake out of fear and worry. Gibraeel, a angel of such high mark, cursing and the Beloved of Allah, RasoolAllah (saws), saying “Ameen.”
O sinners! Rejoice! as do the righteous; a beloved friend has arrived, don’t miss her; she has gifts and she waits to give them to whomsoever asks. Within her womb lies a night better then a thousand nights. She is a guest for whom the righteous predecessors would prepare 6 months before and cry 5 months after her departure- the month that the other months hold in awe. She holds the hand of the sinner, a safe haven from the flames of the hellfire. The Prophet (saws) said:
“When it is the first night of Ramadhan the evil devils are chained. The gates of Fire are locked- not a single gate is opened, and the gates of Paradise are opened- not a single gate is locked, and a caller calls out :’O seeker of good come forward, and O seeker of evil withhold, and there are many whom Allah frees from the Fire – and that is every night.” [xiv]
Ramadhan ensures Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Your spiritual state lies in disarray, the Beloved, the Lord of the Worlds and all that it contains, obligates his medication & remedy for the ailment of your heart. Allah will draw you close, Allah (az) says: “The most beloved deeds with which my slave comes closer to Me are the obligatory deeds.” [xv]
This month is blessed, its blessings drop, as does the snow. Its days are full of light and wisdom; its nights are like the twinkling stars on the open sky within the deserts of Arabia. Ramadhan has changed the lives of many and blown them towards the path of Paradise. The secrets of the blessed nights of Ramadhan wrapped themselves around their hearts, making them acquire such lights and realities – that few since the time of creation have witnessed. The Muslims of the past would use their empty stomachs for the purification of their hearts.
The fast should represent the triumph of a Muslim over desires and predominance over his inner self. It is time to atone for your errors and wrongdoings before a day that a mother will throw her new born baby and try to save herself. Be not of those whose doom will be witnessed by all to have ever existed from the time of Adam (as) till the last day. A day when the scene will be bigger than any cinema screen can hold – there will be no entertainment on that day. How sure are you that you will be alive next Ramadhan? Or will the dust have filled your mouth and nose; your corpse below the ground, alone, and damp. The insects and worms your friend, the soil your close companion.
Make your choice- will this Ramadhan stand as a witness for you or against you.
Oh Servant of Allah, the decision is yours. Allah has appointed from within the Muslims, a group whom the angel of death is to visit, just as he did last year this time.
I end with the question:
Can you guarantee your next Ramadhan?