A Short Word About Ramadhaan
Shaykh Saaleh bin Fawzaan bin Abdullah Aal-Fawzaan – May Allaah Preserve him
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
All Praise belongs to Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen and May the Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon His Messenger Muhammad, upon all His Family and Companions.
There is no doubt that this month is a month in which we increase in doing good deeds. Allaah, Glorified and Exalted, has made it a reoccurring favour for us, every year in the life of a Muslim he has this opportunity to act in this month. This month has features and advantages which distinguishes itself from the other months. So the Muslim should accept this month from his Lord as it is more virtuous than any other month. This is because, and Allaah Knows Best, for two reasons:
Firstly: The actions of a Muslim is insignificant, his lifespan is short, however due to the blessings placed by Allaah in this month, the deeds a Muslim does in this month is multiplied. This is perhaps because he is deficient in his life and because of this month being filled with blessings, his good deeds are multiplied as if he lived a life which is longer than his actual number of years.
Secondly: This month is a month of practice and training, it trains and programs us to do good deeds in the hope that we continue doing them after the month of Ramadan has ended. So it is a month of programming and training, making us steadfast and eradicating negligence and of our shortcomings.
So as you can see, it is a great month as the Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon him] described it. It is a great and blessed month. Allaah has Blessed it so that the deeds you do are multiplied to the degree that you will not even realize how much reward you will receive for it, depending on your intention and sincerity to Allaah, The Glorified and Exalted.
This month has acts of worship that have been obligated for us to fulfill, thus this month especially incites the Muslim to increase in doing good deeds, fulfilling his obligations, some of which are absolutely necessary for him to carry out, such as their five daily prayers, fasting etc. These are obligatory for a Muslim to implement, even more so in this month as they are from the pillars of al-Islaam.
Likewise, the Muslim is also encouraged to increase in voluntary acts of righteousness, and its types are many. Therefore, the Muslim in this month should not settle with doing what is obligatory upon him alone, even though there is great good in doing the obligatory deeds, however he should program himself and encourage himself to increase in accompanying these obligatory deeds with optional ones.
The scope of optional deeds one can perform is vast, however it depends on the individual, the slave of Allaah, on how close he wants to get to his Lord and the hope he has within himself and how determined he is. As for obligatory deeds, then this is absolutely necessary. Obligatory deeds are never waived from a person, it is binding that he carries them out, however he may perform them in the best manner he can.
“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope”[al-Baqarah 2:286]
As for optional acts of righteousness, then the subject is broad despite it involving a great amount of goodness. It is narrated in an authentic narration that Allaah, The Exalted and Glorified, said:
“My servant does not come close to me with something I Love except when he performs the obligatory deeds…”
So one gets close to Allaah, The Glorified and Exalted, by performing the obligatory deeds
Then Allaah, The Exalted and Glorified, said:
“…and he continues to get closer to Me by doing optional deeds…”
So by doing optional deeds, the slave gets close to Allaah and His Love. This is the incitement we should have by doing these optional deeds. This is important because some people are very lazy and negligent in this regard, once they hear that a particular act of worship is Nafil or optional or if they find out it is recommended or Mustahab, they become lazy. They say, ‘As long as it is not obligatory then it is Okay if I leave it.’ They do not realise that this one optional deed may carry a great weight and it may be that he desperately needs the reward from this one deed. Besides, most of these deeds are easy and they do not create difficulty for the one performing them, however when they hear that it is not obligatory, they automatically become lazy and negligent of it.
Sometimes, this laziness spoils over to the obligatory deeds, they become lazy and negligent of performing the obligatory deeds, so if one is lazy in himself in performing optional acts of righteousness ,then he will also become lazy in performing the obligatory ones. So the Muslim needs to pay attention to this.
Another thing we should pay attention to is that even if you fulfill your obligations, it does not mean that they are perfect. There will always be a shortcoming in them. This is always the case. There is no way that one can perform obligatory deeds without there being any form of shortcoming.
So if you have performed optional deeds, the shortcomings in your obligatory deeds will be strengthened by these optional deeds, as this appears in the Hadeeth.
Therefore you are in need of doing optional deeds, so how can you neglect them whilst you are in need of them? You have shortcomings in your obligatory deeds, so don’t leave off performing optional ones. If you hear that doing a particular deed is opinion, then you may often become lazy and think the affair is all of a sudden easy, however you do not know the benefit of performing it, despite you being in need of it.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Muslim to be active in being obedient to Allaah, train yourself, program yourself to do acts of obedient and don’t spare any opportunity of doing good deeds if it presents itself. Do not become lazy. Your desires is like an animal, if you train it to come back then it will come back. If you leave the animal to fend for itself from the very beginning, then you will have no control over it. So your desires is like an animal that needs to be trained.
Therefore, it is necessary that you program yourself to come back, return to doing good deeds and acts of obedience. There is no doubt that a person and his soul finds it difficult to program itself in being obedient, it becomes lazy, however it is a must that you strive and work hard in being patient. Patience comes after a long time of programming and training oneself in being obedience, if one does this then he will taste the sweetness in doing them and he will become accustomed to it.
Based on this, as soon as the Salaf heard about standing the night in prayer, they rushed to it. They worked hard and they became enduring upon it. This is because, and there is no doubt in this, that if humans are sleeping at night, they have the warmth of their beds during the winter, or they are tired and they have a need to sleep during the night, despite all of this they make themselves firm in standing during the night in Salaah, then it will not be difficult for him to do this as he trained himself from the very beginning. He has become accustomed to its taste because doing good deeds and being obedient has a beautiful taste, only if people train themselves to accept its taste.
Whatever the case, humans don’t obey intrinsically rather they need to be trained to obey. Rather, they need to be programmed and become pleased in being obedient. So if you train yourself, it will become easy but if you leave it then it will be extremely difficult for you to return. These people are already overcome, they are overcome by themselves. They are overcome by laziness, the love and need of relaxing and they have lost the desire for the ending.
People need to work hard and program themselves. If you obey your desires then it will overcome you and it will be very difficult for you to worship. However, if you grab yourself firmly and make yourself return then it will become easy for you and you will lose this laziness, as a result you will taste the sweetness of worshipping Allaah. Because of this, Allaah, the Most High, says:
“7. And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion;
8. Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;
9. Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds).
10. And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds).”[ash-Shams 91:7-10]
The one who purifies himself is successful, if he purifies it by doing good deeds and acts of obedience by returning to the worship of Allaah.
The one who is corrupted is the one who is engulfed by the dirt of the earth, he is debased and undignified; this is the corrupt one. This person thinks that he can get whatever he wants however in reality he is insulting himself. In contrast, if someone is given something and he uses this to obey Allaah then he will be honoured and dignified, even if it appears as if he is inferior to the other. It appears as if he is deprived from attaining what he desires and that he lacks in freedom however in reality, this person is honourable and his status is elevated.
So this is an extremely important affair so the Muslim must take it upon himself to make sure he understand it. He should understand it with awareness internally and externally, this month has many benefits and virtues, more so than any other month. The Muslim cannot live whilst wasting his life, he is getting older and this month is an opportunity for him. You have heard the statement of Allaah, the Most High;
“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!” [al-Haaqah 69:24]
Meaning, what you have done in the days that have passed of your life, from the acts of obedience in the world, then this will be said to them. In the hereafter, it will not be said to them, eat and drink and enjoy it. Be at ease because of what you did in the past. The opposite is also true, those who had wasted their past, then it will not be said to them, ‘eat and drink’ or ‘be at ease’ rather it will be said to them, “drink from the hell-fire, from the tree called Zaqoom (a tree in hellfire of which the roots come from the bottom of hell-fire and its fruits resemble that the heads of Shayaateen engulfed with thorns), from Hameem (extremely boiling and scalding water)”
So it is incumbent for the Muslim to be attentive to this.
May Allaah enable us all to do what He is Pleased with and Loves and May the Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon His Family and all His Companions.
Translated by Ariff bin Abee Bakr Olla