o 1. Taqwaa – this is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an as one of the purposes of fasting. For 30 days we lesson our desires and by abstaining from them and show Allah that we are able to live without our most essential items for a period of time.
Gem: if you can live without your most essential things (food) for a time, then how about the sins which we do not need?
2. The Poor – we are reminded of those who abstain from these essentials throughout most of the year. Through this we come to appreciate the blessings of things like water.
Gem: We also come to realize the even the smallest blessings that we take for granted. Like being able to fall sleep, to urinate.
3. Lessons our physical desires and increases our spiritual ones – During this month there is less emphasis on the body and more on the soul. By lessening our physical appetite we actually increase our spiritual capacity.
Gem: the Qur’an is a source of nourishment. The next time you feel hungry, pick up a Qur’an and it will satiate your appetite.
4. Attendance at the masaajid– they are generally empty during most of the year except Jumu’ah, but for this time they are full. You can really feel the blessings of Allah by these houses of worship.
Gem: it’s not ‘ramadanians/munafiqs’ who come to the masjid, it’s those who are practicing already but make extra time for the masjid.
5. Brotherhood and Sisterhood – related to point 4, it causes us to intermix with all the Muslims around us. When we help one another break our fasts we discover the bond that brings us together.
Gem: you begin to realize the masjid as the focal point of brotherhood i.e. ‘meet me at the masjid after Asr and we’ll go for so and so…’
6. Prayer Times – it inculcates in us the prayer and their times. At no other point in the year do we monitor Fajr and Maghrib times to the millisecond! In Ramadan, we learn to guard the prayers.
Gem: what happens on Eid? 1 day after Ramadan is done, do we pay the same diligence?
7. Attachment to the Qur’an – we turn to it in the morning and the evening. We hear it in tarawih and in tahujjud.
8. Charity – many Muslim choose to give their zakah in Ramadan, and at least everyone pays the zakat-ul-fitr. Everyone also at some point tries to hold an iftar party to gain extra reward.
In a Hadith, the prophet (sallahu alayhi wa-sallam) taught us that the one who helps the faster break his fast gets the reward of both.
9. Dua’ – especially before iftaar time and in the night prayer.
Gem: in the time right before iftaar everyone is busy chit chatting and awaiting the food—imagine the reward of the one who is still remembering Allah in those moments right up until he breaks his fast.
10. Realization– think about this one: Ramadan affords us the opportunity to realize that “yes indeed I can be a better Muslim.” We can pray more, do more dhikr, read more Qur’an and with more focus and desire.
Gem: Ultimately Ramadan extracts the inner core of goodness from us, allows us to benefit from us and sustains us at a higher level afterward than when we began. It is like a ladder, we go up 20 steps and sure we come down 10 afterward, but we’re 10 higher than when we started.
May Allah help us to grow closer to Him in this blessed month, increase our worship, purify our niyyah, forgive our sins, and make us among the people of Jannah , and may Allah SBT make this Ramadan even better than the last and give us all the opportunity to be steadfast and regular in our ibadaat, Ameen
Compiled from a Conference Call with Sh. Yasir Qadhi
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