Welcoming and Being a Guest in Ramadan

Welcoming and Being a Guest in Ramadan

The month of Ramadan (shahrul Ramadan) is upon us. It is the month of:

  • Glad tidings - Shahr-ul-Bishāra
  • Worship - Shahr-ul-‘Ibāda
  • Forgiveness - Shahr-ul-Ghufrān
  • Purification of the soul - Shahr-ut-Tahāra
  • Repentance - Shahr-ut-Tawba
  • The month of the Quran - Shahr-ul-Quran

 It is a month of mercy and blessing because during the month of Ramadan we both welcome and are welcomed as a guest.

The blessed month of Ramadan is like a visit from a most notable and welcomed guest that returns each year. We greet Ramadan when it is upon us with gladness, honor, humbleness and sincerity of faith. As an esteemed guest each year, we understand that the more honor and respect that we bestow upon this month, the greater the rewards for our pious deeds and intentions.

When this month begins, we humbly submit to what Allah, The Most High commands of us in the Quran:

"O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may develop Taqwa (God-consciousness)." 

(Quran 2:183).

Taqwa or God-consciousness is truly an awe-inspiring concept that many of us do not reflect upon with care. When we are God-conscious we experience both wonder and fear. The wonder of the magnificence of Allah and how truly incomprehensible His majesty is; and the fear that our own ignorance and inability to grasp that which Allah has given us may indeed seek His displeasure which we strive not to incur. 

The whole idea of being conscious – alert, attentive, discerning, sure, and responsive is something that we often do not place as a priority. But we should!  During Ramadan, we are careful in our duty and adherence to the rites of this month which makes us deliberate in our Ibadah (worship) - and often more genuine in our strive towards submission to Allah.  

It is during the month of Ramadan that we are invited to the remembrance of Allah with our Dhikr and fasting. In our everyday lives, we may forget the bounty of Allah’s Mercy as He is Ar-Razzaq, the Provider of everything that the human being needs. He is Rabbil alameen, the Lord, Sustainer, and Evolver of all the worlds and Al-Mussawir, the Fashioner of all things. It is one thing to know that the existence and creation of everything comes solely from Allah, The Most High, and it is another more intense and sincere thing to reflect on just what does that mean in the context of the human being.  The very meaning of being God-Conscious. 

As a guest in our lives, Ramadan affords us the opportunity to truly focus and reflect on how magnificent and wondrous what Allah has given us is. Even if we were to just contemplate on His attributes as Ar-Razzaq, Rabbil Alameen, and Al-Mussawir the splendor and richness would have us with faces wet with tears in Sujood (prostration), thanking Allah while simultaneously begging Him to forgive our diminutive efforts to wholly submit.

And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Quran increases them in humble submission. (Quran 17:109)

Still, Ramadan is the month of expansion in the kindness, tolerance, and bounty given to us humans by Allah as Shahr-uz-Ziyāda, the month of increase. It is reported that on the last Friday in the month of Shaban before Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, delivered a Ramadan Khutba (sermon) which shared with the believers the grace and generosity that comes to us during this month.  In the Khutbah, the Prophet informs the Muslims present at that time, and Muslims observing the fast for all time, that we are welcomed benefactors of the mercy and blessings of Allah during this month.

"O people! A month has approached you laden with blessing, mercy and forgiveness; it is a month which Almighty Allah regards as the best of all months. Its days, in the sight of Almighty Allah, are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, its hours are the best of hours. It is a month in which you are invited to be the guests of Almighty Allah and you are regarded during it as worthy of enjoying Almighty Allah's generosity. Your breathing in it is regarded as praising Almighty Allah and your sleep as adoration, and your voluntary acts of worship are accepted, and your pleas are answered…

(This sermon has been narrated by al-Sadooq in his book, "Al Amali" relying on the authority of Imam al-Rida, who quotes his forefathers, peace be upon them, who in turn quote Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, saying the words above). 

As the Quran calls us to Taqwa – a reverence, a fear, and God-Consciousness – we should reflect on those words “guests of Almighty Allah and regarded as worthy of enjoying the generosity of Allah”. If we really reflect on that statement, the significance of those words are staggering, inspiring and stupefying! Here we learn from our dear beloved Prophet, that during this month of Ramadan, we are a guest of Allah, The Almighty! This knowledge and acknowledgement is humbling to say the least.

As human beings, in the scheme of the universe, we are insignificant and part of a larger reality that is truly beyond our comprehension. Our only status in the life of this world is to humble ourselves and strive to submit wholeheartedly to Allah, The Most High. We don’t know who or what else in the universe has the honor of being invited to receive the Mercy of Allah, - we just know through the words of the Prophet that we enjoy this wondrous privilege during Ramadan. This is not something to take for granted and again relates us back to Taqwa – being deliberate, responsible, sincere, appreciative and certain in our Ibadah (worship).

So prostrate to Allah and worship (Him)

(Quran 53:62)


Ramadan Mubarak.

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