The Great Honor and Mercy of Fasting Ramadan
Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
19 August 2011 Burton, Michigan
Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Mosque
O Believers! Alhamdulillah, we are in the middle ten days of Ramadan and in a few days we will come to the last ten days. And as the Prophet (s) said, Ramadan yarmud adh-dhunoob, takes sins, throws them and blesses you with hasanat.
In a holy hadith revealed to Prophet (s), Allah (swt) said:
الصيام لي وأنا أجزي به
as-sawmu lee wa anaa ajzee bih.
Fasting is for Me, and I give the reward for it. (Bukhari)
That means there is no intermediary of angels rewarding us for fasting as that worship goes directly to Allah (swt)! So for the one who fasts, Ramadan will intercede on Judgment Day. Those who are not fasting with a valid excuse may fast missed days later; however, those who did not fast without a valid excuse, their punishment is for each day missed they must fast sixty days; that also applies to days missed in past years. May Allah (swt) accept our fast and not punish us!
It is revealed that when Judgment Day comes, Allah (swt) will say to Sayyidina Ridwaan (a), the Angel of Paradise, “I resurrected human beings from their graves thirsty and hungry.” It means people will be hungry and thirsty for Allah’s mercy! About those who fasted Ramadan, Allah (swt) will say, “O Ridwaan! Meet them and give them good tidings of their places in Paradise." That is because they received the good tidings of Allah's mercy in the first ten days of Ramadan, whose days are designated as the first ten for Allah’s mercy, the second ten days for Allah’s forgiveness, and the last ten days itqun min an-naar, for protection from the Hellfire.
Those men and women who fasted will be met by angels who say, “Good tidings to you! Eat and drink for what you used to do in the past (fast Ramadan)!” Therefore, it is crucial to teach your children to fast in childhood. Don’t let them grow without fasting or they will lose it in this western lifestyle.
وقال علي رضي الله عنه لو أراد الله أن يعذب أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أعطاهم رمضان وقل هو الله أحد
qaala `aliyyun radi-Allahu `anhu law araada Allah an yu-`adhiba ummata Muhammad maa a`ataahum Ramadaana wa qul huwa allahu ahad.
Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, "If Allah wanted to punish the nation of Muhammad, He would not have given them Ramadan nor qul huwa allahu ahad."
Sayyidina Ali, about whom the Prophet (s) said, “I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its door,” often gave advice to the Sahaabah (r). He said, “If Allah intended to punish the ummat of the Prophet (s) He would never have given them Ramadan and He would never give them ‘qul huwa allahu ahad’ (Surat al-Ikhlaas).”
Surat al-Ikhlaas states, “Allah has no partner and we are servants, `abeed, slaves to our Lord and to Islam.” Therefore, we cannot say we are perfect, as when you are perfect Allah (swt) will raise you from the Station of Servant, Maqaam al-`Abd, to the Station of Servanthood, Maqaam al-`Adiyya! Servanthood is a unique level. Everyone is a servant and everyone might differ in his `amal; one might do more than another, but servanthood is reserved for those whom Allah (swt) described in Holy Qur'an that He gave them a certain level and they know it, such as Sayyidina Khidr (a):
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا
fa wajadaa `abdan min i`baadina.
They found one servant from among many of Allah's servants. (al-Kahf, 18:65)
Khidr (a) is described as “servant.” Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is the Perfect One, the Seal of Messengers, about whom Allah (swt) mentioned:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ
SubhaanAllah al-ladhee asraa bi-`abdihi.
Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey... (al-Israa, 17:1)
He related Prophet (s) to Himself by calling him `abdihi, “My servant.” Prophet (s) is the only one related to Allah (swt) like that! So it means we are still slaves and we must come out of that slavery to our egos as that prevents us from living as khaadim, servants. Servanthood is to serve the ummah, which is higher than serving one’s self or one’s family.
When Sayyidina `Ali said, “If Allah (swt) wanted to punish the ummah of the Prophet (s) then He would have never given them Ramadan,” that is because the first ten days are mercy and the second ten days are forgiveness and the last ten days are salvation from the Fire. “And He gave them Surat al-Ikhlaas,” which points to Allah's Oneness, laa shareek lah, for Whom there is no partner whatsoever. So reading Surat al-Ikhlaas three times is the equivalent of reading the entire Holy Qur’an.
The Prophet (s) laa shareek lah, no one is partner to him or like him, and no one is at his level, and he is unique! That is why he (s) said, “Sayyidina Adam (a) and everyone else will be under my flag on Judgment Day.”
وسأل موسى عليه الصلاة والسلام ربه: يارب أكرمتني بالتكليم فهل أعطيت أحداً مثل ذلك؟ فأوحى الله تعالى إليه : ياموسى إن لي عباداً أخرجهم في آخر الزمان وأكرمهم بشهر رمضان فأكون أقرب لأحدهم منك، لأنك كلمتني وبيني وبينك سبعون ألف حجاب فإذا صامت أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى ابيضت شفاههم واصفرت ألوانهم أرفع الحجاب بيني وبينهم وقت إفطارهم.. ياموسى طوبى لمن عطش كبده وأجاع بطنه في رمضان..
Wa sa’al musa, `alayhi’s-salaat wa’s-salaam rabbahu ya rabbee akramtanee bi’t-takleem fa hal aa`tayta aahadin mithla dhaalik? Fa-awha’Llahu ta`ala ilayhi: Ya Moosaa! Inna lee `ibaadan ukhrijahum fee akhira ’z-zaman wa ukrimahum bi-shahri Ramadaan fa-akoonoo aqrabu li ahadahum minka. Li-annaka kalamtanee wa baynee wa baynaka saba`oona alfa hijaab fa idhaa saamat ummata Muhammadin sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallama hatta abyaddat shifaahahum wa asfarat alwaanahum arfa` al-hujub baynee wa baynahum waqt iftaarhim. Ya Moosa fa-tooba liman `atasha kabdahu wa ajaa` batanahu fee Ramadaan.
Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “O my Lord! You honored me by revealing to me directly without Jibreel (a) as intermediary. Did you give anyone else an honor like that?”
(This shows the difference between Sayyidina Musa (a) and Sayyidina Muhammad (s), who
never asked Allah, “Did you give me something better than anyone else?” Instead he (s) said, “O Allah! Don’t leave me to my ego for the blink of an eye or I will lose!”)
Allah (swt) answered Sayyidina Musa, “Yes. I will have servants that I will bring forth in the Last Days, [when there will be too much fitna and killing], and I will give them the month of Ramadan. One month of that is better than all I gave to Bani Israel! I will be nearer to anyone of them who fasts, more than I gave to you!”
That is Allah’s great favor to ummat an-Nabi (s): “I will be nearer to them than to you. That is the month of mercy.
[He continued:] “You talk to me and I reveal to you and you respond, and between Me and you there are 70,000 veils, [behind which you see what I want you to know]. But if ummat an-Nabi (s) fasts until their lips and tongues become white for Me and their faces become yellow for Me, arfa` al-hujub baynee wa baynahum, I raise the veils between Me and them! So good tidings for whoever of them dried his liver from thirst and his stomach became hungry in Ramadan.”
So good tidings for you, as you are fasting sixteen-to-eighteen hours here in Michigan; in equatorial regions people fast only twelve hours. As the Prophet (s) said in a hadith, you are now in a situation where the one holding to his religion is like one holding a hot coal. You and your children are fasting, you pray Taraweeh in jama`ah, come home at midnight and get up at 3 o’clock for suhoor. Good tidings to the one whose mouth is thirsty and whose stomach is hungry in Ramadan! So smile and be happy; don’t show an angry face in Ramadan; then no one can speak with you as you are like fire. Shaytan wants to make you like fire to take your fast away. What do you do? Don’t pay attention to those who are angry; reply, innee saa'im, “I am fasting.”
During Hajj, the first advice to pilgrims is, “Don’t be angry!” It is not the place to be angry, unhappy, whining, cursing, and swearing. Who says anything to you, simply say, allahuma innee saa'im, “O Allah! I am fasting.”
Ka`b al-Ahbaar (r) was a scribe who recorded whatever the Prophet (s) said or did. And during the time the Prophet (s) travelled to Damascus to trade [as a youth] he was a non-believer and he knew they expected the Last Messenger to come through his area. He saw a caravan approaching and invited them to eat with him. All of them accepted the invitation, but they left the Prophet (s) behind to watch the camels as he was young.
Ka`b al-Ahbaar (r) didn’t see whom he expected and asked, “Is this all of you in your caravan? Did you leave anyone behind?”
They said, “Yes, just a boy.”
He asked them to bring the boy, and he knew then he was the Prophet (s), and afterwards Ka`b al-Ahbaar always wrote what the Prophet (s) said.
قال كعب الاحبار اوحى الله الى موسى اني كتبت على نفسي الا ارد دعوة صائم رمضان يا موسى اني الهم السماوات والارض والطير والدواب ان تستغفر لصائمي رمضان.
Qaala Ka`b al-Ahbaar awhaa’Llahu ila moosaa innee katabtu `alaa nafsee allaa arrud da`wati saa’im ramadaan. Yaa Moosa innee alhama’s-samaawaati wa’l-ard wa’t-tuyoor wa’d-dawwaab an tastaghfir li-saa’imee ramadan.
So Ka`b al-Ahbaar (r) wrote from Prophet (s), that Allah (swt) said, “O Musa! I took a promise on Myself that anyone who asks Me something in Ramadan, I will give him, I will not reject it. O Musa! I ordered the Heavens and Earth, the universe and the birds and all creatures to make istighfaar for the people who are going to fast Ramadan.” May Allah make us from people who fast Ramadan! And don’t spoil Ramadan with anger, backbiting, fitna or rumors, as:
الفتنه نائمه لعن الله من ايقضها
al-fitnatu naa’imatun la`an-Allahu man ayqadahaa.
The Prophet (s) said, “Fitna (trial/disturbance/trouble) is dormant. Allah will curse who brings it up.”
So as the Prophet (s) prohibits fitna, backbiting and slander, to avoid that is sunnah, which makes these most important to avoid, as much as fasting from food and drink!
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.