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Ramadan is the Month of...

Ramadan is not the month of shopping. It is not the month of sleeping all day and eating all night. Ramadan is not the month of watching the most addictive television series. Ramadan is not the month of laziness, lethargy, and short-temper. And most certainly Ramadan is not the month of food.

Ramadan is the month of blessings, mercy, repentance, and forgiveness. It is the month of patience. Ramadan is the month of strength, vigor, and activity. It is the month when your spirit soars and your body is full of energy and vitality. It has also been called the month of celebration. The early Muslims understood the secret treasures that Ramadan contains and they knew how to utilize it. They were overflowing with energy and they exerted themselves tremendously – spiritually and physically.

Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devil is chained up. In it, Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i) 

Because of the blessedness of Ramadan and because of Allah’s mercy upon us, it is easier to do more good deeds. The influences of evil have a less powerful hold on us. That is why most Muslims can easily read the entire Holy Qur’an in this month, some can read it twice, others can read it every week, and there are those who can read it every three nights in Ramadan.

The believers who are oblivious, who let Ramadan pass them by without seizing these precious moments to do good deeds, sadly they are - as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said - deprived. Ramadan is the month of repentance; if we sincerely seek Allah’s forgiveness, we will be granted.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) 

Ramadan is the month of patience, as that is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to it as.

Abu Hurairah reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, say, ‘Fasting Ramadan, the month of patience, and three days from every month is like fasting a lifetime.’” (Sunan An-Nasa’i)

With fasting comes more, not less, patience and tolerance, especially when dealing with people: our families, children, friends, domestic help, coworkers, and even the anonymous person who abruptly and rudely cut his car right in front of yours. In that particular situation, it is patience that calms you down and prevents you from shouting out every single bad word in the English and Arabic vocabulary.

Ramadan is the month of vigor, strength, and activity. Not being able to eat or drink coffee in the morning is no excuse to mope around all day, sleep in, and not perform our very best at work or in the house. The fasting believer should have more, not less, energy.

The fiercest of battles during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took place in Ramadan, when the Muslims were fasting.
The first battle ever fought by Muslims, the most important battle in Islamic history, which would determine whether this new faith would survive and spread or shrivel up and cease, the Battle of Badr, took place on the 17th of Ramadan. Far outnumbered, with only 313 of the Muslims against 1,000 of the disbelievers, the Muslims who were fasting during the battle fought courageously and they were victorious.

Another great event in Islamic history that took place in Ramadan was the conquest of Makkah. Eight years after the Muslims had left Makkah in small numbers, fleeing persecution, they returned to Makkah on the 20th of Ramadan, now 10,000 men strong. The Muslim army was commanded not to engage in fighting or bloodshed. Upon reaching the Kabah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) smashed all the idols surrounding the Kabah, while reciting the verse from the Holy Qur’an: {The truth has come, and falsehood has vanished away; surely falsehood is certain to vanish}.

The Prophet’s mission was to abolish idolatry and establish the oneness of God, and spread Islam, not to take revenge against the people of Quraysh. He announced amnesty to the Makkans who no longer wished to fight. The people of Quraysh who expected punishment and retribution, were surprised by the Prophet’s statement and many of them became Muslim. The conquest of Makkah was bloodless and ended years of warfare between Quraysh and the Muslims.

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