Some of the Distinguishing Features and Virtues of the Month of Ramadhaan – by Shaikh Al-Fawzaan

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد

 

Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:

 

Indeed; Allaah, The Glorious and Most High, has characterised the month of Ramadhaan from the other months with immense virtues, and has distinguished it with many distinctive features. He, The Most High said:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

((The month of Ramadhaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever from you sights [the new moon of] the month, then he should fast it, and whoever is sick or upon a journey; then they [the days] are to be made up from other days.)) (Al-Baqarah: 185)

 

So in this noble aayah, Allaah has mentioned two great distinguishing features for the month of Ramadhaan:

 

The first distinguishing feature:

The revealing of the Qur’aan within it, for the guidance of mankind from the darknesses to light, along with their perceived insight of the truth from falsehood by way of this great Book – within which there comprises the rectitude of humanity and their success and bliss in the life of this world as well as in the Hereafter.

 

The second distinguishing feature:

The obligation of fasting upon the nation of Muhammad, since Allaah commanded with that in His saying:

فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ

((So whoever from you sights [the new moon of] the month, then he should fast it))

 

So the fasting of Ramadhaan is one of the pillars of Islaam, and an obligation from the religious duties imposed by Allaah. It is known – necessarily in the religion – and through the consensus of the Muslims, whoever rejects it – then he has disbelieved. Whoever is a resident and sound (in health and mind) then fulfilling the duty of fasting the month becomes obligatory upon him. As Allaah, The Most High said:

فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ

((So whoever from you sights [the new moon of] the month, then he should fast it))

 

Whoever is a traveller or is unwell then the fasting is obligatory upon him out of making up for them from another month, as He, The Most High said:

وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

((And whoever is sick or upon a journey; then they [the days] are to be made up from other days.)).

 

So it becomes clear that it is unavoidable to fast the month, it is either fulfilling the duty (of fasting) or making up for them. Except in the case of the elderly aged and the chronically ill – both of these cannot fast – not to make up for them nor out of fulfilling the duty (of fasting) – then they both have yet another ruling – the mention of which shall come if Allaah wills.[1]

So from the virtues of this month is that which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) made clear in the authentic ahaadeeth as occurs in the two saheehs from Abee Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

“‏ إِذَا جَاءَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ وَصُفِّدَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ ‏”

((When Ramadhaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of the Fire [of Hell] are locked, and the devils are shackled.))[2]

 

This hadeeth signifies immensely distinguishing features for this blessed month:

 

Firstly: In it the gates of Paradise are opened, and that is due to the abundance of righteous actions which are legislated to be carried out within it and are factors for the entry into Paradise, as He, The Most High said:

ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

((Enter Paradise for what you used to do)) (An-Nahl: 32)

 

 

Secondly: The closing of the gates of the Hellfire in this month, and that is due to the scantiness of sins which are factors for the entry into it, as He, The Most High said:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ طَغَى* وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا * فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى

((Then as for he who transgressed, and preferred the life of the world. Then indeed, the Hellfire – it shall be the abode.)) (An-Naazi’aat: 37-39)

 

And He, The Most High said:

وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا

((And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger – then indeed, for him is the Fire of Hell; they shall abide therein forever.)) (Al-Jinn: 23)

 

 

Thirdly: For this blessed month; within it the devils are shackled – meaning: they are fettered and firmly fastened – so they are unable to mislead the Muslims and incite them with sin and divert them away from righteous action as they would do in other than this month. So their being prevented during this blessed month from pursuing this foul deed is as a mercy for the Muslims, in order that they can be afforded the opportunity to perform good – as well as attain expiation for sins.

 

(Taken from: Ithaaf Ahlul Eemaan be-Duroos Shahr Ramadhaan p.15-16)

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[1] The Shaikh later mentioned the categories of people who are excused from fasting, he said concerning them:

  1. The sick person upon whom the fast is difficult, so it is recommended for him that he should eat – in taking the permitted allowance, and that is if the fast is harmful for him – or that it delays his recovery or that it amplifies the sickness upon him.
  2. The traveler upon whom the month of Ramadhaan has descended and he is in the course of a journey or that he is commencing a journey during the course of the month.
  3. The menstruating woman and the women who have post-natal bleeding – fasting is forbidden for both of them for the duration of the menstruation and the post natal-bleeding.
  4. The sick person who has a chronic illness – and his recovery cannot be hoped for, and due to it he is incapable of fasting with an inability that is unceasing. So this one should eat and feed a needy person for each day with the amount of half a Saa’ (a measure of volume which equates to four handfuls consisting of two hands together) of wheat or other than it – and there is no making up (of the fast) upon him.
  5. The elderly aged person who cannot fast, this one should eat and instead feed a needy person for each day – and there is no making up (of the fast) upon him.
  6. The pregnant and the breastfeeding woman, if they both fear for themselves or for their offspring from the harm of the fast, then both of them should eat and make up for the number of days during which they ate, and if her having eaten was done so out of fear for her offspring only – then along with the making up for the fast there is the feeding of a needy person for each day. (See: Ithaaf Ahlul Eemaan be-Duroos Shahr Ramadhaan p.26-27)

[2] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.1898 and 1899) – with slight variation in wording, and Muslim (no.2492) and the wording above is that of Muslim.

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