Why is Ramadān singled out with particular excellence to the exclusion of other months? – Benefits from Shaikh Al-Fawzān

Allah favours His servants and grants them the ability to reach this great month, the month of Ramadan – the month which is coming upon you shortly; a month that is a kind guest into our lives; a month that is truly immense whose virtues Allah has enumerated in His glorious Book. He (F) stated:

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 ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights the crescent on the first night of the month of Ramadan, he must observe the fasts of the month. And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number must be made up from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. He wants that you complete the same number of days, and that you magnify Allah [on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwāl] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (Al-Baqarah: 185)

Don't let this month pass you buy without taking benefit

Don’t let this month pass you buy without taking benefit

The Prophet H would give glad tidings of the beginning of Ramadan to his Companions M. He would mention its virtues and its blessings so that they may take advantage of them.

The happiness upon entering the month of Ramadan is a happiness at the blessings and favours of Allah upon His servants. Allah (D) stated:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

“Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”” (Yunus: 58)

So rejoicing at the bounty of Allah, and rejoicing at His mercy is praiseworthy – and of course the intent is not that a person has a lengthy life just to fulfill his desires and pleasures. Rather the excellence of being given a lengthy life is that a person increases in acts of obedience that bring him nearer to Allah (E) – and the month of Ramadan has immense specific virtues over and above the other months, and they are:

1. In this month the Qur’an was revealed, meaning that it began to be revealed in this month. Then it continued to be revealed upon the Prophet (H) in accordance to events and situations that took place throughout his life, until his death. The fact that the Qur’an was revealed in this month shows us the great virtue of this month, that Allah singled it out with the revealing of the Qur’an. It is for this reason that the recitation of the Qur’an in this month is more excellent and one gains a greater reward for reciting it, even though the recitation of the Qur’an is desirable at all times but its recitation in this month gathers more reward for a person. The angel Jibreel (S) would descend upon the Prophet (H) in each and every night of this month to revise and study the Book of Allah. So he (H) would free up time to recite the Qur’an in this month for the purpose of remembrance and worship of Allah.

2. Allah obligated fasting this month upon all the Ummah, and He (F) made it a pillar of Islam. The Prophet (H) said: “Islam is: that you testify that no deity has the right to be worshipped besides Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; that you establish the Prayer; you pay the Zakāh; you fast Ramadān; and you perform Hajj to the House if there is for you the ability to do so.” (Muslim, no. 8)

He, the Most High, established fasting the month of Ramadan as the fourth Pillar of Islam – so fasting in it is an obligation upon every Muslim, male and female, if they have reached adulthood and are sane (free from insanity). If a person rejects the obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadan [rejects this Pillar], then he is an unbeliever by consensus*. Whoever affirms the obligation but he abandons fasting the month or a part of the month, then such a one has committed a major offence and is considered sinful. In a Muslim country he is compelled to fast and punished with a strong discretionary punishment until he repents. So fasting is an obligation either by fulfilling the duty within the month or by making up missed fasts after the month for the one who has a valid excuse. Allah (D) stated:

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 ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights the crescent on the first night of the month of Ramadan, he must observe the fasts of the month. And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number must be made up from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. He wants that you complete the same number of days, and that you magnify Allah [on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwāl] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (Al-Baqarah: 185)

So in this verse He obligated fasting upon every Muslim, either by fulfilling it in the month or by making them up after the month for the sick and the traveller.

3. Allah made a night in this month that is better than a thousand months:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ
لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Al-Qadr) This is truly a great night. Allah made acts of obedience in it better than a thousand months of actions for the one who is granted success by Allah to take advantage of it. And this night is only in this month to the exclusion of other months.

4. From the virtues of this month is that the Prophet (H) legislated for us standing to pray the Tarāweeh Prayer – and this prayer is particular to Ramadan. It is performed in congregation, in the Masjid just as the Prophet (O) prayed it with his Companions, in congregation, in the nights, then he left off leading them in congregation out of fear that it would be taken as an obligation, and they would not be able to fulfil it. Then after his death, the Companions, and the Rightly Guided Caliphs established it once more – they performed the Tarāweeh Prayer in the Mosques. And the Muslims have continued that tradition till this day. It is an established Sunnah; a distinguishing sign of Islam. The Prophet (H) stated: “Whoever performs the night prayer during Ramadan with Imān and hopeful of reward, then his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari, no. 1904) And he stated: “Whoever stands with the Imām in the night prayer up until he has finished, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari, no. 1901) He also said: “Whoever stands to pray in the Night of Decree (Laylatul-Qadr) with Imān and hopeful of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari, no. 1901)

All of these narrations establish the tradition of performing the Night Prayer in Ramadan, which in turn indicates the excellence of this month. Allah made the Night Prayer optional in its nights and fasting obligatory in its days – both righteous deeds, both acts of goodness. So take advantage, may Allah have mercy upon you, of these particular acts of obedience and nearness to Allah – and reduce your attention to the world and busying yourself with it so that you may take benefit from the time assigned to you in this month by concentrating on the various acts of obedience and worship such as: remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, seclusion in the Mosque (i’tikāf), increase in the optional prayers and so on.


* Consensus (ijmā’) is the third source of proof in the Religion.

Ref: Khutub al-Minbariyyah, vol. 5. pp. 256-259

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *