All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the noble Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! You are now in the midst of a matchless month. It is a great and noble month with uncountable merits and virtues. It is a season rich with gains for those who partake in good deeds as it destroys those who transgress and commit sins in it.
It is a month that excels other months by a night that is better than a thousand months. Blessed be the one who sincerely fasts in that month, invokes Allaah in the morning and evening and wake up during the nights of the months praying and devoting his life to Allaah.
Brethren in faith! The first half of Ramadaan is now gone. Try then to make good use of the remaining half before the month ends. Hasten to use the remaining days in thanking Allaah for His blessings and try harder to do righteous deeds and repent to Him for the hours of the month are hurriedly coming to an end. Do good deeds during the remaining days, you will be forgiven of the evils you did before; but if you persist in these devil deeds, you will be punished for the past sins and latter ones. Whoever holds fast unto the Rope of Allaah and makes good use of his time will be victorious and free from all evils; and the miser and unfortunate is the one who sins during these remaining blessed days for his lot will certainly be ignominy, distress and regret and woe accursed will he be on a Day that the negligent people will shed bitter tears; a day that Allaah will say, “O My slaves! These are only your deeds which I enumerate for you and upon which I will reward you. So whoever finds good reward there from, let him thank Allaah and whoever finds otherwise, let him blame no one but himself.”
Brethren in Islaam! Where are some of those who witnessed the last Ramadaan with us? Were they not sent to the world of the dead? Have they not become inhabitants of the graveyards? Also, where are some of those who started the fasting of this present Ramadaan with us? They have definitely been overtaken by death and removed from their decorated and luxurious mansions to the depths of the graves. We shall certainly join them sooner or later. Let us therefore get prepared for that very day. Let us remember the bitterness of death from which no human being is exempted, even the leader of mankind, Muhammad – peace and blessings be on him. Allaah says, “And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad), then if you die would they live forever? Everyone is going to taste death; and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.” (Al Anbiyaa’: 34-35).
Fellow Muslims! Who is he that was able to escape from death? Who is he that fortified himself in his fortress and was not brought out by death? Who is he thatendeavoured to attain all his wishes and achieved that? Who is he that yearned for long life and was not stopped from attaining that? Which sweet life did death not turn to a bitter one and which branch stood erect and death did not have it broken?! Death has taken fathers and rendered women widows and children orphans. You should be reminded that nothing can protect you from death, so repent to Allaah before your death comes.
“Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you.” (Al Jumu‘ah: 8).
Dear brothers! Ramadaan days are the cream of worldly days. He who is blessed in these days is indeed the fortunate one and he who is deprived of their blessings is indeed the unfortunate one. He who does not work for his final abode in these days has wronged himself and will be blameworthy. The Messenger of Allaah one day ascended the pulpit and said, “Aameen, Aameen, Aameen”. He was asked “O Messenger of Allaah! You ascended the pulpit and said, “Aameen, Aameen, Aameen?”He answered, “It was Jibreel who came to me and said, ‘Whoever lived to witness Ramadaan and yet was not forgiven his sins; and as a result entered Hell, may Allaah keep him away (from His mercy). Say, ‘Aameen!’ And I said “Aameen.” (Ibn Khuzaymah).
O you who are negligent in good deeds in this Ramadaan, are you sure that you will live to witness the next Ramadaan? Give this month therefore its due and fear Allaah in public and private. Remember that you have two angels with you who record all your deeds and do not disgrace yourselves in front of Allaah from Whom nothing of your secret is hidden.
Fellow Muslims! Days of Ramadaan ought to be honored. Do you guard yourselves from idle talks and immoral looks? Do you prevent your limbs from pastime and wild deeds? Have you prepared provisions that are suitable for your journey to the hereafter or are you among those who engage in deeds which displease Allaah and wander in this world as if they are created for nothing but the enjoyment of this life? Beware, lest the harmful things will be dearer to you. In this month, guard your eyes, tongues and the rest of your limbs from sins. Though it is incumbent on you to do that at all times, it becomes more biding during the month of Ramadaan. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever does not refrain from false sayings and deeds, Allaah has no need of his abstention from food and drink.” (Al-Bukhaarie).
Jaabir bin Abdillaah Al-Ansaaree said. “When you fast, let your ears and tongue also fast by keeping away from lying and forbidden things. Do not harm your neighbour. Let tranquility and peace be your habit and let there be difference between your fasting and non-fasting days.”
My dear brother! Why are people standing up for good deeds and you are there sitting down? Why are they observing the night prayer and you are there sleeping? Why is it that when the faithful slaves of Allaah are seen standing in prayer, you are not seen with them? Why is it that when righteous people are mentioned you are not mentioned among them? You are hoping for salvation with insignificant deeds; with no prayer, no repentance and no sincere attitude.
Righteous people used to spend their Ramadaan nights in sleeplessness for, the fear of Allaah has separated between them and their beds. They would weep out of fear of Allaah. Their hearts were tender and they would worship Allaah in the middle of the night while other people are fast asleep.
As for you who spend your nights in sins and waste your Ramadaan nights in forbidden and destructive deeds, is it not enough a great loss for you that you see the faithful and repentant people spending their night hours in seeking nearness to Allaah and begging for His Pleasure? Try to rectify your past mistakes and shun your pastime. Join the righteous people in their acts of worship and fill your life with obedience to your Lord. Endeavor to perform the congregational night prayer (Taraaweeh) for the remaining part of the month, for the Prophet said, “Whoever performs the congregational night prayer during Ramadaan with faith and in sincerity, his past sins will be forgiven.”
Brothers in faith! The month of Ramadaan is a month of reflection over the Glorious Qur’aan. It is an opportunity for perfecting its recitation and reviewing what has been memorized of it. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Always review what you have memorized of the Qur’aan for it escapes from people’s hearts faster than the cattle when it escapes with its tying rope. He also said, “The example of the one who memorizes the Qur’aan is like that of the tied camel. If it is constantly checked and retied it will remain but if it is left, it will escape.” (Al-Bukhaarie & Muslim).
Fellow Muslims! Allaah has honoured you with this noble Book. Reflect over its verses, follow its injunctions and do not rush its reading. A man told Abdullaah IbnMas‘ood that he recited the Mufassal (the soorahs starting from Qaaf [Chapter 50] to the end of the Qur’aan) in a single Rak’aah. Ibn Mas‘ood told the man, “Rushing it like the poem?! There are some people who recite the Qur’aan and it does not exceed their collarbones. But, when it penetrates the heart and becomes firmly established therein it benefits.”
Further, the righteous predecessors used to recite the whole of the Qur’aan many times and when Ramadaan came, they would recite more. Angel Jibreel used to meet the Prophet every night during Ramadaan and study the Qur’aan with him but during his final year on the earth, he reviewed the Qur’aan with him twice.
Now, let me give you a wonderful example for a unique Qur’aanic generation: When Abdullaah Ibn Idrees (one of the righteous predecessors) was dying, his daughter wept and he told her: “My daughter, do not cry, for I have recited the whole of the Qur’aan (in preparation) for this very hour 4,000 times.” What a wonderful generation!
Brethren in faith! The Qur’aan is always being read and heard in our midst. Are we following its pure path? Are we implementing its injunctions in all aspects of our lives?
Certainly, every major or minor act that negates this Book and the Sunnah is a curse upon its perpetrator. We have seen and learned different lessons in those who did not implement the injunctions of the Qur’aan in their lives. Hold therefore to the Book of Allaah tenaciously and proudly and do not be distracted by this mundane life from doing your obligations for this mortal life does not have the weight of the wing of a fly before Allaah. Allaah says, “Whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers… And whosoever does not judge by that which Allaah has revealed such are the wrongdoers… And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed such are the rebellious.” (Al-Maa’idah:44-45, 47).
Fellow Muslims! Ramadaan is the month of liberation from Hell and misery. The Messenger of Allaah said, “The Almighty Allaah -at every time of breaking the fast- free from some of His slaves from Hell.” Try therefore, as much as you can to free yourselves from Hell, for this is the time for repentance and sincere entreating to Allaah. This is a month in which Allaah accepts the invocations of His slaves!
Allaah says, “O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance.” (At-Tahreem:8).
Go to the door of forgiveness, you will find it opened. Pay the price of Paradise with your bodies and souls and turn back to Allaah as long as you live.
Dear brother! If your sins are like the clouds of the sky in multitude and have become innumerable. Turn back to Allaah in repentance and do not hesitate, for Allaah accepts the repentance of His repentant slave. The Prophet said, “Allaah says, ‘O man! So long as you invoke Me and have hope in Me, I shall forgive you whatever sins you might have committed and I will not mind. O man! If your sins have reached the clouds of the sky, then you seek forgiveness from Me, I shall forgive you. O man! If you come to Me with what is as many as fill the containers of the world in sins, then you meet Me having ascribing no partner to Me in worship, I will give you what is as many as that in forgiveness.” (At Tirmithie).
Fellow Muslims! It is by praising Allaah, admitting one’s sins, abstaining from them and determining not to commit them again that one will have sins overlooked by Allaah. The one who repents from a sin is like the one who has no sin. Hasten therefore to repentance before death comes, for when it comes no respite will be given to you.
Dear Muslims! I‘tikaaf is a Sunnah (a Prophetic practice) full of benefits and great goals. The greatest of its goals is to severe all ties from fellow creatures and devoting one’s time to the Creator. It has positive impact on the mind and reforms and refines the heart. It is more emphasized in the last ten days of Ramadaan because of Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Decree). ‘Aa’ishah narrated that “The Messenger of Allaah used to do I‘tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he died and his wives did it after him.” (Bukhaarie & Muslim).
Brethren in faith! Honor the rules of I‘tikaaf and give due respect to the mosque in which I‘tikaaf is made. Let him who wants to do I‘tikaaf enter the mosque before sun set on the twenty-first night of Ramadaan.
Fellow Muslims! There are some brethren of yours who have been afflicted with calamities and tribulations. Their blood is being shed by the enemies and they mercilessly being killed and persecuted. These enemies have no mercy for the old, or for the sick, children and women. Invoke Allaah passionately to have mercy on these helpless brethren and beseech Him to rescue them from those filthy infidels. The Messenger of Allaah has said, “Every Muslim is entitled -each day and night- to an invocation that will certainly be answered.” Nothing is more valuable in the sight of Allaah than supplication. The weakest of all people is the one who cannot supplicate and nothing revokes predestination except prayer.