Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
5 July 2013 / 26 Syaaban 1434
Celebrating Ramadan with Hope and Gratitude
Dear blessed Friday jemaah, jemaah
Let us express our gratitude to Allah s.w.t. for blessing us with health and the wonderful gift of life. Let us hope that Allah will continue to grant us this blessing or nikmat, andthat we are given a long life, blessed with good health so that we can become His servants who are filled with taqwa, heed all of His commandments and leave behind what He has prohibited upon us.
My brothers, we asked that Allah extend our life because the holy month of Ramadan will begin in five days’ time. Ramadan is a month filled with Allah’s blessings; a month of bountiful rewards. It is in this month that we train ourselves to be Allah’s servants who are righteous and taqwa. This is in line with what Allah says in surah Al-Baqarah verse 183:
Which means: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”
This explains why my brothers, that the arrival of Ramadan was eagerly-awaited by Rasulullah s.a.w. and his companions. In fact, as his ummah, we do not want to be left out from following this sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. It is a norm for our beloved Prophet s.a.w. to read the Quran and to have tadarus sessions, which is to listen to one another recite the Quran, together with Jibril a.s. as narrated by Abdullah Bin ‘Abbas r.a.:
Which means: “Rasulullah s.a.w. was the most generous of all the people, and he was even more generous in the month of Ramadan when Jibril a.s met him. Jibril used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him (revise the recitation of) the Qur’an.” [Sahih Bukhari]
I am confident that deep in our hearts, every one of us here aspires to make this Ramadan better than the previous years. We aim to make the coming Ramadan the best Ramadan that we’ve experienced.
Therefore, what should we do in preparation to welcome the coming Ramadan, and to make it the best Ramadan we have had thus far?
I will share two important steps that we can apply and instill in ourselves to prepare us to welcome Ramadan:
The first step is to do self-reflection before the arrival of Ramadan.
Perhaps for a start, why not we reflect or muhasabah, upon ourselves and our previous Ramadan. How were our deeds last year? Were they satisfactory or still needing much improvements?
For example, what was the quality of our fast during the past Ramadan? Did we fast, simply to control our hunger and thirst? What about our actions and akhlak? What about the rest of our body parts? Our tongues, eyes, ears, did we control ourselves and avoid what Allah has forbidden upon us?
What about the Quran? Were we among those who were always reading the Quran? If yes, did we take the time and effort to understand and appreciate its meaning? Did we apply what we have learned from the Quran to our daily lives?
What about the core of our ibadah, which is solat or prayers? Many of us would have tried our best to reap the extra benefits of the Night of Qadr or Lailatul Qadr by performing prayers in the wee hours of the night such as tahajjud, witir and so on. But do not forget that the five obligatory daily prayers are just as important. These prayers are obligatory upon us at any time and in any situation.
Is it not a waste for us to fast, enduring the hunger and thirst every day, but fail to keep our five daily prayers? This is a pillar of Islam, and without it our deen will crumble. Rasulullah s.a.w. said, which means: “Solat is the pillar of religion, whoever establishes it, establishes religion and whoever destroys it, destroys religion.” [Sahih Bukhari]
My dear brothers,
The actions that I’ve spoken about are acts of worship (ibadah) that place importance on the relationship between a servant and his Creator, Allah s.w.t The appreciation of Ramadan also takes into account the relationship between mankind. This is taught by Allah and His Messenger, that all Muslims should observe their relationship with Allah and at the same time, strengthen his bonds with fellow human beings.
We can make use of this Ramadan to strengthen our ties with others. We can take this opportunity to manage our time better and make it a point to pray with our families, or iktikaf at the mosque with our children, also practice reading the Quran with our wives and our children. In fact, Islam encourages us to set aside some of our money to donate to the mosques and to help the poor and needy.
Secondly, seek Allah’s help to grant us strength to perform our ibadah to Him.
After muhasabah and self-reflection, it should be followed by planning to perform good deeds. And this may seem very easy to carry out.
But my brothers remember that as weak servants , we are not free from shortcomings. Indeed we are servants who are easily distracted by temptations in this world. Servants who sometimes forget to be grateful to Allah, for all the blessings He has granted upon us, by increasing our ibadah toward Him. We need the help of the Most Exalted to give us strength, perseverance and determination in every matter including His help to always remember Him and to perform our ibadah to Him.
This fact is acknowledged by the Prophet s.a.w. As a messenger and also a human just like us, Rasulullah was fully aware of the condition of his ummah who forgets easily and is constantly faced with challenges in life and needs Allah’s help to always be in His remembrance.
Thus, it is not at all surprising that it was reported that Rasulullah s.a.w taught a companion by the name of Mu’az Bin Jabal r.a. a dua to be recited to seek Allah’s help and guidance. Remember the Prophet’s advice to Mu’az r.a. which means:
“O Mu’az, I truly love you. Do not neglect to say at the end of every prayer:
“O Allah! Help me to commemorate you, to thank you and to serve you well! ” [Sunan Abu Daud]
My dear beloved brothers,
Let us take this opportunity to ask from Allah to allow us to experience Ramadan again that is just around the corner, and to enliven the days and nights of this blessed month with good deeds, deeds that will help us to receive Allah’s rahmah, His forgiveness and to be freed from the Hellfire. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
20 JULAI 2012
Allahumma Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim
We have reached the end of the month of Sya’ban, with the hope of gaining Your Pleasure and Blessings.
We have no power nor ability, except through Your Assistance and Guidance, ya Allah.
Shower upon us Your Love, direct us with Your Guidance.
Strengthen our ties of kinship and brotherhood with love because of You.
Erase all of our faults through Your Forgiveness.
Accept all of our deeds with the highest rewards from You.
Verily, You are the Most-Hearing and the Most Compassionate.
Allahumma Ya Khabir, Ya ‘Alim.
Ya Allah! We besiege from You that you grant us in this Ramadan
A Ramadan that will purify our hearts and souls.
A Ramadan that will nourish our gratitude.
A Ramadan that will develop love and compassion between us.
A Ramadan that will reinforce our foundations.
A Ramadan that will illuminate our lives with the Nur of prayers and the Al-Quran. And a Ramadan that will be a blessing to all of the worlds. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.