Don’t waste time by being heedless and refusing in Ramadan – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah) says in Lesson 4 “What should one Preoccupy his Time with during the Month of Ramadaan” from “Ittihaaf Ahlil-Eemaan bi Duroos Shahri Ramadaan”, pages 8-11:

الحمد لله على فضله وإحسانه، تفضل علينا ببلوغ شهر رمضان، ومكننا فيه من الأعمال الصالحة التي تقربنا إليه، والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد كان أول سابق إلى الخيرات، وعلى آله وأصحابه الذين آمنوا به وعزروه ونصروه واتبعوا النور الذي أنزل معه، أولئك هم المفلحون.. أما بعد:

All praise be to Allaah for His blessings and generosity. He has blessed us by allowing us to reach the month of Ramadaan and enabling us to do good deeds by which we can draw nearer to Him. And may the peace and blessings be on our prophet Muhammad – who was the first to hasten to do good deeds – as well as upon his family and Companions – those who believed in him, supported him and followed the light that was revealed to him. They are the successful ones.

As for what follows, then:

فأوصيكم ونفسي في هذا الشهر المبارك بتقوى الله، وفي غيره من الشهور، ولكن هذا الشهر له مزية خصه الله بها، فهو موسم الخيرات، وقد روي أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يدعو الله ببلوغ رمضان، فكان يقول إذا دخل شهر رجب: “اللهم بارك لنا في رجب وشعبان وبلغنا رمضان” [1]

I advise you and myself to fear Allaah during this blessed month as well as in any other month. However, this month has a special merit by which Allaah has distinguished it, since it is a unique occasion for performing good deeds. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would supplicate to Allaah to allow him to be able to reach Ramadaan. So when the month of Rajab would come in, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say: “O Allaah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’baan and allow us to reach Ramadaan.[1]

وروي أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يبشر أصحابه بقدومه، ويبين لهم مزاياه، فيقول: “أيها الناس قد أظلكم شهر عظيم مبارك” [2]

It has been narrated that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would also give his Companions the glad tidings of its arrival and explain to them its many virtues, saying to them: “O people! A great and blessed month has come upon you.[2]

ويحث أصحابه على الاجتهاد فيه بالأعمال الصالحة من فرائض ونوافل، من صلوات وصدقات، وبذل معروف وإحسان، وصبر على طاعة الله، وعمارة نهاره بالصيام، وليله بالقيام، وساعاته بتلاوة القرآن وذكر الله عز وجل،

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would encourage his Companions to strive hard in performing good deeds during this month, both the obligatory and recommended ones, such as prayer, charity, showing goodness and kindness, being patient while obeying Allaah, spending one’s day with fasting, one’s night with praying and one’s hours with recitation of the Qur’aan and remembering Allaah.

فلا تضيعوه بالغفلة والإعراض كحال الأشقياء الذين نسوا الله فأنساهم أنفسهم، فلا يستفيدون من مرور مواسم الخير ولا يعرفون لها حرمة، ولا يقدرون لها قيمة، كثير من الناس لا يعرفون هذا الشهر إلا أنه شهر لتنويع المآكل والمشارب، فيبالغون في إعطاء نفوسهم ما تشتهي،

So do not waste time by being heedless and refusing, as is the case with the wretched ones who have forgotten Allaah and so He has caused them to forget themselves. Such people do not extract benefit from the passing of occasions for doing good, nor do they realize their sanctity or know their worth.

ويكثرون من شراء الكماليات من الأطعمة والأشربة، ومعلوم أن الإكثار من المآكل والمشارب يكسل عن الطاعة، والمطلوب من المسلم أن يقلل من الطعام والشراب حتى ينشط للطاعة،

Many people don’t know this month except as a month for various types of foods and beverages. So they go to great extents in giving their souls what they desire. And they exceed in buying fancy types of foods and drinks. It is well known that the intake of too much food and drink causes one to be lazy with acts of worship. What is required for the Muslim is that he decrease in his intake of food and drink such that he is energetic when it comes to acts of worship.

وبعض من الناس لا يعرف شهر رمضان إلا أنه شهر النوم في النهار والسهر في الليل على ما لا فائدة فيه أو ما فيه مضرة، فيسهر معظم ليله أو كله ثم ينام النهار حتى عن الصلوات المفروضة فلا يصلي مع الجماعة ولا في أوقات الصلاة،

Some people don’t know the month of Ramadaan except as a month in which one sleeps during the day and stays up all night doing things that have no benefit or things that cause harm. So these people stay awake most of the night or all of it then sleep in the daytime even over the times of the obligatory prayers. So they don’t pray with the congregation or in the prescribed times of prayer.

وفئة من الناس تجلس على مائدة الإفطار تترك صلاة المغرب مع الجماعة، هذه الفئات من الناس لا تعرف لشهر رمضان قيمة، ولا تتورع عن انتهاك حرمته بالسهر الحرام، وترك الواجبات، وفعل المحرمات،

Another group of people sit at the dinner table when it’s time to break fast and abandon performing the Maghrib prayer in congregation. These types of people do not know the value of the month of Ramadaan nor do they refrain from violating its sanctity by committing the forbidden type of sleeplessness (i.e. all night), abandoning the obligations and doing the prohibited.

وإلى جانب هؤلاء جماعة لا يعرفون شهر رمضان إلا أنه موسم للتجارة، وعرض السلع وطلب الدنيا العاجلة، فينشطون على البيع والشراء فيلازمون الأسواق ويهجرون المساجد، وإن ذهبوا إلى المساجد فهم على عجل ومضض لا يستقرون فيها، لأن قرة أعينهم في الأسواق،

Next to these people are those individuals who don’t view the month of Ramadaan except as an opportunity for doing business, displaying their products and chasing after the worldly life, which is temporary. So they are active in buying and selling, thus spending all their time in the marketplaces and abandoning the masaajid. And if they do go to the masaajid, then they are in haste and anguish. They do not relax while in the masaajid since their joy and comfort lies in the market areas.

وصنف آخر من الناس لا يعرف شهر رمضان إلا أنه وقت للتسول في المساجد والشوارع فيمضي معظم أوقاته بين ذهاب وإياب وتجوال هنا وهناك وانتقال من بلد إلى بلد لجمع المال عن طريق السؤال، وإظهار نفسه بمظهر المحتاج وهو غني، وبمظهر المصاب في جسمه وهو سليم، يجحد نعمة الله عليه بالغنى والصحة، ويأخذ المال بغير حقه، ويضيع وقته الغالي فيما هو مضرة عليه فما بقي لرمضان من مزية عند هذه الفئات.

And there is another type of people that do not know the month of Ramadaan except as a time for begging in the masaajid and in the streets. So they spend most of their time going back and forth from here and there and traveling from one country to another in order to collect money through begging and by presenting themselves as being needy when they are in fact wealthy, and as injured when they are in fact healthy! Such people are denying Allaah’s blessing on them and taking the people’s wealth unjustly. And they are wasting their precious time in things that are harmful to them. So there are no special merits that can be found in Ramadaan for these types of people.

عباد الله لقد كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يجتهد في هذا الشهر أكثر مما يجتهد في غيره، وإن كان عليه الصلاة والسلام مجدا في العبادة في جميع أوقاته فكان يتفرغ في هذا الشهر من كثير من المشاغل التي هي في الحقيقة عبادة، لكنه يتفرغ من العمل الفاضل لما هو أفضل منه، وكان السلف الصالح يقتدون به في ذلك فيخصون هذا الشهر بمزيد اهتمام ويتفرغون فيه للأعمال الصالحة، ويعمرون ليله بالتهجد ونهاره بالصيام والذكر وتلاوة القرآن، ويعمرون المساجد بذلك، فلنقارن بين حالنا وحالهم وما هو مبلغ شعورنا بهذا الشهر،

O servants of Allaah! The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would strive hard during this month more than he would in any other month. Even though the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was strong in performing worship at all times, he would free himself up during this month from many of the duties, which in reality were acts of worship, leaving off these righteous deeds for deeds that were better than those.

The Salaf would follow his example in this regard and so they would particularize this month with higher ambitions, thus keeping themselves unoccupied in it so that they could perform good deeds. They would spend their night in Tahajjud prayer and their day in fasting, remembrance of Allaah and recitation of the Qur’aan, thus frequenting the masaajid for that purpose. So we should compare our conditions to their conditions and see what the extent of our abilities is in this month.

ولنعلم أنه كما تضاعف فيه الحسنات فإنها تغلظ السيئات فيه وتعظم عقوبتها، فلنتق الله سبحانه ونعظم حرماته {ومن يعظم حرمات الله فهو خير له عند ربه} [الحج 30].

وفق الله الجميع لصالح القول والعمل، وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم.

__________

الدرس الرابع: “بيان ما ينبغي أن تشغل به أوقات رمضان المبارك” في “إتحاف أهل الإيمان بدروس شهر رمضان” (صفحات 8-11), للشيخ صالح بن فوزان الفوزان

And we should know that just as the good deeds are multiplied during this month, then likewise, evil acts are worse and their punishment is greater. So we should fear Allaah and magnify the sanctity of this month.

And whoever magnifies the sacred things of Allaah, this is better for him in the sight of his Lord.” [Surah Al-Hajj 22:30].

May Allaah grant us all the ability to have righteous statements and actions. And may the peace and blessings be on our prophet Muhammad, as well as all of his family and Companions.

Source: Lesson 4 : “What should one Preoccupy his Time with during the Month of Ramadaan” in “Ittihaaf Ahlil-Eemaan bi Duroos Shahri Ramadaan”, pages 8-11 of Shaykh Saalih ibn al-Fawzan al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah)

Footnotes:

[1] Reported by al-bayhaqi in ‘Shu’aib al-Eeman 5/348 no. 3534, al-Bazaar in his Musnad 1/294-295 no. 616, Abu Na’eem in al-Hilyah 6/269 and also by Ibn Asakir in ‘Kanz al-‘amaal’ no. 18049

This has been classed as weak by Shaikh al-Albani (rahimahullaah) in ‘Da’eef al-Jaami’ no. 4395.

[2] It has been narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Ramadaan has come to you – a blessed month. Allaah has made it obligatory on you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allaah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.

Reported by Ahmad 2/230, 425, Abd ibn Hameed in ‘al-Muntakhab’ no. 1429

Author: Islamic Treasure

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