Ramadan: The Month to give, not Deceive
Sayyid Bihraam Hussain Attari Madani
The Status of Ramadan
Ramadan is from the many favours of Allah Almighty upon this nation. The month that is the chief of all months, in which the doors of mercy are opened. The doors of the heavens are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened; the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are bound in chains. To obtain this blessed month, the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would supplicate in the month of Rajab:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِیْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ
“O Allah! Grant us blessings in Rajab and Shaban and let us reach the month of Ramadan.”
The Preparations of the Noble Companions
In Rajab, the Companions would start planning and preparing for their worship in Ramadan. Sayyidunā Anas ibn Mālik رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said, “After seeing the new moon of Shaban, the Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم would recite the Qurʾān and pay zakat so the poor and needy Muslims could prepare for the fasts of Ramadan.” The rulers would punish those sentenced to punishment and free those who were not sentenced as such. Businesspeople would pay off their debts and recollect loans. When the moon of Ramadan was sighted, they would bathe and some people would sit Iʿtikāf in the masjid.
The Plight of Current Muslims
We have fallen far from the care and attention that the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and the Companions gave to Ramadan. While Muslims in the past had a thirst for worship, we have a perpetual hunger for material wealth. Muslims would perform as much worship as they could in blessed days to reach the closeness of Allah. Some Muslims of today, especially in Ramadan, think of new ways to earn the despicable wealth of this world. Allah Almighty is kind to His people and increases the reward of performing good actions in this month. However, those driven by consumerism and love for material wealth of this world readily take advantage of people. For example, they raise the prices of flour, butter, sugar, lentils, dates, fruit, and vegetables, causing undue hardship and worry for needy Muslims. Sometimes they take advantage of the customer’s ignorance or naivety. Despite charging a high price, they give defective or poor quality products.
Ramadan is Not a Month to Deceive People, but a Month to Give
During this month, the reward of every good deed is multiplied by 70 and sometimes even more. The reward of optional worship is equivalent to the reward of obligatory worship. The reward of obligatory worship is multiplied by 70. The people whom Allah has blessed with wealth should, along with performing other acts of worship, earn a plethora of good deeds by means of their wealth.
The Reward of Spending in the Month of Ramadan
Spending in this sanctified month is equal to spending in the way of Allah and in the way of Jihad. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: “Spend with an open hand in the month of Ramadan because it is like spending in the way of Allah”. Sayyidunā ʿUmar al-Fārūq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said, “Welcome and embrace this month! The month that is here to purify us. Ramadan is nothing but goodness, whether it is fasting during the day or standing in worship at night. Spending in this month holds the same rank as spending in the way of Allah.”
The Reward of Being Virtuous Towards Family
Spend your wealth on your family, relatives, and the less fortunate because spending on Muslims, especially blood relatives, in this month is a source of immense reward. This month is, therefore, aptly called the month of consolation. There is great generosity regarding sustenance; even the needy attain blessings. Therefore, the month is also known as the month of the expansion of sustenance.
The Virtue of Feeding the One Who is Fasting
Host Iftar for people who are fasting:
The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “This is the month of consoling and goodness. The wealth of a believer increases in this month. Feeding the fasting person in this month is a means to have his sins forgiven, and he will be safe from the fire of Hell. The one who provides Iftar will gain reward equivalent to the reward of the one observing fast. There will be no deficiency in his reward.” The noble Companions said, “Dear Messenger of Allah! Not all of us can host Iftar for others.” The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied: “Allah will give this reward to anyone who provides even a date or a sip of water or milk for the fasting person. The one who feeds someone who is fasting to his fill, Allah will feed him from my Pool ˹of Kawthar˺, and he will never feel thirst again and he will be admitted into Paradise.”
It is mentioned in another narration: “The one who feeds a fasting person with permissible food or water, the Angels will seek forgiveness for him during Ramadan and Jibrīlعَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم will seek forgiveness for him on the Night of Power”.
Be Good to One Another
Instead of taking advantage of people’s needs during this month, be kind to them. Sayyidunā Jarīr ibn ʿAbd Allah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said, “I gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم for the following three things: offering prayers perfectly; paying zakat; and being sincere and true to every Muslim.” Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه states: “To want good for every Muslim is obligatory on every Muslim.” A form of this is to not take advantage of the needs of a customer. Rather, give things at a discounted price. Another form of goodwill is to give less work to your workers so they can complete the fasts with ease. A hadith reads: “Whoever gives less work to his slave during this month, Allah will forgive his sins and protect him from Hell.”
May Allah Almighty enable us to reap the blessings of this month.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
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