O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)— Qur’an 2[Al-Baqarah]:183
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran is a period that Muslims welcome with ecstasy across the globe. While the significance of this time cannot be overemphasized, the rewards that come with it are just too enormous. Ramadan is synonymous with fasting followed up with good deeds. Allah prescribed the holy month to the believers in order to rectify their actions and purify their soul with a goal of attaining piety. The reason for this authorization by The Most-High Lord is far beyond the rewards. It entails physical, spiritual and mental benefits which many of us often take for granted. Today we’d look at ten merits of this sanctified duration in sha Allah.
1. Forgiveness: One of the numerous benefits of Ramadan is earning Allaah’s forgiveness. It is important to the point that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Cursed is he who witnesses the blessed month but doesn’t earn Allah’s forgiveness”. So repent and brace for Allah’s mercy — it’s in abundance.
Narrated by Ibn Salam who heard from Muhammad Ibn Fudoyl who said: It was narrated from Yahya Ibn Sa’eed, who reported from Abu Salamah, who reported from Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with all of them): Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever observes Saum (Fasting) during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s Rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven.” — Sahih Al-Bukhari
2. Steadfastness: Since the goal of Ramadan is to attain piety, then you should brace up with good deeds. Increase your goodness not only in the blessed month but beyond. Ramadan gives you a chance to scale up righteousness and keep it as a habit.
3. Protection: In the famous hadith of Muadh ibn Jabal RA, he reported the Prophet (peace be upon him) to have said: “…fasting is a shield…”. Not only does it ward off evils and immoralities from us. It also prevents us from following the footpath of shaytan. So if you find people keeping to bad habit in Ramadan and blaming it on shaytan, remind them of this hadith:
“When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened; the gates of Hell-fire are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Sahih Bukhari)
4. Reflection: This is a time for us all to rethink and reform our ways. Remember how Allah favored you to witness the last Ramadan. Some did observe the previous fasting but are companions of the grave today. Think about the numerous sins you’ve committed and determine not to return to them. Express gratitude for all the favors that Allah has endowed you with, and commit yourself to be a better you in Ramadan and beyond.
5. Detoxification: Abstaining from eating and drinking enhances the metabolic process of the body. This is done by naturally expelling body toxins and systematically reducing the rate of food consumption. So it’s really not about how much you eat and store, it’s the patience and perseverance that really keeps the body in shape.
6. Accountability: Ramadan helps you stay on track. You consciously take into cognizance what you say, eat, do etcetera. Most often, people get to abandon their sinful ways as a result of reformation. This is because the holy month gives room for reflection in order to assess one’s progress as the days count.
7. Emancipation: This blessed period comes with a big bonus — ransom from hell and admission into paradise. In a beautiful narration, Abu Huraira reported; The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said:
“On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils are chained, the jinn are restrained, and the gates of Hellfire are closed and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. A caller announces: O seeker of good, come near! O seeker of evil, stop short! Allah will save them from the Hellfire and that is during every night of Ramadan.” — (Tirmidhi)
8. Bonding with the Qur’an: It is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed and the Angel Jibril used to revise it with Allah’s Apostle. Muslims familiarize themselves with the Qur’an day and night through recitation, memorization, listening and also learning the exegesis. One of the best parts of it is the reward that comes with completing the recitation of the whole Qur’an in the sacred month.
9. Humility and Empathy: We submit to Allah’s injunction by fasting in this holy month. It’s one of the pillars to be established by every faithful Muslim. Through this as well, we are able to express gratitude to Allah for His endless bounties on us. We feel the pains of the poor and this reminds us of the virtue of supporting the needy.
10. Growth: One of the most important gains from Ramadan is the ability to evolve. To transform from a previous you to the new you. The one whom hopefully has gone through a spiritual rebirth that will propel for the rest of the year. Ramadan comes to teach piety so we are expected to keep up with good deeds and abstain from evil as much as we can. If you can achieve this, then count yourself among the lucky ones who gained immensely from the blessed month.
May Allah count us among those who will witness Ramadan from the beginning till the end, and grant us the ability to do acceptable deeds. May we be among the people who would be totally forgiven, emancipated and earn His love. Ameen!