“ إِذَا دَخَلَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari: Book of fasting)
Every year Allah blesses us with a training programme. He wants us to learn Taqwa (Please refer to the previous publication) and wants us to enter Jannah (Heaven). In addition he has made it easier for us to ensure that we reach our goals by opening the doors of Jannah and chaining the shayateen (devils), so we are not encouraged to do evil. He has also enhanced this programme by providing many incentives for increasing rewards for simple acts. It sounds like a good deal, Jannah ready, devil gone, more rewards, this sounds too good to be true, there must be a catch, well let’s find out.
What are Rewards?
Allah’s treasures are not limited to our limited imagination; therefore it would impossible to list all the rewards that Allah can bless us with. Many people assume that rewards are like a bank account whereby people do good deeds and it piles up. In a way, yes that is true but there are many forms of rewards. Many places in the Quran Allah mentions the word ajar, which means recompense, recompense can take many forms.
Forms could include but are not limited to:
- Increase your Imaan
- Give you good health
- Increase you in knowledge
- Increase you in wealth
- Give you a pious wife/husband and children
- Answer your duas (supplication)
- Release you from stress
- Ease your daily tensions
- Free you from debt
- Assist you in achieving your qualifications
- Increase your professional development
- Give you respect and honour
- Give you a good death
- Ease your test in life
- Take away the challenges of the hereafter
- Give you higher levels in Jannah
- Give you contentment of the heart and mind
- Give you ice cream (suggested by my 6 year old daughter)
- Increase love in relations
- Teach you more skills
The list is endless, Allah responds to his servants individually based on their needs, however for you to receive ajar (compensation) you must do good and refrain from evil. The more you collect the more chances you have receiving what you asked, however that is not always the case that you receive what you want, as Allah provides to his servants when he feels best, may it be in this world or the next. But we should never lose hope, never lose faith in Allah and always be grateful for what we have and always remember Allah does not burden a soul more than it can take, therefore if you are in a situation that you think you cannot handle, always remember that Allah knows you have the ability to overcome the test otherwise he would not test you with it. (This topic is a detailed discussion which I felt it was necessary to mention, I will try to expand on this in the future publications insha Allah.)
In order for us to receive the compensation for our deeds, we must do good deeds, and collect as many deeds as possible. In Ramadan Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) have promised increased rewards for our deeds which we will now explore to see if we are able to achieve these incentives and benefit from these offers.
1. Obviously Keep the Fast
Sahl Radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that The Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” (Bukhari)
Special VIP treatment for those who keep the fasts, not making excuses and getting the job done. Sincerity, intention and eagerness of reward will be judged by Allah.
Abu Sa’id al Khudri Radiyallahu ‘anhu reported Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam as saying, “Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years’ distance.” (Muslim)
So if you were to keep all the fasts, let’s assume 30 days. So that would be 30 multiplied by 70 years equals 2100 years, now that’s far from hell.
So far just by keeping the fasts we have increased our chances to going to Jannah with VIP treatment and moved 2100 years away from Hell, for simply keeping a fast during the day.
2. Any Obligatory or Optional Acts
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:“Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)
An optional deed gets the reward of an obligatory and an obligatory gets the reward of 70 obligatory deeds.
Do one and get 70 free, that’s better than Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s put together!!! There will definitely be a massive queue for this deal, don’t miss out, unlimited stock, limited time, hurry get yours quick.
The rewards of reciting the Quran are many for which another publication must be issued, however in terms of countable rewards the Prophet (PBUH) mentions:
Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” (Tirmidhi)
So every letter multiplied by ten, then don’t forget the reward like an obligatory act.
So read as much as you can, ideally you should aim to complete one Quran in Ramadan. Try, target yourself, push yourself, ask Allah and you will achieve.
4. Seeking Forgiveness for others
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [Tabarani]
When we ask Allah for anything, we tend to ask for ourselves and for our families. This is allowed, however the Prophet (PBUH) has promised more rewards for thinking about others, one of the key teachings of Islam, love for others that you love for yourself. We would love forgiveness, so ask forgiveness for others and Allah will increase your rewards and forgive your sins. Let’s all pray for each other now
For praying for me and all the others may Allah reward you.
5.Giving in Charity
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.” (At-Tirmithi).
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” [At-Tirmithi]
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), said: “Allah The Almighty Says, ‘O son of Adam, spend and I will spend on you.” [Muslim]
Give charity, spend your wealth in the path of Allah and Allah will spend on you and extinguish your sins as water does fire, and will categorise your charity in Ramadan as the best charity.
6.Feed a Fasting Person
“Whoever provides food for breaking of the fast for a fasting person receives the reward of the fasting person, without the reward of the fasting person being reduced in any way.” [Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah]
Feed others; give your neighbours family and friend’s dates and fruits. Take food to your local Masjid for Iftari.
7.Worship from Fajar till Sunrise
From `Abdullah bin `Aamir (Ra) that Abu Umaamah and `Utbah Bin `Abd (Ra) who related that the Prophet, (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever prays as-Subh. (I.e. fajr prayer) in congregation then sits until he prays for Allah the prayer of Dhuha (2×2 Raka’ah 20 mins after sunrise) has the reward like that of a Hajj (pilgrim performing Hajj) and a mu`tamir (pilgrim peforming `Umrah), complete reward of his Hajj and his `Umrah” [Tirmidhi, Tabarani].
This can be challenging but very rewarding, don’t forget you will also receive the combined rewards as mentioned above.
8.Praying on Laylatul Qadar
2. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
3. The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
4. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,
5. Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.
9. Pray Tahajjud
Abd Allah ibn Salam (Ra) reports that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “O people! Spread the salams, feed others, maintain family ties, and pray at night when others sleep and you will enter Heaven safely.” [Tirmidhi, Hakim]
A lovely conclusion to how we should spend our lives especially in Ramadan, spread salaam i.e. love and peace, feed others, keep family relations and pray at night.
10. General Goodness
Salmaan (RA) reports, “On the last day of Sha-baan Rasulullah (SAW) addressed us and said, ‘0 people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousandmonths. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day. And has made sunnah the Taraaweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraa-idh in any other time.
This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell}, and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.”
Thereupon we said, “0 messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” Rasulullah (SAW) replied, “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk.”
“This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahan-nam.”
“Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month; Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.”
“And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa llaaha illallaah) and make much Istighfaar beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astagirfirul-laah).” And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.”
“And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from my fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.” Reported by ibn Khuzaimah in his ‘Saheeh.
The more you do the more you will gain, I have only mentioned 10 points, however there are many others such as teaching and learning, going to the Masjid, doing the Azaan etc…
Just remember this:
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu anhu): «The Prophet said, “(Allah said), ‘every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”» [Collected by al-Bukhari, Saheeh, Book 72, Hadith 811]
The reward for fasting is left to Allah and Allah will reward based on the sacrifices, sincerity and eagerness of the fasting person.
So, struggle, sacrifice, ask, give and hope.
May Allah accept all our deeds in this blessed month and give us the ability to please Him through our actions.