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April 21, 2014 | Jumada Al-Thani 20, 1435
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IslamiCity > Articles > Approaching Ramadan
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Recite the Qur'an and glorify [God], with diligent assertion. Indeed! It is a month for glorification and the Qur'an.
Audio Approaching Ramadan

Approaching Ramadan
7/5/2013 - Religious Education Family - Article Ref: ZI0709-3369
Number of comments:
By: Zaid Shakir
Zaytuna Institute - Zaytuna.org* -

The beginning of the Blessed Month of Ramadan; we pray that this blessed month is a time of spiritual renewal for all of you, a time when you are able to fully benefit from the many Divine Gifts that have been offered to the worshipper during this most special season. Those who have failed to take advantage of the months of Rajab and Sha'ban to prepare for the blessed month of Ramadan should be especially careful to take full advantage of the latter month. Reflect on the poet's words:

Harken! O you who was not content to sin throughout Rajab.

His rebellion against his Lord had to continue the duration of Sha'ban.

The month of fasting has now come to shade and shelter you,

Do not transform it also into a month of sinning.

Recite the Qur'an and glorify [God], with diligent assertion. 

Indeed! It is a month for glorification and the Qur'an.

Deny your bodily appetites, seeking your soul's salvation.

Eventually, the earth will consume the body.

How many deceased people have you known who fasted?

Amongst your family, neighbors, and brothers.

Death has erased them, leaving you behind.

Get serious [about your religion], for the living are quite close to the dead!

You take delight in the 'Eid outfits being cut out now for the festival.

But soon they will be your burial shrouds.

How long will the person be happy with his worldly home?

Knowing that his ultimate home is the grave. [1]

We pray that this month is a means for our spiritual ascension. When our spirits are ascendant, and our carnal lusts retreat, we will be able to engage in the type of fast described by one of our righteous forebears when he advised: Fast your entire lifetime. Make death your 'Eid! Life itself is a fast for the righteous. Their fast is from all forbidden lusts. When death comes to them their fast has ended. At that time they find the new moon of 'Eid. [2] We encourage all of the believers to try to adhere to all of the Sunans of Ramadan. Even though the days are still relatively short and cool, everyone should attempt to take the pre-dawn meal (Sahur), no matter how small, and hasten to break the fast, once the sunset has been confirmed. The purpose of the month is to grow in obedience to the Lawgiver. This is facilitated by scrupulously adhering to all of the rulings related to the fast. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those who preceded you; that perhaps you will be mindful of God. Al-Qur'an 2:183 We encourage everyone to be especially generous during this blessed month. Our beloved Prophet , was normally exceedingly generous. In Ramadan, he was even more benevolent. Ibn 'Abbas, May Allah be pleased with him and his father, relates: "The Prophet , was the most generous of people. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel would meet him and review the Qur'an with him. Gabriel would come to him every night of Ramadan to review the Qur'an. During these times, the Messenger of Allah , was more generous than the freely blowing wind." Al-Bukhari and Muslim We encourage everyone to read through the Qur'an at least once. Those who can read the Arabic script should do so in Arabic, even if they do not fully understand what they are reading. They should also try to read through the English translation. Those who are unable to read Arabic, should try to read through the entire English translation. Ramadan is, among other things, a celebration of the Qur'an. We should join the celebration by reading the Book of God much during this blessed month. Our Imams, Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi'i, and others, May God have Mercy on them all, would cease teaching Hadith and Jurisprudence during Ramadan and devote themselves exclusively to the Qur'an. God says, concerning His Majestic Book: The Month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, [containing] clear proofs of guidance, and the criterion of distinguishing right from wrong. Al-Qur'an 2:185We encourage everyone to refrain from all of the ruinations of the tongue during Ramadan. In his seminal work,"Quickening the Religious Sciences," Imam al-Ghazali mentions them as the following: 

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