Valuing the Month of Ramadān
By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
We have all been blessed with the month of Ramadān many times during the course of our lives. For some, the number will be a single figure, and for others double figures. However, for the majority of us, the month of Ramadān is just another month; it comes and goes like any other.
In relation to valuing this great month, there are many questions we need to ask ourselves. We may be well acquainted with all the virtues of the month of Ramadān; but do we take advantage of these virtues? The most important way of measuring whether we value the month of Ramadān or not is to ask the question: Have we acquired the goal of Ramadān during any of the previous months of Ramadān, which is to acquire taqwā?
If we have not yet achieved this goal, then we need to ask ourselves whether we have made it an objective in this coming Ramadān? Remember that in the famous hadīth of Kā‘b ibn ‘Ujrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and Jibra’īl ‘alayhis salām cursed those who fail to attract the Forgiveness of Allāh ta‘ālā during the month of Ramadān. To help us truly value the month of Ramadān, we need to take lessons from the Ramadān of those who did value this blessed month. Let us take a glimpse at how our pious predecessors spent the month of Ramadān:
• Aswad ibn Yazīd rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān every second night in Ramadān. (Siyar-A‘lām-An-Nubalā’)
• Sa‘īd ibn Jubayr rahimahullāh would spend the time between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ [which normally people spend in resting] in tilāwah and would recite the whole Qur’ān in one sitting. (The ‘Ishā’ salāh would be delayed.) (Ibid)
• Hammād ibn Abī Sulaymān rahimahullāh would feed 500 people for iftār during Ramadān. (Ibid)
• Qatādah rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān every third day during the first twenty days of Ramadān and every night in the last ten days. (Ibid)
• Ibn Shihāb Zuhrī rahimahullāh would say, “Ramadān is nothing but for tilāwah of the Qur’ān and to feed people.” (Latā’if-ul-Ma‘ārif)
• Imām Abū Hanīfah rahimahullāh and Imām Shāfi‘ī rahimahullāh would complete the Qur’ān twice daily in the month of Ramadān, with the latter completing the Qur’ān one more time during the night of ‘Īd and yet again during the day.
• Imām Mālik rahimahullāh and Sufyān Thawrī rahimahullāh both would leave their everyday engagements and spend the whole time in the recitation of the Qur’ān. (Latā’if-ul-Ma‘ārif)
• Imām Bukhārī rahimahullāh used to complete the Qur’ān 41 times in the Month of Ramadān; once every day, once during the whole month in the tarāwīh prayer, and ten juz daily in Tahajjud salāh.
• Hājī Imdādullāh rahimahullāh never slept in the blessed month of Ramadān. After the Maghrib salāh, two huffāz led him in nafl salāh, reciting one juz each until ‘Ishā’ salāh. After ‘Ishā salāh, two huffāz would recite one after the other until half the night, and then another two huffāz would recite one after the other in Tahajjud salāh. In essence, the whole night was spent in worship.
• Hadrat Mawlānā Rashīd Ahmad Gangohī rahimahullāh, even at the age of seventy, would spend all his time in worshipping Allāh ta‘ālā, fasting - despite the heat, and performing twenty raka‘āt nafl after the Maghrib salāh, reciting at least two juz in them. He would then also spend two and a half to three hours during the night in Tahajjud salāh, amongst his many other devotions during the day.
• Shaykh-ul-Hind rahimahullāh would spend the whole night listening to the Qur’ān. It was common that he would stand in one place and the reciters would change over and take rest.
• Qāri Fatah Muhammad Pānipattī rahimahullāh during his later life would spend the time after tarāwīh salāh until subh sādiq reciting ten juz of the Qur’ān, taking extra care in tajwīd.
• Mawlānā Manzūr Nu‘mānī rahimahullāh states that Mawlānā Ilyās rahimahullāh daily average of tilāwah in Ramadān was 35 juz, with concentration and understanding of the text. Moreover, the women folk in his home, together with their daily practices of dhikr and tasbīhāt, at times, would complete a whole Qur’ān in one day.
• It is stated about Hadrat Mawlānā Yahyā rahimahullāh that, during one Ramadān which he passed in mīrat, he would recite the Qur’ān once daily and would complete it by the time of iftār.
• Shāh Abd-ur-Rahīm Raipūrī rahimahullāh used to spend the whole night reciting the Qur’ān, and in twenty four hours he would rarely sleep more than an hour.
• Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh himself completed one Qur’ān daily during the month of Ramadān, and he kept up this practice for more than forty years.
Let us also value this blessed month and make the most of this great opportunity granted to us by Allāh ta‘ālā by making full use of its every moment and by using it to maximise our rewards, acquire taqwā and achieve salvation in the Hereafter. Āmīn.
© Riyādul Jannah