The Sheikh begins by praising Allah…
My dear brothers, we have come to a “noble” month, and a “grand” season. Allah makes great in it the reward. He opens the doors of good for whosoever turns to them. It is the month of goodness and blessings, the month of bestowment and flourish. Ramadhan is the month in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear Signs for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). It is the month that is known for mercy, forgiveness, and safety from the Fire. The first of it is mercy, the middle of it is forgiveness, and the last of it is safety from the Fire. News of this month’s greatness and preference is widespread, and the evidences of this are well-known. As is stated in the Saheehayn (Bukhari and Muslim), “On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RA), that the Prophet (SAWS) said, ‘When Ramadhan comes, the gates of Heaven are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the Devils are chained.’” And indeed the gates of Heaven are opened in this month, for the increase in good actions and good desires from mankind. And the gates of Hell are closed for the decrease in disobedience from the People of Faith. And the Devils are chained so that they are not able to do what they would normally do otherwise.
Imam Ahmad narrates on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: My nation was given five specific things during the month of Ramadhan which no nation before us was given. The breath of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah then the smell of misk, the Angels ask for the forgiveness of the fasting one until they eat, Allah beautifies Heaven every day and says, “My righteous servants are about to be spared suffering and harm, then they will be sent to you”, the Devils are chained so that they are not able to do what they would normally do otherwise, and they are forgiven in the last night, they said, “O Messenger of Allah, are you referring to Laylatul-Qadr?, He replied, ‘No, but indeed the reward follows the good deed, once the deed is performed.’”
My brothers, these are five particular things Allah has chosen specifically for you from amongst the other Nations.
The first one, that the breath of a fasting person is more beloved to Allah than the smell of misk.This is a smell which is disliked among the people but to Allah it is better then the scent of misk because it is a result of worship and obedience of Allah. Whenever there is a sign or result of obedience and worship, it is beloved to The Exalted One, and then He rewards them with what is superior, and more preferred. Do you not see the martyr who is killed in the way of Allah with the intention of the Word of Allah to be dominant? They will come on the Day of Judgment with blood that is red, but its smell will be the smell of misk. And also during Hajj Allah (SWT) says to his Angels, “Look at my slaves who have come to me disheveled and dusty” (Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Habban in his Saheeh). This disheveled appearance is beloved to Allah in this situation because it is a sign of obedience to Him as it represents the observance of ihram and leaving of the luxuries.
The Second, the Angels ask for their forgiveness until they break their fast. Angels are noble slaves to Allah, “They do not disobey Allah in what they are commanded, and they do what they are ordered.” And they are most deserving for their du’ah to be answered for the fasting people, as soon as they are given permission to do so. When Allah gives them permission to do so, it is a proof of the greatness of the fasting person’s fast. And when the forgiveness is sought, it brings forgiveness as well as a protection from sins in this life and in the next. All of the sons of Adam are sinners who are in need of forgiveness from Allah (SWT).
The Third, Allah beautifies Heaven every day and says, “My righteous servants are about to be spared suffering and harm, then they will be sent to you.” The suffering refers to the suffering and hardships of this life. The servants hasten to do good which gives them happiness in this life as well as the next and will bring them to Dar Assalaam.
The Fourth, the Devils are locked with chains so they may not accomplish misguiding the believers from the Truth and keeping them from that which is good. This is from Allah’s help for the believer, that their enemies: the ones whom call their people to be companions of the Fire, are jailed. As a result of this, you will see the believer doing more actions that are good, and staying away from doing evil in this month more than in any other month.
The Fifth, Allah forgives for the Nation of Muhammad (SAW) in the last night of this month. If they do what is required of them in this blessed month, from fasting and praying, then Allah will reward them when they complete the deed. For indeed the good deed is rewarded at the completion of the deed.
There are 3 ways that Allah (SWT) rewards his slaves in this month. The first way is that Allah (SWT) makes these actions obligatory on us. Actions that will raise us in status and be a cause for our forgiveness. Had it not been prescribed for us, then we would not worship Allah with these actions, because actions are not performed except they are revealed to his Messenger. Allah speaks about those whom create acts of worship from other than what Allah has revealed and made it shirk. Allah (SWT) says, “Have they partners, who have established for them some religion without the permission of Allah…”
The second way is that Allah gave them the Tawfeeq (ability) to do the righteous acts that many others have neglected. Had it not been for Allah’s help then they would not have done these acts, so to Allah (SWT) is all praise and graciousness. “They make it a favor unto you that they have surrendered. Say: Deem not your Surrender a favor unto me; nay, but Allah has favored you by leading you to the Faith, if you are truthful.”
The third way is that the reward is multiplied by ten to 700 times to many more times. So the graciousness is from Allah (SWT) with the good deeds and the rewards for them, and all praise is due to Allah Lord of all the worlds.
My brothers, seeking the rewards of Ramadan is a big blessing on whoever tries to seek them by doing what they are required and by coming closer to their Lord. And by staying away from disobedience and heedlessness and forgetting about Him, and move to His remembrance. And from distancing yourself from Allah (SWT) to making yourself closer to Him.
The Sheikh recites lines of poetry about coming closer to Allah during Ramadhan…
O Allah awaken us from this heedlessness, and give us the ability to increase in Taqwah, and give us the ability to make use of our time during this special time, and forgive us and our parents and all the Muslims, with your mercy. And send your peace and blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).