Wednesday 22 June 2016

Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 15 – Happy (or Reasons to be Happy about Ramadan)

One of the things that I and my best friend do when either of us is down is ask the question “Tell me 10 things that make you happy right now?”

I thought I would have fun with this prompt and give myself some things to feel good about. We are also just passing half way through the blessed month and I thought it would be good to remind myself of the great many benefits of this month.

42 Reasons to be Happy about Ramadan:

1. It is a special opportunity for us to develop and build on our relationship with Allah (SWT)

2. It is the month of the Quran and an opportunity for us to re-engage with the Quran

3. It’s an opportunity for us to increase our God-consciousness: Allah says [meaning]: "O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain Taqwa" (Quran, 2:183)

4. This month is the one opportunity in the year to fulfil the fourth pillar of Islam: sawm or fasting

5. The shayateen are locked up for the month

6. The doors of hell are closed

7. The doors of Jannah are open

8. Fasting saves us from the hell fire: "Allah said 'Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it. The fast is a shield." (Bukhari)

9. Every night during this month Allah frees people from the hell fire: “At every breaking of the fast, Allah has people whom He redeems.” (Ahmad, 5/256)

10. During this month our dua's (prayer and supplications) are answered: "There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted." (Al-Bazzaar, Ahmad)

11. During Ramadan we have the chance to have our prayers answered every day and night: "every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.” (Al-Bazzaar, Kashf 962)

12. This month presents an opportunity for having our sins forgiven: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari, 2014; Muslim, 760)

13. Even Allah’s (SWT) creation prays for our forgiveness during this month: "On their behalf the fish in the sea seek forgiveness for the fasting persons until they break their fast." (Ahmad)

14. The taraweeh prayer falls in Ramadan: "Whoever observes night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out." (Muslim)

15. Praying the taraweeh prayer is like praying the whole night: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” (Abu Dawood, 1370)

16. In Ramadan our non-obligatory deeds are as valuable as our obligatory deeds outside of Ramadan: “He who performs any righteous voluntary act within it, will be rewarded like one who does an obligatory act at any time other than during Ramadan” (narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah)

17. Lailatul Qadr (The Night of Power) falls during this month - a night which is better than a thousand months

18. The Night of Qadr is full of peace: (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn” (Quran, 97:1-5)

19. For those who undertake Umrah (pilgrimage) during this month the reward is so very great: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) then told her: “When the month or Ramadan arrives, go for ‘umrah, because `umrah in Ramadan is like accompanying me on Hajj.” (Bukhari, 1764).

20. The last ten days of the sacred month bring us the opportunity for seclusion for worship (ithekaf)

21. There is increased reward for those who love to share food and feed the fasting: “O People! One who gives Iftaar to a fasting person during this month will be like one who has freed someone and his past sins will be forgiven" (narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah).

22. There are great rewards even for giving a fasting person some water: “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.” (narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah).

23. Fasting gives us the opportunity to think of the hunger and thirst of the day of Judgement: "...Remember the hunger and thirst of the day of Qiyamah (Judgement) with your hunger and thirst." (narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah).

24. We spend less time eating and thinking about food, giving us more time for other productive activities

25. Fasting encourages good manners: "If one is fasting, he should not use foul language, raise his voice, or behave foolishly. If someone reviles him or fights with him, he should say, 'I am fasting,' twice." (Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa'i)

26. Fasting creates a sense of community and a shared experience amongst Muslims.

27. Whoever shows kindness to his fasting employees is freed from the fire of hell: “Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam” (narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah).

28. There are blessings in the dawn meal: “Eat suhoor; Indeed, there is a blessing in suhoor.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

29. Waking up for the dawn meal gives us the opportunity to pray Tahajjud salah (the night prayer)

30. Waking up in the night for the dawn meal allows us to experience the tranquil small hours of the night without the noise and distractions of the day

31. Food tastes amazing after fasting all day, even water

32. Your sense of smell becomes heightened when you are fasting

33. Fasting for long hours, especially in the heat, helps us to have empathy for those who suffer hunger every day and keep them in the forefront of our thoughts

34. Ramadan is also the month of charity, the Beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to spend in Ramadan more than any other month.

35. Many people give their zakat, the annual amount of 2.5% of their wealth, during Ramadan. Zakat is an obligation on all Muslims, a means to purify our wealth and a way to help those in need starting with those nearest to us such as poor relatives. 

36. Muslims pay Sadaqatul Fitr during Ramadan for each member of their household. This sadaqah or charity helps to take care of the needs of poor households near to Eid.

37. Ramadan is an excellent time to start good habits in our eating, worship and the way we spend our time.

38. Ramadan is an excellent time for Muslims to try and stop bad habits, such as smoking, overeating, missing prayers and not making time to read the Quran

39. The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure (source) and fasting promotes detoxification and can encourage weight loss (source

40. Fasting for Ramadan is like fasting for ten months: Whoever fasts Ramadan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.” (Ahmad, 21906)

41. At the end of Ramadan the Muslims are rewarded by Allah (SWT): "On the last night of Ramadan they are forgiven”. The Sahaabah (RA) thereupon enquired, “0 Messenger of Allah, is that last night Laylatul Qadr? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied, “No. But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his service”.

42. All of those fasting are also rewarded with our feast day of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end.

What reasons would you add to this list?  Add in the comments insh'Allah :)

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