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The Prophet reportedly said, “The best of generations is my generation, then those which follow them, then those which follow them.” [Muslim].

One of the greatest objectives and focus points of Ramadan is that of purification of the soul. Ramadan is a great opportunity to become a stronger believer, to purify oneself of ill vices, to strengthen one’s self-discipline and perseverance, and to fulfill one’s potential.

This article is a summary of the Prophet’s Companions understanding about the importance and spirituality contents of Ramadan.  Here we shall learn about the Prophet’s practice during Ramadan, and that of the early generations of believers. Of course it is a knowledge we shall appreciate and the most reasonable route to follow by us. 

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah said: “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.” [Bukhārī].

Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd  reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah saw the crescent moon, he would say: “O Allah, bring it over us with blessings and faith, safety and Islam. My Lord and your Lord is Allah” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī].

The great companion Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah narrated that two men came to the Messenger of Allah and became Muslim together. After accepting Islam one of them would strive harder than the other. The one who used to strive harder went out to fight in the way of Allah and was martyred. The other man who accepted Islam at the same time as the martyr lived a year longer, then he also passed away. Later Talha  reported that he saw in a dream that he was at the gate of Paradise and he saw those two men that had died. Then through the gates of Paradise someone came out and admitted the one who had died last into Jannah, then he came out again and admitted the one who died first as a martyr. Then he came back to Talha  and said: ‘Go back, for your time has not yet come.’

The next morning, Talha told the people of the dream and they were amazed. News of that reached the Messenger of Allah and they told him the story. The Prophet said: “Why are you so amazed at that?” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, the first one was the one, who strove harder, and he died a martyr in the cause of Allah, but the other man (who did not strive as hard and was not a martyr) was admitted to Paradise before him?”  The Messenger of Allah said: “Did he (the second man) not live for another year?” They said: “Yes.” The Prophet asked: “And did not Ramadan come and he fasted, and he offered such and such prayers during that year?” They said: “Yes.”  The Messenger of Allah said: “The difference between them is greater than the difference between the heaven and the earth.” [Ibn Mājah].

 If you’re blessed with just one more Ramadan, take advantage of the opportunity Allah has given you, for the departed would wish to come back for such a blessed opportunity.  Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah said when the month of Ramadan began:  “Verily, this month has presented itself to you. There is a night within it that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all good. None is deprived of its good but that he is truly deprived.” [Sunan Ibn Mājah]. The Messenger of Allah also said: “Verily, Allah has people He redeems in every day and night of Ramadan. Every servant among them has a supplication that will be answered.” [Musnad Aḥmad].

When Ramadan came, Al-Zuhri discontinued the study of hadith and he concentrated on reciting the Qur’an. Similarly, Sufyan Al-Thawri left all other voluntary forms of beneficial knowledge and concentrated on the Qur’an. It was reported that Imam Mālik would teach the people (year-round), then when the month of Ramaḍān would come, he would free up his time to fast and to recite the Qur’an. This Qur’an is an Inspiration, a light, a healing, and a guidance, as Allah has described it:

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab used to pray at night what he wished, until it was in the middle of the night, when he would wake up his family to pray; then he would say to them “al-salah, al-salah (prayer… prayer)”, and would recite this āyah: The Prophet was the most generous of people, and he was even more generous during Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah also said, “The best charity is one given during Ramadan.” [al-Tirmidhi].

May Allah accept our efforts this Ramadan and beyond. Amin

Edited by: Abdulfattah Abdussalam

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