HOLY RAMADHAN & SINCERITY
At the advent of the holy
month of Ramadhan, The Holy Prophet (saww) delivered a sermon in which
he (saww) said to the Muslims:
“O People! Verily the month of Allah has come to you with blessings,
mercy and forgiveness. It is a month that is considered by Allah as the
best of all months; its days are best of all days; its nights are best
of all nights; and its hours are best of all hours. It is a month in
which you have been invited to become guests of Allah and you have been
made in it the favourites of Allah. Your breaths in this month are
counted as glorifications (of God); your sleep is considered as worship;
your (good) actions in it are accepted; and your invocations therein are
end of this sermon, Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) asked, “O Prophet
of Allah! What is the best deed one can perform in this month?” The
Holy Prophet (saww) replied, “O Abul-Hasan!
The best deed in this month is to become cautious (and safeguard)
against forbidden things”. (Meezan al-Hikmah)
to derive maximum spiritual benefit from any good action that we perform
in compliance with the commands of Allah (SWT), the most important thing
that is required is
means ‘purity and sincerity of intention’. Our intention of those deeds
should be clearly for the sake of Allah (SWT). This means that we should
not be fasting in this month only because we have to, or we should not
engage ourselves in extra prayers simply because everyone else does so,
rather we should ensure that our every good act should be for the sake
of Allah (SWT). This indeed is what Allah (SWT) wants from us and this
indeed is what will please Him.
“Verily We have sent down the book to you with truth; so worship Allah
and be sincere to Him in religion”.
“Say (O Muhammad): I am commanded to worship Allah, sincerely devoted to
Him in religion”.
Prophet (saww) said,
“Perform your deeds purely for Allah, for verily Allah does not accept
(the deeds) except from the one who sincerely performs for His sake”.
the obligatory acts of the holy month of Ramadhan is to fast – which
means to abstain from certain things from dawn to dusk. The question
is why has Allah (SWT) commanded us to abstain from all those things?
In reality, if we careful
reflect, the things that we have been commanded to abstain from in the
month of Ramadhan are the same things that usually hinder us from
getting closer to Allah (SWT). By making us abstain from them, Allah (SWT),
with His Mercy, is actually training us to become sincere to Him thereby
getting closer to Him and earning His pleasure.
Prophet Musa (a.s.) once asked Allah (SWT) to show him a creature of His
who had purified himself for His worship and was unpolluted in his
obedience towards Him. Musa (a.s.) was instructed to go to the shores of
a certain sea where he would see what he desired for. Musa (a.s.) did as
instructed and observed that on a branch of a tree that drooped over the
water, sat a bird engrossed in remembrance of Allah (SWT). The bird said
to Prophet Musa (a.s.), “From the time Allah has created me, I have been
on this branch engrossed in the remembrance of Allah and His worship..”
When Musa (a.s.) asked the bird if it desired any thing from this world,
the bird said that it yearned to taste a drop of water from the sea.
Musa (a.s.) exclaimed, “But there does not exist a great distance
between your beak and the water! Why don’t you dip your beak and drink
it?” Thereupon the bird replied, “Out of fear lest the enjoyment derived
from the water should make me heedless of the pleasure of the
remembrance of my Lord”. Musa (a.s.) clasped his head in astonishment.
(a.s.) has said, “Allah (SWT) has made
obligatory… the fasting to test the sincerity of the creatures”.