Virtues of Ramadan: Hadith 01
Salman RA reports: "On the last day of Sha'baan Rasulullah (SAW) addressed us and said:
"O' people - there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day; and has made sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed - for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh (obligatory act) in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraa-idh (obligatory acts) in any other time.
This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (Paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one's fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer's rizq (provisions) is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (Hell), and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that person's reward being decreased in the least."
Thereupon we said: "O' Messenger of Allah (SAW), not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast."
Rasulullah (SAW) replied: "Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk."
Rasulullah (SAW) then continued - "This is a month - the first of which brings Allah's mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannam. Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bondsmen) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam. And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do.
Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that -
(1) you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa llaaha illallaah) and
(2) make much Istighfaar beg Allah's forgiveness withAstagirfirullaah).
And as for those without which you cannot do -
(1) you should beg of Allah, entrance into Paradise, and
(2) ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.
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."
COMMENTARY All the points which this Hadith draws attention have been further emphasised in numerous other hadith on the great virtues of Ramadan. Quite a number of important points are brought to our notice here. Firstly, it should be noted that Rasulullah SAW delivered this sermon at the end of the month of Sha'baan. The obvious reason being that he (SAW) intended to put into our minds the great importance of Ramadan, so that we could remember and not allow one second of this month to go by without giving it the full importance it deserves. Thereafter attention is drawn to Laylatul Qadr. (We will cover more in future posts Insha Allah.) Then attention is drawn to the fact that fasting has been made compulsory by Allah who also made sunnah the Taraweeh Solat by night. From this Hadith it is noted that the command for Taraweeh prayers too comes from Allah Himself. Besides this - in all the hadith wherein Rasulullah SAW says, "I have made it sunnah", the purpose is to emphasise its great importance. A vast majority of muslims agree upon the fact that Taraweeh is Sunnah, and although there is still a controversy on the the number of raka'ats - with some claiming eight and others twenty, and it should be held in the mosque in congregation (for men), and the whole Qur'an should be recited in it. I have heard of muslim towns in which if the people fail to perform Taraweeh prayers, the Muslim ruler should make them do so by force.