Welcoming Ramadān by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah


 
 
Welcome to the month of goodness and mercy, the month of repentance and forgiveness, the month of remembering Allah and reading the Qur’an. The arrival of Ramadān is a joyous occasion and a great blessing. So let’s welcome this generous month and this noble season. 

The righteous believers cannot help but rejoice at the arrival of Ramadān. It is the month wherein they develop their piety and faith through the exercise of willpower and self-restraint. 

How can we not rejoice when we recall the numerous blessings Allah has prepared for us, and how He will forgive us our sins and reward us for our good deeds many times over? How can the believers not rejoice at the prospect of Tarāwīh prayer by which our sins are forgiven and past mistakes wiped away? How can we not rejoice at the Night of Decree, Laylah al-Qadr, a night that is better than a thousand months? 

How can we not rejoice at the month of the Qur’an, the month of remembering Allah and the spiritual climate that spreads its sweet fragrance everywhere. It is the month when our souls are at ease and our hearts feel large and full of goodness. This is Allah’s grace. “Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice.” [Sūrah Yūnus: 58] 

The month of Ramadān makes all believers rejoice and puts their hears at ease. It is a time to develop ourselves spiritually, where we can rid ourselves of bad ingrained habits and develop good ones. We need to appreciate this opportunity and the powerful effect it can have on us. The extra worship we are encouraged to engage in during this month, whether great or small, should have a lasting and substantial effect. It does not have to be something transient or seasonal. 

The month of Ramadān is an intensive course in faith. We engage in various acts of worship in turn: prayer, fasting, charity, and reading the Qur’an. When we learn to understand and appreciate why these acts of worship are prescribed for us and therefore offer them correctly, we derive the full benefit from them and they have a profound effect on our lives. As Allah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it had been prescribed for those who came before you, that perchance you can be God-fearing.” [Sūrah al-Baqarah: 183] 

Many of the great and blessed events in our history took place in Ramadān. The greatest of these is the revelation of the Qur’an. It is therefore a month of commemoration as well as a month of worship and active engagement. Therefore, its arrival deserves our warmest welcome, and the best way we can give it that welcome is to develop a deep understanding of great virtue of this month and the worship we are about to engage in. 

We should prepare for the arrival of this special month by purifying our hearts and increasing our portion of worship. We should strive to make our intentions sincere to Allah alone and turn to Him in repentance. We should get ourselves ready to benefit from the spiritual opportunities this month provides and the chance to be among the righteous.

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