RAMADAN: CHARACTERISTICS AND VIRTUES

Praise be to Allaah.

Ramadaan is one of the twelve Arabic months.

It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following:

1 – Allaah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ
وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْه
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…”[al-Baqarah 2:185]

and it was narrated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said:
بني الإسلام على خمس شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله , وأن محمدا عبد الله ورسوله , وإقام الصلاة , وإيتاء الزكاة ، وصوم رمضان , وحج البيت
“Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka’bah).”

2 – Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in this month, as He says in the verse quoted above (interpretation of the meaning):
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ
هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
إنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree).” [al-Qadr 97:1]

3 – Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ . وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ .
لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ .
تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ .
سَلامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn” [al-Qadar 97:1-5]

إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنْذِرِينَ
“We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al‑Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]” [al-Dukhaan 44:3]

Allaah has blessed Ramadaan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said:
أَتَاكُمْ رَمَضَانُ شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ ,
تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ , وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ ,
وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ , لِلَّهِ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ,
مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ
“There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said:
مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
“Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.

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