Ramadan is just around the corner. A month of fasting from sunrise until sunset but so much more than that. The month of mercy. The month when the Qur’an was revealed. This is a month when good deeds are multiplied. When Muslims come together like never before. When Muslim women who don’t normally wear the hijab, strive and make the effort to do so in this month. Muslim men who struggle to pray their five daily prayers, let alone make it to Jumu’a, are going to the masjid every night for taraweeh prayers – including many women. People whose Qur’ans have gotten dusty on their shelves, read the whole Qur’an in one month. People who smoke manage to quit, cold turkey with no help, for the purpose of fasting. Young Muslims addicted to music don’t listen to a single song.
Muslims find what they are truly capable of in this month. It is a glimpse at the level of faith and number of good deeds we can all do when we have the motivation and drive.
The Messenger of Allah SAW told us that when the month of Ramadan approaches, the 8 doors of Jannah are opened and the 7 doors of Hellfire are closed. The forgiveness of Allah is released.
The shayateen are locked up in this month and this is due to the mercy of Allah.
When Allah created Adam AS, He told the angels that he would create a human being made out of clay. They asked Allah:
“Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”
Allah told the angels to bow down to his creation – Adam AS. They did so. Iblis (shaytaan) had a high status with the angels, although he was a jinn; and he refused to bow down.
‘I am better than him. You created him from clay and you created me from fire.’
The angels are created from noor; the jinn from fire and human beings from clay.
Within human beings, Allah has placed in us each a special soul; He has honoured us and favoured us with that. Human beings have free will and choice when we choose to worship Allah, whereas the angels do not.
Iblis said he would steer and lead astray Allah’s creation.
Iblis said to Allah, I shall come to them from the front, from behind, from the left and right. You will not find the majority of them ungrateful.
When he comes from behind this is direct and in the form of deception; he will make you see a reality which is actually false; he makes you afraid and gives false promises. When he comes from the front it is also direct; everything you see and hear, your friends in front of you, anything which distracts and tempts you.
When he comes from the right and left, shaytaan comes from a distance because of the angels on your shoulders.
Iblis did not say he would come to us from above because Allah is above us. When we lift a hands in du’a, when we call to Allah; He is close. He is with us.
Iblis did not say he would come to us from below. When we make sujood in prayer, that is when we are closest to Allah.
There are shayateen in jinns and humans. A shaytaan is someone who has increased to a very extreme point in their kuffar and arrogance. You can seek refuge from jinn shaytaan, by saying words of remembrance, praying, reciting the adhaan etc. and they are gone. Jinn shayateen are locked away in the month of Ramadan. They know they are going to be imprisoned so they prepare for this absence via: the human shayateen.
Not only that but before Ramadan, shaytaan is whispering in your ear, placing doubts and planting seeds which will sow throughout the month of Ramadan. This is why it is important for us to prepare for Ramadan in advance.
Iblis said: I will deter them all and lead them astray except… your servants among them who are sincere. This means the ones who are pious whether people are around them or not; the ones who do not do it for show. They are genuine and they perform good deeds for the sake of Allah, not for recognition from people.
When shaytaan is locked up in Ramadan, we still get whispers and desires; we are still lazy and tempted. This is when it is our nafs. The shayateen are chained up but our own nafs remains.
When we fast our energy levels decrease. When this happens, people don’t feel like being too active or going out as much. If a haraam thought comes to your mind, it may be that your low energy levels mean you do not follow it through.
Our nafs can lead us astray but it can be nurtured and purified with dhikr, with reading or reciting the Qur’an, with any good deeds.
For every good deed that you do there is a set amount of hasanat given for it and in Ramadan this is multiplied by 70 (another mercy from Allah!!).
Every action we do is for us – except, for fasting. Fasting is only for Allah and only Allah knows the reward for fasting…
May we all reach Ramadan and be able to fast, make the most of it and carry out as many good deeds as we can. May we all earn Allah’s forgiveness in Ramadan and may we finish the month as a better Muslim. Ameen.