If I make it to Ramadhan, Allah will see what good I’ll do!!
A friend of mine took a seat in the place for ‘Eid prayer, and he began to talk to himself secretly, he was going over the memories of an entire month…an entire month passed, as if it was one day. As he sat, he was going over these nights that have now left him, and the days that were now gone. He tried to link himself with some of the people that were around him, only to find the distance between them far…they entered the “battlefield” in one day, actually one hour, but he delayed and procrastinated, no, he actually slept, until they all passed him. He tried to look at them as closely as possible, but he was unable. For indeed they passed him by a great distance, and won the great big reward… My friend was searching through the “pages” of his life, through the actions that he did this past month, so that he may find something to lift up his broken soul. He turned to his record of Qur’anic recitation, and could not find one completion of the Holy Qur’an! And he would hear, not from the pious people of the past, but from news of the pious people around him, even the youth, those that finished reciting the Qur’an 5 times, even those that finished 6 times, actually those that finished the Qur’an 10 times!!
He tries to decrease his depression by turning to his record of generosity and giving to those around him and those Muslims outside of his country that are less fortunate, especially because he knows that Allah has blessed Him with wealth. But he did not do as much as those who were like him, from charity, prayer, and good deeds…a sigh…a short silence…his charity and generosity were not proportionate to what Allah gave him from wealth. The “beggar and the outcast” did not have a share of his wealth in this month, except a small trivial amount. Actually, there were those noble souls whom Allah Ta’ala saved from stinginess, who had less money, but gave more…
He turned his face away from this “record” of his life, and he tried to decrease his pain and sorrow by turning to another “record” hoping to find himself ahead of others, even if in just one area. So he turned to the “record” of the restraining or fasting of his body parts. Here his hands dropped, he remembered many nights where he allowed his eyes, ears, and tongue to do dark things…
He remembered the gatherings when he and his friends would watch television shows that would take a person off the road to Heaven in this blessed month, from supplication; to the doors of Hell is where these outrageous shows would take a person. Movies and sitcoms that a person with intellect would feel shame to watch–not to mention a believer that is aware of his heart and actions– in a month other than Ramadhan. So how about the month of Mercy and Acceptance?!
And my friend remembered, while this pain and sorrow felt as if they would split his insides, how much time he wasted watching these worldly sports and races, that made him too busy to worry about the races to the hereafter. He remembered this and he was crying for this great deception: How could he worry himself for these races which would have one winner out of 500 or more, he would concentrate, time, energy, money, and only 5,10,or even 100 people would win out of millions of competitors! He remembered this and he would admonish himself, how could he ignore the match for which the successful outcome is guaranteed?! And which success is it? The prize for our race is gardens, and the pleasure of the Merciful, and rivers, and trees, and the “companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes, like unto Pearls well-guarded”, and the success rate for the person who is sincere and follows, is 100%!! But, he loved the world in which he overstepped his bounds, and chased after!!
As he was sitting in his place in the place for ‘Eid prayer, he looked and saw some of his friends sitting and relaxing just as they were during those Ramadhan nights. He saw them in the best of moods, with nice clothes, and their smiles that they would give out everywhere. And when he looked elsewhere, he saw some of the righteous slaves of Allah, sitting in the front rows, he could see the happiness on their faces. It was as if one of them –had he not been scared to reveal his good deeds– would say with his tongue,””Come you all!” Read this my record!”…they wore new clothes just like his friends, but what a difference between this smile and that smile, and what a difference between those new clothes and those new clothes. Here his feelings began to change, and he started to ask himself questions. These guys are my friends, and I spent with them what I spent with them from time with no benefit in it, actually sometimes in what Allah has prohibited…why are they smiling?! Are they laughing and smiling because Ramadhan is over with or what? Or are they happy for letting themselves follow their desires? Or because they have on new clothes, or what? And he remembered at this moment something he heard in the ‘Eid khutbah last year, “’Eid isn’t happiness for those that wear new clothes, but it is for those whom Allah is pleased with of his slaves, and those that were rescued from the great torment.”
As he was going about asking himself these questions, he would look to those righteous people, and he remembered what he read in some books, that the righteous people are happy with ‘Eid because Allah has completed His blessings on them by letting them live to see Ramadhan and finish it, and they have hope that their Noble Lord will accept it from them. And he remembered the words that the Imam of his mosque said, the words which Imam Ibn Kathir used to say when Ramadhan came, “Oh Allah let me reach Ramadhan peacefully with blesssings, and make Ramadhan full of blessings and peace for me, and accept Ramadhan from me peacefully with blessings.”
My friend left the ‘Eid prayer area, and made to himself a truthful promise, and he swore and guaranteed, and he said to himself, “If Allah Ta’ala allows me to live to the upcoming Ramadhan, then He will see what good I will do!! And I will experience the happiness that these righteous people have experienced.”
This, my beloved brother, feeling of repentance on being sinful, came very fast while he was in the ‘Eid prayer area, waiting for the prayer to start, amongst the Muslims during ‘EidulFitr last year. And it is a certain feeling that every believer has felt in their heart, to do good in this noble month and it has a great and high status with Allah.
Days passed, and the month of Ramadhan returned, and he today has the determination and firm will, with the permission of Allah, to make his days and nights busy in this blessed month, as much as possible! And another thing that made him gain determination besides just looking at those around him, was that death took a person from his family, and also a person that lived in his district died as well. Through all of this he thanked Allah for allowing him to live until he reached this day hoping that his Lord will accept from him this noble month, but his heart is torn desiring this month…
Why does he not desire it and he hears about its great virtues? Is it not the month of Qu’ran, mercy, supplication, forgiveness and acceptance? Why would he not desire this month when he heard the sayings of the Prophet (SAW): “Whoever fasts Ramadhan with faith and anticipation, his previous sins are forgiven.”? “Whoever stands in prayer in Ramadhan with faith and anticipation, his previous sins are forgiven.”? “Whoever worships in laylatulQadr with faith and anticipation, his previous sins are forgiven.”? Is this something blameworthy?! And the one who is promising him these rewards, is not some satellite TV show, it is Muhammad (SAW).
Is he blameworthy for his desire of this month when he hears the words of the Prophet (SAW): “Whenever Ramadhan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”
Do not blame him, my loved ones, for he knows that the gates of Paradise aren’t opened and the gates of Hell aren’t closed because of the angels! Or because of the mountains! Or because of the trees! The gates of Paradise are opened because of him and his believing brothers the humans and the jinns. Yes! Because of him, out of all the creation of the heavens and the earth! And the doors of Hell were closed because of him. Should he be blamed because of his happiness and excitement for this month?! Who will now blame him when he hears the words of the Prophet (SAW): “Whoever reads the Qur’an then for every letter will be 10 rewards.” And they know that the Qur’an has approximately 300,000 words, so that in one completion of the Qur’an that equals 3 million good deeds!? And the bounty of Allah is much greater than this, and we are not trying to count or calculate it, so if the good deed is multiplied to 700 times, then who is able to count this?!
So we ask Allah (ta’ala) and he is the most bountiful and generous, to make us and our noble brother busy our lives with acts that are pleasing to Him, and that our sins will not prevent us from His blessings, and that we don’t return to the worst of our actions. Indeed Allah is generous to what He wills, He is the most knowing, the most wise.
By: Sheikh ‘Umar bin Abdullah alMuqbil (Hafedhullah)