The month of Ramadan comes with great blessings for Muslims. It has been referred to as the ‘gift’ of Allah to Muslims, and a month in which Muslims get the opportunity to shun hell fire and straighten the path of their lives. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) always emphasized on the importance of Ramadan and fasting. The importance of Ramadan can be highlighted from the fact that Ramadan was the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed as an absolute source of guidance for mankind.
Of the twelve months in the lunar year, Ramadan is the only one whose name has appeared in the Holy Quran, and Allah has also mentioned its importance. The days and nights of this holy month carry Allah’s blessings, mercy and forgiveness, and hence, are unparalleled to the days and nights of any other month in the year.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) always instructed his companions to spend every moment of this holy month in Allah’s praise and worship. On one occasion, the Hole Prophet (S.A.W) gave a complete sermon (khutba) to his companions to welcome the Ramadan. This sermon was given on the last Friday of Sha’baan, upon the advent of Ramadan, from the prayer’s pulpit (the prophet’s minbar). This sermon can be found in the book of Al-Sadooq who narrated it. This narration is based on the authority of Imam al-Rida who narrated it upon the authority of his forefathers. In this article, we take an overview of this sermon and the main points laid down by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in this sermon.
The Prophet’s (S.A.W) sermon began with words about the importance of the then approaching month of Ramadan. These words were meant to make Muslims realize the importance of the opportunity they were placed within this month. This is the opportunity for mental cleansing which leads to piety and virtuousness. The Holy Prophet began his sermon as follows:
“O people! A month has approached you laden with blessing, mercy and forgiveness; it is a month which Almighty Allah regards as the best of all months. Its days, in the sight of Almighty Allah, are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, its hours are the best of hours.”
In this statement, the Hole Prophet (S.A.W) also told that the first ten days (decade) are for mercy, the next ten days are for forgiveness and the last ten days are for freedom from hell.
In the second part of the sermon, the Holy Prophet emphasized on the practices that Muslims should adopt during this month. The Holy Prophet said:
“… you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur’an. Indeed!, miserable is the one who is deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month. While fasting, remember the hunger and thirst on the Day of Judgment. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard.”