The blessed month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. No doubt that the month of Ramadan is the most blessed month of the whole year. It is the only month mentioned by name by Allah SWT in the Quran.
Allah SWT has favored that blessed month with great virtues and blessings detailed as follows.
1- Revelation of the Quran
Allah SWT has chosen the month of Ramadan to be the month that had witnessed the revelation of the Quran, the last perfected Divine Book decreed to all Mankind.
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
شهر رمضان الذي أُنزل فيه القرآن هدى للناس وبيِّنات من الهدى والفرقان (البقرة- 185)
The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran has been revealed as guidance for people, with clear proofs of guidance and criterion (between right and wrong) (Albaqrah: 2-186).
Quran had been revealed as a whole during the month of Ramadan, on Lailatul Qadre, from the Preserved Tablet (Allouh Almahfuz) to the nearest heaven to the earth. It was revealed gradually afterward by the angle Jibreal to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم over twenty-three years, thirteen years in Makkah, and ten years in Madinah.
The reason for revealing Quran step by step to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was to provide, in some cases, the necessary guidelines to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions (Sahabah) concerning some events.
Allah SWT said in the Quran:
وقال الذين كفروا لولا نُزِّل عليه القرآن جملة واحدة، كذلك لنثبت به فؤادك ورتلناه ترتيلا (الفرقان: 32).
Those who disbelieve say why the Quran has not been revealed to him (the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ) all at once? The reason is that We purposed to strengthen your heart thereby, so We have revealed it in stages.
2- Revelation of other Divine Books
The blessed month of Ramadan had witnessed not only the revelation of the Quran but also the other Divine Books sent to the messengers who came before our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in hadith narrated by Tabarani and Bayhaqi:
أُنزلت صحف إبراهيم في أول ليلة من شهر رمضان، وأنزلت التوراة لست مضين من رمضان، وأنزل الإنجيل لثلاث عشرة مضت من رمضان، وأنزل الزبور لثماني عشرة خلت من رمضان، وأنزل القرآن لأربع وعشرين خلت من رمضان.
The scriptures of Ibrahim (Ibraham) were revealed on the first night of Ramadan, the Torah was revealed on the sixth day of Ramadan, Ingil (Gospel) was revealed on the thirteenth of Ramadan, Zabour (psalm) was revealed on the eighteenth of Ramadan and Quran was revealed on the twenty-fourth of Ramadan.
Based on the great honor and virtue ascribed by Allah SWT to the month of Ramadan, it has been decreed by Allah SWT to be the month of obligatory fasting in Islam. Fasting of the month of Ramadan is the Fourth pillar of Islam.
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
فمن شهد منكم الشهر فليصمه (البقرة: 186)
Whoever will witness the month of Ramadan he has to fast it (Albaqrah: 2-186).
When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked about the definition of Islam by the angle Jibreel in the famous hadith that is called Hadith Jibreel, he answered:
أن تشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، وتقيم الصلاة، وتؤتي الزكاة، وتصوم رمضان، وتحج البيت إن استطعت إليه سبيلا.
Bearing witness that there is no God but Allah SWT and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah SWT, the establishment of prayers, paying Zakah, fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hajj if the necessary means are available.
4- Lailatul Qadre
In the month of Ramadan, Allah SWT has appointed the night of Lailatul Qadre, the most blessed night in the whole year. Allah SWT has decreed that the worship of Lailatul Qadre is better than the worship of one thousand months (eighty-three years and three months).
As mentioned above Lailatul Qadre has been made sacred by Allah SWT as the night on which Quran has been revealed as a whole from the Preserved Tablet to the nearest heaven to the earth.
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر، وما أدراك ما ليلة القدر، ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر (القدر:1-3)
We have revealed it (Quran) on Lailatul Qadre and how would you know what Lailatul Qadre is, Lailatul Qadre is better than a thousand months. (Alqadre: 1-3)
During that blessed night, each year, Allah SWT ordains all the events that will happen in the following year and all the people’s affairs for that year.
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
إنا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة، إنا كنا منذرين، فيها يفرق كل أمر حكيم (الدخان: 3و4)
We have revealed it (Quran) on a blessed night (Lailatul Qadre), so as to warn (Mankind). During that night all matters of ordainment are decreed.
The blessed night of Lailatul Qadre is a night of mercy and forgiveness.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim:
من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه.
Whoever will observe the worship of Allah SWT during Lailatul Qadre, believing in Allah SWT and hoping for His reward will have his previous sins forgiven.
5- The last ten nights of Ramadan
Allah SWT has ascribed great value to the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. They are the best ten nights in the whole year and no wonder as Lailatul Qadre is hidden in those blessed nights.
Muslims are highly recommended to exert their utmost endeavors in performing worship during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan as a confirmed Sunnah by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم .
In hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim our mother Aishah said:
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يجتهد في العشر الأواخر من رمضان ما لا يجتهد في غيرها.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to perform more acts of worship in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan than any other time during the year.
In another hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, she said:
كان إذا دخل العشر أحيا الليل وأيقظ أهله وشد مئزره.
When the last ten nights of Ramadan start the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم used to stand in prayer all night, awaken his wives and get ready for performing the acts of worship.
One of the reasons for the virtue ascribed to those ten nights is the fact that Lailatul Qadre is pursued during them.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in hadith narrated by Bukhari:
تحروا ليلة القدر في الوتر من العشر الأواخر.
Try to spot Lailatul Qadre during the nights of the odd days in the last ten nights (of the month of Ramadan).
As a sign of seriousness in worshiping Allah SWT, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to make I’tkaf during those last ten nights. Hence, Muslims are recommended to follow suit and make I’tkaf during those nights. This InshaAllah will allow them the opportunity to get the blessing of successfully spotting Lailatul Qadre.
6- Omrah in Ramadan equals Hajj
One of the other virtues of the blessed month of Ramadan is that Allah SWT has made performing Omrah during that respected month will equal performing Hajj. Accordingly, we see thousands of Muslims travel to Makkah during that blessed month to perform Omrah.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has advised a Muslim woman to perform Omrah in the month of Ramadan saying to her as narrated by Bukhari and Muslim:
فإذا كان رمضان اعتمري فيه، فإن عمرة فيه تعدل حجة.
When the month of Ramadan comes make Omrah in that month as Omrah in it equals Hajj.
The scholars has explained the phrase “equals Hajj” by saying that Omrah during the month of Ramadan will equal Hajj just in reward. However, the Muslim will still have to perform Hajj if he or she has the necessary means, as a fulfillment of the duty to perform that pillar of Islam.
7- Opening the gates of Jannah and closing the gates of Hellfire
Allah SWT, by His Grace and Mercy, will let the gates of Jannah opened and the gates of Hellfire closed at the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan. As an added favor Allah SWT also will have the devils chained during that month.
This kind of Goodness of Allah SWT is metaphorical to opening the gates of Mercy and Forgiveness for Muslims and shutting down the gates of sins and errors in front of them during the blessed month of Ramadan.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim:
إذا جاء رمضان فُتحت أبواب الجنة وغُلقت أبواب النار وصفدت الشياطين.
At the start of the month of Ramadan, the gates of Jannah will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed and the devils will be chained.
8- Deliverance from Hellfire and responding to supplications
The virtuous month of Ramadan is the time for deliverance from Hellfire and answering the supplications of Muslims.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم confirmed that virtue in a hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad. He said:
إن لله عتقاء في كل يوم وليلة، لكل عبد منهم دعوة مستجابة.
On each day and night (of the month of Ramadan) Allah SWT will deliver some Muslims from Hellfire and each one of them will have a specific supplication to which Allah SWT will respond.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in another hadith narrated by Bayhaqi:
للصائم عند فطره دعوة لا ترد.
Each Muslim will have when breaking his fasting, a specific supplication to which Allah SWT will respond.
For all these virtues and blessings from our Creator, Allah SWT, Muslims should spare no efforts or endeavors to make the blessed month of Ramadan a month of serious and sincere worship. This InsahAllah will help them to get closer to Allah SWT and successfully gain His Mercy, Forgiveness, and Grace.
Written by Sayed Abutaleb, Imam of Masjid Fatima