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Happy Ramadan!

Image"Oh People! The Month of Allah has arrived with blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. … It is a month in which Allah has invited you to be His guests. … Your prayers in it are answered, so ask your Lord with sincere intentions and pure hearts to grant you success in fasting and reciting His Book – for only the wicked are deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month." 

"Oh People! The Month of Allah has arrived with blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. … It is a month in which Allah has invited you to be His guests. … Your prayers in it are answered, so ask your Lord with sincere intentions and pure hearts to grant you success in fasting and reciting His Book – for only the wicked are deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month."

These were some of the words Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) welcomed the Holy Month of Ramadan with. It can be argued that a Muslim's spiritual journey climaxes every year during the Month of Ramadan. This can be supported by the emphasis of Quranic verses and traditions about the Month of Ramadan. 

"The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days," [Shakir 2:185].

A believer looks to two types of Quran for guidance in his or her life: The text of the Holy Quran and the Speaking Quran–Allah's representative on Earth. The Month of Ramadan is the month in which a believer reads and reflects on the text of the Quran.

Imam Al Baqir (peace be upon him) once said, "Every thing has a springtime (time to blossom), and the springtime of the Quran is the month of Ramadan."  Muslims across the globe make it a personal goal to read the entire text of the Holy Quran by the end of the month.

The Month of Ramadan is considered the month of mercy and forgiveness.  Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (peace be upon him) said, "In the month of Ramadan, you should do a lot of supplicating and asking for forgiveness–the supplications will push away hardships and asking for forgiveness will erase your sins."

Besides fasting from dawn to sunset, Muslims are encouraged to abstain from all negative traits. The Holy Messenger said, "The best of deeds in this month is to tremble away from acts forbidden by Allah."  The prophet also said, "And whoever improves his or her manners in the month, Allah will forgive him or her."

In addition to the personal discipline promoted in the Month of Ramadan, the Holy month creates an atmosphere of caring and affection. Many families and friends take the month of Ramadan as a time to reconnect. The Prophet emphasized on the importance of caring for the needy, orphans, and family in the Holy Month of Ramadan,

“Remember with your hunger and thirst in it, the hunger and thirst of the Day of Judgment … give charity to your poor and needy. … Honor your elderly and have mercy on your young. … Connect with your relatives."

Unfortunately, some may have the incorrect tendency to think of the month of Ramadan in narrow terms–the month of feasts, parties and pipe smoking.  Such thoughts, let alone actions, can violate the sanctity of the Holy Month.  While eating and spending time with relatives and friends can be blessed acts, if the gathering is not mindful of Allah, these get-togethers in the Month of Ramadan are more negative than positives.

Believers can benefit throughout the month by attending various programs available at almost every Islamic center in the area. We ask Allah to grant the believers a mindful and successful Month of Ramadan.

 

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