Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan Mubarak, Ramadan cardRamadan mubarak everyone! Blessed Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that during this month the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained. What a tremendous opportunity! What a wonderful time to pray not only for personal forgiveness and redemption, but for freedom from oppression and evil for all people.

Our Ummah is groaning under the burden of terrible suffering. In China, Burma, Palestine, Syria, the Central African Republic and other places, Muslims are struggling for survival. We must remember these Muslims and all suffering people in our dua every day and night, for this is the month of dua, the month of prayer. The Prophet (sws) said,

“There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it (the supplication) up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]

This is also the time when we break down our physical and material selves, and build up our spiritual selves. We give up food, water and sex, and remove ourselves from all unnecessary sensual experiences and material pleasures. At the same time we devote ourselves as much as possible to prayer, supplication, reading the Quran, praising God, and using our resources to help the less fortunate.

We don't fast only to experience hunger and thirst. We do it above all as an act of worship to God, to show our love and dedication to Him, and secondly to remind ourselves that our spirits are stronger than our bodies. We are spiritual beings temporarily inhabiting physical bodies. Our spirits are powerful and immense. In Ramadan we feed these spiritual selves and watch them shine. We see them grow strong and vibrant even as the body hungers.

But Islam is the middle path, the way of balance in all things, so when the sun goes down we eat and drink - within moderation - and when the month is over we celebrate, carrying with us the growth we experienced.

Man praying salat in a fieldIn my own personal experience, I've never been spiritually stronger than at the end of a difficult Ramadan. There was the year when I was a teenager and working in the fields at the height of summer. The year in my mid twenties when I didn't have enough to eat and was working two jobs. The year when I was training intensively in martial arts during the day.

At the end of Ramadan in those years I felt so close to God, as well as to my fellow spiritual warriors.

And now we have this year, with coronavirus spreading through the world, and economies plunging. And here comes Ramadan, sent by Allah to show us what truly matters, and to keep us strong, and to guide us. Does this year present unique challenges? Of course. But within every challenge is an opportunity.

I'm not saying I wish for a difficult Ramadan. But it's a fact that for a believer, hardship strengthens the soul. The same hardship that might cause some people to become bitter or discouraged, only strengthens the stance of the believer, because as the hardship pushes down on her it roots her feet more firmly to the ground.

We fast as well to achieve Paradise, for the Prophet (sws) said, “Paradise has eight gates, and one of them is called Ar-Rayyaan, through which none will enter but those who fast.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We believe in this and we value it, and we adhere to the compact that God has made with us, which is that we worship none but Him, sincerely and purely, and He grants us Paradise. God has not promised us wealth, comfort, fame, or ease. He has promised us Paradise, the greatest reward of all. Our belief in this is a vital part of our motivation.

Ramadan holds many other lessons. It reminds us what it is to be hungry. It pulls us back from the bear traps of jealousy, anger and greed. It builds the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. It offers sustenance to the poor. It proves to us that we don't need as much food as we typically consume. It even helps our bodies in a way, as there is scientific evidence that intermittent fasting strengthens the immune system and promotes longevity. These are all personal lessons for each of us to learn according to our capacity and understanding.

Allah SWT has given us a path to walk in this life. It is the path of righteousness, self-sacrifice, compassion, generosity and love. We all wander from this path to one degree or another, but Ramadan calls us back, steering us gently or with a firm hand. It reminds us who we are, and calls forth our best selves. It purifies us and puts us through the crucible of hardship in order to bring us from darkness into light.

- Wael Abdelgawad, IslamicAnswers.com Editor

Wael and Salma at Superior Dairy, Hanford California

Wael and his daughter Salma at Superior Dairy, Hanford California

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10 Responses »

  1. May Allah accept our fasting and all the ibadah in this month.Amen

  2. Thank you, Wael. I really needed to read this. Hardship of any sort DOES strengthen the soul. Ramadan Mubarak! Hope everyone has a blessed one. May Allah accept all of our duas and prayers!

  3. Thank you for this wonderful article. It's going to work as an eye opener for me..may Allah bless us with his mercy both here in this duniya a d hereafter as well. Ramadan Mubarak to my brother and sisters in islam

  4. Assalamualaykum Everyone and thank you Brother Wael!

    Ramadan Mubarak! May 2020 be a year of particular closeness to Allah for all of us and bring serenity, contentment, and wisdom to our families, friends of all faiths, and the Muslim Ummah. During the widespread pandemic, may we and those we love be kept safe, and may we be relieved of excess worry. We at IslamicAnswers are here to help you with your concerns in these tough times when we are quarantined and some relationship problems may seem magnified. May our brothers and sisters experiencing domestic violence or other relationship struggles be given the best relief by Allah's will, Ameen.

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  5. I have always learnt alot of things from this site. Whenever i am upset i visit this site and refer to questions and answers, duas and advices. I have asked some questions on different posts, few got answered and few got ignored.
    Well i wanna wish you all a very blessed and little different Ramadan Kareem as world is into pandemic now a days.
    Just Pray for them and for me as well. I have crossed an age where a girl should get married but i can't see any sign just a tunnel of emptiness. I request you all to pray for me this Ramadan that my fair wishes come true. Ameen

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