In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
Praise is for Allah, Lord of all beings.
May Allah bless and grant peace to our Liegelord Muhammad, his folk, companions and those who follow them in excellence until the last day.
To our beloved elders, brothers and sisters in Islam,
As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. We ask Allah that He grant us, you and all Muslims His Mercy and that He turn to us that we may return to Him in repentance. Amin.
Some of you have asked for advice about preparing for Ramadan. So, with Allah’s aid, we can only respond by reminding ourselves and you of that which our teachers have advised us.
Bayhaqi narrated in the Branches of Faith, on the authority of Jabir Bin Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“My nation (ummah) was granted in Ramadan five things that no Prophet prior to me was given. As for the first, when it is the first night of the month of Ramadan, Allah, Mighty and Majestic, gazes to them and the one to whom Allah looks, He does not punish him, ever. As for the second, the smell of their mouths in the afternoon is more pleasant to Allah than the fragrance of musk. As for the third, the angels seek forgiveness for them in each day and night. As for the fourth Allah, Mighty and Majestic, commands His Paradise, He says to it, ‘Prepare yourself and adorn yourself for my slaves, they are about to take rest from the toil of the world to My Abode and My Generosity.’ And as for the fifth, when it is the last night, they are forgiven, all of them.” So a man from the people said, “Is it the Night of Power?” And the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, “No, do you not see that if labourers work, when they finish their tasks, they are given their wages?”
The first work of Ramadan that our teachers have advised us to perform is to expose ourselves to this gaze of Allah which the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us of in the aforementioned tradition. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us, Allah looks to the hearts.
Habib Umar (Allah preserve him) advised the students of Dar al-Mustafa this afternoon and evening that Allah should see in our hearts poverty (extreme neediness) for Him. This is the real meaning of prostration.
Allah should also see from us on the first night of Ramadan sincere remorse and genuine repentance from all the wicked actions of our lives up to this point. In addition to this we should have mercy in our hearts for all of His creation and have a sincere desire for the guidance of all morally responsible beings on the surface of the Earth. Allah shows mercy to those who are merciful.
Another manner of preparing our hearts for Allah’s gaze that our teachers have shown us by example is forgiving everyone. So following their example, with Allah’s aid, we absolve everyone from any of our rights that may have been transgressed and sincerely request forgiveness from all of you for any wrong we may have done to any of you. We implore those who know of something we owe them to either request it from us or absolve us, and may Allah accept.
During Ramadan our teachers have advised us not to do anything with our limbs that would be a cause of sorrow for the heart of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).
We ask Allah to bless all of us this Ramadan and that He aid us in our fasting, praying and recitation of Quran. We ask Him to cast His Gaze on us all on the first night of this Ramadan and that He forgive us our sins and raise us in degrees of nearness to Him and His beloved Prophet. May Allah bless him, his folk and companions and grant them peace.
Please keep Shaykh AbdulKareem, his family, his teachers, the Ummah and this needy student in your much required duas during this blessed month of Ramadan. Allahumma Ameen.