Advice from Shaykh Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) to the Muslimeen
It was authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah that he used to herald the glad tidings of the advent of the month of Ramadhaan to his Companions and inform them that all the doors of mercy and Paradise are opened in this month, the doors of Hell are closed, and devils are chained in fetters. The Prophet said:
When it is the first night of the month of Ramadhaan, the devils and rebellious jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened, and not one gate of it is closed and a caller cries out: ‘O seeker of good, proceed; O seeker of evil, desist.’ And Allaah has those whom He redeems from the Fire, and that happens every night.
The Prophet said: “There has come to you the month of Ramadhaan, a month of blessing, in which Allaah covers you with grace, sending down mercy, forgiving sins and answering supplication. Allaah looks at your competition in doing good therein, and boasts of you before His angels. So show Allaah goodness from yourselves, for truly the wretched person is the one who is deprived of the Mercy of Allah during this month.”
And the Prophet said: Anyone who fasts the month of Ramadhaan, out of eemaan (faith) and Ihtisab (confident anticipation of Allaah’s Reward), will have their past sins forgiven. And anyone who spends the nights of Ramadhaan in Qiyaam (optional Night Prayer), out of eemaan and Ihtisab, will have their past sins forgiven. And anyone who spends Laylat-ul-Qadr in Qiyaam, out of eemaan and Ihtisab, will have their past sins forgiven.
Every good deed of the son of Aadam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says: With the exception of Sawm (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward for it; one abandons their desire and food for My Sake. The fasting person will have two joys: a joy at the time of Iftar (breaking the fast), and a joy when they meet their Lord. And the mouth odor (of a fasting person) is sweeter to Allaah than the fragrance of musk.
There are many ahadeeth indicating the merit of fasting Ramadhaan, praying Qiyaam during its nights, and the merit of Sawm as an act of worship. Therefore, believers must seize this opportunity to benefit from Ramadhaan, hasten to do good deeds and avoid sins, and do their best to fulfill the duties enjoined by Allaah on them; especially the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers which are the Pillar of Islaam and the greatest Faridhah (obligatory act of worship) after the Shahaadatayn (Testimonies of Faith). So every Muslim man and woman must keep performing them regularly on their due time with tranquility and Khushu‘ (the heart being attuned to the act of worship).
For men, one of the most important obligations of Salaah is to offer it in congregation in the Masjid which Allaah has ordered to be raised and that His Name be glorified therein. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: And perform As-Salât and give Zakât, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allâh) along with Ar-Râki‘ûn.
And: Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawât (the prayers) especially the middle Salât (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr). And stand before Allâh with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salât (prayer)].
And: Successful indeed are the believers.Those who offer their Salât (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. until the aayaat saying: And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawât (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours).These are indeed the inheritorsWho shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.
The Prophet said: The covenant between us and them is Salaah; anyone who abandons it has committed Kufr (disbelief).
The second most important Faridhah after Salaah is giving Zakaah (obligatory charity) as Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states: And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salât and give Zakât, and that is the right religion.
Also: And perform As-Salât and give Zakât and obey the Messenger (Muhammad – peace be upon him) that you may receive mercy (from Allâh). The Great Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His noble Prophet (peace be upon him) indicate that those who do not give the Zakaah due on their wealth shall be punished for withholding it on the Day of Resurrection.
The most important matter after Salaah and Zakaah is to fast Ramadhaan as it is one of the Five Pillars of Islaam mentioned in the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Islaam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no diety worthy of worship (in truth) except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; performing Salaah (Prayer), giving Zakaah (obligatory charity); fasting Ramadhaan; and going on pilgrimage to the House (Ka‘bah).
Muslims must protect their fasting and night praying during Ramadhaan against any words and deeds forbidden by Allaah. By fasting, what is meant is to obey Allaah (may He be Praised), honor the sacred Ordinances of Allaah, struggle with oneself to go against its desires and obey its Lord; training it to be patient against committing what Allaah has forbidden. It is not meant to only give up food, drink and the rest of things that break Sawm. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Sawm (Fasting) is a shield; so when one of you is fasting they should not speak bad words or be boisterous, and if some person fights or insults them, let them say, ‘I am a fasting person.’ And: Whoever does not give up false speech (i.e. telling lies) and acting in accordance with it, and ignorant conduct, Allah has no need of them giving up their food and drink.
Through these texts and others, it is learned that one who fasts must take care not to do what Allaah forbids and be steadfast in doing what Allaah has enjoined, hoping that Allaah may forgive them, set them free from the Fire, and accept their fasting and night prayers.
As to the matters that people may not be aware of, they are as follows:
First among them: It is obligatory on the Muslim to fast out of sincere eeman and hope of reward from Allah; and not for showing off or to gain a reputation; or imitating people, or following the customs of one’s own family or country. The only incentive that should really motivate one to fast is belief that Allah has made it obligatory and expectation of reward from the Lord. The same is true for praying Qiyaam in Ramadhaan. A Muslim should perform it out of sincere Iman and hope of reward from Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who fasts the month of Ramadhaan, out of eeman (Faith) and Ihtisab (confident anticipation of Allaah’s Reward), will have their past sins forgiven. And anyone who spends the nights of Ramadhaan in Qiyaam (optional Night Prayer), out of eeman and Ihtisab, will have their past sins forgiven. And anyone who spends Laylat-ul-Qadr in Qiyam, out of eeman and Ihtisab, will have their past sins forgiven.
Also, among the matters that people may not know … Click here to continue.
May Allaah accept it from us and you, aameen.