Ramadan is the month of competing in good deeds
By: Ustath Ali Sadreddine Al-Bayanouni (Abu Anas)*
“Allah looks at your competing for His sake, and He boasts about you to His angels.
So show Allah goodness from yourselves.”
Obada bin Samet, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Ramadan has come to you. It is a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing; for He sends down mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds) and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in it (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Narrated by Tabarani]
And Allah Almighty says: “And every one has a direction to which he should turn. So race to (all that is) good.” [Qur’an 2:148]
And He Almighty says in the context of commenting on the bliss experienced by the close righteous: “They are given to drink of a pure wine, sealed; the last of it is musk. So for this let the competitors compete.” [Qur’an 83:25-26]
In the aforementioned hadith and verses, and others like them, Allah and His Noble Messenger encourage us to compete in doing good deeds and righteous acts, with particular emphasis for the fasting in Ramadan who are given further encouragement, with Allah saying He will boast them to His angels and asking them to show Him the best from themselves. Indeed, Allah multiplies the rewards of deeds during this month, as the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever draws near to Allaah during this month by doing some good deeds is like one who does an obligatory action at any other time, and the one who does an obligatory action during this month is like one who does seventy obligatory actions at any other times.”
The Mother of the believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet would exert himself in worship during Ramadan unlike any other time, and in the last ten nights of Ramadan more so than any other time.”
Ramadan, as ordained by Allah Almighty, is the season of obedience and worship unmatched by any other month. What are the greatest doors of goodness during this month which we need to focus on and compete with that we may show Allah goodness from ourselves?
- Fasting Ramadan with sincere faith and in the hope of Allah’s reward; for whoever does so, “His previous sins are forgiven.”
- Spending the night of Ramadan in prayer out of sincere faith and in the hope of Allah’s reward; for whoever does so, “His previous sins are forgiven.”
- Spending the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) in prayer out of sincere faith and in the hope of reward from Allah; for whoever does so, “His previous sins are forgiven.”
- Turning to the Book of Allah Almighty – in recitation, reflection and memorisation – and encouraging one’s family and children to recite, reflect and abide by it. Indeed, Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, and Jibreel, may Allah be pleased with him, used to come down every day of Ramadan to teach and study the Qur’an with the Prophet (pbuh).
- Giving charity for the sake of Allah, and paying one’s Zakat, Sadaqa. Indeed, the Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people, and he was the most generous in Ramadan when he would meet with Jibreel and study the Qur’an with him. The Prophet (phuh) was the most generous of people in good deeds, more than the gusty winds.
- Performing one’s obligatory acts in the way they were ordained, and increasing voluntary acts (Nawafil), seeking to rise to become in the rank of the beloveds of Allah, who He loves and who love Him.
- Performing I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan if possible, seeking the Night of Power, which is better than a thousand months.
- Racing towards any other acts of goodness, which are available for those that seek them, such as being righteous to one’s parents, tying the bonds of kinship, seeing to the needs of those in need and relieving their distress, and utilising time in the best way in worshipping and doing good.
- Renewing one’s repentance to Allah Almighty, desisting from any sinful acts of the limbs and the heart, guarding one’s tongue, lowering one’s gaze, and distancing oneself from all that displeases Allah and His messenger.
- Increasing in making supplications – which is the core of worship – for one’s self, family, brethren and the Muslims. Supplications asking Allah to relieve distresses, remove burdens, to guide the Ummah to the right way and elevate the people of obedience, and those who enjoin to goodness and forbid evil, and degrade the people of disobedience.
Let’s make this month a season to compete in goodness, to practise devotion, sincerity, piety, tolerance, patience, love and harmony. Further, it is an opportunity to remove all that causes division and differences with others, and an opportunity to analyse one’s self and holding it to account, aiming to elevate oneself and become better.
May Allah accept from us, and make us from those whose are saved from the Hell-fire.
*Ustath Abu Anas, Ali Sadreddine Al-Bayanouni, was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1938. He has been part of Islamic work in his native Syria and many other countries since his youth. Ustath Abu Anas has been a resident of the UK since 2000 where he continues to lead on various important strands of Islamic political work.
Muslim Association of Britain
31st May 2018 / 15th Ramadan 1439