The most honourable guest you could ever host is going to be sent to you very, very soon by your Lord, and whether you prepare or not, it is still going to stop by your humble dwellings and stay with you for a full month.
Ramadan is not just a special guest; it is the most important event of your life – yes, your life – and what is amazing about our Lord Allah, is that in His infinite generosity, He grants it to us every year.
Ramadan as a special event, is different from all other special events, since our Lord is sending it to us for our benefit. This amazing guest and all that is associated with it is so special that even if we do not prepare for it and welcome it, its Lord Who sent it, will have it stop by every single person and still bring with it that benefits and blessings that assist them with their lives.
This guest is like no other guest; if we prepare for it, it has so many wonderful gifts in store for you. In fact, even if we were heedless and did not prepare, but are willing to work with him we are still going to find him very kind and generous.
Thus, anyone who tastes its sweetness would find that there is nothing more delightful. This is why when it leaves, there is a great feeling of loss in the hearts of all those who really prepared well for it and honoured it.
Are you willing to understand what you have to do to prepare for it, since many are willing but they just do not know what they have to do?
If you are willing, then let us make an effort to travel together on the road of the Sunnah of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so that we can prepare for this magnificent guest as he, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and those who followed him did.
How should we prepare for it?
Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam) said, “Sha`baan is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan which is neglected by many people.” [Sunan Nasai]
When we prepare for our guests, we normally try to find out what they like and what they would want from us so that we can organize it for them.
Similarly, in order for us to benefit from Ramadan we must know that what it wants from us, which sets it apart from other ordinary guests.
Ramadan brings certain special situations and events that it wants us to make proper use of – and if we do, then we would have truly honoured it.
1) Ordinary guests would want delicious food – Ramadan wants us to abstain from eating, drinking and impermissible actions.
2) Ordinary guests want us to take them visiting – Ramadan wants us (men) to visit the masjids five times daily for the obligatory prayer.
3) Ordinary guests would want us to sit for long hours with them – Ramadan wants us to spend our time with it by spending time with what was revealed in it, (the Glorious Qur’an)!
4) Ordinary guests want us to sit with them talking late into the night – Ramadan wants us to perform Taraweeh Salaah, recite the Quran etc. so that we spend our nights with it.
5) Ordinary guests would not mind if we spend on them – Ramadan wants us to spend too, but on the poor and the needy.
Sha`ban is one of the months in which it is stressed that we increase acts of worship and get closer to Allah through voluntary acts of worship. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the full blessings of Sha`baan and Ramadaan. Ameen.
By Abu Abdillah
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)