We bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone and has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, but after;

Dear slaves of Allah, I recommend to you and myself the fear of Allah, Almighty, as this the approach of the righteous, men of understanding. Allah says: ” And fear Me, O you of understanding.”, (2:197).

We ask Allaah to accept from us our fasting, our prayers, and all our actions, and to benefit us by what we say and hear, He is Hearing, near  and responsive

In today’s sermon, we would like to remind the fasting brethren of the necessity of exploiting the days and nights of the holy month of Ramadan and not wasting an hour of it, by planning well and implementing practical faith programme that is compatible with each person’s affairs in life, socially, occupationally, such that there would not be any contradiction among them, and not limiting oneself to one aspect at the expense of other aspects, and placing first, the most important of them.

In this blessed sermon there are a variety of duties that every Muslim should perform in this month, although all good works are done this month, but there are some deeds that are more focused on in this month than in the rest of the year.

The first of these duties and by which the month is magnified is the task of fasting, which is to worship Allaah by abstaining from food, drink and sexual desire during the day.

The Magnificent Book and the sound hadith have elucidated the virtue of fasting in Ramadan and outside Ramadan.

Allah as well links the mention of fasting men and women with forgiveness and rewards for their deed. Allah says: “…for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah.s praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” (33:35).

Allah describes the reward as ‘great’ to show that he achieved his goal. There is nothing greater that a reward of paradise and the perpetual enjoyment which never ceases nor runs out. O Allah forgive our sins and magnify our rewards.

There is no greater reward than a deed which Allah connects to Himself and the reward.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk. (Al-Bukhaari: 5927, Muslim: 1151)

Among the duties of this month: What relates to the congregational prayer observed in mosques; where Muslims gather every night in this month to perform the Taraweeh prayer together prayer behind one imam. It was reported in the two Sahih, that the Prophet- peace be upon him, said: “He who stands (in prayer) in Ramadan out faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven,” (Bukhaari: 37, and Muslim: 759)

Allah have also described His true servants with qualities among which He praises the, those who stands at night, abstaining from their beds in fear and hope, for the night prayer. Allah says: ” Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing; 65. Those who say, “Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous.'” [Al-Furqan: 63, 64]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say that the night prayer is the tradion of the righteous, which cleanses sins. He (peace be upon him) said: “You are charged on Qiyamu layl (night prayer) it the practices of the righteous before you, it draws you closer to your Lord, cleanses mistakes and blots sins.” (Tirmidhi: 3549, Ibn Khuzaymah, Haakim and Albani graded it sound).

A Muslim should not depart the night prayer until after the Imam for him to earn the reward of Qiyamul-layl, that is, after the Imam or the congregation have concluded the Taraweeh prayer.

Imam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan reported that the prophet- peace be upon him said: “Verily, he who stands with the Imam until he leaves, such equates to (reward) of qiyamul-layl). (Tirmidhi: 806, Nasaai 1605, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Habban and Al Albani graded it as sound)

Among the meritorious duties of this great month: Giving food. Allah says:( وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا * إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا) “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,- 9. (Saying),”We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks. [76: 8- 9] The earlier righteous generations of Muslims were eager to feed, preferring it over a number of desirable deeds, whether to feed the hungry, or to honor a guest or relative or friend, even if this food is little; Ali, may Allah be pleased with him said: (For me to invite ten of my companions to feed them is preferable to me than for me to come to this market of your to buy a slave and freed her”.

As for feeding fasting people to break their fast, this is also a great deed for a fasting person indeed the reward of those he fed will be written for him, without diminishing anything from their rewards. Narrated Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever feeds the person fasting, he will have his reward  without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.” (Ahmad: 17033; Tirmidhi: 807; Ibn Majah: 1746.

Among the desirable acts recommended for the fasting person in Ramadan and outside Ramadan is hastening to break the fast in contradiction to the Jews and Christians who do delay the breaking of fast till the stars appear. Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban narrated from Sahl bn Sa’d, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:” My Ummah will continue to do well as long as they do not delay their breaking of fast till the stars appear.” It is desirable to break the fast starting with fresh dates, if he could not find that then dried dates and if that is not available, then with some water. Anas reported: “The Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water.”

The opposite is the recommended manner for Sahur- the pre-dawn meal, it is desirable to delay it. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Eat a pre-dawn meal, for there are blessings in it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.). There is blessing in it, because the time is the last part of the night, which is a time of blessing. Sahur gives the fasting person strength, it should be delayed to the extent of ability. Bukhari narrated from Sahl bn Sa’d- May Allah be pleased with him, he said: “I used to take the Sahur with my family, then I would hasten to catch up with the Fajr prayer with the messenger of Allah- peace be upon him.”

It is desirable for the fasting person to take Sahur with dates, as narrated by Abu Dawud that the messenger of Allah- peace be upon him said: “lovely is the predawn meal of the believer as date.” If he could not find dates, there is nothing small for Sahur, even if it is a sip of water, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Taking the Sahur is blessing, do not leave it, even if it means that one of you only takes a sip of water, for verily, Allah, the exalted and His angels do invoke blessings on those who take the Sahur.” (Ahmad)

And of the most pleasant atmosphere that the fasting person experiences in Ramadan is the atmosphere of supplication during fasting and at breaking the fast. Du’aa is worship, the fasting person is closer to Allah, the Almighty; thus he is more facilitated for his prayers being answered. Examine the tone of the verses of fasting in Surat al-Baqarah when Allah, the Almighty says: (وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ) O my servant, I am near, I will answer the call of the supplicant, if they call me, and answer me, and believe me, that they may guide. “(Al-Baqarah 186). “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.” (2: 186).

Of the recommended prayers from the prophet, peace be upon him, when he breaks his fast is: Dhahaba al-zamau wabtallat al-‘urooq, wa thabata al-ajr inshaa Allah. Meaning: The thirst is gone, the vein have been moistened, and the reward is assured if Allah wills.” Abu Dawud.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, who made the Nation of Islam one nation, Who says in His Noble Book: “This is your nation, one nation, and I am your Lord, and worship Me.”  (21:92). We praise and seek His forgiveness, we believe in Him and put our trust in Him. We beseech shower His peace and blessing on our leader Muhammad, his families and all his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense. the Day of Judgment.

As to what follows,

Dear believers, the new moon of Ramadan is confirmed by the sighting this is the consensus of all the scholars, based on the saying of the prophet- peace be upon him, narrated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him: “Fast when you see it, and break your fast when you see it, and if the weather is cloudy complete the counting (of Sha’ban and Shawwal) as thirty days.  

It is worth mentioning that Allah, the Exalted united the ranks of Muslims in the entire world by the beginning of Ramadan on Monday 6th May, 2019 despite the difference of a day at the beginning of Sha’ban, which created the difference in the count of Sha’ban on Sunday 5th May, 2019, whereby for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, Sha’ban was thirty. But in Nigeria, on Sunday, we counted Sha’ban as twenty-nine days and we started Ramadan on Monday based on the sighting of the crescent in many cities in Nigeria such as Sokoto, Gombe and Yobe. Thus the Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad made the announcement for commencement of fast. So, the Saudis and others fasted by completing the count of Sha’ban as thirty days while we in Nigeria began Ramadan fast through the sighting of the new moon, all praises are due to Allah.

Let us recall in our minds that our unity is our strength and our strength is our unity

The manifestations of the unity of Muslims in the month of Ramadan:

1 – Unity in the monitoring of the crescent.

2 – The fasting of the month and the solat offered

3 – Unity in the duties performed in Ramadan, including, Sahur, abstinence, breakfast, staying awake for laylatul qadr etc )

4 – Reviving the lessons of the mosque and public lectures.

5 – Fear of Allah and avoiding sins.

6 – Equality between different levels of Muslim (rich and poor ….).

Except his victory, nor an enemy to let him down, nor is it difficult except his pleasure, and no dead except his mercy, and no need of world’s need.

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