12th Sha’aban 1442 A.H
(26th March 2021 C.E)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL

BEING THE SECOND SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF SHA’ABAAN DATED 12TH SHA’ABAAN 1442 AH (26TH MARCH, 2021 CE)

HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN?

Praise be unto Allah who decreed fasting on believers making it guard from sins and fire. Allah says: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (183) " {البقرة : 183}
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous(183. We praise and thank Him, seek His help and guidance, forgiveness and repentance. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. Whoever Allah guides is guided and whoever He misleads none will mislead Him. I bear witness there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger who says: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari). May Allah bless him and his families and all his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense.

Thereafter,
Dear servants of Allah, fear Allah – the glorified and exalted – and hold yourselves accountable in a precise way that prompts you to avoid deficiencies and distance from bad deeds, as well as pushes you to double your effort and continue working to gain more good deeds and attain higher grades. Brothers in faith, this is the second meet in Sha’baan, and we are close to the half part of the month, thus we are in dire need to prepare for the month of Ramadan, therefore, the topic of our sermon today is: How do we prepare for the month of Ramadan?

O honorable Muslims, be aware that Ramadan is an extraordinary season for those who trade with Allah, the Almighty, because they know the virtue of the month and the greatness of its position, as it is a great month that should be related with in complete special manner, for it has the known merit.

The conditions of people differ with respect to Ramadan:

– Some people consider the coming of this month a heavy burden on them, that they wish for its end, and they only see deprivation in it .. For those group of people, Ramadan came to them and then left without leaving a trace on them or would cause them any remembrance.

– And some of them felt its value and strove and worked hard to perform the greatest amount of obedient activities without concern for the presence of the heart in these activities … and did not look at the supreme goal that fasting aspires to achieve. There is no doubt that these people feel a good effect in their hearts .. but this effect will disappear soon after the end of Ramadan in a few days.

– There is a group of people who considered Ramadan a rare opportunity to revive the heart and awaken it from its rest and ignite the fuse of piety and the fervor of faith in it. This group of people knew that the month of Ramadan did not come except to bring people closer to their Lord and increase their closeness with Him, and cut off their hearts from the connection to this world, as it provides the hearts with more goodness. There is no doubt that the last category is the biggest gainer from Ramadan, they rectify their hearts through it, and they set out with it on the path of those who thread the path to Allah.

How does a Muslim prepare for the month of Ramadan?

1- Psychological, Mental and practical readiness: Engaging in prayers before Ramadan sets in. Such as praying thus: “Allahumma Barik lana fi Rajab, Wa Sha’ban, Waballighna Ramadan.” Meaning: “O Allah bless us in Rajab, Sha’baan and preserve us till Ramadan. Or “Allahumma sallimni ilaa Ramadan, wa sallim li Ramadan, watasallamhu minni mutaqabbalan.” Meaning: O Allah, make me permeable for Ramadan and make Ramadan easy for me, and accept it from me. (The first hadith described as weak by Al-baaniy )

We should have intentions for the following in Ramadan:
– Intention to complete recitation of the Qur’an many times with pondering over its meaning.
– Intention to repent from all sins.
– Intention to use the month as the beginning of taking up good deed forever, Alhah’s willing.
– To intend to maximize rewards in Ramadan.
– To intend to correct one’s behaviour in relating with all people.
– To intend to work for Islam and in the spread of its message among people using the month’s opportunity.
– To intend setting a programme for the month filled with acts of worship and obedience with full compliance.

• Reading for Faith development: This is an expression on reading some of the books of heart-melting pertaining to this holy month, in order for the soul to prepare for this month with a high feeling of faith.
– • Read the book Lataaiful Ma’aarif (The Chapter on Duties in Ramadan) and you will find the outcome of that.
– • Fasting some days in Sha’ban, for it is like practicing for fasting during Ramadan, which is a practical preparation for this holy month. Aisha (R.A) says: “and I have not seen him – peace be upon him- fasting in other month than Sha’baan” • My Muslim brother exploit the virtues of Ramadan and its fasting: forgiveness of sins, emancipation from fire, a blessed night in which the angels ask for forgiveness for you, the rewards are multiplied, the beginning of which is mercy and the middle of it is forgiveness … etc. exploiting these virtues gives you a psychological motivation to prepare for it.
– • Listen to some recorded Ramadan lecture before the appearance of its blessed crescent.
– • Plans:
– – Listen every day to one or two tapes in your home or car.
– – Listen to the lecture (Fasting Spirituality) and you will find the result.
– • Read the tafsir of the verses of fasting from the books of Tafsir.
– • (Sit with us, lets live Ramadan) The slogan before Ramadan, which is an expression about brotherhood gathering session with the people of virtue and righteous deeds that you love, discussing with them how to live Ramadan properly (this session of faith creates a good effect on the heart for the preparation for Ramadan).

2- Financial preparation: This includes earmarking a portion of your income for the Ramadan projects such as:
– Charity in Ramadan
– Publication of Books and Journals for distribution in Ramadan.
– Partaking in organizing feeding the fasting Muslims in the month.
– Packages for the distribution to the less privilege.
– Going for the Umrah.

3- Educational preparation:
– Learn the islamic jurisprudence of fasting in the mosque learning circles.
– Attending pre-ramadan lectures organized in the neighbourhood.
– Preparing the home with Ramadan awareness, including the family members, as well petty gifts to be distributed in the neighbourhood to raise the awareness, such as leaflets, etc.

4- Health or physical preparation:
– Go for medical checkups to assess the physical status to fast, and to treat any ailment discovered that could militate against fasting or completing the days of the month.

THE SECOND SERMON
All Praises belong to Allah who has made night and day, one succeeding the other, for whomever wishes to reflect and remember (Allah) or intends to be thankful. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon his trustworthy Messenger.

Thereafter…Oh Muslim brothers! The fundamental principle in the rulings of making up missed fast is being earnest and prompt with it, and putting it before voluntary and supererogatory acts, but nevertheless, it is also permissible to delay it until there is only a little time remaining and Sha’baan remains only enough days to be sufficient for making up the missed obligatory fasts. So the servant of Allah must take aware of that. It is difficult to make up a single day if the Muslim feels burdened by it, and then procrastinates, and Ramadan may overtake him while he’s yet to make up that day.

This is one of the effects of procrastination and delaying of all deeds, and it applies to the one who has the ability to make up the fast. As for the one with whom the excuse persists, such as the one who is hoping that his illness will go away, but his illness continued, and so was not able to make up until he died, then there is nothing, no obligation upon him or his heirs.

As for the person who was able and capable to make up the fasts, but he procrastinated and was neglectful until he died before making up, despite his ability to make the missed obligation, then in this case, his family must fast on his behalf all the days that he could have made up but did not make up. This is in accordance with want the messenger of Allah said, (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): "whoever does and he has the debt of obligatory fast on him, his people should fast on his behalf". What is meant by ‘his people’ here is his close relatives, regard of whether they can inherit him or not. If he does not have someone, or he has but he did not fast on behalf of his relative who died owing some fast, then poor people should be fed on behalf of the deceased from his estate, for the number of days that he was able to make up but did not.

And whoever owes some days of Ramadhan but is in doubt about how many he owes, then he must cautious and act with what would be certain. If he’s mind is going between whether he has missed five days or six days, he should make it six says, which would be acting on what is more certain to cover up, would be cautious and free one from any blame.

Oh Muslim brothers! These are some of the rulings on the making up for missed obligation of fasting. It is incumbent upon every Muslim who has such obligation to make up and is capable to do so to hasten to make up for each of them, and to take advantage of the rest of this month, as there is only a little left of it. Fathers, husbands, and mothers must educate people under their care, such as their children and their wives, about the obligation of making up whatever is missed as wells as the need to hasten to do so.

Similarly, families must enlighten (and a sure that) their Muslim workers in their household who are Muslims, about the obligation for them to make up whatever is missed. A lot of Muslim maids are ignorant of this obligation, thinking that fasting is like salaat that they don’t have to make up for. However, there are texts that differentiates between fasting and salaat. So the menstruating woman is obligated to make up the fast, while making up for missed salaat is waived for her. All these are mercies and favour from Allah, because fasting does not come again in the year, rather it is only one month in the year, unlike salaat that is repeated day after day, and so makes it difficult to make up, unlike fasting that is not repeated, it is not difficult to make up for it.

We pray to Allah, the most Glorified and Exalted, to make us reach the month of Ramadan (and beyond), make it easy for us and make us healthy and fit to reap from it. We pray that He makes it for us and our Muslim brothers, a month of sincere repentance, a month of wiping away of bad deeds, a multiplication of good deeds, and a month of victories for Islaam and Muslims. We pray that He unites us on obedience, piety and the Shari’ah, in the east and the west.

Seek blessings and peace of Allah on you prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah – and may Allah have Mercy on you, too – may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him.

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