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Ramadhan Bayan
English Bayan, 29 mins
15th April, 2021

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​Ramadhan Bayan

​Alhamdulillah, with the Fadhl and grace and mercy of Allah, we are engaged in an Ibadah which is unique and special. You can see how important and special it is because it lasts not for a few moments or even a few days, but rather this is a worship that Allah subhana wa ta'ala has made Fardh upon us for thirty whole days. Without doubt, all the decisions of Allah are based on His Hikmah – and whether we understand the decisions of Allah or not, to Allah there is certainly greatness in the decisions that He ordains. So the first point to make is that a human being should accept the decisions of Allah without any fuss - we cannot understand how great Allah’s decisions are. The second point that we need to understand is that when Allah subhana wa ta'ala makes a decision for His servants, whether we like it or not, if it pleases us or not, it is always a source of benefit for human beings. There are benefits upon benefits that accrue from accepting the decisions of Allah.

​So Allah subhana wa ta'ala has given us this Ajeeb, unique Ibadah. We have to turn away from everything in this Ibadah. Allah ta’ala takes everything away from us – eating, drinking, sleeping – such that our desire and preference disappears. This is what Allah ta’ala has instilled in this Ibadah. But another feature of this Ibadah that is also unique is its Thawab – its reward is different as well. Look at this point. Allah ta’ala has given a unique Thawab for this worship. What does Allah tell us about this Thawab? Regarding Sawm , Allah says “فَإِنَّهُ لِي” – ‘Fasting is mine.’ Imagine what a great statement this is. Allah says ‘Fasting is mine – it is for My sake.’ For all the other acts of worship that we do, we say ‘Allah, I am doing this for You – accept this Ibadah!’ We beg to Allah and plead to Allah, but as for the person who does the Ibadah of fasting, Allah ta’ala is saying ‘When you do this, your Ibadah is accepted.’ SubhanAllah. In other words, the fast of every human being is accepted without doubt, because Allah ta’ala has said ‘The fast is Mine!’ And further, regarding the reward that Allah ta’ala gives, after saying ‘The fast is Mine’, Allah ta’ala says “وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ” – Allah is saying ‘I will give the reward that comes with this fast, and I will give it according to My glory and My Sha’n.’ In other words, we see here that this fasting has a tremendous result. And this comes not from fasting one or two days, but rather from the full thirty days. Allah is saying ‘This fasting that you are doing is Mine – it is for Me – and I like this worship that you are doing very much. I like your hunger and your thirst, and I will give you a very great reward for it.’

Now if we think ‘Maybe Allah ta’ala has given this reward because of the difficulty involved in staying hungry and thirsty - perhaps that is why we are getting all of this reward.’ But that is not the reason, for there is pain and difficulty in all Ibadah. Take any Ibadah. Is this not true of Hajj? You have to buy a ticket, travel from here to there and then do all of the Ibadaat when you get there – there is difficulty in that as well. Or take Salah – this also entails many difficulties. A person has to turn away from many things to pray Salah, leaving his business even though customers are coming and he can make loads of money; when the Adhan is called, he leaves it all and goes to the Masjid. Or he may be busy in something else, in cooking something tasty perhaps, but when the time for Salah comes, he has to leave. Yes? Even if we have the chance to gain something expensive or precious, we have to sacrifice that if the time comes for Salah. So in every Ibadah there is difficulty. What about the worship in the night, or at Fajr? Obviously, there is a degree of difficulty in coming, isn’t there? Who wants to leave their mattress and wash with cold water and then go outside into the cold to start the car, when it may be snowing or frosty or cold? There is difficulty there as well.

So what is so special about this Ibadah of fasting? Allah ta’ala has instilled in it some quality that causes Him to say ‘Fasting is Mine and I am happy with your fast so that I will reward you Myself according to My glory.’ Allah ta’ala has not said this about any other act of worship, despite the fact that they are all weighty and entail difficulty. So what is the special, unique quality? What is the reason behind this? The reason is that there is one special factor that Allah has instilled in this Ibadah of fasting, something that is special, unique and specific to fasting. This factor is the Ruh of the fast, the soul of the fast. Do you know what is meant by Ruh? For example, everything in a human being is based on his Ruh. His body, his capabilities, his walking around, his eating – this is all dependent on the Ruh. If the Ruh disappears, we say that that person has gone to sleep. If someone wants to speak to him, we say ‘Oh, he is asleep.’ You can’t speak to a person when he is sleeping, can you? If someone wants to meet him, they are told ‘He is asleep so you can’t see him now.’ He is not in the Dunya at that time and is no use to people because his Ruh has come out of him for a while. When the Ruh leaves a person permanently, then it is all over – it doesn’t come back. So for a human being, everything is based on what? His Ruh, his soul.

So the Ruh of the fast is the reason that Allah ta’ala said ‘It is Mine – you are doing this for Me, and the reward is very great.’ Why? The Ruh of the fast is the reason, and we need to understand that everything Allah ta’ala is making us practice in these thirty days is such that we have to leave every bad thing and do good things; we have to become accustomed to leaving bad actions and doing good actions. This is the main objective of the fast, and this is not achieved in a few hours, which is why Allah ta’ala has given us thirty days to practice this. As I said yesterday, this is such a beautiful practice that Allah ta’ala gives a guarantee that if you shun a bad deed in Ramadhan, you will be able to shun that action for the rest of the year; and if you adopt a good habit in the month of Ramadhan, you can maintain that for the rest of the year – that is the greatness of fasting, remember this. Allah says that you will mainatin that condition for the rest of the year.

So the factor that is contained in fasting is required for all Ibadaat, and without it, no Ibadah will be accepted in the court of Allah. This is the great quality that is inherent in Ramadhan and which we are being made to practice throughout the month – and we get such a great Thawab due to this factor. The great Thawab that we get from Ramadhan is due to this factor. What is this factor that is contained in fasting, in Siyam, the factor that makes the fast, the factor that Allah ta’ala is making us practice during Ramadhan which means that for the rest of the year our Ibadaat will be accepted, and our lives will become accepted? What is this quality that is inherent in the fasts of Ramadhan which makes fasting superior? Which factor is present that is loved so much by Allah, and which He holds so dear?

It is that the Ibadah is done solely and sincerely just for the sake of Allah. This is inbuilt, you could say, within the fast – fasting is such an Ibadah that it is purely and solely for the sake of Allah. It cannot be done for somebody other than Allah. I cannot tell whether somebody is fasting or not. How do I know whether this child has kept a fast today or not? Has this man fasted all day or not? Do you know whether I have fasted today? How could you know? You don’t know – nobody knows. This is such an Ibadah that, apart from Allah and His servant, nobody else knows. Only Allah and His servant know whether an individual has kept a fast or not. Some pious elders would have the habit of keeping a fast all year long, but no one would know whether they were fasting or not on a given day. So by making this a concealed and hidden Ibadah, Allah ta’ala wants to take us out from a big illness which is not found in the action of fasting. It is not present in fasting because fasting is solely for the sake of Allah. And because it is done solely for the sake of Allah, this is why Allah ta’ala has given fasting this great reward – its reward comes directly from Allah, because it is done for Allah alone.

If an action is not done solely for the sake Allah, then that is a very dangerous state of affairs, and Allah ta’ala wants to save us from that for the rest of the year. What is that factor which Allah wants to save us from? Allahu Akabar. This is explained in a Hadith, the meaning of which is that Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said to his noble Companions ‘In respect of my Ummah, I am afraid of one thing above all others. What is that? Shirk al-Asghar.’ Shirk – not the big Shirk but the minor Shirk. Shirk al-Akbar is that a person doesn’t believe in Allah, but the Shirk al-Asghar means that a person does not accept it when Allah ta’ala says that something is wrong and is a big sin – a person who does this is committing Shirk. This is wrong and is a big sin, and Allah ta’ala wants us to annihilate this through keeping the fasts.

We cannot keep a fast – and there will be no fast - if we do not have the feeling and emotion within us that we are doing it for the sake of Allah – li’llah. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated that he was most afraid about what, in respect of his Ummah? What was his Fikr? It was that Shirk al-Asghar would be present in his Ummah – Shirk al-Asghar. The Sahaba-e-Kiram radhiAllahu anhum were amazed and shocked, and said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, what is Shirk al-Asghar?’ He said ‘It is Ibadah in which there is Riya – showing off. It will be done for the sake of other people, not for the sake of Allah.’ Their objective will be for something else, not for Allah; whether it is for Dunya or some other factor, something other than Allah will be mixed in with the worship. This is a very big disease of the Batin, remember this, and it is called Riya, showing off, doing it for others, with pride. A person may be doing Ibadah physically, but in reality, there is Riya in that person. He is doing it for other purposes and objectives. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated that a person will be presented to Allah on the Day of Judgement, and when he shows his deeds to Allah, Allah will say ‘Why are you showing me these deeds?’ This is the meaning of the Hadith. ‘Why are you showing me these deeds? Go and request the Thawab from the people you performed these deeds for, not from Me. You did not do them for Me – your Salah wasn’t for Me, your Qur’an wasn’t for Me.’

There are many diseases that come from Riya, from showing off for the sake of others. But through the action of fasting, Allah ta’ala creates the capability in a person that he performs all of his deeds just for the sake of Allah – SubhanAllah. Look at this. What a great Ibadah Allah ta’ala has given to us. Riya, showing off and doing things for the sake of others is the most dangerous of conditions. It is stated that if, for example, there is a man who puts a lot of stones in his bag so that people think it is full of money, then others may think that he is wealthy and fortunate, but in reality, he has no money, but only rocks! He cannot spend them or use them or show them to anyone else, and when the bag opens and the rocks come out, it becomes clear that he has no money inside. The deeds that a person performs while he is showing off, deeds he has done for the sake of someone else, deeds which were designed to please other than Allah, are the same. That is Riya, showing off, because it is for the sake of someone else.

By contrast, what he should do is act with Ikhlas, with sincerity, so that all Ibadah is for the sake of Allah. { لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُإِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحۡيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ} Everything – my Salah, my Qurbani, my Ibadaat, my sleeping, my waking up, my death should be for who? For Allah ta’ala. What do we call this? This is Ikhlas coming into our lives. This is the glory of fasting - without Ikhas, the fast cannot happen. And due to this Ikhlas, Allah ta’ala has placed a very high value on the fast. Through this fast and with the Barakah of the fast, Allah ta’ala makes us do this great practice so that Ikhlas starts to come into the human being. My brothers, may Allah ta’ala protect us from this disease, so that whatever action we do, we do it for the sake of Allah, for the Pleasure of Allah.

Alhamdulillah, Allah ta’ala has bestowed these fasts on us, and if we want to keep these fasts, we should keep them in the right way according to this Hisaab. And then, inshaAllah, after fasting, this disease will be eliminated by the Fadhl of Allah. Otherwise a person will go further into sin, instead of at least developing the understanding that he is doing wrong and therefore correcting his Niyyah accordingly. So, first and foremost, what we need to do is question our Adab in worship. Ask ‘Are we doing this for the sake of Allah?’ We need to keep repeating ‘Oh Allah, this action that I am about to do is solely for You, sincerely for You. There is nothing fake in this and there is no showing off in it – it is all genuine. In the same way that I kept the fast, staying hungry and thirsty, and no one knew apart from You that I was keeping those fasts – no one else knew - so now when I pray Salah, I am doing this sincerely for You, for Your sake alone. My Tilawah, my recitation, is for You, oh Allah subhana wa ta’ala.’ A person attains this great condition and eliminates the diseases of the Batin by means of fasting.

May Allah ta’ala give us the Tawfeeq and ability to keep all of our fasts in this manner. Remember that we must keep two things in mind: the diseases that we are eliminating, and the sincerity that we are embedding. This is the essence and the summary of fasting. Think about this every day when you are about to begin the fast, and at the end of the day when the fast is ending, think ‘Which negative or evil quality or sin did I eliminate?’ Anger, envy, backbiting, teasing and mocking – think about all of these things. At the end of each day, a person should at least think ‘By the end of this fast, I will have eliminated these sins.’ This is what a person needs to attain. It is not enough for a person to think ‘Oh, I have abstained from food since morning and have prayed Salah and read Qur’an and done Dhikr’ – this is not the end point. No, the objective of this Ibadah is very great - very great indeed. When we emerge after this month of fasting, we should come out in a such a way that we are able to fight all of our negative qualities and free ourselves from them.

We need to make a list of all our negative qualities, a list of our sins. Don’t be content that you are just doing Ibadah, no. Make a list and think about what the real objective of this fasting is. We have to accept the sicknesses and sins that are within us, like Kibr, our quick temper, our lack of respect for others, our jealously about people – these are common sicknesses in me and you. If we get angry quickly, then our whole environment will be revolutionized by ridding ourselves of this – it would be brilliant! If we don’t like it when we see someone succeeding, if we don’t co-operate with people and only like things that are attached to us and which are ours, these are faults. There are so many sicknesses in society, and we are living our lives with these illnesses and sins, and so Ibadah becomes like a game. We need to seek sincerity in our worship and get rid of the sicknesses.

Allah ta’ala has placed all of these things within these thirty days, so if a person wants to leave a sin or a sickness, Wa-llahi, the fast will enable him to do this. Allah is great – Allah is the greatest. No sin is greater, no illness is greater, so no-one can say ‘Oh, it is too hard for me to stop lying; it is too hard for me to stop smoking cigarettes; it is too hard for me to stop smoking cannabis.’ I have witnessed such people in my own life, people who were addicts, but they came to Ramadhan and made the Niyyah to stop. And even though a person is weak, after thirty days, Wa-llahi, they shunned that sin. Allah ta’ala says {إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحۡسِنُونَ} – ‘I am with those people who struggle and try to free themselves from their illnesses and strive for the Hereafter and make effort.’ But we don’t try at all! Allah ta’ala has given us such a great Maqam in fasting. It is not just about not eating from the early morning after Suhoor; rather, there is a big objective behind the fast, a very great objective. We need to do Tazkiyyah and scan ourselves to analyse how much anger is within us, how much envy is within us, how much pride is within us, how much we dislike other people, how much we think we are the best and better than others, how proud we are of our possessions, how much we want people to praise us, and so on.

In other words, we consist of a massive mound of sins and negative qualities – which is to be expected, because we are Insan. That is why Allah ta’ala has not made the angels fast – Allah ta’ala has made us fast so that we can eliminate these sins and sicknesses. Don’t just be content with your Ibadah, no – you are not attaining the real objective in this. This is my style, my brothers. Ramadhan has come and this is the third fast already, so by today, three sicknesses should have been eliminated from our lives. Three sins should have gone. There are so many Batini illnesses with us, but we have never looked at ourselves or considered ourselves as sick – we have never even tried to look within and do not consider that we are sick. We say ‘No, no, no – I don’t have any Kibr inside me; I have no Riya or showing off.’ We will realise our state at the time we are departing from the world and when we are present in the grave. Today, if we try to make the most of what Ramadhan has given to us, then Allah ta’ala says ‘If you make an effort, and despite that, you are still lacking in some way, then I will accept you and will accept your efforts!’ SubhanAllah! Should we or should we not try, my brothers?

This is what we need to do. This is all for us, and it is very important because we are need of this. We should make a list of our sins, whether lying or backbiting, and say ‘Today, I need to take lying out of my life; I need to take showing off and Kibr out of my life; I need to take envy out of my life. Why do I burn when I see other people? Why do I have malice? Why do have that injection of anger and hatred when I see someone succeed? If I see someone with a big car, why does it make me angry? Why do I want people to give Salam to me and nobody else? Why do I want people to submit and bow to me and respect me and say that I am this and that?’ We should take away and eliminate all of these things from our lives. Take away these negative qualities and strike them off, one by one.

These are big sins, Kabeerah sins. Look at anger, for example. If I practice Ramadhan properly, what will happen by the end of Ramadhan? In place of anger, Hilm will be there, and smiling and compassion. If our wife makes a mistake, or our father or mother, we react as if an electric current has been attached to us and strike out immediately. If our child makes a mistake, we instantly feel like hitting or beating him, but after Ramadhan, we should be different. We should have tenderness, softness and be soft-hearted. When we see that someone has something we don’t have, we will smile and think ‘MashaAllah, Allah has given him this – why should it concern me?’ We won’t be jealous of someone’s wealth or of their car or their status. This is especially common between relatives – uncles, nephews and so on. If we make this change in Ramadhan, I swear by Allah that not only will Allah be happy, but you will have a Maqam with the angels! You will have attained the objective of fasting, and our hunger and thirst will be successful, alhamdulillah.

But if we are the same after Ramadhan finishes, and we still show off and are still big-headed Chouhdrys with all those negative qualities still inside us, then it is as if you go into a bathroom and spend an hour showering and yet come out again still smelling the same as when you went in. We have been given thirty days, so can’t we even get rid of one sin? What sort of Ramadhan is that, my brothers? Ok, fine, you have completed thirteen or fifteen Qur’ans, but what sin did you turn away from? What sin did you eliminate? What difference is there in your Batin? Tell me. This was the purpose for which Allah ta’ala gave you Ramadhan. Should we not do this my brothers? Should we not eliminate our sins? The biggest factor that we are lacking inside is Ikhlas – we are showing off with every action that we do. If we do deeds to show off to other people, Allah ta’ala will say ‘Go to that person for whom you did this worship, and ask him for the reward – don’t come to Me.’

If we make the Niyyah that ‘Oh Allah ta’ala, just as we have kept our fast today for You with Ikhlas, just for Your sake, please allow me to do all of the rest of the Ibadaat that I do in my life for Your sake – purely for Your sake and solely for You.’ Do you understand, my brothers? Is this in our lives or not? This is the objective and the meaning of fasting – this is the most important thing of all. This is the Tazkiyyah that we need to do. We need to make an effort to take the illnesses out of our lives, and not be content with what people say about us - ‘Oh, you’re this, you’re that, you’re so good, you’re great, you’re fantastic.’ It doesn’t matter how much people praise you. Somebody made a great statement that if you want to learn Ikhlas and take showing off and Riya out of your life, then be like people who are simple. Do you understand? Be like a shepherd who prays Salah in front of his goats and sheep with no one watching. He is in the wilderness, out in the farmland, in the countryside, and when the time comes for Salah, he is herding his goats so he has no concern about whether anyone is praising him or observing his Salah. SubhanAllah - what a simple example! He doesn’t need praise and doesn’t worry about whether someone likes him or not. He recites Qur’an so nicely and his Tilawat is so nice, but the sheep don’t know and the goats don’t know! This is how your Ibadaat should be.

This is a great and beautiful point - just as we hide our sins and worry about whether people know this and that about us, it is said that in the same way, we should conceal our good deeds also and conceal our positive attributes. We show off to people and tell people about all our good deeds – ‘Oh, I’ve done this today, I’ve done that today.’ Either directly or indirectly, we try to make people aware of how much we have done. I will find some brother and start a conversation so that I can make him realise that I have done this or that action – ‘I have prayed Salah or Tahajjud or Ishraq today.’ In this way, I make my deeds apparent. Do we not have this deficiency inside us that we try to make people see that we have done good deeds? We should do the opposite - conceal your sins and conceal your good deeds as well. You should not be happy at all that your good deeds become apparent to others. Why? Because you do not want to do your good deeds for people, but rather for Allah – just like your fasting. You are not fasting for other people, but rather for Allah’s sake. People don’t know whether or not you are keeping a fast, do they? Who knows who is keeping a fast on any given day?

So when you have this emotion and this condition in your life, which is the condition of the fasting person who does his worship purely for the sake of Allah, then a person becomes a pure, sincere Mu’min through this one action. Look at the Ikhlas which comes from fasting, for then, when a person makes a Niyyah to do even a small good deed, Allah ta’ala will give him mountains of Thawab for that. Ikhlas increases the value of a human being so much, for the fast multiplies all of the Ibadah due to being for Allah alone. Allah says ‘Fasting is Mine – it belongs to Me!’ Allah has never said ‘Salah is Mine’, but Ikhlas takes a person to such heights! Whether you seek Ikhlas or not, it is inherent in fasting; it is inbuilt into fasting, 100%. If you don’t have Ikhlas, then you won’t have a fast – there cannot be showing off in a fast. That is why Allah ta’ala says ‘I have placed this quality inside the fast, so that once a year, when you practice fasting for thirty days, all of your Ibadah will contain this quality.’ You won’t worry about whether anyone knows about your deeds; rather, for whose sake will all of your deeds be? For the sake of Allah ‘Azza wa Jall.

May Allah ta’ala give me and you the Tawfeeq to pass Ramadhan in this style. Ameen

Recite Durood Sharif.

17th Apr, 2021
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