The five fundamental pillars of Islam are profession of faith, fasting, praying, giving and pilgrimage. One of the most important observed pillars is following the holy month of Ramadan. It marks the ninth month of the Muslim calendar (lunar) and begins with the appearance of the crescent moon and also ends with its appearance. As per the traditions, the angel visited Prophet Muhammad (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) and presented the holy book of Islam, the Quran, that would serve as a guidance for people. This holy book will help them distinguish between the good and bad.
For the followers of Islam, Ramadan is a period where they can self analyse themselves, recite prayers, read the holy scriptures, keep fasts, only to seek and ask for forgiveness from Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) and to get closer to Him. The Almighty Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) happily forgives their sins as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.
During this holy month in Islam, the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) is granted 5 gifts and they are:
- Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) looks at his Ummah with mercy and does not punish his people – During Ramadan Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) forgives every one who seeks forgiveness. Only a simple act of kindness is all that one needs to seek forgiveness from the Almighty Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ).
- For Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) the smell of his mouth is more beautiful than the smell of musk – It is believed that sweet smell will come out of the mouth of the ummah who fasted during Ramadan and this smell will be more pleasing to Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) than the smell of musk.Some say that on the day of Qiyamah when the ummah shall rise from the grave, a sweet smell shall come from his/her mouth only because he/she fasted.
- Angels ask Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) for his forgiveness every day and night – Ummah who fasts during the holy month have angels praying for him/her to Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) to forgive him/her of his/her sins.
According to one Hadeeth, “When Allah(سبحانه وتعالىٰ) loves a person, He says to the angel Jibraeel , ‘I love that person, so you also love Him.’ Normally only those who are near to a person seem to love him, but here that love spreads all over, even the animals in the jungle and the fish in the sea do the same. They all then make dua on his behalf.
- The gates of heaven remain open and the gates to hell close – The preparations for welcoming His followers start days before Ramadan. He waits to welcome his ummah eagerly with open arms.
- Ummah who has undergone hardships and sinned throughout the year is kept away from evil by Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) – According to Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) in Quran, “Never! But on their heart is the stain (of Evil)” (Al-Munafiqeen 14). That is why the devil is changed and the Ummah is protected from the evil.
Ramadan is a month of sacrifice, a month of offering and a month of prayer. No matter how many sins one has committed, the “all-forgiving” Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) forgives every one who seeks forgiveness. These 5 gifts granted to the Ummah are unique in their own ways as they have never been offered to any of the prophets. Therefore, one shall feel obligated to observe Ramadan in order to enter Heaven.