Indeed as we all know our religion is a religion of sincerity and advice as the Prophet (ﷺ) informed us. In our effort to advise and remind one another of these days we are living in now, which are the last ten days of Ramaḍān, we would like to give a brief reminder to the believers, and the work we have selected is the wonderful work by our noble scholar Shaykh Ṣalīḥ al-Fawzān (may Allāh preserve him and give him good health). He has a book called ‘Majālis Shahr al-Ramaḍān al-Mubārak’, Gatherings of the Blessed Month of Ramaḍān.
With regards to the history of this beneficial work, then our Shaykh, Sālīḥ al-Fawzān (hafiẓahullāh) gives brief lessons in the month of Ramaḍān and has done so for over twenty years, before ṣalāt al-tarāwīḥ; he sits in the row ready for the prayer and gives brief talks from first day of Ramaḍān to the last day of Ramadan. These talks are gathered in a book and it was first printed eleven years ago, and he still conducts these lessons today. May Allāh bless our Shaykh, who at an old age is still benefitting the believers by giving these highly beneficial reminders.
In these reminders the Shaykh reminds the believers by sometimes speaking about tawḥīd, jannah or the hellfire, and the timing is before ͑Ishā ͗ and then the ṣalāh al-tarāwīḥ is prayed; this is a time when the believers are going to hear about the Book of Allāh, and so the Shaykh giving the reminder at that time is important, especially because even the Prophet (ﷺ) used to remind the companions before the prayer; so the Shaykh choosing that time is important for the believers because we’re about to enter al-tarāwīḥ and hear from the Book of Allāh many things that will benefit us.
For our gathering we will try to read from two of the reminders given by Shaykh Fawzān, first the merits of the last ten days and then the importance of ending the month with righteous actions.
The Shaykh after praising Allāh mentions that the last ten days of Ramaḍān are the best of the month of Ramaḍān in which the Prophet used to specify these last ten days for tremendous actions because it is the end of the month. By the blessing of Allāh we have reached that which we were not guaranteed; neither the first nor the last, and some were buried at the beginning of the last ten days. Just because an individual reaches Ramaḍān does not mean that they will reach the last ten days which are the best days.
The blessing of Ramaḍān are numerous, and an example of the merits of reaching the month of Ramaḍān and being able to worship Allāh, is exemplified in the ḥadīth of Ṭalḥah ibn ʿUbaydullah (raḍi Allāhu ʿanhu) in Sunan Ibn Mājah, and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī (raḥimahullāh), in which he narrated that he had a dream, and in that dream he approached the door of Jannah, and at the door there were two individuals, and Ṭalḥah said, ‘I was present when these two individuals entered Islām at the same time, but one of these individuals was very diligent in his ͑Ibādah, and went out to fight in the cause of Allāh and he died a martyr; the other was not diligent but lived a year longer and died a year after.’ In the dream the one who was less diligent and lived a year longer was present and someone came out of the door of Jannah and the door was opened for him and he entered Jannah, and some time passed then someone came out and the door was opened and the one who was diligent entered. Then it was said, ‘It is not yet your time’. So he informed the people, who were surprised that the least diligent of the two worshippers entered in the Jannah first. News reached the Prophet (ﷺ) and he asked as to why they were surprised, ‘he lived one extra year and fasted one more Ramaḍān and prayed in Ramaḍān, the distance between the two of them is like the distance between the heavens and the earth.’
This shows that the fact Allāh has allowed everyone present to reach and fast this Ramaḍān, shows that Allāh has preferred you, this is a blessing from Allāh and one that none of us has earned, it is the mere mercy of Allāh. So now we are not only talking about the fact that Allāh has allowed us to reach the month, but we are in the last ten days, and these are the best ten days of the month. Additionally, they are the nights the people are freed from the fire, and the nights in which the night of decree is sought. So the Prophet (ﷺ) in the last ten and best days of Ramaḍān used to pray and elongate the prostration and bowing. Unfortunately, today there are many who reach the last ten days with the mentality that there is not long to go, it’s almost over, as if it was a burden; but this was not the way of the Prophet (ﷺ), he was diligent in doing as much as he could in these last ten days, however the whispers of the Shayṭān allows our mentality to change. This was not the way or mentality of the Prophet or the Salaf, their mentality was take advantage, because these are the best days.
We do not know if were going to see another Ramaḍān and we are all in need of the Mercy and forgiveness of Allāh as we sin day and night, and we are ungrateful. We are aware of Allāh’s blessings but not aware of those we are heedless about, what about the blessing of the soul which leaves the body and travels the earth when you sleep, who protects it from harm? This is a blessing we are negligent of.
Allāh has decreed fasting for the person because refraining from eating, drinking and sexual relations allows you to focus on your Lord; so it takes away these things, and takes away from the heart the mixture of distracting desires. Allāh has also legislated Iʿtikāf, because this removes the distraction of mixing with the people, and should make you focus only on Allāh, the remembrance of Allāh, turning to Allāh and the love of Allāh; all of this becomes the main focus. It should conquer one’s life, because all they are exposed to is the al-Ṣalāh, the Qurʾān and tranquillity, allowing the believer to focus only on Allāh. So the person remembers Allāh and thinks about what pleases Allāh and what brings him closer to Allāh, and thus becomes closer to Allāh rather than becoming closer to the people. This also reminds you of the loneliness you will face in the grave, as the grave is a place we will enter alone, without the people. Everyone was loved by the Prophet (ﷺ) but even then the Prophet would not mix with the people much in the last ten days, and no one would see him. He did this so he could worship his Lord and remember his Lord and the Prophet is for us an excellent example.
You should do what you are able of righteous deeds and do not be negligent of yourself and lose sight of your goal in this life, and that is to worship Allāh alone. So every step you take and every statement you utter should be focused on pleasing Allāh, and you should not forget why you were created. If you forget these particular merits and bounties then verily you have forgotten and neglected yourself because we all need the mercy and Paradise of Allāh, especially in these last ten days; so do not be like those who forgot Allāh so Allāh caused them to forget themselves, for indeed they are the most wretched. May Allāh give us success to do righteous deeds pleasing to Allāh in these last ten days, and may He accept our acts of worship as acts done solely seeking His Face.