WHY RAMADAN IS SPECIAL
When Mohammad (SAW) saw the crescent, the new moon on the month of Rajab which is one month before Shaaban and two months before Ramadan, he used to say : “Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab, wa Shaaban wa ballighna Ramadan.” (Oh Allah, give us the blessing of the month of Rajab and Shabaan and allow us to reach and keep us alive until Ramadan).
In another hadith, the Prophet (SAW) used to say, “Allahumma barik lana fi Shaaban wa ghannimna Ramadan.” (Oh Allah, give us the blessing of Shaaban and give us the treasure of Ramadan.) The word “ghannimna” in Arabic contains many meanings: a treasure, something that cannot be found anywhere anytime, something significant, precious, and valuable that will be given to you by Allah.
He also said, “Oh you people, the month of Ramadan came to you. It is so high and so blessed. In one month you have one night which is more important and more elevated than 1000 months. Allah made it an obligation to fast during the day time but Tarawih at night is voluntary. One good deed is multiplied by 70 during this month.”
Ramadan, first and foremost, is Allah’s choice. Allah created all the creations, from which he chose mankind above all. He chose the Earth for mankind. Amongst mankind Allah chose Messengers and Prophets. From all of these, He chose the final one, Muhammad SAW to be the most superior of humankind.
From the Earth He selected Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem above all the other locations on which He grants His blessings. Allah is the creator of time, and from this infinite pool, He chose Ramadan to be the most superior month, Friday to be the most superior day of the week, Arafat to be the most superior day of the year and Lailatul Qadr to be the most blessed of all nights.
Hence, the dominance of one day above the other and one time above the next are all at the choosing of Allah. He owns this kingdom and is the owner of all dominion. Ramadan is Allah’s choice for us – very simply, Allah has chosen it this way.
Ramadan has over 60 titles, some of which mean forgiveness, purification, kindness, and compassion, indicating that it is a month when Allah has chosen to descend His ultimate mercy, guidance, and pleasure upon us, to ease our passage to Paradise. Part of this is displayed when the smallest of our actions, if accepted by Allah, can yield the greatest rewards.
According to various reports, Ramadan has much significance given to it by Allah. It was the month when the Qur’an was revealed:
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. ” [Al Baqarah 2:185],
and also the month in which all the revelations were completed.
Rasulullah (SAW) said, ” “The month of Ramadan is divided into 3 parts. The first ten days are rahmah (mercy), the second ten days are maghfira (forgiveness), and the last ten days are purification from the hell fire.” “
Given the abundance of mercy and blessings in it, Allah has chosen to lead us towards His mercy, by advertising this blessed month to all of us. Arabic people used to advice that if someone talks, don’t just listen to his words, but rather, see who he is and what he is doing, and then you will understand. Therefore, when we hear all the publicity about Ramadan, we should remember that it is Allah, the King of all kingdoms talking to us. He is calling us to wake up, make an effort, to sacrifice a portion of our dunia in this month, and to do the utmost for Him. This is the month we can gain from His treasure to us, something worth infinitely more than the earth and all it contains, something that we can carry with us for all eternity.
If someone offered us a one million dollar reward a day for performing a task, we will firm up our resolve and determination, and make sure that no effort is spared to earn it. Similarly for Ramadan, it is the time of year where we should spare no effort for the sake of Allah – not because He needs it, but for our own good.