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Friday Sermon: Ramzan, Taqwa and Steadfastness

 “O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” Alhamdulillah (all praise to Allah) - that we are being enabled to experience the month of Ramadan once more in our lives. The Holy Prophet(sa) once said that ‘if people knew about the excellences of Ramadan, then my ummah [Muslim community at large] would have wished the entire year to be Ramadan.’ Upon this, a person asked him as to what the excellences of Ramadan were. He replied, ‘Verily, paradise is decorated for Ramadan from the beginning to the end of the year.’ Likewise, in another narration, reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra), the Holy Prophet(sa) said that ‘whoever observes fasting during Ramadan in a state of faith and while self-evaluating, his previous sins will be forgiven and if you knew what the excellences of Ramadan are, you would have wished that the entire year were Ramadan.’

When man increases in faith, undertakes self-evaluation, watches over his shortcomings and actions, focuses on fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of people and tries to make his actions conducive to the will of Allah, only then is he granted forgiveness for his [past] sins. This is also the purpose of fasting during Ramadan, which Allah the Almighty has mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. In the verse, which I recited, [it is said that] ‘fasting is prescribed for you, the month of Ramadan is designated every year so that you may become righteous and taqwa means that every action should be undertaken for the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. Then only can you benefit from the fasting and save yourselves from the onslaughts of satan. When, you will fast with sincerity, being righteous, will you come in the refuge of Allah the Almighty.’

The Holy Prophet (sa) stated: whoever fasts during Ramadan in a state of faith while self-examining will have his previous sins forgiven. This is not something ordinary. The Promised Messiah (as) taught us that a state of faith cannot be attained to until and unless one recognises God. He further stated that we must cross the great stage of recognising and understanding God and if our understanding of God is defective or mingled with doubt or in any way weak, our faith shall never be glowing and imbued with light.

So how can one recognise God? This takes place through the manifestation of God’s Rahimiyyat (attribute of mercy) i.e. recognising God may only be achieved by means of the demonstration of God’s attribute of mercy. He further states that when God Almighty’s attributes of Rahimiyyat, grace and might are experienced, they safeguard from carnal passions, as carnal passions are brought about due to weakness of faith and conviction. Hence, it can be well understood that this faith is no ordinary matter. In fact, this is a great matter and an enormous target which we have been given, it is not only the fasting for 30 days, or preparing for the month of Ramadan, for these hold little importance. This importance can only increase when all our efforts from the training in this month are produced throughout the year. Whilst explaining the condition of faith and the way to rectify it, the Promised Messiah (as) in one place writes: “In actuality, there are two types of faith in God. One is restricted merely to the lip-service which has no effect on deeds and actions. (Faith is expressed but is not demonstrated in actions). The second type of faith in God is such which comes with practical testimony. He states: “I know that these people declare their faith in God but I see that despite this declaration, they are engulfed in the filth this world and polluted with the mist of sinfulness.”

The Promised Messiah (as) states: “Thus, the first responsibility of man should be to review their belief in God Almighty. This implies that they must not commit any deed that would indicate that they do not hold any regard for the Majesty of God, nor should it contradict any command of God Almighty.” Thus, this is the manner in which a believer can analyse themselves during this month of Ramadan... Read Full Summary