Click to read: Finding Love in Ramadan, Part 1
These five steps are all statements made by the messenger of Allah . Equally, they are typified in conduct by all those who were sent by Allah to lead humanity from darkness into light.
Prophet Yusuf life story, in particular, is highlighted by Imam Ibnul Jawzi in Bustan al-Wa’idhin wa Riyad as-Sami’in, as typifying the spirit of the month of Ramadan. Just like Prophet Yusuf was the most beloved of the twelve sons to Ya’qub , Ramadan is likewise the most beloved month to Allah from the twelve months.
Begin the month of Ramadan with a determined covenant of love for your spouse. Remember the du‘ā’ that was made for you on the day of your union. We congratulate a newly-wedded couple with this supplication:
May Allah place barakah (in your spouse) and give you barakah and may He unite both of you in goodness.”
The marital union is a blessed one that is governed by our obedience to Allah. Your union as husband and wife fulfills half of your religion. What blessing can be found in fasting from food and drink when your heart is turned away from the one who sits across from you at the time of breaking your fast?
The Prophet teaches,
A believing man should not hate a believing woman (wife). If he dislikes something in her character, he should be pleased with some other trait of hers.”
Begin with those nearest to you in relation. Exert yourself to righteousness towards your in-laws, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. Your neighbors have a right over you – be they Muslim or not.
Remember, that a believer loves for others what they love for themselves. The food of one is enough for two and that of three is enough for many.
Remember, that the one who feeds others receives the reward of their fasting, while those fasting lose nothing of their own reward.
Remember, that faithfulness is not complete unless you honor the elders and show compassion to the young and weakest in society.
Remember, always that Allah is gentle and loves gentleness.
Remember, that we will not enter paradise until we have faith; and we will not complete our faith, until we love one another.
Remember, that excellence is to gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the oppressed.
Remember, that kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith.
Remember, that Allah is not merciful to him who is not so to mankind.
Remember, to deal gently with humanity, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn them not.
Yusuf [alyahis] had the mercy and compassion to say to those who kidnapped him and placed him in harm’s way,
There is no reproach in blame for you (my brothers) today (for what you did to me in the past)…” [12:92]
Ramadan, which exceeds that of all the other months, is likewise the month of mercy, blessing, goodness, salvation from the Fire, and forgiveness.
The best of believers is the one who is in the service of others. The one who meets the needs of others, Allah will meet their need and the one who shelters others, Allah will shelter them. Seek to serve the visitors to the masjid, volunteer to help in the car park, organize ifṭār functions, and provide water for those praying tarāwīḥ. Search for ways to benefit your community and neighbors.
Serve others with your du‘ā’ for them and remember their previous good when you see recent error. Humble yourself to those who are not normally a part of your circle of association. Strip back the racial, ethnic and linguistic barriers the bar you from righteous association.
Yusuf’s brothers came to rely on him when they were in need of sustenance and, eventually, to purify their mistakes. He met them with compassion, service, and assistance. Even before they recognized him and his position of status he fed them, honored them, and instructed his servants:
Carry their belongings with you so that they don’t lose them.”
One person fulfilled the needs of eleven others, and the month of Ramadan is likewise one month that expunges the mistakes that span the other eleven months.
Take the first step, regardless of how much time has passed since you have seen a family member or whatever transgression has made you keep your distance, use this blessed and opportune time to reach out to those who have been estranged from you.
It’s as easy as picking up the phone and inviting him or her to your home for iftar.
The worst that can happen is that they turn you down or hang up the phone. The action is not for their sake but for Allah the Almighty. Fulfill your obligation of maintaining family ties and re-establishing past friendships.
There is no need to rehash the past once your estranged family member is in your presence. Forgiveness is the key to re-establishing your bond.
The Prophet said:
Forgive him who wrongs you; reconnect the one who cuts you off; do good to him who does evil to you; and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.”
A perfect example can be found in Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Word came to him that his very own cousin, to whom he had been giving much financial support, had publicly slandered his beloved daughter Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, immediately stopped giving him charity. Allah Almighty then revealed the celebrated verse (which means):
And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [24:22]
The Prophet said:
Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
Yusuf reconnected his brothers and invited his family to migrate to him, although they had committed the greatest of atrocities to him.
The believer to the believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.
Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life, and do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” (18:28)
Ya‘qūb , upon the loss of his pious son Yusuf and the knowledge that his sons were responsible, wept in complaint to Allah until his eyesight was lost. It was not until the scent of his pious son Yusuf arrived to him that his sight would return. He became strong after weakness, and began seeing after he was blind.
Likewise, if the sinner takes advantage of the season of Ramadan, sits with those who remind him of Allah, recites the Qur’an, befriends on the condition of faithfulness and uprightness, and avoids backbiting and vain talk in sinful company, he will become whole and strong after the infirmness of sin. Through Ramadan and the company of the righteous, he will grow near after being distant and be able to see with his heart after it was blind.
Ya Allah reform our hearts and increase our love for one another.
Ya Allah make light our burden, rejuvenate our energy, quell our fear, silence our gossipers, purge our hearts of hate and forgive us our trespasses.
Ya Allah suffice us when others turn away, grace us when hope wains, shelter us from envious eyes, contemptuous tongues, and sinful passion.
Ya Allah use us in the service of others, let the righteous love us and the sinful repent upon our hands, let the young learn, the elders advise, and grant us love of the ākhirah.
Ya Allah only you honor and with your allowance are some humbled, elevate us with the Qur’an & bless us with the sunnah of the best of man .
Ya Allah accept our fasting, standing in prayer by night, and bless us with a sincere repentance.