Opportunities for Forgiveness in Ramadan7 min read

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Opportunities for Forgiveness in Ramadan

Ramadan is a month wholly of forgiveness and mercy, in which the extent of all kinds of goodness and blessing is reached. Undoubtedly, this blessed month holds immense reward and forgiveness for fasting and praying, along with boundless reward for good deeds beyond measure and account. If a person, after having the chance to embrace this great month, fails to seek forgiveness and remains deprived of Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and salvation from Hell, then they are indeed most unfortunate and deprived. The Prophet () has said:

شقي عبدٌ أَدرك رمضانَ فَانسَلَخَ مِنهُ وَلَمْ يُغْفَر لَه

Unfortunate is the one who finds Ramadan and then this month passes him by without him seeking his forgiveness through (good deeds).

First Opportunity: Avoiding Major Sins

Generally, people do not give special importance to attaining Ramadan, thinking it just arrives in the cycle of months and years. However, getting this month is a matter of great fortune, and one who is not destined to have Ramadan can never attain it. Therefore, we should be immensely grateful to Allah for achieving this month and, considering its greatness, we should fulfill its etiquettes and requirements. And for the person who continues to establish prayer and avoids major sins, there is a promise of forgiveness for the sins of the entire year in this sacred month.

حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الطَّاهِرِ، وَهَارُونُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَيْلِيُّ، قَالاَ أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِي صَخْرٍ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ إِسْحَاقَ، مَوْلَى زَائِدَةَ حَدَّثَهُ عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ الصَّلَوَاتُ الْخَمْسُ وَالْجُمُعَةُ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ وَرَمَضَانُ إِلَى رَمَضَانَ مُكَفِّرَاتٌ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ إِذَا اجْتَنَبَ الْكَبَائِرَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported: Verily the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadhan to Ramadhan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins. (Sahih Muslim)

In the Noble Quran, Allah Almighty says:

إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا۟ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّـَٔاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًۭا كَرِيمًۭا

If you abstain from the major (sins) out of what you have been forbidden from, We shall write off your minor sins, and shall admit you to a noble entrance. (4:31)

In this verse, a special divine reward is also mentioned to encourage avoiding major sins. It states that if you abstain from major sins, We will forgive your minor sins ourselves, and thus you will be purified from all sins, both major and minor, and you will enter into a place of honor and comfort known as Paradise.” Therefore, we should especially avoid major sins during the blessed month of Ramadan.

Another opportunity: Observing the fasts of Ramadan

The saying of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is:

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ. وَمَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ. وَمَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ»

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven; and he who passes Lailat al-qadr [Night of Decree] in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim.)

Few deeds that guarantee Paradise, narrated by Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه), he states that a villager came to the service of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and requested, ‘Tell me of an action by which I can enter Paradise?’

He (ﷺ) said: ‘Worship Allah and associate none with Him, establish obligatory prayers, pay the Zakat, and fast during Ramadan.’ The man swore by Him in whose hand is my life, ‘I will not do more than this.’ When the man turned away, he (ﷺ) remarked, ‘Whoever wants to see a man of Paradise, should look at this one. By Him in whose hand is the life of Muhammad (ﷺ)! The smell coming from the mouth of a fasting person is more beloved to Allah on the Day of Judgment than the fragrance of musk. There are two joys for the fasting person: one when he breaks his fast he is pleased, and the other when he meets his Lord, he will be pleased because of his fasting.

Third Opportunity: The Night Prayer (Qiyam al-Layl)

In the blessed month of Ramadan, the night prayer (Qiyam al-Layl) holds great significance and virtue. It was the blessed practice of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) that during the nights of Ramadan, he would engage extensively in prayer, glorification (Tasbeeh), praise (Tahleel), and recitation of the Quran. It is narrated from Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه):

أَخْبَرَنَا نُوحُ بْنُ حَبِيبٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُرَغِّبُ فِي قِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَأْمُرَهُمْ بِعَزِيمَةٍ قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to encourage (us) to pray Qiyam during Ramadan, without insisting on that, and he said: ‘Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer (Qiyam) out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins’ (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

This blessed Hadith makes it clear that standing in prayer during the nights of Ramadan holds great significance. In Ramadan, the Taraweeh prayer is also an important aspect of Qiyam-ul-Lail, demanding that the blessed nights of Ramadan be spent in wakefulness. The extent of standing in prayer during this month is not matched in the remaining eleven months of the year. This indicates the divine intention that individuals should spend the nights of Ramadan in worship, remembrance, and contemplation in the presence of Allah, making provisions for His pleasure. This is because it is mentioned in traditions that Allah Almighty descends to the lowest heaven during the nights of Ramadan and calls out to His servants three times.

هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأَعْطِيَهُ سُؤْلَهُ، هَلْ مِنْ تَائِبٍ فَأْتُوْبَ عَلَيْهِ؟ هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرفَاغْفِرَ لَهُ

Is there anyone asking, so that I may fulfill their need, is there anyone repenting, so that I may accept their repentance, is there anyone seeking forgiveness, so that I may forgive them?

In this way, the unfortunate human spends these moments in the sleep of negligence. And does not receive his share of Divine Mercy.

Fourth Opportunity: Staying Up During the Last Ten Nights

The virtue of staying up during the nights of Ramadan increases in the last ten days because it includes Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree). The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) used to stay awake at night and exert great effort during this decade. Describing the virtue of staying up during Laylat al-Qadr, he said:

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ. وَمَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ. وَمَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ»

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven; and he who passes Lailat al-qadr [Night of Decree] in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Fifth Opportunity: The Time of Iftar

Although every moment of Ramadan is an opportunity for the acceptance of prayers, the moments at the time of Iftar are especially precious. These are among the assured times for the acceptance of prayers. Sayyidna Jabir bin Abdullah (رضي الله عنه) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ فِطْرٍ عُتَقَاءَ وَذَلِكَ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “At every breaking of the fast Allah has people whom He frees (from the Fire), and that happens every night.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Therefore, especially at the time of Iftar, pray for the acceptance of the fast, forgiveness of sins, elevation of ranks, liberation from Hell, and entry into Paradise.

Sixth Opportunity: Engaging in Numerous Righteous Acts during Ramadan

The greatest act of worship in the blessed month of Ramadan is fasting, but along with fasting, we should also engage in numerous other righteous acts. This is because every night, a call for seekers of goodness is made by Allah Almighty, and tidings of liberation from Hell are given.

Seventh Opportunity: Charity

Charity extinguishes sins and is an important means for the forgiveness of sins. Narrated by Ka’b bin ‘Ajrah (رضي الله عنه), the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

الصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِئُ الخَطِيئَةَ كَمَا يُطْفِئُ المَاءُ النَّارَ

Charity extinguishes sin just as water extinguishes fire.

The Virtue of Charity in Ramadan

Hazrat Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) narrates that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) was asked:

فَأَيُّ الصَّدَقَةِ أَفْضَلُ؟ قَالَ : صَدَقَةٌ فِي رَمَضَانَ

Which charity is the best? You (ﷺ) said: Giving charity in Ramadan is the best.

 

رمضان میں بخشش کے مواقع

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