Tasting the rich blessings of the holy month, Ramadhan

Council of Imams and Preachers - Uasin Gishu County (centre) leader Sheik Abubakar Bini addresses the press at Madarasa Tul Huda School during Ramadhan celebrations in Eldoret. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Muslims have throughout the year from around the world been praying thus, “Allahumma ballighnaa Ramadhan.”

This supplication translates to ‘O Allah, let us reach the month of Ramadhan!’.

This simple yet powerful supplication underscores the richness of the Holy month in terms of benefits for the fasting Muslim, which, according to Quran and hadith, are so innumerable.

The prophet said: "Allah says, ‘Every deed of man is for him except for fasting; it is for me and I shall reward for it.”

However, scholars of hadith and Quran have singled out many other benefits that a fasting person is to expect for observing the month long fast.

According to Sheikh Hassan Omar of Council for Imams and Preachers Kenya (CIPK), some of the benefits are to be reaped right here on Earth with the bulk of the benefits are kept for us in the hereafter.

The Sheikh says that those fasting enjoy an outpouring of Allahs blessings and mercy as the messenger said: “Do good all the time, and seek to be recipients of the ‘outpouring’ of Allah’s mercy. Indeed, Allah showers down these (special) ‘outpourings’ of His mercy to whomsoever He wills from His slaves.”

Muslim faithful hold 'Salat Istisqa' in Mombasa's Tononoka Grounds in March 2023. [Ishaq Jumbe, Standard]

Another benefit is that Ramadhan protects you the entire year. The prophet said: “The five daily prayers, Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah, and Ramadhan to Ramadhan expiate for (the sins perpetrated) in between them, so long as one stays away from the major sins.”

According to the scholar, many Muslims who are encumbered by the hassle and bustle of life take time to recite the Quran from cover to cover, thus familiarising themselves with the message of their lord and earning reward.

Allah says in the Quran: “Ramadhan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed – a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion, (between right and wrong)."

Whereas the prophet said: “The scriptures of Ibrahim were revealed on the first night of Ramadhan."

The Torah was revealed after six nights of Ramadhan had passed. The gospel was revealed after thirteen nights of Ramadhan had passed. The Qur’an was revealed after twenty-four nights of Ramadhan had passed.”

Meaning that Ramadhan and the Quran go hand in hand, making the recitation of the Quran in this month in particular especially beneficial.

Muslim faithful breaking fast outside Mackinon Market in Mombasa County. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

The Sheikh further reminds us of the prophet’s hadith that states that fasting is a shield meaning that it keeps us from hellfire and that the gates of Rayaan are opened.

Sheikh Umar says Ramadhan is a time to be charitable and hardly any Muslim at this time goes without iftaar as people understand the benefits of helping a brother.

He bases this on the prophetic tradition that states: “Whoever provides iftar for a fasting person, he will have the same reward as him, without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.”

And among the biggest reward of the month of Ramadhan according to Sheikh Umar is the opportunity that has been equated with performing hajj (pilgrimage) with the prophet.

The scholar says: “These are just a tip of the iceberg as the benefits of fasting are many with far reaching benefits during our lifetime and the day of resurrection.”