By: Zaynab Academy
Source: Zaynab Academy
Alhamdulillah, by the Grace of Allah, Most High, you have completed the first 10 days of Ramadan – the first Ashrah of Ramadan – you just prayed the 11th Taraweeh prayer and insha’Allah if you rise in the morning to see another day, you will intend to fast the 11th day of Ramadan.
Our master, the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned in hadith that Ramadan has three parts: the first 10 days are mercy (rahmah) from Allah, Most High, the middle 10 days are forgiveness (maghfirah) from Allah, Most High, and the last 10 days are emancipation from the Hellfire.
What we normally witness at the mosques is that the first few days of Ramadan, we have a surge of people. This lasts till the 4, 5th of Ramadan and then it starts to dip again. Many of us have it in us that in the beginning of Ramadan, we have a lot of jazba and passion, but then it begins to dip and fade in the middle and all of a sudden in the last 10 days, the last ashrah, in search of the Night of Power (Laila tul Qadr) and in seclusion in the mosque (‘itekaaf) we have a surge again.
Now, it’s strange when we think of this that the middle 10 days are the days of maghfirah from Allah, Most High. We should actually be increasing in our passion in these middle 10 days. And that is one way to understand how Allah, Most High, Has put this rahmah in the first 10 days i.e. out of His Mercy Allah, Most High, allowed us to fast although we weren’t worthy of such an ibadah. In the first 10 days, Allah, Most High, out of His Mercy let us increase in our good works (a‘amaal), in our worship (ibadaat) although we weren’t worthy of such an honour and in the first 10 days, out of His Mercy, Allah, Most High, Enabled us to do those a’amaal that may now be a means of earning His maghfirah. That is really what the whole month of Ramadan is; the whole month of Ramadan is just another occasion, just an “excuse” for Allah, Most High, to forgive our sins.
You just spent the first 10 days of Ramadan earning a reason for Allah, Most High, to forgive us – 10 days of fasting; 10 days of Taraweeh; and (for the vast majority of us) 10 days of staying away from gross and manifest and repugnant sin. Allah, Most High, is such an incredibly Merciful Being that that servant and slave of His, who lives his entire life as a sinner, if for only 10 days he lives like a servant and even that was only due to the Mercy of Allah, Most High, but nonetheless he lived like a servant and Allah, Most High, Has opened these middle 10 days for maghfirah. Now Allah, Most High, increases the forgiveness! Every day and every night [in these middle 10 days] Allah, Most High, will take out thousands and thousands of His slaves from the destiny of Hellfire and will be now admitted into Jannah.
The whole apparatus of Ramadan that we have been talking about is for this reason i.e. for maghfirah:
– Closing the doors of Jahannum; opening the doors of Jannah
– Closing and binding all of the Shayateen
– Enabling us to fast to discipline our Nafs
– Putting us in a state of ibadat for 14, 15 hours of the day
– Telling us to pray Taraweeh prayers, extra at night
All of this, in order to forgive us.
So, it behooves us now, rather than letting ourselves dip rather than lapsing, that we should enter these middle 10 days with a renewed passion and the passion that we should have in these 10 days is seeking the forgiveness of Allah, Most High. That is why Allah, Most High, has said in the Qur’an-e-Karim:
Allah, Most High, Says about Himself that I am At-tawwaab and I (Allah, Most High) am Ar-Rahim
First meaning of At-Tawwab: refers to that being who accepts the Taubah of the people who turn unto Him. Taubah means to turn in repentance to Allah, Most High; to Turn away from sin and towards Allah, Most High; to turn away from ignorance, towards ‘ilm; to turn away from misguidance, to being rightly guided; to turn away from Ghaflah -being absent minded-, towards Dhikr-remembrance of Allah; to turn away from sins, back to obedience; to turn away from all of ghair-ullah, towards Allah, Most High. And At-tawwab means that Allah, Most High, Accepts such a person’s Taubah.
Second meaning of At-Tawwab: is related to us that we are At-Taaib that we are returning to Allah, Most High. At-Tawwab means that Allah, Most High, is infinitely turning towards us. Just like the person who makes Taubah turns towards Allah, Most High, Allah, Most High’s Calling Himself At-Tawwab means that He is infinitely eternally turning towards that person who turns towards Him.
This article is a rough transcription of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) during Ramadan 2009.