Asalamu alaykum my dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
I pray you are all well. May the peace, love, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you all wherever you are around the world. On this beautiful occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan, Magnetic Love With Ramadan this year presents a three part series of audio lectures called ‘RISE UP’ that aims to motivate and inspire us on how to make the most of Ramadan. The first lecture is titled ‘Reminiscing how the Sahaba spent their Ramadan’ that discusses the productivity of the companions of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon Him.
Ma’ali bin Fudail said,
‘They used to ask Allah the Almighty six months before Ramadhan to grant them long life so that they could reach Ramadhan and they used to ask Allah the Almighty six months after Ramadhan to accept their fasting’.
Subhanallah! Their time was spent in worship and making supplication.
The first aspect I will focus on in how the Sahaba spent Ramadan is fasting. Our Beloved Prophet peace be upon said:
"Every good deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied. He will receive ten-fold to seven-hundred-fold reward for a good deed. Allah the Glorious and Majestic has said 'but fasting is exceptional, for it is done for Me and I will give reward for it, since one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it and joy when he meets his Lord; and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk." [AI-Bukhari and Muslim].
In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him said:
"Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise his voice; rather if anyone reviles him or quarrels with him, he should say, 'I am fasting."' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This emphasises that reward from Allah the Most High is not only to abstain from food and drink but also to watch our tongue and action; this is how the Sahaba lived their lives not only in Ramadan but beyond.
The next aspect in how the companions of the Prophet Peace and blessings be upon him spent their Ramadan is prayer. Qiyam Al-Layl is the night prayer and was a regular act of the Prophet and his companions may Allah be pleased with them all.
Our Beloved Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
“Whoever stands (for the night prayer during) Ramadan with belief and hope, (then) his past sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari and Muslim)
One of the companions, Umar bin Al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with him used to pray at night what he wished, until it was in the middle of the night, when he would wake up his family to pray; then he would say to them "prayer.. prayer", and would recite this verse of the Qur'an, "Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the fruit of the Hereafter is for righteousness" [Qur'an 20:132].
Another form of prayer that is conducted during the month of Ramadan is I’tikaf. This is an act of worship where we stay in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadan anticipating Laylat Al-Qadr (The Night of Power), praying, supplicating, reciting Quran and perform many other good acts with good intention and determination. Our Beloved Prophet peace and blessings be upon him used to look out for Laylat Al-Qadr and commanded the Sahaba to also look for it. He used to wake up his family in hope to succeed in meeting this blessed night.
Ubada may Allah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said, "Whoever stays awake in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr, and succeeds in getting it, will have all of his sins both past and future forgiven." [Ahmad, Al-Nisai].
It has been reported that the companions took a bath and perfumed during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
In addition during Ramadan, the sahaba used to pray Fajr prayer until sunrise [Muslim]
Furthermore, Taraweeh is one of the main parts of Ramadan. The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said to the sahaba.
‘Now that we do not have the fear that Taraweeh Salah will become fardh on us, we can start performing it in congregation.” He then asked Ubay bin Kaab Radiallahu Anhu to lead the Taraweeh Salah – twenty rakaats followed by three rakaats Witr.” [Sahih Bukhari]
The third aspect in how the Sahaba spent Ramadan is to perform Umrah during the blessed month of Ramadan. Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said
"An Umrah performed in Ramadan is equal in reward to Hajj." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Furthermore, the Sahaba loved to give charity and help the poor. It has a special significance so do not hesitate to give out according to your means. The Prophet peace and blessings upon him was the most generous of all kinds and even more during Ramadan.
Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said ‘The best charity is one given during Ramadan." [Al-Tirmidhi].
Zayd Ibn Aslam narrated from his father as saying, "I heard Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) say, Prophet peace and blessings be upon him commanded us to donate to charity, so I gave some of my wealth. Then I said, 'Today I will compete with Abu Bakr if I can ever do so.' Then I donated half of my wealth. The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him asked me, 'What did you leave for your family?' He said, 'I said the same as what I gave out.' But Abu Bakr brought all of his wealth and the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him asked him, 'What did you leave for your family?' He replied, 'I left them with Allah and His Messenger,' I said, 'I will never compete with you for anything again.
The sahaba used to ensure that they fed others based upon the following hadith:
Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said
"When a believer feeds a hungry believer, Allah will feed him from the fruits of Paradise. And when he quenches the thirst of a believer, Allah will make him drink from the pure sealed wine of Paradise." [Al-Tirmidhi].
Furthermore, the sahaba did not stop making supplication and kept asking Allah for forgiveness. They even used to read Quran – Ramadan is the month of Quran and they used to recite the Qur'an during prayers and at other times. Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) used to complete reciting the Qur'an once each day. Some of the sahaba completed the Quran in their qiyam prayer every three nights, others completed it every seven days, while some others completed it every ten nights. One of the sahaba, sufyan Al-Thawn left all other acts of worship and concentrated on the Qur'an. The sahaba used to weep whilst reciting the Quran.
In a hadith in AI-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, 'Recite (the Qur'an) to me.' Then I said, 'How can I recite to you when it was revealed to you?' The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'I like to hear it from someone else."' Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud said, "I recited the Qur'an from Surah Al-Nisa' until I reached the verse that says, 'How will it be then, when We bring from every nation a witness and bring you to witness over all of them"' [Qur'an 4:41]. The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'That is enough.' I turned to the Prophet (pbuh) and found his eyes flooding with tears."'
Ten days may have passed but it is never too late to improve. I hope you found this lecture useful. Anything good is from Allah and anything bad is from myself and shaytan. Salam