Ramadan Past, Present and Future

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ramadan Past

How might the Ramadan of the older generations have looked like?

Well, we know what the Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) Ramadan was like.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ‏.‏

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ‏.‏

Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume  3, Hadeeth No. 241]

And we know that his Companions (radiallahu anhum) did exactly what he did.

We also know that the people of the past were closer to the Prophetic way than the people who came later (i.e. us).

So, I’m assuming there was lots of this:

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And loads of this:

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And a bunch of this:

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And quite a bit of this:

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They probably spent a lot of time in:

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This was probably what their meals looked like:

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Because they were spending time in these:

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And not in these:

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Or in these:

Ramadan Present

Before we get to the present, let me randomly share two hadeeth with you:

عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ قَوْمٌ يَتَسَمَّنُونَ وَيُحِبُّونَ السِّمَنَ يُعْطُونَ الشَّهَادَةَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُسْأَلُوهَا ‏”

Imran ibn Husain (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The best of people are my generation, then those who follow them. Then, after them a people will come who increase in fatness, loving fatness, giving testimony before they are asked for it.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2221. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ خَيْرُ أُمَّتِي الْقَرْنُ الَّذِينَ بُعِثْتُ فِيهِمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ أَذَكَرَ الثَّالِثَ أَمْ لاَ ‏”‏ ثُمَّ يَظْهَرُ قَوْمٌ يَشْهَدُونَ وَلاَ يُسْتَشْهَدُونَ وَيَنْذِرُونَ وَلاَ يُوفُونَ وَيَخُونُونَ وَلاَ يُؤْتَمَنُونَ وَيَفْشُو فِيهِمُ السِّمَنُ ‏”‏

Imran ibn Husain (radiallahu anhu) reported the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying : The best of my people is the generation in which I have been sent, then their immediate followers, then their immediate followers. Allah knows best whether he mentioned the third or not. After them will be people who will give testimony without being asked, who will make vows which they do not fulfill, who will be treacherous and not to be trusted, among whom fatness will appear. [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4657. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

I wonder who all those fat people are?

Anyway, back to the present.

We all know what our favourite activity is during the month of fasting, don’t we?

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That’s because we spend so much time in our favourite place:

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Another place where we love to spend time in Ramadan is:

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…where we enjoy participating in:

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After all:

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We need the energy for the worship, don’t we?

We also daydream about when we can go to our second home:

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Remember?

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Of course, people can’t go there during Ramadan because they are busy tending to important matters:

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And when they return home, they like to continue being busy so that they can “forget” their hunger:

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Of course, let’s not forget the prayer. We like to give it our all, don’t we?

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And we do recite the  Quran, obviously.

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If we were to try to write down the thoughts that go through our mind as we recite, the pages would look like this:

And of course, there’s all the charity that we give:

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… after making sure that the poor person REALLY deserves it:

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I mean, we need to know who our money is going to, right?

And we do spend time in the masjid, don’t we?

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And we’re very active inside it:

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Anyway, the most important thing is that:

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[What happened to these Ramadan resolutions then?]

Ramadan Future

Now, one might ask how I could talk about future Ramadans when that is not known to us. No, it’s not known but there are certain events that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) mentioned that will take place in the future.

Was Ramadan mentioned? Not that I have across, no. However, there is a narration where fasting and other acts of worship are mentioned.

عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ بْنِ الْيَمَانِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ يَدْرُسُ الإِسْلاَمُ كَمَا يَدْرُسُ وَشْىُ الثَّوْبِ حَتَّى لاَ يُدْرَى مَا صِيَامٌ وَلاَ صَلاَةٌ وَلاَ نُسُكٌ وَلاَ صَدَقَةٌ وَلَيُسْرَى عَلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي لَيْلَةٍ فَلاَ يَبْقَى فِي الأَرْضِ مِنْهُ آيَةٌ وَتَبْقَى طَوَائِفُ مِنَ النَّاسِ الشَّيْخُ الْكَبِيرُ وَالْعَجُوزُ يَقُولُونَ أَدْرَكْنَا آبَاءَنَا عَلَى هَذِهِ الْكَلِمَةِ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ فَنَحْنُ نَقُولُهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ صِلَةُ مَا تُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَدْرُونَ مَا صَلاَةٌ وَلاَ صِيَامٌ وَلاَ نُسُكٌ وَلاَ صَدَقَةٌ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ حُذَيْفَةُ ثُمَّ رَدَّهَا عَلَيْهِ ثَلاَثًا كُلَّ ذَلِكَ يُعْرِضُ عَنْهُ حُذَيْفَةُ ثُمَّ أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْهِ فِي الثَّالِثَةِ فَقَالَ يَا صِلَةُ تُنْجِيهِمْ مِنَ النَّارِ ‏.‏ ثَلاَثًا ‏.‏

It was narrated from Hudhaifah ibn Al-Yaman (radiallahu anhuma) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Islam will wear out as embroidery on a garment wears out, until no one will know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites and charity are. The Book of Allah will be taken away at night, and not one verse of it will be left on earth. And there will be some people left, old men and old women, who will say: “We saw our fathers saying these words: ‘La ilaaha illallah’ (None has the right to be worshipped except Allah) so we say them too.” Silah said to him: “What good will (saying): La ilaaha illallah do them, when they do not know what fasting, prayer, (pilgrimage) rites and charity are?” Hudhaifah turned away from his. He repeated his question three times, and Hudhaifah turned away from him each time. Then he turned to him on the third time and said: “O Silah! It will save them from Hell,” three times. [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 4049. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

Subhan Allah, there will be a time when there is no fasting so what will Ramadan look like then? Will people even know what it is?

And they won’t even know about prayer or charity or Hajj.

Speaking of Hajj, the Kabah will also be raised up at the end of time:

عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: استمتِعوا مِن هذا البيتِ فإنَّه قد هُدِم مرَّتَيْنِ ويُرفَعُ في الثَّالثةِ

Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Enjoy this House, as it has been destroyed twice and will be raised up on the third.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadeeth No. 6753. Shuaib Al-Arnaut said that its isnaad (chain) was sahih (authentic).]

And the Quran will be raised up from the mushafs.

And they won’t even know what tawheed (singling out Allah for worship) is except for the Shahaadah. That’s it.

The Ummah will actually return to worshipping idols. Can you believe it?

عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَلْحَقَ قَبَائِلُ مِنْ أُمَّتِي بِالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَحَتَّى يَعْبُدُوا الأَوْثَانَ وَإِنَّهُ سَيَكُونُ فِي أُمَّتِي ثَلاَثُونَ كَذَّابُونَ كُلُّهُمْ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ وَأَنَا خَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي ‏”

Thawban (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:”The Hour shall not be established until tribes of my Ummah unite with the idolaters, and until they worship idols. And indeed there shall be thirty imposters in my Ummah, each of them claiming that he is a Prophet. And I am the last of the Prophets, there is no Prophet after me.”  [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2219. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Al-Albani.]

عَنِ  أَبُي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَضْطَرِبَ أَلَيَاتُ نِسَاءِ دَوْسٍ عَلَى ذِي الْخَلَصَةِ ‏”‏‏.‏ وَذُو الْخَلَصَةَ طَاغِيَةُ دَوْسٍ الَّتِي كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ‏.‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The Hour will not be established till the buttocks of the women of the tribe of Daws move while going round Dhul-Khalasa.” Dhul-Khalasa was the idol of the Daws tribe which they used to worship in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadeeth No. 232]

[Interestingly enough, Daws is supposed to be the tribe of Abu Hurairah – the narrator of this hadeeth!]

Imagine. Just imagine. What kind of horrible time will this be? Idols worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula? This is a place where even grave worship is not as widespread (as compared to some other places). Subhan Allah.

You thought that this post was about poking fun at the way our Ummah (Muslim nation) behaves today, right? Actually, no. It isn’t. I was just trying to show how easy it is to mock the current generation. We keep comparing the present generation to the people of the past and then we get annoyed because we aren’t at that level.

Yes, the Muslims of today are not like the Muslims of yesterday but our Ummah really isn’t that bad. We need to look at the bright side:

  • Many people still know what tawheed is.
  • Many people still pray.
  • The masjids are full in Ramadan.
  • The Quran is still being recited. Yes, many people don’t understand but, on the bright side, at least they are trying to do SOMETHING.
  • Many people still give in charity.
  • People still go for Hajj and Umrah. In Ramadan, the Haram is packed.

We always complain about what a bad time that we are living in. You know what? Compared to what is going to come, it is still okay. We need to realise this so that instead of always complaining, we can show gratitude to Allah.

You see, each generation gets worse.

عن حُذَيْفَةَ بْنَ الْيَمَانِ، يَقُولُ كَانَ النَّاسُ يَسْأَلُونَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنِ الْخَيْرِ، وَكُنْتُ أَسْأَلُهُ عَنِ الشَّرِّ مَخَافَةَ أَنْ يُدْرِكَنِي‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا كُنَّا فِي جَاهِلِيَّةٍ وَشَرٍّ، فَجَاءَنَا اللَّهُ بِهَذَا الْخَيْرِ، فَهَلْ بَعْدَ هَذَا الْخَيْرِ مِنْ شَرٍّ قَالَ ‏”‏ نَعَمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ وَهَلْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الشَّرِّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ قَالَ ‏”‏ نَعَمْ، وَفِيهِ دَخَنٌ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ وَمَا دَخَنُهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ قَوْمٌ يَهْدُونَ بِغَيْرِ هَدْيِي تَعْرِفُ مِنْهُمْ وَتُنْكِرُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ فَهَلْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الْخَيْرِ مِنْ شَرٍّ قَالَ ‏”‏ نَعَمْ دُعَاةٌ إِلَى أَبْوَابِ جَهَنَّمَ، مَنْ أَجَابَهُمْ إِلَيْهَا قَذَفُوهُ فِيهَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صِفْهُمْ لَنَا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ هُمْ مِنْ جِلْدَتِنَا، وَيَتَكَلَّمُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِنَا ‏”‏ قُلْتُ فَمَا تَأْمُرُنِي إِنْ أَدْرَكَنِي ذَلِكَ قَالَ ‏”‏ تَلْزَمُ جَمَاعَةَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَإِمَامَهُمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ جَمَاعَةٌ وَلاَ إِمَامٌ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَاعْتَزِلْ تِلْكَ الْفِرَقَ كُلَّهَا، وَلَوْ أَنْ تَعَضَّ بِأَصْلِ شَجَرَةٍ حَتَّى يُدْرِكَكَ الْمَوْتُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Hudhaifah ibn Al-Yaman (radiallahu anhu): The people used to ask Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) about good, but I used to ask him about evil for fear that it might overtake me. Once I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allah has bestowed upon us the present good; will there by any evil after this good?” He said, “Yes.” I asked, “Will there be good after that evil?” He said, “Yes, but it would be tained with Dakhan (i.e. little evil).” I asked, “What will its Dakhan be?” He said, “There will be some people who will lead (people) according to principles other than my tradition. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.” I said, “Will there by any evil after that good?” He said, “Yes, there will be some people who will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it (by them).” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)! Describe those people to us.” He said, “They will belong to us and speak our language” I asked, “What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my life?” He said, “Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Chief.” I asked, “If there is neither a group (of Muslims) nor a chief (what shall I do)?” He said, “Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadeeth No. 803]

عَنِ الزُّبَيْرِ بْنِ عَدِيٍّ، قَالَ أَتَيْنَا أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ فَشَكَوْنَا إِلَيْهِ مَا نَلْقَى مِنَ الْحَجَّاجِ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اصْبِرُوا، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَأْتِي عَلَيْكُمْ زَمَانٌ إِلاَّ الَّذِي بَعْدَهُ شَرٌّ مِنْهُ، حَتَّى تَلْقَوْا رَبَّكُمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ نَبِيِّكُمْ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏

Narrated Az-Zubair ibn Adi: We went to Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) and complained about the wrong we were suffering at the hand of Al- Hajjaj. Anas bin Malik said, “Be patient till you meet your Lord, for no time will come upon you but the time following it will be worse than it. I heard that from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).”  [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadeeth No. 188]

We’re always putting down our Ummah. Let’s look at the positive side.

When we see many people fast, let’s try to a bit happy for them rather than calling them “Ramadan Muslims”.

When we see the masjids packed with people, let’s be happy that they come, rather than just  focusing on the bad behaviour of some individuals.

When we go to the Haram, let’s be happy to see the Kabah still there instead of grumbling about people fighting to touch the black stone.

Let’s be happy that the Quran is still with us instead of complaining that people only read without understanding.

Let’s be happy that we haven’t yet gone back to idol worship (although something similar – grave worship – exists unfortunately) instead of complaining about how nobody knows what tawheed is. [Yes, many people are lacking in tawheed but at least many others know what it is, alhamdulillah.]

[I’m guilty of all of the above unfortunately so I’m not pointing fingers at anyone.]

If we look at the bright side, we’ll be more positive when we approach people to call them to good (which we absolutely have to do). Instead of putting them down, we’ll be able to raise them up so that they become better Muslims.

There’s one more thing that we need to do though. We need to teach our children about this beautiful religion. One of the reasons, that each generation becomes worse, is because their parents did not teach them about Allah and His Messenger. Instead they only focused on worldly matters like education, jobs, marriage and children. These are all important yes, but they cannot be given precedence over knowing the Quran and Sunnah, because the latter two are what help us to get to Paradise.

So please let’s focus on learning Islam and teaching it to the next generation so that they too will live in a time where people pray and fast and more importantly know about tawheed, and not in a time where Islam has been completely forgotten.

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