preparing for ramadhan
It is a good time to prepare for Ramadhan. This holy and blessed month in which only the wicked / damned Shaghi 1 will not be forgiven of his sins (as per hadith narrated from the prophet s.a.w). This is a month to be awaited the whole year round. It is a beautiful month.
Let’s read Dua no 45 of Sahifa Sajaadiyya of Imam Sajjad and see how he talks about Ramadhan and how he addresses the month:
1. السّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا شَهْرَ اللّهِ الْأَكْبَرَ، وَ يَا عِيدَ أَوْلِيَائِهِ.
2. السّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَكْرَمَ مَصْحُوبٍ مِنَ الْأَوْقَاتِ، وَ يَا خَيْرَ شَهْرٍ فِي الْأَيّامِ وَ السّاعَاتِ.
3. السّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ شَهْرٍ قَرُبَتْ فِيهِ الْآمَالُ، وَ نُشِرَتْ فِيهِ الْأَعْمَالُ.
4. السّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ قَرِينٍ جَلّ قَدْرُهُ مَوْجُوداً، وَ أَفْجَعَ فَقْدُهُ مَفْقُوداً، وَ مَرْجُوٍّ آلَمَ فِرَاقُهُ
As you see Imam is addressing Ramadhan not as something that has passed and vanished. As we know time is of a nature that when it passes it is over and seems very much vanishing, perishing and an ended thing that does not come back. It feels to us like some thing that is over. Whereas if this was the case why would Imam addresses it like a living thing? Let’s See the few lines of translation of above verses of dua:
1. Salaam to you, oh the greatest month of Allah and the EID of Allah’s friends
2. Salaam to you, oh the best companions amongst the times, and the best month in days and times.
3. Salaam to you, oh the month in which our wishes are so close and the month in which good acts (Amaal) are in abundance.
4. Salaam to you, oh the companion who when comes, its respect is great and when leaves it is being missed sadly, and it’s absence is torturing.
As you see Ramadhan is being addressed as living being which
does not perish and exist in the future too.
The secret lies behind the fact that time seems in material universe (where we live in, understand and feel by our 5 senses) is a passing and ending phenomena. We also know time is a creature of Allah and like any other creature has an existence in universe of Barzakh 2 as well as universe of intellect. Any creature of Allah in material universe has been created in universe of intellect (Aghl )3 beforehand. This is a universe in Quran is refereed to as “ALAMOL AMR ” 4 or “universe of command” wherein, the creation is instant. In “universe of command” The moment Allah says “KON ” 5 which means “BE” it is created. Universes of AGHL and BARZAKH and in general issue of universes are of great importance in understanding Quran, Hadith, Dua and Ziaarat.
Times like all other creatures has an existence in universe of intellect (Aghl) which is called “SARMAD ” 6 and it is an intellectual being and also has an existence in universe of BARZAKH in which it is called “DAHR ” 7. It may not be easy to comprehend it by few lines of this article, but from above supplication what is easy to understand and seems obvious, is that Ramadhan is not vanished after it is ended. It keeps coming and going over the years.
Understanding the thousands folds rewards for the acts and practices in Ramadhan promised by Allah, lies behind the reality of Ramadhan in the other two mentioned universes and relationship of three universes of matter, Barzakh and intellect with each other.
I refer the readers to following Quranic verse:
تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ ( Al-Ma’arej-verse 4)
Translation (SHAKIR): To Him ascend the angels and the Spirit in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years.
This is about “Ghiyaamat” or day of resurrection, which says a day of it is equal to 50,000 years of this world. This may be a hint how some thing in some times has many more folds rewards than usual. (ponder upon it).
However this is not only about the Ramadhan and all other months and days and times are the same and have another reality beyond what we sense in this world. Time as a whole is a reality beyond what we understand in material world.
As we know two great acts (Amaal) about this month are reading of Quran and trying to realize “Laylatol-Ghadr” by keeping up three nights of 19,21 and 23rd Ramadhan.
It is narrated that “every thing has a spring and the spring of Quran is Ramadhan”. We are very much encouraged to read Quran in this month and most of people aim at reading the whole Quran at least once in this month. But as I said earlier in this article about the universes and that every thing has a reality in all three universes of Matter, Barzakh and Intellect, Quran as a written book and words of it is what we see of it in universe of matter. Quran has also existence in those other two universes. The lowest benefit of Quran is reading of it as material universe is the lowest of the other two universes.
However this is not to say reading Quran is some thing of insignificance, rather we know and emphasis that it is hugely recommended to read Quran, but we have to understand there are other far greater benefits in dealing with Quran in proper way in this month.
If we want to tap other aspects of Quran we must act as per Quranic instructions to achieve the rewards of Quran of universe of Barzakh. This means our daily acts must match with
what Quran is commanding us to do.
As much Barzakh is far greater and higher universe than material universe, similarly acting upon Quran has far greater reward and consequence than just reading it. I wonder how it would be if we read Quran and God forbid act against it!
Now as much universe of Intellect (Aghl) is greater than universe of Barzakh and matter, learning (MA’AREF)8 of Quran (Knowledge / ILM of Allah in Quran) is far greater in any aspect than reading it and acting upon it. However one should remember any knowledge when is not put in to practice will be taken away by Allah. In other words knowledge in the way of learning some thing and memorizing it, is only good as long as we live in this world, and if it has not become existential knowledge when we die we leave it behind. This is a vast topic by itself and not meant to be addressed in details in this article.
Nevertheless let’s get prepared for this blessed month in the remaining days of Shabaan and practice a bit of avoiding food during the day, keeping our 5 senses clean, keeping our external body-parts such as hands, feet and tongue away from sins. If we can not give the minimum (Tahaarat ) 9 to our 5 senses and external body-parts we shall not touch slightest meaning and depth of Quran.
Oh Allah help us to be a good servant of you and realize the blessings of your beautiful month of Ramadhan and open our hearts in to the realities of existence. A’amin.
1. Shaghi: Arabic word meaning; cursed, damn.
2. Barzakh برزخ : Intermediate world. The universe after death and before “Ghiyaamat” or day of resurrection.
3. Aghl عقل: Arabic word for intellect.
4. ALAMOL AMR عالم امر: Universe of command.
5. KON كن : Arabic word meaning BE.
6. SARMAD سرمد : The name of reality of time in universe of intellect (Aghl)
7. DAHR دهر: The name of reality of time in universe of Barzakh.
8. MA’AREF معارف : Sciences, but usually not used for experimental sciences.
9. Tahaarat طهارت : Arabic word for cleanliness.
Author: Saeid tabar, Auckland