a) The Golden Month
How was the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام prepared for Ramadan.
How was their Ramadan? Was their Ramadan like our Ramadan? How was their feeling when Ramadan started?
Ma’ali bin Fudail said, ‘They used to ask Allah the Almighty six months before Ramadan to grant them long life so that they could reach Ramadan and they used to ask Allah the Almighty six months after Ramadan to accept their fasting’.
Their whole year was full of supplication and worship.
It’s also narrated that Ibn Umar raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) used to say when Ramadhan started, ‘Welcome oh the month that purifies us from the sins’.
This was their situation before Ramadan started. How do you think their situation was in the midst of Ramadan?
Let me start the journey through their history…
● Their Relationship with Quran
The companions of our Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to give special preference to the Quran during the holy month of Ramadan. It is said that Uthman bin Affan used to finish the recitation of the whole Quran once every day.
● Their recitation was not only reading the verses but contemplating its meaning. ‘Narrated By Albayhaqi, Abu Hureyra said, when the last verses of Suratul Najm (53) were revealed –
“Do you then wonder at this recital (the Quran)? And you laugh at it and weep not” (53: 59, 60, 61)
● The companions who used to live in the mosque of Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cried so hard. When Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) heard them he came to them and started weeping with them. And then he said ‘He will not enter hellfire a person who cried out of fear of Allah the Almighty’ (Bayhaqi).
● It is also said that Ibn Umar used to cry very much when he read the Quran. One day while he was reading Suratul Mutaffin, it is said that when he reached the verse – “The Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)?” (83:6) – he cried so hard that he was overwhelmed and could not read the Quran anymore.
This is how the relationship of our Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions was with Quran and here is how at’bau ta’biin’s (the followers of the righteous predecessors) relationship with Quran during Ramadan was:
‘When Ramadan started Sufyan Athawri used to leave all acts of worship and turn to Quran’
‘Sa’aid Ibnu Jubeyr used to finish the whole recitation of Quran in two nights’
‘Malik ibn Anas used to run from all circles of knowledge when Ramadan started and turned instead to the recitation of Quran’
‘Zahriy used to say when Ramadan started, ‘Indeed it’s the recitation of Quran and feeding the poor’.
● A Typical Day of Our Righteous Predecessors
They used to start their day with prayer and supplication until sunrise. Their whole day was full of recitation of Quran. If we were to calculate how many hours they read the Quran in Ramadhan, the biggest portion of the hours would go to Quran.
‘Aswad Ibn Yaziid used to finish the recitation of Quran in two nights’
‘Khataada used to finish the recitation of Quran every seven days and every three days in ramadhan.’
The average reader of Quran recites a Juz in 30-35 minutes. The Quran has 30 Juz. So that means that they used to read 10 Juz a day. (30 minutes multiplied by 10 Juz = 300minutes/60= 5hours). So we can say they used to read the Quran 5 hours a day.
A typical day of Uthman Ibn Affan in Ramadhan was fasting during the day time and prayer and prostration at night ‘(Sunan al-bayhaqi 4/301). And Uthman bin Affan raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was also killed while he was fasting. (Al-hilyah 1/55)
Their day was full of supplications and free from vain talks. Jabir Bin Abdullah raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, ‘When you fast then let your ears, eyes and your tongue fast from false statement and bad deeds. And be calm and don’t let the day your fasting and the day you are not fasting be the same’ (Ibnu abi sheyba 2/422)
The righteous predecessors would also remain away from sinful people and their gatherings. Indeed, as we find in the example of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud, even if they were invited to a wedding feast, they would leave that feast if they found something forbidden therein. They would stay away from the people of sin and innovations. In this way, their hearts would remain pure and clean. They would not be infected or infiltrated by the doubts and desires of such evil people. By mixing only with good people and attending only settings in which the forbidden aspects are absent, they were able to increase their faith and keep their faith strong.
When the time of iftaar arrived, they used to race in feeding the poor and the unfortunate. It’s narrated that Ibnu Umar raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) used to break his fast with the poor people and if a poor person came to him asking for food while he was eating he used to give him his portion.’