Do not let Ramadan end before receiving its blessings

السيد علي فضل الله

The first Sermon

 Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.  Allah, The Most Exalted, , speaks the truth.  In a few days the month of Ramadan is going to leave us with the believers experiencing a natural feeling of sadness, for they know the value and significance of this month.  Although they have suffered from hunger, thirst and deprivation in this month, they feel that they are going to lose a big blessing, for what blessing could be bigger than those embedded in this month whereby your breathing in it is regarded as praising Almighty Allah and your sleep as adoration, your voluntary acts of worship are accepted, and your pleas are answered and your rewards are multiplied…  It is a month that contains a night that is better than a thousand months…a month the worshipers feel the joy of breaking their fast and delight  in staying up for praying in its nights  and in what they were promised to get when they meet their Lord . It is a month that the poor do not feel their poverty and the orphans do not feel that they are orphans …And this is what Imam Zein Al-Abidien(a.s.) pointed at in his supplication of bidding farewell to the month of Ramadan:

We bid farewell to it with the farewell of one whose parting pains us,

whose leaving fills us with gloom and loneliness,

and to whom we have come to owe

a safeguarded claim,

an observed inviolability,

and a discharged right. 

 That is why he addressed it saying:

Peace be upon thee,

O most noble of accompanying times!

O best of months in days and hours!

Peace be upon thee,

month in which expectations come near

and good works are scattered about!

Peace be upon thee,

Comrade who is great in worth when found

and who torments through absence when lost,

anticipated friend whose parting gives pain!…

Peace be upon thee –

How many became freedmen of God within thee!

How happy those who observed the respect due to thee.

However, with the month of Ramadan about to end the question is: when the month ends would each of us  go back to  his usual life , making this month a unique one whose practices end when it is over? It should not be like this. Allah, The Most Exalted, did not want the month of Ramadan to be one of the months of the year. He wanted it to be the leader and master of the other months. That is why He wants us to prepare ourselves in this month for the other months, and this is achieved by making the spiritual and educational atmosphere become deep-rooted in our souls, minds, aspirations and behavior all year long. We should continue to perform our worshiping rituals of praying, reading the Quran, supplicating, giving in charity, honoring the orphans, visiting relatives and neighbors, attending congregation prayers …etc. despite the fact that the conditions in the rest of the months might not be as favorable as the month of Ramadan.

 We also have to remember the words “I am fasting” in all our practices and whenever we are tempted in one way or another to do any Haram act. We should also   continue to fast and abstain from eating and drinking in all the other occasions such as the months of Rajab and Sha’ban, Mondays and Thursdays and the white days, as fasting plays a significant role in educating and conquering the soul.

 The second thing we should make sure of in this month is to guarantee that our fasting is accepted to attain the big rewards we have been promised with. This could only be done through piety  which is achieved when we obey what Allah, The Most Exalted, has dictated in all the details of our lives…  By not taking any step or uttering any word, unless we are sure that it pleases God.    

Allah has detailed the traits of the pious when He said : And hasten to the forgiveness of your Lord and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God-fearing. spend in the way of Allah both in plenty and hardship, who restrain their anger, and forgive others. Allah loves such good-doers. These are the ones who, when they commit any indecency and wrong against themselves, instantly remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – for who will forgive sins save Allah? – and who do not wilfully persist in the wrong they did. And:

Surely, the pious are in the gardens and springs.

Receiving what their Lord gives them. Surely, they were doers of good before that.

They used to sleep little by night.

And in the last part of the night, they used to seek forgiveness.

The third thing we should do, as we approach the end of the month of Ramadan, is to make sure that it would not part before we take all its blessings and rewards and that it ended it in the best way it should have ended.

 That is why we should strive in the remaining days to benefit  from and increase its spiritual blessings and rewards that Allah, The Most Exalted, promised the worshippers and the good doers, especially that these days are among the last ten days which The Messenger(p.)  used to dedicate for worshipping and which contain the night of Al-Qadr. The best thing that we can do is to forgive those who wronged us…

 Let our Dua in these remaining days be: I beseech You in the name of that by which Your favorite angels, And Your Missioned Prophets,

And Your righteous servants have besought You,

I beseech You, O He save Whom there is no god,

Indeed, there is no god save You,

If You have been pleased with me in this month,

Then (please) increase Your satisfaction with me;

 And if You have not been pleased with me,

Then (please) be satisfied with me from this moment. O Most Merciful…

O Allah: (please) help us fulfill the right of the past days of the month of Ramadan,

And forgive us our shortcoming during it,

And receive it from us with acceptance,

And do not blame us for our extravegence in our affairs,

And include us with those upon whom mercy is had,

And do not include us with those deprived

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted, I advise you and myself, with what Allah, The Most Exalted, called upon His Messenger (p.) following the opening of Mecca. He said:  When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest.

And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes. Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of Repentance. The Messenger(p.) did not enter Mecca as a  conqueror but  as a humble worshipper whose head  was bent down to the extent that his chin would have touched his saddle…He told the Quraishites that  they were free and ordered his army not to kill any of them regardless of his history , thus recording  the most marvelous example  of forgiveness … We are in a dire need to inspire this spirit: to be strong and forceful but at the same time merciful.  We would, thus, present a bright image of our religion and faith and become more capable of confronting challenges.

We begin by this day, the last Friday in the month of Ramadan that Imam Khomeini declared as an international day for Jerusalem.  He wanted the Muslims to remember Jerusalem and wished that it would remain present in their minds and conscience and in everything they plan for, and not a prisoner of those who are violating its history, sacredness and identity, such as the Zionist Enemy who declared it an eternal capital of “Israel” and seeks to obtain the recognition of the world of it.  We cannot but respond positively to the Imam’s call, for it is our duty  to support  this just cause  as no other cause can be more just than the cause of Palestine. No believer can be   faithful  if he remains silent towards the occupation of a country, the wronging of a people or the violation of  sacred shrines …

Jerusalem is associated in our history, with the history of Heavenly Messages . It is the cradle of Jesus Christ and the first Qiblah of Muslims and the destination of their Prophet’s night journey from which he ascended to Heaven

 We are concerned about Jerusalem, because we are concerned about the stability, development and liberation of this region which will neither stabilize nor develop or be liberated as long as the Zionist entity is strong and continues to exist , since the Zionist project does not target Jerusalem or Palestine only, rather it was founded with the aim of expansion.

On this day, the day of Freedom for Jerusalem and Palestine, we call on Muslims, Christians and all free people in this world ,to consider this cause among their priorities, despite what each of our countries suffers from. At the same time, we salute the Palestinian people who have proved despite all their sufferings and siege that they would continue to fight occupation, whether in The Jarrah neighborhood or several other counties before that. We are called upon on this day to support this Palestinians, to strengthen their ability to remain steadfast in protecting the first of the two Qiblahs and the third Holy Haram and stand against all the projects that are planned for this region. We should also remain sure that they are not fighting in their Intifada and Resistance only for their country but also  on behalf of the entire nation.  The road to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine might not be easy, but no matter how much time it takes, no obstacle will hinder a nation that has decided to regain its freedom and restore its land and rights…

 In the meantime, there are some indications of rapprochement between several Arab and Muslim countries, which we hope that it will continue and enhance so that the language of dialogue would become once again the language that governs their relations, instead of the language of struggle and tension that have depleted their resources and wealth  and enabled those who wish to destabilize their security  and stability to execute their schemes.

 In Lebanon, where the Lebanese expect the subsidizing to end soon, as the Central Bank would soon announce that it can no longer continue to peruse its policy of subsidizing the basic commodities , in addition  the lack of money to finance the rationing cards that were suggested as an alternative, which will lead, as expected, to grave consequences that would entail the living and security conditions in the country and its future.  

 Unfortunately, the relevant political parties continue to accuse and exclude one another without being prepared to make any concessions to form a government that is able to make the demanded decisions, at a time there are those who are still waiting for solutions for the country’s intractable problems or form a government    to come from abroad. 

Nevertheless, it has become clear that foreign countries will not help this country, if those in charge in it would not decide whether  they want a homeland or that each one wants it to suit his interests,  his sect and political position.

 We are afraid that the world, including those who wish well to this country, have got bored with this country and no longer consider it as a priority … The Arab or western officials who are visiting Lebanon either wish to learn about how grave the catastrophe is, or to threaten with sanctions or to give advice to a dying patient who refuses to take any medications.  

 We still hope that the officials in this country would wake up and put the country on the right track  so that the foreign countries would feel responsible when they see that there is a real beginning for finding a solution, since no one will “pluck your thorns if you do not pluck them yourself”.