Knowing how uncertain our lives are we must make the most of our available time. When the month of Ramadan approaches we should free ourselves from unnecessary activities and devote ourselves to worship. We don’t know whether we will live to witness another Ramadan.
Leaving an Obligatory Fast without a Legitimate Excuse
Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever breaks the fast of Ramadan without having a legitimate excuse or being ill, he cannot make up for that day, even if he were to undertake a perpetual fast.” [Bukhari]
He is deprived who deprives Himself of the Blessings of Ramadan
Anas ibn Malik radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
إِنَّ هَذَا الشَّهْرَ قَدْ حَضَرَكُمْ وَفِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ الْخَيْرَ كُلَّهُ وَلاَ يُحْرَمُ خَيْرَهَا إِلاَّ مَحْرُومٌ
“This month has come to you, and in it there is a night that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it is deprived of all goodness, and no one is deprived of its goodness except one who is truly deprived.” [Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1644]
Destruction for Him who Witnesses Ramadan but does not Seek Forgiveness
Ka’ab ibn Ujrah radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrates that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed the Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum to bring the mimbar. The Companions brought the mimbar. When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam climbed the first step of the mimbar, he said, “Aameen.” When he ascended the second step he said, “Aameen.” When he climbed the third step, he said, “Aameen.” When he came down, we said, “O Messenger of Allah, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.”
He said, “When I climbed the first step, Angel Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam appeared before me and said, ‘Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.’ Upon that I said, ‘Aameen.’ When I climbed the second step, he said, ‘Destruction to him before whom your name is taken and then he does not make du’a for Allah’s blessings on you (i.e. does not say salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).’ I replied, ‘Aameen.’ When I climbed the third step, he said, ‘Destruction to him in whose lifetime his parents or either one of them reaches old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Jannah.’ I said, ‘Aameen.’” [Hakim, Baihaqi]
This hadeeth teaches us that he who is given opportunities to seek forgiveness and then he does not benefit from them then he is only harming himself. This is a sign of his deprivation from goodness.
The one making the du’a is Angel Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam and the one saying aameen is Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, this indicates that there is no doubt about its acceptance. Therefore, one must strive to seek forgiveness for himself in Ramadan, send blessings upon the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and be kind and dutiful to his parents especially when they reach an old age.
Punishment for Breaking Fast Early
Abu Umamah al-Baahili radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, ‘While I was sleeping two men came to me and took me by the arm and brought me to a craggy mountain. They said, ‘Climb up.’ I said, ‘I cannot.’ They said, ‘We will make it easy for you.’ So I climbed up until I was at the top of the mountain. Then I heard loud voices. I said, ‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is the howling of the people of the Hell.’ Then I was taken until I saw people hanging by their hamstrings, with the sides of their mouths torn and blood pouring from their mouths.’ I said, ‘Who are these?’ They said, ‘These are people who broke their fast before it was time.’” [Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban]
Shaikh Al-Albani commented: This is the punishment of those who broke their fast before time so what about those who do not fast at all?
When we see someone afflicted by a worldly trial we rush to help them, but what about the trials of the Hereafter…? We are careless. Upon learning a hadeeth or other kinds of religious knowledge, we must first implement it in our lives and then immediately rush to share it with others. Save yourself and your loved ones from Fire. It is an eternal punishment.
The greatest servitude is employing one’s resources, wealth, time and skills in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala so that the people live a righteous life in this world and save themselves from the torment of the Hereafter. It is our responsibility to beautify our and others’ Hereafter. Whatever we spend in the cause of knowledge will become continuous charity for us. If we help others then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala too will help us, in sha Allah.
Not being moved to help others or feeling the pain of others’ misguidance is an extreme form of insensitivity. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us from it, ameen.