Series on the Speciality of Each Ten Days of Ramadhaan – Part One
Time, comprising of miniscule moments, has always been regarded with great importance by man. Hence, man has always sought methods and means to measure and keep track of time. From ancient sundials and historical water clocks to the modern, digital timepieces and Swiss-precision clocks that we have today – man has come a long way in perfecting instruments of time.
More important than measuring time, however, is using it productively and efficiently. In this regard, it is an accepted reality that there are certain times that are more conducive to certain activities. In other words, an effort made for a certain goal in these times will yield more results than the same effort made at other times.
A simple example of this is business during the month of December. Every shopkeeper understands that while his business may do well in other periods of the year, it is in the month of December that his business will generate the highest turnover and profits. Hence, he makes the most of this month, opening early, closing late, employing extra staff, increasing his advertising and holding massive sales.
In a similar manner, the month of Ramadhaan is the believer’s equivalent of the businessman’s December in regard to generating massive ‘profits’ in reward. In the month of Ramadhaan, a believer exerts himself more than he does at any other time, trying his best to earn forgiveness and rewards. Nevertheless, the month of Ramadhaan itself has been divided into three portions, each portion offering a window of opportunity for the believers to acquire some special benefit.
On the final day of Sha’baan, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) delivered a sermon to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) regarding the immense virtues and importance of the month of Ramadhaan, together with advices to be followed during this blessed month. In the course of this sermon, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned the following regarding Ramadhaan, “This is a month, the first of which brings Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness, and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannum.” (Saheeh Ibni Khuzaimah #1887)
Accordingly, during the first ten days of Ramadhaan, Allah Ta‘ala showers His abundant favours upon the believers. Then, those who express gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala are blessed even further, with more favours and bounties from Allah Ta‘ala. During the second ten days, Allah Ta‘ala showers His forgiveness upon His servants, and this is in reward for their fasting during the first ten days. Finally, the last ten days bring immunity from entering the fire of Jahannum.
Shaikhul Hadeeth, Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah), has explained the abovementioned hadeeth in the following manner: Ramadhaan has been divided into three portions because the believers are of three types. The first type of believer is the one who is not burdened by sins. Since he is free of the obstacle of sins, the very moment Ramadhaan commences (from the first ten days), he is able to benefit from the mercy and blessings of Allah Ta‘ala. The second type of believer is the one who is burdened by sins, but his burden is not too heavy. After fasting for the first ten days, he gains forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala, and thus begins to receive the special mercy and bounties of Allah Ta‘ala in the second ten days. The last type of believer is the one who is heavily burdened by sins. On account of the heaviness of his burden, he only gains forgiveness after two thirds of Ramadhaan have passed, and thus he only receives salvation from the fire during the last ten days. (Fazaail-e-Ramadhaan pg. 10)
From this explanation, we understand that the first type of person, who enters the month of Ramadhaan without a burden of sin to bear, is the most fortunate, as he receives the greatest amount of blessings and mercies from Allah Ta‘ala in this most sacred month. Hence, the effort should be to engage in abundant istighfaar and repentance, in the days preceding Ramadhaan, so that we can try to acquire forgiveness before the month commences. In this way, we too can commence receiving the special mercies and bounties of Allah Ta‘ala from the very beginning of Ramadhaan.
In the articles to follow, we will discuss methods through which we can achieve the aforementioned benefit for each of the ten days.