The Condition of the Salaf in Ramadhaan – Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
The Condition of the Salaf in Ramadhaan
Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
I have some questions; the first question: what was the state of the Salaf As-Saalih, may Allaah have mercy upon them and be pleased with them, in anticipation of this great month? How was their guidance? How was their character and their conduct? The second matter, O eminent Shaykh, how does the Muslim prepare to take advantage of these nights and days which he is now living in; preparation by way of knowledge, by knowing the rulings of fasting and knowing the nullifiers of the fast and its rulings? Some of the people are heedless of these things so they do not understand the affair of fasting and they also do not have the obligatory understanding of the affair of the fast, has the Shaykh noticed this matter? May Allaah reward you.
In the name of Allaah the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Wa Alaykum As-Salaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh; may Allaah bless you. Regarding that which you have drawn attention to, from these two great matters; the first question is regarding the condition of the Salaf in the month of Ramadhaan. The condition of the Salaf, as it is recorded in the narrated books with chains of narrations from the trustworthy people (narrating) from them is that they would ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to make them reach Ramadhaan before it entered; they would ask Allaah to make them reach the month of Ramadhaan due to what they knew that it contained from abundant good and general benefit. Then, when Ramadhaan entered, they would ask Allaah to aid them upon righteous actions therein. The when Ramadhaan ended they would ask Allaah to accept it from them. As Allaah the Mighty and Majestic says:
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوْا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ ٦٠ أُولَئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ ٦١
“And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear (whether their alms and charities, etc., have been accepted or not), because they are sure to return to their Lord (for reckoning). It is these who race for the good deeds, and they are foremost in them [e.g. offering the compulsory Salât (prayers) in their (early) stated, fixed times and so on].”(Al-Mu’minun 23:60-61)
They would strive hard in doing actions, then worry would afflict them, after the action, as to whether their action was accepted or not. That was due to their knowledge of the greatness of Allaah and their knowledge that Allaah does not accept except that (action) which is done purely for His face and correctly in accordance with the Sunnah of His Messenger from actions. So they would not purify themselves, and they would fear that their actions would be rendered null. So (worry) that they (the action) will be accepted was weightier with them than (even) the performance of them. This is because Allaah the Mighty and Majestic says:
إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ
“Verily, Allaah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).” (Al-Ma’idah 5:27)
So they would devote their time within this month, as we have previously mentioned, to worship and would minimize actions of the Dunyaa. They would spend their time sitting in the houses of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and they would say: We are safeguarding our fast and we will not backbite anyone. They would read the Mus-hafs and study the Book of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. They would safeguard its time from squandering. They were not heedless or negligent as many of the people are today. Rather, they would preserve its time; the night, by standing (in prayer) and the day by fasting, recitation of the Qur’aan, the remembrance of Allaah, and righteous actions. They were not negligent therein of (even) a minute or a second, except that they would put forth therein righteous actions. This is the first question.
Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts