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Surah 2, Ayah 183
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you. 
Surah 2, Ayah 183

Surah 30, Ayah 21
And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them. 
Surah 30, Ayah 21

Surah 20, Ayah 114
And say: O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge. 
Surah 20, Ayah 114

Surah 23, Ayah 9
And those who keep a guard on their prayers. 
Surah 23, Ayah 9

Surah 40, Ayah 3
The forgiver of the faults and the Acceptor of repentance, Severe to punish
Surah 40, Ayah 3

Surah 59, Ayah 23
He is Allah, other than Whom there is no other God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, The Keeper of Faith, The  Guardian, The Majestic, The Compeller, The Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!
Surah 59, Ayah 23

Surah45Ayah27
And unto Allah belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and on the Day when the Hour riseth, on that Day, those who follow falsehood will be lost.
Surah45Ayah27.


5. Surely the righteous shall drink of a cup the admixture of which is camphor
8. And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive:
9. We only feed you for Allah’s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks
. Surah 76, Ayah 5, 8 and 9


Blessed is He in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things. 
Surah 67, Ayah 1

Dua'a for the Coming of the Month of Ramadhan by Imam 'Ali ibn al-Hussayn Zayn al 'Abidin (alayhisalam)

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Published on 22 Shobaan, 1424.

On the Advent of the Month of Ramadhan

In the Month of Purification: Safeguard your Tongues

By Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadhlullah

 

Contents

° Prohibiting Backbiting, Slander and Persecution

°Second Speech

° Prohibiting the Spread of Rumours

° Our Duties in this Month

° Heaven is denied for those who say bad words

°Knowing the Excellence of this Month

The Messenger ('s) wants us to be ready to receive this month by purifying our souls and minds. Because the issue in this month is not merely a matter of fasting, but also a means of piety.

{O’ ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye become pious} 
[2:183] 

Thus you have to fast to become the pious believer that fears Allah, the most exalted, in everything he does and obeys all His commands. Safeguard the tongue from sin: This is one of the issues the Messenger (p.) focused on the necessity of doing in the month of Ramadan in particular. 

To safeguard your tongue means not to use it in committing any sin, for one could end up in hell as a result of something he said. We know that Allah, the most exalted, has prohibited many things that could be committed by our tongues. He prohibited lying in every thing big or small and whether jokingly or seriously, for as Imam Ali bin al Hussein ('a) told his sons. If one starts with small lies he will end up with big ones. 

Another tradition says: 

“A liar does not lie while believing”

If you lie you are no longer a believer, for belief ties you to the truth while lying associates you with falsehood, and they can not be found together in the heart of the believer. 
.

Prohibiting Backbiting, Slander and Persecution

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Allah, the most exalted, has prohibited backbiting. He says: 

{O ye believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): 
for suspicion in some cases is a sin: 
And apply not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? 
Nay, ye would abhor it...} 
[49:12] 

Backbiting in this sense is to reveal a certain flow or defect in your brother’s or sister’s personality that is actually true but kept secretly; for Allah, the most exalted, has honoured the right of the Muslim to keep to himself the private things about him that he might not want other people to learn about, unless there is a national need that requires otherwise. 

It was said in the traditions that “Backbiting is the food of the dwellers of Hell”. It was also said that “Backbiting is more serious [a sin] than adultery. For adultery is forgiven by Allah if one repents while He does not forgive backbiting unless it is forgiven by the victim”

Allah, the most exalted, has also prohibited persecution-that is to convey to someone something said by another that might destroy their relationship. Even more dangerous is the persecution that drives two parties or two sects in a society to fight. The Messenger (p.) told us that those who commit such sins do not enter heaven. He also considered in another saying that those who commit these sins and separate between friends are among the most evil in the Muslim community.

.

Prohibiting the Spread of Rumours

h

Spreading rumours is also one of things that were prohibited, especially that we live in societies where there are a lot of rumours of various kinds (personal, political, economic etc) that could destroy the security of the society, as well as the reputation of innocent people. When anyone of you hears a rumour, he should not contribute in spreading it. For Allah, the Most Exalted, has warned us against this: 

{O ye who believe! If a sinner comes to you with any news, 
ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done} 
[49:6]

{And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; 
for surely the hearing, the sight and the heart-
all of those shall (you) be questioned of} 
[17:36]
.

Some people believe that talking is not an offence that one could be punished for, or even scolded. But this is utterly false, for all your talk will be recorded word for word: 

{Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) (and note them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. 
Not a word does he utter but there is a vigilant guardian} 
[17-18]
.

In this context, when the Commander of the Faithful ('a) passed by someone who was saying something false and immoral, he told him:

“You are dictating to your two writers a letter to your Lord”.

Thus, we have to think carefully about everything we hear or say. If a man, for example, accuses his wife of adultery, he would be punished by whipping. If there are witnesses, the four of them should testify that they have witnessed every detail of the intercourse. If one of the four does not, the other three will be punished. This is but an example of the severity of false accusations. 

Do not curse or swear: This is also one of the things you should hold your tongue and refrain from saying. One should never swear or curse, whether to his brother neighbour or wife. He/she should certainly not swear against his wife’s or her husband’s, parents. Allah, the most exalted, does not want us to hurt any human being; your wife, your child your employees…etc. In this respect, the Prophet (p.) considered that he who starts swearing holds the responsibility for his sin as well as for that of the other person, because he is the one who caused the other to swear. And since we live in pluralistic societies, the problem of cursing and swearing has additional dimensions. The Quran tells us not to curse other religions or sects, even if they were unbelievers, for this will lead them to swear against Allah 

{Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. 
Thus have we made alluring to each people its own doings? 
In the end will they return to their Lord and He shall them tell them the truth of all that they did} 
[6:108].

As for the differences among different sects, Imam Ali ('a) said when, on his way to fight Muawiah bin Abi Sufian, who rebelled against the legitimate caliphate, he heard some Iraqis cursing the people of Damascus: 

“I detest committing such acts. Instead if you describe the situation and comment on their actions (showing why it has gone wrong), it would have been more correct." 

Instead of cursing them you should say:

O lord, preserve our blood (life) and theirs, and reconcile between us, and guide them out of their falsehood, so that those who are ignorant of the right would know it, and those who aggress and wrong will refrain from such acts, especially that we know that cursing does not solve the problem, it only complicates it and increases hatred and enmity… Instead, we should make our case, keeping in mind that our society encourages sectarianism at the expense of Islamic unity. 

As Muslims, we have to consolidate what we have agreed on, and have dialogue on what we differ on, and refer our differences to Allah, the most exalted, and His Messenger (p), especially at a time when international arrogance is trying its best to incite internal strife among us. 

.

Heaven is denied for those who say bad words

h

We also have to refrain from saying bad words that some would not find it inappropriate to say even in front of his wife and children. The Messenger (p.) says that Allah has prohibited those who do so from entering heaven. Do you want to lose heaven as a result of this sin? It has also been said that Allah, the most exalted, did not answer the prayers of one of his worshippers because he used to say bad words.

We should also refrain from praising oppressors and unjust rulers or criticizing the pious believers. In the month of Ramadan, the month of purification, we have to preserve our tongues and refrain from saying any thing that displeases Allah, the most exalted, so that we will be worthy of entering His heaven. We have to struggle to become pious in our hearts minds and tongues. 

Walhamdo Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen

.

Second Speech

h

On the Advent of the month of Ramadhan- the Month of Repentance and Mercy: Let us take advantage of this opportunity both spiritually and morally. In the Name of God, The Compassionate the Merciful Guidance to Mankind: 

In his Glorious Book God Says:

{Ramadan is the month in which We sent down the Quran as a guide to mankind, also clear signs for guidance and judgment } 

This Blessed month is the month that Allah wants us to be devoted to worship, to come to know Him better and obey Him more, so that we will be closer to Him, and become spiritually attached to Him so much that we live with Him but without ignoring our needs in life. As we devote ourselves to Him, Allah wants us to think about ourselves, so that each of us will understand himself in a precise and thorough manner. Why does Allah want us to do so? It is because what is inside ourselves may well be involuntary. For instance, we might have acquired certain negative or bad attitudes from the environment we live in, or we might have learned certain habits and traditions from our parents or from society at large. We might even discover that we love some people so blindly that we do not question their positions and stands. The problem with this kind of love is demonstrated in Allah’s saying when He talks about the losers: 

{ Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works }.

Self- Accountability: This kind of social, psychological and political chaos- and I am saying this to myself as well- in addition to the noise that fills our ears and the distractions we have to attend to in our daily life, makes us alien to ourselves. 

The Prophetic tradition says: 

"Judge yourselves before you are judged by others".

Therefore, you ought to contemplate and try to understand yourself. This is far more important than wasting time chatting uselessly with others. It is very dangerous to ignore this judgment and self-accountability, for its effect involves both worlds. In this world, you will lose the criteria to distinguish between good and evil, and in the hereafter when you have to defend your deeds, you will not find anything to say. Therefore, one ought to know the ulterior motives of his deeds to determine if his deeds and morals are Islamic or not. 

.

Our Duties in this Month

h

Thus, with the advent of this blessed month, we have to review the supplication of Imam Zein Al-Abideen in which he defines our responsibilities in this month, and I would like to take this opportunity to underscore the importance of the Imam’s supplications (Al-Sahifa Al –Sujadiah) for they deal with the issues of the individual the society and the general Islamic concepts.

The Imam Says: “And praise belongs to God who appointed among those roads (of His beneficence) His month (which means that this month in particular is the month of Allah), for we know that all months are the months of Allah, but the month of Ramadan is for Allah alone. And as such it should be devoted to Him being the month of fasting and Islam, in which the believers ought to read the Quran to become educated and knowledgeable in the issues of Islam. Allah wants us to live the spirit of the call in this month. It is the month of purification in which we are purified from our psychological and moral dirt. It is the month of putting to test, in which we struggle against ourselves to move in the right direction. It is the month of standing in prayer in which the Quran was sent as guidance to the people, and as clear signs of Guidance and the separator (between good and evil) This verse clarified its excellence over all months. 

Therefore it is the best month. Because of the many sacred things and well-known excellences which He placed therein, for He made unlawful in it what He declared lawful in others to magnify it, He prohibited foods and drinks in it to honour it, and He appointed for it a clear time which He (Majestic and Mighty is He) allows not to be set forward and accepts not to be placed behind. Then He made one of its nights surpass the nights of a thousand months and named it the Night of Decree; in it the angels and the Spirit descend by the leave of their Lord upon every command, a peace constant in Blessings until the rising of the dawn upon whomsoever He will of His servants… ("Du'a For The Coming of the Month of Ramadhan", Al-Sahifa Al –Sujadiah).

.

Knowing the Excellence of this Month

h

What does the Imam ask His lord in this month and thus teach us to ask our lord the same things too. 

O God, bless Muhammad and his household; inspire us with knowledge in its excellence, veneration of its inviolability, and caution against what Thou hast forbidden within it, and help us to fast in it by our restraining our limbs all our organs should not do any unlawful act from acts of disobedience toward Thee and our employing them in that which pleases Thee, so that we lend not our ears to idle talk ( since one of the signs of the believer is he does not listen to such talk) and hurry not with our eyes to diversion. We stretch not our hands toward the forbidden and stride not with our feet toward the prohibited our bellies hold only what thou hast made lawful and our tongues speak only what Thou hast exemplified. We undertake nothing but what brings close to Thy reward and pursue nothing but what protects from Thy punishment! Then rid all of that from the false show of the false showers and the fame seeking of the fame seekers, lest we associate therein anything with Thee or seek therein any object of desire but Thee! O God, Bless Muhammad and his Household. In it make us attend to the appointed moments of the five prayers within the bounds Thou hast set so that nothing will make us ignore them or forget the obligations Thou hast decreed, the duties Thou hast assigned, and the times Thou hast specified; and in the prayers make us alight in the station of the Keepers of their stations, the guardians of their pillars, their performers in their times, as Thy servant and Thy messenger set down in his Sunna (Thy servant and Thy messenger set down in his Household) in their bowings, their prostrations, and all their excellent acts, with the most complete and ample ritual purity and the most evident and intense humility! ("Du'a For The Coming of the Month of Ramadhan", Al-Sahifa Al –Sujadiah)

Then the Imam attends to the social aspects and says: 

Give us success in this month to tighten our bonds of Kin with devotion and gifts, attend to our neighbours with bestowal and giving, purify our possessions through paying the alms (for there are those who do not pay the alms except when they want to perform pilgrimage And all those who do not deliberately pay the Khoms are thieves who have stolen the money off the orphan, and the needy). Go back to him who has gone far from us, Treat justly him who has wronged us make peace with him who shows enmity toward us (accept him who is regarded as an enemy in Thee and for Thee (Those enemies who fight us because we have embraced your religion for he is the enemy whom we will not befriend, the party whom we will not hold dear), and seek nearness to Thee through blameless works which will purify us from sins and preserve us from renewing faults, so that none of Thy angels will bring for Thee the kinds of obedience and sorts of nearness-seeking unless they be less than what we bring! ("Du'a For The Coming of the Month of Ramadhan", Al-Sahifa Al –Sujadiah)

This is the atmosphere Imam Zein Al-Abideen, wants us to live as we prepare ourselves to receive this month, expressing the views of his fathers and that of the prophet (P.). Thus, and before we start to think about what food we have to eat when we break our fast, we have to prepare ourselves spiritually and morally. We have to be always with the good, the right and Justice, so as to be with those who abbey Allah. 

Walhamdo Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen

References
"Du'a For The Coming of the Month of Ramadhan", Al-Sahifa Al –Sujadiah, Imam Ali Zayn Al Abidin ('a)

Al Qu'ran

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