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It was the last day of Sha‘ban and everyone was so excited. Ramadan, the blessed month of fasting, was one day away. People hurried to the Masjid because the Holy Prophet Muhammad [s] was to address them. Everyone wondered what words of wisdom he was going to share with them today.

The people sat down and there was a hush when the blessed Prophet [s] climbed up the mimbar. He turned to them and smiled as he sat down.

“O people,” he said, “There comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month, in which lies a night greater than a thousand months.

This is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory by day, and He has made the Tarawih prayer by night a sunnah. Whoever wishes to please Allah in this month by performing any good deed, for such a person shall be a reward seventy times greater than the same deed done in any other month.

This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah.

It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a Muslim’s sustenance is increased.

Whoever feeds another person who has fasted, in order that he may break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of all sins and safety from the fire of Jahannam, and for such a feeder shall be the same reward as the one who fasted.”

Someone who was sitting right at the back called out, “O messenger of Allah, some of us are very poor and do not have enough food to give another fasting person to break his fast.”

The Prophet [s] replied, “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person even a single date, or a sip of water or milk to break his fast.

Remember that whoever gives a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall, on the Day of Judgement, give him water to drink from my fountain, the pond of Kawthar, water which is sweeter than honey and whiter than milk. And it will be such a drink after which he shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.”

The people were delighted by what they heard from the beloved Prophet [s] and were eager to hear even more.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad [s] continued, “This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s very special mercy, so pray abundantly for His mercy in the first ten days of Ramadan. The middle of the month brings Allah’s forgiveness and the last of brings safety from the fire of Jahannam.

Also, whoever makes his servants work easy during this month Allah will forgive his sins too and free him from the fire of Jahannam.

There are four things you should do even more during this month. Two of these shall be to please Allah, while the other two are those without which you cannot do.

The two things which shall be to please Allah are that you should recite often ‘La ilaha ill-Allah’, there is no god except Allah, and that you should beg of Allah’s forgiveness by saying ‘Astaghfir-ullah’, I seek your forgiveness O Allah.

And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg Allah to give you Jannah and ask Him to protect you from the fire of Jahannam.”

The people were delighted to here all these wonderful things about the holy month of Ramadan and now understood why it was such a blessed time of the year.