The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“Fast when they fast, and break your fast when they break their fast, and sacrifice the day they sacrifice.”19
Imam at-Tirmidhi (d.275H) – rahimahullah – said:
“Some of the People of Knowledge explained this hadith by saying: Its meaning is to fast and break the fast along with the jama’ah and the majority of people.”20
Thus, in this blessed month we can sense an increased feeling of unity and of being a single Ummah due to our fasting and breaking our fast collectively. We also feel an increased awareness about the state of affairs of the Muslims and of the hardships that they endure, because: “During the fast, a Muslim feels and experiences what his needy and hungry brothers and sisters feel, who are forced to go without food and drink for many many days – as occurs today to many of the Muslims in Africa.”21 Indeed, the units of the Muslims – and their aiding and assisting one another – is one of the great fundamentals upon which the Religion of Islam is built, as Allah – the Mort High – said: “And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allah and do not be divided.” [Surah al-‘lmran 3:103]. Allah – the Most High – also said: “The Believers – men and women – and friends and protectors to one another.” [Surah al-Towbah 9:44].
Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H)- rahimahullah – said:
“The welfare of people will not be complete – neither in this world, nor in the Hereafter – except with ijtima’ (collectiveness), ta’awun (mutual cooperation), and tanasur (mutual help); mutual-co-operation in order to secure benefits, and mutual help in order to ward off harm. It is for this reason that man is said to be social and civil by nature.”22
Thus we see that Islam lays great importance in bringing hearts together and encouraging ijtima’ (collectiveness). This is not only reflected in the month of Ramadhan, but also in the other acts of worship as well. So, for example, we have been ordered by the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to pray the five daily Prayers in congregation, and that it has been made twenty-seven times more rewardful than praying it individually.23 Likewise, this similar collective spirit is demonstrated in the act of Hajj (Pilgrimage). Even in learning knowledge and studying it, blessings have been placed in collectiveness, as Allah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “No people gather together in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy envelops them, the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them to there that are with Him.”24 Likewise, even in our everyday actions such, as eating, Islam teacher us collectiveness. Thus, when some of the Companions of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him: O Messenger of Allah, we eat but do not become satisfied. He replied: “Perhaps you eat individually?” They replied: Yes! So he said: “Eat collectively and mention the name of Allah. There will then be blessings for you in it.”25 Indeed, even in the etiquettes of sitting the spirit of collectiveness is demonstrated. So, one day the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came across the Companions who were sitting in separate circles, so he said to them: “Why do I see you sitting separately!”26 Similarly, Abu Tha’labah al-Khurhani radiallahu ‘anhu said: Whenever the people used to encamp, they used to split-up into the mountain passes and valley’s. So Allah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Indeed your being split-up in there mountain passes and valley’s is from Shaytan.” Thereafter, whenever they used to encamp, they used to keep very close together, to such an extent that it was said: If a cloth were to be spread over them, it would cover them all.27
Thus, Ramadhan is a time to increase our sense of unity and brotherhood, and our commitment to Allah and His Religion. And there is no doubt that this sense of unity necessitates that: “We all work together as required by Islam as sincere brothers – not due to hizbiyyah (bigotted party spirit), nor sectarianism – in order to realise that which is of benefit to the Islamic Ummah and to establish the Islamic society that every Muslim aspirer for – so that the Shari’ah (Prescribed Law) of Allah is applied upon His earth.”28 So we must examine ourselves during the month of Ramadhan and ask: What is my role – and each of us has a role – in helping this precious Ummah to regain its honour, and return to the Ummah its comprehensive unity and strength, and victory that has been promised to it! Likewise, we should reflect upon our own character and actions and ask. Are they aiding the process of unity and brotherhood, or are they a harm and a hindrance to it!
So we ask Allah to grant us the ability to change ourselves for the better, during this blessed month, and not to be of there who are prevented from His Mercy and Forgiveness. Indeed He is the One who Hears and He is the One to Respond.
1. Related by al-Bukhari (1/48) and Muslim (no.16), from Ibn ‘Umar radiallahu ‘anhu.
2. Sahih: Related by an-Nasa’i (no.1992), from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani in Takhrijul-Mishkat (no.1962).
3. Related by Ibn al-Mubarak in Kitabul-Zuhd (p.473) and Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Kitabul-Iman (no.99).
4. Risalatut-Tabukiyyah (p.26) of Imam Ibn al-Qayyim.
5. Hasan: Related by Ahmad (3/241). from Jabir radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani in Sahihut-Targhib (no.910).
6. Related by al-Bukhari (11/481), from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu.
7. Sahih: Related by Ahmad (2/246) and al-Bayhaqi (4/204), from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by Shaykh ‘Ali Hasan al-Halabi in Sifatus-Sawmin-Nabi (p.24).
8. Zadul-Ma’ad (2/81) of Ibn al-Qayyim.
9. Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in Madarijus-Salikin (2/152).
10. Related by Ahmad (2/261) and an-Nasa’i (1/327). from Abu Hurayrah. It was authentitated by al-Albani in Irwa’ul-Ghalil (4/99).
11. At-Tamhid (19/61) of AI-Hafidh Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr.
12. Related by al-Bukhari (123) and Muslim (no.123), from Ibn Mas’ud radiallahu ‘anhu.
13. Sahih: Related by Ahmad (1/203) and at-Tabarani in al-Kabir (11/100), from Ibn Abbas radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authentitated by Shaykh Salim al-Hilali in AsSabrul-Jamil (p.43).
14. Related by al-Bukhari (4/99), from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu.
15. Sahih: Related by Ibn Khuzaymah (no.1996) and aI-Hakim (1/430) who authenticated it. Refer to Sahihut-Targhib (no.1075).
16. Related by al-Bukhari (1/53) and Muslim (no.40), from ‘Amr ibn al-as radiallahu ‘anhu.
17. Sahih: Related by Abu Dawud (no.4800) and al-Bayhaqi (10/249), from Abu Umamah radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albani in as-Sahihah (n0.273).
18. Sahih: Related by Ahmad (2/441) and Ibn Majah (1/139), from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated in Sahihut-Targhib (no.1076).
19. Related by at-Tirmidhi (no.693), form Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albani in as-Sahihah (no.224).
20. Jami’ut-Tirmidhi (3/312).
21. From the words of Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz bin Baz, as occurs in Majmu’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah (5/211).
22. Al-Hisba fil-Islam (p.9) of Shaykhul-lslam Ibn Taymiyyah.
23. Related by al-Bukhari (2/109) and Murlim (no.650), from Ibn ‘Umar radiallahu ‘anhu.
24. Related by Muslim (no.339). from Abu Hurayrah radiallahu ‘anhu.
25. Hasan: Related by Abu Dawud (no.3164), from Wahshi ibn Harb radiallahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by al-Hafidh al-‘lraqi in Takhrijul-lhya (2/4).
26. Related by Muslim (no.331). from Jabir ibn Samurah radiallahu ‘anhu.
27. Sahih: Related by Abu Dawud (1/409) and Ibn Hibban (no.1664). Shaykh al-Albani authenticated it in Takhrijul-Mishkat (no.3914).
28. Sualu wa Jawabu Hawla Fiqhil-Waqi’ (p.24) of Shaykh Nasirud-Din al-Albani.
Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.5 ,Jan 1997