In the name of God, the companionate, the merciful
Praise be to God, the Lord of the universe, and peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammad and his immaculate progeny
We thank God for inviting us to another feast and letting us witness another Ramadhan. There are a few points I like to mention.
First, in the Quran chapter 2 verse 183 God says about fasting, “O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you perhaps you may be righteous.” This verse is directed to believers. At the end of verse 21 of the same chapter there is the same ending i.e. “So that you may be righteous”, but that verse is directed to all people as it says, “O people, worship your Lord who has created you and those before you that you may be righteous.”
Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) is quoted to have said that ‘people’ means the duty-bound of the children of Adam.
Those who believe that Quran and its injunctions belong to the people of early Islam are ignorant and do not know much about the Quran. ‘O people’ includes all humanity whether those who lived at the time of revelation or those who would come later until the Day of Judgment. It even includes those who lived before Islam, but since they were not living anymore, they could not fulfil this injunction.
The verse says, “worship your Lord,” because He “created you and those before you”. The act of worship is to be performed only for the Creator. We cannot worship our parents since they are not our creator. Wood, stone, water, earth etc. do not deserve worship since they are not creators. The sole Creator is God. Since our Creator is God; therefore, we should worship only Him.
Then it says, “that you may be righteous.” Worship makes man pious. This is about all kinds of worship, that is, all kinds of worship bring about piety. When it comes to fasting, the Quran says, “O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you perhaps you may be righteous.” According to narrations, fasting was obligatory even upon nations before Islam. After the advent of Islam, God ordered fasting to be observed in the month of Ramadhan.
Now we should see whether “that you may be righteous,” in this verse is the same as “that you may be righteous,” in verse 21, that is, whether fasting brings about piety like any other act of worship, or it brings about a particular kind of piety since the address is directed to believers. In other words, considering that the address here is directed toward believers only, it might be indicating that fasting brings about a particular kind of piety and elevates man to a unique status of piety which is higher than the piety brought about by performing other deeds?
Sometimes, it is said that all months and all times belong to God. If this is true, then why only Ramadhan is described by the Prophet (pbuh&hf) as the month of God ‘shahrullah’? That ‘it is a month in which you are invited to God’s banquet,’ (as mentioned in hadith) is another indication that God has a special invitation and a special banquet in this month. God always invites people through His angels. For example, in the month of Rajab every night an angel calls out (on behalf of God), “Who has a request so that I fulfil his request? Who wants to call me so that I answer him?” So, God always invites people, but the invitation in the month of Ramadhan is a special invitations and a special banquet; therefore, it is called the month of God.
In another place the narrations say, “In this month you become of those on whom God showers his blessings.” In other months, God evaluates to see whether a person is worthy of His blessings or not; if that person is worthy, God blesses him, otherwise He may not bless him. But in this month He showers people with his blessings.
When we add to the above the part that says, “your sleep in it is worship,” we come to a clear conclusion: Ramadhan is a month in which God’s mercy showers on people all the time, day and night, before and after breaking their fast. That Satan is chained in this month is because God’s mercy is showering upon people continuously. There is no moment at which man is deprived of God’s mercy.
We should make use of this month by worship, by reciting the Quran, by pondering about God which is the best kind of worship, and by studying and acquiring knowledge which itself is an important form of worship.
Do not be negligent and make use of the month of Ramadhan the best you can. May God bless Imam Khomeini’s soul even more. How he valued this month cannot be found in other than the words of the infallibles (peace be upon them). He said, “In order to benefit from Ramadhan the guest’s attention should be only toward the Host of this month, and other things should be nothing in his opinion compared to God. Your attention should be only toward God. This, of course, is very difficult.”