What do Ramadan prayers teach us? Imam Khamenei explains

The month of Ramadan has been described as “auspicious.” The reason why this month is auspicious is that it is a way to liberate oneself from the fire of hell and to achieve paradise. As we read in the prayers of Ramadan:

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The month of Ramadan has been described as “auspicious.” The reason why this month is auspicious is that it is a way to liberate oneself from the fire of hell and to achieve paradise. As we read in the prayers of Ramadan: “This is the month of liberation from hell and achieving paradise,” [Iqbal al-A’mal, Volume 1, page 90]. Divine paradise and the fire of divine hell exist in this world too. What happens in the hereafter is the manifestation of this world: “Indeed, hell surrounds the unbelievers on all sides,” [The Holy Quran, 9: 49]. Hell has surrounded unbelievers, oppressors, enemies and opponents, in this world and in this life: the same is true of paradise.

 

 

 

It is in our own hands to go from hell to paradise. This happens in this world and its concrete, hidden, and a real manifestation will be witnessed in the hereafter. We can take this journey or a path from the hell of misconduct, misgivings, and doubts — which belongs to this world — to the paradise of good deeds, good thoughts, good behavior and good conduct. This path is called “penitence” and “repentance”. It has been said in a prayer that “[T]his is the month of penitence and this is the month of repentance,” [Iqbal al-A’mal, Volume 1, page 25]. It is with penitence and repentance that one is liberated from hell and achieves paradise.

 

It is in our own hands to go from hell to paradise. This happens in this world and its concrete, hidden, and a real manifestation will be witnessed in the hereafter. We can take this journey or a path from the hell of misconduct, misgivings, and doubts — which belongs to this world — to the paradise of good deeds, good thoughts, good behavior and good conduct. This path is called “penitence” and “repentance”. It has been said in a prayer that “[T]his is the month of penitence and this is the month of repentance,” [Iqbal al-A’mal, Volume 1, page 25]. It is with penitence and repentance that one is liberated from hell and achieves paradise.

One of the blessings of the auspicious month of Ramadan is the prayers of this month. These prayers teach us how to speak to God, how to ask Him for help, and how to pay attention to Him. Moreover, they teach us many lessons for which we cannot find an equal to, even in common moral narrations. I have chosen two prayers from this month, which I would like to narrate in the beginning of my speech. The selection of these two prayers is because of our needs today.

Today, we — as officials of our dear country and the Islamic Republic —urgently need to carry out serious and diligent work accompanied by purity and sincerity. These two prayers help us move towards this path: one prayer is the prayer of the first day of the auspicious month of Ramadan. I have chosen this part from this prayer: “Oh God, place us among those who do something while they have willed it. Do not place us among those poor people who suffer from indolence and among those who rely on things other than action,” [Iqbal al-A’mal, Volume 1, page 23].

The first sentence says, “Oh God, place us among those who do something while they have willed it.” —This action should be purposeful, one that enjoys intention and one that is clear in advance where it is leading to. The second sentence is “Do not place us among those poor people who suffer from indolence.” “Kisalat” means laziness and idleness. It says, “God, do not place us among these people.” —This is what the prayer teaches us.

The third sentence is: “And among those who rely on things other than action.” It says, “Do not place us among those who day dream, rant, and fabricate issues in a meeting without taking any action.” Notice that this is the lesson of this prayer. On the first day of the month of Ramadan, believers enter the divine feast with this spirit. This is one of the great servings of this feast: this is one prayer.

The second prayer is one that is said on each day of this auspicious month. It says, “And save me from drowsiness, laziness, exhaustion, carelessness, inflexibility, ignorance and deception,” [Iqbal al-A’mal, Volume 1, page 26]. It asks God to save us from these characteristics: the first is drowsiness; the second is laziness; the third is exhaustion.—It means getting sick and tired of something. The next one is carelessness: it means doing things in a careless way and ignoring precision. The next one is hardness of heart, fossilization and inflexibility. The next one is ignorance and confusion about our position and about what is happening and what is ahead of us. And the last one is deception and arrogance.

It asks God to save us from these characteristics. Notice what great lessons these prayers are. Well, the function of these concepts — which are lofty and outstanding concepts — is much more important for officials in charge of public affairs than for ordinary individuals. When we say, “Oh God, do not make us suffer from laziness, inflexibility and ignorance,” we are making this request from two perspectives: one is from a personal perspective. We make this personal request so that we do not make a mistake and we do not have to face problems.

Another is from the perspective of our responsibilities. You are like a captain who is steering a ship. You are like a pilot who is flying a plane. The issue is not only the issue of your lives. You are different from a person who is driving his car on a road alone; his responsibility is to protect his own life; but you are not like him. A group of people are with you. These are the things that make your responsibilities and commitments — on the issues that were discussed — heavier.

In our religious literature, the month of Ramadan is the month of confronting shaitan and satanic behavior on the one hand and behaving in a kind way, obeying God and worshiping Him on the other hand. On the one hand, it is said that shaitan is tethered in the month of Ramadan; on the other hand, it is said that the month of Ramadan is the month of obeying and worshiping God. The shortest and most meaningful word to describe this month is the word “piety”: “Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may show piety,” [The Holy Quran, 2: 183].

Source:    http://english.khamenei.ir/

DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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