All praises be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. He who revealed in His Glorious Quran, â€œOh you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you that you may keep your duty to your Lord (having taqwa),â€ 2:185. And may the blessings and peace of Allah the Almighty be upon His last Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Ramadan is a sacred month wherein Almighty Allah is constantly testing His creation and giving humanity the opportunity to achieve His pleasure. One of the notable features of this blessed month, at a time when war has been declared upon Islam and the Muslims by America and Britain, is how the Imaan and understanding of the Muslims manifested itself upon the battlefield under the sincere Islamic leadership.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) passed through approximately nine Ramadanâ€™s together after the Hijrah. They were filled with decisive events that took place in Ramadan and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah the Most High in the cause of making His Word the highest.
In the first year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent Hamzah ibn Abdul Muttalib with thirty Muslim riders to Saif al Bahr to investigate three hundred riders from Quraish who had camped auspiciously in that area. The Muslims were about to engage the disbelievers, but they were separated by Majdy ibn Umar al-Juhany. The Hypocrites of Al-Madinah, hoping to oppose the unity of the Muslims, built their own masjid (called Masjid al-Dhirar). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered this masjid to be destroyed in Ramadan, after he returned from the ghazwah of Tabuk.
On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 2 A.H., Almighty Allah separated truth from falsehood at the Great Battle of Badr. He the All Powerful gave them a decisive victory on this day of Ramadan that would never to be forgotten.
â€œAnd indeed Allah assisted you at Badr when you were weak, so be observant to your duty to Allah so that you may be of the thankful ones. When you said to the believers â€˜Does it not suffice you that your Lord should assist you with three thousand angels sent down.â€ Surat Aali Imran 3:123 & 124
The battle of Badr was the first of the great battles of Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) left Medina with 313 men, 2 horses and 70 camels to go to Badr. On the 17th Ramadhan 2 A.H they defeated an army of 1000 men, 100 horses and 700 camels that left Makkah under the leadership of Abu Jahl to go to Badr.
During the Battle of Badr, Allah the Most Strong, inspired to His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), â€œI will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other in succession.â€ [TMQ 8:9]. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) rested after the strain of this revelation and then raised his head joyfully, crying, â€œO Abu Bakr, glad tidings are there for you, Allahâ€™s victory has approached, by Allah, I can see Gabriel on his mare in the thick of a sandstorm.â€
For us today, there are numerous ahadeeth which indicate similar victories to come not only over the Jews but also about Islamâ€™s dominance extending over the entire world. We must make duâ€™a for these victories, but not stop at that. For Islam also requires us to ensure that the actions of the Muslims collectively as an Ummah, through the establishment of sincere unified State, also reflect that noble purpose.
The battle of Badr strengthened the faith of the Muslims and was a decisive victory that shattered the forces of kufr and firmly established the new State in Medinah as a powerful spiritual, political and military force.
In 6 A.H., Zaid ibn Haritha was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of a detachment to confront Fatimah bint Rabiah, the queen of that area. Fatimah had previously attacked a caravan led by Zaid and had succeeded in plundering its wealth. She was known to be the most protected woman in Arabia, as she hung fifty swords of her close relatives in her home. Fatimah was equally renowned for showing open hostility to Islam. She was killed in a battle against the Muslims in the month of Ramadan.
By Ramadan of 8 A H., the treaty of Hudaibiyah had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines in the North. Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquered the city of Makkah in ramadhan. This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula. During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the major centres of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed.
Such was the month of Ramadan in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding evil and striving hard with oneâ€™s life and wealth to make the word of Allah the highest and Islam the dominant Deen. After the death of the Prophet (saw), Muslims carried this Sunnah on and Allah the Majestic used the believers to affect the course of history. Ramadan continued then just as we see today in Central Asia and Afghanistan, to be a time of great trials and crucial events.
Ninety-two years after the Hijrah and in Ramadhan, Musa ibn Nusair the Umayyad governor of North Africa, and his courageous general Tariq ibn Ziyad succeeded in liberating whole of Spain, Sicily and part of France, beginning the Golden Age of Al-Andalus where Muslims ruled for over 700 years.
In the year 682 A.H., Salahuddin al-Ayyubi, after battling with the Crusaders for years, finally drove them out of Syria and liberated the whole of the occupied lands in the month of Ramadan. It was then that the Muslim world was destined to meet one of its greatest challenges.
In the seventh century A.H. the Mongols were sweeping across Asia destroying everything that lay in their path. Genghis Khan called himself â€œthe scourge of God sent to punish humanity for their sins. â€œIn 617 A.H. Samarkand, Ray, and Hamdan were put to the sword causing more than 700,000 people to be killed or made captive. In 656 A.H. Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan continued this destruction. Even Baghdad, the leading city of the Muslim world, was sacked. Some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 Muslims were killed in this awesome carnage. The Christians were asked to eat pork and drink wine openly while the surviving Muslims were forced to participate in drinking bouts. Wine was sprinkled in the masjids and no Azan (call to prayer) was allowed.
In the wake of such a horrible disaster and with the threat of the whole Muslim world being subjected to the same fate, Allah the Great One raised up from the Ummah, Saifuddin Qutz, who united the Muslim army and met the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 26th Ramadan, 648 A.H. Although they were under great pressure, the Muslims with the help of Allah, cunning strategy and unflinching bravery, crushed the Mongol army and reversed this tidal wave of horror. The whole of the world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islam.
This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges. It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His mercy and forgiveness.
Today, the Muslim world is faced with imperialist occupation, military aggression, widespread corruption and oppressive rulers. The War against Islam and the Muslims is in full swing. So arise O believers and walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), the illustrious Sahabah, Tariq ibn Ziyad, Qutuz, Salahuddin and the other countless heroes of Islam. Strive to become the believers who are unafraid of the threats of the disbelievers, who are kind and humble to the believing people; Muslims whose fast is complete and not just a source of hunger and thirst.
May Allah the Most Glorious One make us that generation of Muslims who re-establish the promised Khilafah and carry Islam to the four corners of the globe, may Allah the Able give us the strength and success to lay the proper foundations of the Islamic rule for the coming generations and make us of those who carry out our Islam during Ramadan and after it.