“This month stood among us in a standing place of praise, accompanied us with the companionship of one approved, and profited us with the most excellent profit of the world’s creatures”.
(From a supplication of Imam Zainul Abedeen(a))
This month which was with us for twenty-nine or thirty days, is now about to leave us. It is time for us to go back and see how this guest treated us. Imagine you have guests for a month. Soon after they are gone you go home and go to the room where your guest was staying in, and you feel their absence, their empty space. You remember the wonderful time you had with them during their stay. You remember the good times, their kindness. There are people, who we never get bored with no matter how long they stay with us as they are gentle and good company. Imam Sajjad(a) says:
“… the month of Ramadan was staying with us in a very great way, and it was a very good companion for us, a very good friend.”
This is the example of the month of Ramadan. This month enables us to benefit more than any other time. But how much we have earned in this month?
“Then it parted from us at the completion of its time, the end of its term, and the fulfilment of its number”.
When the time finishes, the guest leaves us, because they have a limited time – they cannot stay forever. The same goes for Ramadan. We soon realise how quickly the month of Ramadan has finished.
“So we bid farewell to it with the farewell of one whose parting pains us, whose leaving fills us with gloom and loneliness, and to whom we have come to owe a safeguarded claim, an observed inviolability, and a discharged right”.
We are saying goodbye to the month of Ramadan – the one whose departure is very heart-breaking., and this is bothering us. It puts us in deep grief, makes us lonely, we will miss the month of Ramadan. But of course we will always remain in debt to the month of Ramadan, and we feel protective towards the honour and dignity of the month.
“We say: Peace be upon thee, O greatest month of God! O festival of His friends”.
With only a few days left, we are saying goodbye to this month:
“Peace be upon you, oh greatest month of God”.
You are the greatest month of God; you are the feast and the banquet of the friends of God. There are people who are weak in their faith; they count the days to see when the month of Ramadan finishes. This should not be the mentality of God’s friends. In contrast, from the middle of the month they get worried and anxious that soon Ramadan is going to leave them.
“Peace be upon thee, just as thou hast entered upon us with blessings and cleansed us of the defilement of offences”!
Another day passes. We say, Peace be with you. You came and brought us lots of gifts of barakah. Let’s remind ourselves the hadith of the Prophet:
“the month of Ramadan has approached you with blessing, mercy and forgiveness.”
When a guest comes, he brings gifts and souvenirs. Ramadan also brought with itself lots of blessings, and when Ramadan passes, it removed and washed away all the dirt – as if a good friend comes around and stays with us but also helps us in our daily chores. When they leave our house is in a better position. This is the example of the month of Ramadan.
“Peace be upon thee – Thou art not bid farewell in annoyance, nor is thy fasting left in weariness”!
We say goodbye to Ramadan, but not because we have become tired of it. This farewell is only because we know that it cannot stay for longer.
“O God, bless Muhammad and his Household, redress our calamity at [the loss of] our month…”!
At the end of Ramadan we send salutations to the Prophet and his progeny, and ask God to compensate us for our musibah (calamity) because we have lost the month of Ramadan. This is a musibah. When we lose a relative, or a friend, we have majalis, or mourning; we dress in black. For the month of Ramadan it should be the same, if not more. The Imam says,
“O God, this is a musibah that month of Ramadan has left us”.
“Bless us in this day of our festival and our fastbreaking”.
We are compensated for the loss of Ramadan with the festivity of Eid. We are granted a way to fill the cavity which is created by the departure of the month of Ramadan in our lives. When our dear guest wants to leave, we escort them but with eyes filled with tears we see them go and disappear. This guest however has left us a letter and some gifts, so we read the letter and examine the gifts with pleasure and happiness. We enjoy the gifts as it helps us to forget just for a while that our guest is not with us anymore but our guest knows about our pain after his departure. This is the example of the month of Ramadan. The joy and the gift that the month of Ramadan has bestowed upon us to compensate for its leaving is Eid ul-Fitr.