UAE Friday sermon: Ramadan is a month of opportunity
Seize the opportunity of the holy month by performing good deeds and acts of worship so as to be admitted to Paradise on the Day of Judgment, the sermon will tell mosque-goers on Friday.
Prophet Mohammed said, "On the first night of the month of Ramadan, Satan is shackled, the jinn are restrained, the gateways of Hellfire are shut such that no gate amongst them would be opened. The doorways of Paradise are opened such that no doorway amongst them would be closed, and a caller will call out: 'Oh seeker of the good; come near!' and 'Oh seeker of evil; stop!'"
In each day of the month, this call is made to fasting people to invite them to draw closer to God. Some of the actions that will bring Muslims closer to God include prayer.
Prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam that Allah has obligated his worshippers to perform. He says, “Oh you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good - that you may succeed.” (Al-Hajj: 77).
Another important act of worship is dhikr – remembering God. Muslims are advised to be conscious of God at all times and to recite the Quran throughout Ramadan.
Those who are devoted to reciting Quran will be called on the Day of Judgment in a status of honour, as the Prophet said, "The one who was devoted to the Quran will be told (on the Day of Resurrection): 'Recite, and rise up, recite (melodiously) as you would recite in the world. For indeed your rank shall be at the last Ayah you recited."
God called upon Muslims to spend on charity, saying “Oh you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you.” (Al-Baqara: 254).
It is said God sends down an angel to encourage Muslims to give money to charity. The Prophet said in this regard, "Indeed there is an Angel upon a doorway from the doorways of Paradise who says, 'Whoever gives a loan today will be recompensed tomorrow!' and another Angel at another doorway who says, 'Oh Allah give the one who spends (in the way of Allah) a goodly substitution and give the one who withholds (from giving) destruction'."
There are many ways of helping others: provide food for a fasting person, treat others kindly and to be forgiving.
The sermon will tell worshippers that whoever responds to the calls of Allah will surely be called to the gates of Paradise.
Prophet Mohammed told of a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan where on the Day of Judgement, we will be asked “'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it."