The Prophet's sermon/Khotbah on welcoming Ramadan
At the last Friday of Sha'baan, on the advent of Ramadan, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) had a beautiful Sermon/Khotbah about the month ahead.
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) has said:
O' People! indeed, it is certainly approaching you, the blessed month of Allah, with blessings, mercy and forgiveness. A month which is considered by Allah as the most superior of months, and its days as the most superior of days, and its nights as the most superior of nights, and its hours as the most superior of hours. This is a month in which, you are invited to Allah's z(d)iaafat (social function); and in it, you have been placed among the recipients of the honors of Allah. Your breaths in it, are (considered) Glorification (Tasbih); and your sleep in it, is (considered) worship; and your deeds in it, are accepted; and your supplications and prayers in it, are answered; therefore, implore Allah -your Lord- with sincere intentions, and pure hearts so that He may grace you with the success of fasting in it, and reciting His Book. Then surely, miserable, afflicted and wicked is he who is deprived [by his own negligence] of Allah's forgiveness in this great month. And with your hunger and thirst in it, remember the Hunger and Thirst of Qiyaamat (Resurrection). And give alms to the needy and poor; and pay respects to your elders; and show kindness and mercy to your young ones; and maintain relations with your blood relatives; and guard your tongues; and close your eyes to that which is not permissible to be seen, and your ears to that which is not allowed to be heard; and show compassion to the orphans of people so compassion may be shown to your orphans; and return to Him, repent of your sins; and raise your hands in supplication at times of your Salaats (specified prayers), because those are the most superior times, Allah -the Mighty and the Great- looks upon His servants with mercy in those [times]; He responds, when they supplicate to Him; and He answers, when they call Him; and He grants, when they request Him.
O' People! surely, your souls are under the yoke of your actions, so free them with your repentance; and your backs are breaking under the heavy loads of your sins, so lighten your loads by long prostrations. And know that surely Allah -exalted is His Remembrance- swears by His Might that there shall be no punishment for those who pray and prostrate, and they shall have no fear from Hell on the Day people shall stand before the Lord of the Worlds.
O' People! any of you who feeds a fasting Believer in this month, that is for him with Allah, as if he has freed an entangled person and his past sins, shall be forgiven.
Someone said: O' Prophet of Allah! not all of us are able to do that.
The Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP) replied:
Guard against the Fire [of Hell], even by half of a date; guard against the Fire even by a sip of water! So, surely Allah -the Exalted- shall grant that reward for he who does this easy act, when he is not able to do more than that.
O' People! any one of you who corrects his manners in this month, that shall be the Pass from him to cross the Seraat [a bridge in the Hereafter over Hell] on the Day when feet will slip; and anyone who in this month, lighten the work load of his servants, Allah shall ease the accounting of his actions; and any one who keeps his bother [from other people], Allah shall keep His Wrath from him on the Day he shall stand before Him; and any one who honors an orphan in it, Allah shall honor him on the Day he shall stand before Him; and any one who maintains attachments and relations to his blood relatives in it, Allah shall attach His Mercy to him on the Day he will stand before Him, and any one who cuts off relations from his blood relatives, Allah shall cut off His Mercy from him on the Day he will stand before Him; and whosoever performs a Salaat in it, Allah shall write for him a freedom-permit from the Fire; and whosoever performs an obligatory religious duty in it, seventy times the reward of he who performs that duty in any other month shall be for him; And whosoever recites repeatedly Salawaat upon me, Allah will make his deeds heavy on the Scale, in the Day when deeds on the Scale of Judgment shall be light; and whosoever recites one verse of Qur'an in it, like the rewards of he who has recited the whole Qur'an in any other month, shall be for him.
O' People! surely, the gates of Heavens are open in this month; therefore request your Lord, not to close them for you; And the gates of Hell are closed, therefore request your Lord, not to open them on you; [during this month,] the devils are shackled, therefore request your Lord, not to let them have power over you.
Imam Ali (PBUH) -who was present in the audience- rose and asked:
O' Prophet of Allah! what is the most virtuous deed, in this month?
The prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) replied:
O' Abal-Hassan! the most virtuous deeds in this month, are to avoid those acts which Allah has declared forbidden.
Then the tears started to fall from the Prophet's eyes.
Amir-Ol-Mo'menin (PBUH) asked: What is making you cry?
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) responded:
Oh' Ali! I am crying for that which is going to happen to you in this month; I can clearly see you while you will be praying and prostrating to your Lord, at that time your face and beard shall turn bloody red from the strike of a sword on your head by the most wicked man who ever lived, a man as wicked as he who killed the Prophet Saaleh's miracle-camel.
Then Imam Ali (PBUH) asked: O' Prophet of Allah! at the time, when that will happen to me, Will my religion and beliefs be on the right path ?
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) responded:
Yes, your religion shall be on the right path.
Then the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) continued:
O' Ali! any one who kills you , he has actually killed me; anyone who dislikes you, he has disliked me; anyone who insults you, he has insulted me. Because you are from me, just like my soul ; your spirit is from my spirit ; your "Tinat" is from my "Tinat"; Allah -the Exalted and Glorified- created me and you; He selected me and you; He chose me for Prophet-hood and you for Imamate; Anyone who denies your Imamat, he has denied my Prophet-hood. O' Ali! You are my executor, you are the father of my offspring, you are the husband of my daughter, you are my successor and caliph in my people, during my life time and after. Your command is my command; your forbiddance is my forbiddance.
I swear by He Who designated me His Prophet and chose me the best of His creations, you are the "Hojjat" (Proof) of Allah over His creations and you are he whom Allah has trusted His Secret to, and you are His Caliph over His Servants.
(Oyoon Akhbaar Reza, ...)