May 5, 2014 By Tariq Ramadan

Ramadan Chronicles


This Ramadan as well as in all Ramadans, renowned Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan speaks about the spirituality which we reignite and about its relevance to the whole lives on earth. Spirituality is in conversation with our day-to-day existence. His lecture goes on on each day of this month and we can listen to them both in French and English on his website 

He has given us permission to transcribe them so that everyone must listen to them freely. Here is the first five of his lectures. May God accept his service and our listening and reward them.

Ramadan Chronicle, Day 1


A’oodubillahi Min al Shaytani al Rajeem

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

This is the first day of our fasting. This is not an easy day, as we have to start a new life, a new rhythm and a new way of doing things. We are not eating; we are not drinking and we are starting to meditate – trying to be closer to God. Among the supplications which came to us in different forms and ways, there is a very important prayer. The Prophet (SAWS) is asking Allah: ‘Allahumma inna nas’aluka hubbak; wahubba man yuhibbuk; wa amalalladee yuballiuna hubbak‘. Oh God we are asking you for your Love, for the love of those who love you and asking you for the behaviour and actions which help us reach your love.

This is the very essence of our religion. This is what Islam is all about-to try to get His love. Remember what is said in the Quran: in Kuntum thuhibboonalla (If you love God). This is the essence of our message. It is not just trying to do good things and get reward and paradise and to avoid hellfire. That is one dimension. And the deeper dimension of our relationship with Allah is very much about Love and we are asking him for the same. His love is Light. His love is the direction, Huda. And His love helps us to be strong in this life. So this is the higher objective of our life.

At the same time we are asking him for us to be loved by people who love him. That is also very important. The quality of love which comes from people is important because the love of people who love Him is protection, which is the way we are going to be protected.

We can be loved by people who deny God. But they are denying all the principles. Then you will understand that the love of people who love God will expose us to protection in spiritual and moral terms as well as in terms of etiquette. This is where love becomes protection and our strength. The love of people who love Him acts in the way of helping us reach his Love.

That means that every day of our life, especially during Ramadan, we need to think: ‘Which types of deeds can I do in order to get His love and at the same time feel that I am doing it for His sake?

It is all about Love and Direction and about what we are trying to get out of our commitment to Him. It is mainly about Love which helps us to be closer to Him and to be loved by the people who love Him so that we can be protected and be stronger in our way. So act accordingly in order to get Love and feel there is Light. That is why we are trying to be good Muslims, especially during Ramadan. Insha Allah.

Remember never forget to tell the people you love that you love them.

This is the essence of what we are trying to say when we are asking Him for His love.


Ramadan Chronicle, Day 2


A’oodubillahi Min al Shaytani al Rajeem

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

This is the second day of our fasting. We are now trying to come close and close to God with our fasting and meditating on our life and trying to be better every day. We remember that the Prophet (SAWS) said to one of his companions: ‘Just after the prescribed prayers – after one of the five prayers you are performing – repeat this supplication:

Allahumma Ainnee Ala dikrika washukrika wahusni ibaadathika

‘Oh God, Help me to remember you, to thank you and show me the complete way of worshipping you, i.e. the true way of worshipping you.’

When we think of this supplication, we should try to understand what it means for us. That is, not only do we pray five times a day, not only do we fast, but every time we pray, every day we fast, Allah, through His Messenger (Peace be Upon Him), is asking us to come back to him and ask him : “Oh, God, help us to remember you.” But we are not only trying to remember Him. If you talk to a human being, you are not just asking him, ‘Please help me remember you or help me thank you.’ This is the way of showing our humility, showing how vulnerable we are in our life and asking that person to be close to us as much as we are trying to be close to him.

Like that we are asking God to help us to try to be closer and closer to Him by remembering Him every day and in everything we do, not only in our successes, but also in our failures, both in our strength and weaknesses. Thank Him: Alhamdu Lillah, Praise him:  Alhamdulillahi alakullihal (whatever happens, praise be to god)

That is the way we thank him in our lives. We praise him not through prayer and fasting alone, but by adopting the best character and behavior with our parents, kids, relatives, neighbors and fellow human beings. This is the way we remember Him and thank Him. Through our remembrance and gratitude we are reaching the highest level of worship. This is the comprehensive way of worship. It is done not just through rituals. We are making our life a way of worship, thankfulness, remembrance and knowledge that He is the one who can help us. So it is in deep humility and sense of deep vulnerability that we come to Him. This is exact point of our being close to Him and being powerful with heart and life in facing difficulties of our daily life. So we realize that those who attack us don’t understand the essence of our religion. So let us try to repeat this supplication as much as possible and remember that we need His help to remember; remember that we need his help to thank and remember that we need Him to come close to Him. Insha Allah.

Never forget to tell the people you love that you love them and it is also a way of worshipping him in the right way.

Ramadan Chronicle, Day 3


A’oodubillahi Min al Shaytani al Rajeem

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

While we are travelling amidst the best supplications in the Quran and Traditions trying to understand their meanings, we can see what the Messengers and prophets (peace of God be upon them all) were saying and asking Allah, when they were facing adversity; when they were facing their people’s rejection; when they were successful in what they are trying to do; and when they were facing human history or misunderstanding. In all situations, they were calling Allah to show their vulnerability as well as their commitment to the Message and the Mission.

Once Ibrahim (AS)  –  Abraham  –   was calling God and asking Him; while his people were rejecting him and his Message: ‘rabbana wab’as feehim rasoolan minhum yathloo alayhim ayaathika wayuallimuhumul kitaba wal hikma wayuzakeehim. Innaka anthal aleemul hakeem. (Lord, My Educator, send them a Messenger of their own, who will recite to them your revelations, teach them the Book and purify them. You alone are the Majestic and the Most Wise.)

The three dimensions in it are very important. He was asking for his community to get a Messenger, someone who will guide them towards Light, Truth and then ask Him that the Messenger would read the Revelation and teach them the Book and at the end purify them.

In three verses Allah is speaking the same things, though in a different order. Allah says: kama arsalna feekum rasoolan minkum, yathloo alaykum ayathina wayuzakeekum wayuallimukum alkitaba walhikmata (We sent a messenger from among you to recite you our revelations and purify you and then to teach you the Book and give you wisdom)

Purification here comes second, just after Revelation and Understanding. For us, in order to get the things right, we are asking for Guidance, to follow the Messenger and recite the Quran. Month of Ramadan is the month of Quran, of the recital of Quran. Let us recite the Quran and purify ourselves – especially purify our hearts.  With this comes Understanding. Understanding of what Islam is-the deeper understanding of Islam.

Yuallimukumul Kitab. Recitation is for purification. Then you will reach the final point. Wisdom. Wisdom is to behave accordingly. Recitation, Purification of heart, Understanding with the mind and changing the behavior: these are what we have to try to do every day of Ramadan and, in fact, every day of our life.

Let us try to accomplish it every day of our life. Insha Allah. Remember: Never forget to tell people you love that you love them.

Ramadan Chronicle, Day 4

A Life yet to Come

A’oodubillahi Min al Shaytani al Rajeem

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

We are fasting and trying to have the best understanding of the supplications in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions. It is also important that we get deeper understanding of these supplications in the Quran, which will help us have better understanding of our religion. We talk to Allha and the One to express our needs and hopes. Our understanding of religion should be connected to the way we talk to him and expect from him.

There are people, of whom the Quran mentions. They believe in God. But they are more focused on their life here and now. They are asking for now. Quran says: Wa mina NNasi man yakoolu rabbana athina fiddunya hasanathan wamaluhum filaahirath iillal khalaaq. They say: Oh, God, Our Educator, give us what we want in this life. They won’t have beneficial share in the life hereafter. So they are talking to Allah, expecting from him and want Him to give them, because they are facing difficulties, weaknesses and problems. Sometimes they are happy with this life and they are asking for more. But a true believer should develop a deeper understanding of his/her life and should go beyond that. It is not to remember Him for this life. It is to remember to get a balance between this life and the hereafter. This is what we also find in the Quran:

Wa mina al nasi man yaqoolu Rabbanaa aathinaa fi dunyaa hasnathan wafil aakkirathi hasanathan waqinaa adaabannaar.

(Oh, God, give us good things in this life and in the life hereafter and save us from the torment of fire)

This is another way of talking to Him and understanding that we have not this life alone. We need His help in this life. But our life is not only this life.

Yes, we have to get the best out of this life. The Quran says; wala thansa naseebaka mina al-dunya. Don’t forget your share in the world. You should get the best out of this life but not at the cost of the hereafter, not at the cost of understanding that there is life after life and that you are coming back to Allah.

So it is all about balancing the way you deal with your life. We have to understand that you are face problems and weaknesses; that you are vulnerable and that you need God to help you in this life. But We  have to ask him: ‘Help us to get the best out of this life to be the best in the hereafter,’ which means, ‘Help me to live my life respecting your rules and prescriptions and respecting ethics in the way we deal with our fellow human beings – because we are asking for this life and also the hereafter. So, to know what we should do in this world as Muslims is very important. It is essential to know that our life is the life to come.

Never forget to tell people you love that you love them, because life is so fragile.

Ramadan Chronicle 5


A’oodubillahi Min al Shaytani al Rajeem

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

Among the supplications in the Quran there is an important one which deals with our fragility, and vulnerability. The fact is that we should never think that because we believe in Allah, and because we are believers, anything is going to be easy and we are not going to lose anything.

Those who listen to me, those who are fasting, can say: ‘Yes we believe in Allah and we are believers. But Allah is asking us to come back to Him and ask Him to help us remain in our faith in a stable way and with conviction.

It is said in the Quran: Rabbana la thuzie quloobanaa baeda id hadaythanaa wahablanaa min ladunka rahmath innaka anthal wahaab.

Say: Oh God, our educator, don’t cause our heart to deviate from your guidance and grant us your mercy. You are the most rewarding one.

The very essential point to understand here is: rabbana la thuzie quloobana baeda id hadaythana. ‘You put us on the path and guide to the path. Oh God make it certain that we are not going to deviate from your path and that nothing will happen in our life that will cause our heart to deviate.’

It might deviate accidently. We have our daily lives, our jobs, activities etc, that are slowly, day in and day out, making us forget the path and forget His presence. All of a sudden, something could happen in our life that makes us neglectful and forgetful. So we come back to Him not only during Ramadan but every single day of our life asking the One on whom we rely to help us to rely more on Him; not to forget Him; not to become neglectful; and not to be driven by a life that is not based on a dikr and on our relationship is with Him.

At the end of the day it is about humility. We have to understand that even though our faith and commitment is so strong, everything is fragile. In this very fragile life faith could also be fragile, if we don’t come to Him and ask Him to help us keep it strong.  So we need Him while we believe in Him. We need His presence in order not to go astray. This is the very essence of the verse we quoted above.

Adding to this, it says about our self. You are committed. You are Muslim. And don’t be arrogant. Anything can happen tomorrow that can make you lose your faith. With people around you, don’t be judgmental because it might happen that those who don’t believe might believe tomorrow and you are not going to be and to remain so. So humility to yourself and having no judgment about the people around you are really very important.

Never forget to tell the people you love that you love them. Faith is fragile and so is life…

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