In his sermon before Shahr Ramadhan, The Holy Prophet (S) said:

“O’ people, indeed the month of Allah has approached you with barakah (blessings), mercy, and forgiveness. This month is the best of all months, its days are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours. This is a month where you are invited to be the guests of Allah, and He has made you His honored guests. Your breaths in this month are tasbih, your sleep in this month is ibaahdah, and your actions in this month are accepted.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Shahr Ramadhan Mubarak! Based on moon sighting report from different parts of the U.S., we confirmed that Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 will be the first day of the holy month of Ramadhan. Therefore tomorrow Monday, June 6th, 2016 will be the last day of the month of Sha’ban.

May Allah (SWT) bless us all and give us the strength and tawfeeq to enter and exit this month in the same manner as the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahlul Bayt (A). Indeed, the month of Allah has arrived, and all of us have been given the honor of being His special guests. There is no doubt that the host of this month, Allah, will shower us with the best of bounties, blessings, and forgiveness.

Allah beautifully shows us how we should begin this blessed month as a journey to self-purification and self building so we can attain nearness to Allah. I urge all of you to recite the Du’a for the first night of Shahr Ramadhaan:

O’ Allah, keep us safe and healthy during this month and make this month a safe haven for us. O’ Allah, give us all the khair (goodness) and create barriers for us towards that which you do not love.

In this Du’a, we acknowledge our weakness and Allah’s mercy and beg Allah to help us reap the maximum benefits from this blessed month. Let us start this month spiritually cleansed. Let’s put all of our grudges and differences behind us in order to purify our hearts and achieve the purpose of fasting — taqwa (God consciousness).

My dear brothers and sisters, this month is a great opportunity to strengthen the bonds of your families. The family is the nucleus of the community; only with strong and spiritually healthy families will we be able to have a strong, spiritually healthy community. The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “The most beloved action to Allah is when He sees a family has come together to share a meal. At this time, Allah sends His mercy upon them, and before they finish Allah will have forgiven them. “

Brothers and sisters, spend quality time with you families, show them love and compassion, help each other stay physically and spiritually healthy, and strengthen your bonds with one another. Here are a few simple things we can do:

Have sehri/suhoor with your children and allow Allah’s special Mercy to engulf us.

Spend quality time with your families; set aside some time to participate in productive activities together.

Reach out to those who are new in our communities or do not have families. It was a tradition of the Prophet (S) to pair the converts and those who did not have a family with the well-established families of the Ansaar so they could taste the beautiful atmosphere of the family.

Spread the kindness and mercy of this month to your negihbors, colleagues, Muslim and non-Muslim friends. Indeed we need to let others know that Islam is a region of peace, kindness and mercy. Maybe we can share some dates, flowers, knowledge in the form of books, conversations, etc.

Make your house the source of educational learning and spiritual nurturing.

InshaAllah, SABA Islamic Center and other Islamic centers in the Bay area and across the world will hold programs everyday during this holy month. I urge all of the believers and their families to frequent SABA as much as possible to take advantage of the daily Quran recitation, jama’ah prayers, speeches from our esteemed visiting scholars, special children’s programs, iftaar, and the special brotherhood and sisterhood bonding that comes in this holy and sacred month. There will also be special programs during the weekends, on the nights of Qadr, in commemoration of Imam Ali’s (A) shahaadah, and much more.

Let us use the opportunity of the Night of Qadr, the Night of Power, which can change our destiny. Indeed, we can strive to brighten our future in this night. Pray for the hastening of our beloved Imam (AJ) and for us to become his true companions. Brothers and sisters, indeed the oppression through out the world has reached new limits. We are in desperate need of our Imam to bring peace and justice to the world. As we start off our month in a safe and nurturing environment, many of our brothers and sisters in faith do not have that luxury. Please remember all of those who are suffering and in need around the world in any capacity you can, financially, spreading awareness, etc. at the minimum keep them in you special Du’as.

May Allah (swt) elevate our ranks and inspire us to strive in His way and His cause during this holy month, and throughout our lives, in order to receive our rewards on the day of Eid al-Fitr from Allah (SWT) through our beloved Imam Mahdi (AJ).

Jazak Allah Khaira and Best Wishes,
Moulana Abidi

The SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) is located in San Jose, California and is led by Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi.