The schematic division of Ramadan into three ashra is probably one of the most under-discussed aspects of this holy month. While the holy month provides every Muslim with an opportunity to have a fresh start spiritually, some of us just fail to figure out the right way of accomplishing this feat. We mean to say, it is portrayed right in the theme of three ashra! Mercy, forgiveness, and refuge from the fire of hell. That is the sequential protocol every Muslim has to follow in this holy month if he or she is after all the rewards that are promised for the righteous ones. In today’s discussion, we talk about the importance of the third ashra of Ramadan and decipher the correlation that exists between it and the Islamic concept of charity. Lots on offer to learn, we can promise you that!
Understanding the Ramadan Apparatus
We have mentioned the fact that Ramadan is split into three phases already in this discussion. However, we feel that there is still a need to elucidate the possible reasoning behind this schematic division. After all, Islam is the most logical religion in the world! And the possible logic here could be that throughout the year, we indulge in practices that make us forgetful of the life hereafter. None of us want to spend a second in the blazing hellfire, may Allah (SWT) keep us safe from it. But to seek refuge from hell (the third ashra), one must ask for Allah (SWT)’s mercy (first) and forgiveness (second) first. It makes all the sense in the world to cleanse yourself spiritually before you ask the Almighty for something!
Importance of the third ashra of Ramadan
Let us switch our focus to the ashra around which this discussion is orchestrated i.e. third ashra. Although every moment of the holy month of Ramadan has its own significance, the last ten days of Ramadan have prime importance because of several reasons. The most obvious of these reasons is of course the fact that every Muslim wants to end things perfectly, as far as the Ramadan routine is concerned. But the last ashra of Ramadan is full of blessings that are specific to this period only. For example, The Night of Decree, a night which is better than a thousand nights can be found in the odd nights of the last ashra of the holy month. Muslims all over the world observe the practice of Itikaf as well in these last ten days. And the last ashra of Ramadan is important from the social welfare aspect too since Muslims donate heavily in the name of charity during this time.
Third ashra in the light of Hadith
We will come to the zakat bit in a minute, but for now, let us share with you a hadith about the three ashra of Ramadan. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“It (Ramadan) is the month, whose beginning is mercy, its middle, forgiveness, and its end, emancipation from the fire (of hell)”
Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.: 93, Pg.: 34
The hadith establishes the schematic division of the holy month of Ramadan into three phases. Now, it is a given that none of us want to spend the life hereafter in hell. But merely wishing for it will not do the trick! What our heart wishes for must be complemented by our words and actions. We will talk about actions in a minute, but as far as the words go, here is a dua that every Muslim must recite during the last ten days of the holy month:
“O Allah, save me from the fire (Jahannam)”
There is no compulsion as to how many times it should be said during a particular day, but making a habit of reciting it at a pre-dawn meal, post-dawn meal, before and after every prayer might be a great idea.
Why paying zakat in the last ashra make sense?
During the last ashra of the holy month, Muslims donate massively in the name of zakat, zakat al fitr, and other charities. This is a perfect time for donating, simply because, the joyous festival of Eid follows the holy month. And helping those who don’t have the means to celebrate Eid with zeal and zest is one of the best ways of increasing your chances of refuge from the terrible fire of hell. Allah (SWT) loves his subjects who are kind to fellow beings! And the last ashra of Ramadan is a great way of helping those who are overwhelmed by the lack of resources to celebrate Eid.
Zakat’s impact on Islamic society
One must understand that the impact of zakat is not limited to the joyous festival of Eid only. There are millions out there who need food, shelter, clothes, and access to basic health amenities. By donating a handsome sum in the name of zakat, a Muslim enables his or her fellow Muslims to enjoy the basic facilities of life which are a must for survival. Given the havoc that the coronavirus pandemic caused last year, many cannot afford their treatment because of an unstable financial situation. If this is a cause you are interested in donating to this year, then one of your trustworthy options is Transparent Hands.
Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged patients and builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. It also sets up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which, free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment, and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely.