A month in which even the most instinctive physical reflexes are upgraded to the status of worship. Crowned above all other months, it is a month honoured by being mentioned by name in the Qur’ān. Yet do the guests of this tremendous banquet stop to question the occasion for it’s being held?
The doors of mercy are opened wide. Hearts tremble as the threshold of Grace has once more neared. Heavenly breezes encircle the earth, as if being fragrant gusts raised by angelic wings. Saint and sinner have longed a year for the spreading of this tablecloth. It now unfolds upon them with all its splendour.
Is it not unmannerly to attend a gathering…without inquiring of its very nature? Surely the first question posed at any invitation is with regards to its reason. Aside from being an important component of social etiquette, it is one’s awareness of the nature of the meeting that determines how one prepares for it and behaves during it. One’s attire, punctuality, and mannerism in a friendly get together is drastically different to when attending a funeral!
What, then, is the occasion for a month so tremendous that sixty days and nights are needed to prepare for entering it? What is the secret of this fortress that a journey of two months must be traversed before being permitted a glimpse of it’s elevated grounds?
Undoubtedly this invitation is unlike any other. It’s virtues are countless and its merits unending. Yet when the Lord of this Banquet wishes to introduce it to us, what is the occasion that He mentions?
‘The month of Ramadān is that in which the Qur’ān was revealed…’ (2:185)
Yes. It was in this month that the illuminated verses were revealed upon the purest of all hearts. A heart from which their light spread, traversing a journey of one thousand four hundred years, until reaching us today. The illumination that entered the worldly sphere on the Night of Destiny continues to spread – over a thousand shades, tongues and peoples – uniting them all under the banner of Absolute Truth: that there is no deity but Him.
This month is a celebration of the coming of that eternal, effulgent Light known to man as the Qur’ān.
How befitting it is, then, for the attendees of this magnificent banquet to consider it’s occasion. Has the time not come for humanity to become hopeless of attaining salvation – inward and outward, individually and collectively – anywhere but in the Guidance that was revealed in this month? Today the world screams in excruciating anguish as death and destruction ravage one part of the planet while greed and gluttony dominate another. Never has mankind been thirstier for the water of life beside which there is no refuge. Today, ‘the world is thirsty for the Qur’ān’ .
‘Surely this Qur’ān guides to that which is most upright…’ (17:9)
It is naught but the light of the Qur’ān that can save man from oppression. It is none but this blessed revelation that first frees man from the whims of his lower self – the ego – and then frees nations from the clutches of oppressive regimes, until unifying humanity beneath the flag of the One Guided by the Qur’ān, the One Who will ‘incline thoughts and opinions towards the Qur’ān when the Qur’ān will have been subjugated to thoughts and opinions’ .
By Sayyid Haidar Hasanain Imām Al-Khāmene’ī (Meeting with Qur’ān Reciters, Ramadān 2016)
 Nahjul Balāghah, Sermon 138