On the Eve of Ramadan, the beloved messenger delivered an extremely significant and concise speech to His Companions. It provides instructional models to Muslims to be followed and to be practiced in their daily lives; especially during the month of Ramadan. Here is the hadith followed by its translation:
عن سلمان قال خطبنا رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- في آخر يوم من شعبان فقال أيها الناس قد أظلكم شهر عظيم شهر مبارك شهر فيه ليلة خير من ألف شهر جعل الله صيامه فريضة وقيام ليله تطوعا من تقرب فيه بخصلة من الخير كان كمن أدى فريضة فيما سواه ومن أدى فيه فريضة كان كمن أدى سبعين فريضة فيما سواه وهو شهر الصبر والصبر ثوابه الجنة وشهر المواساة وشهر يزداد فيه رزق المؤمن من فطر فيه صائما كان مغفرة لذنوبه وعتق رقبته من النار وكان له مثل أجره من غير ان ينتقص من أجره شيء قالوا ليس كلنا نجد ما يفطر الصائم فقال يعطي الله هذا الثواب من فطر صائما على تمرة أو شربة ماء أو مذقة لبن وهو شهر أوله رحمة وأوسطه مغفرة وآخره عتق من النار من خفف عن مملوكه غفر الله له واعتقه من النار واستكثروا فيه من أربع خصال خصلتين ترضون بهما ربكم وخصلتين لا غنى بكم عنهما فأما الخصلتان اللتان ترضون بهما ربكم فشهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وتستغفرونه وأما اللتان لاغنى بكم عنها فتسألون الله الجنة وتعوذون به من النار ومن أشبع فيه صائما سقاه الله من حوضي شربة لا يظمأ حتى يدخل الجنة
O you people! A great and a blessed month has arrived for you. A month therein a night which is better than one thousand months. The fasting during this month is an obligation (Fareedah), and the extra prayers during its nights are voluntary. Anyone who comes closer to Allah through a good deed during this month is as if he performed an obligatory duty (Fareedah) during times other than Ramadan, and he who fulfils an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfils seventy obligatory duties in another month. It is the month of patience, and, the reward of patience is Paradise. It is the month of visiting the poor, the sick and the needy so as to share their sorrows. It is the month where the nourishment, the sustenance and the income of the believing Muslim increase and they are blessed.”
“Anyone who invites others to break their fast at Iftar will be provided with forgiveness of his sins and be saved from hell, and will receive reward equal to the fasting person without reducing his own reward in any respect.”
Some of the followers of the Prophet (S) said: “Not all of us may find food to share with one so that he could break his fast.” The Prophet (S) said: “Allah will reward you even if you help the fasting Muslim to break his fast with a date, a sip of water, or a drink of milk . . . it is a month: its beginning is Mercy (Rahmah), and its middle part is Forgiveness (Maghfirah) and its last part is freedom from hellfire. Anyone who helps a slave to be freed, Allah will forgive him and free him from Hell. Increase in yourselves four things: two by which you will please your Lord, and two others by which you cannot live without.
The first two qualities to please Allah are to bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and to ask forgiveness from Allah. However, the other two things that you cannot live without are: to ask Allah for Paradise, and to ask Him to protect you from Hellfire.
Anyone who feeds a Muslim at Iftar to his satisfaction, Allah will give him water during the Day of Judgment from My fountain which will make him not feel thirsty until he enters Paradise.”