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03 June 2023 / 14. Zil-Qad 1444

Important Historical Events in Ramadan

Important Historical Events

With all of the spirituality which is contained in this blessed month, we cannot forget the historical significance of Ramadhan as these have shaped the Muslim community and have forged our identity as believers. There are many events which have taken place in this month is the history of the Muslims, and as we fast, we must also remember the personalities who have been born and who have died during Ramadhan. We also need to study and reflect on the other historical events and what they mean to us today, 1,400 years after they transpired.


Although some historical accounts may differ according to the various research conducted by Muslim historicans, according to the oldest marjaʿ taqlīd currently living, his eminence Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Lutfullah Safi Gulpaygani, may Allah protect him, the following events transpired in the history of Islam during the Ramadhan.


Pledge of Allegiance and “Apparent” Leadership of Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, peace be upon him

This important event, according to Shaykh al-Mufeed and others, took place on the 1st of Ramadhan in the year 201 AH (after the migration to Medina). Allah says the following in the Quran when it comes to ‘pledging allegiance’ to an authority directly deputed by Him – namely the Prophets, Messengers and their successors – such as the 12 Imams from the Ahlulbayt (a):

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

(O Prophet!) Those who swear allegiance to you (eg. at Hudaybiyya) as a matter of fact swear allegiance to Allah (because you speak and command to nothing but by Allah’s command). Allah’s (helpful and benign) hand is above their hands (and the Divine Power and Reward is greater). So he who breaks (his oath of allegiance) breaks (it) to his own loss (will suffer punishment). And as for the person who fulfills the great covenant he made with Allah, He will surely give such a person a great reward (here and now and in the hereafter).[1]

It was on this date that the Abbaside king and unjust ruler, Haroon al-Rasheed, summoned the 8th Imam (a) to Khurasan (present-day Mashad) in an attempt to play a game of politics with the Imam and his supporters.


Death of Abu Talib – the father of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon them both

The death of the honest supporter and one of the greatest Muslims took place on the 7th of Ramadhan 10 years after appointment of the Prophet (s) – just three short years before the migration to Medina. The Prophet (s) called this year “The Year of Sorrow” since he lost two very dear people – his uncle, Abu Talib, and his first and most-beloved wife, Umm al-Mo’minin, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, peace be upon them both. He is a person who has been praised by Allah in the Quran where He says:

أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ

Did He not find you an orphan and take (you) under (His) care?[2]


Death of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, peace be upon her

The first wife of Prophet Muhammad  (s) and the mother of Fatima al-Zahra’  (a), Sayyida Khadijah (s) left this world at the age of 65. She is a person who has been praised by Allah in the Quran where He says:

وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ

And did He not find you in need and make you rich?[3]


Her death occurred on the 10th of Ramadhan in Mecca and she was laid to rest in the graveyard known as Jannat al-Mu’allah. It was through this lady that Islam grew in great numbers during the initital stage in Mecca.


The Event of Brotherhood

On the 12th of Ramadhan, in the city of Medina, the Prophet of Islam (s) announced that each Muslim was to take another Muslim as his brother in faith. The feeling of brotherhood between believers is something which we see spoken about in the Noble Quran where Allah says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.[4]


This pact of brotherhood was done for multiple reasons, including spiritual and political. It was at this event that Prophet Muhammad  (s) chose ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (a) as his brother - in this world and a relationship which will continue in the hereafter.


Birth of Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him

Historians have narrated that on the 15th of Ramadhan, in the 3rd year AH, Hasan al-Mujtaba (a) the son of Fatimah al-Zahra’ (a) and ‘Ali al-Murtada (a) came into this world in Medina. His reference and that of his brother, al-Husayn (a), has been made in the Quran where Allah says:

يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا اللُّؤْلُؤُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ

Pearls and corals come out of both (these seas).[5]

Along with his younger brother, Imam al-Husayn, they would later be known as the leaders of the youth of paradise by their grandfather, Prophet Muhammad, prayers of Allah be upon him and his family. She is a person who has been praised by Allah in the Quran where He says:


The First Battle in Islam – the Defensive Battle of Badr

The battle of Badr was the first face to face confrontation the Muslims had to encounter – and it was a purely defensive stand. This battle started on either the 15th or the 19th of Ramadhan. The Muslims, who numbered a scarce 313, were able to defeat the polytheists of Mecca who numbered over 1,000 as it was through the help of Allah, and by the unseen angels that were sent by the permission of Allah to help and defend the small number of believers, the Muslims came out victorious. Truly, when the help comes from Allah, victory is near as He tells us in the Quranic passage regarding this battle:

كَمَا أَخْرَجَكَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَيْتِكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَكَارِهُونَ. يُجَادِلُونَكَ فِي الْحَقِّ بَعْدَمَا تَبَيَّنَ كَأَنَّمَا يُسَاقُونَ إِلَى الْمَوْتِ وَهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ. وَإِذْ يَعِدُكُمُ اللَّهُ إِحْدَى الطَّائِفَتَيْنِ أَنَّهَا لَكُمْ وَتَوَدُّونَ أَنَّ غَيْرَ ذَاتِ الشَّوْكَةِ تَكُونُ لَكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَيَقْطَعَ دَابِرَ الْكَافِرِينَ. لِيُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ وَيُبْطِلَ الْبَاطِلَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُجْرِمُونَ. إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُمْ بِأَلْفٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُرْدِفِينَ. وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشْرَىٰ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ بِهِ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۚ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلَّا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ بِهِ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمْ رِجْزَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ الْأَقْدَامَ. إِذْ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ وَاضْرِبُوا مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ. ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَاقُّوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ. ذَٰلِكُمْ فَذُوقُوهُ وَأَنَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابَ النَّارِ

[Their dislike regarding the division Of the spoils is the same as the dislike Of a group of believers]: When your Creator and Nurturer Commanded you [O, Messenger] to go forth (for the Battle of Badr) from your house [in Madina] for a righteous purpose but a party of the believers Disliked it [as they failed to realise the great ultimate benefit of Badr]. These [weak believers] disputed with you concerning the truth [wisdom of Badr with small army] after it had been made clear [that Badr was by Divine command and victory was promised]. [On being invited to go to Badr they were behaving] as though they were being driven towards death, as they looked on [helplessly, but victory at Badr proved them wrong!] And [O companions of the Prophet! recall the time] when Allah promised you (victory over) one of the two (enemy) parties; (the well-equipped Makkan army and the other ill-equipped trade caravan from Syria), that it should be yours (for fighting against), while you wanted the unarmed party to fall into your hands (to get an easy victory), but Allah wanted to establish the truth by fulfilling His words [of prophecy of victory through struggle and obedience of His commands] and to cut off the very root of the disbelievers; So that He might establish the truth and wipe out the falsehood, though the sinful criminals (those who had cut their ties with Allah) considered it hard. [Recall and be thankful of Divne blessings in Badr at the time) when you (O companions of the Prophet!) implored your Lord to aid you in distress (because of your smaller numbers), and He responded to you (saying), ‘I shall reinforce you with a thousand of the angels coming in continuous succession.’ And Allah made this (coming of the angels) only as good tidings (of your victory) and (that was) so that your hearts might thereby be at rest, for (in any case) victory comes only by the help of Allah [not alone by an army, arms or even angels]. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty [Unconquerable], All-Wise [He decrees victory wisely]. (Recall the time) when He caused a sort of slumber to prevail upon you to give you a sense of peaceful security from Himself [as without Divine Security you can not sleep even in best of comforts!], and He sent down upon you water from the clouds that He might thereby purify you [physically] and remove from you the scourge of satan [impurity such as being in a state of janaabat], that He might strengthen your hearts [with courage] and thereby make your feet firm and strong [not slippery in the water-hardened sand].  (It was the time) when your Lord revealed to the angels (to convey to the believers), ‘I am with you;’ (and He commanded the angels) to make those who believe stand firm and fast {with inner tranquility & assurance of victory}, and ‘(O believers!) I will indeed strike terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So smite on (your enemy’s) necks {infantry} and above these (on their heads) and strike off all their finger-tips {cavalry}.’ 8:13 This (punishment) is (given them) because they have cut themselves off from Allah and His Messenger [stubbornly and aggressively], and whosoever opposes Allah and His Messenger [defiantly and aggressively], as its result Allah (too) is severe in punishment (to such, both here and the hereafter). That is (your punishment), so suffer some of it (in this life), and (know) that (in the Hereafter) there awaits the disbelievers the torment of the Fire.


In addition, Allah also states in the Quran:


وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ وَأَنْتُمْ أَذِلَّةٌ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ. إِذْ تَقُولُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَلَنْ يَكْفِيَكُمْ أَنْ يُمِدَّكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ بِثَلَاثَةِ آلَافٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُنْزَلِينَ. بَلَىٰ ۚ إِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَيَأْتُوكُمْ مِنْ فَوْرِهِمْ هَٰذَا يُمْدِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ بِخَمْسَةِ آلَافٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُسَوِّمِينَ. وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشْرَىٰ لَكُمْ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُكُمْ بِهِ ۗ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلَّا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ. لِيَقْطَعَ طَرَفًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْ يَكْبِتَهُمْ فَيَنْقَلِبُوا خَائِبِينَ. لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ أَوْ يُعَذِّبَهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ

[In the context of the Battle of Uhud] Surely, Allah had already helped you at (the defensive Battle of) Badr while you were utterly weak [smaller in number and in weapons], therefore take Allah as a shield [by obeying His Messenger] so that (He may bless you and) you may give Him thanks [for granting you victory despite weakness]. (Recall the time) when you [O Messenger] said to the believers, ‘Does it not suffice you [for victory over aggressor well-equipped polytheists] that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent down (by Him to help you)? Indeed (it does); and if you patiently persevere and guard against evil [and do not disobey the Messenger] and they (the enemies) come upon you suddenly and in hot haste of theirs, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand distinctly marked angels.’ And Allah did not make this (help by the angels) except as good tidings (of victory) for you, and to set your hearts at ease therewith. There is no real help and victory [independently through your army, arms or even angels] except from Allah alone, the All-Mighty [Unconquerable], the All-Wise [as He decrees when and how to grant victory]. (God will do accordingly at Uhud) with the result that He may cut of off a {forefront/ringleaders} section of those who disbelieve [defiantly and aggressively, so weaken them in number, property, possessions & power] and vanquish others with humiliation so that they might go back utterly frustrated. (O Prophet!) You have no say whatsoever in the matter [independent victory], (it is upto Him alone) whether He turns towards them with mercy [so they repent and submit to God] or punishes them [if they defiantly persist in rebellion] because they are certainly wrongdoers [defiant aggressors].[6]


The Victory/Opening of Mecca

On the 20th of Ramadhan in the 8th year after the migration, the greatest victory was given to the Muslim community – the opening of Mecca – the repatriation and purification of the entire city, specifically the Ka’bah, from the hands of the polytheists.


This great victory which took place approximately three years before the death of Prophet Muhammad (s), liberated Mecca and the Masjid al-Haram – the sacred house of worship that was built by Prophet Ibrahim (a) and his son Isma’il (a) and allowed it to be rededicated to be a house of worship of Allah. Allah has referenced this victory in the Quran in which He states:


إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُبِينًا. لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا. وَيَنْصُرَكَ اللَّهُ نَصْرًا عَزِيزًا

(Prophet!) We opened for you the way to (another) clear victory. [The fath of Mecca whereby whole Arabia surrendered & opened way for beyond Arabia to be invited toward God] The result of this is that Allah will protect you from (the ill consequences of) the fault attributed to you in the past [liar, magician, madman, etc.] and those to follow [eg unjust], {[hus after the migration and the peace treaty of Hudaybiyya, proved the Prophet (s) was rational, respects Allah’s House, gentle in invitation to all, does not attack without reason and if attacked seeks peace] and that He will make His favour perfect upon you [prove you are truthful, empower you as a Prophet Ruler] and will lead you to the goal of the straight and right path [to success Here & Hereafter in as Messenger & Leader]; And that Allah will grant you His mighty help [victory in all battles till the final great victory in the period of the raj’at].[7]


Martyrdom of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him

While in prostration of salat al-fajr in the masjid of Kufa, the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (a) was struck on the head with a poisonous sword by the cursed Kharijite, Ibn Muljim, may Allah perpetuate his punishment. Ibn Muljim, the killer of the cousin, son-in-law and rightful successor of the Prophet (s) has been alluded to in the Quran where Allah says:


إِذِ انْبَعَثَ أَشْقَاهَا

(It was) when the wretched-most among them arose.[8]

The traditions explain that the most-wretched of the past generations and communities was found in the people of Thamood, while in this nation, that of Islam, the most-wretched was the killer of Imam Ali (a).


The man known as the brother of the Prophet, the husband of Fatima, the father of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, was fatally attacked on the 19th of Ramadhan and left this world a few days later, on the 21st of the blessed month.


A man who strived for Allah his entire life, the Quran is replete with verses in his honour and the Prophet has hundreds, if not thousands of sayings about this great personality whom everyone who comes across his life has had nothing but praise – from the late Christian author, George Jordac, to the Egyptian-born Sunni scholar, the late Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Raouf, to the former head of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.


Imam ‘Ali (a) was a man like none other – he was born in the house of Allah, in Masjid al-Haram, inside the Ka’bah, he lost his life in the house of Allah, in Masjid al-Kufa, and in between these two periods, he lived his entire life for Allah – always putting His creator first and foremost in his life and constantly being with the Messenger of Allah (s) to support him in his mission.


May peace be upon him the day he was born, the day he was killed and the day when he will be raised up again.




In closing, Ramadhan is a time of leaving aside the worldly hustle and bustle – as much as possible – and reconnecting with our inner-self and trying to get spiritually closer to Allah through the regiment of fasting, prayer, Quranic reflection, charity and worship – all in a bid to become better human beings and true followers of Islam.


We pray that we are given the ability to fast the days, stand for prayers and supplication in the night and to make the most of this special month. We also beg Allah to allow peace and tranquility to reign and that the believers around the globe can mark this month in safety and security and that humanity on a whole can be given a respite from the acts of violence which have plagued us to date.




[1] Quran, Surah al-Fath (48), verse 10.

[2] Quran, Surah al-Inshira (93), verse 6.

[3] Quran, Surah al-Inshira (93), verse 8.

[4] Quran, Surah al-Hujurat (49), verse 10.

[5] Quran, Surah al-Rahman (55), verse 22.

[6] Quran, Surah Al Imran (3), verses 123-128

[7] Quran, Surah al-Fath (48), verse 1-3.

[8] Quran, Surah al-Shams (91), verse 12.

Further reading: 

The Holy Month of Shehr Ramadan

Recommend Acts of Worship 

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