Ramadhan

USE OF PERFUME DURING RAMADHAN

http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/66079

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it permissible to use perfume, such as putting on ‘ood, cologne and bukhoor during the day in Ramadaan?

He replied: Yes, it is permissible to use it, so long as one does not inhale bukhoor. End quote.

Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 15/267

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on a fasting person using perfumes during the day in Ramadaan?

He replied: There is nothing wrong with using them during the day in Ramadaan and inhaling them, except for bukhoor, which should not be inhaled, because it has particles which may reach the stomach, i.e., the smoke. End quote.

Fataawa Ramadaan, p. 499

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/271): If a person puts on any kind of perfume during the day in Ramadaan when he is fasting, that does not invalidate his fast, but he should not inhale bukhoor and powdered perfume such as powder of musk. End quote.

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RESPONDING WITH RAMADHAN KAREEM

By Sheikh Uthaymeen

Source http://www.sahab.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=338908

The following is a summary translation from a post taken from Sahab.net
Questioner: When the fasting person falls into a sin and he is prohibited from that sin he will say, “Ramadan Kareem”.
So what is the ruling concerning this phrase and what is the ruling concerning this behavior?

Sheik Uthamin: The ruling concerning this is, this phrase “Ramadan Kareem” is not correct, and the only phrase that should be said is “Ramadan Mubarak” or what resembles that. Because Ramadan is not the one that gives such that it can be called generous (Kareem), rather it is only ALLAH the Exalted that put virtue in it and made it a virtuous month and made the time period for performing (the fasting) a pillar from Islam. And it is as though the one who said this thinks that due to the nobility of this month it is permissible to commit sins. And that is in opposition to what the people of knowledge have said (for they have said) that the sins are multiplied if they are done during virtuous times or noble places so this is the opposite of what this person has pictured. And they have said that it is incumbent upon the person to have taqwa of ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic during every time and in every place especially during virtuous times and in noble places. And ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic says “Oh you who believe fasting has been prescribed for you like it was prescribed for those before you that you may obtain taqwa.” So the wisdom behind the obligation of fasting is to gain taqwa of ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic by doing what He has ordered and avoiding what He has prohibited. And it has been established that the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him said “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink”. Therefore fasting is worship for ALLAH and cultivation for the soul and a safeguard for it from the prohibitions of ALLAH. And it is not like this one without knowledge has said that due to the nobility of this month and it’s blessing, sinning is allowed in it.

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BENEFITS OF RAMADHAN: WE NEED RAMADHAN
by Abu Uwais Abdallah Ahmed Ali (rahimahullah)
Type: Audio (mp3)

Transcribed by: Umm Hasna Firdous Bint Jabir

TRANSCRIPTION:

Ramadaan is a month of Forgiveness.

Ramadaan is a month of Rahmah.

Ramadaan is the month of generosity.

Ramadaan, the month that Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala accepts the Tawbah of the servants, and the month that Allaah blesses His servants.

We are in need of Ramadaan to correct ourselves, for we have forgotten Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala for the majority of the year.

To correct ourselves for we have been neglectful.

To correct ourselves for we are not upon the remembrance of Allaah.

To correct ourselves because our hearts have gotten hard, some hearts are dead, some hearts are sick, some hearts are stone-cold, some hearts are black, getting no benefit whatsoever. Some hearts are so bad, and so ill that they see a good as a Munkar, (as an evil), and they see an evil as a good. These are not as they should be.

We need a Ramadaan. We need a Ramadaan because our connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala is not correct.

We need a Ramadaan because we do not have any Khushoo or devotion in our Salaah.

We need a Ramadaan because our Qura’an has dust and is sitting o­n a shelf.

We need a Ramadaan because we never read the books of Sunnah.

We need a Ramadaan because we don’t fast, and if we fast physically without food or drink, we don’t fast with our eyes by lowering them and our tongue by not slandering and our tongue by not lying and back-biting. We need a Ramadaan to get ourselves back in order, to work for the Hereafter, to connect ourselves to Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

We need a Ramadaan because relationships brother to brother and sister to sister is in a miserable condition.

We need a Ramadaan because we have bad thoughts about o­ne another.

We need a Ramadaan because of dhulm, injustice to o­ne another.

We need a Ramadaan because there is backbiting, there is envy, there is jealousy, and there is slander.

We need a Ramadaan because we are despicable, because we are sick, because we are ill. (All these are diseases of the heart)

We need a Ramadaan because we don’t believe in the promise of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala, or if we do, we do not implement it.

We need a Ramadaan because it is time for us to change and become something better then we are now.

We need a Ramadaan because that is the o­nly thing that is going to get us together.

We need a Ramadaan because we don’t have unity, there’s no brotherhood

We need a Ramadaan because there’s no respect for elders

We need a Ramadaan because there’s no real love between us

We need a Ramadaan, full of love and the Mercy of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

A Ramadaan like we come in, like in a clinic or a hospital, trying to solve our illnesses, trying to come out of there without the disease we came with, trying to be better than we went in with.

We need a Ramadaan. Look around you, look to your right, look to your left, look in front of you and look behind you and you’ll say, “We need a Ramadaan”.

The sisters aren’t covering properly, we need a Ramadaan. Brothers and sisters are mixing. We need a Ramadaan. Talking on phones and on the internet, we need a Ramadaan. This is a mess, we are in a fix, we are in a bind, and this is a problem. We need a Ramadaan. We need a Ramadaan to get ourselves together.

We need a Ramadaan, that we come in the Masjid and we face the Qiblah and we say “Allaahu Akbar” and we stand in qiyaamah a long time until those diseases, that filth, that sickness, that hardness the heart goes away.

We need a Ramadaan that reminds us of the Hell-fire. We need a Ramadaan that tells us that we haven’t been given a certificate that we are people of Jannah.

We need a Ramadaan that lets us known that we are servants of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

And if we were to spend our whole life, from the time we were born until Yawm al Qiyaamah in Sajdaah, it would not be enough to thank Allaah for His Mercy, His Grace and His Blessings.

We need a Ramadaan and it is clear. If there is any fear of Allaah left in the hearts of ours and if there is any hope of Jannaah left in us, and if there is any desire to change and to be better and to be righteous and to come to the level of Ihsaan, to come to the level of a Mumim, to have taqwa, to fear Allaah … we need a Ramadaan.

We need a Ramadaan, a month of Tawbaah.

We need a Ramadaan, a month of Maghfira.

We need a Ramadaan to correct our behaviour, to correct the differences & the difficulties and the envy / jealousies in our relationship between o­ne another.

We need a Ramadaan to understand that we have been committing injustice to one and another. And as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said : ‘Az-Zulm (injustice) . “Zulumaat yawmal Qiyaamah” we’ll be changed physically into darkness on the Day of Judgement.’

We need a Ramadaan to understand the Hadith : to fear the duaa of the one to whom we have done injustice. For there is not between Allaah and the person making the invocation, the person making that supplication of the person to whom injustice has been done, there is no veil between that person and Allaah. That duaa is immediately accepted.

The oppressor is the o­ne for whom things are not going right; He is tripping into this and falling into that; He is Slipping there and sliding here. Why I can’t get ahead? Why I can’t progress in my Deen? Why I can’t memorize this ayah? Why I can’t understand this hadeeth? We may be living under the invocation, the answer for invocation for someone whom we abused or stepped over. You know you need a Ramadaan. I know I need a Ramadaan. We know we need a Ramadaan. We need to get ourselves together. We’ve been running around in filth, we have been having our hearts around the low matters; We need our hearts to be around the thrones of Allaah; We need to think about the high matters, high goals; We need to think about Jannah; We need a hope for al-Jannah.
You’re planning for marriage, you’re planning for education, you’re planning for a job, but we need to plan for the Jannah. We need to prepare for the Jannah during the month of Ramadaan.

“‘Nahnu be haajathin Ma’aasa fir Ramadaan.”

We are in severe need for Ramadaan, so that we come into Ramdhaan with repentance, we come into it with regret, we come into it realizing that we are weak, that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to correct us, realizing that we are wrong and that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to place upon us that which is right, realizing that we are weak and that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to grant us strength. We need a Ramadaan. Oh Yes !! We need a Ramadaan.

We needs nights of Qiyaam, we need dua and sujood, we need nights of Ramadaan to do thilawaah of Qura’an. We need to listen to Husri, or Sudays or Shurain, or Hudhaifi. We need a Ramadaan to listen to the Qura’an. When was the last time that we listened to the Qura’an?? When was the last time we recited Qura’an? We need a Ramadaan to study Qura’an, to implement the Qura’an, and this Ramadaan may be our final Ramadaan. As o­ne brother spoke, I believe it is Abu Thasleem Hafidahullaah, where is the guarantee that this is not our final Ramadaan? What is the guarantee that it is not our final Ramadaan? We have to come into it seriously. And we want to come out of it much better than we came into it. We want to come out of Ramadaan with Taqwa, because that was the main reason that it was legislated.

“O you who believe fasting has been written upon you as it was written for those before you, so that you may gain Taqwa.”

Taqwa is fear of Allaah. If we had taqwa, our condition will be better than it is now. If we had taqwa our relationships would be smoother, if we had taqwa .father to son who is a Muslim, sister to brother who is Muslim, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew who is Muslim, husband and wife who are Muslims.. the relationships would be better if they are based upon Taqwa. And we can achieve Taqwa during the month of Ramadaan. I don’t believe that our hearts are that hard, I don’t believe that we can’t change, I don’t believe that some of us who hold hatred for the last 10 years cannot learn to love, and because we have been taught deceit and deception now we can’t learn to trust.

I don’t believe that those brothers who have left circumstances physically but have the teachings and the behaviours that they had while they were up there, that they can’t change. The sisters who remove their bodies from the fitnah and physically remove their bodies from a mistake, physically remove their bodies from foolishness but their hearts have to follow. Be iznillaahi tha’aalah ! Their hearts have to follow.

We need a Ramadaan to be as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was. That he was the most generous, he was generous in general and he was most generous in Ramadaan. Like a wind … spending, giving to his right, giving to his left, giving in front of him, giving behind him, giving to anyone who came. He gave without them asking.

We need a Ramadaan to inculcate these qualities. We need to control our desires. We need to control our tongue. We need to control our limbs. We need to learn self-discipline. We need to control our anger. We must do things in Ramadaan not out of habit, something that is just tradition., that we are more despicable when we went in. We have to change our condition. We have to change our connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. For how light is the view of Allaah when they disobey Him. This is what was said by one of the sahabas when he had the crown of the Persian King in his hand.

And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘that he had been sent before the hour. And my provision has been provided for me under the shade of my spear and humiliation has been written against anyone who goes against my orders. Humiliation has been written upon anyone who goes against my orders. If we want to continue in the position of humiliation that we are in, then do not take the grand opportunity act like it doesn’t exist, neglect and forget and be hard headed, be obstinate, follow your desires like you have been doing for the last 11 months and don’t benefit from Ramadaan. And when our circumstances doesn’t change, when the Kuffar don’t remove their spears from our necks, when our women are consistently raped and they are now these days in many parts of the world, when all of that happens, don’t say “Why?” You know why. For we need a Ramadaan and we have to correct ourselves in this Ramadaan. And that you are a part of this Ummah and if you have an illness,

and if you are a member of this ummah with a sickness, with filth, with crime, this affects the rest of the Ummah. It is like your body when you have an illness. It is like when you have hurt your finger or your toe, it affects the rest of the body. And it doesn’t have to be said to you that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “the believers are like one body”. If we want to correct the position of the Ummah, then we must first start by correcting ourselves. Don’t worry about Ubyaid, Hassan and Musa, but worry about yourself. Be selfish this Ramadaan. Not regarding giving sadaqa but where you are going to focus your rectification or how to rectify yourself. Your focus is going to be on yourself. Not worrying about this person and that person’s manhaj. Are you on the correct Manhaj?? Not worrying about whether a particular brother is on the bidah or the Sunnah. Are you upon the Sunnah? Have those brothers stopped committing their sins —

have you stopped committing that sin? Has the brother made tawbah —- Have you made tawbah?? Has the brother corrected a situation —– have you corrected your situation? Worry about yourself. Worry about yourself this Ramadaan.

Any other Ramadaan do what you will. But my sincere advice to you is, this Ramadaan worry about yourself. Am I backbiting? Am I slandering? Am I committing fahishah? Am I committing gheebah? Am I committing Nameemah (tale-carrying) ? Do I have ‘hasad’? Do I have pride (Kibr) ? Am I arrogant? Am I too harsh? Am I unkind? Am I not gentle enough? Am I gentle enough? Question yourself. Was my intention when I said

what I said or did what I did for the pleasure of Allaah or to be noticed? When I spoke what I spoke was it for the pleasure of Allaah or to be seen or heard? Was I doing it
“Haarisa min Qalbi’— sincerely from my heart or I did it to be known? ‘Khutbath Duroor’ — Loving to be known breaks it.

Be Mukhlis. Be sincere. Be like that servant of Allaah like the Hadith that has been related in the Kitaab al tawheed of the soldier whose head is disheveled, who is bare-footed and dirty.. but he is sincere to Allaah. If he was placed at the rear of the army, he is pleased with that. And if he is placed in the front of the army he is displeased with that. His goal is Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. Not where I sit. Not us and them, Not you and I but his brothers and sisters ..its the servants of Allaah, it is the believers, it is the Muslim, the salafiyoon, it is Ahlul athar, it is Ahlus-Sunnah, it is Ahlul-Hadith. No one’ bigger and no one is smaller . No one wants to step on anyone nor desire that. All of us should be working for the pleasure of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. And if we don’t we have an illness which is Riyaah — doing things to be seen or Sum’aah — doing things to be heard and we need a Ramadaan to correct that behaviour.

If we find that we talk to the sisters or brothers too much, we need a Ramadaan to learn to stop talking to those who are not halaal for us to talk to. And if we find that we are mixing too much, we need a Ramadaan to stop mixing with those whom you are not supposed to mix with. We find that we have jealousy in our hearts, vengeance in our hearts, distrust in our hearts for other Muslims based upon nothing but Shaitaan whispers to us, we need a Ramadaan.

We get all the good in front of us when we have the Book of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala and the Sunnaah of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the fahmas Salafus Saalih and the connection to the inheritors of the Prophet alaihissalaam . the Ulamaa , we got all the good in front of us but we are like that individual who has a disease and he has the prescription for the medicine in front of him but he refuses to open the package , let alone read it —– let alone take it.

We need a Ramadaan, Our condition won’t change. We’ll continue to complain.

We need a Ramadaan or we’ll forever be in pain. We need a Ramadaan or we’ll go insane.

We need a Ramadaan, you and I. Why can’t we lift up, roll up our sleeves? Why do we have to beat the hands of one another? Why do we have to step on somebody to get somewhere? Why do we have to step on our brother , he wants to go to the same place where you want to go? The Jannah. Why can’t we do it together? Why can’t we be side by side? You roll up your sleeves and I’ll roll up my sleeves, we’ll get busy and we’ll get help and support one another.

Why can’t we make excuses? Why can’t we forgive? Why can’t we forget? Why can’t we let things go? Upon clarity, upon Haqq, knowing the Sunnah, knowing the Deen, connected to the scholars, not preceding them in any statement or action and if they make

a statement, we make their statement (not add our own), This is important. We need a Ramadaan.

This blessed month where you can go in as the most despicable devil and come out like an angel. That blessed month when you can go in as a miser and come out as the generous , that blessed month where you can be one of those hard-hearted brothers ,(everybody usually gives you a smile but you don’t give anybody a smile) and if you do it right, you’ll come out of Ramadaan giving smiles to those brothers , not in the faces of the sisters but the faces of your brothers..

We need a Ramadaan to correct our condition : we are slow, we are lazy, we don’t have any incentive towards the deen and the Aakhiraah, the Hereafter . Our incentives are towards the Dunya and if the opposite of this was true most of the neighbourhood around here would be Muslims. Many would enter Islaam in folds, as Sheikh Ubaid Madkhali Hafidaallaah says in his explanation of ‘Usool as thalaathah’, that Islaam is a Mahaasin the beauty of it is explained. Islaam he said is a Mu’jizaa minal Mu’jizaath’ — Islaam is a miracle of the Mircales. Ayah minal Ayaahs. It is that, when it is presented to the hearts, when it is presented to the people, and it is done in the right way, what happens? They enter Islaam ‘Afwaajan’ in the multitudes.

He said that if one of them has a business and we want to advertise, very few who wouldn’t advertise at all would say that “I have a business but I am going to be silent.” Business won’t be successful and no one will benefit, he will loose. Generally a good business person gets a good advertisement – he may use the print media, he may use the radio, the audio media, to get his advertisement — his dawa’ah , he’ll call out so that people will come and he mixes in the most beautiful way and has the most beautiful response. This is what he does. The Sheikh said, ‘if we were to do that with Islaam, show its beauty, explain its Mahasin –its beauty, it is the natural fitrah of the person (unless his fitrah has been polluted) that he wants to know Islaam. He wants to know why he walks upon the earth. He wants to know his prayer. He wants to have his connection with his Creator. He wants to know the purpose of his existence. But who will explain it to him or her? Who
will tell them? Who will open up those hearts? It is supposed to be ‘us’.

Those of us who cannot express ourselves, what about our actions? If the person sees you are truthful , why you are truthful? Because Islaam teaches you truthfulness and you must be truthful and there is high martaba being truthful and minas-Siddeeqi is the only martaba — level after the Prophets… It is the first level after the Prophets, rather. Closest to the prophet’s stations are those who are Siddiqeen, the most truthful. So you be truthful because of that. You keep your word because of that. You are gentle, you are nice, you have good behaviour, you have good etiquette, you have good deportment, so when it comes to Islaam it is Afwaajan. So if you don’t see them doing it, we are doing what we are not supposed to be doing. If we were doing what we are supposed to be doing, we would probably have to have this type of fundraising at one of the football

stadiums. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, people will be hearing Islaam from the radio,
they will see articles written in the papers regularly, they would see good behaviour, they would see kindness and gentleness, patience and forbearance. They would see the qualities and characteristics of Mustapha sallallahu alaihi wassallam. i.e if we were doing our job. But we are not. Not the male or the female. Not father or mother or child. We are not upon what we should be upon, we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing.

We need a Ramadaan to clarify our situation. We need a Ramadaan to put us in position. We need a Ramadaan to give this Ummah a rebirth, air .. we have to understand that we are global. Whoever follows the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Manhaj of the Salafus Saalih, then they are our closest brothers. And those who are upon ignorance, innovation, not mukaffarah, they are still brothers from a distant but from within this Ummah. So it affects all of us. And we are connected in that way.

If you sit there saying, ‘I don’t care what they do to the Muslims in India doesn’t concern me; I don’t care if they bomb Afghanistan up the planet. I don’t care…. it has nothing to do with me then you are a racist, a nationalist, you are not a Salafi. Because a Salafi concerns himself about this Ummah. Salafi at night thinks about this Ummah. Salafi cries in his salaah about the condition of this Ummah, he cries about all locally, he cries about their condition internationally. We need a Ramadaan so that we can realize the Islaamic brotherhood again.

We need a Ramadaan because some of them never practiced brotherhood ever in their lives and may have been Muslims 50 years. We need a Ramadaan so that the sisters learn sisterhood,

We need a Ramadaan so that we can focus on the Aakhirah — Hereafter and we give Naseehah and advice to one another that is of benefit and that our talking and our mixing is just not about the Dunya, and what you want to do in the Dunya and how you are gonna be in this Dunya.

We need a Ramadaan so that people learn to inculcate in their children to be like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar al-Khattab, Sa’ad abi Ibn Waqqas and like this. We need a Ramadaan so that they can study knowledge. This Ummah needs another Bin Baaz, this Ummah needs another Al-Albani, this Ummah needs another Muqbil, this Ummah needs another Ibn Taimiyyah, this Ummah needs all of these and more. You are gonna tell me that none of them can come or no o­ne like them can from our families? None of them can come from us? Not everyone who comes from us have to be Goofi. Can’t our children speak the Arabic language at a young age? Can’t we put in the hands of our children books that will benefit the Ummah.. the same love the Kaafir have for Harry Potter and their imaginary books? Our hope is low. Our desire is low. We are supposed to

be having high goals. We should be looking at our kids Abdullaah and Abdurrahman and saying : You might be Sheikh Naasir for this Ummah. We should be saying when listening to Sudaisi and Shuraim that it could be you leading the salaah in haram. We are supposed to be having high goals. But until we brush off the dust, the foolishness of the jaahiliyyah , the hastiness of the youth, the bad characteristics that we have, we have to get rid of them , we have to change our condition, we need aRamadaan.

We need our Qiyaam at night, we need recitation of Qura’an, we need to sit together and talk together o­nly about the deen, not about the Dunya, we need to worry about our status in the Aakhirah, in the Hereafter. We need to wake up from our sleep. Wake up Oh Sleepy o­ne. !! our slumber has been too long. You got to wake up, take wudoo, get within the caravan of Mohamed Ibn Abdullah, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar al-Khattab, Ibn Taimiyyah – you have to get with it. How long are we going to stay sick? How long are we going to be unsettled? How long are we going to have our problems? We need a Ramadaan. And let this Ramadaan be the o­ne where you come out of it better, come out of it committed, come out of it devoted, you come out of it with your head held high. You are from the Ummah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and don’t you forget it!!

Walhamdulillaahi rabbil aalameen.

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad,
salallahualaihiwasa llam) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination. (An-Nisa 4:115)

– Every issue of aqeedah (creed), ibaadah (worship) or manhaj (methodology) which the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah has not provided a text for and upon which the Companions never agreed upon is falsehood, vain and innovated.

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THE EXCELLENCE OF RAMADAN

Author Unknown

Allah has enjoined observing Ramadhan as a pillar of Islam, and performing in it night prayer (Qiyam, or Taraweeh) as supererogatory devotion for augmenting the rewards. Allah, the Exalted, revealed the first portion of the Qur’an in it. In it too the battle of Badr took place between the Muslims who were 300 and umpteen men, and the pagans who were about a 1000. The Muslims emerged victorious and killed seventy of the leaders of Quraish and captured another seventy as prisoners of war.The third occasion, Makkah was conquered by the Prophet (S) without fighting. He entered it victorious on Friday, the 20th of Ramadhan in the year 8 of Hijrah.

RAMADHAN, THE MONTH OF BLESSINGS

We are grateful to Allah for giving us the opportunity to enjoy another blessed month of Ramadhan. It is indeed, the month of ibadah, divine bounty and blessing in which the reward of good deeds are multiplied greatly. Abu Hurairah, with whom Allah is pleased, reported that the Prophet, (s), said: “My Ummah is given five privileges in the month of Ramadhan that no Ummah was given before:

* The khuloof of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter in the estimation of Allah than the fragrance of musk.

* The angels keep praying to Allah to forgive them (i.e. those who are fasting), until they break their fast.

* Allah decorates Jannah every day saying to it, ‘My pious slaves are about to be relieved of their burdens and sufferings and enter you’.

* Satans are chained in this month, so that they are not able to accomplish their evil

* The believers’ sins are forgiven by the last night of Ramadhan.

Someone asked the Messenger of Allah (S): Is it the night of Lailatul-Qadr’? He said: ‘no. But the laborer is usually paid upon finishing his task.’

THE EXCELLENCE OF FASTING

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: “”He who observes the month of Ramadhan believing (it is fardh) and expecting (the reward for fasting), Allah forgives his past sins.”

The rebellious Satans, according to the authentic hadeeth, are chained, during the month of Ramadhan, and the gates of Jannah are opened, and the gate of Hell-Fire is closed. In the month of Ramadhan, a caller announces: “O you who intends to do good, come forward, and you who intends to do evil, relinquish your evil deeds. The real bereft is the one whose sins did not wash away in Ramadhan.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (s) said that Allah said: “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, it is for Me, and I will reward for it. And fasting is a means of protection (against Hell-Fire and committing sins). When one of you happens to be fasting, let him avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarrelling. If someone fights or quarrels with him, let him say, ‘I am fasting.’ By the One in Whose hand is my life, the odor of the mouth of the person who is fasting is sweeter in estimation of Allah than the odor of musk. The fasting person has two occasions in which he rejoices: When he break his fast, he rejoices, and when he meets his Rubb, he rejoices for having observed fast.”

The Qur’an will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection on behalf of the person who reads it and applies it, and so will fasting on behalf of the person who observes it. Abdullah bin Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: “Fasting and Qur’an will intercede on behalf of the slave on the Day of resurrection. Fasting will say to Allah, ‘My Rubb, I deprived him from eating and curtailed his desires, so permit me to intercede for him. And the Qur’a will say: ‘I deprived him from his sleep, so permit me to intercede for him.’ The Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: ‘Both will be given the permission to intercede on behalf of that that person.”

Fasting is a pillar of Islam. It is obligatory which is known by necessity as an integral part of Islam. Whoever denies it as a pillar of Islam apostatizes, and should not be buried in a Muslim graveyard.

Once a trustworthy Muslim sights the new moon of Ramadhan, it becomes incumbent on everyone to begin fasting. If the new moon of Ramadhan was obscured, then the previous month of Sha’ban must be completed as thirty days, according to the instruction of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention.

NIGHT PRAYER DURING RAMADHAN

The Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: “O people, greet one another , give food (to the hungry) maintain good ties with your relations, and pray in the night while people are asleep, you shall enter Jannah safely.”

The minimum number of rak’at for the night prayer’ (witr), according to Shaikh Muhammad bin Uthaimeen, is one, and the maximum is eleven. A’ishah, with whom Allah is pleased, was asked about the night prayer of the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention. She said: “The Prophet(s) did not pray in Ramadhan, or in any other month, more than eleven rak’ah. Performing prayer hastily in taraweeh or other prayer deprives the person from full reward. Likewise, reading Qur’an fast when leading taraweeh prayer may render prayer null and void, because both, calmness and concentration are prerequisites of prayer, without which it is not valid. Reciting the Qur’an, Allah, the Exalted, says: Surely, those who recite the Book of Allah and conform therewith, and perform prayer and spend out of what we have provided for them, secretly and openly hope for a bargain which will never fail. In order that He may give them their full rewards, and increase them out of His bounty, He is surely Most Forgiving, Most Appreciating.

WHAT IS THE DIVINE WISDOM OF ENJOINING FASTING AS OBLIGATORY RITUAL?

Allah has clarified this in His words: “O you who believe, fasting is enjoined on you as it was enjoined on the people before you that you may attain piety.” That you may fear Allah, and keep away from His prohibitions, and fulfill His commands. The Prophet (s) said: He who does not refrain from uttering falsehood and its application, and ignorance, then Allah does not need his hunger or thirst.”

This means that Allah does not want us to abstain from eating and drinking only, rather, He wants us to refrain from evil deeds and vileness too. The Prophet (s) instructed us how to respond when someone abuses a fasting person. He said: Let the latter responds by saying, ‘I am fasting.’ As though one says: It is because I am fasting I do not return your abuses. The offender at that point may feel embarrassed, and desist.

THE EXCELLENCE OF FASTING

The Prophet (s) used to break the good news to his Companions about the arrival of Ramadhan, and would say: Here comes to you the month of Ramadhan, a blessed month during which mercy descends on you, sins are effaced, and du’a is responded to. During this month Allah views proudly before His angels your vying with one another in accomplishing good deeds. So show Allah the best of yourselves. The miserable is he who is bereft of Allah’s mercy in this month.”

There are many Prophetic traditions with regards to the excellence of fasting during the month of Ramadhan. A believer must take advantage of this great opportunity, and hasten to accomplish good deeds, and be regular on performing the Salah in particular. It is the backbone of Islam and the most important pillar after the Testimony of Faith.

What is fasting?

Sawm or fasting is abstaining from eating, drinking and coitus from daybreak to sunset as a devotional ritual. Allah says:

What is the purpose of Fasting?

The purpose of fasting is not physical training to endure hunger, thirst and exhaustion; rather, it is disciplining the ego to relinquish the loved for the sake of the beloved. The loved are the desires of eating, drinking, sexual activities etc. While the beloved is Allah, the Exalted. Hence, it is imperative to keep in mind when we observe fasting that we do so only for the sake of Allah. It becomes imperative on us to try our best to observe the rites that reflect our obedience to Allah such as the remembrance of Allah, reading the Qur’an, optional prayers, charitable deed and donations, good manners.

When a Muslim maintains this attitude throughout the month of Ramadhan, he will definitely come out a better Muslim. How do we confirm the first and the last day of Ramadhan? It has been authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: “Start fasting upon seeing it and end fasting upon seeing it. If it is cloudy or hazy, then complete the month of Sha’ban as thirty.” He also said that the lunar month is either 29 or 30 days.” There are many ahadeeth concerning the timing of Ramadhan all of which signify that there is no consideration for calculation in the purified Shari’ah. The only means to confirm the beginning and the end of the month in the Islamic Shari’ah is either by sighting the new moon or completing the previous month as 30 days. Shaikh Ibn Baz, may Allah grant him mercy, emphasized that he, who adds a third means, would have made a law which Allah has not permitted. Allah says: ” Or do they have partners (law makers beside Allah) who have made laws for them in the Deen that Allah does not permit?” The Prophet (s) said: “He who introduces in our deen that which does not belong to it, it shall be rejected.” Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah grant him mercy, said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa Vol.25, p.132: We know by necessity from the deen of Islam that it is not permissible to rely on calculation for confirming the new moon for fasting, Hajj, Iddah (waiting periods) or other issues. It is only seeing the moon which decides these periods.”

Do Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries like N. America and Australia have to follow the sighting of a Muslim country, like Saudi, for example?

Muslims who live in such countries must try their best to sight the new moon in their areas. There are many Muslim organization in those countries who provide services to the Muslim communities of which is sighting the new moon. If they could not sight the new moon for one reason or another, in that case, they should follow the sighting of a Muslim country. Or, according to another scholarly opinion, they should follow the sighting of the closest Muslim country to them.

As we know the common seasonal and annual problem is beginning Ramadhan and celebrating the Eeds in the same country at different dates. In many cases the same community begins Ramadhan and celebrates the Eed at two different days. Depending on who is the more influential organization, and on affiliation as well as the method it follows, calculation, following a Muslim country or following their own groups in different states or provinces. This is a pathetic situation.There is no doubt that entering the month of Ramadhan and celebrating the Eeds on one single day by all Muslim reflects solidarity and harmony among the Muslims, and makes the non-Muslims reckon the Muslims with respect. In some countries the day is about 21 hours in summer, and 3 or 4 hours in winter. Can people there estimate the hours during which they observe fasting?

Those who have day and night within the 24 hours must observe fast during the day hours and perform the daily prayers at their designated times, for Allah says: ‘Verily, Salah is enjoined on the believers at designated times’. Regardless how long or short is the day. What about those countries where the never sets during summer and never rises during winter? How do they observe fasting and how do they adjust prayer schedule?

The Supreme Council of Grand Scholars in Saudi Arabia has convened and discussed this question and issued the following decree: People living in countries where the day lasts for six months during Summer and the night lasts for six months during winter, it is incumbent on them to perform the daily prayers within a 24-hour period by estimating its times taking as a standard the nearest country in which there is day and night and have regular prayer schedule. This according to the holy hadeeth in which Allah said to the Prophet 9S): “O Muhammad. They are five prayers during the day and night.”

It is also authentically reported that the Prophet (s) said in the hadeeth of ad-Dajjal when they asked him, how long will the Dajjal remain on earth. He said: “40- days. A day which is a year-long, and a day a month-long, and a day a week-long, and the rest of the days like your days.” He was further asked: Would it be enough for us to perform only five prayers in the day, which will be a yearlong? He said: “No, estimate the time.”

The Prophet (S) did not consider that day which will be a yearlong as one single day. Rather he instructed that five daily prayers must be performed in every 24 hours.

Similarly, fasting should observe I countries such mentioned above according to the standard time of the nearest country to them, which has day and night.

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SALAATUT TARAAWEEH (TARAAWEEH PRAYER)

Author Unknown

Salaatut Taraaweeh is a Sunnah prayer offered after ‘Ishaa prayer, in Ramadan, the month of fasting. This Sunnah prayer is also known as Qiyaamun Ramadaan. The time of this prayer extends from after the time of ‘Ishaa until dawn.

According to Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (s.’a.s.) said: “Whoever observes prayer at night during Ramadaan, because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins would be forgiven.” (Muslim)

Imaam Muslim related that the Prophet’s wife, ‘Aaishah (r.a.), has been reported as saying, the Prophet (s.a.s.) observed prayer in the masjid and some of the people prayed along with him, he then prayed the following night and there were many people. Then on the third night people gathered but he (the Prophet) did not come out to them (to lead them in prayer). In the morning he said: “I saw what you were doing, but nothing prevented me from coming to you except the fear that this prayer might become obligatory for you, (that is in Ramadaan).

NUMBER OF RAKA’AATS

According to Hadeeth narrated by ‘Aaishah (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.s.) never prayed more than eleven raka’aats during Ramadaan or otherwise. However, twenty Raka’aats of Taraaweeh, and three Raka’aats of Witr have been ‘reported from ‘Umar, Uthmaan, ‘Ali and many others. A possible explanation for the discrepancy among the reports could be that eleven raka’aats are Sunnah and the rest is Mustahab, desired.

Qiyaamu Ramadaan may be offered in Jamaa’ah, congregation or infiraad, individually. The Jamaa’ah is always better. The only reason why the Prophet did not continue to offer in Jamaa’ah was his fear that it might be made obligatory and hence a prerequisite for fasting.

PROCEDURES OF TARAAWEEH PRAYER

Like any Sunnah prayer, there is no Iqaamah for Taraaweeh prayer. It is offered immediately after ‘Ishaa prayer and before Witr.

The Taraaweeh prayer is offered in two sets of Raka’aats after which one says Tasleem. If one intends to offer eight raka’aats of Taraaweeh, one offers the first two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, making the total of eight raka’aats.

Then one says two sets for Shaf’u and one Raka’ah for Witr for the total of eleven Raka’aats. If one intends to do twenty raka’aats, offer them in sets of two until the total count is twenty.

The procedures of these sets is similar to that of Salaatus Subh, morning prayer.

QIRAA ‘AH IN TARAAWEEH (Recitation in Taraweeh)

Although there is no recorded Sunnah for how long one should recite Al-Quran after Al-Faatihah, it has been reported from the Salaf, the worthy ancestors and those after them, that they used to recite the whole Suurah Baqarah in eight Raka’aats. However, if one is unable to recite that much, one may recite according to one’s convenience, as long as one desires, from anywhere in Al-Quran.

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SOME HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR RAMADHAAN

Dr. Farouk Haffejee

Islamic Medical Association of South Africa – Durban

This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.

During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one’s weight.

In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

  1. * Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).
  2. *Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).
  3. * Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

AVOID

  1. * Fried and fatty foods.
  2. * Foods containing too much sugar.
  3. * Over-eating especially at sehri.
  4. * Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
  5. * Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

EAT

  1. * Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
  2. * Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
  3. * Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
  4. * Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
  5. * Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

DRINK

* As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.

INDIGESTION AND WIND

Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.

LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)

Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with “low blood pressure”. This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.

HEADACHE

Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with “low blood pressure”, the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR

Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.

MUSCLE CRAMPS

Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.

PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA

Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.

JOINT PAINS

Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.

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THE MONTH OF RAMADHAAN

Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called Ramadhaan and it is the most meritorious month of the whole year. Since there are many specific rules peculiar to this month, we would like to deal with it’s characteristics in a rather detailed manner under different section

THE PHILOSOPHY OF RAMADHAAN

The glorious Qur’aan has explicitly mentioned that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah is that he ‘worships’ Him: “And I did not create Jinn and human beings except that they should worship Me.” (Glorious Qur’aan 51:56)

The word used by the glorious Qur’aan for worship is ‘Ibaadah, which has a much wider sense than worship. In English, the word worship indicates some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one’s reverence to his Creator. But the word ‘ibaadah is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah’s Commands and to seek His Pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word ‘ibaadah, like earning one’s livelihood through Halaal (permissible) means and in order to fulfil one’s obligations towards his dependants.

However, ‘ibaadah is of two kinds. One consists of acts that are meant exclusively to worship Allah, having no worldly objective, like Salaah, Fasting, etc. These are direct acts of ‘ibaadah, while the other kind of ‘ibaadah includes acts which are primarily mundane, but are converted into ‘ibaadah when performed in full conformity with Sharee’ah and with an intention to discharge one’s obligations. Therefore, these acts are treated as ‘ibaadah in an indirect manner. It is obvious that the direct acts of ‘ibaadah should be superior to the indirect ones.

Now, while prescribing very few acts of direct ‘ibaadah in one’s daily life, like the Salaah which is performed five times a day, Islaam has left its followers mostly with the indirect acts of ‘ibaadah like eating, drinking, earning livelihood and association with one’s wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and other human beings. But the primary nature of these acts being mundane, one becomes so absorbed in their worldly pleasures that their material aspects prevail their spiritual ones. Therefore, these acts have less spiritual strength than the direct acts of worship.

Since the direct acts of ‘ibaadah are very few in one’s daily life as compared to the indirect ones, his spiritual progress becomes slow vis-à-vis his material progress. The month of Ramadhaan has been designed to maintain a balance between material and spiritual aspects of the human life. This month is meant to maximise the direct acts of ‘ibaadah and to minimise the pure mundane activities, so that one may accelerate his spiritual progress to make up the distance and to repair the spiritual loss one may have suffered through his deep involvement in the mundane activities during the year. The days of Ramadhaan are designed for fasting, which is an act of ‘ibaadah for the whole day, and depriving oneself from food for many hours.

This lessens the undesirable spiritual effects of the material pleasures. The nights of Ramadhaan, on the other hand, are spent in offering Taraaweeh, Tahajjud and Suhoor, thereby reducing one’s sleep much less than normal days. Moreover, apart from the prescribed acts of worship, one is supposed to offer as much optional (nafl) ‘ibaadah in this month as he can. In this way the level of one’s spiritual activities in this month is raised up much higher than in other days of the year.

This philosophy of Ramadhaan makes it clear that this month should be devoted to the direct acts of worship as far as possible. That is why the rewards of the virtuous acts in this month have been multiplied. This is to encourage the Muslims to carry out maximum possible acts of ‘ibaadah.

HOW TO SPEND RAMADHAAN

The month of Ramadhaan is the season of Divine Blessings. It is the month of purification and meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his Imaan, purify his heart and soul and remove the evil effects of the sins committed. This month invites a Muslim to minimise his mundane involvements and maximise the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month beforehand, so as to spare maximum time for ‘ibaadah.

    Below is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadhaan with due care:

  1. 1. To offer every prayer with congregation in the Musjid.
  2. 2. To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the Salaah of Tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajjud prayer, yet, it is better to pray 8 rak’ats.
  3. 3. To offer the nafl (optional) prayers of Ishraaq (two rak’ats after sunrise), Dhuhaa (Four rak’ats which may be performed at anytime after Ishraaq before noon) and Awwaabeen (six rak’ats after Maghrib).
  4. 4. The recitation of the glorious Qur’aan. No specific limit is prescribed, but one should recite as much of it as he can.
  5. 5. To remember Allah frequently through different prophetic recitations, such as the following: Subhaana Allaah wa bihamdihi subhaana Allaahu al-Adheem, Laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa bi-llaahi al-aliyy al-adheem, subhaana Allaahu wa alhamdulillaah wa laa ilaaha illa Allaahu wa Allaahu Akbar, Astaghfiru-llaah lladhee laa ilaaha illaa huwa al-hayy al-qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi, Allaahumma salli alaa muhammadin al-nabiyy al-ummiy wa-alaa aalihi wa-sallim tasleeman. Apart from reciting these phrases, one hundred times each, at a particular time, they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.
  6. 6. Prayers and supplications (du’aa): No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the supplications of the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam are so comprehensive that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his death. It is therefore, much advisable to pray to Allah Almighty in words used by our noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. There are several books wherein these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Below are the names of two books which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily: Al-Hisnul Haseen by Allaamah Al-Jazri and Munaajaat-e-Maqbool by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi
  7. 7. Giving Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying Zakaat, which is obligatory, one should also spend optionally in Ramadhaan to the best of his ability. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to pay special attention in Ramadhaan to look after the poor and help them financially. Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in Sadaqah as he can afford.

WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN RAMADHAAN

All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadhaan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in the Sharee’ah, whether in Ramadhaan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts that were never allowed in the Sharee’ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes all the more necessary in this month.

    The following acts in particular, should be avoided totally:

  1. 1. Telling a lie.
  2. 2. Backbiting.
  3. 3. Quarrelling. The noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has particularly forbidden from quarrelling during the fast. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadhaan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.
  4. 4. Eating unlawful things.
  5. 5. Earning through unlawful means.
  6. 6. Any act which may harm a person.
  7. 7. Burdening one’s servants or employees with a toilsome job that is beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.

In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins and protect his eyes, ears, tongue, and all other organs from indulging in any unlawful activity.

Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadhaan in this way, he will insha’allah, find himself equipped with spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the Pleasure of Allah throughout the year.

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THE NIGHT OF QADR: ITS VIRTUE

Author Unknown

The night of qadr is the most virtuous night of the year. Allah says in the Qur’an: “We revealed it on the night of power [that is, qadr]. What will tell you what the night of power is? It is better than a thousand months.” Any action therein, for example, reciting the Qur’an, making remembrance of Allah, and so on, is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of qadr.

Night of Qadr, it is preferred to seek this night: It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet, upon whom be peace, strove his best in seeking it during that time. We have already mentioned that the Prophet would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives, and then would remain apart from them to worship.

Night of Qadr, which night is it?: Scholars hold different opinions as to the night which is the night of qadr. Some are of the opinion that it is the 21st, some say the 23rd, others say the 25th and still others say it is the 29th. Some say that it varies from year to year but it is always among the last ten nights of Ramadan. Most scholars, though, vouch for the 27th.

Ahmad recorded, with a sahih chain, from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet said: “He who likes to seek that night should do so on the 27th. Ubayy ibn K’ab said: By Allah, and there is no God but Him, it is during Ramadan–and He swore to that–and by Allah, I know what night it is. It is the night during which the Prophet ordered us to make prayers, the night of the 27th. Its sign is that the sun rises in the morning white and without any rays.” This is related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and by at-Tirmidhi who called it sahih.

Night of Qadr, praying and making supplications during the night of qadr.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “Whoever prays during the night of qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.”

As to the supplication during the night of qadr, ‘Aishah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ ” This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and by atTirmidhi, who called it sahih.

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SURAH QADR (THE NIGHT OF POWER)

Taken from “Faza’il-e-Ramadhan” (Virtues of Ramadhan) by Maulana Muhammad Kandhalvi (R.A.)

1. We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

2. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?

3. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

4. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:

5. Peace!…This until the rise of morn!

Amongst the nights of Ramadhan, there is one called ‘Laylatul Qadr’, a night that is noted for its great blessings. The Qur’an Karim describes it as being greater in lessedness and spiritual virtue than a thousand months, which in turn means that it is more valuable than eighty-three years and four months. Fortunate indeed is that person who attains the full blessings of this night by spending it in the worship of Allah, because he has then attained the reward of ‘Ibaadah’ (worship) for eighty-three years, four months and even more. Indeed (the granting of) this night for the faithful Muslims is a great favor.

The Origin

Regarding this night, in a Hadith reported by Anas (Radhi Allaho anho) in Durre Manthur, Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is reported to have said: “Laylatul Qadr was granted to this Ummah (of mine) and not to any other Ummah before this.” As regards the reason for the granting of Laylatul Qadr, various views are held. According to some Ahadith, one reason is given thus: Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) used to ponder over the longer lives of peoples of the past ages and when comparing them with the much shorter lives of his Ummah, he became greatly saddened, because if his Ummah wished to compete with the people before them, then because of their shorter lives, it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass the previous Ummahs in the doing of righteous deeds. Therefore, Allah, in His Infinite Mercy, granted them this night of great blessings. This means that, if any fortunate person of this Ummah during his lifetime spends ten such nights in the worship of his Maker, he would have gained the rewards of (ibaadah) worship for eight hundred and thirty years and even more. Another report states that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once related to the Sahaba the story of a very righteous man from among the Bani Isra’il, who spent one thousand months in Jihad. On hearing this, the Sahaba enviously felt that they could not attain the same reward, whereupon Allah granted them this Night (of Power). Still another report states that it so happened that our Nabi (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once mentioned the names of the four most pious people from among the Bani Isra’il, each of whom spent eighty years in Allah’s sincere service, worshipping Him and not transgressing in the least. They were Nabi Ayyub (Alayhis Salam), Zakariyya (Alayhis Salam), Ezkeel (Alayhis Salam) and Yu’shaa (Alayhis Salam). The Sahaba heard this, wondering how to emulate their achievements. Then Jibra’il (Alayhis Salam) appeared and recited Sura Qadr, wherein the blessings of this particular night were revealed.

There are other reports too, explaining the origin of the Night of Power. But no matter which of these we accept, the important fact remains that Allah has granted us this night as a great favor, and how fortunate are those divines who have never missed worship in this night. As to which particular night it is, here again approximately fifty different views are reported. It is not easy for me to enumerate them all, but the most generally accepted versions shall follow in the ensuing pages of this chapter. Because the Qur’an Majeed itself mentions the night, we shall commence with a short commentary of Sura Qadr.

1. We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

Reference here is made to the fact that, on this specific night, the Qur’an was sent down from ‘Lowhul Mahfuz’ (the preserved Tablet) to the heavens (above the earth). The mere fact that the Qur’an was revealed on this night would have been sufficient to ensure its greatness. But apart from this fact, it is also noted for many other things. In the very next verse, by way of increasing our interest in the matter under discussion, a question is asked:

2. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?

In other words, the question asked here is: Have you any knowledge as to the greatness and importance of this night? Have you any knowledge as to the great favors and bounties that go with it? The next verse proceeds to explain its greatness:

3. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

The true meaning here is that the reward for spending this night in worship (Ibaadah) is better and more than that for having spent one thousand months in worship (Ibaadah); but as to how much more rewarding it is, we are not told here.

4. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:

A fine explanation is given for this verse by Imam Raazi. Commenting on this verse, he explains that when man first appeared on earth, the ‘Malla’ikah’ looked upon him with concern. They even ventured to ask Allah: “will you place on this earth, one who shall be riotous therein and shed blood?”

Similarly, when his parents noted his original form as a mere drop of sperm, they too looked upon it with dislike, so much so, that they considered it as something which polluted the clothes and had to be washed away. But later, when Allah made that same sperm into a fine form of a child, they began to love and cherish him. So far have things now progressed that, when on this Night of Power we find that same man worshipping Allah and adoring Him, then those very angels (Malla’ikah) descend towards him, obviously repentant for the thoughts they had once harbored against him. In this verse, where it is mentioned (Wer-rroh) “and the Spirit…”, the reference is to Jibra’il (Alayhis Salam) who descends to the Earth during this night. Commentators of the Qur’an have given various meanings of this word. ((Note: If anyone is interested on the possible meanings of the word, please e-mail me, insha’Allah, I can supply you with what the author has written)).

The author of Mazaahire Haq writes that on this night, ages ago, ‘the Malla’ikah’ were created, long before the creation of Adam (Alayhis Salam) was begun in the shape of a nucleus; on this same night Paradise was planted with trees, and numerous Ahaadith bear witness to the fact that on this night prayers are accepted. Similarly we read in the book Durre Manthur, that according to a hadith it was on this night that Prophet Jesus (Alayhis Salam) was lifted up bodily into the Heaven, and also it was on this night that the repentance (Towbah) of Bani Isra’il was accepted.

5. Peace!…This until the rise of morn!

Indeed this night is the very embodiment of peace; throughout its span, the ‘Malla’ikah’ offer salutations to the faithful believers adoring their Lord. As one group ascends, another group descends (with the same greetings), as indicated in some narrations. Another interpretation is that it is a night of complete safety from evil and mischief. These blessings last all night until the break of dawn, and are not limited to anyone part of the night.

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NIGHT PRAYER DURING RAMADAN (Al-Qiyaam or Taraweeh)

Author Unknown

Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah used to encourage us to pray at night in Ramadaan, without making it obligatory. Then he said, ‘Whoever prays at night in Ramadaan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.’ When the Messenger of Allaah died, this is how things were (i.e., Taraaweeh was not prayed in congregation), and this is how they remained during the khilaafah of Abu Bakr until the beginning of the khilaafah of ‘Umar ‘Amr ibn Murrah al-Juhani said: “A man from Qudaa’ah came to the Messenger of Allaah and said,‘O Messenger of Allaah! What do you think if I testifythat there is no god except Allaah, and that you, Muhammad, are His Messenger, and I pray the five daily prayers, and fast in the month (of Ramadaan), and pray at night in Ramadaan, and pay zakaah?’ The Prophet said: ‘Whoever dies on that will be among the siddeeqeen (those who tell the truth) and the martyrs.’”

Laylat al-Qadr and its timing

The best of its nights is Laylat al-Qadr, because the Prophet said: “Whoever prays at night during Laylat al-Qadr {and manages to “catch” it} out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

According to the most correct opinion, it is the twenty-seventh night of Ramadaan. Most of the ahaadeeth state this, such as the hadeeth of Zurr ibn Hubaysh, who said: “I heard Ubayy ibn Ka’b saying – and it was said to him that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: ‘Whoever follows the Sunnah will ‘catch’ Laylat al-Qadr!’ – Ubayy said: ‘May Allaah have mercy on him, he did not want people to take it for granted and only stay up to pray on one night. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, it is in Ramadaan – he was swearing without a doubt – and by Allaah, I do know which night it is. It is the night in which the Messenger of Allaah commanded us to pray (qiyaam). It is the night the morning of which is the twenty seventh, and the sign of it is that the sun rises on that morning white and without rays.’” In another report, this was attributed to the Prophet (Reported by Muslim and others).

Praying qiyaam in congregation

It is allowed to pray qiyaam in congregation, indeed it is better than praying individually, because this is what the Prophet did himself and explained its virtues. Abu Dharr said: “We fasted Ramadaan with the Messenger of Allaah and he did not lead us in qiyaam at all until there were only seven days left, when he led us in prayer until a third of the night had passed. When there were six days left, he did not lead us in qiyaam. When there were five days left, he led us in prayer until half the night had passed. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I wish that you had continued until the end of the night.’ He said, ‘If a man prays with the imaam until he finishes, it will be counted as if he prayed the whole night.’ When there were four nights left, he did not lead us in qiyaam. When there were three nights left, he brought together his family, his wives and the people, and led us in qiyaam until we were afraid that we would miss al-falaah. I asked, ‘What is al-falaah?’ he said, ‘Suhoor. Then he did not lead us in qiyaam for the rest of the month.’” (Saheeh hadeeth reported by the authors of Sunan).

The reason why the Prophet did not continually lead the people in praying qiyaam in congregation The Prophet (did not lead them in qiyaam for the rest of the month because he feared that it would then become obligatory, and they would not be able to do it, as is stated in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah reported in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere. Following the death of the Prophet that fear was no longer a factor, because Allaah had completed the religion. The reason for not praying qiyaam in congregation during Ramadaan no longer applied, and the previous ruling, that congregational prayer is something prescribed in Islam, remained in effect. So ‘Umar revived the practice, as is recorded in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere.

Women can pray qiyaam in congregation Women can attend the prayers too, as is stated in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr referred to above. Indeed, it is permissible to appoint an imaam just for them, apart from the imaam of the men. It was proven that when ‘Umar gathered the people to pray qiyaam, he appointed Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the men and Sulaymaan ibn Abi Hathmah to lead the women. ‘Arfajah al-Thaqafi said: “ ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib used to command the people to pray during the night in Ramadaan, and he would appoint an imaam for the men and an imaam for the women. I was the imaam for the women.” I say: this is fine in my view so long as the mosque is big enough so that they will not disturb one another.

Number of rak’ahs of qiyaam

The number of rak’ahs is eleven, and it is preferable in our opinion not to exceed this number, following the practice of the Messenger of Allaah because he never did more than that in his life. ‘Aa’ishah was asked about how he prayed in Ramadaan. She said, “The Messenger of Allaah never prayed more than eleven rak’ahs (of qiyaam), whether during Ramadaan or any other time. He would pray four, and don’t ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray four, and don’t ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray three.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others).

A person may do less than that, even if it is only one rak’ah of witr, because of the evidence that the Prophet did this and spoke about it. With regard to him doing it: ‘Aa’ishah was asked how many rak’ahs the Messenger of Allaah used to pray in witr? She said, “He used to pray four and three, or six and three, or ten and three. He never used to pray less than seven, or more than thirteen.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, Ahmad and others).

With regard to him speaking about it, he said: “Witr is true, so whoever wishes can pray five, and whoever wishes can pray three, and whoever wishes can pray one.”

Reciting Qur’aan in qiyaam

As regards reciting from the Qur’aan during qiyaam, whether in Ramadaan or at other times, the Prophet did not set a limit or state what was too much or too little. His recitation used to vary, sometimes it would be long, at other times short. Sometimes in every rak’ah he would recite the equivalent of ‘Yaa ayyuha’l-muzammil, which is twenty aayaat; sometimes he would recite the equivalent of fifty aayaat. He used to say, “Whoever prays at night and reads one hundred aayaat will not be recorded as one of the negligent.” According to another hadeeth: “… and reads two hundred aayaat, will be recorded as one of the devout and sincere believers.”

When he was sick, the Prophet recited the seven long soorahs in his night prayers, i.e., al-Baqarah, Aal ‘Imraan, al-Nisaa’, al-Maa’idah, al-An’aam, al-A’raaf and al-Tawbah. In the account of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan praying behind the Prophet in one rak’ah he recited al-Baqarah, al-Nisa’ and Aal ‘Imraan, and he recited them in a slow and measured tone. It is proven with the soundest (most saheeh) of isnaads that when ‘Umar appointed Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people in praying eleven rak’ahs in Ramadaan, Ubayy used to recite aayaat by the hundreds, so that the people behind him would be leaning on sticks because the prayers were so long, and they did not finish until just before Fajr.

It is also reported in a saheeh account that ‘Umar called the readers during Ramadaan, and told the fastest of them to recite thirty aayaat, the moderate ones to recite twenty-five aayaat, and the slowest ones to recite twenty aayaat. However, is a person is praying qiyaam by himself, he can make it as long as he wishes; if others agree with the imaam, he may also make it as long as he wishes. The longer it is, the better, but a person should not go to extremes and spend the whole night in qiyaam, except on rare occasions, following the example of the Prophet who said: “The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.”

If a person is praying as an imaam, he should make it only as long as is easy for the people behind him, because the Prophet said: “If any of you leads the people in prayer, let him make it short, because among them are the young and the old, the weak, and those who have pressing needs. But if he is praying alone, let him make it as long as he likes.”

The timing of qiyaam

The time for praying qiyaam is from after ‘Isha until Fajr, because the Prophet said: “Allaah has added one more prayer for you, which is witr, so pray it between Salaat al-‘Isha’ and Salaat al-Fajr.” Praying at the end of the night is better, for those who can manage it, because the Prophet said: “Whoever is afraid that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever feels that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed [by the angels], and that is better.”

If it is the matter of choosing between praying in congregation at the beginning of the night and praying alone at the end of the night, it is preferable to pray with the jamaa’ah, because that is counted as if one had prayed the whole night through. This is what the Sahaabah did at the time of ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: “I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab to the mosque one night during Ramadaan, and saw the people scattered throughout the mosque, some praying individually, and some praying in small groups. He said, ‘By Allaah, I think that if I gathered all of them behind one reader it would be better.’ So he resolved to do that, and he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b. Then I went with him on another night, and the people were all praying behind their reader, and ‘Umar said, ‘What a good innovation this is. What they sleep and miss – meaning the latter part of the night – is better than what they are doing,’ – the people used to pray qiyaam at the beginning of the night.” Zayd ibn Wahb said: “‘Abd-Allaah used to lead us in prayer in Ramadaan, and he used to finish at night.”

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HOW THE SALAF OBSERVED RAMADAN: A Message to Every Muslim on the Occasion of the Blessed Month of Ramadan

Author Unknown

Brother and sister Muslims, may the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. I send you this message filled with love and greetings. I send it to you from a heart that loves you for the sake of Allah and I ask Him to bring us together in the abode of His Benedictions and Mercy. On the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan, I extend to you this advise as a humble gift which I hope you will accept with an open mind and that in turn, you advise me. May Allah protect you and take care of you.

How do we receive the blessed month of Ramadan? Allah the Almighty says, “You who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may attain piety” [Qur’an 2:183].

My esteemed brother and sister: Allah has distinguished Ramadan from other months with many merits and virtues which include:

*The bad breath from the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.

*The angels ask forgiveness for those fasting until they break their fast.

*Allah beautifies His Paradise each day and says, “My righteous servants are about to be spared suffering and harm, then they will be sent to you.”

*The devils are chained during the month.

*The doors of Paradise are opened while those of Hell are locked.

*The night, Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months occurs in this month. Whoever is deprived of the good of this night has indeed been deprived of goodness altogether.

*Those fasting receive forgiveness on the last night of Ramadan.

*Allah saves people from Hellfire during each night of Ramadan.

My esteemed brother and sister: How then do we receive the month containing these merits and virtues? Is it by occupying ourselves with playfulness and spending our nights with non-beneficial things? Or do we feel burdened and panic at its arrival? We seek refuge with Allah from such attitudes. The righteous servants of Allah welcome it with repentance and true determination to reap its benefits and fully utilize its precious time. They ask Allah to help them perform their acts of worship in the best manner. I therefore present to you my dear brothers and sisters, the righteous deeds that are stressed during Ramadan.

1. Fasting (Sawm): The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “Every good deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied. He will receive ten-fold to seven-hundred-fold reward for a good deed. Allah the Glorious and Majestic has said ‘but fasting is exceptional, for it is done for Me and I will give reward for it, since one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it and joy when he meets his Lord; and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” [Related by AI-Bukhari and Muslim].

Undoubtedly, this great reward will not be for those who only abstain from food and drink, but as the Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever does not abandon obscene speech and evil action, Allah does not need his refraining from eating and drinking.” [Related by Al-Bukhari. The Prophet (saws) also said, “Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise his voice; rather if anyone reviles him or quarrels with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.”‘ [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Therefore when you fast, servant of Allah, let your hearing, sight, tongue and all your limbs fast, so that your fasting and non-fasting days are not the same.

2. Praying Qiyam Al-Layl:

The Messenger of Allah (saws.) said, “He who observes the fast of the month of Ramadan with sincere faith and hope for the reward of Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Also, Allah says, “And the servants of Allah most gracious are those who walk on the earth with humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say (Peace); Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrating and standing” [Qur’an 63-64]. Thus, waking up in the night to pray qiyam al-layl i.e. performing prayer in the middle of the night, was a regular act of the Prophet (saws) and his Companions. Aisha (raa) said, “Do not abandon qiyam al-layl, for the Messenger of Allah (saws) never left it. If he was not well or he felt heavy, he prayed sitting.”

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, used to pray at night what he wished, until it was in the middle of the night, when he would wake up his family to pray; then he would say to them “prayer.. prayer”, and would recite this verse of the Qur’an, “Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the fruit of the Hereafter is for righteousness” [Qur’an 20:132].

Ibn Umar used to recite, “Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night, prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord like one who does not?” [Qur’an 39:9]. He said that was referring to Uthman Ibn Affan (raa). Ibn Abi Hatim said Ibn Umar said that it was due to the length of the prayer of the commander of the faithful, Uthman, at night and his recitation to the extent that he may have recited the entire Qur an in one rak’ah.

Alqamah Ibn Qays narrated, “I slept with Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (raa) one night. He woke up in the early part of the night and began to pray. He recited with a recitation similar to that of the neighborhood imam with a medium regular pace. Those around him could hear him and he continued until what remained of the night’s darkness was equal to the time between the adhan (call) for maghrib prayer and the end of the maghrib prayer time, i.e. a short time before daybreak. He then performed witr prayer.

Furthermore, Al-Sa’ib Ibn Zayd narrated in a hadith that the reciter would recite (the Qur’an) with hundreds of verses such that we supported ourselves with staves due to the lengthiness of the prayer and did not leave until the time of fair (dawn prayer).

Caution: Brother Muslim, you have to complete the tarawih prayer with the imam in order to be reckoned as one of those who stood (the night) in prayer. The Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever stays with his imam until he completes the prayer, will have the night written for him as one who performed qiyam al-layl, i.e. one who stood the night in prayer.” [Related by compilers of sunan books].

3. Charity (Sadaqah):

The Prophet (saws) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous during Ramadan. He was more generous with good deeds than the blowing wind. The Messenger of Allah also said, “The best charity is one given during Ramadan.” [Related by Al-Tirmidhi from Anas].

Zayd Ibn Aslam narrated from his father as saying, “I heard Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) say, ‘The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded us to donate to charity, so I gave some of my wealth. Then I said, ‘Today I will compete with Abu Bakr if I can ever do so.’ Then I donated half of my wealth. The Messenger of Allah (saws) asked me, ‘What did you leave for your family?’ He said, ‘I said the same as what I gave out.’ But Abu Bakr brought all of his wealth and the Messenger of Allah (saws) asked him, ‘What did you leave for your family?’ He replied, ‘I left them with Allah and His Messenger,’ I said, ‘I will never compete with you for anything again.

Talha Ibn Yahya Ibn Talha narrated, “My grandmother Sa’da bint Awf AI-Mariyah who was the wife of Talha Ibn Ubaydullah related to me, ‘Talha came to me one day disconcerted. So I asked him, ‘Why is it that I see you with a gloomy face? What is the matter with you? Is there anything that I can help you with?” He said, “No, you are a faithful Muslim wife.” I said, “Then what is the matter?” He said, “The wealth that I have has increased and that disturbs me.” I said, “Don~t worry, distribute it.” She said, ‘He divided it until not even a single diniam was left.” Talha Ibn Yahya said: “I asked the custodian of Talha’s property how much the amount was.” He said, ‘Four hundred thousand.”‘

Therefore dear brother, charity during Ramadan has special significance, so hasten to give it out according to your means. Charity takes many forms.

a) Feeding the Needy:

Allah the Almighty says, “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (saying), ‘We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone. No rewards do we desire from you, nor thanks. We only fear a Day of frowning and stress from the side of our Lord.’ But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that day, and will spread over them brightness and a (blissful) joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a garden (and garments of) silk” [Qur’an 76:8-12]. The Salaf used to ensure feeding others and they placed it before many acts of worship, and it is equally rewarded whether you feed a hungry person or a good Muslim brother of yours. Hence, poverty is not a condition for feeding a person.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “When a believer feeds a hungry believer, Allah will feed him from the fruits of Paradise. And when he quenches the thirst of a believer, Allah will make him drink from the pure sealed wine of Paradise.” [Related by Al-Tirmidhi with a good chain of narration].

Some of our pious predecessors said, “For me to invite ten of my friends and feed them with a meal that they like is better for me then freeing ten of the descendants of (Prophet) Isma’il.” Many among the Salaf used to leave their food for breaking the fast for others. They included Abdullah Ibn Umar (saws), Dawud Al-Ta’i, Malik Ibn Dinar and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Ibn Umar did not break his fast except with the orphans and the needy. Sometimes, if he learned that his family had turned back the orphans and the needy, he would not break the fast that night. Also among the Salaf were those who fed their brother Muslims while they still continued to fast. They also served them and attended to their well-being. Among them were AI-Hassan Al-Basri and Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak.

Abu Al-Sawar Al-‘Adwi said, “Some men from Banu Adiy tribe used to pray in the mosque. None of them ever broke the fast alone with his food. If he found someone to share with, he ate with him, if not, he would take it to the mosque, so that others ate with him and he ate with others. Feeding other people is an act of worship which triggers many other acts of worship. Ties of love and brotherliness are strengthened between you and the person you feed and that may lead you to Paradise.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love one another.” This deed will keep you close to righteous people and Allah will reward you as the food you provide helps them with their acts of obedience (to Allah).

b) Providing Food to Break the Fast:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward equal to that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” [Related by Ahmad and Al-Nasai. Also verified by Al-Albani as sahih]. In a hadith narrated by Salman Al-Farisi, the Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person, will be recompensed with forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hell. He will receive the same reward as the fasting person without causing him any reduction (in his reward). (The Companions) said, ‘Messenger of Allah, not all of us can find something to feed a fasting person.’ The Prophet (saws) said, ‘Allah will give this reward to he who feeds a fasting person with a sip of milk or a piece of dates, or a sip of water. And Allah will make him who quenches the thirst of a fasting person to drink from my cistern a drink that he will never feel thirsty until he enters Paradise (where there is no thirst).”

4. Intensifying the Recitation of the Qur’an. I will remind you dear brother of two actions of the pious Salaf of this Ummah:

a) Undertaking Much Recitation of the Qur ‘an:

The month of Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. The Muslim must therefore recite the Qur’an a great deal. The Salaf used to pay particular attention to the Book of Allah, and angel Jibril (Gabriel) used to study the Qur’an with the Prophet (saws) during Ramadan. Uthman Ibn Affan used to complete reciting the Qur’an once each day. Some of the Salaf also completed the Qur an in their qiyam prayer every three nights. Others completed it every seven days, while some others completed it every ten nights. They used to recite the Qur’an during prayers and at other times. During Ramadan, Al-Shafi’i used to complete reciting the Qur’an sixty times, excluding prayer times. AI-Aswad used to complete reciting the Qur’an every two nights. Qatada regularly completed the Qur’an within seven nights, while during Ramadan, he completed it every three nights, but in the last ten days of Ramadan, he completed it every night. When Ramadan came, Al-Zuhri left studying the hadith and study circles with scholars and he concentrated on reciting the Qur’an from the book (i.e. not from memory).

Also, when Ramadan came,Sufyan Al-Thawn left all other acts of worship and concentrated on the Qur’an.

Ibn Rajab said that it was reported from the Prophet (saws) that the Qur’an may not be completed in less than three days by those who recite it constantly. As for the blessed times such as Ramadan, especially during the nights of expecting laylat al-Qadr or when in holy places such as Makkah for those not inhabiting it, it is recommended that the recitation of the Qur’an be increased in order to benefit from the blessings of the time and the place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Ishaq and others among the distinguished scholars. As we indicated earlier, the actions of other scholars also support this view.

b) Weeping During the Recitation of the Qur’an:

It was not reported from the Salaf that they chanted the Qur’an like poetry without pondering and understanding (its meanings); rather, they were moved by the Words of Allah, and they in turn changed the hearts of others with it. In a hadith in AI-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (raa) said, “The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, ‘Recite (the Qur’an) to me.’ Then I said, ‘How can I recite to you when it was revealed to you?’ The Prophet (saws) said, ‘I like to hear it from someone else.”‘ Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said, “I recited the Qur’an from Surah Al-Nisa’ until I reached the verse that says, ‘How will it be then, when We bring from every nation a witness and bring you to witness over all of them”‘ [Qur’an 4:41]. The Prophet (saws) said, ‘That is enough.’ I turned to the Prophet (saws) and found his eyes flooding with tears.”‘

Al-Bayhaqi related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saws) said, “When the verse of the Qur’an that says ‘Do you then wonder at this recital (the Qur’an) and you laugh at it and weep not.’ [Qur’an 53:59-60] was revealed, the Companions residing in the Suffah, (the courtyard of the Prophet’s mosque) wept until tears began to trickle down their cheeks.” When the Prophet (saws) heard their weeping, he wept with them and his weeping made us weep. The Messenger of Allah said, “The person who weeps in humility to Allah will not enter Hell.”

Ibn Umar read surah Al-Mutaffifin until he reached ‘…the Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds…’ [Qur’an 83:6]. He wept to such an extent that he fell to the ground and could not move on to the next verses. Furthermore, Muzahim Ibn Zafar related, “Sufyan Al-Thawn lead us in maghrib prayer, and when he reached ‘You (Alone) do we worship and You (Alone) do we ask for help’ [Qur’an 1:5], he began to weep so that his recitation was disrupted. So he started from Alhamdulillah again.”

It has been reported that Ibrahim Al-Ash’ath said, “One night, I heard Fudhayl Ibn Ayadh reciting this verse of the Qur’an, repeatedly as he wept, ‘And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience, and We shall test your facts (whether true or false)’ [Qur’an 47:31] But he kept on saying the words of Allah, ‘And We shall test your facts’, then he would say, ‘And You will test our facts? If You test our facts, You will disgrace us and expose our secrets. Indeed ifYou do that, You will destroy us and punish us,’ and he would continue crying.

Sitting in the Mosque Until Sunrise

“When the Prophet (saws) prayed fair prayer, he sat in his prayer place until sunrise.” [Related by Muslim].

At-Tirmidhi narrated from Anas that the Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever prays fair in the congregation and remains seated, remembering Allah until sunrise, then performs two rak’at; it will be for him as the reward of complete…complete… complete Hajj and Umrah.” [Verified by Al-Albani as sahih].

This is the reward promised for everyday, so how will it be for Ramadan?

Dear brother, may Allah protect you, have a good sleep at night to assist you in getting this great reward. Also, emulate righteous people and train your soul to strive for the pleasure of Allah. Have high aspirations to reach the highest of the grades of Paradise.

6. Observing I’tikaf:

The Prophet (saws) used to observe I’tikaf during ten days of Ramadan. But in the year of his death, he stayed in I’tikaf for twenty days.” [Related by Al-Bukhari). Thus, I’tikaf which means staying in the mosque continuously for a certain period of time, is an act of worship that embraces many acts of obedience to Allah, such as reciting the Qur’an, praying, remembering Allah, supplicating, etc.

The person who has not experienced it might think that is difficult to bear, but it is easy for whomever Allah makes it easy. Thus, whoever arms himself with good intentions and true determination, Allah helps him undertake the task with ease. I’tikaf is stressed more during the last ten days of Ramadan in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr. It is a permissible form of seclusion as the person observing it holds himself in seclusion out of obedience to Allah and His remembrance. He also cuts himself off from anything that would distract him from the observance of I’tikaf His heart is set on all deeds that draw him closer to Allah and the only desire he has is to do what pleases Allah.

Performing Umrah During Ramadan:

It has been established that the Prophet (saws) said, “An Umrah performed in Ramadan is equal in reward to Hajj.” [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). In another version the Prophet (saws) said, “The same (reward) as performing Hajj with me.” So, congratulations to you my brother (who succeeds) in performing a pilgrimage with the Prophet (saws).

8. Anticipating Laylat Al-Qadr:

Allah the Almighty says, “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power. And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months” [Qur’an 97:1-3). The Prophet (saws) said, “He who observes laylat al-Qadr with sincere faith and hope for the reward of Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet (saws) used to look out for laylat al-Qadr and commanded his Companions also to look out for it. He used to wake up his family members during the last ten nights in the hope that they would succeed in meeting the blessed night (in worship).

It is related in Musnad Ahmad from Ubada that the Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever stays awake in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr, and succeeds in getting it, will have all of his sins both past and future forgiven.” [Al-Nasai reported a similar hadith, while Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar said that its chain meets the conditions for authenticity].

It has been reported that some of our predecessors among the Companions and their successors took a complete bath and used perfume during the last ten nights (of Ramadan) in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr, which has been highly honored by Allah.

So those of you who have wasted their time with nothing beneficial, make up for what you have missed by observing the night of laylat al-Qadr, as it is reckoned from your age. Good deeds undertaken in this night are better than (the deeds of) a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its benefits has indeed been much deprived.

9. Remembering Allah, Supplicating and Seeking Forgiveness

Dear brother, the days and nights of Ramadan are distinguished times, so seize the opportunity by increasing your remembrance of Allah, and making supplications, especially during the chosen periods when they are more acceptable to Allah. These include:

*When breaking the fast, since the fasting person’s supplications are not rejected.

*The last third of the night, when our Lord descends and says, “Is there anyone asking that I may give;is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive?”

*Asking for forgiveness at dawn, as Allah says, “And in the hours of early dawn, they (were found) praying for forgiveness” [Qur’an 51:18].

*Looking out for the chosen hour on Friday when supplications are answered. This hour is most likely to be the last hour of Friday (before sunset).

Finally, dear brother:

After this round in the garden of Paradise, under the shade of righteous deeds, I would like to draw your attention to an important issue. Do you know what that is? It is sincerity. Yes, sincerity. How so many are the people who fast but benefit nothing other than hunger and thirst from their fast. And how so many are the people who stay awake in worship but get nothing other than sleeplessness and fatigue. May Allah save you and me from that kind of outcome. Consequently, we find the Prophet (saws) stressing this matter when he said, “(Fasting) with full faith and hoping for a reward from Allah.” The Salaf therefore used to do their righteous deeds secretly in fear of falling into showing off.

Hence, we find this great Tabi’i, i.e. from the generation succeeding the Companions of the Prophet, Ayyoub Al-Sakhtiyani, about whom Hamad Ibn Zayd said, “Sometimes, when studying hadith, Ayyoub would be so moved and he would turn (away) to blow his nose. Then he would say, ‘How severe this cold is! Pretending to be having a cold to hide his weeping.”

It has been reported that Muhammad Ibn Wasi’ said, “I have known men among whom there is one whose head would be placed beside that of his wife on the same pillow, so that the part of the pillow under his cheek would become wet from tears without his wife noticing it. I have also known men, who while in the row for prayer, tears would pour down their cheeks and the one next to them would not notice it. Ayyoub AlSakhtiyani used to remain awake for the entire night (in worship) yet he would hide it. So when morning came, he raised his voice as if he had woken up that instant. Ibn Adiy related that Dawud Ibn Abi Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing about it. His occupation was embroidery, so he would take his lunch along with him (to work) but donate it to charity on the way. When he returned at night, he would brake his fast with the family and they did not know that he was fasting.”

Sufyan Al-Thawn said, “The servant of Allah would do his deeds secretly, and the devil would persist in tempting him until he convinces him to do it openly. The devil would then continue to insist until the person wants to be thanked for the deed. So, it will be converted from a deed done openly to one done for showing off.”

Amusement During Ramadan:

Dear brother, I think I have prolonged my admonition to you to seize this opportunity. I have taken some of your time, but let us look together at a very critical phenomenon that we all fall into, especially during Ramadan. It is the phenomenon of wasting time and spending it in ways other than obedience to Allah. This indeed means a lack of awareness and amounts to turning away from the Mercy and Bounty of Allah Who says, “But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise Him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say, ‘My Lord, why have You raised me up blind while I had sight (before)?’ Allah will say, ‘Thus did you, when our signs came upon you, forget them; so will you be this day forgotten. And thus do we recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the signs of his Lord. And the chastisement of the Hereafter is far more grievous and enduring” [Qur’an 20:124-127]. One feels so much pain in his heart and is so much dismayed to find Muslim youth filling the sidewalks and playgrounds during the most virtuous nights of Ramadan.

How so many are the sins and forbidden acts committed during the nights of Ramadan! Yes, the Muslim must be truly concerned about the manner in which Muslims spend their time. He must also be disturbed to find Muslim youth spending their time in ways that are not pleasing to Allah. But do not worry. The path to your happiness and that of your Muslim brothers is to call them to apply Islamic teachings (i.e. doing da ‘wah) and to make supplications for them. Yes, da ‘wah to those Muslims who have become unaware of their Islamic duties, and guiding them to the Straight Path. Also, make supplications for them in their absence that Allah may accept it from you and that they do not become among those deprived of guidance.


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