Tag Archives: Ramadan

Refuting the Christian Barking that Ramadan Fasting has Pagan Roots

Question: If Ramadan was a pagan festival in pre-Islamic Arabia, why was it included in Islamic rituals by Allah in the Qur’an?

Answer: First things first; Ramadan is not a festival. Was never a festival. It is and traditionally was an entire month dedicated to fasting in one form or another, always aimed at spiritual purification. Earliest references to fasting in authentic tradition are from Moses (Musa alayhissalaam) and Mary (Bibi Maryam alayhissalaam) and David (Dawud alayhissalaam). This fasting was not limited to Ramadan, though.

Secondly, many Quraysh, the pre-Islamic nobles inhabitants of Makkah were known to fast during Ramadan. Many Arab tribes had similar tradition. This shows that fasting has been observed there since the time when Abraham (Ibraheem alayhissalaam) made Ishmael (Isma’eel alayhissalaam) to settle in the Arabian peninsula and it also proves that fasting is the practice of the Prophets and has nothing to do with Paganist Philosophies, its rather the pagans who had adopted the practice of fasting from the monotheistic teachings.

So, we agree that,

1. Fasting is antique and not unique to one faith or region.

2. Fasting during Ramadan was observed by Pre-Islamic Arabs and Jews and Christians.

Qur’an prescribed Ramadan as month for obligatory fasting for believers, thus giving us a time and protocol for fasting. Clear orders were revealed in Chapter 2: Verses 183

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous

The verse clearly says, Al-Lazeena – Those people before you” not people of any particular faith. This indicates that Qur’an recognized the existence of fasting before Islam. Of course, Islam gave fasting a clear goal – To Become Righteous

As an additional point, pagans; the pre-Islamic people in Makkah also observe Hajj, they prayed in their own way to the Ka’abah and did many charitable deeds. Islam did not come to abolish a culture. Islam gave humanity a clear direction for every action and deeds.

Peace!

Related Similar Posts:

RESPONSE TO THE MORONIC CLAIM THAT THE BLACK STONE IS AN IDOL & PILGRIMAGE A PAGAN RITE

How Idols found place in the Ka’aba during Pre-Islamic Era??

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Ramadan’s Last Ten Nights and Days

Checklist –

In this blessed month of Ramadan, we have now come to the grand finale – the last ten days of Ramadan that are regarded as the “cream” of Ramadan. In it is a night that Qur’an tells us is better than 1000 months (yes, months…not days!)

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” (Hadith Narrated by An-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, Sahih At-Targheeb, 999.)

So, in preparation for the grand finale, here is a checklist of some of the things that we can all do to make the remaining days of Ramadan work to our advantage:

1) Get in High Gear for the Next few Nights and Days 

Time is of the essence. Every moment counts. Whatever you need to do for the next ten days to make the most in `Ibadah, good deeds, reciting Qur’an, dhikr, making du`a, etc., rewards are going to be multiplied. No one knew about the importance of these days more than the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would strive hard in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan as he did not do at other times. (Hadith Muslim)

If we lose this opportunity, we have to wait another year, assuming we are still around and are in good health and shape to make use of it. Even if we are, we have the past years’ sins on our shoulders and life’s normal trials and tribulations to face the coming year. So, there is no better time to ask Allah to make all that easier than NOW.

2) Get a Copy of the Qur’an and Recite as Often as You Can 

Not enough can be mentioned on the benefits and virtues of Qur’an. It is proven in the authentic Sunnah that the Qur’an will intercede for those who read it at night, as Ahmad (6626) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, ‘O Lord, I deprived him of his food and his desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I deprived him of his sleep at night so let me intercede for him.’ Then they will intercede.” (Narrated by Ahmad; classed as sahih in Sahih al-Jami`, no. 3882.)

As is stated in the hadith in which the The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:Whosoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a Hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the Hasanah (good deed) is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-laam-meem is (considered as) a letter (in reward), rather Alif is one letter, laam is one letter, and meem is one letter.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darami)

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The best of you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it.” (Hadith Reported by Al-Bukhari)

3) Get your Sins Forgiven

First the bad news –In Musnad Ahmad it is narrated that Thawbaan said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

A man is deprived of provision (Rizq) because of the sins that he commits.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah, 4022, ).

And now for the good news –

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in Prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.

4) What to Say on Laylat Al-Qadr

One of the best du`a’s that can be recited on Laylat Al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught ‘A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha). It was narrated by At-Tirmidhi, who classed it as sahih, that ‘A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, If I know which night is Laylat Al-Qadr, what should I say?” He said: 

Say: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa`fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are All-Forgiving and You love forgiveness so forgive me).

5) Get in the Class of the Pious People

Allah has described the pious as follows (interpretation of the meaning):

(They used to sleep but little by night (invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope). (Adh-Dhariyat 51:17)

(And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness,) (Adh-Dhariyat 51:18)

Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There is in Paradise an Apartment, the exterior of which can be seen from the interior, and the interior of which can be seen from the exterior. Such apartments have been prepared for those who are Polite in their talk, Provide Food to the Needy, Fast frequently and observe the TAHAJJUD PRAYERS when people are sleep.” (Mishkhat Al-Masabih ; Hadith No. 1232)

6) Finally…

Think of all that you need to ask Allah for and ask Him now. If you haven’t before, this is the time to connect with Him and feel closer to Him. And when you do during these last ten nights and days of this Ramadan, you would want to do this again and again– even after the month is over.

And finally, when you are in a state of Ibadah (Prayers and worship), please open your heart for others as well and please do remember your brothers and sisters who are in great difficulty all around the world in your prayers. Remember what The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” (Hadith-Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

You snooze…you loose! So strive during these last ten days, as if it would be your last chance to do so. A wise man once said…

“ I will pass this way but once so let me do whatever good I can NOW for I may NEVER pass this way again!”

May Allah Ta’ala grants us the wisdom, courage and strength to reap the full benefits of this month…Aameen!

Commentary of the Prophetic Sermon about Ramadan

[By Shaykh Zakariyyah Kandhlawi (rahimahullah) from Fadha’il Ramadan]

Salmaan Faarsi (radhiyallahu anhu) reports, “On the last day of Sha’baan Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) addressed us and said, ‘O people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory  by day. And has made sunnah the Taraaweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraa’idh in any other time.

This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It, is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast (at sunset), for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins.and emancipation from the fire of jahannam (hell), and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.”

Thereupon we said, “O messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person. to break his fast.” Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk.” 

“This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy, ‘the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannam.”

“Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bondsmen) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.”

“And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa Ilaaha illallaah) and make much lstighfaar (beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astaghfirullaah}.” And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.”

“And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters jannah.”

Reported by ibn Khuzaimah in his ‘Saheeh.

COMMENTARY

All the points which this Hadith draws attention have been-further emphasised in numerous other Ahadith on the great virtues of Ramadan. Quite a number of important points are brought to our notice.

Firstly, it should be noted that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) delivered this sermon at the end of the month of Sha’baan the obvious reason being that he intended to put into our minds the great importance of Ramadan so that we could remember and not allow one second of this month to go by without giving it the full importance it deserves. Thereafter attention is drawn to Laylatul Qadr, about which more is said later. Then attention is drawn to the fact that fasting has been made compulsory by Allah who also made sunnah the Taraaweeh salaah by night.

From this Hadith it is noted that the command for Taraaweeh prayers too comes from Allah Himself. Besides this in all the Ahadith wherein Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)” says, “I have made it sunnah.“, is mainly to emphasize its importance. All the authorities of the Ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah are agreed upon the fact that Taraaweeh is sunnah. (Burhaan mentions that only the Rawaafidh deny this.)

Maulana Shah Abdul Haqq Dehlawi (rahimahullah) wrote in his book: “Maa Thabata Bis sunnah” that should the people of any town fail to perform Taraaweeh prayers, the Muslim ruler should make them do so by force.

Here one point should be noted. Many are of the opinion that one may listen to the full Qur’aan being recited in a certain Musjid in eight or ten nights and then stop performing Taraaweeh with Jamaah. Thereafter the vIrtue of the sunnah will have been. attained. This is wrong. By doing this the one sunnah will be fulfilled and the other omitted. There are two things. Firstly, it is sunnah to hear the full Qur’aan being recited in the Taraaweeh in Ramadhaan. Secondly, it is sunnah to perform Taraaweeh with jama’ah throughout Ramadhaan. Both should be performed with care. 

As for those who are travelling and are Unable to perform both sunnah, because of Uncertainty as to where they will be (at different places), then for them it is advisable that in the first few days of Ramadan they should have the full Qur’aan read in Taraaweeh so that the recitation is complete. Then they should attend Taraaweeh wherever they find the opportunity. In this way the Qur’aan will also be completed and their work will not be hampered.

Another point that is brought to our notice in the Hadith is that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) informed us that any nafl deed in Ramadan is rewarded as much as a fardh in normal times, and a fardh in Ramadan carries the reward of seventy faraa’idh at other times.

Our Faults

At this point we should ponder over our lbaadah. How much importance do we attach to it in Ramadan? How many nafl do we perform? As for fardh deed, we observe how numerous people who after having eaten sah’ri get back into bed with the result that the Fajr ‘salaah is neglected. Many perform it, but not with Jamaa’h. It gives the impression that we give thanks to Allah for the food we had eaten for sah’ri by not performing the most important fardh or by not performing it with Jamaa’h. Such a salaah has been termed defective. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that, “There is no salaah for those near the musjid except in the musjid“.

In the kitaab ‘Mazhaahire Haq‘ we find that there is no reward for the salaah for persons who do not perform salaah with Jamaa’h without any valid reason or excuse.

Similarly, in numerous cases at the time of if’taar, Maghrib salaah is missed, and many who do not come to the masjid miss the Takbeer at the beginning or miss the first raka’ah. Many people hasten to get over the Taraaweeh salaah early and even perform the ‘Ishaasalaah before the time of ‘lshaa‘ commences. (Some do not pay any attention to salaah even in Ramadan.) ,

That is the way we look after our very important fardh salaah in Ramadhaan. Sometimes in the process of performing one fardh; three others are destroyed. How often do we see even the time of Zuhr salaah going by because we are asleep, while time of A’sr goes by because we are too busy buying. selling or cooking to prepare for if’tar.

If such is the case with the faraa’idh, then we can imagine how much less importance is given to the nafl actions. One finds that because of sleep, the time of ‘salaatul Ishraaq (after sunrise) and ‘salaatud Dhuhaa (before noon) go by. Then what about salaat Awwaabeen (just after Maghrib). Here we find ourselves busy with If’taar and when thinking about Taraaweeh after about an hour this salaah too is wasted. Further we find that for salaatut Tahajjud the time is the same as that for sah’ri with the result that this too goes by. One may make a thousand excuses for not finding time for these nawaafil. These are all excuses for not performing these saIaah.

We see that there are many who do find the time to do all these ‘ibaadahs during these precious moments. I personally had observed my ustaaz Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahimahullah) during many a Ramadan. He was a weak sickly person and of advanced age but inspite of these drawbacks he used to read one and a quarter juz of the Qur’an in nafl namaaz, after Maghrib. Thereafter he used to have meals for about half an hour. After performing all other necessities in preparation for Taraaweeh salaah he used to stand in Taraaweeh! for about two and a half hours when he was in India, and when he was in Madinah Munawwarah the duration was three hours. Thereafter he use to sleep about two or three hours (according to the Season). Then he used to again recite the Qur’aan in Tahajjud ‘saalah until about half . an hour before Fajr. Then he ate sah’ri. From that time until Fajr he remained busy with reading the Qur’aan or reciting of wazifas. With the greyness of dawn he performed Fajr ‘salaah. thereafter he remained in meditation (muraaqabah.) until Ishraaq; Having.performed Ishraaq he used to write his famous kitaab, ‘Bazlul Majhood‘, commentary on 
Abu·Dawud. Then he normally attend to letters and dictating replies up to mid-day. Theil he used to rest upto Zuhr ‘salaah. Between Zuhr and A’sr he used to . recite the Qur’aan.-.

From A’sr Namaaz until Maghrib he used to be busy with tasbeeh and answering the queries of·those who visited him. When he completed ‘Bazlul Majood‘ then part of the morning used to be spent in tilaawah and studying some monumental religious works, especially Bazlul Majhood and Wafa al Wafa. This was his daily programme for· nafl ‘Ibaadah throughout the year. In Ramadhaan however; he used to spend a bit more time in his ‘ibaadah, making the rak’aats longer. For the ordinary person to observe the special programmes the other pious alders had for Ramadan would be difficult.

Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan (Rahmatullah alaihi) used to remain in nafl ‘salaah from after Taraaweeh until Fajr, while also listening to the Qur’aan read by various huffaaz one after the other. .

Maulana Shah Abdurraheem Raipuri (d 1963) remained busy with tilaawah (recitation) of the Qur’aan day and night through Ramadhaan. There used to be no time for attending to .correspondence or meeting visitors. Only his special ones were allowed to wait on him after Taraaweeh for a short period while he drank a cup of tea.

Advice

The reason for mentioning the manner in which these saintly ones spent their Ramadhaan is not that we may just read without deriving any benefit or pass a casual remark. It is written with the object that We in our.way may build up courage and to the best of our ability endeavour to copy and follow their noble examples. Every pious elders programme had its particular speciality. How wonderful would it be if those who are not forced by wordly necessities, try their utmost to mend their religious life in this one month after having allowed eleven months of the year go  by to destroy themselves.

As for those who have to be in their offices and be present at eight, nine or ten in the morning, what difficulty will it be for them if they ateast in Ramadan, spend the time from Fajr until their hours of employment in reciting
the Qur’aan. After all our wordly needs we do find time in spite of office hours.

For those engaged in farming, who normally are not bound to others nothing prevents them from reciting the Qur’an on their farm or adjusting their daily routine. Then come the businessmen shopkeepers and merchants. Nothing prevents them in. Ramadan from reciting their Qur’aan during their shop hours or cutting short trading time in order to make time for recitation thereof. After all there is very strong link between Ramadan, and the Tilaawah of the Qur’aan. Almost all Allah’s great scriptures were revealed in this month. Similarly. in this month the Qur’aan. was brought down from the Lowhul Mahfooz to the Samaa’ud Dunyaa, from where it was revealed bit by bit to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in a span of twenty-three years.

Nabi Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) received his scriptures on the first  and third of this sacred month. Nabi Dawood (alayhissalaam) received the Zaboor on the twelfth or eighteenth. Nabi Moosa (alayhissalaam) received his Towrah on the sixth. Nabi Essa (alayhissalaam) received the Injeel on the twelfth or thirteenth. From this we note the great connection between the divine scriptures .and the month of Ramadan. For this reason, as much tilaawah of the Qur’aan as possible should be made during this month. Such was the habit of our saints. jibraeel (alayhissalaam) used to recite the whole Qur’aan to our Nabi Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the month of Ramadhaan. In some reports it is stated that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to recite and he (Jibraeel) used to listen. From joining these reports the ‘ulama have said that it is mustahab to read the Qur’aan in such a manner that while one recites the other listens. Thereafter another recites while others listen. So recite the Qur’aan as much as possible. Whatever time remains thereafter should not be wasted.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) drew our attention to four more things and advised that we should practice them as much as possible. They are the recitation of Kalimah ‘Tayyibah, Istighfaar, begging for jannah and seeking refuge from jahannam. Therefore it must.be regarded an honour to spend as much as available in these recitations; This will be the true appreciation of the teachings of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). What is so difficult about keeping the tongue busy with the recitation of Durood (‘salawaat) or Laa ilaaha illallaah while being engaged in our daily tasks?

In the same Hadith Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said a few more things, Ramadan is the month of patience. Hence even if great difficulty is experienced in fasting one should bear it with patience. One should not complain as people are fond of doing during hot days. If by chance sah-ri is missed then lamentations begin early in the day. Similarly, should difficulty be experienced at the same time of Taraweeh, it too should be borne with patience. Do not consider it a great calamity or trial, otherwise these deeds may be void of blessings. When we turn our backs on worldly things, forsake our very eating and drinking, then in the face of Allah’s pleasure what are these difficulties?

Sympathy for the unfortunate

Further, the Hadith states that it is the month of sympathy, especially for the poor and destitute. Sympathy should be of a practical nature. When ten things are placed before us for if’taar, at least two or four of them should be set aside for the poor and needy. In fact they should be treated preferentiaIly, if not then at least equally. They should certainly be remembered. In showing sympathy for the poor. as in all other matters, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) were living examples, and in this, it is our duty to follow or at least try to follow them. In the matter of sacrifice and sympathy only the courageous can emulate the Sahaabah. There are numerous instances, if they are cited, will only leave one in astonishment.

Let us see the following example, Abu Jahm (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that: “During the battle of Yarmouk he went in search of his cousins, taking with him a water bag to give him to drink and also wash his wounds if he was found alive or wounded. He found him lying among the wounded. When I asked him whether he wanted some water, he indicated ·yes. At that moment someone near him moaned. My cousin pointed to that person indicating that I should first quench the thirst of the neighbour. I went to him and found that he too needed water, out just as I was about to give him water, a third person groaned near him. The second one pointed to this third person meaning that I should give the third one to drink first. I went to the third person but before he could drink, I found out that he had passed away, whereupon I returned to the second one only to find that he too had passed away. When I came to my counsin, he too had become a martyr“.

This is the type of sympathetic character our forefathers had. They preferred to die while thirsty rather than to drink before a strange Muslim brother. May Allah be pleased with them all and grant us ability to follow in their footsteps. .

Roohul Bayaan quotes from Imaam Suyuti’s Jaami’ al ‘Sagheer and Imam Sakhaawi’s Maqaasid the narration of Hadhrat Umar that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “At all times my ummah there will be five hundred chosen servants and forty abdaal (pious ones, totally devoted to Allah). When anyone of these p,sses away then immediately he is succeeded by another. The Sahaabah inquired, “What are exclusive deeds?” Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied, ‘They overlook the injustices of the transgressors, and they show kindness to those who illtreat them, and from the sustenance provided for them by Allah, they engender sympathy and graciousness.

In another Hadith it is stated that whosoever feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, and grants shelter to the traveller, Allah shall save himfrom the terrors of Qiyaamah

Yahya Barmaki used to grant Imaam Sufyaan Thawri (rahimahullah) one thousand Dirhams every month, whereupon Imaam Sufyaan used to prostrate himself before Allah praying “O Allah Yahya has seen sufficiently to my wordly needs. See him. through Your Great Mercy, to his necessities in the Hereafter.” After the death of Yahya some people saw him in their dreams and on inquiring what had happened to him in the hereafter, he replied: “Through the prayers, of Sufyaan I have been forgiven by Allah“.

Further, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the virtue of feeding a fasting person at the time of breaking the fast. In one Hadith it is reported that upon him who feeds a person to break the fast out of his halaal earnings, the angels confer mercy upon him during the nights of Ramadan, and on the night of Laylatul Qadr Jibraeel (alayhissalaam) shakes hands with him. The signs of this is that his heart becomes soft while tears flow from his eyes.

Hammaad bin Salamah, a very famous Muhaddith used to feed fifty people every day during Ramadhaan at if’taar. (Roohul Bayaan).

Thereafter the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) caIled the first section of Ramadan the coming of mercy. whereby it is meant that Allah’s favour is with the believers, Those who are thankful to Allah for His bounties. receive even more. The Qu’raan says, “you are thankfuI. I will surely grant you more.” (Surah.14:7) .

During the second section of Ramadan forgiveness begins to descend as a reward ,for the fasting during the first section. The last section of the Ramadan brings immunity from entrance in Jahannam. This is corroborated by many similar Ahaadith. In my personal opinion. Ramadan, has been divided into three sections because people· are normally of three different kinds. Firstly, there are those who have no burden of sins. For them Allah’s Mercy and Bounties descend from the very beginning of Ramadan. Secondly, there are those whose burden of sins are not too heavy. For them forgiveness descends after one third of Ramadan has passed. Thirdly, there are the real· sinners’. For them forgiveness comes after having fasted the major section of Ramadan. As those who attained Allah’s Mercy right at the beginning, they are the very fortunate ones because of the great amount of mercy they have received. (And Allah knows best).

Another point mentioned in the Ahaadith is that masters should be lenient to their servants in Ramadan because, after all, they too are fasting. Unnecessary hard work or too much of it will be a burden for them. So why should an extra worker not be hired when the work is too much? That of course only applies when the servant himself fasts, otherwise there is no difference for them between Ramadan and any other month.

Words cannot describe the position of the shameless oppressor who does not himself fast and drives his employees unnecessarily, and if there is any delay due to salaah or fasting he is outraged. Regarding such persons the Qur’aan states, “And soon the oppressor will come to know where his abode is. (In Jahannam)”.

Lastly, in the Hadith Rasulullah (sallallaahi alayhi wasallam) exhorted that four things should be repeated constantly. Firstly the recitation of Kalimah Tayyibah, which in the Ahaadith is called the highest form of thikr. In “Mishkaat” Abu Sa’id Khudri (radhiyallahu anhi) reports, “Once Nabi Moosa (Alayhis Salaam) begged of Allah to grant him a special prayer by which he can remember Allah and also (by which, he could) ask Him“. Then Allah informed him to recite this kalimah. Sayyidina Moosa said, “O Allah, this is a verse recited by all your servants, I desire a special prayer“. Allah replied, “O Moosa. if the seven heavens, the earth and all its occupants including the angels, except Myself are placed. on one side of a scale and this kalimah on the other, then this kalimah will outweigh everything“.

In another Hadith it is stated. “Should anyone sincerely recite this kalimah. the doors of Jannah open up for him immediately and nothing can stop him from reaching Allah’s Throne“. The only condition is that the reciter should refrain from major sins.

Allah’s pattern is that He grants basic needs in abundance. We see all over the world that whatever is generally required is found in abundance. For example, water which is a basic necessity. How common has Allah, in His infinite mercy, made this basic necessity. And how rare has he made the unmeaningful use of alchemy. Similarly the Kalimah Tayyibah is the most excellent form of thikr Allah has made it common to humanity, so’that none is deprived of it. Hence if any person is deprived of it. it is only due to his misfortune. There are numerous Ahaadith regarding its virtues and for the sake of brevity they are not·mentioned here. 

The second of which a lot should be recited is Istighfaar. The Ahaadith report the virtue of Istighfaar and in one Hadith we read, “Whoever says much Istighfaar. Allah opens an exit for him from all difficulties and releases him from all sorrows. In a similar manner he receives rizq from unexpected sources”. In another hadith Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that. “Every man is a sinner, but the best among the sinners are those who repent and seek forgiveness“.

Another Hadith where in it is mentioned that, “When a man commits a sin, a black spot forms on his heart. but when he repents, it is washed away if not, the black spot remains“. Thereafter Rasulullah commanded us to beseech two things without which we cannot do to beg Allah for entrance into Jannah and to seek refuge in Him from Jahannam. .

May Allah grant you and me this good fortune. Aameen!

Message of Ramadan

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[By Khalid Baig]

We observe Ramadan every year. Do we also listen to it?

Ramadan is the most important month of our calendar. It is a tremendous gift from Allah in so many ways. In our current state of being down and out, it can uplift us, empower us, and turn around our situation individually and collectively. It is the spring season for the garden of Islam when dry grass can come back to life and flowers bloom. But these benefits are not promised for lifeless and thoughtless rituals alone. They will be ours if our actions are informed by the message of Ramadan.

Today the message of Ramadan tends to get drowned out by much louder voices of the pop culture that have an opposite message. We have become so accustomed to them that many of us remain enslaved to them even during Ramadan.

The most important message of Ramadan is that we are not just body. We are body and soul. And that what makes us human beings and that determines our value as human beings is the soul and not the body. During Ramadan we deprive the body to uplift the soul. This is all simple and familiar. But we can understand its significance if we remember that the message of the materialistic hedonistic global pop culture that has engulfed every Muslim land today — just like the rest of the world— is exactly the opposite. It says that body is everything. That the materialistic world is all that counts. That the greatest happiness — if not virtue– is in filling the appetites of the body. This message produces endless appetites and consequently endless wars to fill those endless appetites through endless exploitation. It produces endless frustrations since the gap between desires and achievements can never be filled. It produces endless chaos and endless oppression. Yet this trash comes in such beautiful and enticing packages that we can hardly resist it. We equate this slavery with freedom. We consider this march to disaster as progress. And with every movement, we get further and deeper into the mire.

Ramadan is here to liberate us from all this. Here is a powerful message that it is soul over body. Take a break from the pop culture. Turn off the music and TV. Say goodbye to the endless and futile pursuit of happiness in sensory pleasures. Re-discover your inner self that has been buried deep under it. Re-orient yourself. Devote your time to the reading of the Qur’an, to voluntary worship, to prayers and conversations with Allah. Reflect on the direction of your life and your priorities. Reflect on and strengthen your relationship with your Creator.

On the last day of one Sha’ban, Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), gave a Khutbah (sermon) about the upcoming month of Ramadan. It is a very important Khutbah that we should carefully read before every Ramadan to prepare ourselves mentally for the sacred month. It begins:

Oh people! A great month is coming to you. A blessed month. A month in which there is one night that is better than a thousand months. A month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer to Allah by performing any of the voluntary good deeds in this month shall receive the same reward as is there for performing an obligatory deed at any other time. And whoever discharges an obligatory deed in this month shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of Sabr (patience), and the reward for sabr is Heaven. It is the month of kindness and charity. It is a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without the latter’s reward being diminished at all.

The hadith continues and contains many other very important messages. However let us take the time to highlight two of the statements contained above. First, that Ramadan is the month of sabr. The English translation is patience but that word has a very narrow meaning compared to sabr. Sabr means not only patience and perseverance in the face of difficulties, it also means being steadfast in avoiding sin in the face of temptations and being persistent in performing virtues when that is not easy. Overcoming hunger and thirst during fasting is part of it. But protecting our eyes, ears, minds, tongues, and hands, etc. from all sins is also part of it. So is being persistent in doing good deeds as much as possible despite external or internal obstacles. Ramadan requires sabr in its fullest sense and provides a training ground for that very important quality to be developed and nurtured. Here is a recipe for the complete overhaul of our life, not just a small adjustment in meal times.

The highest point of Ramadan is itikaf, an act of worship in which a person secludes himself in a masjid to devote his time entirely to worshipping and remembering Allah. Some in every Muslim community must take a break and go to the masjid for the entire last ten days of Ramadan. Others should imbibe the spirit and do whatever they can.

But we must differentiate between worldly pleasures and worldly responsibilities. We take a break from the former and not the latter. Syedina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, (radhiyallahu anhu), was performing itikaf, when a person came and sat down silently. Sensing his distressed condition Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) enquired about his situation, learnt that he needed help, and proceeded to leave the masjid to go out and help him. Now this action does nullify the itikaf, making a makeup obligatory. So the person, though grateful, was curious. Explaining his action, Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) related a hadith that when a person makes efforts to help his brother, he earns the reward for performing itikaf for ten years.

This brings us to the second statement to consider: that Ramadan is the month of kindness and charity. With those in distress in the millions in the world today, the need for remembering this message of Ramadan cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, today another scene seems to be dominant in some parts of the Muslim world. Here Ramadan is the month of celebrations, shopping, fancy iftars at posh restaurants, entertainment and gossip. People stay up at night but not for worship; they while away that time watching TV or wandering in the bazaar. Ramadan here is more a month of feasting than fasting.

No one can take away our Ramadan from us; we just give it away ourselves. And if we realize the utter blunder we have made, we can take it back.

Courtesy: albalagh.net

Ramadan Mubarak to all our dear Readers, May Allah Ta’ala bless us all, Remember me in your Supplications and Dua’s in  this blessed Monthfrom Muhammad 🙂

8 Easy Steps to Recite the Entire Qur’an this Ramadan

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[By Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar (Fee Qalbee blog)]

It has been said that everything has a beloved & that the month of Ramadan has a beloved, too: The Glorious Qur’an. For the duration of this month, Muslims worldwide honour Ramadan’s beloved and aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur’an.

In this article you’ll learn how you too can work towards achieving this noble goal, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 1➡ ESTABLISHING AN INTENTION

Our beloved Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught us – through his words & actions – the importance of one’s intent or purpose. Establishing one’s intention is an effective catalyst for implementation. Once your intention has been established, remember to renew it often. Whilst reciting and even upon completion of the Qur’an, recall your intention and renew it, thus ensuring that it is constantly purified & you are seeking His Divine Acceptance, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 2➡ DON’T BE OVERWHELMED

For some, as much as they aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur’an during Ramadan, they are overwhelmed by the number of pages or the length of some Surahs. Remove ➡ “I can’t” from your vocabulary and eliminate negative thinking, for the believer puts their trust in Allah, matched by striving with their actions. Remind yourself that you are (if Allah wills) fully capable of achieving your Qur’anic aspirations, whether it be completing Qur’an 1 or 5 timesThis second point is key. Put your heart into this accomplishment & reap the rewards throughout, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 3➡ PLAN AHEAD

Prior to commencing with your recitation it’s important to plan around your routine and block out time for your Qur’an goal e.g. your work hours, rest hours & any other commitments which you may have. Structure a realistic plan of how to complete the recitation of Qur’an within the month by dividing each Juz per day. Draw up this personal plan, review it constantly, and put it into action!

As you put your plan to paper, consider past Ramadan’s and ask yourself if there have been instances where you were unable to complete Qur’anic recitation. Reflect over why and how this occurred. Is there a different mechanism that you could put into place?? How could you enhance your daily Qur’an routine if these distractions were dealt with??

Take the first opportunity that comes, to begin your Qur’anic quest. So when the moon is sighted & the announcement has been made for the 1st Salaatul-Taraweeh, begin in earnest, with Surah Al-Fatiha, Surah Al-Baqarah etc.

STEP 4➡ UNDERSTAND THE QUR’AN

Read the translation of the Juz you will be reciting daily. Having a basic knowledge of the theme, topic, message & meaning of what you are reciting makes the recitation of the Qur’an an incredibly uplifting experience that you do not want to miss out on!

STEP 5➡ FIND QUR’AN BUDDIES AND COMPETE IN GOOD

Develop close bonds with brothers/sisters who are known for their attachment to the Qur’an. They’ll be your spiritual friends. Engage a Qur’an Buddy in your Noble Qur’an productivity goals. Request that they remind you to fulfil your goals and spiritual aspirations so they can help you in times of slacking.

In life, we compete with many materialistic goals and race one another, but what about following the footsteps of the best of generations that had come before us in a competition this Ramadan?? In striving and competing with our friends and colleagues towards our noble goals, in a good-natured way, we can motivate ourselves to finish our Qur’an goal.

One of the common aspects which deter a Muslim from completing this task is excessive communication. Often, many of us spend too much unnecessary time surfing the net, chatting, texting, etc… . Reduce this even by a third and you will see, feel and witness the blessings in your time, in sha’ Allah.

STEP 6➡ SEIZE THE MOMENT

A deeply inspiring story in ‘lessons from the waiting room’ – where a mother; who has taken her unwell child to the hospital; waits for the doctor to see to her child. She notices a young Muslim who uses his time in the waiting room, in a most effective & spiritually rewarding way, reciting from a pocket-sized Qur’an. Lesson to be taken here: Invest in a pocket-sized Qur’an and make it your best friend this Ramadan. Seize every opportunity and moment to be with Allah (glorified and exalted be He) through your recitation.

One of the best times at which to recite Qur’an, is after Suhoor (pre- dawn meal). Having partaken from the Sunnah meal, and within an hour or two still to go before work or school, this is the ideal jump start to your day. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked Allah  to bless our Ummah in the early hours, and you will also be more likely to memorize ayahs at this time. Research shows that morning study creates better performance in students so don’t miss the morning recitation!

Time Tip: Salah Followed by Qur’an

Consider the following option that has worked well for numerous people in past Ramadan’s. Try reciting 6 – 8 pages of Qur’an (depending on the Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) that you are using) after each of your 5 daily salah. Add Qiyaamul-Layl (late night salah) as a 6th addition, and you will reach the end of Ramadan, having completed your Qur’an recitation with ease & perhaps, even before the last 5 days of Ramadan so long as you remain committed.

Time Tip: Recite before going to sleep.

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says: “Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence and more suitable for words” [Qur’an 73:6]. Reciting during the day is also beneficial, however the night time recitation is easier as well during Ramadan as there are less distractions and noise.

STEP 7➡ REMAIN STEADFAST AND CONSISTENT

The key to any success is consistency. Once you’ve mapped your plan, stick to it. Remind yourself of the greatness of this month, of the opportunities that it provides for your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Qur’an. Don’t be willing to compromise it in this month.

STEP 8➡ MAKE DUA’A TO ALLAH (SUBHAANAHU WA TA’ALA)

Nothing can be achieved without the aid and guidance of Allah. When making your intention to complete your recitation or memorisation of Qur’an, supplicate to Allah to ease this noble pathway and to crown your efforts with success, In sha’ Allah.

These are the 8 ways I wanted to share with you on starting and completing your journey through recitation of the Qur’an this Ramadan. Indeed, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.’’ In the hours of the days and nights of this sacred month, may the Qur’an be your companion of light and guidance, resonating through your words, actions and life mission. May your relationship with the Qur’an be strengthened, enriched & enlivened with the profound wisdom and divine message from Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. Aameen!