Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Quick preparation tips for RAMADAN


Asalaamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu,

Brothers and Sisters Ramadan is only 25 days away.  Are we prepared?  We know from Sunnah that the Sahbah would prepare 6 months before Ramadan. InshaAllah lets remind each other about this blessed month of Ramadan.

A lot of us yearn to prepare for Ramadan, but we have no idea how to start. Below are a few tips to insha’Allah help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy.

Ramadan Self Improvement Checklist is  for those who wish to increase their good deeds and piety during the month of Ramadan. Click Here to download Ramadan Checklist.

1. Making the Intention

Simple to do and has a powerful impact. Maybe you want to prepare for Ramadan, but between school, work, family, and any other activities, you just have no idea how to fit in ‘Preparing for Ramadan’ time. Instead of making ‘preparing for Ramadan’ something separate from your daily activities, MAKE your daily activities a means of preparation for Ramadan.

For example, perhaps your mom asked you to pick up your brother from school on the day you finally had time to read a few extra pages of Qur’an. Instead of feeling upset and feeling like you have lost a great preparation for Ramadan opportunity, make the intention that you are picking up your brother to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and prepare for Ramadan by obeying your mother, helping your family members, building ties of kinship… and the list continues.

The point is that preparing for Ramadan does not have to be some magnificent, enormous, extra-special thing that needs to be done at a certain time of the day. Many of your daily actions can be turned into Ramadan preparation actions with a sincere intention, insha’Allah.

2. Do these easy-to-reap-reward actions:

Asking Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said “The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Whoever says subhanAllah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6042; Muslim 2691

If a person says “SubhanAllah” (glory be to Allah) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. Narrated by Muslim 2073

Remember Allah when you go shopping : “Whoever enters a market and says: ‘Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer’[there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise, He causes life and death and He is the Living and does not die. In His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent]Allah will write for him/her a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels.” [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

3. Up your worship

To help condition your heart for this blessed month, intensify your worship before Ramadan begins. Just a small, consistent amount is enough. The Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam told us:
“The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

For example, if I always pray 2 rakats of sunnah after ishaa, from this day until Ramadan begins- and even through Ramadan, let me make the intention that I will now pray 2 extra rakats of sunnah after ishaa. And every time I pray these extra 2 rakats, which are more than what I normally pray, let me remember that I am doing these with the intention of asking Allah to help me be prepared to strive and exert my utmost effort during Ramadan.

4. Make a duaa list today

This is THE MONTH to ask for EVERYTHING, both related to this life and the Next. Let us not wait until the last 10 nights to make special duaas, and then once Eid passes realize that we had completely forgotten about fifty other things we needed to make duaa for. Let us start making our lists now, and add to it as more things come our way. Insha’Allah this should help us remember to make constant duaa in this month where duaa is accepted, and help our hearts pour out to the One Who can make those duaas happen, subhanahu wa ta’ala.

5. Write out your objectives for Ramadan

Praying all of your fard prayers? Praying all of your sunnahs? Reading the entire Qur’an? Giving $1 charity a day? Making itikaaf in the masjid? Leaving one serious sin that you’ve been trying to get away from for some time now? Sincerely turning completely back to Allah?

Write out a list, put them somewhere you will see them, and make duaa for your success in fulfilling these objectives.

6. Make a plan!

Look at your objectives, and try to make a plan on how to actualize those objectives in this month.
For example, perhaps you are really struggling to pray your sunnah prayers. In this month, realize the enormity of the ajr of praying the sunnah prayers… think that perhaps these sunnahs will be the deeds that will be so heavy on your scale of good deeds when you are intense need of them- on yowm al qiyamah (day of judgement). Therefore, fight to keep doing them all throughout Ramadan. If you can’t pray your 2 rakats after dhur right away, make sure to do them as soon as you get a chance.

Thus, your plan might look something like this:

Objective: Pray all of my fard prayers.
Method: Envision myself on the day of judgment seeing the insha’Allah weight of praying my sunnah consistently during this month. Make sure to pray sunnah salah immediately after salah. If I cannot, do it as soon as the opportunity arises… don’t let myself put it off!

Another example is that of finishing the Qur’an [with Understanding]:

Objective: Finishing the entire Qur’an in this month.
Method: Read 4 pages of the Qur’an after every salah. Make sure you understand it. 5 prayers X 4 pages = 20 pages. 20 pages= about 1 juz. 1 juz X 30= the entire Qur’an.

So many Muslims have passed away since last month. So many people have not made it to Ramadan this year. Last year was their very last Ramadan. Will you make it to this Ramadan? Will this be your last Ramadan?

Aim to strive in this Ramadan. With a very small amount of effort, such as just making a small intention, or adding a few extra acts of worship, we pray that Allah will help our hearts soften and honor us with making it easy to turn to Him and open up to Him.

May Allah make us of the successful in Ramadan, and make it easy for us to turn to Him completely and perpetually. Ameen.

Compiled by : Shadman Saquib

How to Welcome the Month of Ramadan


O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint, (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent but he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during the month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way. (Al-Baqarah 2:183-186)

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is giving us another opportunity in our life to witness the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a great time of Allah’s blessings and His mercy. Every Muslims should take full advantage of this time. We should get ready now to welcome this month and receive it with happiness. Following are some ways to welcome this month:

1. Special Du’a: Pray to Allah that this month reaches you while you are in the best of health and safety so that you can fast and do all your acts of devotion (‘ibadat) with ease and enthusiasm. It is reported by Anas bin Malik that the Prophet – peace be upon him – used to say from the beginning of Rajab in his prayers:

“O Allah bless us in Rajab, bless us in Sha’ban and bless us in Ramadan.” (Musnad Ahmad, 2228)

When he used to see Ramadan’s crescent, he used to pray:

“O Allah, make this crescent to shine on us with safety, faith, security, Islam and good fortune to do what is beloved and pleasing to our Lord. Our and your Lord is Allah.” (Al-Darmi 1625)

2. Thanks and Happiness: When the month comes, then you should be thankful to Allah and show happiness. The Companions of the Prophet – may Allah be pleased with all of them – used to greet each other on the beginning of Ramadan. The Prophet – peace be upon him – used to say:

The Prophet – peace be upon him – said giving the good news of the month to his Companions, “The month of Ramadan has come to you. It is a blessed month. Allah has made obligatory on you to fast during this month. The gates of heaven are opened in this month and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained. In this month there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Whosoever is deprived of its blessings is indeed deprived.” (Musnad Ahmad 8631)

3. Planning and Determination: You should make a good plan for the whole month about how you are going to organize your days and evenings during Ramadan. Plan special schedules for your work so that you can pray on time, read the Qur’an and take Sahur and Iftar on time. Have sincere intention and determination to take full advantage of this time. Also have a full determination and commitment that you will not do any sin or anything wrong during this time. Make sincere repentance and seek the forgiveness of those whom you might have offended. In this way you can benefit much more from your fasting and prayers.

4. Learn about the Rules of Fasting: Fiqh of fasting is very important so that you do not do anything that will spoil your fasts. Learn the way of Prophet Muhammad in fasting. That is the best way. Fast is not spoiled only by eating and drinking during the fast, but also by speaking bad words and doing wrong things. The Prophet – peace be upon him – said, “Whosoever does not give up bad words and bad deeds, Allah has no need in that he leaves his food and his drink.” (Al-Bukhari 1770).

5. Charity, Generosity and Kindness: The month of Ramadan is the month of kindness, charity and generosity. Plan to invite your neighbors, co-workers, friends, Muslims and non-Muslims to have Iftar with you. Let your non-Muslims friends and neighbors know about this month and its blessings. Be more generous and help the poor and needy. Plan to give your Zakat and Sadaqat at this time and help others as much as you can. It is reported in a Hadith:

“The Prophet – peace be upon him – was the most generous person, but in Ramadan he used to be more generous when Jibrael(a.s.) used to meet him. Jibraeel(a.s.) used to see him during Ramadan every night and he used to read the Qur’an with him. The Prophet –peace be upon him – was then more generous with goodness than the blowing wind.” (Al-Bukhari, 5)

By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Rulings for Fasting that are Specific for Women


ramadan-fasting-womenFasting the month of Ramadaan is an obligation on every male and female Muslim, and it is one of the pillars and great foundations of Islaam. Allaah says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you may attain Taqwaa.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 183] The word“kutiba” (prescribed) here means “furida” obligated. So when the young girl reaches the age in which she will be held accountable for her actions, by having one of the signs of puberty become apparent in her, among which is menstruation, then the obligation of fasting begins for her. She could begin menstruating as early as when she is nine years old. However, some young girls are not aware that they are required to begin fasting at that point, so she doesn’t fast thinking that she is too young, nor do her parents order her to fast. This is a great negligence, for one of the pillars of Islaam is being abandoned. If this occurs to any woman, she is obligated to make up for the days of fasting that she abandoned since the point when she began menstruating, even if a long time has passed since that time, for it remains in her obligations.

Who is obligated to fast Ramadaan?

When the month of Ramadaan comes, every male and female Muslim that (1) has reached the age of puberty, is (2) healthy and (3) a resident (i.e. not traveling) is obligated to fast. And whoever is sick or traveling during the month, may break the fast and make up the number of days missed on other days.  Allaah says: “So whoever sights the (moon indicating the beginning of the) month, then he must fast. And whoever is sick or on a journey, then (he may break the fast and instead fast) the number of days missed on other days.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 185] Likewise, whoever enters into Ramadaan and he is very old and not able to fast or has a chronic illness, which does not expect to be cured any specific time – whether male or female – may break the fast and instead feed a needy person half a saa’ (four handfuls) of the food from that people’s land for every day missed. Allaah says: “And as for those who can fast (but) with difficulty, they (may break their fast and) feed a needy person.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 184] Ibn ‘Abbaas (raa) said: “This ayah is for the old man of whom it is not anticipated that he will be cured.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree] And the sick person of whom it is not hoped that he will be cured from his sickness falls under the ruling of the old person. And he does not have to make up the missed days because of his inability to fast.

A woman is specified with certain excuses that permit her to break the fast in Ramadaan, on the condition that she makes up the days she missed fasting due to these excuses on other days. These excuses are:

1. Menstrual and Postpartum Bleeding: A woman is forbidden from fasting while she is in these two conditions. And she is obligated to make up these missed days of fasting on other days. This is based on what is reported in the two Saheeh collections from ‘Aa’isha (raa) who said: “We were ordered to make up the (missed) days of fasting but we were not ordered to make up the (missed) prayers.” She gave this answer when a woman asked her: “Why does a menstruating woman have to make up the (missed days of) fasting and not have to make up the (missed) prayers?” So she (raa) clarified that this is from the matters dependent on revelation, which must comply with the reported texts.

As for the wisdom behind that, then Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said in “Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa” (15/251): “The blood that comes out of the woman because of menstruation has a discharge of blood in it. A menstruating woman can fast in times other than when the blood that comes out of her due to menstruation contains her blood. So her fasting in this situation is a moderate and balanced fast – no blood, which strengthens the body and which is its main substance – comes out of her during these times. But her fasting when she is menstruating necessitates that her blood come out during this time – the blood, which is the main component of her body and which will lead to a weakness and deficiency in her body. And this will necessitate that her fast not be that of a moderate and balanced nature. So that is why she is commanded to fast in times when she is not menstruating.”

2. Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding: If because of fasting there is harm caused to the woman or the baby or to both of them, then she may break the fast while she is pregnant or breastfeeding. But if the harm for which reason she is breaking her fast only applies to her baby and not her, then she must make up for the days she missed of fasting and feed a needy person for each day missed. And if the harm only applies to herself, then it is sufficient for her to only make up the missed days. This is based on the pregnant woman and breastfeeding woman falling under the generality of Allaah’s saying: “And for those who can fast (but) with difficulty, they (may break their fast) and instead feed a needy person.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 184]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said in his Tafseer (1/379):  “Amongst those who fall into the meaning of this ayah are the pregnant and breastfeeding women if they fear for themselves or for their children.” And Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said:  “If a pregnant woman fears for her fetus, then she may not fast and instead make up each day of fasting that was missed on other days and feed a needy person around 2 kilograms of bread.” [Majmoo’-ul-Fatawaa: 25/318]

Important Notes:

1. Istihaadah (Irregular Bleeding): This is the condition in which a woman has blood come out of her, which is not her menstrual blood. She must observe the fast and it is not permissible for her to break her fast because of this type of bleeding. When mentioning the allowance of the menstruating woman of breaking her fast, Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “This is contrary to the woman in the state of Istihaadah, for this state comprises an unfixed period of time, and there is not a time in it in which she can be commanded to begin fasting (again). So because of this, it is not possible to caution against it, the same as for throwing up unexpectedly, emitting blood due to a wound, getting a boil, Ihtilaam (when sexual fluid comes out of the private parts not due to intercourse or foreplay), as well as all the other things that do not have a fixed time in which they could be cautioned against. So this (Istihaadah) was not made as something that nullifies the fast, such as the blood of menstruation.” [Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa: 25/251]

2. The Menstruating woman as well as the pregnant and breastfeeding women, if they break their fast in Ramadaan, must make up for the missed days of fasting in the time that occurs between the Ramadaan in which they broke their fast and the forthcoming Ramadaan. But to complete them early is better. And if there only remain a few days before the next Ramadaan begins, then they are obligated to make up the missed days of fasting (from the previous Ramadaan) such that the new Ramadaan will not come upon them while they still have to fast days from the previous Ramadaan. But if they don’t do this and Ramadaan comes upon them while they still owe days of fasting from the previous Ramadaan, and they have no (valid) excuse for delaying it, they are obligated to make up the missed days and to feed a needy person for each day. But if they have a valid excuse, then they must only make up the missed days of fasting. This goes the same for those who must make up the missed days of fasting due to sickness or traveling. Their ruling is like the ruling of the woman who broke the fast due to menses, with the previously mentioned details.

3. It is not permissible for a woman to observe a recommended fast if her husband is present unless she has his permission. This is based on what Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others have reported from Abu Hurairah (raa) that the Prophet (saws) said: “It is not permissible for a woman to fast while her husband is present except with his permission.” In some narrations of the hadeeth in Ahmad and Abu Dawood, there occurs the wording “…except Ramadaan.” But if the husband permits her to observe a recommended fast or he is not present around her or if she doesn’t have a husband, then it is encouraged for her to observe this recommended day of fasting. This is especially for the days in which it is recommended to fast such as Mondays and Thursdays, three days in every month, six days in Shawaal, the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of ‘Arafah and the Day of ‘Aashooraa along with the day before or after it. However, she should not observe a recommended fast while she owes days to make up for (the previous) Ramadaan, until she first makes up these missed days and Allaah knows best.

4. If a menstruating woman stops bleeding during the day in Ramadaan, she must begin her fasting for the remainder of the day but still make it up with the days that she didn’t fast because of menses. Her fasting for the remainder of the day in which she stops bleeding is an obligation on her out of respect for the time (i.e. Ramadaan).

Author: Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source:  His book Tanbeehaat ‘alaa Ahkaam takhtassu bil-Mu’minaat (pg. 62-67)
Translator: Isma’eel Alarcon

Things which invalidate the Fasting


It is obligatory for the Muslim to know of all that invalidates the fast so as to be aware of them.

That which invalidates the fast:

1) Sexual intercourse: Whenever the fasting person has sexual intercourse, his fast is invalidated. Subsequently, he is required to make up the fast for that day in which he had sexual intercourse in addition to paying a penalty (kaffaarah) which is to free a slave. If he is unable to find a slave or funds that are equal to that, then he is required to fast consecutively for two months. If he is unable to fast for two months, due to an Islaamically acceptable reason, he is to feed 60 poor people half a saa’ each from the food common in that land.

2) Excretion of semen as a result of kissing, touching with desire, masturbation or persistently looking at that which arouses the desire. In this case, the fast is invalidated and he is required to make up for that day without paying a penalty (kaffaarah), since paying a penalty is specific to having had sexual intercourse.

3) Intentionally eating and drinking, due to that which Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{…and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]

As for he who eats and drinks out of forgetfulness, then this does not affect his fast as is mentioned in the following hadeeth:

(Whoever forgetfully eats or drinks, then he should complete his fast, for indeed it was Allaah who provided him the food and drink)

And from that which breaks the fast is water and other such substances to pass his throat via his nose. This is known as as-Sa’oof. Likewise, taking a nutritional injection directly into the vein and taking a blood transfusion whilst fasting. All of these invalidate the fast, as it constitutes nutrition for the body.

As regards a non-nutritional injection, then it is better for one who is fasting to avoid this so as to protect his fast. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

Leave that which you are doubtful (about) for that which are not doubtful (about)

And as such delay it until after having broken the fast at the time of Maghrib.

4) As for extracting blood via cupping or opening a vein or donating blood for medical reasons, then all of this invalidates the fast. As regards giving a small blood sample for testing purposes, then this does not affect the fast. Likewise, this applies to the unintentional flow of blood resulting from a nose bleed, injury or having a tooth removed. All of these do not affect the fast.

5) Intentional vomiting also invalidates the fast. However, the fast is not affected if he is overcome and is forced to vomit without intending so. This is based upon the statement of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):

Whoever is overcome (and forced) to vomit, then he is not required to make up (the fast for that day) and whoever intentionally vomits then he must make up (the fast for that day.

The fasting person should not exert himself whilst gargling and sniffing water up his nose (when making wudhoo.) because it is quite possible the water may pass his throat and thereby enter his stomach. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

Whilst making wudhoo, exert yourself in sniffing water up the nose except if you are fasting.

Using the miswaak (tooth-stick) does not affect the fast, rather it is recommended, whether fasting or not, throughout the day.

His fast is not affected if any dust or even a fly was to reach his throat.

It is obligatory for the fasting person to refrain from lying, backbiting and swearing, even if someone was to swear at him. If this is the case, he should say:

(indeed), I am fasting

Certainly, some people find it easy to abstain from food and drink but find it difficult to abandon that which has become a habit for them from evil speech and actions. This is why some of the Pious Predecessors have said:

The easiest (type of) fast is abstaining from food and drink.

So it is upon the Muslim to fear Allaah and be aware of Him and His Greatness and the fact that He Sees all that we do, such that absolutely nothing remains hidden from him. In doing this, he should protect his fast from all that invalidates it or reduces it’s reward so that his fast remains correct and, inshaa.-Allaah, is accepted by Allaah.

It is befitting for the fasting person to busy himself in the remembrance of Allaah, reciting the Qur.aan and increasing in the performance of naafilah (voluntary) prayers.

It used to be that when the Pious Predecessors would fast, they would sit in the masaajid and they would say:

We shall protect our fast and not backbite anyone.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

Whoever does not abandon evil speech and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him having left his food and drink (i.e. fasting).

This is because seeking nearness to Allaah is not complete simply by leaving our personal desires (of eating and drinking, etc). Rather, it is by leaving that which Allaah has prohibited at all times in terms of lying, oppression and the like. In a narration, Abu Hurayrah said:

The fast is accepted as worship so long as no Muslim has been backbitten or harmed.

And it is narrated by Anas, who said: The one who has backbitten the people whilst fasting has not really fasted.

Reference:
Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhee – Volume 1, Pages 268-270


Who MUST fast in Ramadan?


Question: For whom is fasting Ramadaan obligatory?

Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.
Fasting is obligatory for a person if he fulfills five conditions:

  1. He is a Muslim
  2. He is accountable (mukallaf)
  3. He is able to fast
  4. He is settled (not travelling)
  5. There are no impediments to fasting

If these five conditions are met, then it is obligatory for a person to fast.

Kaafirs are excluded from the first condition. The kaafir is not obliged to fast and his fast is not valid. If he becomes Muslim he is not obliged to make up fasts from before.

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And nothing prevents their contributions from being accepted from them except that they disbelieved in Allaah and in His Messenger (Muhammad) and that they came not to As-Salaah (the prayer) except in a lazy state, and that they offer not contributions but unwillingly” [al-Tawbah 9:54]

If the contribution is not acceptable even though it benefits others, because of their kufr, then other acts of worship may be even more unacceptable.

He does not have to make up fasts if he becomes Muslim because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven” [al-Anfaal 8:38]

And it was proven in mutawaatir reports that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not tell those who became Muslim to make up the obligatory duties that they had missed.

Question: Will the kaafir be punished in the Hereafter for not fasting if he did not become Muslim?

Answer: Yes, he will be punished for not fasting, and for not doing any other obligatory duties, because if the Muslim who obeyed Allaah and adhered to His laws will be punished for that, then it is more apt that he (the kaafir) should be punished. If the kaafir is to be punished for the blessings of Allaah that he enjoyed, such as food, drink and clothing, then it is more appropriate that he will be punished for doing haraam actions and not doing obligatory duties. This is by way of analogy.

With regard to the texts, Allaah says that those on the Right (i.e., the believers) will say to the disbelievers:

‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’

They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the Salaah (prayers),

Nor used we to feed Al-Miskeen (the poor);

And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allaah hated) with vain talkers.

And we used to belie the Day of Recompense’”

[al-Muddaththir 74:42]

These four things are what will cause them to enter Hell.

“We were not of those who used to offer the Salaah (prayers)” means they did not pray; “Nor used we to feed Al-Miskeen (the poor)” means they did not pay zakaah; “And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allaah hated) with vain talkers” means things like mocking the verses of Allaah; “And we used to belie the Day of Recompense.”

The second condition:

He should be accountable (mukallaf). The one who is mukallaf is one who is has reached the age of puberty and is of sound mind, because a minor or one who is insane is not accountable. Puberty is reached when one of the three signs is noticed.

The one who is of sound mind is the opposite of one is insane, which is one who has lost his mind, whether he is insane or feeble-minded. Everyone who has lost his mind, in whatever sense, is not accountable and he is not obliged to do any of the obligatory duties of Islam, be it prayer, fasting or feeding the poor; he does not have to do anything at all.

The third condition:

Being able to fast. The one who is unable to fast does not have to fast, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

But being unable to fast falls into two categories: temporary inability and permanent inability.

Temporary inability is that which is mentioned in the verse quoted above, such as one who is sick but hopes to recover, and the traveller. These people are allowed not to fast, then they have to make up what they missed.

Those who are permanently unable to fast, such as one who is sick and has no hope of recovery, or those who are elderly and are unable to fast, are mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” [al-Baqarah 2:184]

As Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) interpreted it, it refers to the old man and old woman who are not able to fast, so they should feed one poor person for each day.

The fourth condition:

He should be settled (not travelling). If he is travelling then it is not obligatory for him to fast, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

The scholars are agreed that it is permissible for a traveller not to fast.

It is better for the traveller to do that which is easier. If fasting is likely to be harmful then it becomes haraam to fast, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you” [al-Nisa’ 4:29]

This indicates that whatever is harmful to a person is forbidden to him.

If you ask, what is the degree of harm which makes fasting haraam?

The answer is:

Harm may be physical, or someone advises him that fasting may harm him. With regard to physical harm, that means that the sick person feels that fasting is harming him and causing him pain, and will delay his recovery and so on.

With regard to being advised, this means that a knowledgeable and trustworthy doctor tells him that it will harm him.

The fifth condition:

There should be no impediments. This applies specifically to women. Women who are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth should not fast, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when she gets her period, she does not pray or fast?”

So she should not fast and her fast is not valid in this case, according to scholarly consensus. And she has to make up the days missed, also according to scholarly consensus.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/330.

And Allaah knows best.

By IslamQ&A

 

The Virtues of Ramadaan


ramadaanRamadaan is one of the twelve Arabic months. It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following:

1 – Allaah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

and it was narrated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka’bah).”

2 – Allaah revealed the Qur’aan in this month, as He says in the verse quoted above (interpretation of the meaning):

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).”

[al-Qadr 97:1]

3 – Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees,

(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”

[al-Qadar 97:1-5]

“We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]”

[al-Dukhaan 44:3]

Allaah has blessed Ramadaan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allaah 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.”

Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.

4 – Allaah has made fasting Ramadaan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins, as was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 2014; Muslim, 760) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” And al-Bukhaari (2008) and Muslim (174) also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyaam at night in Ramadaan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is to pray Taraweeh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyaam by praying Taraaweeh.

5 – In this month, Allaah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils, as is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”

6 – Every night Allaah has people whom He redeems from the Fire. Imam Ahmad (5/256) narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “At every breaking of the fast, Allaah has people whom He redeems.” Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnaad; and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 987.

Al-Bazzaar (Kashf 962) narrated that Abu Sa’eed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has people whom He redeems every day and night – i.e., in Ramadaan – and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.”

7 – Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins. It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.”

8 – Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months, as is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (1164) narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” Ahmad (21906) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.”

9 – Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1370) and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Salaat al-Taraaweeh, p. 15

10 – ‘Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj. Al-Bukhaari (1782) and Muslim (1256) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a woman among the Ansaar, “What kept you from doing Hajj with us?” She said, “We only had two camels that we used for bringing water.” So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water.” He said, “When Ramadaan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj.” According to a report narrated by Muslim, “… is equivalent to doing Hajj with me.”

11 – It is Sunnah to observe i’tikaaf (retreat for the purpose of worship) in Ramadaan, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always did that, as it was narrated in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to spend the last ten days of Ramadaan in i’tikaaf until he passed away, then his wives observed i’tikaaf after him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1922; Muslim, 1172.

12 – It is mustahabb in the sense of being strongly recommended in Ramadaan to study the Qur’aan together and to read it a great deal. You may study the Qur’aan together by reciting it to someone else and by having someone else recite it to you. The evidence that this is mustahabb is the fact that Jibreel used to meet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) every night in Ramadaan and study the Qur’aan with him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.

Reading Qur’aaan is mustahabb in general, but more so in Ramadaan.

13 – It is mustahabb in Ramadaan to offer iftaar to those who are fasting, because of the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 647. see question no: ( 12598 )

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Ramadan: The Month of Virtues and Blessings


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


Ramadan: The Month of Virtues and BlessingsIt is noteworthy that the month of Ramadan is a blessed month and an opportunity for every Muslim to draw near to Allah, increase his morality and spirituality and to gain abundant reward. In this regard, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America,states:

 

Almighty Allah says, (Your Lord does create and choose as He pleases …) (Al-Qasas 28: 68)

Allah is the Creator of everything visible and invisible. Everything in the heaven and earth belongs to Him and serves Him. Allah is also the Creator of time and space. As Allah chose some persons to be His Prophets and Messengers, and as He chose some places to become the sacred spots on this earth, similarly He also chose some time to become the sacred time. The sacred personalities teach us about Allah, His will, His rules and commands. The sacred places and times remind us about Allah’s special favors and blessings. In Islam we worship only Allah. We neither worship any person other than Allah, not any space or time. But certain spaces and times inspire us and motivate us to do good things. One of those important and sacred moments for us is Ramadan. It is a special month and a special time. Allah says in the Qur’an:

(The month of Ramadan is that in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, with clear signs for guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed quite near: I listen and answer the call of every caller when he calls Me. Let them listen to My call, and believe in Me; so that they may be guided aright.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 185-186)

The blessed month of Ramadan is a great time and a beautiful time as well. We thank Allah that He is giving us another occasion to witness this blessed time in our life. May He help us to benefit from this season of virtues and blessings and may He grant us His love, mercy and forgiveness now and forever, Ameen.

Ramadan is a great month. This is the month of the Qur’an, and in this month is the Night of Qadr, which is better than one thousand months. Allah chose this month and a particular night in this month to grace humanity with His Final Testament, His Last Message, the Qur’an. The moment of this revelation became a sacred moment, and that time and month became an eternal time for us. Allah chose this time, and He has filled it with His countless blessings. In this month we have a greater urge and desire to do good deeds. This month becomes the month of virtues and blessings for us. This is the month about which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“When the first night of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinns are put in chains and the doors of hell are closed, none of them remains open. The doors of heaven are open and none of them remains closed. And a caller calls, ‘O seeker of goodness, come forward, and O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah has many (in this month) who will be freed from Hell.’ This announcement is made every night.”(Reported by al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 618)

Ramadan is meant for our moral and spiritual training and for the purification of our bodies, minds and souls. This is an annual training program for all believers. It is a special time to get closer to Allah and to seek His blessings and bounties. It is a time to learntaqwa(God-fearing), piety, self-discipline and patience. It is a time to give more charity and become more generous. It is a time to seek Allah’s forgiveness and to forgive each other. It is a time to be thankful to Allah for His gifts and bounties and especially His gift ofiman.

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, do not miss any day of fasting and do not miss any moment of the blessed month of Ramadan. This is a very precious time and Allah will give us many benefits if we use it in the proper way.

Let us keep the following things in our mind when we observe this month:

1. Intention: Remind yourself again and again that you are fasting in obedience to Allah. Be sincere in your intention. You want Allah to accept your fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Whosoever fasts in Ramadan with faith and seeking Allah’s reward, all his past sins are forgiven.”(Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 37)

2. Sunnah: Observe the Sunnah in fasting. Take thesuhurmeal a little before dawn and end your fast at sunset. As much as you can, try to fast as much like the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) fasted. There was no prayer better than his prayer and no fast better than his fast. Try to follow his way of fasting. That is the most acceptable way of fasting to Allah.

3.Wara`(Avoiding everythingharamormakruh): Keep your body and mind very clean. Fasting is not just avoiding food and drink. Fasting is to learn how to avoid bad words and bad deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Whosoever does not leave bad words and bad actions, Allah does not care if he leaves his food and drink.”(Al-Tirmidhi 641)

4. Qur’an: Fasting and revelation are inter-connected. Prophet Musa fasted when he received the Torah. Prophet `Isa fasted when he received the Gospel. Prophet Muhammad fasted when he received the first message of the Qur’an. Let us do the same thing. You must fast and spend more time with the Qur’an. Read the Qur’an every day. Try to finish at least one time the whole Qur’an [with understanding] during this month by your own personal reading.

5. Prayer or Salah,Du`a’andDhikr: Pray on time and observe all the prayers. Do not ignore the Tarawih or Ramadan night prayers. Make more extra and voluntary prayers. Do as much worship as you can. Do moredhikr(remembering Allah) anddu`a'(supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and seek forgiveness for yourself and for others as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Seek the Night of Qadr by special devotion during the last ten nights of this month.

6. Zakah,Sadaqahand Generosity: Ramadan generates the spirit of giving and sacrifice. When we deprive ourselves of food and drink we understand and realize well what it means to be hungry and thirsty. We realize the pain of those who cannot find the basic necessities of life. Be very charitable and generous. Give more to help the poor and needy. Contribute generously to useful social and community projects.

7. Family: Goodness must begin at home. Be very good to your family, immediate family and the extended family. Spend more time and quality time with your family members. Try to havesuhur(pre-dawn meal) together. Break your fast together and pray together as much as you can. Do this more at this time. Ramadan should bring you closer to each other. Allah’s special mercy comes on the families that are united, harmonious and peaceful.

8. Good Conduct: Fasting should transform you and should make you a different person. Try to be extra kind and courteous during this month. Forget your quarrels and disputes. Reconcile and forgive. Do not get involved in backbiting, lying, cheating and anything that is wrong. Be very good to Muslims and to all human beings. Be good to your friends and neighbors. Let your non-Muslim neighbors and co-workers know that this is your blessed and sacred time.

9.Tafakkur(reflection): Think, reflect and plan to improve the moral and spiritual condition of your own self and your family. Think about any wrong things and sins you might be doing and decide to correct yourself. Think about any deficiencies you have in your Islamic observances. Plan to change yourself. Think what you can do for the Ummah and for humanity to make this world a better place for everyone. Think about the life after death and the Day of Judgment.

10. Be cheerful and happy: Ramadan is not a time of mourning or sadness. It is a time of thankfulness to Allah. In a Hadith it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,“When you fast, anoint yourself. Let not the signs of fast be seen on you.”(Al-Bukahri,Al-Adab al-Mufrad) Do not feel tired and miserable. Feel alert and relax. Take things easy. This time is for your own good. Give the greetings of Ramadan to each other and enjoy this beautiful time.

It is reported in a Hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave a sermon about Ramadan to a gathering that met towards the end of Sha`ban. He said:

O People, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month, there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness. In this month the believer’s provision is increased. Whosoever will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward while the fasting person will not lose any of his reward.(As-Suyuti,Ad-Durr al-Manthur)

We invoke Almighty Allah to enable us to reap the fruits of the blessed month, accept our acts of worship, and grant us forgiveness and immunity against the punishment of Hellfire.

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