Posts

Ramadan Advice from Shaykh Salek

Ramadan Advice from Shaykh Salek

Shaykh Salek is from Mauritania, West Africa, a country known for producing some of the Muslim world’s most knowledgeable scholars. He studied for over 17 years in the famous mountain region of Taganat, from numerous accomplished scholars including Murabit al-Hajj, one of the greatest scholars of our age. In addition to memorizing the entire Quran in two of its recitations, he has studied and mastered some of the most advanced texts in the disciplines of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), arabic grammer (nahu), doctrinal creed (aqida), prophetic narration (hadith), and the study of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (seerah). From a family tracing its lineage back to Jafar ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be well pleased with him, he is respected and widely regarded amongst his peers as a scholar of the highest caliber. He currently runs a school in Mauritania teaching the Quran, Islamic law, and numerous other subjects to children and adults of all ages.

One Muslim Chaplain’s Unique Take On Ramadan – HuffingtonPost

 

Religion on HuffingtonPost.com

NEW YORK — In a crowded dorm meeting room last week, Khalid Latif posed an unusual scenario to dozens of students and young professionals gathered for a weekly Islamic studies class.

“A girl walks into a (mosque) and she’s wearing a miniskirt,” the 28-year-old Muslim chaplain proposed to the group at New York University. “What do you think?”

Some participants giggled. Others looked perplexed. Traditionally, women and men are expected to wear conservative clothing in mosques. Most women who do not typically cover their heads will wear headscarves in a mosque. But the idea of a girl in a miniskirt entering an Islamic house of prayer? Absurd.

The answer, Latif suggested, was not to scold or ignore the woman, but to welcome her to pray.

“Your tongue has been given to you as a way of being closer to others and closer to the divine,” he told the group. “Think of how you use your tongue.”

The lesson is one of many the 28-year-old Muslim chaplain at the university has imparted in recent weeks as part of a popular series of classes and discussion groups he launched ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins Aug. 1.

Little changes each year about the fasting month except its dates, which are determined by the lunar calendar. Muslims awake before dawn for breakfast and abstain from food, water and sex during the day before breaking their fasts with group dinners at night. The days are punctuated by prayers, and Muslims try to read the Quran, their holy book, at least once in its entirety before the month’s end. Mosques will also often organize community service activities.

But in his six years as the Muslim chaplain at New York University, Latif said he has noticed that Ramadan has become routine for many Muslims. As the director of the university’s Islamic Center, he works with hundreds of students, among them American-born Muslims, converts and international students from Islamic countries. The diversity of the group, he said, means a lot of varying ideas and questions about Ramadan and Islam.

A few weeks ago, Latif proposed an idea to those Muslims, many who have observed Ramadan since puberty, the time of life at which Muslims are required to start the practice of fasting: How about a class about Ramadan? Despite it being summer, when the student population empties out of NYU, hundreds of people signed up via the organization’s email list and website. The Islamic organization has hosted social events during Ramadan for years, but a class to teach Muslims about one of the most integral aspects of their religion was a new idea.

“We wanted to create an open space outside the mosque. A lot of Muslims get into a frame about religion where they feel unwelcome or judged or feel like religion is a set of rules,” said Latif, whose group has been meeting for six weeks to prepare for Ramadan. Latif’s students have kept daily journals of their spiritual progress, which they will consult during Ramadan as the group meets for dinners and more discussions to break the fast.

“Yet Islam is about reality. What fasting teaches you is the reality of your own situation and those around you. It allows you to think of what you can start changing about yourself,” he added.

Maureen Ahmed, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Stony Brook University, started coming to Latif’s classes after hearing about them from friends and watching online sermons about womens’ rights posted by Latif, who is also an imam (prayer leader). Unlike at many mosques, the majority of the class’s attendees have also been women.

“I don’t know where I stand with Islam myself,” said Ahmed, who is a research assistant at the Institute of International Education in Manhattan. Ahmed has fasted during Ramadan since she was young, but says she has only recently “come into my own terms about my religion.”

“I don’t have my parents telling me how to practice or what to do anymore. I have to figure it out on my own and what it means to me,” said Ahmed. “It’s good to come here and know if you don’t wear an hijab (headcover) or have other questions, that it’s OK.”

Ahmed participated in the recent conversation about the woman in the miniskirt as part of a class on the subject of character. Other classes have focused on Muslims’ intentions, habits, prayer and gratitude, as well as the legal aspects of fasting during Ramadan.

“Why you do what you do is really important, especially in regard to fasting. It’s much more meaningful if you look at it as more than abstaining from food,” said Latif, echoing one of the course’s themes.

Sara Mahmoud, who is studying for a graduate degree in public health at Columbia University, also recently began attending the classes with her friends after hearing about them from other Muslims.

“They help us get pumped up — as a group — about Ramadan,” she said. One of the simplest lessons from the discussions is about health and nutrition, she added. “A lot of people, when they break the fast, they’ll just gorge on tons of greasy food. You’re supposed to be taking care of yourself, not overeating.”

Latif, who was raised in a Pakistani-American family in New Jersey before attending NYU and training in chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary, said he was motivated to teach about Ramadan by his experiences as a counselor. As a chaplain at both NYU and the New York Police Department, he gets many questions from Muslims and non-Muslims alike about Islam. Hosting his classes outside of a mosque — the group also plans to meet in the basement of a Catholic church for breaking-the-fast dinners during Ramadan — may open up the discussion, he said.

In addition to the debate about the miniskirt, Latif posed another challenging question at the meeting last week.

“What is a good Muslim?” he asked the crowd.

“A good Muslim is one who prays five times a day,” a man offered in reply.

“Being a good Muslim is being kind to others,” another man suggested.

A woman chimed in: “Who is to judge?”

Read more about the Islamic Center at New York University

Brief Ramadan Counsel – Faraz Rabbani

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

RAMADAN REMINDERS

 

1. Focus this Ramadan on reconnecting with Allah, His Book, His Messenger, & His Creation.

2. Feel your neediness to Allah as you fast.

3. Recognize & be thankful for all His Blessings.

4. Make your worship & good deeds expressions of yearning for Allah.

5. Strive to bring the Prophet’s way of excellence (peace and blessings be upon him) into your life.

6. Commit to consistency in worship & good deeds, as this is a sign of sincerity with Allah

 

Follow the free SeekersGuidance Islamcast for short, inspiring Ramadan reminders: Islamcast

Check out the SeekersHub Toronto Ramadan Connections Program. (All programs are free.) SeekersHub is a project of SeekersGuidance.

Can I Break My Fast If My Job Makes Fasting Too Difficult?

Answered by Shaykh Omar Qureshi

Question: I am currently working in a Dry Cleaners and it gets very hot inside, when its 90F its like it is 110F inside the store.  I was wondering would it be permissible if i didn’t fast when it gets this hot inside? I get lightheaded and dizzy due to the heat. I hear from my family that Allah does not demand us to do anything that we cant handle? Is this true? Please give me the Shafi’i ruling for this.

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaikum.

It is correct that Allah the Exalted has not imposed on us an obligation that we cannot bear. I would have to know more details regarding your situation to give an answer that I am comfortable with. In the meantime, however, Shafi’i jurists state that a person who has an occupation that makes fasting unreasonably difficult (shugl shaqq), or is in a state of extreme thirst or hunger, may break their fast that day. If they are certain that it will cause them harm then a person must break their fast. A baker working under hot conditions is an example of an occupation that is unreasonably difficult to fast under hot conditions. Notice that it is qualified by work under conditions of high temperature. (Jurdani, Fath al-‘Allam vol. 4, pg. 22)

One should keep in mind that a person needs to make the intention to fast that day  (meaning before the time for Fajr sets in) and only break the fast when continuing to fast will entail harm to oneself. A headache or feeling lightheaded one hour before the fast does not, in my understanding, allow one to break their fast. One should rather take a break from work and rest. Keep in mind that you must make up the days of fasting that you miss.

I would recommend speaking to your supervisor and explaining your situation to him/her. Request to make any necessary arrangements that you will need to work comfortably while fasting. It is expected that a person will feel lightheaded, tired, and some weakness when fasting. Remember that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his Companions fought wars when fasting during the month of Ramadan.

So without knowing the details of your condition, inshaAllah, what has been provided will give you the necessary guidelines where you can assess your situation and come to a conclusion.

Allah the Exalted knows.
Omar Qureshi

Shaykh Omar Qureshi completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri – Columbia in Microbiology in 1995 and later obtained a M.Ed. in Science Education – Curriculum and Instruction from the same institution. As a teacher in Saudi Arabia, he also studied various Islamic Sciences with Sh. Salman Abu-Ghuddah. He continued his Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria at Ma’had al-Tahdhib wa-l-Ta’lim and privately with local Damascene scholars such as Sh. Hussain Darwish. Currently Omar serves as the Dean of Academics and Instruction at Islamic Foundation School located at Villa Park, Illinois. In addition to teaching, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education and Comparative Education at Loyola University in Chicago, where he is focusing on Muslim moral educational philosophy.

The Ramadan Reader: A Guide to Fasting, Prayer, Qur’an, and Spirituality in the Month of Ramadan

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

 
Ramadan


Fasting:

A Complete Guide To Fasting (Hanafi)

A Complete Guide To Fasting (Shafii)

Breaking One’s Fast Due to Weakness

Does Watching Pornography While Fasting Break One’s Fast

Worship in Ramadan For a Menstruating Woman

Overview of the Fidya Payment

Applying Medicine to Teeth While Fasting

Types of I’tikaf

Can I Pray 8 Rakats for Tarawih
When is Laylat al-Qadr

 

Prayer

 

Qur’an

Works of the Heart

See also:
A Ramadan Reader – Cambridge Khutbahs etc

Is It Permissible to Fast Every Day?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to fast every day, save for the days that it is impermissible to fast?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Yes, but this isn’t recommended. The maximal sunna fasting is the fasting of Prophet Dawud (peace and blessings be upon him), who fasted every other day, as the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) taught us. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said that the best of fasts is the fast of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him), who fasted every other day. [Related by Bukhari and Muslim]

Even with that fasting, one should build up to it gradually, as the sunna with works is to increase gradually; to be committed to consistency; not to overwhelm oneself by taking on too much too soon; and to focus on excellence in one’s actions, outwardly and inwardly. [Ibn `Allan, Sharh Riyad al-Salihin; Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih]

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Virtues of the Sacred Month of Muharram, Its First Ten Days, and the Day of `Ashura

Duties of the Month of Muharram

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.

2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura), with a day before it or after it. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasani’s al-Bada`i]

3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.

Extracts from Ibn Rajab’s Lataif al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram and Its First Ten Days

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said , “The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer.” [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

The virtue and honor of this month can be attested to by the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called it, “the Month of Allah.” (Shahr Allah) Such ascription is only made by Allah to the most special of His creation, such as the ascription of the Prophets Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and others to his slavehood (Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all), and His ascription of the House (Ka`ba) and the camel to himself.

Given that Allah ascribed fasting, between all spiritual works, to Himself [saying, “It is Mine,”] it was suitable that this month, which is also ascribed to Allah, be selected for this particular form of worship.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], “Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord.”[Muslim]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity (ikhlas).

Allah Most High said, “Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.” [Qur`an, 73.9]

This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying, “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” [Qur`an, 32.16-17]

And, “Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed.” [Qur`an, 39.9]

And He said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), “And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate.” [Qur`an, 17.79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one’s Standing on the Day of Judgment.

This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one’s body.” [Tirmidhi (3543], Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “Fast, and you shall have good health.” [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]

Lovers have no time more joyous than when they are alone in entreating their Beloved. This is the healing for their hearts, and the great thing that they could long for.

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, “The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living.”

The Day of `Ashura: The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura [10th of Muharram]. He said, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day,” [meaning the Day of `Ashura]. [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].

The Day of `Ashura has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]

When he migrated to Medina, and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.

It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura, so he asked them, “What is this day you are fasting?” They said, “This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.” The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.” So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted. [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]

At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [f: either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.

It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of `Ashura and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate.’ So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘When next year comes – if Allah wills – we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it].’ But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away.” [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)]

And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Fast the Day of `Ashura” and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it.” [Ahmad]

Giving in Charity on the Day of `Ashura

It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that “Whoever fasts `Ashura, it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year.”

Some of the Virtues of the Day of `Ashura

It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, “If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in.” [Tirmidhi (841)]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Fasting Six Days of Shawwal – Ruling, Whether Consecutive, Combining Intentions, Wisdoms, and What if Unable to Fast? – Faraz Rabbani

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Fasting Six Days of Shawwal

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fasting Ramadan and following it with six days from Shawwal is like continual fasting.” [Muslim, on the authority of Abu Ayyub (Allah be pleased with him)]

 

This is because the reward of actions is multiplied (at least) ten-fold. So Ramadan is like fasting 300 days, and the six days of Shawwal like fasting 60 days. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself stated this explictly: “Fasting Ramadan is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days [of Shawwal] is like fasting two months. That is like fasting a full year.” [Ahmad & Nasa’i]

1. Religiously recommended. Based on the outward purport of this hadith, the majority of the scholars–including Imam Shafi`i, Imam Ahmad, and Imam Abu Hanifa consider it a recommended sunna to fast six days in Shawwal. There are narrations from Abu Hanifa indicating its dislikedness, but these are understood to relate to considering it a duty to fast these days. [Nawawi, Majmu`; Ibn Qudama, Mughni; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir `ala al-Hidaya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

 

2. Consecutive or not? Some of the scholars considered it recommended to fast these days consecutively after Eid al-Fitr, including Imam Shafi`i. They based this on a hadith related by Tabarani and others in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said, “Fasting six consecutive days after Eid al-Fitr is like fasting the entire year.”

Dates and man.jpg

Other scholars, including both the Hanbalis and Hanafis, considered it the same to fast consecutively or not–because they deemed the above hadith to be excessively weak.

However, they caution that one shouldn’t put it off such that one ends up missing the great reward of fasting six days. It is also a consideration that avoiding difference of opinion is religiously recommended–so trying to fast the six days consecutively would appear to be superior.

 

3. Combining intentions with missed fasts. It is valid to combine the intention of making up missed Ramadan fasts and the sunna of fasting the six days of Shawwal, though performing both separately is greater in reward.

 

4. The wisdom of fasting these six days. Among the benefits of fasting the six days of Shawwal is:

[i] Sign of acceptance. It is a sign of the acceptance of one’s Ramadan fasts. This is because a sign of Allah’s accepting a good deed is to be granted the success to perform similar good deeds, with consistency.

[ii] Consistency itself is beloved. The actions most beloved to Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) are those done most consistently.

[iii] Sign of thankfulness. Fasting these six days is an expression of thankfulness for the reward of fasting that Allah grants on the day of Eid. Continuing to fast is a sign of being, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) described himself, “A truly thankful servant.” Thankfulness is the key to increase, and a means of securing one’s blessings and good.

[iv] Sign of commitment to continue. Fasting these six days is a sign of one’s commitment to continue in worship and submission to Allah, willingly–and not merely out of obligation.

 

5. If unable to fast the six days of Shawwal due to some genuine excuse, one should make the firm intention that if this excuse didn’t exist one would have fasted. If one is sincere & true in one’s intention, then one will–by Divine Grace–have the full reward of fasting these days, because, “Actions are by their intentions, and each person shall have whatever they intended,” as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained. [Muslim] The signs of being true in one’s intention is that if one’s excuse is lifted, one hastens to fulfill the intended matter.

 

[Ref: Ibn Rajab, Lata’if al-Ma`arif; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Hamawi/Ibn Nujaym, Hashiyat al-Ashbah; Nawawi, al-Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab; others]

And Allah alone gives success.

Supplications - Black.jpg

Faraz Rabbani

 

See also: Imam Zaid Shakir’s Translation of Ibn Rajab’s Lata’if al-Ma`arif on fasting six days in Shawwal:
Fasting Six Days in Shawwal: Part One:
http://www.newislamicdirections.com/…wwal_part_one/

Fasting Six Days of Shawwal: Part Two:
http://www.newislamicdirections.com/…wwal_part_two/

Fasting Six Days in Shawwal: Part Three:
http://www.newislamicdirections.com/…al_part_three/

Fasting in Shawwal: Part Four:
http://www.newislamicdirections.com/…wal_part_four/

 

 

 Support the spread of Islamic knowledge:

Eid al-Fitr: A Time to Be Thankful

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Eid al-Fitr (Post-Fasting Festival) is one of the central days of celebration and festivity in Islam. It is a time to be thankful to Allah for the blessing of fasting the month of Ramadan, and the extra worship and good deeds performed in that blessed month. This day is also meant to be a recognition, thankfulnesss, and rejoicing for the material and spiritual favors of God to His creation.2D554755-5073-4FD7-84E2-ECD0E7D0417D.jpg

The word Eid itself is an Arabic word, whose root connotation is ‘that which comes back, time after time, and rejoicing.’ Its particular usage in Islam, for the two major holidays, is because these two days are meant to be days of rejoicing. [Raghib, al-Mufradat]

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “They are days of eating, drinking, and remembrance of God.” [Reported by Bukhari in his Sahih, an authoritative collection of the sayings of the Prophet.]

In this same spirit, the Qur’an mentions that, “Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast (eid) for us, for the first of us and for the last of us and a sign from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the Best of Sustainers.’” (Qur’an, 5: 114)

On this day, Muslims all over the world thank God for the gift of fasting, in which they avoided food, drink and intercourse from dawn to dusk, out of obedience and servitude. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of faith, seeking its reward, shall have all their past sins forgiven.”Bukhari]

The many lessons in Ramadan are acted upon on this day of festivity, in order that they not be forgotten:

1. Devoting oneself to God: Muslims start the day by showering after dawn on Eid day, then go to the short Eid prayer and sermon that takes place early in the morning.

2. Recognizing one’s blessings and thanking God for them: Muslims are encouraged to wear their best clothes, give gifts (especially to children) and celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors.

3. Remembering the plight of the poor and giving in charity: On Eid day, it is especially recommended to give in charity, the best time of which is before going to the mosque or prayer hall in the morning.

It is said, “True rejoicing is not (merely) in wearing new clothes, but in becoming true in one’s devotion to God.”

As a result, it is encouraged for Muslims to fast another six days after Eid during the month of Shawwal, in order to keep alive the lessons learned during the month of Ramadan, and to become of those devoted to God. It is because of this that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever fasts of Ramadan then fasts six days in the month of Shawwal shall have the reward of having fasted the whole year.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “For every people there is a feast and this is our feast.” [Reported by Bukhari in his Sahih]

May Allah grant you and us, and the entire community of faith and humanity days of true rejoicing and returning to our Lord.

Sincerely,

Faraz Rabbani
Educational Director, SeekersGuidance

SeekersGuidance (www.SeekersGuidance.org)
Fall ’09 Course Registration Now Open. Don’t Miss Out!

The Last Ten Nights of Ramadan

All praise is due to Allah, and may endless blessings be upon His Beloved Messenger Muhammad, his Kin, and his Companions.

Once again, these are excerpts taken from the book Kanz Al-Najāḥ wa As-Surūr (The Treasures of Success and Felicity) regarding the benefits and special qualities of each month. Now that we have reached the last 10 days of Ramadan, we will focus mostly on the benefits of these blessed days.

13990545302_a28b9a0c77_oAllah showers His mercy upon the Muslims especially during these last 10 nights. In them, du‘ā’ is answered particularly quickly, and especially after one finishes a complete reading (khatm) of the Qur’ān (the best time to complete the last suras in the Qur’ān is either right after Fajr or right after Maghrib, and since the nights are so significant, it would be better in to finish it right after Maghrib during the last 10). Also, Allah forgives many, many people and frees them from the Hellfire – so it is recommended to repeatedly ask Allah for forgiveness with a heart that is present and focused on Him, Exalted is He! Also, O Believer, these are the days which the Beloved Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, described as the days when Allah frees people from the Fire. So be alert and make use of these days in worship and repentance.

Probably the greatest blessing within these last 10 nights is that Laylat Al-Qadr [The Night of Great Value] is hidden somewhere within its odd nights. It is related by Imām Aḥmad (a sound hadith) that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, Laylat Al-Qadr is within the 10 remaining days. Whosoever stays up [in prayer/worship]… Allah, most Exalted, will forgive all his [or her] past and future sins. And it is on an odd night, the 9th, or the 7th, or the 5th, or the 3rd, or the last night.”

It is particularly important throughout these nights to attempt to pray both ‘Ishā’ and Fajr in congregation. On the authority of Sayyiduna Anas, may Allah be well pleased with him, the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “Whosoever prays during Laylat Al-Qadr [both] ‘Ishā’ and Fajr in congregation (jamā‘ah) then they have taken from Laylat Al-Qadr the greatest portion.”

 

Du‘ā’ for the Last 10 Nights

Our mother, the Lady ‘Aisha, may Allah be well pleased with her, asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, “O Messenger of God, if it is Laylat Al-Qadr, then what [prayer] should I supplicate with?”

He replied with the famous du‘ā’:

اللهم إنّكَ عَفُوٌ كريمٌ، تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فاعْفُ عنا

“Allahumma, innaka ‘Afūwwun Karīmun, tuḥibbu al-‘afwa  fa‘afu ‘annā”

“O God, indeed You are Pardoning and Generous; You love to pardon, so pardon us.”

 

Some scholars have recommended that one add at the end of the previous du‘ā’ another du‘ā’ of the Prophet’s, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him:

اللهم إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفو وَالعَافِية والمُعَافاة الدَّائِمة في الدِّينِ والدُّنْيا والأخِرَةّ

“Allahumma inni asa’aluka al-‘afū, wa al-‘āfīyah, wa al-mu‘āfāt al-dā’imah fī ad-dīn, wa ad-dunyā, wa al-ākhirah.”

“O God, I ask You for pardoning, good health, and constant well-being in my religion, worldly affairs, and afterlife.”

May Allah put tremendous blessing in these last days for you all, your families, and the rest of the Muslims. Please remember the whole Ummah in your du‘ā’. May Allah reward you all.

Photo credit (Mosque): Mustafa Nazif