Laylatul Qadr

(The Night of Power)

Crowning Glory

Laylatul Qadr is the crowning glory of the holy month of Ramadhaan. It is associated with the sending down of the Qur’an Majeed, the last Book of Allah on His last Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), for the guidance of mankind. The Qur’an Majeed describes this Night.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ
لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
سَلاَمٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ
“We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Jibraeel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of Morn!” (Surah 97)

The Night of Power is the night of spiritual bliss. Our Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said concerning Ramadhaan:

“Verily this month has come to you; and therein is a night which is better than a thousand Months. Whosoever is deprived of it, is deprived of all good; and none is deprived of its good except a totally unfortunate person”. (Ibn Majah)
“Whosoever stands up (in prayer) at the Night of Power out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.”
(Targhib)

Better than a thousand months

A thousand months are equivalent to 83 years and 4 months. Fortunate is the person who spends this night in prayer. The man or woman, who prays for the whole night during this Night, will deserve blessings and reward for the period as if he or she had been praying for eighty three years and four months consecutively. Since the Night of Power is better than one thousand months no one can actually measure the extent as to how much better it is.

Exclusive

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Laylatul Qadr has been bestowed by Allah to my Ummah (People). It was not given to any people before this.” (Dur-Mansoor).

How manifest and replete the special bounties and mercies of Allah Ta’ala are upon this Ummat is quite really beyond imagination. It will therefore be extremely foolish to allow ourselves to be deprived of these great blessings at the expense of sheer laziness and a few hours of extra sleep.

Which Night is it?  When is Laylatul Qadr?

Although there are different reports in different traditions regarding the exact night, it is almost unanimous that the blessed night occurs in one of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan and more probably in one of the last ten odd nights i.e. 2lst, 23rd, 25th 27th or 29th night.

The popular opinion is, however, in favour of the 27th Night of Ramadhaan but that is not absolutely certain. The traditions indicate that it is to be sought in one of the last ten nights and preferably in the last three odd nights. It was therefore the practice of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions to make I’tikaaf in the Mosque for the whole time offering Divine service during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.

Hazrath Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reported that the Apostle of Allah said: “Search for the Blessed Night in the odd (nights) from the last ten (nights) of Ramadhaan” (Bukhari).

What to do on Laylatul Qadr?

Hazrath Aisha has narrated another saying:
“I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Tell me if I were to find a Night of Power, what should I recite therein?” Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised her to recite:

Al-laa-hum-ma in-na-ka ‘afoow-wan tu-hib-bul-‘af wa fa-fu ‘an-ni.
O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness, so forgive me. (Bukhari).

Special attention should therefore be given to the excessive recitation of this dua on the blessed night. Furthermore one may engage in lengthy rakaats of Tahajjud salaat, Tilaawat of the Qur’an, Dua, Zikr, etc.

The worship and the vigil of the Night of Power are a treat to the soul. The heart tends to melt into tears of heartfelt gratitude. The body is in a state of angelic ecstasy The soul strives to reach nearer to Almighty Allah. In this holy month of Ramadhaan let us strive to seek the Night of Power and its bliss. May Allah reward us with His bountiful blessings. Aameen.

Source: Jamiatul Ulama

Laylatul Qadr

Four Things To Do On Laylatul Qadr

Shaykh Hassan Ali suggests four things we can do on Laylatul Qadr which will make you amongst the richest people in the hereafter.

After Ramadan

The Holy month of Ramadaan came like seasonal rain and passed by. This rain did not water the plants and crops -it showered upon the hearts of believers. It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the majority of Muslims are stricken with spiritual drought and spiritual decadence. It is a drought caused by excessive indulgence in un-Islamic activities, immoral behaviour, unjust actions, unfair dealings etc. Drought caused by lack of rain destroys crops -drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Allah and lack of Allah consciousness destroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.

Ramadaan’s spiritual rains brought to life the Masaajid and other prayer places. Ramadaan had fanned the dying spark of charity .Ramadaan had awakened the dying spirit of tolerance, patience and sympathy for the less fortunate.

Now that we come to the end of Ramadaan the big question is what to do? Did we go through all the spiritual exercises in Ramadaan in order that we may have the freedom to indulge, on Eid day, in all types of immoral, shameless and indecent amusement? Did we restrain ourselves from halaal food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadaan, so that we may return with renewed vigour to gambling, drinking, adultery and fornication? Will the spirit of tolerance, mercy, patience, charity and sympathy be still evident or will these noble qualities be shelved until the dawn of the next Ramadaan?

Will the Masajids which were filled on most nights in Ramadaan remain the same or will they become empty wondering where the faithful have gone? Our lifetsyles after Ramadaan will show whether we used the month to bring about a total reformation within ourselves or are we going to waste the valuable opportunity?

The National and international position of the Muslim communities leaves much to be desired. Muslims are lamenting the loss of lives, destruction of property, oppression, tyranny, injustice and a host of other problems all over the world. They are wondering why the promised help of Allah to the believers is nowhere in sight. Just one glance into the lifestyles of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims is sufficient to answer the question. Millions of Muslims do not have much to their credit besides Muslim names.

Allah’s help comes with action and Islamic qualities -not with names or faces – Arabs or non-Arabs, African or European, Chinese or Indians. On the other hand every group, organization, society or individual who talks Islam, seems to have got its own brand of Islam. The Islamic teachings which were left behind for us, crystal clear and pristine pure, have become so adulterated with foreign customs, alien practices and un-Islamic ideologies, that a new Muslim has to make an effort to search for the Quran and Sunnah brand of Islam or remain confused and ignorant.

May Allah Ta’ala on the occasion of Eid give us the guidance to resolve that we shall make the Quran and Sunnah our guiding lights and practise Islam as much as possible. If  the non-Muslim inhabitants of our country see Islam in the lives of Muslims, they will not require much persuasion to accept our beautiful deen.

Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel

www.jamiat.org.za

After Ramadan

Promise yourself that once Ramadan is over, you won’t go back to old habits. Try to sustain where you left off & be determined to carry on.
Mufti Ismail Menk

Don’t Let the Sand of Ramadhan Slip Away

Imagine that you are on the beach. You are four years old. The camp leader has told you that you have five minutes to build a great castle. “Quickly,” your three year old Ameer tells you, “the sand here is too soft. Run closer to the water and get better sand!” Off you run and grab, with your tiny hands, as much sand as you can hold. But, as you run back, plop, plop, plop, you feel the sand slipping through your fingers. You can do nothing about it. In your haste, all the sand has slipped away. Bang. The competition is over. This is the analogy of our lives. This is the analogy of our time in Ramadan.
For many living in Western countries, Ramadan is passed daily with 9 to 5 jobs or school – nights where we may or may not go for Taraweeh. A peak at the TV (may Allah protect us) and the night is over. Back to work where all around us people are eating and drinking from crystal water fountains. Blink. Ramadan is over. The question of the hour is: how do we take full advantage of this gift of Allah? This is our topic, before the sands of Ramadan slip away.
How many years have we been fasting Ramadan? 10 or 15 or 40 years? Are we 10 or 15 or 40 times better? Or, does it seem like we have arrived back at the drawing board every time Ramadan comes around? All acts of worship are for our own benefit! Don’t do it and harm befalls you, which is the way life was programmed. Ramadan is no small matter. It is one of the pillars of this Deen of Islam – without it one’s Islam would not be complete. In this month, Rasul Allah – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – would intensify his worship of Allah ta’ala. In doing so, he laid the foundation for his Ummah after him to emulate. Ibn AlQayyim – rahimahullaah – wrote:
“From his blessed guidance – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – in Ramadan is that he used to intensify and diversify his actions of worship. So, for example, Jibreel used to rehearse the Qur’an with him during the nights of Ramadan. When Jibreel would visit him, he would intensify the amount of Sadaqah that he would give. He was the most generous out of all people – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – and Ramadan was the time when he was most generous. In Ramadan, he would fill his time with Sadaqah, treating people kindly, reciting Qur’an, performing Salah, remembering Allah, and performing I’tikaaf.”
– from the book ‘Zaad AlMa’aad’
Observers described the way Allah’s Messenger– sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – gave like Ar-Reeh AlMursalah, like the blessed wind. Why? The blessed wind, as they knew it, was a wind that brought coolness to everyone – no one was denied its blessing. The blessed wind, additionally, was not lazy in bringing its goodness to the people. It would come swiftly to all. This is how Rasul Allah – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – was described, and this is how our service to humanity should be: swift and encompassing. Bi idhnillah. Below are ten ideas to and help make the most of Ramadan – before it slips through our hands.
Idea one: Compound Your Siyaam! If you told your financial broker that you just want to keep money in the bank and save it, he would say, “You are wrong.” “Invest it in the stock market. That way your money will be compounded – you will earn multiple times what you put in.” So now I ask the question: Wouldn’t you love to get two times the reward of fasting Ramadan? How? Zayd ibn Khaalid AlJuhanee narrates that the Prophet – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said, “Whoever gives a fasting person (food) to break his or her fast, he (the one feeding) will get the reward equivalent to the (fasting persons) reward – without diminishing anything from the reward of the (fasting person).”
How do we do this? Ask any Muslim relief agency if they have a feed a fasting person program. Subhan Allah, you may find that it only costs £1 to feed a person! So, for £30 you could come out of Ramadan having doubled your reward. And, we should not forget the needy in our city. We think that in a ‘modern’ western country or city there are no needy people. That is not true. There are many needy families that are waiting to be discovered. Ask around and you will find a gold mine of people to help, in your own backyard.
Idea two: Operation Guide the Youth Often in Ramadan, there are khaatirahs, words of wisdom, halaqahs and reminders, all geared to the adults praying Taraweeh. The youth, it seems, are being disrespectful by talking in the back of the masjid. “Shhhhhsh!” someone shouts at them. “Listen or go outside (and we prefer if you just go outside)!” So, quietly they sneak out of the Masjid and chat and chill all Ramadan. How Eman boosting is that? Remember, Allah commands that you protect your wife and children also. Try this: Just like there are things for the adults, we could have Ramadan activities and reminders geared specifically for the youth. And, it need not be ‘in’ the Masjid. Let’s say the youth like to chat and chill outside in the parking lot. Why not organize the activity there? Yes, on the basketball court or in the parking lot. Have a 5-minute Khatirah, play games with them, and give them some noble projects to complete in Ramadan. Again, making a difference like this needs a leader with vision, one who recognizes that the youth are his or her responsibility. I pray that person is you!
Idea Three: Turnoff TV Month Every parent knows that when they want their child to do well in their studies they tell them, “no TV.” If this is for Dunya, then how about someone who wants to excel in Ramadan? “Fasting and the Qur’an will come and testify on behalf of the ‘Abd on the Day of Resurrection. The Fasting will say: O my lord, I denied him food and desires, so allow me to be a means for him to enter paradise. And the Qu’ran will say:
O my Lord, I denied him sleep at night so allow me to be a means for him to enter Paradise. And (he will be entered into paradise) because of those two.” – Musnad Ahmad
Try this: Announce in your household that Ramadan is the official turnoff TV month. Be an example for others and do fun and rewarding things instead. Visit people, take on a Ramadan feeding project, increase yourself in knowledge, etc. Turn off the TV and turn on life.
Idea Four: Dua’ Time Ramadan is the month of making dua’ to Allah, an essential compliment to fasting. Rasul Allah – sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said,
“There are three persons dua’ that will be accepted (by Allah). The fasting person, the oppressed one, and the traveler.”
Try this: Make a list of all your goals in life. Make a section for your a) personal goals; b) spiritual goals; c) economic goals; and d) contribution goals. Every day during Ramadan, take out your list and make dua’ to Allah to grant you the tawfeeq to accomplish your goals. Insha Allah, you will attain your goals with hard work, both during and after Ramadan.
Idea Five: Parent Appreciation Month We all know that the one who wakes us up for Suhoor is our mom. I know it was for me. If not for her alarm clock, her early morning cooking, her motherly love to go and wake everyone up … well, let’s just say our iftars would have become our suhoors. If you are living away from your parents, you know what I’m talking about. Remember the hadith of the person who doesn’t reach Ramadan with forgiveness? The end part of the Hadith says they found their parents in old age and they were not a means for him to enter Jannah! So, why not announce it loud and clear this month, “Thank you Mom! Thank you Dad!” Let’s take care of them this month with extra calls, extra hugs, and extra love.
Idea Six: Masjid Power Hour During Ramadan, why not spend a few more moments in the Masjid before taking off. This could be done after Fajr or after Asr. Sit back, grab a Qur’an and remember Allah. As your time in the Masjid increases, bi idhnillaah, your love and heart attachment will increase. Make this your personal Masjid power hour.
Idea Seven: Bad Habit Buster Many people already do this. They may have a smoking problem or a TV addiction. When Ramadan comes around they say, “I’m going to train myself to stop smoking or to stop watching excessive TV by abandoning it throughout Ramadan.” So, you don’t have a smoking problem huh? Everyone has a bad habit and everyone has a recurring sin they pray they could desist from. Make Ramadan the training month by telling yourself to go without this sin for the entire month. Then, if Allah grants one Tawfeeq to complete the month, one should continue to pray to Allah to keep them away from the sin after Ramadan.
Idea Eight: The Gift Groove Have you ever noticed how beloved a bottle of perfume is when it is handed out by a little four year old Muslim? Everyone loves a gift. Why not take this a step forward? Go to your local Islamic bookstore and request a bulk purchase of some beneficial Islamic materials, something in the £5 range. Then, hand it out to everyone that comes to your masjid. Bi idhnillaah, you will find for the little effort one may put, people all throughout Ramadan will be learning from the gift.

Idea Nine: Ramadan Muslims, Convert! It is true that on the first day of Ramadan, the number of Muslims in the local Masjid multiplies considerably. And, it is a sad moment on the first day after Ramadan that the Masjid attendance drops significantly. This idea is Operation No More Ramadan Muslims. We want people all year long!

Ibn Abbas I’tikaaf: A man came to Ibn Abbas while he was doing I’tikaaf in the masjid and asked him for his assistance. So, Ibn Abbas stood to leave and people around him warned him, ‘but you are in I’tikaaf’. He replied, “To assist my brother in fulfilling his need is more beloved to me than to perform I’tikaaf for 2 months in the Masjid of Rasul Allah – sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Try this: Make a ‘compassion crew’ that reaches out specifically to Ramadan Muslims. Extra special attention is showered on them and roles of responsibility are delegated to them so that they can participate more in the Masjid. Invite them to special Iftars where they are the center of attention. With this extra attention and responsibility, bi idhnillaah, every month will be Ramadan for them and the masjids will be full all year.

Idea Ten: Home Halaqah Muslim families often keep their worship for the Masjid, but why not make Muslim family time at home. It could work like this: After Taraweeh or Asr, the family gathers together for 15 minutes. There are many things you could do in your Halaqah, the main thing is that you set time aside for it. For example, each family member may recite a few verses of Qur’an. Or, one of the kids can read a story of the Sahaabah so that all family members can be reminded. Or, each family member can speak about the blessings of Allah upon them and what they have in their lives for which they are thankful. Just 15 minutes for the home Halaqah. For the entire family, bi idhnillah, it will be a spring of Eman.

The past saw Muslims that spent their nights of Ramadan awake praying to Allah. It saw days where people, for the sake of Allah, went thirsty. They knew that this season may never return on them and they heard Allah’s words “Ayyaman Ma’doodaat”– a limited number of days. Don’t let the sand of Ramadan slip away.

I hope this post came of benefit, dont let the month of Ramadan fly by, do as much ibadah as possible this could be your last Ramadhan…

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Source: http://mujahidah-an-nafs.blogspot.com

The Spirit of Ramadan

Asad opened the refrigerator door and peered inside. His eyes fell on a huge chocolate cake and some sandwiches, the leftovers from yesterday’s tea.

“Oh God! Why am I being punished like this?” He groaned silently.

It was the first day of Ramadan and Asad was fasting. He had just returned from school and was feeling ravenous. After dropping his heavy backpack on the bedroom floor, he made a beeline for his favorite spot in the house, the kitchen. But fasting meant no food for at least four more hours. He would have to wait till sunset to break the first fast of the month.

Just for a second, Asad felt sorely tempted.

“Who would know if I eat a slice of the cake?” he mused. His parents weren’t home, his grandparents were resting and his baby sister, Fatima was too young to tell tales.

“Somebody would know, “a little voice argued inside his heart. “He, who knows everything, since He is our Creator.”

Asad slammed the fridge door shut in frustration. He was fourteen and felt ashamed of his momentary weakness. He went to the living room where a maid was spooning Cerelac into Fatima’s little mouth. Fatima gurgled and grinned at her older brother who bent down to give her a hug. Asad looked at the pale yellow concoction that was smeared across her face and swallowed hard. Even Cerelac smelled good at this hour.

He flopped down on the sofa in disgust and switched on the television.

“Maybe a nice program will take my mind off food for a while,” he thought, aggressively pressing down the channel buttons on the remote control.

He paused at BBC channel where a cute anchorperson was presenting a report. Asad stared at her for a while without registering the news but then some live images made his attention snap back at the report. Rachel Hayward was talking about intense, widespread poverty and famine in Africa where millions of children perished each year due to hunger and malnutrition.

Asad stared at the disturbing pictures of dark brown skeletal children with distended stomachs. Flies hovered around their faces and their naked bodies, as mothers listlessly tried to wave them away. Their misery was writ large on their faces and their empty eyes bore testimony to man’s inured ways.

Asad thought with a guilty pang about the uneaten pizza he had thrown away in a fit of temper last night. He had ordered his favorite Chicken Supreme but the delivery boy had brought some other pizza and would not take it back. Asad had paid for it and just to show the impertinent delivery guy what he thought of his services, had tossed the pizza into the trash can outside his house. It had felt so good at that time but now he felt like a total jerk.

He remembered how his grandmother always chided him when he left rice uneaten on his plate that was later scrapped off by the servant and dumped in trashcan. He remembered the lavish meals he and his friends ordered in college canteen and then discarded because they could not eat a bite more. If excess, extravagance and waste were crimes, then he was guilty of each one of them.

He changed the channels once again and put on MTV. He had a huge crush on Beyonce but after witnessing the BBC report, the music seemed too loud, too cheerful and even obscene. He switched the television off.

“What is wrong with me today?” He thought uneasily. “It must be the lack of food that is making me so restless.” He glanced at the stately golden clock adorning the living room wall. Only twenty minutes had passed and he still had more than three and a half hours to kill.

“I’ll go to Bilal’s house.” He decided, thinking about his friend’s house across the street. “Maybe a few rounds of computer games will improve my mood.”

When he stepped out of his house, he saw was a couple of dirty, bedraggled children foraging through the trash can. The older kid, who seemed about 5 yrs old, dragged a piece of dried chapatti out of the refuse heap and brushed away blackened mango peels from it. He broke it in two and offered the other half to his younger sister. Asad stood rooted to the spot in horror.

“Hey. Don’t eat that. It’s terribly dirty and probably mouldy too,” he shouted but the duo quickly crammed the hard chapatti into their hungry mouths and scampered off.

“Why had I never noticed such things before?” he wondered.

Asad had never been hungry in his entire life so poverty, deprivation, and hunger were concepts that he had never thought about.If the home cooked meal was not to his liking, he always ordered his favorite foods from upscale restaurants and had them delivered home. He had a credit card, a gift from his father on his fourteenth birthday and he used it for lavish meals whenever he wished.

Now hunger due to the obligatory fast was forcing him to look at the plight of the less fortunate and the more he saw, the more disturbed he felt.

He crossed the street and saw a construction crew at work. Bilals’ father was having a wing added to his already imposing residence. Asad paused to admire the skill of an old carpenter who was busy smoothing a rectangular block of wood. Wood shavings littered the floor around him.

“Are you fasting, babaji?” He asked respectfully.

The old man looked up and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

“Aye, son. Work is no excuse for not fasting,” he replied.

Asad could not imagine fasting and then working in the relentless summer afternoon heat. He looked around at the laborers, mason, and brick layers working in a rhythmic method.

“What do you eat for iftaar?” he asked out of curiosity, referring to the evening meal. He imagined the lavish food that got prepared in their kitchen everyday. It took their chef at least two hours to put together an afternoon tea.

The old man smiled,” Whatever Allah provides for us, son. He is Merciful and Most Gracious.”

“Does Mr. Haroon provide you with meals?” Asad persisted. He knew Bilal’s father was rather tight fisted. He would have insisted that the men put in whole shifts instead of cutting down their working hours in deference to Ramadan.

“What do rich men know about empty stomachs, my son,” the old carpenter replied, moving his plane over the wood in a smooth, fluid motion.

With bile rising in his throat, Asad turned back towards his house. His mind was in turmoil and his heart ached. In the living room he paced restlessly and then saw some CDs that his grandfather was fond of listening. He put on one in the magnificent stereo system that his father had recently purchased. It was recitation of the Holy Quran. As the soul stirring voice of Qari Saad Al Ghamdi reciting Surah al Baqarah filled the room, Asad felt waves of serenity hitting him. He felt engulfed in peace and tears shimmered in his eyes.

“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and do not follow up their spending by stressing their benevolence and causing hurt, will find their reward secure with their Lord. They have no cause for fear and grief. ”

Asad spent some time listening and absorbing the message from Allah. Then he took a bath and said his prayers. His parents came home and the smell of iftaar being prepared filled the house.

As the entire family gathered for breaking the fast, Asad looked at the dining table laden with a variety of food ___ sandwiches, cake, fruit cocktail, tempura, triangular samosay, fried chicken pieces, dates and a variety of other dishes.

“Mom, do we need to cook so much food for one meal that no one can possibly finish?”

“What’s on your mind, son?” his father asked, surprised by his son’s unusual question.

“Dad, Mom’s on a diet, grandparents can’t eat fried and salty food as per doctor’s orders and Fatima can’t eat solid food. That leaves you and me to finish at least eight dishes. It’s pure waste.”

“Asad, what is wrong, son?” His mother asked concerned about her son’s state of mind.

“Mom there are people out there dying of hunger. There are people who have a handful of dried dates to eat and yet work all day on rich people’s mansions and then thank God for His blessings.”

“Asad, we do pay zakat and charity to help those in need. I am very happy that you are being so thoughtful and caring, but we cannot eradicate poverty on our own,” his father reasoned.

“Yes, but maybe this Ramadan we can share our food with those whose needs are greater than ours, father. May I?” Asad asked with a tilt of his head towards the food.

The grown ups looked bemused but Asad felt a gleam of pride in their eyes. He went outside and invited the laborers for iftaar. At first hesitantly and then with joy and gratitude they accepted his offer.

Asad’s servants laid out linen on the green grass of their beautifully manicured lawn and the men took off their shoes and sat cross legged waiting for the Maghrib azaan which would signal the time to break the fast.

As Asad passed out fresh dates and fruit to about two dozen men in the garden, the old carpenter said smilingly, “Didn’t I tell you that Allah is the best Provider and we eat out of His provisions.”

For the first time in the day, Asad laughed aloud in joy.

“Thank you for teaching me the true spirit of Ramadan, babaji . It is not about mindlessly abstaining from food and drink all day but understanding the needs of others and pleasing Allah to gain His blessings that Ramadan is all about. Sharing and caring, that’s the true spirit of this holy month.”

“Aye, and praying too. Now help this old man get up so that I can say my prayers, young man.”

Happy and satiated, they all went to the local mosque to offer their prayers and thank Allah for all His blessings.

By Gulrukh Tausif

Fasting is a Shield

Fasting is a shield [Bukhari]

Fasting is a shield for a person which protects them from Shaytan, Allah’s punishment and Jahannam. However, one needs to make sure the shield is not damaged in any way. Otherwise it will not be effective in doing its job. The actions that damage this shield and render it useless are sins like Backbiting, Lying, Evil Glance, Swearing, Nonsensical Conversation, Arguments, Slander, Haram Sustenance, and every other evil.

Besides the compulsory fasting in the month of Ramadan, one should try to fast during those days for which Rasoolullah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) has mentioned many rewards, for example:

  • 6 days of Shawwal
  • Day of Aarafah
  • Ashoora (9th & 10th or 10th & 11th of Muharram)

Source: Riyadul Jannah Issue 2 Vol 13

Back to Ramadan Menu

Virtues of Sehri

Virtues of Suhoor

by Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya

HADITH NO. 7 Ibn Umar (Radhi Allaho anho) relates: Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ‘Verily Allah and His Malaa’ikah send Mercy upon those who eat ‘Sehri’ (sower-Suhoor).”

COMMENTARY How great is Allah’s favour upon us that even the partaking of food before dawn for fasting is so greatly rewarded. There are many Ahaadith in which the virtues of “Sehri” are expounded and the rewards mentioned. Allaamah Ain – Commentator on Bukhari – has quoted the virtues of “Sehri” from seventeen different ‘Sahaabah’ and all the “Ulama” are agreed on its being “Mustahab” (desirable). Many people are deprived of this great reward because of their own laziness. Some even go so far as to finish ‘Taraweeh’, eat (what they suppose to be “Sehri’!) and go to bed. What great blessings do they lose! “Sehri” actually means partaking of food shortly before dawn. Some authorities say that the time for “Sehri” commences after half the night has passed (Mirquat). The author of Kash-shaff (Zamakhshari) divided the night into six portions, stating that the last one of these is the time of “Sehri”; so that, when the night (from sunset till dawn) extends over twelve hours, the last two hours would be the correct time for “Sehri”. Then it must also be remembered that to eat at the latest possible time is better and greater in reward than eating earlier, subject to the condition that no doubt remains as to whether “Sehri” had been eaten before the time of dawn. The Ahaadith are full of virtues of “Sehri”.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said: ‘The difference between our fasting and that of the Ahlul-Kitaab (Jews and Christians) lies in our partaking of food at “Sehri” which they do not.” The Prophet has said, “Eat Sehri, because in it lie great blessings; and again. “In three things, are the great blessings: in “Jama’ah” (company), in eating “Thareed” and in “Sehri”. In this Hadith, the use of the word “Jama’ah” is general, wherefrom we deduce that it includes “Salaat” with “Jamaa’ah” and all those righteous deeds done in company, as thus Allah’s help comes to them. “Thareed” is a tasty preparation, in which baked bread is cooked with meat. The third thing mentioned in this Hadith is “Sehri”. When Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) used to invite any of the companions to eat “Sehri” with him, he used to say: “Come and partake of blessed food with me.” One Hadith says: “Eat ‘Sehri’ and strengthen yourself for the fast. And sleep in the afternoon (Siesta), so as to gain assistance in waking up in the latter portion of the night (for “Ibaadah”).” Abdullah bin Haarith (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that one of the Sahaaba said: “I once visited Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) at a time when he was busy in partaking of ‘Sehri’. Rasulullah then said: “This is a thing full of blessings, which Allah has granted you. Do not give it up.” Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) in urging us repeatedly for ‘Sehri’ has said: “Even though there be no food, then one date should be eaten or a drink of water taken.” Thus, when there are definitely great advantages and reward in ‘Sehri’, Muslims should endeavour to observe this practice as much as possible. However, in all things moderation is important, and going beyond the bounds of moderation is harmful: neither should so little be eaten that one feels weak throughout the period of fasting, nor should so much be eaten that it causes discomfort. Repeatedly, we have been prohibited from filling the stomach excessively.

In his commentary on “Sahih Bukhari”, Ibne Hajar has mentioned various reasons for the blessedness of “Sehri”:

  • Because in it, the ‘Sunnah’ is followed.
  • Through “Sehri”, we differentiate ourselves from the ways of Ahlul-Kitaab, which we are at all times called upon to do.
  • It provides strength for “Ibaadah”
  • It promotes greater sincerity in “Ibaadah”
  • It aids in elimination of bad temper, which normally comes about as result of hunger.
  • ‘Sehri’ is the time when prayers are accepted.
  • At the time of ‘Sehri’, one gets the opportunity to remember Allah, makes Dhikr and lifts up the hand to Him in prayer.

These are a few of the major reasons; there are many others as well. Some ‘Sufis’ are in doubt as to whether the eating of ‘Sehri’ conflicts with the object of fasting or not. They maintain that the object of fasting is to stay away from food, drink and sexual desires, therefore ‘Sehri’ is against the object of fasting. In my opinion the amount to be eaten varies according to different persons and their activities. Foe example, for those students who are busy seeking knowledge of ‘Deen’, too little food at ‘Sehri’ as well as ‘Iftaar’ will be harmful; for them it is better not to have too little, because they seek ‘Deeni’ knowledge, which is very important (for the preservation and spread of Islam). similar is the case of those who are busy with ‘Dhikr’ and other ‘Deeni’ activities. Other people who have no such hard work to do should eat little at ‘Sehri’.

Once Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) announced to those proceeding for ‘Jihaad’: ‘There is no virtue in fasting while travelling.’ That was in the month of Ramadhaan, when some Sahaaba were fasting. Allamah Sha’raani mentions in Sharh Iqna: ‘A covenant was made with us that we shall not fill our stomachs (completely) when eating, especially in the nights of Ramadhaan.’ It is better that one should eat less in the nights of Ramadhaan than on other nights. After all, what is the utility of fasting after having filled oneself at ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftaar’? the religious divines have said, ‘Whoever remains hungry in Ramadhaan shall remain safe from the evil of ‘Shaytaan’ throughout the year, until the next Ramadhaan.’

Sharah Ihya Ulumuddin mentions the experiences of some saints, such as Sahl bin Abdullah Tastari, who used to eat only once every fifteen days, while in Ramadhaan he ate only one morsel; but in order to follow the Sunnah, he used to have a drink of water daily for ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftaar’. Shaykh Junayd always used to fast throughout the year. However, when his noble friends would visit him occasionally, he used to break his fast and eat with them, saying, ‘The virtue of breaking fast and eating with (such noble) friends is not less than that of ‘Nafl’ fasting.

Similarly, we can mention the experiences of numerous saints who through eating less used to discipline their inner-selves, but let us bear in mind that it should not be carried to such extremes that the’religious’ activities and responsibilities are neglected, as a result of weakness of the body.
Virtues of Ramadhaan

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