Category Archives: Ramadan

Preparing for Ramadan

When we know we are to attend a wedding, we begin to plan and prepare from days and even weeks in advance. We pay much attention to detail so that we arrive to the function on time, are dressed up smartly with clean/ new shoes, have organised a place to stay, eat carefully so as not to ruin our clothing and so on. In a similar way we prepare and plan for other important events, functions, interviews etc.

However, when it comes to approaching our Islamic duties/ obligations we do so little in advance, especially for Ramadan. For some reason we feel we can flick a switch and become great pious personalities overnight. In fact, while this may work short term, in the long term you will more likely ‘burn out’ and return to your former self or in a worse condition. Is it not true afterall that in the middle of the month Ramadan the Masjid halls during taraweeh are at half capacity to what they were in the first few days??

Therefore it is much better we prepare and plan for our deeni activity, much like we do for the dunya ones and inshallah in this manner we can make the most of the blessed month of Ramadan and remain consistent upon the a’maal we adopt.

Anyway, with Ramadan due to start soon I thought it would be good to make a list of things in preparation for Ramadan. Please leave your comments and suggestions as well, via the comments below.

  • Increase in recitation of the Quraan. If possible, complete a minimum of 1 part to daily so as to make 1 whole complete recital of the Holy Quran during Ramadan.
  • Try and perform 4 rakah (units) of tahajjud before partaking in Suhoor.
  • Learn a, or many prophetic duas in Arabic.
  • As much as one can keep Allah in your heart by doing Dhikr eg: La ilaaha illallah, Allahu-akbar, Subhan-Allah, Alhumdulillah etc.
  • Devoting more sincerity and concentration into our existing daily prayers.
  • Try and utilise the month to give up smoking.
  • For the more foul mouthed amongst us, try to refrain from swearing the whole month. Friends can help here by lightly hitting or gently reminding his/ her friend each time they swear that they shouldn’t do it. (please note, I take no responsibility for any limbs that may be broken from the above suggestion!)

A small request I make is that if a brother or sister becomes more religious simply for the month of Ramadan, then rather than shooting our mouth off, saying he/ she is a hypocrite and its only for Ramadan etc, why don’t we give gentle words of encouragement so they might continue their virtuousness even after the month of Ramadan. Why should we be so mean to taunt them about what we THINK is only temporary on their part?

If we were to step back a moment and realise that this is the last Ramadan we will see in our lifetime, how would we spend it? How many Muslims do you know of who aren’t around this year to see Ramadan?

Death we know can come to us at any time, yet we still remain so ignorant of the blessing of the time now given to us to be utilised by Allah the Almighty.

I pray Allah gives, first of all me, and all Muslims the ability to utilise the month of Ramadan and safeguard ourselves from the punishment hereafter, Ameen.

by Brother Ahmed

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Five Groups of People during Ramadan

Ramadan is the month of fasting, standing, generosity, self-evaluation, patience and the Qur’aan. Indeed there are many groups and paths regarding the month of Ramadan. Let’s see which group we belong to.

The first group:

is a group that sees Ramadan as a time of restrictions and preventions; a time of prohibitions from desires and lust. They do not comprehend the benefits of Ramadan. You will find them lazy and tired. They fast with great difficulties while continuing in backbiting, lying and other sins. They see the fast as nothing more than an obstacle in front of their desires.

As for the second group:

it is a group that sees the month of amadan as a month of food and drink. Most of their time is consumed going and coming from the grocery store purchasing food for themselves, families and guests. Ramadan doesn’t increase them except in appetite. We know that consuming lots of foods will cause fatigue and laziness. The worst thing that the sons of Adam can fill is their stomachs. In addition, some from amongst them actually gain weight in Ramadan.

As for the third group:

they know nothing of Ramadan except that it is obligatory. Neither the days nor the nights are spent in worship rather they might not even perform the five daily prayers. They awaken with Allah’s displeasure and sleep with Allah’s displeasure.

As for the fourth group:

it is a group who does not know Allah except and until the month of Ramadan. They attend the Jumu’ah prayer, frequent the Masjid and the women wear the hijaab for the duration of Ramadan. And when the month is over all of those good deeds come to end, that is until the next Ramadan.

As for the fifth group:

this group is a group who can not wait for the arrival of Ramadan. And when it comes they roll up their sleeves even more and they work as hard as they can. This month rejuvenates and strengthens them.

Evaluate yourself. Which group do you belong to?

Source – Al Haadi

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?

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).

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

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

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The Last Ashrah

The month of Ramadhan enjoys and intrinsic superiority over all the other months of the year. Likewise, it’s last ‘Ashra or ten days are superior to the two earlier ‘Ashras, and laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power, generally, falls in it. That is why, the sacred Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) devoted himself more intensively to prayer and other forms of worship during it and urged others, also, to do the same.

Ayesha (RA) related to us that “the Apostle of Allah (peace & blessings upon him)strove harder and took greater pains to observe prayer etc., during the last ten days of Ramadhan than during the other days.” [Muslim]

It is related by Ayesha (RA) that “when the last ten days of Ramadhan began the Apostle of Allah (peace & blessings upon him) would gird up the loins and keep awake in the nights (i.e., he used to spend the whole of the nights in prayer and worship), and, also, wakened the members of his family (so that they, too, could partake of the blessings of the nights of that month).” [Bukhari]

Source: Meaning and Messages of the traditions
by Shaykh Mohammad Manzoor Nomani

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The Wonderful Status of I’tikaaf

by Hazrat Muhammad Farouq Sahib

Fulfil one’s I’tikaaf in such a Masjid wherein the five daily Salaah is offered. A Masjid in terms of the Shariah. By means of this act Allah Ta’ala has granted us solitude while in a gathering. What more can be said!

Two Haj and two Umrah, by means of a single days I’tikaaf, how far is one removed from Jahannum? A distance of five hundred years. Brothers! What we all desire and need is to be distanced from Jahannum and closeness to paradise.

Another amazing point is the fact that one who is waiting for Salaah is granted the rewards of being in Salaah. It is as if the person forming the intention for I’tikaaf has begun Salaah on the eve of the twentieth of Ramadaan and remains engaged in this Salaah for a full ten days and nights, till the sighting of the crescent for Eid after which he turns for Salaam and completes his Salaah. While fast asleep, he is in Salaah! While wide a wake, he is in Salaah! While eating, he is in Salaah! While drinking, he is in Salaah! At every instant during his stay in the Masjid he is in Salaah. At times this is actually so while at other times he is allegorically so. We beseech Allah Ta’ala to grant us the abundant Taufeeq for these actions to be performed during Ramadaan and that He make them easy for us and assist us therein.

O Allah! We are weak and helpless. We are assailed by different forms of illnesses. O Allah! Provide us with Your assistance from the unseen whereby we can imbibe all these aspects within us. Let us engage in the abundant recitation of the Quraan as in the case of Hazrat Raipuri who gave up all his correspondence as well as meeting people and was either occupied in fasting or recitation of the Quraan. This cycle continued over and over every day of the entire month. We beseech Allah Ta’ala to grant such devotion to us as well, along with I’tikaaf during the last ten days.

O Allah! Grant abundant Taufeeq to us as well as to our children and the other members of our household. O Allah! Grant us the Taufeeq to spend Ramadaan in keeping with the Sunnah as discussed. Grant us the Taufeeq to spend Ramadaan in the shadows of Your accepted servants, Ameen.

Source: Darul Uloom Al-Islamiyya , Port Elizabeth South Africa

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