The Purpose of Ramadan

The month of Ramadhan is not like any other month; its purpose is to rid man of those habits which he has accumulated throughout the rest of the year. It is a month that prepares man for the remaining eleven months by teaching him discipline and self control. Thus, Allah has made some acts which are beloved to man, like eating, drinking and fulfilling one’s desires, Haraam. If man can control these desires in this month, which are usually permissible for him, then he can surely control himself from other desires which are not permissible throughout the remaining months.

This blessed month has been sent by Allah to His bondsmen so that can create a connection and draw closer to Allah by reaping the many rewards that lie in this month. A person who has been given the opportunity to be present in this month can take this as a sign that Allah Ta’ala has given him another opportunity to draw closer to Him and earn His paradise through worship in this month.

In this month we will be given many opportunities, as mentioned above to reform ourselves and seek forgiveness for our bad sins. This is a month of reformation and self reflection, where a believer can ponder of over spirituality and piety and bring a change for the better. The Prophet of Allah صلي الله عليه و سلم has clearly stated:

مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ
“Whoever does not give up lying and evil actions, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]

It is clear from this Hadeeth which has been narrated on the authority of Hadrhat Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه that Allah is not in need of any person to leave his food or drink. Allah is far from needs and desires. However, it is the mercy of Allah that He wants each and every person to leave those things which will lead him to the hellfire and by controlling one’s desires throughout this month it is hoped that one will be able to control himself throughout the following months also.

For those who can relate, we can look at the month of Ramadhan like an MOT test. It is vital to be on form during this test. Once the test is over then we should be at a standard where we can continue through the following months. Indeed, there will be repairs and faults in between, but these will be minor and can be dealt with on the spot.

May Allah Ta’ala make us successful in this test, for the one who is unsuccessful in this test may not be given an opportunity for a re-test.

ان جبرئيل عرض لي فقال بعد من ادرك رمضان فلم يغفر له قلت آمين
“Jibreel came to me and said, ‘Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have his sins forgiven and so enters the Fire, then may Allah distance him, say ameen.” So I said “Ameen” [Mustadrak al-Haakim]

In summary, the month of Ramadhan has been made so that mankind can take benefit of the merits and blessings contained within to change themselves for the better and by doing so create a bond with Allah that will continue throughout the eleven remaining months.

It is a month within which Allah has instructed us to place more emphasis on actions regarding our Deen (religion) as opposed to our daily routine and emphasis on worldly matters.

I pray that this information comes in use and aids the readers in preparing for the month of Ramadhan.

As a reminder, please commit the following Du’a to memory and make a habit of reciting it daily until the day of Ramdhan.

اللهم بارك لنا في رجب وشعبان وبلغنا رمضان
“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhan.” [Musnad-e-Ahmed]

Source: Collection of Treasures
by Maulana Zain

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Six Dos and Don’ts of Ramadhan

6 Do’s and 6 don’ts of Ramadhan:

1. Do perform Salah with showq, zeal. Fardh with first takbeer, Taraweeh full 20 Rak’ats , tahajjud, Sunnate muakkadah and nawaafil with punctuality. (Ladies should try to pray Salah at home and in the beginning time, don’t delay till end time)

2. Do keep all fasts properly; Don’t miss a single fast. Don’t break any fast. Learn masaail of sawm.

3. Do calculate zakat and give it properly. Give nafil sadaqah. Be generous. Spend! Allah will spend on you.

4. Do recite as much Quran as you can. During the day, in the morning, at lunch time after Asr, and during the night.

5. Do be punctual of Dhikr. Tasbeehaat, Kalima Tayyeba, Astaghfaar, & Durood shareef.

6. Do make lots of duas. For yourself, your family, friends & for the whole ummah.

6 Don’ts are as follows.

1. Don’t use the the Tongue unwisely. Avoid swearing, backbiting, slandering, accusing, quarrelling, etc. Smoking is also a sin of the mouth. Ramadhan is a good time to give up smoking. Nicotine patches don’t break the fast. So seek help from them if need be.

2. Don’t use the eyes unwisely. Refrain from the sin of the eyes. Don’t watch movies, dramas, etc. If you have to interact with the opposite gender at work, be modest, Lower your eyes. Eye contact has a huge effect on the heart & mind.

3. Don’t listen to stuff you shouldn’t be listening to. Control your ears. Songs and music corrupt the soul, and are detrimental to one’s spirituality. Don’t listen to gossip. Leave that gathering where backbiting starts.

4. Don’t fornicate or commit adultery. If someone has this habit, they should give it up in Ramadhan. Make sincere tawba and never go back to it. Avoid pornography and masturbation. Refrain from actions which lead to spiritual destruction.

5. Don’t earn haram nor consume haram. Make sure your income and your food are both 100% halal. If one has a habit of consuming alcohol or drugs, give it up! If there is any haram income coming in, give it up in Ramadhan. Filter it out.

6. Don’t waste time on tv, on computer, on mobiles, on social media etc. Time is our most valuable asset. Protect it and use it wisely.

May Allah give us Tawfeeq to behave properly. May Allah give us Tawfeeq to welcome Ramadhan in the way it deserves. May Allah bless us with His special Qurb and Muhabbat. May Allah be pleased with us all. Ameen

Note: The above is a Summary of yesterday’s talk by Shaykh Abdul Raheem, in Zakaria masjid, Bolton, UK.

Prepare for Ramadan

Prepare for Ramadan

Many of us have been counting the days remaining up to the holy month of Ramadan. Five days, four, three, two and the next thing you know here it is. For a believer the name of this month “Ramadan” gives the thought of joy, rewards and a feeling of Allah’s mercy. Truly, this is a season that should be awaited for. Anticipations and emotions for this month are not sufficient. This holy month requires action and activity. It is about altering our timetables and schedules, it demands us to train ourselves to attain Taqwa (fear of Allah or devotion to Him) which in turn, is the element to carry us successfully through the ongoing journey towards the hereafter (akhirah).

But let us ask ourselves have we really prepared for this month? Are we ready to dedicate more time for our spiritual revival ? During the month of Ramadan the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) would stay awake in the nights worshipping Allah, awaken his household and increase in worship. (Bukhari, Muslim). Even though we may have experienced many a Ramadans but every Ramadan must be treated as a once in a lifetime opportunity since we have no idea whether we will live till the next Ramadan. Let us look at a few ahadith concerning this holy period.

Increased Rewards & Forgiveness

What are the rewards of good deeds in the month of Ramadan? The reward of every Fardh (compulsory) act is multiplied seventy times while every Nafl (optional) act earns the reward of one Fardh out of Ramadan. (Ibn Khuzaymah). It is important to understand the latter aspect in its proper perspective. Tahajjud (Nafl Salah in the last third of the night) is an extremely great ibadah (worship). Great virtues have been narrated for this Salah. However, a lifetime of tahajjud cannot equal one Fardh of Fajr Salah! Yet in the month of Ramadan Almighty Allah grants us the reward of a Fardh action for every Nafl performed.

The fish in the sea seek forgiveness for those fasting until they break their fast . Allah decorates His Jannah (Paradise) every day and then says, “The time is near when My pious servants shall cast aside the great trials and come to me.” (Musnad Ahmed)

When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Paradise are flung open, the doors of the Hellfire are closed and the Shayateen are imprisoned. (Bukhari)

Fasting

All good deeds are for the one who renders them, but fasting. Fasting is exclusively for me (Allah). (Bukhari)
The odour of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.(Bukhari)
Fasting is a shield, as long as the fasting person does not tear it up (by disobedience) (Nasaee).

Iftar

Not a single prayer made by a fasting person at the time of breaking the fast is rejected. (Ibn Majah)

The Nights of Ramadan
Whoever stands in prayer and worship in (the nights of) Ramadan, with Iman and with sincere hope of gaining reward , all his previous sins are forgiven. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)

Whoever stands in prayer and worship in the night of power with Iman and with sincere hope of gaining reward , all his previous sins are forgiven. ( Muslim)
Look for the night of power among the odd numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. (Mishkat)

I’etikaf

The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) observed I’etikaf for ten days every year in the month of Ramadan. In the year he passed away he observed it for twenty days. (Bukhari)

The Last Night Of Ramadan

On the last night of Ramadan the fasting Muslims are forgiven. (Musnad Ahmed)

Conclusion

It can be well comprehended from the above that during this month of Ramadan, Almighty Allah makes it easy for us to acquire His blessings, mercy and forgiveness. There can be no better time to attain this than this blessed month. All that is required on our part is to create in our hearts the desire, ambition, devotion, zeal, eagerness and that we exert increased efforts to acquire the pleasure of Almighty Allah.

While one should engage to the maximum in good deeds, the purpose of Ramadan must be kept foremost in mind, which is to acquire Taqwa. Thus together with the maximum amount of righteous actions one must totally refrain from all sins. We should ensure that no act of disobedience is committed. This abstinence in itself is a worship. One month of strictly conducting oneself in this manner will Insha-Allah have the effect of enabling one to live the next eleven months in a similar manner in the complete obedience of Allah. Thus, can we afford to waste this time? Can we still have time for “loafing?” Is it possible for a person who values Ramadan to spend hours eating? or loitering around after taraweeh feasts and gatherings?, or have time for any other idle pursuits? Can we afford to spend valuable time glued to the airwaves listening to the opinions and views of one and all, whereas that time could have been used to at least recite the Holy Quran or send Durood upon our beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h.)? And entertainment? How can it be possible? The last thing that any Muslim who values Ramadan should be bothered about is, who somewhere in the world is whacking a little red ball all over a field or who is kicking a ball between two posts! Let alone comedy or other shows!

Let us really make this Ramadan a profitable one that brings change in our life. We leave you with a quotation of the honorable Mufti Zubair Bayat:
All the “T’s” of Ramadan must be kept in mind so that when Ramadan comes, “everything is to the T!”. These “T’s” are: Tilawah, Tahajjud, Taraweeh, Tasbeehat, Tadharru’ (fervent Dua), Tatawwu’ (Nafl Ibadah), Tasahhur (eating Sehri/Suhoor), Taubah (repentance), Tawadhu (humility) and Tafakkur (contemplation). May Almighty Allah make this Ramadan a turning point in the life of the long-suffering Ummah. Aameen.

Jami’yyatul Ulama Canada

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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During Dhikr

During Dhikr, a thought came to my mind that Allah is our real friend, and a friend never abandons…. So how will Allah ever abandon us??

Yes! We need to make friends with Allah first. We have made friends with everyone but Allah,  including Iblees mal’oon, (naoozu billah).

We need to give up all that and make friendship with Allah, then see how Allah’s kind attention is attracted towards us.

والله ولي المتقين
الله ولي الذين آمنوا 
وهو يتولي الصالحين

May Allah give us Tawfeeq.
Ameen
Shaykh Abdul Raheem

A Tribute to Hafiz Patel

Tribute to Hafiz Mohmed Ahmed Patel, Rahimahullah (1926-2016)

As the sun sank of Thursday 18th February 2016, so did the great shining star sink and begin to fade away to start a new journey towards the eternal life.

As the blessed day of Friday began (after Maghrib), little did anyone know that Hafiz Sahib Rahimahullah, was taking his final breaths and before Esha, he would have taken his last breath and departed from this world.

Whilst Markaz was busy with Shab-e-Jummah, he slipped away very peacefully in his sleep without any signs of pain or visible discomfort and it was confirmed before Esha that he had left this world for the next.

Within a span of 15-20 minutes, news spread around the globe like fire and shocked all those that knew him or whose hearts he had touched and minds that he had transformed into better beings. Individuals and groups rushed to airports from various countries to try and book a seat to fly over to pay their final respects and get a possible glimpse of the guide and leader who they had revered and honoured all their life. They had been lectured by him on topics of respect, tolerance, love, unity and piety.

Those that were present became helpless in holding back their tears when the shocking news finally registered and they came face to face with reality. The individual who used to comfort them at times of distress was no longer any-more. They had lost the shoulder they were so used to, crying on.

Preparations were soon underway and instructions were given on how and where the Janazah would take place, in order to best accommodate the thousands that would be arriving from all over the globe at such a short notice.

The esteemed body that had travelled around the world tirelessly propagating the message of peace and love for all, had finally come to a halt and remained in Markaz that night.

Friday morning welcomed all with bright sunshine’s followed by grey skies after midday which was to lead to Allah’s mercy in the sign of slight drizzle just before the Janazah.

Ghusal was undertaken by members of the household and the body was laid in Masjid Umar for family members to pay their last respects to the pillar of the family, locality, community and for all around the globe.

From morning onwards people started trickling in, then flocking and finally pouring in to Dewsbury to attend Jummah, all admiring the great work of an outstanding leader, regretting the loss and mentioning how they had been orphaned.

All the local Masaajid were packed out well before time. Food was served before and after Jummah to all the guests arriving at various times.

Muslims and non-Muslims had been touched by the departure of such a great character that had gone in the books of history as a ‘Wali of Allah’. The local politicians approved free parking in all car parks around the town and so had the council workers and funeral services shown their kind gestures in trying to accommodate such a large funeral.

Even though the ground of the sports field was quite soft and damp, thousands wrapped in warm coats and hats, merged onto the funeral ground well before time in hope of getting a place at the front to get a glimpse of the coffin, when it was to be presented.

Asar Salah took place on the field and in the local Masaajid which was followed by the attendees pouring onto the sports field from all angles and corners. The rightful heir, Hafiz Sahib’s son, Maulana Saeed Sahib DB led the Janazah Salaah, in front of approximately 25k attendees.

Straight after the Janazah, everyone tried to rush towards the cemetery to participate for the burial but the narrow roads of Dewsbury had not witnessed before, such a huge number of vehicles all trying to get to the same destination. Whilst driving through some areas it was difficult to even see the road due to the crowds of people trying to pass by.

Around 5k people made it for burial, with many deciding to park up and come walking, whilst others either gave up due to the nearly standstill traffic at many places or were still on their way.

During the blessed time after Asar on the Friday and before the day could slip away, Hafiz Sahib Rahimahullah was laid to rest in the grave and people started to leave for Maghrib after Dua was made.

There was a sombre mood upon the great loss, mixed with exchanges of personal celebratory notes and fond memories of the great Ameer who was well versed in the art of giving Dawah. He knew when to be stern and when to be soft. He comforted when appropriate and condemned when need be. He hugged when a need arouse and held accountable when tasks weren’t completed.

Everyone will have their loving memories of the great spiritual fatherly figure that had touched their lives. I remember that he was very fond of my handwriting would always call upon me for a many years whenever he needed to send a letters to the elders of the work of Dawah around the world for various reasons. He had also instructed me to compile 100’s of pages of other work including lectures, letters and other valuable work, all handwritten. Whether it was late night, tahajjud time or daytime, he always had the same level of worry and concern in trying to get the message across to others about unity, love, respect, and tolerance. He would always show so much love and affection to me and never get angry or frustrated at any of my shortcomings. One of the last things I remember him saying to me was. “I always tell you what is good for you because I care for you”. The advice he used to give to all the Maktab, Madrasah teachers was, “Do not think it is great of you that you come to teach these children (but humble yourselves) and consider it an Ihsaan of these children that they come to you to learn”.

He has left many great lessons for us to learn and to follow. I am positive all of us will be able to recall similar incidents. To keep his legacy alive we need to follow and adopt those lessons of love, unity mutual respect and tolerance.

May Allah bless Hadhrat Hafiz Sahib with ease on this first night in the grave and make it a garden of Jannah and bless him with the very best in the Hereafter Insh’Allah, AMEEN

Asad

A Sermon from the Dying to the Living

There once lived in Basrah a prolific and profoundly spiritual worshipper whose fear of the Hereafter caused him to become physically weak, and whose constant crying made him skinny and sick. When he was on his deathbed, his family gathered around him, and they all began to cry.

“Help me sit up.” He said. He addressed his father first: “O my father, what is making you cry?”

“My son,” began his father, “I remembered that I will lose you, and that I will be alone after you die.”

The worshipper then turned his gaze towards his mother and said, “O my Mother, what is making you cry?”

“I am crying because I will soon have to taste the bitterness of losing you,” she said.

He then turned to his sister and asked, “what is making you cry?”

“Because I will soon lose out on your kindness and will consequently have to depend on others for help,” she said.

Finally, he looked at his children and asked, “what is making you cry?”

“The prospect of hard and humiliating life of being orphans after you die,” they said. Now it was his trun to cry. “And what is making you cry?” everyone asked.

“I am crying because I saw that each one of you cried for his or her own self, and not for me, he said. Is there none among you who cries for the long, hard journey I am about to embark upon, and the few supplies (i.e. good deeds) that I have for it? Is there none among you who cries because I will be lying down in dirt? Is there none among you who cries because I will be held accountable (and might have to endure punishment)? Is there none among you who cries because of when I will stand before the Lord of all that exists (for judgement)?” He then rolled over onto his face, when they tried to move him, they realised that he had just died.

Source: Al-Mawa’iz Wal Majalis