Quran For All

Official Blog of www.farhathashmi.com

Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Reality of Shabaan

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2009

See Flash Presentation on Shabaan

See Flash Presentation on Shabaan

Sha’baan is the eight month of the Islamic calendar. It falls between two sacred months, Rajab and Ramadaan.

Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to spend most part of Sha’baan by fasting.

Imaam Bukhari (rahimahAllah) reports in his Saheeh that Aa’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) said: “The Messenger (sallallAhu alaihi wa-sallam) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and he would not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) fasting for an entire month except in Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’baan.”

Some people have themselves specified particular nights of the year, when they stay awake all night and worship Allah. It is believed that anyone who worships Allah in these specific nights, it will recompense for his yearly deeds and will be enough for his salvation and entering Jannah. One among these nights is the night of mid Sha’baan (15th Sha’baan), which is popularly known as ‘Shabb-e-Baraa’t’.

Shab e Barat is Persian for lailatul qadr:
The night on which the Quran was revealed is termed “Lailatul Qadr” in Surah al Qadr in the Quran. When Lailtul Qadr is translated in Persian Language : Lailatul became Shabb and Qadr became “Baraat”. Thus Shab e Baraat is the Persian translation of Lailatul Qadr.

This is the night on which Quran was revealed, it is a night of great blessing and it falls in the last 10 days of Ramadan.Thus there is no reality in celebrating the night of 15th of sha’baan, because Shab e Baraat actually falls in Ramadan.

(Reference:Translation of Tafsir Surah Dukhaan, Taiseer ul Quran , Vol 4, pg. 176 by Molana Abdul Rehman Kelani.)

Facts and Misconceptions about Shabaan

by Asma Binte Shameen

Growing up in Pakistan, the month of Sha’baan would bring in a lot of excitement and celebration. And that was because celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan was a big thing and considered a very virtuous act, indeed. Men would gather in the masjid while the women prepared ‘Halwas’ and sweets, preparations were made for all night vigils or “Shabeenas” as they were called, buses were made available to take the men to visit the graveyards and flyers were distributed to everyone containing a long list of ‘special prayers’ so that they could stay up all night praying.

But, Alhamdulillaah, how Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala protects His Deen. When Allaah enabled me to study this beautiful religion of ours, all that changed. I realized that all those ‘special prayers’, all those night vigils, all those Halwas and all those graveyard visits were really not the way of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). In fact all that was far…far away from his Sunnah and the Sharee’ah that he brought.

And so I thought I would bring to attention some of the misconceptions and wrong ideas attached to this month as this ignorance and innovation has become so rampant, that it has become a sort of an epidemic, not only in Pakistan but in practically every Muslim community that exists.

Misconception # 1: The night of the 15th of Sha’baan should be singled out for worship, prayer, etc.

Clarification: Our best example and role model is the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and he never, ever singled out this night for worship or qiyaam nor did his Sahaba.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:”There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions. This is the correct view. And Allaah is the Source of strength.” (Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511)

Misconception # 2: There are special prayers to be offered on this night.

Clarification: The truth of the matter is that there are NO special prayers to be offered on this night specifically. And all those ‘ahaadeeth’ giving you long lists of special ‘formulas’ that are “supposed to guarantee you Allaah’s forgiveness and Jannah” are all fabricated, false and innovations in our Deen.

If there were such prayers, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would have told us about them and we would have had evidence of him and the Sahaba doing it.
Misconception # 3: Allaah descends to the first heavens on this night to forgive us.
Clarification: Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. Rather it happens every single night of the year.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?. ” (Bukhaari)
Thus, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!”
Misconception # 4: This is the night when our fate, lifespan, and provisions are decreed.
Clarification:  Some people think that the “blessed night” (laylatim-mubarakah) mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan (44): 3, refers to the night of 15th Shabaan, when Allah decrees our lifespan, provisions and fate. In fact, they even pray 6 rakahs, 2 for each of these things. However, all that is fabricated and far, far away from the Sunnah. And, in reality, the “blessed night” mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan, actually is referring to Laylatul Qadr that comes in Ramadhaan. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir of Surah al-Qadr)
Misconception # 5: One should fast on the day of the fifteenth.
Clarification: Here again, there is no saheeh reports that tell us that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) or his Sahaabah ever picked this day specifically to fast. The Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was to fast most of this month and not just the 15th. However, if the fifteenth of Sha’baan coincides with a Monday or Thursday, or with the three white days or if a person is generally fasting, without associating seeking extra rewards to fasting this specific day, then it is allowed. (Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)
Misconception # 6: This is the night when the souls of departed ones return to their families.
Clarification: Here again, some people misunderstand the ayaat in Surah al-Qadr and think that the ‘sending down of the Ruh’ as mentioned in this Surah refers to the souls of dead people returning to see their families, even though it refers to Jibreel (Tafseer Ibn Kathir). And that is why we see women preparing the sweets, the Halwas and other ‘goodies’ for the souls of their loved ones.
Not only is that in itself an erroneous, deviant belief and bid’ah, but to believe that the souls of the dead can return back to the world and meet with their relatives is also totally incorrect and false. The teachings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah clearly state that the souls of the dead do not return back to the world. Besides, they don’t even eat the Halwas. It is actually you who eats it!
Misconception # 7: Visiting graveyards especially this night is something good.
Clarification: Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) encouraged visiting graves, he forbade singling out any day or night for any kinds of good deeds if it is not prescribed in the Sharee’ah. And he did not specifically visit the graveyard on the night of the 15th of Sha’aan. The hadeeth of Aisha that mentions that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) visited the graveyard this night is not authentic and thus does not have any proof for visiting graves specifically on this night of Shabaan.
Misconception # 8: Even if the ahaadeeth about worship on this night are weak, one can still do it.
Clarification: The correct scholarly view is that weak ahaadeeth should not be followed at all, even if they speak of righteous deeds or of targheeb and tarheeb (promises and warnings). The saheeh reports are sufficient and the Muslim has no need to follow the da’eef reports.
Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir said: “There is no difference between rulings or righteous deeds; we do not take any of them from da’eef reports, rather no one has the right to use any report as evidence unless it is proven to be soundly narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in a saheeh or hasan hadeeth.”
Misconception # 9: Look at all those people doing it. How can they all be wrong?
Clarification: The Muslim is supposed to refer to Allaah and His Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam)’s Sunnah, if there is any confusion or dispute about matters and NOT what the rest of the world is doing.
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you  believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said: “These reports (about worship and fasting an the 15th of Sha’baan) became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things.”

The REAL Sunnah regarding Sha’baan:

If you truly and sincerely want to please Allaah and do deeds that will be acceptable to Him, then follow the REAL Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Here is what is proven in the authentic sunnah:
1. Fast most of this month as much as you can.
Aa’ishah RA said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’baan.” (Bukhaari, Muslim).
2. Do not fast in the second half of Shabaan

However, if you are weak or do not fast habitually and feel that this nafil fasting may be a hindrance to your obligatory fasting in the month of Ramadhaan, then the person may stop the nafil fasting in the last few days of this month. And for that person, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
“When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.” (saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi).

3.Make up your missed fasts

If you have fasts left over from last Ramadhaan to make up, then hurry up and do so in this month of Sha’baan before the next Ramadhaan comes. It is not permissible to delay missed fasts until after the following Ramadhaan, except in cases of necessity (such as a valid excuse that continues between the two Ramadaans). Aa’ishah RA said: ‘It used to be that I had days to make up for Ramadhaan and I would not be able to do so except in Sha’baan.” [Bukhaari]

Fabricated and Weak Hadiths about Shabaan

Rasool Allah (s.a.w) said: “Who ever knowingly attributes a lie to me then he should make his abode in hell” (Bukhari)

The following are some of the weak and fabricated ahadith  about Shabaan which are famous and are narrated frequently. Weak ahadith and fabricated ahadith should not be quoted as sayings of Rasool Allah as it is equivalent to attributing a lie to Rasool Allah (s.a.w) and is a major sin.
1.Oh Allah, Bless for us the month of  Rajab and Shaban and grant us the month of Ramadan”
2.The superiority of Shabaan over other months is like my superiority over other prophets.
3.When the night of 15th of Sha’baan arrives, then  pray during the night and fast during the day
4.There are five nights during which no invocation (dua ) is rejected, the first night of rajab,the night of 15th of Shabaan, the night of Friday, the night of Eid ul fitr and the night of Eid of sacrifice.
5.Jibreeel alayhis salam came to me and said – this is the night of 15th of Shabaan and in this night the as many people are freed from hell as the amount of hair on the goats (of the tribe) of banu kalb.
6.Oh Ali (RadiAllahu Anhum) whoever prays a hundred rakat on the night of 15th Sha’baan and in that prayer he recites Surah Ikhlaas (Qul Ho Wallahu Ahad) a thousand time, then Allah Tala will fulfill all his needs which he asks that night.
7.Whoever recites Surah Ikhlaas one thousand times on the 15th of Sha’baan, then Allah will send hundred thousand angels to him who will give him the glad tidings (of paradise)
8.On the 15th of Sha’baan, whoever prays three hundered rakat prayer ( according to another tradition it is twelve rakat) and in every rakat he recites Surah Ikhlaas thirty times, then his intercession for 10 people who were destined for hell will be accepted.!
9.Shabaan is my month
10.Who ever stays up for worship on the night of Eid and the night of 15th of Sha’baan, then his heart will not become dead (on the day) when every other heart will become dead.
11.Whoever stays up for worship on the five nights, then paradise will become a must (wajib) for him. The night of Tarwiah, Night of Arafah,Night of sacrifice, night of eid ul fitr and the night of 15th of Sha’baan.

May Allah have mercy on us all. All of the above mentioned ahadith on fasting and doing worship at night on the 15th of Sha’baan are Weak (Daif) and unauthentic. We should be very clear that there isn’t a single “Sahih” hadith about this day which may be used to accept and recognize these acts of worship.

Considering the status of these ahadith it can be stated that fasting especially on the 15th of shabaan and doing worship during the night of 15th of shabaan is an extreme innovation (Biddat) which has no basis whatsoever in the sunnah and should be clearly avoided.

Allah Knows Best.

Hadith Status References:
1.Kitab Ul Azkaar, Imam Nawawi.
Meezan Al Aitadaal, Imam Zahbi. Darul Kutub Al Ilmiyah 1995.
Majma Zawaid,Imam Haithimi 165/2, Darul Rayan1407 Hijri..
Daif ul Jama, Allamah Nasiruddin Albani.

2.Kitab al Ajab, Ibn Hajar. Hadith Status:Fabricated (Mawdoo)
Kashful Khafa 110/2, Imam Ajloni, Arrisala 1405 Hijri.
Kitab al Masnoo, Imam Ali Bin Sultan Qari 281/1, Maktab ar Rishd 1404 Hijri.

3.Al Alal Al Matnahiyah, Ibn al Jawzi 562/2, Darul Katab Al Ilmiyah,1403 Hijri.
Masbah azjajah, Kanani 10/2, Darul Arbiah,1403 Hijri.
Alfawaid almajmoah, Allamah Shaukani, 51.
Tuhfatulhawzi, Mubarakpuri,366/3, Darul Kutub al Ilmiyah.
Silsilah Al Ahadith ad-daifah, Nasiruddin Albani,2132.

4.Silsilah Al Ahadith ad-daifah, Nasiruddin Albani,2132.

5.Sunan Al-Tirmidhi Mutbua 116/3 Ahy Altaras
Al-Ilal Almutnahiya, Imam Jawzi, 556/2, Darul Kutub Al Ilmiyah 1403 Hijri.
Daeef Jiddan Ibn Majah, Allama Albani,295.

6.Al Manar Al Munif, Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad Al Hanbli, Darul Matbooat Al Islamiyah, 1403 Hijri.
Kashaf Al Khafa, Imam Ajlani, 566/2, Matboah Ar Risalah, 1405 Hijri.
Al Fawaid Al Majmoah, Imam Shokani, Pg. 50.
Naqd Al Manqool, Allamah Zarae, 85/1.

7.Lisaan Al Meezan, Ibn Hajar,271/5, Idara Al Almi,1405 Hijri.
Al Manar Al Maneef, Abu Muhammad Abdullah Al Hanbli, Darul Matbooat Al Islamiyah,1403 Hijri.
Naqd Al Manqool, Allamah Zarae, 85/1, Darul Qadri, 1411 hijri.

8.Kashaf Al Khafa, 13/3 Matbuah Ar Risalah, 1405 Hijri.
Al Manar Al Maneef, Abu Muhammad Abdullah Al Hanbli, Darul Matbooat Al Islamiyah,1403 Hijri.
Naqd Al Manqool, Allamah Zarae, 85/1, Darul Qadri, 1411 hijri.
9.Kashaf Al Khafa, 13/3 Matbuah Ar Risalah, 1405 Hijri.
Silsilah Al Ahadith Al Daifah, Albani, Hadith no. 4400.
Al Qawaid Al Majmuah, shokani, Pg. 100.
10.Al Meezan Al Aitadaal, Imam Zahbi, 372/5, Darul Kutub Al Ilmiyah, 1405 Hijri.
Al Asabah, Ibn Hajar, 580/5, Darul Jeel, 1412 Hijri.
Al Alal Almatnahiyah, Ibn Jawzi, 562/2, Darul Kutub Al Ilmiyah, 1403 Hijri.

11.Daif At Targheeb, Albani, 667.


Posted in Innovations - Biddat, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Celebrating Valentine’s Day And Secular Holidays

Posted by Admin on February 1, 2009


Author: Sadaf Farooqi


As every year ends and a new one begins, Muslims all over the world face the dilemma of whether or not to celebrate some international holidays and festivals that follow close on each other’s heels. Examples of these are Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day. These are soon followed by Easter.

Muslims living in Western countries in particular, get overwhelmed by a rush of partying, decorations, greetings, school holidays, seasonal sales, and merry-making on a communal level, leaving them with little options about what to do. 

Although most progressive societies claim to offer individual freedom-of-choice to their dwellers, boasting multi-ethnic populations which exhibit mutual tolerance and respect, the fact remains that Muslims are seldom genuinely respected for their lack of integration into these societies.

Since Muslims are unflinching about their worship and Islamic obligations in any sphere of life — be it social interaction, dress code, dietary rules, or work ethics — they usually face silent antagonism from their communities; one that brims quietly under the surface, but is very much present.

As a Muslim, when you and your family are faced with the dilemma of how to spend the time during which everyone around you is preparing for, or celebrating, a holiday that is not part of Islam, how should you think, act and react in general, with other Muslims, as well non-Muslim peers and colleagues?

Educate yourself and your family in a mature manner:

You can consult original sources of knowledge about what a Muslim should and should not do during secular festivals and celebrations. What exactly is it about partaking in these festivities that is frowned upon in Islam? Is it the aspect of imitating non-Muslims? Is it the extravagance and spending involved? Or is it the support of the beliefs and concepts on which these celebrations are based, that is disliked?

You can refer to your local mosque, or Islamic QA sources on the Internet for your answers, so that you make an informed choice about your actions. After that, you may choose to educate your fellow Muslims – those who are willing and eager to listen – about what you have learned. However, please do not forcefully lecture or preach to those Muslims who are not interested in listening — those who want to celebrate the holidays, and are unconcerned about the Islamic viewpoint of this issue.

Click here for a video by Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick, titled “The Truth About Holidays”, a lecture which he delivered at the University of Miami, regarding celebrations and holidays in Islam.

Enjoy the holidays alternatively:

Since the family might be getting a few days off any way, you should carefully plan some fruitful and fun outings to make the most of them. Visiting relatives in another town or in a different country is a good option. Going to parks, the zoo, on a lakeside picnic, or to a cabin in the mountains for the weekend, are other enjoyable options.

If on a budget, you can camp out in your own backyard, teaching your children how to set up camp and start a bonfire!

Once you get down to it, your creative ideas will start flowing. E.g. during Halloween, when all other children are trick-or-treating, or getting pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, you can buy your children some candy and a pumpkin anyway, explaining how Allah created it. Later on, after the holiday is gone, you can buy them a costume of their liking, if they feel too dismayed at not having one while other children do.

For older children, you can give them a short background about Halloween and why it is not celebrated in Islam. The same goes for Christmas – when your children ask you who Santa is, or why everyone is decorating a tree in their living room, you can give them the background of the whole celebration. But that will be possible only if you yourself know it first!

You should remember that unless you focus on providing fun alternative family entertainment and outings, your children will definitely want to join in with the international holiday celebrations, feeling left out and lonely. It is easy to deny them their joys, but more difficult to actually provide them with enjoyable alternatives. As Muslim parents, it is your duty to do the latter.

One of the questions many Muslims mothers have asked me is, “How do I not celebrate my child’s birthday? I give in to pressure from relatives, who say its just some harmless fun, but afterwards, I end up feeling bad about encouraging a celebration that has no basis in Islam.”

The answer to this question is: provide an alternative celebration to your child a month or so before their birthday comes up.

First of all, explain to them that their birth date keeps moving according to the lunar calendar, just like the annual ‘Eid celebrations move every year. Make them remember their lunar birth date and year (click here for a solar-to-lunar date converter), besides just the Gregorian one.

Because children should not be denied their fun and parties, organize a party every year for each of your children, before their birthday comes up, in which all their friends are invited for games, food and fun. That way, the child will not feel that his/her parents do not love him/her, when their birthday goes by uncelebrated; they will already feel special and thought of.

Instead of a cake, you can keep individual muffins. Leave out the birthday song, candle-blowing and the cake-cutting, but have the games, assorted party food, Islamic musical entertainment (such as duff-accompanied nasheeds) and colorful decorations, as part of the festivities. Instead of making your child expect gifts from guests, buy individual gifts that he or she can give to each friend when they leave. This will encourage your child to have a giving spirit.

Muslim parents should also plan special festivities on both ‘Eids, so that their children never feel that their family is “no-fun” or “boring”. If, in addition to annual children’s parties, picnics on the beach, trips to the park/playground, to the zoo, the museum, and to fun-fairs, in addition to swimming, cycling, archery, other sports and horse-riding, are a regular part of your children’s life, they will never, ever miss not having “birthday celebrations”, because their yearning for enjoyment will be more than satisfied.

You, as a Muslim parent, have to ensure that you provide healthy, Islamic alternatives for your children’s enjoyment, for this to be possible.

Respect others; abstain from preaching intolerance or judgmental behavior:

Just because you and your family are not celebrating a particular holiday, there’s no need to pass judgments on those who are. Allah alone is the Judge of mankind. You can pass the days calmly unaffected by the hearty festivities, and if asked about why they are being carried out, be factual and brief in your reply, for example, “They celebrate it because it is their cultural/religious tradition,” or “It is a special, festive day in their religious calendar.” 

Reflect upon your identity:

People do a lot of things in the heat of the moment just because everyone around them is doing it. This attitude is indicative of youth, immaturity and impulsiveness. Wise, mentally independent and intelligent people don’t just do something because the world tells them to do it. They think about who they are, what they believe in, and where they want to go in life before they do something.

As a Muslim, if you feel there is ‘nothing wrong’ with being part of a community celebration, even if it signifies, or is the result of, the belief-set of another religion; maybe you should ask yourself some key questions about your faith. What do you believe, and why? Why are you a Muslim? Because you were born one? Because your parents raised you as one? Or because you have chosen to be one, after serious study of Islam’s authentic sources? Are you akin to a leaf floating on a river, going where ever the flow takes it? Or are you a strong, confident individual; someone who knows who they are, what they want in life, and is not apologetic about it? 

Whether you choose to celebrate or not – there’s no need to be too vocal about your opinions:

So, maybe you are one of those Muslims who go ahead and celebrate every holiday under the sun with your entire eclectic group of friends. You pull out all the stops and don’t give two hoots about any kind of Islamic restrictions, when the time comes to eat, drink, and be merry. You, therefore, can not stand the sight, sound or company of Muslim men in thobes, wearing kufi’s and sporting beards, with their hijab-donning wives in tow, telling others about the reality of these holidays and how they are impermissible to celebrate in Islam. Whenever you get the chance, you snub, criticize and degrade these practicing Muslims, calling them demeaning names and rejecting their polite efforts at Islamic brotherly relations.
Be a little tolerant yourself; live and let live. If they make you feel guilty for some reason, causing you to go on the offensive to defend yourself, resist the urge to put them down in front of non-Muslims – it doesn’t look pretty. Just live and let live. Quietly.

Try not to get into arguments:

Your Muslim neighbor, sibling or friend might not be too keen about celebrating the New Year. They are not letting their children go to a New Year party. Your ‘weird’ cousin got no gift, chocolates, or flowers for his wife on Valentine’s Day, saying he “doesn’t believe in it”. Your married sister pulled her children out of a secular school when it held a Christmas celebration. Your parents refuse to buy a Christmas tree, presents or stockings for the living room on Christmas Eve; because, they insist, they are Muslims.

No matter how much you don’t understand, nor appreciate this apparent “extremism” or “narrow-mindedness”, try not to argue with them about their beliefs. They have their reasons for their actions, and maybe those reasons are genuine – to them. If you don’t mind your friends of other faiths making an effort to preserve their own cultures and traditions, don’t hate Muslims for intending to do the same thing. Ever wonder why Chinese restaurants are hued with red? Ever think why most Hindus do not eat beef? Ever criticize them for it? If not, treat your fellow Muslims with the same respect. 

If you are comfortable and confident about your faith in Islam, you won’t really be bothered about what the world thinks of you if you don’t participate in secular festivals and celebrations. However, if you are yourself inclined towards these celebrations, you will probably resort to complaining about, and criticizing, the restrictions of Islam, labeling those who adhere to them as extremists, bores, or fundamentalists. Whatever the case, try not to get into fights over each others’ choice of action, and remember that mutual respect and tolerance is preached by all religions of mankind; therefore, adhere to this universal law, especially with your own brothers and sisters in Islam, whenever pumpkins, fir trees, red hearts or Santa’s appear on the horizon.

The author writes for Hiba Magazine.

Posted in Acting upon the Quran, Muslim Matters, Non Muslims, Quran, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Obligation,Significance and Commandments of Fasting

Posted by Admin on September 10, 2008


Fasting is a form of worship which has been made obligatory by Allah Subhana Tala on His slaves and its objective is to gain “Taqwa” – Allah Conciousness, righteousness.

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”

(Quran 2: 183)


Fasting is only for the sake of Allah and its reward is from Allah

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it. (Bukhari)

Two Pleasures for a fasting person

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said: “There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.”(Bukhari)

Allah loves the smell from the mouth of a fasting person

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari)

Ar-Raiyan is a special gate of Paradise exclusively for those who fast

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it.”(Bukhari)

Sincere Fasting and Night Prayers erases all past sins

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

Gates of Paradise are opened ,Gates of Hell are closed and devils are chained

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the (Hell) Fire are closed, and the devils are chained.”(Bukhari)

Superiority of Ramadan and Dhul-Hijjah

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “The two months of ‘Id i.e. Ramadan and Dhul-Hijja, do not decrease (in superiority).” (Bukhari)


Eating before fajr (sehri) is a recommended sunnah

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Take Sehri, as there is blessing in it.” (Bukhari)

Fasting person should not misbehave or fight

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fast should avoid sexual relations with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” (Bukhari)

The Fasting person should not lie or commit evil deeds

The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Bukhari)


  • The word “saum” is used for fasting in Arabic and its literal meaning is “to stop” or “to bring to a halt”. Thus it means to stop oneself from things which break the fast from dawn to dusk.
  • Fasting is obligatory on every adult, sane Muslim who has the ability to fast.
  • It is important to make the intention of obligatory (fard) fast before Fajr time.( Abu Dawood)
  • Eating Sehri (pre-dawn breakfast) is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam and has blessings in it.( Agreed upon)
  • If the Fajr Adhaan starts while you are eating sehri, instead of leaving what you were eating, you should quickly eat it.( Abu Dawood)
  • Eating Iftar ( eating at maghrib time to break fast) should not be delayed and should be eaten as soon as the sun sets (Maghrib time) which is a sunnah of our Prophet.(Agreed Upon)
  • The one who offers and provides iftari to a fasting person, gets the reward equivalent to a fast.
  • Using siwaak while fasting is proven from the sunnah. ( Sahih Bukhari)
  • Applying kohl in the eyes does not break the fast.(Bukhari)
  • If nose drops are used while fasting and if they reach the throat or the stomach, then the fast is broken. (Bukhari)
  • Due to extreme heat, the fasting person is allowed to take a shower and rinse his mouth with water.(Abu Dawood)
  • While fasting it is not allowed to sniff the water too high in the nose that there may be danger that the water might reach the throat.(Tirmizi)
  • Nakseer (nose bleeding), istehada (bleeding of a woman in between her regular periods) and similar such blood does not break the fast. Only bleeding due to haiz or nifaas ( menstruation and post partum/post natal bleeding) breaks the fast no matter at what time it starts during the day. (Bukhari)
  • Vomiting unintentionally does not break the fast, however if someone vomits deliberately then this does break the fast.( Abu Dawood)
  • If the need arises, the food can be tasted (for salt etc), but it should be tasted by placing it at the edge of the tongue. But utmost care should be taken that it should not reach the throat.( Bukhari)
  • An injection that does not nourish and its purpose is not to provide energy or nourishment but it is only used as a medicine, then such an injection is allowed while fasting. However if the injection is the type that provides nourishment to sustain the body without food and drink then such an injection breaks the fast.
  • Eating out of forgetfulness does not break the fast. But as soon as a the person realizes that he/she was fasting, then the food in the mouth should be immediately spitted out. (Bukhari)
  • A person who intentionally eats or drinks something while fasting, then he should sincerely repent and make up for the fast.
  • There is no harm in swallowing the saliva while fasting.(Bukhari)
  • The blood that comes out of the teeth does not harm the fast however the blood should not be swallowed.
  • A fasting person is allowed to smell and wear fragrance.
  • A person, who due to extreme old age or an incurable disease is unable to fast, then he should feed one poor person in exchange for every day of missed fast.(Darqutni)
  • A person who was ill but then later regains health and does not make up for the missed fasts and dies, then his inheritors have to make up for his missed fasts.(Agreed upon)
  • If it is difficult or dangerous for the health of the mother and child then pregnant and breast feeding women can leave the fasts, however they have to necessarily make up for the missed fasts later on.( Agreed upon)
  • It is better for a traveler to leave the fast, however there is also no harm if the traveler fasts while on a journey because sometimes Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam observed fasting while traveling and sometimes he would leave fasting while traveling. Both are acceptable.
  • While fasting in Ramadan, if a husband forcefully has intercourse with his wife then this would not break the fast of the wife and she does not have to make up for it. However the husband is guilty of sin and he has to repent and make up for the fast by freeing a slave and if that is not possible then he has to fast continuously for two months and if that too is not possible then he has to feed sixty needy people. ( Agreed upon)
  • A lustful thought which leads to ejaculation of semen (mani) does not break the fast. However ejaculation of semen due to any other intentional activity or intimacy or due to watching immodest things breaks the fast.
  • Wet dreams, while sleeping does not invalidate the fast as this happens unintentionally.
  • Discharge of Mathi – prostatic fluid while fasting does not break the fast.( Mathi is the fluid discharged due to lustful arousal before semen is ejaculated)
  • It is a sunnah to recite the Quran and to revise it in Ramadan. ( Agreed Upon)
  • Giving charity generously in the month of Ramadan is the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam.(Agreed Upon)
  • Taraweeh is a nafil (voluntary) prayer which is also called Tahajjud or Qayam ul Lail. The masnoon rakaat of taraweeh is 8, however since it is a nafil prayer the number of rakaat can be increased or decreased.(Agreed Upon)
  • In the last ten days of Ramadan, encouraging your family to perform worship is the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam.(Agreed Upon)
  • A person who is unable to benefit from the most blessed night of the year lailatul Qadr is a loser.(Ibn Majah)
  • Lailatul Qadr should be searched in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan.(Bukhari)
  • Sitting in seclusion- Itekaf in the Masjid during Ramadan is an obligatory sunnah which is obligatory on the Muslim community (Sunnat e Mokada Kafaya) and its duration is ten days. ( Agreed Upon)
  • Women should also sit in Itekaf. (Muslim)
  • Backbiting, lying, fighting, abusing, profanities and arguing corrupts the fast. (Bukhari)
  • Cracking dirty jokes, obscene vulgar actions, immoral behavior and conversations on vulgar topics are all forbidden in the state of fasting. (Ibn Khuzaima) (such things are forbidden even under normal conditions but such deeds while fasting corrupts the fast.)
  • Charity of fitr (Sadqa e Fitr) is obligatory (fard) on every individual. It is not necessary to be sahib e istatat to give sadqa e fitr. Sadqa e fitr should be given before the eid prayer. (Ahmed)
  • Missed fasts of Ramadan should be kept any time before the start of the next Ramadan.(Agreed Upon)
  • Keeping six fasts in Shawwal is highly recommended after Ramadan.(Muslim)

Posted in Islam, Muslim Matters, Ramadan Fasting, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ramadan Facts And Ramadan of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

Posted by Admin on September 10, 2008


The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam said, “Whoever fasted in Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the nights of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

(Bukhari & Muslim)


  • Ramadan – This word literally means “One that Burns” According to scholars, in this month the Sins are burnt away… therefore it is called Ramadan.
  • The Month of Ramadan begins when the new crescent is sighted on the 29th of Shabaan otherwise it starts after the 30 days of Shabaan are completed.(Bukhari)
  • It is the month during which prophethood was granted to Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam. Q
  • Quran was revealed in this month.
  • The Lailatul Qadr, the night on which Quran was revealed and a night which is better than a thousand months falls in this month.
  • Battle of Badr was fought and won in this month.
  • Makkah was conquered by the Muslims in this month.
  • Voluntary (nafil) acts are given a reward equal to obligatory (fard) acts.
  • The reward of obligatory (fard) acts is increased 70 times in Ramadan.
  • The doors of heaven are opened in this month and the doors of hell are closed.
  • Devils are chained in this month.
  • Mercy is poured down to Earth during Ramadan.



Reciting and Reflecting Upon The Quran

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “Jibreel used to meet him (Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam) every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Quran carefully together. (Bukhari)

Night Prayers

Narrated Abu Salma bin ‘Abdur Rahman: I asked ‘Aisha, “How is the prayer of Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallamduring the month of Ramadan.” She said, “Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam never exceeded eleven Rakat in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer four Rakat– do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakat, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakat.(Bukhari)

Tarweeh in Masjid e Nabawi

Narrated ‘Aisha, the mother of the faithful believers: One night Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam offered the prayer in the Mosque and the people followed him. The next night he also offered the prayer and too many people gathered. On the third and the fourth nights more people gathered, but Allah’s Apostle did not come out to them. In the morning he said, “I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it (i.e. the prayer) might be made obligatory on you, stopped me from coming to you.” And that happened in the month of Ramadan. (Bukhari)

Note: Taraweeh prayer is established from the sunnah based on the above mentioned hadith. Rasool Allah Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallamhimself led the Muslims in Taraweeh prayer for two days but gave up after that due to fear that it may become a compulsory (wajib) sunnah. It is a voluntary (nafil) prayer and is recommended during Ramadan.

Praying in the last Ten Days of Ramadan and Lailatul Qadr – Night of Decree

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallamsaid, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. (Bukhari)

Narrated Aisha: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallamused to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Bukhari)

Observing Itekaf

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallamused to practise Itikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. (Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam used to perform Itikaf every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he stayed in Itikaf for twenty days. (Bukhari)

Height of generosity in Ramadan

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Prophet Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when JIbreel used to meet him… Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Jibreel.(Bukhari)

Posted in Allah, Islam, Muslim Matters, Ramadan Fasting, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Fasting In Ramadan: A Practical Guide

Posted by Admin on August 10, 2008

Sadaf Farooqi

Ramadan is one of the most blessed months in the Islamic Calendar. It is a month of worship, which requires a Muslim to fast from dawn to dusk, consecutively for twenty-nine or thirty days. Every Muslim knows that fasting in Ramadan is obligatory. Some have been doing it all their life, more as a cultural byproduct of being born in a Muslim household than as an expression of religious commitment; others start at a later stage in life, perhaps after converting to Islam. What stands true for all, however, is the fear of this form of worship being “difficult to do.” Below is a practical guide to how Muslims can make fasting in Ramadan both easier and more spiritually rewarding:

  1. Make your intention Allah’s pleasure: Fasting is not dieting! It is very important for the eventual acceptance of any act of worship to do it solely for the pleasure of Allah. If you want to fast sincerely for Him, He will make fasting easy for you during the entire month. Cleanse yourself of any desire to show off your piety during this month.
  2. Stock up on groceries a week in advance:Fasting requires two major meals each day during Ramadan. Depending on your geographical location, cultural factors, and family food preferences, take a trip to the grocery store and buy all the lentils, dairy, oil, rice, meat, spices, and flour (gram and wheat) you’ll need for the month. The reason for shopping beforehand is that time and energy is not wasted in shopping for these necessities during Ramadan.
  3. Prepare your family:This can be done by sitting at the dining table and reading out relevant educational material (from Islamic books) about the virtues of Ramadan, and what every Muslim should or should not do whilst fasting. For example, lying, backbiting and wasting time in frivolous activities are not allowed while fasting. A class held like this will serve as a reminder for everyone. Acquire a printed timetable of dawn and sunset timings in your area for the entire month. Local mosques usually distribute these a few days before the first fast.
  4. Retire early at night throughout Ramadan:  

    In order to wake up for Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal before the Fajr prayer every day – the entire family should go to bed early during Ramadan. Television viewing and unnecessary outdoor entertainment should be minimized. The whole family should instead go straight to bed after returning from the daily night prayers (explained below) at the mosque. 
  5. Wake up 2 hours before Fajr (pre-dawn) prayer:For the mother in the house, this applies especially. The rest of the family should chip in, too. It’s recommended to wake up early to perform at least two units of night prayer before helping Mama set the table for Suhoor. The family should start eating at least 45 minutes before dawn, and should stop eating five minutes before dawn breaks. The last few minutes should be spent in rinsing the mouth and performing ablution in preparation for Fajr prayer.Some Muslims automatically start eating even more when the end of Suhoor approaches – thinking, “this is my last chance to get as much food into myself as I can, before having to starve till sunset”. The wise and moderate Muslims, however, know that fasting is not akin to starving the body. They maintain a moderation in eating Suhoor.Other Muslims skip Suhoor altogether, since it necessitates waking up in the wee hours of the morning. They prefer to eat till well after midnight and sleep late, opting to relinquish Suhoor. This course of action is also not recommended. The best option is to sleep early after `Isha prayer, and awaken 2 hours before dawn, to get in some units of the night prayer (Qiyaam Al-Layl) in addition to a nutritious Suhoor meal.
  6. Spend the time from morning to afternoon going about your normal daily routine:Some people assume that since they can not eat or drink till sunset, they should “sleep off” the fast and awaken only a few hours before the evening meal. They draw their curtains, pull their comforters over their heads, put on the air conditioner, and sleep till the evening. These people stay awake the whole night (the time for eating and drinking during Ramadan), with relatives and friends, eating and chatting non-stop. After the pre-dawn prayer – Fajr – they dive back into their beds. This is not the aim or spirit of Ramadan. Fasting does not curb energy for productive work, except in the last two hours of the fast. It is encouraged to work or study as usual till 2 or 3 hours before sunset. After the second prayer of the day – Dhuhr – the fasting Muslim should lie down and rest for a while for his or her afternoon siesta.
  7. Recite the Qur’an as much as you can, preferrably the whole of it once, over the course of Ramadan: 

    • Reciting the Arabic text with perfect Tajweed in the state of ablution.
    • Understanding its meanings by pondering on it’s translation and exegesis, or attending a daily study circle of the Qur’an (that is, a dars or Qur’an class).
    • Reciting the verses of the Qur’an in the night prayer, which can be prayed with the last prayer of the day – `Isha – or as the tahajjud prayer a few hours before dawn.

    Ramadan is the month in which Prophet Muhammad [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] started receiving Revelation of the Qur’an. It is the month in which each voluntary good deed reaps the reward of an obligatory one. Therefore, it is a month in which the Muslim should try to enrich his soul with the Qur’an, which can be done in three ways:

  8. Prepare the Iftar or evening meal to break the fast: This meal is the highest point of the day for every Muslim during Ramadan! Spirits are high and there is chirpy chatter throughout Muslim neighborhoods as people hustle and bustle about preparing their favorite foods for Iftar. This meal, unfortunately, is also the cause of most of the excess and extravagance that takes place during this month. Here is how:People spend the last few minutes before sunset – the time for earnest du’a or prayers – in laying the table and putting fresh food on their platters. The last few minutes are witness to the maximum hunger and thirst that a fasting Muslim experiences for the sake of His Creator; therefore, Allah is the most attentive and loving towards him or her at this time. Supplications made in earnest in these few minutes are accepted by Allah. Most Muslims forego this chance by chatting and talking at the table, while the women spend it in the kitchen, frying the last few fritters or pakoras.

    After eating Iftar, Muslims neglect praying the fourth prayer of the day – maghrib. It is permissible to delay it for a few minutes to break the fast, but one should rush to offer it as soon as one’s hunger and thirst are quenched. The best way to do that is to break the fast in the state of ablution by eating one, three or five dates with a glass of water, then rinsing the mouth, doing siwak, and offering maghrib prayers with a light stomach and a thankful, attentive heart. After prayers, one can return to the table to eat in moderation. This course of action prevents the hungry fasting person from overeating as soon as the fast breaks.In stark contrast, most families focus on piling their plates high with fried food beforehand and waiting to gorge on it as soon as the sun sets. They continue eating and chatting till half an hour or so, following the fried food items with a heavy dinner, tea and dessert. The result is a full belly and a heavy-headedness that takes away the concentration from their night prayers. I cringe to point out how disgusting belches break the soothing effect of the night prayer because people have overeaten at Iftar.Iftar parties: There is a trend among some Muslims to host huge Iftar parties intermittently during this month. Some people invite several families at a time, preparing lavish spreads for their guests. A lot of food is seen going to waste, as the guests forego praying maghrib and `Isha after breaking the fast, and enjoy themselves by eating and drinking amid live music and free mixing. This goes against the intended spirit of Ramadan. Whilst it is highly recommended to distribute food to break other people’s fast, including one’s neighbors, relatives and especially the poor and needy, one should strive to ensure that preparation and distribution of this food does not adversely affect one’s schedule of worship.

  9. Sadaqah, or regular spending in the way of Allah:Ramadan is the month in which one should give as much sadaqah or charity as one can. It is better to give smaller amounts of money, clothes or food regularly throughout Ramadan, than to give a very big amount just once or twice. Most Muslims choose to discharge their yearly obligatory charity – Zakaah – during Ramadan.
  10. Pray regular Qiyaam Al-Layl or the Night prayer:  A portion of the nights of Ramadan are to be spent in devoted, supererogatory salaah. This can be done in congregation after the `Isha prayer, by praying Taraweeh behind an imam, especially by those men and women who cannot recite the Qur’an very well. The better option, though, is to pray this prayer alone, a couple of hours before dawn (in the wee hours of the morning), by reciting as much of the Qur’an as one remembers by heart, in prayer; it is at this time that one can fully concentrate in prayer, and when Allah is the most attentive and forgiving towards His slaves. Muslims should, therefore, use this time at night to earnestly ask Allah for forgiveness for their sins.
  11. Conserve energy for the last ten days of Ramadan:It is observed that most Muslims start off the month of Ramadan with zealous worship, but lose steam after 2 weeks or so. They pressurize those giving a daily Qur’an lesson or the imam’s leading night prayers, to finish off the Qur’an before the last week of Ramadan. This is because in those last few days, they want to rest more, prepare for the coming `Eid festival/holiday, shop for clothes and shoes, and catch flights to spend `Eid with relatives in other places. Most people spend the last three nights of Ramadan fervently shopping for `Eid.
    The correct course of action, though, is to perform worship in moderation during the first 20 days of Ramadan, and to build up the fervour during the last 10 days. The first 2 weeks of fasting settle the body very well into fasting mode: by the 15th of the month, most Muslims are well-adjusted to a fast-by-day, pray-by-night routine. The last 10 days are intended for the Muslims to increase their focus on worship, recitation and night-prayers. Shopping for `Eid is best done before Ramadan. However, since consistent fasting does take its toll on the body by the time the last ten days of the month arrive, it is better to spend a portion of these last few days sleeping or resting.

Finally, once the Muslim has fasted throughout the month of Ramadan, he or she should pray that Allah accepts all their acts of worship performed therein. It is Allah’s blessing that every year, He brings Ramadan upon us and thereby, gives us a chance to refurbish our faith and renew our desire to perform good deeds. It’s no wonder, then, that Ramadan is termed as the “spring season” of the Islamic calendar!

This article was first published on the website howtodothings.com

Posted in Allah, Islam, Muslim Matters, Quran, Ramadan Fasting, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »