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Monday, August 30, 2010

A very useful article for the Muslim sisters who might not be in perfect 'condition' to perform ibadah.

Last 10 nights of Ramadan are upon us and I am sure all of us are aware of the virtues of these blessed nights. But I am listing some virtues as a reminder to all of us because Allah (swt) says in the Quran: Surah Dhariyat, verse 55: “And remind for verily, the reminding benefits the believers.”
Etiquette of the prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) in the last 10 nights: abstain from sexual desires, practice itikaaf and even seclude himself from his wives.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from 'Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship).
A version in Muslim states: "He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time."
The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) would fasten his loin cloth (like rolling sleeves up; meaning he would abstain from approaching his wives even at nights) in these last 10 nights.

During this time we are constantly reminded to engage in nafl salaat comprising of long standing at night and increase our recitation of the Quran. But for some of us, this might be a time when we are going through our menstrual cycle (or post-natal bleeding).

Naturally, it is not easy to stay positive at times, especially when we see the world around us rushing to masajids for taraweeh prayers, indulging in ‘itikaaf and reciting the Quran. This might lead us to feeling deprived of the reward of these blessed nights and decrease our spirituality rather than increasing it.

In this article, I hope to highlight some practical ways in which you can make the best of last 10 nights of Ramadan while going through your menstrual cycle (or post-natal bleeding), without feeling “left out”.

First and foremost, realize that our menstrual cycle is part of Allah (swt)’s creation and something that is ordained by Him (swt).

Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran that He has created us in the best of molds (Surah at-Teen, verse 4). We are also told in the Quran that for everything Allah has "appointed a due proportion” (Surah at-Talaq, verse 2-3) and that "for every matter there is an appointed time given" (Surat ar-Rad, ayah 38).

Thus, to complain about it would be to question the Wisdom of Allah (swt), a’uoodubillah.

Some women think it is more virtuous to fast even though they are on their menses. In their ignorance they make this exception in the month of Ramadan. But rather, they need to realize that it is more virtuous for them to comply with the Command of Allah (swt). It is more rewarding for them to do as they are told by Allah (swt) i.e. not pray or fast while they are on their menses.

Also realize that there are many other ways of achieving spirituality while we are on our menses besides salaah, siyaam and itikaaf.

The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) is reported to have said that, "Dua is the very essence of 'ibadah.” The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said, "Allah is in the assistance of [His] servant, as long as the servant aids his brother." He (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) also said, "Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward."

Listed below are few suggestions that a muslimah can do while she is not fasting due to menstruation or post-natal bleeding.

Wake up at Fajr time

Repeat after the fajr adhan
Make dua between adhan and iqaama
Make dua for intercession of prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) after the adhan
Make fajr adhkar:
10 times: “la ilaha ilAllah wahdahu la shareekah la, lahul mulk wa lahul hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer.”
Recite ayat al kursi
Recite surah Ikhlaas, surah Falaq, surah Nas – 3 times
Other adhkar found in Fortress of the Muslim
Say the morning adkhar
Read an English translation of half-juz of the Quran
Enjoining good: encourage your family to pray Salaat al Duha
The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) called it the salah of the obedient. Reported by Imam Ahmad in his musnad: Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) would never miss the salat al-awabeen, which was Salat al Duha.

Duhr time

Repeat after the duhr adhan
Make dua between adhan and iqaama
Make dua for intercession of prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) after the adhan
Engage in more dhikr and dua
Asr time

Repeat after the asr adhan
Make dua between adhan and iqaama
Make dua for intercession of prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) after the adhan
Engage in more dhikr and dua
Read an English translation of half-juz of the Quran
Maghrib time

Repeat after the maghrib adhan
Help people break their fast by passing out dates and water
Make dua between adhan and iqaama
Make dua for intercession of prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) after the adhan
Engage in more dhikr and dua
Isha time

Repeat after the isha adhan
Make dua between adhan and iqaama
Make dua for intercession of prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) after the adhan
Engage in more dhikr and dua
Have family circle time at home
Have a male member of the house recite the Quran to the rest of the family followed by tafsir of those ayat
Before sleeping

Make wudu (this even applies to women with menses)
Recite surah Mulk
Ask your spouse for forgiveness before sleeping
Recite ayat al kursi
Make dua and dhikr
Other acts that can be done

At the masjids

Spread salaams at the masjid
Sponsor iftaars at various masajids if possible
Volunteer for masjid clean up afterwards
Babysit during Taraweeh so that the mothers (and everyone else!) can pray with khushu' and concentration
Make a CD of beautiful Quran recitation and duaas in mp3 and distribute it to people at the masjid
At home

Have a qiyaam program for other sisters at your house – prepare iftar and suhoor for them
Look for new converts, those who are newly practicing or people who have lost touch with the community and invite them over for iftar and eid
Think of eid party ideas/gifts for family, spouse, children, neighbors
In your own time

Memorize ayat of the Quran – use online resources
Donate everyday – clothes, money
Make tawbah and shukr
Memorize Allah's names and their meanings
Find out who is sick in your area or in the hospital and go visit them
Always keep your tongue moist with the dhikr and remembrance of Allah (swt). Say subhanAllah, alhumdulilah, la ilaaha illalha, Allahu akbar and say salaams on the prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) while cooking, cleaning, driving etc. and may Allah make these words heavy on your scaled on the day of judgment.


Friday, August 20, 2010

A critical approach to studying Muslim revival movements

Salaam all brothers and sisters,

I came across this article in the local tabloid. I found it a real detailed article that would be an eye opener for MANY ( n this include those terrorists as well!!) who use the word Jihad blindly. Check out this article.. A pretty good feast for ur knowledge :)

A critical approach to studying Muslim revival movements

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inner Dimensions of Fasting

Salaam all brothers and sisters,

I'd like to share a very interesting and informative article I received from a brother. A pretty good food for thought. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

How our ancestors observed the fast.

Allah says in Quran:

{"O you who believe! Fasting was prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that that you may get Taqwa ( piety i.e you may become pious). Fast for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number should be made up from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, they have to feed a poor person. But, whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you knew."}[al-Baqarah; 183-184]

Spring heralds a season of happiness, joy and colour--a time when nature is in full bloom. One such season is about to dawn upon us. However, this is not the spring of nature but the spring of Islam or the spring of good deeds--the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the month of blessings; the month of greatness; the month of kindness and good deeds; the month of patience; the month of charity; the month of mercy, forgiveness and freedom from the hellfire; the month of the revelation of the Holy Qur'aan and the month of the blessed night of Laylat-ul-Qadr. With so many positive words used to describe this month, it would be a loss indeed to miss it and let it pass by like any other month.

This month brings with it feelings of joy, peace and spirituality, which cannot be expressed in words. It is in this month that the spirit of Islam blossoms to its absolute best. Good deeds and acts of kindness dot this month like flowers in a lush garden. Things that we don't normally do throughout the year, we do eagerly during Ramadan. An unexplainable aura of spirituality fills the air, and most Muslims, whether very religiously inclined or not, can feel it. Every moment of this month carries with it such great treasures of excellence and blessings that voluntary good deeds (nawafil) reach the ranks of obligatory deeds (faraiz) and the (reward of) obligatory acts becomes seventy times greater. (Baihaqi)

It is in this blessed month that we received the great blessing of the Holy Qur'aan and the blessing of Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) as the Messenger of Allah Almighty. And not only this, in this month lies another treasure more valuable than thousand months of effort and all the wealth we could amass in them--the blessed night of Laylat-ul-Qadr, which is described in the Holy Qur'aan as better than a thousand months.

Ramadan is basically the month of fasting, as fasting is made compulsory during this month. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur'aan:

"Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain Taqwa (piety)." (Al-Baqarah:183)

Fasting is one form of worship (ibadah) that is unique from all others. Hadhrat Abu Huraira (Radhi Allaho anho) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said:

"The reward for every good deed of a person is increased by ten to seven hundred times (according to the intention and sincerity); but in respect of the reward for fasting Allah Almighty proclaims:

"Fasting is for Me and I, Myself shall bestow the reward. The person who fasts forgoes his desires, eating and drinking for My sake. He will be entitled to two kinds of delights: one at the time of breaking the fast and the other at the time of meeting his Lord." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Many Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) emphasise on the fact that the one who is deprived of the blessings of Ramadan is indeed unfortunate. At one instance Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) is reported to have said 'Ameen' to Jibrael's (Alaihis Salaam) prayer for destruction for the one who witnesses Ramadan but does not have his sins forgiven. (Hakim)

The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) used to prepare his companions before the arrival of Ramadan to benefit fully from the treasures this month has to offer. The Messenger of Allah (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying,

"O people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds (in this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed (in this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all." (Narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah)

Now imagine. If you were told that there is a sale somewhere and that your most needed items and most favourite things are available there at the lowest rates and in great quantities, would you not race to avail this opportunity?

Would you not spend the night planning all you want to get and then spend the next day shopping and then try to stuff as many things in your car as possible? Maybe you would even hire a bigger vehicle to fit in all that you want. You would cancel routine plans, arrange alternate replacements for tasks in which you are needed but dare you miss this opportunity?

Now compare this to the excellent month that is about to dawn upon you with all its treasure trove of blessing being showered each day and each moment. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho) related that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said:

"On the very first night of Ramadan, the Satan's and rebellious jinns are chained. The doors of hell are closed; not a single one of these is left open. Whereas all the doors of the paradise are opened, not a single one of these is left closed. And a proclaimer (angel) announces, 'O seeker of goodness! Advance and do not delay. O seeker of evil, halt!' And in every night of Ramadan, Allah liberates people from hell." (Ibn-e-Majah)

Be prepared and plan ahead for Ramadan

To gain maximum benefit from this month, we must make effort, plan and prioritise and try to manage our time in such a way as to capitalise on its every moment. The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam) said,

"Whoever fasts in Ramadan with faith and seeks Allah's pleasure and reward, will have his previous sins forgiven."

Complete pending tasks, get over with Eid shopping, prepare in advance for those fancy meals (possibly by preparing and freezing items used in Ramadan) to minimise time spent in other activities. Get everything done before this month arrives, and plan the best use of your time. During Ramadan, be sure to take out some time to understand the Holy Qur'aan and learn about the life the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho alaihe wasallam), in addition to other acts of worship.

So, as the doors of the heavens open for the shower of blessings, we must prepare the land in order for it to produce the best fruits. Let's sow our seeds and pray to Allah to give us the opportunity to reap the greatest benefit and then do our best. Are you ready?

The first generation of Muslims, the pious Salaf, were undoubtedly the
best of generations. Their character and way of life stand witness to
this fact and is further confirmed by the statement o Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) who said,

'The best of generations are my generation, then those which follow
them, then those which follow them.' (Reported by Muslim)

They were indeed, the best amongst those who implemented the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad. So naturally it is their example that one must follow in all matters and Ramadaan is no exception.

Here are some links of informative articles discussing “How the Salaf Observed Ramadan”. Plz visit links given below to read the article:!/note.php?note_id=143987125627931&id=100000918108205

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Virtues of Ramadan

Name of Questioner
Muslim - Egypt

Lessons & Moralities of Fasting

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Fasting is a wonderful act of worship. We abstain from food, drink, lust, etc., from Fajr until sunset. I think Ramadan is a month of education and discipline. I hope you could illustrate, in some details, the lessons and moralities of Fasting. Jazakum Allah Khayran.


Name of Counsellor
Muzammil Siddiqi

Virtue of Ramadan Fasting


Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Brother, may you have a happy and blessed Ramadan!

As you have stated Ramadan is a month of discipline, self-control, patience, and good behavior. In Ramadan, Muslims are expected to gain the fruits of Fasting, namely, piety and consciousness of Allah. In this context, Allah, Most High, says in the Glorious Qur'an, (O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may get Taqwa(piety, ward off evil, self-restraint). ) (Al-Baqarah 2: 183)

For more illustration, we'd like to cite for you the following Fatwa issued by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America :
Allah, Most High, says, (Blessed be He in whose hand is the Sovereignty, and He is able to do all things. He created death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed. He is the Exalted in Might, oft Forgiving. ) (Al-Mulk 67: 1-2)

Also, He says, (It is He who made the night and day to follow each other for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude. ) (Al-Furqan 25: 62)

Life and death and the succession of nights and day have a purpose and that is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and goes. We must examine ourselves now and see what we have learned and achieved during this month. The test of success of this month lies in the effects it has left upon us as follows:

1. Discipline

We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for the sake of Allah. In our morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule of eating and drinking. We are constantly aware that even in our such mundane activities as eating and drinking, we must remain under divine injunctions. We change our habits in our daily routines because we learn that we are not the servants and slaves to our habits, but always the servants of Allah. Then after Ramadan, we have to keep this spirit of discipline in other modes of our life and must continue with our submission to the commands of Allah.

2. Renewal of Devotional Life

Ramadan renews our enthusiasm for worship and devotion to Allah. In this month we are more careful of our daily prayers and have special prayers at night. There is no religion without prayer and Muslims learn in this month how to strengthen and deepen their religious life.

3. Renewal of Contact with the Qur’an

Ramadan and the Qur’an are linked together from the beginning. It was in this month that this divine message was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). We are told that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was fasting when he received the first revelation. Fasting prepares the believers' hearts to learn the Word of Allah. It is the most suitable condition for our spiritual and mental communication with the Qur’an. The Muslim Ummah pays more attention to the Qur’an in this month. This renewed contact with the Qur’an must help us in following its message.

4. Renewal of Identity with the Ummah

Ramadan is not an individual experience only, but it is an experience in community. The whole Muslim Ummah fasts together in one and the same month. We identify with one another in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new sense of togetherness and association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim Ummah is the community of piety and devotion to Allah and its members derive their strength from each other in deeds of piety and virtue. The bonds that are based on piety and virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds that prove good for mankind. The strength of the Muslim community lies in its commitment to the values of goodness, morality and piety. Ramadan leaves an imprint of all these values upon the Muslim Ummah.

5. A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy

Fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and needy. By our voluntary hunger and thirst we realize what it means to be deprived of basic necessities of life. Ramadan is called the month of charity and sympathy. We learn how to be more kind and generous in this month. Many Muslims also pay their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

6. Jihad or Struggle

Fasting in Ramadan and Jihad both of them were prescribed in the same year, that is, the second year of Hijrah in Madinah. Fasting prepares for hardships and sacrifice. These are two important things without which Jihad is not possible. Muslims learn in Ramadan how to struggle against the forces of evil in their own selves, in the society around them, and in the world at large.

7. Taqwa

To summarize all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of taqwa (piety). Taqwa is the sum total of Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It means, God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection of all that is evil and bad.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:

Related Questions

- Fasting: Meaning & Rules

Allah Almighty knows best.

Related link

visit links given below:

Ramadan In History!/note.php?note_id=143248625701781&id=100000918108205&ref=mf

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Ramadan Checklist

A Quick Checklist of Ramadan

01. Make a resolve to win the maximum favor of Allah by performing extra Voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), making frequent Du'a and increased remembrance (Dhikr).

02. Try to recite some Qur'an after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Qur'an in Ramadan!

03. Study the Tafseer (commentary) every morning.

04. Invite a person you are not very close with or your relatives to your home for Iftar, at least once a week. You will notice the blessings in your relationships!

05. Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.

06. Give gifts on Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.

07. Make commitment to join Islamic study circles to learn more about Islam and improve your own life.

08. Donate generously to the masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need or oppressed. "This is a month of sharing!"

09. Share Ramadan and its teachings of peace & patience with your neighbors.

10. Sleep little, eat little! Make sure you do not defeat the purpose of fasting by over-indulging in food and being lazy.

11. Seek the rare and oft-neglected rewards of 'the night better than a 1000 months (Laylatul-Qadr).

12. Weep in private for the forgiveness of your sins: It is the month of forgiveness and Allah's Mercy! It's never too late.

13. Learn to control your tongue and lower your gaze. Remember the Prophet's warning that lying, backbiting, and a lustful gaze all violate the fast!

14. Encourage others to enjoin and love goodness, and to abandon everything that Allah dislikes. Play the role of a Da'ee (one who invites to Allah) with zeal, passion, and sympathy.

15. Experience the joy of Tahajjud prayers late at night and devote yourself purely and fully to Allah in the I'tikaf retreat during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Remember: "Time is not money or gold; it is life itself and is limited. You must begin to appreciate every moment of your life and always strive to make the best use of it."