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Ramadan

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Pillars of Islam
Forum Discription: Pillars of Islam – Prayers, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2356
Printed Date: 22 December 2014 at 8:21am


Topic: Ramadan
Posted By: ummziba
Subject: Ramadan
Date Posted: 22 September 2005 at 10:08am

Assalamu alaikum,

As Ramadan is fast approching, I thought it would be nice if the Muslimeen would post anything that relates to preparing for it or that relates to Ramadan itself.

The following was from a television show "Reflections on Islam", I wrote it down a few years back and refer to it every Ramadan:

During Ramadan:

  • Restrain your eyes from looking at what Allah forbids, and engage them instead in meditating on the beauty and wonders of Allah's creation; and read the Qur'an.
  • Protect your ears from listening to what harms your hearing and hurts your feelings; but listen instead to the Qur'an and words of wisdom.
  • Hold your tongue from lying, spreading rumors and falsehood; and use it instead to speak the truth and praise Allah.
  • Control your hand from doing wrong and use it instead to build, to give charity, and to strive in the cause of Allah.
  • Stop your feet from walking to places of shame; and walk instead to places of learning and worship.
  • Get out of your solitude and participate in community work to help others, and earn Allah's pleasure.
  • Be patient, tolerant and humble; especially in Ramadan!
  • Don't lose your temper, or become irritable because you are fasting!
  • Avoid suspicion and envy; they eat up your good deeds, and consume your soul.
  • As you go through Ramadan days on an empty stomach, try to fill your heart with love and sympathy, your mind with knowledge and wisdom, your soul with faith and piety and your life with peace and tranquility.

Peace, ummziba.

 



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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~



Replies:
Posted By: Knowledge01
Date Posted: 23 September 2005 at 1:00pm

There are many du'ahs that the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wa salam) made but the two that everyone should try to make, especially in Ramadan are below.

 

As to the supplication during the night of qadr, 'Aishah said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are forgiving and You love to forgive, so forgive me.'

Upon breaking fast it is reported that Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wa salam) would say: "O Allah, for You I have fasted and with Your provisions do I break my fast."



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Posted By: Alwardah
Date Posted: 29 September 2005 at 11:44am
As Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
 
Here are some good articles on Ramadan
The Fast of Ramadan

 

"Ramadan is the month wherein the Quran was revealed for the  guidance of mankind and to serve as the criterion (of right and wrong). Whosoever of you is present in this month shall fast it, and whosoever is sick or on a journey shall fast an equal number of days later on. Allah desires ease for you and does not want to subject you to hardship so that you could complete the prescribed period (of fast) and that you may glorify Allah for having guided you, that perchance ye shall be grateful." (The Quran). 

Stages of Development:

According to Ibn Kathir, the Muslim fast went through three stages of development until it reached its present state:

1)When the Prophet came to Medina, he used to fast three days every month in addition to the Day of Ashoura. As things were, Muslims were not required, when they first arrived in Medina, to fast more than three days every month. Mu'adh, Qatada and `Ata, claimed - as reported by Ibn Abbas - that those three days were meant by the verse..."for a fixed number of days".

2) The consensus of opinion however, differs. It considers the reference to "a fixed number of days" to mean the month of Ramadan. This difference of opinion over the number of days did not, in any case, touch the essential question of the necessity to fast three days every month.

3) Explaining the fast of the Day of Ashoura, Ibn' Abbas reported that the Prophet had noticed that the Jews in Medina observed the fast on that day. The Prophet asked the reason for it and he was told by the Jews that it was a memorable day on which God delivered Moses and his people from their enemy. Moses therefore observed it as a day of fasting, whereupon the Prophet told the Jews : "Moses is, closer to me than he is to you." He then observed the day as a fast and instructed the Muslims to fast upon it. He sent out a man to tour Medina on that day and announce to the Muslims that : "He who had already eaten shall abstain the rest of the day and he who had not, shall fast the day.

Today is the Day of Ashoura."  

4) When the fast of Ramadan was prescribed in the second year of the Hijra, the fast on those days was abolished. The Prophet said : "The fast of Ramadan has abolished every other fast".

5) It is reported that `Aisha once said "When the Prophet came to Medina he observed the Day of Ashoura as a day of fasting. When the fast of Ramadan was prescribed, the Prophet said:"Whoever wishes may fast upon it, and who ever wishes may drop it".

 

6) The second stage begins when God prescribed the fast of Ramadan. The new ordinance was announced in three verses. The first two were revealed together, followed later by the third.  

In the first two verses, God said "You who believe". Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may learn self-restraint. (Fast) for a fixed number of days, and whosoever of you is sick or on a Journey shall fast an equal number of days later on.

Those who can afford to fast (but do not) shall have to redeem themselves by feeding a poor person. But who is edoes good of his own accord it is better for him, and that you fast is better for you if you did but know."

God thus permits the sick and the man on a journey to miss fasting during Ramadan. A man will then have to make restitution of those days by fasting a similar number of days when he becomes well again, or when he is no longer on the road.

A man who is not sick or travelling and who is physically fit has a choice either to fast or not. In the latter case he has to pay the fidya (ransom), which is the feeding of a poor person for every day he does not keep the fast. In this connection, Mu'adh said that in the early days of Islam, a man could fast or disregard the ordinance, provided he fed a poor person every day he broke the fast. Al-Bukhari reported more than one hadith (saying of the Prophet) to this effect.

The third verse is the one in which God said :

"Ramadan is the month wherein the Quran was revealed for the guidance of mankind and to serve as the criterion, (of right and wrong). Whosoever of you is present in this month shall fast it, and whosoever is sick or on a journey shall fast an equal number of days later"... etc.

It is to be noticed that the verse remained silent about those "who could afford it." Al-Bukhari reported. according to many of the Prophet's companions, many Ahadith to the effect that the third verse had abrogated those before it and made it obligatory for the physically fit to keep the fast, thus abolishing the choice.

The third stage deals with the times of abstinence and indulgence there were times of abstinence during the night as well as during the day :

(a) when a man had said his `isha prayers (last evening prayers) he was supposed to abstain from (muftirat), that is food, drink and women after prayers.

(b) If a man slept (even before saying the `isha prayers) he should abstain when he awoke.

Thus saying the `isha prayers and sleep forced a man into a state of abstinence for the rest of the night and the following day until sunset. This was a hard condition for the early Muslims for a man might dose off before iftar (breakfast), and thus had to continue his fast until the same time next day. It is told that Qays Ibn Sarma al-Ansari spent the day working in the field. At sunset he returned home and rested while his wife was preparing his meal. When she returned with it he was sound sleep and when he awoke he had to continue the fast ;by mid-day he fainted. Later, he told the Prophet about it and God revealed the verse:

"It is lawful for you on the night of the fast to go unto your wives; they are your garment. Allah knows that ye defraud yourselves therein, so he turns towards you and forgives you. So go in unto them and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct from the black thread, then observe the fast till nightfall."

Muslims were overjoyed by the relaxation. 

http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/BK_Fasting/P01.htm - http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/BK_Fasting/P01.htm



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“Verily your Lord is quick in punishment; yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (Surah Al-An’am 6:165)
"Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return" (Surah Baqarah 2: 155)


Posted By: Alwardah
Date Posted: 29 September 2005 at 11:49am

Fasting enjoys, in the eyes of God, a grace unparallelled by other acts of piety and worship.

In a (qudsi hadith (utterances attributed to God outside the Quran), Allah says "All man's work belongs to him. A good deed is repaid from tenfold to seven hundred times". God said "Fasting belongs to Me and I repay."

The Prophet said : "By He in whose hands Muhammad's soul rests, Allah prefers the stench of the mouth of lie who fasts to the scent of musk".

 

The Merit of Ramadan

Al-Bukhari and Muslim both reported that the Prophet had said : "With the advent of Ramadan, the portals of Paradise are opened, the gates to hell are closed, and the devils are chained."

According to Abu Hurayra, the Prophet said at the beginning of Ramadan : "A glorious and blessed month has come Allah ordained that you fast during it. During this month, the portals of Paradise are opened, the gates of hell are closed, and the devils are chained. In this month there is one night which is worth more than one thousand months".

The Merit of Ramadan Fast

The Prophet said "Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of faith seeking no reward, will have all his past sins forgiven."

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet also said "Whoever breaks the fast even for one day in Ramadan without any legitimate reason, cannot compensate for it by a period of fasting at another time during the year".

 

Regulations Governing the Fast of Ramadhan 

Fasting means to refrain and abstain, from dawn till sunset, from certain things forbidden by Islamic Law. These are dealt with later. Fasting is divided into two main categories:

  1. Fard (obligatory fasting), which comprises the following:

    1. Ramadan fast.

    2. kaffara (the fasting of atoenement).

    3. Nadhr (rlating to the taking of a vow).


       

  2. Tatawwu' (voluntary fasting), which is confined to those additional days throughout the year which the Prophet used to observe as fasting days.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam

The Prophet said : "Islam is built on five pillars: the shahdda (profession of faith) that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, salat (prayers), zakat (alms-tax), the sawn of Ramadan (fast) and hajj (pilgrimage).

Ramadan fast was prescribed on the second Monday of the month of Sha'ban, in the second year of the Hijra.

Fasting is obligatory for every Muslim provided that he or she is adult and in full possession of his or her faculties.

Exemptions for temporary causes include :

  1. Women in menstruation or child-birth bleeding.
  2. Persons in sick bed or on a journey.

These exemptions will be discussed later.

It is preferable that children, though they are not under obligation to fast, should be trained in fasting in order to prepare them for carrying out their adult obligations in this respect.

Al-Rabi Bint Mu'awwadh said in this connection "On the Day of Ashoura, the Prophet had a man tour the villages of the Ansar (the original inhabitants of Medina who supported the Prophet) ordering those who had not yet partaken of food to fast during the day and those who had eaten to abstain and fast the rest of the day. Later, we used to fast that day and have our small children fast upon it. We used to take them to the mosque and give them toys made of wool to distract them from their hunger until iftar time". (i.e. the breaking of the fast).

 

The Official Beginning and End of Ramadan

1)The beginning of Ramadan becomes official when the new moon is seen. Its end is officially fixed when the new moon of the next month (Shawwal), is seen. Once the new moon of Ramadan is seen, fasting becomes obligatory for all those who are required to fast it. When the new moon of Shawwal is seen, the fast comes to an end, and everybody should break the fast. The Prophet said : "Fast when you see it (the new moon) and break the fast when you see it (the new moon)."

2)The seeing of the new moon becomes official by the testimony of one upright Muslim.

Ibn `Abbas reported : "A Bedouin came to the Prophet announcing that he had seen the new moon of Ramadan, whereupon the Prophet asked him: "Do you profess that there is no God but Allah ?"

The Bedouin said : "Yes." Then the Prophet asked him "Do you profess that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah ?" The Bedouin answered : "Yes". The Prophet then ordered Bilal  (his muazzin) to call on the Muslims to fast the next day".

3) As to the seeing of the new moon of Shawwal, announcing the end of Ramadan fast, the testimony of one upright Muslim is not enough.

In his commentary on Muslim's collection of hadith) al- Nabawi said that the ulamas were unanimous that the testimony of one upright Muslim for the Shawwal new moon is not enough, except Abu Thawr who considered it fair.

4) In the event of it being impossible to see the new moon of Ramadabecause of weather conditions, then the month of Sha'ban (the month preceding Ramadan) should be a full thirty days.

The Prophet said : "Fast when you see the new moon and break the fast when you see the new moon ; but if it is hidden, let Sha'ban be completed as thirty days".

5) Likewise, in case of the new moon of Sha'ban not being visible because of bad weather conditions, Ramadan shall be a full thirty days, on the strength of the prophet's instruction to "fast when you see the new moon and break the fast when You see the new moon and if it is hidden by cloud or fog, count thirty days".

6) Man's knowledge of astronomy is now very accurate, so much So that astronomers can calculate the hour, minute and second (every day of the lunar year) of the appearance and disappearance of the moon in every country of the world.

This information is published in advance of every lunar year. Therefore, a man who has acquired this information can, even when he can not actually see the new moon, fix the beginning and end of his fast accordingly. The Prophet says in this connection: "Fast when you see it, and break the fast when you see it ; but if you cannot see it, calculate it." In his commentary on the Quran, al-Qurtubi said : "Matraf Ibn Abdullan, a prominent figure of the generation following the Prophet, and Ibn Qutayba, a famous linguist, stated that astronomical calculations should be resorted to in cases of cloudy skies, and that these calculations be regarded as official." This verdict was accepted at a time when the knowledge of astronomy was not so extensive and accurate as it is today. Such a verdict should be even more acceptable at the present time.

It is to be noted here that the Prophet, addressing the ordinary man, ordered that the month be counted as thirty in case the new moon could not be seen ; whereas, addressing people to whom astronomical knowledge was available, said that the month should be calculated.  

This is an example of the wisdom of the prophet in addressing each group of people according to their educational standards.

7) The appearance of the new moon may differ from one country to the other, even though they may all be in the same latitude. For instance, if the new moon is seen in one country, the appearance is valid so far as those countries to its west are concerned, but not so for countries to its east.

Kurayb told the following story...

"I saw the new moon in Damascus on Friday. At the end of the month I arrived in Medina. Ibn `Abbas asked me about the new moon and I said that I and everyone else had seen it on Friday, and that everyone including Mu'awiya observed the fast on that day. Ibn `Abbas said that the people in Medina had seen the new moon on Saturday and that they were still fasting in order to complete thirty days. I asked if the witnessing of the new moon and the fasting of Mu'awiya were not enough testimony for him. Ibn `Abbas replied "No, for this is how the Prophet instructed us".

Medina, where Ibn `Abbas lived, is to the east of Damascus. That is why Ibn `Abbas had to abide by the Prophet's instructions until the new moon could be seen on Saturday in Medina.

8) If the new moon is seen in any country, the people of every other country falling in the same day longitude should observe the fast on the same day.

9) There is a school of Muslim thought which considers that the people of any country where the new moon is seen can deputize for all Muslims everywhere in the world. Thus fasting begins with the seeing of the new moon in that country, likewise in all other countries even though the new moon might not have been seen there.

 

The Intention to Fast During Ramadan

For the fast of Ramadan to be valid, one has to make up one's mind, or formulate the intention, during the night of the day he will fast.

Hafsa reported that the Prophet said : "whoever did not make up his mind to fast before dawn, then his fast is not valid".

The intention is an act of the heart; it is not necessary to utter it; it is enough to harbour it. The Prophet said : "Acts are judged by the intentions prompting them".

Commenting on the hadith reported by Hafsa, al-Shukani said that it makes it necessary to formulate the intention to fast at any time of the night and that it is necessary to renew the intention every day of fasting.

The intention is essential only in the fard (obligatory fasting). It could be formulated during the day in the tatawwu' (i.e. voluntary) fast.

http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/BK_Fasting/P02.htm -



Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 04 October 2005 at 7:53am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting
By Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him)

Three Grades

It should be known that there are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and extra-special.

Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet -- and all other organs -- free from sin.

Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world.

Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of God, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.
To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates of God. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to God, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than God, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words: 'Say: "Allah (sent it down)": then leave them to play in their vain discussions.' [al-An'am, 6:91]

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one's organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment.

See Not What Displeases God

A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.'

Jabir relates from Anas that God's Messenger, on him be peace, said: 'Five things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'

Speak Not...

Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue. Said Sufyan: 'Backbiting annuls the Fast.' Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: 'Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.'

The Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: "I am Fasting, I am Fasting!"'

According to Tradition: 'Two women were Fasting during the time of God's Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to God's Messenger, on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: "Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten." One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, on him be peace, said: "These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!"'

Hear Not...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why God, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words, Exalted is He: 'Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.' [al- Ma'idah, 5:42]

God, Great and Glorious is He, also said: 'Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?' [al-Ma'idah, 5:63]

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'

Do Not...

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast -- to abstain from lawful food - only to break one's Fast on what is unlawful. A man who Fast like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce moderation. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'How many of those who Fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!' This has been taken to mean those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organs from sin.

Avoid Overeating

Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the point of stuffing one's belly. There is no receptacle more odious to God, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering God's enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan's means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one's intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one's powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the (tahajjud) and to recite the praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one's heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:'We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.' [al-Qadr, 97:1]

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but God, Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.

Look To God With Fear And Hope

After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one's Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: 'God, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By God, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.' In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: 'You are an aged elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.' But he replied: 'By this I am making ready for a long journey, Obedience to God, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.'

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.



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Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.



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