Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Difference Between A Punishment & Trial

Punishments are what happen to people in return for their evil deeds. Trials are tests which are sent to try people, and people may be tested by good things or by bad.

Concerning punishments, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself…" [al-Nisa' 4:79]

Concerning the phrase "is from yourself", Qutaadah said: "[It means] the punishment is for you, O son of Adam, because of your sin." Abu Saalih said that "whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself" means "because of your sin, and I [Allaah] am the One Who decreed it for you." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

Allaah also says (interpretation of the meaning):"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much." [al-Shoora 42:30]

Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: "[It means] whatever misfortune happens to you, O people, is because of evil deeds that you have already done, and 'He pardons much' refers to evil deeds – He does not punish you for them but He pardons them. 'And if Allaah were to punish men for that which they earned, he would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth…' [Faatir 35:45 – interpretation of the meaning]."

Concerning trials, the Prophet (salla lahu alaihi wa aalaihi wa sallam) said: "If Allaah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever has patience will have patience, and whoever is anxious will be anxious." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami', 1706).

The Prophet (salla lahu alaihi wa aalaihi wa sallam) also said: "The extent of the reward will be in accordance with the extent of the trial. If Allaah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever is content will have contentment, and whoever is angry will have anger." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2320; Saheeh al-Jaami', 2210).

The following outlines how one may tell whether a given event is a punishment or a trial:

If the misfortune results from doing an act of obedience to Allaah, such as being wounded in jihaad, or losing money when migrating for the sake of Allaah, or losing a job because of becoming Muslim or increasing one's commitment to Islam, then this is a trial. Whoever bears it with patience will be rewarded, but if one reacts angrily then one will earn the wrath of Allaah. If the misfortune results from sin, such as sexually-transmitte d diseases or illnesses caused by drinking alcohol and taking drugs, and so on, then this is the kind of punishment that comes in this world (as opposed to being deferred until the Hereafter). If the misfortune is connected neither to a good deed nor a sin – such as other kinds of disease and sickness, losing a child, or failing in business – then it depends on the person's situation. If he is good and devout, it is a trial, and if he is sinful, it is a punishment.

The misfortune may be a punishment to atone for sins, or it may be a trial aimed at raising a person's status and increasing his hasanaat (good deeds/rewards) – this may be determined by whether a person is obedient or disobedient. A person should not praise himself, rather he should criticize himself for his shortcomings and strive to attain perfection. He will benefit from misfortunes in any case, if he has patience and hopes for reward. And Allaah knows best.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ramadan experience in Makkah

THE experience of Ramadan in Makkah is different from all the Islamic countries. Life dramatically changes, eating habits change and even some common dishes are replaced with special food items.

The large congregation for Isha and Taraweeh prayers represent the dynamic unity of all the Muslims. The Imam reciting the Qur'an, bowing and prostrating with thousands following represents a lovely scene of obedience not found in any religion of the world.

The white and the black stand side by side. Islam stands for unity of Muslims as one nation worshipping only one God and following His divine guidance.

Sudanese in their white turban, Egyptians in their long lose shirts, Omanis with their particular headgear, Jordanians in wide trousers, Moroccans in red Turkish caps with their cloaks on, Nigerians with their shirts and trousers of the same cloth, Pakistanis in their Shirt-and-Shalwar, Indonesians in their bush-shirt and long skirt and Malaysians wearing their black caps and long skirts all gathered together in the mosque under the banner of Islam.

For Iftar, only dates and Saudi coffee are allowed inside the Holy Mosque. People distribute dates hoping to earn extra reward. Outside the mosque, aromas of different dishes delight the passer-bys.

Samosas are special attraction and healthy drinks made from yoghurt are seen everywhere.

People have ten minutes for Iftar. Thousands of workers in the Holy Mosque clean the area within seconds after Iftar to prepare for the congregational prayer.

At home, Saudis have a special soup made of broken wheat, meat and spices. It is said that the soup revives the strength lost during fasting. The most common dishes in Makkah during Ramadan are Kabsa, Zurbiyan, Mandi and roasted meat.

After Maghrib prayer, people crowd restaurants for dinner. When the call for Isha prayer is given after a two-hour break, people rush back for their Isha and Taraweeh prayers that last for nearly two hours.

Sleeping habits also change drastically. People stay awake all night for worship and take rest during the day. Working hours are also changed to the effect.

Ramadan here is also known for its charity. Tons and tons of dates are freely distributed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Interesting Dream of the Prophet Sallalahu Alahi wa Sallam

Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 171: [Interpretation of Dreams ] : Narrated Samura bin Jundub:

Allah's Apostle very often used to ask his companions, "Did anyone of you see a dream?" So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell.

One morning the Prophet said,
"Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, 'Proceed!'
I set out with them and we came across a man Lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. Behold, he was throwing the rock at the man's head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, 'Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?' They said, 'Proceed!'

So we proceeded and came to a man Lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man's mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man's face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, 'Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?' They said to me, 'Proceed!'

So we proceeded and came across something like a Tannur (a kind of baking oven, a pit usually clay-lined for baking bread)." I think the Prophet said, "In that oven there was much noise and voices." The Prophet added, "We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried loudly. I asked them, 'Who are these?' They said to me, 'Proceed!'

And so we proceeded and came across a river." I think he said, ".... red like blood." The Prophet added, "And behold, in the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had collected many stones. Behold. while the other man was swimming, he went near him. The former opened his mouth and the latter (on the bank) threw a stone into his mouth whereupon he went swimming again. He returned and every time the performance was repeated, I asked my two companions, 'Who are these (two) persons?' They replied, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

And we proceeded till we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance, you ever saw a man having! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and running around it. I asked my companions, 'Who is this (man)?' They said to me, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

So we proceeded till we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colors. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my companions, 'Who is this?' They replied, 'Proceed! Proceed!'

So we proceeded till we came to a majestic huge garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two companions said to me, 'Go up and I went up' The Prophet added, "So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate, and it was opened and we entered the city and found in it, men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the handsomest person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. Behold, there was a river flowing across (the city), and its water was like milk in whiteness. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness (of their bodies) had disappeared and they became in the best shape." The Prophet further added, "My two companions (angels) said to me, 'This place is the Eden Paradise, and that is your place.' I raised up my sight, and behold, there I saw a palace like a white cloud! My two companions said to me, 'That (palace) is your place.' I said to them, 'May Allah bless you both! Let me enter it.' They replied, 'As for now, you will not enter it, but you shall enter it (one day)

I said to them, 'I have seen many wonders tonight. What does all that mean which I have seen?'
They replied, 'We will inform you:

As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he is the symbol of the one who studies the Quran and then neither recites it nor acts on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the enjoined prayers.

As for the man you came upon whose sides of mouth, nostrils and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. And

those naked men and women whom you saw in a construction resembling an oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses;,

and the man whom you saw swimming in the river and given a stone to swallow, is the eater of usury (Riba) and

the bad looking man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell and

the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Abraham and the children around him are those children who die with Al-Fitra (the Islamic Faith)."

The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, "O Allah's Apostle! What about the children of pagans?" The Prophet replied, "And also the children of pagans."

The Prophet added, "My two companions added,
'The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.'"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

12 Foods of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)! -- Ramzan Special

Good in fever, while use in a soup form.
The Prophet (SAW) said that a house without dates has no food. It should also be eaten at the time of childbirth.
It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles.
The Prophet (SAW) was very fond of grapes - it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.
Considered the best remedy for diarrhoea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm; as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye soother and mouthwash. It is extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water.
The Prophet (SAW) said: 'None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring that is good in countenance and good in character.'
The Prophet (SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, improved the brain, renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.
The Prophet (SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes; it also serves as a form of birth control and arrests paralysis.
Olive Oil:
Excellent treatment for skin and hair, delays old age, and treats inflammation of the stomach.
The Prophet (SAW) said it cleanses you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40 days.
A food Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to eat with olive oil. [That's now a fashion in elite Italian Restaurants]
The Prophet (SAW) said the best drink in this world is water, when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.

Concerning 'Itikaaf

Author:Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
Source:Qiyaam Ramadaan (pg. 34-41)
Translator:Al-Manhaj.Com Staff

It's Prescription:

1. 'Itikaaf (secluding oneself in the masjid) is a recommended act in Ramadaan as well as any other day in the year. The source for that is found in Allaah's saying: "...while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid." And there are also many authentic ahaadeeth about the Prophet's (saws) 'Itikaaf and narrations from the Salaf about it also. They are mentioned in the Musannafs of Ibn Abee Shaybah and 'Abdur-Razzaaq.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet (saws) made 'Itikaaf in the last ten days of Shawaal,[1] and that 'Umar (raa) said to the Prophet (saws): "I made an oath (to Allaah) in the Days of Ignorance that I would make 'Itikaaf for one night in the Masjid Al-Haraam, (should I do it)?" The Prophet (saws) responded: "Fulfill your oath.." So he made 'Itikaaf for one night. [2]

2. Observing it in Ramadaan is established in the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (raa): "Allaah's Messenger (saws) would make 'Itikaaf for ten days in every Ramadaan. But when it was the year in which he died, he made 'Itikaaf for twenty days." [3]

3. The best time to do it is in the last part of Ramadaan because the Prophet (saws) would make 'Itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until Allaah took his soul (in death). [4]

It's Conditions:

1. It's observance is not legislated except in the masaajid, based on Allaah's saying: "And do not have intercourse with them (your wives) while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid." [5] And 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: "The Sunnah for the one doing 'Itikaaf is that he should not go out (of the masjid) except for some need that he must fulfill. He should not witness a funeral, nor should he touch his wife, or have intercourse with her. And there is no 'Itikaaf except in a masjid that establishes the Jamaa'ah (congregational prayer). And the Sunnah for the one doing 'Itikaaf is that he should be fasting (on the day he makes 'Itikaaf)." [6]

2. The masjid should also hold the Jumu'ah prayers so that he is not forced to leave the masjid to pray the Jumu'ah prayer. This is because going out for it is an obligation, based on 'Aa'ishah's saying in one of the narrations from the previous hadeeth: "...and there is no 'Itikaaf except in a masjid that holds the Jumu'ah prayer." [7]

Furthermore, I came upon an authentic hadeeth that clearly specifies the "masaajid" mentioned in the previous ayah to mean the three masaajid: Masjid Al-Haraam, Masjid An-Nabawee and Masjid Al-Aqsaa. The hadeeth is: "There is no 'Itikaaf except in the three masaajid." [8]

According to what I came across, those among the Salaf who held this opinion were Hudhayfah Ibn Al-Yamaan, Sa'eed Ibn Al-Musayyib and 'Ataa. However, he ('Ataa) did not mention Masjid Al-Aqsaa. Others held the opinion that it was any congregating masjid (in which the Jumu'ah prayer is held), without restriction. And yet others disagreed saying it can even be done in the masjid of one's home. And there is no doubt that adhering to what complies with the hadeeth about it is what deserves to be followed. And Allaah, Glorified and Exalted, knows best.

3. It is from the Sunnah for the one making 'Itikaaf to observe fasting, as has been stated by 'Aa'ishah (raa). [9]

What is permissible for the person making 'Itikaaf:

1. It is permissible for him to leave the masjid in order to fulfill a need. It is also permissible for him to stick his head out of the masjid to have it washed and combed. 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: "The Messenger of Allaah (saws) entered his head in my presence while he was making 'Itikaaf in the masjid, and I was in my apartment. So I would comb his hair, [and in one narration: I would wash it, even though there was the threshold between me and him, and I would be menstruating] , and he (saws) would not enter the house unless he had a [human] need, while making 'Itikaaf." [10]

2. It is permissible for the one making 'Itikaaf and others to make wudoo (ablution) in the masjid, based on the saying of a man who would serve the Prophet (saws): "The Prophet would make a light wudoo (ablution) in the masjid." [11]

3. He may set up a small tent in the back of the masjid in which to make 'Itikaaf. This is since 'Aa'ishah (raa) would set up a khibaa [12] (tent) for the Prophet (saws) when he would make 'Itikaaf. And this was from his (saws) command. [13]

And one time he made 'Itikaaf in a small tent that had a mat covering its doorway. [14]

The Allowance of a woman to make 'Itikaaf and visit her husband (who is making 'Itikaaf) in the masjid:

4. It is permissible for a woman to visit her husband while he is making 'Itikaaf. And he may walk with her to bid her farewell up to the door of the masjid, based on the saying of Safiyyah (raa):

"The Prophet (saws) was making 'Itikaaf in the masjid during the last ten days of Ramadaan, so I went to visit him one night, and his wives were with him. So I spoke to him for an hour, then I got up to leave and he said: 'Don't rush, I'll go out with you.' So he got up with me to escort me out." And her dwelling used to be in the home of Usaamah Ibn Zayd. Then they walked until they reached the door of the masjid, which was by the door of Umm Salamah. Then two men from the Ansaar passed by and when they saw the Prophet (saws), they rushed away. So the Prophet (saws) said: 'Slow down! This is (my wife) Safiyyah Bint Huyai' So they said: 'SubhaanAllaah, O Messenger of Allaah.' He (saws) said: 'Verily, the Devil flows through the human like the flowing of blood. And I feared lest he put some evil into your hearts.'" [Or he (saws) said: "something into your hearts."] [15]

In fact it is even permissible for a woman to make 'Itikaaf along with her husband in the masjid or by herself, based on the statement of 'Aa'ishah (raa): "One of the wives of Allaah's Messenger (saws) made 'Itikaaf with him while she was in the state of Istihaada (bleeding between periods) [in another narration it states she is Umm Salamah] and she would see red (blood) or yellowish traces (come out of her). And sometimes we put a tray beneath her when she offered the prayer." [16]

And she also said: "The Prophet (saws) would observe 'Itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan, until he died.. Then his wives observed 'Itikaaf after him." [17]

There is proof in this that it is permissible for the women to make 'Itikaaf also. And there is no doubt that this is on the condition that their guardians grant them permission to do that. And it is also on the condition that the place is free from any fitnah and intermingling with men, based on the many evidences for that and also on the Fiqh principle: "Preventing an evil takes precedence over bringing about a good."

5. Having sexual intercourse nullifies one's 'Itikaaf, based on Allaah's saying: "And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid."

And Ibn 'Abbaas (raa) said: "If the person making 'Itikaaf has sexual relations then he nullifies his 'Itikaaf and must start it over again." [18] There is no recompense (kaffaarah) that is binding upon him due to a lack of anything being mentioned about that by the Prophet (saws) and his Companions.


[1] This is a portion of a hadeeth from 'Aa'ishah reported by Al-Bukharee, Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheeh collections. I have referenced it in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2127)

[2] Reported by Al-Bukharee, Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah. The extra addition is from Al-Bukhaaree in one narration as is stated in my abridgment to it (995). And it is referenced in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2136-2137) also.

[3] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheeh collections and it is referenced in the previously mentioned source (2126-2130)

[4] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah (2223) and it is referenced in Al-Irwaa (966) and Saheeh Abee Dawood (2125)

[5] Surat-ul-Baqarah: 187. Imaam Al-Bukhaaree used this ayah as evidence for hat we have stated above. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said: "The point of evidence found in this ayah is that if it were correct to do 'Itikaaf in someplace other than a masjid, the forbiddance of having sexual relations would not be specifically mentioned, because sexual intercourse is forbidden during 'Itikaaf according to the consensus of the scholars. So it is understood through the mentioning of "masaajid" that the meaning is that 'Itikaaf is not correct except in it the masaajid.

[6] Reported by Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain, and Abu Dawood with a sound chain. The following narration from 'Aa'ishah RAA is also form Abu Dawood, and it is referenced in Saheeh Aee Dawood (2135) and Al-Irwaa (966)

[7] Al-Bayhaqee reported on Ibn 'Abbaas that he said: "Verily, the most hated of things to Allaah are the innovations. And verily from the innovations is making 'Itikaaf in the masaajid that are located in the houses."

[8] Reported by At-Tahaawee and Al-Isma'eelee and Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain of narration on Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yamaan RAA. And it is referenced in As-Saheehah (no. 2786) along with the narrations from the Sahaabah that comply with it, and all of them are authentic.

[9] Reported by Al-Baihaqee with an authentic chain of narration and Abu Dawood with a sound chain of narration. Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad Al-Ma'aad: "It is not reported on the Prophet (saws) that he made 'Itikaaf while not fasting. Rather, 'Aa'ishah (raa) said: 'There is no 'Itikaaf except with fasting.' And furthermore, Allaah did not mention 'Itikaaf except with the fast. And the Prophet (saws) did not do it unless he was fasting. So the correct opinion is in the evidence, which the majority of the scholars adhere to: that fasting is a condition for 'Itikaaf. And this is the opinion that Shaikh-ul-Islaam Abul-'Abbaas Ibn Tamiyyah favored." And he adds to this that it is not legislated in the Religion that one who goes out to the masjid for prayer or other than that is supposed to make an intention for the amount of time he will spend in 'Itikaaf. This is what Shaikh-ul-Islaam clarified in his Ikhtiyaaraat.

[10] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Ibn Abee Shaybah, and Ahmad, and the first addition belongs to these last two (mentioned). It is referenced in Saheeh Abee Dawood (2131-2132)

[11] Reported by Al-Bayhaqee with a good chain and Ahmad (5/364) in abridged form with an authentic chain of narration.

[12] A khibaa is one type of house of the Arabs made from fur or wool, and it is not from hair. And it is set up on two or three props. See An-Nihaayah.

[13] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah. Her doing it is stated in the report of Al-Bukhaaree and his commanding it is stated in the report of Muslim.

[14] It is part of a hadeeth narrated by Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree, reported by Muslim and Ibn Khuzaimah in their Saheehs. It is referenced in Saheeh Abee Dawood (1251)

[15] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim and also Abu Dawood, and the last part of it is form him (Abu Dawood). And I referenced it in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2133 & 2134).

[16] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and it is referenced in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (2138). The other narration is from Sa'eed Ibn Mansoor, as is I stated in Fath-ul-Baaree (4/281). However, Ad-Daarimee (1/22) says that she is Zaynab, and Allaah knows best.

[17] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others.

[18] Reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah (3/92) and 'Abdur-Razaaq (4/363) with an authentic chain of narration. And what is meant by his saying: "must start it over" is that he must redo his 'Itikaaf.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Inner Dimensions of Fasting

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 Allah, 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 Allah, 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 Allah. 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 Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, 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:


A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, 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 Allah's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah 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 Allah's Messenger, on him be peace, said:

'Five things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'


Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of Allah, 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 Allah'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 Allah'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 Allah made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what Allah, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!"'

3. HEAR NOT...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to.
That is why Allah, 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]

Allah, 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. Allah, 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.'

4. 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.


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 Allah, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food.

Of what use is the Fast as a means of conquering Allah'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 night Prayers (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 Allah, 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 Allah, Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.


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 Allah, 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: 'Allah, 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 Allah, 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 Allah, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.'

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

Ruling on Eating Suhoor whilst the Muezzin is Giving the Call to Prayer

Is it permissible to carry on eating suhoor when the muezzin is giving the second adhaan, or is that not allowed?

That depends. If the muezzin is giving the adhaan for subh (fajr) (he is giving the adhaan when dawn has really started), then you must stop eating and drinking, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not stop your suhoor when you hear the adhaan of Bilaal, for he gives the adhaan at night, so eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktoom gives the adhaan.” The basis for this appears in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)”

[al-Baqarah 2:187] 
If it is known that dawn has come, even without any adhaan, such as when one is in the desert etc., when you see the dawn then you should stop eating and drinking even if you do not hear the adhaan. 

But if the muezzin gives the adhaan too early or there is any doubt concerning whether his adhaan has coincided with the dawn or not, then you may eat and drink until you are certain that the dawn has started, whether that is known from a reliable timetable or from a trustworthy adhaan which is known to come at the time of dawn. In this case (if the adhaan is too early) you may eat whilst the adhaan is being given, you may eat or drink what is in your hand, because there is no certainty that the adhaan is being given at the right time, rather it is possible.

Few ways to get great blessings in Ramadan

Here are a few ways to get great blessings in Ramadan and outside of Ramadan this year and all years to follow it inshallah Please read through it carefully and try to apply as many of these good deeds as possible inshallah:

1. Sitting after the Fajr prayer remembering Allah until sunrise: "whoever prays al-ghadaa (fajr) in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays 2 rakats of salat has a complete reward of Hajj and Umrah (the prophet s..a.w repeated the word 'complete' 3 times for emphasis) [at-Tirmidhi, classed as Saheeh by al-Albani

2. Praying the 12 sunnah prayers each day: " Allah will build house in Jannah for whoever is diligent in observing 12 sunnah rakat (as follows) 4 rakat before and 2 after Dhur, 2 after the Maghrib, 2 after Ishaa, and 2 before Fajr." [hadeeth is sahih narrated by at-Tirmidhi No. 379 and by others.]

3. Attending lectures in the mosque. "Whoever goes to the mosque not desiring except to learn or teach what is good has the reward of a pilgrim who completed his Hajj" [at-Tabarani, classed sahih by al-Albani]

4. Visiting a sick Muslim. "There is no Muslim who visits a sick muslim early in the morning but 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in paradise." Classed as sahih by al-Albani in sahih al-Tirmidhi

5. Providing food for breaking the fast. "Whoever provides food for breaking of the fast for a fasting person receives the reward of the fasting person, without the reward of the fasting person being reduced in any way." -at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

6. Standing in prayer on Laylatul Qadr. "Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months." Quran 97:3], that is, superior to approx 83 years of worship!

7. Remember Allah when you go shopping : "Whoever enters a market and says:
'Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa 'ala kulli shayin qadeer'

[there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise, He causes life and death and He is the Living and does not die. In His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent]

Allah will write for him/her a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels." [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

8. Asking Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. "Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman." [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

9. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said "The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: 'Whoever says subhanallah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea." Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6042; Muslim 2691

10. If a person says "Subhanallah" (glory be to Allah) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. Narrated by Muslim 2073

The following ahadeeth are from Saheehul-Jaami' of Shaikh al-Albani (r.a) pg. 1103-1104

-Abu Umaamah (ra) reported that Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites Ayatul-Kursi following every obligitiry prayer, nothing will prevent him from entering Jannah except dying."

- Ibn Masood (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) "Whever recites the last 2 verses of Surah Baqarah in a night, they will sufice him."

- Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allaaah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recited Surah Kafiroon it will be equal to a quarter of the Quran for him, and whoever recites Surah Ikhlas it will be equal to a third of the Quran for him."

- Tameem as-Daaree (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites (in prayer) with a hundred verses a night , it will written for him as devout obedience to Allah for the night."

- Abu Sa'eed (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) Whoever recites Surah Kahf on the day of Jumu'ah, light will be made to shine for him between the 2 Jumu'ahs (that Jumu'ah and the one followingit)"

- Mu'aadh bin Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu 'alayhe wasallam) said: "Whoever recites Surah Ikhlas 10 times, Allah will build for him a house in Jannah."

Memorize these important dua's inshallah

1. The authentic dua to sat when breaking your fast: "Dhahabath- dhama-oo wabtallatil- urooq wa thabatil ajru inshallaah" (The thirst has gone the veins are quenched and the reward is confirmed if Allah wills)

2. The dua to say when seeking the night of Laylatul-Qadr: "Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbil-afwa fa'fu 'annii" (Oh Allah You are the Forgiving and Pardoning Who loves to forgive and pardon so forgive and pardon me) [at-Tirmidhi and it is saheeh)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saying of "Ramadhan Kareem" by Shaikh Uthaymeen

Questioner: When the fasting person falls into a sin and he is prohibited from that sin he will say, "Ramadan Kareem". So what is the ruling concerning this phrase and what is the ruling concerning this behavior?

Sheik Uthaymeen: said:
The ruling concerning this is, this phrase "Ramadan Kareem" is not correct, and the only phrase that should be said is "Ramadan Mubarak" or what resembles that. Because Ramadan is not the one that gives such that it can be called generous (Kareem), rather it is only ALLAH the Exalted that put virtue in it and made it a virtuous month and made the time period for performing (the fasting) a pillar from Islam. And it is as though the one who said this thinks that due to the nobility of this month it is permissible to commit sins. And that is in opposition to what the people of knowledge have said (for they have said) that the sins are multiplied if they are done during virtuous times or noble places so this is the opposite of what this person has pictured. And they have said that it is incumbent upon the person to have Taqwaa of ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic during every time and in every place especially during virtuous times and in noble places. And ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic says "Oh you who believe fasting has been prescribed for you like it was prescribed for those before you that you may obtain Taqwaa." So the wisdom behind the obligation of fasting is to gain Taqwaa of ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic by doing what He has ordered and avoiding what He has prohibited. And it has been established that the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him said "Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink". Therefore fasting is worship for ALLAH and cultivation for the soul and a safeguard for it from the prohibitions of ALLAH. And it is not like this one without knowledge has said that due to the nobility of this month and its blessing, sinning is allowed in it.

Crying Like A Baby

When was the last time you cried like a baby?

We can't afford not to be crying in front of Allah, the Merciful, All-Aware.

Tears flow when we remember how much Allah has blessed us with and how much we disobey Him. We can never repay Allah for everything we have, yet we still blatantly commit sins both big and small: whether it's backbiting, hurting other human beings, not standing up for the truth, treating our family badly, lying, doing good deeds to show off, cheating, etc.

Abdullah ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said he would rather shed two tears from the fear of Allah than give a thousand dinars in charity.

And the most telling example of a man who few would think would cry because of Allah is Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. He was known for being strong, fearless, and uncompromising when it came to matters of faith. Yet, Abdullah ibn Isa said that Umar had two black streaks on his face because of constant weeping.

He feared Allah so much that he once said, "If someone announced from the heavens that everybody will enter Paradise except one person, I would fear that that person would be me."

Umar was one of the strongest believers. Yet he cried and feared Allah. And Abu Bakr, he was simply known for his crying. These people loved to serve human beings in the day and spent time begging God to save humanity at night. May Allah be pleased with them.

Let's be more contemplative and pray for an awareness of and forgiveness for our sins, as well as softness in our hearts. If Umar the brave and pious did it, we have even more need and urgency to do it.

(excerpt taken from)

"Crying in Front of Allah - It's not impossible" - Abdul Malik Mujahid
http://soundvision. com/Info/ ramadan/10. cry.asp

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Word of Wisdom from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)

Compiled by Dr. Shahid Athar

"Acquire knowledge, it enables its professor to distinguish right from wrong; it lights the way to heaven. It is our friend in the desert, our company in solitude and companion when friendless. It guides us to happiness, it sustains us in misery, it is an ornament amongst friends and an armour against enemies." (widely attributed to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh))

"A Muslim who plants a tree or sows a field, from which man, birds and animals can eat, is committing an act of charity." (Muslim)

"There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is the remembrance of Allah." (Bukhari)

"What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured." (Bukhari)

"The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self." (Bukhari)

"If you put your whole trust in Allah, as you ought, He most certainly will satisfy your needs, as He satisfies those of the birds. They come out hungry in the morning, but return full to their nests." (Tirmidhi)

"When Allah created his creatures He wrote above His throne: 'Verily, my Compassion overcomes my wrath." (Bukhari & Muslim)

"Allah will not give mercy to anyone, except those who give mercy to other creatures." (Abdullah b. Amr: Abu Daud & Tirmidhi)

" 'Son, if you are able, keep your heart from morning till night and from night till morning free from malice towards anyone.' Then the Prophet said: 'O my son! This is one of my laws, and he, who loves my laws verily loves me.' " (Bukhari)

"Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people." (Baihaqi)

"Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith." (Muslim)

"When you see a person who has been given more than you in money and beauty, look to those, who have been given less." (Muslim)

"If you do not feel ashamed of anything, then you can do whatever you like." (Abu-Masud: Bukhari)

"O Lord, grant me your love, grant me that I love those who love you; grant me, that I might do the deeds that win your love. Make your love dearer to me than the love of myself, my family and wealth." (Tirmidhi)

"It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words." (Bukhari)

"Verily, a man teaching his child manners is better than giving one bushel of grain in alms." (Muslim)

"Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth. He Who is in heaven will show mercy on you."(Abu Daud: Tirmidhi)

"It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path, that leads to bliss." (Muslim)

"Once a man, who was passing through a road, found a branch of a tree with torns obstructing it. The man removed the thorns from the way. Allah thanked him and forgave his sins." (Bukhari)

"Who are the learned? Those who practice what they know." (Bukhari)

"Allah has revealed to me, that you must be humble. No one should boast over one another, and no one should oppress another." (Iyad b. Hinar al-Mujashi: Muslim)

"Who is the most favoured of Allah? He, from whom the greatest good comes to His creatures." (Bukhari)

"A true Muslim is thankful to Allah in prosperity, and resigned to His will in adversity." (Muslim)

"A Muslim who meets with others and shares their burdens is better than one who lives a life of seclusion and contemplation. " (Muslim)

"Serve Allah, as you would if you could see Him; although you cannot see Him, He can see you. (Umar: Muslim)

"Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds." (Abu Huraira: Muslim)

"The best richness is the richness of the soul." (at the field ofTabuk, Syria, Rajab 9 A.H.: Bukhari)

"Keep yourselves far from envy; because it eats up and takes away good actions, like a fire eats up and burns wood." (Abu Daud)

"Much silence and a good disposition, there are no two things better than these." (Bukhari)

"Verily, Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to the mild what He does not give to the harsh." (Muslim)

"Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him." (Bukhari)

"Once the Prophet was asked:'Tell us, which action is dearest to Allah?' He answered:'To say your prayer at its proper time.' Again he was asked: 'What comes next?' Mohammed said: 'To show kindness to parents.' 'Then what?' he was asked, 'To strive for the cause of Allah!' " (Ibn Masad: Bukhari)

"When two persons are together, two of them must no whisper to each other, without letting the third hear; because it would hurt him." (Bukhari & Muslim)

"Verily, it is one of the respects to Allah to honor an old man." (Bukhari)

"All Muslims are like a foundation, each strengthening the other; in such a way they do support each other." (Abu Musa: Bukhari & Muslim)

"Strive always to excel in virtue and truth." (Bukhari)

"You will not enter paradise until you have faith; and you will not complete your faith till you love one another." (Muslim)

"He, who wishes to enter paradise at the best gate, must please his father and mother." (Bukhari & Muslim)

"I am leaving two things among you, and if you cling to them firmly you will never go astray; one is the Book of Allah and the other is my way of life." (Farewell Pilgrimage: Muatta)

"Allah is One and likes Unity." (Muslim)

"The best of alms is that, which the right hand gives and the left hand knows not of." (Bukhari)

"The perfect Muslim is not a perfect Muslim, who eats till he is full and leaves his neighbors hungry." (Ibn Abbas: Baihaqi)

"He is not of us who is not affectionate to the little ones, and does not respect the old; and he is not of us, who does not order which is lawful, and prohibits that which is unlawful." (Ibn Abbas: Tirmidhi)

"No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that, what he desires for himself." (Abu Hamza Anas: Bukhari & Muslim)

"To strive for the cause of Allah from daybreak to noon and sunset is better than the goods and enjoyment of the whole worldly life." (Bukhari)

"Be not like the hypocrite who, when he talks, tells lies; when he gives a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he proves dishonest." (Bukhari & Muslim)

"The proof of a Muslim's sincerity is, that he pays no heed to that, which is not his business." (Abu Hureira: Tirmidhi)

"Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind." (Muslims & Bukhari)

"Conduct yourself in this world, as if you are here to stay forever; prepare for eternity as if you have to die tomorrow." (Bukhari)

"The worldly comforts are not for me. I am like a traveller, who takes a rest under a tree in the shade and then goes on his way." (Tirmidhi)

Our Fajr Double Advantage--The key to spiritual and material success for Muslims

 By Michael Young

"Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" - a famous maxim coined by the American scientist, writer and inventor, Benjamin Franklin. And he was not alone in these beliefs. The writer Samuel Johnson also warned that "nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good".

This is not just opinion but proven scientific fact. A study by researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo in the American state of Utah found that:

"students who habitually go to bed late and sleep late the next day have lower grade point averages (GPAs) than students with early-to-bed and early-to-rise sleeping habits. The later students slept in the morning, the lower their grades tended to be. Out of all the factors studied, weekday and weekend wakeup times had the strongest association with students' GPAs. Each hour over the average that students slept in on weekdays was associated with a 0.13-point drop on the GPA (0.0-4.0 scale)."
Source: Journal of American College Health 2000; 49: 125-130

Of course, we Muslims are well used to getting up not just at the crack of dawn but actually half an hour before it to begin the day with the ritual worship of fajr salat (and even earlier in Ramadan before starting the day's fast).

Spiritual Success

What are the spiritual blessings of fajr salat?

According to a hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, prophet Mohammed stated that the action which is dearest to God is salat at its proper times. On another occasion prophet Mohammed also said to his companions:

"The five set prayers may be compared to a stream of fresh water, flowing in front of your house, into which you plunge five times each day. Do you think that would leave any dirt on your body?' When they replied: 'None at all!' Mohammed said: 'Indeed the five prayers remove sins, just as water removes dirt." (Bukhari, Muslim)

And once while standing beside a tree in autumn, he stated:

"When a Muslim observes his salat with due attention and devotion, he sheds his sins just like this tree is shedding its leaves." (Ahmad)

Moreover, in the Quran we are told that prostrating (in salat) brings us closer to God (96:1).

Prophet Mohammed also tells us that fajr salat along with isha is particularly rich in blessings:

"If people only knew what blessings are in the fajr and isha prayers, they would come to them, even if they had to crawl." (Bukhari and Muslim)

And according to Utham, (RA), prophet Mohammed said:

"To perform the dawn prayer, [fajr], in congregation is like keeping vigil throughout the night." (Muslim).

Material Success

In Surah 23, ayats 1-2 of the Quran we learn that:

"Certainly the believers have succeeded, those who offer salat with devotion."

Spiritual success certainly. But as Muslims we are also called upon not just to earn spiritual blessings for the next world but also to be materially successful in this one. Despite the obvious call to work hard and make the most of our abilities demonstrated in the parable of the talents, the Christian West has often had an ambiguous attitude towards wealth, sometimes glorifying poverty and misinterpreting Jesus's gospel statement that "love of money is the root of all evil" to mean that money itself is the root of all evil. As a Muslim, I am more inclined to agree with the playwright George Bernard Shaw who is reported to have said that "lack of money is the root of all evil".

[Shaw was an admirer of prophet Mohammed and in the 1936 book The Genuine Islam referred to him as "the wonderful man" and "the saviour of humanity".]

Prophet Mohammed himself stated:

"There will dawn a time over people when the destruction of a man will be at the hands of his wife, parents, and children. They will humiliate him because of his poverty and will make such demands which will induce him to engage in such activities (to gain more money) which will finally destroy his religion." - Baihaqi. Narrated by Ibn Mas'ood (RA) and Abu Hurairah (RA)

The other side of the coin, so to speak, is:

"How excellent is the wealth of the Muslim". - Sahih Bukhari hadith 4.95 Narrated by Abu Said Al Khudri (RA)

It is wealth which enables us to take care of our families, keep on the straight path and avoid doing wrong in order to make ends meet. It is wealth which enables us to meet our obligation to pay Zakat. It is wealth which enables us to help others and contribute to Dawah through additional charity. It is wealth which enables us to meet our obligation to go on Hajj.

It was wealthy Muslim traders who peacefully spread Islam throughout West Africa and the areas we now know as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. And if we look at the first generation of Muslims, we find the shining example of Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awl. The eighth person to embrace Islam, he migrated twice to Abyssinia. Abdur-Rahman distinguished himself in both the battles of Badr and Uhud, suffering more than twenty wounds at the latter. Then starting with nothing, he went on to achieve tremendous success as a merchant, becoming the richest of the companions. From his great wealth, Abdur-Rahman financed the Muslim armies, contributed to the upkeep of the family of Mohammed after the prophet's death and was universally renowned for his fabulous generosity.

So how can we turn getting up for Fajr to our material advantage? Certainly not by slinking back into bed again and snuggling up for another few hours. As prophet Mohammed said:

"The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of self." (Bukhari)

In the context of fajr, what this means is, once up, stay up! Stay up and do something useful. Work on your goals. If you don't have any, set some. Decide what you want to achieve in life. Devise a plan to make those goals a reality then take action. You will be amazed at what you can get done in those few quiet hours when most of the rest of the world is still asleep. You can organise your day, learn a language, work on your degree course or get fit by going jogging in the coolness of the morning.

You can also turn staying up after fajr to your career advantage by driving into work earlier, beating the traffic then packing so much productive work into the next hour without interruption because no one is there to pop into your office and the phone hasn't started ringing yet.

A further fajr advantage is that along the way you can listen on cassette to the wisdom and inspiration of motivational and business speakers. We spend hundreds of ours commuting in our cars every year, by some estimates the equivalent to two full terms of university tuition. Put this time to good use, especially first thing in the morning when you are relaxed and driving on a virtually empty road, when you are bright and fresh and can best take it all in. Turn your car into a university on wheels.

Each of our lives is different, but you know how to apply these ideas to your own situation.

Take action now!

"Ah, that's too hard", I hear you say. Well God assures us in the Quran that:

"We do not lay a burden on anyone beyond his capacity." (Quran: 23:62)

It is possible to turn these early hours to great advantage. It's desirable and it's beneficial. We are obliged to get up for fajr anyway. From this we derive a spiritual advantage. Let's stay up and get to work. Why have just one type of advantage when we can have two - spiritual and material. As Muslims we are uniquely placed. The next fajr is less than 24 hours from now. First thing tomorrow morning make sure that you take advantage of your fajr double advantage.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Way to Perform the Night Prayer

I spoke in detail about this subject in my book Salaat at-Taraaweeh (pg. 101-115), so I felt that I should abridge that discussion here in order to make it easy for the reader and to remind him:

The First Manner: consists of thirteen rak'aat, which is commenced with two short rak'aat. According to the most correct opinion, these are the two rak'aat of Sunnah prayer offered after 'Ishaa, or they are two specific rak'aat by which one begins the Night Prayer, as has been stated previously. Then one prays two very long rak'aat (after that). Then two more rak'aat are prayed, and then another two rak'aat are prayed. Then two more rak'aat are prayed and another set of two rak'aat are prayed. Then witr is made with one rak'ah.

The Second Manner: consists of thirteen rak'aat. There are eight rak'aat within them, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak'aat. Then witr is made with five rak'aat and one does not sit nor make the tasleem except in the fifth rak'ah.

The Third Manner: consists of eleven rak'aat, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak'aat and then prays witr at the end with one rak'ah.

The Fourth Manner: consists of eleven rak'aat, in which one prays four rak'aat and makes one tasleem after the four. The he prays another four in a similar manner and ends it with three rak'aat (for witr).

Would the Prophet (saws) remain in the sitting position after every two rak'aat, when praying a unit of four rak'aat or a unit of three rak'aat? We do not find a clear answer for this, but remaining in the sitting position (for tashahhud) while doing a unit of three rak'aat is not legislated (in the Religion)!

The Fifth Manner: consists of eleven rak'aat, in which one prays eight rak'aat and does not sit in any of them except for the eighth rak'ah. While sitting (in the eighth rak'ah), he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet (saws) and then stands up again without making the tasleem. Then he makes witr with one rak'ah and when finished, he makes the tasleem. This consists of nine rak'aat. Then he prays two rak'aat after that while in the sitting position.

The Sixth Manner: One prays nine rak'aat, in which he does not sit except after the sixth rak'ah. Then he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet (saws) and then stands again without making the tasleem. Then he makes witr with three rak'aat and when finished, he makes the tasleem, etc. (the rest is the same as the previous manner)

These are the manners in which it is reported that the Prophet (saws) performed the Night Prayer. It is possible to add other types of manners to it, by subtracting what one wishes from each set of rak'aat until he cuts it down to one rak'ah, acting on the previously mentioned hadeeth of Allaah's Messenger (saws): "So whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with five rak'aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with three rak'aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with one rak'ah."

So if one wants, he can pray these five rak'aat or three rak'aat with one sitting and one tasleem, as is stated in the Second Manner. And if he wants, he can make tasleem after every two rak'aat, as is stated in the Third Manner, and this is preferred.

As for praying the set of five rak'aat or three rak'aat by sitting after every two rak'aat and not making the tasleem, then we did not find any authentic report that the Prophet (saws) used to do this. The asl (foundation) is that it is permissible, but since the Prophet (saws) forbade us from praying witr with three rak'aat indicating the reason for that by saying: "And do not liken it to the Maghrib prayer." [1] So then anyone that prays the witr in three rak'aat must not liken it to the Maghrib prayer. This can be done in two ways:

1. Making the tasleem between the even and odd number rak'ah (i.e. between the second and the third rak'ah). This is what is more strong and preferred.

2. One does not sit between the even and odd number (i.e. he prays three rak'aat straight with one tasleem), and Allaah knows best.

Some Common Mistakes in Ramadaan--By Asma bint Shameem

Taking Ramadaan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil....we forget to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that's about all.

Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.’” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by al-Albaani)

Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of 'fasting' into the month of 'feasting'. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.

".....and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) " [al-Araaf :31]

Spending all day cooking

Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!

Eating too much

Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to 'make up for the food missed.' However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. saheeh by al-Albaani).

Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.

It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.

Sleeping all day
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) 'sleeping away their fast'. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot 'bear' to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.

Wasting time

The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allaah calls this month "Ayyamum Ma'doodaat" (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!

Fasting but not giving up evil

Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Baqarah 2:183]

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink." (Bukhaari)


Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it, as it is one of al-Khabaa'ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds of 'smoking material' eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes,'Sheesha' , hookah etc.

"he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa'ith (all evil and unlawful things) [al-A'raaf :157]

It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "There should be no harming or reciprocating harm."

This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast. (Fatwa -Ibn 'Uthaymeen)

Skipping Suhoor

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing."(Bukhaari, Muslim).

And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor." (Muslim)

Stopping Suhoor at 'Imsaak'

Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe 'Imsaak'.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bidah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn: "and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)" [al-Baqarah 2:187]

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: "….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes."

This 'imsaak' which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

"Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed." (Muslim)

Not fasting if they missed Suhoor
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? It's not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allaah overcomes everything.

Saying the intention to fast 'out loud' or saying a specific dua to start fasting

The intention is an action of the heart. We should resolve in our heart that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not prescribed by the Shari'ah for us to say out loud, "I intend to fast", "I will fast tomorrow" or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. Also, there is no specific dua to be recited at the time of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever 'dua' you may see on some papers or Ramadaan calendars, etc. is a Bid'ah.

read more :
Uttering the intention to fast out loud is an innovation (bidah)
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/LoveIslam_ LiveIslam/ message/258

Authentic & UnAuthentic Dua for Iftaar !!!
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/LoveIslam_ LiveIslam/ message/263

Delaying breaking fast

Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be 'on the safe side'. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to break the fast, which means breaking fast whenever the adhaan starts, right after the sun has set. Aa'ishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to do. (Muslim)

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to break the fast." (Bukhaari, Muslim)

Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul on Allaah and break your fast exactly on time.

Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up

Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.

Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted

The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler." (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).

Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it....Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.

Fasting but not praying

The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer." (Muslim)

In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.

"Whoever does not pray 'Asr, his good deeds will be annulled." (Bukhaari)

Fasting and not wearing Hijaab

Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if does not invalidate it.

Not fasting because of exams or work

Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allaah is much more important than 'good grades'. Besides, if you will fulfil your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will make it easy for you and help you in everything you do.

"Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him." (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)

Mixing fasting and dieting

O NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone. Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirk.

Fighting over the number of Rakaah of Taraweeh

There is no specific number of rak'ahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said: "No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (raka'ah), because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allaah."

Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th

Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan." (Bukhaari, Muslim).

Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid

Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max.

Aa’ishah (RA) said: “When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family.” (Bukhaari and Muslim).

Iftaar parties

Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish 'Iftaar parties' with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to Salaah, and Taraweeh to even music and dancing.

Fed Up with Side-Effects and Doctor Visits? Put AWAY That Inhaler! Solve Your Asthma the NATURAL Way! Click Here!