This is a parable that Allah made of the multiplication of rewards for those who spend in His cause, seeking His pleasure. Allah multiplies the good deed ten to seven hundred times. Allah said,
﴿مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾
(The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah…)
You know, Subhan’ Allah brothers and sisters, you know when the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Salaam fell sick and he was in his last moments he was; Aisha his wife narrates that was lying down with his head between her chin and her chest and in his last moments, he raised his hand and he said, ‘O Allah, I ask You for companionship with the Highest,’ meaning, I ask you for companionship with You; I wanna be your companion. Right, now Aisha says that when he Sallallahu Assalam says this, she knew that he had chosen to go to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and not stay in this world. And when he passed away, the Ummah fell into a state of confusion and chaos. Like, no one knew what to do. ‘Uthman, he couldn’t even speak, he couldn’t even speak; the narration says he couldn’t even speak. He sat down in the house of Fatimah; in his home. Umar Ibn Al Khattab (ra) he actually stood up in front of the companions in Masjid Nabawi and he pulled out his sword and he said, ‘whoever says, whoever claims that Mohammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has died, I will kill him with this sword of mine! He hasn’t died; he hasn’t died; he will never die!’
There are a number of highly recommendable worshipful practices to be performed during the days of Ramadan, for those who seek closeness to their Lord and His Companionship. Even if in the first part of the month we have missed out on one or more of these acts, we can still make an effort from now to reap their benefits insha Allah.
Don’t Forget or Neglect the Pre-dawn Meal (Suhoor)
It is recommended to partake of a light meal (suhoor)prior to commencing the fast. The fast begins at first light and ends at sunset (maghreb).
“Eat some food before the fast begins, there is blessing in its partaking.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Zaid, the son of Thabit related: “We partook of suhoor (food before the commencement of the fast) during Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah and then stood up for prayer.
He was asked what was the interval of time between the two, so he replied: ‘The time it takes to recite fifty verses (of the Quran).’”
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.” [Muslim]
Joy When Breaking the Fast
The fast is broken at sunset, and it is termed in Arabic iftar. It is a time of happiness and refreshment after experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst. It is usually broken with dates and in many cultures a light soup with bread or small side dishes. Breaking the fast is followed immediately by the evening obligatory prayer. In many parts of the world, including the US, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.
The Prophet (s) said: “Whosoever fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.”
“When evening approaches from this side (east) and the day retreats from this side (west) and the sun has set, the one who is fasting breaks his fast.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Break your fast with a date, or with water because it is pure.” [Abu Daud and Tirmidhi]
Generosity and Good Deeds During the Month of Fasting
Our beloved prophet, Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, spoke on many occasions about the fast of Ramadan.
He informed us of the way in which we should prepare ourselves as well as urging us to do good, to be charitable, and to refrain from ways in which our fast would become invalid.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). [Bukhari].
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
[Bukhari]. “Allah, the Mighty, the Glorified says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for himself, but his fasting is for Me and I shall reward him for it.
The fast is a shield. When any of you fasts he should forsake swearing and noise.’”
Retreat – ‘Itikaf
Regarding the retreat, it was the practice of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, to retreat to the Mosque during the last ten days and nights of Ramadan, fasten his cloak around his waist and encourage his family to do the same. His time in the Mosque was spent in worship and not in idle talk.
If it is one’s intention to offer the retreat then there are specific rules to be observed:
- Once the intention or vow has been taken to observe these days of continuous retreat, the continuity of its observance is broken if he leaves the mosque without a justifiable necessity, such as to attend a funeral.
- However, the observance is not broken when one leaves to go to the toilet. Those in retreat are permitted to renew their ablutions in their own home, but the restatement of the intent must be renewed unless the intention to spend the ten days in advance has been made. Any form of business to and from the mosque is not permissible.
- It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, not to leave the mosque except for the call of nature. Neither would he inquire about a sick person except as he passed by without stopping.
- Sleeping, eating, washing hands in the mosque do not invalidate the retreat, nor yet the emergence of a limb or part of the body from the mosque.
- Sexual intercourse invalidates the observance of the retreat, but not a non-arousing kiss.
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, would go into seclusion for (the last) ten days during the month of Ramadan, but the year in which he passed away he went into seclusion for twenty days.
Narrated ‘Aisha: “Allah’s Apostle used to practice `Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, ‘Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan’”. [Bukhari]
Narrated ‘Aisha (r) (the Mother of the Believers):” Allah’s Apostle used to let his head in (the house) while he was in the mosque and I would comb and oil his hair. When in `Itikaf he used not to enter the house except for a need.” [Bukhari]
Feeding the Poor: An Important Religious Duty of Muslims!!
The holy Quran has linked man’s salvation to the wellbeing of fellow human beings. One cannot find salvation without caring for the fellow human beings particularly those in distress, need and hunger. One of the acts of caring for the distressed is feeding them. This act of feeding the needy and hungry has been stressed in the Quran so many times and in such strong words that one might think that not feeding the poor regularly can even earn the wrath of God leading him to the torment of hell despite all his prayers, fasting and other good deeds.
Thus, the Quran envisions a society in which every member cares for the hungry, the distressed and the needy every moment of his being along with all his personal piety and righteousness. The rights of the neighbours have also been emphasised in the same sense so that a Muslim keeps the well being of his neighbours, especially those neighbours who are poor and needy. While stressing the right of the poor and hungry, the Quran does not specify the Muslims. It only stresses on the feeding of the hungry, suggesting that a hungry person may be a Muslim, a Hindu or even an atheist.
There are more or less seven occasions on which the Quran stresses on the feeding of the poor, the hungry, the orphans and the captives. Though some of the verses recommend the feeding of the poor as an act of penitence for some sins or skipping some religious injunctions like fasting or not keeping an oath, the other verses generally require Muslims to feed the hungry and the poor as a social duty regularly or whenever required. In fact, the stress with which the Quran instructs Muslims to feed the poor, makes it seem that feeding the poor should be one of the social habits of the Muslims. If not done, the Muslims may invite the wrath of God both in this world and in the Hereafter.
The Quran says:
“And (ask) of the Sinners: What led you into Hell Fire? They will say: “We were not of those who prayed; Nor were we of those who fed the indigent;
(Al Mudaththir: 41-44)
Thus feeding only to please God is the favourite acts of the believers:
“A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance. They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,- (Saying),”
We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks. (76: 6-9)
The Quran presents the picture of those who are thrown in hellfire because of not feeding the poor or the orphan while indulging in gluttony.
“This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! (Al Haqqa: 33—34)”
In Surah Fajr, Quran lashes out at those who do not feed the hungry despite the fact that God has provided them with all the luxuries of life. It also suggests that Muslims should encourage the practice of feeding the poor and this way this practice should become a common and visible practice of the Muslims
“Nor do ye encourage one another to feed the poor!
(Al Fajr: 18)”
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Feed the hungry, visit the sick and set free the captives.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 552
“(The righteous are those) who feed the poor, the orphan and the captive for the love of God, saying: ‘We feed you for the sake of God Alone; we seek from you neither reward nor thanks.'” – The Holy Quran, 76:8-9
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Kindness in the best attack and forgiveness is the best revenge.
La amabilidad en el mejor ataque y el perdón es la mejor venganza.
Vriendelijkheid in de beste aanval en vergeving is de beste wraak.
La gentillesse de la meilleure attaque et le pardon est la meilleure vengeance.
Freundlichkeit im besten Angriff und Vergebung ist die beste Rache.
Shànliáng de zuì jiā gōngjí hé kuānshù shì zuì hǎo de bàofù.
Vänlighet i bästa anfall och förlåtelse är den bästa hämnden.
Dobrota v luchshem napadeniya i proshcheniya yavlyayetsya luchshaya mest’.
En iyi saldırı ve af şefkat iyi intikamdır.
La gentilezza nel miglior attacco e perdono è la migliore vendetta.
Kebaikan dalam serangan terbaik dan pengampunan adalah balas dendam terbaik.