By: Abu Muhammad Yusuf
Globally the Muslim Ummah is in a crisis. From Australia in the south to Canada in the north, from China in east to USA in the west we find Islamophobia raising its venomous head. The “War on Terror”, persecution, oppression, discrimination, etc against innocent and peace loving Muslims has become the order of the day. The raining of missiles on families in Palestine-Gaza , the merciless killing of innocent civilians in Syria, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, torture and rape in Afghanistan and Iraq,the banning of niqaab in France, war in Somalia, Chechnya etc. The list is extensive.
As Muslims we should not turn a blind eye and be apathetic to the sufferings of millions of our fellow brothers and sisters globally. We should not only feel the pain in our hearts, but should constructively engage ourselves in physically assisting the Ummah with whatever means we have at our disposal.
Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’aan: “ Indeed, Muslims are brothers.”(Qur’an: Al Hujurat:10)
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has emphatically stated that “No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself”.(Hadith-Bukhari & Muslims)
We are ONE UMMAH, if the finger feels a pain the whole body feels the pain. It is our duty to share the pain, responsibilities, burdens and needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a body; if one of the organs is afflicted, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever.”(Hadith-Muslim)
Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-Aas (radi Allahu anhu) came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and said: “The Shaytaan comes between me and my prayer and recitation of Quran, and he is confusing me.” The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “That is a devil called Khinzab. If you notice that, then seek refuge with Allah from him, and spit drily to your left three times.” Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-Aas (radi Allahu anhu) said: “I did that, and Allah took him away from me.” [Muslim]
This hadith tells us what to do if in the middle of Salaat we feel distracted or get confused.
If the Shaytaan is not able to prevent people from obeying Allah, then he strives to corrupt their acts of worship and obedience, so that he can deprive them of the reward. We should seek protection with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) from the devil by saying “Aoodhu billahi minash shaytaan ir-rajeem” before beginning any good deed.
The Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Grey hair is the light of a Muslim (on the Day of Resurrection). No Muslim turns grey in Islam but for every grey hair he will receive one reward and his status will be raised by one degree .”
[Al-Baihaqi – Classed as Sahih by Sh al-Albaani in Silsilat al- Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (1243)]
By: Abu Muhammad Yusuf
Sacrifice is part of nature. The excruciating pain a mother endures patiently at childbirth, the years a teacher spends in educating children, the medical personal who attend to accident scenes in the dead of night, the police who patrol the streets during odd times and extreme weather, the Mujahideen who protect the borders of Islam, the patience of innocent civilians under oppressive regimes are just but a few examples of sacrifices for humanity.
Al-Harith Al-Ash’ari (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “A Person cannot protect himself against the Shaytan (Devil) except by remembering Allah.”
Whenever you are alone, remember you have become a prey of the Shaytan, except if you’re remembering Allah. Nowadays many people are tempted by Shaytaan and fall into the traps of the Shaytan. It’s his job to lead us astray and to take us with him into Hell, but we should do our utmost best to prevent this. How? Do lots of Dhikr. Remember Allah all the time. Read the Quran, Do Dhikr, Pray voluntary prayers, Go to mosque, Attend Islamic events etc. And In Shaa Allah you’ll be under the protection of Allah.
May Allah save us from the whispers of the Shaytaan and forgive our sins. Ameen.
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]