Eating Out of Forgetfulness in Ramadan Does Not Matter

5 09 2009

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

What is the ruling on one who eats or drinks out of forgetfulness during Ramadan?

Praise be to Allaah.

That does not matter and his fast is valid, because Allaah says at the end of Soorat al-Baqarah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

It was narrated in a saheeh report from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that Allaah said, “I have done that.” And it was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast, for the One Who fed him and gave him to drink was Allaah.” (Agreed upon).

The same applies if he has intercourse because of forgetfulness; his fast is still valid according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, because of this aayah and this hadeeth, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever breaks his fast in Ramadaan out of forgetfulness, he does not have to make that day up and he does not have to offer any expiation (kafaarah).” (Narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim). This wording includes intercourse and other things that break the fast, if the fasting person does them because of forgetfulness. This is from the mercy, bounty and kindness of Allaah, for which we praise and thank Him.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, vol. 4, p. 193.





Some of the Sunnahs of Fasting

4 09 2009
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

What are the Sunnahs of fasting?

Praise be to Allaah.

There are many Sunnahs of fasting, including the following:

1 – It is Sunnah if someone insults you to respond in a better manner and say, “I am fasting,” because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting is a paradise so there should be no obscene or offensive talk or behaviour. If a person fights him or insults him, let him say, ‘I am fasting,’ twice. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better before Allaah then the fragrance of musk. [Allaah says:] ‘He gives up his food, drink and desire for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I will reward for it, and a good deed receives the reward of ten like it.’” Al-Bukhaari, no. 1894; Muslim, 1151.

2 – It is Sunnah for the fasting person to eat suhoor, because it was proven in al-Saheehayn that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1923; Muslim, 1059).

3 – It is Sunnah to delay suhoor because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas from Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “We ate suhoor with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then he got up to pray.” I said: “How much time was there between the adhaan and suhoor?” He said: “The time it takes to recite fifty verses.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1921).

4 – It is Sunnah to hasten to break the fast because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people will continue to be fine so long as they hasten to break the fast.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1957; Muslim, 1098). See also question no. 49716)

5 – It is Sunnah to break the fast with fresh dates; if none are available then with dry dates; if none are available then with water – because of the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before praying; if there were no (fresh dates) then with dry dates, and if there were no (dried dates) then he would take a few sips of water.

(Nararted by Abu Dawood, no. 2356; al-Tirmidhi, 696; classed as hasan in al-Irwa’, 4/45)

6 – It is Sunnah when breaking the fast to say what is narrated in the hadeeth, which is to say Bismillaah. This is obligatory according to the correct view because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that. The words “Allaahumma laka sumtu wa ‘ala rizqika aftartu, Allaahumma taqabbal minni, innaka antaal-samee’ al-‘aleem (O Allaah, for You I have fasted and with Your provision I have broken my fast, O Allaah accept (this fast) from me for You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing) are da’eef (weak), as stated by Ibn al-Qayyim (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 2/51). There is also another report: “Dhahaba al-‘zama’ wa abtallat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr in sha Allaah (the thirst is gone, the veins have been moistened and the reward is assured, if Allaah wills).” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2357; al-Bayhaqi, 4/239; classed as hasan in al-Irwa’, 4/39).

There are ahaadeeth which speak of the virtue of the du’aa’ of the fasting person, such as the following:

(i) It was narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 3/345; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheeh 1797.

(ii) It was narrated from Abu Umaamah in a marfoo’ report: “Every time the fast is broken Allaah has people whom He ransoms.” Narrated by Ahmad, 21698; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/491.

(iii) It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri in a marfoo’ report: “Allaah ransoms people every day and night – i.e., in Ramadaan – and every day and night the Muslim has a prayer that is answered.” Narrated by al-Bazzaar; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1/491.

See also questions no. 37745, 37720, 13999, 14103.
Islam Q&A





The Family and Ramadan

29 08 2009
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
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Question: I am the head of a household, and now Ramadaan is coming. How should I take care of my family and teach them during this blessed month?
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Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

It is one of the blessings of Allaah to the Muslim that He enables him to fast in Ramadaan and to spend its nights in prayer. It is a month in which good deeds are multiplied and people are raised in status, when Allaah frees some people from the Fire. So the Muslim should strive to make the most of this month and the goodness it brings; he should hasten to spend his life in worship. How many people have been deprived of this month because of sickness, death or misguidance.

The Muslim must make the most of his time during this month; he has an unavoidable duty towards his children, to raise them well and bring them up properly, to urge them to do all kinds of goodness and make them get used to that – because the child will grow up in the manner to which his father makes him get accustomed.

During these blessed days, the father and mother have a role to play in making the most of this time, and we can offer parents the following advice:

1 – Checking on the children’s fasting and encouraging those who fall short in this regard.

2– Reminding them about the real nature of fasting, and that it is not just giving up food and drink, but it is a means of attaining taqwa (piety), and that it is an opportunity for sins to be forgiven and expiated.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” It was said to him,“O Messenger of Allaah, why did you do that?” He said, “Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person 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,’ 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.’”

Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1888; al-Tirmidhi, 3545; Ahmad, 7444; Ibn Hibbaan, 908. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3501.

3 – Teaching them the etiquette and rulings on eating, such as eating with the right hand from what is directly in front of them; reminding them that extravagance is haraam and is harmful to the body.

4 – Not letting them spend too long on eating iftaar so that they miss praying Maghrib in congregation.

5 – Reminding them about the situation of the poor and destitute who cannot find even a mouthful of food to quench the fires of hunger; reminding them of the situation of those who have migrated or are fighting in jihad for the sake of Allaah in all places.

6 – These gatherings offer an opportunity to bring relatives together and uphold the ties of kinship. This custom still exists in some countries, and it is an opportunity to reconcile and mend broken ties between relatives.

7 – Helping the mother to prepare the food, and to clean up and keep the food fit for eating.

8 – Reminding them to pray qiyaam (taraweeh) and to prepare for it by not eating too much and to get ready in time to perform the prayer in the mosque.

9 – With regard to suhoor, the parents should remind the family of the barakah (blessing) of suhoor and that it gives a person the strength to fast.

10 – Allowing enough time before Fajr prayer so that those who have not prayed Witr may do so, and so that those who have delayed their prayer until the end of the night may pray, and so that each person may make du’aa’ to his Lord as he wishes.

11 – Paying attention to praying Fajr on time in congregation in the mosque, for those who are required to do so. We have seen many people who wake up at the end of the night to eat, then they go back to bed and neglect Fajr prayer.

12 – It was the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the last ten days of Ramadaan to stay up at night and wake his family. This indicates that the family should pay attention to making the most of this blessed time in doing things that are pleasing to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. So the husband should wake his wife and children to do that which will bring them closer to their Lord.

13 – There may be small children in the house who need to be encouraged to fast, so the father should urge them to get up for suhoor, and encourage them to fast by praising them and giving a reward to the one who fasts the whole month or half of it, and so on.

It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh said: On the morning of ‘Ashoora’ the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent word to the villages of the Ansaar saying,“Whoever started out not fasting, let him not eat for the rest of the day, and whoever started the day fasting, let him fast.” She said: We used to fast and make our children fast, [and take them to the mosques] and make toys for them out of wool, then if one of them cried for food we would give him that toy until iftaar.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1859; Muslim, 1136 – the words in square brackets were narrated by Muslim.

Al-Nawawi said:

This hadeeth shows that we should train children to do acts of worship and get them used to that, but they are not accountable. Al-Qaadi said: It was narrated from ‘Urwah that when they are able to fast it becomes obligatory upon them. This is a mistake which is disproven by the saheeh hadeeth, “The Pen is lifted from three: from the child until he reaches adolescence…” And Allaah knows best.

Sharh Muslim, 8/14

14 – If possible, the father and mother should take the family for ‘Umrah in Ramadaan, and that is something that will benefit them in the Hereafter,, themselves and their family, for ‘Umrah during Ramadaan has the same reward as Hajj. It is better to go at the beginning of Ramadaan so as to avoid the crowds.

15 – The husband should not overburden his wife with more than she can bear of having to prepare food and sweets. Many people take this month to prepare fancy foods and drinks, and they go extremes in that. This detracts from the sweetness of this month and goes against the reason for fasting, which is to attain piety.

16 – The month of Ramadaan is the month of the Qur’aan, so we suggest that each family gets together to read Qur’aan. The father should teach his family to recite Qur’aan and help them to understand the meanings of the verses. In the same gathering they may also read a book about the rulings and etiquette of fasting. Allaah has enabled many scholars and seekers of knowledge to write books which can be used for preaching and teaching during Ramadaan; the books are divided into thirty parts, so one topic can be read each day, and this will benefit everyone.

17 – They should be encouraged to spend and check on their neighbours and the needy.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during Ramadaan when Jibreel met him. He would meet him each night and revise the Qur’aan with him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was more generous than the blowing wind.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.

18 – The parents should prevent their families and children from staying up late at night and wasting their time in things that are of no benefit, let alone things that are haraam. For the devils among mankind are more active in this month in promoting evil things and acts of immorality to those who are fasting, during the nights of Ramadaan and during the days.

19 – They should remember the family’s meeting in Allaah’s Paradise in the Hereafter, and the great joy of meeting there under the shade of His throne. These blessed gatherings in this world and coming together to obey Allaah by seeking knowledge, fasting and praying are only the means that lead to attaining that happiness.

-Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munnajid

Islam Q&A





The Muslim in Ramadaan

23 08 2009
fridays
 
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Asalaamu Alaiakum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu

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The Muslim in Ramadaan

Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

This blessed month is a great opportunity for goodness, barakah (blessing), worship and obedience towards Allaah.

It is a great month, a noble season, a month in which hasanaat (rewards for good deeds) are multiplied and in which committing sayi’aat (bad deeds) is more serious than at other times. The gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the sinners’ repentance to Allaah is accepted. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and its end is redemption from the Fire.

So give thanks to Him for the season of goodness and blessing that He has bestowed upon you, and for the means of bounty and various kinds of great blessings for which He has singled you out. Make the most of this blessed time by filling it with acts of worship and forsaking haraam things, so that you may attain a good life in this world and happiness after death.

For the sincere believer, every month is an occasion for worship and his whole life is spent in obeying Allaah, but in the month of Ramadaan he has even more motives to do good and his heart is even more focused on worship, and he turns even more to his Lord. By His grace, our generous Lord bestows His bounty upon the fasting believers and multiplies the reward for them on this blessed occasion, so He gives abundantly and rewards generously for righteous deeds.

Time passes quickly

Days pass so quickly, as if they were mere moments. We welcomed Ramadaan, then we bade it farewell, and only a short period of time passed and we are welcoming Ramadaan again. So we should hasten to do good deeds in this month and strive to fill it with that which Allaah is pleased with and with that which will help us on the Day when we meet Him.

How can we prepare for Ramadaan?

We can prepare for Ramadaan by taking stock of ourselves and recognizing our shortcomings in living up to the Shahaadatayn, or our shortcoming in fulfilling our duties, or our shortcomings in not keeping away from the desires and doubts that we may have fallen into…

We should set ourselves straight so that in Ramadaan we will have a higher degree of faith. For faith increases and decreases. It increases through obedience to Allaah and it decreases through disobedience and sin. The first act of obedience that a person should achieve is that of being a true slave of Allaah and believing that there is none that is rightfully worshipped except Allaah, so he directs all kinds of worship to Allaah and does not associate anyone else in worship with Him. Each of us should realize that whatever has befallen him could not have missed him, and whatever missed him could not have befallen him, and that everything happens by the will and decree of Allaah.

We should avoid everything that could undermine our commitment to the Shahaadatayn. This means keeping away from bid’ah (innovations) and things that have been introduced into the religion. We should also follow the principle of al-walaa’ wa’l-bara’ (loyalty and friendship vs. disavowal and enmity), by taking the believers as our friends and by regarding the kaafirs and hypocrites as enemies, and we should rejoice when the Muslims gain a victory over their enemies. We should follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the way of the Rightly-Guided Khulafa’ who came after him. We should love the Sunnah and love those who adhere to it and defend it, in whatever country they are and whatever colour or nationality they are.

After that we should take stock of ourselves and recognize our shortcomings in doing acts of worship such as praying in congregation, remembering Allaah (dhikr), paying attention to the rights of neighbours, relatives and the Muslims, spreading the greeting of salaam, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, urging one another to follow the truth and be patient and steadfast in doing so, being patient in avoiding evil actions and in doing good deeds, and accepting the decree of Allaah with patience.

Then we should take stock of ourselves and our sins and our following whims and desires. We should stop ourselves from persisting in that, whether the sin is great or small, whether it is a sin of the eye, by looking at that which Allaah has forbidden; or by listening to music; or by walking to things of which Allaah does not approve; or by using one’s hands to srike in a manner with which Allaah is not pleased; or by consuming things that Allaah has forbidden such as riba (usury) and bribes, or any other means of consuming people’s wealth unlawfully.

We should never forget that Allaah stretches forth His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who sinned at night, and He stretches forth His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who sinned during the day. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).

Those who spend (in Allaah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allaah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good‑doers).

And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.

For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allaah’s Orders)”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:133-136]

“Say: “O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Zumar 39:53]

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allaah’s forgiveness, he will find Allaah Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Nisa’ 4:110]

By taking stock, repenting and seeking forgiveness, this is how we should welcome Ramadaan. “The smart man is the one who takes stock of himself and strives to do that which will benefit him after death, and the helpless one is the one who follows his own whims and desires and engages in wishful thinking, (assuming that Allaah will forgive him regardless of what he does and that he does not need to strive to good deeds).”

The month of Ramadaan is the month of great gains and profits. The smart trader is the one who makes the most of special occasions to increase his profits. So make the most of this month by doing lots of acts of worship, praying a great deal, reading Qur’aan, forgiving people, being kind to others and giving charity to the poor.

In the month of Ramadaan the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut. The devils are put in chains and a caller cries out each night, O seeker of good, proceed, O seeker of evil, desist.

So, O slaves of Allaah, be among the people of good, following the path of your righteous forebears who were guided by the Sunnah of your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so that we may end Ramadaan with our sins forgiven and our righteous deeds accepted.

We should note that the month of Ramadaan is the best of months.

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Another of example of that – i.e., of the differentiation between the things that Allaah has created – is the fact that the month of Ramadaan is superior to all other months, and the last ten nights are superior to the other nights.”

Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/56

This month is superior to others in four things:

1 – In it there is the best night of the year, which is Laylat al-Qadr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree).

And what will make you know what the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees,

(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”

[al-Qadar 97:1-5]

So worship on this night is better than worshipping for a thousand months.

2 – In this month was revealed the best of Books to the best of the Prophets (peace be upon them). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

“We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al‑Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].

Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments.

As a Command (or this Qur’aan or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers)”

[al-Dukhaan 44:3-5]

It was narrated by Ahmad and by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer that Waathilah ibn al-Asqa’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Scriptures of Ibraaheem were sent down on the first of the month of Ramadaan. The Tawraat was sent down on the sixth of Ramadaan. The Injeel was sent down on the thirteenth of Ramadaan. The Zaboor was sent down on the eighteenth of Ramadaan, and the Qur’aan was sent down on the twenty-fourth of Ramadaan.

Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1575.

2 – In this month the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are chained up.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are put in chains.” (Agreed upon).

Al-Nasaa’i narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are put in chains.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 471.

Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Ibn Khuzaymah narrated in one report: “When the first night of the month of Ramadaan comes, the devils and rebellious jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed. And a caller cries out: ‘O seeker of good, proceed; O seeker of evil, desist. And Allaah has those whom He redeems from the Fire, and that happens every night.”

Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 759.

If it is asked, how come we see many evil actions and sins committed in Ramadaan, for if the devils are chained up that would not happen?

The answer is that evil actions become less for those who observe the conditions and etiquette of fasting;

or that the ones who are chained up are some of the devils – namely the rebellious ones – not all of them;

or that what is meant is that evil is reduced in Ramadaan, which is a proven fact. If evil happens at this time, it is still less than at other times. Even if all of them (the devils) are chained up, that does not necessarily mean that no evil or sin will happen, because there are other causes of that besides the devils, such as evil souls, bad habits and the devils among mankind. Al-Fath, 4/145

4 – There are many kinds of worship in Ramadaan, some of which are not done at other times, such as fasting, praying qiyaam, feeding the poor, i’tikaaf, sadaqah, and reading Qur’aan.

I ask Allaah, the Exalted, the Almighty, to help us all to do that and to help us to fast and pray qiyaam, and to do acts of worship and to avoid doing evil. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Islam Q&A

What should we say to the Muslims on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadaan?





How can we prepare for the arrival of Ramadaan?

15 08 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

fridays

How can we prepare for Ramadaan? What are the best deeds in this blessed month?

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Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

You have done well to ask this question, because you have asked how to prepare for the month of Ramadaan. Many people misunderstand the true nature of fasting, and they make it an occasion for eating and drinking, making special sweets and staying up late at night and watching shows on satellite TV. They make preparations for that long before Ramadaan, lest they miss out on some food or prices go up. They prepare by buying food, preparing drinks and looking at the satellite TV guide so they can choose which shows to follow and which to ignore. They are truly unaware of the real nature of fasting in Ramadaan; they take worship and piety out of the month and make it just for their bellies and their eyes.

Secondly:

Others are aware of the real nature of fasting in the month of Ramadaan, so they start to prepare from Sha’baan, and some of them even start before that. Among the best ways of preparing for the month of Ramadaan are:

1 –Sincere repentance

This is obligatory at all times, but because of the approach of a great and blessed month, it is even more important to hasten to repent from sins between you and your Lord, and between you and other people by giving them their rights, so that when the blessed month begins you may busy yourself with acts of worship with a clean heart and peace of mind. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:31]

It was narrated from al-Agharr ibn Yasaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O people, repent to Allaah for I repent to Him one hundred times each day.” Narrated by Muslim (2702).

2 –Du’aa’ (supplication)

It was narrated from some of the salaf that they used to pray to Allaah for six months that they would live until Ramadaan, then they would pray for five months afterwards that He would accept it from them.

The Muslim should ask his Lord to let him live until Ramadaan with a strong religious commitment and good physical health, and he should ask Him to help him obey Him during the month, and ask Him to accept his good deeds from Him.

3 – Rejoicing at the approach of the blessed month

The arrival of Ramadaan is one of the great blessings that Allaah bestows upon His Muslim slave, because Ramadaan is one of the occasions of good in which the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. It is the month of the Qur’aan and of decisive battles in the history of our religion.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘In the Bounty of Allaah, and in His Mercy (i.e. Islam and the Qur’aan); —therein let them rejoice.’ That is better than what (the wealth) they amass”

[Yoonus 10:58]

4 – Discharging the duty of any outstanding obligatory fasts

It was narrated that Abu Salamah said: I heard ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) say: I would owe fasts from the previous Ramadaan and I would not be able to make them up except in Sha’baan.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1849) and Muslim (1146).

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

From her keenness to do that in Sha’baan it may be understood that it is not permissible to delay making them up until another Ramadaan begins.

Fath al-Baari (4/191).

5 – Seeking knowledge in order to be able to follow the rulings on fasting and to understand the virtues of Ramadaan.

6 – Hastening to complete any tasks that may distract the Muslim from doing acts of worship.

7 – Sitting with one’s family members – wife and children – to tell them of the rulings on fasting and encourage the young ones to fast.

8 – Preparing some books which can be read at home or given to the imam of the mosque to read to the people during Ramadaan.

9 – Fasting some of the month of Sha’baan in preparation for fasting Ramadaan.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast until we said: He will not break his fast, and he used not to fast until we said: He will not fast. And I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) complete a month of fasting except Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’baan.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1868) and Muslim (1156).

It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Zayd said: I said: O Messenger of Allaah, I do not see you fasting in any month as you fast in Sha’baan? He said: “That is a month that people neglect between Rajab and Ramadaan, but it is a month in which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.”

Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2357); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.

This hadeeth explains the wisdom behind fasting in Sha’baan, which is that it is a month in which deeds are taken up (to Allaah). Some of the scholars mentioned another reason, which is that this fasting is like Sunnah prayers offered beforehand in relation to the obligatory prayer; they prepare the soul for performing the obligatory action, and the same may be said of fasting Sha’baan before Ramadaan.

10 – Reading Qur’aan

Salamah ibn Kuhayl said: It was said that Sha’baan was the month of the Qur’aan readers.

When Sha’baan began, ‘Amr ibn Qays would close his shop and free his time for reading Qur’aan.

Abu Bakr al-Balkhi said: The month of Rajab is the month for planting, the month of Sha’baan is the month of irrigating the crops, and the month of Ramadaan is the month of harvesting the crops.

He also said: The likeness of the month of Rajab is that of the wind, the likeness of Sha’baan is that of the clouds and the likeness of Ramadaan is that of the rain; whoever does not plant and sow in Rajab, and does not irrigate in Sha’baan, how can he reap in Ramadaan? Now Rajab has passed, so what will you do in Sha’baan if you are seeking Ramadaan? This is how your Prophet and the early generations of the ummah were in this blessed month, so what will you do?

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Islam Q&A

Asalaamu Alaaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu





-Ramadan Reminders: Weekly Schedule! :)

10 08 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Asalaamu Alaaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

Firstly, we ask Allah to make each and every good deed we do sincere, correct and accepted.

May Allah purify our hearts, ameen

Secondly, Alhamdulilah Brothers and Sisters, Ramadan is literally around the corner! Alhamdulilah here at Ramadan Reminders, we are posting articles, lectures and videos to benefit us all before this blessed month and we will continue to do so through Ramadan and even after it ends Insha’Allah.

The Salaf (pious predecessors) used to prepare for Ramadan 6 months before!! SubhanAllah. When Ramadan did end they spent 6 months asking Allah to accept their fasting and good deeds! Masha’Allah.

We should try to do the same, and follow in their righteous footsteps.

We will insha’Allah have a weekly schedule in place; each day will have a different theme and will be run by one of the admins.

Below are the days and a short description:

*-Seerah Sundays-* On this day, we will post articles, lectures and videos on the Seerah (life) of our beloved Prophet, Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam.

*-Quran al-Majeed Mondays-*This day is dedicated solely to the Qu’ran. We will focus on recitation, memorization and explanation/commentary of the Book of Allah Azza wa Jal. As we know, Ramadan is the Month of the Qur’an in which the Qu’ran was revealed. Insha’Allah this day we will post beneficial articles, lectures and videos for everyone to benefit from.

*Tazkiyah Tuesdays-* This day, Insha’Allah, we will post articles, lectures and videos focusing on Tazkiyah (Purification of the Soul).

*-Women’s Issues Wednesdays-*This day is dedicated to posting articles, lectures and videos for the honorable Muslim women. On this day, Insha’Allah we will focus especially on rulings for women during Ramadan from knowledgeable, trustworthy shayookh who derive their rulings from Quran and Sunnah. We hope this will benefit our dear sisters in Islam.

*-Taraweeh Tuesdays-* This day will Insha’Allah cover rulings for Taraweeh/Tahajudd in the form of articles and lectures. We will also post Taraweeh videos from Mekkah and Madinah and other cities around the world. Insha’Allah

*-Fatawaa Fridays-*This day we will post fatawaa (Islamic Rulings) on Ramadan issues. Lexically, the Arabic word fatwa means to give a satisfactory answer regarding a certain issue. In the technical language of Shari`ah, the word fatwa clarifies the Islamic ruling in an answer given to question or a set of questions usually related to an Islamic issue. These rulings posted on RR will of course be from the trustworthy, knowledgeable Ulema who have based their rulings upon authentic sources.

*-Salaf Saturdays-*This day is dedicated to inspiring and motivating stories, narrations and statements from the Salaf. Salaf literally means “those (from history) who precede or have gone before”. As-Salaf as-Saalih refers to the people of the past, namely the first three generations of pious Muslims during and after the revelation of the Qur’an, i.e.the Sahabah (companions) of the Prophet Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam, the Taabi’een (followers) and the Taabi Taabi’een (followers of the followers).

Insha’Allah!

Let’s all take benefit from these reminders and insha’Allah share with our family and friends on facebook and off. Please keep an eye out for *-Ramadan Reminders-* Blog which is made for those who don’t facebook but rather blog or use other websites. Insha’Allah it will be be posted soon.

Please make duaa for the Brothers and Sisters who run this blog.

O Allah! Accept our small efforts, ameen

BarakAllahu Feekum

Wa’Salaamu Alaaaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu 🙂