Ramadhan, What next??


End of Ramadhan does not essentially mean end to all the good that we did during the blessed month. The sign of the accepted Ramadhan is that we remain steadfast in whatever we did during the month till we meet our end. Allah SWT says: “And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e. death) comes to you,” [Al Hijr 15:99].

Shawwal, Tenth month of the Lunar Calender


Now that Ramadhan is over, most of us find ourselves in a dilemma. How do we continue with the spirit of Ramadhan? The fact that “Shaytan’ is no more chained and the gates to the hell are no more closed, how do we bring the spirit of Ramadan into our lives for the rest of the year.

It is quite common among masses that once Ramadhan is over we drift away from the path of obedience to Allah SWT and start falling prey to satanic traps. People plan to watch a movie on the following days of Eid as a mark of celebration, try and watch the backlogs of missed TV serials, masjids will have a deserted look and five obligatory prayers are taken lightly to an extent that Fajr is constantly missed with congregation.

If a Muslim lived through Ramadan and spent the days of it in fasting and nights of it in praying, and habituated himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this submission to Allah SWT at all times. This is the true state of the servant (abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever vigilant and observing His servants at all times. Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of a Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Master.

Shawwal is the following month of Ramadan. The first day of Shawwal is Eid-ul-Fitr, a day in which Allah SWT rewards HIS slaves for their submission to HIS will during the blessed month.

Its Sunnah (Tradition of Holy Prophet) to fast for six days in Shawwal, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari RA related the Messenger of Allah PBUH said: “Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year).” [Bukhari]

The servant of Allah is obligated, after having Emaan in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying HIM by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it. Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make Qiyaam (night prayer). His condition after Ramadan is better than it was before Ramadhan. He is more ready to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts.

Steadfastness after Ramadhan and the rectification of one’s statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadhan and striven in obedience.

Ramadan, as you know is considered to be a time for change. But changes that are not sustainable have little or no benefit to them

During Ramadhan, we do more Ibadah, recite more Quran and do more charity besides other acts of worship.  Keep up these things, even though little. The Prophet PBUH said, “The deeds most loved by God are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The nature of change is that it should come from within. Here are a few ways we can continue the spirit of Ramadhan in our lives:

  1. Read a little of the Qur’an every day – you would just need to read 18 verses of the Qur’an per day to finish the whole Qur’an within the year. It is that simple.
  2. Give charity on a regular basis, even though it might be small. The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
  3. Increase your connection with Allah through His remembrance. Prophet PBUH: “O Messenger of Allah SWT! Verily, the sanctions of Islam have become too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow, The Prophet PBUH replied “Let your tongue always be moist with the remembrance of Allah”. [Al-Tirmizi]
  4. Be more compassionate with your family, especially your parents.
  5. Always ask for Allah’s help and His favours even in the smallest of matters.
  6. See around your neighbourhood and see if anyone needs help. Try to help the needy in whatever way you can.
  7. While sitting with family or friends avoid frivolous talk and instead talk constructive.
  8. Take some time off every day to reflect upon yourself.
  9. Control your food and DO NOT overeat. The Prophet PBUH said: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” [Tirmidhi & others]
  10. Have self-control as practised in Ramadhan.
  11. Sleeping is necessary for human body. But do not oversleep and what is more than necessary.
  12. Develop patience.

There is no end to such a list. But it will take commitment and perseverance to imbibe the spirit of Ramadhan throughout the year. Suffice to say that as Muslims, we have to be good in our words and deeds and it should reflect all thru our life.

Do’s & Don’ts of Ramadan


The month of Ramadan is full of blessings and glad tidings. As Muslims, our endeavour should be to do things which are please our Lord and refrain from things which are disliked by HIM. This should be the general practice of muslims and more so in the blessed month of Ramadan where special emphasis should be laid on doing good and refraining from bad. We list out some of the Do’s and Don’ts of this blessed month.

Do’s

Do keep your tongue moist in the remembrance of ALLAH SWT
Be generous during the month as Ibn Abbas said: “The prophet (S.A.W) was the most generous of the people, and in the month of Ramadan he would increase his generosity as if it were wave of a pleasant cool wind.”[Sahih Bukhari]

Recite Quran incessantly as Ramadan is considered the month of holy Quran since it was revealed during this month. The Prophet PBUH used to recite Quran to Angel Jibreel once every Ramadan but in the last Ramadan of his life he recited the Quran twice before Jibreel.

Try using dates for Suhoor (Pre-dawn meal) Prophet PBUH said “How excellent are dates as the believer’s Suhoor.”[Abu Dawood]

Forget all your grudges against your family members, neighbours, friends and all believers at large as the month of Ramadan is the best time to work on building better relationships. It was one of the qualities of the Prophet PBUH to establish good and steady relationship with his relatives — ‘Silat-Ar-Rahim’

Control your anger and try practicing the manners of highest order like Prophet’s and his Companions’.

Distribute Iftar to others as Prophet PBUH said: “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [Ahmed, Ibn Maajah]

Increase during this month four qualities: Two with which you shall please your Lord, and two with which you cannot do without. The two that shall please Allah SWT are the repetition of La Illaha Ill ALLAH and Istighfaar (asking forgiveness), and the two qualities you cannot do without are asking Allah SWT to be allowed into Paradise and taking refuge in Him from Hell.[taken from Prophet’s sermon on the last day of Shabaan]

Don’ts

Do not miss a single obligatory prayer during Ramadan. After testifying Shahadah the most important obligation on a believer is to offer Salat. Salat is the only thing which differentiates a believer from a non believer. As Prophet PBUH said: “That which differentiates us from the disbelievers and hypocrites is our performance of Salat. He, who abandons it, becomes a disbeliever.” [At-Tirmidhi]. Offering of Salah (prayers) is placed above fasting in the chronology of five Islamic pillars.

Do not waste time in needless things like shopping and. Avoid visiting markets as much as you can. Prophet PBUH said: “The parts of the land dearest to ALLAH are its Masjids, and the parts most hateful to ALLAH are its markets”. Try to cash in each and every second in the remembrance of ALLAH SWT.

Do not pollute your sight by gazing at non permissible activities such as watching TV (for entertainment), staring at pictures in magazines and newspapers. A believer must lower gaze all the times.

Do not indulge in unnecessary, indecent and abusive talk. Prophet PBUH said: “Fasting is not (merely abstaining) from eating and drinking, rather it is (abstaining) from ignorant and indecent speech, so if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: I am fasting, I am fasting.” [Sahih Bukhari].

Do not backbite as it is worse than adultery as Prophet PBUH said: “There are seventy two forms of Riba, the least of which is as bad as a man having intercourse with his own mother, and the worst of which is when a man slanders the honour of his brother.” [Silsilah as Saheeh]

Do not listen to music at any time. Try to refrain from it from this Ramadan. Narrated By Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari , that he heard the Prophet saying, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful.” [Sahih Bukhari Vol.7, Book 69, #494B]

Do not lose your temper and get into unnecessary quarrel. The holy month teaches us patience. We should always exercise it. The Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, ALLAH SWT is not in need of his leaving his food and drink. (i. e. ALLAH will not except his fasting).” [Sahih Bukhari]

Do not stare or talk to stranger females / males (non Maharam) and shake hands with them. The prophet PBUH said “It is better for you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle than to touch the hand of a woman who is not permissible to you.” [Classed Sahih by Shaikh Albani]

All these Do’s and Don’ts should be adhered to not only in Ramadan, but during other times as well.

EID-UL-FITR


We have come to the end of this auspicious month of Ramadan which is followed by the happy celebration of Eid. Muslims all over the world celebrate this grand occasion following a month long fasting by refraining from most of the pleasures of this worldly life devoting their optimum time in the worship of ALLAH SWT. This is a day which marks the end of Ramadan. ALLAH SWT the most Beneficent, the Merciful is also pleased to see His Ummath celebrating this grand occasion in the best possible manner.

Salient features of celebrating the occasion of Eid are as follows:-

Playing, recreation, and eating on the day of Eid:

These are permissible as long as they stay within the acceptable bounds of Islam. Anas ra said: When the Prophet PBUH came to Madinah, they had two days for amusement. The Prophet PBUH has exchanged these days for two better days: the day of breaking the fast and the day of sacrifice. (Related by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban)

Taking women and children to the prayer area:

The Prophet PBUH used to take his wives and daughters to the both the Eid prayers. Umm Atiyah said: “We were ordered to go out with the young virgins and menstruating women to both the Eids in order to participate in the goodness and the supplications of the Muslims. The menstruating women though would stay away from the prayer area.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Going to the prayer area:

The Prophet PBUH used to go to the prayer area by walking and would take different route while returning. Jaber narrated: “On the days of Eid, The Prophet PBUH would go to the prayer area by one route and come back by another route.” (Bukhari)

Eating before going to the prayer area:

During Eid al-Fitr it is preferable to eat something before heading to Eid prayers while it is the reverse on Eid ul Adha. The Prophet PBUH used to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray Salat al-Eid. Anas reported: “The Prophet PBUH would not go out on the day of Eid al-Fitr without eating an odd number of dates.”(Bukhari)

Preparation for Eid prayer:

It is preferred to make Ghusl (take a bath), wear the best available clothes and, advisable for men to use fragrance and stuff before going to Salat al-Eid. Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “The Prophet PBUH used to wear his best clothes for the Eid prayers and he had separate set of clothes reserved for the two Eids and Jumu’ah.”

Making Takbeer:

Takbeer starts from the night of Eid’s eve until the Imam comes out to start the prayer. Allah says “You should complete the prescribed period and then you should glorify Allah (i.e., say Takbeer) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.”[Surah Baqarah: 185] The form of takbeer in hadith is related by `Umar and Ibn Mas`ud: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La illaha illallah. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-hamd.”

Congratulating each other:

It has been narrated that when the Prophet’s companions met each other on the Eid day, they would say to each other: “May Allah accept from us and from you.” (Ahmad)

On this happy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the author of this script wishes to seize this opportunity in extending to you and from you to all your family members, relatives and friends many happy pleasures of Eid and lot’s more to come. May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala grant you and your families ever increasing prosperity and grand success both in this world and the hereafter. Aameen.

Fitrah 2013 or Zakat-ul-Fitr


Zakat-ul-fitr is an obligatory charity on every young and old; male and female; free and slave Muslim towards the end of the month of Ramadan. It is an addition to the annual Zakat also called as Sadaqa-al-fitr. Its prominence is such that it is the hallmark of Eid and aptly named as Eid-ul-fitr. It amounts to the value equivalent to feed a person for one day. Ibn Umar said: “The Prophet PBUH enjoined the payment of one Sa’a of dates or one Sa’a of barley as Zakat-al-fitr on every Muslim, young and old, male and female, free and slave.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Zakat-ul-fitr purifies one from any type of indecent act or speech which he/she might have committed while observing fast. This charity is imposed so that the needs of the poor are attained to thereby making them possible to celebrate Eid with other fellow Muslims. Ibn Abbas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) enjoined Zakat-al-fitr so that those who fast are purified of their sins and the poor and needy people are enabled to arrange for their basic needs of food, clothing etc. Therefore, the Sadaqah (charity) of the person who gives before the `Eid prayer is the real Sadaqah, but if someone delays and gives it afterwards, his charity will be an ordinary one.” (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

The word Sa’a in Arabic, mentioned in the hadith is a measure approximated to the volume of 2.5 kg to 2.75 kg of good quality wheat. The material of the Zakat-al -fitr can also be dates, barley, rice, corn or similar items considered as basic foods that are habitually consumed. Abu Saeed said: “We used to give for Zakat al-Fitr on behalf of every child, aged person, free man or slave during the lifetime of the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH – one Sa’a of food, or one Sa’a of dried yogurt, or one Sa’a of barley, or one Sa’a of dates, or one Sa’a of raisins.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The poor and the needy are the most deserving to receive Zakat al-Fitr as Prophet PBUH said “…the purpose of it is providing food for the needy.” Better that Zakat al-Fitr is paid during the end of Ramadan. It can be paid (or preferably paid) one or two days before Eid as ‘Umar RA used to do, or on the day of Eid before the Eid prayer. Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet PBUH ordered them to pay Zakat al-Fitr before they go out to perform the Eid prayer.

Note if Zakat al-Fitr is paid after the Eid prayer, it will only be considered as regular charity. The Prophet PBUH said: “If one pays Zakat al-Fitr before the Salat, it is considered as an accepted Zakat, if he pays it after the Salat, it is considered an ordinary charity.” (Abu Dawud)

Laylatul Qadr: The Night of Power


ALLAH SWT has favored us with the month of Ramazan. The bounties of a person’s good deeds are doubled or increased according to ALLAH’s will. But ALLAH SWT being The Most Generous did not stop with this. HE presented a special gift in this holy month. He blessed Muslims a night better than thousand months. It is the Laylatul Qadr or the night of power. This is the night in which the holy Quran was revealed.

ALLAH the Almighty says, “Truly we sent it (Quran) down on the Night of Power. And what will convey to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. In it the angels and the Spirit descend by their Lord’s authority with every ordinance. It is Peace – until the coming of the dawn.” (Suratul Qadr 97)

The Occurrence of Laylatul Qadr:

Laylatul Qadr is a night from the last ten nights of Ramazan. ALLAH (SWT) had informed the prophet PBUH about this and specified too. But HE made the prophet PBUH to forget that for a great reason. ALLAH SWT wanted us to be more eager and motivated in seeking the rewards of the special night.

It is related from ‘A’isha RA that the Messenger of ALLAH SWT said, “Look for the Night of Power on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Bukhari 1913]

There is also a hadith narrated by ‘Ubada ibn as-Samit RA that the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH came out to tell us about the Night of Power. There were two Muslim men quarrelling with one another. He said, ‘I came out to tell you about the Night of Power and these two here were quarrelling and because of that, knowledge of it has been taken away. It may be that that is better for you. Search for it on the twenty-seventh, twenty-ninth and twenty-fifth of the month.” (Bukhari: Hadith 1919)

Many scholars from all the school of thoughts (mazhabs) are of the opinion that it falls on the twenty seventh night of Ramazan based on number of ahadith. But, it is recommended to seek for it on all the odd nights starting from the last tenth of Ramazan. We simply cannot afford to overlook this auspicious night because the one who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good.

It should be noted that a person who observes I’tikaf has the highest opportunity of receiving this night. ALLAH’s Messenger PBUH used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights. The eagerness of Prophet Muhammad PBUH towards the night can be witnessed from this hadith. It is related that ‘A’isha RA said, “When the last ten days started, the Prophet PBUH used to restrain himself and prayed during the night and woke up his family.” [Bukhari 1920]

Narrated Abu Huraira RA that prophet PBUH said: “Anyone who spends the Night of Power in prayer motivated by belief and in anticipation of the reward, his past wrong actions will be forgiven.” [Bukhari: 1910] What more does a Muslim crave for than forgiveness?

It is recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. `A’ishah (RA) reported that she asked ALLAH’s Messenger (SAW), “O Messenger of ALLAH! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: “ALLAHumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee” [O ALLAH! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me] (At-Tirmizi: Hadith 3513. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani)

Last but not the least, Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “If any Muslim comes out of Ramazan without gaining forgiveness and goodness, he is a real loser” (Al–Tabarani). It is matter of grave concern if we fail in utilizing this opportunity to seek ALLAH’s forgiveness and blessing. May ALLAH help us to understand the value and benefit from this night so that we are among the fortunate ones who have been blessed and forgiven. Aameen.

ZAKAT: Purification of wealth


In the hierarchy of Islamic faith and religious duties, zakat is a very important obligation. It is doubly important in the sense that, on the one hand, it is a means of spiritual purification for the individual and on the other, a way to regain equilibrium in social and economic life of the entire society. It is a very IMPORTANT institution of the Islamic faith. It is probably the first pillar of its’ economic system.
Quran mentions about Zakah at various places especially verse 267 in Sura al Baqarah, verse 242 in Sura al ‘An’am, verses 34, 60, and 103 in Sura al Tawbah and several other verses.

Zakat as an obligation has been mentioned thirty times in the Quran. In twenty eight of them , it is associated with prayer.

We find a chapter on zakat in all major books of Sunnah, such as Muwatta’ Malik, Sahih al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim. Jami ‘alTirmidhi, Sunnan al Nasa’i, Sunnan abi Dawud, and Sunan Ibn Majah. In Sahih al Bukhari alone, the chapter of zakah contains 172 sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. It also contains 20 sayings of the companions and the followers.

Jurists study zakah in their books as the second major worship in Islam. It is usually listed right after prayers, in line with the sequence found in Qur’an and Sunnah.

Zakat is one among the five pillars of Islam. It is applicable only to those who possess a considerable amount of wealth, which is called as nisaab in Islamic terminology. Zakat payment is an obligation which affirms obedience of man to His creator and eases the sufferings of poor.

The word Zakat in Arabic means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, like the trimming of plants; the cutting of the plant balances as to encourage new growth. Same acts with Zakat.

Zakat becomes obligatory when the wealth reaches or exceeds the nisaab. Be it male, female, insane or a child. The nisaab (or minimum amount) defined as possession of 20 mithqal (measure during prophet’s time) of gold or golden currency. In today’s terms, 20 mithqal is approximately (87) 85 grams of pure gold. One mithqal is approximately 4.25 grams. The nisaab of silver and silver currency is 200 dirhams, which is approximately 595 grams of pure silver. The nisaab of other type of money and currency is to be scaled to that of 85 grams of pure gold. Therefore nisaab of money is the price of 85 grams of pure gold, on the day in which Zakat is paid.

Zakat is due on an individual only when there is a passage of one

Pay your Zakat to avoid Allah's SWT wrath
lunar year (approximately 355 days) on the said wealth. The individual is ought to pay 2.5% or 1/40 of his wealth as Zakat. It is important to note that an individual shall deduct all the debts that he/she has borrowed from others and then check if the remaining reaches nisaab. If yes, then Zakat should be paid accordingly.

It should be mentioned here that in case, the repayment of a debt is over a longer period of time, only those instalments should be deducted which are due within that particular year. In that case, the entire debt should not be deducted from the zakatable amount.

Now that Zakat is being described, the question arises as to who is entitled to receive Zakat? ALLAH SWT in his book, the holy Quran says: “As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara and Al-Masakin and those employed to collect the (funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for ALLAH’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (wanderer); a duty imposed by ALLAH. And ALLAH is All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Taubah 9:60]

The holy Quran is very stern on those who take the matter of Zakat lightly. ALLAH SWT says: “O you who believe! Most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from ALLAH’s way; and (as for) those who hoard (stocked) up gold and silver and do not spend it in ALLAH’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement (punishment) , On the day when it (wealth) shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded” (Taubah 9:34-35).

When Abu Bakr RA became the caliph, a group denied paying Zakat stating that now that The Prophet PBUH is not alive to whom shall we pay Zakat now? The caliph reprimanded saying: “I swear by ALLAH, if they refuse to pay to me even a small piece of robe which they used to pay to the Messenger of ALLAH, I would fight them for it.” (Bukhari)

Muslims! Please pay off your Zakat and purify your wealth. It is not necessary to pay Zakat during Ramadan. The spirit of paying Zakat in the month of Ramadan is that ALLAH SWT doubles the reward of whatever is done during this month and it also helps an individual to keep an account on a yearly basis. Please make sure that besides paying Zakat, it is also important to make sure that it is paid to the DESERVING people only, who fall in the categories as mentioned in the Quran. It should be paid at the earliest and not later than the year is over for the next calculation of Zakat.

Better actions of Ramadan


Do keep your tongue moist in the remembrance of ALLAH SWT

Be generous during the month as Ibn Abbas said: “The prophet was the most generous of the people, and in the month of Ramadan he would increase his generosity as if it were wave of a pleasant cool wind.”[Sahih Bukhari]

Recite Quran incessantly as Ramadan is considered the month of holy Quran since it was revealed during this month. The Prophet PBUH used to recite Quran to Angel Jibreel once every Ramadan but in the last Ramadan of his life he recited the Quran twice before Jibreel.

Do try using dates for Suhoor (Pre dawn meal) Prophet PBUH said “How excellent are dates as the believer’s Suhoor.”[Abu Dawood]

Do dissolve all your grudges against your family, neighbours and friends, family members and all believers at large as the month of Ramadan is the best time to patch up things and unite.

Do control your anger and try practicing the manners of highest order like Prophet’s and his Companions’.
Distribute Iftar to others as Prophet PBUH said “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [Ahmed, Ibn Maajah]

Increase during this month four qualities: Two with which you shall please your Lord, and two with which you cannot do without. The two that shall please ALLAH SWT are the repetition of La Illaha Ill ALLAH and Istighfaar (asking forgiveness), and the two qualities you cannot do without are asking ALLAH SWT to be allowed into Paradise and taking refuge in Him from Hell.[taken from Prophet’s sermon on the last day of Shabaan]