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Thread: Preparation for Ramadan

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    The Meaning of Ramadan
    By Khalid Baig


    Fasting during Ramadan was ordained during the second year of Hijrah. Why not earlier? In Makkah the economic conditions of the Muslims were bad. They were being persecuted. Often days would go by before they had anything to eat. It is easy to skip meals if you don’t have any. Obviously fasting would have been easier under the circumstances. So why not then?

    The answer may be that Ramadan is not only about skipping meals. While fasting is an integral and paramount part of it, Ramadan offers a comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul. The entire program required the peace and security that was offered by Madinah.

    Yes, Ramadan is the most important month of the year. It is the month that the believers await with eagerness. At the beginning of Rajab --- two full months before Ramadan --- the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to supplicate thus: "O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’ban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health)."

    During Ramadan the believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. "If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan," said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him.

    "Anyone who fasts during this month with purity of belief and with expectation of a good reward (from his Creator), will have his previous sins forgiven," said Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. "Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven." As other ahadith tell us, the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.

    Along with the possibility of a great reward, there is the risk of a terrible loss. If we let any other month pass by carelessly, we just lost a month. If we do the same during Ramadan, we have lost everything. The person who misses just one day’s fast without a legitimate reason, cannot really make up for it even if he were to fast everyday for the rest of his life. And of the three persons that Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam cursed, one is the unfortunate Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek Allah’s mercy.

    One who does not fast is obviously in this category, but so also is the person who fasts and prays but makes no effort to stay away from sins or attain purity of the heart through the numerous opportunities offered by Ramadan. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us: "There are those who get nothing from their fast but hunger and thirst. There are those who get nothing from their nightly prayers but loss of sleep."

    Those who understood this, for them Ramadan was indeed a very special month. In addition to fasting, mandatory Salat, and extra Travih Salat, they spent the whole month in acts of worship like voluntary Salat, Tilawa (recitation of Qur’an), Dhikr etc. After mentioning that this has been the tradition of the pious people of this Ummah throughout the centuries, Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi notes: " I have seen with my own eyes such ulema and mashaikh who used to finish recitation of the entire Qur’an everyday during Ramadan. They spent almost the entire night in prayers. They used to eat so little that one wondered how they could endure all this. These greats valued every moment of Ramadan and would not waste any of it in any other pursuit…Watching them made one believe the astounding stories of Ibada and devotion of our elders recorded by history."

    This emphasis on these acts of worship may sound strange --- even misplaced --- to some. It requires some explanation. We know that the term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada --- worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.

    Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.

    This spirit is captured in I’tikaf, a unique Ibada associated with Ramadan, in which a person gives up all his normal activities and enters a mosque for a specific period. There is great merit in it and every Muslim community is encouraged to provide at least one person who will perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan. But even those who cannot spare ten days are encouraged to spend as much time in the mosque as possible.

    Through direct Ibada we "charge our batteries"; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life. Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength. How much we benefit from it is up to us.
    If a person wants to measure his nearness to Allah, he should apply the following formula given by Shaykh Gangohi:

    “A person’s nearness to Allah is proportional to his distance from his own ego and self [nafs].”


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    The Virtues of Fasting

    From Bahishti Zewar



    1. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: "The sleep of a fasting person is regarded as an act of ibaadah, his remaining silent is regarded as a tasbeeh, the reward for his good deeds is multiplied, his duas are accepted, and his sins are forgiven."

    2. It is mentioned in a Hadith that fasting is a shield and a strong fortress in order to save oneself from hell. In other words, just as a person seeks refuge in a strong fortress or by means of a shield from an enemy, in the same way, one gets salvation from hell by fasting. By fasting, a person's power of committing sins gets weak, and his power to do good gets stronger. When a person fasts in the proper manner and implements all the etiquette of fasting, he will free himself of sins and gain salvation from hell.

    3. It is mentioned in a Hadith that fasting is a shield as long as it is not destroyed by lies and backbiting. In other words, fasting works as a shield as explained above. But this is on the condition that the person abstains from sinning. If a person fasts and still speaks lies, backbites, and commits other sins, then although he will be absolved of the fard of fasting, he will be committing a major sin. Furthermore, he will be deprived of the barakah of fasting.

    4. It is mentioned in a Hadith that fasting is a shield. The person who awakens in the morning in a state of fasting should not commit any act of ignorance. If a person approaches him in an ignorant way, he should not reply him in the same ignorant manner nor should he address him disrespectfully. Instead, he should inform him that he is fasting. By him in whose control is the life of Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the smell that emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is more beloved in the sight of Allah Ta'ala than the fragrance of musk. In other words, on the day of judgement, the smell that emanates from the mouth of a fasting person will be replaced with a fragrance even better than musk. This fragrance will emanate from the mouth of the fasting person and it will be most beloved in the sight of Allah Ta'ala. This foul smell that emanates from a fasting person in this world will actually be a source of attaining that fragrance in the hereafter.

    5. It is mentioned in a Hadith that at the time of opening the fast, the person is permitted to make a dua whose acceptance is promised.

    6. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam addressed two persons saying: "You should fast because fasting is a shield in order to save oneself from hell and in order to save oneself from the difficulties of time." In other words, one will be saved from hell and also from the difficulties and calamities of this world.

    7. It is mentioned in a Hadith that on the day of judgement, three persons will not have to give an account of the food that they ate, immaterial of what they ate as long as it is halal. They are: the fasting person, the person who makes sehri, and the person who is stationed on the borders of the Islamic state safeguarding it from being invaded by the kuffaar. This is a great concession for these three persons that they have been absolved from giving an account of their eating. It should be borne in mind that despite this concession, one should not spend a lot of money and time in preparing very exquisite meals. Spending a lot of time in preparing delicacies turns one away from the remembrance of Allah Ta'ala and gives impetus to one's power of committing sins. This should always be borne in mind. One should value the bounties that Allah Ta'ala has blessed one with. The best way of showing gratitude to Allah Ta'ala is that one should obey all His commands and orders.

    8. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the person who feeds a fasting person at the time of opening fast will receive the same reward as that of the fasting person without there being any decrease in the reward of the fasting person. In other words, through the mercy and generosity of Allah Ta'ala, both of them will receive the same reward. This will apply even if the person feeds him with a very simple or insignificant meal. Even if he merely gives him some water to drink.

    9. It is mentioned in a Hadith that Allah Ta'ala multiplies the rewards of His pious servants by ten times up to 700 times except for the reward of fasting. In other words, there is no limit for the reward of fasting. As regards fasting, Allah Ta'ala says: "It is for Me alone and I will give the reward for it." From this we can gauge how great the reward of fasting is that there is no limit to the rewards. In addition to this, Allah Ta'ala will give the reward for fasting Himself and will not delegate this task to the angels. Glory be to Allah Ta'ala for attaching such importance to this little effort on our part. However, it should be borne in mind that all these virtues and benefits of fasting will only come into effect when we fulfil this duty as it ought to be fulfilled, and only when we abstain from speaking lies, backbiting, and all other sins. In the month of Ramadaan, some people leave out their Salats completely while others miss out the fajr Salat. In doing so, they are depriving themselves of the numerous blessings and rewards of fasting. Furthermore, by reading this Hadith, one should not have this misconception that fasting is more virtuous than Salat because Salat is the most virtuous of all the different acts of ibaadah. The meaning of this Hadith is that there is a very great reward for fasting and it does not mean that fasting is the most virtuous act of ibaadah. The above-mentioned Hadith continues that there are two times of extreme happiness for the fasting person. The first time of happiness is when he opens his fast and the second time is on the day of judgement. That is, when he meets Allah Ta'ala, as mentioned in other Ahaadith.

    10. It is mentioned in a Hadith that on the first night of Ramadaan the doors of heaven are opened. These doors remain open right till the end of Ramadaan. There is no Muslim who offers Salat in any of the nights of this month except that he receives 2500 rewards for every rakaat that he offers. In addition to this, Allah Ta'ala will construct a palace of rubies. This palace will have sixty doors. Each of these doors will have a golden chamber which will be decorated with rubies.

    When the person keeps the first fast of Ramadaan, all the minor sins that he had committed during the past year since the first fast of the last Ramadaan will be forgiven. In addition to this, 70 000 angels will make dua for his forgiveness daily from morning till sunset. For every rakaat of Salat that he offers in Ramadaan, whether it be during the day or at night, he will be rewarded with a tree in paradise. The shade of this tree will be such that a traveller will be able to travel beneath it for a journey of 500 years.

    How great is the virtue of fasting! O Muslims! Never allow yourself to miss any fast. In fact, if you have the strength, then keep nafl fasts as well. Show total love for Allah Ta'ala who is so merciful that He is rewarding us so abundantly in exchange for a little effort on our part. At least make Allah Ta'ala your beloved for your own benefit in that you will receive the abundant benefits of jannah.

    11. It is mentioned in a Hadith that jannah is decorated from the beginning of the year till the end of the year especially for Ramadaan. In addition to this, the large-eyed Hoors of jannah decorate and beautify themselves from the beginning of the year till the end of the year especially for the fasting persons. When Ramadaan commences, jannah says to Allah Ta'ala: "O Allah! Enter your pious servants into me in this month." As for the large-eyed Hoors, they say: "O Allah! Appoint husbands for us from among your pious servants."

    The person who did not slander anyone in this month and did not consume any intoxicants shall have all his sins wiped out. As for the one who slanders someone or consumes any intoxicant, all his good deeds for the past year will be wiped out. In other words, he will be committing a major sin. It should be borne in mind that just as rewards are multiplied in a holy month, punishment is also increased if a sin is committed in a holy month. One should ponder over the warning in this Hadith.

    Fear the month of Ramadaan because it is the month of Allah Ta'ala. In this month, Allah Ta'ala has ordered His servants to emulate His practice by abstaining from food and drink. Since Allah Ta'ala is pure from food and drink all the time, this month of Ramadaan has been specially attached to Him. As for the other months, they all belong to Him as well. Allah Ta'ala has given you eleven months in which you can eat, drink, and indulge in other halal pleasures. He has set aside just one month for Himself in which He has ordered you to abstain from food, drink, and other halal pleasures. Therefore, fear the month of Ramadaan, for most certainly, it belongs to Allah Ta'ala.

    Obey Allah Ta'ala in this month and abstain from sins. Although obedience to Allah Ta'ala is necessary all the time, it's importance is stressed in particular places such as Makkah al-Mukarramah and Madinah al-Munawwarah; and at particular times such as in the month of Ramadaan. Special attention should be paid to abstaining from sins at such places and at such times because just as rewards are multiplied at these times and places, so too is punishment.

    12. It is mentioned in a Hadith that when food is presented to you at the time of iftaar, then prior to opening your fast you should recite the following dua:

    Translation: "In the name of Allah. All praise is due to Allah. O Allah! I have fasted for Your pleasure, it is with Your sustenance that I am opening my fast, and I have placed complete trust in You. Glory be to You and praise be to You. Accept this fast from me for most surely You are All-Hearing, All-Knowing."

    13. It is mentioned in a Hadith that when you open your fast, it is preferable to open it with dry dates because there is a lot of blessing in this. If you do not have dates, open your fast with water because water is a great purifier. In certain Ahadith it is also mentioned that the fast should be opened with milk.

    14. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the person who keeps fast for 40 days solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala shall have whatever dua he makes to Allah Ta'ala accepted. In other words, this person will become so beloved in the sight of Allah Ta'ala that whatever dua he makes will be accepted by Allah Ta'ala if He feels that it will be to the benefit of that person. The respected sufis, may Allah Ta'ala be pleased with them, have laid down a system of cutting off all relations with this world for forty days and engaging in the ibaadah of Allah Ta'ala in a musjid. In addition to this, the person must fast for these forty days while he is in the musjid. By doing this, the person will benefit tremendously and will also develop the strength to do good deeds. Through the barakah of this, he will receive special knowledge from Allah Ta'ala and he will also be blessed with a deep understanding of things.

    15. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the person who fasts on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays of every sacred month, he will receive the reward of making ibaadah for 700 years. There are four months which are sacred. They are: Rajab, Zul Qa'dah, the first ten days of Zul Hijjah, and Muharram. However, it should be borne in mind that it is haram to fast on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Zul Hijjah.

    16. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the person who keeps three fasts in the sacred months, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he will receive the reward of making ibaadah for two years. That is, on the Day of Judgement it will be written in his book of deeds that he had made ibaadah for two years in return for these three days of fasting.
    If a person wants to measure his nearness to Allah, he should apply the following formula given by Shaykh Gangohi:

    “A person’s nearness to Allah is proportional to his distance from his own ego and self [nafs].”


  3. #33
    Senior Member mishor's Avatar
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    Shaykh Muhammad al-Yacoubi gave a lecture in Luton, 30th August, on Preparing for Ramadan. I was going post what I remembered from the event, but my memory is terrible. Luckily I found the following notes on DeenPort which are way better than what I would've posted.
    .................................................. ...

    Salaam

    We had the pleasure of having Sheikh Yaqoubi in Luton today.

    Just thought i'd share a few notes...

    He mentioned duas and the times in which they're answered. He said that before Fajr our duas are answered becasue the Prophet saw was born just before Fajr and so Allah in order to honour the Prophet saw and celebrate his birth makes duas answered in this time.
    In Ramadan we're forced to get up before Fajr because of food but we should take advantage of this time in and out of Ramadan and remember that this is a time when duas are answered.

    He also mentioned that at the moment of calamities our duas are answered. We should also say Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon. Allah replaces your loss with something better. He mentioned that at this time we may think 'who/what is better than what we have lost?' and he gave the example of one of the Prophet saw's wives, I think it was Salma r.a (please do correct me if i'm wrong), when her husband passed, she thought who could possibly replace/be better than him....and she ended up marrying the Prophet saw. SubhanAllah.

    He mentioned that also in our moment of joy, our duas are answered. At times like these he said we tend to forget our Lord but we should remember Him at these times and He will answer our call.

    These led on to him making the point that these are certain times when our duas are more liklier to be answered but in Ramadan they are even more likely to be answered throughout the whole time of the month and we should make use of this.

    He talked about the Surah Fatiha and mentioned that in the first part of the Surah we praise Allah and then we make a dua and ask Him to guide us to the straight path. In the same way when we make dua, we should praise Allah first.
    Also when we've done our ibadah dua's are answered because we've just praised Allah.

    Praise Allah and send blessings on the Prophet saw before and after dua. Do you think Allah will accept/take the blessings before and after and deprive you of what you asked for in between?

    Many of us are hidden from the core of the prayer. We see it just as actions, even dua becomes a habit.
    A prayer brings a renewed relationship with Allah.
    Every moment brings something new.
    Although Zuhr comes every day, you should feel it differently, it has a different taste, new openings from Allah.
    Preparation helps achieve the core of the prayer. The best way to prepare for the prayer is to prepare for it fromt he beginning of wudu.
    You have to have a transition from your regular business that prepares you for prayer.
    If you're in a shop making transactions etc, you hear the Adhan, you carry on doing the finances, then you hear the Iqamah, you rush to Salah and say AllahuAkbar and begin. What will be the state of this prayer? Whats going to be on your mind, will you have khushu'. In the same way, if one is backbiting/gossiping and then suddenly gets up to pray, what will be the state of their prayer. Similarly, if one is watching a movie and then near the end of the prayer time gets up to pray, how much God consciousness will they have? If you prepare your God consciousness will be more than if you suddenly get up from your daily activities and start to pray.

    Theres no compensation for missing one day of Ramadan, the rewards are so high. If you miss fasting intentionally one day, you can't get back what you missed in reward even if you fasted your whole life, you never get that mercy etc, you can make up the missed fast but you can never make up for that time.
    In the same way if you missed a prayer, the time that you use making it up you could be using it for good had you not wasted your time before and let your prayer time pass you by. You never get that time back, that time of your life is wasted.

    He also mentioned the youth we have, the time, energy, intelligence and strength, how every day that we waste won't be compensated.
    if you miss a year of learning, you will never get that time back. You can still learn but time will have been wasted. On your deathbed you will wish you had even one more year for learning. The wheels of time can never be rolled back.

    We have to spiritually prepare ourelves for Ramadan. We have Shaban and Rajab to help us in this. Ramadan should not come to us suddenly, we have to be prepared for it. In Ramadan Allahs gifts are immense. We have to make the most of it. Ramadan is a season for mercy, forgiveness and setting oneself free from the hellfire. We should prepare for it and not waste the first part of the month getting into things. Aisha r.a said that the Prophet saw fasted a LOT during Shaban. It prepares one for Ramadan and helps one make their mind, body and soul aware of Ramadan.

    We cannot let Ramadan come and go and we're still the same people we were before and just go back to our lives as we were.

    ----------------------

    Please make dua for me in the blessed forthcoming month.



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    Senior Member abidmahmood18's Avatar
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    Smile Advice by Shaykh Ninowy (May Allah raise their maqam)

    Bismillah

    Assalamu 'Alaikum dearest brothers and sisters,

    We have some 12 odd days left till ramadan comes. Insha Allah we can do a lot to prepare ourselves in this time. Below i shall post an article by Shaykh Ninowy (May Allah raise their maqam).

    ESSENTIALS OF RAMADAN AL-KAREEM

    The holy month of Ramadan has come, and it is a special occasion to all, but especially to the People of Spirituality. This is the time where body, heart and mind purification occurs. But only if you expose yourself to it, with your persistent efforts, extra worship, and re-shaping yourself and your commitments.

    Two things I would like you to increase in this Holy month:

    1- the number of times you send your Salaams to our Beloved Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam.

    2- The number of Ayahs of the Qu'ran you recite daily. As this is the month of Qur'an.

    Remember, that some think this is the month to eat, when infact, this is the month not to eat a lot.

    Remember that you do not only abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset during this month, but to go to a higher level by:

    1- Commanding your organs and limbs (including tongue, eyes, ears, hands) to abstain from all that's not good.

    This is extremely important.

    2- Commanding your thoughts that cross your mind to abstain from all that's not good. This comes with training, and perseverance, so please start.

    Khutbah (Sermon) of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam) about Ramadan:

    'O you who believe, prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that haply you will have taqwa.' Qur`an 2:183

    'A great month, a blessed month, a month containing a night which is better than a thousand months has approached you people. Allah has appointed the observance of fasting during it as an obligatory duty, and the passing of its nights in prayer as a voluntary practice. If someone draws near to Allah during it with some good act he will be like one who fulfills an obligatory duty in another month, and he who fulfills an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfills seventy obligatory duties in some other month. It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of sharing with others, and a month in which the believer's provision is increased. If someone gives one who has been fasting something with which to break his fast it will provide forgiveness of his wrong actions and save him from the Fire, and he will have a reward equal to the fasting man's reward without his reward being diminished in any way... Allah gives this reward to anyone who gives one who has been fasting some milk mixed with water, or a date, or a drink of water with which to break his fast, and anyone who gives a full meal to one who has been fasting will be given a drink by Allah and will not thirst until he enters Paradise. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from the Fire. If anyone makes things easy for his slave during it, Allah will forgive him and free him from the Fire.'

    From a khutba (sermon) given by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the last day of Shaban. - Reported by Sayyiduna Salman al-Farsi (Mishkat al Masabih).

    Some Hadiths About Ramadan:

    Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: 'Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the gates of the Garden are opened, the gates of the Fire are locked, and the rebellious Shaytan is chained. In it Allah has a night, which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good indeed suffered deprivation. 'Ahmad and Nasa'i transmitted it.

    Every good deed will be rewarded from ten to seven hundred fold except fasting which is endured for my sake and which I shall reward. 'Hadith Qudsi, Sahih al-Bukhari

    'By Him Who holds my life in His hand the breath of the fasting man's mouth is more fragrant before God and better pleasing to Him than redolent musk. 'Sahih Muslim

    'Paradise has a gate which is called al-Rayyan through which not one shall enter except those who have observed the fast. 'Sahih al-Bukhari

    'Two joys are prepared for him who observes the fast, the joy of breaking the fast and that of meeting his Lord. 'Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim

    Excerpts from the Book of the Mysteries of Fasting from the Ihya Ulum al-Deen of Imam al-Ghazali

    'Praise be to Allah who has shown great favor to His servants, who has frustrated the hopes and plans of Shaytan by making fasting a bulwark and a shield for His friends.'

    The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, 'The reward of the fasting man will be generous beyond imagination or estimate.' And so it should be because fasting belongs to Allah and by virtue of this relationship it has been rendered noble. The fast belongs to Allah in two respects. First because it is a form of desisting and relinquishing, in its very nature concealed from human sight, whereas all the other acts of worship are apparent and exposed to it. And secondly because it is a means of vanquishing the enemy of Allah, Shaytan, who works through the appetites and desires. These appetites and desires are increased by eating and drinking. For this reason the Prophet said, 'Shaytan affects the son of Adam by pervading his blood. Let him therefore make this difficult for Shaytan by means of hunger.' For the same reason he told A'isha, 'Persist in knocking on the door of Paradise.' When she asked what she should knock with he replied, 'With hunger.'

    The excellence of fasting established, what follows is a basic description of the outward and inward conditions for fasting.

    Outward conditions for fasting

    1. The first outward duty is to watch the beginning of the month of Ramadan and announce it at the observation of the new moon (al-hilal). If clouds make the observation of the new moon impossible then the length of Shaban should be extended to thirty days. By observation we mean actual sighting of the new moon. Anyone who hears a trustworthy witness say that he has seen the new moon and believes him, fasting then becomes incumbent on him.

    2. The second outward duty is intention (niyyah). Every night before the dawn of the following day one should specifically and deliberately entertain the intention of fasting. If he should entertain the intention to fast the month of Ramadan but fails to renew his intention every night his fast would not be valid...

    3. The third duty is that, as long as he remembers that he is fasting, the individual should abstain from intentionally allowing any material substance such as food, drink, snuff and enema, to enter his body... Whatever enters the body unintentionally, such as dust, or water, during the rinsing of the mouth will not invalidate the fast...

    4. The fourth duty is abstinence from sexual intercourse...

    5. The fifth duty is abstinence from deliberate seminal emission.

    6. The sixth outward duty is abstinence from vomiting. If one cannot help it however, his fast remains intact and valid.

    Practices connected with the Fast

    1. Delaying the time of suhur (until near the time of daybreak).

    2. Speeding the breaking of the fast by eating dates or drinking water before performing the prayer.

    3. Generous giving throughout the month.

    4. Special study of the Qur' an.

    5. Retreat (i'tikaf) into the mosque, especially during the last ten days of Ramadan (in which the Night of Power, laylat ul-Qadr, falls).

    Inward conditions of fasting; Fasting is of three grades:

    A. The fasting of the general public (sawm al-umun)

    B. The fasting of the select few (sawm al-khusus)

    C. The fasting of the elite among the select few (sawm kusus al-khusus)

    The fasting of the general public involves refraining from satisfying the appetites of the stomach and the appetites of sex and is described in the section on Outward conditions.

    The fasting of the select few is to keep the ears, the eyes, the tongue, and hands, the feet and other senses free from wrong actions. It consists of:

    1. Refraining from looking at anything disapproved, or anything, which occupies the person and distracts him from remembering Allah.

    2. Keeping the tongue free from raving, lying, backbiting, tale bearing, obscenity, abusive speech, wrangling and hypocrisy.

    3. Closing the ears to every reprehensible thing because everything, which is unlawful to utter, is also unlawful to hear.

    4. Restraining the limbs from wrong actions as well as avoiding questionable foods at the breaking of the fast.

    5. Not overeating when breaking the fast.

    6. Remaining in a state of suspense between fear and hope after breaking the fast as to whether or not the fast has been accepted by Allah.

    The fast of the elite among the select few is the fast of the heart from mean thoughts and worldly worries and its complete unconcern with anything but Allah and the Last Day, as well as by concern over this world, except insofar as it promotes the deen (life-transaction), which belongs to the hereafter.

    Every act of worship is possessed of an outward form and an inner secret, an external husk and internal path. The husks are of different grades and each grade has different layers. It is for you to choose whether to be content with the husk or join the company of the wise and learned.

    Breaking the Fast:

    'A human being has not filled any vessel which is worse than a belly. Enough for the son of Adam are some mouthfuls which keep his back straight, but if there is not escape he should fill it a third with food, a third with drink, and leave a third empty.' Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

    'Many a one who fasts gets nothing from his fasting but thirst and many a one who prays during the night gets nothing from his night prayers but sleeplessness.' Tirmidhi

    The mercy of the fast of Ramadan penetrates all dimensions of man's existence, providing a holistic cure for all that ails him, rejuvenating the body as well as the spirit of man. Breaking the fast by overeating renders both these beneficial effects useless. And breaking the fast with the wrong foods in any amount will debilitate the one who fasts and make his spiritual efforts more difficult.

    Allah exhorts us in the Qur' an to eat of the purest foods and the practitioners of modern medicine are just beginning to realize the essential wisdom of this command along with the wisdom of the fast itself. The therapeutic effect of fasting is well documented by actual clinical experience both in Europe and in the United States; leading to general acceptance of the principal that fasting is man's oldest and best healing method. And the kind and amount of food with which one breaks the fast to a large extent determines whether the fast is useful or a waste of time.

    The main rule in breaking the fast is to remember why you are fasting and what you hope to obtain by it. There are several due’s [supplications] for breaking the fast which call one back to this reality, one of which is:

    In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

    O Allah, for You I have fasted and I have believed in You, And have broken my fast on Your bounty and so forgive me my past and present wrong actions.

    O Lord of the Worlds.

    Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

    Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika aamantu

    Wa 'alaa rizqika aftartu faghfirlee

    Maa addamtu wa maa akhartu

    Ya rabbil aalamen.

    One of the sunnas [practices] of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is to break the fast as soon as the Adhan [call to prayer] is heard before performing the Maghrib prayer, with a date and some water.

    Ramadan Food Guideline

    The rule of thumb of the amount of food to be consumed at the evening meal, which follows, is that it should be no more than is usually eaten at that time. In fact, if it is, the fast is technically invalid. Again one has to review what one's goal in Ramadan is -- to bury his head deep into a nose-bag full of food every evening after sunset and snore his nights away or to eat a light but nutritious evening meal and use the precious nights of Ramadan for dhikr [remembrance] and fikr [reflection].

    The following is a guideline to the types of food which will enhance the natural purifying effect which the fast already has on the body and which will increase the one who incorporates them into his diet in energy, clarity and awareness:

    1. Use as much as possible pure and organic foods, uncontaminated by artificial flavorings, colors, and preservatives.

    2. Avoid eating too much meat too frequently. The Prophet, Sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, ate meat only twice a week. Needless to say it should be halal, but it is also recommended to find a source of free-range animals and to have as close a control as possible over the actual killing.

    3. Include lots of vegetables and raw fruits in your diet.

    4. Avoid overdoses of starches, particularly excessive amounts of polished white rice -- use whole grains when possible and then not too much of them.

    5. Avoid too much sugar and substances containing caffeine -- they will unbalance the delicate endocrine system of the body.

    6. Pay attention to the order in which you eat different foods and the combinations of foods, which you eat. The medicine of the Prophet recommends limiting the number of different types of food eaten at one time as much as possible, and latest research has revealed that the reason for this is the stomach's ability to produce.

    Shaykh Sayyid Muhammed bin Yahya Al-Ninowy

    Courtesy of http://www.alsunnah.ca/ & http://www.almadinamasjid.org/
    عابد محمود

    From Ubayy Ibn K'ab RA. "The believer has four characteristic. If he is afflicted by any misfortune, he remains patient and steadfast. If he is given anything, he is grateful.If he speaks, he speaks the truth. If he passes a judgement on any issue, he is just."

    http://www.alhaqq.net


  5. #35
    Senior Member abidmahmood18's Avatar
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    Smile Advice by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa

    Last Year Advice on Ramadhan from Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa

    Bismillah

    Assalamu 'alaikum

    Beautiful advice from Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa at the Mawlid in Liverpool on Ramadhan.

    Disclaimer: If there are any mistakes in the notes, they are due to us, not
    the original dars of the shaykh and may Allah(swt) forgive us for our
    shortcomings.

    "Subhanallah, we have been doing these blessed Mawlids for 6 months now
    consistently, and I want you all to concentrate on the word "consistency"
    carefully for the next few weeks, particularly in Ramadhan.

    The prophet (pbuh) was/is the most consistent person on the face of the
    earth, and he pbuh said in a hadith" Allah loves those acts which are
    consistent, although they may appear small and insignificant to you, but
    with Allah (swt), they are highly regarded and that is what really matters".

    The prophet (pbuh) said that “Ramadhan is such a blessed month, that if my
    Ummah understood its blessings properly, they would wish for this month to
    be all year round. This is a month in which we can practise consistency and
    implement it after Ramadhan too ,inshallah.

    Ramadhan is surely a blessed month and Allah (swt) wants to forgive you by
    the end of this blessed month, and that is why he is offering you
    opportunity after opportunity in this month, just look carefully at the
    opportunities within it "5 times Salah with Jama’at, Lailatul Qadr which is
    better than 1 thousand months, Taraweeh prayers, Suhur, Iftaar, Itikaaf in
    the Masjid, the multiplication of rewards, the Nawafil acts getting elevated
    to status of Fard in terms of reward, the reward for Fard being multiplied.

    Shaykh also mentioned that in Ramadhan Allah(swt) provides you opportunities
    to become people of Allah. Allah swt has placed the five pillars of Islam
    within this month.

    1) Tawheed - The prophet said that “repeat the recitation of the shahada in
    abundance in Ramadhan”.

    2) Salah - A two Raka’at Nafal in Ramadhan is equal to 20 Faraid prayed
    outside the month of Ramadhan. Then on top of that you have the Taraweeh
    prayer.

    3) Fasting - The prophet(pbuh) said that the reward of fast is
    paradise.....according to the Hadith Qudsi by Allah(swt)

    4) Zakah - The prophet(pbuh) was more generous in the month of Ramadhan. He
    was generous anyway, so you can’t imagine him being more generous. Sadaqah
    in the month of Ramadhan is equal to giving Zakah.

    5) Hajj - The prophet(pbuh) said that the one who makes Umrah in the month
    of Ramadan, it is as he did Hajj with me.

    The shaykh also mentioned that we should “increase in our istighfaar”,
    “increase in Quran recitation”, “increase in Salawat upon the prophet
    (pbuh)” and try to do “Qiyamul Lail (staying up at nights)”.

    And once you do become the people of Allah swt, you won’t talk about things
    that have been made a duty upon you as muslims, but you will talk about
    privileges of being Muslims. You will say “what a privilege it is to be a
    Muslim”. You will remove something harmful in someone’s way, you will not
    think that it’s my duty, but you will feel privileged to do so. Once you
    become people of Allah swt, you will see things that a normal person won’t
    see.

    The shaykh mentioned the story of Imam Nawawi that when he was 7 years old.
    He woke up at night and started waking everyone up and shouted “what is this
    light everywhere?” and from that his father realised that it was Laila Tul
    Qadr that day.

    Allah swt also made all those things Haram upon you while fasting (some
    haram in any circumstances but some specifically in Ramadhan), which are the
    barriers to attaining his love and pleasure (food, water, backbiting,
    slandering, lying … , see how Allah swt has put it on a plate for you in
    this blessed month.

    Spend this month wisely, like the people of Allah swt do. If you have
    holidays from work, then take them in this month because this is the holiday
    of the people of Allah. Forget ibiza, costa dela , the people of Allah swt
    take holidays from the Duniya in Ramadhan and spend this month in giving it
    its dues.

    But most importantly, take the month of Ramadhan with you, after Ramadhan,
    and keep up these actions, because that’s the whole point.

    One who can do 20 Rakats in Ramadhan Taraweeh prayers, can do 20 rakats
    nawafil daily after Ramadhan.
    One who can increase his recitation of the Quran in Ramadhan, can continue
    it after Ramadhan too.
    One who can control the eyes, ears, mouth, limbs inside Ramadhan, can surely
    do so after Ramadhan.
    One who can fast for 29/30 days in Ramadhan, can surely , fast the fasting
    of Shawaal, Ashura etc etc.

    Oh believers, don’t let this month slip without realising the purpose of it,
    become people of Allah swt, increase your charity, increase your smiling at
    others, increase your love for children, elders, neighbours, community.
    Don’t just focus on the Faraid in this month, focus on the Sunnah too, focus
    on the Nawafil too.

    May Allah(swt) forgive us all.

    Ameen
    عابد محمود

    From Ubayy Ibn K'ab RA. "The believer has four characteristic. If he is afflicted by any misfortune, he remains patient and steadfast. If he is given anything, he is grateful.If he speaks, he speaks the truth. If he passes a judgement on any issue, he is just."

    http://www.alhaqq.net


  6. #36
    Senior Member Sadiq's Avatar
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    Default

    As someone said; "Its a guest, let us get ready for this beautiful, elegant, priceless guest coming, make our homes, our minds, our lifes ready for this Ramadan." [that includes getting off the internet too, lol]

    *Please read the above articles, full of gems, mashaAllah.
    “If anyone of you gets angry, let him keep quiet”.




  7. #37
    Senior Member muslim forever's Avatar
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    Default

    Salaam,

    This is one of my favourite lectures on Ramadhan cos it gives u very practical advice on what one should do in this month.

    Checking into Ramadhan by Shaykh Husian Abdul Sattar:

    http://www.sacredlearning.org/audio/...in_ramadan.mp3 About 29 minutes long

    Enjoy everyone!

    Wasalaam
    If a person wants to measure his nearness to Allah, he should apply the following formula given by Shaykh Gangohi:

    “A person’s nearness to Allah is proportional to his distance from his own ego and self [nafs].”


  8. #38
    Senior Member allahuakbar786's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes we need to get our fried food ready.


  9. #39
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    Default Re: Preparation for Ramadan

    Bismillah


  10. #40
    Senior Member muslim forever's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preparation for Ramadan

    Asalaamu Alaykum,

    An excellent talk recently delivered by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar:

    Preparing Early for Ramadan

    24minutes and 16 seconds long

    Enjoy!

    Wasalaam
    If a person wants to measure his nearness to Allah, he should apply the following formula given by Shaykh Gangohi:

    “A person’s nearness to Allah is proportional to his distance from his own ego and self [nafs].”


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