The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Laylatul Qadr

When is Laylatul Qadr?

The last 10 days of Ramadan is upon us. As we approach the most sacred nights of the holy month of Ramadan (Laylatul Qadr), we encourage all Muslims to maximize the next 10 days with a lot of duas and as always to please keep us in your duas.

Today's article is on Laylatul Qadr. Please read this so that you can maximize the last 10 days of Ramadan. Only Allah knows if we will be around to experience Ramadan next year. Do not let anything interrupt you from worshiping Allah as He should be.

Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)



In the month of Ramadan, certain nights have greater significance and hold more barakah (blessings) than others. One such night is Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). Allah, the Exalted, has described this night as ‘better than a thousand
nights’. The Exalted says:

“Verily We have revealed this [Qur’an] in the Night of Power. And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit (Jibra’il) descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. Peace it is, till the break of dawn.” (Al‐Qadr v 1‐5)

The above surah indicates to the many virtues of this night:

First Virtue: Allah the Exalted revealed the Qur’an on this night as guidance for mankind and for their success in this world and the Hereafter.

Second Virtue: The question ‘And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is?’ indicates to the unparalleled greatness of this night.

Third Virtue: This night is better than a thousand months

Fourth Virtue: Angels will descend on this night and they do not descend except with goodness, blessings and mercy.

Fifth Virtue: This night is a manifestation of peace as it saves many from the punishment [of Hellfire].

Sixth Virtue: Allah revealed a complete surah in honour and greatness of the night, a surah which will be recited till the Day of Judgement.



As regards to the exact date of Laylatul Qadr, it has not been conclusively disclosed. However, it is reported from the Prophet that it is in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan (i.e. the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th or the last night of Ramadan).

Aisha said: “The Messenger of Allah used to practice i’tikaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Laylatul Qadr in the [odd nights] of the last ten days of Ramadan.’” (Bukhari)

Concealing the exact date of Laylatul Qadr was not a haphazard decision but rather a divine wisdom. Allah the Exalted has concealed [the exact date of] Laylatul Qadr so that Muslims may seek it and their keenness for worship may grow and all their nights during the concluding part of the month be spent in prayer and seeking forgiveness.

However, many scholars are of the opinion that the most likely date for Laylatul Qadr is the night of the twenty seventh of Ramadan. Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Laylatul Qadr is on the twenty seventh [night].” (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was among those who were of the opinion that Laylatul Qadr falls on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan. Although there is a multitude of evidence to substantiate this opinion, there is no absolute surety that Laylatul Qadr falls on the twenty seventh night. Hence, it is advisable to seek this blessed night in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.

There are no specific acts to be performed for Laylatul Qadr. The night should be spent by offering much nafl (voluntary) prayers as one can offer, in recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, in dhikr, durud and tasbih. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger if Allah said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship during Laylatul Qadr, with complete iman and sincere hope of gaining rewards, will have all his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari)

The forgiveness and mercy of Allah should be sought.29 It is reported from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that she once asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I happen to find Laylatul Qadr, then what should I say in it?” He said: “Say ‘O Allah you are the most forgiving, you love to forgive so forgive me.’” (Tirmidhi)

One should ensure that worship on this night is not neglected or given priority over other worldly duties. The Messenger of Allah once said: “Whoever is deprived of the blessings of Laylatul Qadr [i.e. neglects to worship on this night] is deprived of all good.” (Ahmad)

May Allah give us the ability to reap the benefits of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr and deprive us not of any of its blessings. May He also enable us to build a long lasting relationship with the Book which has made Ramadan a blessed and glorious month. It is only through the recitation, study, propagation and implementation of this very same Book, that ultimate success can be attained in this world and the next.

Source: Fasting & Ramadan: The Essentials
SM Hasan Al‐Banna


Other Articles on Laylatul Qadr

When is Laylatul Qadr?

Laylatul-al-Qadr Dua

How can Menstruating Muslim Women Observe Laylatul Qadr?

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Different Levels in Fasting

This is an important article that explains the different levels of fasting. Imam Abu Hamid Al‐Ghazali mentions in his Ihya Ulumuddin that fasting has many levels: "It should be known that there are three grades of fasting: ordinary, special and extra‐special".

This Ramadan, ask yourself which level of fasting you would like to attain.

Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one’s eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet and all other organs, free from sin.

Extra‐special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard in everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is He.

This kind of fast is broken by thinking of anything other than Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and the Hereafter; it is broken by thinking of worldly matters except those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provisions for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world. Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with the arrangements for breaking his fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true saints and the intimates of Allah. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than Allah, Exalted is He. It is bound up with significance of His words:

“Say: ‘Allah!’ then leaves them to their idle prattling.” (Al‐An’am v 91)

INWARD REQUIREMENTS

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practised by the righteous. It means keeping all one’s organs free from sin and six things are required for its accomplishment:

1. SEE NOT WHAT DISPLEASES ALLAH
A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, Said the Prophet: “The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be Allah’s curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of Allah will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find in his heart.”

Jabir relates from Anas that the Messenger of Allah, said: “Five things break a
man’s fast: lying, backbiting, slandering, perjury and lustful gaze.”

2. SPEAK NOT
Guarding one’s tongue from twaddle [useless talk]. Lying, backbiting, slandering, obscenity, rudeness, wrangling and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with the remembrance of Allah, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of the Qur’an. This is the fasting of the tongue.

Sufyan said: “Backbiting corrupts the fast.” Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: “Two habits corrupt fasting: backbiting and telling lies.”

The Prophet said: “Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’”

According to tradition, two women were fasting during the time of Allah’s Messenger. They were so fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to the Messenger of Allah requesting permission to break their fast.

In response, the Prophet sent them a bowl and said: “Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten.” One of them vomited and filled half of the bowl with flesh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished.

Then the Prophet said: “These two women have been fasting from what Allah made lawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!”

3. HEAR NOT
Closing one’s ear to everything reprehensible; everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why Allah, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words, Exalted is He: “Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.” (Al‐Ma’idah v 42)

Allah, Great and Glorious is He, also said: “Why do their rabbis and priests not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?” Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. Allah, Exalted is He, said: “You are then just like them.” (An‐Nisa v 140). That is why the Prophet said: “The backbiter and his listener are co‐partners in sin.”

4. DO NOT
Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for breaking fast. It is meaningless to fast, to abstain from lawful food, only to break one’s fast on what is unlawful. A man who fasts like this may be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food is injurious in quantity not in quality, so fasting is to reduce the former. A person may give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison.

The unlawful is a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is medicine, beneficial in small doses but harmful in excess. The object of fasting is to induce moderation. The Prophet said: “How many of those who fast get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!” This has been taken to mean those who break their fast on unlawful food.

Some say it refers to those who abstain from lawful food, break their fast on human flesh through backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who do not guard their organ from sin.

5. AVOID OVEREATING
Not to over‐indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking fast, to the point of stuffing one’s stomach. There is no receptacle more odious to Allah, Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of what use is the fast as a means of conquering Allah’s enemy and abating appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all kinds of food, so that more is consumed during that time than in the course of several other months put together. It is well known that the object of fasting is to experience hunger and to keep check of your desire, in order to reinforce the soul in piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning till evening, so that no appetite is aroused and its craving intensified, and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of fasting is to weaken the forces which are Satan’s means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut down one’s intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not fasting. No benefit is derived from the fast if one consumes as much as one would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one feels the hunger and the thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one’s powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night, making it easier to perform the night prayers (tahajjud) and to recite the litanies (award). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one’s heart, and that one will behold
the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny represents the night on which something of this kingdom is revealed, this is what is meant by the words of Allah, Glorious and Exalted is He: “We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.” (Al‐Qadr v 1)

Any one who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes blind to this revelation. But merely keeping the stomach empty is insufficient to remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but Allah, Great and Glorious is
He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point of it all is cutting down on food.

6. LOOK TO ALLAH WITH FEAR AND HOPE
After the fast has been broken, the believer should swing like a pendulum between fear and hope. For one does not know if one’s fast will be accepted, so that one will find favour with Allah, or whether it will be rejected, leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of Al‐Hasan Ibn Abil Hasan Al‐Basri that he once passed by a group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: “Allah, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and have won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors and failure the wastrels. By Allah, if the veil were lifted off, the door of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.” In other words, the man whose fast has been accepted will be too full of joy to indulge in idle sport, while for one who has suffered rejection, laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of Al‐Ahnaf Ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: “You are an aged elder; fasting would enfeeble you.” But he replied: “By this I am getting ready for a long journey. Obedience to Allah, Glorified is He, is easier to endure than His punishment.”

Source: Fasting & Ramadan: The Essentials by SM Hasan Al‐Banna

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Charity in Islam - A Consistent Act

Muslims are enjoined to give zakat (charity) throughout their lives. Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam. During the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims especially desire to give charity willingly.

Narrated Ibn Abbas (): “The Prophet was the most generous of the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him. Gabriel would meet with him every night of Ramadan until the end of the month. The Prophet would recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel. When Gabriel met him, he would be more generous than a swift wind (bringing rain).” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 126]

So Muslims being extra generous during Ramadan is, of course, a good thing.

Now, there is a difference between zakat (which can be given at any time) and zakat-al-fitr (which is a special charity paid to the needy on or before the day of Eid-al-Fitr). To find out more, please read this article.

Charitable giving should not end after Ramadan. And charitable giving need not only entail the giving of money or goods. Charity, for which the expression used in the Holy Quran is "spending out of what God has given you". Giving charity does not have to be only money. Charity can also be given by using your energy, talent, resources, money, possessions, or whatever else, to help and do good to those in need.

In Islam, charity is very often mentioned alongside prayer because just as the latter is man's relation with God, or man's duty towards God, the former (charity) represents his relation with his fellow-beings, and indeed with all the creation of God.

Prayer expresses love for God, submission to Him, and a desire to bring out the Divine qualities that lie hidden in every person. Charity is an expression of sympathy and benevolence towards God's creation, putting into actual practice the lessons you learn in prayer.

"Of their goods take alms, that so thou might purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf, verily thy prayers are a source of security for them."
(The Holy Quran, 9:103)

"Have you seen the one who denies the Religion? Such is he who repulses the orphan, and who does not urge others to feed the poor. Woe to worshippers, who are absent-minded to their prayer, those who make a show (of piety), and refuse to render small acts of kindness (towards others)."
(The Holy Quran, 107: 1-7)

The Prophet said: "Charity is a necessity for every Muslim".

He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity".



In today's economic climate, many people are apprehensive about charity because they are fearful for their own livelihood - lack of job security, unemployment, hefty bills, mouths to feed and so on can be heavy burdens to bear. But there will also be someone out there who is in a worse condition than yourself.

Read on for some tips on how to face this economic recession, and be more giving despite your own difficulties.

Nowadays, families meticulously scrimp and save to meet monthly expenses. Luxuries are now being compromised to hold on to necessities. Promotions and job acquisitions are no-shows. The global economy is facing a crisis which is taking its toll on the peace of mind of people all over the world, as the future looks bleak and the economic forecast spells further doom.

Fortunately for us Muslims, we have Islam: the perfect religion that provides effective remedies for all depressing situations. It teaches Muslims how to strike the perfect balance in all aspects of life, so that any excess and extravagance is avoided, and everyone gets their due, leading to a thriving society and a bustling economy.

Resort to daily repentance (istighfar):

If you are facing a lack of resources and a tighter spending hand nowadays, reflect upon your past and identify possible causes for the descent of this calamity upon you. Did you abstain from giving zakaah, making flimsy excuses to convince yourself that it is not due upon you? Did you avoid giving charity when you could have, instead buying your children more expensive clothes? Did you shout at a beggar, acting arrogantly, even though you could have spared a kind word? Well, it doesn't take long for what goes round to come around, does it?

Repentance is something that brings blessings and provision from Allah. As you'll see in the Quran, even the Prophets sent to bygone nations exhorted them to turn back towards Allah sincerely, and to leave sinning, so that they may be blessed with provision. Prophet Hud said to his people:

"And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance): He will send you the skies pouring abundant rain, and add strength to your strength: so turn you not back in sin!" [11:52]

Prophet Nuh also gave similar advice to his nation:

"And I said: 'Ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins - for, verily, He is all-forgiving! He will shower upon you heavenly blessings abundant, and will aid you with worldly goods and children, and will bestow upon you gardens, and bestow upon you running waters.'" [71:10-12]

Now is the time for us Muslims to turn back to Allah in humility, seeking His forgiveness for being lax in giving charity to those less fortunate than us, and for committing other sins.

Try to do istighfar at least a hundred times a day. Leading a life of piety, in which you try to stay away from disobeying Allah as much as possible, leads to a well-provided, resourceful existence:

"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine..."
[65:2-3]

Give zakaah and supererogatory sadaqah:

Try to meticulously calculate your zakaah this year, and give it off on time to the most deserving person or family within your clan, or in your neighborhood. Make sure you are able to search for the neediest person nearby. It will take extra time and effort, but Allah, The All-Knower, will be most appreciative of any extra sincerity you put in giving charity.

Some signs of needy people are apparent on their persona: they work at menial jobs, worry and anxiety mar their facial expression, their clothes are old and worn, and their physical health depicts malnutrition and undernourishment.

"...and give them (others) preference even though they were themselves in need." [59:9]

Further, make charity an ongoing family project. A good strategy could be making your children donate any of their old toys, clothes or shoes to poor children whenever they are bought new ones. This will not only de-clutter your home, but will also bring more blessing in it, not to mention being an effective practical Islamic training for your children.

One thing to remember is that, although giving away old things is praiseworthy in itself, sometimes, Muslims should also donate those things which they love and cherish, because Allah says that they cannot attain piety otherwise:

"By no means shall you attain piety unless you spend of that which you love." [3:92]

By Sadaf Farooqi http://www.howtodothings.com/user/sadaf

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

* Email
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* = Required Field

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Ramadan Dua From Quran

If you are at a loss of words and wondering how to supplicate to Allah (dua) this Ramadan, then look no further than the Quran for inspiration.

Making dua to Allah is highly encouraged:

"And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible." (Holy Qur'an, 40:60)

Here is a compilation of 25 duas straight from the Quran.

1)



"...Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire." (Qur'an, 2:201)

2)



"...Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people"." (Qur'an, 2:250)

3)



"...Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred..." (Qur'an, 2:286)

4)



"...Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us..." (Qur'an, 2:286)
Cont.

5)



"...Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people."(Qur'an, 2:286)

6)



"Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestowed." (Qur'an, 3:8)

7)



"...Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people." (Qur'an, 3:147)

8)



"Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit to the Fire - You have disgraced him, and for the wrongdoers there are no helpers." (Qur'an, 3:192)

9)



"Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], 'Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed..." (Qur'an, 3:193)
Cont.

10)



"...Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous." (Qur'an, 3:193)

11)



"Our Lord! And grant us that which you have promised to us by Your messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgement. Verily You never fail to fulfill Your promise." (Qur'an, 3:194)

12)



"...Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." (Qur'an, 7:23)

13)



"...Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people." (Qur'an, 7:47)

14)



"...Our Lord, decide between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision." (Qur'an, 7:89)

15)



"...Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You]." (Qur'an, 7:126)

16)



"...Upon Allah do we rely. Our Lord, make us not [objects of] trial for the wrongdoing people. And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people." (Qur'an, 10:85-86)

17)



"Our Lord, indeed You know what we conceal and what we declare, and nothing is hidden from Allah on the earth or in the heaven." (Qur'an, 14:38)

18)



"...Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance." (Qur'an, 18:10)

19)



"...Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous." (Qur'an, 25:74)

20)



"...Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire." (Qur'an, 40:7)

21)



"Our Lord, and admit them to gardens of perpetual residence which You have promised them and whoever was righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring. Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise." (Qur'an, 40:8)

22)



"Our Lord, remove from us the torment; indeed, we are believers." (Qur'an, 44:12)

23)



"...Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful." (Qur'an, 59:10)

24)



"...Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination." (Qur'an, 60:4)

25)



"...Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent." (Qur'an, 66:8)

Compiled by: http://www.muslimness.com/2011/08/25-prayers-to-learn-from-quran.html

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

* Email
First Name
Last Name
* = Required Field

Article Link

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quran is the Focus During Ramadan

Most people (including Muslims) unfortunately associate Ramadan only with fasting. As we explained in a previous post, while the tangible aspect of Ramadan is clearly abstaining from food and drink, the real (spiritual) purpose and focus for us during this month should be our increased connectedness to Allah.

But just how do we increase our connectedness to Allah?

“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” (Qur’an, 2:185)

The verse above from the Quran shows clearly how we can increase our connectedness to Allah. We have to turn to the Quran.

The interesting thing to note about this ayah (verse) here is that Allah (swt) at the mention of Ramadan didn’t talk about fasting first. When we think about Ramadan, what comes to our mind immediately? Usually, our first thought is fasting right? But we find that Allah instead couples Ramadan firstly with the Qur’an as if to say that Ramadan’s first and foremost role in our lives should be to increase our relationship with the Qur’an and only then does He follow it with the command to fast in the month. The goal of fasting is taqwa, but what actually allows us to establish taqwa in our lives if not the Qur’an? So the logical step for us is that we need to try and prepare ourselves towards establishing a relationship with the Book of Allah. As mentioned earlier, fasting trains us to empty our hearts from desires and aspires towards a loftier goal and that goal can only be achieved with the soul food that the Qur’an provides.

Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/worship/fasting-ramadan/ramadan-the-quran-and-us/


Getting the "Soul Food" that the Quran Provides

1) So take your Quran out today, if you haven't already. Tune out all the distractions, and spend some time studying and reading the Quran.

2) Make a goal to study, understand and memorize a surah in the Quran this Ramadan, pick a short surah, if you are doing this for the first time.

3) Perform the taraweeh prayers, where the Quran is recited.

4) If you are unable to attend nightly taraweeh communal prayers, then attempt to do the taraweeh prayers by yourself at home. You can follow the lead of imams in Mecca or Medina via online video resources such as at http://ramadanvideos.blogspot.com/. Just choose the video for the night you are looking for, (videos usually runs for about 1.5 - 2 hours for each nightly prayer) and follow the lead.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “…the Qur’an is either an argument for you or against you.”(Muslim)

Imam an-Nawawi states in regard to the meaning of the above hadith: “[It means] that you will benefit from it if you recite it and act by it, otherwise it will be an argument against you.” This means that on the Day of Judgement, the Qur’an will be a proof or a testament against those who disobeyed Allah (swt) and did not follow the path He outlined in His Holy Book.

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Qiyam al-Layl During Ramadan


Often, we find that people get confused with the various names associated with the night prayers. This article today will help you understand what the night prayer is about (called the Qiyaam al-Layl).

What is Qiyaam al-Layl?

Different Names:
Qiyam means 'standing' and ‘Qiyam al-Layl’ means 'standing at night'. In the Shari’ah term both terms refer to 'the voluntary night prayer, whose time extends after the Isha prayer (the last of the five obligatory prayers, whose time extends from the disappearance of the reddish light in the sky until the middle of the night) until dawn.’

This voluntary prayer is described as Qiyam al-Layl because it involves long standings, in which long portions of the Qur'aan are recited. Other common names for this prayer are 'Salaat al-Layl' (the night prayer), Tahajjud (from hajjada meaning awake at night), witr and Taraweeh (resting). [Lisaan ul-Arab under 'Hajada' and 'Rawaha']

Its should be noted that Tahajjud is not different from Qiyam and Taraweeh, these are different names of the same prayer. Commonly the word Taraweeh is used to describe this prayer in Ramadaan, the Muslims used this term from early times. Muhammad Shaqrah says: “The reason for this name is that due to long recitation the people used to rest after every four rak'ah. Eventually this practice became a necessary element of Taraweeh even with short recitations. This led people to think that ‘Taraweeh’ is the correct name revealed to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).” [Irsad us-Sari p.75-77]

This name is wrong in text and in meaning. This name is neither known from Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) nor his companions t… and as for the meaning the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) never taught the practice of resting between particular rak’ahs. Thus, Taraweeh is a novel name and it is better to use the name which the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used for this prayer; ‘Qiyaam’.

One might ask, 'Is it wrong to rest between rak’ahs?’ The answer is - 'If the Imaam is tired or feels that the people praying behind him are tired from long standing and recitation, he may allow some rest…” [Irshad us-Sari (p: 75-77)]

The Excellence of Qiyaam al-Layl

Many Qur'aanic verses speak about the excellence of Qiyam and the merits of those people, who perform Qiyaam al-Layl on a regular basis, for example, Allah describes the believers who deserve Jannah saying: “They (the believers) forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope; and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.” [Soorah as-Sajdah (32): 16] “They (the pious) used to sleep but little at night.” [Soorah ath-Thariyat (51): 17] Also, numerous Ahadeeth add to this subject, narrated Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu): “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The best prayer after those prescribed is (the prayer performed) in the depth of night.” [Saheeh Muslim and Musnad Ahmad]

He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: “The most beloved prayer to Allah was of Dawud (alaihi as-salaam). He slept one half of the night, got up (and prayed) for one third, and then slept (the remaining) one sixth.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Protection from Shaitaan

Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “When one of you goes to sleep, Shaitaan ties three knots over the rear of his head, blowing into each knot, 'You have a long night, so sleep on.” If he wakes up and mentions Allah, one knot loosens. If he makes wudhu (ablution for prayer), another knot loosens and if he prays, the third knot loosens and he becomes lively and good-natured; otherwise he gets up ill-natured and lazy.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Acceptance of Supplication

Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven, when only one third of the night has remained. He says: “Who will invoke Me, so that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] In another report, he adds: “Then Allah extends His Hand and says: “Who wants to invest (good deeds) with the One who is not wasteful or unjust?” He continues to say this until the dawn arrives.” [Saheeh Muslim]

Jabir (radhi allahu anhu) reported, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: “There is an hour of the night which no Muslim person encounters and asks for a good thing for this life or the Hereafter, but Allah grants it to him. This happens every night.” [Saheeh Muslim]

Abu Umamah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was once asked: “When are the supplications most acceptable?” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “In the last depth of the night and at the end of the prescribed prayers.” [(hasan) by Shaikh al-Albanee (at-Tirmidhee)]

Muadh bin Jabal (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Whenever a Muslim goes to bed in a pure state (with wudhu), falls asleep while mentioning Allah and then wakes up during the night and asks Allah for anything good, He grants it to him.” [(saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee (Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee)]

Closeness to Allah

Amr bin Abash (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The closest that a servant is to his Lord, is in the last part of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah at that hour then do so.” [(saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee (at-Tirmidhee)]

Mercy from Allah: Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “May Allah have mercy on a man who wakes up at night, prays and wakes his wife to pray; and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah have mercy on a woman who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes her husband to pray and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” [(hasan) by Shaikh al-Albanee (Abu Dawood)]

Constant deeds guarantee ample reward: Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) said: “Do not ever stop praying Qiyam. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) never ceased praying it. When he was sick or weak, he prayed sitting.” [(saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee (Abu Dawood)]

She also reported the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: “The most beloved deeds to Allah are the most constant, even if they were little.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

The Excellence of Qiyam in Ramadan

Many Ahaadeeth describe the excellence of Qiyam particularly in Ramadan, some of them are:

Forgiveness of sins: Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyam during Ramadaan. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadaan out of faith and expectation (of Allah's Reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Among the Most Righteous: Amr bin Murrah al-Juhani (radhi allahu anhu) said: “A man from the tribe of Quraysh asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! What if I testified that there is no (true) god except Allah and that you are Allah's Messenger, prayed the five prayers, fasted the month, stood for Qiyam in Ramadaan and paid Zakaah?” The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “Anyone dying like this will be among the siddiqun (the highly virtuous) and the shuhadah (martyrs).” [(saheeh) Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban]

7 Practical Tips for praying Qiyaam al-Layl

1: Ikhlas (Sincerity) - the key to Allah's Help and Blessings

Help of Allah is needed to accomplish and achieve success in all our affairs. And Allah only helps those who are sincere in their hearts. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” [An-Nasa'ee, al-Hakim and Saheeh al-Jamee] Therefore, one should have a sincere intention to pray Qiyaam al-Layl; seek the Pleasure of Allah Alone and avoid the desire of praise or fame. Allah says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone…” [(98): 5]

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The degree to which a person is helped and aided by Allah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. Help from Allah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes and fears, and failure comes to them in like manner.”

2: Knowing the Virtues of Qiyaam al-Layl

Knowing the virtues and rewards of performing worship produces willingness and desire to perform the worship. We have previously mentioned numerous virtues of regularly praying Qiyaam al-Layl, here we mention the excellence of praying Qiyaam al-Layl particularly in the great month of Ramadan. Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyaam during Ramadan. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyaam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh Muslim]

3: Taking a nap in the daytime

Taking a nap before or after Dhur Salaat will dismiss the stress and thus enable one to get up in the night and stand in front of his Lord. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen (pl. of Shaytan) do not take naps.” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. Al-Saheehah (2647)]

4: Sleeping according to the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger

(a) Sleep early: Sleeping early is a healthy habit and it was the practice of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to sleep directly after performing the Isha prayer. Abu Barzah al-Aslami (radhi allahu anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to prefer to delay Isha, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

(b) Sleep in a state of taharah (purity): Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Purify these bodies and Allah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an Angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the Angel] says, 'O Allah! Forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.'” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. See Saheeh al-Jamee (3831)]

(c) Choose a suitable bed: Excessive luxurious or soft bed provokes laziness and makes one sleep more and become negligent. Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anha) narrates that the pillow of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) on which he slept at night was made of leather stuffed with palm fibers.” [Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad. Saheeh al-Jamee (4714)]

Once Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radhi allahu anhu) entered upon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) when he was lying on a mat of palm fibers that had left marks on his side. Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you not get something more comfortable than this?” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “What do I have to do with this world? My relationship with this world is like that of a traveler on a hot summer's day, who seeks shade under a tree for an hour, then moves on.” [Musnad Ahmad and al-Hakim. Saheeh al-Jamee (5545)]

(d) Cleaning the bed and lying on the right side
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side…” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

(e) Reciting the Adhkaar (supplications) mentioned in the Sunnah before sleeping
There are a number of Adhkaar prescribed in the Sunnah before going to bed, amongst them are reciting the last verses of Soorah al-Baqarah, reciting Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah al-Nas and Soorah Ikhlas blow in the palms and wipe as much of the body possible, starting from the head, face and then the front of the body doing it three times. [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Ali Ibn Abi Talib (radhi allahu anhu) reported that when the Prophet's daughter, Fatima (radhi allahu anha) came to him and asked him for a servant, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said to her and Ali: “Shall I not teach you something that will be better for you than a servant? When you go to bed, say 'SubhanAllah' thirty-three times, 'Al-hamdulillah' thirty-three times, and 'Allahu Akbar' thirty-four times. This is better for you than a servant.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

5: Avoid too much food and drink

Too much food or drink is one of the main obstacles that make one lazy and negligent of Qiyaam al-Layl. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to have a few mouthfuls to give him the strength he needs. If he has to fill his stomach, then let him leave one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” [Reported by at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Majah. Saheeh al-Jamee (5674)]

Abu Juhayfah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said to a man who burped in his presence: “Stop your burping, for the people who eat the most in this life will be the most hungry on the Day of Resurrection.” [Reported by al-Hakim. Saheeh al-Jamee (1190)]

6: Striving against oneself:

Striving against oneself to get up and pray and suppressing one's desires bring about Allah's help and His Pleasure for the slave. Allah says in the Qur'aan: “Strive in Allah's Cause as you ought to strive…” [Soorah al-Hajj (25): 78] “And as for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinoon (good-doers).” [ (29): 69]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The Mujahid (one who strives in way of Allah) is the one who strives against his own self for the sake of Allah.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhee. See al-Saheehah (549)]

He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: “When a man from my Ummah gets up to pray at night, striving against his own self to get up and purify himself, there are knots on him. When he washes his hands in wudhu, one knot is undone. When he washes his face, another knot is undone. When he wipes his head another knot is undone. When he washes his feet, another knot is undone. Then Allah says to those who are veiled (in the Unseen):'Look at this slave of Mine, he is striving against his own self and asking of Me. Whatever My slave asks of Me shall be his.” [Musnad Ahmad. See Saheeh al-Targheeb (627)]

7: Rebuking one's self for not praying Qiyaam al-Layl

Qiyaam al-Layl is a great blessing from Allah, the Exalted, and He has placed in it numerous spiritual benefits and rewards for the believer. Therefore, one should rebuke one's self, if he misses this great opportunity of achieving rewards and Pleasure of Allah. Allah says in the Qur'aan: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [(59): 18]
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “If the slave is responsible and accountable for everything, even his hearing, sight and innermost thoughts, as Allah says, “…Verily, hearing, sight, and the heart of each of you will be questioned by Allah.” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 36], then he should check on himself before he is brought to account.”

Source:
The Night Prayers’ by Muhammad Nasir ud-Deen al-Albanee (rahimahullah)
As-Sunnah Islamic Newsletter Issue 15

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Night Prayers During Ramadan

Night Prayer in Ramadan
Excerpted from: Ahadith al-Siyam
by al-Fawzaan


It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven." (al-Bukhari; Muslim)

This hadith is indicative of the virtue of praying qiyam in Ramadan, and shows that this is one of the means of forgiveness of sin. Whoever prays Taraweeh as it should be prayed has prayed at night (qiyam al-layl) in Ramadan.

Forgiveness is conditional upon "faith and hope of reward," as stated here. What is meant by "faith" is that when the person stands to pray qiyam, he believes in Allah, may He be exalted, and believes in His promise and in the virtue of praying qiyam, and in the greatness of its reward with Allah. "Hope of reward" means that he is seeking the reward from Allah and is not doing it for any other purpose such as showing off, etc.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to encourage them to pray qiyam during Ramadan, without commanding them to do it. Then he said: "Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."

So the Muslim should be keen to pray Taraweeh, and should be patient in completing the prayer with his imam. He should not neglect any part of it, or leave before his imam, even if his imam does more than eleven or thirteen rak'ahs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays qiyam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded that he spent the night in qiyam." It is only a few nights, which the wise man makes the most of before they are gone.

Abu Dawud said: It was said to [Imam] Ahmad while I was listening: "Can qiyam - i.e., Taraweeh - be delayed until the end of the night?" He said: "The way of the Muslims is dearer to me."

If a person is keen to pray whatever rak'ahs he wants to at the time of the pre-dawn (suhoor time), then he should not pray witr again at the end of his prayer, rather it is sufficient for him to pray witr with his imam in Taraweeh, because of the hadith of Talq ibn 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There cannot be two witrs in one night."

With regard to the hadith of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) - according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Make the last of your prayers at night witr" - this is to be understood as referring to one who prays at the end of the night and did not pray witr at the beginning of the night.

The command here is to be understood as a recommendation, not an obligation. It is not essential to conclude the prayer at the end of the night with witr, based on the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed at the end of the night, after his witr.

Abu Dawud said: I said to Ahmad: "Does praying after witr invalidate witr?" He said: "No." Abu Dawud said: I heard Ahmad say concerning one who prayed witr at the beginning of the night then got up to pray qiyam: "He should pray two rak'ahs."
It was said: "Does he not have to pray witr?"
He said: "No."
He said: I heard someone ask him about someone who wanted to pray after witr: "should he pray two by two?"
He said: "Yes, but after witr he should lie down."

The imam should take care to pray properly in Taraweeh. He should pray with proper focus and humility, reciting in a proper manner and being at ease in ruku' and sujud. He should beware of rushing lest he fails to attain the proper level of khushu' (focus and humility) and lest he make the weak, elderly and sick among the people behind him get too tired.

Al-Sa'ib ibn Yazeed said: 'Umar ibn al-Khattab commanded Ubayy ibn Ka'b and Tameem al-Dari to lead the people in praying eleven rak'ahs of qiyam. He said: The reciter used to recite the surahs that contain more than a hundred verses, until we would lean on sticks because of having to stand for so long, but we did not leave until dawn was approaching.

When the worshiper has said the tasleem at the end of witr, he should say: Subhan al-Malik al-Quddus (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy) three times, elongating the vowels and raising his voice the third time, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did that.

O Allah, accept this (worship) from us, for You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, and accept our repentance, for You are the Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Ramadan: Eating Vs Prayer


At times, it may be forgiven if some non-Muslims look upon us and wonder if Ramadan was all about food deprivation during the day, and food excess during the night.

While it is true that the tangible aspect of Ramadan is clearly abstaining from food and drink, the real (spiritual) purpose and focus for us during this month should be our increased connectedness to Allah. As the days of Ramadan progress, our senses become less clouded with the constant need for food and drink. And this state is what we need to attain - if we overeat at night, and sleep away our nights and day away, we will sorely miss out on what we were meant to experience, see and comprehend.

As Jalaluddin Rumi puts it:

There is an unseen sweetness
in the stomach's emptiness.
We are lutes.
When the soundbox is filled,
no music can come forth.

When the brain and the belly
are burning from fasting,
every moment a new song rises
out of the fire.

The mists clear,
and a new vitality makes you
spring up the steps before you.

Be empty and cry as a reed instrument.
Be empty and write secrets with a reed pen.

When satiated by food and drink,
an unsightly metal statue
is seated where your spirit should be.

When fasting, good habits gather like
helpful friends.

Fasting is Solomon's ring.
Don't give in to illusion
and lose your power.

But even when all will and control
have been lost,
they will return when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
or pennants flying in the breeze.

A table descends to your tents,
the Lord's table.
Anticipate seeing it when fasting,
this table spread with a different food,
far better than the broth of cabbages.

Ramadan is a time for us to be jolted from our daily affairs - we HAVE to fast, it is a requirement from Allah. This physical act of fasting and the consequent hunger and thirst serves as a reminder of our dependence on Allah's mercy.

"There are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us. Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up. Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah's majesty. Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower. Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone. Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies. Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us. Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions. Let us fast from desiring what we do not have. Let us fast from obsession. Let us fast from despair. Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart. Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior. Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important. Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view. Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah. Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah's Prophets and friends, and our own true self. Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah."

Quote: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/imam-khalid-latif/ramadan-reflection-day-1_b_914529.html?ref=tw


Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."

Please do not overeat and become so lethargic that you are unable to devote time and energy to prayers in the night. Please do not overeat that you are unable to wake up early the next day and function as you normally would on any other day.

Ramadan Advice: This Month is NOT About Food

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Menstruating Women and Ramadan

How to Make the Most of Ramadan When You Are Unable to Fast

Menstruating women are not supposed to fast during Ramadan, nor are they to do the daily five prayers, and the nightly Teraweeh prayers. During Ramadan, for many Muslims, fasting and praying are the primary activities. For a menstruating Muslim woman, losing five to six days of Ramadan can be a disconcerting event. How can a Muslim woman increase her worship of Allah when she is menstruating? Some women may even feel a certain resentment, and wonder why fasting and prayers are prohibited for them when they menstruate. Is it because they are unclean? No!

The answer is simple.

While blood itself is considered a material impurity (najas), a menstruating woman or one with post-natal bleeding is considered to be in a state of ‘ritual impurity’ (hadath). This distinction, which can be found in any basic text of Islamic jurisprudence, is not insignificant. Being in a state of ritual impurity really has no deeper connotation or implication as to a person’s worth or standing before Allah. Both men and women are at times in this state, and ritual purity (tahara) and ritual impurity are interesting concepts that are not always connected with what we would normally consider ‘filthy’ or ‘clean.’ For example, one can perform tayammum, literally dusting one’s hands and face with earth, and then legally be considered in a state of ritual purity. There is even a hadith in which ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that at a time when she happened to be on her menses, the Prophet (peace be upon him) rested his head on her lap in a moment of repose, and even recited from the Qur’an. If she were truly impure in the ordinary understanding of the word, would our noble Prophet have rested on her in such a way?

Being in a state of ritual impurity, therefore, does not necessarily mean one is ‘unclean’ in the conventional use of the term. Accordingly, the related prohibitions do not necessarily imply that one is forced to be distant from Allah and the means of getting close to Him. If this premise were true, then all acts of worship and communication with the Divine would have likewise been made prohibited, like saying dhikr (certain formulations of remembrance) with the tongue and making du`a’ (supplication). These are very intimate spiritual actions which put a person in direct connection and communication with Allah, yet are allowed for us during this time.

All these things strengthen the idea that the restrictions during menstruation and post-natal bleeding are an expression of Allah’s mercy and kindness towards us, more so than as a type of forced estrangement from Him. They can be regarded as a dispensation, to allow us an interim for comfort and rejuvenation while in a state of physical weakness and tiredness. This may also lead us to return to salah, fasting and reading Quran with renewed energy, interest and passion.

Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/worship/fasting-ramadan/closed-doors-and-opened-eyes/


While menstruating Muslim women are prohibited from ritual prayer and fasting, there are many other things they can do to increase their worship of Allah during this period.

1) Dhikr - remembrance of Allah.

2) Dua - continuing to supplicate Allah

3) Online Islamic Studies to gain Islamic knowledge

4) Helping out mother/sisters in cooking iftar meals for the family or community

5) Reading the Quran

Some people argue that a menstruating woman should not touch the Quran, or recite the Quran.

So can a Muslim woman indeed read the Quran while menstruating? There are different schools of thought on this.

Some scholars including Imam Malik believe that the menstruating woman is allowed to read the Qur'an during her period. This opinion is also reported from Ahmad Ibn Hambal and is one of Imam Shafi'e 's opinions about this matter. But this is in contradiction with the majority of the scholars who forbid her to read the Quran while in her period. But we believe that the most preponderant and sound opinion is that it is lawful for her to recite the Qur'an from her memory or read from a Mus'haf provided she does not touch the Mus'haf directly. As for making Du'a, she is allowed to make Du'a while in her menstruation period anytime during the day or the night. There is no disagreement over the last issue.

Today, we have online resources to avail of. A menstruating woman can listen to Quran recitation via many online resources many with translations of the Arabic, without having to touch the actual book (Quran).

Allah knows best, and may you all have a fruitful and productive Ramadan, InshaAllah.

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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8 Recommended Acts While Fasting

The number of beneficial acts that we can perform during Ramadan is limitless. But there are 8 acts that should, at a minimum, be performed during Ramadan.

The following are recommended (mustahab) acts of fasting that should be performed during the month of Ramadan:

1. SUHUR

The suhur is the pre‐dawn meal (which should be taken before the beginning of Fajr). Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, said: “Take the suhur for there is blessing in it.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Abu Sa’id Al‐Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, said: “The suhur is a meal of blessings, so do not leave it, even if one of you just takes a [gulp] of water, since Allah sends mercy and His angels who seek forgiveness for those who take suhur.” (Ahmad)

2. HASTENING TO BREAK THE FAST (IFTAR)

It is recommended that the person fasting breaks his fast (iftar) as soon as the sun
sets. Sahl Ibn Sa’d, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, said: “The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

3. BREAKING THE FAST WITH DATES

The Messenger of Allah, used to encourage the breaking of the fast with dates and if they were not available, then with water. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allah used to break the fast with fresh dates before praying, and if not with fresh dates then with old dates, and if not with dates then with some mouthfuls of water.” (Ahmad)

4. TO MAKE DU’A AT THE TIME OF BREAKING THE FAST

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Three supplications are answered: the supplication of the fasting person,
the supplication of the one who is oppressed and the supplication of the traveller.” (Ibn Majah)

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “There are three whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed.” (Tirmidhi)

Indeed when the Messenger of Allah broke his fast, he used to say: “The thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain, if Allah wills.” (Abu Dawud)

5. INVITING OTHERS TO IFTAR

The Messenger of Allah said: “He who gives food for a fasting person to break fast, will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the reward of the fasting person.” (Ahmad)

6. GENEROSITY AND STUDYING THE QUR’AN

It is recommended to be generous (in spending from one’s wealth) and to read the Quran at all times but especially in the month of Ramadan. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of all people especially in Ramadan when Jibra’il used to come to him. He used to meet Jibra’il on every night of Ramadan and study the Quran with him.” (Bukhari)

7. STRIVING IN WORSHIP OF THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADAN

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to exert himself in the last ten nights more than he would at other times.” (Muslim)

8. REFRAINING FROM ACTS WHICH ENDANGER THE FAST

One should refrain from every act which will endanger the fast and make it devoid of any rewards and benefits. The Messenger of Allah encouraged the Muslim who fasts to display noble manner; to be far from foul speech and evil actions; and abstain from rude and obscene talk. Two acts which should be carefully avoided in his month are falsehood and ignorant and indecent speech.

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action then Allah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink.” (Bukhari)

In the context of indecent speech, Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, also narrated that the Messenger of Allah 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.’” (Ibn Khuzaimah)

Source: Fasting & Ramadan: The Essentials, SM Hasan Al‐Banna

Labels: ,

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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Ramadan in Pictures 2011

The Holy Month of Ramadan began on Monday, August 1, 2011 for most Muslims around the world. Take a look of how Muslims around the world heralded Ramadan, and how they are practicing fasting and other beneficial acts (such as charity, contemplation of God) during Ramadan.

Ramadan in Pictures 2011

Muslims attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

A Palestinian vendor hangs decorations for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan at a market in Jerusalem's Old City July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, is seen in the back.
Source: REUTERS

A man sells pickles ahead during a preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar
Source: REUTERS

A Palestinian woman stands under decorations for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Tourists stand under decorations for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan at a market in Jerusalem's Old City July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

A vendor arranges limes on display as Jordanians shop in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Jordanians shop in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Jordanians shop in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Jordanians shop in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Muslim women attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Al Akbar mosque in Surabaya, East Java July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Jordanians shop in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the downtown market area in Amman July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Children play next a man praying before mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Muslim woman attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Al Markaz Al Islami mosque in Makassar, South Sulawesi July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Muslims attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Jakarta, July 31, 2011
Source: REUTERS

A Koran is seen next to Egyptian men as they rest at a mosque in Cairo July 31, 2011. Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Monday, August 1. Ramadan is where Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

Women shop at a supermarket in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Source: REUTERS

A man walks past a sign with the words "He will not leave" scrawled below a picture of president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Source: REUTERS

Hajj Abdullah, a Yemeni man in his eighties, eats "maloujeh" bread as shop vendors prepare for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Source: REUTERS

A woman walks past a shop selling spices and vegetables in preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Source: REUTERS

Palestinians shop at a market in Gaza City ahead of the holy month of Ramadan July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

An officer of Malaysia's Islamic authority uses a telescope to perform "rukyah", the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan, in Putrajaya outside Kuala Lumpur July 31, 2011. Muslims scan the sky at dusk in the beginning of the lunar calendar's ninth month in search of the new moon to proclaim the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk. Muslims in Malaysia begin the Ramadan fasting month on Monday.
Source: REUTERS

Darawish Sufi dance group performs a traditional dance to celebrate the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan during the Ajyalouna Festival in Beirut July 30, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Source: REUTERS

A man sells pickles ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan at the Shorja wholesale market in central Baghdad July 30, 2011. Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.
Source: REUTERS

Labels:

Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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