The Excellence of Ramadan

Allah has enjoined observing Ramadan as a pillar of Islam, and performing in it night prayer (Qiyam, or Taraweeh) as supererogatory devotion for augmenting the rewards. Allah, the Exalted, revealed the first portion of the Qur'an in it. In it too the battle of Badr took place between the Muslims who were 300 and umpteen men, and the pagans who were about a 1000. The Muslims emerged victorious and killed seventy of the leaders of Quraish and captured another seventy as prisoners of war.The third occasion, Makkah was conquered by the Prophet (S) without fighting. He entered it victorious on Friday, the 20th of Ramadan in the year 8 of Hijrah.


We are grateful to Allah for giving us the opportunity to enjoy another blessed month of Ramadan. It is indeed, the month of ibadah, divine bounty and blessing in which the reward of good deeds are multiplied greatly. Abu Hurairah, with whom Allah is pleased, reported that the Prophet, (s), said: "My Ummah is given five privileges in the month of Ramadan that no Ummah was given before:

* The khuloof of the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter in the estimation of Allah than the fragrance of musk.

* The angels keep praying to Allah to forgive them (i.e. those who are fasting), until they break their fast.

* Allah decorates Jannah every day saying to it, 'My pious slaves are about to be relieved of their burdens and sufferings and enter you'.

* Satans are chained in this month, so that they are not able to accomplish their evil

* The believers' sins are forgiven by the last night of Ramadan.

Someone asked the Messenger of Allah (S): Is it the night of Lailatul-Qadr'? He said: 'no. But the laborer is usually paid upon finishing his task.'


Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: ""He who observes the month of Ramadan believing (it is fardh) and expecting (the reward for fasting), Allah forgives his past sins."

The rebellious Satans, according to the authentic hadeeth, are chained, during the month of Ramadan, and the gates of Jannah are opened, and the gate of Hell-Fire is closed. In the month of Ramadan, a caller announces: "O you who intends to do good, come forward, and you who intends to do evil, relinquish your evil deeds. The real bereft is the one whose sins did not wash away in Ramadan.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, (s) said that Allah said: "All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, it is for Me, and I will reward for it. And fasting is a means of protection (against Hell-Fire and committing sins). When one of you happens to be fasting, let him avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarrelling. If someone fights or quarrels with him, let him say, 'I am fasting.' By the One in Whose hand is my life, the odor of the mouth of the person who is fasting is sweeter in estimation of Allah than the odor of musk. The fasting person has two occasions in which he rejoices: When he break his fast, he rejoices, and when he meets his Rubb, he rejoices for having observed fast."

The Qur'an will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection on behalf of the person who reads it and applies it, and so will fasting on behalf of the person who observes it. Abdullah bin Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: "Fasting and Qur'an will intercede on behalf of the slave on the Day of resurrection. Fasting will say to Allah, 'My Rubb, I deprived him from eating and curtailed his desires, so permit me to intercede for him. And the Qur'a will say: 'I deprived him from his sleep, so permit me to intercede for him.' The Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: 'Both will be given the permission to intercede on behalf of that that person."

Fasting is a pillar of Islam. It is obligatory which is known by necessity as an integral part of Islam. Whoever denies it as a pillar of Islam apostatizes, and should not be buried in a Muslim graveyard.

Once a trustworthy Muslim sights the new moon of Ramadan, it becomes incumbent on everyone to begin fasting. If the new moon of Ramadan was obscured, then the previous month of Sha'ban must be completed as thirty days, according to the instruction of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention.


The Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said: "O people, greet one another , give food (to the hungry) maintain good ties with your relations, and pray in the night while people are asleep, you shall enter Jannah safely."

The minimum number of rak'at for the night prayer' (witr), according to Shaikh Muhammad bin Uthaimeen, is one, and the maximum is eleven. A'ishah, with whom Allah is pleased, was asked about the night prayer of the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention. She said: "The Prophet(s) did not pray in Ramadan, or in any other month, more than eleven rak'ah. Performing prayer hastily in taraweeh or other prayer deprives the person from full reward. Likewise, reading Qur'an fast when leading taraweeh prayer may render prayer null and void, because both, calmness and concentration are prerequisites of prayer, without which it is not valid. Reciting the Qur'an, Allah, the Exalted, says: Surely, those who recite the Book of Allah and conform therewith, and perform prayer and spend out of what we have provided for them, secretly and openly hope for a bargain which will never fail. In order that He may give them their full rewards, and increase them out of His bounty, He is surely Most Forgiving, Most Appreciating.


Allah has clarified this in His words: "O you who believe, fasting is enjoined on you as it was enjoined on the people before you that you may attain piety." That you may fear Allah, and keep away from His prohibitions, and fulfill His commands. The Prophet (s) said: He who does not refrain from uttering falsehood and its application, and ignorance, then Allah does not need his hunger or thirst."

This means that Allah does not want us to abstain from eating and drinking only, rather, He wants us to refrain from evil deeds and vileness too. The Prophet (s) instructed us how to respond when someone abuses a fasting person. He said: Let the latter responds by saying, 'I am fasting.' As though one says: It is because I am fasting I do not return your abuses. The offender at that point may feel embarrassed, and desist.


The Prophet (s) used to break the good news to his Companions about the arrival of Ramadan, and would say: Here comes to you the month of Ramadan, a blessed month during which mercy descends on you, sins are effaced, and du'a is responded to. During this month Allah views proudly before His angels your vying with one another in accomplishing good deeds. So show Allah the best of yourselves. The miserable is he who is bereft of Allah's mercy in this month."

There are many Prophetic traditions with regards to the excellence of fasting during the month of Ramadan. A believer must take advantage of this great opportunity, and hasten to accomplish good deeds, and be regular on performing the Salah in particular. It is the backbone of Islam and the most important pillar after the Testimony of Faith.

What is fasting?

Sawm or fasting is abstaining from eating, drinking and coitus from daybreak to sunset as a devotional ritual. Allah says:

What is the purpose of Fasting?

The purpose of fasting is not physical training to endure hunger, thirst and exhaustion; rather, it is disciplining the ego to relinquish the loved for the sake of the beloved. The loved are the desires of eating, drinking, sexual activities etc. While the beloved is Allah, the Exalted. Hence, it is imperative to keep in mind when we observe fasting that we do so only for the sake of Allah. It becomes imperative on us to try our best to observe the rites that reflect our obedience to Allah such as the remembrance of Allah, reading the Qur'an, optional prayers, charitable deed and donations, good manners.

When a Muslim maintains this attitude throughout the month of Ramadan, he will definitely come out a better Muslim. How do we confirm the first and the last day of Ramadan? It has been authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: "Start fasting upon seeing it and end fasting upon seeing it. If it is cloudy or hazy, then complete the month of Sha'ban as thirty." He also said that the lunar month is either 29 or 30 days." There are many ahadeeth concerning the timing of Ramadan all of which signify that there is no consideration for calculation in the purified Shari'ah. The only means to confirm the beginning and the end of the month in the Islamic Shari'ah is either by sighting the new moon or completing the previous month as 30 days. Shaikh Ibn Baz, may Allah grant him mercy, emphasized that he, who adds a third means, would have made a law which Allah has not permitted. Allah says: " Or do they have partners (law makers beside Allah) who have made laws for them in the Deen that Allah does not permit?" The Prophet (s) said: "He who introduces in our deen that which does not belong to it, it shall be rejected." Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah grant him mercy, said in Majmoo' al-Fatawa Vol.25, p.132: We know by necessity from the deen of Islam that it is not permissible to rely on calculation for confirming the new moon for fasting, Hajj, Iddah (waiting periods) or other issues. It is only seeing the moon which decides these periods."

Do Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries like N. America and Australia have to follow the sighting of a Muslim country, like Saudi, for example?

Muslims who live in such countries must try their best to sight the new moon in their areas. There are many Muslim organization in those countries who provide services to the Muslim communities of which is sighting the new moon. If they could not sight the new moon for one reason or another, in that case, they should follow the sighting of a Muslim country. Or, according to another scholarly opinion, they should follow the sighting of the closest Muslim country to them.

As we know the common seasonal and annual problem is beginning Ramadan and celebrating the Eeds in the same country at different dates. In many cases the same community begins Ramadan and celebrates the Eed at two different days. Depending on who is the more influential organization, and on affiliation as well as the method it follows, calculation, following a Muslim country or following their own groups in different states or provinces. This is a pathetic situation.There is no doubt that entering the month of Ramadan and celebrating the Eeds on one single day by all Muslim reflects solidarity and harmony among the Muslims, and makes the non-Muslims reckon the Muslims with respect. In some countries the day is about 21 hours in summer, and 3 or 4 hours in winter. Can people there estimate the hours during which they observe fasting?

Those who have day and night within the 24 hours must observe fast during the day hours and perform the daily prayers at their designated times, for Allah says: 'Verily, Salah is enjoined on the believers at designated times'. Regardless how long or short is the day. What about those countries where the never sets during summer and never rises during winter? How do they observe fasting and how do they adjust prayer schedule?

The Supreme Council of Grand Scholars in Saudi Arabia has convened and discussed this question and issued the following decree: People living in countries where the day lasts for six months during Summer and the night lasts for six months during winter, it is incumbent on them to perform the daily prayers within a 24-hour period by estimating its times taking as a standard the nearest country in which there is day and night and have regular prayer schedule. This according to the holy hadeeth in which Allah said to the Prophet 9S): "O Muhammad. They are five prayers during the day and night."

It is also authentically reported that the Prophet (s) said in the hadeeth of ad-Dajjal when they asked him, how long will the Dajjal remain on earth. He said: "40- days. A day which is a year-long, and a day a month-long, and a day a week-long, and the rest of the days like your days." He was further asked: Would it be enough for us to perform only five prayers in the day, which will be a yearlong? He said: "No, estimate the time."

The Prophet (S) did not consider that day which will be a yearlong as one single day. Rather he instructed that five daily prayers must be performed in every 24 hours.

Similarly, fasting should observe I countries such mentioned above according to the standard time of the nearest country to them, which has day and night.



Salaatut Taraaweeh is a Sunnah prayer offered after 'Ishaa prayer, in Ramadan, the month of fasting. This Sunnah prayer is also known as Qiyaamun Ramadaan. The time of this prayer extends from after the time of 'Ishaa until dawn.

According to Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (s.'a.s.) said: "Whoever observes prayer at night during Ramadaan, because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins would be forgiven." (Muslim)

Imaam Muslim related that the Prophet's wife, 'Aaishah $r.a.), has been reported as saying, the Prophet (s.a.s.) observed prayer in the masjid and , , some of the people prayed along with him, he then prayed the following night and there were many people. Then on the third night people gathered but he (the Prophet) did not come out to them (to lead them in prayer). In the morning he said: "I saw what you were doing, but nothing prevented me from coming to you except the fear that this prayer might become obligatory for you, (that is in Ramadaan).


According to Hadeeth narrated by 'Aaishah (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.s.) never prayed more than eleven raka'aats during Ramadaan or otherwise. However, twenty Raka'aats of Taraaweeh, and three Raka'aats of Witr have been 'reported from 'Umar, Uthmaan, 'Ali and many others. A possible explanation for the discrepancy among the reports could be that eleven raka'aats are Sunnah and the rest is Mustahab, desired.

Qiyaamu Ramadaan may be offered in Jamaa'ah, congregation or infiraad, individually. The Jamaa'ah is always better. The only reason why the Prophet did not continue to offer in Jamaa'ah was his fear that it might be made obligatory and hence a prerequisite for fasting.


Like any Sunnah prayer, there is no Iqaamah for Taraaweeh prayer. It is offered immediately after 'Ishaa prayer and before Witr.

The Taraaweeh prayer is offered in two sets of Raka'aats after which one says Tasleem. If one intends to offer eight raka'aats of Taraaweeh, one offers the first two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, making the total of eight raka'aats.

Then one says two sets for Shaf'u and one Raka'ah for Witr for the total of eleven Raka'aats. If one intends to do twenty raka'aats, offer them in sets of two until the total count is twenty.

The procedures of these sets is similar to that of Salaatus Subh, morning prayer.

QIRAA 'AH IN TARAAWEEH (Recitation in Taraweeh)

Although there is no recorded Sunnah for how long one should recite Al-Quran after Al-Faatihah, it has been reported from the Salaf, the worthy ancestors and those after them, that they used to recite the whole Suurah Baqarah in eight Raka'aats. However, if one is unable to recite that much, one may recite according to one's convenience, as long as one desires, from anywhere in Al-Quran.



Abu `Abdillah Muhammad Al Jibaly

Important Issues Dealing with the Month of Ramadhaan

The muslims must know that all the blessings for this noble month would never be achieved unless we understand its ruling from Allaah Azzawajall and the Messenger (S) and implement its ruling as it was practised by the Messenger (S) and the Righteous Salaf (Pious Predecessors). So in our explanation of the rulings we will try to restrict ourselves as much as possible to the two sources of Islaam, that is the Qur'aan and the Sunnah based upon the understanding of the first three generations of muslims and those who follow them. And may Allaah help us in doing justice to His Deen.

Counting the Days of the month of Sha'baan

It is imperative on the general body of muslims to take special care in counting the days of the month of Sha'baan in preparation for the month of Ramadhaan. This was the practise of the Messenger (S). This is of great importance because the Islamic Month consists of twenty-nine or thirty days. The month starts with the sighting of the crescent which indicates its beginning. If however it is so cloudy that the crescent cannot be seen, then the thirtieth day of Sha'baan is completed and the new month (Ramadhaan) begins from the following day.

Allaah has set up the moon for mankind as a means of keeping record of months and years. Based on this, therefore, the Islamic month does not exceed thirty days. This is also established in the Sunnah of the Messenger (S).

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Messenger (S) said: "Fast whenever it (the new crescent) is sighted and break the fast when it is seen. If it is hidden from you (due to cloudiness) then complete thirty days for Sha'baan" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Abdullaah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "Do not fast until you see the crescent, and do not end (the month of) fasting until you see it. If it is covered from you (by clouds) then determine it (by counting thirty days)" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Adee ibn Haatim said that the Messenger (S) said: "When Ramadhaan comes along then fast for thirty days except if you see the hilaal (crescent) before it" [At-Tahaawee, Ahmad and Tabaraanee]

Whoever fasts on the day of doubt has disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (Muhammad) For this reason it is not recommended for the Muslim to fast optional fasting on the last two days of Sha'baan as a measure of precaution except if these coincide with days which he regularly fasts.

Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "Do not precede Ramadhaan by fasting a day or two days before it, except for a man whose regular fasting coincides with these days, then he can fast" [Agreed upon]

And know well, our brother and sister in Islaam, that fasting on the day of doubt is disobedience to the Messenger (S). Ammaar ibn Yassaar said that the Messenger (S) said: " Whoever fasts on the day of doubt (the 30th day of Sha'baan) has indeed disobeyed Abul-Qaasim (S)" Abul-Qaasim is Muhammad (S). [Nasaa'ee, Tirmidhee and Abu Daawood]

Witnesses needed to Establish the Month

The beginning and the end of the month is established if one just muslim testifies that he saw it. The sighting of the moon is established if two just muslims witness it. The Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "Fast when it is seen, and break the fast when it is seen. However if it is cloudy then complete thirty days. If two witnesses (see it) then fast and break the fast" [Nasaa'ee and Daarimee]

However, although the hadeeth above establishes that there is a need for two just witnesses, this does not mean that the witness of one person would not be accepted. The following hadeeth makes this clear. Ibn Umar said: "The people saw the moon,so I informed the Prophet (S) that I saw it. He (S) started to fast and commanded the people to fast also". [Abu Daawood and Daarimee]

Niyyah - the Intention

It is Waajib (compulsory) to establish the niyyah before the Fajr prayer for the compulsory fast (i.e. the fast of Ramadhaan).

The Messenger (S) said: "Whoever does not determine that he will fast before Fajr will have no fast (that is, it would not be accepted)" [Nasaa'ee, Tirmidhee and Abu Daawood]

He (S) also said: "Whoever does not carry the intention at night for fasting, will have no fast" [Nasaa'ee, Bayhaqee and Ibn Hazm]


1. The place of the intention is the heart and pronouncing it with the tongue is a Bid'ah (innovation), even though many consider it to be good.

2. Establishing of the intention in the heart before the time of Fajr is compulsory for the obligatory fasting only. However, for voluntary fasts the intention can be established at any time. Sometimes the Messenger (S) would come to Aa'isha other than in the month of Ramadhaan and would ask her: "Do you have any food? If not then I am fasting" [Muslim]

It is also established that Abu Darda, Abu Talha, Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbaas and other companions practised this in relation to the voluntary fasting.

Performance of an obligatory action is dependant on the ability to do it.

Whether or not one ate or drank in the beginning of the day, if one becomes aware that Ramadaan has started, then one must immediately stop eating, drinking and all the other acts that break the fast. In this case one does not have to make up that day.

Establishing the intention (before the Fajr prayer) is not required in this case because one did not have the ability to do so. This is based on a principle of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) that: "in order for something to be conditional on the legally capable Muslim then he must have the abililty to do it"

Aa'ishah (R) said "The Messenger of Allaah (S) commanded (the people) to fast the Day of Aashooraa (10th Day of Muharram). However, when Ramadhaan was made obligatory, then whoever wanted to fast, fasted and whoever did not want to did not" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is narrated from Salamah bin al-Akwaa that he said: "The Messenger (S) commanded a man from Aslam to inform the people that whoever ate must fast the remainder of the day, and whoever did not eat let him fast because this is the day of Aashooraa (the 10th Day of Muharram)" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It must be noted that the Messenger (S) commanded this for a fast that was obligatory and he did not make it obligatory on them to fast another day because they did not have the intention to begin the fast. Ramadaan is also obligatory and so the same ruling will apply if the month begins and one does not know. As soon as he becomes aware, he must leave off everything and fast, and it will be accepted. And Allaah knows best.

The Duration of Fasting

Beginning of fasting. Allaah (T) said: {..And eat and drink until the white thread is distinct from the dark thread of Fajr} [Baqarah 2:187]

Adiyy ibn Haatim narrates: "When the above aayah was revealed, I placed a black rope and a white rope underneath my pillow. I continued to look at them during the night but could not distinguish between them. I, therefore, hastened to the Messenger (S) and mentioned this to him, so he (S) said: "Verily that (aayah) refers to the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the day" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Narrated Sahl ibn Sa'ad (R) that he said: "After this aayah was revealed {... And eat and drink until the black thread becomes distinct from white thread}, when someone wanted to fast he would tie to his feet a white thread and a black thread and he would continue to eat and drink until he could see them distinctly, so Allaah (T) revealed after that {... of the Fajr (prayer)}. Then they became aware that it meant the night and the day."


1. It must be known that there are two Fajrs (dawns);

a) a false Fajr: It is not allowed to pray the Fajr prayer at this time and eating is allowed for the person who intends to fast that day.

b) a true Fajr: At this time for the person who wants to fast, eating becomes prohibited so he has to stop eating and it becomes allowed to pray the Fajr prayer.

This is explained in the hadeeth of the Messenger (S). Ibn Abbaas said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "There are two Fajr (dawns). As for the first, it does not prevent eating (for the fasting person) nor does it permit prayer (the Fajr prayer). As for the other it prohibits eating and allows the prayer" [Ibn Khuzaimah and Haakim]

End of Fasting

When the night comes from the direction of the east and recedes from the direction of the west and the sun sets, it is time to break the fast.

Umar said that the Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "If the night approaches from hither and the day recedes from there and the sun sets then the fasting person must break his fast" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

The command that is established relative to this issue is that the fast can be broken directly after the last part of the sun disappears, even if light can still be seen.

Some people do not believe that the night is established directly after the sun sets. Their belief is that it is night when the darkness spreads over the east and the west. This same understanding was present among some of the companions of the Prophet (S) until he clarified it for them.

Abdullaah ibn Abi Awf said: " We were with the Messenger (S) on a journey and he (S) was fasting (because it was in Ramadaan). When the sun set he said to some people (and in another narration he said: "O Bilaal"): "Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us". He said "O Messenger of Allaah, If you can wait until it becomes evening (a little darker)." He (S) said "Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us" Bilaal (R) said: "You are still in daytime". He (S) said after that "Get down and prepare the meal of parched barley for us" So he got down and prepared the meal for them and the Messenger (S) drank. Then he indicated with his hand (and in another narration in Bukhaaree: he pointed with his finger towards the east) and then he (S) said: "If you see the night is approaching from this direction it is time for the fasting person to break his fast" [Bukhaaree , Muslim and Ahmad]

It is also established that the Companions of the Messenger (S) implemented this command of the Messenger (S). It is narrated that Abu Sa'eed al Khudree broke his fast as soon as the disk of the sun disappears. [Bukhaaree and Ibn Abi Shaybah]

So the fasting person should know that the beginning and the end of the fast is established at stated times and so they must not wait for the Aadhaan (call to prayer) to start or break the fast unless it is establilshed as soon as the time comes in. If it is established that the Aadhaan is delayed for the prayer then it is imperative that the person does not wait for it but starts and breaks his fast at the stated times. And Allaah knows best.

It is also a common practise among some communities that they wait until the Aadhaan is completed before they break the fast. There is no basis for this in the Sharee'ah and it must not be done.


Those for Whom the Fast During Ramadaan Is Not Obligatory:

The Traveller

The traveller can choose between fasting or not. Allah (T) said, which means: {... And whoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast) the same number of days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you ...} [Baqarah 2:185]

Hamza bin Amr aI-Aslamee, who used to fast frequently, asked the Messenger (S): "Do I have to fast if I am travelling?" The Messenger (S) said: "Fast if you wish or break, the fast if you wish." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Anas bin Maalik said: "I was travelling with the Messenger of Allah (S) during Ramadaan. and those who fasted did not blame those who did not fast, and neither did those who did not fast blame those who fasted" [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

The above hadeeths indicate that there is a choice for the traveller between fasting and leaving off the fast but does not indicate which of the two ways is better. However, from the following hadeeth we can deduce that it is better not to fast while on a journey. The Messenger (S) said: "Verily Allah loves that His concessions be accepted just as He hates to be disobeyed." [Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan].

Not to fast on a journey is the better choice for the one who finds no hardship in fasting later to make up the missed days. It must be noted also that it is not righteousness for a weak traveller to fast as the Messenger (S) said: "It is not righteousness that you fast while on journey." [Bukhaaree and Muslim].

Note: Some people think that because the ways of travelling have become easier, this ruling of breaking the fast on a journey does not apply any longer. This is a serious misconception, because Allah (T) devised His Laws for all times and places: {My Lord never errs nor does He forget} [Taa Haa 20:52]

* The Sick person

Because of His Mercy, Allah (T) has allowed for the sick person not to fast, to make it easy on him. The type of sickness that allows a sick person not to fast is that which, if he fasts, would cause him harm or prolong the illness. And Allah (T) knows best.

* States of Menses or Post-childbirth Bleeding

The scholars have unanimously agreed that it is not allowed for the woman who is having her menstrual period and the woman who is affected with post-childbirth bleeding to fast. They should break their fast and make up the days later. They also agree that if they fast then no rewards would accrue to them.

* The Old Man and Old Woman

Mujahid narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas recited: {... And as for those who cannot fast (with difficulty e.g. an old man), they have to feed a person (for every day) ... } [Baqarah 2: 1 84] and then he said: "That refers to the old person who is not able to fast. He must feed a poor person a half saa' (two handfuls) of grains for everyday missed" .

Abu Huraira said: "Whoever reaches old age and is not able to fast in Ramadaan, then for every day he must give away one mudd of wheat". [Ad-Daarimi]

The pregnant and the breast-feeding women

Allah's (T) great mercy towards the weak is His concession for them not to fast. Included in this category are the pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Anas Ibn Maalik said: "The horses of the Messenger of Allah (S) came towards us, so I came up to the Messenger of Allah (S) and I found him eating. He (S) said: "Come closer and eat." I said: "I am fasting." He (S) said: "Come closer and let me tell you about fasting. Indeed Allaah has reduced the salaat (prayer) for the traveller to the half and has removed the burden of the fasting from the pregnant and the breast-feeding woman... " [At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai].

AS-SAHOOR (The Pre-dawn meal of Ramadhaan)

The Wisdom of Sahoor

Allah (T) made fasting obligatory upon us as He (T) had made it obligatory on the people of the Book before us. He (T) said , (which means): {O you who believe Fasting is prescribed upon you as it was prescribed upon those before you so that perhaps you may attain Taqwaa.} [Al-Baqarah 2 : 183]

In the first period of Islam, the duration and regulations of fasting were in accordance with what was legislated by Allah upon the People of the Book. They were not allowed to eat, drink or engage in sexual intercourse after they slept. That is once one sleeps, he could not eat nor do any of the above until the night of the following day, this implied that they took no Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal).

However, when the above ruling was abrogated, the Messenger (S) commanded the Muslims to take the Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal) as a means of being different in our fasting from the fasting of the People of the Book. 'Amr Ibn al-Aas reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: "The distinguishing feature between our fast and the fast of the People of the Book is in the eating at the time just before dawn." [Muslim]

The Sahoor is Barakah (blessed)

Salmaan (R) said that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Blessings are found in three things, the Group (Al-Jama'ah), Ath-thareed (a type of food) and As-Sahoor (the Pre-dawn meal)." [At-Tabaraanee, Abu Na'eem]

Abu Hurairah (R) said that the Messenger (S) of Allah (T) said: "Verily Allah placed Barakah (blessing) in the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) and in perfect measurement (weighing)."[Ash-Shairazee]

'Abdullah Ibn Haarith said that one of the Sahabah (companion) said: 'I entered the house of the Messenger (S) whilst he was taking the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal), and he (S) said: "Indeed it (the Sahoor) is blessing that Allah has given to you so do not leave it out." [An-Nasaaee and Ahmad]

The reality that there are great blessings in the Sahoor (Pre-dawn meal) is very apparent because there is in it:

(a) the following of the Sunnah,
(b) it makes the fast easier upon the person who is fasting,
(c) it increases the desire in the person to want to continue to fast because of the ease upon the fasting person and
(d) there is also in it the principle of being different from the People of the Book because they are prohibited from taking the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal).
For this reason the Messenger of Allah (S) called it the blessed meal.

Allah (T) and the Angels send Salaah upon the people who take the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal)

The greatest blessing of the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) may be that Allah (T) engulfs those who partake in it with His Forgiveness, showers His Mercy on them, while His angels ask of Him to forgive and pardon them.

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree said that the Messenger (S) said: "Eating the Sahoor is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water, because Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who partake in the pre-dawn meal." [Ahmad]

It is very important that the Muslim does not allow this great blessing from his Merciful Lord to escape him.

What is the best thing the Muslim can eat for Sahoor

The Messenger (S) said: "The best Sahoor for the believer is dates." [Abu Dawood, Al-Baihaqee and Ibn Hibbaan]

Note: If one does not find food to eat then a gulp of water would suffice as is substantiated in the hadeeth.

Delaying the Sahoor

It is recommended to delay the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) till just before dawn. Zaid ibn Thaabit said: "We ate the Sahoor with the Messenger (S), then we got up to offer the Salaah (prayer - in this case the Fajr prayer). I asked "What was the time between the Adhaan (call to prayer) and the Sahoor?" He said: "(The time it would take) to recite fifty verses." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It must be known that it is allowed to eat, drink and have sexual relationship with one's spouse as long as one doubts and is uncertain that the dawn has started. Allah (T) and His Messenger (S) have made clear the criterion for establishing the Fajr, and this is what one is required to go by.

The Ruling for Sahoor

The Messenger of Allah (S) commanded that whoever wants to fast must take the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal). He (S) said: "Whoever wishes to fast, then let him eat something for Sahoor." [Ibn Abi Shaibah, Ahmad and others]

And he (S) also said: "Take the Sahoor because in the Sahoor is Barakah (blessings)."[Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Then he (S) also prohibited the Muslims from neglecting it. He (S) said: "What differentiates our fast from the fast of the People of the Book is the Sahoor meal." [Ibn Abi Shaibah, Ahmad]

The author concludes: It is clear that the Messenger (S) emphatically commands us to eat the Sahoor from three different angles:

(a) He (S) ordered it.
(b) It is one of the highlight of the Muslim's fast and it distinguishes the fast of the Muslim from the fast of others.
(c) He prohibited us from neglecting it.
All three of the above inferences are very strong and they all seem to be pointing to one specific thing.



Dr. Farouk Haffejee

Islamic Medical Association of South Africa - Durban

This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.

During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one's weight.

In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

* Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).
*Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).
* Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.
The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.


* Fried and fatty foods.
* Foods containing too much sugar.
* Over-eating especially at sehri.
* Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
* Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

* Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
* Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
* Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
* Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
* Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

* As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.


Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.


Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.

LETHARGY ('low blood pressure')

Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with "low blood pressure". This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.


Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with "low blood pressure", the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.


Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.


Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.


Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.


Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.


Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.



Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called Ramadhaan and it is the most meritorious month of the whole year. Since there are many specific rules peculiar to this month, we would like to deal with it's characteristics in a rather detailed manner under different section


The glorious Qur'aan has explicitly mentioned that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah is that he 'worships' Him: "And I did not create Jinn and human beings except that they should worship Me." (Glorious Qur'aan 51:56)

The word used by the glorious Qur'aan for worship is 'Ibaadah, which has a much wider sense than worship. In English, the word worship indicates some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one's reverence to his Creator. But the word 'ibaadah is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah's Commands and to seek His Pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word 'ibaadah, like earning one's livelihood through Halaal (permissible) means and in order to fulfil one's obligations towards his dependants.

However, 'ibaadah is of two kinds. One consists of acts that are meant exclusively to worship Allah, having no worldly objective, like Salaah, Fasting, etc. These are direct acts of 'ibaadah, while the other kind of 'ibaadah includes acts which are primarily mundane, but are converted into 'ibaadah when performed in full conformity with Sharee'ah and with an intention to discharge one's obligations. Therefore, these acts are treated as 'ibaadah in an indirect manner. It is obvious that the direct acts of 'ibaadah should be superior to the indirect ones.

Now, while prescribing very few acts of direct 'ibaadah in one's daily life, like the Salaah which is performed five times a day, Islaam has left its followers mostly with the indirect acts of 'ibaadah like eating, drinking, earning livelihood and association with one's wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and other human beings. But the primary nature of these acts being mundane, one becomes so absorbed in their worldly pleasures that their material aspects prevail their spiritual ones. Therefore, these acts have less spiritual strength than the direct acts of worship.

Since the direct acts of 'ibaadah are very few in one's daily life as compared to the indirect ones, his spiritual progress becomes slow vis-à-vis his material progress. The month of Ramadhaan has been designed to maintain a balance between material and spiritual aspects of the human life. This month is meant to maximise the direct acts of 'ibaadah and to minimise the pure mundane activities, so that one may accelerate his spiritual progress to make up the distance and to repair the spiritual loss one may have suffered through his deep involvement in the mundane activities during the year. The days of Ramadhaan are designed for fasting, which is an act of 'ibaadah for the whole day, and depriving oneself from food for many hours.

This lessens the undesirable spiritual effects of the material pleasures. The nights of Ramadhaan, on the other hand, are spent in offering Taraaweeh, Tahajjud and Suhoor, thereby reducing one's sleep much less than normal days. Moreover, apart from the prescribed acts of worship, one is supposed to offer as much optional (nafl) 'ibaadah in this month as he can. In this way the level of one's spiritual activities in this month is raised up much higher than in other days of the year.

This philosophy of Ramadhaan makes it clear that this month should be devoted to the direct acts of worship as far as possible. That is why the rewards of the virtuous acts in this month have been multiplied. This is to encourage the Muslims to carry out maximum possible acts of 'ibaadah.


The month of Ramadhaan is the season of Divine Blessings. It is the month of purification and meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his Imaan, purify his heart and soul and remove the evil effects of the sins committed. This month invites a Muslim to minimise his mundane involvements and maximise the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month beforehand, so as to spare maximum time for 'ibaadah.

Below is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadhaan with due care:
1. To offer every prayer with congregation in the Musjid.
2. To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the Salaah of Tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajjud prayer, yet, it is better to pray 8 rak'ats.
3. To offer the nafl (optional) prayers of Ishraaq (two rak'ats after sunrise), Dhuhaa (Four rak'ats which may be performed at anytime after Ishraaq before noon) and Awwaabeen (six rak'ats after Maghrib).
4. The recitation of the glorious Qur'aan. No specific limit is prescribed, but one should recite as much of it as he can.
5. To remember Allah frequently through different prophetic recitations, such as the following: Subhaana Allaah wa bihamdihi subhaana Allaahu al-Adheem, Laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa bi-llaahi al-aliyy al-adheem, subhaana Allaahu wa alhamdulillaah wa laa ilaaha illa Allaahu wa Allaahu Akbar, Astaghfiru-llaah lladhee laa ilaaha illaa huwa al-hayy al-qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi, Allaahumma salli alaa muhammadin al-nabiyy al-ummiy wa-alaa aalihi wa-sallim tasleeman. Apart from reciting these phrases, one hundred times each, at a particular time, they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.
6. Prayers and supplications (du'aa): No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the supplications of the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam are so comprehensive that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his death. It is therefore, much advisable to pray to Allah Almighty in words used by our noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. There are several books wherein these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Below are the names of two books which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily: Al-Hisnul Haseen by Allaamah Al-Jazri and Munaajaat-e-Maqbool by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi
7. Giving Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying Zakaat, which is obligatory, one should also spend optionally in Ramadhaan to the best of his ability. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to pay special attention in Ramadhaan to look after the poor and help them financially. Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in Sadaqah as he can afford.

All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadhaan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in the Sharee'ah, whether in Ramadhaan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts that were never allowed in the Sharee'ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes all the more necessary in this month.

The following acts in particular, should be avoided totally:
1. Telling a lie.
2. Backbiting.
3. Quarrelling. The noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has particularly forbidden from quarrelling during the fast. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadhaan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.
4. Eating unlawful things.
5. Earning through unlawful means.
6. Any act which may harm a person.
7. Burdening one's servants or employees with a toilsome job that is beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.
In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins and protect his eyes, ears, tongue, and all other organs from indulging in any unlawful activity.

Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadhaan in this way, he will insha'allah, find himself equipped with spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the Pleasure of Allah throughout the year.



Author Unknown

The night of qadr is the most virtuous night of the year. Allah says in the Qur'an: "We revealed it on the night of power [that is, qadr]. What will tell you what the night of power is? It is better than a thousand months." Any action therein, for example, reciting the Qur'an, making remembrance of Allah, and so on, is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of qadr.

Night of Qadr, it is preferred to seek this night: It is preferred to seek this night during the last ten nights of Ramadan, as the Prophet, upon whom be peace, strove his best in seeking it during that time. We have already mentioned that the Prophet would stay up during the last ten nights, would wake his wives, and then would remain apart from them to worship.

Night of Qadr, which night is it?: Scholars hold different opinions as to the night which is the night of qadr. Some are of the opinion that it is the 21st, some say the 23rd, others say the 25th and still others say it is the 29th. Some say that it varies from year to year but it is always among the last ten nights of Ramadan. Most scholars, though, vouch for the 27th.

Ahmad recorded, with a sahih chain, from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet said: "He who likes to seek that night should do so on the 27th. Ubayy ibn K'ab said: By Allah, and there is no God but Him, it is during Ramadan--and He swore to that--and by Allah, I know what night it is. It is the night during which the Prophet ordered us to make prayers, the night of the 27th. Its sign is that the sun rises in the morning white and without any rays." This is related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and by at-Tirmidhi who called it sahih.

Night of Qadr, praying and making supplications during the night of qadr.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever prays during the night of qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."

As to the supplication during the night of qadr, 'Aishah said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' " This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and by atTirmidhi, who called it sahih.



Taken from "Faza'il-e-Ramadhan" (Virtues of Ramadhan) by Maulana Muhammad Kandhalvi (R.A.)

1. We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

2. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?

3. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

4. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand:

5. Peace!...This until the rise of morn!

Amongst the nights of Ramadhan, there is one called 'Laylatul Qadr', a night that is noted for its great blessings. The Qur'an Karim describes it as being greater in lessedness and spiritual virtue than a thousand months, which in turn means that it is more valuable than eighty-three years and four months. Fortunate indeed is that person who attains the full blessings of this night by spending it in the worship of Allah, because he has then attained the reward of 'Ibaadah' (worship) for eighty-three years, four months and even more. Indeed (the granting of) this night for the faithful Muslims is a great favor.

The Origin

Regarding this night, in a Hadith reported by Anas (Radhi Allaho anho) in Durre Manthur, Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is reported to have said: "Laylatul Qadr was granted to this Ummah (of mine) and not to any other Ummah before this." As regards the reason for the granting of Laylatul Qadr, various views are held. According to some Ahadith, one reason is given thus: Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) used to ponder over the longer lives of peoples of the past ages and when comparing them with the much shorter lives of his Ummah, he became greatly saddened, because if his Ummah wished to compete with the people before them, then because of their shorter lives, it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass the previous Ummahs in the doing of righteous deeds. Therefore, Allah, in His Infinite Mercy, granted them this night of great blessings. This means that, if any fortunate person of this Ummah during his lifetime spends ten such nights in the worship of his Maker, he would have gained the rewards of (ibaadah) worship for eight hundred and thirty years and even more. Another report states that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once related to the Sahaba the story of a very righteous man from among the Bani Isra'il, who spent one thousand months in Jihad. On hearing this, the Sahaba enviously felt that they could not attain the same reward, whereupon Allah granted them this Night (of Power). Still another report states that it so happened that our Nabi (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once mentioned the names of the four most pious people from among the Bani Isra'il, each of whom spent eighty years in Allah's sincere service, worshipping Him and not transgressing in the least. They were Nabi Ayyub (Alayhis Salam), Zakariyya (Alayhis Salam), Ezkeel (Alayhis Salam) and Yu'shaa (Alayhis Salam). The Sahaba heard this, wondering how to emulate their achievements. Then Jibra'il (Alayhis Salam) appeared and recited Sura Qadr, wherein the blessings of this particular night were revealed.

There are other reports too, explaining the origin of the Night of Power. But no matter which of these we accept, the important fact remains that Allah has granted us this night as a great favor, and how fortunate are those divines who have never missed worship in this night. As to which particular night it is, here again approximately fifty different views are reported. It is not easy for me to enumerate them all, but the most generally accepted versions shall follow in the ensuing pages of this chapter. Because the Qur'an Majeed itself mentions the night, we shall commence with a short commentary of Sura Qadr.

1. We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

Reference here is made to the fact that, on this specific night, the Qur'an was sent down from 'Lowhul Mahfuz' (the preserved Tablet) to the heavens (above the earth). The mere fact that the Qur'an was revealed on this night would have been sufficient to ensure its greatness. But apart from this fact, it is also noted for many other things. In the very next verse, by way of increasing our interest in the matter under discussion, a question is asked:

2. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?

In other words, the question asked here is: Have you any knowledge as to the greatness and importance of this night? Have you any knowledge as to the great favors and bounties that go with it? The next verse proceeds to explain its greatness:

3. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

The true meaning here is that the reward for spending this night in worship (Ibaadah) is better and more than that for having spent one thousand months in worship (Ibaadah); but as to how much more rewarding it is, we are not told here.

4. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand:

A fine explanation is given for this verse by Imam Raazi. Commenting on this verse, he explains that when man first appeared on earth, the 'Malla'ikah' looked upon him with concern. They even ventured to ask Allah: "will you place on this earth, one who shall be riotous therein and shed blood?"

Similarly, when his parents noted his original form as a mere drop of sperm, they too looked upon it with dislike, so much so, that they considered it as something which polluted the clothes and had to be washed away. But later, when Allah made that same sperm into a fine form of a child, they began to love and cherish him. So far have things now progressed that, when on this Night of Power we find that same man worshipping Allah and adoring Him, then those very angels (Malla'ikah) descend towards him, obviously repentant for the thoughts they had once harbored against him. In this verse, where it is mentioned (Wer-rroh) "and the Spirit...", the reference is to Jibra'il (Alayhis Salam) who descends to the Earth during this night. Commentators of the Qur'an have given various meanings of this word. ((Note: If anyone is interested on the possible meanings of the word, please e-mail me, insha'Allah, I can supply you with what the author has written)).

The author of Mazaahire Haq writes that on this night, ages ago, 'the Malla'ikah' were created, long before the creation of Adam (Alayhis Salam) was begun in the shape of a nucleus; on this same night Paradise was planted with trees, and numerous Ahaadith bear witness to the fact that on this night prayers are accepted. Similarly we read in the book Durre Manthur, that according to a hadith it was on this night that Prophet Jesus (Alayhis Salam) was lifted up bodily into the Heaven, and also it was on this night that the repentance (Towbah) of Bani Isra'il was accepted.

5. Peace!...This until the rise of morn!

Indeed this night is the very embodiment of peace; throughout its span, the 'Malla'ikah' offer salutations to the faithful believers adoring their Lord. As one group ascends, another group descends (with the same greetings), as indicated in some narrations. Another interpretation is that it is a night of complete safety from evil and mischief. These blessings last all night until the break of dawn, and are not limited to anyone part of the night.



Author Unknown

Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah used to encourage us to pray at night in Ramadaan, without making it obligatory. Then he said, ‘Whoever prays at night in Ramadaan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.’ When the Messenger of Allaah died, this is how things were (i.e., Taraaweeh was not prayed in congregation), and this is how they remained during the khilaafah of Abu Bakr until the beginning of the khilaafah of ‘Umar ‘Amr ibn Murrah al-Juhani said: “A man from Qudaa’ah came to the Messenger of Allaah and said,‘O Messenger of Allaah! What do you think if I testifythat there is no god except Allaah, and that you, Muhammad, are His Messenger, and I pray the five daily prayers, and fast in the month (of Ramadaan), and pray at night in Ramadaan, and pay zakaah?’ The Prophet said: ‘Whoever dies on that will be among the siddeeqeen (those who tell the truth) and the martyrs.’”

Laylat al-Qadr and its timing

The best of its nights is Laylat al-Qadr, because the Prophet said: “Whoever prays at night during Laylat al-Qadr {and manages to “catch” it} out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

According to the most correct opinion, it is the twenty-seventh night of Ramadaan. Most of the ahaadeeth state this, such as the hadeeth of Zurr ibn Hubaysh, who said: “I heard Ubayy ibn Ka’b saying – and it was said to him that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: ‘Whoever follows the Sunnah will ‘catch’ Laylat al-Qadr!’ – Ubayy said: ‘May Allaah have mercy on him, he did not want people to take it for granted and only stay up to pray on one night. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, it is in Ramadaan – he was swearing without a doubt – and by Allaah, I do know which night it is. It is the night in which the Messenger of Allaah commanded us to pray (qiyaam). It is the night the morning of which is the twenty seventh, and the sign of it is that the sun rises on that morning white and without rays.’” In another report, this was attributed to the Prophet (Reported by Muslim and others).

Praying qiyaam in congregation

It is allowed to pray qiyaam in congregation, indeed it is better than praying individually, because this is what the Prophet did himself and explained its virtues. Abu Dharr said: “We fasted Ramadaan with the Messenger of Allaah and he did not lead us in qiyaam at all until there were only seven days left, when he led us in prayer until a third of the night had passed. When there were six days left, he did not lead us in qiyaam. When there were five days left, he led us in prayer until half the night had passed. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I wish that you had continued until the end of the night.’ He said, ‘If a man prays with the imaam until he finishes, it will be counted as if he prayed the whole night.’ When there were four nights left, he did not lead us in qiyaam. When there were three nights left, he brought together his family, his wives and the people, and led us in qiyaam until we were afraid that we would miss al-falaah. I asked, ‘What is al-falaah?’ he said, ‘Suhoor. Then he did not lead us in qiyaam for the rest of the month.’” (Saheeh hadeeth reported by the authors of Sunan).

The reason why the Prophet did not continually lead the people in praying qiyaam in congregation The Prophet (did not lead them in qiyaam for the rest of the month because he feared that it would then become obligatory, and they would not be able to do it, as is stated in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah reported in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere. Following the death of the Prophet that fear was no longer a factor, because Allaah had completed the religion. The reason for not praying qiyaam in congregation during Ramadaan no longer applied, and the previous ruling, that congregational prayer is something prescribed in Islam, remained in effect. So ‘Umar revived the practice, as is recorded in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere.

Women can pray qiyaam in congregation Women can attend the prayers too, as is stated in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr referred to above. Indeed, it is permissible to appoint an imaam just for them, apart from the imaam of the men. It was proven that when ‘Umar gathered the people to pray qiyaam, he appointed Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the men and Sulaymaan ibn Abi Hathmah to lead the women. ‘Arfajah al-Thaqafi said: “ ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib used to command the people to pray during the night in Ramadaan, and he would appoint an imaam for the men and an imaam for the women. I was the imaam for the women.” I say: this is fine in my view so long as the mosque is big enough so that they will not disturb one another.

Number of rak’ahs of qiyaam

The number of rak’ahs is eleven, and it is preferable in our opinion not to exceed this number, following the practice of the Messenger of Allaah because he never did more than that in his life. ‘Aa’ishah was asked about how he prayed in Ramadaan. She said, “The Messenger of Allaah never prayed more than eleven rak’ahs (of qiyaam), whether during Ramadaan or any other time. He would pray four, and don’t ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray four, and don’t ask me how beautiful or how long they were. Then he would pray three.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others).

A person may do less than that, even if it is only one rak’ah of witr, because of the evidence that the Prophet did this and spoke about it. With regard to him doing it: ‘Aa’ishah was asked how many rak’ahs the Messenger of Allaah used to pray in witr? She said, “He used to pray four and three, or six and three, or ten and three. He never used to pray less than seven, or more than thirteen.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, Ahmad and others).

With regard to him speaking about it, he said: “Witr is true, so whoever wishes can pray five, and whoever wishes can pray three, and whoever wishes can pray one.”

Reciting Qur’aan in qiyaam

As regards reciting from the Qur’aan during qiyaam, whether in Ramadaan or at other times, the Prophet did not set a limit or state what was too much or too little. His recitation used to vary, sometimes it would be long, at other times short. Sometimes in every rak’ah he would recite the equivalent of ‘Yaa ayyuha’l-muzammil, which is twenty aayaat; sometimes he would recite the equivalent of fifty aayaat. He used to say, “Whoever prays at night and reads one hundred aayaat will not be recorded as one of the negligent.” According to another hadeeth: “… and reads two hundred aayaat, will be recorded as one of the devout and sincere believers.”

When he was sick, the Prophet recited the seven long soorahs in his night prayers, i.e., al-Baqarah, Aal ‘Imraan, al-Nisaa’, al-Maa’idah, al-An’aam, al-A’raaf and al-Tawbah. In the account of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan praying behind the Prophet in one rak’ah he recited al-Baqarah, al-Nisa’ and Aal ‘Imraan, and he recited them in a slow and measured tone. It is proven with the soundest (most saheeh) of isnaads that when ‘Umar appointed Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people in praying eleven rak’ahs in Ramadaan, Ubayy used to recite aayaat by the hundreds, so that the people behind him would be leaning on sticks because the prayers were so long, and they did not finish until just before Fajr.

It is also reported in a saheeh account that ‘Umar called the readers during Ramadaan, and told the fastest of them to recite thirty aayaat, the moderate ones to recite twenty-five aayaat, and the slowest ones to recite twenty aayaat. However, is a person is praying qiyaam by himself, he can make it as long as he wishes; if others agree with the imaam, he may also make it as long as he wishes. The longer it is, the better, but a person should not go to extremes and spend the whole night in qiyaam, except on rare occasions, following the example of the Prophet who said: “The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.”

If a person is praying as an imaam, he should make it only as long as is easy for the people behind him, because the Prophet said: “If any of you leads the people in prayer, let him make it short, because among them are the young and the old, the weak, and those who have pressing needs. But if he is praying alone, let him make it as long as he likes.”

The timing of qiyaam

The time for praying qiyaam is from after ‘Isha until Fajr, because the Prophet said: “Allaah has added one more prayer for you, which is witr, so pray it between Salaat al-‘Isha’ and Salaat al-Fajr.” Praying at the end of the night is better, for those who can manage it, because the Prophet said: “Whoever is afraid that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever feels that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed [by the angels], and that is better.”

If it is the matter of choosing between praying in congregation at the beginning of the night and praying alone at the end of the night, it is preferable to pray with the jamaa’ah, because that is counted as if one had prayed the whole night through. This is what the Sahaabah did at the time of ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: “I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab to the mosque one night during Ramadaan, and saw the people scattered throughout the mosque, some praying individually, and some praying in small groups. He said, ‘By Allaah, I think that if I gathered all of them behind one reader it would be better.’ So he resolved to do that, and he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b. Then I went with him on another night, and the people were all praying behind their reader, and ‘Umar said, ‘What a good innovation this is. What they sleep and miss – meaning the latter part of the night – is better than what they are doing,’ – the people used to pray qiyaam at the beginning of the night.” Zayd ibn Wahb said: “‘Abd-Allaah used to lead us in prayer in Ramadaan, and he used to finish at night.”



by Shaikh Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips


Zakaah al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr. The word Fitr means the same as Iftaar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakaah al-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadaan.


Sadaqah al-Fitr is a duty which is Waajib on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he/she has the means to do so.

The proof that this form of charity is compulsory can be found in the Sunnah whereby Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims; one Saa` of dried dates or one Saa` of barely. [collected by Bukhaaree - Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, no. 579]

The head of the household may pay the required amount for the other members. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree said, "On behalf of our young and old, free men and slaves, we used to take out during Allaah's Messenger's (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) lifetime one Saa` of grain, cheese or raisins". [collected by Muslim - English transl. vol. 2, p. 469, no. 2155]


The significant role played by Zakaah in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Sadaqah al-Fitr. However, in the case of Sadaqah al-Fitr, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity. Thus, Sadaqah al-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community. The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor. This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have.


The main purpose of Zakaah al-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakaah al-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (`Eed al-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims.

Ibn Abbaas reported, "The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadaan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before Salaah will have it accepted as Zakaah, while he who gives it after the Salaah has given Sadaqah." [collected by Abu Dawood - Eng. transl. vol. 2, p. 421, no. 1605 - rated Saheeh by Shaikh Naser Al-Albanee]

Hence, the goal of Sadaqah al-Fitr is the spiritual development of the Believers. By making them give up some of their wealth, the believers are taught the higher moral characteristics of generosity, compassion (sympathy for the unfortunate), gratitude to God and the righteousness. But, since Islaam does not neglect man's material need, part of the goal of Zakaah al-Fitr is the economic well-being of the poorer members of society.


Zakaah al-Fitr is only Waajib for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and can not make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains obligatory until the beginning of Salaah al-'Eed' (i.e. shortly after sunrise on the following day). However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the Sahaabah (companions of the Prophet(sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ) used to pay Sadaqah al-Fitr a couple days before the `Eed.

Naafi reported that the Prophet's companion Ibn `Umar used to give it to those who would accept it and the people used to give it a day or two before the `Eed. [collected by al-Bukhaaree - Arabic/English, Vol. 2, p.339, no. 579]

Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) order that it (Zakaah al-Fitr) be given before people go to make the Salaah (al-'Eed).

And Ibn `Abbaas reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever gives it before the Salaah will have it accepted as Zakaah, while he who gives it after the Salaah (will not, for it will only be considered as) ordinary charity. Therefore, one who forgets to pay this Zakaah al-Fitr on time should do so as soon as possible even though it will not be counted as Zakaah al-Fitr.


The amount of Zakaah is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is one Saa` (two handfuls ) of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family. This calculation is based on Ibn `Umar's report that the Prophet(sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) made Zakaah al-Fitr compulsory and payable by a Saa` of dried dates or a Saa` of barley.

The Sahaabee, Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree said, "In the Prophet's time, we used to give it (Zakaah al-Fitr) as a Saa` of food, dried dates, barley, raisins or dried cheese". [collected by al-Bukhaaree - Arabic/English vol. 2, p. 340, no. 582]



By Muhammad al-Shareef


As Ramadan is fast approaching, it would be good to take a few moments to reflect on what we are doing in preparation. In the weeks before the eruption of Jewish violence in Al-Aqsa, not too many people had any mention of Al-Aqsa on their tongues. When it happened, no one spoke about anything else. And now, when we receive emails about the Shaheed (insha' Allah) Muhammad Durra and others, we delete it as if it is 'old news'. Dear brothers and sisters, we have to come back to our Deen and come back to Allah and change the situation of ourselves - then and only then will Allah change our situation.

Think not that a Khutbah like this is in disregard of current events. It is meant to build real armies of people that Allah is pleased with (may Allah make us all one of them). So that when someone stands up and says brothers we have to leave tonight to protect our honor, there will be people to stand up.

The companions - like Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr who was worth a 1000 warriors (raa) - trained in three fields:

1. Ibaadah

2. Talab-ul-Ilm (studying the tenets of Islam) and

3. Military training.

Let us chart our return to Allah – (swt) - so that when the world takes down the banners, borders up the windows and forgets what happened to our Muslim family ... we won't!

"Accomplishment begins with Action."

Part 1:

Sahl ibn Sa'd (raa) narrates that An-Nabee (saws) said, "In Jannah there is a gate called Ar-Rayyan, a door which the Saa'imoon will enter from, no one else except them. It will be announced, 'Where are the Saa'imoon?' and the Saa'imoon will stand. No one except them will enter from the Rayyan gate."

Have you ever heard of a weekend warrior? They are employees who sit in cubicles and relax at a coffee station weighed down with donuts all week long. Then on the weekend they rip off their suits bearing their Reebok gear underneath and spend the entire weekend playing basketball, hang gliding, and mountain climbing. What happens? They break their knees, pull a dozen muscles, and are hospitalized on Monday.

This is in relation to the physical body. But there are people that should be known as Ramadan warriors. They are those that haven't fasted all year long and then shock their bodies with a whole month. Or haven't prayed in the Masjid or haven't woken up to pray in the night all year long. What happens to them? As one Muslim doctor said, "In normal days, we have about 5 - 7 patients a day. On the first day of Ramadan, the patients increase to over 50!"

Ramadan warriors were rare in our Islamic history. To illustrate, let's all remember where we were at the beginning of Safar - corresponding this year to the second week of May. We were probably praying for work to end, or just finished up with exams, or looking through brochures for a holiday getaway. Interestingly, if we were sitting beside a taabi'ee over a thousand years ago in a simple Masjid, we would have heard him raising his hands asking Allah to grant him the blessing of being around when a guest comes, a guest called Ramadan!

There are different ways that we can 'warm up' for Ramadan. One of those ways is by increasing the frequency of our Du'a:

Allah ta'ala says in the Qur'an ... the verse before it is talking about Ramadan and the verse after it is speaking about Ramadan, and right in the middle we read: [And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me - Indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be guided.] - Surah Al Baqarah 2/186

Every goodness on earth is from Allah. And one of the most exclusive blessings is Ramadan. So let us ask the Lord of Ramadan to help us find His Mercy in the coming days.

Last year, we gave a khutbah here on Hajj entitled 'The Call of Ibraheem'. A brother just a few weeks ago told me that during that Khutbah he raised his hands to Allah and asked Allah to find him a way to make Hajj. He said that he had no money to make the trip, but that night more then one brother approached him with the offer, "Brother we have a Hajj program for new Muslims, would you like to come!" Alhamdulillah, that brother made Hajj last year from a Du'a that came straight from the heart - in sha' Allah.

The early generations of the Ummah used to make Du'a 6 months after Ramadan that Allah accept their deeds in Ramadan. And for the next 6 months, they would make du'a to Allah to grant them the blessing of being alive in the coming Ramadan.

Cleanliness - Whenever a guest comes, we prepare in advance for his arrival by vacuuming the carpet, dusting the shelves, and scrubbing the sinks. We should do this for our guest called Ramadan. But the scrubbing should not just be of our physical surroundings, it should include the scrubbing of our sins.

Listen to the words of an-Nabee (saws) speaking about those people that don't want to clean up for Ramadan, "Whoever doesn't desist from speaking falsehood and acting upon it, Allah has no need that he desist from his food and drink." - Bukhari

Fasting in Sha'baan (this Month that we are now in) - The biggest downfall of the weekend warriors was that they were not properly warmed up for the exercise which caused the injuries. Similarily, when Fasting, some people only do it once a year making their bodies very foreign to going without food and drink. From here we see the following Sunnah: Umm Al-Mu'mineen Aisha (saw)observes, "Allah's Messenger never fasted an entire month other than Ramadan and I haven't seen him fast more than he did in Sha'baan."

A poet said: Oh ye who isn't satisfied with his sins in Rajab / so much so that you continued disobedience in Sha'baan / The month of fasting has now come upon you / so do not convert it also to a month of disobedience.

Part II

When we look at the celebrations, 'the holy days' of this country, we see that they put all their time and effort and spirit in preparation. I tell you, go to any store outside this Masjid and you will see preparations of Candy Canes, red and green bouquets, even Eggnog all in the wait for the annual celebration of the birth - as they falsely claim - of Prophet 'Esa (as) They are preparing for their falsehood almost 2 months in advance!

One of the ways to prepare for Ramadan is to educate ourselves in the Fiqh of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah - sitting in this Masjid today are many brothers and sisters for whom this will be their first Ramadan. Allahu Akbar! May Allah accept it from them and allow them and us to share in the blessing of Ramadan for many years to come. Let us briefly review what fasting is:

Fasting Ramadan is not optional - it is a must. The evidence for this is found in the Quran and Sunnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [O you who believe! Observing al-sawn (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).] [al-Baqarah 2:183]

The Prophet said: [Islam is built on five [pillars]] ... among which he mentioned fasting in Ramadaan. - Bukhari

The Arabic word for fasting is Sawm. In Arabic it literally means to abstain from something. And in Islamic Law it is to abstain from those things that break the fast starting from dawn (Fajr Prayer) and ending with sunset (Maghrib prayer) having first made the intention to do so.

The things which break ones Fast, the things which he or she must abstain from from dawn to sunset are as follows:

(a) Eating and Drinking

(b) Marital Relations

These apply if 3 conditions are met (1) That the person is not ignorant that this thing breaks ones fast (2) That he is aware that he is doing something that breaks his fast (meaning he did not do so in forgetfulness) (3) He does so out of his free will and no one forced him to break his fast.

In conclusion, as the month of Ramadan draws nearer, we should prepare for this special guest by preparing a Ramadan program *Operation: Valuable Time* in our homes and at our Masjids. The program should in sha' Allah include:

1. Locked times of the day when we will consistently recite Qur'an, learning it's meanings and memorizing new Sur'ahs.

2. Something useful for the time before Taraweeh prayers and the time after Taraweeh. And how to increase our worship in the last ten nights - i.e. what will we do extra.

3. We should make sure that there are days of this month when we feed people. Bring dates or milk to the Masjid for Maghrib. Invite people over to have dinner with your family. Organize a dinner in the Masjid and invite people that don't normally get invited because they are new. Take care of the New Muslims in your community and for the sake of Allah ta'ala make their Ramadan special.

4. Make the intention to double and triple the amount of Sadaqah we give, the worship we normally do, the Dhikr we do, and the deeds that'll help us purify our souls, etc.

And finally, for those that can afford it plan a Umrah to the Ka'bah in Ramadan!

After returning from the farewell Hajj, Rasul Allah (saws) saw an Ansari women who had not made the Hajj. He asked her, "What kept you back from joining in the Hajj?" She said, "We had a camel that we used to ride which Abu Fulan and his son went on, and another we used for farming." So Rasul Allah (saws) said, "Verily, Umrah in Ramadan is the same (reward) as performing Hajj with me!" - Bukhari and Muslim.


HOW THE SALAF OBSERVED RAMADAN: A Message to Every Muslim on the Occasion of the Blessed Month of Ramadan

Author Unknown

Brother and sister Muslims, may the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. I send you this message filled with love and greetings. I send it to you from a heart that loves you for the sake of Allah and I ask Him to bring us together in the abode of His Benedictions and Mercy. On the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan, I extend to you this advise as a humble gift which I hope you will accept with an open mind and that in turn, you advise me. May Allah protect you and take care of you.

How do we receive the blessed month of Ramadan? Allah the Almighty says, "You who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may attain piety" [Qur'an 2:183].

My esteemed brother and sister: Allah has distinguished Ramadan from other months with many merits and virtues which include:

*The bad breath from the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.

*The angels ask forgiveness for those fasting until they break their fast.

*Allah beautifies His Paradise each day and says, "My righteous servants are about to be spared suffering and harm, then they will be sent to you."

*The devils are chained during the month.

*The doors of Paradise are opened while those of Hell are locked.

*The night, Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months occurs in this month. Whoever is deprived of the good of this night has indeed been deprived of goodness altogether.

*Those fasting receive forgiveness on the last night of Ramadan.

*Allah saves people from Hellfire during each night of Ramadan.

My esteemed brother and sister: How then do we receive the month containing these merits and virtues? Is it by occupying ourselves with playfulness and spending our nights with non-beneficial things? Or do we feel burdened and panic at its arrival? We seek refuge with Allah from such attitudes. The righteous servants of Allah welcome it with repentance and true determination to reap its benefits and fully utilize its precious time. They ask Allah to help them perform their acts of worship in the best manner. I therefore present to you my dear brothers and sisters, the righteous deeds that are stressed during Ramadan.

1. Fasting (Sawm): The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "Every good deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied. He will receive ten-fold to seven-hundred-fold reward for a good deed. Allah the Glorious and Majestic has said 'but fasting is exceptional, for it is done for Me and I will give reward for it, since one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it and joy when he meets his Lord; and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk." [Related by AI-Bukhari and Muslim].

Undoubtedly, this great reward will not be for those who only abstain from food and drink, but as the Prophet (saws) said, "Whoever does not abandon obscene speech and evil action, Allah does not need his refraining from eating and drinking." [Related by Al-Bukhari. The Prophet (saws) also said, "Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise his voice; rather if anyone reviles him or quarrels with him, he should say, 'I am fasting."' [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Therefore when you fast, servant of Allah, let your hearing, sight, tongue and all your limbs fast, so that your fasting and non-fasting days are not the same.

2. Praying Qiyam Al-Layl:

The Messenger of Allah (saws.) said, "He who observes the fast of the month of Ramadan with sincere faith and hope for the reward of Allah will have his past sins forgiven." [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Also, Allah says, "And the servants of Allah most gracious are those who walk on the earth with humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say (Peace); Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrating and standing" [Qur'an 63-64]. Thus, waking up in the night to pray qiyam al-layl i.e. performing prayer in the middle of the night, was a regular act of the Prophet (saws) and his Companions. Aisha (raa) said, "Do not abandon qiyam al-layl, for the Messenger of Allah (saws) never left it. If he was not well or he felt heavy, he prayed sitting."

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, used to pray at night what he wished, until it was in the middle of the night, when he would wake up his family to pray; then he would say to them "prayer.. prayer", and would recite this verse of the Qur'an, "Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the fruit of the Hereafter is for righteousness" [Qur'an 20:132].

Ibn Umar used to recite, "Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night, prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord like one who does not?" [Qur'an 39:9]. He said that was referring to Uthman Ibn Affan (raa). Ibn Abi Hatim said Ibn Umar said that it was due to the length of the prayer of the commander of the faithful, Uthman, at night and his recitation to the extent that he may have recited the entire Qur an in one rak'ah.

Alqamah Ibn Qays narrated, "I slept with Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (raa) one night. He woke up in the early part of the night and began to pray. He recited with a recitation similar to that of the neighborhood imam with a medium regular pace. Those around him could hear him and he continued until what remained of the night's darkness was equal to the time between the adhan (call) for maghrib prayer and the end of the maghrib prayer time, i.e. a short time before daybreak. He then performed witr prayer.

Furthermore, Al-Sa'ib Ibn Zayd narrated in a hadith that the reciter would recite (the Qur'an) with hundreds of verses such that we supported ourselves with staves due to the lengthiness of the prayer and did not leave until the time of fair (dawn prayer).

Caution: Brother Muslim, you have to complete the tarawih prayer with the imam in order to be reckoned as one of those who stood (the night) in prayer. The Prophet (saws) said, "Whoever stays with his imam until he completes the prayer, will have the night written for him as one who performed qiyam al-layl, i.e. one who stood the night in prayer." [Related by compilers of sunan books].

3. Charity (Sadaqah):

The Prophet (saws) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous during Ramadan. He was more generous with good deeds than the blowing wind. The Messenger of Allah also said, "The best charity is one given during Ramadan." [Related by Al-Tirmidhi from Anas].

Zayd Ibn Aslam narrated from his father as saying, "I heard Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) say, 'The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded us to donate to charity, so I gave some of my wealth. Then I said, 'Today I will compete with Abu Bakr if I can ever do so.' Then I donated half of my wealth. The Messenger of Allah (saws) asked me, 'What did you leave for your family?' He said, 'I said the same as what I gave out.' But Abu Bakr brought all of his wealth and the Messenger of Allah (saws) asked him, 'What did you leave for your family?' He replied, 'I left them with Allah and His Messenger,' I said, 'I will never compete with you for anything again.

Talha Ibn Yahya Ibn Talha narrated, "My grandmother Sa'da bint Awf AI-Mariyah who was the wife of Talha Ibn Ubaydullah related to me, 'Talha came to me one day disconcerted. So I asked him, 'Why is it that I see you with a gloomy face? What is the matter with you? Is there anything that I can help you with?" He said, "No, you are a faithful Muslim wife." I said, "Then what is the matter?" He said, "The wealth that I have has increased and that disturbs me." I said, "Don~t worry, distribute it." She said, 'He divided it until not even a single diniam was left." Talha Ibn Yahya said: "I asked the custodian of Talha's property how much the amount was." He said, 'Four hundred thousand."'

Therefore dear brother, charity during Ramadan has special significance, so hasten to give it out according to your means. Charity takes many forms.

a) Feeding the Needy:

Allah the Almighty says, "And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (saying), 'We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone. No rewards do we desire from you, nor thanks. We only fear a Day of frowning and stress from the side of our Lord.' But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that day, and will spread over them brightness and a (blissful) joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a garden (and garments of) silk" [Qur'an 76:8-12]. The Salaf used to ensure feeding others and they placed it before many acts of worship, and it is equally rewarded whether you feed a hungry person or a good Muslim brother of yours. Hence, poverty is not a condition for feeding a person.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "When a believer feeds a hungry believer, Allah will feed him from the fruits of Paradise. And when he quenches the thirst of a believer, Allah will make him drink from the pure sealed wine of Paradise." [Related by Al-Tirmidhi with a good chain of narration].

Some of our pious predecessors said, "For me to invite ten of my friends and feed them with a meal that they like is better for me then freeing ten of the descendants of (Prophet) Isma'il." Many among the Salaf used to leave their food for breaking the fast for others. They included Abdullah Ibn Umar (saws), Dawud Al-Ta'i, Malik Ibn Dinar and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Ibn Umar did not break his fast except with the orphans and the needy. Sometimes, if he learned that his family had turned back the orphans and the needy, he would not break the fast that night. Also among the Salaf were those who fed their brother Muslims while they still continued to fast. They also served them and attended to their well-being. Among them were AI-Hassan Al-Basri and Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak.

Abu Al-Sawar Al-'Adwi said, "Some men from Banu Adiy tribe used to pray in the mosque. None of them ever broke the fast alone with his food. If he found someone to share with, he ate with him, if not, he would take it to the mosque, so that others ate with him and he ate with others. Feeding other people is an act of worship which triggers many other acts of worship. Ties of love and brotherliness are strengthened between you and the person you feed and that may lead you to Paradise." The Prophet (pbuh) said, "You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love one another." This deed will keep you close to righteous people and Allah will reward you as the food you provide helps them with their acts of obedience (to Allah).

b) Providing Food to Break the Fast:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward equal to that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward." [Related by Ahmad and Al-Nasai. Also verified by Al-Albani as sahih]. In a hadith narrated by Salman Al-Farisi, the Prophet (saws) said, "Whoever feeds a fasting person, will be recompensed with forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hell. He will receive the same reward as the fasting person without causing him any reduction (in his reward). (The Companions) said, 'Messenger of Allah, not all of us can find something to feed a fasting person.' The Prophet (saws) said, 'Allah will give this reward to he who feeds a fasting person with a sip of milk or a piece of dates, or a sip of water. And Allah will make him who quenches the thirst of a fasting person to drink from my cistern a drink that he will never feel thirsty until he enters Paradise (where there is no thirst)."

4. Intensifying the Recitation of the Qur'an. I will remind you dear brother of two actions of the pious Salaf of this Ummah:

a) Undertaking Much Recitation of the Qur 'an:

The month of Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an. The Muslim must therefore recite the Qur'an a great deal. The Salaf used to pay particular attention to the Book of Allah, and angel Jibril (Gabriel) used to study the Qur'an with the Prophet (saws) during Ramadan. Uthman Ibn Affan used to complete reciting the Qur'an once each day. Some of the Salaf also completed the Qur an in their qiyam prayer every three nights. Others completed it every seven days, while some others completed it every ten nights. They used to recite the Qur'an during prayers and at other times. During Ramadan, Al-Shafi'i used to complete reciting the Qur'an sixty times, excluding prayer times. AI-Aswad used to complete reciting the Qur'an every two nights. Qatada regularly completed the Qur'an within seven nights, while during Ramadan, he completed it every three nights, but in the last ten days of Ramadan, he completed it every night. When Ramadan came, Al-Zuhri left studying the hadith and study circles with scholars and he concentrated on reciting the Qur'an from the book (i.e. not from memory).

Also, when Ramadan came,Sufyan Al-Thawn left all other acts of worship and concentrated on the Qur'an.

Ibn Rajab said that it was reported from the Prophet (saws) that the Qur'an may not be completed in less than three days by those who recite it constantly. As for the blessed times such as Ramadan, especially during the nights of expecting laylat al-Qadr or when in holy places such as Makkah for those not inhabiting it, it is recommended that the recitation of the Qur'an be increased in order to benefit from the blessings of the time and the place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Ishaq and others among the distinguished scholars. As we indicated earlier, the actions of other scholars also support this view.

b) Weeping During the Recitation of the Qur'an:

It was not reported from the Salaf that they chanted the Qur'an like poetry without pondering and understanding (its meanings); rather, they were moved by the Words of Allah, and they in turn changed the hearts of others with it. In a hadith in AI-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (raa) said, "The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, 'Recite (the Qur'an) to me.' Then I said, 'How can I recite to you when it was revealed to you?' The Prophet (saws) said, 'I like to hear it from someone else."' Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud said, "I recited the Qur'an from Surah Al-Nisa' until I reached the verse that says, 'How will it be then, when We bring from every nation a witness and bring you to witness over all of them"' [Qur'an 4:41]. The Prophet (saws) said, 'That is enough.' I turned to the Prophet (saws) and found his eyes flooding with tears."'

Al-Bayhaqi related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saws) said, "When the verse of the Qur'an that says 'Do you then wonder at this recital (the Qur'an) and you laugh at it and weep not.' [Qur'an 53:59-60] was revealed, the Companions residing in the Suffah, (the courtyard of the Prophet's mosque) wept until tears began to trickle down their cheeks." When the Prophet (saws) heard their weeping, he wept with them and his weeping made us weep. The Messenger of Allah said, "The person who weeps in humility to Allah will not enter Hell."

Ibn Umar read surah Al-Mutaffifin until he reached '...the Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds...' [Qur'an 83:6]. He wept to such an extent that he fell to the ground and could not move on to the next verses. Furthermore, Muzahim Ibn Zafar related, "Sufyan Al-Thawn lead us in maghrib prayer, and when he reached 'You (Alone) do we worship and You (Alone) do we ask for help' [Qur'an 1:5], he began to weep so that his recitation was disrupted. So he started from Alhamdulillah again."

It has been reported that Ibrahim Al-Ash'ath said, "One night, I heard Fudhayl Ibn Ayadh reciting this verse of the Qur'an, repeatedly as he wept, 'And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience, and We shall test your facts (whether true or false)' [Qur'an 47:31] But he kept on saying the words of Allah, 'And We shall test your facts', then he would say, 'And You will test our facts? If You test our facts, You will disgrace us and expose our secrets. Indeed ifYou do that, You will destroy us and punish us,' and he would continue crying.

Sitting in the Mosque Until Sunrise

"When the Prophet (saws) prayed fair prayer, he sat in his prayer place until sunrise." [Related by Muslim].

At-Tirmidhi narrated from Anas that the Prophet (saws) said, "Whoever prays fair in the congregation and remains seated, remembering Allah until sunrise, then performs two rak’at; it will be for him as the reward of complete...complete... complete Hajj and Umrah." [Verified by Al-Albani as sahih].

This is the reward promised for everyday, so how will it be for Ramadan?

Dear brother, may Allah protect you, have a good sleep at night to assist you in getting this great reward. Also, emulate righteous people and train your soul to strive for the pleasure of Allah. Have high aspirations to reach the highest of the grades of Paradise.

6. Observing I'tikaf:

The Prophet (saws) used to observe I'tikaf during ten days of Ramadan. But in the year of his death, he stayed in I'tikaf for twenty days." [Related by Al-Bukhari). Thus, I'tikaf which means staying in the mosque continuously for a certain period of time, is an act of worship that embraces many acts of obedience to Allah, such as reciting the Qur'an, praying, remembering Allah, supplicating, etc.

The person who has not experienced it might think that is difficult to bear, but it is easy for whomever Allah makes it easy. Thus, whoever arms himself with good intentions and true determination, Allah helps him undertake the task with ease. I'tikaf is stressed more during the last ten days of Ramadan in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr. It is a permissible form of seclusion as the person observing it holds himself in seclusion out of obedience to Allah and His remembrance. He also cuts himself off from anything that would distract him from the observance of I'tikaf His heart is set on all deeds that draw him closer to Allah and the only desire he has is to do what pleases Allah.

Performing Umrah During Ramadan:

It has been established that the Prophet (saws) said, "An Umrah performed in Ramadan is equal in reward to Hajj." [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). In another version the Prophet (saws) said, "The same (reward) as performing Hajj with me." So, congratulations to you my brother (who succeeds) in performing a pilgrimage with the Prophet (saws).

8. Anticipating Laylat Al-Qadr:

Allah the Almighty says, "We have indeed revealed this (Message) 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" [Qur'an 97:1-3). The Prophet (saws) said, "He who observes laylat al-Qadr with sincere faith and hope for the reward of Allah will have his past sins forgiven." [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet (saws) used to look out for laylat al-Qadr and commanded his Companions also to look out for it. He used to wake up his family members during the last ten nights in the hope that they would succeed in meeting the blessed night (in worship).

It is related in Musnad Ahmad from Ubada that the Prophet (saws) said, "Whoever stays awake in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr, and succeeds in getting it, will have all of his sins both past and future forgiven." [Al-Nasai reported a similar hadith, while Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar said that its chain meets the conditions for authenticity].

It has been reported that some of our predecessors among the Companions and their successors took a complete bath and used perfume during the last ten nights (of Ramadan) in anticipation of laylat al-Qadr, which has been highly honored by Allah.

So those of you who have wasted their time with nothing beneficial, make up for what you have missed by observing the night of laylat al-Qadr, as it is reckoned from your age. Good deeds undertaken in this night are better than (the deeds of) a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its benefits has indeed been much deprived.

9. Remembering Allah, Supplicating and Seeking Forgiveness

Dear brother, the days and nights of Ramadan are distinguished times, so seize the opportunity by increasing your remembrance of Allah, and making supplications, especially during the chosen periods when they are more acceptable to Allah. These include:

*When breaking the fast, since the fasting person's supplications are not rejected.

*The last third of the night, when our Lord descends and says, "Is there anyone asking that I may give;is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive?"

*Asking for forgiveness at dawn, as Allah says, "And in the hours of early dawn, they (were found) praying for forgiveness" [Qur'an 51:18].

*Looking out for the chosen hour on Friday when supplications are answered. This hour is most likely to be the last hour of Friday (before sunset).

Finally, dear brother:

After this round in the garden of Paradise, under the shade of righteous deeds, I would like to draw your attention to an important issue. Do you know what that is? It is sincerity. Yes, sincerity. How so many are the people who fast but benefit nothing other than hunger and thirst from their fast. And how so many are the people who stay awake in worship but get nothing other than sleeplessness and fatigue. May Allah save you and me from that kind of outcome. Consequently, we find the Prophet (saws) stressing this matter when he said, "(Fasting) with full faith and hoping for a reward from Allah." The Salaf therefore used to do their righteous deeds secretly in fear of falling into showing off.

Hence, we find this great Tabi'i, i.e. from the generation succeeding the Companions of the Prophet, Ayyoub Al-Sakhtiyani, about whom Hamad Ibn Zayd said, "Sometimes, when studying hadith, Ayyoub would be so moved and he would turn (away) to blow his nose. Then he would say, 'How severe this cold is! Pretending to be having a cold to hide his weeping."

It has been reported that Muhammad Ibn Wasi' said, "I have known men among whom there is one whose head would be placed beside that of his wife on the same pillow, so that the part of the pillow under his cheek would become wet from tears without his wife noticing it. I have also known men, who while in the row for prayer, tears would pour down their cheeks and the one next to them would not notice it. Ayyoub AlSakhtiyani used to remain awake for the entire night (in worship) yet he would hide it. So when morning came, he raised his voice as if he had woken up that instant. Ibn Adiy related that Dawud Ibn Abi Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing about it. His occupation was embroidery, so he would take his lunch along with him (to work) but donate it to charity on the way. When he returned at night, he would brake his fast with the family and they did not know that he was fasting."

Sufyan Al-Thawn said, "The servant of Allah would do his deeds secretly, and the devil would persist in tempting him until he convinces him to do it openly. The devil would then continue to insist until the person wants to be thanked for the deed. So, it will be converted from a deed done openly to one done for showing off."

Amusement During Ramadan:

Dear brother, I think I have prolonged my admonition to you to seize this opportunity. I have taken some of your time, but let us look together at a very critical phenomenon that we all fall into, especially during Ramadan. It is the phenomenon of wasting time and spending it in ways other than obedience to Allah. This indeed means a lack of awareness and amounts to turning away from the Mercy and Bounty of Allah Who says, "But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise Him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say, 'My Lord, why have You raised me up blind while I had sight (before)?' Allah will say, 'Thus did you, when our signs came upon you, forget them; so will you be this day forgotten. And thus do we recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the signs of his Lord. And the chastisement of the Hereafter is far more grievous and enduring" [Qur'an 20:124-127]. One feels so much pain in his heart and is so much dismayed to find Muslim youth filling the sidewalks and playgrounds during the most virtuous nights of Ramadan.

How so many are the sins and forbidden acts committed during the nights of Ramadan! Yes, the Muslim must be truly concerned about the manner in which Muslims spend their time. He must also be disturbed to find Muslim youth spending their time in ways that are not pleasing to Allah. But do not worry. The path to your happiness and that of your Muslim brothers is to call them to apply Islamic teachings (i.e. doing da 'wah) and to make supplications for them. Yes, da 'wah to those Muslims who have become unaware of their Islamic duties, and guiding them to the Straight Path. Also, make supplications for them in their absence that Allah may accept it from you and that they do not become among those deprived of guidance.



By Muhammad Alshareef

Rasul Allah’s wife, Umm Al-Mu’mineen Safiyyah bint Huyayy (raa) was the daughter of one of the Jewish leaders of Madinah. After her Islam, she informed the Prophet (saws when she had first felt the rays of Islam enter her blessed heart.

It was the day that Anas (raa) describes as the most radiant day to every come upon al-Madinah - the day Rasul Allah (saws entered it. All the Ansar men, women and children gathered to greet him, cheers of praise to Allah filled the air.

Amongst the gathering were 2 men; as much as the Ansar and Muhaajireen revered the Prophet, they despised him. It was the father of Safiyyah (saws) and her uncle.

She was only a youngster as she looked into the darkness and gloom that had enveloped their faces when they returned home that day. Her Jewish uncle 1400 years ago asked, “Is it him? Is it the Prophet that our scriptures speak of?” Huyayy lowered his head and said, “Yes. It is him.” “Then what shall we do?” Safiyyah’s uncle continued. Huyayy looked into his eyes, “Till the final day we shall be his bitterest enemies!”

From the very first raka’ah of Taraweeh we read the verse in the opening Surah: [Guide us to the straight path - The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked (Your) anger!..]

Adiyy ibn Hatim asked Rasul Allah (saws) who it was that evoked Allah’s anger? He said, “It was the Jews.” - Tafseer Ibn Katheer

When I was in high school, studying in journalism class, our teacher had placed on the wall a statement that I spent many days contemplating. It simply said, “Freedom of the press (speech) belongs to those that own the press!” Who owns the press? Well, you can believe me when I say that it is not the God fearing beloved of Allah.

It is this same press that molds and programs the aqeedah of a huge section of our Ummah. Many of our brothers and sisters are illiterate to the words of Allah and the guidance of Rasul Allah (saws), so it is with little doubt that their ideas are subconsciously molded by what Seifeld tells them at 8 pm every Wednesday evening.

It is this same brother or sister that asks the question, “I don’t understand why the Jews were cursed. Seinfeld is funny. What did he do?”

This khutbah is our media and in sha’ Allah we shall learn in these few moments only samples of what carried the Jews to evoke Allah’s anger.

In the opening verses of Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah invites the Children of Isra’eel to come back - to remember the favor and blessing He bestowed upon them - and to fulfill the promise that they would follow the Prophet when he was sent to them.

[O Children of Israel, remember My favor that I bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant upon you that I will fulfill your convenant (from Me) and fear only Me.] - Surah al-Baqarah 2/40

Allah saved them of their slavery to Fir’own, he saved them from sea and drowned Fir’own and his army. Allah selected them to receive food from the sky. Allah sent them Prophet after Prophet from amongst themselves, and sent the Holy scriptures - the Towrah and the Injeel. Allah preferred them over all others at their time.

[...And that I preferred you over the worlds (i.e. people).] - Surah al-Baqarah 2/47

How did they reply these Blessings of Allah?

(i) They Followed Only What They Wanted to

When a Prophet came to them, if what he taught did not appeal to them they either rejected that truth or slit the throat of the Prophet and followed what was to them appealing.

[We had already taken the covenant of the Children of Israel and had sent to them messengers. Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, a groups (of the Messengers) they denied and another party they killed.] - al Maa’idah 5/70

And we must remember here that this is not the commentary of some human journalist who claims to be neutral. This is the Lord of the Universe telling us - in verses to be read till the final day - the deepest secrets that lie in the pits of Judaism. [And who is more truthful than Allah in statement!] - al Nisaa’ 4/87

(ii) They Changed the Words of Allah

There was groups of Jews that would change the words of Allah - adding something here, deleting there - to pound the truth and keep the flock in servitude to what they desired.

[And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, “This is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah. And they speak untruth about Allah while they know.] Ali-Imran 3/78

(iii) Their claim that they are the beloved children of God

Ibn Abbas narrates: Nu’maan ibn Aasaa, Bahr ibn ‘Amr and Shaas ibn Adee (3 Jews) came to Allah’s Messenger (saws). He sat with them and invited them to Allah and warned them of Allah’s anger. They replied, “Why are you trying to scare us O Muhammad? By God, we are the children of God and His beloved ones!” At that the verse was revealed: [And the Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the Children of Allah and His beloved.’ Say: ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins?’ Rather, you are humans from among (all the others) that He created.] Al-Maa’idah 5/18 ~ Ibn katheer 2/36

(iv) Their Blasphemous Statements

There came upon the Jews a time of poverty, so they went to Shaas ibn Qays and questioned him. He said, “Your Lord is stingy, he never provides.” Allah revealed in the Qur’an: [And the Jews say, “The hand of Allah is chained.” Chained are their hands and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended; He spends however He wills.] AlMaa’idah 5/64

(v) Their Murdering of the Prophets

One of the most horrific sins that they performed was the slaughtering of their Prophets. This was one of the major reasons they were struck with humiliation. [And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allah (upon them). That was because they (repeatedly) disbelieved in the signs of Allah and killed the Prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were (habitually) transgressing.] - Baqarah 2/61

Not only did they try to kill their Prophets, but they attempted to assassinate Rasul Allah (saws) himself. Rasul Allah went with some companions to meet with the Jews of Banu Nadheer. While he waited for them at the side of a building, they climed the roof with a boulder to crush down upon the head of Rasul Allah. Jibreel warned Rasul Allah – (saws of their plan. He stood up without saying anything, left for Madinah, and came back with an army. This was the cause of Banu Nadheer’s expulsion from Madinah. - Mukhtasar Seerat Ibn Hisham 159

And the list goes on - They did not command the good or forbid the evil, they did not accept the ruling of what Allah revealed upon them, they disbelieved their book, they received food from the heavens but rejected it, they challenged their Prophet to show them Allah in this life, they took Angel Jibreel as their sworn enemy, they took the graves of their Prophets as symbols of worship ... and the list goes on and on in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Part II

There are some verses in the Qur’an that spoke about those that do not judge by what Allah has decreed is a transgressor. Some students of Ibn Abbas (raa) asked him, “Were these not revealed for the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Subhan Allah! Are all the glad tidings in the Qur’an for us and all the admonitions for them? If our we do what they did, our end will be their end.”

Rasul Allah (saws) said, “"You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a lizard, you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" - Bukhari

The Qur’an tells us of snakes in the grass that bit the Jews. Allah tells us this so that we may take warning of what led them to evoke Allah’s anger and not be bitten by the same snake.

Let us take an example from the following verse: [And there followed them successors who inherited the scripture (while) taking the stock of this lower life (i.e. Haram gains and whims), saying (regardless), “We will be forgiven.”] - A’raaf 7/169

So many Muslims take this Qur’an as something inherited, the real power of Allah’s word’s has not penetrated the hearts. How many of our young Muslim youth understand the language of Cobolt and A++, spending years to understand, but do not comprehend a single sentence in the Quran?

Have we desisted from the Riba that Allah made Haram upon us? In the years of 1973 to 1976, when the Muslims went out to challenge Israel, the entertainment armies were summoned. Female singers were brought, belly dancers hired, and soap operas dedicated to the encouragement of our fighting Muslims. The songs were drenched in nationalism and Arab pride.

In conclusion, a fundamental part of our Deen is Al-Wala’ and Al-Bara’ (wala’ - love and loyalty / Bara’ hatred and disownment). It would be profitable for us to reflect on the implementation of our Wala’ and Bara’ in regards to the Jews:

Firstly: We should not take them as our close allies. Allah commands us in the Qur’an: [O you who have belieded, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.] - Ma’idah 5/51

Secondly: We should not Imitate them. The forbiddance of imitating the Jews and the Christians applies to those things that have become icons of their customs and falsehood. So for example, if someone wore a white collar on his neck, everyone would assume he was Christian. This is because the white collar has become a symbol of theirs.

The ruling is more general than just clothes. Rasul Allah (saws) said: [Act differently then the Jews.] - Saheeh Abu Dawood

Thirdly: A Muslimah may never marry a Jewish or Christian man that remains on his beliefs.

Allah declares in the Qur’an: [They are not (i.e. the Muslim women) lawful wives for them, nor are they lawful (husbands) for them.] - Mumtahinah 60/10

Is all this a death sentence on the Jews? Nay, Allah’s infinite Mercy has left the gate open for ANYONE who wishes to come back to him.

[And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and feared Allah, We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to joyful Gardens] - Ma’idah 5/65

O Allah guide us to the straight path - the path of those who You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked (Your) anger, nor of those that went astray. Ameen.

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