sisterwalkingpath341. Fasting in Ramadan helps in achieving Taqwaa.

Allaah says: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (achieve Taqwaa)” (Al-Baqarah, 2:183)

Taqwaa is the aim of our existence. Allaah reminds us of it in the Qur’an again and again.

“O you who have believed, fear Allaah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims.” (‘Ali-‘Imran, 3:102)

When we change our attitude while fasting and have a good mental state, we can achieve Taqwaa. Jabir ibn Abullah said,

“When you fast, your hearing, your vision, and your tongue should also fast by avoiding lies and sins. You should not abuse your servant. You should maintain your composure and dignity on the day you fast. Do not make your fasting day the same as your normal day.” [1. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah]

2. Double reward of fasting:

“Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” [2. Al Tirmidhee]

Ibn Taymiyah said:

What is meant by giving him iftaar is giving him enough to satisfy him. [3. Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 194]

From the ‘ibaadah of providing food for people stems many other acts of worship such as creating love and friendship towards those who are given the food, which is a means of entering Paradise, as the Prophet (SAW) said: “You will not enter Paradise until you truly believe, and you will not truly believe until you love one another.” [4. Narrated by Muslim, 54]

3. Reading Qur’an in Ramadan assists in attaining “Taqwaa”

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

Reading Qur’an in this month assists in attaining “Taqwaa” since it is one of the main objectives of the revelation of the Qur’an. Allaah says: “[It is] an Arabic Qur'an, without any deviance that they might become righteous.” (Az-Zumar, 39:28)

4. A means of gaining forgiveness of sins:

The Prophet (SAW) said:

a. “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [5. al-Bukharee, 2014; Muslim, 760]

b. “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [6. al-Bukharee (2008) and Muslim (174)]

c. “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.” [7. Narrated by al-Bukharee, 1910; Muslim, 760.]

d. “…from one Ramadan to the next are expiation for sins committed in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” [8. Saheeh Muslim (233)]

5. Steadfastness and Patience:

Fasting helps in developing a strong will power. Fasting is patience in obeying Allaah, patience in keeping away from the things forbidden by Allaah, and patience in bearing the decree of Allaah, hunger, thirst, physical and mental weakness. So it combines all three types of patience, thus the fasting person deserves to be counted as one of the patient, and Allaah says:

“Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account." (Az-Zumar, 39:10) [9. Majaalis Shahr Ramadan, p. 13, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen]

6. Seeking Laylatul Qadr:

Prophet (SAW) said:

“There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” [10. Narrated by An-Nasa’ee, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.]

7. Fasting precludes ar-riya and assists in ikhlaas:

“Allaah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” [11. Al-Bukharee (1761) and Muslim (1946)]

Allaah didn’t say “prayer is Mine”, or “Hajj is Mine”, or “charity is Mine”. Why did He single out fasting? Al-Qurtubi said: Because showing off may enter into all good deeds, but no one can see when a person is fasting except Allaah, so Allaah connected it to Himself. Hence Allaah said in hadeeth Qudsi, “He gives up his food, his drink and his physical desires for My sake.” [12.  Narrated by al-Bukharee, al-Sawm, 1761]

8. Ramadan trains us to have good character and be truthful:

The Prophet (SAW) said:

“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and ignorant behaviour, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink”. [13. Sahih Al-Bukharee: Vol.3, Book of Saum, Hadeeth no. 1903, pg. 84]

So if a person refrains from disobeying Allaah or gives up sinfulness, then this is true fasting. Meaning, your body needs to fast with you too along with hunger and thirst.

“…and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.'” [14.  Sahih Al-Bukharee: Vol.3, Book of Saum, Hadeeth no. 1904, pg. 84]

9. A sense of Unity:

All the Muslims participate in this act of worship. All of us are fasting and breaking the fast at the same time. We as a single ummah gather upon a single act of worship directing towards a single purpose.

10. Ramadan is an opportunity to learn discipline in food and drink:

One of the benefits of fasting is good health. This is something we should seek because with good health, we can worship Allaah better and do extra good deeds which we might not be able to do if we did not have it. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allaah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone…” [15. Sahih Muslim 2664]

11. Two moments of Joy:

The Prophet (SAW) said:

“The fasting person will have two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.” [16. Narrated by al-Bukharee, 1771]

Niqaabipurplegloves1. Do not let your 'performance' until now affect your last 10 days. The moment of forgiveness could be today or anytime in the coming days! It is not all lost! If you sincerely wish it could have been better - Chin up and get ready to make it your best yet! Start with a positive, sincere intention!

2. Today, take a little time to read the Tafseer of Surah al-Qadr to understand what actually happens this night! You will feel its power & greatness so much more!

3. Do not wait for the 27th Night to give it your "all". The entire last 10 days should be your target. Stay up each night! Would you want to miss Laylatul Qadr even "by chance"?

4. Do not fall into any innovations/celebrations any Masjid or culture might try to promote. Follow the Sunnah! The Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) guided us simply:

"Whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."

5. Memorize and keep asking the Du'a taught by Rasoolullah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam):

Allaahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibb al-'afwa fa'affu 'anni

(O Allaah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).

6. Prepare a short Du'a list. Remember this is as awesome as it ever gets for a servant of Allah! The Night of Qadr, of Destiny! Consciously pick each and everything you crucially wish for in this dunya, in your deen, family, and in your aakhirah! Don't forget to include the brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering and in grief!

7. Take brief naps during the day, if possible. Keep your stomach light and sleep as soon as you have prayed 'isha. Do not delay! After a brief nap, refresh yourself and get ready for worship.

8. Don't neglect your family! Rasoolullah [p] made it a point to wake up his wives throughout these nights! And yes, your children are not too young to stay up some part of the night - if they can be allowed to play video games or watch TV, they can be inspired to be up atleast for sometime! Prepare them, make them excited, plan some activities for them to do!

9. Look the Part: The way we dress and prepare has a big effect on our psychology. Wear your best, perfume yourself, and feel the energy!

10. Choose a spot, whether in the Masjid or in your home, where you can have peace and solitude. Keep your mushaf, praying mat, and water at hand so that you are not distracted by constantly getting up for this or that.

11. IMP: This is not the night to tweet pics or update FB statuses about how amazing the night is and how you are feeling & worshipping Allah! Let that be a secret between you & your Rabb! So switch off those phones, wifi, laptops and computers. Disconnect with the world, and connect with Al-'Afuww!

12. If you find yourself feeling sleepy, vary your acts of worship. Alternate between Qiyaam, heartfelt Du'aa, reading the Qur'an. Do not spend the night listening to lectures or recitations. Or do it only for a short while when you feel the sleep coming on!

13. Patience is the Key: The last 10 days might be tiring. You might still have work or school. This is the time to bear all that hardship, and keep firm Sabr. Think how Allah has blessed you with this tremendous opportunity that might NEVER come again in your life again. If you knew for sure that this was your last #Ramadan, if you knew certainly that Jannah was up for grabs, wouldn't you sprint for it no matter what it takes?

14. This is most important: Keep Husn Adh-Dhann Bi Allah (good expectations from Allah). When you ask, remember you are asking the Most Generous King. If you hope for the best, He will give you the best. Don't hold back. Trust in Him, pour out your heart in front of Him, and let no doubt, no barrier, no evil thoughts keep you away from Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem!

followingSunnahThe following advice are some practical tips to maximize your time during Ramadhaan and to prepare ourselves for 'Ibaadah & worship during this blessed month.


Clean up the time:

a) Telephone:

Minimize your chat on the telephone. If you are used to chatting with your friends on a regular basis, try to make it short. Share with her the importance of this month & tell her that you want to devote yourself for 'Ibaadah in order to get the maximum reward during this month. 

Share these tips with her.

b) Cooking:

Try to cook something simple during Ramadhaan as this is a month of 'Ibaadah & Qur'aan, not the month of food. There are some husbands who push their wives to cook different varieties of food and sisters have to spend their time in the kitchen. If it's very necessary, keep a tape of Qur'aan in the kitchen & listen to it while you are busy in kitchen, or keep your tongue moist with the Dhikr. Also, try and invent or find out some shortcuts and tips for cooking so you're able to prepare the food quickly and efficiently.

C) Shopping:

Get all your shopping done before Ramadhaan. Make a list of the things / grocery / items, that is enough for one month and buy it all together - in one go.

Important: Try to do the 'Eed shopping NOW. The last ten days of Ramadhaan, when we are supposed to be doing more'Ibaadah & spending our time in doing good deeds, most of the Muslims are busy doing shopping for 'Eed & their kids.

Sisters! These ten days, we have to exaggerate ourselves in doing more 'Ibaadah & to catch Laylat-ul-Qadr.

Make this Ramadhaan very different from all previous Ramadhaans.

D) Dinner Parties/Iftaar:

Iftaar parties during Ramadhaan are getting very common now.

This is the Month for you sisters!! We have the rest of the full year to do parties & to socialize.

Indeed it's a great reward to break someone's fast but give food to people who are needy & poor. The Prophet (Sallalahu 'Alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person."

(Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh al-Targheeb).

E) Sleeping:

Cut less the time of sleep during this month. It's a month of 'Ibaadah, doing good deeds. Who knows... this could be our last Ramadhaan (Related article: Can You Guarantee Your Next Ramadhan?).

Reduce your sleeping hours. Its only one month & then you can get back to your normal routine.

F) Computer & Internet: (*1)

This is a personal experience & request. Spending a lot of time on the internet, even if visiting Islaamic sites really takes hours without notice.

Try to minimize your internet timings by just checking emails / stuff once a week.

Now we have cleaned up a big amount of time, let's schedule it for 'Ibaadah.

Your Worship In This Blessed Month

1) Fardh:

Pray the Obligatory Salaah (prayer) on time with Khushoo'. Get yourself ready as soon as the time of Salaah comes in. Make du'aa to Allaah to give you Khushoo & try to get rid of all the thoughts & Waswaas that come in the mind.

Think, remember and realize that you are standing in front of your LORD, the Almighty.

2) Sunnah & Nawaafil:

If you are already praying the 12 sunnah, continue them & add the 2 Raka'ah of Sunnah after Dhuhr [making them 14 altogether]. (2)

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever maintains 4 Raka'ah before Dhuhr & 4 Raka'ah after Dhuhr, Allaah will make the fire Haraam on that person" [Ibn-Maajah, Tirmidhee]

4 Raka'ah before 'Asr:

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "May Allah have mercy on him who prays 4 Raka'ah before 'Asr". [Tirmidhee]

Salaah Adh-Duhaa: Increase the number of Rak'ah if you are already in a habit of praying salaah al-Duha. (3)

3) Qur'aan:

Ramadhaan is the month of Qur'aan. Try to schedule it all the moments you have. If you are working, keep a pocket size Qur'aan with you & read it whenever you get the time, like coffee break, lunch break, when traffic signals are red etc.

Read with reflection. Read slowly in a beautiful voice & reflect on its meanings.

Try to read this time, with translation & tafseer.

4) Taraweeh/Qiyaam-ul-Layl:

Pray the Taraweeh in the Masjid where the Imaam does long Qiyaam.

5) Tahajjud:

Try to get up a little earlier to pray 2 Raka'ah before Suhoor & make Du'aa. Its the best time for making Du'aa & a time of acceptance of Du'aa.

6) Du'aa':

Write down all the Du'aas you want to make for yourself, your children, family or any Du'aa that you want to make for your Deen or Dunyah.

Each day, focus on one Du'aa & keep on repeating it throughout the day & at times when the Du'aa is accepted (between Aadhan & Iqaamah, Iftaar time, in Sujood, last 3rd of night).

Make Du'aa to Allaah to give you Ikhlaas, khushoo, make Du'aa that you catch Laylat-ul-Qadr. make Du'aa for the whole Ummah.

Repeat the Du'aa that are very important to you, during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.

7) Dhikr:

Select one Dhikr for a day & focus on it daily, reflecting on its meaning & thinking about its reward, while repeating it through out the day. Keep your tongue moist with Dhikr.


Give as much charity as you can, as the reward gets more during the month of Ramadhaan. Give food to the poor and needy people & help those in need.

Last 10 days:

Double & triple the amount of 'Ibaadah that you are already doing (reading Qur'aan, Nawaafil, Dhikr, Du'aa, Qiyaam) in the last ten days of Ramadhaan.

Sleep less & worship more...

Pray as much as you can & make a lot of Du'aa.

"Ramadhaan is the (month) in which the Qur'aan was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgement (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong).." (Q 2:183)

"Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness" (Q 2:183)

"Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain Taqwaa." (Q2:183)

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datesBefore buying dates this Ramadhan, check the label and ensure they are not a produce of ISRAEL, WEST BANK or the JORDAN VALLEY! If that is what the label says then it is highly likely that they were grown on illegal settlements by Israelis.

Do not forget your brothers and sisters in Palestine, left with little to open their fasts with since they were evicted from their homes, their houses were destroyed and their land stolen. Supporting the purchase of these dates increases Israeli income, which according to some estimates, accounts for 15% of exports to the EU gaining about €80m (£66m) profits annually.i In fact, it is reported that Israel pocketed $265m (£168m) (global) profit in 2011 alone.ii Israel produce half of the worlds medjoul dates.iii Consequently, aiding Israeli occupation and the oppression of innocent Palestinians. An alternative to this is to support Palestinian farmers who produce the very same dates. One such organisation can be found here: http://www.zaytoun.org/.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, yet Israel has managed to build well over 230 settlements in the West bank alone.iv

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister summarises,

"We are building in Jerusalem because it is our right and our duty to this generation and future generations, not as punishment but as the basic right of our people to build in its eternal city,"v

The United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Court of Justice also says these settlements are illegal, and no foreign government supports Israel's settlements.

Produce from illegal settlements should therefore not be sold in the UK. However, Israel has tactfully misleading labels to hide the fact that they export vast amounts of fresh produce every year. 'Produce of West bank', for example, may lead consumers to wrongfully believe that they are a produce of Palestinians.

The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements. Hilary Smith, Co-op member and Boycott Israel Network (BIN) agricultural trade campaign co-ordinator, said the Co-op "has taken the lead internationally in this historic decision to hold corporations to account for complicity in Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action."vi

Sainsbury's on the other hand, clearly sells dates produced by the company Mehadrin, well known for being involved in sourcing fresh produce from settlements. FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa) is also asking campaigners to write to Sainsbury's and avoid shopping there till they comply.

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam), has been reported to say, "He who buys the stolen property, with the knowledge that it was stolen, shares in the sin and shame of stealing." (Bayhaqi)

On the 21st of June, Friends of al-Aqsa are calling for 'National Check the Label Boycott Israeli dates day'.vii The idea is to campaign strongly on this day and raise awareness in preparation for Ramadhan , the time when many Muslims unknowingly purchase Israeli dates. Flyers are being distributed to bring light to which brands originated from Israel, including:



Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) are inviting people to join their campaign to raise awareness through pamphleting, Facebook and Twitter. Further details can be obtained from http://checkthelabel.org.uk/



i. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/04/israeli-dates-boycott-ramadan
ii. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/16/309228/dates/
iii. http://www.jpost.com/Business/Business-Features/Israeli-dates-at-forefront-of-shift-in-market-trends
iv. http://www.interpal.org/content.aspx?pageID=3
v. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9927235
vi. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/29/co-op-israel-west-bank-boycott
vii. http://checkthelabel.org.uk/national-check-the-label-boycott-israeli-dates-d

Ramadhan55This year Ramadan is taking place during summer, with extremely long days that may cause difficulties for some Muslims especially those who live in northern Europe. Some may express a negative attitude towards the long fasts and others might try to find excuses to avoid fasting altogether. Others may complain that there are disadvantages to fasting such long days. An underlying reason for such objections is the weakness of our belief in the afterlife that is true and everlasting.

There are many examples for us from the early generations of Muslims where they deliberated the long arduous fast. We know that Madinah, the city of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a very hot place in the summer and yet it was reported that he used to fast frequently. His wife, A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, remarked that he used to fast continuously until they thought that he will not cease fasting, and likewise he used not to fast to the extent that they thought that he will not fast again. It was also narrated that Abu'l-Darda' (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

"We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [on a journey] during the month of Ramadaan when it was intensely hot, such that one of us would put his hand on his head because of the intense heat, and no one among us was fasting apart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and 'Abd-Allaah ibn Rawaahah." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1945; Muslim, no. 1122).

His beloved wife and our mother A'ishah used to follow his Sunnah. Yahya ibn Abi Kathir, a scholar from the latter era of the second generation, said:

Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, the nephew of A'ishah, informed of A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she would fast on a journey in the heat. I asked, "What compelled her to do that?" He said, "She used to take advantage (of the situation)."[1]

The famous companion, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (may Allah be pleased with him) heard someone call out - most likely from the righteous jinn- at sea:

"Allah has made it incumbent upon Himself that whosoever makes himself thirsty on a hot day, from the days of this life which are extremely hot (ie the peak of summer), it is a right upon Allah that this person have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection."

Abu Musa would search out the days that were so hot that one would feel he was being cooked, and he would fast those days.[2]

When a person feels the sweetness of being close to Allah and starts thinking about the reality of this life compared to the reality of the second life, his or her experience of acts of worship will be very different. The physical tiredness will turn to enjoinment for the sake of whom he loves: Allah, and His pleasure and Paradise. Sa'eed ibn Jubayr, the famous scholar and righteous person, said:

When Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was near death he said,

"I have not left anything behind from this world that I am grieved to leave behind other than the thirst of the midday heat (due to fasting) and walking to attend the prayer."[3]

Similar statements were attributed to many from the early generations. For example, 'Alqamah ibn Marthad, a scholar from the latter era of the second generation, said

"I do not cry about your world out of desire of it, but I cry out of missing out (because of death) on the thirst of the midday heat (due to fasting) and the winter night prayer (due to its length)".[4]

It is amazing to know that the early Muslims competed in doing good deeds even if they were not known as scholars and were just among the lay people. Al-Bayhaqi in his book al-Sunan narrated that once Abdullah Ibn 'Umar went out to the outskirts of al-Madinah with some of his companions. They put out a dining mat when a shepherd passed by. Ibn 'Umar said, "Come O shepherd and partake from this dining mat." He said: "I am fasting," Ibn 'Umar responded, "You fast on a hot day like this while you are on these steep hillocks seeing to these sheep?" The herder replied,

"I'm taking advantage of my remaining days."[5]

In a similar story, Sa'eed ibn Salim said one of the noble leaders known as Rawh bin Zinba, whose father was a Companion came to a place between Makkah and Madinah on a very hot day. His meal was brought to him when a shepherd from the mountain approached, He said to him, "O shepherd, come and eat with me." The shepherd said: "I'm fasting." Ruh said, "You're fasting in this heat?" The shepherd replied:

"Should I let my days pass by in vain?"

Ruh then recited a couplet: "You have used your days wisely O herder, while Ruh bin Zinba' has wasted his."[6]

It was attributed to Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, the famous Companion of the Prophet who was known for his piety, that he said:

"O people, I am an advisor to you all and considerate. Pray in the darkness of the night for the loneliness of the grave. Fast in this world for the heat of the Day of Resurrection. Give charity fearing the day of hardship. O people, I am an advisor to you all and considerate." [7]

The famous scholar Ibn al-Qayyim who used to speak frequently about the actions of the hearts explained how a person can carry out difficult tasks by saying:

"Know that a slave traverses the heights of travel to Allah by his heart and volition and not by his body. Taqwa (piety) in reality is the piety of the heart not that of the body. Allah says, 'And whoever honours the symbols [i.e., rites] of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.' and the Prophet said, 'Piety is here – and he pointed to his heart' ". Thus the smart person can traverse a distance by sound resolve and high aspiration; and pure focus and correct intention, along with little action that is several times more compared to the distance traversed by one who is void of all this even if the latter has with him much labour and undergoes an arduous travel. Resolve and love (both) do away with difficulty and make the journey pleasant. Advancement and being foremost in racing to Allah subhaanahu is only achieved by aspirations, genuine love and determination. Hence, one who possesses aspiration with little activity outstrips one who does much by many ranks. If however their aspirations are of the same level then one can outstrip anther through action."

It is a sad indictment of our state that if one of us were presented by an employer with the opportunity to work day and night for a month in lieu of a luxury car and large mansion situated in a prime location, I am certain he or she would jump at the chance. Others would even complain at not being afforded this same opportunity. The reality is that if we had a strong conviction in what Allah has promised us for fasting long days we would wish that Ramadan extended to the entire year, and with long daylight hours. Allah says,

"Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!"[8]

"Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning."[9]

A number of Qur'anic commentators state that those who fast are among those who are patient.

Al-Hasan al-Basri, the well known scholar from the second generation and the one who was known for his wisdom in speech, said:

"The Houra (a title of one of the beautiful women in paradise) shall say to the Wali of Allah (the righteous person) whilst he lounges with her beside a river of honey passing him a cup, "What a great life! Do you know, O beloved of God, when it was that my Lord-Liege wedded me to you?" He shall say, "I do not know." She shall say,

"He watched you on a long summer's day whilst you were thirsty in the midday heat, and He called the angels saying "Look at My slave. He has left his wife and pleasure and food and drink for Me out of his desire for what I have for him. Bear witness that I have forgiven him," and He forgave you on that day and wedded me to you."[10]

Many of us wish that our fasts pass by easily – while we tolerate a little difficulty we expect a significant reward without the exertion of any real effort. Many people hold that fasting should be easy as they do not expect to face any hardship on the path of salvation. However, once a person prepares himself mentally and spiritually, fasting will be easy. Real strength is not of a physical nature but rather of the heart.

In addition to the above points, there are number of things that can help people to fast long days. The pre-dawn meal (suhoor) is a main aide.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Partake in the pre-dawn meal (suhur) for in the suhur there is blessing (barakah)." [11]

Consuming dates for your suhoor and iftaar is another fundamental component. Besides being a sunnah encouraged by our Prophet (peace be upon him), it is the experience of many people that eating dates for suhoor removes thirst, hunger and tiredness.

Another practical way that may help many persons to fast long days is to be busy during the day. The best thing a person can make himself busy with during the days of Ramadan is reading Quran, as we know this is the month of the Quran.

If a person has a target of a good amount of the Quran to read, learn or even memorise during the days of Ramadan, one will notice that the days are not boring and pass by quite quickly. Supplicating to Allah is also a prime method by which to make worship easy upon the slave. Allah says:

"And when My servants ask you 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."[12]


[1] al-Tahawi, Sharh Ma'ani al-A'athar, (vol.2, p.70)
[2] Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Zuhd; Ibn Abi Dunya, al-Hawatif. Also narrated in Ibn Abi Shaybah (vol.2, p.273) and Abdur Razzaq (vol.4, p.308)
[3] Ibn Abi Shaybah (vol.7, p.230)
[4] Abu Nu'aym, Hilyatu'l-Awliya (vol.2, p.88)
[5] al-Bayhaqi
[6] Tarikh Ibn Ma'in (vol.4, p.455)
[7] Ahmad, al-Zuhd, p.148
[8] 69:24
[9] 39:10
[10] Ibn Abi Dunya, al-Ju', hadith no. 40.
[11] al-Bukhari and Muslim
[12] al-Baqarah 2:186

smallquranvelvetIt has been said that everything has a beloved and that the month of Ramadhaan has a beloved too: The Glorious Qur'aan. For the duration of this month, Muslims worldwide honour Ramadhaan's beloved and aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'aan.

In this article you'll learn how you too can work towards achieving this noble goal, insha'Allaah.


Our beloved Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us – through his words & actions – the importance of one's intent and purpose. Establishing one's intention is an effective catalyst for implementation. Once your intention has been established, remember to renew it often. Whilst reciting and even upon completion of the Qur'aan, recall your intention and renew it, thus ensuring that it is constantly purified and you are seeking His Divine Acceptance, Allaah Willing.


For some, as much as they aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'aan during Ramadhaan, they are overwhelmed by the number of pages or the length of some of the Surahs. Remove 'I can't' from your vocabulary and eliminate negative thinking, for the believer puts their trust in Allaah, matched by striving with their actions. Remind yourself that you (if Allaah wills) are fully capable of achieving your Qur'aanic aspirations, whether it be completing Qur'aan 1 or 5 times.

This second point is key. Put your heart into this accomplishment & reap the rewards throughout, Allaah Willing.


Prior to commencing with your recitation it's important to plan around your routine and block out time for your Qur'aan goal e.g. your work hours, rest hours & any other commitments which you may have. Structure a realistic plan of how to complete the recitation of Qur'aan within the month by dividing each Juzz per day. Draw up this personal plan, review it constantly, and put it into action!

As you put your plan to paper, consider your past Ramadhaan's and ask yourself if there have been instances where you were unable to complete Qur'aanic recitation. Reflect over why and how this occurred.

Is there a different mechanism that you could put into place?

How could you enhance your daily Qur'aan routine if these distractions were dealt with?

Take the first opportunity that comes, to begin your Qur'aanic quest. So when the moon is sighted & the announcement has been made for the 1st Salaatul-Taraweeh, begin in earnest, with Surah Al-Faatiha, Surah Al-Baqarah etc.


Read the translation of the Juzz you will be reciting daily. Having a basic knowledge of the theme, topic, message & meaning of what you are reciting makes the recitation of the Qur'aan an incredibly uplifting experience that you do not want to miss out on!

A very good word to word translation: A Word for Word Meaning of the Quran - 3 Volumes by Muhammad Mohar Ali: The next step after a translation in easily understanding the entire noble Qur'an for non-native speakers. The style of presentation retains the flow and also gives the meaning of the Arabic words along with their Arabic verb form and grammatical hints separately. Brief explanations of the verses is also provided on occasion. A highly recommendable work for understanding and improving knowledge of Quranic Arabic and an excellent resource for teaching a tafseer class or for self study.


Develop close bonds with brothers/ sisters who are known for their attachment to the Qur'aan. They'll be your spiritual friends. Engage a 'Qur'aan Buddy' in your noble Qur'aan productivity goals. Request that they remind you to fulfil your goals and spiritual aspirations so they can help you in times of slacking.

In life, we compete with many materialistic goals and race one another, but what about following the footsteps of the best of generations that had come before us in a competition this Ramadhaan? In striving and competing with our friends and colleagues towards our noble goals, in a good-natured way, we can motivate ourselves to finish our Qur'aan goal.

One of the common aspects which deter a Muslim from completing this task is excessive communication. Often, many of us spend too much unnecessary time surfing the net, chatting, texting, etc... . Reduce this even by a third and you will see, feel and witness the blessings in your time, Allaah Willing.


A deeply inspiring story in 'lessons from the waiting room' – where a mother, who has taken her unwell child to the hospital, waits for the doctor to see to her child. She notices a young Muslim who uses his time in the waiting room, in a most effective & spiritually rewarding way, reciting from a pocket-sized Quran.

Lesson to be taken here: Invest in a pocket-sized Qur'aan and make it your best friend this Ramadhaan. Seize every opportunity and moment to be with Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) through your recitation.

One of the best times at which to recite Qur'aan, is after Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Having partaken from the Sunnah meal, and within an hour or two still to go before work or school, this is the ideal jump start to your day. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) to bless our Ummah in the early hours, and you will also be more likely to memorise Ayahs at this time. Research shows that morning study creates better performance in students so don't miss the morning recitation!

Time-Tip: Salaah Followed by Qur'aan.

Consider the following option that has worked well for numerous people in past Ramadhaans. Try reciting 6 – 8 pages of Qur'aan (depending on the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur'aan) that you are using), after each of your 5 daily salah. Add Qiyaamul-Layl (late night salah) as a 6th addition, and you will reach the end of Ramadhaan, having completed your Qur'aan recitation with ease & perhaps, even before the last 5 days of Ramadhaan so long as you remain committed.

Time-Tip: Recite before going to sleep.

Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) says: "Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence and more suitable for words" (Qur'aan, 73:6). Reciting during the day is also beneficial, however the night time recitation is easier as well during Ramadhaan as there are less distractions and noise.


The key to any success is consistency. Once you've mapped your plan, stick to it. Remind yourself of the greatness of this month, of the opportunities that it provides for your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Qur'aan. Don't be willing to compromise it in this month.


Nothing can be achieved without the aid and guidance of Allaah (glorified and exalted be He). When making your intention to complete your recitation or memorisation of Qur'aan, supplicate to Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) to ease this noble pathway and to crown your efforts with success, inshaa'Allaah.

These are the 8 ways I wanted to share with you on starting and completing your journey through recitation of the Qur'aan this Ramadhaan. Indeed, Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: 

"This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allaah.''

In the hours of the days and nights of this sacred month, may the Qur'aan be your companion of light and guidance, resonating through your words, actions and life mission. May your relationship with the Qur'aan be strengthened, enriched & enlivened with the profound wisdom and divine message from Allaah (glorified and exalted be He).


sistersmaghribtimeThere is no Saheeh Marfoo’ report that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even in the chapters on Al-Fadhaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some Maqtoo’ reports (reports whose isnaads do not go back further than the Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things.

If a person wants to pray Qiyaam (Tahajjud) on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is permissible. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Sha’baan because it happens to be one of the Ayyaam Al-Beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Sha’baan) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the Saheeh texts). And Allaah knows best.



Ramadaan is one of the twelve Arabic months. It is a month which is venerated in the Islamic religion, and it is distinguished from the other months by a number of characteristics and virtues, including the following:

1 - Allaah has made fasting this month the fourth pillar of Islam
"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month..." [al-Baqarah 2:185]
And it was narrated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing prayer; paying zakaah; fasting Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka'bah).
2 - Allaah revealed the Qur'aan in this month
"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)..." [al-Baqarah 2:185]
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree)." [al-Qadr 97:1]
3 - Allaah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months
"Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).  And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees,
(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn" [al-Qadar 97:1-5]
"We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan - the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]" [al-Dukhaan 44:3]
Allaah has blessed Ramadaan with Laylat al-Qadr. Explaining the great status of this blessed night, Soorat al-Qadr was revealed, and there are many ahaadeeth which also speak of that, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived." (Narrated by al-Nasaa'i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.)
And Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760.
doorparadisehell4 - Allaah has made fasting Ramadaan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins
This was proven in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 2014; Muslim, 760) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And al-Bukhaari (2008) and Muslim (174) also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.
The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyaam at night in Ramadaan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is to pray Taraweeh, i.e., one achieves what is meant by qiyaam by praying Taraaweeh.
5 - In this month, Allaah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils
It is stated in al-Saheehayn (al-Bukhaari, 1898; Muslim, 1079), from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.
muslimahindesert6 - Every night Allaah has people whom He redeems from the Fire.
Imam Ahmad (5/256) narrated from the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "At every breaking of the fast, Allaah has people whom He redeems. Al-Mundhiri said: there is nothing wrong with its isnaad; and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 987.
Al-Bazzaar (Kashf 962) narrated that Abu Sa'eed said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah has people whom He redeems every day and night - i.e., in Ramadaan - and every Muslim every day and night has a prayer that is answered.
7 - Fasting Ramadaan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadaan, so long as one avoids major sins.
It was proven in Saheeh Muslim (233) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The five daily prayers, from one Jumu'ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.
8 - Fasting in Ramadaan is equivalent to fasting ten months
As is indicated by the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (1164), narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime. Ahmad (21906) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.
9 - Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer
This is because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1370) and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Salaat al-Taraaweeh, p. 15
kabahgraphic10 - 'Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj.
Al-Bukhaari (1782) and Muslim (1256) narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to a woman among the Ansaar, "What kept you from doing Hajj with us?" She said, "We only had two camels that we used for bringing water." So her husband and son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left the other for them to use for bringing water." He said, "When Ramadaan comes, go for 'Umrah, for 'Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj. According to a report narrated by Muslim, "... is equivalent to doing Hajj with me.
11 - It is Sunnah to observe i'tikaaf (retreat for the purpose of worship) in Ramadaan
This is because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always did that, as it was narrated in the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) "used to spend the last ten days of Ramadaan in i'tikaaf until he passed away, then his wives observed i'tikaaf after him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1922; Muslim, 1172.)
12 - It is mustahabb in the sense of being strongly recommended in Ramadaan to study the Qur'aan together and to read it a great deal.
You may study the Qur'aan together by reciting it to someone else and by having someone else recite it to you. The evidence that this is mustahabb is the fact that Jibreel used to meet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) every night in Ramadaan and study the Qur'aan with him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.)
Reading Qur'aaan is mustahabb in general, but more so in Ramadaan.
13 - It is mustahabb in Ramadaan to offer iftaar to those who are fasting
This is because of the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person's reward in the slightest. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 647.)
And Allaah knows best.

muslimah-at-sunset2The blessings related to fasting are truly astounding. Those who fast are able to scale the ranks; expiate their sins; tame their desire; give much in charity; engage in a variety of acts of worship; give thanks to their Creator; avoid being swayed by impulses of disobedience and violations; distance themselves from the blazing Fire; and tap on the doors of Paradise. Fasting possesses so many virtues; some of these are presented below.

1. Saa'ihoon: an honourable description

Allah describes the righteous believers in the Qur’aan with many names. One such description is Saa’ihoon. Allah says, ‘The believers whose lives Allah has purchased are) those who repent to Allah, who worship Him, who praise Him, who are the Saa’ihoon, those who bow down (in prayer), who prostrate themselves (in prayer), who enjoin virtue and forbid vice, and who observe the limits set by Allah. And give glad tidings to the believers.' [1]

Saa’ihoon literally means travellers and many scholars mention that this refers to those who fast. Some scholars of the Arabic language state that the fasting person was named a traveller [saa’ih] because a traveller has no provision with him but eats wherever and whenever he finds food.

2. Fasting has no equivalent

Aboo Umamah relates, ‘I approached the Messenger of Allah and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger, command me with a matter by which Allaah will benefit me” (in another narration, ‘Command me with an action by which I will enter Paradise’) He replied, “Take to fasting for it has no equivalent”.’ [2]

It was said that smoke (from cooking) was never again noticed during the day in Aboo Umamah’s house and if it was, then people knew for sure he had guests.

3. Allaah claims the action for Himself

This reveals its sublime and dignified status. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah ‘azza wa jalla said, “Every deed a person does is for his own self except fasting; it is for Me and I compensate for it”.’ [3]

One reasoning given is that fasting is free of riyaa’, which means to perform an action not solely for Allah but to be noticed by others in order to seek their awe, praise or worldly gain. Ibn al-Jawzi said,

‘All acts of worship are noticeable (by others) when performed and it is rare for it to be free of some tarnishing, except fasting’ [4]

4. Superiority of reward

Al-Qurtubi discusses the meaning of the aforementioned hadeeth ‘and I compensate for it’. He says,

‘This means that the measure of rewards for actions (in general) are known to people and that they are multiplied anywhere from ten to seven hundred fold to whatever Allah wills, to the exception of fasting as Allah rewards one for it without any pre-determined measure.’ [5]

Al-Manawi states,

‘This is a sign of the immense compensation and rich rewards for it because if al-Kareem (The Most Generous) informs that he will grant an offering without any intermediary, this necessitates its swiftness and merit’. [6]

5. The suitability of fasting

Allaah is Al-Ghaniyy (The Rich), Al-Qayyoom (The Self-Sustainer and Supporter of all) and As-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no need for food or drink and Whom all creatures need).

Al-Haafidh said,

‘The lack of need for food and other desires is a characteristic of the Lord, jalla jalaluhu; because a fasting person draws near to Him in a manner appropriate to His own attributes (which) He ascribed to Himself.’

Al-Qurtubi said,

‘The actions of slaves are all in agreement to their own dispositions except for fasting. This is appropriate to one of the characteristics of Al-Haqq (The One True Deity); it is as if He is saying, “My servant draws near to Me with a matter that is connected to one of My attributes”.’ [7]

6. Fasting expiates sins

The Prophet, salla Allaah 'alayhi wa sallam, said, ‘The trials [fitnah] a person experiences through his family, wealth, self, children and neighbour are expiated by fasting, prayer, charity, commanding virtue and forbidding vice.’ [8]

7. Praise from Allaah and supplication from the Angels!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Indeed Allaah sends His Salaah (praise, grace, honour, blessings, mercy) and His angels send Salaah (ask Allaah for them to be praised, graced etc.) upon those who take the pre-dawn meal.’ [9]

If Allaah and His angels send Salaah for those who take the pre-dawn meal, which is an aid to fasting, what do you think about fasting itself?

8. A formidable shield

The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘Fasting is a shield from the punishment of Allaah.’ [10]

He also said, ‘Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire.’ [11]

He also said, ‘Fasting is a shield from the Fire just like one of your shields in battle.’[12]

Al-Manaawi (rahimahullaah) says,

‘A protection in this world from disobedience by curtailing desire and preserving the limbs, and in the Hereafter from the Fire.’ [13]

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (rahimahullaah) stated,

‘As a virtue of fasting, this is surely sufficient for you!’

9. The summer fast

Abu Musa relates,

‘Allah decreed upon Himself that whoever goes thirsty for Him on a hot day, that He would grant him water on the Day of Judgement.’ [14]

Fasting in summer is a quality of faith because of the length of a summer day and the severity of its heat.

10. The winter fast

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Fasting in winter is easy prey.’ [15]

‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab said,

‘Winter is prey (for the taking) for worshippers.’ [16]

Al-Hasan said,

‘Winter is an excellent time for the believer; its nights are long in which he stands for prayer and its days are short which he fasts’.

11. Al-Rayyaan invites

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

‘In Paradise, there are eight doors. One of these doors is called Ar-Rayyaan and only those who fast will enter through it.’ [17]

‘Indeed there is a door in Paradise called Ar-Rayyaan. Those who fast will enter through it on the Day of Judgement. It is only they who will enter it and when they have entered, it will be closed so that no one else can enter.’ [18]

Al-Zarkashi said,

‘Rayyaan means to be well-sated with drink, the opposite to thirst; it was named this in compensation for the thirst and hunger endured by those who fasted.’ [19]

‘Izz al-Din Ibn ‘Abd As-Salaam said,

‘As for the restriction of those entering Paradise through the door of Ar-Rayyaan to only those who fasted, they were set apart because of the distinction and nobility of their worship’ [20]

12. A fine finale

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever passes away on a day he fasts will enter Paradise.’ [21]

Al-Manaawi said,

‘I.e., whoever completes his lifetime with a day of fasting either dying while fasting or after having broken the fast for that day, will enter Paradise along with the forerunners and foremost generations or without any previous punishment.’ [22]

13. An intercessor

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘Fasting and the Qur'aan will intercede for the servant on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, “My Lord, I forbade him food and desire so accept my intercession for him”. The Qur'aan will say, “My Lord, I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession for him”. So their intercession will be accepted.’ [23]

14. Accepted supplication

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Three supplications are responded to: the supplication of the one fasting; the one oppressed and the traveller.’ [24]

He also said, ‘There are three whose supplication will not be rejected: the fasting person at the time of breaking his fast; the just ruler and the supplication of an oppressed person.’ [25]

15. Two occasions for joy

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast and the other when he meets his Lord.’ [26]

16. A smell more pleasant than musk

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Allaah Almighty said:

‘Every deed a person does is for his own self except fasting; it is for Me and I compensate for it. Indeed, the smell of the fasting person’s mouth is more pleasant to Allaah than that of musk.’ [27]

17. Fasting prevents distraction

Al-Manaawi states,

‘Fasting was legislated to tame the desires of the soul and to put a stop to what causes one to be in servitude and enslaved by things; if people continue to satisfy their desires they will be enslaved by things and will be disconnected from Allaah. Fasting severs any connection to devoting servitude to other than Him and delivers freedom from being bound to what one covets; the meaning of freedom is to own things and not for things to own a person. If they do own and control him, wisdom is upturned and what is to be preferred becomes the opposite and what is most lofty becomes the most low...’ [28]

18. Realising the need for gratitude

Al-Qastalani says concerning the aims and virtues of fasting,

‘It causes one to offer much gratitude for one’s blessings and bounties and to acknowledge the previous blessings of satisfying one's need because of hunger and thirst; this causes one to strive to be grateful since something is truly known by its opposite.’ [29]

19. Opportunity and incentive to more acts of worship

‘Izz al-Din Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam said,

‘As for the opportunity to engage in more acts of worship, this is because it reminds one of the hunger and thirst of the dwellers of the Fire so it urges one to perform more acts of worship in order to attain salvation from the Fire. As for restraining impulses of disobedience and violations, this is because a soul that has had its fill desires and yearns for disobedience whereas if it is hungry and thirsty it desires food and drink. The desire of the soul for deliverance (from hunger and thirst) and being preoccupied with this is better than its yearning for disobedience and sin. This is why some of the early generations [Salaf] preferred fasting to all other acts of worship; when questioned why, they replied, ‘For Allah to look upon me whilst my soul is challenging me concerning food and drink is more beloved to me than for Him to look upon me whilst it is challenging me concerning disobedience....’ [30]

20. Opportunity for being charitable and benevolent

Al-Qastalani said,

‘...the fasting person experiences hunger so he comprehends the severity of the pain of hunger; this urges him to be benevolent to those who are without food. It also causes him to reflect on the harms of being powerless and isolated; as only one who is afflicted with a difficulty can really be aware of it...’ [31]

21. A gentle heart and safeguarded limbs

The Prophet said, ‘There will enter Paradise a people whose hearts are like the hearts of birds.’ [32]

Al-Qastalani lists as one of the benefits of fasting,

‘The gentleness of the heart and much weeping; and this is one of the causes of happiness. Eating one’s fill does away with the light of real knowledge and imposes harshness and disentitlement.’

He also lists,

‘Safeguarding the limbs from persisting in wrongdoings; this is one of the greatest benefits to fasting. In fact it lies at the foundation of fulfilling the purpose. If one’s soul is touched with the pain of hunger it becomes submissive and obedient and distracted with this circumstance from extending its aspirations towards vile thoughts and thus its limbs will cease from committing improper movements and will stop short of violating what is sacred. The limbs are seven: the eye, ear, tongue, stomach, private parts, hand and foot. The soul supports these limbs and is the considered root. If the root weakens the branches weaken likewise and this is the secret to fasting...’ [33]



1. Surah al-Tawbah 9:112
2. al-Nasa’i.
3. al-Bukhari and Muslim.
4. al-Fath, vol. 4, pp 129-130.
5. al-Fath, vol.4, pg 130.
6. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.4, pg 251.
7. al-Fath, vol. 4, pg 130.
8. Al-Buhkari and Muslim.
9. Ibn Hibban in his al-Sahih and others.
10. al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i.
11. al-Tabarani in al-Kabir, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i.
12. Ahmad, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.
13. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.4, pg 242.
14. Related by al-Bazzar and declared hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Targhib, vol 1, pg 412.
15. Ahmad and others.
16. Ahmad in al-Zuhd.
17. Al-Bukhari.
18. Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
19. Mirqah al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkah al-Masabih.
20. Fawa’id al-Sawm.
21. Related by al-Bazzar and Ahmad. Refer to Sahih al-Jami’, number 6224.
22. Fayd al-Qadir, vol.6, pg 123.
23. Ahmad and al-Tabarani on al-Kabir.
24. al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman and others.
25. Ibn Hibban, Ahmad and others.
26. al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad.
27. Muslim and Ibn Hibban with his wording, and others.
28. Fayd al-Qadir
29. Madarik al-Maram fi Masalik al-Siyam
30. Fawai’d al-Sawm, pg. 25.
31. Madarik al-Maram, pg 76.
32. Muslim.
33. Madarik al-Maram, pp 79-80.

3d-landscape_f7364d61What is the point of fasting beyond Ramadhan? Of course we have to make up the days missed and perhaps we hear the Friday Khutbah that reminds us to fast the days of Ashura or Arafat so we participate in that, but why go further than this?

Voluntary fasting has so many benefits that many are unaware of. Fasting had benefits in all aspects of our lives, physical, spiritual and emotional. Lets now take a look at the virtues of fasting voluntarily.

Importance of Fasting in Islam

"O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)." [Noble Quran 2:183]

"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise - for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward." [Noble Quran 33:35]

Great Rewards for Fasting

Fasting has a unique attribute that no other form of worship has, it is done entirely for Allah.

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for 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." [Muslim]

Benefits of regularity in fasting

There is also greater benefit in making voluntary fast a regular habit as narrated by A'ishah: 'The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not observe fast in any month of the year more than in the month of Sha'ban, and used to say: "Do as many deeds as you are capable of doing, for Allah will not become weary (of giving you reward), but you would be tired (of doing good deeds)"; and he (peace be upon him) also said: "The deed liked most by Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small." [Muslim and Bukhari]

Fasting as a protection from the Hellfire

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Allah says, "Fasting is a shield with which one may protect oneself from the Fire."' [Sahih al-Jami, 4/114]

He (peace be upon him) also said: "Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years' distance." [Muslim]

Fasting As An Intercessor

The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: "The fast and the Quran are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Quran will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted." [Ahmad]

A Special Gate in Paradise For the One Who Fasts

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only the observers of fast would enter on the Day on Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: "Where are the observers of fast that they should be admitted into it?" and when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it." [Muslim]

Fasting as a Means of Entering Paradise

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also emphasized the importance that fasting has on entering Paradise. Abu Umamah reported: "I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.' He said: 'Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.' Then I came to him again and he said: 'Stick to fasting."' [Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and al-Hakim]

Special Dwellings in Paradise

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "In Paradise there are dwellings whose inside can be seen from the outside, and the outside can be seen from inside. Allah has prepared them for those who feed the hungry, and speak softly and gently, fast continuously and pray at night whilst the people are asleep." [Sahih al-Jami']

Expiation of Sins

Messenger of Allah said: "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of Ashura is expiation for the year preceding it." [Related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

Fasting As a Means of Controlling Desires

Narrated 'Alqamah: While I was walking with 'Abdullah he said: "We were in the company of the Prophet and he said: "He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power." [Bukhari]

Fasting As a Means to Control Our Actions & Speech

The true believer who fasts according to what Allah has commanded will be compelled to avoid evil speech and actions, encouraging the believer to be consciously aware of what they are doing and saying at all times during the fast.

It is reported by Abu Hurairah: the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)" [Bukhari]

And in another Hadith also reported by Abu Hurairah: Allah's Apostle said:

"Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." [Bukhari]

Du'a of a Fasting Person Are Not Rejected

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a father for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveler." [Muslim and Bukhari]

The Way in Which the Prophet (peace be upon him) Prescribed Voluntary Fasts

1. Three days every month: Abu Zharr al-Ghifari reported:

"The Messenger of Allah ordered us to fast for three days of every month--that is, on the days of the full moon (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar month). And he said: 'It is like fasting the whole year.'" [an-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban]

2. Mondays and Thursdays: Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said:

"The actions are presented on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are boycotting each other. He says [about them]: 'Leave them.'" [Ahmad]

3. The Maximum Fast of Every Second Day:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As: The Prophet said to me:

"You fast daily all the year and pray every night all the night?" I replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said, "If you keep on doing this, your eyes will become weak and your body will get tired. He who fasts all the year is as he who did not fast at all. The fasting of three days (a month) will be equal to the tasting of the whole year." I replied, "I have the power for more than this." The Prophet said, "Then fast like the fasting of David who used to fast on alternate days and would never flee from the battle field, on meeting the enemy." [Bukhari]

Special Times for Fasting

1. The month of al-Muharram: Abu Hurairah reported that he (the Messenger of Allah) was asked as to which prayer was most excellent after the prescribed prayer, and which fast was most excellent after the month of Ramadan. He said:

"Prayer offered in the middle of the night and the most excellent fast after (fasting) in the month of Ramadan is the fast in Allah's month al-Muharram." [Muslim]

2. The day of Ashura: Ibn 'Abbas reported:

"The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashura. He said to them: 'What is this fast?' They said: 'A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.' The Prophet said: 'We have more of a right to Moses than you,' so he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day." [Bukhari and Muslim]

3. Six days of Shawwal: Abu Ayyub al-An sari reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:

"Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be [rewarded] as if he had fasted the entire year." [Related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and an Nasa'i]

4. Other specific days: There is also evidence as Hafsah reported:

"There are five things that the Prophet never abandoned: fasting the day of Ashura, fasting the [first] ten [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting three days of every month and praying two Rak'ah before the dawn prayer." [Ahmad and an-Nasa'i]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) would fast the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. (The day of Arafat is the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah)

Oh Allah, grant us all the strength of faith and righteousness to perform as many voluntary deeds as we can for Your sake, Aameen.


kickFew things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.

However, the good news is, Ramadan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from “positive psychology” (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes 30 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.

In addition to the physical discipline in the 30-day boot camp of Ramadan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can transform your habits for life.

Try these proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits (during Ramadan and beyond!):

1. Acknowledge and identify your bad habits: First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change.

2. Pick a habit for 30 days: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for 30 days. Take a 30-day trial to re-condition your habits. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, God-willing.

3. Realize that it’s in us to change: Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.

4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” [Sahih Muslim]

5. Intention & plan to change: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.

6. Replace a bad habit with a good one: Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.

For instance, it’s easier to replace or balance your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading, than to suddenly remove the TV from your life. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words: “Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi]

7. Change your environment: Resist the negative peer pressure by finding a better company of friends. Collective action to change is very powerful. Prophet Muhammad explained this peer pressure effect with this analogy:

“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Sahih al-Bukhari & Muslim]

8. Exercise (physical and spiritual): A habit of regular physical exercise is obviously important for lasting weight loss. But you may not realize that exercise helps in eliminating a number of bad habits. For example, among smokers who become competitive runners, for example, over 80% give up smoking.

Moreover, exercising your will power (struggle to fight temptations) for 30 days helps you kick all kinds of bad habits and form new good ones. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you strengthen it.

9. Think of yourself as a changed, different, new person: This simple psychological shift in your thinking about your own image can do wonders. Tell yourself, “I can’t continue this ill-behaviour. I am better than that. I am stronger. I am wiser.”

10. Reward success: The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the “law of effect.” It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits.

Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks. As Muslims we should also remember that the ultimate reward is Allah’s Pleasure and Paradise in the Hereafter.

11. Schedule / limit your bad habits: If you are really struggling to kick a bad habit, try limiting the habit to a specific time and place. Research and case studies confirm that this rather unconventional approach can be a useful first step in changing bad habits or learning new good ones.

12. Tell someone about your effort to change if it helps: He or she may keep you on track.

13. Resolve to continue on and follow up: Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as “Tazkiyyah” in Islamic terminology. It’s more difficult than the first few steps of change. (“How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?”)

14. Remind yourself of death and hereafter often: “Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures [i.e. death],” the Prophet once stated. [At-Tirmidhi.]

15. Develop a relapse strategy: How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the ‘cost’ of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways.

16. Ask Allah for help: Last but not least, make Asking for Allah’s Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah’s Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to Help and to Respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him.

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


morningdewdropFasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, (a recommended practice) not waajib (obligatory). It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward.

Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqahaa’ (jurists) explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil (supergatory) fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person's obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allaah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).


twosistersshoreAll Praise and Thanks is for Allah who has blessed us with witnessing yet another Ramadan! The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, actions are judged by their ending [Bukhari]. So while many of us have started preparing for Eid, we should also make sure that we end this blessed month in a great way.

How do we end our Ramadan?

Tawbah: Repentance

We end this month by returning to Allah in a state of humility and repentance. We seek forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him because we acknowledge that our deeds are deficient, and we acknowledge that we have wronged ourselves and others.

Repenting to Allah is a reminder that Allah is the One who guided us to righteous deeds, and we do not know if He will accept them from us. It is from the sunnah of Allah that when we end a deed, we end it with seeking forgiveness. We seek forgiveness after finishing our prayers, after we end a gathering a religious gathering and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala told the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) to seek forgiveness and to repent after the Opening of Makkah.

Shukr: Gratitude

We end this month in a state of gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says

“…To complete the same number (of days), and that you magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (2:185)

We must thank Allah for all that He has given us during this month. He blessed us to be among those who worshiped Him and He gave us the health and ability to fast, to pray, and to increase in our good deeds.

Gratitude is a trait of the believers that is highlighted throughout the Qur’an and Sunnah. We even see that when the believers enter Paradise, they proclaim:

“Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us.” (7:43)

Being grateful to Allah and thanking Him reminds us to be humble, because we would not have received anything good or have had the opportunity to do any good without the Help of Allah.

Takbeer: Proclaiming the Greatness of Allah

We end this month by declaring the Greatness of Allah for what He has guided us to. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

“…To complete the same number (of days), and that you magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (2:185)

Takbeer is to declare the Greatness of Allah, to Exalt Him, and Magnify Him. Saying “Allahu Akbar“ the highest and best way to Exalt Allah.

We make takbeer from the night of Eid until the Eid prayer by saying: 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaaha il Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa Lillahil Hamd.' (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and for Allah Alone is All Praise) We repeat this throughout the night and day, reminding ourselves that Allah is Greater than everything else and we declare His Praise for having guided us to finish Ramadan.

Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) says:

'What is more beautiful than seeing the people proclaiming the greatness of Allah and declaring His Magnificence in every area and place, filling the horizon with Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater than everything), Alhamdulillah (Allah Praise and thanks is for Allah Alone)and Laa ilaaha ill Allah (There is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah), while hoping for His Mercy and fearing His Punishment!'

Intention to Change

We end this month with the intention to continue fasting, praying and doing good. Ramadan is a month of change that is meant to give us a spiritual cleansing that will last us the whole year. The virtues of fasting and praying do not end after we celebrate Eid, rather Eid should be the beginning of a new chapter for us to continue doing the habits we started in Ramadan. We can continue reading the Qur’an, fasting Mondays and Thursdays, or the White Days, and we can pray the night prayers every night.

We’ve tasted the sweetness of standing during the night, we’ve tasted the sweetness of raising our hands to Allah in supplication, we’ve tasted the sweetness of breaking our fast after a long day, we’ve tasted the sweetness of giving charity…So how can we return to disobedience and leaving good deeds after having tasted this sweetness?

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) says:

'O one who has been freed from the Fire by His Owner! Be cautious of returning to enslavement after having been freed! Your Protector has removed you from the Fire and you are coming closer to it? And He has saved you from it, and you are falling into it?'

Do not be a “Ramadan Muslim” and return to your old habits after the Eid prayer. Ask Allah, the One who guided you to worship Him in Ramadan, to help you continue in your worship and good deeds. Remember that Ramadan has left us but the One who created this month will never leave; for He is Living and and His reward is Everlasting.


alpenglow"Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die." (Ibn Majah) This is a da’eef (weak) hadeeth which does not have any saheeh isnaad (authentic chain) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar:

'It is a da’eef hadeeth which we have narrated from Abu Umaamah in both marfoo’ and mawqoof reports, both of which are da’eef.'

Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said in Takhreej Ahaadeeth Ihya’ ‘Uloom al-Deen:

'Its isnaad (chain) is da’eef.'

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said:

'This is a ghareeb hadeeth whose isnaad is mudhtarib (unsound).'

See al-Futoohaat al-Rabaaniyyah, 4/235.

Al-Albaani mentioned it in ''Da’eef Ibn Maajah', and said it is mawdoo’ (fabricated).

He also mentioned it in 'Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Da’eefah' (521) and said, it is da’eef jiddan (very weak).

This hadeeth was narrated by al-Tabaraani from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit, who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the night of (Eid) al-Fitr and the night of (Eid) al-Adha in prayer, his heart will not die on the Day when hearts will die.”

This is also da’eef (weak).

Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id:

'It was narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer and al-Awsat. Its isnaad (chain) includes ‘Umar ibn Haroon al-Balkhi who is mostly da’eef. Ibn Mahdi and others praised him, but he was classed as da’eef by many. And Allaah knows best.'

This was mentioned by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Da’eefah (520); he said it is mawdoo’ (fabricated).

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’:

'Our companions said: It is mustahabb (recommended) to spend the nights before the two Eids in prayer and doing other acts of worship. Our companions quoted as evidence for that the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah, according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the night of Eid in prayer, his heart will not die on the Day when hearts die.” According to a version narrated by al-Shaafa’i and Ibn Maajah: “Whoever spends the nights of the two Eids in praying qiyaam al-layl, seeking reward from Allaah, his heart will not die on the Day when hearts will die.” It was narrated from Abu’l-Darda’ with a mawqoof isnaad, and it was narrated from Abu Umaamah with a mawqoof isnaad and a marfoo’ isnaad, as stated above, but all the isnaads are da’eef.'

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

'The ahaadeeth in which the nights before the two Eids are mentioned are falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).' 

This does not mean that it is not recommended to spend the night before Eid in prayer, rather qiyaam al-layl is prescribed on all nights. Hence the scholars agreed that it is mustahabb to spend the night before Eid in prayer, as is mentioned in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 2/235.

Our point here is that the hadeeth which speaks of the virtue of spending this night in prayer is da’eef.


beauti1I wore my best hijab last night, a beautiful, shiny hijab with bright embroidery and sequins. I never wear bright scarves when I go out. I try for dull, matte colors – usually black, if I’m being honest – to match the black abayas I wear. I don’t want to look bad when I go out, but I don’t want to look particularly attractive or decorated when I’m outside my home either. I do it because of this ayah, the ayah in Surat an-Noor,

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears…” [24:31]

I’m content and comfortable with the way I dress, happy even, but wearing black can be hard for just one reason… there are so many beautiful hijabs out there.

I see them, I want them, and sometimes I buy them. I know I’ll never wear them outside, but they’re so, so beautiful! And I tell myself, “maybe on Eid, I’ll make an exception” or “maybe I’ll wear it as an accessory at home.” And I buy them. I store them in my closet, sometimes thinking of ways and times to wear them, often feeling guilty for owning things I don’t need and don’t use… and always, when I see them, thinking of how beautiful they are.

Last night was different. Last night I couldn’t resist, and I tingled with excitement as I felt the strongest urge to dress up. I showered. I wore my best hijab, a light blue shiny hijab with gold and copper-toned embroidery and delicate, sparkling sequins. I wore my best abaya, too, a long, flowing gown I save for the best occasions. I sprayed perfume over myself and everywhere, a light clean scent that’s one of my favorites.

Normally, I would die before I went out dressed this way. I’ve never left my home all perfumed-up, and I pray that I never do. But last night was different. Last night, I didn’t go out. Last night, after I had cleaned, dressed, adorned, and perfumed myself, I laid out my prayer rug… and prepared to meet Al-Malik, The King.

I learned this from our role models before us. When the last ten nights would arrive, the righteous from our predecessors would get ready. They would prepare for the last nights of Ramadan and for Laylat al-Qadr, and get ready to greet them like they would greet Eid. They would work hard on cleaning themselves, both inside and out.

According to Ibn Jareer*,

“They used to prefer to make ghusl every night of the last ten nights, and an-Nakha’i used to make ghusl every night of the last ten nights. Some of them would make ghusl and get perfumed on the nights when it was most hoped to be Laylat al-Qadr.”

Laylat al-Qadr is such a great night, a night we cannot pass up!

Aisha, radiya Allahu anha, wanted to be prepared with what to say on that night, asking, “O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?” To which he replied, salla Allahu alayhi wasallam,



                                                 ‘O Allah, You are the one who pardons greatly and loves to pardon, so pardon me.’” [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi]

Tamim ad-Dari, radiya Allahu anhu, had a garment he had bought for 1000 dirhams, which he would only wear on the night when he hoped would be Laylat al-Qadr. And Thabit al-Banani and Hameed at-Taweel would wear their best clothes and get perfumed, and would perfume the masjid with the best perfumes on the nights they hoped would be Laylat al-Qadr.

It was all part of the preparation.

The last ten nights are here, and it’s time for every sister to pull out her prettiest hijab, her prettiest abaya, her sweetest perfume, and the best phrases of du’aa. It’s time to meet Allah in prayer at the best time of the year, to greet the best of seasons and the best of nights. So long as we’re at home, there is every reason to make a party of our clothes… and if we are going to the masajid, then we can still do our best while avoiding anything haram.

It’s time to bring our cleanest and best on the outside… and work hard on bringing the cleanest and best on the inside, too.

Oh Allah, allow us and our families to witness Laylat al-Qadr. Oh Allah, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire! Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us. Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us.Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us. Ameen.


leavesgreenwaterIt was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” He also related that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever prays at night in Ramadaan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

In the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu), there is evidence that each of these three actions is a cause for forgiveness of previous sins; fasting the month of Ramadan, praying in it’s nights, and praying in the night of Qadr. Praying in the night of Qadr is a cause of forgiveness alone for whoever is able to catch it, regardless of whether it is in the beginning of the last ten days, middle or in the end and regardless of whether the person feels that it is the night of al-Qadr or not. The forgiveness promised in this night is specific for it, and is not conditioned on completion of the month. As for the forgiveness promised for those who fast Ramadan and pray in its nights, it is conditioned on the completion of the entire month. So once the month is completed, only then is the believer counted among those who fasted the month and prayed it’s nights, thus being rewarded with forgiveness of previous sins. When those who fast complete their fasting in the month of Ramadan and praying in it’s nights, then they have completed what was upon them of deeds. What remains is what is for them of reward; being forgiven.

When they go out for prayer on the day of Eid ul-fitr, their rewards are distributed among them and they return to their homes having fully attained their reward (for the month). As for the one whose actions were deficient, then so will his reward be decreased accordingly, so he shall blame none but himself. Salman said, (Agreed upon).

“The prayer is a scale, so whoever truthfully honored it, he will be truly rewarded. And whoever deceived in it, then you know what has been said about the Mutaffifeen.”

Fasting and the rest of the acts of worship are on a similar pattern: whoever guards them in truth, then he is from the favored slaves of Allah, and whoever is deceitful, then woe to the Mutaffifeen.

Is he not shameful, one who honestly fills the scale of his desires, yet is treacherous in the scale of his fasting and prayer?

Tomorrow shall the souls gains what they earned

And the sowers shall reap their harvest

If good then for themselves it is

And if bad, then evil is what they have done

The righteous predecessors would strive to complete their actions with perfection and proficiency. Afterwards they would worry about acceptance of the deeds and fear rejection. Such are those whom Allah described: {And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord.} (Al-Mu’minun 23:60).

It is narrated that Ali (radi Allahu anhu) said, “Worry more over the acceptance of the deed than the deed itself, do you not hear the words of Allah azza wa jal, {Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].} (Al-Ma’idah 5:27).

From among the causes of forgiveness in this month is providing food for the fasting ones to break their fast with. Remembering Allah and istighfar (seeking forgiveness) are also causes of being forgiven. Istighfar is supplicating for forgiveness, and the supplication of the fasting person is accepted during his fast and at the moment of breaking his fast.

And from the reasons of forgiveness is the istighfar of the Angels for the fasting people until they break their fast. With many sources of forgiveness in this month, then the one whom it passes without being forgiveness is truly the most deprived. When then will he be forgiven, he who is not forgiven in this Month? When then will he be accepted, he who was rejected in the night of Al-Qadr? When then will he be set aright, he who is not set aright in Ramadan? When will he be cured, he who is afflicted with the illnesses of ignorance and negligence?

All trees that do not bear their fruit during their time of ripening are broken and thrown in the fire. Whoever was inattentive to his plants when they bore their fruit has not gathered for the Day of harvest except remorse and loss!



Aisha asked the Prophet (saw) “What should I say on Laylat-al-qadr?” He replied,


'Say, “O Allah, You are Al-’Afuww and You love to ‘afw, so fa’fu me”' (Tirmidhi).

What do all these italicized words mean? The common translation of the supplication above is,

O Allah indeed you are a Pardoner, and you love pardon, so pardon me.

That’s it? The supplication for the last 10 nights, THE supplication we are supposed to focus on, is just to be ‘pardoned’ by “The Pardoner”? Isn’t there more to it?

Seems a bit strange, let’s look at it in more detail.

The linguistic meaning of ‘afuww is to leave, neglect (pardon), to wipe away, and to increase. ‘Aafiyah is Allah’s defense of His servant from things like disease and tribulation. ‘Afu is the one who possesses great ‘afw.

The Name of Allah, Al-’Afuww, occurs in the Quran only five times (4:43, 4:99, 4:149, 22:20, 58:2). Four of these times, it is linked with Al-Ghafoor, and once with Al-Qadeer (4:149).

This Name implies that He ignores the sins of the servant. He knows the sins (you must know them before you can make ‘afw of them) but He does not call the servant to account for it. The servant is deserving of punishment, and Allah has full ability to punish His servants, but Allah does ‘afw for them. It is more than just pardoning or covering it up, it is wiping it away completely.

When the Name is paired with Al-Ghafoor, we see an extra level of forgiveness. Al-Ghafoor is the One who forgives no matter how large the sin.

When we look back at the original supplication, we see a more profound meaning. Allah is Al-Qadeer, with full power to do with us as He wants,

And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment). (16:61)

In spite of that warning, He wipes our sins away for us, no matter how major they are. Not only does He wipe them away, but He loves to wipe them away. SubhanAllah.

This is why we should make this supplication fervently, seeking for it to be answered in the night, in the most special of nights, seeking the forgiveness and mercy of Allah, humbling ourselves knowing the sins we have committed, and asking for Him to pardon us for our transgressions.


irfan-ul-quran_16Abu Umaamah (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Recite the Qur'an for indeed it will come on the Day of Judgement as an intercessor for its Ashaab (those who read, memorize and implement it)."[1]

This hadeeth indicates the virtues of reciting the Qur'an, the greatness of its reward and that it will intercede for its holders on the Day of Judgement towards their entrance into Paradise.

An-Nawaas Ibn Sama'aan (radiallaahu anhu) reported: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) say: 'The Qur'an will be brought on the Day of Judgement as well as the people who used to act upon it. Surat-ul-Baqarah and Aali 'Imraan will then approach them.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) likened them to three examples, which I have not forgotten afterwards. He (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: 'As if they were two clouds or two dark black canopies with light between them both or like two flocks of birds stretching their wings in the air pleading for the one who recited them.'"[2]

'Abdullaah Ibn 'Amr (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "The fast and the Qur'an will intercede for the servant on the Day of Judgement. The fast will say: 'My Lord, I restricted him from food and drink, so allow me to intercede for him.' And the Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night, so allow me to intercede for him.' So they will be allowed to intercede."[3]

Therefore, it is essential for the fasting person to recite the Qur'an more during these blessed days and honorable nights. For indeed, there is a special virtue for the abundance of recitation in these days, which is not found in any other month. He should take advantage of the noble time during this month, in which Allah revealed the Qur'an

There is a special merit to reciting the Qur'an in the nights of Ramadaan. For indeed, the night brings an end to the busy daily affairs, the enthusiasm is roused and the heart and the tongue mount upon reflecting. And Allah is the one in whom we seek assistance.

It is reported that Jibreel used to meet with the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) during each night of Ramadaan and they would study the Qur'an together. [4] So if making thikr (remembrance of Allah) were better than the Qur'an or equal to it (on these nights), they would have done that all the time or at certain times along with constantly gathering for that occasion.

Thus, this hadeeth illustrates the precedence of studying the Qur'an during Ramadan and gathering together for that occasion as well as turning towards one who is more prominent in the memorization of it.

The predecessors of this ummah would recite the Qur'an constantly during Ramadan And when they would fast, they would sit in the masaajid and say: "We will guard our fast and not backbite anyone."

They would recite the Qur'an in their prayer and out of it. 'Uthmaan (radiallaahu anhu) would complete the recitation of the (whole) Qur'an once a day. And some of the Salaf would complete it during their qiyaam in Ramadan every three nights. Some of them would do it every seven days and some every ten days.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said:

The forbiddance of reciting the Qur'an in less than three days (as stated in a hadeeth) has only been mentioned in regards to its being done on a normal basis. As for the specific times that are virtuous, such as the month of Ramadan and especially the nights in which the night of Al-Qadr is sought. Or those places that are virtuous, such as Makkah for the one who enters it without residing there, then it is recommended to recite the Qur'an a lot in these times and places, seeking the merits connected with their time and place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Abu Ishaaq and other scholars. And the actions of others indicate that as has been stated previously.[5]

Importance of Reading Quran with Meaning

The person reciting the Qur'an must observe the proper etiquettes of recitation. Some of them are that: He make his intention sincerely for Allah, that he recite it whilst being in a state of purity, that he use the Siwaak and that he recite it while pondering on its meaning and observing total consciousness. Allah [swt] says:

(Qur'an, 54:17)"And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)? "

"Allah thus makes clear to you His communications [verses] that you may understand." (2:242)

*From the above-mentioned verse of Qur’an it is clear that Allah told us to read the Quran with meaning.

Quran is a guide to humanity which also includes you. Since none of us want to be misguided, it is paramount not only to read or recite Quran, but to understand and implement it in our lives as well.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave us a simple formula to be the best: "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it."(Al-Bukhari) So go ahead, learn and teach the Qur'an, and make yourself among the best of Muslims Insha Allah

How you can finish reading entire Qur'an in Ramadan

Method: Read 4 pages of the Qur’an after every Salah. Make sure you understand it. 5 prayers X 4 pages = 20 pages. 20 pages= about 1 juz. 1 juz X 30= the entire Qur’an. So simple!

Click Here to Download Quran.

Click Here to read Quran Online.

Source: Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: Ahaadeeth As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab (pg.63-65) (trans. Ahl ul-Qur'an was-Sunnah Association, NY)



[1] Saheeh Muslim
[2] Reported by Muslim (804)
[3] Saheeh Muslim (804)
[4] Al-Bukhaaree (1/30) and Muslim (2308)
[5] Lataa'if-ul-Ma'aarif: pg. 102-103



AL_QURAN_by_juba_paldfIt is recommended for the Muslim to read Qur’aan a great deal during Ramadaan and to strive to complete it, but that is not obligatory, i.e., if he does not complete the Qur’aan he is not sinning, but he has missed out on a great deal of reward.

The evidence for that is the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (4614) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: "Jibreel used to review the Qur’aan with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) once every year, and he reviewed it with him twice in the year in which he passed away."

Ibn al-Atheer said in al-Jaami’ fi Ghareeb al-Hadeeth (4/64): "i.e., he used to study with him all that had been revealed of the Qur’aan."

It was the practice of the early Muslims (may Allaah be pleased with them) to strive to complete the Qur’aan in Ramadaan, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

For example, it was narrated that Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i said: al-Aswad used to complete the Qur’aan in Ramadaan every two nights. (Al-Siyar (4/51).)

Qataadah used to complete the Qur’aan in seven days, and when Ramadaan came, he would complete it every three days. When the last ten days came, he would complete it every night. (Al-Siyar (5/276).)

It was narrated from Mujaahid that he used to complete the Qur’aan every night in Ramadaan. (Al-Tibyaan by al-Nawawi (p. 74). He said: Its isnaad is saheeh.)

It was narrated that Mujaahid said: ‘Ali al-Azdi used to complete the Qur’aan every night in Ramadaan. (Tahdheeb al-Kamaal (2/983).

Al-Rabee’ ibn Sulaymaan said: al-Shaafa’i used to complete the Qur’aan sixty times in Ramadaan. (Al-Siyar (10/36).

Al-Qaasim ibn al-Haafiz ibn ‘Asaakir said: My father used to pray in congregation and read Qur’aan regularly. He would complete it every week, and every day in Ramadaan. (Al-Siyar (20/562).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on how often the Qur’aan should be completed:

The best view is that that varies from one person to another. The one who is seeking to understand it and ponder its meaning should limit himself to as much as he can understand fully when he reads, and the one who is busy spreading knowledge or other religious works, or working for the public interests of the Muslims, should limit himself to what will not cause him to neglect his work.

If he is not among the categories mentioned here, then he should do as much as he can without reaching the point of boredom. End quote. (Al-Tibyaan (p. 76)

However it is mustahabb [recommended] to read Qur’aan and complete it in Ramadaan, and that remains mustahabb but it is not one of the obligatory duties and the Muslim is not sinning if he does not do it.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it obligatory for the fasting person to complete the Qur’aan in Ramadaan?

He replied:

Completing the Qur’aan in Ramadaan is not obligatory for the fasting person, but he should read the Qur’aan a great deal in Ramadaan, as that is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to review it with Jibreel every Ramadaan.  (Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (20/516)


blackbluesky"O you who believe! Fasting was prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become pious. Fast for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number should be made up from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, they have to feed a poor person. But, whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you knew." [al-Baqarah, 183-184]

It is, as the Lord of Glory Said, a fixed number of days. Rather, it is a fixed number of hours! The month of Ramadhaan is either 720 hours, or 696 hours, and every minute of it has a price and a value. The Salaf and the Companions – may Allah be Pleased with them – used to await these days of Ramadhaan from the year to year, as it has been reported in a narration that the Companions used to say, when Rajab had arrived:

‘O Allah, assist us in worshiping You in Rajab and Sha’baan, and allow us to witness Ramadhaan.’

Because Ramadhaan is the annual occasion of the cleansing of the soul, spirit, and body, its effect on the human spirit and body is profound. The acts of worship of the soul are many, and as much as the body receives its share of pain during the course of its worship, it will receive its share of light. That is why Jihaad is the uppermost peak of Islaam; because it is the most painful and difficult of the acts of worship. Its reward is greater, its effect on the soul deeper, and its result in building the spirit and in ingraining Tawheed in it is great.

Therefore, there are acts of worship dealing with one’s wealth. However, its effect on the soul is usually less than the effect of an act of worship dealing with the body. So, Zakaah has a deep effect on the soul, as it purifies it from covetousness. However, you cannot truly sympathize with the poor person unless you feel his pain, live as he lives, and starve as he starves. If you starve, then you feel your body becoming stronger and more durable. At that time, you become joyous that you were able to sacrifice something and purify yourself from covetousness.

Jihaad is the same way: Jihaad with one’s wealth does not purify one’s soul in the same way as Jihaad with one’s self does. And because of this, Islaam did not relieve any of the Companions of the obligation of Jihaad with his self, no matter what his position in society, and no matter how good his reputation, such as in the case of ‘Uthmaan.

And the Salaf - may Allah be Pleased with them – would calculate Ramadhaan by the minute. They were praying behind Ubayy bin Ka’b – and ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab was praying Tarawih behind him – and they would require sticks to support themselves on as a result of his long standing in the prayer, and the Companions would say: ‘We fear that we will miss the suhur praying behind Ubayy, and we fear that the Fajr time will come, causing us to miss the Blessed Meal [suhur] so, let our children rush to prepare the meal.’

And it was reported from some of the Tabi’in, and those who came after them, in regards to their Qur’aan and prayer, that some of them would complete reciting the Qur’aan sixty times in Ramadhaan, and this was specifically narrated in regards to al-Imaam ash-Shafi’ee; he used to complete it once during the day, and once during the night. Some of them would complete it once during the night and day, and others would complete it once every three days, until they reached the last ten days, in which they would seclude themselves in the mosque, completing it once a day.

And to complete the Qur’aan in a day is easy, if we keep in mind that to recite the Qur’aan slowly (tartil) takes about 24 hours, and a quicker recitation takes about ten hours. It is possible for the one who has memorized the Qur’aan to complete one juz’ in 20 minutes, allowing him to complete all thirty ajzaah in ten hours. I was told by Aboo al-Hasan an-Nadawi, ‘I saw my teachers, and some of them would not speak at all in Ramadhaan. Rather, they would only engage in worship; either Qur’aan or prayer. If someone were to speak to them, they would count out their words, and calculate them by the minutes and seconds.’

Therefore, Ramadhaan consists of fasting and prayer.

Because of this, the Salaf, such as al-Imaam Maalik, would seclude themselves until the time of giving a class, saying: ‘Verily, Ramadhaan is for praying and reciting the Qur’aan.” Some of them would say: ‘Ramadhaan is praying, giving charity, and reciting the Qur’aan.’

And in Ramadhaan, the Gates of Paradise are opened, and the Gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are chained up. This is something that actually happens, as one of my trustworthy friends who used to have contact with the jinn - but has since repented – informed me,

When I would ask the jinn who I would work with to relay to me any news, they would say: ‘We are inactive in Ramadhaan.’ I used to think that they were believing jinn, as they would pray and fast with me. However, I realized from their answer, that they were devils [i.e., disbelieving jinn].

Later, after an experiment, I confirmed for myself that they were disbelievers: I requested from them one day that they heal my cousin, so, they said: ‘She will not be cured unless she puts on a cross.’

So, I said to them, ‘You really are devils. You are from the disbelieving jinn.’

They said, ‘We are from the believing jinn.’

I said, ‘From now, we have nothing to do with each other.’

They said, ‘We will hurt you, then.’

I said, ‘I dare you to try to hurt me. We will meet at midnight at the graveyard, the most secluded and frightening place I can think of,’ and at midnight, I made ablution and prayed two rak’aahs, and went to the graveyard. I did this for three nights in a row, but the jinn were unable to even come near me.’

So, it is something physical, not simply metaphoric. The devils are chained, and they are unable to move about and cause evil between the people. The major jinn are the ones who are chained, while the minor devils are left to move about.

And Ramadhaan is the Ramadhaan of Jihaad, so, I advise everyone of you to not fall short in a single day in Ramadhaan...

Do not stay up late in Ramadhaan, as Ramadhaan is the time of praying, fasting, and seeking Allah’s forgiveness during the morning hours. So, break your fast in your homes on some dates or water, or in the mosque, and provide some dates and water in the mosques for those who might break their fast there, and glad tidings to the one who provides food for the one breaking his fast; ‘Whoever provides food for the fasting person, then, he will have the same reward as the fasting person, without the fasting person’s reward being diminished at all,’ even if it is only on a piece of a date, so, for this, let the competitors compete for this great reward...

Comply with this program, and it is easy: break your fast in the mosque, then pray the Maghrib. Return to your homes, eat as much as Allah has Willed for you to eat, and after that, make istighfar while you are awaiting the time for ‘Isha’. Then, pray the ‘Isha’ and Tarawih in the mosque, then, return to your homes. Eat the suhur, and be particular about this time. In addition to it being a blessed meal, the best time to make istighfar is in these early morning hours.

So, after the suhur, rush to make ablution and perform some Tahajjud, and increase in your connection with the Lord of Glory, ‘Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, Asking, ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?’

So, take advantage of these times – the early morning hours – in which an answered supplication is almost certain.

‘Those who are patient, those who are true, the obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah, and those who spend in the Way of Allah, and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night.’ [al-‘Imran, 17]

‘They used to sleep but little by night, and in the hours before dawn, they were asking for forgiveness.’  [Adh-Dhariyaat, 17-18]

So, when the Fajr time enters, go to the mosque and pray there. And try, if you do not have work, to not sleep during the time between Fajr and sunrise, ‘For me to sit with a group of people after the morning prayer, remembering Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – until the Sun rises is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from the children of Ismaa'ill…” [Reported by Aboo Daawood]

After this, go and rest until midday. From midday until ‘Asr, attend to the needs of your family.

Try to generally decrease in eating, drinking, and consuming sweets, keeping in mind that you are surrounded by widows, children, and orphans who are unable to afford plain rice. Set aside your sweets, bread, and rice for such people.

Your women are also in need of cleansing their souls, and they are in need of freeing themselves for the recitation of the Qur’aan and worship. Their preoccupation with preparing food is a preoccupation from the essential activities of Ramadhaan; it is a preoccupation from istighfaar, recitation, and worship. So, if you pray the ‘Asr, and you have no other obligations to keep you busy, seclude yourself in the mosque until the Sun sets, and indulge in the recitation of the Qur’aan, ‘…and for me to sit with a group of people after the ‘Asr prayer, remembering Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – until the Sun sets is more beloved to me than freeing four slaves from the children of Ismaa’eel.’ So, when it is time for Maghrib prayer, pray it, and return to your home.

This is a program that anyone can follow, either most or all of it. Pay close attention to these days, in particular, and pay attention to these hours. In Ramadhaan, there is no time for ‘he said, she said,’ or watching television, or socialization. Do not visit one another in your houses during the nights of Ramadhaan, as this constitutes wasting and theft of time of this blessed month. There is the mosque in which you are able to meet and chat in after praying Tarawih, and any of your brothers who need something from you, your meeting place is in the mosque, and your place of departure is the mosque. Do not preoccupy the people with your presence in their homes during the nights of Ramadhaan…”

Source: At-Tarbiyyah al-Jihaadiyyah wal-Bina', 3/86-93.


Ohhhh Samosa, how I love you samosa,

There you lie on the plate I just want you closer,
How crispy and delicate your pastry shell,
Pass the sauce, pass the dip, pass the chutney as well.

Ohhh Samosa not for me those funny pakoras,
Weird looking and jagged those savoury horrors,
with my appetite daily I wrestle and wrangle,
For you... my beloved pastry triangle.

Ohhh Samosa, to the "healthies" pay no heed,
So what if you're fried, you're just what I need,
A long day's fasting is no better broken,
Than a delicious samosa just cooked and smokin!


NightSkySome thought-provoking and heartfelt words on Ramadan by Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimahullah), which I came across in his book ‘Bustan al-Wa’idhin’:

‘… Where are those who fast and where are those who pray by night? Where are those who obey their Lord and where are those who work righteousness? Where are those who are foremost and where are are the humble ones? Where are those who remember (their Lord) and where are those devoted to Him? Where are the truthful and where are the patient? Where are the charity-givers? Where are those who enjoin good, who save the troubled ones and who forbid the wrong? Where are those who heed contemplation and who listen to good advice and life-lessons? By Allah, they have indeed gone with the Salihin (righteous), returned with the Mu’minin (believers), settled with the Anbiya’ (Prophets) and taken residence with the Siddiqin (truthful ones). But us, we remain behind with the ignorant, have settled with the wrong-doers and have taken the heedless as our guides…

Fasting is the shield of nations, protecting from the Hellfire
And fasting is a fortress for whoever fears that fire
Fasting is a covering for all the people of goodness
Those who fear the burden of blame and sinfulness
And this month is the month of the Lord of the Throne
A Most Merciful Lord, Who conceals the heavy sins & burdens
So therein have fasted men who thus profited
Their reward lies with the Exalted and Forgiving One
And so they came to settle in Everlasting Gardens
Surrounded by maidens, and rivers and plantations…

So glad tidings to those who obey the Most Merciful King in this month of Mercy, this month of Ramadan. They bore patience over a few days, and thus long-lasting mercy and abundant blessings came after them and pursued them. Every time you do good in this month, you shall be rewarded for the rest of your life because righteousness is a habit and evilness is mere stubbornness.

Where are you O’ fasting one, who prays by night? Come forth to goodness and you shall triumph with everlasting happiness! Trade with your Lord and you shall profit, work with Him and you shall be successful, apologise and He shall accept your apology, seek His forgiveness and He shall forgive your sins, draw close to Him and He shall alleviate your suffering, ask Him from His Bounties and He shall expand your provisions, repent to Him and He shall increase your portion (in life).

O my dear brother, in this month all faults and mistakes are concealed, all souls and hearts are softened, sins and burdens are forgiven, and Allah `azza wa jall relieves every sad and troubled one. He says to His angels, ‘O My Angels, look at those dry tongues, how they become moist with My Remembrance. Look at those hard eyes, how they soften and weep out of fear of Me, and look at those delicate feet planted firmly at the stations of prayer out of desire for Me!’ O my dear brother, whenever you give food to others in this month for the Sake of Allah the Lord of the heavens and the earth, you shall be raised to high ranks in the lofty grounds of Paradise, and you will be clothed with complete goodness and stripped of all sin…’

Source: Ibn al-Jawzi, ‘Bustan al-Wa’idhin wa Riyadh al-Sami’in’ (pg. 185-186).


Mountain PathWe leave the blessed month of Ramadan, its beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of the Qur'an, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from hellfire…

Have we fulfilled the requirements of taqwa and graduated from the Ramadan school with the diploma of the god-fearing?

Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our customs and blind imitations?

Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfills the conditions for receiving mercy, forgiveness and release from the Fire?

Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the heart of the sincere Muslim, who asks and answers with truthfulness.

What Have We Gained From Ramadan?

Ramadan is a school of iman and a 'stop to recharge one's spiritual batteries' - to acquire one's provision for the rest of the year...

For when will one take a lesson and change for better if not in the month of Ramadan?

The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the Law of Allah 'azza wa jall. “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra`d, 11]

If you are from those who benefited from Ramadan, fulfilled the requirements of taqwa, truly fasted the month, prayed in it with truthfulness, and strove against you soul, then praise and thank Allah, and ask Him for steadfastness upon it until you meet your death.

Be not like one who has sewn a shirt and then destroyed it... Have you seen one who sewed a shirt or thawb, so when she looked at it, she liked it. Then she destroyed it pulling a thread by thread for no reason. What would people say about such a person?! Or have you seen one who earns a fortune trading throughout the day, then when the night comes, he throws away all that he earned, dirham by dirham. What would people say about such a person?!

This is the condition of one who returns to sinning and evildoing after Ramadan and leaves obedience and righteous actions. So after he was favored with the blessing of obedience and enjoyment of communicating with Allah he returned to the blaze of sins and evil actions. How evil are the people who know Allah only in Ramadan!

My dear ones, falling short in one's commitment to Islam after Ramadan is manifested in many ways, including:

1 – Men leaving the five prayers in congregation, after they filled mosques for Taraweeh prayers, thus going to the masjid for recommended prayers and leaving obligatory ones.

2 – Return to musical entertainment, forbidden films, women displaying their adornment beyond that which ordinarily appears thereof, free mixing etc.

This is not thankfulness for blessings and favors, nor is it the sign of acceptance of one's actions, rather this is opposition to favors and absence of thankfulness.

These are from signs of one's deeds not being accepted – and Allah's refuge is sought – for one who truly fasts rejoices on the occasion of `eid, praises his Lord for helping him complete the fast, and remains fearful that Allah may not accept his fasting, just as the Salaf would continue asking for acceptance of their actions in Ramadan for six months after it.

From signs that one's deeds are accepted is that he or she has improved in his or her obedience to Allah `azza wa jall. “And remember when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Ibrahim, 7] Increase you in good, faith and righteous actions. So if the servant is truly thankful to his Lord, you will see him guided to more obedience and distanced from sinfulness. Thankfulness is leaving sins, as the early Muslims said.

“And worship your Lord until there comes you to the certainty [i.e. death].” [al-Hijr, 99]

The Muslim must continuously be in the state of obedience of Allah, firm upon His Sharee`ah, steadfast upon His Deen, so that he or she is not of those who worship Allah only during one month or only in one place. Rather, the believer knows that the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of other months, and that He is the Lord of all times and places, so he is steadfast upon the Sharee`ah of Allah until he meets Him while He is pleased with him. Allah ta`ala said, “So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah].” [Hud, 112] And, “So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Fussilat, 6] And the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, “Say 'I believe in Allah', then be steadfast.” [Muslim]

-- If the fasting in Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary fasting, such as fasting six days in Shawwal, on Mondays and Thursdays, the three days in the middle of the month, the days of `Aashoora and `Arafat, and others.

-- If standing in prayer at night during Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary night prayer throughout the year. “They used to sleep but little of the night.” [Adh-Dhaariyaat, 17]

-- If the charity in Ramadan and zakat ul-fitr have ended, then there is the obligatory Zakat, and also there are many other open doors to charity, voluntary actions and jihad.

-- Reading of the Qur'an and contemplating it is not only for Ramadan, rather it is for all times.

Righteous actions are for all times and all places, so strive – O my brother and sister – and beware of laziness. And remember that it is not allowed for us to leave the obligatory actions or delay them, such as the five daily prayers on time, in congregation etc.

And do not fall into forbidden actions, such as forbidden sayings, food and drinks, or by looking at or listening to what is forbidden.

Be steadfast and upright upon the Deen of Allah at all times, for you do not know when you'll meet the Angel of Death. Beware of him taking you while you are in a state of sin.

“O Allah, Who turns the hearts, keep our hearts steadfast upon Your Deen.”

I ask Allah to accept from us and you our fasting, our prayers and other righteous actions, that our condition after Ramadan be a better one, that the state of our Ummah improves, that we are granted honour and that we truly turn to our Lord…Ameen.


sisterparkThe acts of worship that the Muslims practice seek to achieve certain goals and benefits that Allah wants His slaves to acquire knowledge in them and to comprehend and achieve them.  Among these acts of worship is fasting during the lunar month of Ramadhan, which has several goals that the Muslims must strive to achieve with his heart and by his actions.  These goals are as follows:

1. Achieving At-Taqwa, that is, the fear from Allah.  Allah said, what translated means, "O you who believe!  Observing As-Sawm (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)." [2:183].  Hence, fasting is a means to achieve At-Taqwa.  In fact, all acts of worship and Tawhid are methods and means to achieve At-Taqwa, as Allah has said, what translated means, "O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqun." [2:21]

2. Acquiring the rewards of Allah.  Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah related to the Prophet, that he said, what translated means, "Allah the Exalted said, 'All the deeds of the son of Adam are his, except for As-Siyam, for it is Mine and I will reward for it.'"

3. The Prophet also said, "The fasting one has two happy moments:  when he breaks his fast he is happy, and when he meets his Lord he is happy because of his fast." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].  About his saying, "When he breaks his fast he is happy," and Imam Muslim's addition, "Because of his breaking his fast,"

Imam Al-Qurtubi commented, "It means he is happy because his hunger and thirst have ended, since he is allowed to break his fast.  This happiness is natural and this is apparently the desired meaning.  It was also said that his being happy is because of his breaking the fast, means that he has fulfilled his fast, and as a culmination for his practicing the acts of worship.  His saying, 'And when he meets his Lord he is happy because of his fast,' means he is happy because of the rewards for fasting and its complete awards.'"

4. As-Sawm (fasting) purifies the soul and helps it acquire the habit of obeying Allah and His Messenger by defeating the desires of the heart.  Fasting teaches refraining from following the desires because the soul of the Sa-im (fasting-one) becomes obedient to Allah's commands.  Also, Satan has a stronger hold over the souls that often obey the desires.  When the soul abandons its desires, it will become more difficult for Satan to have a hold on the heart.

5. Being saved from the Fire, for the Prophet said, what translated means, "And Allah has those whom he frees from the Fire, and this occurs every night (meaning in Ramadhan)." [At-Tirmithi & ibn Majah]

6. Ash-Shafa`ah (the right of intercession). The Prophet said, "As-Siyam and the Quran will intercede on behalf of the slave.  As-Siyam says, 'O Lord! I prevented him from food and obeying his desires in the morning.  Therefore, accept my Shafa`ah on his behalf.'  And the Quran says, 'I prevented him from sleeping at night.  Therefore, accept my Shafa`ah on his behalf,' and they will be accepted as intercessors.'" [Ahmad, Al-Hakim & Al-Bayhaqi].

7. Having the sins forgiven.  There is no doubt that fasting directs to having one's sins forgiven and erased.  The Prophet said, "The five prayers, and from Friday to the next Friday, and Ramadhan to the next Ramadhan, are erasers for what occurs between them, as long as major sins are avoided." [Muslim].  Also, the Messenger of Allah said, what translated means, "Whoever fasts Ramadhan with Iman and Ihtisab, will have his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].

Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaii added the following to the above narration, "And also what will occur later on (meaning future sins, as well)."  "With Iman" entails fasting while believing with the heart in the obligation of fasting during Ramadhan.  As for Ih.tisab, it means that one anticipates the reward and his fasting is therefore only for the sake of Allah and not to imitate his people and community or for any other worldly gain.

shininggrassSufyaan ibn `Abdillaah radhiallahu `anhu said:

"O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islaam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you."

He said: "Say: 'I believe in Allah' and then be steadfast (upon that)." [Saheeh Muslim (38)]

The hadeeth is proof that the servant is obligated, after having eemaan in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion without drifting away from it, to the right or to the left.

If the Muslim lives through Ramadhaan and spent his days in fasting and his nights in prayer and he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allah at all times. This is the true state of the slave, for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing over his servants at all times.

Indeed, steadfastness after Ramadhaan and the rectification of one's statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadhaan and striven in obedience. They are tokens of reception and signs of success.

Furthermore, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month and the beginning of another, rather they continue and extend until he reaches death. Allah says: "And worship your Lord until the certainty (death) comes to you." [al-Hijr: 99]

If the fasting of Ramadhaan comes to an end, then indeed the voluntary fasting is still prescribed throughout the entire year. If standing in prayer at night during Ramadhaan comes to an end, then indeed, the entire year is a time for performing the night prayer. And if the Zakaat-ul-Fitr comes to an end, then there is still the Zakaah that is obligatory as well as the voluntary charity that lasts the whole year. This goes the same for reciting the Qur'aan and pondering over its meaning as well as every other righteous deed that is sought, for they can be done at all times. From the many bounties that Allah has bestowed upon his servants is that He has placed for them many different types of righteous acts and provided many means for doing good deeds. Therefore, the ardor and zeal of the Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Lord.

It is unfortunate to find that some people perform worship by doing different types of righteous deeds during Ramadhaan. They guard strictly upon their five daily prayers in the masjid, they recite the Qur'aan a lot and they give in charity from their wealth. But when Ramadhaan comes to an end, they grow lazy in their worship. Rather, sometimes they even abandon the obligations, both generally, such as praying in congregation, and specifically, such as praying the fajr prayer.

And they commit forbidden acts such as sleeping over the time of prayers, indulging in places of foolishness and entertainment, and mingling in parks, especially on the day of `Eed. Obtaining help from these evils is only through the grace of Allah. Thus, they demolish what they have constructed and destroy what they have established. This is an indication of deprivation and a sign of perdition. We ask Allah for His safeguarding and protection.

Indeed, this type of people take the example of turning in repentance and ceasing from committing evil deeds as something specific and restricted to the month of Ramadhaan. And they stop doing these (good) acts when the month stops. Thus, it is as if they have abandoned sinning for the sake of Ramadhaan, and not out of fear of Allah. How evil are these people who do not know Allah, except in Ramadhaan!

Truly, the success that Allah grants His servant lies in the fasting of Ramadhaan. His assisting him to do that is a great favor, thus the calls for the servant to be grateful to his Lord. This understanding can be found in the statement of Allah after completing the favor of the month of fasting:

"(He wants that you) must complete the same number of days, and that you must magnify Allah (by saying Allahu Akbar) for having guided you, so that you may be grateful to Him." [2:185]

The one who is grateful for having fasted, will remain upon that condition and continue to perform righteous deeds.

Verily, the true way of the Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for giving him the ability to fast and make qiyaam. His condition after Ramadhaan is better than it was before Ramadhaan. He is more receptive to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to enforce the obligatory acts. This is because he has gained benefit form this prominent institute of learning. It is that of one who fears for having his fast not accepted, for indeed Allah only accepts from those who fear Him.

The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that it would be accepted and fearing that it would be rejected. From the reports of `Alee,

"Be more concerned with having your deeds accepted than the deed itself. Did you not hear Allah say: 'Verily Allah, only accepts those from those who fear Him. (i.e. possess taqwaa).' [5:27] "[Lataa'if ul Ma`aarif, p. 246]

`Aa'ishah said:

"I asked the Messenger of Allah concerning the ayah: 'And the one who are given what they are given and their hearts tremble with fear.' Are they the ones who drink alcohol and steal?" He said: "No, o daughter of as-Siddeeq. Rather, they are the ones who fast and pray and give in charity yet fear that it won't be accepted from them. They are the ones who rush to do good deeds and they are the first to do them." [Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee 3/79-80]

So be warned and again be warned of turning backward after having attained guidance of going astray after persevering. And ask Allah to provide you with duration in doing righteous deeds and continuity in performing good acts. And ask Allah that He grant you a good end, so that He may accept our Ramadhaan from us.


question_mark_cloudYou know you're right.

You know what I'm referring to - those times when you get into an argument(s) with a family member, friend, boss, employee, coworker, classmate, teacher or whoever. You know your facts are right or that you've been wronged with an insulting remark, sarcastic comment or rudeness.

And so, you choose to hold a grudge. After all, you've got a right to. Nobody should be treated this way. Why should you forgive? You're not the one who started this. You're not the one who doesn't have the facts straight.

True. You may be right. But forgiving others, apart from positively affecting our health (less stress) and our minds (one less negative thing to focus on), is a necessary step to closeness to God.

How can we move up the ladder of spiritual development when we hold bitterness and anger towards another person? While we may have been in the right, is it worth sacrificing our energy on a grudge instead of on growth?

Is there not something strange about asking for God's forgiveness of our sins while withholding our forgiveness from someone who has hurt us?

One of the distinguishing features of Ramadan is forgiveness. This makes it a great time to ask God for His Forgiveness. It's also a wonderful time to open our hearts and cleanse them of grudges and bitterness by forgiving others.

The path to connection to God is always paved with tests and difficulties. Nobody gains spiritual upliftment without having to prove their mettle. This process includes facing all kinds of hardships, including injustice at the hands of others.

If we truly want Allah's love, mercy and forgiveness, we must remember that the hurts of this world are temporary, and we are working towards that which is permanent. Is it worth being bitter and stunting our growth? Will it really benefit us? How will our anger and bitterness change the person who has hurt us?

Let us use these remaining days of forgiveness this Ramadan to open our hearts to those who have wronged us and forgive them as we beg Allah to forgive us.


mistake*Fighting over the number of Rakaah of Taraweeh

There is no specific number of rak'ahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said:

"No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (raka'ah), because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allaah."

*Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th

Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

"Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan." (Bukhaari, Muslim).

*Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid

Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max.

Aa’ishah (RA) said: “When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family.” (Bukhaari and Muslim).

*Iftaar parties

Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish 'Iftaar parties' with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to Salaah, and Taraweeh to even music and dancing.

*Taking Ramadaan as a ritual

For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil....we forget to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that's about all.

*Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them)’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.’” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by al-Albaani)

*Too much stress on food and drink

For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of 'fasting' into the month of 'feasting'. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.

".....and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) " [al-Araaf :31]

*Spending all day cooking

Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their children/ husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!

*Eating too much

Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to 'make up for the food missed.' However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. saheeh by al-Albaani).

Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.

It was said to Imam Ahmad: 'Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full?' He said, 'I do not think so.'

*Sleeping all day

Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) 'sleeping away their fast'. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot 'bear' to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.

*Wasting time

The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allaah calls this month "Ayyamum Ma'doodaat" (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!

*Fasting but not giving up evil

Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.

“O you who believe! 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 (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink." (Bukhaari)


Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it, as it is one of al-Khabaa'ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds of 'smoking material' eg. cigars, cigarettes, pipes, ‘Sheesha’, hookah etc.

"He allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa'ith (all evil and unlawful things)" [al-A'raaf :157]

It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "There should be no harming or reciprocating harm."

This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast.

*Skipping Suhoor

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing." (Bukhaari, Muslim).

And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor." (Muslim)

*Stopping Suhoor at 'Imsaak'

Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe 'Imsaak'.

This is a kind of bidah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn: "And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)" [al-Baqarah 2:187]

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: "….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes."

This 'imsaak' which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

"Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed." (Muslim)


jannah21Do you know of a deed that elevates and sublimes the soul - a deed that motivates toward gaining virtue and protects against corruption - a deed that strengthens the will power, rectifies the intention, reforms the body, heals weakness and brings the `abd (worshiper) closer to his Lord - a deed by which sins are forgiven, evil doings are reconciled, merit is increased, and the rank (of its performer) is elevated (before Allah) - a deed whose performer will be among the closest and the chosen upon Resurrection? This deed is Siyam (fasting)!

Fasting Implants Piety in the Heart

When we examine what has been mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah about Siyam, we realise clearly all of its aforementioned merits. Look at what Allah (T) said (meaning):

{Believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may have taqwa (piety).} [Al-Baqarah 2:183]

When you reflect on this, you realize that Allah (T) has ordained Siyam in order to develop piety in our hearts and it is only for piety that Allah (T) honours the `ibad (worshipers). Allah (T) does not regard the physical beauty of the `ibad, but He rather looks into their hearts (where piety resides) and into their deeds that they have performed on the basis of piety. Allah (T) distinguishes between people according to their piety:  {The most honoured by Allah amongst you are those with the highest piety.} [Al-Hujurat 49:13]

Thus the goal of fasting is to acquire taqwa. This is also the goal of all other acts of obedience and worship, as is stated by Allah (in the meaning): {Mankind! Worship your Lord Who created you and those before you, that you may have taqwa.} [Al-Baqarah 2:21]

Taqwa is all what concerns Allah (T) of our deeds: {The sacrifices' flesh and blood reach not Allah, but the taqwa is what reaches Him from you.} [Al-Hajj 22:37]

The true meaning of taqwa is that the `abd knows his Lord by His Names and Attributes, knows His Greatness, His Omnipotence and His Power and this leads him to fear Him, and to beware of disobeying Him. Also, the `abd realises Allah's Mercy, Forgiveness, countless bounties, and the great rewards that He has in store for the believers, and this makes him hasten to please Him. However, the `abd will only attain taqwa by being persistent in obedience, fulfilling the required acts of worships, and increasing the voluntary ones - always keeping within the boundaries established by Allah (T), and acting in compliance with the Sunnah of the Messenger (S). One of the best definitions of taqwa is that of Talq bin Habib who said:

"At-taqwa is to act in obedience to Allah, on a light (guidance) from Allah seeking Allah's reward, and to refrain from disobeying Allah, on a light from Allah, fearing His punishment. "

As for the means of attaining taqwa , it is through Ihsan (perfection of deeds), which means: “... To worship Allah as if you see Him, for even though you do not see Him, He truly sees you.” [Muslim]

The Qur'an stated that those who have piety are the successful. Allah (T) proclaims (what means): {These (who possess the qualities of taqwa) are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and it is these who will be successful.} [Al-Baqarah 2:5]

Siyam demonstrates compliance with the orders of Allah (T), promptness to please Him, and renunciation of the desires and the needs of the individual. It is done without any supervision except that of Allah (T). This act implants taqwa in the heart. Once the heart is rectified, the deeds will be righteous. With this goodness of the heart and deeds, the Ummah (Nation) appointed by Allah (T) to lead humanity will then be righteous and will provide guidance to the path of integrity and righteousness.

The Reward of Fasting

Since fasting is kept secret between the  'Abd (slave) and his Lord, his sincerity in this deed is known only to his Creator. Therefore the reward is not based on the general recompensation rule mentioned by the Messenger (S):  “The good deed is multiplied tenfold.” [Al-Bukhari] 

Only Allah (T) is capable of appraising the reward for the fasting person. The Messenger (S) said, quoting his Lord, in a Qudsi (holy) hadeeth:  “All the doing of the son of Adam is for himself except for fasting: it is for Me and I reward it accordingly.” [Al-Bukhari] 

This is because fasting is a form of perseverance, and those who persevere will be rewarded with no limits, as the Qur'an tells [az-Zumar 39:10]. That is why the Salaf (Early Righteous Muslims) used to name the Month of Fasting as the Month of Patience.

Fasting Protects from Sinning

Siyam is a shield and a protection. It protects the `abd from committing sins or disobeying Allah (T) it prevents him from uttering obnoxious words and from doing evil deeds. This way the `abd protects himself from the Fire. The Messenger (S) said:  “Fasting is a protection when one of you is fasting, he should avoid disgraceful speech and indecent behaviour, and he should avoid quarreling.” [Al-Bukhari] 

Thus Siyam is a strong fortress sheltering the person from the deception of Satan, and protecting him from slipping into dirt and sins. Furthermore, if someone behaves toward the fasting person in an evil manner, the Messenger (S) directs him to the excellent behaviour of not to respond similarly he says:   “If someone should fight or quarrel with him, he should say: I am a fasting person - twice.” [Al-Bukhari] 

This reveals the misunderstanding of many Muslims who ignorantly think that fasting is a good excuse for bad behavior and short temper. This is indeed a drastic mistake resulting from ignorance about the Deen (Religion) of Allah (T).

An Important Wisdom

During the rest of the year, the body gets accustomed to a certain frequency and norm of meals. A person drinks water whenever he feels the need, and copulates with his wife at all times permissible by Allah (T). These habits, in the long run, make him a slave of his desires and passions they cause him to forget the ultimate objective of his creation: to worship Allah (T) only. Allah (T) provides for him the food, drink, and intimacy to help him accomplish this objective. However, when these things preoccupy him and become his obsession, he becomes their captive and humiliated slave. He becomes truly pictured by the hadeeth:  “Miserable is indeed the slave of the dinar (a gold coins), and miserable is the slave of the dirham (a silver coin, about one tenth of a dinar) ... miserable and vanquished is he! Let there be no one to help him in as much as pulling a thorn that he would step on.”

The great scholar al-Manawi, in his book Faydh ul-Qadeer, beautifully explained this wisdom as follows:

'Fasting was only legislated to shatter the desires of individuals and to eliminate the causes of captivity, slavery, and worship of created things. If they ceaselessly pursue their physical needs, they soon become enslaved to them and this would detach them from Allah (T). Fasting would eliminate the motive to be enslaved to anyone else. It frees the person from the slavery of his desires, because true freedom is to possess material things without letting them possess him. Allah (T) appointed the human being as the honored khalifah (agent) in His Kingdom. If he lets his desires enslave him, he would be opposing Allah's wisdom, making his desires superior to him, and making himself inferior to them: {Am I to seek for you a god other than Allah, although He has favoured you above all other creatures?} [Al- A`raf 7:140]'

Many people worship their desires and fasting frees them from this imprudent slavery and devotion to other than Allah.

Thus in this month, a person breaks his habits and rejects many of his desires this may be hard, but it is of definite benefit and value. Allah (T) says (what means):

{You may hate a thing that is better for you.} [Al-Baqarah 2:216]

{That you fast is better for you if you did know.} [Al-Baqarah 2:184]

Siyam, therefore, fortifies the will power. Furthermore, physicians prescribe it in many cases because it helps remedy some severe illnesses. [Al-Bukhari]

Special Merits for Fasting People

The Smell of their Breath: One of the wonders and virtues of fasting is that, contrary to people, Allah (T) loves the smell of the breath of fasting people:

“By Him in whose Hand is my soul, the smell of the breath of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”

Ar-Rayyan: Allah (T) honours the fasting people by reserving a special gate for their entrance to the Jannah. The Messenger (S) said: “In the Jannah is a gate called Ar-Rayyan (Thirst Quencher) through which only the fasting people will enter. Once they all get in, it will be shut forever.“ [Al-Bukhari]

They suffered from thirst in this life, and they will be rewarded by permanent thirst-quenching in the Hereafter. Opening the Gates of Good: Ramadhan is the best of all months, and good deeds are better in it (they earn more rewards). When this month arrives: “The gates of the Jannah (the Garden of Paradise) are opened wide, the gates of Hell are shut and the devils are chained down.” [Al-Bukhari]

Chaining the devils reduces the influence of evil, and this allows the heart to seek its way to light and guidance with little interference. This explains why many wrong-doers repent and come back to their Lord in this month.

The Month of Forgiveness: Glad tidings for one of the best rewards for fasting were given by the Messenger (S) in the hadeeth recorded by Al-Bukhari: ”He who fasts Ramadhan out of Imaan (Belief in Allah and His promises) and ihtisaab (Expectancy of Allah's reward), all his past sins will be forgiven." [Al-Bukhari]

Conditions for Forgiveness

We should notice though that the Prophet (S) has set two conditions (Belief and Expectancy) without which one would not deserve this reward of forgiveness. Belief and Expectancy are what distinguishes between habits and acts of worship. Without these two conditions, fasting would be a mere custom and an imitation that would hardly push one to do good or prevent him from committing evil. Fasting will not benefit the one whose fasting is based neither on Belief nor on Expectancy, but on show-off and customs, and Allah (T) does not need it: “Whoever does not give up lying and practising falsehood, Allah is in no need of his giving up food and drink.” [Al-Bukhari and others]

One the other hand, the one who fasts because he believes that his Lord (T) has ordained fasting, and who hastens to obey Him expecting His reward, will certainly be granted the forgiveness, and his sins will be atoned. The Messenger (S) said: “The five daily prayers, the Jumu`ah prayer to the following Jumu`ah, and Ramadhan to the following Ramadhan will all atone the sins committed in between as long as one avoids the major sins (kabaa'ir).” [Muslim]

So let those who fast with true Belief and Expectancy have the good tidings of a pleasant ending, and a happy meeting with Allah (T) on the Day of Judgement: “A fasting person is happy twice: when he breaks his fast he is happy for completing his fast (successfully), and when he meets with his Lord he will be happy with his fast (because of its great rewards).” [Bukhari and Muslim]


yellowgreenJabir bin Abdillah (radi Allahu anhuma) said,

“When you fast, then your hearing should fast, and your sight and your tongue from lying and sinning. Let there be a tranquility and calmness over you on the days of your fasting, and do not make the days that you are not fasting and the days you are fasting equal.”

Some of the Salaf used to say,

“Indeed Allah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadan as a competition for His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.”

Al-Zuhri said,

“When Ramadan comes, then it is [the time for] reading Qur’an and feeding others.”

Hafsah bin Sireen said,

“Fasting is a shield for the one who does not rip it apart - and backbiting will rip it apart.”

Some of the Salaf would say,

“For me to invite 10 of my companions and offer them iftar is more beloved to me than freeing 10 slaves from the children of Isma’eel.”

Abu Al-Aliyah said,

“The one who is fasting is in a state of worship - as long as he does not backbite- even if he is sleeping on his bed.”

Ubaydah Al-Salmani said,

“Be cautious of the two that break the fast: backbiting and lying.”

Mujahid said,

“If you want your fasting to be complete and sound, then stay away from backbiting and lying.”

It was narrated that when Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) and his companions were fasting, they would sit in the masjid and say,

“Let’s purify our fasting.”

Source: The short treatise “Ramadan is Before Us” - Shaykh Muhammad al-Muqaddim.


timetwentyAll praises to Allah, Lord of the worlds.  He who revealed in His Glorious Qur'an, "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you that you may keep your duty to your Lord (having taqwa)." (2:185).  And may blessings and peace of Allah be upon His last Messenger Muhammad ibn Abdullah, forever.

O you who believe, Ramadan is a sacred month wherein Almighty Allah is constantly testing His creation and giving humanity the opportunity to achieve infinite, endless Bliss.  Fasting is a complete purification and a means to developing the consciousness of Allah's presence.  The consciousness of Allah (Taqwa) is a protection against the schemes of Shaitan, and the suffering of this world.  Allah has informed us that, "Whoever keeps his duty to Allah (has taqwa), He ordains a way out for him and gives him sustenance from where he imagines not.  And whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah attains His purpose. Allah has appointed a measure for everything." (65:2)

Many Muslims today have a misconception about fasting and the activities of a fasting person.  They go into a state of semi-hibernation, spending most of their daylight hours in bad.  If they fear Allah, they wake up for prayer, but then return to sleep immediately.  This unnatural sleep makes them become lazy, dull-witted and often cranky.

Ramadan is actually a time of increased activity wherein the believer, now lightened of the burdens of constant eating and drinking, should be more willing to strive and struggle for Allah.  The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, passed through approximately nine Ramadans after the Hijrah.  They were filled with decisive events and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah.

In the first year after the Hijrah, the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, sent Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib with thirty Muslim riders to Saif al Bahr to investigate three hundred riders from Quraish who had camped suspiciously in that area.  The Muslims were about to engage the disbelievers, but they were separated byMajdy ibn Umar al-Juhany.  The Hypocrites of Madinah, hoping to oppose the unity of the Muslims, built their own masjid (called Masjid ad-Dirar).  The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, ordered this masjid to be destroyed in Ramadan.

On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 3 A.H., Almighty Allah separated truth from falsehood at the Great Battle of Badr.  The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, and 313 of his companions set out to intercept a caravan of their own goods that had been left in Makkah.  It was led by Abu Sufyan himself, and estimated at 50,000 dinars.  They were met, instead, by a well-equipped army of the nobility of Quraish, intend on putting out the light of Islam.  Despite being outnumbered three to one and appearing weak and unseasoned, the Muslims defended their faith with a burning desire to protect the Prophet and meet their Lord through martyrdom.  Allah gave them a decisive victory on this day of Ramadan, that would never be forgotten.

In 6 A.H., Zaid ibn Haritha was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of a detachment to confront Fatimah bint Rabiah, the queen of that area.  Fatimah had previously attacked a caravan led by Zaid and had succeeded in plundering its wealth.  She was known to be the most protected woman in Arabia, as she hung fifty swords of her close relatives in her home.  Fatimah was equally renowned for showing open hostility to Islam.  She was killed in a battle against these Muslims in the month of Ramadan.

By Ramadan of 8 A.H., the treaty of Hudaibiyya had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines in the North.  Muhammad, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquer the city of Mecca.  Allah has declared His Sanctuary a place of peace, security and religious sanctity.  Now the time had come to purify the Ka`bah of nakedness and abomination.  The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam set out with an army having more armed men than al-Madinah had ever seen before.  People were swelling the army's ranks as it moved toward Makkah.  The determination of the believers, guided by the Will of Allah, became so awesome that the city of Makkah was conquered without a battle, on 20 Ramadan.  This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula.  During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the other major centers of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed.

Such was the month of Ramadan in the time of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam.  It was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and striving hard with one's life and wealth.  After the death of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, Muslims carried on this tradition and Allah used the true believers to affect the course of history.  Ramadan continued to be a time of great trials and crucial events.

Ninety-two years after the Hijrah, Islam had spread across North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.  Spain was under the tyrannical rule of King Roderic of the Visigoths.  Roderic had forced his six millions serfs and persecuted Jews to seek the aid of the Muslims of North Africa in order to be delivered.  Musa ibn Husair, the Umayyad governor of North Africa, responded by sending his courageous general Tariq ibn Ziyad at the head of 12,000 Berber and Arab troops.  In Ramadan of that year, they were confronted with a combined Visigoth army of 90,000 Christians led by Roderic himself, who was seated on a throne of ivory, silver, and precious gems and drawn by white mules.  After burning his boats, Tariq preached to the Muslims warning them that victory and Paradise lay ahead of them and defeat and the sea lay to the rear.  They burst forth with great enthusiasm and Allah manifested a clear victory over the forces of disbelief.  Not only was Roderic killed and his forces completely annihilated, but also Tariq and Musa succeeded in liberating the whole of Spain, Sicily and parts of France.  This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Al-Andalus where Muslims ruled for over 700 years.

In the year 582 A.H., Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, after battling with the Crusaders for years, finally drove them out of Syria and the whole of their occupied lands in the month of Ramadan.  The Muslim world was then destined to meet one of its most frightening challenges.

In the seventh century A.H. the Mongols were sweeping across Asia destroying everything that lay in their path.  Genghis Khan called himself "the scourge of God sent to punish humanity for their sins".  In 617 A.H., Samarkand, Ray and Hamdan were put to the sword causing more than 700,000 people to be killed or made captive.  In 656 A.H., Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan, continued this destruction.  Even Baghdad, the leading city of the Muslim world, was sacked.  Some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 Muslims were killed in this awesome carnage.  The Christians were asked to eat pork and drink wine openly while the surviving Muslims were forced to participate in drinking bouts.  Wine was sprinkled in the masjids and no Azan (call to prayer) was allowed.  In the wake of such a horrible disaster and with the threat of the whole Muslim world and then Europe being subjected to the same fate, Allah raised up from the Mamluks of Egypt, Saifuddin Qutz, who united the Muslim army and met the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 25th of Ramadan, 458 A.H.  Although they were under great pressure, the Muslims with the help of Allah, cunning strategy and unflinching bravery crushed the Mongol army and reversed this tidal wave of horror.  The whole of the civilized world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islam.

This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges.  It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His mercy and forgiveness.

Today, the Muslim world is faced with drought, military aggression, widespread corruption and tempting materialism.  Surely we are in need or believers who can walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, the illustrious Sahabah, Tariq ibn Ziyad, Qutuz, Salahuddin and the countless heroes of Islam.  Surely we are in need of believers who are unafraid of the threats of the disbelievers, yet kind and humble to the believing people; Muslims whose fast is complete and not just a source of hunger and thirst.

May Allah raise up a generation of Muslims who can carry Islam to all corners of the globe in a manner that befits our age, and may He give us the strength and the success to lay the proper foundations for them.  May Allah make us of those who carry out our Islam during Ramadan and after it, and may He not make us of those who say what they do not do.  Surely Allah and His Angels invoke blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad.

O you who believe, send blessings and peace to him forever.


FreeGreatPicture.com-23505-dark-prairie-wallpaperIf one of your closest friends were to be visiting your city, would you like to spend the most time with them? Would you ignore them if they were visiting only for a few days?


Well then just like that Ramadan is in town! The days are numbered, which means we have to spend most of our time coming close to our BEST FRIEND, Allah!

What better way to come close than to read the Qur'an?

Just like friends, we cannot ALWAYS hang out with the Qur'an, so here are small tips which can help one maintain a strong bond with it:

• Have a small Qur'an translation with Arabic and English text which can fit in your bag

• READ at least 2 ayahs when you are in the car/bus as a passenger

• If you are waiting for someone then you can read 2 ayahs and ponder on the meaning

• Share and discuss the 2 ayahs you read with your family members or friends (through word of mouth)

• If you work, then try to read Qur'an in your break time

• If you go to school, then read and share the verses of the Qur'an at lunch time

• Connect your friends with the Qur'an as well

• Download the Quran in the voice of your favourite Qari on your mp3 or ipod and listen to it while driving or transporting from one place to another

• I would personally suggest reading a few verses of the Quran after every fard salah. After all this is Ramadan. We must do extra

Lets recite, understand, and share this Qur'an during this special month! It is given to us by Allah for guidance.

Did you know? Allah speaks to His servants through the Quran when they read it with understanding. Every person wants to talk with their loved ones and spend time with them. So - spend time talking to Allah this month with the Quran.

{This is the Book, whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqûn (Allah Conscious).} [al-Baqarah:2]


quran98We praise Allah for having blessed us with Ramadhan- the Month of the Qur’aan, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the one for whom Ramadhan was an institution, the syllabus the Qur’aan and the teacher Gibraeel. May the Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow his way till the day of Judgement. Ameen

Ramadhan has a beloved - a beloved that is closely connected and attached to its heart. If you wish to befriend Ramadhan, then you must befriend her beloved.

That beloved and loved one is the Qur’aan;

Ramadhan loves the Qur’aan and the Qur’aan loves Ramadhan.

Allah says: {The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion…} [1]

It was in this month, the month of the Qur’aan, when an institution was put in place. An institution that has no parallel in the annals of history - an institution, the like of which the world will never see again.

The institution was established under the open sky of Arabia, at a place designated by the Lord, Most High. The Semester was the best of Semesters - the Month of Ramadhan.

The class timings were the fragrant and chosen nights of Ramadhan.

Only one student was allowed enrolment: Muhammad al Mustafa (the Chosen One) (saws). This institution had only one teacher; a teacher, the like of which can’t be found on the face of this world.

How can he be found on this world when he is the leader of the leaders amongst the angels; an angel defended by His Lord, when he said: whoever is an enemy to Gibraeel then, {…Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers…}[2]

The Companion, Ibn Abbas (ra) said:

"Gibraeel would come to him (the Prophet ) every night (in Ramadhan) and he would rehearse the Qur'an with him." [3]

The Prophet (p) in turn, had a unique student.

- A woman -, the like of whom the world has never and will never witness again.

I invite you to come and join me on a journey back in time, let’s visit our Mother, Aa’ishah (rah) .

We are now outside the room of the Mother of the Believers- Aa’ishah (rah). It is Ramadhan and the dawn is clearly visible from the horizon. Her recitation is audible; I turn to you and request you to not make any noise. You tire, but she does not tire. She recites until sunrise.

How true was Ibn Rajab (rah) was when he said,

“…Our Mother Aa’ishah (rah) (in Ramadhan) would recite the Qur’aan after Dawn until sunrise...”

We find ourselves in yet another time, it is the beginning of Ramadhan and you hear a call. You turn around and there stands the Imam of the Imams -Imam az-Zuhri (rah).

He is saying:

'It (Ramadhan) is recitation of the Quran and feeding of people!'

His words echoing in your ears, his face never to be forgotten, you turn to meet Zayd al-Yaami (rah). He is sitting with his companions; each one of them is holding a book. So simple are these books, you just about recognize them; they are copies of the Qur’aan. Your eyes shed tears, since they do not know what will happen to the Ummah in the future.

You see others running from door to door, calling out in the market places, spreading the word - come, let’s read the Words of the Lord of the Worlds in this blessed month.

How true was Ibn Rajab (rah) when he said:

'Zayd al-Yaami (rah) would bring copies of the Quran when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him.'

The night is dark, the stars are shining, since they rejoice out of happiness for the month of the Qur’aan.

You are outside the house of Ibraheem an-Nakhai (rah), your eyes fill with tears, since he finishes the recital of the Qur’aan in three days.

Again you witness the same with Qataadah (rah), yet when you visit al-Aswad (rah), your embarrassment knows no bounds; he finishes the recital of the Qur’aan in two days. [4]

Our journey is coming to an end. Have patience as we go to meet the contemporary of Imam Abu Haneefah (rah) - Sufyan At-Thawri (rah).

There he stands. Just by looking at him, you know - this man loves worship and has no interest in the pleasures and luxuries of life. Such a great scholar of Hadeeth (it is said that he has reported some 30,000 ahaadeeth) and Fiqh, you are surprised to see a man of such calibre leave all extra acts of worship and sticking to reciting the Qur’aan in this blessed month.

Your eyes glaze over as you travel back into the 21st century....

You open your eyes and you are back in the West; the houses full of sleeping Muslims; the streets, the masaajid are empty - so quite - just like abandoned cemeteries.

You stare in dismay, wishing to return back in time; the recitation of the salaf still echoing in your ears, their Ramadhan still alive in your heart,

You make a decision,

It is Time - Time to bring back the Qur’aan.


[1] Surah al-Baqarah 2:185
[2] Surah al-Baqarah 2:98
[3] Sahih al-Bukhari, Eng. trans. 6/486
[4] The restriction of not exceeding the recitation of the Qur’aan in 3 days, does not apply in Ramadhan.


scenenew3Here are a few ways to get great blessings in Ramadan and outside of Ramadan this year and all years to follow it inshallah Please read through it carefully and try to apply as many of these good deeds as possible inshallah:

1. Sitting after the Fajr prayer remembering Allah until sunrise: 'Whoever prays al-ghadaa (fajr) in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays twp rakats of salat has a complete reward of Hajj and Umrah (the Prophet s.a.w repeated the word 'complete' 3 times for emphasis) [at-Tirmidhi, classed as Saheeh by al-Albani]

2. Praying the 12 sunnah prayers each day: 'Allah will build house in Jannah for whoever is diligent in obsering 12 sunnah rakat (as follows) 4 rakat before and 2 after Dhur, 2 after the Maghrib, 2 after Ishaa, and 2 before Fajr.' [hadeeth is sahih narrated by at-Tirmidhi No. 379 and by others.]

3. Attending lectures in the mosque. 'Whoever goes to the mosque not desiring except to learn or teach what is good has the reward of a pilgrim who completed his Hajj' [at-Tabarani, classed sahih by al-Albani]

4. Visiting a sick Muslim. 'There is no Muslim who visits a sick muslim early in the morning but 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, 70 thousand angles send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in paradise.' [Classed as sahih by al-Albani in sahih al-Tirmidhi]

5. Providing food for breaking the fast. 'Whoever provides food for breaking of the fast for a fasting person receives the reward of the fasting person, without the reward of the fasting person being reduced in any way.' [at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

6. Standing in prayer on Laylatul Qadr. {Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months.} [Quran 97:3], that is, superior to approximately 83 years of worship!

7. Remember Allah when you go shopping: 'Whoever enters a market and says: 'Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa 'ala kulli shayin qadeer' [there is nothing worthy of wrship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise, He causes life and feath and He is the Living and does not die. In His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent] Allah will write for him/her a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels.' [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

8. Asking Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. 'Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing woman, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.' [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani]

9. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (r.a) said 'The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'Whoever says subhanallah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea.' Narrated by [al-Bukhari, 6042; Muslim 2691]

10. If a person says 'Subhanallah' (glory be to Allah) 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. [Narrated by Muslim 2073]

The following ahadeeth are from Saheehul-Jaami' of Shaikh al-Albani (r.a) pg. 1103-1104

- Abu Umaamah (ra) reported that Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'Whoever recites Ayatul-Kursi following every obligatory prayer, nothing will prevent him from entering Jannah except dying.'

- Ibn Masood (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) 'Whever recites the last 2 verses of Surah Baqarah in a night, they will sufice him.'

- Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allaaah (s.a.w) said: 'Whoever recited Surah Kafiroon it will be equal to a quarter of the Quran for him, and whoever recites Surah Ikhlas it will be equal to a third of the Quran for him.'

- Tameem as-Daaree (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'Whoever recites (in prayer) with a hundred verses a night, it will written for him as devout obedience to Allah for the night.'

- Abu Sa'eed (ra) reprted that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) ‘Whovever recites Surah Kahf on the day of Jumu'ah, light will be made to shine for him between the 2 Jumu'ahs’ (that Jumu'ah and the one following it)

- Mu'aadh bin Anas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'Whoever recites Surah Ikhlas 10 times, Allah will build for him a house in Jannah.'

Memorise these important du’as inshaa' Allah

1. The authentic dua to sat when breaking your fast: 'Dhahabath- dhama-oo wabtallatil-urooq wa thabatil ajru inshallaah' (The thirst has gone the veins are quenched and the reward is confirmed if Allah wills)

2. The dua to say when seeking the night of Laylatul-Qadr: 'Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbil-afwa fa'fu 'annii' (Oh Allah You are the Forgiving snf Pardoning Who loves to forgive and pardon so forgive and pardon me) [at-Tirmidhi and it is saheeh)


graveblackWe praise Allah for having blessed us with Ramadhan, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the Truthful one, the one who informed us that in Ramadhan:

“…the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained…”[1]

May the Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, his family, his companions and all those who follow his way till the day of Judgement. Ameen

My Dear Sister, did you know:

You will die by next Ramadhan

How would you feel if this was to be the case, since no soul knows when and where their death is written and each souls time is appointed; how sure are you that you will be here next Ramadhan?

If you could see when the wrongdoers taste the pangs of death and the angels stretch their hands out, [saying], 'Deliver up your souls. This day you will be awarded a degrading punishment.'[2]

Hundreds of Muslims that were present last Ramadhan have now given up their souls and departed into the next realm. For those who neglected Ramadhan, deep regret is their destiny.

How many wail, screaming in the bottomless pit of the fire, pleading to Allah for one prostration in these blessed nights? How many cry tears of blood to witness one Night of Power- Laylatul Qadr? How many would cut off their limbs, sell their beloved ones, jump out of their graves with eyes full of hope, tears full of regret, when told that fasting is a shield that can protect one from the hellfire?[3] Many, who have left this world, will do anything to witness one more Ramadhan.

O you who are in need of Allah! Take heed from the words of Ibn Umar (rah) when he said:

"When you survive till the evening, do not expect to live until the morning; and when you survive until the morning, do not expect to live until the evening; (do good deeds) when you are in good health before you fall sick, and (do good deeds) as long as you are alive before death strikes.”[4]

O Believer, remember the day when the graves will turn out their contents and all that was buried in the bosoms will be revealed. On the Day of Judgement everyone will wish they had done more righteous works; a day when even a mother will throw her new born baby and run, screaming ‘Nafsy! Nafsy!’ (Me! Me!).

For many this Ramadhan will be a source of regret, whilst for others a source of happiness and joy. How will you feel, o servant of Allah, when your fast pleads to the Lord of the worlds,

“O My Lord I prevented him from food and desires so accept my intercession for him."[5]

On that day, those who fasted with sincerity and hope, will neither grief nor remorse. This is because fasting with sincerity and hope for the reward from Allah erases past sins.[6] On a daily basis, Allah multiplies our good deeds manifold; some rewards receiving ten times its like, others seven hundred.  Yet for fasting, Allah says:

".. it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.'[7]

O Believer, indeed the time of opening the fast is a joyous one, yet know with certitude that there will be yet another time of joy - when you meet your Lord, the Almighty. [8]

Make your choice

Join the caravan of those who love Ramadhan and Ramadhan loves them. Attune your heart with Allah; polish your heart and set its gaze focused towards the heaven. The Prophet (saws) said,

"Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; and have no desire for what people possess, and the people will love you.''[9]

Free your mind from the concerns of a world that is not even worth a mosquitoes’ wing in Allah’s sight, as the Prophet (saws) said:

"Were this world worth a wing of mosquito, He would not have given a drink of water to an infidel.''[10]

Let your heart rest in the remembrance of the Paradise, under which rivers flow beneath the feet and all that which your heart desires awaits you. In these days and nights: “…the gates of heaven are open…””[11]   Drink from its valleys, eat from its fruits; how true the words of the Prophet are,

"The world is the believer's prison and the disbelievers Jannah".[12]

This month is a delight for the pious and a hardship for the sinners. The month is blessed, the days are beautiful, and the nights are fragrant.

O you who Believe! Know that if you do not avail Ramadhan, and you allow it to pass - without having attained the forgiveness of Allah - then destruction will be your lot. Once the Prophet (saws) was ascending the mimbar, on each of the three steps he said “Aameen”. The Companions, curious, said to the Prophet (saws) “We have heard from you today something which we never heard before”, the Prophet (saws) said:

“When I climbed the first step, the angel Gibraeel appeared before me and said: “Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.” Upon that I said ‘Aameen’…”[13]

Let your heart shake out of fear and worry. Gibraeel, a angel of such high mark, cursing and the Beloved of Allah, RasoolAllah (saws), saying “Ameen.”

O sinners! Rejoice! as do the righteous; a beloved friend has arrived, don’t miss her; she has gifts and she waits to give them to whomsoever asks. Within her womb lies a night better then a thousand nights. She is a guest for whom the righteous predecessors would prepare 6 months before and cry 5 months after her departure- the month that the other months hold in awe. She holds the hand of the sinner, a safe haven from the flames of the hellfire. The Prophet (saws) said:

"When it is the first night of Ramadhan the evil devils are chained. The gates of Fire are locked- not a single gate is opened, and the gates of Paradise are opened- not a single gate is locked, and a caller calls out :'O seeker of good come forward, and O seeker of evil withhold, and there are many whom Allah frees from the Fire - and that is every night.” [14]

Ramadhan ensures Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Your spiritual state lies in disarray, the Beloved, the Lord of the Worlds and all that it contains, obligates his medication & remedy for the ailment of your heart. Allah will draw you close, Allah (az) says: "The most beloved deeds with which my slave comes closer to Me are the obligatory deeds." [15]

This month is blessed, its blessings drop, as does the snow. Its days are full of light and wisdom; its nights are like the twinkling stars on the open sky within the deserts of Arabia. Ramadhan has changed the lives of many and blown them towards the path of Paradise. The secrets of the blessed nights of Ramadhan wrapped themselves around their hearts, making them acquire such lights and realities - that few since the time of creation have witnessed.  The Muslims of the past would use their empty stomachs for the purification of their hearts.

The fast should represent the triumph of a Muslim over desires and predominance over his inner self. It is time to atone for your errors and wrongdoings before a day that a mother will throw her new born baby and try to save herself. Be not of those whose doom will be witnessed by all to have ever existed from the time of Adam (as) till the last day. A day when the scene will be bigger than any cinema screen can hold - there will be no entertainment on that day. How sure are you that you will be alive next Ramadhan? Or will the dust have filled your mouth and nose; your corpse below the ground, alone, and damp. The insects and worms your friend, the soil your close companion.

Make your choice- will this Ramadhan stand as a witness for you or against you.

Oh Servant of Allah, the decision is yours. Allah has appointed from within the Muslims, a group whom the angel of death is to visit, just as he did last year this time.

I end with the question:

Can you guarantee your next Ramadhan?



[1] This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa'ee. See Ahmad Shaakir's checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)
[2] Qur’aan: 6:93
[3] Ahmad, Saheeh
[4] Al-Bukhari
[5] Ahmad, al-Haakim and Abu Nu'aim, Hasan
[6] Saheeh al-Bukharee
[7] Saheeh al-Bukharee
[8] Saheeh al-Bukharee
[9] Ibn Majah
[10] At-Tirmidhi
[11] This hadeeth is reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa'ee. See Ahmad Shaakir's checking of the Musnad (no. 7148) and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Albaanee (1490) as well as Tamaam-ul-Mannah (395)
[12] Muslim
[13] Hakim, Baihaqi
[14] At-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Khuzaimah : Hasan
[15] Saheeh al-Jami'



All praises are due to Allah, who revealed the Qur’aan on a night that is better than a thousand months - the Night of Power. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon his Noble Messenger who would tie his waist-cloth, leave his family and exert himself in these chosen nights. May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions and all those who follow his way till the Hour. Ameen


As the stars witness the years pass, some stars outdo others.

As the dark and fathomless waves overcome, stronger tides take power.

As the nights pass all year round within their darknesses and stillnesses, there emerges one night full of secrets- unlike any other.

Yes, a night like none other, the night of power and decree: the night of Laylatul Qadr…

As the nights glisten on, the desert’s sand whilrling in its orbit, this night emerges in which the Lord chose to reveal his Last Word within the Arabian desert.

The archangel Gabriel descends from the heavens above, to the realm of the low[1], to our Beloved Messenger Muhammad (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam), just as Allah said:

{Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr}

As the night passes, know that this is a night which carries the power of 83 years and 4 months. Yes, it is one night, but it is like living through a thousand months. Ah, even then seldom are those who will extract the hidden treasures embedded within its dark layers; the feeble mind cannot fathom the intensity of the words of Allah:

{And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months.}

As you stand on this night, don’t forget that another creation has descended in your presence. Don’t fear O Believer, they are from the same creation who helped the Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) and his Companions when the eyes swayed and the hearts leapt to the throat out of fear in the battle of Badr. They are the same friends that descend when you recite Qur’aan, the same friends that attend your gatherings in which Allah is remembred; they are the same friends that lower their wings out of honour for the one who sincerely seeks Islamic knowledge.

Friend’s unseen, yet so known: the angels created from light.

And yet again are they coming in the 21st Century, but at their head is the same Archangel Gabriel who was a frequent and beloved vistor of the Last of the Messengers, the Noble Prophet Muhammad (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam).

The name of this night must echo in your ears, since its name represents a greater reality, the reality of Qadr (Divine Decree). As this night passes know that in it is the appointed term for everything fixed and in it are the blessings of our Lord are apportioned[2],

{Therein descend the angels and the Rûh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allâh's permission with All Decrees.

Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.}

In this night let your heart rest as it is a night of peace, from the Lord of Peace. Submerge in its comfort, until the break of dawn; since at dawn will break open again the world of choas, pain and injustice.

When hearts have become heavy, agitated and restless and lost in sin, here comes a night which Allaah's Messenger (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) described as: "…calm and pleasant…"[3] Let’s take from the the dampness of these nights to scrub our hearts clean, to change our state and rejuvinate. We must do so, otherwise the reason given by Ibraheem bin Adham (rahmahullah) for our du’as not being accepted stand true ‘...You know Allaah, yet you do not obey Him...’[4]  Does that sound familiar? The secret of our prayers being answered on this night is to change that which is in ourselves, if this prerequisite is not implemented, I fear that we may not reap the fruits that only few take from this night.

Abu Said Al Khudri (radiAllahu a’nhu) said that on the Night of Power: “…The Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) led us in the prayer and I saw the traces of mud on the forehead and the nose of Allah’s Apostle…”[5]  Let’s become humble and willing to change infront of our Lord; let’s remember that we were created from the eartth and to it we are returning.

Let’s make the most of a night, in whose depths lay secrets awaiting the seeker.



[1] The dunya : The derivation of the term ‘dunya’ (world) comes from a root word which means low/lowly.

[2] Qatadah (rahmahullah) and others have said it means that the Divine Decrees are issued at that night, the appointed time of everything is fixed and the blessings are apportioned. (Please refer to the tafseer of this surah in Ibn Katheer.)

[3] The full hadeeth is: Allaah's Messenger (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) said: "Lailatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun arises on its morning being feeble and red." (at-Tayaalisee, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Bazzaar with a Hasan Isnad)

[4] Taken from Khushoo fis-Salaat (p.62) of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee - rahimahullah. Ibraheem bin Adham- may Allaah have mercy on him - a third century scholar, a teacher and a companion of Sufyaan ath-Thawree, was asked about the saying of Allaah - the Most High: “And your Lord says: ‘Call on me, I will answer your Prayer...” [40:60] "We supplicate and we are not answered."

So he said to them:

You know Allaah, Yet you do not obey Him,

You recite the Qur'aan, Yet do not act according to it,

You know Shaitaan(Devil), Yet you have agreed with him,

You proclaim that you love Muhammed, (Saws) Yet you abandon his Sunnah,

You proclaim your love for Paradise, Yet you do not act to gain it,

You proclaim your fear the Fire, Yet you do not prevent yourselves from sins,

You say "Indeed death is true", Yet you have not prepared for it,

You point out the faults with others, Yet you do not look at your faults,

You eat of that which Allah has provided for you, Yet you do not thank Him,

You bury your dead, Yet you do not take a lesson from it."

[5] It was narrated by Abu Salama: "Once I went to Abu Said al-Kudri and asked him, "Won’t you come with us to the date palm trees to have a talk?" So Abu Said replied, "Once Allah’s Apostle performed Iktikaaf on the first 10 days of the month of Ramadhan and we did the same with him. Gabriel came to him and said, "The night you are looking for is ahead of you." So the Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) performed the Iktikaaf in the middle (second) 10 days of the month of Ramadhan and we too performed Iktikaaf with him. Gabriel came to him and said, "The night which you are looking for is ahead of you." On the morning of the 20th Ramadhan, the Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) delivered a sermon saying: "Whoever has performed Iktikaaf with me should continue it. I have been shown the Night of ‘Qadr’, but have forgotten the date, but it is in the odd nights of the last 10 nights. I saw in my dream that I was prostrating in mud and water." In those days the roof of the mosque was made of branches of date palm trees. At the same time the sky was clear and no cloud visible, but suddenly a cloud came and it rained. The Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) led us in the prayer and I saw the traces of mud on the forehead and the nose of Allah’s Apostle. So it was the confirmation of that dream." (al-Bukhari, Volume 1:777)


nightblackblueThe cold wind of tyranny is ailing the weak, the oppressed. The path towards victory is long and rocky and you can’t walk any longer.

The nights are too short; the supplications very long and the friends few. It seems impossible to climb the lofty mountains as the dark clouds hover above – ready to storm and thunder…which means to torture and destroy.

The rain of tribulations has made the earth slippery, hence you feel you will fall and slip into the hands of the dark earth, into a grave in which you will regret not having worked hard to make His word the most High.

When hope has nearly extinguished and only a flickr remains – it hits you, that no matter how dark the night, no matter how high the mountain, no matter how heavy the tyrannical clouds, no matter how slippery the path… Allah will never let you down; even if much has been lost, there has come a night to help you pass this ordeal very very quickly:

{I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when He calls on Me.} (Suratul Baqarah; Verse 186) [1]

In a world full of turmoil, where Muslims have been oppressed, subjugated and belittled – emerges a night of empowerment; a night, to raise the hopes of those who have no hope, to  open the world for those who can’t see the world.

As the atrocious wolves partake of Muslim blood, as the venomous snakes inject our Sisters - take power in the darknesses of the night of power. From the warmth and comfort of your bed, from the sleepiness in your mind and heart, awake and slip out into the coldness of these nights that appear dark yet are shining with opportunities and gold mines

Search for this night; enter, with the Muslims around the globe into the presence of the divine – unified within the confines of their homes ….without having to hold secret meetings or book massive halls.  And call upon a Lord who never rejects a supplication, yes I said: who never rejects a supplication. The Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) said, ‘One’s supplication will be accepted as long as he does not become hasty, and say, ‘I have supplicated but it has not been accepted from me.’ [2]

As the night of power emerges, the words of Allah resound in the timelessness of justice,

{Certainly! Allâh will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves.} (Surah Ar-Ra’d; Verse: 11) [3]

Let’s make that sincere effort to change ourselves, to become better Muslims and hence have a better standing in the world.

It is said that before light, precedes the darknesses – the darknesses of work, patience, toil and struggle. Energise, focus, deliberate and enter into a night which is full of salaam (peace), and salaam will once again prevail.

This is a night amidst all other nights, yet one of the things that makes it so different is that it occurs in the month in which peoples lives can change forever…a chance to change history forever.

Take the steering wheel and change the course of history for ever, steering it towards the destination of victory. The Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) said: "Nothing can change the predestination (qadr) except the du'a …" [4]

Set our appointment to be the night of Power, our partners the angels of light, our provisions our prayer mats, and our means: our duas.

Ask: for this is the night...a night full of power.



[1] The full verse: {And when My slaves ask You concerning Me, Then (answer them), I am indeed near; I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when He calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe In Me, so that they may be led aright.} (Suratul Baqarah; Verse 186)

[2] This hadeeth has been taked from the Musnad of Imam Ahmad 2:396. The Prophet (salallahu a’lyhi wasalam) also said: “No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du’a (supplication) that does not involves sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of three things: He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.” They said “What if we were to recite more (Du’a)?” He said “There is more with Allah.” (Ahmad 3:18)

[3] The full verse: {For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind Him. They guard Him by the command of Allâh. Verily! Allâh will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves. But when Allâh wills a people's Punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.} (Surah Ar-Ra’d; Verse: 11)

[4] This Hadith is reported by several authorities on Hadith, such as Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (5/277, 280, 282), Ibn Hibban (1090) Hakim (1/493) Ibn Majah (90) etc. Most of the scholars of Hadith consider it an acceptable Hadith.

There is no contradiction between our faith in the power of du'a to Allah and in our faith in the Qada' and Qadar of Allah. The scholars have explained that there are two types of Qada' (decrees and decisions of Allah) those that are known as Qada' Mubram (absolute decisions) and those that are known as Qada' Mu'allaq (conditional decisions). The absolute decisions do not change, but the conditional decisions may change if and when the conditions are fulfilled. Such decisions are based on the fulfillment of causes (asbab), as well as du'a. However, it is important to keep in mind that every thing is in the pre-existent knowledge of Allah subhanahu wa ta'la. The knowledge of Allah does not change, but the conditional decisions can change. Allah said in the Qur'an, {Allah does blot out or confirm what He pleases; and with Him is the Mother of the Book.} (al-Ra'd 13:39)


question_mark_cloudEveryone seems to be in the mindset of setting 'ibaadah goals. I think sometimes we become a bit unrealistic in the goals we set ourselves for Ramadan. A last trick of Shaytaan before he's locked away perhaps? "Go on", he whispers. "You know you can read the whole Quran 3 times!" (despite the fact that you have 4 children to tend for and a baby who wakes up three times a night!)

"You can't pray Qiyaam once a week! What kind of a Muslim are you?" he convinces you. "Qiyaam every day is the only way!" (even though you're pregnant and exhausted from all the fatigue and morning sickness"

So, what am I getting at here? We need to be realistic. Isn't Ramadan all about setting habits that we can follow through in the next year? What is the point of setting unrealistic goals if all we do is do all of that ibadaah only to do nothing once Ramadan is finished until next Ramadan...of course! How sad.

I think we all need to really be honest about our situations and set realistic goals according to our personal circumstances. Don't compare yourself to others dear sisters. It isn't about others. Its about YOU and your LORD. Whilst one sister can read one juz every day, another may find that very difficult. REMEMBER its about our intention behind good deeds that counts and not really the deed itself.

What we should be thinking about is what we can implement this month that we can inshaAllah definitely continue doing on Eid day and thereafter. Its about establishing good habits isn't it? Yes, we must exert ourselves this month but remember the life of a believer is not just in Ramadan.

I remember listening to a talk once where the speaker noted that if after Ramadan there hasn't been any differences in our ibaadah, character and habits then really our Ramadan has not been a successful one. However, if after Ramadan we have changed then it is a sign that Allah (Swt) accepted our fasting and worship.

So, sisters what good habits are you going to work on this month that you can continue thereafter? And in the same way, what bad habits are you going to try and eradicate? Don't let Shaytaan win in his attempt to try and fool you into becoming this amazing ‘aabid (worshipper) in Ramadan. Be realistic and then go for it!

May Allah grant us the tawfeeq to really establish good habits this month and get rid of the bad ones that are preventing us from nearing Him. Ameen.


candle78Know, that in the fast (Sawm) is a special quality that is not found in anything else. And that is its close connection to Allah, such that He says: "The fast (Sawm) is for Me and I will reward it." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Muslim] This connection is enough to show the high status of fasting. Similarly, the Ka`bah is highly dignified due to its close connection to Him, as occurs in His statement: "And sanctify My House." [Sûrah al-Hajj:26] 

Indeed, the fast is only virtuous due to two significant concepts:

The first: It is a secret and hidden action thus, no one from the creation is able to see it. Therefore riyâ' (showing off) cannot enter into it.

The second: It is a means of subjugating the enemies of Allah. This is because the road that the enemies (of Allah) embark upon (in order to misguide the Son of Adam) is that of desires. And eating and drinking strengthens the desires.

There are many reports that indicate the merits of fasting, and they are all well known.

The recommended acts of fasting

The pre-dawn meal (suhûr) and delaying in taking it are preferable, as well as hastening to break the fast and doing so with dates.

Generosity in giving is also recommended during Ramadân, as well as doing good deeds and increasing in charity. This is in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).

It is also recommended to study the Qur'ân and perform Itikâf during Ramadân, especially in the last ten days, as well as increasing upon the exertion (towards doing good deeds) in it.

In the two Sahîhs, Aishah said:  "When the (last) ten days (of Ramadân) would come, the Prophet would tighten his waist-wrapper (izâr), spend the night in worship, and wake his family up (for prayer)." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Muslim]

The scholars have mentioned two views concerning the meaning of "tighten his waist-wrapper (izâr)":

The first: It means the turning away from women.

The second: It is an expression denoting his (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) eagerness and diligence in doing good deeds.

They also say that the reason for his (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) exertion in the last ten days of Ramadân was due to his (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) seeking of the Night of Al-Qadr (Lailatul-Qadr).

There are three levels of fasting:

The general fast, the specific fast, and the more specific fast.

As for the general fast, then it is the refraining of the stomach and the private parts from fulfilling their desires.

The specific fast is the refraining of ones gaze, tongue, hands, feet, hearing and eyes, as well as the rest of his body parts from committing sinful acts.

As for the more specific fast, then it is the heart's abstention from its yearning after the worldly affairs and the thoughts which distance one away from Allah, as well as its (the heart's) abstention from all the things that Allah has placed on the same level.

From the characteristics of the specific fast is that one lowers his gaze and safeguards his tongue from the repulsive speech that is forbidden, disliked, or which has no benefit, as well as controlling the rest of his body parts.

In a hadîth reported by Al-Bukhârî: "Whosoever does not abandon false speech and the acting upon it, Allah is not in need of him leaving off his food and drink." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî, Abu Dawûd, at-Tirmidhî and Ibn Mâjah]

Another characteristic of the specific fast is that one does not overfill himself with food during the night. Instead, he eats in due measure, for indeed, the son of ?dam does not fill a vessel more evil than his stomach.

If he were to eat his fill during the first part of the night, he would not make good use of himself for the remainder of the night. In the same way, if he eats to his fill for suhûr, he does not make good use of himself until the afternoon. This is because excessive eating breeds laziness and lethargy. Therefore, the objective of fasting disappears due to one's excessiveness in eating, for what is intended by the fast, is that one savors the taste of hunger and becomes an abandoner of desires.

Recommended Fasts

As for the recommended fasts, then know that preference for fasting is established in certain virtuous days. Some of these virtuous days occur every year, such as fasting the first six days of the month of Shawâl after Ramadân, fasting the day of `Arafah, the day of `?shûrâ, and the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram.

Some of them occur every month, such as the first part of the month, the middle part of it, and the last part of it. So whoever fasts the first part of the month, the middle part of it, and the last part of it, then he has done well.

Some fasts occur every week, and they are every Monday and Thursday.

The most virtuous of the recommended fasts is the fast of Dawûd (`alayhis salâm). He would fast one day and break his fast the next day. This achieves the following three objectives:

The soul is given its share on the day the fast is broken. And on the day of fasting, it completes its worship in full.

The day of eating is the day of giving thanks and the day of fasting is the day of having patience. And Faith (îmân) is divided into two halves - that of thankfulness and that of patience. [Note: the hadîth with a similar stament is unauthentic, see adh-Dha`îfah: 625]

It is the most difficult struggle for the soul. This is because every time the soul gets accustomed to a certain condition, it transfers itself to that.

As for fasting every day, then it has been reported by Muslim, from the hadîth of Abu Qatâdah, that `Umar (radhiallahu `anhu) asked the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam):  'What is the case if one were to fast every day?' So he (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: "He did not fast nor did he break his fast - or - he did not fast and he did not break his fast." [Sahîh Muslim]

This is concerning the one who fasts continuously, even during the days in which fasting is forbidden.

Characteristics of the most specific fast

Know that the one who has been given intellect, knows the objective behind fasting. Therefore, he burdens himself to the extent that he will not be unable to do that which is more beneficial than it.

Ibn Mas`ûd would fast very little and it is reported that he used to say:  

"When I fast, I grow weak in my prayer. And I prefer the prayer over the (optional) fast.“

Some of them (the Sahâbah) would weaken in their recitation of the Qur'ân while fasting. Thus, they would exceed in breaking their fast (i.e. by observing less optional fasts), until they were able to balance their recitation. Every individual is knowledgeable of his condition and of what will rectify it.


bookingrassAfter searching for bodies of the martyrs in one of the areas of Ash-Shaam, the brothers came across the body of a 16 year old teenage boy who died as a Martyr (Inshaa'Allaah). They found in his pocket a small notebook which he would use to record his sins during the week, (If only we could call them sins)!!!

Monday: I slept without being upon Wudhoo'.

Tuesday: I laughed with a loud voice.

Wednesday: I prayed Qiyaam Al-Layl in a fast manner.

Thursday: When we were playing i scored a goal and i felt proud.

Friday: I didnt repeat 1000 prayers on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and instead only reached 700.

Saturday: One of the army generals gave Salaam to me and beat me to it.

Sunday: I forgot the morning Adhkaar.

And the shocking thing is that he is in the arena of Jihaad, so where are we and our children when it comes to self accountability.

We must learn a lesson from this young Shaheed.

Allaah (ﷻ) says:

{And turn to your lord in repentance and be submissive to Him}.

أَوْ كَالَّذِي مَرَّ عَلَىٰ قَرْيَةٍ وَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْيِي هَٰذِهِ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۖ فَأَمَاتَهُ اللَّهُ مِائَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ ۖ قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتَ ۖ قَالَ لَبِثْتُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ ۖ قَالَ بَل لَّبِثْتَ مِائَةَ عَامٍ فَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِكَ وَشَرَابِكَ لَمْ يَتَسَنَّهْ ۖ وَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ حِمَارِكَ وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ ۖ وَانظُرْ إِلَى الْعِظَامِ كَيْفَ نُنشِزُهَا ثُمَّ نَكْسُوهَا لَحْمًا ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ قَالَ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

{Or [consider such an example] as the one who passed by a township which had fallen into ruin. He said, "How will Allah bring this to life after its death?" So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said, "How long have you remained?" The man said, "I have remained a day or part of a day." He said, "Rather, you have remained one hundred years. Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] - how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh." And when it became clear to him, he said, "I know that Allah is over all things competent.}

(Al-Baqarah [2], Verse 259)

*Please click here if you can't see the above video.


وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

{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 [rightly] guided.} (Al-Baqarah [2]: 186)

*Please click here if you can't see the above video.


Tawakkul refers to putting your trust in Allaah – to believe that He alone can ward off the harms of this world, provide you blessings and sustenance, and to ease your challenges. Tawakkul is also about accepting the results that He decides regardless of how they may turn out to be.

To understand the concept of Tawakkul, consider how tense and worried you get at times about the challenges of this worldly life. Whether it's you worrying about losing your job or sustenance, or general life problems that you may come to face, Tawakkul is your belief and the attitude that you have about putting your trust in Allaah to take care of all your affairs.

Allaah (swt) says: {...And whoever places his trust in Allaah, Sufficient is He for him, for Allaah will surely accomplish His Purpose: For verily, Allaah has appointed for all things a due proportion.} (Qur'an 65:3)

*Please click here if you can't see the above video.

The Quran makes it clear that Tawakkul is not an option but rather a requirement. Allaah (may He be Exalted) says: "...and put your trust in Allaah if you are believers indeed. (Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5: 23)

He also says in the Quran: "....And in Allaah let believers put their Trust" [Surah Ibrahim 14:11]

Don't give up on Your Efforts

Tawakkul shouldn't be mistaken with giving up your efforts thinking that somehow your challenges will get resolved. Rather striving and working with the attitude that Allaah will take care of your affairs and will help you in getting through your trials is part of you having the Tawakkul on Allaah.

Some scholars have stated that:

"Tawakkul in reality does not deny actually working and striving for provision, for Allaah Almighty has decreed that we should work and it is from His ways that he gives people when they strive. In fact, Allaah Almighty ordered us to both depend upon Him and to work, to take the necessary steps needed to achieve our goals, and so the act of striving for our sustenance is an act of physical worship while trusting and depending upon Allaah is faith in Him." (Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts (Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 172-174)

Allaah says: "...So seek provision from Allaah and worship Him (alone)." [Al-'Ankaboot 29: 17]

Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan stated about this verse,

"Look for sustenance and do not sit around in the masaajid claiming that you are putting your trust in Allaah. Do not sit in your homes and claim that your daily sustenance will come to you. This is wrong and a true believer doesn't say such things." (Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan Haqeeqat-ut-Tawakkul (pg. 15-25))

This obviously applies to not just seeking provisions but in striving to resolve other matters of our lives – just as long we remember and believe that His will is a prerequisite for our matters to get resolved and to accept what He ultimately decrees.

The scholars have also stated that:

"Other than our efforts that we put in, a Muslim should also combine Tawakkul with other means, whether they are acts of 'Ibadah (worship) like Du'a' (supplication), Salah (Prayer), Sadaqah (voluntary charity) or maintaining the ties of kinship, or other material means which Allaah has predestined." (source : alifta.net Fatwa no. 2798)

Allaah (swt ), also says in the Quran: {[There were] those to whom people said: "The people are gathering against you, so fear them." But it only increased their faith; they said: "For us Allaah is Sufficient and He is the best Disposer of affairs"} (Qur'an 3:173)

Benefits of Tawakkul

One of the major benefits of Tawakkul is that it can relieve us from unnecessary anxiety, worry, and resulting depression from the challenges that we may be facing. By believing that all our affairs are in Allaah's hands and we can do only what is in our control, we leave the results to Allaah and accept His decree whatever it may be. Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali said:

"The fruit of tawakkul is the acceptance of Allaah's decree. Whoever leaves his affairs to Allaah and then is accepting of what he is given has truly relied on Allaah. Al-Hassan and others among the Salaf defined Tawakkul as Ridhaa' (acceptance)." (Jami' Al-'Uloom wa Al-Hikam : A Commentary on 50 Major Hadith)

Let's strive to understand the concept of Tawakkul and to make it part of our belief systems. We will notice that things will not only get resolved easier with His help, but Tawakkul will also relieve us from the day to day anxieties and worries associated with the challenges of this life.


Abû Dharr al-Ghifârî and Mu'âdh b. Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with them) related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Fear Allah wherever you are. Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will blot it out. And deal with people in a good manner." (Sunan At-Tirmidhî)


trustinAllaahAs Muslims, we are to completely trust Allah (have "Tawakkul") for all our affairs. We also believe that Allah's will can supersede our plans. However, this does not mean that we should not plan and work based on what Allah has blessed us in knowledge, intelligence, and free will. Common sense, as well as Islamic teachings, tells us that we are to fully employ those God-granted faculties thanking Allah of what he has provided us, without feeling proud and arrogant about those abilities. We see an example of this from the Quran where it tells us that when Prophet Yaqub sent his sons to Egypt, he advised them as a precautionary measure to enter from different gates of the city lest they be mistaken as a clan or a group raising suspicions amongst the inhabitants of the city. So, we see that even as a prophet, Prophet Yaqub took all the precautionary measures that he could to prevent his sons from getting into any trouble. However, later we also learn from Surah Yousuf in the Quran that his precautionary measures were overtaken by the divine decree of Allah.

Most people do not understand how Prophet Jacob (Yaqub) was able to hold the balance between "trust in Allah" and the adoption of precautionary measures. It was because Allah had favored him with real knowledge. That is why he took all those measures which were dictated by common sense, deep thinking and experience.

He admonished his sons for their ill treatment towards their brother (Prophet) Yousuf so that they would not dare repeat it in the case of Benjamin.

He took a solemn pledge from them in the name of AIlah that they would take good care of the safety of their step-brother.

Then he advised them to be on their guard against the dangerous political situation and to enter the capital by different gates so as not to give cause for alarm and suspicion.

In short, as far as it was humanly possible, he took all the precautionary measures to avoid every possible risk.

On the other hand, he always kept in view and expressed his faith that no human precautionary measure could avert the enforcement of Allah's will, and that the real protection was Allah's protection, and that one should rely not on the precautionary measures but on the favor of Allah. Obviously only that person who has the real knowledge can keep such a balance in his words and deeds, who knows what kind of efforts are demanded of his human faculties bestowed by Allah for the solution of worldly problems, and who also realizes that it is Allah alone who has the power to make them a success or a failure.

This is what most people do not understand. Some of them rely merely on their efforts and measures and discard trust in Allah while there are others who rely merely on 'trust in AIlah' and do not adopt any practical measure to solve their problems.

The lesson that we learn from the above is that we, as Muslims, should have complete faith in Allah to help us in our endeavors because without His will and help no results can come to fruition. When we completely put our trust in Allah believing that all success can come only when He intends it to be so, we can earn Allah's pleasure. Allah tells us in the Quran:

"...Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."

(Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 159)

In parallel, we should also use all our God-granted faculties in every endeavor that we choose to pursue. As we know from the popular hadith that one day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, "Why don't you tie down your camel?" The Bedouin answered, "I put my trust in Allah." The Prophet then said, "Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah" (At-Tirmidhi).

Finally, does the above guarantee that we will get our intended result? As Muslims, we should believe that Allah as the Lord of the worlds has far more knowledge than His creation, and out of His wisdom He may decide to supersede all our plans for reasons that only He knows. We should remind ourselves that believing in Al-Qadr (Allah's divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith.

Allah says in the Quran,

"No calamity befalls on the earth or in your selves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah."

(Quran, Surah Al-Hadeed, Verse 22.)

So, before embarking on an effort, remind yourselves of the following:

Put your trust in Allah;
Use your God-granted faculties to put in your best efforts;
Believe in the divine decree (Qada wal-qadr).


twosistersshoreAmong the greatest cures to nervous and mental disorders, and even other illnesses of the body, is the firmness of the heart and its strength and lack of it being troubled and pertubed by illusions and imaginations brought about by evil thoughts. This is because whenever a person lets imaginations get the better of him, and allows his heart to be pertubed by negative effects like fear of illness, or anger and confusion over some painful situation, or anxiety over something bad happening or over the expected loss of cherished things, whenever he lets that happen, it will surely throw him into the den of grief, sorrow, and physical and mental illnesses, and a nervous breakdown whose terrible effects are well known to all.

Whenever a person relies and depends on Allaah, and does not surrender his heart to illusions, and does not let evil imaginations get the better of him, and puts his trust in Allaah, and has a confidence in His favour, grief and sorrow will vanish from his heart as a result of these actions,and many physical and mental illnesses will leave him, and his heart will experience such joy and tranquility that are beyond expression. How many a hospital is filled with sick people suffering from mental illusions and evil imaginations! How many strong person have these things shattered their hearts, to say nothing of the weak ones! The only one exempted is the one whom Allaah has given well-being, and guided him to struggle with his self in acquiring useful and beneficial means of strengthening the heart and warding off worries from it. Allaah, the Most High said:

“And whoever puts his trust on Allaah, sufficient is Allaah for him.” [Qur'aan, 65: 3]

Meaning that Allaah is sufficient for him in all that worries him concerning his religion and his worldly life.

A person who puts his trust in Allaah has a strong heart that is not affected by illusions, nor pertubed by events and occurrences, because he knows that is having a weak heart, and an act of weakness and fear that has no reality. He also knows that Allaah has guaranteed the one who puts his trust in Him to suffice him completely, so he is confident in Allaah, and he feels assured of the promise of Allaah, as a result of which his worry and anxiety vanish, and his difficulty is replaced by ease, and his sadness by happiness, and his fear by peace and security.

We ask Allaah to give us well-being and exemption from adversities, and to grant us strength of heart and its firmness in having true confidence in Allaah, by which He guarantees those who have it provision of all good, and removal of all harm and evil. Aameen.

Source: Useful Ways Of Leading A Happy Life, Chapter Six: Firmness Of The Heart And Reliance On Allaah, Pages 28-30.


amazingsceneIt was narrated that when the verse in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And warn, [O Muhammad], your closest kindred} [Quran 26: 214] was revealed, the Prophet ascended the mountain of As-Safa and started calling: “O Banu Ka‘b ibn Lu’ayy, save yourselves from Hell! O Banu Murrah ibn Ka‘b, save yourselves from Hell! O Banu ‘Abd Shams, save yourselves from Hell! O Banu ‘Abd Manaaf, save yourselves from Hell! O Banu Haashim, save yourselves from Hell! O Banu ‘Abdul Muttalib, save yourselves from Hell! O Faatimah, save yourself from Hell! I cannot do anything to protect you from the Punishment of Allaah." [Muslim]

It was truly an awe–inspiring warning with which the Prophet started his call. Such a warning strikes the hearts before the ears to awaken them to return to their Lord and Creator and start the journey to bliss and happiness of both worlds. This is realized when the hearts know the role for which humans have been created and therefore they live by Allaah The Almighty, for Allaah The Almighty, and with Allaah The Almighty (i.e. his Remembrance). This is the right way that should be adopted by all those who want to turn to Allaah The Almighty. One's first step on this blessed way should be seeking the provision of fearing the One Who knows the Unseen.

The journey to Allaah The Almighty needs hearts, not bodies. A heart that is still heedless and tied to the shackles of disobedience cannot move towards Allaah The Almighty. How can such a heart move to Allaah The Almighty while it is tied to its desires? How can a heart yearn to enter upon Allaah The Almighty while it is impure with heedlessness?

Therefore, the one who seeks salvation needs high spiritual energy which frees him from the restrictions of these shackles. Thus, the heart is released and moves freely to Allaah The Almighty with a high morale and vigor. The best motive for this energy is the fear of Allaah, the Great and the Noble. This is the belief adopted by Ibraaheem Ash-Shaybaani as he said,

"When the fear of Allaah inhabits the heart, it burns the sources of desires and expels ambition in this worldly life." [Shu‘ab Al-Eemaan by Al-Bayhaqi]

This is the principle inherited from the best human being, the Prophet as he directed us to this saying: "The one who fears (the attack of enemies) sets out in the first part of the night, and the one sets out early will surely reach his destination. Lo, the commodity of Allaah is precious. Verily, the commodity of Allaah is Paradise." [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

Do you want salvation?

niqabDear Muslim, do you want salvation? Do you want to be secure on the Day of Resurrection when people will be afraid? Do you want to win Paradise when the losers will fail to achieve it? You have to fear Allaah, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence. Here is Allaah The Almighty who gives you glad tidings and warns you at the same time. In a Hadeeth Qudsi (sacred narration), the Prophet narrated that Allaah The Almighty Says: "By my might, I shall not combine in my slave two fears and two securities, for, if he fears me in this world, I shall make him secure on the Day of Resurrection; and if he feels secure about me (does not fear me) in this world, I shall terrify him on the Day of Resurrection." [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

Then comes this Prophetic promise for all those who fear Allaah The Almighty, as the Prophet said: "The one who weeps out of fear of Allaah will not enter Hell until the milk returns back into the udder." [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

While there will be only one garden for the believer in the Hereafter, Allaah The Almighty has prepared for His slaves whose hearts tremble out of fear of Him two gardens. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {But for he who has feared the position of his Lord are two gardens.} [Quran 55: 46]

Rejoice, O you who fear Allaah and have faith. Listen to Mujaahid describing the slave who fears Allaah The Almighty by saying,

"He is the man who decides to commit a sin and then remembers his questioning before Allaah The Almighty and he, thus, abandons it. For him there will be two gardens." [Tafseer At-Tabari]

The bird's wings:

Dear Muslim, if you want to live under the shelter of your Lord in this world and hope to reside beside Him in the Hereafter, you have to move to Allaah as quickly as possible. You have to do so not slowly, as if walking, but as swiftly as birds and fly in the heavens of faith. The stronger your wings are, the more wishes you will fulfill. But, do you know where you can find your wings?

Ibn Al-Qayyim said,

“The heart, on its journey to Allaah, is like a bird: love is its head, and fear and hope are its wings. When the head and wings are sound, the bird flies gracefully. If the head is cut, the bird dies. If the bird loses one of its wings, it then becomes a target for every hunter or predator.” [Madaarij As-Saalikeen by Ibn Al-Qayyim]

You cannot fly without wings! You cannot move to your Lord without a heart in which the valleys of fear and hope flow!

These are important signs in the way to Allah (az) which Ibn Al-Qayyim directs us. They signify that a heart which moves towards Allaah The Almighty must have a strategy including two matters: fear and hope.

The hair turns white:


Reflecting on the biographies of the Prophets and the Messengers of Allaah, may Allaah exalt their mention, you find that they greatly feared Allaah The Almighty. The master of those who fear the Lord of the Worlds, the Prophet (peace be upon him), figures at the top of this list. It is enough for you to listen to his words when he expressed his fear of His Lord: "I see what you do not see and hear what you do not hear. The heaven makes a noise like groaning, and it has the right to do so, for there is no space in it with the width of four fingers, but there is an angel placing his forehead in prostration to Allaah. By Allaah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, you would not enjoy your women and you would go out into the roads praying to Allaah." (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 2312)

It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas that Abu Bakr said, "‘O Messenger of Allaah, you have developed white hair!’ He replied: ‘The Surahs Hood, Al-Waaqi‘ah, Al-Mursalaat, An-Naba’ and At-Takweer turned my hair white.’" [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

Indeeed, the fear of Allaah Almighty turned our dear Prophet's hair white!

The inheritors of fear (of Allaah):

The Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) , inherited this fear of Allaah from him. Describing this Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said,

"Reflecting on the life of the Companions one finds that they worked hard and were very fearful of Allaah The Almighty. On the contrary, we do little but do not have fear of Allaah The Almighty. Here is the example of As-Siddeeq saying,

"I wish I were a hair in a believer's side."

It was also narrated that he used to catch his tongue and say,

"This was the reason behind my destruction!"

He used to frequently weep and say,

"Weep, and if you cannot weep, then feign weeping." [Ad-Daa’ wad-Dawaa’ by Ibn Al-Qayyim]

It was narrated that Tameem Ad-Daari one night recited Surah Al-Jaathiyah and when he reached the verse in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds - [make them] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge.} [Quran 45: 21] He kept on repeating it and crying until morning." [Sifat As-Safwah by Ibn Al-Jawzi]

The righteous follow the same way:

Faatimah bint ‘Abdul-Malik, wife of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez said to Mugheerah ibn Al-Hakam,

"There might be among people those who pray and fast more than ‘Umar. But I have never seen anyone who fears his Lord more than ‘Umar does. He used to perform the ‘Ishaa’ (night) Prayer and then sit in his place of prayer, and supplicate and weep until he fell asleep. Then he would wake and make supplication and weep until he would fall asleep. He used to continue in this way until morning." [Siyar A‘laam An-Nubalaa’ by Ath-Thahabi]

Once ‘Umar wept and then Faatimah wept and then all the inhabitants of the house wept. However, none of them knew why the others were weeping. When they stopped weeping, Faatimah said, "O Commander of the Believers, I (would) ransom you with my father and mother, why did you weep?" He replied,

"I remembered when people will be divided into two sections before Allaah, a section in Paradise and another in Hell."

Al-Marwazi said, "When Abu ‘Abdullaah, meaning Ahmad ibn Hanbal, remembered death, he was overcome by tears. He used to say,

'Fear of Allaah prevents me from eating and drinking. Whenever I remember death, all worldly matters become worthless in my sight. It is just an inferior food and inferior clothes (compared to those of Paradise). They are just a few days. Nothing is safer than poverty. If I could, I would set out (from this town), so that no one knows me or praises me.’" [Siyar A‘laam An-Nubalaa’ by Ath-Thahabi]

Fear that we seek:

Here we must learn an important lesson: fear should not be an end in itself, but a means towards an end. When that end -- the ultimate pleasure of Allaah The Almighty -- is attained, there is no need for fear. There is no fear upon the people of Paradise, nor do they grieve. Fear is associated with actions, while love is connected with the creation and their attributes. The true and praiseworthy fear is that which stops a person from the prohibitions of Allaah. However, when fear exceeds this boundary, it may bring hopelessness and despair. Abu ‘Uthmaan said, 'Sincerity of fear is avoidance of sins, open and secret. I also heard Shaykh-ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah say,

'The praiseworthy fear is that which prevented you from the prohibitions of Allaah.'" [Madaarij As-Saalikeen by Ibn Al-Qayyim]

The embarrassing question:

Now that you know some incidents about our Prophet (peace be upon him) , his noble Companions as well as the righteous predecessors, you have to question yourself:

  • Why were they afraid while we are not?
  • Why did they greatly fear Allaah in this manner although they acted sincerely?
  • Why do we not fear Allaah in the same way even though we act with negligence to a large extent?

Now, here's the answer to these question. There were reasons for this fear, which did not go away from from the hearts and minds of these great people. Such reasons led them to this high level of fearing Allaah The Almighty. When we neglected these reasons, our hearts hardened and became heedless of what was intended for us when we were created.

One of the most important reasons is the hearts' negligence of the events and scenes of the Hereafter; both the scenes of bliss as well as those of misery. It was narrated that Hanthalah said,

"The Messenger of Allaah used to tell us about Paradise and Hell and it was as if we could see them with our very eyes."

jilbaab1555In doing so, the heart is alerted to what is intended for it and consequently it becomes full of the fear of Allaah Almighty Who resurrects the dead and to Whom belong all matters.

You can start by listening to some talks about the Hereafter or by reading a book on the Hereafter.

Another important practical way for you develop the fear of Allaah Almighty is to frequently remember the following Hadeeth (narration): "By My might, I shall not combine in My slave two fears and two securities, for, if he fears Me in this world, I shall make him secure on the Day of Resurrection; and if he feels secure about Me (does not fear Me) in this world, I shall terrify him on the Day of Resurrection." (Sahih al-Jami)

Whenever yourself whispers to you to do an act of disobedience or to neglect an act of obedience, you should remind it of this Hadeeth, which tells us that security and safety in the Hereafter will only be for those who fear the position of Allaah in this worldly life. You should remind yourself about this Hadeeth, perhaps the heart may soften and the self may become more humble and submissive.

The conclusion is by Al-Ishbeeli:

Al-Ishbeeli said:

"You may consider performing two Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) at night in which you recite one or two Hizbs (portions) of the Quran which you may find long. Or you may walk a mile in order to fulfill a Muslim's need. Regardless, you will face this long day and severe hardship. Such a day will be short only for those who exert their utmost to please Allaah The Almighty and easy only for those who experienced hardships for the sake of Allaah.

Perhaps when you perform these two Rak‘ahs one night, you will not be able to do so the next. Perhaps when you fulfill a Muslim's need once, you may flee from doing this another time and become annoyed and bored. However, you may walk one, two or more miles than this for insignificant matters. Nevertheless, if you reflect on your affairs and think about what is required from you, this will make many difficult matters easy for you and many distant things near to you. So, you should work on short days and during a short life for long days and a long life."


satanhindersHe governs the affairs of the various kingdoms and He commands and forbids, creates, sustains, gives death, gives life, gives power, strips power (to and from whom He wills) and alternates the night and day. He gives varying fortunes to people and alternates governments (and states), destroying some and bringing some into existence. His Command and Power are dominant in the heavens and their zones, the earth and all that which is on and in it, in the seas and in the air. His Knowledge has encompassed everything and He counted everything. He hears all types of voices and they do not confuse Him. Rather, He hears each voice in its distinct language and need, and no voice will make Him busy from fulfilling the need of another, and no need will ever escape His Perfect Knowledge (and His Power to deliver).

He does not become bored because of the many needs of those who need. His Sight encompasses all that which there is. He sees the movement of a black ant on a barren rock during a dark night. To Him, the Unseen is uncovered end the secret is secret no more, “Whosoever is in the heavens and on Earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring Forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to (some, death to some, etc.).” [55:29]

He forgives an evil deed, makes depression vanish and brings reprieve from disasters, relief for whoever needs it, wealth for the poor, guidance for the misguided, light for the lost, help for he who is desperate, fullness for the hungry, cover for the barely clothed, cure for the ill and ease for he who suffers. He accepts he who repents, gives reward for he who does good, gives aid for he who was dealt with injustice, destroys an arrogant person, covers mistakes, gives safety after fear and elevates some people and humiliates others. If those who inhabit His heavens and His earth and all those whom He created, whether mankind or the Jinns, had hearts similar to the most pious heart, His Kingdom will not increase. If all His creation, whether mankind or the Jinns, had hearts similar to the heart of the most wicked heart, this will not decrease from His Kingdom. Also, if all those who inhabit His heavens and His earth, all mankind and all the Jinns, the dead and the living, stand up on one strip of land and each asks Him for his need, and He then fulfils their needs, this will not decrease from what He has even a bit.

He is the First, nothing is before Him, the Last, nothing is after Him, the Most High, nothing is above Him, and the Most Near, nothing is nearer than Him. He, Exalted and Ever High as He is, is the Best Whom one can and should remember, the only One Who deserves to be worshiped and thanked, the Kindest of all those who own and the Most generous of all those who are asked to give. He is the King Who has no partner, the One Who has no competitor, the Samad (Self-Sufficient) Who has no offspring, and the Ever High, none like unto Him. Everything perishes save His Face and every kingship is bound to perish except His. He will only be obeyed by His Leave, and His Knowledge uncovers all disobedience to Him. When He is obeyed, He thanks for it, and when He is disobeyed, He grants forgiveness (for those who truly repent to Him). Every punishment from Him is just and every bounty is a grace. He is the Closest Witness and the Nearest One with His Perfect Care. He controls the forelocks of everything and has the full records of all deeds and the books of all ages. The hearts are unmasked to Him and the secret is unveiled. His giving and punishing is merely a Command, “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be, and it is!’” [36:82].


white sands blue skies by corazondedios



When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah forgave him and erased his sin.

When Abraham was thrown into the fire, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah saved him and made the fire cool.

When ordered to sacrifice his son, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah replaced his son with a mountain goat.

When Hagar had nothing to feed her baby, she cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah burst forth for her the Spring of Zamzam.


When Joseph was thrown into the well, he cried “Ya Allah!”

So Allah reassured him of His Help and Victory.

When Jacob became blind at the grief of his missing son, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah restored his sight and returned to him his son.

When Moses fled his land in fear, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah gave him safety in the farmer’s house.

When Pharaoh’s army closed in on them, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah parted the sea for them and drowned their enemy.


When Job was stricken with distress, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah restored for him his health and wealth.

When Jonah lay at the bottom of the sea, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah ordered the whale to bring him to shore.

When David met Goliath, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah gave him victory and Goliath was slain.

When they tried to crucify Jesus, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah raised him up and saved him from crucifixion.


When Muhammad’s followers were tortured, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah opened for them the way to Madinah.

When he was nearly captured in the cave, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah’s spider spun a web and concealed him.

When his army was outnumbered at Badr, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah sent down angels to rout his foe.

When his Companions were massacred at Mauna, he cried, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah avenged their deaths and destroyed the oppressors.


When a ship is tossed by a storm, they cry, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah brings them safely to land.

When trapped in a dark hole, they cry, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah enlightens them with an opening.

When the rope becomes too tight, they cry, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah breaks it and brings them relief.

When they plead for Allah’s Help and cry, “Ya Allah!”

So Allah responds, “Indeed My Help is Near!”


When matters are beyond you, cry, “YA ALLAH!”

And He will aid you and assist you.

When all hope is lost, cry, “YA ALLAH!”

And He will bring you ease after hardship.

When you have nothing left, cry, “YA ALLAH!”

And He will provide for you from where you could never imagine.

When you have no one else to turn to, cry, “YA ALLAH!”

And you will find Him in front of you,

Hearing and Responding.




The Servant Poor to his Lord.