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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ramadan: The month of the Qur’an

By Abu Dharr, based on Ibn Rajab’s Lata’if al-Ma’arif
Ramadan has a special relationship with the Qur’an, of course: “The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:185) The word ‘so’ (fa) in this ayah leads to the following paraphrase of one aspect of its meaning: “Fast this month because it is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down”. Ibn ‘Abbas narrates “that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the most generous person, and he would be at his most generous in Ramadan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would rehearse the Qur’an with him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Eng. trans. 6/486) This hadith contains recommendation of the following:
* Studying the Qur’an in Ramadan;
* Coming together for this purpose;
*Checking (one’s memory/knowledge of) the Qur’an with someone who has preserved it better;
* Increasing recitation of the Qur’an in Ramadan;
* That the night time is the best time to recite, when other preoccupations decrease and it is easier to concentrate, as in Surah al-Muzzammil 73:6.
Further, Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated from her father (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who told her that Jibril would rehearse the Qur’an with him (in Ramadan) once every year, and he did so twice in the year of his death. (Bukhari 6/485) After mentioning the above aspects of the Sunnah, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali talks about the situation of the Salaf (the early Muslims) during Ramadan:
“... Some of the Salaf would complete reciting the whole Qur’an during the night prayer of Ramadan every three days, others every seven days e.g. Qataadah, others in 10 days e.g. Abu Rajaa’ al-Atardi.
“The Salaf would recite Qur’an in Ramadan in Prayer as well as outside it.
“Al-Aswad would finish the Qur’an every two nights in Ramadan; Ibrahim an-Nakh’I would do likewise in the last 10 nights specifically, and every three nights during the rest of the month.
“Qataadah would regularly finish the Qur’an in seven days, but in three days during Ramadan, when he would study the Qur’an especially, and every night during its last 10 days.
“Al-Zuhri would say when Ramadan began, ‘It is recitation of the Qur’an and feeding of people.’ When Ramadan began, Imam Malik would cease narrating Hadith and sitting with the people of knowledge, and stick to reciting the Qur’an from its pages, while Sufyan al-Thawri would leave other acts of worship and stick to reciting the Qur’an. ‘Aishah would recite from the pages of the Qur’an at the beginning of the day in Ramadan (i.e. after dawn), until when the sun had risen, she would sleep.
“Zayd al-Yaami would bring copies of the Qur’an when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him. ...”
Ibn Rajab later continues, “The forbiddance of completing recitation of the Qur’an in less than three days applies to this being made a regular practice, but as for favoured times such as Ramadan, especially the nights in which Laylat al-Qadr is sought, or favoured places such as Makkah for the visitor, it is recommended to increase reciting the Qur’an to avail the time and place. This is the view of Ahmad, Ishaq and other Imams, and the practice of others indicates this too.”
The purpose here is not to discuss whether or not the latter view is correct or not, since that is purely academic for most of us, as we do not get anywhere near reciting the whole Qur’an in three days! However, the practice of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), his Companions, and those who followed their path, should be clear enough. As a further example, Al-Bukhari (3/79) quotes from the noble Companion Zaid bin Thabit who answered the question, “How much time was there between the pre-dawn meal and the Dawn Prayer?” by saying, “Enough time to recite fifty ayat”; since the practice of the Arabs was to measure time in terms of everyday actions, this shows that the Sahabah were pre-occupied with the Qur’an, especially in Ramadan.
Compare all this with our sad state, when we talk so much about establishing Islam, implementing the Qur’an, etc. and yet have such little contact with it, maybe not completing its recitation ever at all since childhood, or perhaps never!
Hence we become imbalanced in our understanding of Islam, because there are ayat which we rarely or never hear or think about; we repeat only certain selected ayat over and over again; we lost the context of the verses, the overall flow, argument and balance of the Qur’an, all of which is beautiful and miraculous.
ecause of this ignorance we go astray from the Straight Path, split up into sects, lose the blessings of Allah... “We took a covenant from those who said: we are Christians, but they forgot part of the message with which they had been reminded, so we ingrained amongst them enmity and hatred until the Day of Judgment...” (Surah al-Ma’idah 5:14)
In Sahih Al-Bukhari (6/521), there is an amazing piece of advice from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Recite the Qur’an as long as your hearts agree on it; if you disagree about it, stop reciting it (for the time being)” – studying the Qur’an should bring people together! In Surah al-Mu’minoon (23:53), there is mention of the people before us (in whose footsteps we would follow), who broke up their Deen into sects (zuburan), each party rejoicing in what it had.
“One understanding of this, from the word zuburan meaning literally ‘books’, is that each sect left the Book of Allah, and concentrated solely on the books of its own sect, so “they split their Deen up into books”!
The most twisted, ridiculous, shallow ideas, innovations and superstitions are propagated amongst Muslims when they are away from the Qur’an, because any little knowledge of the Qur’an would be enough to dispel them.
Hence, O slave of Allah, leave aside secondary books and concentrate on studying the Blessed Book of Allah in the Blessed Month (use a good translation/commentary if needed), for it is the source of all Knowledge in other books, and keep away from wasting time, especially in futile discussions and arguments which lead nowhere, for that is a sure sign of being misguided, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whenever a people went astray after they had been on guidance, they were given to argumentation (jadl).” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah – Sahih al-Jami’ al-Saghir, No. 5633)
Finally, remember that the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will complain to Allah on the Day of Judgment that his people neglected the Qur’an (Surah al-Furqan 25:30).
Neglect of the Qur’an is of different levels, as Ibn al-Qayyim writes: Not reciting or listening to it; Not studying and understanding it; Not conveying its message; Not judging by it in personal and communal matters, at all levels of society; Not believing in it.
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

(Gulf Times)



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Sunday, July 29, 2012

LIVE from Masjidil Haram - Makkah



LIVE from Masjidil Haram - Makkah
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sawn: Fasting the month of Ramadan

By Sheikh Yusuf Estes


The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting. Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon.


Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarrelling and trivial nonsense.


Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.


In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Quran. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran (Juz') is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Quran has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was begun during Ramadan.


During the last ten days - though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year - occurs the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah's reward for it is very great.


On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called 'Id al-Fitr. A quantity of staple food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr), everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.


There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan, Mondays and Thursdays, and the ninth and tenth, or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called Ashurah, is also a fast day for the Jews (Yom Kippur), and Allah commanded the Muslims to fast two days to distinguish themselves from the People of the Book.


While fasting per se is encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy, and otherwise retreating from the real world, are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, 'Id al-Fitr and 'Id al-Adha, the feast of the Hajj, is strictly forbidden.

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Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power)



Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power)
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Quran verses on the month of Ramadan

(1) The month of ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, 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 Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar; Allah is the Most Great] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.

(Quran, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #185)



(2) Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord - Allah), the men and the women who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat, and alms), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of ramadan, and the optional Nawafil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise). 

(Quran, Al-Ahzab, Chapter #33, Verse #35)




(3) We sent it (this Qur'an) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Al-Qadr, Surah No. 97) in the month oframadan - 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]. 

(Quran, Ad-Dukhan, Chapter #44, Verse #3)

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Advice to Muslims in Ramadhan

From the book "Khulaasatul Kalaam" by Shaykh Jaarullah.



Brother Muslim, Sister Muslima:



1. Fast Ramadhan with belief and truly seeking the reward of Allah the Most High so that He may forgive you your past sins.


2. Beware of breaking your fast during the days of Ramadhan without a valid Islamic excuse, for it is from the greatest of sins.

3. Pray Salat ut-Taraweeh and the night prayer during the nights of Ramadhan - especially on Layatul-Qadr - based on belief and truly seeking the reward of Allah, so that Allah may forgive you your past sins.

4. Make sure that your food, your drink and your clothing are from halal means, in order that your actions be accepted, and your supplications answered. Beware of refraining from the halal while fasting and breaking your fast with the haram.

5. Give food to some fasting people to gain a reward similar to theirs.

6. Perform your five prayers on time in congregation to gain the reward and Allah's protection.

7. Give a lot of charity for the best charity is that of Ramadhan.

8. Beware of spending your time without performing righteous deeds, for you will be responsible and reckoned for it and will be rewarded for all you do during your time.

9. Perform `umrah in Ramadhan for `Umrah in Ramadhan is equal to Hajj.

10. Seek help for fasting during the day by eating the sahoor meal in the last part of the night before the appearance of Fajr.

11. Hasten breaking your fast after the sun has truly set in order to gain the love of Allah.

12. Perform ghusl before fajr if you need to purify yourself from the state of major impurity so that you are able to do acts of worship in a state of purity and cleanliness.

13. Cease the opportunity of being in Ramadhan and spend it with the good that has been revealed in it - by reciting the noble Qur'an and pondering and reflection of its meanings so that it be a proof for you with your Lord and an intercessor for you on the Day of Reckoning.

14. Preserve your tongue from lying, cursing, backbiting and slander for it decreases the reward of fasting.

15. Do not let fasting cause you cross your boundaries by getting upset due to the slightest of reasons. Rather, fating should be a cause of peacefulness and tranquility of your soul.

16. Upon completion of fasting, be in a state of taqwa of Allah the Most High, being aware of Allah watching you in secret and in public, in thankfulness for His favors, and steadfastness upon obedience of Allah by doing all what He has ordered and shunning all that He has prohibited.

17. Increase in remembrance of Allah, seeking of forgiveness, asking for Paradise and protection against the Fire, especially when fasting, while breaking the fast and during suhoor, for these actions are among greatest causes of attaining Allah's forgiveness.

18. Increase in supplication for yourself, your parents, your children and Muslims, for Allah has ordered making of supplications and has guaranteed acceptance.

19. Repent to Allah with a sincere repentance in all times by leaving sins, regretting those that you have done before and firmly deciding not to return to them in the future, for Allah accepts repentance of those who repent.

20. Fast six days of Shawwal, for whoever fasts Ramadhan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasts all the time.

21. Fast on the Day of `Arafah, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, to attain success by being forgiven your sins of the last year and the coming year.

22. Fast on the day of `Aashuraa', the 10th of Muharram, along with the 9th, to attain success by being forgiven your sins of the past year.

23. Continue being in a state of iman and taqwa and perform righteous actions after the month of Ramadhan, until you die. "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". [Qur'an 15:99]

24. Ensure that you attain the positive effects of your acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, zakat and hajj, sincere repentance and leaving of customs that are in variance with the Sharee`ah.

25. Invoke a lot of salawat and salam upon the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, his Companions and all those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

O Allah make us and all Muslims of those who fast and stand in prayer during the month of Ramadhan based on belief and truly seeking Your reward so that we are forgiven our past and future sins.

O Allah make us of those who fasted the month, attained full reward, witnessed Layatul-Qadr and attained success by permission of the Lord, Blessed and Most High.

O Allah, verily you are Forgiver, like to forgive, so forgive us.

O Lord, accept from us, verily you are the All-Hearing, all-Seeing, O Living, O Independent, O Owner of all majesty and honor.

And may Allah's blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, his family and his Companions.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crescentrating announces Top 10 Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations for 2012


Crescentrating just announced its Top 10 Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations for 2012. This year’s top 10 destinations were split into two categories; Top 10 among the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries and the top 10 among the other countries.

This year’s list was compiled based on the Muslim Lifestyle Friendly (Halal Friendly) facilities and services available to Muslim visitors such as Halal food availability, Halal certified restaurants, and the availability of mosques, family friendly attractions etc., in the particular destination.

OIC Countries, which are generally Halal Friendly, offer a more hassle free vacation due to the readily available supply of Halal food, prayer facilities and the general family-friendly atmosphere. These destinations not only offer their Halal-conscious tourists these necessary Halal friendly facilities, but they also have great tourist attractions such as theme parks, nature excursions, shopping opportunities and wonderful beaches!

Malaysia, which is ranked as the Top Halal Friendly Holiday Destination in an OIC country, offers much to Muslim travelers; Malaysia was followed by Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Brunei and Qatar.

All of the non OIC countries listed have the basic Halal friendly facilities available as well, though they may not be as frequent or as popular as in OIC countries. The destinations offer unique surroundings, atmospheres and attractions for the many visitors they welcome.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked as the most Halal Friendly Holiday Destination in a non OIC country; this crossroad where East meets West is an eclectic mix of traditional masjids and modern ski resorts giving its tourists the best of both worlds. BiH was followed by Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Gold Coast (Australia), Delhi (India), London (UK), Bangkok (Thailand), Munich (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) as the Top 10 Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations among non OIC countries for 2012.
For a more in-depth look at the Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations of 2012, visit www.crescentrating.com.

Crescentrating Pte Ltd. is a Singapore based company focused on the development of the Halal Friendly Travel market segment worldwide. Establishments are crescentrated on a scale of one to seven based on the services and facilities they provide to Muslim travelers. The Board of Directors and Board of Advisers of Crescentrating Pte Ltd. come from diverse backgrounds, bringing unique skills and knowledge from the Islamic Banking Industry, Halal Food Industry, Research and Consultancy, Islamic Scholarship and Corporate experience. All of them are well-established individuals with International and pioneering experience in their chosen fields. (Iqraa Int./7Jan2012)

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Project on Muslims Are Our fellow Americans....



Lowe's Home Improvement recently pulled its ads from the TLC show All-American Muslim in response to an organization claiming the show "falsely humanized Muslims in America.” This controversy has exposed more Islamophobia in America which falls directly in line with what the My Fellow American project is trying to prevent and overcome in America.

As a supporter of the project, would you please visit www.myfellowamerican.us to share what this controversy means to you? Help spread the message of tolerance to fight back against intolerance and fear-mongering. 


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