Thursday, August 25, 2011
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 Allahs 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 Quran 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 Allahs 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). [Quran 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 Allahs 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 Allahs blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, his family and his Companions.
Amin ya rabbal alamin
Saturday, August 20, 2011
In Islam it's a sunnah that we fast, and I bet many of us feel better when we sahur compared to missing it. Like any other sunnah, there is a hikmah in sahur, here I reveal the secrets of sahur. (Taken from this book, of course..)
There are many hadiths that strongly suggest sahur in the Ramadhan. Among them Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidzi, and Nasai. In these hadiths sahur is associated with blessings and goodness. In other hadiths by Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud and Nasai we are asked to sahur to differentiate our fasting from the people of the book. The times we are recommended for sahur is further towards dawn, as it was said that we are told to delay sahur but hasten our fast breaking.
According to Imam Ibn Abdil Bar, all hadiths regarding to the delaying of sahur and the hastening of breaking fast are all sahih and mutawatir.There is a significance in a delayed sahur, as it can be considered as breakfast, thus we don't feel hunger upon our regular chores of the day. A researched showed that the most important meal of the day is breakfast, BBC News dated March 7th 2003 reported that taking breakfast preserves health compared to other meals in the day.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
In the name of Allah The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful and all praise to Allah, Lord of the universe and prayers are upon His final Prophet, Muhammad p.b.u.h. Alhamdulillah, we are given the opportunity to live in His world as the most respected creature as a caliph. As a caliph and also the servant of Allah, our duty is to obey and serve Allah and follow His Messenger, Muhammad p.b.u.h. in order to achieve the glory in life and in the Hereafter, as been mentioned by him in the Qur’an.
In conjunction with this Ramadan, the Dakwah and Training Bureau Mahallah Representative Committee (MRC) of Mahallah Abdul Rahman Ibn ‘Auf in collaboration with Mahallah Ummu Salamah had organized Madrasah Ramadan Camp (MRC 2011) with the theme; “Forming the true youth spirit through the miracles of Ramadan” on 12th August 2011 -14th August 2011.
The camp was successfully held at Kem Rimba Ria Suara Hutan, Sungai Congkak with the number of participants about 94 of students. Most of them had gave us positive feedback and we are really appreciate their willingness to sacrifice their time to join this program.
We hope that this programme could allow the muslim teenagers to comprehend more about the noble religion of Islam besides of going through a new and indelible experience of fasting during the Ramadan especially since this is their first time celebrating the holy month in CFS IIUM Nilai.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This is one of the holiest and most blessed nights, which is likely to occur on one of the odd nights on the last ten days of Ramadhan and most likely to be the 27th. The reward of worship on this night is better than the worship of a thousand months of worship, equivalent to a person's lifetime. So, on this night one should pray nafil namaz, recite the Quran, do Tasbih, Zikr, Duas, etc as much as possible.
This night had already opened its gates of treasures when the angel for the first time had come with the Divine Message in the cave of Hira, but its auspiciousness has continued to be with us permanently. Every year in the month of Ramadhan, this night is given to the Ummah. Muslims engage in prayers, recitation of Quran and praying to Allah, as the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallamsaid: "The person who offered prayers to Allah in the night of Dignity with faith and with hope of reward from Allah, all his past sins have been forgiven." (Bukhaari)
As the rainy season is suitable for farming, similarly for the attainment of nearness to Allah, specific times , specific days and specific nights are most suitable, e.g. the time of Tahajjud prayers, Friday prayers, month of Ramadhan, the Day of Arafah, etc. So also the Night of Power is the most suitable night for attaining nearness to Allah.
In the Hadeeth, we have been asked to seek it in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan. Hazrat Aa'ishah radhiyallahu anhaa narrates that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alayhi wasallam has said, 'Seek the night of Dignity in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan'.(Bukhaari).
By odd nights, the reference is made to the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th night of the month of Ramadhan. No one night has been fixed so that the yearning to find it may increase and people may spend more nights in worshipping Allah. From this aspect, the importance of `Itikaaf (seclusion) during the last ten days of Ramadhan is clear.Some special prayers and Zikr for Laitul Qadr
1. Seeking Forgiveness. Hazrat Aa'ishah radhiyallahu anhaa asked the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam that if she happened to get the night sublime what prayer should she say. The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam replied that she should say the following prayer :
"Allahumma innaka afuwwun kareemun tuhib-bul af-wa fa-afo anni"
(O Allah, You are the One who grants pardon for sins, loves forgiving, so forgive me.)
|2. Reciting Astaghfar. The following should be recited as much as possible:|
"Astaghfirullah hallazi la-ila-ha illa huwal Hayyul Qayyumo wa atu-bu ilaihe"
(I seek forgiveness from Allah, the Almighty, there is no God but He. He is self-Existent, the Eternal and I return to Him)
|3. Reciting Surah `Inna anzalnahu...'|
"Inna anzalnahu fee lailathil Qadr, Wa maa adraka maa lailatul Qadr.
Lailatul Qadri khairum min alfi shahr. Tanazzalul malai-katu var-roohu
fee ha bi izni Rabbihim min kulle amr. Salaamun heya hatta matla-il fajr."
|4. Do Salatul Tasbih.|
|5. Do Afzul Zikr i.e. La ilaha illallah|
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Great Battle of Badr took place on the seventeenth of Ramadan, two years after the Hijra. This was the first battle that the believers ever engaged in with the disbelievers, and it is, by far, the most famous and most renown, becuase of the several extraordinary events that occured during it. Rasoolullah (saws) had encouraged the Muslims to oppose the Quraish caravan which was returning to Mecca from Sham. The Muslims went out with 300 and some soldiers not intending to meet a caravan of about 40 men, not intending to fight but only to overpower them. The caravan escaped, but Abu Sufyan had already sent word to Quraish to come and protect it. The Quraish marched with enormous army of 1000 men, six hundred wearing shields, 100 horses, and 700 camels, and luxurious provisions to last for several days. The disbelievers wanted to make this a victory that would put fear into the hearts of all the Arabs. They wanted to crush the Muslims once and for all and the odds were overwhelmingly in their favor. Imagine that the believers with their small army (including only 2 horses), going out with the intent of meeting a mere 40 unarmed man and instead meeting a well- prepared army of *3 times* their size.... Rasoolullah (saws) could have easily ordered the believers to fight and they wouldn't have hesitated to comply, but, he (saws) wanted to emphasize to his followers that they should fight out of conviction and iman and to teach us a lesson in the process. He gathered his followers to conduct shura (consultation). Many of the muhajireen ( the Muslims who emigrated from Mecca to Medinah) spoke up, using the most eloquent of words to describe their dedication. But there was one of the sahabah whom all the others envied for his statement to Rasoolullah (saws). He, Miqdad ibn al Aswad, rose up in front of the crowd and said, 'Ya Rasoolullah! We will not say to you like Bani Israel said to Musa, 'Go you and your Lord and fight, we are here sitting (waiting).' (surat al maa'idah). Go by Allah's blessing and we are with you!" And so Rasoolullah (saws) was very pleased, but in his greeat wisdom, he waited silently, and some among the Muslims knew what he intended. So far only the muhajiroon had given their consent, but it was the Ansar (the Muslims who lived in Medinah and welcomed the Muslims into their city) who had the most to loose in this stake and it was not a part of the pledge (that Rasoolullah had taken from the Ansar at 'Aqabah) for the Ansar to fight with the Muslims in foreign territory. So, the great leader of the Ansar, Sa'd ibn Mu'adh spoke up, "Ya Rasoolullah! Maybe you mean us." Rasoolullah (saws) responded in the affirmative. Sa'd proceeded to give a beautiful speech in which he said, among many things: "O Messenger of Allah, we have believed in you and we believe that you are saying the truth. We give you, based on that, our covenant to listen to and obey you.....By Allah, the One Who sent you with the truth, if you were to enter the sea, we would rush into it with you and
not one of us would stay behind...May Allah show you in our actions what will satisfy your eyes. So march with us, putting our trust in Allah's blessings." Rasoolullah (saws) was very pleased by this and said, 'Forward and be of cheer, for Allah has promised me one of the two (the caravan or the battle), and by Allah, it is as if I now saw the enemy lying prostrate.' The Muslims marched forward and encamped at the nearest spring of Badr (closest to Medinah, which is north of Mecca). One of the companions, Al-Hubab ibn Mundhir, asked Rasoolullah (saws), ' Has Allah inspired you to choose this very spot or is it stratagem of war and the product of consultation?' Rasoolullah (saws) said, 'It is the product of stratagem of war and consultation.' So Al-Hubab suggested that the Muslims encamp further south on the nearest water well, make a basin of water for themselves, and destroy the other wells to thereby restrict to Quraish's access to the water. Rasoolullah (saws) approved of his plan and carried it out.[*] Then, Sa'd ibn Mu'adh suggested that a trellis or hut be built for Rasoolullah (saws) as a protection for him and to serve as a headquarters for the army. Rasoolullah (saws) and Abu Bakr stayed in the hut while Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and a group of his men guarded it. Rasoolullah (saws) spent the whole nigh preceeding the battle in prayer and supplication evn thought he (saws) knew that Allah (swt) had promised him victory. It was out of his (saws) love for and worship and submission to Allah (swt) that he did this. And it was said that this is the highest form of 'ibadah knowns as ''ain al yaqeen', a state of being completely dependant and submissive to Allah (swt), which distinguished him (in superiority) from Abu Bakr As siddiq (ra) who only had ' 'ilm al yaqeen', the certainty of the promise. Unusally, that same night, the night when tensions were mounting for one of the biggest events in history, the night before the battle that would signify the progress or defeat of Islam, instead of being nervous, worried and unable to sleep, the Muslim army enjoyed a sound and refreshing sleep. That night was the night of the 17th of Ramadan, the year 2 A.H. This was a Divine favor which Allah (swt) mentioned in the Quran: '(Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering, evil suggestions, etc.) of Satan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.' [8:11] The seond favor from Allah (swt) mentioned in this verse is the rain that Allah (swt) sent upon the believers that very night. The place where the Muslims were to encamp was made of sandy ground which was hard to walk on becuase one's feet could easily sink in it. Allah (swt) sent the rain to make the ground firm under their feet and sent the sleep to make their hearts firm. The next morning, Rasoolullah (saw) was still asleep when Quraish was very closely approaching. Abu Bakr (ra) was very hesitant to wake the noble Messenger (saws), but was forced to do so becuase Quraish were approahcing quickly. The Muslims were arranged in ranks. When the two parties appoached closer and were visible to each other, Rasoolullah (saws) began supplicating, 'O Allah! The conceited and haughty Quraishites are already here and defying You and and belying Your Messenger. O Allah! I m waiting for Your victory which You have promised me. I beseech You Allah to defeat them.' He (saws) then gave strict orders that his men would not start fighting until he gave them his final word. He recommended that they use their arrows sparingly  and never resort to swords unless the enemies came too close.  The Quraish were haught and arrogant and confident in their superior number, weapons, and provisions but it is Allah (swt) who would decide the matter: '(O disbelievers) if you ask for a judgement, now has the judgement come unto you and if you cease (to do wrong) , it will be better for you, and If you return (to the attack), so shall we return, and your forces will be of no avail to you, however numerous it be, and verily, Allah is with the believers.' [8:19] The battle began with a confronation between three men from each side:
-- Hamza (Rasoolullah's uncle)vs.'Utbah ibn Rabi'a
-- Ali (Rasoolullah's cousin)vs.Al-Waleed ibn 'Utbah
-- 'Ubaidah ibn al Harith vs. Shaybah ibn Rabi'a
In the former two cases, Hamza and Ali killed their opponents, but 'Ubaidah (despite killing his opponent) was severely wounded and died about four or five days later. The fighting intensified, and many more duels broke out. In the midst of all of this, Rasoolullah (saws) continued to supplicate his Lord. He (saws) said, 'O Allah! Should this group (of Muslims) be defeated today, You will no longer be worshipped.'Abu Bakr witnessed this incessant supplication so He said to Rasoolullah (saws), 'O Rasoolullah, you have cried out enough to your Lord. He will surely fulfill what He has promised you.'
Immediate was the response of Allah (swt), Who sent down angels from the heavens for the help and assistance of Rasoolullah (saw) and his companions. The Quran marks this miraculous occurance: 'I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession.' Quran [8:9] Rasoolullah (saws), in his hut, dozed off a little and then raised his head joyfully crying and said, 'O Abu Bakr! glad tidings are there for you. Allah's victory has approached. By Allah, I can see Jibreel on his mare in the thick of a sandstorm.' Then he came out of the hut and exclaimed: 'sayuhzamul jam'u wa yuwwalloonad-dubur' Quran [54:45] (Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.) This is in fact one of the miracles of the Quran becuase this verse was revealed in Mecca before any of these events at Badr had taken place. Omar (ra), upon hearing Rasoolullah (saws) proclaim this verse on this occasion said, 'When this verse was first revealed, I asked Rasoolullah what it means. What multitude? What deafeat? And Rasoolullah (saws) didn't answer me. But when I saw him recite it on that occasion, I then understood.' Then Rasoolullah (saws) took a handful of dust and cast it at the enemy and said : 'Confusion seize their faces!' As he flung the dust, a violent sandstorm blew like furnace blast into the eyes of the enemy. About this, Allah says: 'And you (i.e. Muhammad -saws) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.' [8:17] It was at this point that Rasoolullah (saws) gave orders to launch a full counter-attack. He incited the believers reciting the following verse: 'And be quick for forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and earth.' [3:133] The spirit of the Muslims was at it peak and they fought with the untmost courage and bravery severly wounding the Quraish army, killing many of their men and instilling fear in their hearts. The Muslims did not know that Allah's help was about to descend upon them. They only knew the odds that were apparent to both sides: 100 against 300, 700 camels against 70 camels, 100 horses against 2, enourmous provisions against none, an intent and preparation for war against an unprepared group of believers. Still, despite all odds, they had trust in Allah (swt) and His Messenger and they were willing and even hoping to give their lives of this dunya for the ever-lasting abode of Jannah. Because of their devotion Allah (swt) sent His help and victory.
In addition to sending down angels, Allah (swt) also brought another miraculous occurence to ensure the Muslim victory. Allah says: "'(And remember) When Allah showed them to you (Muhammad) as few in your dream, if He had shown them to you as many, you would have surely have disputed in making a decision. But Allah saved (you). Certainly, He is the AllKnower of what is in the breasts.'' [8:43] And indeed, Allah (swt) did fulfill His promise: 'And (remember) when you met (the army of the disbelievers on the Day of the battle of Badr), He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His Knowledge), and to Allah return all matters (for decision).' [8:44] Many of the disbelievers were killed in this battle, the most noteworthy of which was Abu Jahl, the archenemy of Islam. When Rasoolullah (saws) set out to look at his corpse, he (saws) said, "'This is the Pharaoh of this nation."' And so the Muslims defeated the disbelievers in a humiliating defeat by the Help of Allah (swt). Indeed Allah, again, fulfilled His promise, "'Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs'" [54:45] The disbelievers, with all their might, turned their backs and ran away from the Muslims in disgrace and utter humiliation. Allahu Akbar wa lillah al Hamd.
[*] I the book by Dr. al Sibai, Sh. Jamal Zarabozo says that this story was not narrated through authentic chains, although it is mentioned in several famous books of seerah (with reliable authors) who were silent about its authenticity. Allahu a`lam.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 2/568
 Abu Daud, 2/13
Monday, August 15, 2011
or, "Eat and drink heartily for what you have done aforetimes, in days gone by" [Qur'an 69:24], when food is brought out, and so forth;
Christian Arabs in the Middle East are much like Jews in the West. When the official holidays roll around, we are both pretty much pushed off to the side and forced to sing along with everyone else. Jews in America experience this feeling of being left out during the Christian holidays that bring life in the country to a grinding halt, and so are Christian Arabs who sit back and watch as the Arab world turns its focus on Islam.
For Jews in America, it was very difficult to be in a public school and not be told that Jesus was born on Christmas Day, or sing Christmas carols at the school holiday play, although I imagine it is like that for Arabs who live in Israel. Many American businesses shut down on Christmas and even Good Friday which precedes Easter, while most others stay open but spend their time relaxing as the Christian world around them comes to a grinding halt. Some Jews even put up “Christmas Trees” to help their children avoid the feeling of being left out.
It’s much like that in the Middle East for Arab Christians where Islam is the dominant religion. The Christian presence, which began in the Holy Land centuries before Prophet Muhammad took up the call, has been dwindling significantly as a result of growing political turmoil, increasing Islamic activism and subtle anti-Christian pressures forbidden from being discussed openly and never discussed in the Arab world media. What once was the “Arab world”, a secular place where everyone no matter the size of your constituency were equals, is today the Islamic world, celebrating a religion in which, ironically, Arabs are becoming more and more the disappearing minority.
The monthlong annual observance of one of Islam’s most important religious duties, Ramadan, began in the United States on Thursday, Sept. 12, when someone in the religious community declared they saw the first light of the crescent moon.
As in Christianity and Judaism, the Islamic calendar is marked by the cycles of the moon, and the observance begins about 11 days earlier each year, unlike Christmas which is marked by a specific date, Dec. 25. During Ramadan, Muslims will abstain from food, drink and other indulgences, and they are inspired to “renew their devotion to God.”
Just as the Christian world shuts down around Jews in the West, the Arab world shuts down around Christians in the Middle East.
Although Islam, like Christianity, is based on a principle of tolerance of others, not all Muslims will tolerate Christians who engage in public displays of celebration during this month.
Muslims frown on any public displays or celebrations during their religious observance, by themselves or by others, including Christian Arabs.
I spent Ramadan in Bethlehem in 2004 and learned that Christians are forced to observe Ramadan, too.
The Christians spent the entire time complaining about the secular impact of Ramadan. Christian-owned restaurants in this city that was once the birthplace of the Christian religion, are forced to close their outdoor patios and temper events such as Christian weddings, parties or large meetings. If you do stop at a restaurant and insist on eating outside, Muslims who walk by will frown and one even walked up to me to say in Arabic that I was being disrespectful for eating in front of Muslims who were in the midst of a difficult fast. Christian life comes to a grinding halt throughout the occupied territories, and in much of the Arab world where Islam has become the focus not only of the governments that have declared it their official religions, but in the societies, too.
But it’s no different even here in “Christian America,” where the post-Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks have forced Americans to open their eyes and minds more to learn about the 19 Arab Muslim hijackers who commandeered four commercial jets killing 3,000 innocent American civilians in the nation’s most brazen terrorist act.
This week the Chicago Tribune, the Midwest’s largest newspaper, began a five-day series of full-page articles on the meaning of Ramadan. In one, an Arab girl was spotlighted as a Muslim, with scant mention of her Arab heritage.
The word “Arab” has a bad connotation, these days, not only in the mainstream media, but among the Arabs themselves who prefer to refer to themselves now as “Muslims.” Ironically, the majority of Arabs in America are not Muslim, but Christian, though there are far more Muslims, more than one billion, in the world.
There is no thought to “Arabs” at all and as an Arab and a Christian, I feel the double whammy of being cast aside not only by Muslims, but also by Americans who continue to remain naïve about the fundamentals of the Middle East and everything related to the “war on terrorism,” frequently mistake me for a Muslim. One Christian American once told me, “I can’t believe you abandoned your Christian faith to become an Arab.”
So this month, as all Arab-American activities come to a halt until the sun sets and the iftar, breaking of the Ramadan fast is allowed, I will relax, read and quietly enjoy my own faith knowing that in this world, I am a vanishing breed.