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Ramadan Lessons

     


In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful.

Fasting Ramadan    

 

Written by: Abdurazzag Taher Farih                                                       

Translated by: Dr. Faheem Bukhatwa

 

Ramadan 1437

May/June 2016

 

All thanks be to Allah the Lord of the worlds. We seek Him to help us on matters of life and faith. Peace and prayers be upon the prophet Muhammad and upon his people and disciple. May Allah greet you dear respected brothers and sisters, and I ask Allah who gathered us in this blessed hour on a deed of obedience, I ask Him to gather us in the hereafter with the master of all preachers, and Imam of all prophets in his paradise and final destiny, He is a supporter of that and capable to do so.

Ramadan has approached. This month is great and a blessed month. Allah has chosen it from all other months of the year during which a great imposed worship is to be done. Allah says: {and your God creates what He wants and chooses}. And as you already know this worship is one of the foundations of Islam.

When Ramadan approached, the messenger ppbu became extremely happy and delighted with it, and went on saying to his companions: Here, the month of Ramadan has come to you, the month of Ramadan has come to you. It is a blessed month. Allah has imposed its fasting upon you. during this month, the gates of paradise are opened, and the gates of hellfire are shut, and the worst of Satans are chained. This month of Ramadan has a night within it which is better than a thousand months, (meaning its benefit and reward exceeds that which can be obtained in 80 years), whoever is denied its reward and blessings then what a denial that is.

Fasting dear brothers and sisters is a great worship that each and every Muslim man or woman should give it a lot of attention. They should learn its foundations, rules, recommendations and its nullifications.

 

Every Muslim should follow it and makes sure to implement it. So then a person can do this worship as Allah commanded. Reward is then expected without a trial or questioning just as Allah has promised.

 

What is fasting?

Linguistically, fasting is to give up stop or stay off doing something.

From an Islamic law prospective, fasting is to stay off what would null or discontinue fasting from dawn to sun down, with the intention to do so.

Allah Has enforced fasting for many fantastic insights or wisdoms, the greatest of all is God fearing. Allah says: {Fasting is prescribed on to you just as it was prescribed on to those before you just so you may be God fearing}

 

Fasting Foundations

Fasting has three foundations:

1.   Intention. This is the first of the foundations for fasting. Intention is a deed associated with the heart. Any worship is not successful unless it is associated with an intention. It is enough for Ramadan to make the intention to do the month fasting once, unless if fasting is interrupted by a travel or a sickness or some other reason. It is better though to avoid misunderstanding and refresh the intention for each day of Ramadan.

2.   From dawn to sun down, refrain from consuming food and drink and refrain from indulging into all others actions which can annul fasting. As per the verse from Allahs which says: {Eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall}

3.   The person doing the fasting. The conditions or requirements are that the person must be Muslim, sane, mature and capable to do the fasting.

 

Nullification of fasting:

1)  Starting with the toughest and its biggest sin and that is intercourse. If a fasting person has sex with his wife during day time in Ramadan then his fasting is nulled and must do a substitution or as a compensation (Qathaa) as well the big atonement or a penance (Kaffarah) and it involves the following and in this order:

1.   Setting free of a Muslim slave, and if not able to do so, then ..

2.   Fasting consecutively two months without breaks in between, and if not capable to do so, then..

3.   Feeding of sixty poor people.

 

2)  Getting sexual arouse to the point of ejaculation. Meaning without actual intercourse. This who ejaculates due to arousal without intercourse, but may be due to kissing, approaching, touching, or using the hand then it is a sin and one has to do Qathaa (compensation or substitution day of fasting) but not the Kaffarah.

 

While if a fasting person goes to sleep and has an exciting dream which causes him to ejaculate while asleep, then he should have the Gusl shower, and he is to continue his fasting and there is no sin Qathaa or Kaffarah. The reason is that this ejaculation happened unintentionally and beyond his control.

3)   Intentionally eating or drinking. Anyone who intentionally eats during the day of Ramadan then his fasting is nulled and it is a sin and one has to do Qathaa (compensation or substitution day of fasting) but not the Kaffarah.

 

This who due to forgetfulness eats or drinks then let him continue the fasting. Consider that Allah has fed him or gave him a drink.

 

4)  Intentionally throwing up or vomiting. This can be done by one putting his finger down his throat in order to empty his stomach. If vomiting takes place then fasting is nulled, and must re-fast in compensation or fast a replacement day (Qathaa). While if vomiting happens not intentionally and without his choice to do so, then let him continue his fasting as normal.

5)  For women either getting the period or going through the after birth bleeding. If a female can see the blood of the blood caused by a period or afterbirth during a day of fasting either at the start of day or towards the end of the fasting day, even if it was moments before the end of the days fasting or azan of Maghrib, then she must break her fasting by eating or drinking and she must do compensatory or a replacement fasting for that day after she becomes blood free (Qathaa).

 

Fasting Exemptions:

There are many exemptions that Allah Has conferred upon us, or gifts He gave to His slaves. He did that in order to avoid difficulty and suffering. They include:

1.   It is permissible for a fasting sick person to break fasting during the day. Similarly, a traveling person who has difficulty travelling while fasting can break the fast.

2.   It is also permissible for a person who is fasting to use the Miswak twig for brushing the teeth at any time, before or after mid-day. The scholars are saying that using Miswak is permissible for a fasting person at all times during a day in Ramadan, especially at the six times specifically mentioned and defined. They are: At prayers, at wado wash, at wakening up from sleep, and when entering a house, and when reciting Quran and when wishing to change the mouth smell or using it as a breath freshener. Those are the six times or occasions our prophet ppbu used to use Miswak

3.   It is permissible for a fasting person to wash up with cool water in order to get some relief from heat or thirst.

4.   It is also permissible for a fasting person to take some medicine such as drops into the eye or ear while fasting on a day of Ramadan. Nothing is wrong with that what so ever.

5.   It is permissible for a fasting person who is sick with Asthma to use the inhaler in an asthmatic attack or a breathing difficulty situation.

Etiquettes of fasting

1.   Sahoor or the Early breakfast meal.

The messenger ppbu said: {Do have the Sahoor meal, there is a blessing in Sahoor}. Sahoor can be with a lot of food or little food or even with no food, just a sip of water.

 

2.   When breaking the fast is not to delay it. Messenger ppbu said: {People will remain well as long as they break their fasting immediately}.

3.   It is following the tradition of the messenger ppbu to break fasting by having a fresh date fruits. If not found then some dried date fruits; and if not found then a drink of water.

4.   A fasting person should ask Allah frequently or make duaa a lot. Remember that a duaa or a request made by a fasting person does not get refused. A fasting person should make duaa at time of breaking the fast. The messenger ppbu used to make the following duaa when breaking his fast: {thirst has gone, veins have been dampened and reward has been affirmed with the will of Allah}

 

Errors or mistakes during fasting

There is no doubt that those who fast are some of the best slaves or worshipers of Allah. There are some errors or mistakes that are made by some of those who fast, some of which are:

1.   Taking it so serious at the start of the month and easy, relaxed or lazy towards the end.

Some of those who fast approach this worship of fasting with great enthusiasm at the start of the month. They take care of prayers in congregation (or Jamaa), they become devoted to Fajr prayer, they adhere to reciting Quran, and persistently ask for forgiveness. And just as soon as the first few days of Ramadan pass laziness steps in and they would procrastinate off all this blessings. Remember the messenger ppbu said: {the most loved deeds to Allah are those which continue or last, even if it was small or little}. He also said: {deeds are valued by the later ones}. So, if you were amongst those Allah blessed and gifted with worship at the start of the month then do not lose those worships, and do not go lazy. In order that Allah may with the good conclusion of acceptance.

 

2.   Extravagance and over spending. This is in food and drink. We must have balance. We must not be extreme in consumption of food and drink. Enjoy all the goodness Allah provides for us, enjoy it with what He permits or in Halal. But certainly without any wastage or extravagance for that is prohibited in Islam.

 

3.   Sleep and laziness. Another mistake some of those who fast fall into is that they transform the month of Ramadan into a period of sleep and laziness and inactiveness. They spend the entire day or most of it asleep. They miss the reward of the prayer in Jabaa. They miss the true meaning of fasting. Fasting was not imposed so you would go to sleep. Despite the fact that we must get enough sleep in order to provide our bodies with rest. A rest which we need to help us fast and help us do night prayers (Qeyam). But definitely not to spend the entire day asleep.

 

Express Quran recitation. That is another mistake many fasting people do. That is reading Quran at a fast rate without contemplation or reflection on the meanings, nor without proper, timely, well pronounced recitation. They usually aim at finishing reading the Quran, thinking what they are doing is the right thing. While they are on a great danger. Because the Quran was brought down upon the messenger ppbu on this month and Allah says: { }   or {recite the Quran in proper, timely perfect fashion}.

 

 

Notes:

  1. Adhan - The call to prayer.

  2. Ahmad (Ahmed)- Another name for the messenger Muhammad (PPBU).

  3. Allah - The Arabic word for "god."  It is often used as a name for God in Islam.

  4. Ansar (or Al-Ansar): The inhabitants of the city of Al-Medina that received and supported the messenger (PPBU) when he immigrated from Mekkah in the very early years of Islam.

  5. Assalam Alaikum - The Islamic greeting, literately means: Peace be with you. Used when approaching or leaving. When used during approaching it will be like saying: I bring no harm to you . and when said during leaving somebody it will mean: No harm will come to you after I leave.

  6. Aya (or Ayah): is a verse of the Koran. It also means a miracle or a sign from God.

  7. Arafa (or Arafah or Arafat): is a mountain outside the city of Mecca that represents the climax of the Hajj worship. All doing Hajj must stay at this location on the same day.

  8. Badr - The place of the first significant battle between the Muslims and the pagans of the Quraish. It is located in Saudi Arabia.  

  9. Caliph - A Muslim ruler. See: (Khalifa) 

  10. Dajjal - Antichrist or the False Massiah.

  11. Dawah - The proliferation of Islamic teachings through word and deed.  

  12. Deen (Din) - Religion or way of life. 

  13. Duaa: a prayer in the form of talking to Allah; praising him and asking him for help.

  14. Fatwa - Legal verdict given based on the Qur'an (Koran) and the Sunnah which are the recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad.

  15. Ferdose: is the highest level of the all the gardens of Eden or paradise.

  16. Fiqh - Religious law.

  17. Hadeeth: is something reported that the messenger have said. It includes all the speeches and ceremonies he gave. It is usually narrated or told by one of his companions. There is a list of hadeeths approximately 14000 that are reported and checked to be genuine. No more hadeeths are acceptably added to this list.

  18. Hajar - The Black Stone set into the corner of the Ka'aba in Mecca. It is said to be a stone from Heaven.

  19. Hajj - The pilgrimage to Mecca which takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar.  One of the five pillars of Islam.

  20. Hasana or hasanas: is the reward for a good deed. a hasana is a point or a merit for a good deed.

  21. Hadith - The sayings and not deeds of the prophet Muhammad recorded by his followers.  Considered authoritative and perfect.

  22. Hajj: is the worship of pilgrimage.

  23. Hijra (or Hejrah): the event of the immigration of the messenger from Mekkah to Madina. This event marks the start of the Islamic calendar. the Islamic calendar has 12 months based on the lunar cycle, each is 29.5 days. Hijra is also used as a name for the Islamic dating system.

  24. Ibadah - Worship. All the words and deeds with which Allah is pleased. These deeds could be prayer and charity.

  25. Iblis - (Ibleese): On of Satan's names.

  26. Ibn (Ebn): the son of. Used by Arabs as part of an individual's name. Example: Ali whose father is Omar or the son of Omar, would be called: Ali Ibn Omar.

  27. Imam (or Emam)- The leader for a prayer. In the Shiaa sect, an Imam is the individual who has the religious authority.  

  28. Iman: belief or faith

  29. Injil (Enjeel) - The Bible. The book inspired to Jesus for the Christians.

  30. Islam - Submission, the religion of all the prophets of Allah culminating in Muhammad.

  31. Jannah - The heavenly garden, Paradise.  The place of the faithful in the afterlife.

  32. Jihad: is striving in the line of Allah in many forms. Includes a very wide scope varying from improving oneself to fighting a defensive war in protection of Allah's word. The greatest Jihad is the fight one's self against temptations. It also means "holy war."

  33. Jinn - Supernatural, invisible beings race of beings, below angels.  They were made from fire. Like humans, there amongst them are the faithful and the non beleivers and Jinn shall be judged on Judgment Day.

  34. Ka'aba: A cube shaped building in Mecca containing a stone laid there by Abraham and Ishmael. Some say Ka'aba was first built by Adam, and some say by Abraham. It is the holiest place for Muslims. It is where all Muslims face in their daily prayers. Ka'aba also makes a major part of the pilgrimage in a ritual known as Tawaf.

  35. Khalifa: is the Muslim ruler. Head of the Islamic empire. Exact translation: "Successor".

  36. Khutbah  - A sermon given in a Mosque, usually on Friday.

  37. Kufr - Denial or Disbelief. A term Muslims use for anyone who denies existence of Allah or the prophecy of Muhammed.

  38. Koran - Also spelled Qur'an.  The holy book of Islam revealed to Muhammad by Allah through the Archangel Gabriel.  Koran literally means "the recital."  It is the final revelation of Allah given to the prophet Muhammad. It consists of 114 surahs (or chapters.)

  39. Madinah - (Medinah): A city in the Arabian peninsula (in the country known now as Saudi Arabia). A city where the messenger had to immigrate to. Then it was called Yathrib.

  40. Masjid - A center for Muslim activity.  It is referred to as a mosque.

  41. Masiah - A sin, or a sinful act

  42. Mecca or Makkah: is the holiest city for Muslims. It contains the Ka'aba mosque with the famous black cubical shape. Mecca is the birth place of the messenger (PPBU).

  43. Mosque - A Muslim house of worship.

  44. Muhajir - (Muhajireen) Immigrant, one who leaves his home town due to lack of religious freedom. It was first used to describe early Muslims immigrating from Mecca to Median and Ethiopia.

  45. Muhammad - the final messenger and prophet of God whose message abrogated all previous revelations.  He received the Koran through the angel Gabriel over a 23 year period. Born in Mecca and died in Medina at the age of 63. His full name: Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah

  46. Muslim - One who holds faith to the religion of Islam.

  47. Nafilah: a voluntary prayer other than the five obligatory prayers; performed at any time.
  48. Nasara - Christians.  Nasrani: A Christian individual. Nasraniah: Christianity.

  49. Ommah: is the Arabic word for a nation. It usually refers to the Islamic nation unless otherwise specified.

  50. Paradise - Another word for heaven.  A garden of bliss, fruits, rivers and all forms of pleasures imaginable and imaginable. No suffering, disease or death. Service is provided by angels. All live  in it an ever lasting youthful life. Promised by Almighty Allah to all faithful, true Jews, true Christians and True Muslims. Paradise is one of two places every person will go to, either Paradise or Hellfire.

  51. PPBU (P.B.U.H.) : Peace and Prayers Be Upon him. A statement Muslims use any time they mention the name of the messenger or make a reference to him.
  52. Qadar - Fate. Preordainment is the teaching that all things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.

  53. Qadr - (night of Qadr): The night when the first revelation of the Koran took place. Most likely it happened during one of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. Or when the Koran was brought down to the nearest heaven in one go, and from there it was brought down in bits and few verses at a time over a period of 23 years. This night is considered the holiest night for Muslims with tremendous advantages.
  54. Qibla - The direction which Muslims turn for daily prayers, towards Mecca.

  55. Quraish - An ancient Arab tribe to which the messenger Muhammad belonged.

  56. Ramadan - The ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is the month of the fast. The holiest month in the Muslim colander.

  57. Salat - Prayers. Generally it covers all forms of worship, but more specifically refers to the Muslim rituals which is performed to worship Allah five times daily.

  58. Shiaa: A sect of Islam that teaches that a religion leader (Imam) should be the political ruler and must be direct descendants of the messenger (PPBU). Therefore, disapproving of all Muslim leaders who ruled After the messenger (PPBU) except Ali, the messenger's grandson.

  59. Shirk - Associating another god with Allah.  Or associating anyone or anything with Allah. Or using anyone or anything as a medium to Allah. The opposite of Monotheism or Tawheed.  

  60. Siam  or Soam- Fasting

  61. Sunni: is a the title of  those Muslims who are suppose to be following the life style of the messenger. This differentiates them from the Shiaa of Iran.

  62. Sunna (Sunnah): Is how the Messenger PPBU lived, what he did or said. It includes the way he dressed, ate, drank, prayed, interacted with other people and fought. Basically, sunnah is the life style of the messenger PPBU. It is considered the second source of legislation in Islamic laws and it is considered to be an important reference to be used for concluding arguments and disputes. It is also a title give to the main stream Muslims who make 90% if all Muslims.

  63. Surah - A chapter of the Koran.  

  64. Tawaf: part of the pilgrimage (Hajj) ritual. It involves walking round the Ka'aba Mosque in anti-clock wise direction a number of seven circles.

  65. Tauhid - Tawheed - Monotheism, in Islam is the teaching that there is only one God who alone is worthy of worship. The first requirement of becoming a Muslim. It is included in the testimony of faith for new Muslims when declaring that God is one: (No God but Allah)

  66. Taqwah - Proper fear and veneration of Allah.  A divine spark that enables the person to understand God.

  67. Taurat: The old Testaments and scriptures of Mosa.

  68. Ummah - the word means: a Nation. Usually refers to the Islamic nation unless otherwise stated.

  69. Umrah - (Amrah): A mini hajj. A Minor form of pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Hajj which can only be done on the 12th month of the Islamic year, Umrah can be performed at any time.

  70. Wathoo (wadoo): a washing up ritual done by Muslims before each of the five daily prayers known as ablution.

  71. Zaboor - The Psalms

  72. Zakat - The third pillar of Islam.  Alms giving, charity that is given to the poor.

 


Faheem Bukhatwa, my email address is : faheemfb@gmail.com