Preparing for Ramadhaan

Sat 28 Apr 2018

  • Fasting is one of the Pillars of Islam
  • Allah says: “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V. 2:2).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) verse 183]
    • When a verse begins with “O You who believe” then listen carefully as it is going to be a commandment or a prohibition
    • This verse shows us that fasting has been obligated upon his Ummah
    • It also informs us that fasting was prescribed upon the previous nations who came before us
    • The verse also tells us the wisdom behind fasting: So that we may achieve piety (fearing Allah, fulfilling the obligations and staying away from the prohibitions)
    • The purpose and wisdom behind fasting is one of the most important things a Muslim needs to know
    • NOTE: Fasting is not just to experience hunger, although it is one important part of it.
      • Shaikh Al-Fawzan says when one experiences hunger he understands the position of those who are in poverty and do not have any food.
      • Also when one feels hunger, despite your strength and youth, you will experience what it feels to be weak.
    • To reach taqwa (piety) is the goal of fasting
    • Those who have the attitude “I just want to get it over and done with”, these will not experience the happiness and joy of the great opportunity Allah has provided to us to gain piety and a great deal of reward
    • Shaykh Al-Fawzan says when Ramadhaan finishes the Muslims are of 2 categories
      • Either someone who is happy that it is over, they could not wait for it to end, they have not understood the purpose of it. Someone who is like this needs to fix their attitude, fasting is a pillar of Islam.
      • Others feel happy that they have completed Ramadhaan, but are sad that it is now over, these people have understood its significance
    • Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
      • There is a great deal of reward in Ramadhaan
    • Allah says: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, 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) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) verse 185]
    • On the authority of Abdullah, the son of Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with them both), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
    • A person aims to purify and cleans his soul from the degrading and lowly acts
    • Anas b. Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying: The devil flows in a man like his blood. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
      • When a person fasts, his veins become less in volume due to lack of water and so this also limits the flow of the shaitaan
      • Fasting also strengthens your mind and your resolve in staying upon
    • Fasting teaches you patience upon the obedience of Allah and patience in staying away from the haraam
    • Fasting helps a person control himself
    • Within fasting, a person loses his desires for the worldly glitter and instead things more about the day of Judgement and therefore he better understands his purpose in life
    • Fasting helps you to sympathise with those who are in a poorer state than yourself
    • When a person is fasting he must refrain from certain things with an intention from before Fajr time until Maghrib time, this is the definition of fasting.
    • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “If one does not eschew lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should abstain from his food and his drink.”[Al-Bukhari, Ibn Majah and others].
      • When fasting one must stay away from eating, drinking, intercourse etc, however one must also stay away from bad conduct (acting foolishly or upon falsehood) and must leave evil speech and false testimony.
      • The Salaf used to say the easiest part of fasting is to stop eating and drinking, whereas to control your tongue and your behaviour is the difficult part.
      • These days you may see a Muslim who does not offer five regular daily prayers, yet he fasts in Ramadhaan. This is a mistake in priorities.
    • Some of the Salaf used to make dua to Allah 6 months before Ramadhaan asking Allah for the opportunity to see the coming Ramadhaan and when it had ended they would make dua for Allah to accept their fasting and deeds during the month.
    • Ramadhaan is an opportunity for a person to connect with the Qur’an and pay more attention to it, read it and study it.
    • NOTE: A Muslim should set aside half an hour EVERY Day to read the Qur’an and this should be more in Ramadhaan
    • Before attending the Taraweeh prayers, one should read over what will be read that night and read the meanings of it so that when you come to the Taraweeh you can follow the Imam’s recitation and your mind will have a greater deal of focus
    • Q&A:
      • Is it permissible to read the Qur’an via mushaf or phone etc during the Taraweeh prayer and follow?
      • If someone has not memorised all of the Qur’an, and he/she is praying at home by themselves, can they pray Taraweeh while reading Qur’an via the mushaf or phone?
      • What if during taraweeh at a mosque the only Hafidh is the Imam, can someone behind him be appointed to follow along using the mushaf or phone?
      • What is the best way to correct the Imam during prayer?
      • What if I find it very useful to read the Qur’an along with the Imam using my phone and it improves my understanding/khushu/focusin prayer etc, can one do it then?

 

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Authentic Adhkār from the Qur’an & Sunnah: Lesson 13

Sat 21 Apr 2018

✏️Lesson 13: The differences in the names of Allah, and what is the greatest name of Allah?

We have already covered that Allah’s names are more than 99 and that the one whomsoever learns and acts on them will enter Paradise

  • This indicates that the names of Allah have different levels
  • Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says whoever says that the attributes of Allah do not have different levels, then there is no evidence behind their statement
  • Just as the names and attributes of Allah vary, then so do their virtues
  • The narratiiomn
    • This hadith proves that there are different levels
  • It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) heardman say: ‘Allahumma! Inni as’aluka bi-anna lakal-hamd. La ilaha illa Anta, wahdaka la sharika laka. Al-Mannan. Badi’us-samawati wal-ard. Dhul-jalali wal-ikram (O AllahI ask You by virtue of the fact that all praise is due to You; none has the right to be worshiped but Youalone, and You have no partner or associate, the Bestower, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Possessor of majesty and honor.’ He (saas) said: ‘He has asked Allah by His Greatest Name which, if He is asked thereby He gives and if He is called upon thereby He answers.'” [Reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed and also found in the four books of the Sunnan]
    • Note: what is the order of the four sunnan in the order that their authors died? 1. Ibn Maajah (d.273 AH), Abu Dawud (d. 275 AH), Tirmidhi (d.279 AH), Nisaai (d.303 AH)
    • Note 2: Imam Ahmed died 241
    • What about the order of the Sunan in order of which book is best? Some scholars order them as follows, Abu dawud, NIsaii, Timridhi, Ibn Maajah
  • There are numerous narrations which mention the greatest name of Allah
    • It was narrated that Al-Qasim said: The Greatest Name of Allah, if He is called by which He will respond, is in three Surah: Al-Baqarah, Al ‘Imran and Ta-Ha. (Hasan) Another chain for something similar from Al-Qasim, from Abu Umamah, from the Prophet (saas) [Sunan Ibn Majah]
    • It was narrated from Asma’ bint Yazid that : The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The Greatest Name of Allah is in these two Verses: And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), La Ilaha Illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.’ And at the beginning of Surah Al ‘Imran.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
    • Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) heard a man saying: O Allah, I ask Thee, I bear witness that there is no god but Thou, the One, He to Whom men repair, Who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, and to Whom no one is equal, and he said: You have supplicated Allah using His Greatest Name, when asked with this name He gives, and when supplicated by this name he answers. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
  • From these narrations we know that the one who calls upon Allah with his greatest name will have his/her supplications answers, the scholar have done a great amount of research into this topic
    • Imam Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said indeed the scholars have differed on what the greatest name of Allah is, in approximately 40 opinions, however many of them are weak.
    • Indeed the Sufia (sufis) have made a great deal of fabrications on this issue, including many made up stories. Every Muslim needs to be upon caution from falling into this deception. One should check the sources used carefully.
    • NOTE: Why are the sufia called sufia? One opinion is that “suuf” means wool linguistically, and so this is a reference to their zuhd (asceticism).
    • Imam Shawkaani says the most popular opinion and most well evidence and the most likely to be correct is in specifying what the greatest name of Allah is in terms of evidence, is his name, “Allah”.
    • One evidence for the above is when we ask “What is the greatest name of Allah”, we always refer to him by default as “Allah”, and we may for example say “Al-Rahmaan (The Most merciful) is one of the names of Allah”, i.e. the name “Allah” is central.
    • In the Book Kitaab At-Tawhid, the Shaikh , mentions that “Allah” is the greatest name of Allah and explains by stating that the name Allah explains the essence of Allah, and that:
      • it is the basis of Eemaan (as we say “Eemaan in Allah”)
      • it is the basis of Islam (as the first pillar, in the testimony we mention his name Allah), and
      • that with this name we start with his name “Allah” and that he is the greatest)
      • And that when we seek refuge we seek refuge with him using this name
      • Therefore this name “Allah” has specific virtues which the others do not have
    • And the verse “And to Allah belong the most beautiful names” shows that all the other names return back to this one and it encompasses them
    • Each of the other names clarify different aspects of why Allah should be singled out for worship, e.g. he is Al-Rahmaan (The Most Merciful) etc
  • Therefore the majority of the scholars state that the name “Allah” is the greatest name
  • Other scholars state that the greatest name is “Al-Hayyul Qayyuum” (The Ever Living, the one who sustains and protects all that exists)
    • Ibn qayyim says the attribute of life (Al-Hayy) is inclusive and comprises all of the attributes of perfection , and the second part (Al-Qayyuum) shows that Allah is completely self sufficient, needing none, yet at the same time he sustains and protects all that exists, and so everything needs him and he needs none.
    • The name “Al-Hayyul Qayyuum” is mentioned the most of the narrations which cover the greatest name of Allah
    • However “Allah” is mentioned in all of the hadith which mention the greatest name of Allah
  • The above two are the strongest two opinions
  • NOTE: However this is an issue of Ihtihaad as there is not any hadith which categorically state which name is greatest, and so this is an issue requiring analysis and research
  • In any case, if you were to repeat the dua which the man made in the first n
  • Q&A:
    • What is the meaning of the name Allah?
    • Is right to call Allah “God”? = No
    • Is it better to call Allah “The Lord” or “The Creator” when explaining to non Muslims? = Yes, this is because the names “Lord” or “Creator” have direct translations into Allah’s names whereas just saying “God” can mean different to different people
    • Question about praying witr and Tahajjud at night
    • Is it right for a man to hug his mother-in-law or sister in-law?

Next Lesson insha Allah:  Ramadhaan preparation lesson

 

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