Ramadhaan Lesson 2: The Many ways of Earning Hasanaat

Sat 10th Ramadhaan 1439/26th May 2018

  • The virtue of Ramadhaan:
    • Allah has made Ramadhaan more blessed than other months
    • This is therefore an opportunity to do good acts, leave sins and become a better Muslim
    • Every Muslim should thank Allah that he has allowed us to be alive and see this month
    • The Salaf would make dua 6 months before Ramadhaan for Allah to allow them to see the coming Ramadhaan
  • Acts of worship that every Muslim should strive in if he/she wants to become better
    • The Prayer
      • We should rectify our prayer, make sure it is done 5 times a day, in the correct times and upon the way the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us
      • The first thing that servant will be asked about in the day of Judgment is the prayer
      • Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said said, “I have heard that the first of the actions of a slave to be considered on the day of rising is the prayer. If it is accepted from him, the rest of his actions will be considered, and if it is not accepted from him, none of his actions will be considered.” [Muwatta Malik]
      • If you’re your prayer is deficient, then it is likely that other aspects of your deeds are also deficient, therefore guard your prayer and rectify it
      • ‘Abdullah bin Buraidah narrated that his father said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is prayer; so whoever leaves it, he has committed Kufr.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
      • The optional prayers such as the Taraweeh and the night prayer are also sources of great virtue
      • Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
      • ISSUE: how many Rak’ah should there be in Taraweeh?
      • ISSUE: Can one pray Taraweeh outside of Ramadhaan?
    • Fasting in Ramadhaan
      • It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:”The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgivenhis previous sins.” ‘ [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
      • How does one fast properly?
        • To stop eating, drinking and marital relations. Doing any of these breaks one’s fast
        • To stop bad and haraam actions such as lying, deceiving, backbiting, cheating, slander etc. Doing these decreases your reward such that a person may fast the whole month and end up with no reward and NOTHING but having been hungry for the month
      • Fasting was prescribed for those who came before us too
      • Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying: 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. [Sahih Muslim]
      • Sahl b. Sa’d (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying: In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only the people who fast would enter on the Day on Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: Where are the people who 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. [Sahih Muslim]
    • The Qur’an
      • Ramadhaan is the month of the Qurn’an
      • verseWe must strive to recite it, understand it, memorise it and act upon it
      • Narrated Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi: “I heard ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud saying: ‘The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “[Whoever recites a letter] from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
      • The Salaf used to complete the Qur’an in Ramadhaan several times
      • On the authority of Tameem ibn Aus ad-Daree (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The deen (religion) is naseehah(advice, sincerity).” We said, “To whom?” He (saws) said, “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” [Muslim]
      • NOTE: “Naseehah” means purity and sincerity
      • How does a Muslim have purity and sincerity towards the Qur’an?
      • Shaikh Al Fawzaan said there is 5 things:
        • To believe it is the speech of Allah, uncreated
        • That you recite it
        • That you understand the meaning of what you are reciting
        • That you memorise it
        • That you act on the Qur’an
      • Charity
        • The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), when he would go to the cave Hira, he would take with him provisions for a few days, and if he came across a needy person he would give them that provision
        • Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and what he did with what he knew.”
          • How you earned it
          • How you spent it
        • Allah has blessed us with wealth in various forms. This is not something which we have earned, rather it is Allah who has given this to us
        • Therefore giving this wealth for the sake of Allah
        • From the best ways of spending this wealth is in that which helps in the cause of Allah such as the Masaajid.
        • Spending on the MAsaajid is a form of sadaqah Jaariayah
        • It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:”When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
        • It was narrated from Jabir bin ‘Abdullah that:The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever builds a mosque for the sake of Allah, like a sparrow’s nest for Allah or even smaller, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

 

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Fiqh of Ramadhaan (Part 1)

19 May 2018

Fiqh of Ramadhaan: Rulings on Fasting and Taraweeh (Part 1)

The Day of doubt

  • ’Ammar bin Yasir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, ‘Whoever fasts the day of doubt he has then disobeyed Abu al-Qasim (the Prophet).’ [Related by the five Imams, and Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban graded it as Sahih]
    • What is the “day of doubt”?
    • Issue: if the people try to sight the moon on the 29th of Sha’baan but cannot see it due to weather, should the next day be considered the first day of Ramadhaan or should they complete 30 days of Sha’baan?
    • This hadith indicates that it is impermissible to fast on the day following the day of doubt
  • Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made a mention of the new moon and (in this connection) said: “Observe fast when you see it (the new moon) and break fast when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), but when (the actual position of the month is) concealed from you(on account of cloudy sky), then count thirty days. [Sahih Muslim]
    • What does it mean to “count” or in other narrations to “estimate” 30 days
  • According to these two narrations, then
  • IbnUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, ‘The people were trying to sight the new moon (of Ramadan.) and when I reported to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that I had seen it, he fasted and commanded people to fast.’ [Related by Abu Dawud, and Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban graded it as Sahih.]
  • Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A bedouin came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said: I have sighted the moon. Al-Hasan added in his version: that is, of Ramadan. He asked: Do you testify that there is no god but Allah? He replied: Yes. He again asked: Do you testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah? He replied: Yes. and he testified that he had sighted the moon. He said: “Bilal, announce to the people that they must fast tomorrow”. [Abu Dawud]
    • This hadith shows us that one person, one witness who sees the moon who is Muslim is enough for the rest to start fasting the next day
    • Shayh Fawzaan says it can be either a man or a woman, other scholars have differing opinions on that specific issue.
  • How many ways to tell if Ramadhaan has started?
    • Seeing the new moon
    • 30 days of Sha’baan being completed, then next day will be Ramadhaan
    • These are the only two ways
    • Astronomic/mathematical Calculations etc are impermissible

The intention for Ramadhaan

  • The mother of the believers, Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Whoever does not form his intention to fast before to fajr, his fasting will not be accepted.” Related by the five Imams, but At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i consider it to be related by Hafsah and not connected to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Imam Ad-Daraqutni transmitted, “No fasting is accepted for one who does not form the intention (to fast) the night before.”
    • This hadith applies to the obligatory fast and shows us that if one has not made intention before the Fajr time starts
  • It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:“The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would enter upon me and say: ‘Do you have anything (any food)?’ If we said: ‘No,’ he would say: ‘Then I am fasting.’ So he would continue fasting, then it we were given some food, he would break his fast.” She said: “Sometimes he would fast and (then) break fast (i.e., combine fasting and breaking fast in one day).” I said: “How is that?” She said: “Like the one who goes out with charity (i.e., something to give in charity),and he gives some away and keeps some.” [Ibn Maajah]
    • This hadith applies to the optional fasts and indicates that one can start a fast midway through the day if one has not eaten anything rpiort ot it

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Remedying the Heavy and Tight Chest: Lesson 13

Sunday 29 April 2018

Lesson 13: Jealousy, excesses in worldly matters, and curing the contamination of the heart 

  • Recap of lesson 12
    • Goodness, generosity and Bravery are inseparable, why is this?
    • Likewise stinginess and cowardliness are also inseparable
    • The example which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave regarding the generous vs the miserly
    • Ibnul Qayyim mentions a principle: Bliss and relaxation in life will convert in the grave and in the afterlife into the same. In a similar fashion, the one whose heart is tight due to him not obeying Allah, then this will turn into torment and punishment in the grave and the afterlife.
  • At times you may find a person whose heart is usually relaxed, you may find him temporarily afflicted with a tight chest on the odd occasion and likewise a person who has a tight chest and has not been granted a relaxed chest may temporarily have a relaxed chest. Ibnul Qayyim says no consideration is given to these temporary factors. What matters is the constant, ongoing characteristic of a person.
    • g. a person who is usually a coward or a miser and on one occasion does something generous or brave, then this does not change his main characteristic
  • List of means of relaxing the chest so far:
    • Tawhid (Islamic monotheism)
    • Huda (guidance)
    • Noor of eemaan (Light of Belief)
    • Inaaba (turning towards Allah in repentance)
    • Ilm (knowledge)
    • Loving Allah
    • Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah
    • Ihsan, kindness and generosity
    • Bravery
  • From the greatest means of bringing about the relaxation of the chest is to remove the blameworthy characteristics or contaminations of the heart
    • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says these blameworthy characteristic are in reference to envy, jealousy, hatred, having great desire for the world, and being lazy with repentance.
    • Example of water, no matter how pure it was originally, if it becomes contaminated
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says the one who has been afflicted with jealousy, when he sees another person enjoying a blessing he wishes that blessing to be taken away from that person or delivered to him.
    • His soul does not rest, his jealousy torments him
    • He becomes agitated
    • In reality, the one who is jealous, then his condition speaks for himself. It is as though he is saying “O my Lord why did you give so and so such and such blessing”.
    • This automatically will lead to harm, backbiting and slander.
    • Will such a person ever have a relaxed chest?
  • The jealous one is afflicted with long hopes, “Later on in life I will change this and that”
  • All of the effort of the jealous person will be wasted due to his heart being contaminated
  • Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami says a short thobe and a thick beard, even though they have been commanded, if behind these things there are contaminations of the heart, then these things will not benefit a person. Rather, these external matters should stem from an inner pure heart.
  • Ibn qayyim says if a person adopts means of alleviating his chest without cleansing his heart from contaminations then the alleviation of the chest will not come about.
  • From among the means of alleviating the chest, is to leave off excessive worldly matters:
    • These matters bring about pain and sadness in the heart of as person
    • Excess looking in matters which Allah has prohibited, even just for tourism, then this will prevent you from looking at what Allah loves such as the Qur’an, Sunnah, learning.
    • Excessive speech, i.e. backbiting, gossiping and idle talk. People who do this see time as cheap, whereas the Muslim should see time as more precious than wealth as it is irreplaceable and your only true asset
    • Excessive listening, g. to music, songs and worthless speech, then this type of behavior will mean such a person will not spend his/her time listening to the Qur’an and learning his/her religion.
    • Excess Socialising, Especially in our time: Nowadays socializing will bring about evil and will take you away from attending classes, learning and sticking to those who will benefit you. One should not become a hermit, however if you cannot find any type of beneficial gathering then being secluded is better than socializing in vain.
    • Excessive eating:e. gluttony
    • Excessive sleeping: This will. NOTE these days a person may set his alarm 07:30 Am for work, but will not set his time/alarm for the Fajr prayer, this is a great sin and some scholars say this type of person is a disbeliever as he has abandoning the prayer.
    • NOTE: if you wasted your time in these excessive matters, then one day you will be old and will be struck with regret that you have lost your time and youth and will never get that time back.
    • However, if it is the case that your heart has remorse due to the guilt of having wasted this time, then how blessed a grief this is
  • Ibn Qayyim says how constrained bitter is the life of a person who has engaged in all of the above, and how blissful is the life of the one who has taken part in all of the means of alleviating his heart
  • The point of all of these lessons is that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was the most perfect of creation in respect to relaxation of the chest, real happiness, elevation of rank and pardoning of sins
  • How much relaxation of the heart and bliss in this life you attain is proportionate to how closely you follow the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
  • When one says “I love the Messenger of Allah”, then this should not be based solely on his personality, indeed his uncle Abu Talib loved him for this reason and this did not benefit him. What is needed is the love that comes from Eemaan (belief).
  • How much Allah will support you and protect you is proportionate on how closely you follow the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
  • Whoever finds goodness (in this world and the next), then let him praise Allah, and whoever finds other than that then let him not blame anyone except his own self

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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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