Friday, 29 August 2008


Question:1. What is Ramadhan?........ .. 2.Why fast ?
1...Ramadhan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or arramad intense scorching heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same root there is ramdaa, sunbaked sand, and the famous proverb: "Kal Mustajeer minar Ramadaa binnar" - to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. And in a hadith the Messenger of Allah (saas) said : "The prayer of repenters is due when the young camel can feel the sun's heat early in the morning."

Thus, the Ramadhan is so called to indicate the heating sensation in the stomach as a result of thirst. Others said it is so called because Ramadhan scorches out the sins burns the ground. Some said it is so called because the hearts and souls are more readily receptive to the admonition and remembrance of Allah during Ramadhan, ad the sand and stones are receptive to the sun's heat. The framers of this beautiful language may have been inspired by Allah (SWT) in naming this month Ramadhan. Otherwise, the relation between the heat and its properties is miraculously similar to that of Ramadhan. While the heat represents the matter that helps shape,
form, and mold virtually every matter, from metal and plastics, to plants and living cells-Ramadhan undoubtedly helps a serious believe remold, reshape, reform, and renew his physical and spiritual disposition and behaviour
2.Fasting, siyamm, has two meanings. Generally, siyaam or sawm, is derived from the root sama, to retrain from normal things, such as eating, drinking, and talking. If an individual refrains from these things, he is considered saaim, the observer of fast. Al-Qur'an uses the word generally when it revealed the conversation between the angel and Mary, the of Jesus, as the angel instructed her "And if you do see any man say, "I have vowed to remain silent for Allah". (Al-Qur'an 19:26)

The phrase "to remain silent," is the interpretation of the Arabic word
"sawm". The reason for this interpretation is that "sawm" cannot mean
fast, i.e. restraint from food, because Mary had just been told to eat from
the palm tree. This general meaning is common in the Arabic language.

In the Shari'ah (Islamic law) the "sawm" means and implies a specific act ,
which is, "to worship Allah, abstaining, with intention to please Him from
fast breakers, such as physical nourishment, food, drink, and sexual
intercourse a lustful discharge of semen from the period between the break
of dawn until sundown."

Every year, more than one billion Muslims around the globe observe the importance of the month of Ramadhan. This time of the year is a time for reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims show their devotion to God by fasting, or abstaining from food.
During Ramadhan most Muslims will tend to wake up just before sunrise to eat a meal or some food and this is known as Sehri or Suhoor. They will then not be able to eat or drink again until sunset when it is traditional to open the fast with a date and then eat and this meal is known as Ithar or Iftari. The Supplication for breaking the fast is: "Thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain, Allah wills.Muslims shouldn’t eat too much food, as Prophet Muhammad *(PBUH) broke his fast with a couple of dates and with water only. This is the correct *Sunnah to follow, it was the way of the Prophet Muhammad, as he practiced Fasting in the Month of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is the name of the ninth month of the Hijri (Islamic) calendar. According to the Dictionary of Islam, the word Ramadan is derived from the word ramd, "to burn" (Ramadhan is associated with fasting, during which sins are said to be figuratively burned away).

Fasting (Sawm) is one of the core five pillars of Islam. The others are: Shahadah (the testimony of faith), Salat (ritual prayer), Zakat (obligatory religious almsgiving), and the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). During this month Muslims from around the world are required to fast from dawn to dusk. During the fast Muslims may not eat, drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activity. Although fasting is made obligatory to believers of Islam, some groups are excluded: children who are not yet adolescent, the elderly and the chronically ill for whom fasting would be unreasonably strenuous, pregnant women and nursing mothers, the mentally retarded, travelers, and women during periods of menstruation. 1
If the fast is missed they should try to make up the fast at a later date, or make a donation to the poor instead.

Ramadhan transpired during a month that is sacred in Islamic history. Muslims believe that it was during this month that the first revelation of the Quran was sent to Prophet Muhammad from Allah (God). 2 The night on which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet, known as Lailat ul-Qadr (the Night of Power), is one of the last odd numbered nights in Ramadhan. It is the only month of the year mentioned in the Quran. 3 In addition, the Battle of Badr 17th Ramadhan 2 AH was the first battle fought by Muslims after their migration to Medina. The battle ended in victory for the outnumbered 313 Muslims against about 1000 Meccans.

Why Does Ramadan Occur at Different Times of the Year?
The dates of Ramadhan (the ninth month of the year) change every year because the Islamic calendar is based on the revolutions of the moon. Lunar calendars strictly follow the sighting of a new moon to mark the beginning of each month. Since lunar months are shorter than the solar months used elsewhere, Islamic holidays begin on different days each year. The start of Ramadhan comes around 11 days earlier each year according to the western Gregorian calendar, and consequently is not associated with any particular western month. , the fast may be comparatively short if Ramadhan falls during the winter months, or much longer if it occurs during the summer.
During Ramadhan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadhan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
Many people use the month to become better Muslims by praying more or reciting as much of the Qur'an as possible.Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
Ramadan is the month the Qur’an was revealed with clear guidance and differentiation (between good and bad.) Whoever of you is a witness of this month, should fast. But if anyone is ill, or on a journey shall make up by days later."

How did the fast during Ramadhan become obligatory for Muslims?

The revelations from God to the Prophet Muhammad that would eventually be compiled as the Quran began during Ramadhan in the year 610, but the fast of Ramadhan did not become a religious obligation for Muslims until the year 624. The obligation to fast is explained in the second chapter of the Quran: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous…The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it;…” (Chapter 2, verses 183 and 185).

What is Lailat ul-Qadr?

Lailat ul-Qadr (”Night of Power”) marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad first began receiving revelations from God, through the angel Gabriel. An entire chapter in the Quran deals with this night: “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: and what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God’s permission, on every errand. Peace!…This until the rise of morn.” (Chapter 97) Muslims believe Lailat ul-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadhan.

Ramadhan lasts for 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the new moon which can cause confusion as some imams say the moon has been sighted on one day and others say its been sighted on another day! But once the moon has been sighted by a reliable source usually by the imam of your local mosque, Muslims celebrate Eid Ul Fitr. It begins with a special Eid prayer and then Muslims dress up and go out and meet each other, have special meals and exchange gifts. It's traditional for Muslims to say Eid Mubarak to each other which means Happy Eid

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Second piller of islam .Salah -

What is salah?it is the second piller of islam .Salah (prayers) five times a day.A muslim has to offer salah five times a day.for a muslim not to offer these prayers it is punishable (Azab).
In one of his circulars Sayyidna Umar ibn Khattab (RadiAllahu anhu) sent instructions to all his administrators saying,

"In my opinion, salah (Islam's prescribed act of worship or prayer. The word prayer, though, is also used for supplication or dua and is therefore avoided in this article.) is the most important of your obligations. Whoever takes good care of it and safeguards it safeguards his religion and whoever neglects it will neglect other things even more." He then added instructions about the times for the five salaahs and admonition against dozing off before Isha.
[Muwatta Imam Malik. Hadith No. 5]

This letter from the ruler of a vast empire to the officials of his government -- shall we call it Executive Order? -- gives us a lot to reflect upon. For salah is among the most emphasized commands in Shariah. Unfortunately it is also a grossly neglected obligation in our life today.

Even a Muslim school child knows that salah is a pillar of Islam. What Sayyidna Umar (radiAllahu anhu) expressed was that it is true at all levels and in all settings, from the private to the public. One cannot build an Islamic life, an Islamic community, an Islamic institution, or an Islamic government while neglecting or weakening this pillar. It is a measure of its extraordinary status that unlike all other obligations the command for salah was given by Allah Most High to Prophet Muhammad (salAlahu alayhi wasalam) during his miraculous Ascent to Heaven or Mir'aj. Very fittingly so, for salah is the meraj of the believer.

One begins the salaah by standing while facing the Ka'bah or the House of Allah, isolating himself from the worldly affairs, and then addressing Allah directly: "Oh Allah, You are sanctified and (I begin) with Your praise. Your name is Blessed and Your Greatness is Supreme. And no one else is worthy of worship except You." During salaah a believer repeatedly stands, bows, and prostates to Allah. Each of these acts brings him closer and closer to his Master and Creator filling him with the feelings of love, devotion, and obedience. The sitting position even includes the re-creation of the conversation that took place between the Prophet (salAlahu alayhi wasalam) and Allah during the Heavenly Ascent.

Prophet (salAlahu alayhi wasalam): "All greetings, blessings, and good acts are for Allah."

Allah: "Peace is upon you O Prophet, and the Mercy, and the Blessings of Allah."

"Peace be with us and unto the righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah."

"And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."

This closeness is the most valuable gift for the believer. It is the source of all strength and all goodness in his life. It is the light that shows him the right from wrong in all walks of life. It is the river that bathes and cleans him of all sin and contamination. In the hardships of life, it is the source of solace and strength. It is the regulator of the Muslim life, the daily schedule of a believer being built around the five daily salaahs. It is a source of joy and happiness, of spiritual nourishment and purification. It is the key to all success. It is the key to paradise.

On the other hand, neglecting the salaah is key to hell. Qur'an says, "Woe to the worshippers who are negligent in their salah." Hadith says: "Salah stands between man and unbelief." Another hadith says: "Salah is the pillar of religion. Whoever destroys it has destroyed the religion." Another hadith informs us that salaah is the first item about which one will be questioned after death. The person who succeeds in this test, will likely pass through the subsequent tests. The one who flunks this one has little chance of getting through the rest. Yet another hadith warns us that the person who neglects his salaah has walked out of the protection of Allah. We can understand the enormity of missing just one salaah on purpose from the hadith that says that such a person is like one who lost all his family and all his wealth!

In the presence of all the persuasion and all the admonition about salah in Qur'an and hadith, one wonders how could any sane believer be negligent in this matter. To a person who claims to be a believer yet does not offer his salaah regularly five times a day, we must ask: What is your justification? The more one thinks about it the more he or she will realize that there is none. Absolutely none.

One cannot plead that he did not know about the obligation or its extraordinary importance. Even if an unfortunate Muslim were never to open the Qur'an or a hadith book in his life, he cannot not notice the call to salaah that comes from every masjid throughout the world five times a day. It repeatedly reminds him: "Come to Salah. Come to Success."

The distribution of mosques in the world today is such that the call to salaah can be heard round the clock in a never-ending stream as one moves around the globe. One can begin with Fajr adhan in Indonesia and follow it at small intervals in Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt etc. etc. By that time Zuhr adhan has already started in Indonesia. Twenty-four hours later when the Muezzins of Indonesia are again calling out Fajr adhan, the Muezzins in Africa are calling out the adhan for Isha. How can one plead ignorance in the presence of this massive and continuous universal call?

One cannot plead that the obligation is too difficult or time consuming. While the obligation remains whether one is healthy or sick, and whether it is rain or shine, Shariah goes to great lengths to accommodate our circumstances. If you cannot stand, you can offer it sitting. Cannot sit? You can offer it lying down. Cannot move? Use whatever gestures are possible. Traveling? Just offer two units instead of four. Cannot figure out the direction of qibla? Use your best judgment. Can't use water to purify yourself in preparation for salah? Perform dry ablution.

As people run out of excuses they sometimes try rationalizations. What good is salah if one's mind wanders all over the place? Well our job is to try to concentrate not to achieve concentration. We are doing our job if we are simply making the effort. What good is salaah if one is still involved in other sins, like the proverbial person who steals and prays? The simple answer is that our lives are combinations of good and evil. Our goal is to increase the good and reduce or eliminate the evil. And that won't happen by putting the good on hold until we can get rid of the evil. It may also be helpful to remember that the greatest theft is that of salaah itself.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Make use of salah and dua

The Cure for Everything

Imam Bukhari, who was one of the greatest compilers of ahadith, became blind at a young age. He had recourse to many famous and skilled doctors of his time but their treatments made no difference. His mother was a pious worshipper and a righteous woman. She cried out for help in the court of Allah the Almighty, for her child and begged for the restoration of his eyesight. At last, "the river of mercy flowed over her," and Almighty Allah accepted her invocation. One night, she visited Ibrahim alayhis-salam in a dream and was told, "Allah has restored the sight of your son because of your intense and beautiful invocations." In the morning, as Imam Bukhari got up from his bed, glimmers of light reached out into his eyes. That is, his eyesight was fully restored.

Source: From the biography of Imam Bukhari (ra) located in the beginning of Sahih Al Bukhari 9 Volume English Translation.

Make use of salah and dua to solve any problem that even the best experts of this world cannot solve. Unfortunately, the Muslims are turning away from these deeds today when they need them the most. We pray for Allah to give us the true understanding of Islam.