Expected first day of fasting
22nd/23rd August -
The Prophet (Peace be upon him), Attributes and Manners
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) combined both perfection of creation and perfection of manners.
This impression on people can be deduced by the bliss that overwhelmed their hearts and filled them with dignity. Men’s dignity, devotion and estimation of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) were unique and matchless. No other man in the whole world has been so honoured and beloved. Those who knew him well, were fascinated and enchanted by him. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of saving a nail of his from hurt or injury. Being privileged by lots of prerogatives of perfection that no one else had been endowed with, his Companions found that he was peerless and so they loved him.
Beauty Of Creation
Describing the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), who passed by her tent on his journey of migration, Umm Ma‘bad Al-Khuza‘iyah said to her husband:
"He was innocently bright and had broad countenance. His manners were fine. Neither was his belly bulging out nor was his head deprived of hair. He had black attractive eyes finely arched by continuous eyebrows. His hair glossy and black, inclined to curl, he wore long. His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large, well formed and set on a slender neck. His expression was pensive and contemplative, serene and sublime. The stranger was fascinated from the distance, but no sooner he became intimate with him than this fascination was changed into attachment and respect. His expression was very sweet and distinct. His speech was well set and free from the use of superfluous words, as if it were a rosary of beads. His stature was neither too high nor too small to look repulsive. He was a twig amongst the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surrounded by his Companions. Whenever he uttered something, the listeners would hear him with rapt attention and whenever he issued any command, they vied with each other in carrying it out. He was a master and a commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehoods and lies."
Fasting has its advantages from the point of view of health and hygiene. Islam wants a Muslim to be healthy, clean, alert, agile and energetic. "Fast to be healthy," had said the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). And physicians today acknowledge the many benefits of fasting that ensure health and the soundness of one's body and mind. Some of these positive points have a direct influence on psychology and physique of the fasting individual.
.....Fasting and Health.....
Fasting and HealthFasting has been found to be an effective treatment for psychological and emotional disorders. It helps a person to firm up his will, cultivate and refine his taste and manners, strengthen his conviction of doing good, avoid controversy, petulance and rashness, which all contribute towards a sane and healthy personality. Besides nurturing resistance and ability to face hardships and endurance, fasting reflects on outward physical appearance by cutting out gluttony and getting rid of excess fat. The benefits of fasting on health do not stop there but are instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases, including those of the digestive systems, such as chronic stomachache, inflammation of the colon, liver diseases, indigestion, and conditions such as obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, asthma, diphtheria and many other maladies.
Generally speaking, fasting hastens the destruction of the decaying tissues of the body by means of hunger, and then builds new tissues through nutrition. This is why some scientists suggest that fasting should be regarded as an effective means of restoring youthfulness and longevity. However, Islam exempts from fasting sick and old people whose health is bound to deter.But fasting should have its regulations too, and not simply the in orderly skipping meals, that is bound to harm health and stamina, rather than improving them. Here again Islam provides the answer, and in order to realize the benefits of fasting, it recommends the late midnight meals called 'Sahar' (before the formal start of a fast) and the breaking of the fast at the time prescribed. Of course, to ensure good health one should abstain from gluttony after breaking fast.
stated by Imam Ali (R.A):
"Son! May I instruct you four words after which you will no longer need medicine? Do not eat unless you are hungry. Stop eating while you are still hungry. Chew food deliberately. Before sleeping, go to toilet. You will not need medicine if you follow."In the holy Quran, there is a Verse gathering the whole matter of medicine. It is: "...Eat and drink but do not be excessive." (7:31)
Kaab bin Ujra relates, "Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "Come near to the mimbar". And we came near to the mimbar. When he ascended the First step of the mimbar he said "Aameen". When he ascended the second step of the mimbar he said, "Aameen". When he ascended the third step he said, "Aameen".
When he descended we said, "0 Rasul of Allah, we have heard from you today something which we never heard before". He said, When I ascended the first step) Jibra-eel A.S. appeared before me and said, "Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadhaan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness", Upon that I said, "Aameen". When I ascended the second step, he said "Woe to him before whom thy name is mentioned and then does not read Durood (salaat alan Nabi) on you". I replied "Aameen". When I ascended the third step he said, "Woe unto the person in whose presence both parents or one of them attain old age, and (through failure to serve them) is not allowed to enter Jannah" I said "Aameen"
Abu Hurayrah relates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, "My Ummah were given five things for Ramadhaan which were not given to anyone except them. For them, the smell from the mouth of a fasting person is more sweeter to Allah than the fragrant smell of musk. On their behalf the fish in the sea seek forgiveness for the fasting persons until they break their fast. Allah prepares and decorates a special garden in Jannah everyday and then says (to it), "The time is near when faithful servants shall cast aside the great trials of the world and come to you". In this month (for them) evil-minded Shaytaan is chained so as not to reach unto those evils to which they normally reach during other months besides Ramadhaan. On the last night of Ramadhaan they are forgiven".
The Sahaabah R.A. thereupon enquired, "0 Messenger of Allah, is that last night Laylatul Qadr? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) replied, "No. But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his service". Reported by Ahmad.
Salmaan (RA) reports, "On the last day of Sha-baan Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) addressed us and said, '0 people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day. And has made sunnah the Taraaweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraa-idh in any other time.
This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah ( paradise. It is the month of sympathy with one's fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer's rizq is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell}, and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least."
Thereupon we said, "0 messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast." Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) replied, "Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk."
"This is a month, the first of which brings Allah's mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahan-nam."
"Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam."
"And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa llaaha illallaah) and make much Istighfaar beg Allah's forgiveness with Astagirfirul-laah)." And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam." "And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.
Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radhiallaahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) said one day when Ramadhaan had drawn near; "The month of Ramadhan, the month of blessings has come to you, wherein Allah turns towards you and sends down to you His special Mercy, forgives your faults, accepts prayers, appreciates your competition for the greatest, good and boasts to the angels about you. So, show to Allah your righteousness; for verily, the most pitiable and unfortunate one is he who is deprived of Allah's Mercy in this month.
In this Hadith, we read about the spirit of competition among the believers, each one trying to do more good deeds than the other. In our own home, I am greatly pleased on seeing how even the womenfolk vie with each other, the one trying to recite more of the Qur'aan than the others, so that, in spite of domestic responsibilities, fifteen to twenty 'juz' (Parts) of the Qur'aan are read by each one daily. I mention this only out of a sense of gratitude to Allah, mentioning His favour, and not to boast of it. May Allah accept their deeds and ours, and increase us all in good deeds.
Verses of Qur'an
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint
2:184. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.
Ramadhan is a very important part of every Muslim’s life. Ramadhan is the month of giving and mercy, and during this month Allah blesses the believers with forgiveness and great reward.
This is a time to stop and contemplate, to look inwards and out, it is a time to set our goals. We should ask ourselves what we want to achieve this month, - something we will carry into our futures..
Quran - Surah Al Bakarah Ayah 187
Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah. Approach not nigh there to. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.
QURAN - Surah AL-QADR Ayah 3
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
QURAN - Surah Al Bakarah Ayah 184
Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.
QURAN - Surah Al Bakarah Ayah 185
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur-an, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
QURAN - Surah Al Ahzab Ayah 35
For Muslim men and women for believing men and women for devout men and women for true men and women for men and women who are patient and constant for men and women who humble themselves for men and women who give in charity for men and women who fast (and deny themselves) for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
Ramadhan is a very special time for worship, both collectively as well as individually. While study circles, congregational prayers and other activities are carried out collectively there are also many opportunities for individual worship.
Dhikr (or Zhikr) is the remembrance and glorification of Allah in order to become closer to Him. Dhikr is practiced around the globe by Muslims who glorify and praise Allah. Dhikr can be done either silently in your heart, or audibly with a group of people, asking for forgiveness or praising the greatness of Allah.
If we look at our everyday lives we all, in some way or another, participate in Dhikr. Whether it is through a conscious effort after salah, or just at times of distress or happiness – we all feel the need to remember Allah. Dhikr is a form of worship that carries much reward.
n 'Durr Manthur' it is reported from Aa'isha (Radhiallahu anha) that, when Ramadhan appeared, the colour of Rasulullah's face used to change. He then used to increase his "Salaat", become even more humble in his "Duaas" and exhibit even more fear of Allah. According to another report, he hardly ever lay down in bed until Ramadhan came to an end. Further, it is stated that the angels carrying the Throne are commanded in Ramadhan to leave aside everything else and recite "Aameen" to the "Duaas" of those who fast. Numerous are the Ahaadith stating that the fasting person's 'Du'aas' are answered. When Allah has so promised. and his truthful 'Nabi' (Sallallaaho alaihe wasallam) has informed us, there should be no doubt whatsoever about the truth of these reports. Yet it is strange that, in spite of this, we still find such people who apparently do not get what they pray for. They ask and do not receive; but this does not mean that their prayers have been rejected. One should at this point understand the significance of a 'Dua' being answered.
Abu Hurairah reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said:
“Allah, the Exalted and Glorious stated: I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My Heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by a cubit, and if he draws near Me by a cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two arms. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Hadith from Sahih Muslim & Bukhari)
Abu Saeed Khudri (Radhiallahu anh) relates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "During each day and night of Ramadhan, Allah sets free a great number of souls from Hell. And for every Muslim, during each day and night, at least one prayer is certainly accepted."
Apart from this Hadith, there are many others stating that the 'Du'aa' of a fasting person is accepted (Mustajaab). In one Hadith, we read that the 'Du'aa'is accepted at the time of 'Iftaar', but we are generally so absorbed in eating that we neglect this opportunity. The well-known 'Duaa' at 'Iftaar' is: "O Allah for You have I fasted, in You do I believe, and on You do I rely, and now I break this fast with food coming from you."
Abdullah bin Amr (Radhiallahu anhu) used to make the following 'Duaa' at 'Iftaar': O Allah I beg You, through Your infinite Mercy, which surrounds all things, to forgive me.'
In some books we read that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to say: "O You who are Great in Bounties, forgive me."
Following is a compilation of Duas for Fasting (Ramadan)
Many other prayers have been indicated for 'Iftaar', but no special 'Dua' is fixed. This time (at iftaar) is one when 'Duaa' is accepted; submit before Allah all your needs.
Supplication (dua) is not only the continuous outpouring of a person’s heart before their Lord, but it is also an expression of their sense of nearness to Allah. We acknowledge the might and power of Allah as well as the grace and blessings we are given. If we could conceive how much a person supplicates, what he supplicates for, and the way that he supplicates, then we could start to understand how much love they have for Allah in their soul.