Objectives of Ramadan

Source: SuhaibWebb.com

Discussing the objectives of our actions is an important thing because to do so is to discuss the actions in a true and deep way. It is possible that if we do not know why we are doing certain things, we could miss the entire point behind the action itself. The Prophet ﷺ said about this concept, “Maybe a fasting person gains nothing from his fast except hunger and thirst. And maybe a person who prays in the night gains nothing from their prayer except staying up late.”1 So this is a person who does an action but gets no result from it.

This is because if someone does an action without knowing why they are doing it or what the objective behind it is, then it is possible that the action will be useless. This is because, as Imam al-Shāṭibī said, “Actions without objectives are like bodies without souls.” So in this article we will discuss some of the general objectives of fasting and Ramadan.

1. Attaining Taqwa

This is the major objective of fasting in Ramadan as clarified by the Qur’an. God said, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [muttaqūn].”2 Fasting also teaches a person how to have taqwā because while one is fasting they are careful about all kinds of things. They watch what comes out of their mouth, what they look at, and all that they do. As a result, the person learns how to have a certain level of restraint regarding their actions. This helps them build their taqwā by making them watchful over everything that they do. As to the definition of taqwā, the clearest way to understand it is through the definition that was provided by Abū Hurayra (ra). Someone came to him and asked, “What is taqwā?” He responded by asking the man if he has ever walked through a thorny road. He said, “Yes.” He asked, “What did you do?” He replied, “Whenever I saw thorns I would avoid them or adjust my clothes to keep them safe.” Abū Hurayra told him, “That’s taqwā.

2. Fasting is a Shield

The Prophet ﷺ said in an authentic hadith (narration) that “fasting is a shield.”3 Even the word shield in Arabic has the connotation of protection and this is one of the meanings of the word taqwā. The Prophet ﷺ also said, “O youth! Whosoever amongst you can afford to get married, let them get married. And whoever cannot afford to do so then they should fast because it will help him control his desires.”4 This protection that fasting gives cannot be accomplished by just reducing one’s food intake because it is the material and immaterial elements of fasting that aide one in controlling themselves. For this reason Imam al-Ṣanʿānī said about this, “It is for a secret that God put in fasting, so just reducing how much food you eat will not be enough.”

3. Fasting and Patience

Another thing that we should learn in Ramadan is to be patient with what we face in our daily lives. The Prophet ﷺ said in a hadith, “Fasting the month of patience, and three days of every month is equivalent to fasting the entire year.”5 In this hadith, the Prophet ﷺ refers to the month of Ramadan as the month of patience, emphasizing the importance of patience in this month.

It is also said that fasting is half of patience. This is because patience basically consists of staying away from bad deeds and persisting in good deeds. In the month of Ramadan, one of the major things that we seek to do is stay away from as many bad deeds as possible so that our fasting is half of patience.

4. Ramadan is the Month of Qur’an

In the month of Ramadan, we spend more time with the Qur’an than in any other part of the year. We spend time reading it by ourselves, we spend time studying it, we spend time listening to it during tarāwīḥ prayers, and so on. In this month, the revelation of the Qur’an began and a civilization of learning and knowledge was born.

5. A Month of Generosity

It is narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was the most generous of people and his most generous time was Ramadan. In doing this, the Prophet ﷺ was combining between a personal act of worship, like reading the Qur’an, and a social act of worship, charity. Thereby, he showed what it means to live a comprehensive existence as someone who worships God. In doing so, he shows that our responsibilities are not only limited to ourselves but also include those around us.

6. The Importance of Time

We also learn in Ramadan that time is one of the most important blessings that we have in our lives. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Two blessings, many people are at a loss regarding them: health and free time.”6 The major acts of worship in Islam are all related to specific times. We pay our zakāt at a particular time. We pray at specific times. We start fasting at a particular time, in a particular month, and we break our fast at a particular time. We go on ḥajj at a particular time. All of these specifications are meant to teach us, among other things, the importance of time. For this reason al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said, “O son of Adam! You are nothing but a compilation of breaths, so every time you inhale and exhale, a piece of you is lost.” The believer is strict with their time and the more a person’s faith increases, the more their observance of their time increases. The responsibilities we have are more than the time we have to carry them out, so we should try to be as strict with our time as possible.

These are just some of the objectives of fasting and Ramadan that we should seek to actualize. We can use these as a measuring stick for our month and see how we add up. If we look throughout and see that we are improving in these aspects then we should thank God for His bounties upon us, and if we find that we are not, then we should seek His forgiveness and grace and work harder.

May Allah accept from us all our good deeds in this month and forgive us for our shortcomings. Ameen.

Note: Most of the this article is taken from an article on the topic that was written by Shaykh al-Raysuni.

Source: SuhaibWebb.com

Fiqh of Ramadan [Sawm, Zakah & Eid]

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

The blessed month of Ramadan has arrived again, alhumdulillah. May Allah help us make this Ramadan the most beneficial one.

I have posted the Fiqh of Ramadan notes from “Learn Islam(Short Courses)“, short courses helping us gain Islamic knowledge run as a facebook page.

The Fiqh of Ramadan course consisted of Fiqh of Sawm(fasting), Fiqh of Zakah and Fiqh of eid, each of which I have published as a seperate page on the blog. You can find it on the top left hand corner under the ‘Fiqh’ title, inshaAllah or just use the following links to be re-directed to the page.

Fiqh Of Fasting
Fiqh of Zakah
Fiqh of Eid [ COMING SOON!!! – scheduled to be published on Aug 1, 2013 inshaAllah]

Have a blessed Ramadan, make the most of your time . May Allah make this Ramadan a means for us to grow spiritually and closer to Him. Ameen!

Ramadan Mubarak! 🙂

Ramadan_mubarak9

Zakaat-ul-fitr

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

A very beneficial post on Zakaat-ul-fitr, compiled by sister on her blog “Writings on Parchment

Zakaat-ul-Fitr: The correct way

Source: Writings on Parchment

Question: 

Is it permissible to discharge Zakaat ul-Fitr in money? – with mention of the evidences
 

Answer: 

 
Zakaat ul-Fitr is NOT permissible except (to be paid) from FOOD. 
And it is not allowed to discharge its value in money.
This is because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made it obligatory (to be discharged) from a saa’ of dates or a saa’ of barley. Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri رضي الله عنه said: “We used to discharge it (Zakaat ul-Fitr) in the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as a saa’ of FOOD” [Sahih Bukhari]
Therefore, it is not lawful for anyone to discharge Zakaat ul-Fitr from money or clothing or household furnishings. Instead, that which is obligatory is to discharge it in what Allaah has made obligatory on the tongue of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
There is no consideration (weight) for the Istihsaan [viewing of something to be good, without basis from the legal sources of Qur’an and Sunnah] of those of the people who viewed the giving of money as a good thing. The Law (Shari’ah) does not follow (i.e. it is not secondary to) the opinions of people. No, it (the Law) is from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, The Most Knowing, The Most Wise.
So, if that which has been made obligatory by the tongue of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is a saa’ of food, then it is not permissible to bypass (skip over) that, no matter what our intellects make us to view as being good. Instead, it is a must that the human being question and suspect his intellect and views if it conflicts with, or contradicts, the law of Allaah.
Source:
 
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him)
Zakaatul-Fitr : Fatwa-Online.com
Important Comment :
This fatwaa is referring specifically to Zakaat ul-Fitr being discharged in the form of money to the poor people.
It does not address the issue of someone paying another person to buy food for him and distribute it as food.  In this case, a person has distributed his Zakaat ul-Fitr in food, he just had someone else do it on his behalf, which is permissible.
This is so that we seperate the organizations or masjids which offer a service for Zakaat ul-Fitr:
(1) Some of them are distributing it as money to the poor people.
(2) Others are distributing the Zakaat as food to the poor people, but it is done AFTER the ‘Eid prayer.
(3) And others are buying food for people and distributing it to the poor people before the ‘Eed prayer on their behalf.
#3 is the only service that properly distributes the Zakaat ul-Fitr. 
 
#1 and #2 are NOT considered Zakaat ul-Fitr, rather they would be counted as general charities. 
And Allaah knows best.

Question:

Is the time for paying Zakaat al-Fitr from after the Eid prayer until the end of that day?

Answer:

The time for paying Zakaat al-Fitr does not start after the Eid prayer, rather it starts at sunset on the last day of Ramadaan, which is the first night of the month of Shawwaal, and it ends with the Eid prayer. 
Because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم enjoined that it should be paid before the prayer, and because of the report of Ibn ‘Abbaas رضي الله عنه who said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is accepted zakaah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.”
It is permissible to pay it one or two days before that because of the report of Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه who said: “The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم enjoined Zakaat al-Fitr at the end of Ramadaan …” at the end of which he said: “And they used to give it one or two days before that. But the one who delays it until after the proper time is sinning, and he has to repent from delaying it and give it to the poor.”Source:
 
1 Saa’ = 3 Litres :: 1 Mudd = 750ml
A prophetic mudd (1/4 saa’) in modern volume measurements is 0.75L (or 750mL), which means that a saa’ is three litres. 
The chain of transmission for this prophetic measurement:
“This mudd was measured up to Sheikh Yahyaa al-Mudarris’ mudd (may Allaah preserve him), which was measured up to the mudd of his shaykh al-‘Allaamah Aboo Sa’eed Muhammad ‘Abdullaah al-Laknawee (d.1400), which was measured up to his shaykh’s mudd… and so on, all the way back to the mudd of Zayd ibn Thaabit رضي الله عنه that was in use in al-Andelus and elsewhere all the way to (at least) the 4th century…”
Al-‘Allaamah al-Laknawee (may Allaah have Mercy on him) – a former teacher at the Haram in Makkah and at Daar al-Hadeeth, an Indian scholar grounded in Tawheed and firm against the people of desires – said about this mudd:

This is the mudd that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was speaking about when he prayed, “O Allaah! Put blessings in our saa’ and our mudd!” This was collected by the two shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Further, he صلى الله عليه وسلم used to make wudhoo’ using this mudd, and he used to take a bath using a saa’.

[Source: An-Najm al-Baadee, Shaykh Yahyaa’s biography (p.63)]

In one narration of the hadith in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said when praying for Allaah to bless the mudd and the saa’: “blessings upon blessings.” 
So whoever wants to give their Zakaat al-Fitr using this measurement – as it was prescribed – is free to do so. May Allaah bless the Muslims and accept their fasting and their Zakaat.

Question:

We generally give Zakaat al-Fitr in terms of dates, barley, rice, etc. which are measured in kilograms/pound. How do we convert these litres into kilograms/pounds?
And this litre to kilogram/pounds conversion would depend on the liquid, isn’t it? Is there a chain of transmission for measurement of Saa’ in terms of kilograms/pounds?

Answer : 

 
A way of keeping it simple, using the modern equivilent of a saa’ (3L), is to measure out 0.75L of the food you intend to use in a large measuring cup, then use that same amount (whether you convert it to weight or not) a total of four times for each person’s zakaat. 
This works for any food type, and it eliminates the need for lengthy calculations and conversions that differ from one food type or another, especially since some kinds of rice -for example- are heavier than others. Its true! Even within one food type there are different kinds that have different densities and weights.
So if you want to give out rice, for example, measure 750ml of it in a measuring cup. If you want to give the zakaat in a sealed unopened container, then weigh the 750ml you measured and then multiply by four. That’s the weight of one person’s zakaat al-fitr, using that exact kind of food. Then multiply that by the number of people you are giving zakaat on behalf of.

Step-by-Step Illustration:

Step 1: Determine the number of people you are giving zakaat al-fitr on behalf of.
A man has a wife and four children, and his parents have asked him to give out zakaat al-fitr for them too. So he needs to give out 8 units, or saa’s, of food.
Step 2: Determine how much one saa’ (3 litres) of the selected food item is.
The man in our example decides to use barley. He can either:
(a) Measure out 3 litres of barley in a large measuring pitcher, if he doesn’t mind opening the container, and it will not be seen as unacceptable to the poor person.
(b) Measure out 750 ml of barley in a measuring cup. Weigh this amount. Multiply its weight by 4. This is one saa’. Let’s say in this example 750ml of the selected barley weighed 400 grams. 400g x 4 = 1.6kg
Step 3: Multiply the measurement from step 2 by the number of people you are giving on behalf of (from step 1).
This is done one of two ways:
(a) 3 litres x 8 = 24 litres of barley as in this example (based on the original volume)
(b) 1.6kg x 8 = 12.8 kilograms in this example (coverted to weight)
I hope this walk-through helps.
Important Comment: 
The mudd is not simply a double-handful.
A mudd is an actual physical container (like a small bowl or pot, or a large cup), a standardized unit of measurement, one that was widely in use in the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in the marketplaces and in their houses.
It is based on a double-handful – don’t get confused – but the Companions used to buy and sell using the containers (the mudd and the saa’), not their own individual double-handfuls, and they used to give their Zakaat al-Fitr with these containers (the saa’ and the mudd). The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to have Zayd ibn Thaabit رضي الله عنه measure out mudds and saa’s of food using the standardized mudd and saa’.
So Allaah did not legislate that big-handed people have to give more Zakaat al-Fitr, and people with small hands give less. Rather there is a standardized measurement to be used, according to how it has been legislated. 
Thus, it is known that it is incorrect to define the mudd referred to in the texts as simply anyone’s double-handful, rather the mudd referred to was an actual container, which our scholars throughout history have busied themselves recording its size, shape, volume, and description.
And Allaah knows best.
Source:

Ramadan – The Rain of Mercy and Forgiveness is upon us

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

My recent article Originally Published on http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2012/08/ramadan-rain-of-mercy-and-forgiveness.html

Bismillah

It is human psychology that we love anything extra that has been given to us. A child is happier when he/she gets not one, but two chocolates. A teenager is happier when he/she gets extra pocket money for the month. Likewise an adult is happier when they get a bonus in their salary.

I’ve never been fond of summer. The scorching heat always gets a frown from me. A few days back on one such summer day, the weather turned its course. As I sat on my college stairs talking to my friend, lost in words, the sound of water drops brings my attention to the change. It’s pouring! It’s raining! I rush to watch one of Allah’s delightful blessings.

There’s something about rain that makes me happy; and rain during summer is an added bonus to the year. The rain drops bring with them a sign. When Allah cools the heated ground by the coolness of the droplets – His mercy pours. When He wets the dry earth by the rain – His mercy pours.

For a believer, the month of Ramadan is like that rain during summer time. For 11 months the believer struggles fighting the shaytan, works hard toward pleasing Allah(swt) and as a bonus Allah blesses his year with the pleasure of Ramadan – when it rains of Allah(swt) mercy and forgiveness for not one, two or three days but Continue reading

Ramadan Reflection – Br. Khalid Latif

Ramadan Reflection (Day 1):  What will make this fast different?

Source: HuffingtonPost

This Ramadan is unique in comparison to the Ramadans that came before it just as today is unique in comparison to each yesterday that we have lived and every tomorrow that we will see.

As in years past, Muslims all over the world, myself included, will abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual activity from sunrise until sunset for a month. The rituals and actions that render my fast to be valid will stay the same.

What will make this Ramadan different is my being different. While taking a moment to think about how much my life has changed this past year, I also should take a moment to think about how I have changed in the past year. Where has my growth been, where have I digressed, and how have I stayed the same?

Much of time we forget in our undertaking of journeys that how we reach our destination is just as important as the destination itself. In pursuit of our goals and objectives, worldly, material or otherwise, we often leave this behind. Our focus lies mostly on the external, and, as such, we prevent ourselves from seeing the remarkable people and places around us, because we fail to reach the potential within us.

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may attain consciousness

The potential of knowing myself more intimately is at its highest during Ramadan. What indicates that I have yielded the consciousness that fasting has the potential of nurturing is that I do something with the knowledge that I have acquired.

What good is knowing of my weaknesses if I don’t strive to challenge them? What good is knowing of my strengths if I don’t try to enhance them? Sustaining in action what I have learned of myself becomes one of the hardest challenges.

Even if I’m bringing nothing else from the last year of my life, what am I bringing from the last Ramadan of my life to this one? Whether you are fasting this year or not, be sure that as you move forward in your lives, to always take time to look back. Understand who you are by remembering where it is that you have come from, and allow for that remembrance and understanding to help define where it is that you will be.

I look forward to sharing once again reflections daily during this month of Ramadan. Although my days may be similar to those of a year ago, I pray that I have grown enough as a person that my thoughts and reflections on those days are different.

A quote that I shared last year that my wife had heard from a female Islamic scholar named Fariha Fatima is worth mentioning here again, mostly as a reminder to how those who are fasting can deepen the experience from the very first day:

There are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us. Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up. Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah’s majesty. Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower. Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone. Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies. Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us.Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions. Let us fast from desiring what we do not have. Let us fast from obsession. Let us fast from despair. Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart. Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior. Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important. Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view. Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah. Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah’s Prophets and friends, and our own true self. Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah.

Quran Tracker & Surah Ar-Rahman Memorization Printables

Assalamualaikum Wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Ramadan Mubarak!!!! 🙂 May Allah make this Ramadan a month for us to wipe out all our sins, putting in all the effort we can to multiply our reward and above all to get much much closer to Al-wadood! :’)

So here’s your Ramadan treat … free Ramadan printables –  A Quran tracker, for you to schedule the amount of quran you read per day to be able to complete it during this month, inshaAllah! 🙂

And a Surah Memorization tracker for Surah Ar-Rahman,that is a suggestive schedule to memorize this amazing surah during this blessed month, inshaAllah. 🙂

Feel free, download them, print and Continue reading