Month of Return to Allah
the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon.
The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting.
Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan,
Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarrelling and trivial nonsense.
Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.
In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Quran. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran (Juz') is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Quran has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was begun during Ramadan.
(Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is better than a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah's reward for it is very great.
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#2 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
The Prophet demonstrated to his people how this world is less important than the next, and how the body is less important than the soul. In fasting, the Prophet taught them step by step how to ignore the physical demands so that the spirit reigns supreme.
Abandoning food, drink, and sex was only a prelude to the next stage of greater significance: of conquering avidity and cupidity, lust and licentiousness; of liberating one’s mind from flights of passion and fits of temper. Indeed the Prophet said: “The strong person is not the one who can wrestle someone else down. The strong person is the one who can control himself when he is angry.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
Also about the effect of fasting on one’s behaviour, the Prophet said, “Fasting is a shield, so the one who fasts should avoid obscene speech and ignorant behaviour. If someone abuses him or starts to fight with him, he should reply by saying: ‘I am fasting. I am fasting’.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The core of fasting according to the Prophet was one’s willingness not merely to give up self-indulgence, but to feel the need of one’s brother as one’s own. And no one was more kind-hearted and generous than the Messenger of God; and his generosity reached its peak in Ramadan. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet stressed on the importance of treating people nicely when he said: “Make things easy for people and do not make them difficult, and cheer people up and do not drive them away.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
He also said: “The most beloved of actions to God Almighty, is making another Muslim happy, removing a hardship that has befallen him, paying off a debt of his or ridding him of hunger. It is more beloved to me indeed that I walk with my Muslim brother to see to a need of his than secluding oneself in a mosque for a month…” (Tabarani)
The heart of one who sincerely fasts is open to the contemplation of the magnificence of the countless bounties of God. That is why the Prophet asked his followers to avoid gluttony: “The food of two people is enough for three, and the food of three people is enough for four.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
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#3 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
allah is All-Merciful and He has expressed His Mercy to us His creatures through the sending of His final messenger Muhammad as an embodiment of mercy. The Prophet said: “Have mercy to those on earth so that He Who is in Heaven will have mercy on you.” (Tirmidhi)
“The believer is not the one who eats his fill when the neighbor beside him is hungry.”
So it was not surprising that the Prophet’s Companions loved him dearly, as he was the kindest of men, bestowing his mercy not only upon humans but also on other creatures of the world as well. No leader could be more considerate and solicitous of his followers than Muhammad: he never allowed any Muslim to bear any burden more than they could bear, as taught by God Himself.
For he was well aware of the infirmities of people; and this is evident from his consideration for his followers in the matter of fasting: He taught Muslims to delay the sahur (the pre-dawn meal before fasting) till a little before Dawn Prayer and not to delay the iftar (the meal to break the fast) after the call to Sunset Prayer so that no unnecessary strain is laid on the fasting person by prolonging the fast time.
During travel in Ramadan, the Prophet would either fast or break his fast; and he allowed his companions to choose between the two, according to their ability.
Similarly during times of heat or thirst they were permitted to cool themselves by pouring water on the head, and the Prophet himself did so. His example in the matter of consorting with his wives during Ramadan was not different; he disallowed only such acts that would obviously undermine the fasting.
As for the Tarawih Prayers (the supererogatory night prayers performed in Ramadan), . Thus while he demonstrated through his example that the Tarawih Prayers are better offered in congregation, he allowed leniency in the matter out of his mercy.
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#4 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
It was Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who made us raise our eyes from the dust beneath to view the glory of the starry heavens above. It was Muhammad who led us from the depths of darkness to the grandeur of the light of God.
The Prophet was the one who led us to break our stone statues and wooden gods. It was Muhammad who lifted us out of the filth of idolatry to relish the serenity of God’s transcendence.
On the Night of Power in one Ramadan, the Quran descended on Muhammad, and he received its first verses in the Cave of Hira. (Ibn Abbas)
Thereafter the Prophet taught us how to celebrate Ramadan through days of fasting and nights of prayer: to honor each day of Ramadan as a day of patient endurance through fasting, and each night as a night of gratitude through prayers.
An Unexpected Transformation
It was nothing short of miraculous how the Prophet reformed and refined those unruly tribes of Arabia and transformed them into pious, disciplined, God-fearing ascetics, who stood in prayers in the mosque five times a day seeking the guidance of God.
And imagine: these same people who once reveled in the pleasures of “wine and women” could now spend the whole month of Ramadan in fasting and prayers.
Into the hearts of his followers, the Prophet instilled the love and fear of God and love for humanity. His example was inspiring and irresistible; and each of them became eager to be his closest follower.
To them he was the sincerest and the most cordial of leaders. And his life was open before them like a book; they could see him practicing most closely in his own life what he was preaching.
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#5 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
منصور و اسئلة فتاة مسيحية عن المساواة فى الاسلام ركن المتحدثين مترجم
خير الشهور - رمضان - مترجم The Best Month - Ramadan
#6 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
People use a Lunar (Moon/Hijri) calendar, and a Solar (Georgian) calendar The lunar calendar considers a full round of the moon phases as one month, which becomes either 29 or 30 days.
The lunar year is 12 months. The 9th month is Ramadan, according to Hijri calendar
Some nations are also using the lunar calendar, like China, Japan, Korea, Nepal & Vietnam; where it is used mainly to determine traditional holidays. The country which uses it as the official calendar is Saudi Arabia.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight (i.e. from dawn until sunset). The action of not eating & drinking is called ‘fasting’ (단식). Again, we fast during the daylight ONLY, people eat normally after sunset.
Q: Why Ramadan?
Well, since you are reading this page, then you have an electronic device and internet connection. There is a good chance you never actually starved. Whenever you feel hungry, you always respond. Do you know how does the poor feel, feeling the hunger but finding nothing? You can imagine, you can try skipping meals, but how about trying to fast for one day, during summer, winter, fall and spring? Each season usually brings a bit longer or a bit shorter hours of daylight. This way, you will really feel it.
I know how does it feel. I experienced Ramadan in all seasons.
Hence, many Muslims respond to this solidarity by donating to the poor with money and food. Most neighborhoods in Muslim countries will have group meals every day during Ramadan for everyone. For this reason, people greet each other when Ramadan starts by saying “Ramadan Kareem”; literally “Ramadan is generous”.
Also, it has health benefits. You may search: health benefits of fasting.
Q: Sounds difficult to do, isn’t it?
At the end of the first and maybe second day, you might feel dizzy or have a headache, especially @the end of the first day (I do!). This is your body adjusting to the new diet, especially due to stopping your regular consumables during the day, like coffee. Yet the rest of the month will go smoothly.
Of course if the person will be affected negatively by fasting, like patients and the elderly, then they should not fast; if they do, then it is considered a sin! Islam tells people to take care of their bodies and conscience, hence avoiding alcohol and other narcotics.
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#7 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
The health benefits of fasting include detoxification, faster healing, radiant skin, and secretion of growth and anti-aging hormones. It is also good for the digestive system as it boosts metabolism, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces appetite, thereby managing weight and obesity. It provides relief from epilepsy, arthritis, and other diseases.
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#8 Original Poster (OP)
Re: Month of Return to Allah
I’tikaaf means staying in the mosque for a specific purpose, which is to worship Allah, may He be glorified. It is prescribed in Islam and is mustahabb according to the consensus of the scholars. Imam Ahmad said, as was narrated from him by Abu Dawood: “I have not heard from any of the scholars that it is anything other than Sunnah.”
Al-Zuhri, May Allah have mercy on him, said: “How strange the Muslims are! They have given up I’tikaaf, despite the fact that the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, never abandoned this practice from the time he came to Madeenah until his death.”
The benefits of I’tikaaf
There are many hidden benefits in the acts of worship and much wisdom behind them. The basis of all deeds is the heart, as the Messenger of Allah, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “In the body there is an organ which if it is sound, the entire body will be sound, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. That organ is the heart.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 52; Muslim, 1599)
What corrupts the heart most is distractions and preoccupations – such as food, drink, sex, talking too much, sleeping too much and socializing too much, and other distractions – which divert people from turning to Allah and cause the heart to be unfocused and unable to concentrate on worshipping Allah. So Allah has prescribed acts of worship, such as fasting, to protect the heart from the negative effects of these distractions. Fasting deprives a person of food and drink and sex during the day, and this denial of excessive enjoyments is reflected in the heart, which gains more strength for seeking Allah and frees it from the chains of these distractions which distract a person from thinking of the Hereafter by occupying him with worldly concerns.
Just as fasting is a shield which protects the heart from the influences of physical distractions such as excessive indulgence in food, drink and sex, so I’tikaaf offers an immense hidden benefit, which is protection from the effects of excessive socializing. For people may take socializing to extremes, until it has a similar effect on a person to the effects of over-eating, as the poet said:
“Your enemy was once your friend, so do not have too many companions,
For, as you see, most diseases come from food and drink.”
I’tikaaf also offers protection from the evil consequences of talking too much, because a person usually does I’tikaaf on his own, turning to Allah by praying Qiyaam al-Layl, reading Qur'an, making Dhikr, reciting du’aa’, and so on.
It also offers protection from sleeping too much, because when a person makes I’tikaaf in the mosque, he devotes his time to drawing closer to Allah by doing different kinds of acts of worship; he does not stay in the mosque to sleep.
Undoubtedly a person’s success in freeing himself from socializing, talking and sleeping too much will help him to make his heart turn towards Allah, and will protect him from the opposite.
During the period of I’tikaaf, the Muslim is not allowed to go out except in the case of definite needs which serve to facilitate his staying in the mosque for I’tikaaf. Apart from that, he should not go out, even if it is for a permissible purpose. So – for example – he cannot go out and walk around in the market-place, even for a short time, to buy things that have nothing to do with his I’tikaaf. If he goes out to buy siwaak, this will not affect his I’tikaaf because it is something that is required for his prayer during his I’tikaaf. But if he went out to buy a gift for his wife or for one of his children, that would invalidate his I’tikaaf, because the Messenger, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, did not go out except in the case of “human need”, as mentioned above. So how about if the person in I’tikaaf goes out to do something haraam such as smoking cigarettes for example, or to watch a satellite TV show that he usually watches? Undoubtedly this would invalidate his I’tikaaf.
So if he goes out to drink wine or to smoke, this invalidates his I’tikaaf. In general, any going out for any invalid reason invalidates one's I’tikaaf, and more so if the purpose of going out is to commit a sin. Even when he goes out for a legitimate purpose, it is not permissible for him to light a cigarette on the way.
I’tikaaf is an annual opportunity in which a person can get rid of these bad habits by repenting and turning to Allah, and by weaning himself from these sins during the period of I’tikaaf, not giving in to his desires, and getting used to this.
This continual worship of Allah requires continual patience on the part of the person in I’tikaaf, which is a kind of training for a person's will and a kind of self-discipline for the soul which usually tries to escape this worship to turn towards other matters which it desires.
There is also the kind of patience which is required for dealing with the absence of things which a person may be used to, such as different kinds of food that he eats at home but which are not available in the mosque. So he puts up with having little for the sake of earning the pleasure of Allah, may He be exalted and glorified.
And there is the kind of patience which is required for putting up with the place where he is sleeping, for he will not have a bed put in the mosque for him, or a comfortable mattress on which he could sleep. He sleeps on a very modest mattress or even on the carpets in the mosque.
And there is the kind of patience which is required for putting up with the conditions in the mosque, the crowds of people around him, the lack of peace and quiet such as he enjoys at home when he wants to sleep.
And there is the kind of patience which is required for suppressing his desire for his wife, with whom he is not allowed to have sexual relations if he goes home for any purpose; he cannot even kiss her or hug her, even though she is halaal for him. Thus the value of patience, strong will power and self-control is manifested. Through these practices and others, a person can train himself to delay many of the things he desires for the sake of things which are more important, so he puts off these psychological and material needs for the sake of earning the pleasure of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
(9) Peace of mind
(10) Reading the Qur'an and completing it
(11) Sincere repentance
(12) Qiyaam al-Layl (praying at night) and getting used to it
(13) Making good use of one's time
(14) Purifying one's soul
(15) Reforming one’s heart and focusing on Allah.
Seeking Laylat al-Qadr
This was the main purpose behind the I’tikaaf of the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him. At first his I’tikaaf lasted for the entire month, then he did I’tikaaf during the middle ten days, seeking Laylat al-Qadr. When he learned that it is in the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan, he limited his I’tikaaf to these blessed ten days.
We ask Allah to help us to remember Him, thank Him and worship Him properly.
And Allah knows best. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad
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