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Welcome, O Month Of The Qur'an

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Sheikh 'Abdul-'Azhim Badawy

Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân, 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 ie is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fast) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [ of days which one did not observe Saum (fast) must be made up] from other days. Allâh 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 Allâh [ie to say Takbîr (Allâhu Akbar; Allâh is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him." [Surat Al Baqarah: 185].

Allah (Glory be to Him) created all the creation by His Power and preferred some of them to others by His Knowledge and Wisdom: "Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), the Well-Acquainted (with everything)." [Surat Al Mulk: 14]. He preferred some angels to others, some Prophets to others, some people to others, some inanimate objects to others, some places to others, and some times to others. Therefore, Allah (Glory be to Him) preferred the month of Ramadan over others to send down the Qur'an therein. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'ân." Its revelation was in the best night of the month and the most blessed as Allah (may He be Exalted) said: "We sent it (this Qur'ân) down on a blessed night [(i.e., the night of Al-Qadr, Sűrah No. 97) in the month of Ramadân - the 9th month of the Islâmic calendar]." [Surat Ad-Dukhan: 3]. It is the Night of the Decree as Allah (may He be Exalted) said: "Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)." [Surat Al Qadr: 1].

Scholars have disagreed in fixing its time after it had been authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went out to tell the people of its time, then two men quarreled which caused it to be hidden. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The sheets of Abraham were revealed in the first night of Ramadan, the Torah was revealed in the 6th of Ramadan, the Gospel was revealed in the 13th of Ramadan, the Psalms was revealed in 18th of Ramadan, and the Qur'an was revealed in 24th of Ramadan.'' [Reported by Ahmad and others, and Al Albany graded it as authentic in As-Silsilah As-Sahihah No. 1575].

Perhaps this Hadith shows that the Night of the Decree is on the 25th of Ramadan.

The Night of the Decree alone has great favors among the nights of Ramadan. Of its virtues are the following: "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. "When it is the first night of Ramadan the evil devils are chained. The gates of Hell are locked- not a single gate is opened, and the gates of Paradise are opened- not a single gate is locked, and a caller calls out: 'O seeker of good come forward, and O seeker of evil withhold, and there are many whom Allah frees from the Fire - and that is every night until the end of Ramadan ." [Sahih Ibn Majah No. 1331].

Some people hated to mention Ramadan without adding attributes to it, but the following Hadiths negate this reprehensibility. When Allah praised the time of revelation, He praised the Book that was revealed when He said: "A guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)." So, this Qur'an guides all people to the Straight Path and separates between the truth and falsehood. The meaning of this guidance is showing the way as Allah says: "Verily, We have created man from Nutfah (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him: so We made him hearer and seer. * Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful." [Surat Al Insan: 2 - 3]. And Allah's Saying: "And shown him the two ways (good and evil)." [Surat Al Balad: 10]. The pious believers are the ones who are seeking the guidance of the Qur'an, therefore Allah gave them that guidance through the Qur'an. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Alif, Lam, Mim * This is the Book (the Qur'ân), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al Muttaqűn [the pious believers of Islâmic Monotheism who fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)]." [Surat Al Baqarah: 1 - 2]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing." [Surat Fussilat: 44]. The meaning of this guidance is guiding to obedience as Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Indeed, there has come to you from Allâh a light (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) and a plain Book (this Qur'ân). * Wherewith Allâh guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will to light and guides them to the Straight Way (Islâmic Monotheism)." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 15 - 16].

Allah (Glory be to Him) ordained the fasting of the month on everyone who is present and has no reason to prevent him from fasting. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "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 (fast) that month." And the fast of Ramadan is a duty on every adult, sane, reasonable, healthy, and non-travelling Muslim. Its obligation is confirmed by the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and consensus. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fast) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqűn (the pious)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 183].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) counted fasting as one of the pillars of Islam when he said: "Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger. 2. To perform the (compulsory congregational) Salah dutifully and perfectly. 3. To pay Zakat (ie obligatory charity). 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e., Pilgrimage to Makkah). 5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Moreover, the entire nation held consensus on the obligation of fasting Ramadan and deeming that it is one of the pillars of Islam that is established by religion and those who deny it are not Muslims.

Fasting of Ramadan has a great virtue. It was reported in the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says: "All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose Hands my soul is the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. Sahl ibn Sa'd reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, 'Where are those who used to observe fasts?' They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry, the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Then Allah granted a concession for patients and travelers not to fast when He says: "And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fast) must be made up] from other days." The Prophet (peace be upon him) exhorted Muslims to take the concession when he said: "Allah loves concessions to be taken as He hates sin to be committed." [Reported by Ahmad, and Al Albany graded it as authentic in Irwa' Al Ghalil No. 564].

However, it is better for a traveler who does not find hardship in fasting during traveling to observe fasting, but when he finds difficulty, he should not fast.

Abu Sa 'id Al Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "We went out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) during Ramadan. Some of us observed the fast and some of us broke it. Neither the observer of the fast had any grudge against one who broke it, nor the breaker of the fast had any grudge against one who had fasted. They knew that he who had strength enough (to bear its difficulty) fasted and that was good, and they also found that he who felt weakness (and could not bear the burden) broke it, and that was also good." [Sahih Muslim].

As for those who cannot fast for old age or for chronic disease, they may fast and feed one needy for each day because of Allah's Saying: "And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskîn (needy person) (for every day missed)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 184].

'Ata' reported that he heard Ibn 'Abbas reciting this Ayah then Ibn 'Abbas said: This Ayah is not abrogated, it is for old people who cannot observe fasting, they should feed one needy everyday. [Reported by Al Bukhari].

As for pregnant and breastfeeding women who cannot fast or who fear for their babies, they may not fast but they should pay a ransom and they shall not make up the days they had missed, but if they make up these days, they should not pay a ransom.

Ibn 'Abbas said: "If pregnant and breastfeeding women fear for themselves or for the baby in Ramadan, they have to break the fast and feed a needy person for each day and do not make up fasting. [Sahih Al Irwa': 19/4].

Nafi' said: "The daughter of Ibn 'Umar was pregnant and she felt thirst during Ramadan, so Ibn 'Umar commanded her to break the fast and feed for each day a needy person." [Sahih Al Irwa': 20/4].

Menstruation and post childbirth bleeding prevent fasting and menstruating and women who have post childbirth bleeding should make up the missed days, as it is not valid for them to fast.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "We would get our menses during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger. Then, we would purify ourselves and he would command us to make up for the (missed) fasts, but he did not command them to redeem the Salah." [Sahih Muslim].

These concessions given for people regarding fasting are based on the great principles of our religion which are facilitation and removing hardships. "Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you." So, facilitate and do not put hardships against yourselves: "Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you," [Surat Al Ma ' idah: 6]. So, go easy with the religion so as to reach what Allah has ordained upon you. "To complete the fixed number of days." 3o days if you cannot see the crescent or 29 if you see the crescent "and to mention the name of Allah" for completing the fast and for the end of the month "for the guidance He has granted you" of fasting, Qiyam, and righteous actions during Ramadan "And they will say: All praise and thanks are Allâh's, Who has guided us to this." [Surat Al A 'raf: 43]. "That you may be grateful" to Allah for His religious blessing as you thank Him for worldly blessings.

Takbir "saying Allahu Akbar" starts since coming out of home until you perform the 'Eid Salah.

Az-Zuhry reported that the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to go out during 'Eid-ul-Fitr pronouncing Takbir until he would reach the praying place and until he offers Salah, and when he is done, he would stop Takbir. [Al Albany said in Irwa' Al Ghalil 123/3: This chain of transmission is authentic however it is a Mursal Hadith but it has a similar example in the Hadith of Ibn 'Umar which was reported by Al Bayhaqi 3/279, so the Hadith is authentic by all ways, and Allah knows best].

As for pronouncing Takbir in 'Eid-ul-Adha, it starts from the dawn of 'Arafah day until the afternoon Salah of the last day of Tashriq [the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah] as was authentically reported by Ali, Ibn 'Abbas, and Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with them all, as was reported in Irwa' Al Ghalil 125/3].

As for the form of Takbir, the matter is large and easy. It was reported from Ibn Mas'ud his saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]," "Allahu Akbar," "La Ilaha Illa Allah [There is no deity but Allah] and "Allahu Akbar" "Allahu Akbar Walillahi Al Hamd [Allah is the Greatest and praise is for Allah]."

It was authentically reported from Ibn 'Abbas that he would pronounce Takbir three times. All these forms are true and valid.

We ask Allah to help us for observing fast, guide us to the righteous deeds, rescue us from Hell-Fire, and to make our last call "praise be to Allah the Lord of all the Worlds."
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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