بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yes, they’re almost upon us – the best nights of the year.
No more napping. We need to take some action.
This Ramadan, I haven’t posted many resources because I did that last year.
I thought I would just link to the useful ones:
[All of these link to the post which contains the resource.]
Last Ten Days, Laylatul Qadr, Itikaf, Zakaatul Fitr and Eid
Articles / Books
1) When is Laylatul Qadr? [Don’t forget to read this one!]
6) Resources for Itikaf – Umm Muawiyah’s very own guide as to what you REALLY need for itikaf.
[Note: It seems that some people get confused between Zakaah and Zakaatul Fitr. They are two totally different things.]
Is this the last post for this Ramadan, you ask?
I wish but no. A few more to go, insha-Allah…
You know one of the most amazing things about our magnificent religion?
It tells us the best way to go about doing….well, absolutely everything.
Some people find this to be “burdensome”. [When did sheer excellence become “burdensome”….?]
To such people, I say: Okay, stick to your lousy way of doing things. We’ll follow the way of excellence.
As for those who want to pursue excellence, marhaba!
What do we start with first?
Well, what about how to sleep in the proper way?
Being an insomniac, I’ve noticed that if one’s sleep gets messed up, then it starts going downhill from there. Sleep problems could lead to missing Fajr, which leads to a bad start to the day.
On the other hand, if one sleeps properly and moderately, then one can get up early, for Fajr and also for Tahajjud. After this, one is fresh and ready to go. The whole day starts on a high note.
So, how does one sleep in the “proper” way?
Well, it’s however the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) practiced it , of course.
Here’s a lecture dedicated to discussing his sleeping habits:
In the Middle of the Night: The Sleeping Habits of the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) by Muhammad Alshareef (Download)
Yes, there is an authentic hadeeth that states this.
So, is itikaf only allowed in the three masjids (i.e. Masjid Al-Haraam, Masjid An-Nabawi, and Masjid Al-Aqsa)?
Firstly, here is a treatise which shows that this is an authentic hadeeth: Clarifying the Evidence in Referencing and Verifying the Hadeeth “There is no Itikaf except in the three Masjids” by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Wasaabee.
[It’s a bit hard core.]
Secondly, this is not how most of the scholars understood it. The following article explains the issue:
I heard a hadeeth which says that i’tikaaf is only valid in al-Masjid al-Haraam (in Makkah), al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Madeenah) and al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem). Is this hadeeth saheeh?
Praise be to Allaah.
The hadeeth to which the questioner is referring was narrated by al-Bayhaqi (4/315) from Hudhayfah, who said to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him): I saw some people who were observing i’tikaaf between your house and the house of Abu Moosa (i.e., in the mosque) and I know that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no i’tikaaf except in the three mosques: al-Masjid al-Haraam…” ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: Perhaps you forgot and they remembered, or you made a mistake and they were correct.
This was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (2876). Secondly: With regard to the ruling on this matter, the majority of scholars are of the view that it is not essential for i’tikaaf to be observed in one of the three mosques. They quoted as evidence for that the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I‘tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [al-Baqarah 2:187] The word masaajid in this verse includes all mosques, except those of which the evidence states that i’tikaaf is not valid therein, such as mosques in which prayers are not held in congregation, if the person who is observing i’tikaaf is one of those on whom prayer in congregation is obligatory. See question no. ( 48985 ) Imam al-Bukhaari referred to the general meaning of the verse. He said:
[Yes, you’re right. I’m trying to get you to do itikaf. Was it that obvious?]
Rulings and Virtues of Itikaf by Said Rageah
You know what I find amazing?
I’ll tell you.
I’m all excited about something in Islam and then I mention that to another person who doesn’t seem at all excited. That’s what I find amazing.
It doesn’t shock me or disgust me. It just makes me very sad because it’s sad to see someone who calls herself a Muslim look very unexcited about the sunnah of the Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
Oh and in case you think that this keeps happening with those who are far from Islam, then you are mistaken. I’m talking about those who attend regular Islamic classes.
One of those things that I keep telling all the sisters about is itikaf (seclusion in the masjid). Their reaction? It was more like a non-reaction. I might as well have said “Hey, it’s hot today.” Many of the sisters that I spoke to didn’t even express a DESIRE to do itikaf.
Now, someone might say: “Hey, listen I have 5 kids! There’s no way I can stay in the masjid” or say “I’m at work so how can I stay at the masjid?”
Did you notice that I put the word DESIRE in caps? What that means is that even if you are unable to do something, you at least WISH that you could do it.
I have a question for all of you: When you come across any action or order (that pertains to you*) of the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) or one of his Companions (radiallahu anhum) do you feel any sort of DESIRE to do it, if not today, then one day in the future?
[*For example, some of his actions are only for the men e.g. growing the beard and some of his statements were only directed towards the women e.g. obedience to the husband.]
If the answer is no, then we have a problem. Why? Because if we’re being told about an act that we know for certain would please Allah, and we don’t show any inclination towards doing it, then I think it shows that perhaps we are not concerned with pleasing Allah.
One of those actions is itikaf. Most people don’t show any inclination whatsoever towards it. It’s easy to understand why, of course. I’ll let the article spell it out for you.
[To the brothers and sisters (who don’t have young children): Please try to go for at least one night. You’ll love it.
Brothers: Please give your wives/daughters permission to go to itikaf if they ask.]
[And if you can actually go for ten days then please don’t even think of doing less than that. I’ve been dreaming (it’s one of my biggest dreams in life) and doing dua for that for 7 years and I’ve never had the opportunity. I can’t believe that someone who has this opportunity would actually give it up.]
[For all the itikaf newbies: Don’t worry, I’ll be putting up some advice tomorrow on what to take with you.]
Why have the Muslims forsaken i’tikaaf, even though it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? What is the purpose of i’tikaaf?
Praise be to Allaah.
I’tikaaf is one of the confirmed Sunnahs which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did regularly.
See the evidence for its being prescribed in the answer to question no. 48999.
This Sunnah has disappeared from the lives of the Muslims apart from those on whom Allaah has mercy. It is like many Sunnahs which the Muslims have virtually forsaken.
There are several reasons for this, including the following:
1- Weakness of faith in many hearts
2- Increased focus on worldly pleasures and desires, which leads to an inability to keep away from them even for a short time.
3- Lack on interest in Paradise on the part of many, and their inclination towards leisure and relaxation, so that they do not want to put up with the hardship of i’tikaaf even for the sake of earning Allaah’s pleasure.
Whoever understands the significance of Paradise and the greatness of its delights will sacrifice his life and that which is most precious to him in order to attain it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The reward of Allaah is precious, the reward of Allaah is Paradise.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, 2450.
As I said in an earlier post, Ramadan isn’t over yet.
The most important days of Ramadan are ahead of us. So for those of us whose first 20 days weren’t anything to write home about, we can still make this a good Ramadan.
How? By going on an ibaadah binge for the next 12 days.
And by maintaining most of that binge (if not all) beyond Ramadan. That’s the whole point of Ramadan after all. It’s the time of year where we train ourselves to become better slaves of Allah.
Here’s an article on the last 10 days of Ramadan. It’s simple and to the point but full of benefits.
The Last 10 Days of Ramadan by Shaikh Abdullah ibn Saalih Al-Fawzan
Well, the last ten nights are right around the corner, so I’ll be putting up lots of resources on this topic.
Here’s the first one:
Focusing on Laylatul Qadr and Itikaaf
[Just a note: An anonymous person wrote a comment criticizing something that I said in Part 2. I had no problem with that. All comments are welcome.
However, this individual used MY email address when typing in the comment. (You cannot submit a comment without typing in a valid email address.)
That REALLY annoyed me. I don’t mind being criticized but I hate lies and cowardice, especially considering the fact that this is Ramadan.
Why am I telling you all this? Simple. If you wish to write a comment in the future, then please don’t make the mistake of using my email address, just because you want to remain anonymous. You can either create a new email address for this purpose or else please refrain from commenting. If I see that anybody has used my email address for writing a comment, I’ll delete the comment then and there. I don’t like dealing with liars and cowards.]
Okay, so now that I’ve said what I had to say (I always say what I have to say, don’t I?), let’s continue with our checklist:
18) The Month of Integrity
What integrity is NOT: using the blog owner’s email address to write an anonymous comment.
What integrity IS: using your OWN email address to air your comments. And if you happen to behave in a manner other than that, then you should be willing to apologize. [Yes, this individual really did annoy me. May Allah forgive her.]
In the last 10 days, did our integrity improve? Were we honest in our dealings?
Do you know how Islam spread to places like Indonesia and Malaysia? Through honest Muslim traders. The people of those lands were totally amazed at how honest these individuals were with their business dealings.
I’ll tell you two stories that happened to me:
1) Many years ago, paid parking was introduced in our parking lot. So, in the beginning (before we all got the parking cards), I used to rush down every hour to get the ticket. Sometimes, I would put in AED 5 for two hours. (AED = Arab Emirate Dirhams.)
One day, I didn’t have any change so I went to the light shop under my house to get change for AED 5. There was an old south Indian Hindu man there. I knew him well because he had worked there for years and I had basically grown up in that building. So I asked him for change. He only had AED 4.75 so I gave him the AED 5 bill and took the change.
That was that, right? I mean, who would care about 25 fils? A quarter of a dirham? He did.
He come up to me a few days later and gave me the 25 fils. I was shocked and told him not to worry about it. He insisted that I take it because he couldn’t keep it. Subhan Allah.
I was so sad that this kind of integrity came from a non-Muslim and not a Muslim. We’re usually too ashamed to even return such a small amount in case the other person laughs at us.
[He left for India a few years ago. If I had to choose one person in the entire world that I would want Allah to guide to Islam, it would be him. I ask Allah by His Beautiful Names that He guide this man to Islam for this act that he did. Ameen.] Read more