بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Month of Righteous Deeds (which are done to earn Allah’s Pleasure)
رب صائم ليس له من صيامه إلا الجوع ورب قائم ليس له من قيامه إلا السهر
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690. Graded “hasan sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 1690.]
[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
Why am I talking about backbiting in a blog about Ramadan?
Well, you see, fasting has two kinds of nullifiers:
1) Actual nullifiers (eating, drinking and sexual intercourse with one’s spouse)
2) Figurative nullifiers
What are figurative nullifiers? Well, they are things that pretty much render the fast useless. The proof that they exist is in the following hadeeth:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 127]
These nullifiers are haraam outside of Ramadan and fasting as well. It’s just that it is WORSE when you do them during fasting or Ramadan.
[Note: It’s ironic but there are only three HALAL things which become haram during fasting. So why is it that we give up so many things in Ramadan (e.g. music, movies, etc)? Perhaps because deep inside we know that they are not allowed? If we keep going this route (i.e. stopping the haram only during Ramadan), our own actions will be a witness against us.]
Here’s an article that explains the issue of the figurative nullifiers: Read more
Yes indeed. It’s time for a rant.
So, if you’ll permit me…
Ramadan is the Month of Fitness, not the Month of Fatness.
Ramadan is the Month of Piety, not the Month of Party.
Ramadan is the Month of Fasting, not the Month of Food.
Ramadan is the Month of Abstinence, not the Month of Stuffing-Yourself-Until-You-Drop-Dead.
Ramadan is the Month of Wiping Out your sins from your book of deeds, not the Month of Writing More Sins to your book of deeds.
Ramadan is the Month of the Quran. And no, that does not mean taking a dusty Mushaf off your shelves after 10 months and 20 days and reading it without tajweed, understanding or application.
Ramadan is the Month of Starting Afresh – which means starting a new life until the end of your life, not a new life until Shawwal.
Ramadan is the Month of Silence, not the Month of Socialising (Hello Iftar Parties Full of Gheebah. I’m talking to YOU.)
Ramadan is the Month of Sisterhood (and Brotherhood), not the Month of Cat fights. (Hello Sisters in the Masjid. I’m talking to YOU).
Ramadan is the Month of Giving in Charity, not the Month of Being a Cheapskate.
Ramadan actually lasts for a whole Month, not just the 27th night.
Ramadan actually lasts from Fajr until Fajr, not from Fajr until Maghrib.(Hello Sheesha Addicts and Majlis Tent Goers. I’m talking to YOU.)
Ramadan is the Month where the Gates of Paradise are opened and the Gates of Hell are closed. So why exactly do we behave as if the Gates of Hell are open and the Gates of Paradise are closed?
Ramadan is the Month where we pray more, not the (only) Month where we pray.
Ramadan is the Month of Manners. You’d think people could at least try for a measly 29-30 days to ACT nice???
Ramadan is the Month of Smiling, not the Month of Snarling.
Ramadan is the Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone), not the Month of Shirk (ascribing partners to Him). How truly sad it is that nobody knows what Tawheed is, when it is the Right of Allah and the Key to Paradise.
Ramadan is the Month where we increase our presence in the Masjids, not the Month where we increase our presence in the Restaurants.
Ramadan is the Month where we Seek Forgiveness, not the Month where we Seek Food.
Ramadan is the Month of Activity, not the Month of Sleep.
Ramadan is the Month of Striving, not the Month of Snoring.
Ramadan is the Month where we go the extra mile to please Allah, not where we go the extra mile to please our stomachs.
Ramadan is the Month of Increasing in Prayers and Khushoo (humility) not the Month of Increasing in Pakoras and Kushari.
Ramadan is the Month of Dawah to Allah, not the Month of Dawah to your Iftar Party.
Ramadan is the Month of Health, which means that manufacturers of cooking oil should NOT be making profits at this time of year.
Ramadan is the Month of Improving your (hereafter) CV, not the Month of Befriending your TV.
Ramadan is the Month of Atoning (for your sins), not the Month of Moaning and Groaning (about the hunger, ibadaah, etc).
Ramadan is the Month where we strive to get mentioned by Allah to His Angels, not the Month where we strive to get mentioned by your Iftar party guests (“Ooh, what a fantastic host you are!”).
Ramadan is the Month where we stand in rows waiting for the Salah to begin, not the Month where we stand in lines waiting to order the food.
Ramadan is the Month where we visit the Masjids, not the Month where we visit the Majlises.
Ramadan is where we behave NORMALLY (where we act likes the slaves of Allah). It’s the rest of the year where we behave ABNORMALLY (where we act like slaves of this world).
Brother Abu Uwais was right. We need a Ramadan.
Okay, I just had to get that out of my system.
Yes, I know. That was nasty but it was the sad truth wasn’t it?
We’ll all strive to do better this year, insha-Allah.
In my previous post, I mentioned why we should help those around us. Here’s a short but beautiful reminder about being a key to goodness*:
[*The author starts of with a hadeeth about this issue. I think we all need to take a deep breath, look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are keys to goodness or keys to evil. I know we all assume we are the former but the reality could be different, hence the need for us to take a good, hard look at ourselves.]
Be a Key to Goodness
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Indeed from amongst the people are those who are keys to goodness and closures of evil. And indeed from amongst the people are keys to evil and closures to goodness. So glad tidings for the one who Allah has made him a key to goodness and woe to the one who Allah has made a key to evil.” – [Narrated by Ibn Maajah, declared Hasan by Albaani]
That which is obligatory upon whoever wants for himself to be a key to goodness and a closure of evil, and its glad tidings:
1. Al-Ikhlaas – sincerity to Allah in all your speech and action. Indeed sincerity is the basis of all good, and the fountain of all virtue.
2. Du’aa – To supplicate and return to Allah in order that he may be given the guidance to be so. For indeed the Du’aa is a key to all goodness. Allah does not refuse to answer the supplication of His servant and He does not disappoint a believer after he has called Him.
3. Dedication to seeking knowledge – for indeed knowledge is a cause for virtue and lofty actions, and it is a barrier preventing all evil and indecency.
4. Al-Ibaadah – To turn to worshipping Allah, especially the obligatory acts of worship; particularly the prayer, as it prevents lewdness and evil.
5. Good Manners – to adorn yourself with good noble manners and to distant yourself from bad manners that are lowly.
6. Good Companions – to keep yourself amongst good companions and to sit with the righteous people. For indeed the angels lower their wings upon the gatherings of righteous people and the mercy of Allah descends upon such gatherings. Also, be aware of the gatherings of the disobedient and evil people.
7. An-Naseehah – to sincerely advise the servants of Allah when living amongst them, and dealing with them. This is done through keeping them busy with goodness and turning them away from evil.
8. Day of Recompense – to remember and recall the day when you will stand in front of the Lord of the Worlds, and that He will reward all goodness with His goodness, as he will recompense all evil with its consequences. As Allah said: “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [99:08]
Conclusion: All of the above is based upon the servant desiring goodness, and wanting goodness for others and wanting to benefit the servants of Allah. So whenever one’s desire is present, the intention correct and established and the resolve certain, as well as seeking the help of Allah in all of this and taking the relative means, he will – by the permission of Allah – be from amongst the keys to goodness and closures of evil.
And Allah is the One who protects and helps His slaves through His guidance, He gives victory to whoever He wants by the truth and He is the best of those who aids and gives judgments.”
Well, I promised to post stuff on prayer – and this website talks about that. Actually, it talks about absolutely everything.
For those of you who are serious about seeking knowledge, this website is a must. The lecturer is Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah), who I mentioned in an earlier post. He was a student of Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah).
There’s a lot of stuff here that you generally won’t find in English.
Here’s the site: http://understand-islam.net/site/
Here’s all the prayer-related stuff (click on the titles to open the links):
PS. If any of you wants me to add the audios to this post, so that you can play it online rather than downloading everything, just say the word.
Soon, every masjid and Islamic Centre will start giving “Ramadan Prep” talks. Soon, we’ll hear the same Quranic ayaat and ahadeeth that we hear every year. Soon, we’ll nod our heads and say “Yes, I know that. I heard that last year and the year before that and the year before that.”
One thing that I learnt from teaching the Hadeeth of Jibreel (the one where Jibreel comes in the form of a man and asks about Islam, Iman and Ihsan) is that hearing a hadeeth 100 times is not the same as UNDERSTANDING it.The unfortunate thing is that many people don’t understand this key difference.
Here’s another article by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah) on Some of the Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan. He discusses 4 ahadeeth and gives some points of benefit.
I wonder how many people after reading it will be able to say: “We knew all that already”?
And even if they say that, can they say: “We’ve applied all of this in our lives already”?