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…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Part 1.]
The Month of Istighfar (Seeking Forgiveness), Prayer, Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree) and Dawah (inviting to Islam)
إذا دخل رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة وغلقت أبواب جهنم ، وسلسلت الشياطين
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “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.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 123]
[Here’s an explanation of how the devils are chained up.]
الصلوات الخمس . والجمعة إلى الجمعة . ورمضان إلى رمضان . مكفرات ما بينهن . إذا اجتنب الكبائر
Abu Hurairah reported (radiallahu anhu): Verily the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 450]
[Want to know more about major sins? I’ve provided two resources here.]
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر شد مئزره ، وأحيا ليله ، وأيقظ أهله
Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 241]
سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لرمضان : من قامه إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 226]
من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ، ومن صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on Laylatul Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and 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.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 125]
“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night (i.e. the night of Qadr). Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].” [Surah Ad-Dukhan (44) : 3]
An entire surah (chapter) was revealed concerning this great night:
“Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) “
“And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?”
“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, (i.e. 83 years and 4 months).”
“Therein descend the angels and the Ruh (Jibreel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees.”
“Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.”
[Surah Al-Qadr (97) : 1-5]
[As soon as I complained about my visitor traffic decreasing, it proceeded to dip down even further. Alhamdulillah, it’s a good thing that I have a sense of humour…]
Remember the 27th night of Ramadan? It’s usually the night that everyone arrives at the masjid.
Sometimes, thousands of people show up at one masjid* leaving us with eye-popping scenes like this:
[*That masjid happened to be Al-Qaid Ibrahim Masjid in Alexandria, Egypt.]
Subhan Allah, it’s amazing stuff (although I wondered about the fiqh of praying behind moving taxis, but that’s just me).
“He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad) hate (it).” [Surah As-Saff (61) : 9]
Ibn Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “Seek it (Lailat-ul-Qadr) in the last (ten nights). If one among you shows slackness and weakness (in the earlier part of Ramadan), it should not be allowed to prevail upon him in the last week.“ [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2621]
Umm Muawiyah’s Translation:
Stop worrying about Eid shopping, the reopening of your children’s schools, etc. The most important part of Ramadan is here so let’s step on the accelerator! We need to make this an awesome Ramadan!
If not this year, then when? We don’t know if we’ll live until the next Ramadan so it’s silly to think that our awesome Ramadan will come next year.
Remember: It’s not over until the Angel of Death comes to pull out our souls. And he will most definitely come. We just don’t know when.
[Don’t you think it’s kinda silly that we spend so much time worrying about things that may never happen (poverty, illness, etc) and yet we don’t spend as much time worrying about the things (like death, the Day of Judgment, etc) that will definitely happen?]
So, we need to strive as much as we can until then.
[Okay, I’m just putting up the remaining information so I had to think of a fancy title.]
Here we go:
1) Actions Specific to the Last Ten of Ramadan
a) The Sunan that they are both referring to (about bathing between Maghrib and Isha) has been discussed here. There seems to be a dispute over its authenticity of this narration.
b) Women are NOT allowed to wear perfumes in front of non-Mahram men and especially not when going to the masjid.
Please read the following two fatwas (read the ahadeeth carefully):
2) Innovations During the Last Ten Days
Check out this article.
3) Laylatul Qadr and the dua to be said therein
Please read this (it seems to be a compilation of many articles. Unfortunately, they didn’t credit the authors!).
Also, here’s a nice article on the meaning of the famous dua that is said during Laylatul Qadr.
4) Tips for Qiyam Al-Layl in these last 10 nights
a) If you aren’t going to the masjid, then try to pray with a mushaf.
Why? So that you can lengthen your prayers.
b) For those going to the masjids, please don’t waste time.
I) By not staying silent in rukoo and sujood.
You can repeat the rukoo (bowing) duas. If all you know is “Subhana Rabi Al-Adheem”, then keep saying that until the Imam raises his head.
Scholars differed over whether you can do dua in a language other than Arabic in sujood (prostration).
Many of the fatwas that I checked said yes. Someone asked my Imam and he said “What can you do if you don’t know Arabic?” That seems quite obvious especially as we are closest to Allah at this time.
However, if you take the opinion that you cannot do dua in a language other than Arabic, fine. Just keep repeating whatever duas you know until the Imam raises his head.
II) By not staying silent in between the prayers or by chatting.
Try to just do as much adkhar (remembrance) as you can. Say “Subhan Allah”, “Alhamdulillah”, “Astaghfirullah”, etc. Don’t just sit there and stare at the carpet.
III) If you go to the masjid early, then take your mushaf with you.
You can read some Quran while you wait for the prayer to start.
c) If the Imam is giving a lecture and you don’t understand what he’s saying (because it’s in Arabic), then please don’t use this time to catch up with your old friends.
Those of us who CAN understand Arabic would like to listen to the Imam. [This happens every year in my masjid.]
d) Please don’t go to the masjid with a sulky face. Take your smiley face with you.
Smiley face + Kind words = Is from the Sunnah + May cause someone to pray FOR you.
Sulky face + Rude words = Is NOT from the Sunnah + May cause someone to pray AGAINST you.
Brothers and Sisters, knowing the fiqh of prayer is not sufficient to be a righteous person. Having good manners is required as well.
I’ll put up some resources for itikaf in another post, insha-Allah.
[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.
This isn’t a full lecture, rather it is the Q and A part.
[In this post, a sister commented that some women feel devastated when they menstruate during the last 10 nights because they feel that they missed Laylatul Qadr. Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah) talks about this issue.]
Menses at the time of Laylatul Qadr by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)