Some people may ask: “Maintain one’s fast in the face of sins? What do sins have to do with fasting? Fasting is about not eating or drinking.”
And this is why you will find many Muslims fasting the whole of Ramadan, only to find that they are the SAME people in Shawwal as they were in Shaban. Why? Because they thought fasting = not eating or drinking.
Here’s an article about this issue that we should all read:
[Here’s a very interesting excerpt:
“Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for the thing from one which must abstain when fasting, perhaps you will be surprised if I tell you that the thing from one which must abstain when fasting is sin. A person must abstain from sin when fasting because this is the primary aim of fasting, because Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
Here’s another Ramadan video to spice up your day (or night).
I haven’t listened to it yet. I have read some of Brother Muhammad’s books though. Quite simple and nice.
Sincerity and Devotion in Ramadan by Muhammad Al-Jibaly
Q and A Session
Another day, another lecture.
Here’s another series. It’s by a British brother (in case you prefer that accent).
I haven’t listened to it yet. Hopefully, I’ll be able to soon, insha-Allah. Here’s a list of the topics that it covers.
[Note: I’d advise you to continue to listen to all these lectures even during Ramadan, not just before it. We need to be constantly reminded.]
The Month of Mercy by Brother Abu Abdissalam
Part 1 (Download)
Part 2 (Download)
Part 3 (Download)
Part 4 (Download)
Part 5 (Download)
Part 6 (Download)
Part 7 (Download)
I just discovered a nice series by Dr. Bilal Philips on making the most out of Ramadan. Only the first two sessions have been uploaded so far.
[I think it might continue throughout Ramadan.]
I’m currently listening to it. The first lecture talks about the goals that we need to set for this Ramadan. It’s a sorely-needed reminder.
Alhamdulillah, there are many non-Muslims that are dying to know more about Islam.
[If you sit in front of Fox or CNN all day long, then this is probably news to you.]
The sisters at Al Huda have a Ramadan Awareness event this week for women of all religions who would like to know more about the greatest month of the year:
[It’s a free event and there’s no registration.]
Please spread the word!
[And please don’t say: ‘Nobody will be interested”. Some of the Companions of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) used to be the biggest enemies of Islam before they converted but then Allah caused their hearts to change. You never know.]
Travelling during Ramadan and not sure what to do with regards to the prayers and the fasting?
Here’s a nice book (okay, it’s the abridgment of the nice book) by Shaikh Ibn Jibreen (rahimahullah): The Rulings of the Traveller.
[Note: With regards to the number of days that you can shorten your prayers for while travelling, then please understand that there are MANY opinions on this. It would be better if you asked a shaikh directly to avoid any confusion.]
[In case you’re wondering, “ordinance” means “an authoritative regulation, decree, law, or practice”. And yes, I used a dictionary.]
Here’s a short but very beneficial article by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah): Fasting – Ordinances, Wisdoms and Merits.
I’d advise everyone to read it, especially the last few pages where he explains how the last four pillars are different kinds of tests. Very nice indeed.
Here’s a nice article on how we need to prepare for Ramadan. It points out how we need to analyze ourselves.
I’d advise everyone to write down how they feel (with regards to acts of worship, health, manners, etc) during these last few days of Shaban. After this, you can compare it to how you feel after Ramadan ends. There will be a big difference, insha-Allah.
Also, remember to write down your Ramadan resolutions.
What should we say to the Muslims on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadaan?
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, 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 i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah 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 Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.”
This blessed month is a great opportunity for goodness, barakah (blessing), worship and obedience towards Allaah.
It is a great month, a noble season, a month in which hasanaat (rewards for good deeds) are multiplied and in which committing sayi’aat (bad deeds) is more serious than at other times. The gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the sinners’ repentance to Allaah is accepted. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and its end is redemption from the Fire.
So give thanks to Him for the season of goodness and blessing that He has bestowed upon you, and for the means of bounty and various kinds of great blessings for which He has singled you out. Make the most of this blessed time by filling it with acts of worship and forsaking haraam things, so that you may attain a good life in this world and happiness after death.
For the sincere believer, every month is an occasion for worship and his whole life is spent in obeying Allaah, but in the month of Ramadaan he has even more motives to do good and his heart is even more focused on worship, and he turns even more to his Lord. By His grace, our generous Lord bestows His bounty upon the fasting believers and multiplies the reward for them on this blessed occasion, so He gives abundantly and rewards generously for righteous deeds.
In case any of you was wondering why I’ve been going on a posting binge lately, that’s because it’s my subtle way of saying: “WAKE UP! RAMADAN IS ALMOST HERE!”
So now you know.
Another day, another lecture on preparing for Ramadan. And insha-Allah, I still have so many more to share…
How a Believer Prepares for Ramadan by Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir (Download):