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
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.]
“Spread the good because the good only results in more good.”
Or so said my teacher (in Arabic), Ustadh Khalid Ismail while teaching us the Seerah. He was talking about how the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was reciting the Quran in prayer one night in front of the Kaabah. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu), who was quietly listening, become affected and embraced Islam as a result of this.*
[*This is the more authentic story of Umar’s (radiallahu anhu) conversion. The one where he beats his sister is not a very authentic story (it has weakness in its chain).]
Then he pointed out that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) had just been reciting the Quran. He hadn’t intended to convert Umar (he didn’t even know that Umar was lurking around). So, Ustadh Khalid Ismail, may Allah reward him immensely, advised us to spread the good (“Intashirul Khair”) because it will only result in more good, as this story clearly proves.
This sentence really struck me. Subhan-Allah, we give up doing the good deeds so easily.
But why? They’ll only result in better things, both in this world (even if we cannot see it at present) and in the hereafter.
[By the way, “good” = whatever is good according to the Quran and the Sunnah.]
And it’s strange, you never know who will benefit from that good that we may do.
Once I remember a sister (who wasn’t practicing at the time) saying how she had seen a fully covered sister coming in to the masjid. This sister’s appearance had struck her, and she had gone home to her husband and said: “We have to change!”. Subhan Allah, that’s what we call “dawah through practicing Islam”.
Also, many years ago, I saw two sisters doing itikaaf in Ramadan. I had no clue what itikaf was at the time. I was so struck by seeing them that I had wanted to do it too (and I got permission to stay for one night, alhamdulillah). That’s when my addiction to itikaf started.
And in subsequent years, I’ve managed to encourage a few people to go as well, alhamdulillah. So these sisters don’t even know that they managed to get others to do itikaaf !
So, I say to you as our teacher said to us: Spread the good, because the good only results in more good.
[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
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
Ramadan isn’t just about fasting. That’s just for the daytime. Allah has ordained another act of worship for the night: the Taraweeh prayer.
Shaikh Al-Albani (rahimahullah) wrote a book on Taraweeh and then prepared an abridgment. Here’s the translation of that abridgment: The Night Prayer in Ramadan.
He talks about the different ways of doing Taraweeh*. He also has a discussion on Laylatul Qadr** and itikaaf.
[*Just a note: According to most of the scholars, it is permitted to pray more than 8 rakaahs in taraweeh / qiyam al layl. I personally prefer the 8+3 approach but it is permitted to do more.]
[**Shaikh Al-Albani prefers the opinion that it is only on the 27th. Many of the other scholars said that it changes. The latter seems to be a stronger opinion when we see that there are ahadeeth which show that Laylatul Qadr came on the 21st and the 23rd nights in the Prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) time. Allahu Alam.]