[Okay, this is really a sneaky attempt to continue Project “Give Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) sadaqah jaariyah”.]
Many of us (or perhaps all of us?) underestimate the bad effects that sins have on our lives. To us, a sin we committed might just be a “little” one but its repercussions might be grave.
Sadly, the one month where many Muslims try to avoid committing sins is Ramadan. Outside that, many people do not seem to care. Yes, a lot of us try to continue doing good deeds after Ramadan, but very few of us try to stop sinning.
One of the main reasons for this is that these sins are not recognised as being such.
For example, you’ll see most Muslim women refuse to touch alcohol. Why? Because it’s a big sin to drink it, they’ll say. Well, many of these same women do not wear hijab. Why? Well, one reason is weakness of iman. Another reason is because they think that not covering one’s body is a “little” thing. They do not realise that not wearing hijab, like drinking alcohol, is a major sin.
[By the by, major sins need to be repented from in order to be forgiven. Doing good deeds won’t erase them. That only works for minor sins.]
Anyway, here’s a lecture on this topic based on writings of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah). I’ve put the translation of that below the lecture.
The Effects of Sins by Uthman Barry (rahimahullah) (Download)
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
I’ve noticed that many people don’t like to talk about the “punishments”. They just like to talk about the rewards because that’s “being positive”.
I wonder what would happen if they read the Quran and saw that Allah speaks about both reward and punishment, many times in back to back ayaat?
And the way of Allah is the best way i.e. to mention both sides of the picture. So, when talking about any deed we should mention 1) the virtues of doing that deed in order to encourage the person to do it and 2) the punishment for leaving that deed (if it is an obligatory deed) so as to scare the person into continuing that deed.
As I’ve already put up articles on the virtues of fasting / Ramadan, I thought I’d now put up articles / lectures to show what happens to those who do not fast in Ramadan. It is one of the major sins not to fast in Ramadan (without a valid excuse).
It seems people have started to prepare for Ramadan – with 15 more days to go.
Alright, here’s another lecture on how to prepare for Ramadan
Preparing for Ramadan by Yasir Qadhi (Download)
What I liked about the lecture: He made some points that I haven’t heard mentioned elsewhere.
What I did not like: He messed up on two points*. But that’s okay. I think he was jet lagged (he sounds tired in the lecture). And everyone has an off-day.
[* This is what I recall. If I made a mistake, please let me know.]
Point # 1: He states that Ramadan is one of the four sacred months.
No, it isn’t. Ramadan is the greatest month of the year (hey, that sounds like a great title for a website) but it is NOT one of the four sacred months. Proof? Here you go:
Narrated Abu Bakra: The Prophet said (salallahu alaihi wasallam): “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Shaban.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 419]