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Archive for September, 2007

Laziness vs. Worship

 

Question: For many people in Ramadaan, their main focus is only that of basking in food and sleep. So Ramadaan becomes a month of laziness and inactivity. Likewise, some people play all night and then sleep during day. What is your advice to these kinds of people?

Answer: I believe that this in reality consists of a waste of time and a waste of money. If people do not have any other objective than to vary their meals, sleep during the day and spend the night doing things that are of no benefit to them, then this is without doubt a waste of a valuable opportunity, which may not repeat itself again for some people in their lifetimes.

Therefore, the determined one is he who goes through Ramadaan the way it should it be done, which is sleeping in the first part of the night, performing the Taraaweeh Prayer, and then standing in prayer during the last part of the night if one is able to. And one should not go to extremes in eating and drinking.

Those who have the ability should strive to feed those who are fasting (when its time to break the fast) either in the masaajid or in other places. This is since whoever feeds a fasting person, he will receive the same reward as the one fasting. So if a person feeds his brothers who are fasting, he will receive the same reward as them. Therefore, those whom Allaah has granted wealth should taken advantage of this opportunity to obtain a great reward. 

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The Inner Secrets of Fasting

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The Inner Secrets of Fasting [1]
By Imaam Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.529H)

Know, that in the fast (Sawm) is a special quality that is not found in anything else. And that is its close connection to Allaah, such that He says:

‘‘The Fast (Sawm) is for Me and I will reward it.’’ [2]

This connection is enough to show the high status of fasting. Similarly, the Ka’bah is highly dignified due to its close connection to Him, as occurs in His statement:

‘‘And sanctify My House.’’ [3]

Indeed, the fast is only virtuous due to two significant concepts:

THE FIRST: It is a secret and hidden action, thus, no one from the creation is able to see it .Therefore riyaa‘ (showing off) cannot enter into it.

THE SECOND: It is a means of subjugating the enemies of Allaah. This is because the road that the enemies (of Allaah) embark upon (in order to misguide the Son of Aadam) is that of desires. And eating and drinking strengthens the desires. There are many reports that indicate the merits of fasting, and they are well known.

THE RECOMMENDED ACTS OF FASTING

The pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and delaying in taking it are preferable, as well as hastening to break the fast and doing so with dates. Generosity in giving is also recommended during Ramadhaan, as well as doing good deeds and increasing in charity. This is in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allaah salAllaahu ‘alaihi wa salaam. It is also recommended to study the Qur‘aan and perform I‘tikaaf (seclusion for worship) during Ramadhaan, especially in its last ten days, as well as increasing upon the exertion (towards doing good deeds) in it. In the two Saheehs, ’Aa‘ishah said: ‘‘When the last ten days (of Ramadhaan) would come, the Prophet would tighten his waist wrapper (izaar)’’ [4] The scholars have mentioned two views concerning the meaning of ‘tighten his wrapper (izaar)’ The first is that it means the turning away from women. The second is that it is an expression denoting his eagerness and diligence in doing good deed. They also say that the reason for: the last ten days of Ramadhaan was due to his seeking of the Night of al-Qadr (Laylatul-Qadr).

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The gates of the heavens have been opened, the doors of Hellfire closed and our accursed enemy, the Shayateen, are locked up. Ramadhaan is upon us, the blessed month of mercy, forgiveness and compassion.    

Indeed, we are in need of such a blessed month, so that we may immerse ourselves in the remembrance of Allah ta’ala after having been heedless, turn our sights to the Hereafter after having retreated to the dunyaa, read the Book of Allah after it has been untouched, collecting dust on our shelves. Surely our state is a distressing o­ne; our hearts have become hardened, we have lowered our barrier of taqwa, chasing after our whims and desires somehow, we have become of those who are negligent.

Yet the opportunity presents itself to humble o­neself, return to Allah and seek His forgiveness. It is a month wherein we may purify our hearts and free ourselves from the stronghold of transgression. And what is it that causes such a transition? For some it may be the large congregation of Muslimeen in salaat, a renewed sense of gratefulness after food has touched your lips, spending long nights in taraweeh prayer, raising your hands in du’aa qunoot and hoping fervently for the mercy of Allah ta’ala. Even still it may be the emergence of the Muslimeen, the many greetings of salaam, the smiles and heartfelt words, reflecting sincerely over the Qur’aan, or performing itikaaf in the masaajid, There is a change in the air and it can readily be sensed, a breeze of wellness overtakes us, sprinkled with ihsaan and taqwa, as we strive to enjoin the good. Suddenly we realize that the Promise of Allah is true, and fearing His Threat and hoping for His Mercy, we increase ourselves in worship and remembrance. 

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