Ramadaniyat 16: Lailat ul-Qadr

Behold, We revealed it (the Qur-an) on the Night of Decree.

And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is?

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

The Angels and the Spirit descend in it by permission of their Lord with all kinds of decrees.

(The night is) peace until the rise of dawn.

Qur-an 97.1-5

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Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan

Common Mistake # 17: Praying only on the night of the 27th Ramadan

Some people pray only on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr,neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said: ‘SeekLailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights ofRamadaan.’ [Bukhaari, Muslim]

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LAILATUL-QADR (www.jannah.org)Its excellence is great, since in this night the Noble Qur’aan was sent down, which leads one who clings to it, to the path of honour and nobility, and raises him to the summit of distinction and everlasting life. The Muslims who adhere strictly to the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger SAW do not raise flags on this night, nor suspend colourful decorations. Rather they vie in standing during it (Lailatul-Qadr) in Prayer out of sincere faith and hoping for reward. Here, O Muslim, are the Qur’aanic Aayaat and authentic prophetic ahaadeeth referring to this night:

* Its excellenceAs regards its excellence it is more than sufficient to mention that Lailatul-Qadr is better than a thousand months, He, the Mighty and Majestic, says:

” Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Gabriel) by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn.(Al-Qadr 97: 1-5)

And in it every decreed matter for the year is conveyed, He, the Most High says: ” We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed Night. Verily, We are ever warning (mankind of Our Torment). Therein (that Night) is decreed every matter of ordainment. Amran (i.e. a command or this Qur’aan or His Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messenger). (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Ad-Dukhaan 44: 3-6)

* When is it?It is reported from the Prophet SAW that it is within the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, twenty-ninth or the last night of Ramadhan.

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee, rahimahullaah, said: To me it is as the Prophet SAW used to answer according to the question posed, it would be said to him: “Shall I seek it in such and such night?” So he would reply: “Seek it in such and such night.” And Allaah knows best. (Reported from him by al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah)

The most correct saying is that it occurs in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan and this is shown by the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, RA, who said: “Allaah Messenger SAW used to practice I’tikaaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadhan.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

However if the servant is too weak or unable, then he should at least not let the last seven days pass him by, due to what is reported from ‘Ibn ‘Umar, who said: Allaah’s Messenger SAW said: “Seek it in the last ten, and if one of you is too weak or unable then let him not allow that to make him miss the final seven.(Bukhari, Muslim)

This explains his, SAW saying: “I see that your dreams are in agreement (that it is in the last seven) so he who wishes to seek it out then let him seek it in the last seven.(Bukhari)

It is also known from the Sunnah, that knowledge of the exact night upon which Lailatul-Qadr falls was taken up because the people argued, ‘Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit, RA said: The Prophet SAW came out intending to tell us about Lailatul-Qadr, however two men were arguing and he said: “I came out to inform you about Lailatul-Qadr but so and so, and, so and so were arguing, so it was raised up, and perhaps that is better for you, so seek it on the (twenty) ninth and (twenty) seventh and the (twenty) fifth.(Bukhari)

Some ahaadeeth indicate that Lailatul-Qadr is in the last ten nights, while others indicate that it is in the odd nights of the last ten, so the first are general and the second more particular, and the particular has to be given priority over the general. Other ahaadeeth state that it is in the last seven – and these are restricted by mention of one who is too weak or unable. So there is no confusion, all the ahaadeeth agree and are not contradictory.

In conclusion: The Muslim should seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten: the night of the twenty-first (the night before the twenty-first day), the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. If he is too weak or unable to seek it out in all the odd nights, then let him seek it out in the odd nights of the last seven: the night of the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. And Allaah knows best.

* How should a Muslim seek Lailatul-Qadr?One who misses this blessed night then he has missed much good for no one misses it except one from whom it is withheld. Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allaah should stand in Prayer during this night out of Eemaan and hoping for the great reward, since if he does this, Allaah will forgive his previous sins.

He SAW said: “Whoever stands in (Prayer) in Lailatul-Qadr out of Eemaan and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven.” (Bukhari)

It is recommended to supplicate a great deal in it, it is reported from ‘Aa’ishah, RA that she said: “O Messenger of Allaah! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?” He said: “Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee.” (O Allaah you are the one who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.) (at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

O brother or sister! You know the importance of this night, so stand in Prayer in the last ten nights, in worship, detaching oneself from the women, ordering your family with this, and increasing in actions of obedience and worship in it.

From ‘Aa’ishah, RA who said: “The Prophet SAW used to tighten his waist-wrapper (izaar) – (meaning detached himself from his wives in order to worship, and exerted himself in seeking Lailatul-Qadr), spend the night in worship, and wake the family in the last ten nights.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

From ‘Aa’ishah, RA: “Allaah’s Messenger SAW used to exert himself in the last ten nights more than he would at other times.” (Muslim)

* Its sign[Many people believe in all sorts of superstitions about Lailatul-Qadr, and false beliefs from them are that the trees prostrate, and buildings sleep! And these things are clearly futile and baseless.] Allaah’s Messenger SAW described the morning after Lailatul-Qadr, so that the Muslim may know which day it is.

From Ubayy, RA who said: that he SAW said: “On the morning following Lailatul-Qadr the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.” (Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tarmidhi, Ibn Majah)

From Abu Hurairah, RA who said: “We were discussing Lailatul-Qadr in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger SAW, so he said: ‘Which of you remembers (the night) when the moon arose and was like half a plate?'” (Muslim) [Qaadi ‘Iyaad said: “It contains an indication that it was towards the end of the month – since the moon does not appear like that when it arises except towards the end of the month.”]

From Ibn ‘Abbaas, RA who said: Allaah’s Messenger SAW said: “Lailatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun arises on its morning being feeble and red.” (at-Tayaalisee, Ibn Khuzaimah, al-Bazzaar with hasan isnaad)

Let us seek abundance rewards from our Creator by performing extra actions in these last few days of the noble month of Ramadhan as it could be our last…

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Ramadaniyat 05: Common Mistakes, Weight Gain, Obama

Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.  (Qur-an 2.187)

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Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan

4. Eating too much

Some people stuff themselves at Saher until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to ‘make up for the food missed’. However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.

The Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said: ‘The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.’ [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. Classified as saheeh by al-Albaani]

Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless. It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.

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5 ways to avoid Ramadan weight gain

Ramadan is a time in which we rejuvenate ourselves spiritually. The fast is a form of ibada that we do solely for the sake of Allah, seeking only his rewards and his pleasure. We must keep our intentions pure for this sake and this sake alone. We read articles on the physical benefits of fasting and we talk long winded about our “need” to fast for physical restoration. But the fast of Ramadan is not intended for this purpose. It is essential that we maintain its intent and purpose for indeed the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said “he who fast with the intentions of pleasing Allah his reward is with his lord”.

However on the practical side of fasting, every year we deviate from the sunnah and we suffer physically. It’s often manifestation is weight gain, which then leads to tiredness which prevents us from staying awake for our late night ibada and thus the physical harm effects us spiritually and it comes full circle. Our intentions are not to make the fast a month of dieting but minimally make it a month in which we do not worsen our physical condition.

The following are some practical tips on how to avoid the “notorious” Ramadan weight gain that many Muslim suffer from.

1. Eat protein in the morning

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. So much so that it is a Sunna. When eating zahur resist the erg to try to make up for the food you will be missing during the day. We are not whales, thus we do not have an extra stomach to hold food for later. Don’t eat a stack of pancakes thinking if you eat 5 instead of your normal 3 you will be satisfied longer. Calories from carbohydrates (i.e. pancakes, grits, waffles, toast etc) are burned much faster than protein. Even though hunger during some part of the day is inevitable with fasting 13 hours days, you can delay when the hunger kicks in by having a healthy portion of protein with your suhoor.Having eggs with your pancakes or waffles or a protein shake with your oatmeal will have a better effect on your system than a pure carbohydrate meal.

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What President Obama said during Iftar at the White House in Ramadan 1431:   ‘Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else’

Ramadaniyat 04

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.  (Qur-aan 2.186)

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Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan

Common Mistake #3: Spending all day cooking

Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking all day and all night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read the Qur’an. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So brothers, be a real man and help out around the kitchen. And sisters, turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!

Ramadaniyat 03

Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.  (Qur-an 2.185)

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Common Ramadan Mistakes

Common Mistake # 2. Too much stress on food and drink

For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food. They spend the eintire day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking only about food, instead of concentrating on Salah, Quraan and other acts of worship. They think so much about food that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘Feasting’. Come Iftar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks.

They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. Besides, it leads to wastage of food and extravagance. …and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) [Qur’an, al-Araaf :31]

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SLIDESHOW:  Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan with Prayer and Fasting