Ramadan : Fasting in the Hadith

Do You Know?

1.5 billion Muslims of the world celebrate their holiest month of Ramadan every year. It is an obligation on every adult and healthy Muslim to fast during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is a total abstention from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the month of Ramadan. Also, avoiding immoral behavior and anger and showing compassion is part of the requirements of the fasting. The month of Ramadan is also the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in piecemeal basis over a period of 23 years. It is a very joyous occasion for the Muslims of the world. Muslims fast during the day and pray and read Quran during the part of the night.

A Few Hadith On Fasting:

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 115

Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaid-Ullah: A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers.” He replied: “You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting.” He replied, “You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil.” The bedouin further asked, “Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me.” Thus, Allah’s Apostle informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, “By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah’s Apostle said, “If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise).”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 118

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 120

Narrated Sahl: The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 123

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 124

Narrated Ibn Umar: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can’t see It) then regard the crescent (month) of Ramadan (as of 30 days)”.

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 125

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 126

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare).

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 127

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet 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.)”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 128

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’ Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hands my soul is’ The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 212

Narrated Abu Sa’id: The Prophet forbade the fasting of ‘Id-ul-Fitr and ‘Id-ul-Adha (two feast days) and also the wearing of As-Samma’ (a single garment covering the whole body), and sitting with one’s leg drawn up while being wrapped in one garment. He also forbade the prayers after the Fajr (morning) and the ‘Asr (afternoon) prayers.

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 226

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 228

Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle used to pray (at night) in Ramadan.

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 231

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 233

Narrated Abu Salama: I asked Abu Sa’id, and he was a friend of mine, (about the Night of Qadr) and he said, “We practiced Itikaf (seclusion in the mosque) in the middle third of the month of Ramadan with the Prophet . In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan, the Prophet came and addressed us and said, ‘I was informed of (the date of the Night of Qadr) but I was caused to forget it; so search for it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. (In the dream) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water (as a sign). So, whoever was in l’tikaf with me should return to it with me (for another 10-day’s period)’, and we returned. At that time there was no sign of clouds in the sky but suddenly a cloud came and it rained till rain-water started leaking through the roof of the mosque which was made of date-palm leaf stalks. Then the prayer was established and I saw Allah’s Apostle prostrating in mud and water and I saw the traces of mud on his forehead.”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 237

Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostle used to practice Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan ,”

  • Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 32 :: Hadith# 241

Narrated ‘Aisha: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.

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Ramadan : Fasting in the Quran

Do You Know?

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

During this month, healthy Muslim adults observe Fasting during the daylight hours. Muslim Fasting is a total abstention from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the month of Ramadan. Also, avoiding immoral behavior and anger and showing compassion is part of the requirements of the fasting. Unlike common calendar, which is Solar based, Islamic calendar is Lunar based. It does not mean that Muslims worship moon. It is simply another way to count days of the month and the year. Like all Islamic months, Ramadan, the 9th lunar month, begins after sighting Crescent, and not the birth of the new moon.

The purpose of fasting is manifold. Allah mentioned in the Holy Quran, that the fasting is prescribed for the believers as it was prescribed for the people before them, so that they may acquire self control and God-consciousness. Therefore, the purpose of the fasting is to develop God-consciousness, self-control, improvement of health by reducing or eliminating impurities from the body, and to become aware of the plight of the poor, hungry, and the sick. Ramadan is a month of spiritual consciousness and high sense of social responsibility. The fulfillment of one’s obligations during the month is rewarded by 70 times. Fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam including Announcement of Faith, Salaat (praying 5 times a day), Zakaat (the right of the poor on the wealth of the financially able), Fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Hajj (once a life time pilgrimage to Kaaba).

Verses in the Quran About Fasting

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:183

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:184

“(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:185

“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, 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.”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:187

“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.”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:196

“And complete the Hajj or Umrah’ in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (from completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (necessitating shaving), (he should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if anyone wishes to continue the Umrah’ on to the Hajj, he must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is strict in punishment.”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al 33:35

“For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.”

  • The Holy Quran, Surah Al Qadr 97:1-5

“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!…This until the rise of morn!”

Ramadan : Why Fasting Is Prescribed?

Do You Know?

Praise be to Allah.

The reason why fasting is prescribed:

One of the names of Allah is al-Hakeem (the Most Wise). The word Hakeem is derived from the same root as hukm (ruling) and hikmah (wisdom). Allah alone is the One Who issues rulings, and His rulings are the most wise and perfect. He does not prescribe any ruling but there is great wisdom behind it, which we may understand, or our minds may not be guided to understand it. We may know some of it but a great deal is hidden from us.

Allah has mentioned the reason and wisdom behind His enjoining of fasting upon us, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (and become pious),-” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:183)

Fasting is a means of attaining taqwah (piety, being conscious of Allah), and taqwah means doing that which Allah has enjoined and avoiding that which He has forbidden.

Fasting is one of the greatest means of helping a person to fulfil the commands of Islam.

The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have mentioned some of the reasons why fasting is prescribed, all of which are characteristics of taqwah, but there is nothing wrong with quoting them here, to draw the attention of fasting people to them and make them keen to attain them.

Among the reasons behind fasting are:

Fasting is a means that makes us appreciate and give thanks for pleasures. For fasting means giving up eating, drinking and intercourse, which are among the greatest pleasures. By giving them up for a short time, we begin to appreciate their value. Because the blessings of Allah are not recognized, but when you abstain from them, you begin to recognize them, so this motivates you to be grateful for them.

Fasting is a means of giving up haraam things, because if a person can give up halaal things in order to please Allah and for fear of His painful torment, then he will be more likely to refrain from haraam things. So fasting is a means of avoiding the things that Allah has forbidden.

Fasting enables us to control our desires, because when a person is full his desires grow, but if he is hungry then his desire becomes weak. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”

Fasting makes us feel compassion and empathy towards the poor, because when the fasting person tastes the pain of hunger for a while, he remembers those who are in this situation all the time, so he will hasten to do acts of kindness to them and show compassion towards them. So fasting is a means of feeling empathy with the poor.

Fasting humiliates and weakens the Shaitaan; it weakens the effects of his whispers on a person and reduces his sins. That is because the Shaitaan “flows through the son of Adam like blood” as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, but fasting narrows the passages through which the Shaitaan flows, so his influence grows less.

Shaykh al-Islam said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, (25/246): “Undoubtedly blood is created from food and drink, so when a person eats and drinks, the passages through which the devils flow – which is the blood – become wide. But if a person fasts, the passages through which the devils flow become narrow, so hearts are motivated to do good deeds, and to give up evil deeds.”

The fasting person is training himself to remember that Allah is always watching, so he gives up the things that he desires even though he is able to take them, because he knows that Allah can see him.

Fasting means developing an attitude of asceticism towards this world and its desires, and seeking that which is with Allah.

It makes the Muslim get used to doing a great deal of acts of worship, because the fasting person usually does more acts of worship and gets used to that.

These are some of the reasons why fasting is enjoined. We ask Allah to help us to achieve them and to worship Him properly.

And Allah knows best.

Courtesy : Words Of Love

Welcoming The Arrival Of Ramadan

Do You Know?

The month of Ramadan has arrived again, the month of fasting and prayer. It is the month that provides an opportunity for forgiveness from Allah and emancipation from our sins. It is the month for performing good deeds and giving in charity. It is the month when the gates of the heavens are opened and the rewards for our deeds are magnified many times over. It is the month wherein prayers are answered and the status of the worshipper is elevated. It is the month wherein sins are forgiven.

Allah bestows so many blessings upon his servants in the month of Ramadan. This is the month of fasting that is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) fasted during this month and directed his followers to do the same. He told us that whoever fasts this month with faith, seeking Allah’s reward, will have all of his past sins forgiven. He likewise informed us that whoever stands in prayer throughout this month will have all of his past sins forgiven.

The month of Ramadan contains within it a night that is superior to a thousand months. Whoever is denied the goodness of that night is indeed deprived.

We should welcome this month and embrace it with happiness and joy. We should have the truest resolve to observe the fasts and the prayers and to compete in doing righteous deeds. During this month, we should ardently repent for all of our sins and encourage each other to engage in virtuous deeds and call to what is right and forbid what is wrong. In this way, we will succeed in attaining the blessings and the great rewards of Ramadan.

The fast provides us with many benefits and is full of wisdom. It purifies and strengthens our hearts. It rids us of our baser tendencies like exuberance, arrogance, and stinginess. It reinforces our good traits like fortitude, clemency, and generosity. It supports us in our inner struggle to please Allah and attain nearness to Him.

Fasting teaches us about ourselves and our needs. It shows us how weak we are and how truly dependent we are upon our Lord. It shows us how much Allah has blessed us. We are reminded of our brethren those who are less fortunate and are inspired to treat them well. We are compelled to thank Allah and to use the blessings He has provided us in obedience to Him.

Allah draws attention to these many benefits when he says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (and become pious),-” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:183)

In this verse, Allah makes it clear that he prescribed fasting in order to purify us. Fasting is a means for us to learn self-restraint and cultivate our piety. Piety is to observe the commandments and prohibitions of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) sincerely out of our love and reverence for Allah, and to avoid His punishment and anger.

Fasting is a great act of piety in itself and a great means of increasing our piety in all aspects of our religious and worldly lives.

Narrated by ‘Abdullah: We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Apostle said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #4)

The reason that fasting has this effect is because Satan flows like blood through our veins. Fasting constrains this flow while and acts as a reminder of Allah and His greatness, thereby reducing Satan’s influence over the fasting person while at the same time his faith strengthening. He naturally starts engaging in more acts of obedience and fewer acts of sin.

There are many other benefits of fasting that we can discover with a little thought and reflection. Fasting is good for bodily health. It gives the body a chance to purify itself of accumulated poisons, a fact which has been confirmed by numerous doctors.

The sacred texts speak quite extensively about the virtues of fasting in the month of Ramadan and about it being a duty upon the believers. Allah says:

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,- (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, 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.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:183-185)

Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle. 2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly. 3. To pay zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) . 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) 5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #2, Hadith #7)

When the angel Gabriel asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about Islam, he replied: “Islam is to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to pay charity, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to the House if you are able to make the journey.” (Al Tirmidhi)

Gabriel then said: “You have spoken the truth.” Then he said: “Tell me about faith.”

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) replied: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and divine decree, both the good and bad of it.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth. Tell me about excellence in faith.”

Allah’s Messenger replied: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth.” (Sahih Muslim)

This hadith is of considerable importance and deserves serious thought and consideration.

Once Mu`adh b. Jabal said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Tell me about some deed that will admit me into Paradise and distance me from the Hellfire.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “You have asked about something great, yet it is very simple for one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him in worship. Establish prayer, pay Zakah, fast the month of Ramadan, and undertake the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” Then the Prophet (peace be upon him added: “Should I not inform you about the gates of goodness? Fasting is Paradise. Charity extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire.” (Al Tirmidhi)

Fasting is a most virtuous act with a reward commensurate with its greatness. This is especially true in Ramadan, since Allah has made fasting therein an obligation upon the believers and a means of their attaining salvation.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Every deed of the human being is for himself and its reward is multiplied for him from ten to seven hundred times. Allah says: ‘Except for fasting, for truly it is for Me and I alone will reward it, for verily he abandoned his desires, his food, and his drink for my sake.’ The one who fasts experiences two joys, one upon breaking his fast and one when he meets his Lord. Surely the breath of the fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When Ramadan commences, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are bound in chains.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him said: “On the first night of Ramadan, the devils and rebellious jinn are bound in chains, The gates of Paradise are opened until not a single gate remains closed. The gates of Hell are bound shut until not a single gate remains open. Then a caller calls out: ‘O desirer of good, go forth! O desirer of evil, restrain yourself! Allah is emancipating people from the Fire every night’.” (Al Tirmidhi)

On the eve of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a sermon and said: “O people! A great and blessed month is coming upon you, a month containing a night better than a thousand months. Allah has made fasting in its days an obligation and observing prayer in its nights a voluntary act. Anyone who seeks nearness to Allah in this month through any virtuous act will be like one who carried out a religious obligation at another time, and anyone who performs an obligatory act of worship in this month will be like one who performed seventy such acts at another time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah)

We must seize the opportunity presented to us in this blessed month and appreciate the greatness of this time by engaging in all the worship that we can. We must hasten to perform good deeds. Allah has made this month a time for worship and for competing with one another in righteousness. We must increase our prayer and our spending in charity. We must busy ourselves with reading the Quran. We must hasten to help the poor, the needy, and the orphans. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people and he was even more generous in Ramadan. We must follow the good example of our Prophet (peace be upon him) by redoubling our efforts in this month.

We need to safeguard the blessings of our fasts from our sins and our shortcomings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever does not leave off false speech and false conduct, Allah has no need of his leaving off food and drink.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When any one of you is observing the fast for the day, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor raise his voice. If someone insults him or quarrels with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting’.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

We must beseech Allah for forgiveness in this month and do all that we can to take advantage of this precious time. We must avoid committing any offence against the fast that will diminish its blessings and invoke Allah’s anger. Therefore, we must not be negligent of our prayers or stingy with our Zakah. We must not consume interest or the property of the orphans. We must not steal, oppress anyone, or disrespect our parents. We must not spurn our kinfolk. We must avoid backbiting, slander, lies, and falsehood. We must eschew false oaths and claims. We must not shave or trim our beards or leave our moustaches to grow. We must not listen to song and musical instruments. Women must not make a wanton display of themselves and men should not mix with them. These sins are forbidden throughout the year, but in Ramadan they are even more forbidden and more sinful.

We must fear Allah and avoid what Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have prohibited us. We must be upright in our obedience in Ramadan and throughout the rest of the year. We should call one another to this and by doing so attain the success and salvation that this month promises us.

– Sheikh `Abd al-`Aziz b. Baz

Courtesy :  Words Of Love

Five Pillars of Islam

Do You Know?

The Five Pillars of Islam is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. These duties are Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (ritual prayer), Zakaat (alms giving), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). The concept of five pillars is taken from the Hadith collections, notably those of Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. The Qur’an does not speak of five pillars, although one can find in it scattered references to their associated practices.

The Five Pillars of Islam are core beliefs that shape Muslim thought, deed, and society. A Muslim who fulfills the Five Pillars of Islam, remains in the faith of Islam, and sincerely repents of his sins, will make it to Jannah (paradise). If he performs the Five Pillars but does not remain in the faith, he will not be saved.

The Islamic faith is built upon 5 Pillars

  • Shahadah – Declaration of faith
  • Salah – Five compulsory daily prayers
  • Zakaat – Welfare contribution
  • Sawm – Fasting during Ramadan
  • Hajj – Pilgrimage to Makkah

Shahadah – Declaration of faith

A Muslim declares his faith by reciting:

shahadah2

The arabic words mean:
“There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”

La ilaha illal lahu muhammadur rasulul lah
The testimony of faith is saying with conviction, “La ilaha illal lahu, muhammadur rasulul lah.” This saying means “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” The first part, “There is no true god but God,” means that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son. This testimony of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which should be said with conviction in order to convert to Islam(visit webpage “How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim”). The testimony of faith is the most important pillar of Islam.

Salah – Five compulsory daily prayers

Salah is the second pillar of Islam. It refers to the five compulsory daily prayers. Salah is offered five times a day individually or in congregation. We offer Salah to remember Allah. It brings us closer to him.

The Quran Says:
“Establish Salah to remember me (Allah)” (20:24)

Salah is the Practical proof of our faith in Allah and Islam. It has been made compulsory at certain fixed times.

The five daily prayers are:

  • Fajr – From dawn until just before sunrise
  • Zuhr – After midday until afternoon
  • Asr – From late afternoon until just before sunset
  • Maghrib – After sunset until daylight ends
  • Isha -Night until midnight or dawn

namaz

Each salat is performed facing towards the Kaaba in gratitude and worship. According to the Qur’an, the benefit of prayer “restrains [one] from shameful and evil deeds”.

Before we pray we do Wudu, or clean up in a special way. Wash before prayer as a symbol that they are cleansing their minds in order to pray. Salat consists of set prayers and movements. The fact that all Muslims pray at the same time, in the same way and facing in the same direction emphasises unity in islam and that everyone is equal before Allah.

Zakaat – Welfare contribution

Zakaat (welfare contribution) is the third pillar of Islam. The Arabic word Zakaat means to purify or cleanse. Zakaat is to be paid once a year on savings at the rate of two and a half percent(2.5%). This rate applies to cash, bank savings and gold & silver jewellery. The rate for cattle and agricultural produce is different.

Payment of Zakaat is a means of keeping our wealth clear of greed and selfishness. It also encourages us to be honest in our earnings and expenditure.

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Zakaat is a compulsory payment and is neither charity nor a tax. Charity is optional and taxes can be used by the state for any purpose, but Zakaat has to be spent under fixed headings like helping the poor, the needy, payment of salaries to its collectors, to free captives and debtors, for travellers in need, to win over hearts and for the cause of Allah.

Zakaat is an act of Ibadah. Ibadah is an Arabic term which means worship and obedience. It includes all activities of life, if we do them to please Allah. We pay Zakaat to gain Allah’s favour.

Zakaat provides us with the opportunity of sharing our excess wealth with those less fortunate than ourselves. In fact we and our wealth belong to Allah. He is the real owner and we are mearly the trustees of His wealth. We do our duty as trustees if we pay Zakaat as an obligatory part of Ibadah.

In addition to the compulsory payment of Zakaat, Muslims are encouraged in the Qur’an to make voluntary contributions to help the poor and needy, and for other social welfare purposes. This voluntary contribution is called Sadaqah (Charity).

Through the payment of Zakaat, the rich share their wealth with the poor and thus the process of concentration of wealth is checked and fair distribution ensured.

An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqah, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as “voluntary charity” it has a wider meaning.
The Prophet(PBUH) said, “Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is an act of charity.” The Prophet(PBUH) also said: “Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.” He was asked: “What if a person has nothing?” The Prophet(PBUH) replied: “He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.” The Companions of the Prophet(PBUH) asked: “What if he is not able to work?” The Prophet(PBUH) said: “He should help the poor and needy.” The Companions further asked: “What if he cannot do even that?” The Prophet(PBUH) said: “He should urge others to do good.” The Companions said: “What if he lacks that also?” The Prophet(PBUH) said: “He should check himself from doing evil. That is also an act of charity.”

Sawm – Fasting during Ramadan

Sawm (Fasting), the fourth pillar of Islam, is another act of Ibadah. All adult Muslims must fast from dawn to sunset every day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This means abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and conjugal relations during the hours of fasting. Travellers and the sick can defer fasting during Ramadan and make up for it later.


Sawm develops self-control and helps us to overcome selfishness, greed, laziness and other faults. It is to refresh us for carrying out our duties towards Allah, the Creator and Sustainer.

Sawm gives us the feeling of hunger and thirst. We experience for ourselves what it is like to have an empty stomach. This develops our feeling for the poor and hungry people. Fasting teaches us to control the love of comfort. It also helps us to keep our sexual desires within control. Hunger, comfort and sex are three factors which must be kept under control to behave as Allahs servants.


It helps us to remain truly obedient to Allah’s commands. That is why the Qur’an says:
“O you who believe; Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you are expected to be truly obedient”. (2:183)


A truly obedient Muslim is called a Muttaqi and his true obedience or piety – developed through Sawm – is known as Taqwa in Islam. Taqwa keeps a person away from sin.
The month of Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, mercy and means of avoiding that punishment of Hell.


The following acts will break the fast:
-Deliberate eating or drinking during fasting hours.
-If anything enters the body through the nose or mouth; this includes smoking or sniffing any powdered substance.
-Having any conjugal relations during fasting hours.
-Unintentional eating or drinking due to forgetfulness or rinsing out the mouth or bathing do not make the fast invalid.
-A Muslim is expected to remain away from all bad actions during his fast. He should not tell a lie, break a promise or do any deceitful act.

During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, harsh language, gossip and to try to get along with each other better than normal. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.
The very purpose of fasting is to make a Muslim able to control his passions, so that he becomes a person of good deeds and intentions. Anger – a common human weakness–can also be brought under control by fasting.
Many Muslims break their fast with a dates because it is claimed Muhammed(PBUH) broke his fast with a dates.

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Many Muslims traditionally break their fasts in Ramadan with dates (like those offered by this date seller in Kuwait City), as was the recorded practice (Sunnah) of Muhammad(PBUH).

In addition to the compulsory fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim may fast during other times of the year. These facts will be treated as Sunnah.
Fasting is not allowed during menstruation of women. They are required to make up the days lost during this period at some other time.

A Muslim must not fast:
On the day of Idul Fitr
On the day of Idul Adha


The Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan. There is a night in the month which is …
“better than a thousand months”

This night is called Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power). According to Hadith, this night occurs during the last ten days of Ramadan (most probably the odd numbered nights). It is a night of great importance; we should worship as much as we can on this night.


An additional prayer known as Tarawih (20 rakah or 8 rakah) is offered during Ramadan after Isha. This is a sunnah prayer in which efforts are made to recite as much of the Qur’an as possible. In many mosques, the whole Qur’an is recited in Tarawih prayer. This prayer is generally offered in congregation.
At the end of Ramadan Muslims celebrate Idul Fitr, a day of thanksgiving and happiness. It is one of the great occasions for the Muslim community. On this day, Muslims offer special prayers in congregation and thank Allah for His blessings and mercy.

Hajj – Pilgrimage to Makkah

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, to the holy city of Makkah, and derives from an ancient Arab practice. Kaaba, known as Baitullah (house of Allah), is a cube-like one storey building which was built originally by Adam and later rebuilt by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael). It is the first house ever built for the sole purpose of the worship of Allah.

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Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it. When the pilgrim is around ten kilometers from Makkah, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, as the Hajj is mandatory for both males and females. The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, traveling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.

The pilgrimage, or the haji, is honoured in their community. For some, this is an incentive to perform the Hajj. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to Allah, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement.

A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah.