Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radhiallaho anho) reports that he asked the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) about “Laylatul Qadr”. He replied: “It is in Ramadhan, during the last ten days, on the unevenly numbered nights, either the 21st 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th. Whosoever stands in “Ibaadah” on this night, with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Among the signs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot, nor cold but temperate as if a moon is shining clear, and no meteors are shot at the “Shayateen” on that night; it lasts until the break of the dawn. Another sign is that at morn, the Sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appearing rather like the moon in it’s fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the “Shayateen” from rising up with the Sun.”
Part of what has been mentioned in this Hadith has already been dealt with. Some signs are here mentioned about the actual night. These signs are clear and need no further elucidation. Apart from these, there are other signs too, as mentioned in the Ahadith or in the experiences of those who had the good fortune to experience “Laylatul Qadr.” The sign that is, however; most specific in the Hadith is the rising of the sun, ‘without any radiant beams of light.’ Other signs are not always there. One Sahaabi, Ab’da bin Abi Lubaaba (Radhi Allaho anho) says: “On the evening of the 27th , I tasted the water of the sea and it was sweet.” Ayub bin Khalid said: ‘I once had to bathe myself with sea water, and on tasting it, found, it sweet. This was on the 23rd night.” Some of the “Mashaaikh” (religious divines) wrote that, on the evening of “Laylatul Qadr”, everything prostrates itself before Allah, so much so that trees fall flat on the ground, then return to their normal position; these are however spiritual phenomena not visible to the ordinary person.
Aaisha (RadhiAllaho anha) reports: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), should I find myself the “Laylatul Qadr”, hat shall I pray. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) replied: say, Allaahumma innaka afuwwun tohibbu al’afwa fa’fu anna “O Allah, Thou art the One who grants pardon for sins. Thou lovest to pardon, so O pardon me.”
This is indeed such an all-inclusive prayer, wherein one begs that Allah in His infinite Grace should forgive his sins. If that has been obtained, the path to the Hereafter is secure. What more would one require? Imaam Sufyaan Thowry used to say that to keep oneself busy on this night with ‘Duaa’ (invocations to Allah) is better than any other form of worship (Ibaadah). Ibne Rajab says that one should not only remain busy with ‘Duaa’, but should also take part in all other form of ‘Ibaadah’, e.g. recitation of the Holy Qur’an, ‘Salaat’, contemplation, etc. This latter opinion is most correct and nearer to what Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had said, as already mentioned in the previous Ahaadith.
Taqwa is the central concept running through the Quran. It is translated normally as piety, heading or God fearing. In fact, Taqwa combines piety, heading, God fearing and God consciousness.
1.God Fearing in Context of ISLAM
Here fear should not be understands as scare, which can be without any love or respect. But in Islamic context fear means.
- Fear of the punishment of ALLAH on the day of Judgement.
- Fear of the losing the blessings of ALLAH in our worldly life.
- To be afraid of displeasing ALLAH –the one who is most worthy of Love.
2. God consciousness as the element of Taqwa
The person who has Taqwa is one who is most conscious about the things that displease the God.
God consciousness is the core of the quality Taqwa. God consciousness is the quality of being conscious of the presence of Allah at all times. The most God conscious person is one who is most pious. Islam therefore encourages Muslims to be pious in every aspect of Life
3. Love of ALLAH in context of Islam
- Love if ALLAH refers to man’s necessary dependence on ALLAH —the realization that he is not sufficient.
- True love of God is manifested in pure acts of worship.
- Muslim is required to manifest this love by Following God’s Path and, if necessary, sacrificing some personal desires, property, time, if require his life for the sake of ALLAH.
According to a hadith of Prophet (PBUH), If a person love God and His Messenger more than he loves anything else he will have the sweet taste of faith in his heart. In addition God will reciprocate his love Sura 3 Verse 31: Say if you do Love ALLAH follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For ALLAH is oft forgiving and most merciful.
4. Specific acts that nourish ALLAH’S love
- Have Taqwa
- Constantly repent to ALLAH
- Engage in self purification
- Do good
- Place Trust in ALLAH
- Be steadfast
- Act with justice
5. Actions that keep away Man from Allah’s Love
- Corruption and mischief
- Rejection of faith
Sura 4. Verse 36: ALLAH love not the arrogant, the vainglorious
6. Benefits that derive from having Taqwa
Taqwa assists a man in his journey in the hereafter through this life to successful conclusion.
- He will be receptive of to Guidance
- He will have proper vision, Knowledge and wisdom.
- His affairs will be easier
- He will receive forgiveness for his sins.
- He will receive mercy from ALLAH.
- He will achieve ultimate victory and bliss in this life and in the Hereafter.
Sura Anfal Verse 29 “O you who believe; if you fear ALLAH, He will grant you a criterion, remove (all) evil deeds and forgive you for ALLAH is the lord of grace unbound.”
It is related from Asmaa Bint Abu Bakr (ra) that when she would prepare a broth, she would cover it for some time until it would stop boiling (or until it would no longer be extremely hot). After related this practice, she said, Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah (saas) say,
Verily doing so allows for a greater degree of Barakah (blessings.) 1
Abu Hurairah (ra) said, Food should not be eaten until its steam goes away.2 In Zaad Al-Maaad, Ibn Al-Qayyim said that the Prophet (saas) would not eat food while it was intensely hot. And again, Barakah in this context means safety from harm as a result of eating, the nourishment provided by the food, and strength achieved for obeying Allah (swt)
1) Ad-Daarimee related it (2047), and Al-Albaanee included it in his Silsilatus-Saheehah (392). Ahmed related it as well (26418)
2) When grading this Hadeeth in Irwaa Al-Ghaleel, Al-Albaanee said, Saheeh, and Al-Baihaqee related it (7/2580)
No human being was ever required to fulfill a harder task than Muhammad (peace be upon him).
When God chose him to deliver His last message to mankind, He also charged him with its full implementation in a human society, so that his message would never be merely a theoretical outline of a code of living.
Future generations will always have the first Islamic society, established by the Prophet in Madinah and later in the entire Arabian Peninsula, as a model which they should emulate.
Thus, Muhammad’s task was to reform a human community, give it a new faith that outlines its constitution, establish a faith, and thus change the course of history.
What would have happened to humanity without Islam does not bear contemplation.
Prophet Muhammad addressed himself to his task, realizing from the very early days that it was a mammoth task that would occupy all his time.
Very early in his message he said to his wife: ‘Sleeping time is over, Khadijah’. He meant that he could never afford to sleep long on any night for the rest of his life.
With such an awareness of the task he was assigned, what it involved and what it required of him, we are surprised to see him laughing with his companions when the occasion arises.
When there was something really funny, he would laugh heartily.
Every aspect of Muhammad’s character was balanced to the most appropriate measure. Thus, he enjoyed fun but he tamed this with maintaining the truth.
He would start a joke, or say something in jest to a person but even in jesting he only said what was true.
A leading contemporary scholar, Abbas Al-Aqqad, says: “This means that his jesting was a sign of his prophethood, because it was a mark of his humanity. It was not in any way contrary to his status as God’s noble prophet and messenger.”
To take a couple of examples: his aunt, Safiyyah, requested him to pray for her to be in heaven. He said to her: “No elderly woman will enter heaven”.
As she was elderly, Safiyyah started to weep. He smiled and reminded her of a couple of verses in the Qur’an that make clear that all women in heaven will be returned to their youthful prime:
“We will have brought forth [their mates] in perfect creation, making them virgins, full of love, of matching age.” (56: 35-37)
She realized that the Prophet was only joking with her and she remained in hope that she would attain the happy status of the dwellers of heaven.
One of his companions asked the Prophet to give him a camel to ride as he was setting on a long journey.
The Prophet said to him: “Yes, I will give you one of the offspring of a she-camel.”
Thinking that the Prophet meant to give him a newborn camel, the man was disappointed, and said: “How will that help when I have a long journey ahead of me?”
The Prophet said: “Is a camel born to any creature other than a she-camel?” The man laughed.
However, only few such occasions are reported, because the Prophet was always attending to his great task with diligence.
He only jested to make a serious situation more relaxed, or to please a dear person. In this also he demonstrated his perfect human status.
– by Adil Salahi
From the Original Arabic Piece by Adel bin Muhammad al-Abdul ‘Aalee
Translated by Abu Dujanah
One of the Salaf entered a field, hungry and tired, so he wanted to eat, and his stomach was ‘rumbling’. He saw an apple tree, and picked an apple to eat. He ate half of it under the protection of Allah, then he drank from the river near the field. After that, he suddenly realised that he was not aware of what he did due to his hunger, and thought to himself: Woe to you! How can you eat someone else’s provision without permission. In remorse he was determined not to leave the place until he found the owner of the garden, and confess to him that he had eaten his provision without his permission. He looked around and saw a house and went up to the door and knocked on it.
The owner came out and asked him what he wanted.
The Salaf said: “I was hungry and entered your garden and took this apple and ate half of it, then I remembered it was not mine, and I came to beg you to forgive me for this mistake.”
The man replied, “I will not forgive you except on one condition?”
So the Salaf asked (and he is Thaabit bin Nu’maan), “What is your condition?”
The owner of the garden said: “I want you to marry my daughter.”
The honourable Salaf without hesitation said: “yes, I will marry her”. The father of the girl then said: “I want you to know that my daughter is blind and cannot see, dumb and cannot speak, deaf and cannot hear.”
The revelation shocked Thaabit bin Nu’maan and thoughts flashed through his mind – what a disaster – what’s he going to do? Then he remembered that the trials and tribulation he has to endure by accepting this woman as his wife, and taking care of her and serving her is better for him than to eat the food (sadeed) of hellfire due to the fact that he had eaten the apple without permission. He also realized that if he did not make amends, his days in the dunya are numbered. So he promised to marry the girl, and prayed for forgiveness and reward from Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
The day of marriage came, and the man was nervous and very worried: “How will I enter upon a woman who does not speak, see, or hear?!” What a dilemma, and he wished the earth would swallow him before that happened (i.e. going the wedding ceremony), but he remembered Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and said: “Laa Hawla wa laa quwata illa billah, wa inna lilah wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.” He went off to the wedding ceremony and when he arrived, his future bride stood up and greeted him, saying, “Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.”
When he saw her, it took his breath away and remembered what he had imagined of the hoor il-‘ayn in paradise. Gaining his composure, he blurted out: “What is this? So you speak, see, and hear.” Thaabit bin Nu’maan then informed her what her father had to told him.
She gave him the most beautiful smile and said: “My father spoke the truth and he didn’t lie.”
“But why did he tell me things about you which are untrue?
She replied, “My father said I am dumb, because I have never said a word which displeases Allah, nor have I ever spoken to a man whom it is not permissable to speak to. [He said] I am deaf, because I have never sat it in a place where malicious backbiting, gossip or tale-telling takes place. [He said] I am blind because I have never looked at a man who was not permissable for me to look.”
So ponder how Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala united this pious woman to this pious man.!
It is Allah’s mercy, may He be glorified, that He placed no restriction on our eating and drinking during the rest of the year as long as what we consume is (i) Halaal, (ii) Tayyib (nutritious and clean), and (iii) not to be extravagant. We can eat or drink at any time, choosing from a wide variety of cuisines and delicacies: meats, dairy products, spices, herbs, leafy greens, fibers, staple grains, or frutis and vegetables, in whatever combination we like, because indeed the list of Halaal food is endless while the Haraam is only a restricted few.
The fact that Allah has made fasting obligatory is also a mercy from Him. Man’s nature is such that he takes for granted all good things that are easy to access and abundant in supply. He demeans their importance, and many a time, misuses them for his selfish needs.
Fasting from dawn to dusk with a conscious effort to abstain from sins of the tongue, ear, hands, eyes, or heart re-charges our faith and piety every year. Standing in prayers late at night while repenting our sins makes us more conscious of Allah throughout this month.
Think about it this way: Had this fasting not been obligatory, how many of us would have voluntarily fasted 30 days without any break? How many of us would have voluntarily listened to the Qur’an in prayer at night? How many of us would have willingly given a fixed portion of our wealth in charity to the needy? An honest answer shows us where we really stand as weak humans devoid of discipline and self-control. So definitely the obligation of fasting in Ramadan is a great mercy incurred upon us.
Muslims’ attitudes during Ramadan can really be divided into three types:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned this type of a person who leaves his eating, drinking and conjugal relations with his spouse, but does not give up indulging in sins like lying and backbiting. For example, you will see such a Muslim greet Ramadan with an attitude of dread, instead of excitement. They look forward to Eid with desperation as Ramadan goes on. You will notice them deliberately missing Taraweeh because “it is not Fard!,” lighting a cigarette as soon as the Maghrib adhan goes off, then missing the Salah in the Masjid as they stuff themselves to the hilt with food. Ramadan, to them, is a burden they cannot wait to offload from their backs.
“Many a person who fasts, gets nothing from his fasting except hunger and thirst.” (Ibn Majah, Ahmad)
Changed for a month
This fast is characterized by a believer becoming more conscious of Allah during Ramadan and therefore, trying to keep away from sins, and to fulfill Islamic obligations during this month. He gives up his bad habits, but temporarily, out of respect and sanctity for Ramadan. Consequently, you will see him or her change significantly during this month; becoming more devout and regular in worship Masha Allah, shunning gatherings that are a waste of time. However, this change may last only until the sighting of the Shawwal moon.
This is the higher form of fasting in Ramadan – the way how our Prophets and pious predecessors would fast. It is a fast that includes the heart; a fast in which the believer does not let negative emotions, sinful thoughts or vengeful feelings of animosity pervade his senses. As Sha’aban ends, he welcomes the opportunity of getting his sins forgiven. He gives up even mubah (permissible) actions to seize each moment as a precious gem to bond with Allah. He cautiously avoids situations that provoke anger or cause arguments with others, or those that ignite his lowly desires. You see him socializing less as Ramadan proceeds, his lips in visible motion, while doing mundane daily tasks, in remembrance of his Lord. During the last 10 nights, he can be seen earnestly supplicating and shedding tears in Sujood.
On the night before Eid, he holds back tears of sorrow while bidding Ramadan farewell. After Ramadan, you do not see him revert to a previous lifestyle of frivolity and carefreeness. Ramadan leaves him much improved in his piety and good deeds.
The good news is that this level of fasting is quite achievable, if one uses the opportunity to return to the Religion during this blessed month. This month has a night that is better than a thousand months, in which matters of Qadr are decided. Who knows, if we are sincere enough in our repentance and in our yearning for guidance, we may be a totally changed person before next Ramadan, Insha Allah.