In this day and age, many people eagerly await the end of Ramadan and the coming of Eid al-Fitr to gain their ‘freedom’ in order to go back to committing sin and disobeying Almighty Allah . Many people start on the day of Eid itself and engage in shameful and reprehensible behavior in the name of celebration. We should remember that celebration does not mean committing sin, but rather it involves remembering Allah Ta’ala and being grateful to Allah Ta’ala for showering His Mercy and Bounties upon us. Let us look at the true essence and significance of Eid-ul-Fitr, and the way in which those pious servants close to Almighty Allah celebrated Eid.
Eid is a day of celebration for Muslims, a day of happiness. On this day, Muslims perform two rakaats of prayer, meet one another, shake hands and embrace and give charity to the poor and needy. Islam teaches protecting the poor, helping the helpless, and easing the pain and sufferings of orphans and the meek at every turn, and they should not be forgotten, especially on the day of Eid. That is why Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ordered us to pay the Sadqa-e-Fitr before performing the Eid Salaah so that Muslims remember their poor brothers on this occasion and include them in their happiness.
It is reported on the authority of Hadrat Anas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that when Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) came to Madina Shareef, the people of Madina would celebrate two festivals. They were asked what these days were and they replied, “We used to celebrate on these days in the days of ignorance.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah Ta’ala has granted you two better days than these days; Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.”
Regarding Eid-ul-Fitr, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said, “When the month of Ramadan is over, and the night of Eid-ul-Fitr has arrived, that night is called the Night of Prize. Then, in the early morning of Eid-ul-Fitr Allah Ta’ala will send His angels forth to visit all the towns and cities on the earth below. Once they have made their descent, they will position themselves at the entrances to all the streets and alleys. There, in a voice that is audible to every being created by Allah Ta’ala, apart from the jinn and humankind, they will issue a proclamation saying, “O Community of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), come forth into the presence of a Noble and Generous Lord, who will grant you gifts in abundance and forgive your terrible sin!” Then when the believers have emerged and presented themselves at their place of prayer, Allah Ta’ala will say to His angels, “O My angels, what is the recompense of the hired laborer, once he has done his job?” The angels will reply, “Our Lord and our Master, You will pay him his wages in full!” So Allah Ta’ala will say, “I now call upon you to bear witness, O My angels, that I have conferred My acceptance and My forgiveness as the reward for their fasting and night vigil during the month of Ramadan.” Allah Ta’ala will then say, “O My servants put your requests to Me now, for this I swear by My Might and My Majesty, you will not ask Me this day, in this gathering of yours for anything connected with your life hereafter, without My granting it to you; nor for anything connected with your life in this lower world, without My attending to your need. By My Might and My Majesty, I will not put you to shame, nor will I expose you to disgrace amongst those who are faithfully committed to observing the laws (of Shariah). Now you may depart, knowing that you have been forgiven. You have won My approval, and I am well pleased with you.”” [Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq, Vol. 3]
SubHan ALLAH! How Merciful is our Rabb, even though we are such wretched sinners.
HOW often have we seen it? A beautiful table laid with all the exotic foods you can think of. Dates of a thousand kind, drinks that have been concocted from fruits you’ve never heard of. Well, this is all too common when people are invited to open their fast in the holy month of Ramadan.
I clearly remember attending one such occasion and was amazed by the plethora of foods visible on the table. I thought to myself “how many people have they invited?” The dates alone would have been enough to feed an army. As I sat and observed the people, I just couldn’t understand how this food would be finished. As the call to prayer was announced, we opened our fast. The concentration was intense – ‘Try this one’, ‘what about that one’, were the reoccurring words as plates were placed in front of me. As we ate I looked up at the clock and thought we should go to the mosque, but the food kept on coming. We were like overstuffed balloons on the verge of bursting when we went for prayer after opening the fast. Upon returning, it was really amazing that I was even expected to eat dinner.
It’s these kind of situations that we need to take care of because fasting is all about abstaining from food and not indulging in it. Some people eat so much food at dawn they are not at all hungry during the day. This defeats the whole objective of fasting, as we should experience the hunger felt by so many around the world and be thankful to Allah for what we have.
Feeding people is a virtuous act that leads to reward, but how many times have we invited the poor to come and eat with us? They too fast and we should spare a thought for the poor and needy as they are rarely invited to open their fasts with people. They shouldn’t be forgotten in this great month. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like the fasting person, without detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.” – Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah – classed as saheeh by Al-Albani
If we look at the life of our noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) we see that he would break his fast with fresh dates. If none were available, he would have old dates. If no dates were available then he would just drink some mouthfuls of water. We should keep this in mind and try our level best to follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
In these blessed days, the month of Ramadan, we remember the battle of Badr, which took place in the seventeenth of Ramadan, the second year of Hijrah. The battle plays a great role in the Islamic history as it was to determine the destiny of worshiping Allah on earth, and it was the first of a series of battles later. Muslims were not ready for such a war, they were only three hundreds and thirteen fighters, armed with a few weapons, seventy camels and two horses whereas the disbelievers were nine hundreds and fifty, armed with many weapons, seven hundreds camels, and hundred horses. Yet, Muslims decided to go for the battle with great persistence.
One could wonder how did those Muslims were encouraged to battle in such a critical situation and without hesitation?
It is sincere faith, relying on Allah and entrusting matters to Him. They turned to Allah for aid, implored Him with deep trust that He would never disappoint them. Allah who never break His promise, sent them angels to fight alongside them and it was a great victory.
Achieving victory in war needs preparation, well training and providing weapons, such causes of victory have to be well regarded by Muslims with complete reliance on Allah ,Lord of the Universe. Yet there are other causes that man can not interfere in, but are only caused by the Divine Decree, like weather conditions, rain, snow wind, and cloud; all this has great effect on the warfare Besides, men’s hearts are in the hands of their Creator; that’s faith is an essential key to victory, but it is controlled by Allah [swt]. Faith is the only factor lacked by the West. Muslims have to fill their hearts with faith, turn back to the path of Allah Almighty, and apply His law on earth.
Sawdah Bint Zam`ah Ibn Qays was a noble Qurayshiete woman. She was the first woman to whom the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, got married after the death of Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. She was a noble, respectful woman. She was married first to As-Sakran Ibn `Amr, brother of Suhayl Ibn `Amr Al-`Amiri. When they came back from Abyssinia, her husband died and then the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, proposed to her.
The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, got married to her in Ramadan, 10 years after his mission. He migrated with her from Makkah to Madinah where she died in Shawwal, 54 A.H. Some scholars say that she died during the Caliphate of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with them all.
It is worth stressing here that she was the one who when attained old age, donated her own night with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, to `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with them all, as a sign of love and kindness.
The Night of Power marks the night on which the Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Muslims regard this as the most important event in history, and the Qur’an says this night is better than a thousand months (Quran, 97:3).
1 The Night of Power marks the night on which the Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Muslims regard this as the most important event in history, and the Qur’an says this night is better than a thousand months (Quran, 97:3).
2 Muslims believe that the exact date of the Night of Power was concealed so that people would increase their acts of worship. Prophet Muhammad said, “Seek it (the Night of Power) on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
3 Muslims are encouraged to seek this night by performing voluntary prayers, reciting the Qur’an, and supplicating.
4 The Night of Power is a good time to seek forgiveness, as Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “He who spends the night in prayers on the Night of Power as a sign of his devotion and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
5 Muslims believe that on this night some angels descend, with their Lord’s permission, saluting those who are engaged in worship and bestowing safety and peace.
The changes that occur in the body in response to fasting depend on the length of the continuous fast. Technically the body enters into a fasting state eight hours or so after the last meal, when the gut finishes absorption of nutrients from the food. In the normal state, body glucose, which is stored in the liver and muscles, is the body’s main source of energy. During a fast, this store of glucose is used up first to provide energy. Later in the fast, once the stores of glucose run out, fat becomes the next store source of energy for the body.
As the Ramadan fast only extends from dawn till dusk, there is ample opportunity to replenish energy stores at pre-dawn and dusk meals. This provides a progressive gentle transition from using glucose to fat as the main source of energy, and prevents the breakdown of muscle for protein. The use of fat for energy aids weight loss, preserving the muscles, and in the long run reduces your cholesterol levels. In addition weight loss results in better control of diabetes and reduces blood pressure. A detoxification process also seems to occur, as any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body. After a few days of the fast, higher levels of certain hormones appear in the blood (endorphins), resulting in a better level of alertness and an overall feeling of general mental well-being.
The kidney is very efficient at maintaining the body’s water and salts, such as sodium and potassium. However, these can be lost through sweating, to prevent muscle break down, meals must contain adequate levels of ‘energy food’ such as carbohydrates and some fat. Hence, a balanced diet with adequate quantities of nutrients, salts and water is vital.
Look at the mercy a mother has for her baby she feeds. Can we imagine her ever harming the child? Look at the the elephant, a creature that weighs more than a ton, has so much mercy for its offspring.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah divided Mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.” (Bukhari)
We should have maximum mercy on each other in this month. This is the month of forgiveness so let us forgive and take maximum benefit from what Allah has promised us.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands.” (Bukhari)
Taking Ramadhan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual ( Stereotyped behavior) than a form of Ibadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie (living dead) just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil. We forget to make Dua, forget to beseech Allah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that’s about all ?
Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salah, Quran and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD so much so that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘feasting’.
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 Quran. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Iman!