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                                                            Preparing for death

    "Suppose you learn today that you have only one more day to live; you'll die tomorrow. How will you spend your last day?"

    This interview question was posed long before the age of mass media. The interviewer
approached prominent scholars and people known for their virtuous lives with the idea
that he would compile their answers in a book. Such a book would provide the readers
with inspiration for the most important virtues.

    But the most inspiring response came from the person who did not provide a wish list of
virtuous deeds. He was the great muhaddith Abdur Rahman ibn abi Na'um and he
replied: "There is nothing that I could change in my daily schedule learning that it is my
last day. I already spend everyday in my life as if it is going to be my last."

    Death is the most certain aspect of life. According to the latest statistics, 6178 people die
in the world every hour. These are people of all ages, dying of all causes. Some of these
deaths will make headlines. The great majority will die quietly. Yet everyone will enter
his grave the same way. Alone. At the time appointed by God. Science and technology
can neither prevent nor predict death. It is solely in the hands of the Creator.

    "O mankind! If you are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have
created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little
lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make it clear for you. And We
cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward
We bring you forth as infants, then give you growth that you attain full strength.
And among you there is he who dies young, and among you there is he who is
brought back to the most abject time of life, so that after knowledge he knows
naught!"[Al-Haj 22:5]

    We see it happening all the time. Yet it is amazing how we feel that it won't happen to
us. At least not anytime soon. We bury our own friends and relatives but think that we'll
live forever. Our attitudes about death defy all logic. In a way we recognize it and even
plan for it. We take out life insurance policies. We may do estate planning. Businesses
and governments have contingency plans to carry out their operations in case of sudden
loss of their leaders. But this is recognition of death as an end point of this life. Where we
fail is in recognizing it as the beginning of another life that will never end and where we'll
reap what we sow here.

    A central teaching of Islam is that it is our recognition of and preparation for that eternity
that must separate those who are smart from those who are not. As the Prophet,
Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Truly smart is the person who controlled his desires
and prepared for life after death."

    There is a moving story about Bahlool, who, in his innocence seems to be on the opposite
end of the scale of worldly-smartness. Khalifa Haroon ur Rashid had given him access to
his court probably because his naiveté was a source of entertainment to him. Once the
Khalifa gave him a walking stick saying, "It is meant for the most foolish person in the
world. If you find a person more deserving of it than yourself, pass it on." Several years
later Haroon ur Rashid fell seriously ill and no medical treatment seemed to work.
Bahlool visited him and inquired about his condition. The conversation went something
like this:

Haroon: "No treatment is working. I see my final journey ahead of me."

Bahlool: "Where are you going?"

Haroon: "I am going to the Other World."

Bahlool: "How long will you stay there? When will you come back?"

Haroon: "No one ever comes back from that world."

Bahlool: "Then you must have made especial preparations for this journey. Did
you send an advance group to take care of you once you arrive?

Haroon: "Bahlool, you have to go there alone. And no I did not make any
preparations."

    Bahlool: "Ameer-ul-Momineen! You used to send troops to make extensive
preparations for you for even short trips of only a few days. Now you are going to
a place where you'll live forever but you have made no preparations! I think I have
found the person more deserving of the stick that you had given me some years
ago."

    This story speaks to all of us. We may not be kings but we do plan our trips of even a
few days very carefully. How about preparing for the journey into eternity? How about
making the concern for the Hereafter the cornerstone of our lives here?

    Actually, that concern can change our lives here as well. This world is an abode of
deception. Here we are not punished the moment we commit a sin. This fools us into
thinking that we can get away with it. Remembering death is the antidote for that
deception. A person who remembers that he will have to stand before his Creator and be
accountable for his actions simply cannot defy God!

    In the story of Pharaoh, we learn that when he saw death approaching he declared belief
in the God of Moses. Before that he had been fooled by his apparent power. His
repentance came too late but it did show how his arrogance and intransigence evaporated
when faced with the certainty of death.

    It is amazing how a lot of our own "confusions", frivolous arguments, excuses (for why
we cannot do this or avoid that), or plane laziness can melt away when we visualize
ourselves in our grave! Death settles lot of arguments. Its remembrance can do that too.
Before it is too late. He was indeed a very wise person who spent everyday of his life as
if it was going to be his last day. But that certainly should be the goal for all of us!
 
 

                                                                Have Mercy

    In the hadith literature there is a category called musalsal (continuous). A musalsal hadith
is such that all its narrations over the centuries shared a common attribute. Some of these
ahadith include gestures. For example Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported a
hadith about the hand-shake of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam,, Allah's
blessings and peace on him. "Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam's hand was softer
than silk," he reported. But the report was accompanied by an actual hand-shake, just like
the original. There are people living today who have received this hadith, along with the
hand-shake, through an unbroken chain that goes back to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi
wa sallam. This is hadith musalsal bil masafaha (continuous with hand shake).

    It is a fascinating subject. There is no other human being whose words and even gestures
have been transmitted through the centuries with such love, devotion, and care. There are
so many musalsalat that Shah Waliullah has compiled them in a book. Leading the group
of musalsalat is the hadith known as musalsal bil Awwaliat, (continuously first). It is
because for centuries, whenever a teacher of ahadith started a new class anywhere in
the Muslim world, he always began with this hadith. The practice continues to date in
many Islamic universities. It is always the first hadith in a new hadith class.

    We know that unlike the Qur'an, the order in which ahadith are presented or read, is
dependent only on the choice of the compiler, teacher, or reader. There is no command
that they must be studied in a particular order. So the first hadith, became first not
because of an explicit injunction, but purely by the choice of those involved in the study.
Here is that hadith: "Abdullah bin Umro bin Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, reports
that the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said: Those who have mercy will receive
the mercy of the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, the One in
heavens will have mercy on you." (Tirmidhi ).

    This is the message from the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, who was declared by
Allah to be "Mercy to the entire world." It is just appropriate that his ummah chose that
hadith to be the first for its study. There is no other call for mercy that is more universal
or more inspiring. Have mercy on all the people. And do it because you yourself need the
mercy of Allah. Be merciful to the other creations so the Creator will have mercy on
you. Your mercy should see no bounds. It should reach all human beings. Another hadith
in Bukhari and Muslim states: "Those who have no mercy on other human beings, will not
receive the mercy of Allah." It is important to note that in this second hadith the word
used is nas, that is people, not just believers.

    And not just human beings. But also animals. For "those on earth" include all living things.
Once the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, told the story of a person who had fed
water to a thirsty dog by climbing down a well and bringing water in his shoe, and
attained salvation for that act. When asked if there is any reward for nice treatment to
the animals, he answered that there is reward in being kind to all vertebrates, a
classification that practically only leaves out insects.

    Sometimes people say that Islam taught kindness to animals 1400 years ago while the
modern civilization has learnt the lesson only now. Only the first part of this statement is
true, since the modern civilization has not yet learnt the lesson. Its penchant for show biz
has resulted in many displays of kindness to animals but they only camouflage the
unprecedented cruelty to them. Consider the practice of vivisection, in which live animals
are put through torture in the name of medical research. Live and conscious animals are
burnt or cut up or tortured in all ways imaginable to see what will happen. The practice
was invented by this civilization. It continues today.

    When it comes to human beings, the modern civilization decidedly values them less than
the animals. That is why there are more people concerned about saving the whales and
exotic animals than have been concerned about the Muslims in Bosnia. That is why
seemingly educated people can painlessly present arguments that the dropping of nuclear
bombs on civilians was a good thing. That is why the starving to death of nearly half a
million people in Iraq, through economic sanctions, does not raise any serious objections in
the "civilized" world. Of course the modern civilization's ruthlessness to other human
beings, of different color, or religion, exceeds its cruelty to animals. It kills, maims,
tortures, and starves to death, other human beings because they are "others."

    Can this civilization even imagine the outlook and mental make up of a nation that for
centuries has begun the study of the traditions of its Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa
sallam, by recalling this message of universal mercy. Kindness, love, mercy. These are
among the most important defining words for the collective personality of this ummah.
Our ummah. We begin every act in the name of Allah who is Most Beneficent and
Merciful. We invite the entire world to the mercy of their Creator. We show mercy to all
the creation. And by doing all that we seek mercy of Allah.

    We also show our love for the Creator by being kind to His creations. That is the
foundation of real mercy. Our mercy is not a public relationing ploy or a propaganda tool.
It is not driven by a love of headlines. Such motivations can only create a show of mercy.
But the real mercy requires sincerely and a more solid foundation.

    In a way mercy is an attribute of power. A helpless, powerless person cannot have
mercy on others; he can only ask for mercy. When Muslims had power, the world
benefited from their mercy. When they lost it, the world became full of ruthlessness and
injustice. That is the world we live in today. It is calling for the return of those who can
bring kindness and mercy back. Are we those people? Are we the people who have been
informed and inspired by the hadith musalsal bil Awwaliya?

                                                         Miracle of the Quran

    It happened at an international inter-faith conference. The organizers decided to end the
conference with readings from the scriptures of major religions, done by followers of
other religions. As it happened, an Arab Christian read a passage from the Qur'an. He
was a good reciter. Every one seemed to be moved by his heart-rending reading,
including the reciter himself. Immediately afterward, prominent Muslim thinker and
writer, Maulana Waheeduddin Khan, who narrated this story, asked him: "Do you think
Qur'an is the Word of God?" In a moment of truth he said: "Yes." But, then, he had
second thoughts so he added: "But only for the Arabs."

    Actually not only the Qur'anic message keeps attracting people all over the world, its
words also move people who may not know a word of Arabic language. Famous
Egyptian reciter Qari Abdul Basit reportedly once accompanied then President Gamal
Abdul Nasir to a meeting with the Soviet leaders. During a break in the meeting, Nasir
asked him to recite the Qur'an before the top Soviet leaders. When he finished the
recitation, Qari Abdul Basit saw four of them shedding tears. "We don't know what it
was," they later explained. But there was some thing touching in those Words!

    Ironically at that time Qur'an was the forbidden tree for the Muslims in the Soviet Union.
Reading, teaching, or even possessing a copy of the Qur'an resulted in the most severe
punishments. The KGB was always on the lookout. Its agents could enter any house, any
time, if they suspected anyone inside of reading Qur'an or offering prayers. Religious
leaders were drafted for compulsory labor. Mosques and Islamic schools were closed
down and turned into cinema houses, factories and offices. One could not find a copy of
the Qur'an anywhere. The ruthless state machinery did everything within its power to
extinguish the flame of Qur'an from the empire. Yet during those seventy dark years
Muslims kept the flame burning. They developed elaborate camouflage mechanisms, at
tremendous risks, to teach Qur'an to their children. Little children had to stay away from
their parents for months at a time as they retired to secret hujras (rooms) where they
memorized Qur'an and received religious instructions without ever having looked at a
printed page. Their stories remain a neglected but extremely bright part of our recent
history.

    What kind of Book can command such devotion and sacrifices? Only the Book that
begins by asserting:
 
 

"This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah."
(Al-Baqarah 2:2).

And then each and every line of it attests to that assertion. It declares:
 
 

"The Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur'an." (Al- Rahman 55:1-2).

It challenges:
 
 

    "Say If the whole of mankind and Jinn were to gather together to produce the like
of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each
other with help and support." (Bani Israel 17:88).

It claims:
 
 

    "Verily it is We Who revealed the Remembrance and verily We are its guardians."
(Al-Hijr, 15:9).

    Qur'an is the first document in the Arabic language. There is no other language of the
world that has withstood the passage of fourteen centuries. Over the centuries, rivers
change courses, civilizations rise and fall, and languages become extinct and new ones
develop. Consider the expression "faeder ure on heofonum" from Lord's Prayer in
Matthew 6 from a Bible of 900 C.E. We are told it means: "Our father in heaven." It also
means that any writing from that time cannot be read by an English speaker today. But
any Arabic speaker can open the Qur'an today and understand its message. As did all the
people in the intervening centuries!

    Prominent scholar Dr. Hamidullah tells of an effort in Germany by the Christian scholars
to gather all the Greek manuscripts of Bible as the original Bible in Aramaic is extinct.
They gathered all manuscripts in the world and after examining them reported: "Some
two hundred thousand contradictory narrations have been found... of these one-eighth are
of an important nature." When the report was published, some people established an
Institute for Qur'anic Research in Munich with the goal of examining Qur'an the same
way. A gigantic research project was started that continued for three generations. By
1933, 43000 photocopies of Qur'anic manuscripts had been collected. A report published
shortly before World War II showed the results of the examination of these manuscripts.
While some minor mistakes of calligraphy were found, not a single discrepancy in the text
had been discovered!

    Of course the love, devotion and care that Muslim showed toward the Qur'an, and that
became the immediate cause of its miraculous preservation, was inspired by the Prophet
Muhammad, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. On one occasion he asked the companions in
Suffa: Which of you would like to go out every morning to Buthan or Al- Aqiq (two
markets near Medina) and bring two large she-camels without being guilty of sin or
without severing the ties of kinship? Camels were the valuable commodity of the time,
she-camels even more so. Its equivalent today may be a brand new automobile. As they
showed their interest, Prophet Muhammad, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, explained: To
teach or recite two verses of the Qur'an is better than getting two she-camels. And three
verses are better than three she-camels. (Muslim).

    And so, for centuries this ummah displayed an unprecedented love and devotion for the
Book of Allah. It began the education of its children by teaching them how to read
Qur'an. It began its day by reciting from the Qur'an. Qur'an was divided into seven parts,
each called a manzil, so it could be read completely every week. It was divided into thirty
parts, each called a juz, so it could be read completely every month. Qur'an is the most
read and memorized book in the world!

    Today, though, we see a change. Thanks to the twin scourges of a colonial education
system and the television, today we find millions of Muslim children for whom learning to
read the Qur'an is not part of their education. We find millions of Muslim homes where
Qur'an is read only on special occasions. When someone dies, for example. This despite
the fact that in most parts of the world today, unlike the Soviet Union of yesterday,
reading the Qur'an is no longer a high risk proposition. How unfortunate is the person
who should die of thirst while holding the refreshing glass of water in his hands! How
unfortunate the person who should die of disease while holding the perfect medicine in his
hands!

    Of course we must read it, understand it, and put it into practice. But we must also
remember that reading with full deference and proper etiquettes is a pre-requisite for
understanding the Qur'an, just as understanding its message is a pre-requisite for
practicing it. Our goal must be to live by the Qur'an. For only then we truly live.
Otherwise we only pretend to live.

                                                                    Benefits of Ramadan fasting

Spiritual and medical benefits of fasting

      Fasting is a special act of worship that is between a human and God only, since no one else can know for sure whether or not we are actually fasting. God says, in Hadith Qudsi, “Fasting is for Me and I only will reward it.” In another Hadith, Prophet Mohammed (SAW) has said, “If one does not give up falsehoods in words and actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink.” But how exactly do we benefit from fasting?

    It is our experience that the temptations and ways of the world tend to spoil our purity and austerity.  We indulge in eating all of the time, snacking, and nibbling the whole day as we head toward obesity. We drink too much coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks. Some people are sexaholics who cannot abstain from having sex once, or even more times, a day. When we argue, we abandon all decency and resort to vulgar speech – perhaps even physical fighting.

     When we are fasting, we cannot do all of this. While around mouth-watering food, we cannot even taste it; therefore, we must give up snacking and nibbling. We also must give up smoking cigarettes, if we smoke. No constant coffee, tea, or coke drinking either.  Sexual passions must be curtailed, and when provoked to fight, we must respond, “I am fasting so I cannot respond to your provocation.”

    To achieve greater God-consciousness and God-nearness, we are advised to perform additional prayers and read the Quran during Ramadan.

Medical benefits of Ramadan

    Muslims do not fast because of the medical benefits of fasting; they are simply of a secondary nature. They include weight management, giving rest to the digestive tract, and lowering lipids.
Complete fasting as well as crash diets can have many adverse effects. Islamic fasting differs from the complete fast and crash diet plans because it does not impose malnutrition or inadequate caloric intake on the body. The caloric intake during Ramadan remains at or slightly below nutritional requirement guidelines. Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and training that carries the hope that its benefits, whether they relate to dietary intake or the development of righteousness, will last long beyond its end. This is unlike the benefits of most diets; moreover, the types of food eaten during Ramadan are not limited to particular types such as proteins or fruit only. Anything permissible can be eaten during Ramadan in moderate quantities.

    The basic difference between days when Muslims are fasting and when they are not fasting is the timing of our meals; during Ramadan, we have an early breakfast and then we do not eat or drink again until dusk (basically, we skip lunch).  Abstaining from fluids for 12 to 15 hours or so is not necessarily bad for the health; in fact, it causes a concentration of all the fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. However, the body has its own water conservation mechanism, and in plants, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation improve longevity.

    The physiological effects of fasting include a lowering of blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and the
systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes; obesity; and essential hypertension. In 1994, the first International Congress on “Health and Ramadan,” held in

    Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted, in no way did fasting worsen the health or baseline medical condition of patients. On the other hand, patients suffering from severe diseases such as type I diabetes, coronary artery disease and kidney stones are exempted from fasting, and should not be allowed to fast.

    There is a physical benefit from increased prayer at night as well. It not only facilitates better
utilization of our food, but it also increases energy output. An extra 10 calories are expended for each unit of prayer. Again, we do not perform our prayers for the exercise; however, a mild movement of the joints accompanied by additional caloric utilization is beneficial.

Psychological benefits

    There are also psychological effects of fasting. Those who fast during the month of Ramadan gain peace and tranquility. Hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate actually decreases.
Muslims take advice from the Prophet (SAW) who said, “If one slanders you or aggresses against
you, say I am fasting."  The psychological improvements we experience during the Ramadan fast may be related to stabilization of blood glucose during fasting, as hypoglycemia following eating often aggravates behavioral changes. Similarly, increased recitation of the Quran during Ramadan not only produces greater tranquility of heart and mind, but it improves the memory. And on the Night of Power, occurring on an odd night during the last 10 nights, the angels descend to earth and carry the prayers of worshippers to God for His acceptance.

Ramadhan Thoughts - The Month of the Qur’an

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an,

    The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion.’[Al-Baqarah: 185] . “If Allah helps you, none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah let the believers put their trust” [TMQ-Ale-Imran: 160]  · ‘Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction.’[An-Nisa: 82]  · ‘So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.’ [Al-A’raf: 204]  · ‘And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allâh [Lord of the heavens and the earth], but it is a confirmation of [the revelation] which was before it [i.e. the Taurât (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] and a full explanation of the Book [i.e. laws and orders, etc., decreed for mankind] - wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the 'Alamîn [mankind, jinns and all that exists]. Or do they say: "He [Muhammad (saw)] has forged it?" Say: "Bring then a Sûrah [chapter] like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allâh, if you are truthful!"’ [Yunus: 37-38]  · ‘Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that you may understand. We relate unto you[Muhammad (saw)] the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Qur’an. And before this [i.e. before the coming of Divine Inspiration to you], you were among those who knew nothing about it [the Qur’an].’ [Yusuf: 2-3] · ‘Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers [in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger, Muhammad (saw), etc.] who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward [Paradise]. [Israa: 9]  · ‘And We send down from the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and
it increases the Zâlimûn [Oppressors] to nothing but loss.’ [Israa: 82]  · ‘Say: "If the mankind and the jinns were to attempt to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another."’ [Israa: 88] · ‘And the Messenger [Muhammad (saw)] will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an” [neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and orders].’ [Al-Furqan: 30]  · ‘And verily, you [O Muhammad (saw)] are receiving the Qur’an from the One, All-Wise, All-Knowing.’ [An-Naml: 6]  · ‘And indeed We have put forth for men, in this Qur’an every kind of similitude in order that they may
remember.’ [Az-Zumar: 27]  · ‘And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of its [recitation] that you may overcome." [Fussilat: 26] · ‘Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up [from understanding it]?’ [Muhammad: 24]
· ‘And during a part of the night [also], glorify His praises [i.e. Maghrib and 'Isha prayers], and [so
likewise] after the prayers [As-Sunnah, Nawâfil optional and additional prayers, and also glorify, praise and magnify Allâh - Subhân Allâh, Alhamdu lillâh, Allâhu-Akbar].’ [Qaf: 40]  · ‘And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember [or receive admonition]?’ [Qamar: 17]

    Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and
crumbling by the fear of Allâh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may
reflect.’ [Hashar: 21]

Allah (swt) revealed the Qur’an al-Kareem in the Month of Ramadhan as a guidance for the whole of
mankind (Huddal linnas), a Proof (Bayyinat) for the guidance, and as a Criterion (Furqan) for man to
determine the validity of his actions. It has been mentioned that the Prophet (saw) would in this month
recite the Qur’an in front of the Angel Jibra’eel (as), and twice in the month of Ramadhan within the
last year of his life. The Muslims will seek to complete the entire Qur’an themselves in recitation and
will stand in humble prayer for the Salat ul-Tarawih. Whilst we listen to the beauty of the Qur’an, we
must also bear in mind that the Qur’an was sent as a guidance and a criterion. The Qur’an was
revealed over 23 years, and whenever Allah (swt) sent the Ayaat to His last and final Messenger-
Muhammad (Saw), it was in relation to a particular incident or a question posed to the Prophet (saw),
therefore Islam came to address a particular reality and shake man into thinking about how he
addresses life itself and how it is to be organised. This is overwhelming in itself, but Allah (swt) then
within the same Ayaat he addressed to Meccan society allowed for his revelation to impact the life of
mankind for every subsequent generation until the day of Accountability (Yawm ul-Hisab) .

Therefore there is much within the Ayaat (signs, verses etc), which force man to ponder upon this life
and how it is to be organised. It shows us as individuals that Allah (swt) organised the life in an
ordered way, everything which was created was in measured equilibrium. It then shows man who is
looking for answers about how he should live life, what criteria he should use to judge his actions and
what is he seeking from life. Allah (swt) revealed the Qur’an and an ability also for man to check its
authenticity, it’s miracle is in its language and its challenge to mankind is to disprove its authenticity.
Allah (swt) addresses mankind, showing them that even if they used every instrument, every helper,
they could never meet the challenge.

After this the basis of this Ummah is built. Allah (swt) asks of us to rule by what he (swt) revealed,
placing all of our whims and desires to the side. For our criterion as believers has become Allah’s
judgement, and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). How can we conceivably abandon such a
judgement, how can anything be better than the Judgement of Allah and His Messenger for those who
believe.

We recite the Qur’an in the Month of Ramadhan, this is not lacking, but do we ponder upon its signs
which Allah (swt) has laid manifest within it.

Mu’adh ibn Jabal once called the people of the town and said to them that today the reciters of the
Quran are few but the implementers are many, what of the time when the reciters will be many and
the implementers will be few?

Wasn’t the 3rd March 1924 the day in which this glorious Qur’an was set aside? Wasn’t it the Tyrant
Jew Mustafa Kemal the one who threw the Qur’an away, both physically and metaphorically? Do any
of our countries implement the Qur’an of Allah (swt)? The answer is no, as we find that the rulers
treat with contempt this great treasure, which is the word of Allah (swt). It is reported that the Jews
throw the Qur’an to the pigs in Occupied Palestine. If such an incident had been mentioned one
hundred years ago, the Muslims would have angrily exclaimed this would never happen, even though
they were weak and did not have much faith in the Khaleefah, they still staunchly believed he would
protect and defend them and the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the prophet (saw). Today we do not
expect anything of the rulers except treachery. They cede the land and more importantly the words of
Allah (swt) to the Jews, who Allah (swt) has cursed because of the same characteristic – Treachery.

Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Abu Bakr (ra) warned in one of his speeches: "And it is not lawful
for the Muslims to have two rulers. Whatever the reason is, their affair and laws will then differ, and
their unity will be broken, and they shall dispute with each other. Then the Sunnah will be abolished,
and the innovation will appear, and the fitna will be severe.”

Since the state of the Qur’an (the Khilafah) was abolished, this Ummah has faced nothing but disunity
and corruption has enveloped the earth.

Al-Tabarani and Al-Baihaqi narrated on the authority of Abu Bakrah that the messenger (saw) said:
"The sultan (caliph/ruler who applies islam) is the shadow of Allah on earth.” [Imam Suyooti: Saheeh].

Today when we read the Qur’an and ponder upon its signs we must realise that the Qur’an, it’s rules
and it’s laws are not being applied upon this earth. Rather the whims and desires of man are
uppermost and we see the result of that.

We pray to Allah (swt) that He (swt) changes this so that His (swt’s) word may be uppermost, and
we ask Allah (swt) that we are of those who aid this work to re-establish the state of the Qur’an and
the Sunnah-The Khilafah.

Al-Nasaii and Ibn Majah narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra (ra) that the messenger (saw) said:
Hadd (punishment applied by the Khaleefah) which is implemented on the earth is better for the
people of the earth than to be receive rainfall for forty mornings". [Imam Suyooti: Saheeh]

Fatwa: Supplications while breaking the fast and while fasting
 
 
 
 

November 30, 2000, 10:52 AM Ibn Majah related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn Al 'Aas that the
Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "A fasting person, upon breaking his fast, has a supplication that
will not be rejected. When 'Abdullah broke his fast he would say: "O Allah, I ask of You, by Your
mercy that encompasses everything, to forgive me."

It is confirmed that the Prophet would say: The thirst has gone, the glands are wet and, Allah willing,
the reward is confirmed. In mursal form, it is reported that he would say: "O Allah, for You I have
fasted and with Your provisions do I break my fast."

At-Tirmidhi recorded, with a good chain, that the Prophet said: "Three people will not have their
supplications rejected: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler, and an oppressed person."

hadith Related to Ramadhan
 
 
 
 

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Whenever you sight the new moon (of the month of
Ramadhan) observe fast, and when you sight it (the new moon of Shawwal) break it, and if the sky is
cloudy for you, then observe fast for thirty days. [Muslim]

Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadhan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and
the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." [Bukhari] Narrated Abu Huraira(r.a): The
Prophet said:"... whoever fasts during Ramadhan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's
rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari)

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) addressed his companions on the
last day of Sha`ban, saying, "Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month
in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon
you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any
of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory
deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the
reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward
of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is
increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he
will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without
his reward being diminished at all." [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

It is called the night of Power (i.e Laelat-ut Qadr) or the night of blessing (Laelat-ul mubarak). The
deed in this night is better than the rewards of deeds of 1,000 months.

Abu Said al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah, said: "No servant fasts on a day in the path
of Allah except that Allah removes the hellfire seventy years further away from his face." [This is
related by "the group," except for Abu Dawud]

Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: "The fast
and the Qur'an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will
say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The
Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their
intercession will be accepted." [Ahmad]

Abu Umamah reported: "I came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'Order me to do a deed that will
allow me to enter Paradise.' He said: 'Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.' Then I came to
him again and he said: 'Stick to fasting."' [Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and al-Hakim]

Sahl ibn Sa'd reported that the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said: "There is a gate to Paradise
that is called ar-Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrection it will say: 'Where are those who fasted?' When
the last [one] has passed through the gate, it will be locked." [Bukhari and Muslim]

He who is amongst those who pray will be called from the gate of the prayer (in Paradise) and he who
is from the people of Jihad will be called from the gate of Jihad, and he who is from those' who give in
charity (i.e. Zakat) will be called from the gate of charity, and he who is amongst those who observe
fast will be called from the gate of fasting, the gate of Raiyan." Abu Bakr said, "He who is called from
all those gates will need nothing," He added, "Will anyone be called from all those gates, O Allah's
Apostle?" He said, "Yes, and I hope you will be among those, O Abu Bakr." [Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (S) said: "The time between the five prayers, two consecutive
Friday Prayers, and two consecutive Ramadhans are expiations for all that has happened during that
period, provided that one has avoided the grave (major) sins." [Muslim]

In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says,
"Ramadhan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for
He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in
good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the
unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted."
[Tabarani] Abu Umaamah (ra) said: I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action by which I
may enter Paradise'. He said: 'Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.' [An-Nasa’I, Ibn Hibbaan,
Al-Haakim, Saheeh]

"Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times its
like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, 'Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will
give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.' for the fasting person there are
two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the
smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk."
[Bukhari]

“Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire." [Ahmad]

On the Day of Judgement, "Fasting will say: O My Lord I prevented him from food and desires so
accept my intercession for him." [Ahmad, al-Haakim, Hasan]

There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from
the Fire, and there is for every Muslim an supplication which he can make and will be granted."
[al-Bazzaar, Ahmad, Saheeh]

The Prophet said: He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same
reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward." [Ahmad,
at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) at times got up in the morning in a state of Junub on
account of having a sexual intercourse (with his wives during night) but not due to sexual dreams in
the month of Ramadhan, and would observe fast.

We went out on an expedition with Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) on the 16th of Ramadhan.
Some of us fasted and some of us broke the fast. But neither the observer of the fast found fault with
one who broke it, nor the breaker of the fast found fault with one who observed it. [Muslim]

When we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), a woman came to him and
said: I had gifted to my mother a maidservant, and now she (the mother) has died. Thereupon he (the
Prophet) said: There is a definite reward for you and she (the maid servant) has been returned to you
as an inheritance. She (that woman) again said: Fasts of a month (of Ramadhan) are due upon her;
should I observe them on her behalf? He (the Prophet) said: Observe fasts on her behalf. She (again)
said: She did not perform Hajj; should I perform it on her behalf? He (the Prophet) said: Perform Hajj
on her behalf. [Muslim]

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: He who observed the fast of Ramadhan and then
followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually. [Muslim]

Some persons among the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) were shown
Lailatul Qadr while sleeping in the last week (of Ramadhan). Thereupon Allah's Messenger (peace be
upon him) said: I see that your dreams agree regarding the last week; so he who wants to seek it
should seek it in the last week (during the night). [Muslim]

Zirr ibn Hubaysh reported: I thus asked Ubayy ibn Ka'b: Your brother (in faith) Ibn Mas'ud says: He
who stands (for the night prayer) throughout the year will find lailatul Qadr. Thereupon he said: May
Allah have mercy upon him. (He said these words) with the intention that people might not rely only
(on one night), whereas he knew that it (lailatul Qadr) was in the month of Ramadhan and it was the
twenty-seventh night. He then took an oath (without making any exception, i.e. without saying
insha'Allah) that it was the twenty-seventh night. I said to him: AbulMundhir, on what grounds do you
say that? Thereupon he said: By the indication or by the sign which the Messenger of Allah (peace be
upon him) gave us, and that is that on that day (the sun) would rise without having any ray in it.
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "The blessed month has come to
you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it, the gates to Paradise are opened
and the gates to hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month]
which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of
something great]." [Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and al-Baihaqi]

'Arfajah testifies to this: "We were with 'Utbah ibn Farqad while he was discussing Ramadhan. A
companion of the Prophet entered upon the scene. When 'Utbah saw him, he became shy and stopped
talking. The man [the companion] spoke about Ramadhan, saying: 'I heard the Messenger of Allah say
during Ramadhan: "The gates of Hell are closed, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are
in chains. An angel calls out: 'O you who intend to do good deeds, have glad tidings. O you who intend
to do evil, refrain, until Ramadhan is completed.'"

Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet saying: "The time between the five prayers, two consecutive
Friday prayers, and two consecutive Ramadhans are expiations for all that has happened during that
period, provided that one has avoided the grave sins." [Muslim]

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever fasts the month
of Ramadhan, obeying all of its limitations and guarding himself against what is forbidden, has in fact
atoned for any sins he committed before it." Ahmad and alBaihaqi related this hadith with a good
chain.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever fasts the month of
Ramadhan with faith and seeks Allah's pleasure and reward will have his previous sins forgiven."
[Ahmad and the compilers of the sunan]

Kurayb said: Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Mu'awiyah in Syria. I
(Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadhan
commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadhan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end
of the month. Abdullah ibn Abbas asked me (about the new moon of Ramadhan) and said: When did
you see it? I said: “We saw it on Friday night”. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? I said: Yes, and the
people also saw it so they observed fast and Mu'awiyah also observed fast. Thereupon he said: But
we saw it on Saturday night. So we shall continue to observe the fast until we complete thirty (fasts)
or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu'awiyah not valid
for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has commanded us.
Yahya ibn Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kurayb) was Naktafi or
Taktafi. [Muslim]

source: ramadhan.org
 
 

Eid stamp unveiled
 
 
 
 
 
 

The stamp is an appropriate symbol of the values American Muslims represent

By Anayat Durrani

November 16, 2000, 04:05 PM

WASHINGTON - The US Postal Service has unveiled their 2001 commemorative stamp program,
presented as “A New Century of Stamps” with an assortment of colorful, educational stamps that has
“something for everyone.” The USPS revealed their 2001 collection Monday live on C-SPAN from
the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum, a first for the US Postal Service.
One of the stamps presented in the broadcast was the
much-awaited Eid stamp, commemorating the two most
important festivals-or Eids-in the Islamic calendar. Eid Al-Adha
marks the end of the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims
who are physically or financially able are obligated to perform at
some point in their life. Eid Al-Fitr, or “Feast of the
fast-breaking,” which is expected to occur this year on
December 27th, celebrates the end of the month long Ramadan
fast.

The new Eid stamp features in Arabic the phrase "Eid mubarak"
written in gold against a blue background and in English it has the
words “Eid Greetings”. The phrase Eid mubarak translates from
Arabic as "blessed festival”. The stamp will be available to the
public in October 2001, in time for next year’s holiday
celebration.
 
 

"U.S. postage stamps are a reflection of the American experience," said Postmaster General William
Henderson. "For more than 150 years, stamps have helped the Postal Service facilitate
communications both uniformly and universally, and their bold, often inspiring subjects and designs
continue to bring history to life."

The stamp showcases the beautiful art of Islamic calligraphy and was designed by internationally
renowned American-born Islamic calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya. Zakariya, 57, studied calligraphy
after he converted from Christianity to Islam and has since become one of the most accomplished
Islamic calligraphers in the United States. He began his study of Islamic calligraphy with A.S. Ali
Nour in Tangier and London in 1964 and was invited in 1984 to study at the Research Center for
Islamic History, Art, and Culture in Istanbul, Turkey. He was the first American to receive an "icazet"
or diploma from the Research Center for Islamic History, certifying his mastery of calligraphy and his
expertise in teaching this breathtaking and timeless art.

American Muslim organizations and individuals pushed for a stamp recognizing America’s six million
Muslims since the early 90s. The American Muslim Council and the Islamic Institute worked with
Representatives Tom Davis (R-VA) and Dana Rorhrabacher (R-CA) to introduce and pass legislation
(H. Con. Res. 220) in 1999 that recommends a stamp be issued that commemorates Muslim
observance and recognizes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The American Muslim Council held a press conference on Thursday at the National Press Club to
unveil the 2001 Eid stamp and celebrate this historic occasion in American-Islamic history. The many
individuals who worked to get the stamp issued attended the conference, including Zakariya, the
designer of the stamp who spoke about the past year and half in designing the stamp and about Islamic
calligraphy. Also in attendance was AMC Executive Director Aly Abuzaakouk; Congressman Tom
Davis; Executive Director of the Islamic Institute Khaled Saffuri; and many others.

“We have Hanukkah and Christmas stamps and now we have an Eid stamp. This is a giant step
forward for a growing and vibrant Muslim community. I am proud to represent a district that has 6
mosques. This stamp is an appropriate symbol of the values American Muslims represent. I look
forward to buying a whole sheet of them and sending them on my Christmas cards,” said
Congressman Davis.

Roy Betts, Manager of Specialty Communications at the USPS was also at the conference and said
the issuance of the Eid stamp was a “great day in the history of our nation”. He said the USPS was
proud to include the Eid stamp with its Holiday Celebrations Series that pays tribute to Muslims in
America as well as the 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide and wished Muslims an early Eid Mubarak.

At the conference Amina Assilmi, who is credited with beginning the campaign for an Eid stamp in
1996, thanked all the American Muslim children she worked with who sent over 3,000 postcards to the
Postmaster General with their ideas for the design of the stamp.

Islamic leaders and several American Muslims have written letters thanking the Postmaster General
for issuing the Eid stamp. The issuance of an Eid postage stamp shows due recognition of the
American Muslim community and signifies their growing influence and visibility in American society.
The Eid stamp can serve as an educational source to familiarize and educate Americans about the
holiday celebrations of the Islamic community, a rapidly growing segment of American society.

Other holiday stamps the USPS unveiled for 2001 include designs celebrating Thanksgiving, which
joins the Holiday Celebrations series that previously issued Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Cinco de Mayo
stamps. The collection also features a Holiday Traditional Christmas stamp that has a detail of Italian
Renaissance painter Lorenzo Costa's oil-on-panel "Virgin and Child," circa 1490, from the John G.
Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the 2001 Holiday Contemporary stamps,
which feature four chromolithographs (circa 1880s and circa 1915-1920) that represent part of the rich
folklore of Santa Claus.

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