دار التوحيد Dâr'ul Tawhîd

Author Topic: THE WORSHIP OF RASŰLULLÂH DURING RAMADHÂN | IBNU RAJAB AL-HANBALÎ RAHIMAHULLÂH  (Read 106 times)

Muferridűn

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Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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THE MERIT OF FASTING

Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The reward for each deed of man is multiplied by ten till 700. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, ‘Except for fasting. It is solely for Me, and I shall personally give the reward for it. The fasting person leaves his desires and his food for My sake.’ There are two occasions of joy for the fasting person: the joy he experiences when he opens his fast, and the joy he will experience when he meets his Sustainer. The smell that emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is purer in the sight of Allâh than the fragrance of musk.”[1] Another narration states, “Every deed of man is for him except for fasting, it is for Me.”[2] Another narration of al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh states, “There is an atonement for every deed. Fasting is for Me and I shall personally give the reward for it.”[3] Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh narrated it as follows, “Every deed of man entails atonement for him except for fasting, fasting is for Me and I shall personally give the reward for it.”[4]

The first narration excludes fasting from the multiplied deeds. All deeds are multiplied from ten to 700 times except for fasting. It is not confined to this number. Rather, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ multiplies it many times without any limit to the number of times. This is because fasting entails patience, and Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ said, “It is the patient ones alone who receive their reward without measure.” (Sűrah az-Zumar, 39: 10) It is for this reason that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam referred to Ramadân as the month of patience.[5]

Another Hadîth states, “Fasting is half of patience.”  Narrated by at-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh.[6]

Patience is classified into three categories: (1) patience in obedience to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, (2) patience in abstaining from the prohibitions of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, (3) patience over the painful decrees of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. All these three categories are found in fasting. The person has to exercise patience in obeying the command of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, he has to exercise patience in abstaining from the pleasures [food, drink and conjugal relations] which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ prohibited him from, and he has to exercise patience over the hunger, thirst, and weakness of the soul and body which he has to experience.

The person is rewarded for the pain which he experiences because of acts of obedience. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says with regard to those who wage jihad, “This is because the mujâhidîn are afflicted neither by thirst, nor by fatigue, nor by hunger in the path of Allâh, nor do they tread a path which angers the unbelievers, nor do they snatch from the enemy anything, but that a good deed is written in their favour in exchange for it. Surely Allâh does not usurp the right of the righteous.” (Sűrah at-Taubah, 9: 120)

Ibn Khuzaymah rahimahullâh, in his Sahîh, narrates a Hadîth on the merit of Ramadân from Salmân Radiyallâhu Anh. Part of the Hadîth reads, “It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise.”[7] At-Tabarânî rahimahullâh narrates a marfű‘ Hadîth from Ibn ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh, “Fasting is for Allâh, none knows the reward of his action except Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ.”[8] This Hadîth is also narrated as a mursal Hadîth and it is more authentic.
 1. It was narrated before.
 
 2. Checked by Al-Bukhari (1904).
 
 3. Checked by Al-Bukhari (7538).
 
 4. In Al-Musnad (7679 /10640).
 
 5. It was checked before.
 
 6. Checked by At-Tirmidhi (3519).
 
 7. Ibn Khouzayma in his Sahih (1887).
 
 8. At-Tabarany in “Al-Awsat” (865).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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The Reason for Multiplication of Rewards

The rewards for deeds are multiplied for several reasons, some of them are:

1.   The sanctity of the place where the deed is done, e.g. the haram (the sanctified place surrounding the Ka‘bah). It is for this reason that the reward for salâh performed in the masjids of Makkah and Madînah are multiplied. This is established from an authentic Hadîth from the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam who said, “One salâh in this masjid of mine is better than 1 000 salâhs in other masjids except for al-Masjid al-Harâm.”[1] Another narration adds, “Salâh there is superior.” Similarly, it is related that fasting in the haram is multiplied. The Sunan of Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh relates a marfű‘ Hadîth of Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anhu through a weak chain, “The person who spends Ramadân in Makkah, fasts [during the day] and engages in night worship as much as he can, Allah Subhânahu wa Taâlâ records 100 000 Ramadâns in his favour as opposed to if he were to spend the month elsewhere.”[2] Many rewards are mentioned in this regard.

2.   The sanctity of the time, e.g. Ramadân and the ten days of Dhű al-Hijjah. The Hadîth of Salmân Radiyallâhu Anh which we referred to previously states, “The one who fulfils an optional good act in it shall receive the reward of the one who fulfilled a compulsory act in other months. Those one who fulfils a compulsory act in it shall receive the reward of the one who fulfilled seventy compulsory acts in other months.”[3] At-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh narrates from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allah Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was asked, “Which charity is the most superior?” He said, “Charity in Ramadân.”[4] The Messenger of Allah Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “An ‘umrah performed in Ramadân is equivalent to a hajj.” Or he said, “a hajj with me.”[5] Another Hadîth states, “The deeds of a fasting person are multiplied.”

Abű Bakr ibn Abî Maryam relates about his seniors that they used to say, “When Ramadân arrives, spend openly in it because spending in it is multiplied like spending in the cause of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. A single tasbîh (glorification of Allah Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is superior to 1 000 in other months.” An-Nakha‘î said, “A single fast in Ramadan is superior to 1 000 fasts. A single tasbîh is superior to 1 000 tasbîhs, and one rak’ah is superior to 1 000 rak‘ahs.”

Since the reward of fasting itself is multiplied as opposed to other deeds, fasting in Ramadân will be multiplied over fasting in other months. This is because of the sanctity of this month, and because it is fasting which Allah Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made compulsory on His servants, and made it one of the pillars on which Islam is based.

Rewards are multiplied for other reasons as well. For example, the nobility of the person, his proximity to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, and his excessive piety. This is similar to how the reward of this ummah is multiplied over the nations before them, and it has been given a double reward.

The second narration [quoted at the beginning of this chapter] excludes fasting from other deeds on the basis that all other deeds return to the servants while Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ reserved fasting for Himself from among all the deeds of His servants. Furthermore, He annexed it to Himself. An explanation of this will be provided further on - if Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ wills.

The third narration [quoted at the beginning] excludes fasting from the atonement of deeds. The best explanation of this is provided by Sufyân ibn ‘Uyaynah rahimahullâh who said, “This is one of the best and firmest Ahâdîth. When it is the day of Resurrection, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall take His servant to account. All his wrongs will be atoned by his deeds until nothing but his fasting remains. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ will bear his remaining wrongs and admit him into Paradise by virtue of his fasting.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqî in Shu‘ab al-Îmân and others.

Based on this, it will mean that fasting is for Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and no one can take away the person’s reward from fasting. Rather, his reward is stored with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. It is in such a situation that it is said: All deeds may atone for the sins of a person to the extent that he is left with no good deeds. It is related that on the day of Resurrection, the good deeds and evil deeds will be weighed against each other, and cut off against each other. Even if a single good deed remains, the person shall enter Paradise. This was said by Sa‘îd ibn Jubayr and others. There is a marfű‘ Hadîth in this regard which is related by al- Hâkim rahimahullâh from Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh. It may be said with regard to fasting that its reward will not be cut off by a person demanding his right [from the account of the fasting person]. Rather, the person shall receive his full reward so that he may enter Paradise where he will enjoy his full reward.

As for Allâh’s words “Fasting is for Me”, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ reserved fasting by annexing it to Himself to the exclusion of all other good deeds. There are many opinions of the jurists, Sufis and others in explaining this. And they mentioned many reasons for this. The following two reasons are the best:
 1. Al-Bukhari (1190) and Muslim (1394).
 
 2. Sunan of Ibn Majah (3117).
 
 3. Checked by At-Tirmidhi (663).
 
 4. It was checked before (663).
 
 5. Al-Bukhari (1782) and Muslim (1156).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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The Reasons for Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ Saying, “Fasting Is For Me”
The first reason

Fasting entails abstaining from the essential inclinations and desires of the soul towards which it is naturally inclined for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. This is not found in any act of worship apart from fasting. For example, when a person is in a state of ihram, he abstains from conjugal relations and its propellants such as perfume. But he does not abstain from all desires such as eating and drinking. Similar is the case with i‘tikâf (seclusion) although it is subservient to fasting.

As for salâh, although a person performing salâh abstains from all desires, the time period is very short. He does not experience any deprivation of food and drink in his salâh. In fact, he is prohibited from performing salâh when the food is presented to him and his soul is inclined towards eating. He must first eat a few morsels until his soul is satisfied. It is for this reason that we are ordered to have supper before the salâh.

A group of ‘ulamâ’ are of the opinion that it is permissible to drink water while performing an optional salâh. Ibn az-Zubayr used to do this in his salâh. There is also a narration in this regard from Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh. This is in contradiction to fasting which takes the entire day. The fasting person experiences the deprivation of these desires and his soul has an inclination for them especially during summer days when the heat is intense and the days are long. It is for this reason that it is narrated that fasting in summer is one of the qualities of îmân. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to fast while on a journey during the intense heat while his Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum did not fast. Abu ad-Dardâ’ said, “We were with the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam on a journey in Ramadân. We used to place our hands on our heads because of the intense heat. None among us would be fasting except for the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam and ‘Abdullâh ibn Rawâhah.”[1]

The Muwattâ states that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was at al-‘Arj pouring water on his head while he was fasting. He was pouring this water out of thirst or because of the intense heat.[2] When the soul has an intense yearning for something which it desires, has access to it and yet stays away from it for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ at a place where none but Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ knows about it, then this is a proof of the genuineness of the person’s îmân. This shows that the fasting person knows that he has a Lord who is watching him in his privacy. He knows that He prohibited him from consuming his desires which his soul is naturally inclined towards in privacy, yet he obeys his Lord, carries out His order, and abstains from His prohibition out of fear for His punishment and hope for His reward; then Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is most appreciative of this and reserves this particular deed of his for Himself to the exclusion of all other deeds. It is for this reason that the Hadîth states thereafter, “The fasting person leaves his desires and food for My sake.” A person of the past said, “Glad tidings to the person who remained aloof from an immediate desire for an unseen promise [reward in the Hereafter].”

When a fasting believer knows that the pleasure of his Master lies in abstaining from his desires, he gives preference to his Master’s pleasure over his own desires. He thus experiences joy in abstaining from his desires for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. This is because he has full conviction that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is watching him, and His punishment is far greater than the enjoyment which he is going to experience in fulfilling his desire in privacy. He thus gives preference to the pleasure of his Lord over the desire of his soul. In fact, a true believer will dislike this in his privacy more than his dislike for the pain of a beating. [In other words, he would prefer the pain of a beating over the displeasure of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ].

It is for this reason that most believers - if they were beaten to abstain from fasting in Ramadân without a valid reason, they would not do it because they know the dislike of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ for abstaining from fasting in this month. This is one of the signs of îmân - a believer dislikes giving vent to his desires if he knows that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ dislikes this. His pleasures are thus spent in what pleases his Master even if they are against his desires. He will feel pain at doing anything which his Master dislikes even if it may be in agreement with his desires. If this is the case with regard to temporary prohibition of eating, drinking and conjugal relations because of fasting; it ought to be more emphatic with regard to those things which are unilaterally forbidden, e.g. adultery, consuming intoxicants, usurping wealth, dishonouring people, shedding unlawful blood. These are acts which anger Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ under all conditions, in all places and at all times. If the îmân of a believer is perfect, he would detest all these acts more than he would detest killing and beating. It is for this reason that the Messenger of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ stated that one of the signs of the existence of the sweetness of îmân to be, “that he detests returning to unbelief after Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ rescued him just as he detests being cast into the fire.”[3]

Yűsuf Alayh’is Salâm said, “O my Lord! I prefer the prison to that which they invite me.” (Sűrah Yűsuf, 12: 33)

Dhű an-Nűn al-Misrî rahimahullâh was asked, “When will I know that I love my Lord?” He said, “When what He dislikes is more bitter to you than patience.” Someone said, “Loving what your beloved dislikes is not from among the signs of love.” Many people practise on their habits without practising on what îmân imposes and demands. Therefore, if any of them were beaten, he will still not abstain from fasting in Ramadân without an excuse. But there are some ignorant people who do not stop fasting despite having a valid excuse and even if fasting would be harmful to them. This, despite the fact that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ loves a believer to accept His concessions. Such people do this out of habit. While at the same time, they are in the habit of committing acts which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ prohibited, e.g. adultery, consuming intoxicants, seizing wealth without due right, dishonouring people, and killing without due right. Such a person is doing everything out of habit and custom and not because of the demands of îmân. When a person acts according to the dictates of îmân, he will experience delight in imposing patience on his soul when it inclines towards acts which earn the wrath of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. Such a person may progress to the level of detesting everything which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ dislikes, and fleeing from it even if it is conducive to the soul. A poet said:


إن كان رضاكم في سهري ... فسلام الله على وسني
“If your pleasure lies in my remaining awake, then farewell to my sleep.”

Another poet said:

فما لجرح إذا أرضاكم ألم
“I am not bothered by any injury if pain causes you pleasure.”

Another poet said:

عذابه فيك عذاب ... وبعده فيك قرب
وأنت عندي كروحي ... بل أنت منها أحب
حسبي من الحب أني ... لما تحب أحب
“Experiencing pain for your sake is sweet. Being distant for your sake is actually a source of proximity to you. You are like my soul to me. In fact, you are more beloved to me than my soul. My love is sufficient if I love you whenever you show love to me.”

The second reason

Fasting is a secret between a servant and his Lord. None but Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is aware of it. Fasting comprises of an internal intention which none but Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ knows, and abstaining from desires which are generally concealed. It is therefore said that the angels who are deputed to record deeds do not record this. It is said that there is no ostentation in it. This is said by Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh and others. There is a marfű‘ mursal Hadîth in this regard. This reason is preferred by Abű ‘Ubayd and others. This reason could be similar to the first reason because a person who abstains from something towards which his soul invites him, and he does this for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ in the sense that none but He is aware of it, then it demonstrates the genuineness of his îmân. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ loves His servants to deal with Him in secrecy. The true lovers of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ love to deal with Him in secrecy and in a manner that no one else comes to know of their relationship. In fact, some of them wished that they could engage in worship in such a manner that even the recording angels are not aware of it. Someone came to know of a person’s private acts of worship, so he said, “My life was enjoyable when my relationship with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ was private.” He then asked for death and passed away. True lovers dislike others to come to know of the secrets which they share with their lovers.

نسيم صبا تجد متى جئت حاملا ... تحيتهم فاطوا الحديث عن الركب
ولا تذع السر المصون فإنني ... أغار على ذكر الأحبة من صحبي
“We experienced the gentle breeze of the morning when you came bearing their greetings. Conceal the message from your fellow travellers and do not announce the safeguarded secret because I detest talking about my beloved among my companions.”

The words, “The fasting person leaves his desires, food and drink for My sake” makes reference to the reason which we mentioned above. The fasting person gains proximity to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ by abstaining from the food, drink and carnal pleasures which his soul desires. These are the greatest desires of the soul. There are several benefits in gaining proximity to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ by abstaining from these desires through fasting:
 1. Checked by Al-Bukhari (1945) and Muslim (1122).
 
 2. Al-Mowatta’ (1/294) “Fasting” book, chapter: what is mentioned regarding traveling.
 
 3. Al-Bukhari (16) and Muslim (43).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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The Benefits of Abstaining From Desires Through Fasting

1.   The subduing of the soul. Eating, drinking and conjugal relations cause the soul to become covetous, haughty and heedless.

2.   Freeing the heart for reflection and remembrance. Fulfilling these desires hardens and blinds the heart. They come as barriers between the person, and reflection and remembrance, and invite him towards heedlessness. When the stomach is devoid of food and drink, this emptiness enlightens the heart, softens it, removes its hardness, and frees it for reflection and remembrance.

3.   An affluent person values the bounty of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ Who blessed him with more food, drink and wives than many poor people. When he is forbidden from these pleasures for a certain time and experiences difficulty for not having them, he thinks of those who do not possess them at all. This imposes on him to be grateful to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ for the affluence which He bestowed him with. It also prompts him to show mercy to his needy brother and help him in whatever way possible.

4.   Fasting constricts the blood veins which are also the veins through which Satan moves in the human body. Satan flows through man as blood flows through his body. The whisperings of Satan are subdued through fasting, and the excitement of carnal desires and anger is broken. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam referred to fasting as a shield because it breaks the urge of carnal desires.

Gaining proximity to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ by abandoning these lawful desires through not fasting can only be achieved through abstaining from all which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made forbidden at all times, viz. speaking lies, oppression, enmity against people by committing injustices against their lives, wealth and honour. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “If a person does not give up falsehood and practising on it, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ has no need for his abstention from food and drink.”[1] Narrated by al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh. Another Hadîth states, “Fasting is not mere abstention from food and drink, it entails abstention from futile activities and obscenity.”[2] Hafiz Abű Műsâ al-Madînî said, “This Hadîth fulfils the conditions of Muslim rahimahullâh.”

Someone of the past said, “The most insignificant fast is [mere] abstention from food and drink.” Jâbir said, “When you fast, your ears, eyes and tongue must fast [abstain] from lies and other unlawful acts. Abstain from harming your neighbour. Let there be dignity and sedateness in you on the day you fast. Do not let your fasting day be like your non-fasting day.”


إذا لم يكن في السمع مني تصاون ... وفي بصري غض وفي منطقي صمت
فحظي إذا من صومي الجوع والظمأ ... فإن قلت إني صمت يومي صمت

“If I do not protect my ears [from listening to evil], if I do not lower my gaze, and if do not remain silent, then my fast is mere hunger and thirst. If I were to say that I am fasting today, I haven’t really fasted.”

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Many a fasting person’s share from his fasting is mere hunger and thirst. Many a person’s share from engaging in night worship is mere sleeplessness.”[3] The secret behind this is that abstaining from lawful things in order to gain proximity to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ can only be perfected after a person seeks proximity to Him by abstaining from the unlawful. If a person commits unlawful acts and then tries to gain proximity to Him by abstaining from lawful things, then he is like a person who leaves out the compulsory and tries to gain proximity through the optional. This, notwithstanding the fact that all the ‘ulamâ’ state that his fast is valid in the sense that he does not have to repeat it. An act is considered invalid when a person commits what he is specifically forbidden from, and not by committing something which is not specifically bound to it. This is the principle of the majority of the ‘ulamâ’.

The Musnad of Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh narrates that two women were fasting during the era of the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam. They were on the verge of dying out of thirst. When the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was informed of this, he turned away. When he was informed again, he summoned them and ordered them to vomit. They both vomited a bowl full of pus, blood, matter and fresh flesh. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “These two abstained from what Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made lawful to them, but partook of what Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made unlawful to them. One of them went and sat by the other and they began consuming the flesh of people [by backbiting].”[4]

It is for this reason - and Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ knows best - that after mentioning the prohibition of food and drink to the fasting person during the day, the Qur’ân mentions the prohibition of the unjust usurpation of people’s wealth. This prohibition applies at all times and climes, as opposed to food and drink. This makes reference to the fact that the person who fulfils the order of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ in abstaining from food and drink during the day when he is fasting must also obey His order in abstaining from the unjust usurpation of people’s wealth because this is prohibited under all conditions and is not permitted at any time.

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said [in the Hadîth quoted at the beginning], “There are two occasions of joy for the fasting person: the joy he experiences when he opens his fast, and the joy he will experience when he meets his Sustainer.” With regard to the joy which he experiences at the time of opening his fast, it is known that the souls are naturally inclined to what is conducive to them, viz. food, drink and conjugal relations. When they are prohibited from these things at any time, and then permitted at another time, they become overjoyed with the permission of what they were prohibited from. This is especially so when they have an intense need for it. So the souls are naturally overjoyed by this. If this is beloved for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, it will be beloved according to the Sharî‘ah. Similar is the case with the fasting person at the time when he opens his fast. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ prohibited the fasting person from consuming these desires during the day and permitted them to him at night. In fact, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made it desirable for him to hasten in consuming them in the first and last parts of the night. The most beloved in the sight of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ are those who hasten in opening the fast. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and His angels pray for the well being of those who partake of sahűr (the pre-dawn meal in preparation for the fast).

The fasting person thus gives up his desires by day in order to gain proximity to Him and in obedience to Him. He then hastens in consuming them at night in order to gain proximity to Him and in obedience to Him. So he abstained from them solely because it was the order of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, and partook of them solely because it was the order of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. He is thus obedient to Him in both conditions. It is for this reason that continuous fasting is prohibited. When a fasting person hastens to open his fast in order to gain proximity to his Master, eats and drinks, and then praises Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ; then there is hope that he will be forgiven or that he will gain His true pleasure through this.

A Hadîth states, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is most pleased with a person who eats a morsel of food and thanks Him for it, who drinks a sip of water and thanks Him for it.”[5] It may well be that his supplications will be answered at that time. A Hadîth of Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh states, “A fasting person has a supplication which is not rejected at the time of opening his fast.”[6]

When a fasting person eats and drinks with the intention of gaining strength for his fast and night worship, he will be rewarded for this. Just as his sleep will be considered to be an act of worship if he sleeps during the day or night with the intention of gaining strength for the doing of good deeds.

A Hadîth states, “The sleep of a fasting person is an act of worship.”[7] Hafsah bint Sîrîn said, “Abű al-‘Âliyah said: ‘A fasting person is in worship even if he is sleeping on his bed as long as he does not backbite anyone.’” He said, “Hafsah used to say: ‘What an excellent act of worship while I am sleeping on my bed!’” Narrated by ‘Abd ar-Razzâq.

A fasting person is thus in worship during the day and night. His supplications are accepted while fasting and when opening his fast. During the day he is fasting and patient, while at night he is eating and grateful.

A Hadîth which at-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and others narrated states, “An eating person who is grateful is on the level of a fasting person who is patient.”[8]

The person who understands what we referred to above will not hesitate in understanding the joy of a fasting person when he opens his fast. His opening of his fast in the manner referred to is from the bounty and mercy of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. He is included in the words, “Say: By the grace of Allâh and His beneficence - in this, then, they should rejoice. This is better than all that they amass.” (Sűrah Yűnus, 10: 58)

However, the precondition for this is that his sustenance must be lawful. If he opens his fast with something which is unlawful, he will be a person who abstained from what Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made lawful while consumed what Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ made unlawful. Furthermore, his supplications will not be accepted, as stated by the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam of a person who undertook a lengthy journey, “He extends his hands towards the heavens and says: ‘O my Lord! O my Lord! Whereas his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he was nourished with the unlawful. How, then, can his supplication be accepted?”[9]

As for his joy at the time when he shall meet his Lord, this will be on account of the reward which he will receive from Him and which He had stored for him. He will receive it at a time when he will be most in need of it. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “Whatever good you send for yourselves, you will find it with Allâh - better and more rewarding.” (Sűrah al-Muzzammil, 73: 20) “The day when every person shall find whatever good he has done presented before him.” (Sűrah Âl ‘Imrân, 3: 30) “He who does an atom’s weight of good, shall see it. He who does an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.” (Sűrah az-Zalzalah, 99; 7, 8)

The statement of Ibn ‘Uyaynah rahimahullâh was quoted before wherein he said that the reward of a fasting person will not be taken away by those whom he had wronged. Rather, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ will store it for him until He admits him into Paradise. The Musnad narrates from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Âmir Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The deed of every day is sealed.”[10]

‘Îsâ Alayh’is Salâm said, “This day and night are two treasure houses. You should therefore watch what you place in them. The days are treasure houses which are filled with whatever good and evil people stored in them. These treasure houses will be opened to the respective people on the day of Resurrection. The righteous will find honour and beneficence in their treasures. The sinners will find regret and remorse in their treasures.”

There are two categories of fasting people:

The first category of fasting people

The person who abstains from his food, drink and carnal desires for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and hopes for the reward for that in Paradise. This person has entered into a transaction and work contract with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, and He does not let the wage of the one who worked well to go to waste. Anyone who deals with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ never loses. Instead, he makes the most profit. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said to a person, “If you abstain from something solely out of the fear of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, He will most certainly give you something better than it.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh. This fasting person will be given whatever food, drink and women he desires in Paradise. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “and drink to your heart’s content as a reward for what you sent ahead in days gone by.” (Sűrah al-Hâqqah, 69: 24) Mujâhid rahimahullâh and others said: This verse was revealed with reference to the fasting people.

Ya‘qűb ibn Yűsuf al-Hanafî said, “We heard that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall say to His friends (auliyâ’) on the day of Resurrection: ‘O My friends! Many a time I looked at you when you were in the world: your lips were dry for want of drinking liquids, your eyes became deep set, and your stomachs became light. Today you can be in your comforts and pass the cup around among you, ‘and drink to your heart’s content as a reward for what you sent ahead in days gone by.’” (Sűrah al-Hâqqah, 69: 24)

Al-Hasan said, “The wide-eyed damsel of Paradise will be with the friend of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ while he is lying down by the bank of the river of honey. She will pass the cup to him and say: ‘Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ looked at you on a long hot day and you were experiencing severe thirst. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ proudly said to the angels: ‘Look at My servant! He abstained from his wife, his carnal desires, his pleasure, his food and his drink because of Me, and in yearning for [the reward which] I have with Me. Bear witness that I have forgiven him.’ Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ forgave you on that day and got me married to you.”

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “There is a door in Paradise which is named ‘ar-Rayyân’. The fasting people shall enter through that door, and no one else.”[11] Another narration adds, “Once they have gone through, it will be locked.” Another narration states, “Whoever enters through it shall drink, and whoever drinks will never experience thirst again.”[12]

The Hadîth of ‘Abd ar-Rahmân ibn Samurah relates a lengthy dream of the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam in which he said, “I saw a person from my ummah panting out of thirst. Each time he came to a pond, he was prevented from [drinking] from it. The fast of Ramadân came, provided him with water and satiated his thirst.” Narrated by at-Tabaranî[13] and others. Ibn Abî ad-Dunya narrates through a Hadîth with a weak chain from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh, “The fragrance of musk will emanate from the mouth of the fasting persons and a dining table will be laid out for them under the Throne. They will be eating from it while other people will still be busy giving an account of their deeds.”[14]

Anas Radiyallâhu Anh narrates, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ has a dining table which no eye has seen the like thereof, no ear has heard the like thereof, and which never crossed the imagination of any human. None but those who used to fast shall sit at that table.”

A person of the past said: We have heard that a dining table will be laid out for those who used to fast and they will eat from there while the rest of the people are busy giving an account of their deeds. The people will ask, “O our Lord! How is it that we are taken to account while they are eating?” It will be said, “They used to fast for lengthy periods while you continued eating. They engaged in night worship while you were sleeping.”

A person saw Bishr ibn al-Hârith in a dream with a dining table in front of him and he was eating from it. Someone was saying to him, “Eat, O you who had abstained from eating. Drink, O you who had abstained from drinking.”

A righteous person had kept fast so much that he became bent, lost his voice and passed away. One of his pious friends saw him in a dream and asked him about his condition. He began laughing and said:


قد كسي البهاء وطافت ... بأباريق حوله الخدام
ثم حلى وقيل يا قاريء ارقا ... فلعمري لقد براك الصيام

“He was made to wear splendid clothes, cups of drinks were passed around, and he was surrounded by attendants. He was made to wear jewellery and was told: ‘O reader! Climb up [to the upper levels] for fasting has surely been good to you.’”

A righteous man passed by a person calling out at pre-dawn in Ramadân, “O we have not really paid particular attention to fasting.” He became attentive to this statement and began fasting abundantly. A righteous person saw himself in a dream and it seemed that he was admitted into Paradise. He heard someone saying to him, “Do you ever remember fasting a single day for the sake of Allâh?” He replied, “Yes.” He said, “The scattered flints then took me from Paradise.” The person who abstains from food, drink and carnal desires for a short period in this world solely for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall recompense him with food and drink which never ends, and wives which never die.

It is in the month of Ramadân that the fasting persons get married. A Hadîth states, “Paradise is decorated and furnished from year to year for the arrival of Ramadân. The doe-eyed damsels say: ‘O Lord! Appoint for us husbands from Your servants in this month, husbands whom we will take delight in, and who will be delighted by us.’”[15] Another Hadîth states, “The doe-eyed damsels announce in Ramadân: ‘Is there any suitor who is sending a proposal to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ so that He may get him married to us?’”

The dowry for the doe-eyed damsels is lengthy periods of tahajjud salâh. This can be acquired the most in Ramadân as opposed to other months. A righteous person used to engage in abundant tahajjud salâh and fasting. He performed the salâh one night in a masjid and supplicated. He was overcome by sleep and saw in his dream a group of personalities who were not humans. They were holding plates filled with bread which was as white as ice. On top of each bread was a pearl which was as huge as a pomegranate. They said to him, “Eat.” He said, “I want to fast.” They said, “The owner of this house is ordering you to eat.” He said, so I began eating and went to pick up the pearl. They said: “Leave it, and we will plant a tree for you which will produce far better pearls than this.” He asked, “Where?” They said, “In an abode which is never destroyed, a place where fruits never rot, a kingdom which never ends, and clothes which never wear out. In it is contentment, pleasure, delight, wives who are pleased and make one pleased - they are neither envious nor make others envious. You should remain occupied in what you are doing because this is merely a slumber. You shall soon depart and live in this abode.” The person passed away within two weeks after seeing this dream. One of his pious friends to whom he had related this dream saw him in his dream saying to him, “Will you believe that the tree which was planted for me on the day when I related this dream to you has already borne its fruit!!?” He asked him: “What did it bear?” He said, “Do not even ask me, no one can describe it. No one has come across anyone as generous as Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ when an obedient servant comes to Him.”

O people! Is there no one to propose [for one of the doe-eyed damsels of Paradise] to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ? Is there no one who is yearning for all that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ prepared in Paradise for the obedient servants? Is there no one seeking the everlasting comforts which he has been informed about? [I am saying this] although there is nothing like a personal experience.


من يرد ملك الجنان ... فليدع عنه التواني
وليقم في ظلمة الليل ... إلى نور القرآن
وليصل صوما بصوم ... إن هذا العيش فاني
إنما العيش جوار الله ... في دار الأمان

“The one who desires the kingdom of Paradise must give up his laziness. He must stand up in the darkness of the night to the light of the Qur’ân. He must fast one after the other because this life is fleeting. The true life is in the proximity of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ in the abode of peace.”

The second category of fasting people

He is the person who fasts [abstains] from everything apart from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ in this world. He safeguards his head and whatever it embraces. He safeguards his stomach and whatever it contains. He thinks of death and the tribulation. He desires the Hereafter and therefore stays aloof from the attraction of the world. His day of ‘îd is when he meets his Lord, and his joy is when he sees Him.


أهل الخصوص من الصوام صومهم ... صون اللسان عن البهتان والكذب
والعارفون وأهل الإنس صومهم ... صون القلوب عن الأغيار والحجب

“The fasting of the special people entails safeguarding the tongue against slander and lies. The fasting of the ‘ârifun (those who truly recognized Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ) and those enjoying close proximity [to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ] entails the fasting of the heart from everything apart from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and everything which comes as a barrier between Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and himself.”

No castle can console the ‘ârifun against seeing their Master. No river can satisfy their thirst to see Him. Their aspirations are much higher than that.


كبرت همة عبد ... طمعت في أن تراك
من يصم عن مفطرات ... فصيامي عن سواك

“A servant has a great desire to see You. There are those who fast from the things which break a fast, but my fast entails abstaining from everything apart from You.”

The person who abstains from his desires in this world shall receive them tomorrow in Paradise. The person who abstains from everything apart from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall be recompensed on the day when he meets Him, “Whoever looks forward to meeting Allâh then [let him know] that Allâh’s appointed time is coming.” (Sűrah al- ‘Ankabűt, 29: 5)


وقد صمت عن لذات دهري كلها ... ويوم لقاكم ذاك فطر صيامي

“I abstained from all pleasures throughout my life. The day when I meet You will be the day when I open my fast.”

Someone saw Bishr in a dream so he asked him about his condition. He said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ knew my little desire for food, so He permitted me to look at Him.”

Someone was asked, “Where should I seek you in the Hereafter?” He said, “In the group which will be looking at Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ.” He was asked, “How do you know that?” He said, “By virtue of the fact that I lower my gaze from everything which is forbidden solely for His pleasure, by virtue of my abstaining from every evil and sin for His sake, and because I asked Him to make looking at Him my Paradise.”


يا حبيب القلوب مالي سواك ... ارحم اليوم مذنبا قد أتاكا
ليس لي في الجنان مولاي رأس ... غير أني أريدها لأراكا

“O the beloved of the hearts! Who do I have apart from You? Show mercy to the sinner who has come to You today. O Master! I have no desire in Paradise except the desire to see You.”

O group of repentant ones! Today you must abstain from the desires of the self so that you can enjoy the ‘îd on the day when you meet Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. Do not think that you still have a long way to go because your time is still to come. No, the major part of the day of fasting has departed, and the ‘îd of meeting [Allâh] is approaching.


إن يوما جامعا شملي بهم ... ذاك عيدي ليس لي عيد سواه

“The day of reunion with them is the day of my ‘îd. I have no other day of ‘îd.”

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The smell that emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is purer in the sight of Allâh than the fragrance of musk.” The smell mentioned in this Hadîth refers to the fumes which rise from the stomach because of the absence of food due to fasting. It is a detestable smell in the nostrils of people in this world. However, it is liked by Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ because it emanates out of His obedience and in the quest for His pleasure. This is like the blood of the martyr which will come flowing on the day of Resurrection. It will have the colour of blood and the fragrance of musk.

Those who consider the use of a miswâk reprehensible for a fasting person or those who do not recommend it use this Hadîth as a proof. As far as we know, ‘Atâ’ ibn Abî Rabâh was the first to use this as a proof. It is related that Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh also used this as a proof but this is not established.

The differences of the ‘ulamâ’ in this regard are well known. Those who consider it reprehensible, consider it as such in the latter part of the fasting day. This is the time when the stomach is devoid of food and the fumes rise from it. As to when this time of reprehensibility commences, there are three opinions (1) with the completion of the ‘asr salâh, (2) after mid-day, (3) after offering the zuhr salâh at the beginning of its time. The third opinion is established from Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh.

There are two meanings to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ liking the smell which emanates from the mouth of a fasting person:

(1)   Since fasting was a secret between the person and his Lord in this world, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ brought it into the open before all the creations on the day of Resurrection. He does this to popularize those who used to fast and so that it may be known to the people that their reward was for concealing their fast in this world. Abű ash-Shaykh al-Asbahânî narrates through a weak chain from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh, “Those who used to fast shall come out of their graves. They will be recognized by the smell that emanates from their mouths; it will be better than the fragrance of musk.”

Makhűl said, “The inhabitants of Paradise inhale a special fragrance. They will say: ‘O our Lord! Ever since we entered Paradise, we never inhaled a better fragrance than this.’ He will say: ‘This is the fragrance from the mouths of those who used to fast.’”

The smell which emanates from the mouth of a fasting person spreads in this world and is inhaled before the Hereafter. This is of two types:

(1)   The fragrance which is perceived by the outward senses. ‘Abdullâh ibn Ghâlib was an ardent worshipper who strove in salâh and fasting. When he was buried, the fragrance of musk emanated from his grave. Someone saw him in a dream and asked him about the fragrance which is found at his grave. He said, “That is the fragrance of recitation of the Qur’ân and thirst.”

(2)   The fragrance which is inhaled by the hearts and souls. This fragrance ensures that the sincere fasting persons enjoy love in the hearts of the believers. Al-Hârith al-Ash‘arî narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Zakarîyyâ Alayh’is Salâm said to the Banî Isrâ’il: ‘I order you to fast. The similitude of a fasting person is like that of a person who is among a group of people. He has a vessel containing musk and everyone is attracted to its fragrance. The smell which emanates from a fasting person is better in the sight of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ than the fragrance of musk.’” Narrated by at- Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and others.[16]

Since the relationship of the sincere servants in their fasting was a secret between themselves and their Master, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ displayed their secret and brought it into the open. This display and exposition is a reward for that secrecy.

A Hadîth states, “When a person conceals a secret, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ most certainly clothes it with the sheet of publicity.”[17]

Yűsuf ibn Asbât said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ sent revelation to one of the Prophets saying: ‘Tell your people to conceal their actions for My sake and I will display them for them.’”


تذلل أرباب الهوى في الهوى عز ... وفقرهم نحو الحبيب هو الكنز
وسترهم فيه السرائر شهرة ... وغير تلاف النفس فيه هو العجز

“The submission of the lovers for the sake of love is an honour for them. Their need for the beloved is a treasure for them. Their concealing the secret for him is a cause of popularity. Surrendering to him is something which is irreplaceable.”

(2) The person who worships Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, obeys Him, seeks His pleasure in this world through good deeds; these good deeds have disagreeable effects on some people in this world. But those effects are not disagreeable to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. Rather, they are beloved to Him and liked by Him because they emanated out of obedience to Him and in the quest for His pleasure. He thus informs those who practise on His instructions in this world that He loves these disagreeable effects in order to gladden them, and so that they do not dislike what they experience in this world.

A person of the past said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ promised Műsâ Alayh’is Salâm that He will speak to him after the completion of thirty days. He kept fast for thirty days and then found a foul smell in his mouth. He disliked conversing with his Lord in such a condition. He therefore took a miswâk and cleaned his mouth with it. When he went for his appointment with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, He said to him: ‘O Műsâ! Did you not know that the smell which emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is more liked by us than the fragrance of musk? Go back and fast for another ten days.’”

This is the reason why the blood of a martyr will have the smell of musk on the day of Resurrection. The dust of those who waged jihad in the cause of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ will be a fragrant powder for the inhabitants of Paradise.

There is a Hadîth which states that everything used by people in this world is defective until it is annexed and attributed to His obedience and pleasure. Only then does it become perfect in reality.

The smell which emanates from the fasting people is better than the fragrance of musk. The semi-nakedness of the muhrim (the person wearing ihrâm) who dresses like this in order to visit His House is more beautiful in His sight than wearing suits. The wailing of sinners over their own selves out of His fear is superior to tasbîh (glorifying Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ). The submission of the humble ones to His grandeur actually demonstrates their awe. The humility of those who fear His wrath actually demonstrates their dignity. The exposure of those who truly love Him is better than concealment. Spending one’s life in order to die in His path is actually a source of life to the person. The hunger of fasting people for His sake actually entails satiation. Their thirst in quest of His pleasure actually entails quenching of their thirst. Those who strive in His service actually experience comfort.


ذل الفتى في الحب مكرمة ... وخضوعه لحبيبه شرف

“The youth’s surrender for the sake of love is an honour for him. His submission for his beloved is dignity for him.”

Today the gentle breeze of proximity [to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ] blew. The broker of admonitions strove to reconcile antagonists. Those who were cut off received the good news of attachment, sinners received the news of pardon, and those who were destined to the Hell-fire received the news of salvation.

When the devils were enchained in Ramadân and the fires of carnal desires were extinguished with fasting, the king of desires was removed and control came into the hands of the intellect which ruled with justice, and a sinner was left with no excuse. O clouds of heedlessness! Move away from the hearts. O suns of piety and îmân, rise. O scrolls of the deeds of the righteous, ascend. O hearts of the fasting ones, submit. O feet of the strivers, prostrate and bow to your Lord. O eyes of those who engage in night worship, do not sleep. O sins of the repentant ones, do not come back. O earth of desires, swallow your water. O sky of the souls, retract. O lightning of yearnings for the lovers, strike. O thoughts of the ‘ârifűn, ascend. O determination of the lovers who love without Allâh, do not despair. O Junayd, rejoice. O Shiblî, present yourself. O Râbi‘ah, listen. The tables of bounties have been laid out during these days for the fasting ones. Every single one of you is invited. “O our people! Accept the caller towards Allâh...” (Sűrah al-Ahqâf, 46: 31) O endeavours of the believers, hasten. Glad tidings to the person who responds and receives. How sorrowful is the plight of the person who is repulsed from the door and is not invited.


سألتك يا بانة الأجرعي ... متى رفع الحي من لعلعي
وهل مر قلبي مع الطاعنين ... أم خار ضعفا فلم يتبعني
رحلنا ووافقنا الصادقون ... ولم يتخلف سوى مدعي

“O Bânah al-Ajra‘î! I ask you, when the people departed from La‘la‘î, did my heart join with those who departed, or did it grow weak and spiritless, and therefore did not follow me? We departed and the true [lovers] joined us. None except those who claimed to be lovers [and were not true lovers] remained behind.”

ليت شعري إن جئتهم يقبلوني ... أم تراهم عن بابهم يصرفوني
أم تراني إذا وقفت لديهم ... يأذنوا بالدخول أم يطردوني

“If only I knew whether they will accept me when I go to them. Will I see them turning me away from their door? When I stand at their door, do I see myself being permitted to enter or will they drive me out?”
 1. Al-Bukhari (1903).
 
 2. Checked by Al-Baihaqi (4/270), Al-Hindi in "Al-Kanz" (23864), Ibn Khouzayma (1996), Al-Hakem (1/430) and Ibn Hibban (3470).
 
 3. Checked by Ibn Majah (1690), Ibn Khouzayma (1998), Al-Hakem (1/431) and Al-Bayhaqi (4/270).
 
 4. Checked by Ahmad (5/431).
 
 5. Checked by Muslim (2734).
 
 6. Checked by Ibn Majah (1753).
 
 7. Checked by Al-Baihaqi in "Ash-Shu‘ab" (3938).
 
 8. Checked by At-Tirmidhi (2486), Ibn Majah (1765), Ahmad (4/343), Al- Hakem (1/422) and Ibn Hibban (952).
 
 9. Checked by Muslim (1015).
 
 10. Al-Musnad (14613).
 
 11. Al-Bukhari (1896) and Muslim (1152).
 
 12. An-Nasa‘ei: (4/168).
 
 13. Al-Haithami said in: Al Majmaa‘ (7/179): narrated by At-Tabarany by Two Isnads in one of them Suleiman Bin Ahmad Al-wasety and in the other Khaled Bin Abdel Rahman al-Makhzoumy, both of them are weak.
 
 14. Narrated by Al-Soutti in Ad‘Durr al-Manthur (1/182).
 
 15. Al-Hindi mentioned it in “Al-Kanz” (23711) and Ibn Al-Jouzy in Al‘elal Al- Mutanaheya (2/26).
 
 16. Checked by Ahmad (16718) and At-Tirmidhi (2864).
 
 17. Checked by At-Tabarany (1702).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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THE MERIT OF GENEROSITY AND RECITING THE QUR’ÂN IN RAMADÂN

Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was the most generous of people, and he was most generous in Ramadân when Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm used to come to him and study the Qur’an with him. Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm used to come to him on every night of Ramadân and study the Qur’ân with him. When the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam met Jibra’îl he was more generous than the wind conveying good.”[1]

Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh narrated the above with the following addition at the end, “He never refused anything which he was asked.”[2] Generosity refers to expansiveness and abundance in giving. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is described as being generous.

At-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh narrates from Sa‘d ibn Abî Waqqâs Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is most generous, He loves generosity. He is beneficent, He loves beneficence.”[3]

Abu Dharr Radiyallâhu Anh narrates from the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam who narrates from his Lord, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says: ‘O My servants! If the first and last of you, the living and dead among you, the moist and dry among you were all to gather on a single plain, and each one of you were to ask Me whatever he desires, and I were to give every person who asks, it would not decrease My treasures except as when one of you passes by the ocean, dips a needle into it and takes it out. That is because I am most generous, I am the creator, the glorious. I do as I will. My giving is through a mere order. My punishment is through a mere order. When I will anything, I merely say to it: ‘Be!’ and it becomes.’”[4]

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyâd said that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says every night, “I am the most generous, and generosity is from Me. I am the most beneficent and beneficence is from Me.” Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is thus the most generous of all those who are generous. His generosity is multiplied at certain times, e.g. the month of Ramadân. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says in this regard, “When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am near. I accept the supplication of the supplicant when he supplicates to Me.” (Sűrah al-Baqarah, 2: 186)

A Hadîth which at-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and others narrate states, “An announcer calls out in Ramadân: ‘O you who desires good, come forward. O you who desires mischief, get away.’ There are people whom Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ sets free from the Hell-fire, and this takes place every night.”[5]

Bearing in mind that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ endowed the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam with the natural capacity for the most perfect and noble characteristics - as in a Hadîth of Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh wherein he said, “I have been commissioned to perfect noble characteristics” and Imam Mâlik rahimahullâh mentioned it in the Muwattâ with the words “convey” - the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was the most generous of all people.

Ibn ‘Adîyy narrates through a weak chain from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh, “Should I tell you who the most generous of all the generous is? Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is the most generous of all the generous. I am the most generous among mankind. The most generous after me is a person who conveyed knowledge and his knowledge spread. Such a person will be raised on the day of Resurrection as a nation himself. Then is the person who offers his life in the cause of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ.”[6]

This shows that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was the most generous of all mankind, just as he is the most superior, most learned, bravest, and most perfect in all praiseworthy qualities.

His generosity encompassed all categories of generosity: spending knowledge and wealth, spending his self for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ in conveying His religion and guiding His servants, conveying benefit to them in every way possible be it by way of feeding the hungry, admonishing the ignorant, fulfilling their needs, and bearing their concerns.

He possessed these qualities ever since he was born. It is for this reason that Khadîjah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ said to him at the time when he was first commissioned as a Prophet, “By Allâh, He will never disgrace you. You maintain ties of kinship, you are hospitable to the guest, you bear those who are tired and fatigued, you provide to the one who has nothing, and you help in all worthy causes.”[7]

These qualities then increased in him after he was commissioned as a Prophet and they multiplied several times. Anas Radiyallâhu Anh narrates, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was the kindest of people, the bravest of people and the most generous of people.”[8] Anas Radiyallâhu Anh said, “No matter what the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was asked for the sake of Islam, he certainly gave it. A man came to him and he gave him an entire herd of sheep between two mountains. The man returned to his people and said: ‘O my people! Embrace Islam because Muhammad gives so much that a person will not have to fear poverty.” Another narration states, “A person asked the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam for a herd of sheep between two mountains so he gave it to him. He went to his people and said, “O my people! Embrace Islam because Muhammad gives to the extent that no one will fear poverty.”[9]

Anas Radiyallâhu Anh said, “Many a time a person will embrace Islam with the sole purpose of obtaining worldly goods. But by the evening he would reach a stage where Islam is the most beloved to him than the world and all that it has.” Safwân ibn Umayyah Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam gave me certain things while in my heart I considered him to be the most detestable person. He continued giving me until he was the most beloved of all to me.” Ibn Shihâb said, “He gave him 100 camels on the day of Hunayn. Then another hundred and then another hundred.”[10] The Maghâzî of al-Wâqidî states that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam gave Safwân ibn Umayyah a valley filled with camels and cattle on that day [of Hunayn]. So Safwân said: ‘I testify that none but a Prophet can be as open hearted as this.’” Jubayr ibn Mut‘im said, “The Bedouins joined the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam during his return from Hunayn and continued asking him to distribute among them. So he said: ‘If I had as many camels as these thorny shrubs, I would have distributed them among you. You will find that I am neither a miser, a liar nor a coward.”[11]

Jâbir Radiyallâhu Anh narrates, “Whenever the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was asked for anything, he never said: ‘No.’” He said to Jâbir Radiyallâhu Anh, “When the wealth from Bahrain comes to us, I will give you like this, like this, and like this.” He pointed with both his hands.[12]

Al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh narrates from Sahl ibn Sa‘d Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam received a shawl as a gift. He was wearing it for he needed to wear it. A person asked him for it and he gave it to him. The people reprimanded this person saying, “You know that he needed it and that he never refuses anyone who asks him [why did you still ask him]?” He replied, “I asked for it so that it will be used as my shroud (kafan).” It was eventually used as his shroud.[13]

His generosity was entirely for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and for seeking His pleasure. He used to spend wealth for a poor person, a needy person, spend it in the cause of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, or to incline someone whose Islam would be a benefit to Islam.

He used to give preference to others over his own self, his family and his children. He used to give so much, that kings like Kusroes and Caesar could not give as much. While he himself lived a life of poor people. At times, no fire would be lit in his house for one to two months. At times he would tie a rock to his stomach because of hunger.

Some slaves had come to him on one occasion. Fatimah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ came and complained to him about how tired she was getting with all the domestic chores and asked him for a servant who would fulfil her domestic chores for her. He ordered her to seek help through tasbîh, takbîr, and tahmîd (glorifying Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, extolling His greatness, and praising Him) when she goes to sleep. He said, “I cannot give you which the stomachs of the people of as-Suffah are turning out of hunger.”[14]

His generosity used to multiply in Ramadân over other months, just as the generosity of his Lord multiplied in this month. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ created him naturally inclined towards noble characteristics which he possessed even before becoming a Prophet. Ibn Ishâq narrates from Wahb ibn Kaysân from ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umayr who said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to spend one month of every year in the cave of Hirâ’ and feed the poor people who came to him. He continued doing this until when it was the month in which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ willed to honour him in the year in which He commissioned him as a Prophet. That month was the month of Ramadân. He went out to Hirâ’ as was his habit and remained there till when it was the night when Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ honoured him with His message and showed His mercy to the creation through it. Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm came to him from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. After receiving messengership, his generosity in Ramadân was several times more than what it was previously. He and Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm, who was the most superior and most honourable of all angels, used to meet and study the Qur’ân which he brought to him - the Book which is the most superior and most honourable of all books, and which encourages towards kindness and noble characteristics.

The character of the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was the Qur’ân in the sense that he approved of all which the Qur’ân approved of, became angry with all that the Qur’an disliked, hastened to all which it encouraged, and abstained from all which it reprimanded. His generosity was multiplied in this month because of his close interaction with Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm and his excessive study of this Noble Book which encourages towards noble characteristics and generosity.

There is no doubt whatsoever that interacting and intermingling with another person influences one to be affected by his characteristics and qualities. A poet praised a generous king so the latter gave him an award which would last him an entire year. When he left the king and went outside, he distributed that entire prize among the people and said:


لمست بكفي كفه أبتغي الغنا ... ولم أدر أن الجود من كفه يعدي

“I touched my palm to his palm out of desire for wealth. But I did not know that the generosity from his palm will be transferred to me.”

When the king heard of this, he gave him even more. A poet said in praise of a generous person, but this praise can be applied to none other than the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam:


تعود بسط الكف حتى لو أنه ... ثناها لقبض لم تجبه أنامله
تراه إذا ما جئته متهللا ... كأنك تعطيه الذي أنت سائله
هو البحر من أي النواحي أتيته ... فلجته المعروف والجود ساحله
ولو لم يكن في كفه غير روحه ... لجاد بها فليتق الله سائله

“His open hand always returns open [i.e. it constantly gives] so much so that if he wants to close his hand [and stop giving], his fingers do not respond to him [and he cannot close his hand]. When you go to him [to ask him for anything], you see him beaming as though you are giving him what you went to ask him for. He is an ocean no matter from which side you go to him. Doing good is the depth of his ocean, and generosity is his shore. If he had nothing except his soul in his hand, he would have given that as well. The one who asks him should therefore fear Allâh.”

Ash-Shiblî rahimahullâh heard someone saying, “O Allâh! O the most generous!” So he sighed and screamed out saying, “How is it possible for me to describe Allâh as being generous when the rest of the creation is saying something similar?” He remembered these lines and began crying. He then said, “Indeed! O You who are the most generous! You are the One who created these limbs and expanded this determination. You are therefore the generous, the absolutely generous. The creation gives within limits, but Your giving knows no limits and is beyond description. O the most generous who is beyond every other generous person, and through whom every generous person became generous.”

There are several benefits in the multiplication of the Messenger’s generosity specifically in Ramadân. Some of them are:
 1. Al-Bukhari (6) and Muslim (2308).
 
 2. Al-Musnad (1/288, 363).
 
 3. At-Tirmidhi (2799).
 
 4. At-Tirmidhi (2495).
 
 5. At-Tirmidhi (682).
 
 6. Ibn  ‘Udday in “Al Kamel” (1/358).
 
 7. Al-Bukhari (3).
 
 8. Al-Bukhari (2908) and Muslim (2307).
 
 9. Muslim (2312).
 
 10. Muslim (2313).
 
 11. Checked by Al-Bukhari (2821).
 
 12. Al-Bukhari (6034) and Muslim (2311).
 
 13. Al-Bukhari (1277).
 
 14. Checked by Ahmad (1 / 79).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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The Benefits of the Messenger’s Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam Generosity in Ramadân

1.   The sanctity of the time and the multiplication of rewards for doing good deeds in it. At-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh narrates from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh, “The most superior charity is the charity in Ramadân.”

2.   Aiding those who are fasting, engaging in night worship, remembrance of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, etc. in fulfilling their different acts of worship. The person who helps them shall receive the same reward as them just as the person who gives provision to a mujâhid receives the same reward as the mujâhid, and the person who sees to the well-being of the mujâhid’s family receives the same reward as the mujâhid.

Zayd ibn Khâlid narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The person who provides food to a fasting person shall receive the same reward as him without the reward of the fasting person being decreased in any way.”[1] Narrated by Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh, an-Nasa‘î rahimahullâh, at-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh. At-Tabarânî rahimahullâh also narrated it from ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ with the following addition, “Whatever good deeds the fasting person does, the person who fed him shall receive a reward thereof as long as the nourishment of that food is in him.”[2]

Ibn Khuzaymah rahimahullâh narrates a Hadîth in his Sahîh from Salmân Radiyallâhu Anh on the merits of Ramadân. He states therein, “It is the month of beneficence and a month in which the sustenance of a believer is increased. Whoever feeds a fasting person shall be rewarded with forgiveness of his sins, salvation from the Hell-fire, and a reward equal to the fasting person without his reward being decreased.” The Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum said, “O Messenger of Allâh! Not all of us have sufficient food to feed a fasting person.” He said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall give this reward to a person who provides some milk, a date, or a sip of water to the fasting person. As for the person who feeds a fasting person till he is satiated, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shall provide him with a drink from my fountain after which he will never feel thirsty, until he enters Paradise.”[3]

3.   It is in Ramadân that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ showers His servants with mercy, forgiveness and salvation from the Hell-fire. This is especially so in the night of Power (laylatul Qadr). Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ showers specific mercy to those of His servants who show mercy to others. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ shows mercy to those of His servants who show mercy to others.”[4]

Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is generous with His bounties and grace to the person who is generous to the servants of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. Reward is reciprocal to the deed.

4.   Combining fasting with charity is from among the actions which guarantee Paradise. As stated in the Hadîth of ‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “There are apartments in Paradise whose outside can be seen from the inside, and whose inside can be seen from the outside.” The Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum asked, “For whom are they, O Messenger of Allâh?” He replied, “For the person who speaks with rectitude, who feeds people, who fasts regularly, who offers salâh at night while people are sleeping.”[5]

All these above qualities are found in Ramadân. The believer fasts therein, engages in night worship, gives charity, and speaks with rectitude because a fasting person is prohibited from engaging in futile and obscene conversations.

Fasting, salâh and charity connect a person to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. A person of the past said, “Salâh conveys a person to half his destination. Fasting conveys him to the door of the king. Charity holds him by his hand and takes him before the king.” Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Who from among you is fasting today?” Abű Bakr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I am.” He asked, “Who from among you attended a funeral today?” Abű Bakr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I did.” He asked, “Who from among you fed a poor person today?” Abű Bakr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I did.” He asked, “Who from among you gave in charity?” Abű Bakr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I did.” He asked, “Who from among you visited a sick person?” Abű Bakr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I did.” The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “When these deeds are collectively found in a person, he is most certain to enter Paradise.”[6]

5.   Combining fasting with charity is most effective in atoning for one’s sins, saving oneself from Hell, and remaining distant from it. This is especially so if night worship is included with this. It is established that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Fasting is a shield.”[7] Another narration states, “It is a shield against the Hell-fire like the shield which one of you uses in battle.”[8] Mu‘âdh Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire. And so does a person’s night worship in the darkness of the night.”[9] In other words, it also extinguishes sins. The narration of Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh clearly states this. An authentic Hadîth states that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Fear the Hell-fire even if it is for a piece of date.”[10]

Abű ad-Dardâ’ Radiyallâhu Anh used to say, “Offer two rak‘ahs of salâh in the darkness of the night in preparation for the darkness of the grave. Fast on an extremely hot day in preparation for the heat of the day of Resurrection. Give in charity to safeguard yourself against the evil of a most difficult day.”

6.   It is inevitable for a person to commit shortcomings in his fasting. Fasting can only be an atonement for sins if the person safeguards himself against whatever he was supposed to safeguard himself against. This was mentioned in the Hadîth narrated by Ibn Hibbân in his Sahîh. The fast of people in general is not safeguarded by them as it ought to be. It is for this reason that a person is prohibited from saying, “I kept fast for the entire month of Ramadân”, or “I engaged in night worship throughout the month of Ramadân”. Charity thus makes up for whatever shortcomings were displayed in this month. It is for this reason that sadaqatul fitr is obligatory at the end of the month - it purifies the fasting person from the futile and obscene conversations and activities which he engaged in.

Fasting and charity play a role in the atonement of vows, the prohibitions of ihrâm, and the atonement of conjugal relations in Ramadân. It is for this reason that in the beginning of Islam, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ gave the Muslims the choice between fasting and feeding a poor person. This was abrogated later, but the order to feed a poor person applied to the person who was unable to fast because of his old age. The person who delays keeping his missed Ramadân fasts until the next Ramadân is ordered to keep those missed fasts and in addition to this, he has to feed a poor person for each day. This is to provide strength to him according to the majority of the ‘ulamâ’ and as ruled by the Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum. Similar is the case with a person who did not fast for some other reason, e.g. a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding - according to a group of ‘ulamâ’.

7.   The fasting person abstains from his food and drink for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. If he helps fasting people to gain strength by providing them with food and drink, he will be like a person who abandons a desire for the sake of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, gives someone else preference to it over himself, or helps someone else in providing it to him. It is for this reason that he is ordered to provide food to fasting people when he is opening his fast. Food is desirable to him at that time. But he gives it to someone else. In so doing, he will be providing food to another while having desire for it himself. Furthermore, it will be a form of gratitude to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ for having made food and drink lawful to him [at the time of opening his fast], and for having given it to him after it was prohibited to him. This is a bounty whose value is recognized when one is prohibited from it.

A person of the past was asked, “Why is fasting promulgated?” He replied, “So that the wealthy may get a taste of hunger and not forget the hungry.” This is one of the wisdoms and benefits of fasting. We quoted the Hadîth of Salmân Radiyallâhu Anh previously in which he stated, “It is a month of beneficence.” If a person cannot reach the stage of giving preference to others over himself, he should not fall behind in helping those who are in need. Many people of the past used to share their food at the time of opening the fast, or give it to others and remain hungry. When Ibn ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh used to fast, he would most certainly open his fast with poor people. When his family members stopped him from this, he would not have supper that night. When a beggar came to him while he was eating, he would take his share of his food and go and give it to the beggar. When he returned, his family would have already eaten whatever was in the plate. He would fast the next day without having eaten anything.

One of the pious predecessors desired some food but he was fasting. The very food which he had desired was placed before him at the time of opening his fast. He then heard a beggar saying, “Who will loan me in the name of the Being who gives to the full, who gives in totality, and who is all-independent?” He said, “His servant who is devoid of good deeds.” He then stood up, took the plate of food, gave it to the beggar and spent the night hungry.

A beggar came to Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh so he gave him two flat round breads which he had prepared to open his fast with. He spent the night hungry and kept fast the next day. It was the practice of al-Hasan rahimahullâh to feed his companions on a journey while he himself was keeping optional fast. He would sit and fan them [because of the heat] while they were eating. Ibn al-Mubarak rahimahullâh used to feed his brothers on a journey with different types of sweetmeats while he himself was fasting. The peace of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ be on those souls. The mercy of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ be on those personalities. Nothing but stories and incidents of their lives remain. What a big difference between the person who refuses to give his compulsory dues and those who give preference to others over their own selves!


لا تعرضن لذكرنا في ذكرهم ... ليس الصحيح إذا مشى كالمقعد

“When you think of them [people of the past], do not think of us [because we cannot compare with them]. A sitting person cannot compare with a healthy walking person.”

There are other benefits in this as well. Imam ash-Shâfi‘î rahimahullâh said, “I advise a person to be more generous in Ramadân in emulation of the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam. Also because people need this for their own good, and because many of them are unable to earn a livelihood because they are occupied in fasting and salâh.” Al-Qâdî Abű Ya’lâ and others also said a similar thing.

The Hadîth also demonstrates the desirability of studying the Qur’ân in Ramadân, assembling for this purpose, and reciting it before someone who knows it better. It also demonstrates the desirability of increasing the recitation of the Qur’ân in Ramadân.

Fâtimah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ narrates that her father Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam informed her that Jibra‘îl Alayh’is Salâm used to present the Qur’ân once every year to him and that he presented it two times in the year in which he passed away. Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh states, “The mutual study between him and Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm used to take place at night.” This demonstrates the desirability of increased recitation of the Qur’ân at night in Ramadân. It is at night that all one’s occupations come to an end, there is concentration, and the heart and tongue are able to reflect. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “Surely waking up at night has the strongest impression and the word comes out most upright.” (Sűrah al- Muzzammil, 73, 6) Furthermore, Ramadân has a special affinity with the Qur’ân. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “It is in the month of Ramadân that the Qur’ân was revealed.” (Sűrah al-Baqarah, 2: 185)

Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh said, “It was revealed all at once from the Preserved Tablet (al-Lauh al-Mahfűz) to Bayt al-‘lzzah on the night of Power (laylatul Qadr). This is attested by the words of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, “Surely We revealed it in the night of Power.” (Sűrah al-Qadr, 97: 1), “Surely We revealed it in a blessed night.” (Sűrah ad-Dukhân, 44: 3)

It was mentioned previously from ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umayr that the commencement of revelation and descent of the Qur’ân was in Ramadân.

The Musnad relates from Wâthilah ibn al-Asqa‘ Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The Scriptures of Ibrâhîm Alayh’is Salâm came down on the first night of Ramadân. The Taurâh was revealed on the 6th of Ramadân. The Injîl was revealed on the 13th of Ramadân and the Qur’ân was revealed on the 24th of Ramadân.” The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to lengthen the recitation of the Qur’ân during the night salâh of Ramadân more than what he did in other months. Hudhayfah Radiyallâhu Anh offered the salâh one night with him in Ramadân. He said, “He recited Sűrahs al-Baqarah, an-Nisâ’ and Âl ‘Imrân. When he read any verse which instilled fear, he paused and begged [refuge in Allâh].” He said, “He did not complete two rak‘ats when Bilâl Radiyallâhu Anh came to him and informed him of the [fajr] salâh.”[11] Narrated by Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh. Also narrated by an-Nasa’î rahimahullâh with the words, “He did not complete four rak‘ats...”

‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh ordered Ubayy ibn Ka‘b Radiyallâhu Anh and Tamîm ad-Dârî Radiyallâhu Anh to lead the people in salâh in Ramadân. The imam used to read 200 verses in one rak‘ah and the people used to lean against their walking sticks because of the lengthy period of standing. They would continue throughout the night and only depart at the time of dawn. Another narration states that they used to tie ropes between the pillars and hold onto the ropes. It is related that ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh summoned three readers and ordered the fastest reader among them to lead the people in salâh and recite thirty [verses]. The average reader was ordered to recite twenty five, and the slow reader to recite twenty.

Then during the era of the Tâbi‘űn, they used to recite Sűrah al-Baqarah in eight rak‘ahs in the night salâh. If anyone recited this sűrah in twelve rak‘ahs, they felt that the reader was lenient with them. Ibn Mansűr said: Ishâq ibn Râhwayh was asked about how many verses should be recited in the night salâh of Ramadân. He did not concede less than ten verses. Someone told him, “They are not happy with this number.” He said, “If they are not happy, do not lead them in salâh if they do not agree to ten verses from Sűrah al-Baqarah. Then when you reach the shorter verses, recite until they are equal in length to ten verses of Sűrah al-Baqarah.” That is, in each rak‘ah. Imam Mâlik rahimahullâh also considered it reprehensible to recite less than ten verses.

Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh was asked about ‘Umar’s Radiyallâhu Anh practice with regard to those who read fast and those who read slowly, as mentioned above. He said, “This imposes difficulty on the people especially during these short nights.” The issue is based on what people can bear. Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh said to one of his companions who was leading the people in Ramadân, “These people are weak, read five, six or seven verses.” He said, “I read as he told me and I completed on the 27th night.” It is related from al-Hasan rahimahullâh that the person who ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh had ordered to lead the people used to recite five or six verses. The statement of Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh shows that the condition of the followers must be taken into consideration when deciding how much to read. They must not experience any difficulty. Other jurists including the companions of Imam Abű Hanîfah rahimahullâh are also of the same opinion. Abű Dharr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam led them in salâh on the 23rd night till one third of the night, and on the 25th night till half the night.” The Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum said to him, “It would have been nice if you continued for the rest of the night.” He said, “When a person offers salâh with the imam until the end, the remainder of the night is recorded in his favour [as if he offered salâh for the entire night].”[12]

This shows that when a person spends one third or half the night in the night salâh, the reward for an entire night’s worship is recorded in his favour provided he offers this salâh with the imam. Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh used to practise on this Hadîth and offer salâh with the imam until the latter departed. He would not depart until the imam departed. A person of the past said, “The one who spends half the night in worship has in fact spent the entire night in worship.”

The Sunan of Abű Dâ’űd rahimahullâh relates from ‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Âs Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The person who recites ten verses [in the night salâh] will not be included among the heedless. The one who recites 100 verses is recorded among the devoted servants. The one who recites 1 000 verses is recorded among those who acquired vast amounts of rewards.” A Hadîth narrated by Tamîm Radiyallâhu Anh and Anas Radiyallâhu Anh states, “The one who recites 100 verses in a night has the reward of engaging in night worship recorded in his favour.” There is some weakness in their chain. The Hadîth of Tamîm Radiyallâhu Anh is related as a mauqűf Hadîth and it is more authentic. Ibn Mas‘űd Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The one who recites fifty verses in a night will not be recorded among the heedless. The one who recites 100 verses is recorded among the devoted servants. The one who recites 300 verses has a vast amount of rewards recorded in his favour.”

The person who wants to increase and lengthen his recitation, and is offering salâh on his own, may lengthen it as much as he wants, as stated by the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam. Similar is the case with a person who is leading a group of people in salâh and they are happy with his salâh. Some people of the past used to complete the Qur’ân in every three nights during the night worship of Ramadân. Others used to do it in every seven nights. Qatâdah rahimahullâh was from among them. Others used to do it in every ten nights. Abű Rajâ’ al-Atâridî was from among them.

The people of the past used to recite the Qur’ân in Ramadân in salâh and out of it as well. Al-Aswad used to recite the entire Qur’ân in every two nights of Ramadân. An-Nakha‘î used to do that in the last ten nights, and in every three nights in the rest of Ramadân. Qatâdah rahimahullâh always used to complete a recitation every ten days, every three days in Ramadân, and every day in the last ten days. Imam ash-Shâfi‘î rahimahullâh used to complete sixty recitations in Ramadân out of salâh. A similar practice is reported about Imam Abű Hanîfah rahimahullâh. Qatâdah rahimahullâh used to teach the Qur’ân in Ramadân. When Ramadân commenced, az- Zuhrî rahimahullâh used to say, “It is a month which is reserved for the recitation of the Qur’ân and feeding people.”

Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam said, “When Ramadân commenced, Imam Mâlik rahimahullâh would remain aloof from reading Hadîth and sitting in the company of the scholars. He would devote himself to reading directly from the Qur’ân.” ‘Abd ar-Razzâq said, “When Ramadân entered, Sufyân ath-Thaurî used to leave aside all [optional] acts of worship and devote himself to the recitation of the Qur’ân.” ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ used to read directly from the Qur’ân during the first part of the day, and she would sleep when the sun rose. Sufyan said, “When Ramadân commenced, Zayd al-Yâmî would bring copies of the Qur’ân together and call his friends to recite.

The prohibition of reciting the Qur’ân in less than three days applies to doing this perpetually. As for doing this during meritorious times, e.g. the month of Ramadân, and especially in the nights when the night of Power is sought; or in sanctified places, such as Makkah for the outsiders who entered it, then in such cases it is desirable to recite the Qur’ân in Abundance. This is done to make the best of the time and place. This is the opinion of Imam Ahmad, Ishâq and other imams. The practice of others indicates this as well, as mentioned previously.

The believer has to strive on two things in Ramadân: (1) fasting by day, (2) engaging in night worship. The person who combines these two, fulfils their rights, and exercises patience over them shall receive his reward without any accounting. Ka‘b Radiyallâhu Anhu said, “A caller announces on the day of Resurrection: ‘Every harvester shall receive his harvest and some more, except for the people of the Qur’ân and fasting, they shall receive their reward without any accounting.’’”

They will also intercede on his behalf before Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. The Musnad narrates from ‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amr Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Fasting and the Qur’ân shall intercede on behalf of a person on the day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O Lord! I prevented him from food and carnal desires during the day.’ The Qur’ân will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession on his behalf.’ Both their intercessions will be accepted.”

Fasting will intercede on behalf of the person who abstained from food and all unlawful desires, irrespective of whether their prohibition is specific to Ramadân, e.g. the desires of food, drink, conjugal relations and all preludes to these; or whether their prohibition is not specific to Ramadân, e.g. the desire to engage in unlawful futile conversations, looking at the unlawful, listening to the unlawful and earning unlawful income. If fasting is able to keep him away from all these prohibitions, it will intercede on his behalf before Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ on the day of Resurrection. It will say, “O Lord! I kept him away from his desires, so accept my intercession in his favour.” This is the reward for the person who safeguarded his fast and was kept away from his desires.

As for the person who wasted away his fast and it did not keep him away from all the prohibitions of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, he is more worthy of being struck and beaten. Fasting shall say to him, “May Allâh destroy you as you destroyed me.” A similar statement is related with regard to salâh.

A person of the past said, “When a believer is on the verge of dying, the angel of death is ordered: ‘Smell his head.’ He says: ‘I find the Qur’ân in his head.’ He is ordered: ‘Smell his heart.’ He says: ‘I find fasting in his heart.’ He is ordered: ‘Smell his feet.’ He says: ‘I smell engaging in night worship in his feet.’ It is said: ‘He protected his self, Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ will now protect him.’”

Similarly, the Qur’ân will intercede on behalf of the person whom it kept away from sleeping at night. The person who recites the Qur’ân and upholds it has in fact fulfilled its dues and it will intercede in his favour.

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam spoke about a person saying, “He does not make the Qur’ân a pillow.”[13] In other words, he does not sleep over it whereby it would be a pillow for him.

Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh narrates from Buraydah, “The Qur’ân will meet the person who was attached to it on the day of Resurrection when his grave splits and removes him from it. It will go to him in the form of an emaciated and haggard man and ask him: ‘Do you know me?’ I am the one who caused you to become thirsty in the burning heat, and I caused you to remain awake at night. Every trader is concerned about his trade.’ An angel will stand to his right, eternity will stand to his left, and a crown of honour will be placed on his head. It will then be said to him: ‘Read and climb to the levels and rooms of Paradise.’ He will continue climbing as long as he continues reciting. Irrespective of whether he recites quickly or with deliberation.”[14]

The following is mentioned in the lengthy Hadîth of ‘Ubâdah ibn as-Sâmit Radiyallâhu Anh, “The Qur’ân will go to the person who was attached to it in his grave and say to him: ‘I was the one who used to keep you awake at night, make you thirsty during the day, keep you away from your desires, and I was your ears and eyes [i.e. I prevented you from listening and looking to evil]. You will now find me to be a genuine friend.’ The Qur’ân will ascend and request a bed and duvet for the person. A bed from Paradise will be provided for him, and he will also be provided with a candle and jasmine of Paradise. He will place the Qur’ân in the direction of the qiblah of the grave and the grave will then be expanded for him as wide as Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ wills.”

Ibn Mas‘űd Radiyallâhu Anh said, “A reader of the Qur’ân must be recognized by his [recital at] night when people are asleep, by his [fasting] during the day when people are busy eating, by his crying when people are laughing, by his abstention when people are engrossed, by his silence when people are occupied in conversations, by his humility when people vex their pride, and by his worry when people are rejoicing.”[15]

Muhammad ibn Ka‘b said, “We used to recognize a reader of the Qur’ân by the paleness of his skin.” He was referring to his remaining awake at night and lengthy tahajjud salâh. Wahb ibn al-Ward said, “A man was asked: ‘Do you not sleep?' He replied: ‘The astonishing facts of the Qur’ân have caused my sleep to fly away.’” A person remained in the company of another for two months and never saw him sleeping. He asked him, “Why is it that I never see you sleeping?” He replied, “The astonishing facts of the Qur’ân caused my sleep to fly away. No sooner I depart from one astonishing fact, I fall into another.”

Ahmad ibn Abî al-Hawârî said, “I recite the Qur’ân and look into one verse at a time, and my mind is astounded by it. I am surprised at those who memorized the Qur’ân: how can they sleep, and how is it possible for them to be occupied with any worldly activities while they recite the speech of Allâh? If only they understood what they were reading and recognized the rights of the Qur’ân, took enjoyment from it, and experienced the sweetness of private conversation [with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ] through it, all their sleep would have departed out of joy with what they have been blessed with.”

Dhű an-Nűn al-Misrî rahimahullâh said:


منع القرآن بوعده ووعيده ... مقل العيون بليلها لا تهجع
فهموا عن الملك العظيم كلامه ... فهما تذل له الرقاب وتخضع

“The promises and warnings of the Qur’ân prevented the eyes from sleeping peacefully at night. They understood the speech of the Grand King in such a manner that they submitted in humility to it.”

As for the person who possesses the Qur’ân but remains aloof from it at night by sleeping away and does not practise on it by day, he is actually causing the Qur’ân to become a disputant against him, and it will ask him for its rights which he trampled upon. Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh narrates from Samurah ibn Jundub Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam saw a dream in which a person was thrown down on his neck. There was another man standing with an axe or rock in his hand. He struck the person’s head with it and it rolled like a rock. When he went to take it, his head returned as it was. The man would then repeat what he did to him. The Messenger Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam asked about the identity of this person. He was told, “He is a person whom Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ blessed with knowledge of the Qur’ân, but he remained aloof from it by sleeping away at night and did not practise on it by day. He will be meted out this punishment till the day of Resurrection.”[16] Al-Bukhari rahimahullâh also narrated it but with a different wording.

‘Amr ibn Shu‘ayb narrates from his father who narrates from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The Qur’ân will be given the appearance of a man on the day of Resurrection. A person who bore the Qur’ân but acted against its injunctions will be brought forward. The Qur’ân will come forward as a disputant and say: ‘O Lord! You enabled him to bear me, but he was a terrible carrier. He transgressed my limits, trampled my obligations, committed the sins which are mentioned in me, and abandoned obedience to me.’ The Qur’ân will continue establishing proofs against him until it will be said: ‘This is enough about him.’ He will be taken by his hand and he will not be let loose until he is cast into the Hell-fire on his face. A righteous person who bore the Qur’ân and upheld its injunctions will be brought forward. The Qur’ân will appear as an advocate in his favour. It will say: ‘O Lord! You enabled him to bear me and he was an excellent carrier. He safeguarded my limits, practiced on my obligations, abstained from my prohibitions, and obeyed me.’ The Qur’ân will continue establishing proofs in his favour until it will be said: ‘This is enough for him.’ He will be taken by his hand and will not be left until he is made to wear a suit of silk brocade, a crown of royalty will be placed on his head, and made to drink a glass of [pure] wine.”[17]

O you who wasted your life in disobedience! O you who displayed shortcomings in this month! In fact, throughout your life. O you whose possession is procrastination and shortcomings! What terrible possessions these are. O you who caused the Qur’ân and Ramadân to become disputants against you! How can you hope for intercession from those whom you made your disputants?!


ويل لمن شفعاؤه خصماؤه ... والصور في يوم القيامة ينفخ

“Destruction to the person whose intercessors turn around him and become disputants against him when the trumpet is blown on the day of Resurrection.”

Many a fasting person gets nothing from his fast except hunger and thirst. Many a person engaged in night worship gains nothing but sleeplessness from it. Any night worship which does not prohibit a person from immorality and evil only serves to take him further away [from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ]. Every fast in which the person does not abstain from falsehood and practising on it only serves to make him more loathsome and rejected.

O people! Where are the traces of fasting? Where is the lustre of night worship?


إن كنت تنوح يا حمام البان ... للبين فأين شاهد الأحزان
أجفانك للدموع أم أجفاني ... لا يقبل مدع بلا برهان

“O you distant pigeon! If you are wailing over the great distance [between me and you], where is the proof for your grief? Whether they are my tears or yours, no claim can be accepted without any proof.”

O servants of Allâh! “Ramadân is the month in which the Qur’ân was revealed.” (Sűrah al-Baqarah, 2: 185) The remainder of the month is an enjoyment for the ardent worshippers. The Book of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is recited and heard in your midst. It is the very Qur’ân which, if it were revealed on a mountain, you would see it humbled and split asunder. Despite this, there is no heart which is humbled, there is no eye which is crying, there is no fast in which the unlawful is abstained from and which would therefore be beneficial, and there is no night worship which is upright whereby the person could hope for intercession. The hearts are devoid of piety and are thus deserted and barren. The darkness of sins have piled onto them, and so they can neither see nor hear. How often the verses of the Qur’ân are recited before us, but our hearts remain like rocks, or even harder. How many months of Ramadân come upon us one after the other, but our condition therein is like that of the wretched. Neither do our youth abstain from sensual desires, nor do the old abstain from evil whereby they could join the ranks of the chosen servants of Allâh. Where are we from those who responded to the call of the caller when he called to them? Where are we from those who, when the verses were recited to them, their hearts trembled? When they kept fast, their tongues, ears and eyes also kept fast? Are they not role models for us? The distance between us and the chosen ones is further than the distance between Safâ and Marwah. The more good we speak, the more evil we do. There is no power and might except with Allâh, the most high, the greatest. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is sufficient for us.


يا نفس فاز الصالحون بالتقى ... وأبصروا الحق وقلبي قد عمي
يا حسنهم والليل قد جنهم ... ونورهم يفوق نور الأنجم
ترنموا بالذكر في ليلهم ... فعيشهم قد طاب بالترنم
قلوبهم للذكر قد تفرغت ... دموعهم كلؤلؤ منتظم
أسحارهم بهم لهم قد أشرقت ... وخلع الغفران خير القسم
ويحك يا نفس ألا تيقظ ... ينفع قبل أن تزل قدمي
مضى الزمان في توان وهوى ... فاستدركي ما قد بقي واغتنمي

“O my soul! The righteous have triumphed through piety. They have seen the truth while my heart is blind. How beautiful they look when the night covers them, and their lustre surpasses the light of the stars. They chant the remembrance [of Allâh] at night, and so their lives have become wholesome through this chanting. Their hearts are emptied of everything and devoted fully to His remembrance. Their tears look like stringed pearls. The morning shines brightly through them, and the garments of forgiveness is the best share one can receive. O my soul! Away with you! Are you not going to wake up and take benefit before the feet slip [on the day of Resurrection]? Time has passed and was spent in listlessness and desires. So make up [for this loss] with the remaining time which you have, and make the most of it.”
 1. Checked by At-Tirmidhi (807), Ahmad (4/114) and Ibn Majah (1846).
 
 2. Checked by At-Tabarany (7136).
 
 3. It was checked before.
 
 4. Al-Bukhari (1284).
 
 5. At-Tirmidhi narrated it (1991).
 
 6. Checked by Muslim (1028).
 
 7. It was checked before.
 
 8. It was checked before.
 
 9. At-Tirmidhi checked it (2216), Ibn Majah (3972), Al-Baihaqi (4/83) and Al-Hakem (2/413).
 
 10. Al-Bukhari (1417).
 
 11. Checked by Muslim (772), An-Nasa‘ei (2/224) and Ahmad (5/400).
 
 12. Checked by Abu Dawoud (1375), At-tirmidhi (806), An-Nasa'ei (3/83) and Ibn Maja (1327).
 
 13. Checked by Ahmad (3/449).
 
 14. Al-Musnad (5/348).
 
 15. Abű Na‘eem checked it in Al-Hilya (1/130).
 
 16. Al-Musnad (5/4) and Al-Bukhari (1386).
 
 17. Abű Na‘eem checked in Al-Hilya (2/220) and Al-Hindi in "Al-Kanz" (2444) and Al-Zubaidy in Al-Ithaf (322).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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THE MIDDLE TEN DAYS AND THE SECOND HALF OF RAMADÂN

Abű Sa‘îd al-Khudrî Radiyallâhu Anh narrates, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to go into seclusion (i‘tikaf) in the middle ten days of Ramadân. He went into seclusion one year till when it was the 21st - the morning on which he used to come out of seclusion - and he said: ‘Whoever was in seclusion with me must remain in seclusion for the last ten days as well. I was shown this night [of Power] and then made to forget it. I saw myself prostrating in mud on the morning following that night. So seek that night in the last ten nights, and seek it in every odd night.’ It rained on that night. The masjid was on an arbour and so water dripped into it. I looked at the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam and saw traces of mud on his forehead on the morning of the 21st night.”[1]

This Hadîth shows that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to go into seclusion in the middle ten days of Ramadân in search of the night of Power. The context of the above Hadîth suggests that this was his practice. Another narration of this Hadîth states that he went into seclusion in the first ten days and then in the middle ten days. He then said, “I was shown it [the night of Power] and I was told : ‘It is in the last ten nights. So whoever among you would like to remain in seclusion with me may do so. The people remained in seclusion with him.”[2]

This shows that he did this before it was made clear to him that the night of Power is in the last ten nights. When it was made known to him that it is in the last ten nights, he began going into seclusion in the last ten nights until his demise. As narrated by ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ, Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh and others.

It is related that ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh assembled a group of Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum and asked them about the night of Power. Some of them said, “We considered it to be in the middle ten nights. We then heard that it is in the last ten nights.” This entire Hadîth will be quoted later - if Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ wills.

Ibn Abî ‘Âsim narrates in Kitâb as-Siyâm from Khâlid ibn Mahdűj from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Seek it on the first night, the ninth night or the fourteenth night.” Khâlid is considered to be a weak narrator. This Hadîth shows that the night of Power is sought in two nights from the first ten nights, and in one night from the middle ten nights. The Hadîth of Wâthilah ibn al-Asqa‘ was quoted previously, “The Injîl was revealed on the 13th of Ramadân.” There is also an order to seek the night of Power in the second half of Ramadân, and in the odd nights of the remaining middle ten nights of this half. This refers to the seventeenth and nineteenth nights.

At-Tabarânî narrates from ‘Abdullâh ibn Anîs Radiyallâhu Anh that he asked the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam about the night of Power so he said, “I saw it and forgot it. Look for it in the second half.” He went back to him and asked him, so he said, “Look for it from the 23rd night and continue for the rest of the month.”[3]

It is for this reason - and Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ knows best - that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b used to make the qunűt in the witr salâh in the nights of the second half of Ramadân. This is because it is hoped to experience the night of Power in these nights.

Moreover, when any day or night is considered to be meritorious, the latter part of that day or night is more meritorious than the early part. For example, the day of Arafah and Friday. Similar is the case with days and nights in general - their latter part is more meritorious to their early part. It is for this reason that the middle salâh [mentioned in the Qur’ân] refers to the ‘asr salâh, as demonstrated by authentic Ahâdîth and the statements of the pious predecessors. Similar is the case with the ten days of Dhű al-Hijjah and Muharram, their latter days are more superior to the early days.

The Sunan of Abű Dâ’űd rahimahullâh narrates a marfű’ Hadîth from Ibn Mas’űd Radiyallâhu Anh, “Seek it on the 17th, 21st and 23rd nights of Ramadân.”[4] He then remained silent. Another narration states, “on the 19th night.” It is said that it is more correct to consider this Hadîth to be mauqűf [and not marfű’] because it is established that he said, “Seek the night of Power on the 17th - the morning when the battle of Badr took place - or on the 21st night.” Another narration states, “on the 17th night, if it is not on that night, then on the 19th.”

At-Tabarânî narrates from Abu al-Mihzam who is a weak narrator from Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh who said, “Seek the night of Power on the 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.” This Hadîth shows that it must be sought on the odd nights of the second half of the month. A Hadîth of ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ states that when it was the 19th of Ramadân, the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam would tighten his loincloth and stay away from his bed until he completed the month of fasting.

Al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh said, “‘Umar ibn Miskîn is the sole narrator of this Hadîth and there is no verification for it. It is related from a group of Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum that it should be sought on the 17th. They said, “The following morning was the day when the battle of Badr commenced.” This is also related from ‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh, Ibn Mas‘űd Radiyallâhu Anh, Zayd ibn Arqam Radiyallâhu Anh, Zayd ibn Thâbit Radiyallâhu Anh and ‘Amr ibn Hurayth Radiyallâhu Anh. Some of these Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum say that it is the 19th. This is attributed to ‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh, Ibn Mas’űd Radiyallâhu Anh and Zayd ibn Arqam Radiyallâhu Anh.

The popular opinion of biographers and historians is that the battle of Badr took place on the 17th and that it was a Friday. This is narrated from ‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh, Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh and others. There is another weak narration from Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh that it was on the 2nd of Ramadân. It was the practice of Zayd ibn Thâbit Radiyallâhu Anh to engage in most worship on the 17th night as opposed to the other nights of Ramadân. He used to say, “It was on the morning of the 17th that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ separated truth from falsehood. It was on that morning that He disgraced the leaders of unbelief.”

Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh quotes the following from the people of Madînah, “The night of Power is sought on the 17th.” A narration of Abű Dâ’űd rahimahullâh makes mention of a person who says to his wife, “You are divorced on the night of Power.” Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh said in this regard, “He must separate himself from her when the last ten nights commence, and before the last ten nights. The people of Madînah consider it to be the 17th. However, it is established from the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam that it is in the last ten nights.” It is related with regard to ‘Âmir ibn ‘Abdillâh ibn az-Zubayr that he used to engage in extra worship on the 17th.

It is related that the people of Makkah would not sleep that night and they would perform ‘umrah. It is related that Imam Abű Yűsuf rahimahullâh and Imam Muhammad rahimahullâh - the two students of Imam Abű Hanîfah rahimahullâh - were of the opinion that the night of Power is in the second half of Ramadân without specifying any particular night, although it is on a specific night according to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ.

‘Abd ar-Rahmân ibn al-Hârith ibn Hishâm said, “The night of Power is on the 17th, on a Friday night.” Narrated by Ibn Abî Shaybah. The obvious meaning of this is that the night of Power will be on the 17th if this date falls on a Friday - in order to coincide with the battle of Badr.

Abű ash-Shaykh al-Asbahânî narrates through a good chain from al-Hasan who said, “A servant of ‘Uthmân ibn Abî al-‘Âs said to him: ‘O master! The ocean water gets sweet on a particular night in this month.’ The master said: ‘When you see that, you must inform me.’ When he saw this on a particular night, he went and informed his master. The people went to check and found the water sweet, and it was the 17th night.”

Jâbir Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to go to Qubâ’ on the morning of the 17th of Ramadân no matter which day of the week it was. Narrated by Abű Műsâ al-Madînî.

It is said that the Mi‘râj (Ascension) has also taken place on this night. Ibn Sa‘d relates from al-Wâqidî from his seniors that the Mi‘râj took place to the heavens on the 17th of Ramadân before the Emigration (hijrah) and that the Isrâ’ (Night Journey) took place to Bayt al-Maqdis on the 17th of Rabî‘ al-Awwal one year before the Emigration. This is according to those who differentiate between the Mi‘râj and Isrâ’. The Mi‘râj was to the heavens, as mentioned in Sűrah an-Najm, and the Isrâ’ was to Bayt al-Maqdis, as mentioned in Sűrah al-Isrâ’.

It is said that the Prophet’s Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam prophet-hood commenced on the 17th of Ramadân. Abű Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Alî al-Bâqir said, “Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm came down to the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam on Saturday night and Sunday night. He then appeared before him in the cave of Hirâ’ with Allâh’s message on a Monday, the 17th of Ramadân. The most authentic incident to be related about this night is that it was on this date that the battle of Badr took place - as mentioned previously that it was on the 17th.

It is said that it took place on the 19th. But the popular narration is that it was the 17th, as mentioned previously. The morning following the 17th night is known as Yaum al-Furqân (the day of distinction), the day when the two armies met. It is named Yaum al-Furqân because it was on this day that Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ distinguished truth from falsehood, manifested the truth and the proponents of the truth over falsehood and the supporters of falsehood, the word and oneness of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ reigned supreme, and His enemies from the polytheists and people of the Book were disgraced. This took place in the second year of the Emigration. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam came to Madînah in Rabî‘ al-Awwal in the first year of the Emigration. Fasting in Ramadân was not made compulsory in that year. He then kept the fast of ‘Âshűrâ’. Fasting in Ramadân became compulsory in the second year. It was the first Ramadân in which he and the Muslims with him kept fast.

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam left in pursuit of the Quraysh caravan which was coming from Syria towards Madînah. He left on a Saturday on the 12th of Ramadân. He did not fast on the day when he departed towards this caravan.

Ibn al-Musayyib said that ‘Umar Radiyallâhu Anh said, “We went out for two battles with the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam in Ramadân: Badr and the conquest of Makkah, and we did not fast on both occasions. The reason for the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam going out was the need of his Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum, especially the Emigrants. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “[This wealth] is for the indigent among the Emigrants who have been driven from their homelands and their possessions, seeking the bounty of Allâh and His pleasure, and helping Allâh and His Messenger. It is they who are the true ones.” (Sűrah al-Hashr, 59; 8) This caravan had a lot of goods which belonged to their unbelieving enemies who had driven them out of their homelands and usurped their wealth out of oppression and enmity. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “The order is given to those with whom the unbelievers fight because they have been wronged. Allâh has the power to help them: those who were unjustly expelled from their homes only because they used to say: ‘Our Sustainer is Allâh.’” (Sűrah al-Hajj, 22: 39-40)

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam therefore left with the intention of taking this wealth of these unbelievers who were transgressing and oppressing the friends, party and army of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ. He would then return this wealth to the friends of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ who were oppressed and driven out from their homes and properties. They would use this wealth to gain strength through it for the worship of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, obedience to Him, and waging jihad against His enemies. This is something which Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ permitted to this ummah - He permitted booty to them which was not permitted to any nation before them. The Muslims were over 310 in number - the same number of people who had joined Tâlűt when they crossed the river, and from among whom, there was only one believer.

The Sunan of Abű Dâ’űd rahimahullâh narrates that ‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amr Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam departed for Badr with 315 soldiers just as when Tâlűt left to go out in battle. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam made the following supplication for them when they departed: ‘O Allâh! They are barefooted, so carry them. They are naked, so clothe them. They are hungry, so feed them.’ Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ gave them victory in the battle of Badr and when they returned [to Madînah], every single one of them had one or two camels, had clothes to wear, and had eaten to his satisfaction. When the Companions Radiyallâhu Anhum departed with very few animals and possessions, they had not departed fully prepared for battle or fighting. They had went in pursuit of the caravan. They had about seventy camels which they took turns to ride. Three people were allotted to one camel. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam also had two people who shared the camel with him. His two companions used to tell him: ‘O Messenger of Allâh! You ride and we will walk.’ He would say to them: ‘You are not stronger than me in walking, nor am I less in need of reward than you.’”[5] They all had just two horses. Others say that they had three horses, while yet others say that there was just one horse which belonged to al-Miqdad Radiyallâhu Anh.

The polytheists heard that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam departed in pursuit of the caravan. Abű Sufyan therefore diverted the caravan towards the coast and sent a message to the Makkans informing them of the situation and requesting them to mobilize in order to defend their caravan. They departed boisterously and were joined by their noblemen and leaders who all headed towards Badr. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam consulted the Muslims with regard to fighting. The Emigrants voiced their opinion and he remained silent. He actually wanted to know the opinion of the Helpers (Ansâr) because he felt that their original pledge to help him was only against those who attacked him in their homes [in Madînah, and not outside the city]. Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubâdah Radiyallâhu Anh stood up and said, “You really want to know our [Ansâr’s] opinion. I take an oath in the name of the Being in whose control is my life, if you order us to dive into the ocean, we will dive in. If you order us to travel as far as Bark al-Ghimâd, we will do that.” Al-Miqdâd Radiyallâhu Anh said, “We will not say to you as the Banî Isrâ’îl said to Műsâ Alayh’is Salâm ‘Go forth, then, you and your Lord and you two fight. We shall remain sitting here.’ (Sűrah al-Mâ’idah, 5: 24) Rather, we will fight to your right and left, from behind you and in front of you.” The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was most pleased with this answer and resolved to go out into battle.

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam spent that night - the night of Friday, 17th Ramadân - offering salâh, crying and supplicating to Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, and seeking His help against His enemies. ‘Alî ibn Abî Tâlib Radiyallâhu Anh said, “I looked around and every one of us was sleeping except for the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam who was under a tree, offering salâh and crying till the morning.”[6]

‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh also said, “A light rain fell on us on that night, so we went under trees and leather shields to shade us from the rain. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam spent the night supplicating to his Lord, and saying: ‘If You destroy this group [of Muslims], You will not be worshipped.’ When the dawn broke, he called out: ‘O servants of Allâh, come to salâh.’ The people came from under the trees and leather shields. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam led us in salâh and encouraged us for the fight.”[7]

Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ helped His Messenger Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam and the believers with His help and His army. As stated by Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ, “When you implored your Lord for help, whereupon He responded to you [saying]: ‘I shall send to your aid a thousand angels coming in succession.’ Allâh merely did this as a glad tiding and so that your hearts may be reassured thereby.” (Sűrah al-Anfâl, 8: 9-10)

Al-Bukhari rahimahullâh narrates: Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm asked the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam, “What do you think about those who participated in Badr?” He replied, “They are the most superior Muslims” or he said something similar. Jibra’îl Alayh'is Salâm said, “Similar is the case with the angels who participated in Badr.”

Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “Allâh had already helped you in the battle of Badr while you were weak.” (Sűrah Âl ‘Imrân, 3: 123) He says, “So it was not you who killed them, but it was Allâh who killed them. It was not you who threw the handful of dust when you did throw it, but it was Allâh who threw it.” (Sűrah al-Anfâl, 8: 17)

It is said that when the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam saw the enemy, he said, “O Allâh! These are the Quraysh who have come with their haughtiness. They reject Your Messenger, so fulfil Your promise to me.” Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm came to him and said, “Take a handful of sand and throw it towards them.” He took a handful of sand from the valley and threw it towards them, saying, “May their faces be disfigured.” Some of that soil entered the eyes, nostrils and mouth of every polytheist. They were then defeated. Hakîm ibn Hizâm said, “On the day of Badr, we heard a voice from the sky which sounded like pebbles falling on a basin. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam flung that handful of soil and we were defeated.” When the news reached the Makkans, they asked the person who came with the news, “How are the people?” He said, “There is nothing left. By Allâh, no sooner we faced them, it was as if we surrendered. They were killing us and imprisoning us as they willed. By Allâh, despite this, I do not fault the people. We faced men on black horses between the heavens and earth, nothing could stand in their way.”

Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ killed the ringleaders of the Quraysh on that day: ‘Utbah ibn Rabî‘ah, Shaybah, al-Walîd ibn ‘Utbah, Abű Jahl and others. Seventy of the Quraysh were imprisoned. The story of the battle of Badr is too long to mention all of it here. It is well known and can be found in the books of tafsîr,[8] the sihâh,[9] the sunan,[10] the masanid,[11] the maghâzî[12] and the history books.

Our purpose here is to draw attention to some of the objectives. The enemy of Allâh, Satan, went to the polytheists in the form of Surâqah ibn Mâlik. His hand was in the hand of al-Hârith ibn Hishâm and he began encouraging them, stirring them up, and filling them with hopes. When he saw the angels, he fled and cast himself into the ocean. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ speaks about this in the Qur’ân, “When Satan made their deeds seem fair to them and said: ‘None from the people can overcome you today, and I am your protector.’ But when the two armies faced each other, he turned back on his heels and said: ‘I am not with you. I see that which you do not see. I fear Allâh.’ And the punishment of Allâh is severe.” (Sűrah al-Anfâl, 8: 48)

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Satan was never seen more despised, more repelled and smaller than on the day of ‘Arafah, except for what he saw on the day of Badr.” He was asked, “What did he see?” He said, “He saw Jibra’îl Alayh’is Salâm restraining the angels.”[13] Satan is the enemy of Allâh. He spends all his efforts to extinguish the light and oneness of Allâh. In order to achieve his objectives, he incites his friends from the unbelievers and hypocrites. When he failed to do this because of Allâh’s help to His Messenger Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam and the supremacy of His religion over all other religions, he was satisfied with causing friction among the Muslims. When he failed to revert them from their religion, he resorted to causing them to commit “minor” sins. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Satan has lost hope in worshippers worshipping him in the Arabian peninsular. However, he has not lost hope in causing friction among them.” Narrated by Muslim rahimahullâh from Jâbir Radiyallâhu Anh.[14] Imam Ahmad rahimahullâh, an-Nasa’î rahimahullâh, at-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh narrate from ‘Amr ibn al-Ahwas who said: I heard the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam saying during the Farewell Pilgrimage, “Listen! Satan has lost hope of ever being worshipped in this land of yours. However, he will be obeyed in some actions which you consider to be insignificant. He will be pleased with your committing these actions.”[15]

Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam addressed them during the Farewell Pilgrimage saying, “Satan has lost hope in being worshipped in your land. However, he is satisfied at being obeyed in other matters: he is satisfied with those of your deeds which you consider insignificant. You should therefore be on your guard. O people! I have left something with you which, if you hold on to, you will never go astray: the Book of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ and the Sunnah of His Prophet Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam.”[16] Satan did not consider anything more serious than the commissioning of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam as a Prophet, and the spreading of his message in the east and west. Satan has lost hope in the entire ummah of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam going to major polytheism [ascribing partners with Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ].

Sa‘îd ibn Jubayr said, “When Satan saw the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam offering salâh in Makkah, he began wailing. When the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam conquered Makkah, he began wailing again. His progeny assembled around him and he said, “You can lose hope in returning the ummah of Muhammad to polytheism after this day. However, you should test them in their religion by spreading the practice of wailing over the deceased and poetry among them.” Narrated by Ibn Abî ad-Dunyâ.

At-Tabarânî rahimahullâh narrates from Mujâhid from Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh who said, “Satan wailed when Sűrah al-Fâtihah was revealed, and it was revealed in Madinah.” It is well-known that Mujâhid rahimahullâh said in this regard, “Satan wailed on four occasions: when he was cursed, when he was cast down from Paradise, when Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was commissioned as a Prophet, and when Sűrah al-Fâtihah was revealed; and it was revealed in Madînah.”[17] Narrated by Wakî‘ and others.

One of the Tâbi‘űn said, “When this verse was revealed: ‘Those who, when they commit an open sin or commit an evil to themselves, they remember Allâh and seek forgiveness for their sins.’ (Sűrah Âl ‘Imrân, 3: 135) Satan began crying. He was making reference to his intense grief by its revelation because it contains glad tidings for sinners. Satan is in worry, concern and grief ever since the Messenger Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was commissioned as a Prophet because he saw from him and his ummah all that worries and angers him.

Thâbit said, “When the Messenger Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam was commissioned as a Prophet, Satan said to his devils: ‘Some major incident has taken place. Go and see what it is.’ They went and returned to him saying: ‘We do not know.’ Satan said: ‘I will go and find out, and come with some information.’ He went, returned, and said: ‘Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam has been commissioned as a Prophet.’ He began sending his devils to the Companions of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam. These devils would return to Satan with nothing written on their scrolls. Satan asked them: ‘How is it that you are unable to get anything from them?’ They replied: ‘We have never been in the company of such people. We are able to cause them to commit some sins, but then they stand up to perform salâh and those sins are wiped off.’ Satan said: ‘Be patient! Maybe Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ will open the riches of the world to them. When that time comes, you will be able to fulfil your objectives from them.’”

Al-Hasan said, “Satan said: ‘I enticed the followers of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam with sins but they broke my back with istighfâr (seeking forgiveness from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ). I then enticed them with sins from which they cannot seek forgiveness, i.e. desires.’”

Satan constantly experiences misery during the seasons of forgiveness and salvation from the Hell-fire. For example, he is seen to be the smallest, most despised and most detested on the day of ‘Arafah when he sees the descent of mercy and Allâh’s pardoning of major sins, except for what he saw on the day of Badr.

It is related that when he saw the descent of forgiveness for the ummah of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of sacrifice at Muzdalifah, he began sprinkling sand on his head, and burst into loud laments. The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam began smiling when he saw the anguish of this disgusting creature.

Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ is most affectionate to the ummah of Muhammad Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam in Ramadân. He enchains Satan and the disobedient jinn so that they do not entice them with sins as they used to do in the other months. It is for this reason that acts of disobedience are lesser in Ramadân. Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “When Ramadân enters, the doors of the heavens are opened, the doors of Hell are locked, and the devils are enchained.”[18] The narration of Muslim rahimahullâh states, “The doors of mercy are opened.” Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “When Ramadân arrives, the doors of Paradise are opened, the doors of the Hell-fire are locked, and the devils are shackled.”[19]

At-Tirmidhî rahimahullâh and Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh narrate that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “When it is the first night of Ramadân, the devils and rebellious jinn are shackled. The doors of the Hell-fire are locked, and not a single door is opened. The doors of Paradise are opened, and not a single door is locked. A caller calls out: ‘O you who desire good, come forward. O you who desire mischief, stay behind.’ Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ sets free some people from the Hell-fire, and this takes place every night.”[20] A narration of an-Nasa’î rahimahullâh states, “The rebellious devils are shackled in this month.”[21]

Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “My followers have been given five things in Ramadân which no nation before them was given: (1) The smell that emanates from the mouth of a fasting person is purer in the sight of Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ than the fragrance of musk. (2) The angels seek forgiveness for them till they open their fast. (3) Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ adorns His Paradise for them every day, and says to it: ‘Soon My righteous servants will cast their burden aside and come to you.’ (4) The rebellious devils are chained in this month. They are therefore unable to do what they used to do in the other months. (5) They are forgiven in the last night.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allâh! Is this last night the night of power?” He replied, “No. However, when a worker completes his task, he is given his wage in full.”[22]

The angels spread throughout earth on the night of Power and the authority of the devils is cancelled. Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ says, “On that night, the angels and the Spirit come down by the order of their Sustainer with all matters. There is peace on that night till the break of dawn.” (Sűrah al-Qadr, 97: 4-5)

Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “On that night [of Power], the angels are more than the number of pebbles.”[23] Jabir Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said about the night of Power, “The Satan of the night does not come out until its dawn passes.” ‘Ubâdah ibn as-Sâmit Radiyallâhu Anh narrates that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said about the night of Power, “No shooting star is permitted to shoot on that night. A sign on this night is that the sun in the morning following it rises without any rays. It appears like a full moon. Satan is not permitted to come out with it on that day.”[24]

Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh said, “Satan rises every day with the rising of the sun, but not on the day following the night of Power. The sun rises without any rays on that day.”

With regard to the verse, “There is peace on that night till the break of dawn”, Mujâhid rahimahullâh says, “It is safe from any illness occurring on that night, or from Satan doing anything.” He also said, “The night of Power is a secure night; no illness takes place on that night nor is Satan sent out in that night.” He also said, “It is secure: Satan can neither do any mischief that night nor can he cause any harm.” Ad-Dahhâk rahimahullâh narrates that Ibn ‘Abbâs Radiyallâhu Anh said, “The rebellious jinn are shackled on that night, the mischievous jinn are enchained, all the doors of the heavens are opened, and Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ accepts the repentance of every repentant person. It is for this reason that He says: ‘There is peace on that night till the break of dawn.’”

Ubayy ibn Ka‘b Radiyallâhu Anh said, “On that night, Satan cannot afflict anyone with insanity, illness or any type of corruption. Neither can a magician practise his magic.”

It is related through a weak chain from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh who said, “The stars do not move on that night and the dogs do not bark.”

All these traditions show that the devils are prevented from spreading on earth and they are unable to eavesdrop on matters in the heavens. O man! If you only valued your self, you would not humiliate it with sins. From among all the creations, it is you who have been given a choice, and Paradise has been prepared for you. If you remain righteous, it will be your property. This world is the property of Satan and he has been given a respite in it. How, then, can you agree to turn away from your property and compete with Satan for his property?! How can you agree to being in the Hell-fire with Satan’s followers? We repulsed him from Paradise for your sake - when he refused to prostrate to your father. We want you to come close to Us, to be Our special servant, and to be in Our party. But you have become Our enemy and befriended Our enemy, “Will you then take him and his offspring as friends apart from Me, although they are your enemies? What an evil exchange for the unjust!” (Sűrah al-Kahf, 18: 50)


رعى الله من نهوى وإن كان ما رعى ... حفظنا له العهد القديم فضيعا
وصاحبت قوما كنت أنهاك عنهم ... وحقك ما أبقيت للصلح موضعا

“May Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ safeguard he whom we love even if he does not safeguard himself. We upheld our old covenant but he did not. You befriended a people whom I had prohibited you from, and you left no place for reconciliation.”

Glad tidings to you, O Muslims! The eight doors of Paradise have been opened for you in this month. The cool breezes from it are blowing on the hearts of the believers. All the doors of Hell have been locked for your sake. The feet of Satan and his progeny have been shackled. It is in this month that revenge is exacted from Satan. The rebellious ones from his family are extracted and they have no influence left. They were his little chicks in his nests whom he fed with carnal desires. Today they left those nests breaking down the barriers of his forts with the axes of repentance and istighfâr (seeking forgiveness from Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ). They left his prison to the fort of piety and îmân, and saved themselves from the punishment of the Hell-fire. They broke Satan’s back with the creed of tauhîd (monotheism) and he is therefore complaining about the pain of his injury. He is grief-stricken during every meritorious season. He calls out for destruction in this month when he sees the descent of mercy and the forgiveness of sins. The party of the Merciful [Allâh] is victorious while the party of Satan has fled in defeat. Satan has no authority left except on the unbelievers. The king of desires has been deposed, and authority has gone into the hands of the king of piety. “Learn a lesson, then, O you who are endowed with insight!” (Sűrah al-Hashr, 59: 2)


يا نداماى صحا القلب صحا ... فاطردوا عني الصبا والمرحا
هزم العقل جنودا للهوى ... فاسدي لا تعجبوا أن صلحا
زجر الحق فؤادي فارعوى ... وأفاق القلب مني وصحا
بادروا التوبة من قبل الردى ... فمناديه ينادينا الوحا

“O my remorse! My heart has come to its senses. So repulse all desires and merriment from me. The intellect has defeated the armies of desires. So do not be astonished if my depravity has been rectified. The truth reprimanded my heart so it came to attention. My heart came to its senses and regained consciousness. Hasten with repentance before destruction. The caller is calling us towards inspiration.”

O servants of Allâh! Half the month of Ramadân has passed. Who from among you is going to take stock of himself and act justly for the sake of Allâh? Who from among you is going to fulfil the right of this month which he knows? Who from among you is going to make a determined effort to construct multi-storied apartments in Paradise before its doors are shut? Listen! This month has started to diminish. You should therefore increase your good deeds. It is on the verge of departing from you. Every other month may well have another to take its place. As for Ramadân, where are you going to get a replacement for it?


تنصف الشهر والهفاه واندما ... واختص بالفوز بالجنات من خدما
وأصبح الغافل المسكين منكسرا ... مثلي فيا ويحه يا عظم ما حرم
من فاته الزرع في وقت البدار فما ... تراه يحصد إلا الهم والندما
طوبى لمن كانت التقوى بضاعته ... في شهره وبحبل الله معتصما

“Half the month has passed. How unfortunate! How remorseful! The one who fulfilled its rights is the one who shall enjoy the gardens [of Paradise]. The poor heedless person like me is left broken. O destruction to me! How great is that which I have been deprived from. You will find that the person who misses the harvest at the time of reaping, reaps nothing but grief and remorse. Glad tidings to the one whose provision was piety and who held on tightly to the rope of Allâh in this month.”
 1. Al-Bukhari (813) and Muslim (1167).
 
 2. It was checked before.
 
 3. Checked by At-Tabarany in Al-Kabir" (12/110).
 
 4. Checked by Ibn Abi Shaiba (2/489).
 
 5. Checked by Ahmad (1/411).
 
 6. Al-Musnad (1/125), An-Nasa‘ei (1/270) and Ibn Hibban (2257).
 
 7. Al-Musnad (1/117).
 
 8. The commentary and exegesis of the Qur’ân.
 
 9. Plural of sahîh Here it refers to the Hadîth collections which are classified as sahîh, e.g. the sahîh of al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh, Muslim rahimahullâh, Ibn Khuzaymah rahimahullâh, and others.
 
 10. This refers to the Hadîth collections which are classified as sunan, e.g. the sunan of an-Nasa’î rahimahullâh, Ibn Mâjah rahimahullâh and others.
 
 11. This refers to the Hadîth collections which are classified as musnad, e.g. the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal rahimahullâh.
 
 12. This refers to the books which are dedicated to recording the battles.
 
 13. Al-Mowatta’ (1/336) In "Al-hajj", the chapter "Jame’ Al-hajj".
 
 14. Muslim (2812).
 
 15. Checked by Ibn Majah (3055), At-Tirmidhi (2159), Al-Baihaqi (5/195) and Ahmad (3/498).
 
 16. Al-Hakem in Al-Mustadrak (1/93).
 
 17. At-Tabarany in Al-Awsat (4788).
 
 18. Al-Bukhari (1899) and Muslim (1079).
 
 19. It was checked before.
 
 20. It was checked before.
 
 21. An-Nasa‘ei in Al-Sunan (4/126).
 
 22. Checked by Ahmad (2 / 292).
 
 23. Al-Musnad (2/519).
 
 24. Al-musnad (5/324).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADÂN

‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ said, “When the last ten days [of Ramadân] commenced, he tightened his loincloth, engaged in night worship, and woke up his family.”[1] This is the narration of al-Bukhârî rahimahullâh. The narration of Muslim rahimahullâh states, “He engaged in night worship, awakened his family, strove hard, and tightened his loin cloth.”

A narration of Muslim rahimahullâh states that ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to strive far more in the last ten days than what he did at other times.”[2] The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to reserve the last ten days of Ramadân for certain deeds which he did not do during the rest of the month. One of them is engaging in night worship. This most probably refers to spending the entire night in worship.

A Hadîth of ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ narrated through another chain which is weak contains the words, “He engaged in night worship throughout the night.” The Musnad states through another chain that she said, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to combine the first twenty nights with worship and sleep. But when it was the last ten nights, he would strive hard and tighten his loincloth.”[3]

Al-Hâfiz Abű Nu‘aym rahimahullâh narrates through a weak chain from Anas Radiyallâhu Anh who said, “When the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam witnessed the month of Ramadân, he would [spend the night] in worship and sleep. When it was the 24th night, he did not taste any sleep.”[4]

It is possible that this refers to engaging in worship for the major portion of the night. One of the early scholars from the Banű Hâshim - the narrators thinks that it was Abű Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Alî - explains this as engaging half the night in worship. He said, “The one who spends half the night in worship is as if he spent the entire night in worship.” A similar statement of ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ was quoted previously, “The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to fast the entire month of Sha‘bân, he used to fast the major portion of Sha‘bân.” This is supported by her statement, “I do not know of the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam spending the entire night in worship until the morning.”[5]

Some Shâfi‘î scholars say with regard to spending the two nights of ‘îd in worship that if a person were to spend the major portion of these nights in worship, he shall acquire the virtue of spending the entire night. It is said that he will acquire this virtue even if he spends an hour in worship. Imam ash-Shâfi‘î rahimahullâh quotes in al-Umm from a group of erudite Madînans which supports this view. Some of them quote from Ibn ‘Âbbas Radiyallâhu Anh that the reward of spending the entire night in worship is acquired by a person performing the ‘ishâ salâh in congregation and then making a firm resolution of performing the fajr salâh in congregation. Imam Mâlik rahimahullâh said in Muwattâ’, “I heard that Ibn al-Musayyib said: ‘The one who performs the ‘ishâ salâh in congregation on the night of Power has certainly obtained his share of it.” Imam ash-Shâfi‘î rahimahullâh had a similar opinion in his early years, “The person who performs the ‘ishâ and fajr salâhs on the night of Power has certainly obtained his share of it.” This is narrated in a Hadîth of Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh, “The person who performs the ‘ishâ salâh in congregation in Ramadân has certainly acquired the night of Power.”[6] Narrated by Abű ash-Shaykh al-Asbahânî. Abű Műsâ al-Madînî narrated from him and he states that it is narrated in similar form through another chain from Abű Hurayrah Radiyallâhu Anh.

It is also narrated from ‘Alî ibn Abî Tâlib Radiyallâhu Anh as a mursal Hadîth but its chain is very weak. It is narrated as a mursal Hadîth from Abű Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Alî that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “The person to whom Ramadân comes while he is healthy and a Muslim, he fasts during its days, offers the night salâh, lowers his gaze, safeguards his private part, tongue and hands; upholds salâh with congregation; and goes early for the Jumu‘ah salâh; he has certainly kept fast in Ramadân, obtained full reward, acquired the night of Power, and achieved Allâh’s prize.”

Abű Ja‘far said, “It is a prize which is different from the prizes of the wealthy.” Narrated by Ibn Abî ad-Dunyâ.

If a person takes a vow that he will spend the night of Power in worship, it is obligatory on him to spend any of the nights of Ramadân in worship regarding which he is convinced that it is the night of Power. The ‘ulamâ’ who say that the night of Power falls during any night of Ramadân say that it is obligatory on him to spend all the nights of Ramadân in worship. Those who say that it is in the second half of the month say that it is obligatory on him to spend the second half of the month in worship. Those who say that it is in the last ten nights say that it is obligatory on him spend the last ten nights in worship. This is the opinion of our [Hambalî] scholars. If he made such a vow and some of the last ten nights already passed [without his spending them in worship], he will have to spend the remaining nights in worship, and the following year he must commence with the first of the last ten nights until he reaches the night from which he had commenced the previous year. This ruling applies if we say that the night of Power does not move around in the last ten nights [i.e. it is on the same night every year]. But if we say that it moves around in the last ten nights, he will not have fulfilled his vow without spending all the last ten nights in worship in the year following his vow. If he vows spending an unspecified night in worship, it is obligatory on him to spend half the night in worship, and then sleep. He can then spend another half night in worship. This is the opinion of al-Auzâ‘î rahimahullâh as quoted by al-Walîd ibn Muslim in Kitab an-Nudhűr. This is similar to the opinion of our scholars and others who say: In order for an atonement to be valid, it is sufficient for a person to free two halves of two slaves.
 1. Al-Bukhari (2024) and Muslim (1174).
 
 2. Muslim (1175).
 
 3. Al-Musnad (6/146).
 
 4. Abu Naa‘eem in Al-Hilya (6/306).
 
 5. Muslim (746).
 
 6. Narrated by Al-Hindi in "Al-Kanz" (24092) and check Al-Majmaa‘ (2/231).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

Muferridűn

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Waking Up the Family for Night Worship

The Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to awaken his family for salâh in the ten nights and not the other nights. The Hadîth of Abű Dharr Radiyallâhu Anh states that when the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam spent the 23rd, 25th and 27th nights in worship with them, he called his family members and wives specifically on the 27th night. This shows that it is more important to wake them up in the more likely of the odd nights in which it is hoped that it is the night of Power. At-Tabarânî rahimahullâh narrates from ‘Alî Radiyallâhu Anh that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to awaken his family in the last ten nights of Ramadân, and every young and old who is able to perform salâh.[1]

Sufyân ath-Thaurî rahimahullâh said: “At the commencement of the last ten nights, I consider it desirable for a person to offer the tahajjud salâh, strive hard in worship, and awaken his family and children for salâh if they are able to perform it.” It is established that the Messenger of Allâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam used to go and knock on ‘Alî’s Radiyallâhu Anh and Fâtimah’s radiyallâhű ‘anhâ door at night and say to them: “Are you not going to wake up and perform salâh?” He used to awaken ‘Â’ishah radiyallâhu ‘anhâ at night when he completed his tahajjud salâh and was about to commence his witr salâh. Husband and wife are encouraged to awaken each other for salâh and sprinkle water on the other’s face. The Muwattâ’ states that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb Radiyallâhu Anh used to offer the night salâh as much as Allâh Subhânahu wa Taâlâ willed him to offer. Then when half the night passed, he would awaken his family for salâh. He would say to them: “Salâh, salâh!” and recite this verse to them: “Command your house people to establish salâh and you yourself remain steadfast on it.” (Sűrah Tâ Hâ, 20: 132)

The wife of Habîb ibn Abî Muhammad used to say to him at night: “The night has passed and there is a long road ahead of us. Our provisions for the journey are few, and the caravans of righteous people have gone ahead, while we are left behind.”


يا راقد الليل كم ترقد ... قم يا حبيبي قد دنا الموعد
وخذ من الليل وأوقاته ... وردا إذا ما هجع الرقد
من نام حتى ينقضي ليله ... لم يبلغ المنزل أو يجهد
قل لأولي الألباب أهل التقى ... قنطرة العرض لكم موعد

“O you who are sleeping at night! How much are you going to sleep? Wake up, O my beloved! The appointed time has approached. Take from the portions of the night an act of worship when the sleeping people are still sleeping peacefully. The one who sleeps until the night expires will not reach his destination and will have to strive. Say to the intelligent people - the people of piety - the bridge on which you have to present yourselves is your appointed place.”
 1. At-Tabarany in Al-Awsat (7425).
Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

“The Muferridűn are the males and females who remember Allâh much.” (Muslim, Hadîth no. 2676)

“The Muferridűn are those who absorb themselves in the remembrance of Allâh. The remembrance removed their heavy burdens from them, so they will come on the Day of Judgement being light (in weight of their burdens).” (at-Tirmidhî, Hadîth no. 3596)

 

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