"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers."
(Al-Quran 51:55)

Monday 8 July 2013

Ramadan - Part Three

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Things Which Do Not Break the Fast
·       If someone eats or drinks by mistake, his fast is not broken. However if he carries on eating, then it is broken.
·       Putting oil on the head or surma on the eyes or having a blood test – the fast is not broken.
·       Vomiting unintentionally – the fast is not broken

Those who can postpone their fasting
·       Someone who is ill and fears that if they fast, their illness will increase, he can break his fast or not fast at all but will have to do qadha of it later.
·       If you are a traveller and are not harmed by fasting, then
to fast is preferable, but you don’t fast, it’s ok but you have to do qadha of it later.

Fidyah (Compensation for Not Fasting)
Those people who are really old or really ill and are not capable of fasting, then they must pay the fidya (compensation). This means that for every day he misses, he must feed a poor person. Nowadays, you can do this through Islamic charities online, by selecting the fidya option when paying. E.g. on Islamic Relief the rate of fidya is £4 per fast missed.

Importance of Reading the Quran in Ramadan
The first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad saw in Ramadan as the Quran says:
“(It is) the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was revealed as a guidance for mankind, clear proofs giving guidance, and the Criterion (for distinguishing right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” [2:185]
Fasting softens our hearts and therefore makes it more receptive and humble  to the recitation of the Quran. This may be one of the wisdoms that links fasting and the Quran together. It is important to note that our relationship with the Qur'an in this month should not be limited to just the nightly Tarawih prayers, we must devote ourselves to studying the Qur'an outside of prayer as well.
We should try and complete recitation of the Quran at least 3 times in one year, and one of those 3 times should be during Ramadan.

Ibn Umar (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “Verily Allah and His angels send mercy upon those who eat sehri”.
Look at the great favour of Allah that He is giving us reward just for eating! There are many Hadith which talk about the virtues of Sehri. Those people who miss Sehri out of laziness are extremely unfortunate – if we are really full from Iftar, then just have a drink for Sehri – at least we can be part of the blessings.
The word Sehri means to have food before Fajr. The best time to eat Sehri is an hour or two before Fajr – not too soon and not too near Fajr time.
Another virtue of Sehri, is mentioned in a Hadith where the Prophet (saw) said: “The difference between our fasting and that of the Jews and the Christians is the partaking of food at Sehri time – they do not”.
Another Hadith says: “Eat Sehri, because in it lies great blessings”.
Sehri provides strength for the fast during the day and worship as well. It is also a time of the day when Allah accepts duas, so we should try and make lots of dua at that time too – it’s also tahajjud time so there are added blessings!

The Prophet (saw) said, "The Sa-im ( the person who fasts) has two happy moments: when he breaks his fast he is happy, and when he meets his Lord he is happy because of his fast."
At Iftar time, we feel happy because we can finally eat, and also happy because we have completed one fast and we look forward to the reward of it.
Another Hadith regarding feeding people at Iftar time:
“...Whoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the Fire of Hell, and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who fasted, without that persons reward being decreased in the least”
Some of the companions said, “O messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means where we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” The Prophet (saw) replied, “Allah grants the same reward to one who gives a fasting person to break his fast a date, a drink of water or a sip of milk.”
Iftar time is a time when duas are accepted. We should plan ahead especially with the cooking. Prepare ahead of time, so that at least 15 minutes before iftar time, we can make dua. Then try and break the fast with some dates and water, eat a little food, pray Maghrib salah and then sit and enjoy the main iftar meal. Let it not be that we are delaying our Maghrib, as Maghrib namaz should be read on time – it should not be delayed, even outside of Ramadan. Same with sehri – try and prepare early, so you have some time to make dua!

Preparing for Ramadan
8 Steps to Prepare for Ramadan:
1.        Create a Ramadan countdown – counting down for Ramadan whether done mentally or by keeping physical signs around the home will help create hype and buzz in your mind and amongst the people around you. When you and others are counting down to the same event, it becomes part of regular conversation and creates excitement.
2.        Seek knowledge about Ramadan – this will help you to ensure that you do things correctly and perfectly in Ramadan. It will create a hype as there are many motivational aspects and events in the month to look forward to. The more you know about Ramadan, the more you can apply hence multiplying the rewards.
3.        Make a Ramadan plan – be it reading the entire Quran, ensuring you read Taraweeh every night or inviting families over for Iftar; make a list of things you would like to achieve in the month and then how you plan on achieving these goals. It is important that your goals are realistic and it is better if your life doesn’t take a different road in this month, so that you may continue to do these deeds after Ramadan is finished. Knowing what you want to achieve in this month will help you to stay focused.
4.        Know your life – be aware if Ramadan affects anything during the actual month or shortly after it. People may have exams etc during the month, so plan for these events from now.
5.        Prepare spiritually – we all know that Ramadan is about fasting, praying namaz, reading Quran and giving in charity. Start these worships early; don’t expect to just click into it as soon as the first day of Ramadan starts. Start praying extra namaz from now, start reading and studying the Quran from now, get used to being generous and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) by fasting in Shaban.
6.       Prepare your mind – fasting is more than just to refrain from eating. Start working on your patience, be extra vigilant with your conversations, ensure you are not backbiting, slandering (telling a lie against someone verbally) or talking about useless things.
7.        Say “good riddance” to bad habits – know what bad habits you have and stop them from now, don’t wait for Ramadan to begin e.g. If you sleep late, start sleeping early. It might be easier said than done, but once you’ve commited yourself and purified your intentions – make sincere dua to be guided.
8.        Plan your life around your worship – everybody has different lives and different responsibilities, so each person should plan their prayers and worship around their own individual life.

Have a blessed and productive Ramadan, Insha Allah!


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