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Ramadān Pointers

Patience

…those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!1

Patience is inseparable from the purpose of Ramadān. Scholars mention four areas where patience is required: fulfilling acts of obedience to Allāh; refraining from prohibitions; bearing trials and tribulations; and preserving one’s heart and intellect from misguidance. Fasting allows us to exercise and develop all these types of patience.

For Days Passed By!

Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!2

Al-Hasan al-Basri is reported to have said, ‘The Hūr al-‘Ayn will say to a walī of Allāh whilst reclining with her by a river of honey and being presented with a cup, “Allāh looked upon you on a very long hot day, experiencing severe thirst and so Allāh boasted about you before the Angels saying, ‘Look at my slave, he has forsaken his wife, desire, pleasure, food and drink for my sake and for what is with me, bear witness that I have forgiven him!’ So he forgave you that day and wed me to you”.’

The All-Seer

The fasting day is much longer this year and it will get even longer with the years to come. This creates more difficulty for everyone, especially those at work. It is important to realise that we are all under the watchful gaze of the One who is above us all and that He is reserving our reward for us and soon enough we will find that reward with great happiness and joy. This is a matter we should often remind ourselves of throughout the day especially when we feel the pangs of hunger; when we fast all the while being conscious that Allah is watching us, our rewards multiply.

A Private Affair

The fast is a secret between the slave and his Lord, no one knows about the difficulty and hardship the fasting person is going through except Allāh. He is the one who determines the reward, and His bounty is unlimited! Allāh’s Messenger said, ‘Every action of the son of Ādam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allāh the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ Fasting is a type of communication with Allāh just as prayer is. It is as though we are calling out to Him, ‘I am only doing this action that no one knows about except for you. And this action that I do, even though I am doing it, it belongs to you.’

Striving to Win

Abū Mūsā al-Ash’ari is an example of one who came before us who truly understood the rewards and virtues of fasting and would love to increase his worship of Allāh. He said, ‘Allāh decreed upon Himself that whoever goes thirsty for Him on a hot day, that He would grant him water on the Day of Judgement.”3 Abū Mūsā would often fast and choose days that were hot and long.

The Highest Objective

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa (piety).4

We fast in order to attain taqwa. One scholar defined it in the following manner, ‘Taqwa is to act in obedience to Allāh, upon a light from Allāh, hoping for reward from Allāh; and to abandon disobedience of Allāh, upon a light from Allāh, fearing punishment from Allāh.’5
 
The Glorious Qur’ān

“The month of Ramadān in which was revealed the Qur’ān, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).”6

It is almost as though Allāh is telling us that we should shift our focus and efforts during the holy month of Ramadān to reading the Qur’ān. This is what some of the past scholars did as they would stop delivering lectures and answering questions. Many of them completed it dozens of times during this blessed month. This is a great opportunity for us to become more proficient in our recitation and ponder much over the Qur’ān.

Translating Guidance

We should read the Qur’ān with its translation as this will help us to understand what Allāh is saying to us and will aid us in learning the Arabic words that appear in the Qur’ān often. Reading the Qur’ān is not enough; we must understand and ponder over it. This is why Allāh said it is guidance for mankind so that we know what is right and what is wrong. Only when we know what is being read can we take it as a source of guidance. An easy step to take in this regard is to simply select a small portion of your daily recitation and read the English whilst following the Arabic. By doing this every Ramadān one can really build up their Quranic Arabic vocabulary.

Intimacy of Tawhīd

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.”7

This verse is among the same set that commands us with fasting; as we read the words of Our Lord and comply with what is asked from us, we should also ask Him what we need and want from Him. We should feel close to Allāh in this month more so than any other month. As Allāh speaks to us through his words in His book, we should speak to Allāh in our supplications.

Whenever people questioned the Prophet about a matter and Allāh addressed it in the Qur’an he would start by saying, ‘Qul’ (Say) Yet, when Allāh was asked about Himself as in this ayah, he did not say, ‘Qul’. This shows us that we do not need to go through anyone to reach Allāh and ask of Him, emphasising the greatness and importance of His Oneness. This also shows us how close Allāh is to us. Allāh also expresses His nearness to us by attaching the slave to Himself, ‘And when My slave asks you.’ This also shows the great heights a human being can reach by being a slave of Allāh. Other verses refer to the slave as though they are distant and many, whilst here the slaves are being addressed as being near and as one individual.

So we know how close Allāh is to us and that He promised to respond to His slave. Now imagine that this slave is fasting and the Prophet has told us that the supplication of the fasting Muslim will not be rejected!8. The bounties and opportunities of Ramadān are many and unlimited yet the number of days we have to take advantage of it are few and limited.

Let us make this Ramadān different to all our previous ones. They say that actions speak louder than words, so let your actions (worship) therefore be as though you are speaking to your Lord.

Originally posted on 9th July 2012.
Notes:
[1] Sūrah al-Zumar verse 10
[2] Sūrah al-Hāqqah verse 24
[3] Al-Bazzār and declared hasan by al-Albāni in Sahīh al-Targhīb, Vol 1 pg 412
[4]
 Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:183
[5] Talq Ibn Habīb, related by Ibn Abī Shaybah in Kitāb al-Imān (no. 99)
[6]
 Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:185
[7]
 Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:
[8]
Al-Tirmidhi

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

25 comments

  1. Thank you for writing such a clear succinct article. Most of the time the writings are so complex I give up half way through but writing in such a way encourages me to want to learn and know more and is exactly what most of is need. Mashallah.

  2. jazakallahu qairrun,ALLAH guide us in every step of life ameeeeeeeen

  3. assalamu alaikum rahmatullahi wa barkatuhu
    jazakallahu qairrun,ALLAH guides everyone to implement it to our life and makes us all be dweller of jannah ameen

  4. Women
    Salaam, good article…but you started off with a comment by hasan al basri that’s for men only…what about the women who fast …where is our hur al ayn? Why don’t we have anyone to wed as a reward as we go through the exact hardships as men. Women also read these articles…so unless it’s an authentic Hadith please don’t put things that talk about rewards for men only…I’m sure I’m not the only sister who thinks like this. Islam is the best religion for women and men…not only men…so please put comments regarding rewards for both women and men…we are all going to be fasting…so Allah knows we also give up our desire for Him…and should have a similar reward.

    • Asma Begum Mullick

      exactly what came to my mind, sister @Alisha, what about the women!!!???

    • Asma Begum Mullick

      exactly what came to my mind, sister @Alisha, what about the women :'( !!!??? Now I’m waiting for an explanation from the admin……

  5. I thought he was cause he did a speech in the HT conference.

  6. Nassir Hussain

    HT
    No the Sheikh is not a member of HT.

  7. Is Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad a member of Hizbut-Tahreer (HT).

  8. dr.shaukat Ali

    a nice very good artickle

  9. Yasmin Kassamali

    Bint Yasmin Kassamali
    Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

    This article was very PRECISE,CONCISE and CAPTURING

    Jazakka Allahu Khairan Katheeran

    May Allah SWT reward your efforts to deliver to us so CLEARLY.Ameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen

  10. Aminu Kabiru Aminu

    The five pillars of islam in the bible
    salam alaikum
    please i need more explanation on the title named above

  11. Source
    Assalam alaikum

    That Definition of Taqwa can be found in the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, in the beginning of Soorah Baqarah

    and Allaah knows best

  12. muslim doctor

    to sister Fatima Barkatulla
    Exactly.
    Jazaki Allah khair for accepting my correction.

  13. Fatima Barkatulla

    jazakallahu khairan. Just wanted to know the source.

    So it was inspired by a conversation between Umar and Ubay, but written by al-Mu’taz.

  14. to sister Fatima Barkatulla
    Here is the full story:
    Umar asked ‘Ubayy to define what Taqwa was, to which Ubayy replied “Have you ever walked along a thorny path?”, “Yes” came the answer from ‘Umar. “What did you do?” asked Ubayy. “I rolled up my clothes and was on my guard”, ‘Umar replied and Ubbay’s reply to this was “That is Taqwa”.

    So Umar didn’t define Taqwa, rather he asked Ubayy to define it. Not that he didn’t know it, but it was one his habits to ask companions to see their own views about different matters.
    This is a well known story in Islamic literature and you will find in most books that talked about Taqwa or the biography of Umar.
    Dozens of books have cited the story and none of them mention that Umar was the one who defined it. If you check Seerah or history books you will find neither Umar nor Ubayy had the habit of writing poetry. This is a fact.
    Then many years later Ibn al-Mu’taz complied those poetry lines. I hope you trust me, if not then go and read the Collection of Ibn al-Mu’taz work (available in Arabic bookstores) where you will find a the poem we are talking about. It’s his poem.

    Your teacher is prone to make mistakes just like anyone else.

  15. Fatima Barkatulla

    Jazakallahu khairan…our teacher related it to us as Umar’s definition of Taqwa…so that’s where I got it from.

    I wonder where you ‘muslim doctor’ found out about it’s origin?

  16. muslim doctor

    quote of Umar
    Thank you all for your comments. I just want to point out that the short poem the sister translated and quoted as a saying of Umar is actually not his saying.
    When Umar asked a companion – Ubayy bin Ka’ab about the definition of Taqwa, the companion defined Taqwa as avoiding thorns on your path. Later a righteous poet names Ibn al-Mua’taz complied those lines of poetry. It’s a common act of speakers to relate whole story together and people tend to think it’s either Umar or Ubayy who complied it.

  17. Fatima Barkatulla

    The definition of Taqwa verses of ‘Umar that I quoted above are apparently quoted by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his book Al-Lataaif wal Ma’aarif.
    Our teacher at AlKauthar Institute quoted it to us in the Fiqh of Ramadan course…

  18. reference for hadith umar
    salaam,
    can you give a reference for the hadith of umar. just so i can quote it to others.
    barakAllaahu feekum.

  19. Fatima Barkatulla

    If both he and she are people of Jannah, then his wife will be married to him and she will have a higher status than the Hur al-Ayn. She will be totally satisfied with him as he will be in his most perfect form etc.

    That is from what I have studied.

    And Allah knows best

  20. This was a brilliant reminder of the benefits of Ramadan, short yet sweet.
    I just had a question regarding the report by Al-Hasan al-Basri.
    If the Muslim man will have a Hur al-Ayn with him in Jannah, then what will his wife, or other believing women have?

    Jazakallahu Khairan for sharing your knowledge with us.

  21. Fatima Barkatulla

    Assalamu Alaikum and jazakallahu Khairan Sheikh
    As you mentioned, Allah tells us that fasting was prescribed upon us so that we may attain Taqwa:

    Here is a wonderful definition of Taqwa, given by Umar bin al-Khattab:

    خَلِّ الذنوبَ صغيرَها و كبيرَها ذاكَ التُّقى
    واصْنَع كَماشٍ فوقَ أرضِ الشّوكِ يَحْذَرُ ما يَرَى
    لا تَحْقِرَنّ صغيرةً إنّ الجِبالَ منَ الحَصى

    The meaning as I make it is:

    Abandon sins – small ones and big: that is Taqwa…
    And be like a person walking one a land of thorns, cautious of what he sees…
    Don’t belittle the small sins, Indeed mountains are made up of small stones….

  22. Ramadan reminders
    Thsi is so simple, yet is packed with reminders and a deep sound knowledge and understanding. Set out in a way which is easy to follow.

    Insha Allah you will be rewarded for the acts that only you and your Lord know of, and others (such as this article) that help the masses that have read it, or have reiterated it to others. Your reward is with Allah.

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