Archive for August, 2009

Better than a Martyr’s Blood

Posted in Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Ramadan on August 28, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, the breath of the fasting person is more pleasant with Allah than the smell of musk.”

In ‘Fath al-Bari’ (4/138), Ibn Hajar commented:

“What can be gained from this is that the fasting person’s breath is better than the blood of a martyr. This is because the martyr’s blood was likened to the smell of musk,* while the fasting person’s breath was described as being even better than the smell of musk. And this doesn’t necessitate that fasting is better than shahadah, for obvious reasons…”

* In a hadith reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim

Overeating During Iftar

Posted in al-Ghazzali, Ramadan on August 25, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…One should not overeat while breaking the fast to the point that he fills his stomach, as there isn’t any container that Allah hates more than a full stomach. How can one benefit from fasting and subdue this enemy and break this desire if he breaks his fast by making up for it through eating everything that he missed out on during the day? In fact, some even eat more than they usually would during the day! This habit has continued to the point that so many types of food are prepared for Ramadan that more food is eaten in this month than in any other month.

It is known that the whole point of fasting is discipline and to break one’s desire in order to strengthen the soul with taqwa. So, if you prevent your digestive system from food all day long until night such that its desire and longing for food goes wild, and you then feed it what it wants until it is fully satisfied, this will only increase its desire and multiply its energy, and it will manifest a longing that wouldn’t have been there had it been left to its usual intake.

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Tarawih: Home or Masjid?

Posted in Ramadan, The Words of the Salaf on August 24, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

al-Marwazi mentioned in ‘Mukhtasar Qiyam al-Layl’ (p. 231) that a man asked al-Hasan al-Basri:

“O Aba Sa’id! This Ramadan has come upon me while I have read (or memorized) the Qur’an. What do you think I should do: pray alone, or join a congregation of Muslims and pray with them?”

He replied:

“You should look to what benefits you most. So, look to which of the two places will make your heart more tender and your concentration better, and that is where you should go.”

The Virtues of Fasting in the Summer

Posted in Ibn Rajab, Ramadan on August 18, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Ibn Rajab has a section in ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’ (p. 272-273) about the virtues of fasting during hot days. Since Ramadan will start in the summer this year, this will be a good encouragement:

“…And from the acts of worship whose reward is multiplied during the heat is fasting, and this is because of the thirst that one experiences in the mid-day heat.

This is why Mu’adh bin Jabal expressed regret on his deathbed that he would no longer experience this mid-day thirst, as did other early Muslims.

And it was related that Abu Bakr would fast in the summer and not fast in the winter, and ‘Umar advised his son ‘Abdullah on his deathbed: “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith,” and the first one he mentioned was fasting in the intense summer heat.

And al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that ‘A’ishah would fast in the intense heat, and he was asked: “What drove her to do this?” He replied: “She would take advantage of the days before death.” And some of the righteous women would choose the hottest days and fast them, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that she wanted to do those actions that only a few were capable of due to how hard it was to do them, and this is indicative of the high aspirations these women had.

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Qur’an in Ramadan: Read or Memorize?

Posted in Ibn 'Uthaymin, Ramadan on August 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Q: What is better in Ramadan – to recite the Qur’an by reading visually or to work on memorization?

A: Your priority is to read the entire Qur’an visually, while also preserving what you have already memorized in order to avoid forgetting it. This is because the entire Qur’an is beneficial for the person to read, as the reader will come across all of the Words of Allah and benefit from the rulings and stories that are contained in its verses. You’ll miss out on all this if you limit yourself only to the chapters that you’d memorize.

By limiting yourself to the specific chapters you memorize, you’ll benefit from them in that your attachment to them will grow. However, this isn’t something you’ll miss out on if you do it at another time because you can recite what you’ve memorized at home, at the mosque, or anywhere else you go.

So, your priority is to make sure you read the entire Qur’an, and then put in extra effort in regards to what you had been memorizing.

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One Moon Sighting

Posted in Abu Qatadah, Ramadan on August 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

Q: What is your opinion on fasting in unison? Should each country have its own moon sighting?

May Allah reward you.

A: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Naturally and according to the Shari’ah, there is to be only a single Moon sighting for the whole world. This is the opinion of the three Imams except for the Shafi’is, whose opinion in this is rejected and incorrect.

Because of the fact that people begin their fasting on different days, we have become the laughing stock of other nations.

However, it should be mentioned that what we are in today is because of the absence of the Shari’ah and the authority of the murtaddin over our lands. They have changed the symbols of this religion and have made them like toys in their hands. So, O Allah, how has today’s absence of the Religion from the Muslims brought about disasters and tribulation…

And Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best Disposer of our affairs.

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When the Reward Equals Fifty

Posted in The Scholars of Najd on August 6, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In ‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah’ (8/91-95), Shaykh Hasan bin Husayn (a grandson of Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab) was asked about the hadith: “…the one who does this will have the reward of fifty.” So, he replied:

“First of all, you should know that the hadith in question was reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah from ‘Utbah bin Hakim, from ‘Amr bin Harithah, from Abi Umayyah ash-Sha’bani, from Abi Tha’labah al-Khushani who commented on the verse: {“O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error…”} [al-Ma’idah; 105] He said:

“By Allah, I asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about this, and he said: “Rather, what this means is enjoin the good and prevent the bad until you see people succumb to covetousness, follow their desires, become corrupted by the worldly life, every one impressed with his own opinion, and you see that there is nothing else you can do. At that point, take care of yourself and don’t worry about the affair of the general populace, because there are indeed ahead of you days that require patience. Whoever is patient during those days will be like someone holding to a burning coal. And the one who does this from them will have the reward of fifty men who do what he is doing.” The Companions asked: “Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of those with him?” He said: “The reward of fifty of you.”

…If you know this, you will see that the reason such a person deserves this great reward and his virtue is made equal to fifty of the Companions is that he has no helpers or aides, according to al-Hafidh Sulayman al-Khattabi and Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Rajab and others.

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