We need a Ramadan

In a couple of days time, we will be, with the grace of Allah, blessed with the holy and noble month of Ramadan. And, unfortunately to a lot of the Muslims, this beautiful month is perceived as a month of thirst and hunger, and is also perceived as a month where people get tired and they become lazy and they sleep most of the day and play most of the night. Ramadan is unlike this.

Ramadan is a season where Muslims should prepare themselves before entering this season. This is what the prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to do. He used to fast most of the month that comes before Ramadan, which is the month of Sha’ban, and when he was asked, ‘Oh Prophet of Allah, why do you fast this month?’ He said that it is a month between the month of Rajab and the month of Ramadan.

A lot of the Muslims seem to ignore or neglect it and that is why I would love to remember Allah, and be grateful to Him by fasting these last few days of Sha’ban. So this is one means of preparation for the month of Ramadan, which is by fasting the month that precedes it, so that it would be like a training session for you.

Most of us have debts, have problems, have illnesses, have needs, and we don’t seem to get the answers to our problems because we are not asking the right questions, and we are not asking the people, or we are not asking those who can answer our problems. In Ramadan, it is a gift from Allah, where you can find all the solutions for your problems and all the answers for your questions. If you knock on Allah’s door, eventually it will be opened and your request will be answered, only in the month of Ramadan. Write a list of what you want. Try to gain your thoughts and gather them so you that know what to seek from your Lord. Because in Ramadan you have to be certain that this is the time for your wishes and hopes and prayers to be answered.

The prophet said (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) that among those whom Allah answers their prayers and supplications, among them is a person who is fasting when he breaks his fast. So imagine yourself, a few minutes before sunset, before breaking your fasting, few minutes before your iftar, imagine yourself with all the burdens and troubles you carry on your shoulder, when you sit there, in humility, when you sit there in poverty to Allah’s generosity, raising your hands, praising Allah, giving salutations to the prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and asking Allah for whatever you want, knowing that Allah will answer your call. Knowing that Allah will give you what you have asked for. If you do this every single day until the month of Ramadan is over, by the grace of Allah your call will be answered, your problems will be solved, and your questions, in sha’Allah, with the grace of Allah, would find an answer to them.

This month of Ramadan is a month of worship, of giving charity, of night prayer. Not only that, it is a month of forgiveness, it is a month of pardoning others. It is a month of excelling and doing your best at your work and in your studies so that non-Muslims would look and say ‘SubhanAllah, he is hungry and thirsty and he did not have a bite for twelve or fourteen hours and look at him, ma sha’Allah he is doing his level best to improve and to excel in his job. This is a wonderful religion.’ Compare this man to that who comes to work late and leaves from work early, and whenever he is assigned to do something, he complains that he is fasting and you people do not have any mercy.

What kind of an impression he would leave about Islam in their sight? So, this is an opportunity for us to take, I know that we are a month ahead but you cannot go in the field and expect to do good results in the match if you did not have the proper training. The month of Sha’ban is a suitable month for you to train by fasting as many days as you can, by dedicating more minutes and hours to your night prayer at night, so that when Ramadan comes you are feeling at home and you will utilise it to the very best.

I pray to Allah that we reach Ramadan in piety, in righteousness and in fear of Allah and that Allah will grant us the full utilisation of our time to recite the Qur’an, to make dhikr, to fast as Allah loves us to do, and to give charity and to pray night prayer in taraweeh and in tahajjud and with the grace of Allah we will be able to attain night prayer in the night of decree, Laylat al Qadr, which is better than a thousand months of worship, and whoever does this, Allah will forgive their sins. And I pray to Allah that we will be among those who their sins will be forgiven. And Allah knows best.

Ramadan. [Written By: Musa Burki]

A time for our hearts to become unseal,
Reflecting on the divine words revealed
The month which we hope to never end
Unable to count the infinite blessings it sends

Asked by our Lord to give up our worldly pleasures
So that we may receive His divine treasures
It’s a time that comes but once a year
Yet the moments which we hold most dear

The nights spent in prayer and reflection
Prepares the soul for redemption
Praying to our Creator for mercy and wisdom
Pleading to be admitted into His kingdom

We welcome you, O Ramadan, with joy as our guest
Having to subdue our egos as a test
You mend our hearts and give us tranquility
As we engage in battling our iniquity

Solidifying the bonds of kith and kin
Washing away the stain of sin
Fasting not only of body but of speech
It is Your benevolence which we beseech

O Ramadan, you have blessed us with your presence
Teaching us to grow from our spiritual adolescence
Continue to be the month which will always bless
Helping us to alleviate our fears and distress

Women Issues Related to Fasting and Ramadan

For fasting, women have some additional rules that apply to them due to issues such as pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and breast feeding. The following provides some insight into those matters.

Making up of fasts for women who are pregnant, breast feeding, or menstruating:

The scholars are of the opinion that women should make up the fasts should she skip because of those conditions. This is based on the Quranic verses:

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the
same number [of days which one did not
observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up]
from other days” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:185]

Pregnant woman and sickness:

Some ahadith and scholarly interpretation indicate that a pregnant woman who is unable to fast because of her pregnancy can make her fasts at a later date. Consider the following:

Allah has waived half of the prayer and fasting from the traveler, and from pregnant and breast feeding women.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2274; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al- Nasaa’i

The view is that she has to make up the fasts
only and does not have to feed poor people.
This is the most correct view in my opinion,
because the situation of pregnant and
breastfeeding women is no different to that
of sick people and travelers, so they have to
make up the fasts only. From al-Sharh al-
Mumti’, 6/362 [For the condition when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding and if she fears for the health of her child], in this situation it is better for her not to fast, and it is makrooh (undesirable) for her to fast.
Some of the scholars stated that if she fears
for her child, it is obligatory for her not to fast and it is haraam for her to fast. Al- Mirdaawi said in al-Insaaf (7/382): Ibn ‘Aqeel said: If a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother fears for her pregnancy or her child, then it is not permissible for her to fast in this case, but if she does not fear for her child then it is not
permissible for her not to fast.
However, for cases when a pregnant woman or the one who is breastfeeding is in good health, she is supposed to fast. Consider the following:
“It is not permissible for a pregnant woman
or breast feeding woman not to fast during the day in Ramadan unless they have an excuse. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Fataawa al- Siyaam (p. 161). Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was also asked in Fataawa al- Siyaam (p. 162) about a pregnant women
who fears for herself or her child, and does
not fast – what is the ruling? He replied by
saying: Our answer to this is that one of two
scenarios must apply in the case of a pregnant woman. The first is if she is healthy and strong, and does not find fasting difficult, and it does not affect her fetus. In this case the woman is obliged to fast, because she has no excuse for not doing so (fasting). The second is where the
pregnant woman is not able to fast, either
because the pregnancy is advanced or because she is physically weak, or for some other reason. In this case she should not fast, especially if her fetus is likely to be harmed, in which case it may be obligatory for her not to fast. If she does not fast, then like others who do not fast for a valid reason, she has to make up the days when that excuse no longer applies.
When she gives birth, she has to make up those fasts after she becomes pure from nifaas. But sometimes the excuse of pregnancy may be
lifted but then immediately followed by
another excuse, namely breastfeeding. The
breastfeeding mother may need food and drink, especially during the long summer days when it is very hot. So she may need not to fast so that she can nourish her child with her milk. In this case we also say to her: Do not fast, and when this excuse no longer applies, then you should make up the fasts that you have missed. Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/224)
With regard to pregnant women and breast feeding mothers, it is proven in the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik al-Ka’bi, narrated by Ahmad and the authors of al- Sunan with a saheeh isnaad, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) granted them a dispensation allowing them not to fast, and he regarded them as being like travelers. From this, it is known that they may not fast but they have to make up the fasts later, just like
travelers. The scholars stated that they are
only allowed not to fast if fasting is too
difficult for them, as in the case of one who
is sick, or if they fear for their children. And
Allah knows best. Fataawa al-Lajnah al Daa’imah (10/226).

Woman and menstrual cycles
Here are some of the scholars’ guidance on women and their menstrual cycles as they relate to Ramadan and fasting.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked about a woman
whose period came, then she became pure
and did ghusl, then after she had prayed for
nine days, she started to bleed again, so she
did not pray for three days, then she became pure and prayed for eleven days, then her period came again as usual. Should she repeat the prayers she offered during those three days or should they be regarded as part of her period? He replied: When the period comes it is hayd (menstruation) regardless of whether
a long time or a short one has passed between it and the previous period. If a woman has her period then becomes pure, then after five days, or six, or ten, her period comes again, she should stop praying because this is hayd. This applies all the time. Every time she becomes pure then her period comes again, she has to stop praying etc. But if she bleeds continually
and it only stops for a short while, then she
is mustahaadah (one who suffers from
istihaadah or non-menstrual vaginal
bleeding), and in that case she should only
stop praying for the duration of her normal
menses. Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn
‘Uthaymeen, 11 Shawwaal 230.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in IFataawa Arkaan al- Islam (p. 455): A young girl got her period and she fasted the days of her period out of ignorance. What does she have to do?
He replied: She has to make up the days that she fasted during her period, because fasts observed whilst menstruating are not accepted and are not valid, even if she was ignorant of that, and there is no limit to the time when they can be made up.
Here is a case which involves the opposite scenario: A woman started her periods when she was young, and she was too shy to tell her
family, and she did not fast Ramadan. This
woman has to make up the month that she
did not fast, because once a woman starts her periods she becomes mukallifah (accountable for her deeds), because menstruation is one of the signs of having reached adolescence. He was also asked about a woman who did not make up the days from her period in Ramadan until she owed nearly two hundred days, and now she is sick and old and cannot fast – what
should she do? He replied: If this woman will be harmed by fasting as mentioned in the question, because she is elderly and sick, then she should feed one poor person for each day. She should calculate how many days she owes from the past and feed one poor person for each day. Fataawa al- Siyaam, p. 121.

Allah says in the Quran: And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend” [Surah al-Ahzaab 33:5]

“Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has forgiven my
ummah for mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2053; classed as saheeh by al- Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a woman who fasted when she was unsure whether her period was over, then when morning came she saw that it had indeed ended. Does her fast count even though she was not certain that her period had ended? He replied: Her fast does not count, and she has to make up that day, because the basic principle is that the menses was still there, and her starting to fast when she was not certain that her menses was over means that she started to do an act of worship
when she was uncertain as to whether one
of the conditions of it being valid was fulfilled or not, and this means that it does not count. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (19/107).
Aa’ishah said: Faatimah bint Abi Hubaysh
came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who experiences istihaadah and I do not become pure. Should I give up praying?” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No. That is just a vein, and it is not menses. When your menses comes, then stop praying, and when it ends, then wash the blood from yourself and pray.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 226; Muslim, 333.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said, explaining the phrase “that is just a vein”: This indicates that if the blood which is flowing is blood from a vein – which includes bleeding that results from surgery – then that is not regarded as menses, so the things that become haraam in the case of menses are not haraam in this case, and a woman has to pray and to fast if that happens during the day in Ramadan.” Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 11/ question no. 226.
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “If she sees blood that is
heavy or copious, she should not pray, and if she sees the tuhr for a while, she should do ghusl.” Majallat al-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah
(12/102)
Umm ‘Atiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “We did not regard the brownish or yellowish discharge after the tuhr as being anything that mattered.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 307; classed as saheeh by al- Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Source: IqraSense.com

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KINDNESS TO ONES WIFE

All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allâh be upon the Messenger, his household and companions. Fellow Muslims! Fear Allâh as He should be feared and die not except in the state of Islâm. Allâh says, “And fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisâ 4:1) Brethren in faith! Allâh reminds us of His blessings and explains to us His signs that indicate His favours and kindness. He says “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.

Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rûm 30:21) In this above verse, Allâh calls our attention to a great blessing that He has endowed us with. This blessing is the relationship between man and woman by which isolation is removed, happiness is achieved and peace and tranquillity are attained in the life of this world. One should therefore, take care of this blessing and not become a cause for its destruction. Dear Muslims! Allâh created His servants with different ability to manage the affairs of their lives and in the ways of achieving happiness in this life and the Hereafter.

It is because of this difference that He made some of His servants leaders and others subjects. He chose for them leaders to manage their affairs. He made man the manager of his household and the woman the caretaker of the house of her husband. For the home is the pillar of life, the foundation of its happiness, tranquillity and stability. The home cannot stand firm unless the man performs his obligations, takes care of his family and treats them kindly. The same applies to the wife.

The Muslim woman should perform her obligations towards her husband and children. For home is the first school of life and the foundation of good behaviour for the children. She must give them sound Islâmic upbringing that will lead to a good life in this world and happiness in the Hereafter. Brethren in Islâm! A great calamity that many people are afflicted with these days is their indifference to the issue of divorce. Some men hastily divorce his wife for the flimsiest reason while forgetting every good she had done him thereby doing injustice to her and his children.

At the end, he regrets and becomes distressed for that action. The cause of this irrational act is quick anger, agitation and bad conducts. This action destroys home and puts the family in disarray. The husband should control himself and not let his wife drive him into a rage. Whenever he feels annoyed, he should change his position as the Messenger of Allâh has instructed like changing his position from standing to sitting or from sitting to lying down or leaving the house until his anger is gone and he has come back to his senses.

He should also remember the instruction of the Prophet that says, “I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” He also said, “No believing man should hate a believing woman.

If he finds a behaviour in her that he dislikes, he will find another that he likes.” This Prophetic directive is a basis for good relationship between husband and wife. The husband must note the commendable conducts that his wife possesses and compare that to her conducts that he dislikes. For when man looks into commendable behaviours that his wife possesses he will overlook her misdeeds because of her overwhelming good conduct.

The wise man should know that attaining perfection is impossible. If he looks into his own self, he will find out that he has more imperfections than the ones he sees in his wife or the same. There is no way to avoid a disagreement with a wife or any of the relatives or friends. Let him remember the word of Allâh, “And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allâh brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisâ 4:19) Fellow Muslims! A person with a sound mind, pure nature and fair conscience will not deny a woman her right or be unjust to a woman who was brought up far from him and then joined him in a marriage relationship and each of them has found repose in the other, as Allâh says: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.

In spite of this love and mercy that the husband and the wife find in one another, the woman is still obedient to her husband, takes care of his home and gives him enjoyment. After all this, can any reasonable man have the audacity to harm this woman, inconvenience her, humiliate her, wrong her, beat her and divorce her? O Woman whom Allâh has blessed with honour, respect and chastity and whom Allâh has made the nurturer and the caretaker of a family, hold fast unto this blessing by improving on your conducts and dealing with your husband in the best way, for the husband’s right is great. Expect to get reward from Allâh for your obedience to your husband, your service to him, your perseverance and your overlooking of things that do not contradict religion or standard moral conduct.

Keep away from evil suspicions, wild accusations and injurious expressions. Learn from marital problems of others and the separations and disruptions that such problems have caused. O you husbands and wives! All of you should treat one another well. Let each of you bear whatever their companion does with patience and tolerance. Remember that each of you owes obligations to their spouse as Allâh says, “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:228)

Dear Muslims! Fear Allâh and be dutiful to Him. Shield yourselves with the patience and forbearance. Overlook some things for yourselves for perfection is unattainable and forgiving other people’s faults is among the noble qualities. Fellow Muslims! Know that Allâh gives some period excellence over others and honours some months, days and nights more than others so that His believing slaves might work righteousness in them. Among these excellence periods is the month of Ramadân which Allâh blessed and made a great season of blessings and forgiveness and elevation of the degrees of His faithful servants.

The month is here now. You should therefore receive it with happiness. “Therein let them rejoice. That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.” (Yûnus 10:58) The month of Ramadân has a night that is greater than a thousand months. Allâh makes fasting of the month obligatory and makes the observation of prayers in its nights a supererogatory duty. Whoever provides food for a fasting Muslim in it will have his sins forgiven, will be liberated from Hell and will have the same reward similar to that of the fasting Muslim without causing any reduction in the reward of the latter.

Ramadân is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is liberation from the Fire. He who feeds a fasting Muslim during Ramadân will drink from the Prophet’s Lake Fount and shall not be thirsty again until he enters Paradise. Allâh says, “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur‘ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadân i.e. is present at his home), he must observe fasts that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not observe fasts must be made up) from other days.

Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh (i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu Akbar; Allâh is the Most Great) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
This article was culled from AbdurRahman.org

Salaat al-Tawbah (the Prayer of Repentance)

Praise be to Allaah. By the mercy of Allaah towards this ummah, He has opened the gate of repentance to it, and it will not cease until the soul reaches the throat (at death) or the sun rises from the west.

By His Mercy to this ummah, He has prescribed for them an act of worship which is one of the best acts of worship, by means of which the sinner can draw close to his Lord with the hope of his repentance being accepted. This is salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance) and there follow some issues that have to do with this prayer.

1 – The prayer of repentance is prescribed in sharee’ah

The scholars are unanimously agreed that the prayer of repentance is prescribed in sharee’ah. Abu Dawood (1521) narrated that Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, but Allaah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’ [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135].”Classed as sahaah by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Ahmad (26998) narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The one who does wudoo’ and does it well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs or four (one of the narrators was uncertain), in which he remembers Allaah and focuses well, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, He will forgive him.” The editor of al-Musnad said: its isnaad is hasan. It was also quoted by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (3398).

2 – The reason for the prayer of repentance

The reason for the prayer of repentance is if a Muslim falls into sin, whether it is a major or minor sin, he has to repent from it straight away and it is recommended for him to pray these two rak’ahs. And when he repents he should do a righteous deed which is one of the best of deeds, namely prayer. So he may draw close to Allaah by means of this in the hope that He may accept his repentance and forgive his sin.

3 – The time for the prayer of repentance

It is mustahabb to offer this prayer when the Muslim has decided to repent from the sin that he has committed, whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or later on. The sinner must hasten to repent but if he delays it, it will still be accepted, because repentance is accepted so long as one of the following impediments does not occur:

(i) When the soul reaches the throat (at death). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will accept the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet begun.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi (3537). (ii) When the sun rises from the west. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allaah will accept his repentance.” Narrated by Muslim (2703).

This prayer is prescribed at all times including times when prayer is disallowed (such as after ‘Asr prayer), because it is one of the prayers that are done for a reason, so it is prescribed when the reason for it is present.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

Prayers which are done for a reason, such as the prostration of recitation, greeting the mosque, the eclipse prayer, prayer immediately after purifying oneself, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Bilaal, and istikhaarah prayer should not be delayed if the reason comes up at a time when prayer is disallowed, because delaying them may cause one to miss them, such as if the one who is praying istikhaarah may miss the thing concerning which he is seeking guidance if he delays the prayer. The same applies to the prayer of repentance. If a person commits a sin, then it is obligatory to repent straight away, and it is recommended for him to pray two rak’ahs, then repent, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq. End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/215).

4 – Description of the prayer of repentance

The prayer of repentance is two rak’ahs, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him).
It is prescribed for the one who is repenting to pray alone, because it is one of the naafil prayers that it is not prescribed to offer in congregation. After that it is prescribed to ask Allaah for forgiveness, because of the hadeeth of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him).

There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to say that it is mustahabb to recite any particular soorahs in these two rak’ahs, so the worshipper may recite whatever he wants.

It is mustahabb for the penitent to strive hard in doing righteous deeds as well as offering this prayer, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)”[Ta-Ha 20:82]

Among the best of righteous deeds that the penitent can do is giving charity, for charity is one of the greatest means of expiating sin. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“If you disclose your Sadaqaat (almsgiving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allaah) will expiate you some of your sins” [al-Baqarah 2:271]

It is proven that Ka’b ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, when Allaah accepted his repentance: O Messenger of Allaah, as part of my repentance I shall give up my wealth as charity for Allaah and His Messenger. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Keep some of your wealth, for it is better for you.” He said: Then I shall keep my share in Khaybar. Agreed upon.

To sum up:

1- This prayer is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 2- It is prescribed when the Muslim repents from any sin, whether it is a major sin or a minor sin, and whether this repentance comes immediately after committing the sin or after some time has passed.
3- This prayer may be offered at any time, including times when prayer is disallowed. 4- It is mustahabb for the penitent to do some good deeds along with this prayer, such as charity etc.

May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

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What is Miracle?

Islam defines a miracle as an extraordinary act or event that is contrary to the laws of nature and can only come about through the direct intervention of God Almighty Himself.  The Arabic word for miracle is mu’jizah.  It stems from the word ajz, meaning something that incapacitates, cannot be resisted, unique.  According to Islam, miracles are performed by the permission of God, by the Prophets of God.  Miracles are not magic, which is by definition a trick or illusion, nor is a miracle an event brought about by a learned righteous people who are not Prophets of God.  These events are called karamahs.  Thus we find three distinct categories, miracles, karamahs and magic.

God sent the Prophets and Messengers primarily to guide humankind.  They were humans, of outstanding character, pious and trustworthy, that the people could emulate and look to for direction.  They were not gods, demi-gods or saints with divine qualities, rather they were mere mortals charged with a difficult task.  They possessed exceptional characteristics because they were obligated to face extraordinary trials and tribulations in order to spread the message to worship God Alone. 

“And I (God) created not the jinn[1]  and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”.  (Quran 51:56)

In order to make each Prophet credible in his particular time and place, God granted them miracles, pertinent, relevant and understandable to the people to whom they were sent.  In the time of Moses magic and sorcery were prevalent therefore Moses’ miracles appealed to the people he was sent to guide.  In the time of Muhammad, the Arabs, although predominantly unlettered, were masters of the spoken word.  Their poetry and prose were considered outstanding and a model of literary excellence and the miracle of Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, was of this nature and much more..The miracle that defined Prophet Solomon was his unique kingdom.  At the time of Jesus, the Israelites were very knowledgeable in the field of medicine.  Consequently, the miracles Jesus performed were of this nature and included returning sight to the blind, healing lepers and raising the dead.   

“And you heal those born blind and the lepers by My leave.   And behold!  You bring forth the dead by My leave.” (Quran 5:10)

A karamah is an extraordinary matter or event that is brought about at the hands of a believer who obeys God, refrains from sin and whose piety at a very high level in the sight of God. Unlike a miracle which is meant to be done publically so that people would recognize the truthfulness of the Prophet, a karamah usually only benefits the one to whom it is given.  A karamah could include such things as knowledge, power or something astonishing such as the karamah that was given to Usayd ibn al-Hudayr, one of Prophet Muhammad’s companions. A group of angels in a cloud of light shaded Usayd when he recited Quran[2].  A karamah also occurred for Maryam, the mother of Prophet Jesus.

So her Lord accepted her with goodly acceptance.  He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariya .  Every time he entered her praying place, he found her supplied with sustenance.  He said: “O Maryam (Mary)!  From where have you got this?”  She said, “This is from God.  Verily, God provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.” (Quran 3:37)

A miracle results in nothing but good and is given by the Almighty to the Prophets as a sign of their veracity.  This is coupled with a life of exemplary morals and character, and a message of goodness. 

Magic can also bring about something extraordinary; however no good can come from magic.  It is performed by evil people and is done by seeking the help of the devils and drawing close to them[3].  Miracles cannot be learnt or undone, whereas magic can be learnt, cancelled out or undone.

Prophet Moses’ encounter with the magicians at Pharaoh’s court explains the difference between magic and miracles.

They said: “O Musa (Moses)! Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw?” He (Moses) said: “Throw you (first).” When they threw they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic.  And We revealed to Moses, “Throw your stick,” and behold! It swallowed up straight away all the falsehoods which they showed.  Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.  So they were defeated there and returned disgraced.  And the magicians fell down prostrate. (Quran 7:115-120)

The magicians understood that Moses was not preforming a trick or illusion as they had done.  They understood deception well and knew that Moses’ actions were a miracle.  Thus they accepted the truth and fell down in prostration to God, knowing full well that it would bring about their death for disobeying Pharaoh.   

Miracles can be of two types; those that occur at the request of the people, who want a sign of the veracity of the Prophet who was sent to them and the second type,  occur without being requested.  An example of the first type is when Prophet Saleh’s people requested he bring out from behind the mountain a she camel and her offspring. As well, when the unbelievers in Mecca asked the Prophet Muhammad to show them a miracle, he showed them the splitting of the moon.  One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions mentioned this event saying, “We were with God’s Messenger at Mina, when the moon was split in two parts.  One part was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain.  God’s Messenger said to us, “Bear witness to this”[4].

An example of the second type is what happened when the tree trunk cried and longed for Prophet Muhammad.  He, the Prophet used to give his Friday speech while leaning on a palm tree.  One of his followers suggested they make a pulpit for him and they did. So the next Friday when the Prophet stood on the pulpit, the tree trunk began whimpering for him like a child. 

Muslims believe that the Quran itself is a miracle.  Prophet Muhammad said, “Every Prophet was given miracles on account of which their people believed; but, I have been given divine revelation which Allah has revealed to me, so I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of other Prophets on Resurrection Day.”[5] Prophet Muhammad was implying that the Quran itself is the greatest miracle of all time; it is a miraculous book filled with miracles of all kinds.  Its revelation, literary excellence, and its content, including scientific, prophetic and historical information, all contribute to Quran’s status as a miracle. 

Footnotes:
[1] To learn more about the Jinn, please see: http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/669/viewall/
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[3] For details, please see: http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/5246/
[4] Saheeh Muslim
[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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