Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadhan Mubarak

Salam to all.......

Wishing all of you a very blessed Ramadhan. Somebody very dear to me forwarded these two articles on how to derive the full benefits of Ramadhan.

May Allah showers His blessings on all of us..........Insyaallah.



Compiled By Susan Nachawati for IslamiCity

The Sermon Given By The Prophet (s) On The Last Friday Of Sha'ban On The
Reception Of The Month of Ramadan.

"O People ! Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of Allah. A month of
blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which with Allah is the best of
months. Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its
hours, the best of hours. It is the month which invites you to be the
guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath
you take glorifies him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and
your supplications are answered. So, ask Allah, your Lord; to give you a
sound body and an enlightened heart so you may be able to fast and recite
his book, for only he is unhappy who is devoid of Allah's forgiveness
during this great month. Remember the hunger and thirst of the day of
Qiyamah (Judgment) with your hunger and thirst; give alms to the needy and
poor, honor your old, show kindness to the young ones, maintain relations
with your blood relations; guard your tongues, close your eyes to that
which is not permissible for your sight, close your ears to that which is
forbidden to hear, show compassion to the orphans of people so compassion
may be shown to your orphans. Repent to Allah for your sins and raise your
hands in dua during these times, for they are the best of times and Allah
looks towards his creatures with kindness, replying to them during the
hours and granting their needs if he is asked ...

"O People! Indeed your souls are dependant on your deeds, free it with
Istighfar (repentance) lighten its loads by long prostrations; and know
that Allah swears by his might: That there is no punishment for the one who
prays and prostrates and he shall have no fear of the fire on the day when
man stands before the Lord of the worlds.

"O People! One who gives Iftaar to a fasting person during this month will
be like one who has freed someone and his past sins will be forgiven. Some
of the people who were there then asked the Prophet (s): "Not all of us are
able to invite those who are fasting?"

The Prophet (s) replied: "Allah gives this reward even if the Iftaar (meal)
is a drink of water." "One who has good morals (Akhlaq) during this month
will be able to pass the 'Siraat' ... on the day that feet will slip ...
"One who covers the faults of others will benefit in that Allah will curb
His anger on the day of Judgment ...

"As for one who honors an orphan; Allah will honor him on the day of
judgment, "And for the one who spreads his kindness, Allah will spread His
mercy over him on the day of Judgment. "As for the one who cuts the ties of
relation; Allah will cut His mercy from him ... "Who so ever performs a
recommended prayer in this month Allah will keep the fire of Hell away from
him ... "Whoever performs an obligator prayer Allah will reward him with
seventy prayers [worth] in this month. "And who so ever prays a lot during
this month will have his load lightened on the day of measure. "He who
recites one verse of the Holy Quran will be given the rewards of reciting
the whole Quran during other months. "O People! Indeed during this month
the doors of heaven are open, therefore ask Allah not to close them for
you; The doors of hell are closed, so ask Allah to keep them closed for
you. During this month Shaytan (Satan) is imprisoned so ask your Lord not
to let him have power over you."


Translated from the Ihya' Ulom ud Din by Muhtar Holland

Three Grades Of Fasting

It should be known that there are three grades of Fasting: ordinary,special and extra-special.

Ordinary Fasting means abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction.

Special Fasting means keeping one's ears, eyes, tongue,hands and feet and all other organs free from sin.

Extra-special Fasting means fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and
worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but God,Great and Glorious is He. This kind of Fast is broken by thinking of worldly matters, except for those conducive to religious ends, since these constitute provision for the Hereafter and are not of this lower world. Those versed in the spiritual life of the heart have even said that a sin is recorded against one who concerns himself all day with arrangements for breaking his Fast. Such anxiety stems from lack of trust in the bounty of God, Great and Glorious is He, and from lack of certain faith in His promised sustenance.

To this third degree belong the Prophets, the true awliya and the intimates
of God. It does not lend itself to detailed examination in words, as its
true nature is better revealed in action. It consists in utmost dedication
to God, Great and Glorious is He, to the neglect of everything other than
God, Exalted is He. It is bound up with the significance of His words:
'Say: "Allah (sent it down)":then leave them to play in their vain discussions.' [al-An'am,6:91]

Inward Requirements

As for Special Fasting, this is the kind practiced by the righteous. It means keeping all one's organs free from sin and six things are required
for its accomplishment:


A chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or
reprehensible, or that distracts the heart and diverts it from the remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for fear of God will receive from Him, Great and Glorious is He, a faith the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.'

Jabir relates from Anas that God's Messenger, on him be peace, said: 'Five
things break a man's Fast: lying, backbiting, gossiping, perjury and a lustful gaze.'


Guarding one's tongue from idle chatter,lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy; making it observe silence and occupying it with remembrance of God, Great and Glorious is He, and with recitation of Quran. This is the fasting of the tongue. Said Sufyan: 'Backbiting annuls the Fast.'Layth quotes Mujahid as saying: 'Two habits annul Fasting: backbiting and telling lies.'

The Prophet,on him be peace, said: 'Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: "I am Fasting, I am Fasting!"'

According to Tradition: 'Two women were Fasting during the time of God's
Messenger, on him be peace. They were so fatigued towards the end of the
day, from hunger and thirst, that they were on the verge of collapsing. They therefore sent a message to God's Messenger,on him be peace, requesting permission to break their Fast. In response, the Prophet, on him be peace, sent them a bowl and said: "Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten." One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished. Then the Prophet, on him be peace,said: "These two women have been Fasting from what God made lawful to them, and have broken their Fast on what God, Exalted is He, made
unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is
the flesh of the people they maligned!"'

3. HEAR NOT...

Closing one's ears to everything reprehensible; for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why God, Great and Glorious is He, equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, in His words,Exalted is He: 'Listeners to falsehood,consumers of illicit gain.'
[al-Ma'idah, 5:42]

God, Great and Glorious is He, also said: 'Why do their rabbis and priests
not forbid them to utter sin and consume unlawful profit?' [al-Ma'idah,

Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is
He,said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the
Prophet,on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'

4. DO NOT...

Keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from
reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food at the time for
breaking Fast. It is meaningless to Fast -- to abstain from lawful food –
only to break one's Fast on what is unlawful. A man who Fast like this may
be compared to one who builds a castle but demolishes a city. Lawful food
injurious in quantity not in quality, so Fasting is to reduce the former. A
person might well give up excessive use of medicine, from fear of ill effects, but he would be a fool to switch to taking poison. The unlawful is
a poison deadly to religion, while the lawful is a medicine, beneficial in
small doses but harmful in excess. The object of Fasting is to induce
moderation. Said the Prophet, on him be peace: 'How many of those who Fast
get nothing from it but hunger and thirst!' This has been taken to mean
those who break their Fast on unlawful food. Some say it refers to those
who abstain from lawful food, but break their Fast on human flesh through
backbiting, which is unlawful. Others consider it an allusion to those who
do not guard their organs from sin.


Not to over-indulge in lawful food at the time of breaking Fast, to the
point of stuffing one's belly. There is no receptacle more odious to God,
Great and Glorious is He, than a belly stuffed full with lawful food. Of
what use is the Fast as a means of conquering God's enemy and abating
appetite, if at the time of breaking it one not only makes up for all one
has missed during the daytime, but perhaps also indulges in a variety of
extra foods? It has even become the custom to stock up for Ramadan with all
kinds of foodstuffs, so that more is consumed during that time than in the
course of several other months put together. It is well known that the
object of Fasting is to experience hunger and to check desire, in order to
reinforce the soulin piety. If the stomach is starved from early morning
till evening, so that its appetite is aroused and its craving intensified,
and it is then offered delicacies and allowed to eat its fill, its taste
for pleasure is increased and its force exaggerated; passions are activated which would have lain dormant under normal conditions.

The spirit and secret nature of Fasting is to weaken the forces which are
Satan's means of leading us back to evil. It is therefore essential to cut
down one's intake to what one would consume on a normal night, when not
Fasting. No benefit is derived from the Fast if one consumes as much as one
would usually take during the day and night combined. Moreover, one of the
properties consists in taking little sleep during the daytime, so that one
feels the hunger and thirst and becomes conscious of the weakening of one's
powers, with the consequent purification of the heart.

One should let a certain degree of weakness carry over into the night,
making it easier to perform the night Prayers (tahajjud) and to recite the
praises (awrad). It may then be that Satan will not hover around one's
heart, and that one will behold the Kingdom of Heaven. The Night of Destiny
represents the night on which something of this Kingdom is revealed. This
is what is meant by the words of God, Exalted is He:

'We surely revealed it on the Night of Power.' [al-Qadr, 97:1]

Anyone who puts a bag of food between his heart and his breast becomes
blind to this revelation. Nor is keeping the stomach empty sufficient to
remove the veil, unless one also empties the mind of everything but God,
Great and Glorious is He. That is the entire matter, and the starting point
of it all is cutting down on food.


After the Fast has been broken, the heart should swing like a pendulum
between fear and hope. For one does not know if one's Fast will be accepted, so that one will find favor with God, or whether it will be rejected,leaving one among those He abhors. This is how one should be at the end of any act of worship one performs.

It is related of al-Hasan ibn Abil Hasan al-Basri that he once passed by a
group of people who were laughing merrily. He said: 'God, Great and Glorious is He, has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse, on which His creatures compete in His worship. Some have come in first and won, while others have lagged behind and lost. It is absolutely amazing to find anybody laughing and playing about on the day when success attends the victors, and failure the wasters. By God, if the veil were lifted off, the doer of good would surely be preoccupied with his good works and the evildoer with his evil deeds.' In too full of joy to indulge in idle sport,
while for one who has suffered rejection laughter will be precluded by remorse.

Of al-Ahnaf ibn Qays it is reported that he was once told: 'You are an aged
elder; Fasting would enfeeble you.' But he replied: 'By this I am making
ready for a long journey, Obedience to God, Glorified is He, is easier to
endure than His punishment.'

Such are the inwardly significant meanings of Fasting.

Source: Al-Ghazali, Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship
Edited 12/99

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Home

It has been 5 days since I've been back but this time the kick start to getting back to my routine is rather slow......We were welcome back with the thyphoon and earthquake. I was all drenched going to the store, actually drove to the supermarket behind my house yet all wet. Alhamdulillah still alive and kicking and everything is under control. After droping off my other half at work, I spent the first couple of days catching up with my beauty sleep. Sleep....sleep.....sleep...and sleep......duh!! After the third day slowly but surely my momentum is comingggggggggggggggg.....had a fun time with the kids doing homework with them and teaching them my bahasa was really funny after I made them wrote about themselves, they have to stand and read it aloud to me....boy that was their action recorded for future viewing.

Havent really visited the kitchen but enjoying every moment with the kids while they are still holidaying. Swim, play, laugh and watch tv together. Already had my tea and lunch appointment with some frens yesterday and that's a sure sign of my coming back. That's what it has been this week. Till next entry...tata.