Month of Return to Allah
- Locked due to inactivity on Aug 4, '18 3:54am
Thread Topic: Month of Return to Allah
The Prophet demonstrated to his people how this world is less important than the next, and how the body is less important than the soul. In fasting, the Prophet taught them step by step how to ignore the physical demands so that the spirit reigns supreme.
Abandoning food, drink, and sex was only a prelude to the next stage of greater significance: of conquering avidity and cupidity, lust and licentiousness; of liberating ones mind from flights of passion and fits of temper. Indeed the Prophet said: The strong person is not the one who can wrestle someone else down. The strong person is the one who can control himself when he is angry. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
Also about the effect of fasting on ones behaviour, the Prophet said, Fasting is a shield, so the one who fasts should avoid obscene speech and ignorant behaviour. If someone abuses him or starts to fight with him, he should reply by saying: I am fasting. I am fasting. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The core of fasting according to the Prophet was ones willingness not merely to give up self-indulgence, but to feel the need of ones brother as ones own. And no one was more kind-hearted and generous than the Messenger of God; and his generosity reached its peak in Ramadan. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet stressed on the importance of treating people nicely when he said: Make things easy for people and do not make them difficult, and cheer people up and do not drive them away. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
He also said: The most beloved of actions to God Almighty, is making another Muslim happy, removing a hardship that has befallen him, paying off a debt of his or ridding him of hunger. It is more beloved to me indeed that I walk with my Muslim brother to see to a need of his than secluding oneself in a mosque for a month (Tabarani)
The heart of one who sincerely fasts is open to the contemplation of the magnificence of the countless bounties of God. That is why the Prophet asked his followers to avoid gluttony: The food of two people is enough for three, and the food of three people is enough for four. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
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someone told me
in non Muslim countries
have to put up with it like it's one of our own festivals?
the number of people who take it serious is growing as the influence of religion is growing here
Gentleness in Hardship
allah is All-Merciful and He has expressed His Mercy to us His creatures through the sending of His final messenger Muhammad as an embodiment of mercy. The Prophet said: Have mercy to those on earth so that He Who is in Heaven will have mercy on you. (Tirmidhi)
The believer is not the one who eats his fill when the neighbor beside him is hungry.
So it was not surprising that the Prophets Companions loved him dearly, as he was the kindest of men, bestowing his mercy not only upon humans but also on other creatures of the world as well. No leader could be more considerate and solicitous of his followers than Muhammad: he never allowed any Muslim to bear any burden more than they could bear, as taught by God Himself.
For he was well aware of the infirmities of people; and this is evident from his consideration for his followers in the matter of fasting: He taught Muslims to delay the sahur (the pre-dawn meal before fasting) till a little before Dawn Prayer and not to delay the iftar (the meal to break the fast) after the call to Sunset Prayer so that no unnecessary strain is laid on the fasting person by prolonging the fast time.
During travel in Ramadan, the Prophet would either fast or break his fast; and he allowed his companions to choose between the two, according to their ability.
Similarly during times of heat or thirst they were permitted to cool themselves by pouring water on the head, and the Prophet himself did so. His example in the matter of consorting with his wives during Ramadan was not different; he disallowed only such acts that would obviously undermine the fasting.
As for the Tarawih Prayers (the supererogatory night prayers performed in Ramadan), . Thus while he demonstrated through his example that the Tarawih Prayers are better offered in congregation, he allowed leniency in the matter out of his mercy.
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It was Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who made us raise our eyes from the dust beneath to view the glory of the starry heavens above. It was Muhammad who led us from the depths of darkness to the grandeur of the light of God.
The Prophet was the one who led us to break our stone statues and wooden gods. It was Muhammad who lifted us out of the filth of idolatry to relish the serenity of Gods transcendence.
On the Night of Power in one Ramadan, the Quran descended on Muhammad, and he received its first verses in the Cave of Hira. (Ibn Abbas)
Thereafter the Prophet taught us how to celebrate Ramadan through days of fasting and nights of prayer: to honor each day of Ramadan as a day of patient endurance through fasting, and each night as a night of gratitude through prayers.
An Unexpected Transformation
It was nothing short of miraculous how the Prophet reformed and refined those unruly tribes of Arabia and transformed them into pious, disciplined, God-fearing ascetics, who stood in prayers in the mosque five times a day seeking the guidance of God.
And imagine: these same people who once reveled in the pleasures of wine and women could now spend the whole month of Ramadan in fasting and prayers.
Into the hearts of his followers, the Prophet instilled the love and fear of God and love for humanity. His example was inspiring and irresistible; and each of them became eager to be his closest follower.
To them he was the sincerest and the most cordial of leaders. And his life was open before them like a book; they could see him practicing most closely in his own life what he was preaching.
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Muslims all over the world love the month of Ramadan and look forward to it with mounting excitement. In the weeks preceding Ramadan lives are scrutinised, and plans are made for a month of serious worship and supplication. The countdown begins and conversations start with how many weeks it is until the blessed month arrives. Perhaps non-Muslims wonder why we look forward to fasting days and sleepless nights. Ramadan offers the chance of redemption and great rewards. It is a month like no other. A month of spiritual reflection and prayer. Hearts are directed away from worldly activities and towards God.
In the month Ramadan, all physically mature and healthy Muslims are required to fast: to abstain from all food, drink, gum chewing, any kind of tobacco use and any kind of sexual contact between dawn and sunset. Nevertheless, this is only the physical aspect there are also the spiritual characteristics, which include refraining from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character. All obscene and impious sights and sounds are avoided as a way of purifying thoughts and actions. Fasting is also a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate and learning thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties.
God said,O you who believe! Observing the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious. (Quran 2:183)
The Prophet Muhammad also reminded us that fasting is not just abstaining from food and drink but there is a further dimension. He said, He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely (during the period of fasting), God has no need that he didnt eat or drink.
Ramadan is also the month when Muslims try to establish or re establish a relationship with the Quran. Although this may sound like a strange thing to say, the words of God are a guiding light and a mercy. Nobody reads Quran except that it changes his or her life in some way. The Quran was sent down in this month of Ramadan. The two, Ramadan and Quran are inextricably entwined. Being with the Quran, reading, memorising, reciting it or pondering its meanings is spiritually uplifting comforting and a source of strength. Recitation in the night is particularly beneficial, the distractions of the day have faded away and closeness of God is palpable in the stillness of the night. Special evening prayers are conducted during which portions of the Qur'an are recited. These prayers are known as Taraweeh. One thirtieth of the Qur'an is read on successive evenings, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed.
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