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Ramadhan: An Excellent Opportunity to Straighten Out Life

August 14th, 2012
by tehzib

The month of Ramadhan forms the ninth month of the lunar calendar. It is considered to be the holiest of all the lunar months by Muslims. The special importance of Ramadhan occurs due to the fact that it is the Muslim month of fasting.

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The Holy Quran declares fasting to be obligatory for all Muslim men and women, and as soon as the moon of Ramadhan is sighted, Muslims all over the world indulge in fasting and the various worships associated with it. Ramadhan carries additional importance for Muslims because it is also the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed.

The Quran not only states that it is obligatory for believers to fast during the month of Ramadhan, but it also describes the reason for which Muslims should observe a fast. The Quran says that the Muslim fast is not meant to be a punishment for Muslims, but it is meant to train the Muslims so that they learn ‘self-restraint’. This concept of instilling ‘self-restraint’ in Muslims through fasting is highlighted in the following verse of the Holy Quran:

“O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may learn self-restraint”. (Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183)

This concept of self-restraint is pivotal in the life of a Muslim. Like all great religions, the fundamental emphasis of Islam is upon restraining the material desires of one self and emerging as a selfless person who is willing to help others, by sacrificing his own needs. By staying away from food, water and other natural instincts during the fasting period, man prepares himself for a greater purpose during Ramadhan.

It is due to this reason that Ramadhan acts as a great opportunity for Muslims to straighten out their lives. During the whole year, man is entangled in his worldly materialistic affairs. During this holy month of Ramadhan, man gains the opportunity of freeing himself from his materialistic needs, and thereby enters the chamber of mental purity. This state of mental purity and peace is essential for straightening out the chores of this complicated worldly life.

If we closely analyze the routine followed by Muslims during Ramadhan, we draw closer towards the conclusion that the central purpose of Ramadhan is to bring the troubled Muslim back to a straight and peaceful life.

From the act of getting up early morning for Seher, to the act of restraining from all negative actions and influences, and other material desires throughout the day, and from the act of indulging in worship all day to the act of finally breaking the fast in Aftaar, whilst thanking Allah, all show man’s humility towards his Lord. This humility is the founding stone of all worldly peace and therefore, it will not be wrong to state that fasting in Ramadhan inculcates all the virtues in a Muslim which he needs to straighten out his life.

Lail-at-ul-Qadr and Its Importance

August 14th, 2012
by tehzib

The holy month of Ramadan is so blessed with Allah’s mercy and forgiveness that every moment of this month carries huge significance. However, even in this entirely blessed month, there are a few nights which take the lead. One such night is the Lail-at-ul-Qadr. The Lail-at-ul-Qadr is arguable the most important and blessed night of the year in Islam.

lailatul qadr 590x393 480x393 Lail at ul Qadr and Its Importance

It occurs in the third decade or Ramadan. The importance of this night can be understood from the fact that in the Holy Quran, a whole chapter (Surah 97, Al-Qadr) is dedicated to this night. In this chapter, Allah tells the Muslims that the importance of this night alone is greater than that of a thousand months. The verses of this chapter are stated below:

“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!…This until the rise of dawn!”

The exact night on which Lail-at-ul-Qadr occurs cannot be given definitively. There are different views regarding the dates of the nights among which this night has to be found. The Sunni Muslims believe that Lail-at-ul-Qadr lies in the odd nights of the last decade of Ramadan. This means that according to them, Lail-at-ul-Qadr is either the 21st or the 23rd or the 25th or the 27th or the 29th night of this holy month. The general belief is that this night lies on the 27th night of Ramadan.

The Shia Muslims believe that this night lies in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan, but the general belief is regarding the 19th or the 21st or the 23rd night, because the relation of these nights with the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (R.A).

What makes Lail-at-ul-Qadr so special among all the nights? Lail-at-ul-Qadr is also the night in which the Quran was revealed. Muslims unanimously believe that the revelation of Holy Quran concluded in two different stages, the first of which was the revelation of the whole Quran from Allah to angel Jibrail. This first stage was completed in this night. Muslims also believe that the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) on this night.

Lail-at-ul-Qadr is known by various different names among Muslims. These names include the Night of Power, the Night of Measures, the Night of Value and the Night of Destiny. These names themselves suggest the significance associated with this night in Islam.

In view of the incredible importance of this night, Muslims engage themselves in worships and prayers all night. These prayers often seek Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, and ask Allah to grant the wishes of the believer.

Importance of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

August 14th, 2012
by Sufia

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar and is considered as the month of blessing and mercy. The Holy Quran which forms the basic source of guidance and teaching for Muslims was revealed in this month. In the second hijri, fasting was made obligatory for Muslim adults, men and women. Of all the Islamic months, Ramadan is the holiest.

RAMADAN last 10 days 480x468 Importance of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

All leading Muslim scholars have written prolifically about the blessings that Allah bestows upon the believers during this month. With the arrival of the month, the Satan gets fettered. This is done in order to help the Muslims do good deeds and be in a better position to control their worldly desires, which must be kept under check while fasting.Every good deed is rewarded seventy times more in Ramadan than the reward of the same deed in another month. The reward for a normal Nafl prayer is raised to the reward for an obligatory Farz prayer.

Every moment of this month is so precious that it must be spent seeking for Allah’s mercy and blessings. The whole month is divided into three sets of ten days, called decades. In this article, an overview of the last decade of Ramadan, which is particularly important as the decade for freedom from hell, is presented.

If you look at the religious importance of the last decade, it appears to precede the significance of the other two decades. The first decade is the period of mercy and the middle decade is the period of forgiveness, and finally, the third decade combines the blessings of the first two by being the period of freedom from hell, which requires both Allah’s mercy and Allah’s forgiveness.

In the last ten nights of Ramadanlies the Night of Qadr. The significance of this night can be understood from the fact that there is a whole chapter in the Quran which is dedicated for this night. In that chapter (Surah Al-Qadr), the Holy Quran tells us that this night is more significant than a thousand months:

“Behold: We revealed this Quran on the Night of Power. And what do you know the Night of Power is? The night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels along with the spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord with all kind of decrees. All peace is that night until the rise of dawn.”

The presence of this nightin the last decade makes it somewhat more noteworthy than the other two decades. The night of Qadr is the night in which the Holy Quran was revealed from the heavens. Since the exact night on which Lail-at-ul-Qadr lies is unknown, Muslims spend all the odd nights of the last decade. There are special duas (supplications) for this night and for the last decade.

This is the significance of the last decade of Ramadan. Given its high importance, Muslims must spend it worshipping and practicing good deeds.

Importance of the Middle Ten Days of Ramadan

August 14th, 2012
by Sufia

The holy month of Ramadan is divided into three sets of 10 days, with each set known as a decade. Each decade has its own particular importance: the first decade is the decade of mercy, the second decade is for forgiveness and the third one is for freedom from hell.

happy ramadan 480x408 Importance of the Middle Ten Days of Ramadan

All Muslims are urged to seek Allah’s mercy as His mercy is at its peak during the entire month. Muslims are also required to show mercy towards fellow beings, as a hadith says:

“Anyone who does not show any mercy will not be shown any mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not turn in repentance will not be turned to nor will he be guarded or protected“.

The second decade is the decade of forgiveness. All Muslims are supposed to seek forgiveness in these days, they have witnessed the mercy in the first ten days and now it is time for repentance. Those who repent on their sins are forgiven by Allah for their bad deeds. The Arabic term for this decade is the ‘Ashra of Maghfirat’. Maghfirat means forgiveness and ashra is the Arabic word for a decade or ten days. This short article will focus primarily on the middle ten days of Ramadan. It will give you a concise description of the blessings of this Ashra and its significance, as narrated inAhadith.
The Holy Prophet used to perform ‘Itikaf’(solitude) in the middle ten days of Ramadan.On one occasion, the prophet (S.A.W) said:

“It (Ramadan) is the month, whose beginning is mercy, its middle, forgiveness and its end, emancipation from the fire (of hell) “.

This Hadith Clearly portrays the fact that Allah forgives our sins in these middle ten days of Ramadan so it is our duty to seek forgiveness. We are also supposed to forgive others in this decade as Allah does not forgive those who do not forgive others. When a Muslim considers the blessings of Allah in this month, he curses on his past sins, and in an endeavor to purify from all of them he begs to Almighty for a pardon. The mercy of Allah is at peak in this holy month, and by His commandment the Satan is fettered, so it is a wonderful opportunity for the Muslims to exercise Tauba (prayer for forgiveness) because there is a good chance that they may be pardoned with Allah’s mercy.
Along with fasting, Tarawih prayers are another special feature of the month. Muslims usually cover one third of the Holy Quran in the middle ten days of Ramadan by reciting the Surahs (chapters) of Holy Quran in these prayers. These prayers also lead a Muslim closer to his Lord, so his play for forgiveness becomes more effective. In a nut shell, all worships and practices of this month, and especially the middle decade, must focus on asking the Almighty for forgiving the person’s past deeds.

Importance of the First Ten Days of Ramadan

August 14th, 2012
by Sufia

Ramadan is the holiest of all the lunar months for Muslims and it is generally said that each and every moment of this holy month has such importance that the whole month should be spent entirely in the worship of Almighty Allah. The whole month is divided into three different 10 day periods, and each 10 period (decade) has its own significance.

firstendaysramadan Importance of the First Ten Days of Ramadan

The significance of the first and last decade of Ramadan is generally considered to be greater than that of the second decade, however, in reality, each decade has its own importance which cannot be compared with the importance of the other decades. In this article, an overview of the first ten days of Ramadan is presented, along with a discussion of its importance.

The first decade marks the beginning of Ramadan and hence the commencement of all the practices associated with Ramadan such as fasting and Tarawih. These practices are all meant to inculcate self-restraint in the believers. This concept is highlighted in the Holy Quran in the following verse: “O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may learn self-restraint”.(Holy Quran, Al-Baqarah 2:183)

To incorporate self-restraint as a virtue of believers, these practices are naturally harsh and difficult to observe. Fasting whole day means that the believer has to keep his hunger and other instincts under control, and continue this on a stretch of 29 or 30 days. This is accompanied by praying five times a day and other modes of worship. Once the fast is over, the Muslim men and women have to engage themselves in the long and rigorous Tarawih prayer. This one month of struggle by the believer is necessary for him to be able to learn self-restraint in the month of Ramadan.

It is generally considered that the first ten days of Ramadan are the hardest for the believer because he has to change the whole routine that he has been following for the rest of year. The first decade of Ramadan is, hence, quite fittingly the decade of mercy.

Mercy in Islam carries a very broad meaning which is not just limited to forgiving others. The major Arabic words related with the concept of mercy are Rahman and Rahim. The root word related to mercy is Rhm or (Rahm) which means to spread love, tenderness, forgiveness and tolerance. Muslims are required to demonstrate all these different virtues during Ramadan.

Muslims should pray for Allah’s mercy during this decade. This plea for mercy includes the prayer to Allah for helping Muslims out through the difficult time of Ramadan and to make the fasts easy for them. Muslims should show special mercy towards their follows during this decade by helping them in their affairs.

Thus, we can safely say that the first decade of Ramadan is the most comprehensive period of mercy that occurs within the year.

Ramadan and Its Impact on Muslim Unity and Faith

August 13th, 2012
by uLhaq

Islam lays great emphasis on unity in the Muslim Ummah. The Holy Quran strongly emphasizes the concept of Muslim Unity and Allah urges the Muslims to “… hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided”. This verse clearly outlines that contributing towards establishing unity between the Muslim Ummah is not just a credit worthy deed for a Muslim but also an instruction exclusively given by Allah to the believers. The believers must, therefore, undertake to work for achieving a unity between Muslims and for the formation of a larger Muslim brotherhood.

Muslim Unity and Faith Ramadan and Its Impact on Muslim Unity and Faith

All worships and pillars of Islam, in one way or the other, help in the establishment of this unity between Muslims.  Let’s begin by taking the example of prayer. Praying 5 times a day, i.e. at Fajr, Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib and Isha times, is obligatory for Muslims. Muslims from all places within a locality pray to the Lord at same time, and bow their heads in the same direction. This is a symbol of unity between Muslims while prayer. Further, praying in congregation is said to be preferable than playing alone, because the former establishes unity and equality among Muslims.

Now let’s take another example to substantiate our point. Zakat is another pillar of Islam, and it is given out to poor Muslims, as a percentage of the wealth or rich Muslims. Zakat, therefore, is meant to create a level economic ground for Muslims, which brings them together on all footings and unites them. Hajj, another pillar of Islam and a very important worship for Muslims, also propagates the same idea of Muslim unity by congregating Muslims from all over the world, and allowing them a platform where they can collectively discuss their problems and seek their solutions.

Just as all these worships, Ramadan and fasting in Ramadan also come as a great source of unity for Muslims. Ramadan is commenced and concluded by moon sighting (or calculation methods) and the month begins and ends at the same time throughout the Muslim country. This commencement and conclusion of Ramadan at the same time bonds the Muslims all over the nation together. Similar practices are observed and similar routines are followed by Muslims all over the country. By freeing themselves of material desires in Ramadan, Muslims afford themselves an opportunity to reflect upon the larger picture of the Muslim nation.

Hunger and thirst that a fasting Muslim endures brings him closer to the pain bore by the poor Muslims whole year. Mosques begin to fill by Muslims, and more and more meetings are held as religious sermons or Aftaar parties. This allows Muslims to meet each other and bond together strongly. In these meetings, religious discussions remind Muslims of their social and religious duties, and refresh their faith. Most Muslims pay their Zakat during Ramadan, which bonds the society together further strongly by bridging the gap between the poor and the rich.

If one considers all the rituals and practices followed in Ramadan, he will find that the impact of the month of Ramadan on Muslim unity and faith is enormous.

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