The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah devotes a series of ayaat in surah al-Baqarah [2:183-187] to the rulings of fasting. However, in the middle of these ayaat, He mentions the well-known ayah:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad) about Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the call of the supplicant when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir shed some light on the relationship of this ayah to the surrounding ayaat of fasting by writing:

وفي ذكره تعالى هذه الآية الباعثة على الدعاء ، متخللة بين أحكام الصيام ، إرشاد إلى الاجتهاد في الدعاء عند إكمال العدة ، بل وعند كل فطر . ـ

So Allah’s mention of this ayah encouraging supplication in midst of the rulings of fasting contains a directive to exert oneself in supplication when the entire period of fasting is completed – as well as of course at the breaking of every fast.

 كما رواه الإمام أبو داود الطيالسي في مسنده : حدثنا أبو محمد المليكي ، عن عمرو هو ابن شعيب بن محمد بن عبد الله بن عمرو ، عن أبيه ، عن جده عبد الله بن عمرو ، قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ” للصائم عند إفطاره دعوة مستجابة ” . فكان عبد الله بن عمرو إذ أفطر دعا أهله ، وولده ودعا . ـ

This is just as Imam Abu Dawud al-Tayaalisi recorded in his musnad … that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say, “At the time of breaking the fast, the fasting person has a supplication which is accepted.” And so when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr used to break his fast, he would call the members of his household and supplicate. Continue reading

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Benefits of Fasting: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di began his book al-Riyaadh al-Naathirah with a series of chapters succinctly describing some of the benefits accrued from each of the five pillars of Islam. What follows is his brief chapter of the benefits of fasting:

فصل الرابع في فوائد الصوم

Chapter Four: On the Benefits of Fasting

قال تعالى : {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة 183] . ـ

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, Fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you in order that you might exercise al-taqwa [2:183]

فذكر تعالى للصوم هذه الفائدة العظمى المحتوية على فوائد كثيرة ، وهى قوله : {لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} . ـ

So Allah mentioned this tremendous benefit which encompasses many other benefits, which is His statement:

لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

in order that you might exercise al-taqwa [2:183]

أى ليكون الصيام وسيلة لكم إلى حصول التقوى ، ولتكونوا بالصيام من المتقين . وذلك أن التقوى اسم جامع لكل ما يحبه الله ويرضاه من فعل المحبوبات لله ورسوله ، وترك ما يكرهه الله ورسوله . ـ

Meaning: so that the fasting might be a means for you to achieve al-taqwa, and that by means of the fasting you might become among those whose defining characteristic is having al-taqwa. And al-taqwa is a comprehensive term for everything which Allah loves and is pleased with out of the deeds which are beloved to Allah and His Messenger, as well as abandoning what Allah and His Messenger hate. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di divided his chapter on fasting into three parts, using the ayaat of fasting in surah al-Baqarah (2:183-187) as his structure. Click here to read the first section of that chapter, and here for the second section. What follows is the third and final section, discussing the last of these ayaat pertaining to fasting:

ـ {أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ} [البقرة: 187] إلى قوله: {كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 187] ـ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّ‌فَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَ‌بُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ‌ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are in isolation in the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous. [2:187]

كان أول ما فرض الصيام منع المسلمون من الأكل والشرب في الليل إذا ناموا، فحصلت المشقة لكثير منهم، فخفف الله ذلك، وأباح في ليالي الصيام كلها الأكل والشرب والجماع، سواء نام أو لم ينم؛ لكونهم يختانون أنفسهم بترك بعض ما أمروا به لو بقي الأمر على ما كان أولا، فتاب الله عليكم بأن وسع لكم أمرا لولا توسعته لكان داعيا إلى الإثم والإقدام على المعاصي . ـ

In the first stage of the obligatory fasting, the Muslims were prohibited from eating and drinking at night after they had slept, which resulted in a great deal of difficulty for them. So Allah eased the situation for them and permitted eating, drinking and sexual intercourse for them during the entire nights of the fast, regardless of whether they had already slept or not. For they would have betrayed themselves by abandoning part of what they had been commanded to do if the situation had continued in that manner as it was in the first stage of fasting. So Allah turned to them in forgiveness by easing the situation for them. And had it not been for that easing of the situation, then they would have been tempted unto sin and emboldened unto disobedience. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 1: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di devoted a series of chapters to the acts of worship and interactions, as they are described throughout the Qur’an. These chapters would take representative ayaat discussing these acts and explain them in a holistic manner, including their benefits, underlying rationale, and fiqh. Imam al-Sa’di wrote the following section as the first part of his discussion on fasting:

فصل في الصيام وتوابعه
Chapter on Fasting and Related Matters

قال الله تعالى: {يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 183] إلى قوله: {وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ} [البقرة: 185] ـ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِ‌يضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ‌ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرً‌ا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ‌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ * شَهْرُ‌ رَ‌مَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْ‌آنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْ‌قَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ‌ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِ‌يضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ‌ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ ۗ يُرِ‌يدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ‌ وَلَا يُرِ‌يدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ‌ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may exercise al-taqwa* [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. * The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [2:183-185]

يخبر تعالى بمنته على عباده المؤمنين بفرضه عليهم الصيام كما فرضه على الأمم السابقة، لأنه من الشرائع الكبار التي هي مصلحة للخلق في كل زمان، وفي هذا حث للأمة أن ينافسوا الأمم في المسارعة إليه وتكميله، وبيان عموم مصلحته، وثمراته التي لا تستغني عنها جميع الأمم . ـ

Allah informs us of His blessing upon His believing slaves by mandating the fast upon them, just as He mandated it upon the previous nations, for it is one of the major legislated matters which is a source of rectification for the creation in every era. And this contains an incitement for this nation to compete with the previous nations in hastening to do this action and to enact it completely. And it also contains a clarification of the expansiveness of its rectifying effects, and of its benefits which no nation can do without.

ثم ذكر حكمته بقوله: {لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 183] فإن الصيام من أكبر أسباب التقوى؛ لأن فيه امتثال أمر الله واجتناب نهيه. فالصيام هو الطريق الأعظم للوصول إلى هذه الغاية التي فيها سعادة العبد في دينه ودنياه وآخرته، فالصائم يتقرب إلى الله بترك المشتهيات؛ تقديما لمحبة ربه على محبة نفسه، ولهذا اختصه الله من بين الأعمال حيث أضافه إلى نفسه في الحديث الصحيح، وهو من أعظم أصول التقوى، فإن الإسلام والإيمان لا يتم بدونه. ـ

Then, Allah mentioned the underlying wisdom behind it with His statement:

Continue reading

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way: Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was taken from a collection of the Friday sermons written and delivered by sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في استقبال رمضان بما يُناسبه

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way

الحمد لله الذي جعل مواسم الخيرات نُزُلاً لعباده الأبرار ـ وهيّأ لهم فيها من أصناف نعمه وفُنون كرمه كل خير غزير مدرار ، وجعلها تتكرّر كل عام ليوالي على عباده الفضل ويحُطَّ عنهم الذنوب والأوزار . ـ

All praise is due to Allah, the One who made the seasons of goodness as way-stations for His righteous slaves, and who amply prepared various forms of blessings, hospitality and every sort of good for them therein. He made these seasons such that they are repeated every year, so that bounty might be bestowed upon His slaves and they might be protected from sins and the burdens thereof.

أحمده أن جعل الليل والنهار خلفة لمن أراد التيقّظ والشكر والادّكار ، وأشكره أن جعل شهر رمضان أفضل المواسم الكريمة التي تضاعف فيها الأعمال وتربح بضائع التجار . ـ

I praise Him for making the the night and day in succession for whoever wants to be vigilant, grateful and mindful. And I thank Him for making the month of Ramadan the most virtuous of the noble seasons in which deeds are multiplied and workers make a profit on their goods.

وأشهد أن لا إله الله وحده لا شريك له العزيز الغفار . وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله النبي المختار . اللهم صل عل محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه البررة الأطهار . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners; the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger; the chosen prophet. O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon Muhammad, and upon his family and righteous purified companions.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتقوا الله تعالى : { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ } [الحشر 18-19] . ـ

To proceed: O People, Exercise taqwa of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and have taqwa of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. * And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient. [59:18-19]

واعلموا أنه قد أظلّكم شهر عظيم ، وموسم مبارك كريم ، جعل الله صيامه أحد أركان الاسلام ، وندب إلى قيامه فمن أكملها إيماناً واحتساباً تمّ له دينه واستقم . ـ

Know that a great month and a blessed and noble season is almost upon you! Allah made its fasting one of the pillars of Islam and made its night prayers an encouraged action. So whoever perfects them with eemaan and the expectation of reward, then he has completed his deen and made it upright. Continue reading

The Three Legislated ‘Eids for the Believers: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the virtue of the Day of ‘Arafah and the Day of Sacrifice (the 9th and 10th days of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, respectively), Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote the following:

في الصحيحين عن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أن رجلا من اليهود له: يا أمير المؤمنين آية في كتابكم لو علينا معشر اليهود نزلت لا تخذنا اليهود نزلت لا تخذنا ذلك اليوم عيدا فقال: أي آية: قال: {الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْأِسْلامَ دِيناً} [المائدة: 3] فقال عمر: إني لأعلم اليوم الذي نزلت فيه والمكان الذي نزلت فيه: نزلت ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قائم بعرفة يوم الجمعة وخرج الترمذي عن ابن عباس نحوه وقال فيه: نزلت في يوم عيد من يوم جمعة ويوم عرفة. ـ

It comes in the Saheehayn on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that a man from the Jews said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an ayah in your book that if it were to have been revealed to we Jewish people, then the Jews would have taken that day as an ‘Eid.” So he said, “Which ayah is that?” He replied:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَ‌ضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion [5:3]

So ‘Umar said, “Indeed, I know the day on which it was revealed and the place in which it was revealed: it was revealed while the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was standing at ‘Arafah on the day of Jumu’ah.”

The likes of this was narrated by al-Tirmidhi on the authority of ibn ‘Abbaas and he said about it, “It was revealed during a day of ‘Eid – the day of Jumu’ah and the day of ‘Arafah.”

والعيد هو موسم الفرح والسرور وأفراح المؤمنين وسرورهم في الدنيا إنما هو بمولاهم إذا فازوا بإكمال طاعته وحازوا ثواب أعمالهم بوثوقهم بوعده لهم عليها بفضله ومغفرته كما قال تعالى: {قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ} [يونس: 58] قال بعض العارفين: ما فرح أحد بغير الله إلا بغفلته عن الله فالغافل يفرح بلهوه وهواه والعاقل يفرح بمولاه وأنشد سمنون في هذا المعنى: ـ

And the ‘Eid is a time of joy and happiness, and the joys and happinesses of the believers in this worldly life are only in their Lord when they achieve the completion of obedience to Him and attain the rewards of their deeds with their being certain of His promise of those rewards to them due to His bounty and forgiveness. This is as He has said:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” [10:58]

And one of the cognizant ones said, “What joy does one have in other than Allah except out of his own heedlessness of Allah?” For the heedless one rejoices in his idle amusements and desires while the intelligent one rejoices in his Lord. Continue reading

“Whatever I have forbidden for you, avoid it…”: Ibn Rajab

In part of his famous collection of comprehensive statements of the Prophet (ﷺ), Imam al-Nawawi mentioned the hadeeth:

مَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْهُ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ، وَمَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِهِ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ، فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ كَثْرَةُ مَسَائِلِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافُهُمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ

Whatever I have forbidden for you, avoid it. And whatever I have commanded you, do as much of it as you can. For verily, it was only their excessive questioning and disagreeing with their Prophets that destroyed [the nations] who were before you.”

[Arba’een al-Nawawi #9. Recorded by both al-Bukhari (#7288) and Muslim (#1337), with the wording of Muslim here.]

In one section of his commentary on this hadeeth, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote:

وقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إذا نهيتكم عن شيء ، فاجتنبوه ، وإذا أمرتكم بأمر ، فأتوا منه ما استطعتم ” قال بعض العلماء : هذا يؤخذ منه أن النهي أشد من الأمر ، لأن النهي لم يرخص في ارتكاب شيء منه ، والأمر قيد بحسب الاستطاعة ، وروي هذا عن الإمام أحمد . ويشبه هذا قول بعضهم : أعمال البر يعملها البر والفاجر ، وأما المعاصي ، فلا يتركها إلا صديق . ـ

The statement of the Prophet (ﷺ), “Whatever I have forbidden for you, avoid it. And whatever I have commanded you, do as much of it as you can”.

Some of the scholars have said: It is derived from this that prohibitions are more severe than commands, because the prohibitions offer no concessions for committing them at all while the commands are specified according to one’s ability. And this is narrated from Imam Ahmad, and it resembles the statement of some that, “The deeds of righteousness are done by both the righteous and wicked, but as for the acts of disobedience, then no one abandons them except for a siddeeq (truthful one).” Continue reading

Two Joys for the Fasting Person: Imam al-Sa’di

In his collection of comprehensive statements of the Prophet (ﷺ), Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di brought the following hadeeth:

الحديث الخامس والثلاثون: للصائم فرحتان
Hadeeth #35: There are Two Joys for the Fasting Person

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ: الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ. قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ. فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ؛ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي. لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ، وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ. ولَخَلُوف فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ. وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّة. وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلَا يَرْفُثْ وَلَا يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سابَّه أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ، فَلْيَقُلْ: إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صائم” متفق عليه . ـ

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ: الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ. قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ. فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ؛ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي. لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ، وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ. ولَخَلُوف فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ. وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّة. وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلَا يَرْفُثْ وَلَا يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سابَّه أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ، فَلْيَقُلْ: إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صائم

Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied: a single good deed tenfold up to seven hundred times. Allah said, “Except for the fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it: he has left off his desires and his food for My Sake.” The fasting person has two occasions of joy: a joy at the time of his breaking the fast, and a joy at the time of meeting his Lord. And the smell from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of misk. And fasting is a shield. And when it is a day of fasting for one of you, then do not engage in obscene speech nor raise your voice, then if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him he should say, “I am a fasting person.”

This is agreed upon [i.e. both al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded it].

ما أعظم هذا الحديث؛ فإنه ذكر الأعمال عموماً، ثم الصيام خصوصاً وذكر فضله وخواصه، وثوابه العاجل والآجل، وبيان حكمته، والمقصود منه، وما ينبغي فيه من الآداب الفاضلة. كلها احتوى عليها هذا الحديث. ـ

What is more magnificent than this hadeeth! For indeed it mentions deeds generally, then fasting specifically and it makes mention of its virtues and attributes and both its immediate and delayed rewards, and (also) an explanation of the wisdom behind it and the objective of it, as well as what is appropriate regarding it of honorable etiquettes. All of these things are included in this hadeeth! Continue reading

Khutbah on the Merits of Ramadan: Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was recorded in a book containing more than 400 sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

الخطبة لرمضان وفضله غير ما تقدم

A Khutbah for Ramadan and its virtues which have not previously been mentioned

الحمد لله على ما له من الأسماء الحسنى والمثل الأعلى ، وما خلقه وحكم به في الأولى والأخرى . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah for what He has of beautiful Names and lofty Likeness, and for what He created and ordained, both in the beginning and the end.

وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، وله ترفع الشكوى ، وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله المصطفى ، ونبيه المجتبى .ـ

And I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no partner alongside Him, elevated above any deficiency. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His chosen messenger and revered prophet.

اللهم صل وسلم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه العلماء الفضلاء النجباء . ـ

O Allah, bestow Your blessings and peace upon Muhammad and upon his family and his knowledgeable, honorable, noble companions.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ، اتقوا الله حق تقواه ، وذلك باجتناب مساخطه وتتبع رضاه ، وبالشكر له على ما أولاه من النعم وأسداه . فقد أمدكم الله بهذا الشهر الكريم ، وأسبغ عليكم فيه كرمه العميم . أنزل الله فيه القرآن محتويا على الهدى والخير والبيان . ـ

As to what follows: O people, have taqwa of Allah as He is deserving of taqwa, and that done is by avoiding what displeases Him and by following what pleases Him, and by gratitude to Him for what He has granted of blessings. Allah has allowed you the respite to reach this honored month, and He has bestowed His all-expansive  generosity upon you therein. It was in this month that Allah sent down the Qur’an, containing guidance, goodness and clarity.

فيه تفتح أبواب الرحمة والخيرات ، وفيه تغلق أبواب الجحيم وتتوب العصاة من السيئات ، وينادي فيه منادي الخير: يا باغي الخير أقبل على الطاعات ، ويا باغي الشر أقصر وتب عن المخالفات . ولله عتقاء من النار ، وذلك في كل ليلة عند الإفطار . فتعرضوا لنفحات المحسن الغفار . ـ

In this month there is the opening of the gates of mercy and goodness, and in it there is the closing of the gates of the Hell-fire and the repentance of the disobedient ones from sins. And a caller calls therein to goodness, “O one who excels in good, devote yourself to acts of obedience! O one who is excessive in evil, reign yourself in and repent from your acts of disobedience! And to Allah belong those emancipated from the Hell-fire.” And this occurs every night at the time of the breaking of the fast, so turn yourselves to the blessings of al-Muhsin al-Ghaffaar [the Excellent One, the Exceedingly Forgiving]. Continue reading

The Multiplication of Rewards during Ramadan: Ibn Rajab

In the opening of his discussion of the month of Ramadan, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned the following points of benefit regarding the multiplication of rewards for deeds, which particular attention given to the multiplication during the month of Ramadan:

واعلم أن مضاعفة الأجر للأعمال تكون بأسباب . ـ

Know that the multiplication of rewards for deeds takes place due to several causes.

منها شرف المكان المعمول فيه ذلك العمل كالحرم ولذلك تضاعف الصلاة في مسجدي مكة والمدينة كما ثبت ذلك في الحديث الصحيح عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “صلاة في مسجدي هذا خير من ألف صلاة فيما سواه من المساجد إلا المسجد الحرام” . وفي رواية: “فإنه أفضل” وكذلك روي: “أن الصيام يضاعف بالحرم” وفي سنن ابن ماجة بإسناد ضعيف عن ابن عباس مرفوعا: “من أدرك رمضان بمكة فصامه وقام منه ما تيسر كتب الله له مائة ألف شهر رمضان فيما سواه” وذكر له ثوابا كثيرا . ـ

Among these is the distinction of the place in which that deed is performed such as the Haram. And in this vein is performing al-salaah in the two masjids of Mecca and al-Madinah, as has been confirmed in the authentic hadeeth that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “al-salaah in my masjid is better than one thousand salaat in any other masjid, except for Masjid al-Haraam“. And in another narration, “for indeed it is more meritorious”. And likewise it is narrated “that (the reward of) fasting is multiplied in the haram“, and with a weak isnaad in Sunan ibn Maajah a marfoo’ hadeeth on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, “whoever reaches Ramadan in Mecca and fasts it and stands whatever is easy for him (in night prayer), Allah has written (the reward) of one hundred thousand months of Ramadan observed elsewhere,” and for that person he mentioned an abundant reward. Continue reading