Supplicating upon Completion of the Qur’an: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked the following question during the program Fataawaa Noor ‘alaa al-Darb:

السؤال : سؤال يشكل على كثير من الإخوة المستمعين الكرام، السؤال يا فضيلة الشيخ: هو عن دعاء الختمة في أخر ليلة من رمضان، هل هو وارد عن الرسول الكريم أو عن السلف الصالح رضوان الله عليهم؟

Question: This is a question which has confused many of our respected brothers who are listening. The question, honorable sheikh, is about du’aa [supplication] upon completing the Qur’an on the last night of Ramadan – is this something which is textually transmitted from the Messenger or from the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them?

الجواب الشيخ : الختمة التي يدعى بها في آخر رمضان ليس لها أصل في سنة الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولا عن خلفائه الراشدين، ولا عن أحد من الصحابة، فلا أعلم إلى ساعتي هذه أنه ورد عنهم أنهم كانوا يدعون مثل هذا  الدعاء في الصلاة. ـ

Response: The supplicating which people do at the end of Ramadan is not something which has any basis in the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ), nor was it practiced by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’, nor by any of the Sahabah, and until now I don’t know of any textual evidence transmitted regarding them having practiced something like this supplication during the prayer.

نعم. ورد عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه أنه كان إذا ختم القرآن جمع أهله فدعا، وهذا في غير الصلاة وليس كل مشروع، وليس كل شيء مشروع خارج الصلاة يكون مشروعاً فيها؛ لأن الصلاة محددة في أفعالها محددة في أذكارها ـ

Yes, it has been transmitted from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to gather his family members together and make supplication upon having completed the Qur’an. But this was not in the prayer, and what is legislated outside of the prayer isn’t necessarily legislated inside the prayer. For the prayer is something with well-defined guidelines regarding its specific actions and utterances. Continue reading

The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

The term Laylah al-Qadr has been translated into English in a number of different ways, leading to some potential confusion as to the correct and intended  meaning of the word “qadr” in this phrase. In part of his explanation of surah al-Qadr, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen brought the following clarification of this issue:

وقوله تعالى: {في ليلة القدر} من العلماء من قال: القدر هو الشرف كما يقال (فلان ذو قدر عظيم، أو ذو قدر كبير) أي ذو شرف كبير، ومن العلماء من قال: المراد بالقدر التقدير، لأنه يقدر فيها ما يكون في السنة لقول الله تعالى: {إنا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة إنا كنا منذرين. فيها يفرق كل أمر حكيم} [الدخان: 3، 4] . أي يفصل ويبين. ـ

Regarding Allah’s statement:

فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

… during Laylah al-Qadr [97:1]

There are some scholars who say that al-qadr means “honor”, just as one might say, “So-and-so has tremendous qadr” or “has considerable qadr” – meaning: considerable honor. Continue reading

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

What is the minimum amount of time to complete reciting the Qur’an: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdillah bin Baaz, the former mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was once asked the following question:

سؤال : ما أقل مدة يختم فيها القرآن؟

Question: What is the least amount of time in which one can complete his reading of the Qur’an?

جواب : ليس فيه حد محدود إلا أن الأفضل أن لا يقرأه في أقل من ثلاث كما في حديث عبد الله بن عمرو: ((لا يفقه من قرأه في أقل من ثلاث))، فالأفضل أن يتحرى في قراءته الخشوع والترتيل والتدبر، وليس المقصود العجلة، بل المقصود أن يستفيد . ـ

Response: There is no bottom limit for this except that what is best is to not recite the Qur’an in less than three days, as had come in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, “Whoever recites the Qur’an in less than three days does not understand it.” So what is best is to aim to have khushoo’, measured recitation, and contemplation during one’s reading of the Qur’an. The goal is not to be speedy. Rather, the goal is to get something out of it. Continue reading

Preparing for Ramadan in Sha’baan: ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

al-Haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali concluded his discussion of fasting during the month of Sha’baan (the eight month of the Islamic calendar, immediately preceding Ramadan) with the following notes:

وقد قيل: في صوم شعبان معنى آخر: أن صيامه كالتمرين على صيام رمضان لئلا يدخل في صوم رمضان على مشقة وكلفة بل قد تمرن على. الصيام واعتاده ووجد بصيام شعبان قبله حلاوة الصيام ولذته فيدخل في صيام رمضان بقوة ونشاط. ـ

Some have said that one of the effects of fasting during Sha’baan is that it acts like a training for the fast of Ramadan, in order that one can enter into Ramadan in good shape, being prepared for it and accustomed to fasting. And through fasting during Sha’baan, one will find and savor the sweetness of the fast, and so he will enter into Ramadan with vigor and determination.

ولما كان شعبان كالمقدمة لرمضان شرع فيه ما يشرع في رمضان من الصيام وقراءة القرآن ليحصل التأهب لتلقي رمضان وترتاض النفوس بذلك على طاعة الرحمن ـ

Sha’baan is like a precursor to Ramadan. The things which are legislated in Ramadan – such as fasting and reciting the Qur’an – are also legislated in Sha’baan so that one can be prepared to meet Ramadan and accustom himself to obeying al-Rahman. Continue reading

The Blessed Night is Laylah al-Qadr, not the Middle of Sha’baan

Allah opens surah al-Dukkhaan (44) by mentioning “a blessed night” during which He sent down the Qur’an. The majority of the salaf and prominent interpreters of the Qur’an have indicated that this blessed night is Laylah al-Qadr, while a minority have claimed that it is referring to the night of the middle of the month of Sha’baan. What follows are three detailed clarifications of why the first position is correct and the second opinion is not supported by the textual evidences.

○ Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following clarification at the beginning of his tafsir of surah al-Dhukhaan. al-Shinqitee’s tafsir was focused on the theme of explaining the Qur’an first and foremost by means of the Qur’an itself, and he follows this approach in this explanation as well:

قوله – تعالى – : إنا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة . ـ

Allah’s statement:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ

Indeed, We sent it [the Qur’an] down during a blessed night [44:3]

أبهم – تعالى – هذه الليلة المباركة هنا ، ولكنه بين أنها هي ليلة القدر في قوله – تعالى – : إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر [ 97 \ 1 ] وبين كونها ( مباركة ) المذكورة هنا في قوله – تعالى – : ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر [ 97 \ 3 ] إلى آخر السورة . ـ

Allah left this blessed night ambiguous here, however He made it clear that it refers to Laylah al-Qadr elsewhere in His statement:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Indeed, We sent it down during Laylah al-Qadr [97:1]

And He clarified its aforementioned quality of “blessedness” in His statement: Continue reading

Which are More Virtuous, the First Ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah or the Last Ten of Ramadan?

A question was posed to Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah: Which are more virtuous, the first ten of Dh’ul-Hijjah or the last ten of Ramadan? So he replied:

أيام عشر ذي الحجة أفضل من أيام العشر من رمضان، والليالي العشر الأواخر من رمضان أفضل من ليالي عشر ذي الحجة

The days of the first ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah are more virtuous than the days of the last ten of Ramadan while the nights of the last ten of Ramadan are more virtuous than the nights of the first ten of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 25/154]

Ibn Taymiyah’s student Ibn al-Qayyim commented and elaborated upon his teacher’s response in one of his own works by writing:

وإذا تأمل الفاضل اللبيب هذا الجواب وجده شافيا كافيا، فإنه ليس من أيام العمل فيها أحب إلى الله من أيام عشر ذي الحجة. وفيها يوم عرفة ويوم النحر ويوم التروية. وأما ليالي عشر رمضان فهي ليالي الأحياء التي كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يحييها كلها، وفيها ليلة خير من ألف شهر. فمن أجاب بغير هذا التفصيل، لم يمكنه أن يدلي بحجة صحيحة

If one were to consider the honor and sensibleness of this answer, he would find it to be comprehensive and sufficient. Indeed, there are no days in which deeds are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah – and they contain the Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of the Sacrifice, and the Day of Tarwiyah [the 9th, 10th, and 8th days, respectively]. Continue reading

The date of Laylatu’l-Qadr being unknown – “Perhaps that is better for you”: Ibn Kathir

Imam al-Bukhari records in his Saheeh:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَرَجَ يُخْبِرُ بِلَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ، فَتَلاَحَى رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنِّي خَرَجْتُ لأُخْبِرَكُمْ بِلَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ، وَإِنَّهُ تَلاَحَى فُلاَنٌ وَفُلاَنٌ فَرُفِعَتْ وَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ خَيْرًا لَكُمُ الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي السَّبْعِ وَالتِّسْعِ وَالْخَمْسِ ‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) went out to inform the people about the (date of the) Laylatu’l-Qadr, but a quarrel took place between two of the Muslim men. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I came out to inform you about (the date of) Laylatu’l-Qadr, but so-and-so and so-and-so quarreled, so its knowledge was taken away. And perhaps that is better for you. Search for it in the 7th, the 9th and the 5th (of the last 10 nights of Ramadan).”

[al-Bukhari #49]

In his famous book of tafsir, al-haafidh Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir comments on the phrase, ‘perhaps it was better for you‘ by writing:

 وقوله : ” وعسى أن يكون خيرا لكم ” يعني : عدم تعيينها لكم ، فإنها إذا كانت مبهمة اجتهد طلابها في ابتغائها في جميع محال رجائها ، فكان أكثر للعبادة ، بخلاف ما إذا علموا عينها فإنها كانت الهمم تتقاصر على قيامها فقط . وإنما اقتضت الحكمة إبهامها لتعم العبادة جميع الشهر في ابتغائها ، ويكون الاجتهاد في العشر الأواخر أكثر . ـ

And his statement, ‘perhaps it is better for you‘ – i.e., the lack of it being specified for you. For since it was left uncertain, those who seek it exert themselves, aspiring for it in all places of the month, hopeful of finding it. So there is an increase in worship, in contrast to if its specific time were known, for then its significance would certainly lead to restricting the night prayers to it exclusively. And the wisdom of its being left uncertain results in worship being spread throughout the entire month in pursuit of it, and that effort is increased even more so during the last ten nights. Continue reading

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

How to benefit from reading the Qur’an during Ramadan: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following question was posed to sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool:

سؤال : كيف استفيد من قراءتي للقرآن العظيم في رمضان ؟ ـ

Question: How can we benefit from our reading of the Qur’an during Ramadan?

الجواب : تستفيد إن شاء الله من قراءتك للقرآن الكريم إذا أخلصت النية، وحرصت أن تقرأ القرآن كما كان الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرؤه. ـ

Response: You can benefit – in shaa Allaah – from your reading of the Qur’an if you purify your intention and strive to recite the Qur’an as the Prophet (ﷺ) used to recite it.

ويفتح الله من معانيه وتدبره عليك بالأمور التالية: ـ

And Allah will reveal its meanings and facilitate pondering over it for you through the following means:

أولاً : أن تخلي قلبك من أدران الشرك والمعاصي، فإن القرآن لا يمسه إلا المطهرون، حساً ومعنى، فلا ينال معانيه قلب فيه درن الشرك أو المعصية. وكما لا تدخل الملائكة بيتا فيه كلب أو صورة، كذا لا تدخل معاني القرآن قلبا فيه كلب الهوى وصورة الشهوة. ـ

First: That you empty your heart of the filth of al-shirk and disobedience, for the Qur’an is only to be touched by the pure ones. And this meaning applies both literally and figuratively, for the heart which contains the filth of al-shirk and disobedience will not grasp the meanings of the Qur’an. And just as the angels do not enter a house which contains a dog or an image [of a living thing], similarly the meanings of the Qur’an do not enter a heart which contains the dogs of desires or images of one’s lusts. Continue reading