Making the Most of your Nights and Days in the Last Ten Nights of Ramadan

The following question was posed to sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr during the Noor ‘Alaa al-Darb program:

س ـ كيف يستطيع الإنسان في العشر الأواخر أن يجمع بين إحياء الليل كله بالطاعة والعبادة، وبين استغلال وقت الصيام بالقراءة والخير والعمل الصالح، مع حاجة جسمه إلى النوم والراحة في النهار؛ للتقوي على قيام الليل؟

Question: In the last ten nights of Ramadan, how can a person both be engaged in acts of obedience and worship throughout the entire night and take advantage of his time while fasting to recite, do good and perform good deeds since his body still needs to sleep and rest during the day in order to enable him to stand during the night? Continue reading

Reading Books of Tafsir During Ramadan: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

During the Q&A program Noor ‘Alaa al-Darb, sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr was asked and responded to the following question:

س ـ قراءة التفسير في رمضان هل هي من العلم الذي كان السلف يتركونه في رمضان، أم هي من الاهتمام بالقرآن وتدبُّره؟

Question: Does reading a book of tafsir during Ramadan fall under the type of knowledge that the salaf would leave off during Ramadan, or is that part of giving attention to the Qur’an and contemplating it?

ج ـ من التفاسير ما هو مطوَّل، وكثير من مباحثه تَخرج من الإعانة على التدبر، وهناك مختصرات في التفسير تعين طالب العلم على الفهم وتعينه على التدبر ولا تعوقه عن كثرة المقروء، فالقراءة في المختصرات أو في غريب القرآن أو ما أشبه ذلك لا مانع منها في رمضان؛ لأنها تعين على الفهم والتدبر، أما القراءة في المطولات التي يمكن أن ينتهي رمضان وهو لم يقرأ إلا نصف التفسير منها أو ربعه فهذه تُترك إلى ما بعد رمضان، وهو من العلم الذي كان يُترك في رمضان للتفرغ للتلاوة.ـ

Response: There are some books of tafsir which are long, containing many discussions which do not contribute to helping one contemplate the Qur’an. Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 183-188: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the eighteenth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 183-188. In this passage, Allah provides the rulings and guidance surrounding the fast of Ramadan. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

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

O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you so that you might gain taqwa. [2:183]

يا أيها الذين صدَّقوا الله ورسوله وعملوا بشرعه، فرض الله عليكم الصيام كما فرضه على الأمم قبلكم؛ لعلكم تتقون ربكم، فتجعلون بينكم وبين المعاصي وقاية بطاعته وعبادته وحده.ـ

183. O you who have believed in Allah and His messenger and act according to His legislation, Allah has mandated fasting for you just as He mandated it for the nations before you. This is in order that you might fear your Lord and thus place a barrier of obedience and worshiping Allah alone between yourselves and sins.

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

A limited number of days. Then whoever of you is sick or traveling, then the same number of other days. And for those who are able to fast, a ransom of feeding a poor person. And whoever voluntarily does good, that is good for him. And fasting is better for you, if only you knew. [2:184] Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #26

What follows is a collection of Qur’anic benefits that were originally posted on our social media pages in May and June of 2018, which overlapped Ramadan of that year. As a result, a number of these benefits are related to Ramadan in one way or another:

♦ Silence is Golden

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentions the following narration in part of his famous commentary on Arba’een al-Nawawi:

وسئل ابن المبارك عن قول لقمان لابنه : إن كان الكلام من فضة ، فإن الصمت من ذهب ، فقال : معناه : لو كان الكلام بطاعة الله من فضة ، فإن الصمت عن معصية الله من ذهب . وهذا يرجع إلى أن الكف عن المعاصي أفضل من عمل الطاعات ، وقد سبق القول في هذا مستوفى .ـ

Ibn al-Mubarak was asked about Luqman’s statement to his son, that “If speech were made of silver, then refraining from speech is made of gold.”

So ibn al-Mubarak said, “The meaning is: that if speech in obedience to Allah were made of silver, then refraining from speech that is disobedience to Allah is made of gold.”

This goes back to the point that refraining from disobedience is better than [voluntary] acts of obedience, and we have already provided a sufficient discussion of that.

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa-‘l-Hikam 1/341 – under hadith #15]


♦The Latter Part is More Virtuous Than the Earlier Part

While discussing the merits of the second half of Ramadan, ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned the following more general point: Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #19

What follows is a collection of various benefits originally posted on our Facebook page during April, May, June and July of 2017:

♦ O Turner of the Hearts …

In his tafsir of surah Aal ‘Imraan, al-haafidh ibn Kathir mentioned the following narration:

قال ابن أبي حاتم : حدثنا عمرو بن عبد الله الأودي – وقال ابن جرير : حدثنا أبو كريب – قالا جميعا : حدثنا وكيع ، عن عبد الحميد بن بهرام ، عن شهر بن حوشب ، عن أم سلمة ، رضي الله عنها ، أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقول : ” يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك ” ثم قرأ : ( ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد إذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة إنك أنت الوهاب )

Ibn Abi Haatim recorded … that Umm Salamah said that the Prophet said, “O Turner of hearts, make my heart steady upon Your religion” and then he recited:

 رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower. [3:8]

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 2/14]


♦ Fasting Combines All Types of Patience

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen made the following remarks:

الصيام صبر على طاعة الله، وصبر عن محارم الله، وصبر على أقدار الله المؤلمة من الجوع والعطش وضعف البدن والنفس؛ فقد اجتمعت فيه أنواع الصبر الثلاثة، وتحقق أن يكون الصائم من الصابرين، وقد قال الله تعالى: {إنما يوفى الصابرون أجرهم بغير حساب} [الزمر:10].ـ

Fasting is exercising patience in the obedience of Allah, and it is also exercising patience against the prohibitions of Allah, and it is also exercising patience in the face of those painful things – such as hurt, thirst, weakness of body and soul – which Allah has ordained.

So all three types of sabr – steadfast patience – are combined in fasting, and so the fasting person becomes one of the sabiroon. And Allah has said:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning. [39:10]

[Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Rasaa’il al-‘Uthaymeen 20/200]


♦ Allah Responds to the Supplication of the Distressed Continue reading

Zakah al-Fitr in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In the midst of surah al-‘Aalaa, Allah informs us:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ * وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّىٰ

He has certainly succeeded – he who tazakkaa * and mentions the name of his Lord and prays [87:14-15]

The word tazakkaa refers to purification, either purification of one’s self (such as in the related term tazkiyyah al-nafs) or purification of one’s wealth (such as in the related term zakah). In his commentary on these ayaat, the famous mufassir Abu Muhammad al-Husayn al-Baghawi wrote:

ـ ( قد أفلح من تزكى ) تطهر من الشرك وقال : لا إله إلا الله . هذا قول عطاء وعكرمة ، ورواية الوالبي وسعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس وقال الحسن : من كان عمله زاكيا . ـ

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ

He has certainly succeeded – he who tazakkaa

who purifies himself from al-shirk and says laa ilaaha illallaah – there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. This was the explanation of ‘Ataa’ and ‘Ikrimah, as well as being relayed from ibn ‘Abbaas by way of al-Waalibi and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr.

al-Hasan al-Basri explained it by saying, “Whoever’s actions are pure.”

وقال آخرون : هو صدقة الفطر ، روي عن أبي سعيد الخدري في قوله : ” قد أفلح من تزكى ” قال : أعطى صدقة الفطر . ـ

Meanwhile others say that this is referring to the zakah al-fitr. It is relayed from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri regarding this ayah that he explained it by saying, “[He has certainly succeeded – he who] gives the zakah al-fitr.” Continue reading

The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah describes Laylah al-Qadr in the beginning of surah al-Dukhaan by saying:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ * فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ * أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا

Indeed, We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning * On that night every hakeem matter is apportioned *  A command from Us … [44:3-5]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee discusses some of the issues related to these ayaat in his famous book of tafsir. We have already translated his explanation of ayah number 3 here, and what follows is his explanation of ayah number 4:

قوله – تعالى – : فيها يفرق كل أمر حكيم أمرا من عندنا . معنى قوله : يفرق ، أي يفصل ويبين ، ويكتب في الليلة المباركة التي هي ليلة القدر – كل أمر حكيم ، أي ذي حكمة بالغة ; لأن كل ما يفعله الله مشتمل على أنواع الحكم الباهرة . وقال بعضهم : حكيم ، أي محكم ، لا تغيير فيه ولا تبديل . [ ص: 173 ] وكلا الأمرين حق ; لأن ما سبق في علم الله لا يتغير ولا يتبدل ، ولأن جميع أفعاله في غاية الحكمة . وهي في الاصطلاح وضع الأمور في مواضعها وإيقاعها في مواقعها . ـ

Allah’s statement:

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ * أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا

On that night every hakeem matter is apportioned * A command from Us … [44:4-5]

The meaning of Allah’s statement

يُفْرَقُ

… is apportioned …

is that every hakeem matter is determined, made clear, and written during that blessed night which is Laylah al-Qadr.

Continue reading

Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In surah al-Qadr, Allah describes Laylah al-Qadr by saying:

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months [97:3]

Imam al-Baghawi wrote the following in his commentary on this ayah:

قوله – عز وجل – : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) قال عطاء عن ابن عباس : ذكر لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رجل من بني إسرائيل حمل السلاح على عاتقه في سبيل الله ألف شهر ، فعجب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لذلك وتمنى ذلك لأمته ، فقال : يا رب جعلت أمتي أقصر الأمم أعمارا وأقلها أعمالا ؟ فأعطاه الله ليلة القدر ، فقال : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) التي حمل فيها الإسرائيلي السلاح في سبيل الله ، لك ولأمتك إلى يوم القيامة . [ ص: 491 ] . ـ

Relaying from ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Ataa’ said: The Messenger of Allah was told about a man from Banu Israa’eel who carried a sword on his shoulder in the path of Allah for one thousand months. So Allah’s Messenger was amazed by this and wished this for his ummah, saying, “O Lord, You made my ummah the shortest of nations in terms of lifespan and the least of them in terms of deeds?” So then Allah gave him Laylah al-Qadr and said,

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months

in which that man from Banu Israa’eel carried a sword in the path of Allah. It is for you and your ummah until the Day of Resurrection.” Continue reading

Supplication in Ramadan: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In part of his explanation of surah al-Qadr, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir mentioned the following:

والمستحب الإكثار من الدعاء في جميع الأوقات ، وفي شهر رمضان أكثر ، وفي العشر الأخير منه ، ثم في أوتاره أكثر . والمستحب أن يكثر من هذا الدعاء : ” اللهم ، إنك عفو تحب العفو ، فاعف عني ” ; لما رواه الإمام أحمد : حدثنا يزيد – هو ابن هارون – ، حدثنا الجريري – وهو سعيد بن إياس – ، عن عبد الله بن بريدة ، أن عائشة قالت : يا رسول الله ، إن وافقت ليلة القدر فما أدعو ؟ قال : ” قولي : اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو ، فاعف عني ” .ـ

It is encouraged to engage in an abundance of supplication during all times, and to increase beyond that during the month of Ramadan, and then to increase therein during its last ten days, and then to increase even further in the odd-numbered ones.

And it is encouraged to be prolific in making the following supplication:

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allaahumma innaka ‘Afuwwun

tuhibbu’l-‘afwa

f’afu ‘anee

O Allah, Indeed You are Pardoning and love pardoning, so pardon me! Continue reading

Some Benefits Derived from the Prophet’s Annual Review of the Qur’an with Jibril: Sheikh bin Baaz

The following question was posed the the former mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baaz:

السؤال: هل يمكن أن يستفاد من مدارسة جبرائيل عليه السلام للنبي ﷺ القرآن في رمضان أفضلية ختم القرآن؟ ـ

Question: Can we understand from the reviewing of the Qur’an with Jibril during Ramadan that completing the entire Qur’an during this month is an encouraged action?

الجواب: يستفاد منها المدارسة، وأنه يستحب للمؤمن أن يدارس القرآن من يفيده وينفعه؛ لأن الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام دارس جبرائيل للاستفادة؛ لأن جبرائيل هو الذي يأتي من عند الله جل وعلا وهو السفير بين الله والرسل، فجبرائيل لابد أن يفيد النبي ﷺ أشياء من جهة الله ، من جهة حروف القرآن، ومن جهة معانيه التي أرادها الله. ـ

Response: From this reviewing, we can understand that it is recommended for the believers to study and review the Qur’an with someone who can benefit them. That is because the Messenger reviewed with Jibril in order to take some benefit, for Jibril was the one who came from Allah as an intermediary between Allah and the messengers. So of course Jibril was going to bring something of benefit from Allah to the Prophet – both in terms of the words of the Qur’an and in terms of the meanings which Allah intended by those words. Continue reading