Selasa, 30 Juli 2013

Welcoming lailatul Qadr Night

In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful
Assalamu Alaikum!
This week’s talk focuses on the blessings (barakat) that one derives from the last ten days of Ramadan through the performance of the Qiyamul-lail (night voluntary prayers of Tarawih and Tahajjud), particularly during the night of Lailatul Qadr. The talk also highlights what makes fasting to become void.
The importance and blessings that Allah grants to those that stand to perform voluntary prayers (Tarawih or Tahajjud) during the month of Ramadan cannot be overemphasised.
On account of these prayers, one’s previous sins are absolved and forgiven, provided that in performing them one has complete and absolute faith in Allah’s reward. It is with these prayers and other forms of Ibadat that the night of Lailatul Qadr is observed.
Narrated Aisha (RA), as reported by Bukhari, Allah’s messenger (pbuh) said, “search for the night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan”. Odd nights mean the nights of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th. For example, when sunset on the 20th of Ramadan, the night is the night of 21st and it goes in that order.
Aisha (RA) asked the Prophet (SAW) on the supplication that a Muslim should recite in the night of Qadr, and the Prophet (pbuh) replied; “ALLAHUMMA INNAKA AFUWUN TUHIBBUL AFWA FA’A FU ANNI (Oh Allah you are forgiven, You love forgiveness; so forgive me.)
The Prophet (pbuh) is reported by Bukhari and Muslim in a hadith as saying: “He who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and desire for his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Therefore, Qiyamul-lail (praying in the night) should not be done for the purpose of merely showing off, but with intention of seeking Allah’s blessings and rewards.”
Some Islamic scholars regard the above hadith as a conditional one that promises forgiveness only to those that have a sound Aqida (belief-creed) when they perform the voluntary prayers
The supererogatory prayer or Ramadan Tarawih or Tahajjud is eleven raka’at. A’isha (wife of the Prophet, pbuh) was reported by Bukhari and Muslim as saying that Allah’s messenger (pbuh) never offered more than 11 (voluntary) raka’at during Ramadan or any other month. Some scholars have sought to provide reasons for considering 13 raka’at as the maximum.
For supplications in Tarawih and Tahajjud, please consult the booklet called Hisnul-Muslim. But the most common supplication especially in the last ten days of Ramadan is the one reported by A’isha.
“I asked the Prophet (pbuh),” A’isha said, “about the supplication to make if Allah bless me with His worship in the night of the Decree (Lailatul-Qadr), and he said I should be repeating on and on ‘Allahumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul afuwa fa’afu anni’ (Or Allah mercy is with you, and you love forgiveness, forgive me – all my sins.)
The Surahs (chapters of the Holy Qur’an) to be recited in the Tarawih or Tahajjud depend on one’s ability to stand and one’s memorisation of the Holy Qur’an. But long recitation, especially in Tahajjud, is recommended for those who have the ability to do that. That according to the Prophet (pbuh) will increase one’s reward.
Long recitation is not all that matters in the supererogatory prayers of Tarawih and Tahajjud. Dhikr (glorifying Allah), with prescribed recitations, is also recommended especially in Sujud (prostration) and Ruku’u (bowing) and all intervals of the prayers where dhikr is stipulated as sunnah.
In voluntary prayers like Tarawih and Tahajjud one is allowed to look up the Qur’an while reciting especially for those who cannot memorise the Holy Qur’an.
A’isha (RA) said in a hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) preoccupied himself during the last ten days of Ramadan with the worship of Allah, stayed awake at night, and woke up his entire family.
A’isha (RA) is also reported in Bukhari and Muslim’s hadiths as saying that it was the habitual practice of the Prophet (pbuh) to carry out a private devotion (Al-Itikaf) in the last ten days of Ramadan.
“The prophet used to engage in private devotion,” she said, “in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah, the Great and Glorious, took his soul and his wives followed his practice after his death.”
The aforementioned two hadiths suggest that this act of worship is recommended to both male and female believers.
Some scholars have however said that the private devotion (Al-Itikaf), not Tahajjud, is only allowed in three mosques, namely, the holy Mosque of Mecca (Ka’aba), the Holy Mosque of the Prophet (pbuh) in Medina, and the Holy Mosque of Baitul-Muqaddas in Jerusalem. Tirmidhi reported that the Prophet (pbuh) only said Al-Itikaf (private devotion) is only performed in aforementioned three mosques.
AL-ITIKAF simply means to stay seclusion in a mosque, in a certain specified manner with the intention of worshiping Allah and it is performed during the month of Ramadan especially in the last ten days of Ramadan.
Narrated Aisha (RA), the prophet (pbuh) used to practice I’Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.”
 A person should enter into a state of I’Itikaf after observing the Subh (morning) prayer as narrated by Aisha (RA). She said “After Allah’s messenger (pbuh) had observed the Subh prayer he will enter his place of I’Itikaf.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet (pbuh) used to enter his place of I’itikaf at the dawn of the twentieth day of Ramadan after he prayed Subh prayer.
A person doing I’Itikaf should engage himself with the recitation of the Noble Qur’an, remembrance of Allah (swt), voluntary prayers, etcetera. A person should abstain from backbiting, and other bad acts, which are tantamount to nullify his Ibadat (worships).
A person must remain in the mosque except for an unavoidable necessity like going to toilet, taking bath, or to eat if there is no one to bring him food inside the mosque.
There is nothing wrong with visiting a person in I’Itikaf, especially visits by his relatives like members of his family. It is shown clearly in the tradition of the prophet (pbuh) that his wives used to visit him and used to escort them up to the door of the mosque.
It is desirable for a person to engage in supplications especially in the nights where the occurrence of Lailatul Qadr is expected. The major aim of a person doing I’Itikaf is to witness Lailatul Qadr (night of decree).
Those who are in state of I’Itikaf should always engage themselves in dhikr (glorifying Allah), prayers, and offering supplications among many other good deeds. It is against the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) how some worshippers, in the state of I’Itikaf, engage in wasteful discussions, storytelling, arguments and others vices.
I’Itikaf ends immediately when the new moon of Shawwal (eid-ul-fitr) is sighted.
How fasting becomes void:
• Sexual intercourse, eating, drinking, taking medicine and pills by the mouth, injection of nourishment substances, etcetera.
•  Menstruation (hyd) and post-natal bleeding (nifas) by women. The woman should make up for the missed days after the month of Ramadan.
• However, according to Bn Taymiyya (a well known Islamic scholar in Maj Mu’u Fatawa, his book), suppositories, eyes-drops, ear drops, brushing the teeth, having a tooth extracted, and treating wound do not break the fast.
• Puffer for treating asthma does not break the fast because it is just compressed gas and goes directly to the lungs. It is not food. Moreover it is needed at all times, including the Ramadan period.
• Having a blood sample taken does not break the fast. It is permissible.
• Medicines for gargling do not break the fast so long they are not swallowed. Late Sheikh Abdulazeez bn Baaz (chairman, world council of Islamic scholars during his days – Rabi’datu aalamil Islamiy) on account of a Prophet’s (pbuh) hadith said that the fast is not broken if a person has his tooth filled and feels the taste of it in his throat.
• Ear syringes, nose drops and nasal sprays do not break the fast so long one avoids swallowing.
• Tablets that are placed under the tongue to treat angina and similar conditions do not break the fast, provided one avoids swallowing anything that reaches the throat.
• Passerines, douches, scopes, fingers, etc inserted into the anus or vagina on medical grounds does not break the fast.
• Insertion of a scope or intra-uterine devices (IUD or “coil”) and the like into the uterus do not break the fast, neither do other medical treatments that do not proved food and are not taken through the mouth.
• Offences like lying, backbiting, and unlawful games/shows etcetera reduce the rewards of a fasting person but do not break the fast. Though Bn Hazmin (a renown Islamic scholar) in his book Muhalla, is of the opinion that lying or backbiting break the fast. He supports his argument with the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) that says Allah has no need in a person’s hunger and thirst (fast) who did not refrain from backbiting or lying. It is on this ground that Muslims are advised to refrain from such acts in order to maximise their rewards and avoid falling into the ambiguity that their fasting is accepted or not.
The aforementioned were extracted from Sifatu-Soumun-Nabiy - the way and manner the Prophet (pbuh) fast - authored by Salem Hilali and Abdulhamid, among other books. The book can be consulted for more insights.

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