Most Muslims who fast in Ramadan focus on the benefits and rewards of it. But in doing so, we often make mistakes that instead of adding to our experience actually detract from it. Mistakes that can make us commercialize Ramadan as so many other religions have commercialized their sacred days. Insha’Allah the following will serve as a reminder to, first, myself and then to all Muslims. May Allah help us in spending our time wisely this Ramadan and help us in avoiding these mistakes. Ameen!
1. Taking Ramadan as a ritual For many of us Ramadan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting, too. We forget that it’s a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil. We forget to beseech Allah SWT to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Hell-Fire. Surely, we stay away from food and drink but that’s about it. Although the Prophet (PBUH) said:Jibra’eel said to me, ‘May Allah rubs his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah rubs his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.” [Tirmidhi, Ahmad and others]It is classified as Saheeh by al-Albaani]
2. Too much stress on food and drink For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking only about food, instead of concentrating on Salah, Quraan and other acts of worship. They think so much about FOOD that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘feasting’. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. Besides, it leads to wastage of food and extravagance.…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) [Qur’an, al-Araaf: 31]
3. Spending all day cooking Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read the Qur’an. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!
4. Eating too much Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to ‘make up for the food missed’. However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.’ [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah]Classified as saheeh by al-Albaani]Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless. It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
5. Sleeping all day Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) ’sleeping away their fast’. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people are also missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot ‘bear’ to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but negligence on his part.
6. Wasting time The month of Ramadan is a very precious time, so much so that Allah SWT calls this month ‘Ayyamum Ma’doodaat’ (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music to occupy their mind so that they won’t feel the hunger pangs. Subhan Allah! Trying to obey Allah by DISOBEYING Him!?
7. Fasting but not giving up evil Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haram activities, buying lottery tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allah, to increase our Taqwa.‘O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)’ [Qur’an, al-Baqarah :183]The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.’ [Bukhari]
8. Skipping Suhoor (sehri) The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.’ [Bukhaari, Muslim].And he (PBUH) said: ‘The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor.’ [Muslim]
9. Stopping Suhoor at ‘Imsaak’ (a correction on my part) Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe ‘Imsaak’.Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bidah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allah allows us to eat until dawn: ‘and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)’ [Qur’an, al-Baqarah :187]And the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes.’This ‘imsaak’ which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, and those who go to extremes are doomed.’ [Muslim]
10. Not fasting if they missed Suhoor Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is an act kind of cowardice and love of ease. Missing a few morsels in the morning will, insha’Allah, not lead to death. Remember, obedience to Allah overcomes everything. Saying the intention for fast out loud or saying a specific dua’a to start fasting is bid’ah. The intention is an action of the heart. We should resolve in our heart that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not prescribed by the Shari’ah for us to say out loud. Also, there is no specific dua’a to be recited at the time of starting the fast in the Sunnah. Whatever ‘dua’a’ one may see on some papers or Ramadan calendars, etc. i
11. Delaying opening fast Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be ‘on the safe side’. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to open the fast, which means opening fast whenever the adhaan starts, right after the sun has set (and not before). Aa’ishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to do. [Muslim]The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to open the fast.’ [Bukhaari, Muslim]Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul (trust) on Allah SWT and break your fast exactly on time.
12. Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up.Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss the Maghrib prayer. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
13. Missing the golden chance of having your Dua’a accepted. The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler.’ [Al-Bayhaqi, classified as saheeh by al-Albaani]Instead of sitting down and making Dua’a at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it…Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Dua’as.
14. Fasting but not praying The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.’ [Muslim]In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.‘Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.’ [Bukhari]
15. Fasting and not wearing Hijaab Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab certainly takes away, enormously, from the rewards of fasting.
16. Not fasting because of exams or work Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do it during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allah is much more important than ‘good grades’. Besides, if you will fulfill your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allah will make your studies and other activities easy for you and help you in everything you do. ‘Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him. [Qur’an, Surah at-Talaaq: 2-3]
17. Mixing fasting and dieting DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (especially sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone. Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirk.
18. Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th RamadanSome people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan’ [Bukhari, Muslim]
19. Wasting the last part of Ramadan preparing for Eid Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. Even though, the Prophet (PBUH) used to strive the most during the last ten days of Ramadan in worship [Ahmad, Muslim] and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadan to the utmost.Aa’ishah (RA) said: ‘When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i...e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
20. Iftaar parties Although inviting each other for breaking fast is good and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish ‘Iftaar parties’ with all sorts of disobedience to Allah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes and hijaab-less women to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to Salaah, and Taraweeh to even music and dancing. It’s not too late to rectify ones mistake and do good for the sake of Allah. Inform my servants that I am the Forgiver, Most Merciful. [Qur’an, al-Hijr: 49]
Did you wake up this morning and say "As-Salaamu Alaikum" to your spouse or your child? Or did you greet them with a "Good Morning" or even a casual "hi"? Have we been teaching our children the importance of greeting each other with salaam? Or when we see them off to school, do we send them off with a 'bye', instead of "As-Salaamu Alaikum", the dua for peace and blessings? For some of us, this may seem a minor issue. Or it may even be a 'progressive' issue. But, in our haste to 'adapt', we forget that saying "As-Salaamu Alaikum" is the best greeting there could ever be. This was the practice and teaching of Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam), the best example for mankind. And it was Allaah Himself that prescribed the manner of greeting among Muslims as "As-Salaamu Alaikum" [not 'salaams' or 'good morning' or 'hey' or 'hi' or whatever] "When those who believe in Our Ayaat (proofs, verses, signs, etc.) come to you, say: "Salaamun Alaikum" (peace be on you)....." (Surah al-An'aam:54)
Ibn al-Qayyim says: "Allaah, the Sovereign, the Most Holy, the Peace, prescribed that the greeting among the people of Islam should be 'As-Salaamu Alaikum', which is better than all the greetings of other nations which include impossible ideas or lies, such as saying, 'May you live for a thousand years,' or things that are not accurate, such as 'An'im sabaahan (Good morning),' or actions that are not right, such as bowing in greeting. Thus the greeting of salaam is better than all of these, because it has the meaning of safety which is life, without which nothing else can be achieved...." (Badaa'i' al-Fawaa'id)
"As-Salaamu Alaikum" is the best Dua
The word 'salaam' comes from the root 'salema', which implies to disassociate oneself from evil and harm. Thus, when we greet other Muslims, the greeting means: "No harm shall come to you from me (may no evil come to you, may no harm come to you) And since As-Salaam is also one of the Beautiful Names of Allah, the greeting of salaam also means, "May the blessing of His Name descend upon you, may Allah be with you, may Allah guide and protect you."Subhaan Allah! What a beautiful greeting! Yet, it is utterly tragic to see that some of us have exchanged something so beautiful for something ugly, when we stopped saying Assalaamu Alaikum and started with 'Good Morning' or 'Hi'. It is especially sad to see some of our youth, who don't even know how to say the words clearly and properly. Some say ' Saa kum", some just mumble something incomprehensible under their breath and some don't even bother to say anything at all! And if they are being really nice to you, they just might throw you a 'hey' from afar. And even those of us who do say salaam, some of us are so stingy or hesitant in doing so. Although, at the time of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) the Sahaabah would compete with each other to see who could give salaams first. They would go to the market just to say salaam to people they knew and to the people they did not know.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "The best of the two persons is the one who begins with salaam." (Related by an-Nawawi)
BENEFITS OF "AS-SALAAMU ALAIKUM"
1."As-Salaamu Alaikum" is a means of immense reward
A man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) while he was sitting with others, and said "As-salaamu 'alaykum." The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, "[He will have] ten hasanaat." (10 good deeds) Another man passed by and said "As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah).." The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, "[He will have] twenty hasanaat." Another man passed by and said "As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings)." The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, "[He will have] thirty hasanaat."
2."As-Salaamu Alaikum" is an aspect of Imaan
Once a man asked the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) about which aspect of Islam was best. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) replied: "Feeding the hungry, and saying salaam to those you know and those you don't know." (Bukhaari and Muslim)
3. "As-Salaamu Alaikum" is a means of entering Jannah
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam (the greeting of peace) among you." (Muslim)
4. "As-Salaamu Alaikum" gets rid of sins
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) also said, "When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other)." (Abu Dawud)
5. "As-Salaamu Alaikum" is the greeting of the people of Jannah
"Then, those that feared their Lord shall be driven in companies into Paradise. When they draw near its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say to them: "Salaamun 'Alaikum" (Peace be upon you), you have done well. Enter and live in it for ever." (Surah Zumar:73)
6. Even Allah says "As-Salaamu Alaikum"
Allah sends His Salaam upon the people who believe in Him, especially the prophets such as Nuh, Ibraheem, Ismaeel, Musa, etc.(Surah as- Saa ffaat) as well as other pious people.
Jibreel came to house of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and Khadeeja was there. Jibreel said: "Allah send s his salaam to Khadeeja." The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "O Khadeeja, Allah is sending His salaams to you." She said, "Allah is As-Salaam. And upon you O Jibreel, be as-salaam and upon you Rasulullah be as-salaam." [Bukhaari]
It is obligatory to return the greeting of "As-Salaamu Alaikum"
"The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him [say "Yar ha'mu kallaah"] when he sneezes." (Bukhaari, Muslim)
We should say "As-Salaamu Alaikum" when we enter our homes
"When you enter houses, greet (with peace) one another with a salutation from Allah, blessed and good. As such Allah makes clear to you His verses so that you understand." (Surah an-Nur: 61)
"As-Salaamu Alaikum" is also to be said at time of leaving
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When one of you joins a gathering, he should greet those present; and when he leaves them he should salute them, because the first salutation is not better than the last one." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidi)
Why would you want to give up something beautiful for something ugly??
It is sad to see that when it comes to the matters of Dunya, we strive our utmost to give our families and friends the best. Yet when it comes to greetings, we forget the most beautiful and comprehensive greeting "As-Salaamu Alaikum", which is also a prayer....a prayer of peace and blessing...of security and protection from all harm and all evil.....a blessing that Allah Himself send s down to His beloved slaves......a greeting of the people of Jannah itself.
It's been said that Al Might Allah first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... All before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners... God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body! God's Pharmacy! Amazing!
A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with licorice and are indeed pure heart and blood food.
Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.
A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere,
upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on
the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop
more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes,
they look exactly like the human kidneys.
Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These
foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and
these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your
diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak these
foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the
womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs.
Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it
balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents c cervical
cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months
to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over
14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of
these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of
Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase
the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well
to overcome male sterility.
Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the
glycemic index of diabetics.
Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries
Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the
mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the
breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.
Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows
onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They
even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A
working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and
dangerous free radicals from the body.