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Saturday, February 14, 2009

FACTS ON RAMADAN


(Source:http://www.submission.org/ramadan/about-R.html)

1. THE MEANING OF RAMADAN:

Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives.

There are as many meanings of Ramadan as there are Muslims.

The third pillar or religious obligation of Islam , fasting, has many special benefits. Among these, the most important is that it is a means of learning self-control.

Due to the lack of preoccupation with the satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God.

Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Quran, giving charity, purifying one's behavior, and doing good deeds.

For Muslims (Submitters), Ramadan is an opportunity to gain by giving up, to prosper by going without and to grow stronger by enduring weakness.

As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties.

Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.


2.WHO FASTS IN RAMADAN?

Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory on those who can do it. Sick people and some travelers in certain conditions are exempted from the fast but must make it up as they are able.

3. TIME FOR FASTING: (From Dawn to Sunset)

The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking of dawn and ends at the setting of the sun. In between -- that is, during the dawn and daylight hours -- Muslims (Submitters) totally abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex.

The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before dawn and a post-fast meal (iftar) after sunset.

The Islamic lunar calendar, being 11 to 12 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, migrates throughout the seasons. Thus, if Ramadan begins on January 20 one year, next year it will begin on January 9.

In this way, the length of the day, and thus the fasting period, varies in length from place to place over the years.

Every Muslim, no matter where he or she lives, will see an average Ramadan day of the approximately 13.5 hours.

4. QURAN VERSES ABOUT FASTING

[2:183] O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation.

2:183-187 Like all duties in Submission, fasting was decreed through Abraham

(22:78) Prior to revelation of the Quran, sexual intercourse was prohibited throughout the fasting period. This rule is modified in 2:187 to allow intercourse during the nights of Ramadan.

[2:184] Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted.

Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast.

If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew.


[2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Qur'an was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book.

Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days.

GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.


[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.

[2:187] Permitted for you is sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of fasting. They are the keepers of your secrets, and you are the keepers of their secrets.

GOD knew that you used to betray your souls, and He has redeemed you, and
has pardoned you.

Henceforth, you may have intercourse with them, seeking what GOD
has permitted for you. You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn.

Then, you shall fast until sunset. Sexual intercourse is prohibited if you decide to retreat to the Masjid (during the last ten days of Ramadan).

These are GOD's laws; you shall not transgress them. GOD thus clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may attain salvation.


5. DEVOTION TO GOD


The last ten days of Ramadan are a time of special spiritual power as everyone tries to come closer to God through devotions and good deeds.

The night on which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet, known as the Night of Power
(Lailat ul-Qadr), is generally taken to be the 27th night of the month.

The Quran states that this night is better than a thousand months. Therefore many Muslims (Submitters) spend the entire night in prayer.
During the month, Muslims (Submitters) try to read as much of the Quran as they can. Some spend part of their day listening to the recitation of the Quran in a mosque. meet for Quranic studies or for congregation prayers.

Some spend the last ten days of Ramadan in a mosque devoting the whole ten days for worshipping God.

6. BETTER THAN A 1000 MONTHS

[97:1] We revealed it (Quran) in the Night of Destiny.

[97:2] How awesome is the Night of Destiny!

[97:3] The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months.

[97:4] The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by their Lord's leave, to carry out every command.
[97:5] Peaceful it is until the advent of the dawn.

7.FOODS IN RAMADAN


Since Ramadan is a special time, Muslims (Submitters) in many parts of the world prepare certain favorite foods during this month. Since Ramadan emphasizes community aspects and since everyone eats dinner at the same time, Muslims often invite one another to share in the Ramadan evening meal.

Some Muslims (Submitters) find that they eat less for dinner during Ramadan than at other times due to stomach contraction.

However, as a rule, most Muslims experience little fatigue during the day since the body becomes used to the altered routine during the first week of Ramadan.

The EIGHT DOORS of JANNAH


The eight doors of Jannah are as follows:
(Source:http://www.mahmoodiyah.org.za/faq494.htm)

1) Baabus Salaah: Those who were punctual in observing their Salaah will be granted entry through this door.

2) Baabul Jihad: Those who participated in Jihad will be granted entry through this door.

3) Baabus Sadaqah: Those who frequently gave Sadaqah will be admitted into Jannah through this door.

4) Baabur Rayyaan: The people who constantly observed the fast will be granted entry through this door.

5) Baabul Hajj: Those who observe the pilgrimage will be admitted through this door.

6) Baabul Kaazimeenal Ghaiz Wal ‘Aafina ‘Anin Naas: This door is reserved for those who suppress their anger and pardon others.

7) Baabul Aiman: This door is reserved for the entry of such people who are saved from reckoning and chastisement.

8) Baabuz Zikr: Those who excessively remembered Allah will be admitted through this door.

How to make your prayers valid?


Many Muslims do not observe the right behavior during prayer. Below are the most important things to remember NOT TO DO during prayers:

1. Intentional talking
2. Laughing
3. Eating
4. Drinking
5. Uncovering the parts of the body that are strictly required to be covered
during prayers
6. Excessive alteration in the direction towards the Qibla
7. Excessive movement outside the regular acts during prayers without a valid
reason
8. Nullifying the ablution

Islam Practices Burial Instead of Cremation



Why do Muslims bury dead bodies instead of cremating them?
By Usman Abdul Rehman


Answer:

The human body has similar components found in the soil which hastens decomposition once buried. It also contributes to the fertility of the soil.The same land space can be re-utilized once the body has totally decomposed. It provides an economical alternative for the poor who could not afford to buy tons of woods for cremation.


Burying bodies is without pollution. Cremation contributes to air pollution which is detrimental to health and the environment.

(Photo source: Yahoo)

Monday, January 26, 2009

THE HOLY KAABA




by Usman Abdul Rehman

1. Many people attack Islam by questioning why Muslims worship the Holy Kaaba if in fact Islam is against idol worship. Why is it that Muslims bow down before the Kaaba during prayer?

Answer:

The Holy Kaaba is the "Qibla", meaning, the direction Muslims must face during their prayers. It is not the Kaaba Muslims worship but the location of "Qibla" where the Holy Kaaba is situated. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah:
"We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction." [Al-Qur’an 2:144]

2. What is the importance of "Qibla" in Islam?

It is important for it fosters unity. Islam believes in fostering unity. All Muslims all over the world face only one "qibla" when they want to offer Salaah (prayer), and this unites all Muslims in their worship to one True God.

Without the "qibla" it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south, hence it is important for all Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba in order to unite them in their worship of the One True God. .

If some Muslims live towards the west of the Kaaba, they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Kaaba, they face the west.


2. Where is the Holy Kaaba located in the world map?

It is at the Center of the World Map. The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map starting from the south facing upwards and north downwards making the Kaaba stand at the center.

As time progressed, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. The miracle part is, the Holy Kaaba, remains at the center of the world map no matter who draws the map.


3. What is "Tawaaf" during pilgrimage to Mecca?

Tawaaf performed around the Kaaba indicates only one God. When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaaf or circling the entire Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.


4. The Black Stone?

The kissing of the black stone in the Holy Kaaba is best explained by the Hadith of Umar (May Allah be pleased with him).

The other name for the black stone is hajr-e-aswad. The kissing of the black stone was explained in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675 which quoted the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

According to Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, "I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you".


5. Additional information on the Holy Kaaba:

At the time of the Prophet, the call to prayer or "adhaan" was done above the Kaaba. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhaan.

Hence, let it be concluded that Muslims do not worship the Holy Kaaba but only the Almighty Allah. However, the center of worship for Muslims is the Holy Kaaba for it is where the "Qibla" is located.

It is important for all Muslims to face the "qibla" during prayers.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What does Insha'Allah Mean?


The phrase insha'Allah means “God willing” or “if God wills it” in Arabic. Devout Muslims say "insha'Allah" whenever they make a statement about a plan to do something, in a way of requesting God to bless the activity. The phrase also acknowledges submission to God, with the speaker putting him or herself into God's hands, and accepting the fact that God sometimes works in inscrutable ways.

In the Qu'ran, Muslims are told that they should never say they will do a particular thing in the future without adding "insha'Allah" to the statement.

In a classic parable about why Muslims should say "insha'Allah" before doing something, a Muslim encounters a friend on the way to market, and says that he intends to buy something there, but does not add "insha'Allah" because he is confident that the deed will be done. When he reaches the market and goes to complete the transaction, he discovers that his purse has been stolen, rendering him unable to make the purchase, and his wife chides him, saying that he should have said "insha'Allah."

As a general rule, one says "insha'Allah" when making any statement about a plan, such as “I am going to buy a car tomorrow, insha'Allah.” If the phrase is accidentally omitted, some people believe that it can be added later, as soon as the omission is realized, but "insha'Allah" cannot be said after the fact, because God's will has obviously already been done.

A related phrase is masha'Allah, which means “God has willed it.” Both phrases exemplify the idea that devout Muslims submit themselves to the will of God as part of their religious faith. A Muslim who follows the Pillars of Islam and behaves in a righteous way also hopes to incur the blessings of God by saying "insha'Allah," but he or she also accepts that God may have other plans for the outcome of a pledge to do something.

(Source:www.wisegeek.com)

What is Lailatul Qadr?


It is the most special night in Ramadan. To be more precise, it is one of the last five odd nights in Ramadan i.e. 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. In this night, the reward of one good deed is multiplied as if it were performed for one thousand months. This means that reading one verse of Qura'n in this night is like reading one verse of Qura'n for one thousand months. (Source:wikianswers.com)

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