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Praise is for Allah the Generous, the Bestower. He created mankind from dust. He is the Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment, and the Bestower (of Favors). None has right to be worshipped but He and to Him is the final return. I bear witness that there is no god of deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no partners. To Him is all praise and He is Able to do what He Wills. I bear witness that Muhammed is His slave and final Messenger a source of guidance for mankind and jinn. He (saaw) is a mercy to mankind. I send Salah and Salaam to him, his family and companions and those who follow their path.

Amma Ba‘du:

The blessed month of Ramadan is approaching. Fasting during Ramadan, the Muslims holy month, was ordained during the second year of Hijrah. While fasting is an integral and paramount part of it, Ramadan offers a comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul.

Yes, Ramadan is the most important month of the year. It is the month that the believers await with eagerness. At the beginning of Rajab -two full months before Ramadan- the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to supplicate: “"O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’ban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health)." ”

During Ramadan the believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. "If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan," said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). Ramadan offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his/her heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him/her.

“"Anyone who fasts during this month with purity of belief and with expectation of a good reward (from his Creator), will have his previous sins forgiven," ”said Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). “"Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven." ”As other hadiths (saying of the Prophet) tell us, the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.

Along with the possibility of a great reward, there is the risk of a terrible loss. If we let any other month pass by carelessly, we just lost a month. If we do the same during Ramadan, we have lost everything. The person who misses just one day’s fast without a legitimate reason, cannot really make up for it even if he were to fast everyday for the rest of his life. And of the three persons that Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed, one is the unfortunate Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek Allah’s mercy.

One who does not fast is obviously in this category, but so also is the person who fasts and prays but makes no effort to stay away from sins or attain purity of the heart through the numerous opportunities offered by Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him), warned us: “"There are those who get nothing from their fast but hunger and thirst. There are those who get nothing from their nightly prayers but loss of sleep." ”

Those who understood this, for them Ramadan was indeed a very special month. In addition to fasting, mandatory Salat (prayers), and extra Tarawih Salat (congregational evening prayers in Ramadan), they spent the whole month in acts of worship like voluntary Salat, Tilawa (recitation of Qur’an), Dhikr (remembrance of God) etc. After mentioning that this has been the tradition of the pious people of this Ummah (Muslim nation) throughout the centuries, Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi notes: "I have seen with my own eyes such ulema (scholars) who used to finish recitation of the entire Qur’an everyday during Ramadan. They spent almost the entire night in prayers. They used to eat so little that one wondered how they could endure all this. These greats valued every moment of Ramadan and would not waste any of it in any other pursuit…Watching them made one believe the astounding stories of Ibada (worship) and devotion of our elders recorded by history."

This emphasis on these acts of worship may sound strange -even misplaced- to some. It requires some explanation. We know that the term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat, Tilawa and Dhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah (Islamic law) and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal (permissible) income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada -worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.

Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.

This spirit is captured in I’tikaf, a unique Ibada associated with Ramadan, in which a person gives up all his normal activities and enters a mosque for a specific period. There is great merit in it and every Muslim community is encouraged to provide at least one person who will perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan. But even those who cannot spare ten days are encouraged to spend as much time in the mosque as possible.

Through direct Ibada we "charge our batteries"; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life. Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength. How much we benefit from it is up to us.

My we all benefit from this blessed, holy month...ameen

Please explain why the Quran contains more than one episode of Mohammed having faced some sort of person challenge (from his wives or others close to him) where his answer was to disappear for a time and then suddenly reappear with some magical edict from on high which clearly forbade people from engaging in the offensive activity, while still excepting himself personally from the prohibition.

To the Kafir, it would seem that some guy was just making up rules to put restrictions on his followers without unduly burdening himself because it is unlikely that any God or Allah, if there is such a thing, would be so blatantly biased, unfair and uneven.

The more I read the Quran, I'm sorry to report, the more I understand it's critics. I used to assume it was fairly similar to the outrageous but largely-harmless lies contained in the Torah and Bible, but am beginning to suspect the Koran might actually be the most bizarre and extreme.

I hope you take the time to clarify as I'll continue reading.

Peace be upon those who follow true guidance.

Firstly Anonymous, it would be greatly appreciated if you could kindly give us the verses you are refering to.

Secondly, Allah (SWT) is JUST and is the most Merciful, hence will not treat any of His creation with injustice.

Allah is the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy. His Mercy encompasses all things.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and My Mercy embraces all things” [al-A’raaf 7:156]

“Declare (O Muhammad) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.

And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment”

[al-Hijr 15:49-50]

Thirdly, the Prophet (saw) NEVER forbade something from his followers and excluded himself. Everything Allah (SWT) commanded him to tell the people to not do, it INCLUDED himself!

[quote] it would seem that some guy was just making up rules to put restrictions on his followers without unduly burdening himself[quote]

Please read our reply to someone who made similar to what you're claiming, you will find it under "Corruption Of The Torah".

In order to understand the Prophet better, please read his biography. This will also help you greatly when it comes to understanding the Qur'an--> http://www.islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=23

Please copy and paste the link.

We will be waiting for you to provide us with the verses so that we may clarify your misunderstandings.

Lastly, it seems like you do not believe in the existence of God? If so, we recommend you to also read this--> http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=26745&ln=eng {copy and paste).

Hoping to hear from you.

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