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Archive for September 2008

The benefits of fasting transcend guiding the faster from idle talk and indecent acts. It is a sentinel against disease, providing the faster follows the strict dietary rule: eat during fast-breaking and avoiding over-eating. Allah (SWT) states:

“…Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not wasters.” (Al-Quran, 7:31)

A great deal of ailments originate from stomach indigestion. This is why they Messenger of Allah (saas) says:

“The son of Adam will never fill a container with something worse and evil than his stomach. It will suffice him some morsels (food) that will keep him on his feet, otherwise, he should divide his stomach into three parts: one third for his food, the other for his drink and the other third for his breath.”(Ibn Hibban)

This hadith indicates that the stomach is the origin of harmful bacteria. Even in the age of sophisticated machines, you can hardly find a machine so fragile but yet so remarkably durable and efficient like the stomach. This is the machine that receives food particles, processes and refines them, and distributes the products to different parts of the body. This is a lifelong operation. For the non-faster, the stomach will have no chance for rest. When the stomach is empty, as a result of fasting, it gets well-desired rest, to renew and rejuvenate its energy. With the fasting, the stomach is forced to go through a discharge whereby harmful residue are eliminated through perspiration as the body searches for food during fast.
During fast, the system of secretion is organized, and this in turn benefits the blood pressure, inhibiting hardening of the arteries. The heart and kidney functions are enhanced as the work load tapers off.
The fast helps to correct the problem of obesity and diabetes. Doctors over the years have used fasting as a prescription for certain ailments.
There was a discussion between Ali bin Husain bin Waquid (raa) and a Christian physician to the Khalifah, Haroon Ar-Rasheed, about Islam’s outlook on the science of medicine and health care. The physician said to Ibn Waquid: “There is not in your Book, Al-Qur’ân, anything about medicine. For if Al-Qur’ân is a book of science, what about this science? Aren’t there two kinds of sciences: the science of the body and the science of the soul?” Ibn Waquid responded: ‘Allah, the Most High has combined both sciences in half of a verse, when He states:

“…Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Al-Qur’ân 7:31)

The physician said: ‘Why, then, has nothing been mentioned about medicine from the mouth of your Messenger?’ Ibn Waquid replied: ‘Our Messenger (SAW), has combined the sciences about the medicine in a few words when he says:

“The stomach is the house for disease and prevention is the essence of medicine.”

The Christian physician then said:

Then your book, Al-Qur’ân and your Prophet Muhammad left nothing about medicine for Jalienas (a famous physician of the ancients). (Arkanul Arbaah, An-Nadwi, Darul Qlam, Kuwait)

An American physician published a report on fasting and its benefits saying:

“It is mandatory on every person who is sick to restrain from food certain days in a year whether he be wealthy or poor because if bacteria can find food in abundance in the body, it will grow and multiply. But with fasting it becomes weak.”

He then praised Islam. It should be considered as the wisest religion, for as it mandated fasting it has mandated health care. He continued:

“Indeed, Muhammad, who brought this religion, was the best physician who succeeded in his teachings, for he called for prevention before ailment, that is apparent in fasting and the nightly prayer (Taraweh) that Muslims observe after fast-breaking every day of Ramadan, for these physical acts contain big benefits in digesting food.” (Siyaamuka Ayyuhal Muslim, Abdul ‘Aleem Abdur Rahman, Iraq)

Aa’ishah RAA said:

“When the last ten days (of Ramadaan) would come, the Prophet SAWS would spend his night in worship, wake his family (at night), exert himself and tighten his Izaar (waistcloth).”

This hadeeth is proof that the last ten days of Ramadaan have a special virtue over any other (set of days), in which one should increase in obedience and acts of worship, such as prayer, making dhikr (remembrance) and reciting the Qur’aan.

‘Aa’ishah RAA has described our Prophet and role model, Muhammad (PBUH), with four attributes:

1. He (PBUH) would “spend his night in worship”, meaning he would not sleep during it. Thus, he (PBUH) would remain awake throughout it in worship and he would liven his soul by spending the night in sleeplessness. This is since sleep is the brother of death. The meaning of “spend his night” is that he (PBUH) would spend all of it in the state of qiyaam (night prayer) and performing acts of worship that are done for the sake of Allaah, Lord of the worlds. We must remember that the last ten days of Ramadaan are fixed and numbered.

As for what has been reported concerning the forbiddance of spending the entire night in prayer, which has been mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr RAA, then it is in regards to someone who does that consistently throughout every night of the year.

2. He (PBUH) would “wake up his family” meaning his (PBUH) pure wives, the Mothers of the Believers, so that they may take part in the profiting of good, the dhikr (remembrance) and the acts of worship during these blessed times.

3. He (PBUH) would “exert himself”, meaning he (PBUH)(PBUH) would persevere and struggle in worship, adding more to his deeds than what he had done in the first twenty days (of Ramadaan). He only did this because the night of Al-Qadr occurs during one of these (last ten) days.

4. He (PBUH) would “tighten his Izaar (waistcloth)” meaning he would exert himself and struggle intensely in worship. It is also said that it means he (PBUH) would withdraw from women. This seems to be more correct since it inclines with what was mentioned previously and with the hadeeth of Anas RAA:

“He (PBUH) would rollup his bed and withdraw from women (i.e. his wives).”

Also, he (PBUH) would observe ‘Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan and the person who is in the state of ‘Itikaaf is restricted from interacting (sexually) with women.

So, O Muslim brother, strive to characterize yourself with these attributes. And guard the prayer you make in the depths of the night (tahajjud) with the Imaam in addition to the Taraaweeh prayer (which is prayed in the early parts of the night), so that your exertion in these last ten days may go beyond that of the first twenty. And so that you may achieve the attribute of “spending the night in worship” by praying.

And you must be patient in your obedience to Allaah, for indeed, the tahajjud (night) prayer is difficult, but its reward is great. By Allaah, it is a great opportunity in ones life and a profitable thing to take advantage of, for the one whom Allaah grants it to. And a person does not know if perhaps he will encounter one of Allaah’s many rewards during the night prayer, thus serving as assistance for him in this world and in the Hereafter.

The righteous predecessors of this ummah would lengthen the prayer at night, exerting themselves. As-Saa’ib Ibn Yazeed said:

“‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab ordered Ubay Bin Ka’ab and Tameem Ad-Daaree to lead the people in prayer with eleven raka’aat. The reciter would recite one hundred verses, to the point that we had to lean upon wooden staffs due to the long standing. And we would not stop until the early parts of Fajr.”

‘Abdullaah Ibn Abee Bakr reported:

“I heard my father (i.e. Abu Bakr) say: ‘During Ramadan, we would finish (the night prayer) late and we would hurry the servants to present the food (of suhoor) for fear that Fajr (morning) would come upon us.”

There are two struggles of the soul that the believer faces during Ramadaan: the struggle by day with fasting and the struggle by night with qiyaam (night prayer). So whosoever combines these two and fulfills their rights, then he is amongst the patient — those who will “be given their reward in full without any reckoning.”

These ten days are the last part of the month and a person’s actions are based on his last ones. So perhaps, he will encounter the night of Al-Qadr, while standing in prayer for Allaah and thus have all his past sins forgiven.

And one must incite, animate and persuade his family to perform acts of worship, especially in these great times in which no one neglects it except that he has been deprived. What is more incredible than this is that while the people are performing prayer and making tahajjud, some individuals spend their time in forbidden gatherings and sinful events. This is indeed the greatest loss. We ask Allaah for his protection.

Therefore, embarking on these last days means entering into the profiting from righteous deeds in what remains of the month. From the unfortunate matters is to see that some people excel in righteous actions, such as prayer and recitation of the Qur’aan, in the first part of the month, but then signs of fatigue and weariness begin to show on them afterwards, especially when the last ten days of Ramadaan come in. And this is in spite of these last ten days possessing a greater standing than the first ones. Thus, one must persevere in striving and struggling and increase his worship when the end of the month draws near. And we must keep in mind that a person’s actions are based on his last ones.

An elderly Arab lady was sitting at the trunk of a tree, on the way to Haj. Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) happened to pass that way. He was also heading for Baitullah, for Hajj, and to the Sacred tomb of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu -layhi Wasallam). Seeing this lady very disturbed and in a state of despair, he spoke to her. The discussion is recorded as follows:

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah
The lady: The word from a merciful Lord is Peace (Surah 36 Aayat 58). She meant that the reply of salaam is from Allah, Most High, Himself.

She said further: Those whom Allah sendeth astray, there is no guide for them. (Surah 7 Aayat 186). She meant that she has lost her way.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Where are you coming from?
The lady: Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Musjid-e-Aqsa to the Musjid-e-Haraam (Far distant place of worship) (Surah17 Aayat1). She meant that she had come from Musjid-e-Aqsa.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): How long are you in this place?
The lady: For three nights (Surah 19 Aayat10).

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): What arrangements are made for your food?
The lady: And who (Allah) feedeth me and watereth me (Surah 26 Aayat 79). She meant that somehow or the other, her food is provided to her by Allah.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Is there any water for Wudhu?
The lady: And ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and (make tayammum) rub your faces and hands. (therewith) (Surah 4 Aayat 43). She meant that she makes tayammum, due to not finding water.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Here is some food. Partake of it.
The lady: Strictly observe the fast till nightfall (Surah 2 Aayat 187). She indicated that she is fasting.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): This is not the month of Ramadaan.
The lady: And he who does good of his own accord (for him) lo! Allah is responsive, aware. (Surah 2 Aayat158) Meaning that I have observed an optional (nafl) fast.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): It is permitted to break the fast when in a journey.
The lady: And that ye fast is better for you, if you did but know. (Surah 2 Aayat 184).

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Speak like how I speak.
The lady: He (man) uttereth no word but there is with him an observer ready (Surah 50 Aayat 18). She meant that since every word of a person is observed and recorded, she is taking precaution by speaking only in the words of the Holy Quran.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Which clan do you belong to?
The lady: Follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge, lo! The hearing and the sight and heart of each of these it will be asked (Surah 17 Aayat36). She meant those things that you have no knowledge of, nor do they concern you, you are wasting your strength (senses) byenquiring about them.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Forgive me. I have certainly made a mistake.
The lady: Have no fear this day. May Allah forgive you (Surah 12 Aayat 92)

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Would you like to travel on my camel and meet your caravan?
The lady: And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it (Surah 2 Aayat 197). Meaning that if you will do this good deeds towards me, Allah will recompense you for it.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Well, then you may mount it. Saying this he made the camel to sit down.
The lady: Tell the believing men (when confronted by women) to lower their gaze. (Surah 24 Aayat 30).

Hadhrat Abdullah understood and (turned) looked away. While she was mounting, the camel jerked and her clothes got strangled in the saddle (dorsers) and she proclaimed:
whatever of misfortune striketh you, it is what your hands have earned. (Surah 42 Aayat 30). In other words she was drawing Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak’s (RA) attention towards this mishap.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) understood and he tied the legs of the camel and he straightened the straps of the saddle (or dorser). She applauded him for his proficiency and capability by saying And we made Sulaiman to understand (Surah 21 Aayat 79).

When the journey was about to begin, the lady recited the Aayats which are read when undertaking a journey. Glorified be he who hath subdued these unto us, and we were not capable (of subduing them). And lo, unto our Lord we are returning. (Surah 43 Aayat 13).

Hadhrat Abdullh bin Mubarak (RA) held the bridle (or nose string) of the camel. He began to hum the (Huddi) famous Arabic song for travelling, and he started walking very fast.

The lady: Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice (Surah 31 Aayat 19). Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) understood. He began walking slower and he lowered his voice.

The lady: Recite of the Quran that which is easy for you. She meant that instead of humming the Huddi, he should rather recite the Holy Quran. Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) began reciting the Holy Quran.The lady became very pleased and said but none remember (accept advice) except men of understanding (Surah 2 Aayat 269).

After reciting the Holy Quran for a while, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) asked (the lady if she had a husband) (if he was alive) O Aunt, have have you a husband? (meaning is he living)
The lady:
O you who believe, ask not of things which if they were made known unto you, would trouble you (Surah 5 Aayat 101). She meant that no questions should be asked regarding this matter which indicated that her husband has most probably passed away.

Finally they (caught up) met the caravan. Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Do you have any son or relative (friend) in this caravan who has connection (contact) with you?
The lady: Wealth and children are an ornament of life of the world (Surah 18 Aayat 46). She meant that her sons were with this caravan and he has provisions with him.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): What work are your sons doing for the caravan? (Hadhrat Abdullah’s object for asking was to make it easy for him to recognise her son).
The lady: And landmarks, and by the star they find a way (Surah 16 Aayat 16). She meant that he is a guide for the caravan.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA): Can you tell me their name?
The lady: Allah chose Ibrahim as (for) a friend (Surah 4 Aayat 125). And Allah spoke directly unto Moosa (Surah 19 Aayat 12). By reciting these Aayats the lady informed him that her sons names were Yahya, Ibrahim and Moosa.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) called out these names in the caravan and immediately three young people came forward.The lady: (addressing her children) Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city. And let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof (Sura 18 Aayat 19) In other words she instructed them to feed Hadhrat Abdullah (RA).When the food was brought, she told Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA):Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in the past days. (Surah 69 Aayat 24), and with this Aayat she recited another Aayat, the object of which was to convey her gratefulness to him for his good conduct and courtesy. The Aayat was: Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness? (Surah 55 Aayat 60). Their conversation terminated on this Aayat. The lady’s son informed Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mubarak (RA) that his mother has been speaking in this manner, i.e. using only the Aayats of the Holy Quran in her speech, for the last 40 years.


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