يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (2:183)
A PowerPoint presentation delivered by Imam Ghulam Moyhuddin on preparing for Ramadan physically, mentally and spiritually. Click below to download.
Relying on physical sightings of the new moon is the principle in determining the beginning of Ramadan:
The highest authority in Islam and most prestigious centre of learning Al-Azhar University in conjunction with The Centre of Religious Edicts, Cairo , Egypt ( Dar Al-Ifta` Al-Misriyyah) have stated that like all the other lunar months, the beginning of the month of Ramadan is determined by sighting the new moon with the physical eye. The sighting for the beginning of Ramadan is made at the time of sunset on 29th of the month of Sha’ban. If the new moon is sighted, the beginning of the month of Ramadan is determined and if not, the month of Sha’ban is completed to 30 days.
In a fatwa, Dar Al-Ifta` determined that visual sightings are the principle in conjunction with astronomical calculations. The opinion chosen for fatwa is that astronomical calculations negate [erroneous] physical sightings but do not confirm them. The fatwa added that the testimony of any person who claims to have sighted the new moon with his naked eye while astronomical calculations indicate unequivocally the impossibility of a physical sighting, is rejected. In this manner, the beginning of the month of Ramadan is established through a physical sighting of the new moon with the naked eye in conjunction with implementing science, whether rational or empirical. The resolutions reached by the Islamic Juristic assemblies have determined the same.
Muslims should abide by the sighting of the new moon in their respective countries to determine the beginning of their fast
The Grand Mufti of Egypt stated that each country has its own sighting of the moon, and only when obscure, must they use the closest country to them to announce the outcome of the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan as well as the beginning of the months of the Islamic calendar.
The grand Mufti explained that to avoid any confusion, Muslims all over the world must start their fast according to the moon sighting conducted in their respective countries. He further said that acting against the sighting of one’s country breaks the unity between the Muslims of one country and sows dissonance, a matter which is prohibited and totally rejected by Islam.
An Islamic Legal Analysis of the Astronomical Determination of the Beginning of Ramadan: – Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui
The decision to use astronomical calculations to determine the month of Ramadan is incorrect and contravenes 1) a legal analysis (usūlī /ﺍﺼﻮﻟﻲ) of the available texts on the subject; 2) an examination of the scholarly record; and 3) an understanding of the objectives (maqasid / ﻣﻘﺎﺼﺪ) of Islamic law. The following is a summary of the arguments1, discussed in detail in the accompanying position paper, together with their response.
1. Seeing (ru`yah / ﺭﺅﻳﺔ) the moon does not necessarily mean actual physical sighting and may mean pondering, ascertaining or having certainty (Paper, 19-20)1.
The word “hilāl / ﻫﻼﻝ,” means a crescent and does not refer to the birth of the moon (muhaq / ﻣﺣﺎﻕ). And the word seeing (ru`yah / ﺭﺅﻳﺔ) must be interpreted in its literal (haqīqī / ﺣﻘﻴﻘﻲ) sense and not metaphorical (majazī / ﻣﺟﺎﺯﻱ) meaning in accordance with basic rules in legal hermeneutics. Most significantly, the text, “Do not fast until you sight the crescent…,” uses the strongest, most unequivocal language that sighting and only sighting is the means of ascertaining the beginning of the month. Read More…
Fasting In Ramadan: A New Spiritual Birth!
Fasting Ramadan is the fourth pillar in Islam and requires the believer to refrain from eating, drinking or engaging in sexual activity from dawn to dusk. It is also necessary for the heart to be fully engaged in this worship through having a sincere intention of purifying one’s soul and elevating one’s spiritual state with God through refraining from paying the regular attention to the needs of the body.
A lot of scholars have focused on ways to purify the heart during Ramadan and one of the luminary scholars, Imam Abu Hamid al- Ghazali, drew a blueprint for the believer to benefit the most out of Ramadan and to reach his full potential of cleansing his soul and purifying his heart through attaching it to God and to set himself free from the shackles of bodily and earthly bounds.
Al- Ghazalī paid extra attention to the issue of polishing the heart to prepare it for the divine presence. For this reason he cited some necessary elements to guard the heart against the imprints of the senses. The first element he cited is lowering the gaze and restraining it from widely looking at what is detested and disapproved along with whatever would lead to the distraction of the heart away from the remembrance of God. The second element is guarding the tongue from hallucination, lying, backbiting, gossiping, obscenity, brusqueness and enmity. The heart instead should be occupied with the remembrance of God and reciting the Quran. The third element is preventing the ears from hearing anything that is detested because anything that is forbidden to be said is forbidden to be heard. The forth element is guarding the limbs from engaging in unlawful detestable acts along with not allowing any unlawful food to have a way to the stomach. The unlawful food for Sufism is breaking one’s fast through gossiping or through committing sinful acts. The fifth element is holding back from filling the stomach with lawful food when the wayfarer breaks his fast. The reason behind fasting is to break lustful urges of the self which increase with unrestrained eating. The last element is when the wayfarer breaks his fast; his heart needs to cling to both the hope of acceptance of his fasting and the fear of being rejected. Read More…
A Month Of Historical And Spiritual Change – Shaykh Waleed Basyouni
Ramadan is the month of change. The whole universe changes in Ramadan. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said: “The blessed month has come to you! Allah has made fasting obligatory upon you during it. During it, the gates to Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great].” (Ahmad, an-Nasa’i and al-Bayhaqi)
This month has been a time for great worldly changes throughout history. During the month of Ramadan, Prophet Musa [alayhi] passed away as mentioned by Al-Hasan ibn Ali. During Ramadan, Jesus was raised to the heavens, as reported by al-Hakim, and in Ramadan, the Qur’an was revealed. “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong.” Al-Baqarah 2:185
During the life of the Prophet, Ramadan was the host for the occurrence of important historical events and for great people to rise or pass on. In it, great relief came and great victory was achieved which changed the course of life for the Muslims of that time. Read More…
21 Ways to the Sweet Taraweeh – Ehab Hasan
It’s that time of year again. Ramadan is here! It’s a beautiful time of year for Muslims all around the world. It’s time to tighten that belt and fast those long days. It’s a time to connect with Allah, even if you’ve fallen below your own bar for the last 11 months. Alhamdulillah, you made it to another Ramadan – when the gates of the hellfire are closed, the gates of paradise are open, and the devils are chained. The good deeds are multiplied by 70 or more, and in it is a night that is better than 1,000 months.
During the month of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah used to urge the people to perform optional taraweeh prayer at night. He did not order them or make it obligatory on them.
He said: “Whosoever performs optional Taraweeh prayers at night during the month of Ramadan, with Faith and in the hope of receiving Allah’s reward, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Muslim)
Taraweeh can be tough sometimes. You want to make that connection with Allah, but the prayers can be long sometimes – standing for extended periods of time and sometimes not understanding the verses being recited. Well here are some ways we can all work on making that connection and finding that sweet taraweeh.
1. Eat a light iftar
So your stomach shrunk, but your eyes haven’t. You’re starving and the iftar looks great. Take it easy. Eat when you get back from prayer if you need to, but don’t overdo it before taraweeh.
2. Use the bathroom
Just like I tell my kids before we go out, use the bathroom even if you don’t think you have to. Especially because you should be drinking a good amount of water at iftar this time of year. Don’t let that disrupt your prayer.
3. Make a good wudu
Concentrate on your wudu. Think of your sins dripping as the water washes away. Sure, you’re rocking the leather socks and are ready to wipe, but try washing your feet anyway. And while you’re doing it, think of the One you’re about to meet. Read More…
All thanks are due to Allah for letting the months and years go by and for giving preference to some days over others. All Glory be to Him in whose Hands lies All Sovereignty and Power.
May the prayers and blessings of Allah be upon the best of mankind, the best of those who have prayed and the best of those who have fasted; Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and everyone who follows him till Judgement Day!
Some days come with huge donations and the Prophet (SAWS) commanded us to make use of these days and to grab the chance for hope of gaining any of these divine donations after which we would never go miserable again.
One of those very special days is the Night of Power, the blessed night which draws its blessing from the revelation of the very first verse of the Qur’an. Allah says, “We sent it [Qur’an] down on the Night of Destiny.” ( 97:1). So it is the night that connected the heavens with the earth, the night where the words of Allah were brought down from the Preserved Tablet to embrace the people of the earth so they would bask under their reverence. Read More…