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Posts Tagged ‘Qur’an

  1. The parents of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) were believers and Sahaabi.
  2. The grave of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was prepared by Hazrat Abu Talha (radi Allahu anhu).
  3. Sayyiduna Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) came 24 000 times into the court of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). (Zirkani)
  4. Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) walked from India to Makkah and made forty Hajj. (Sheikh Zaada)
  5. Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) had knowledge of 100 000 languages. (Roohul Bayaan)
  6. It is greater to listen to the Quran than reading Nafil and reciting. (Law)
  7. When the Quran is recited aloud, then it is Fardh to listen to it.
  8. Except in a Hifz class and Quran lesson, it is Haraam for people in a gathering to read Quran aloud.
  9. The Quran has been translated into fifty different languages to date. (Quran-e Kareem Number Dehli)
  10. Only 26 Ambiyas names have appeared clearly in the Quran.
  11. Only twelve Angels have been spoken of in the Quran.
  12. Except for the name of Zaid bin Haarith (radi Allahu anhu), no other Companions name appears explicitly in the Quran.
  13. Except the name of Sayyida Maryam (radi Allahu anha), the name of no other woman has come explicitly in the Quran.
  14. Amongst the Jinnat, only Shaitaan’s (Iblees’) name appears in the Quran.
  15. Iblees will not be punished with fire but with cold. (Roohul Bayaan)
  16. Those who pass away on a Friday or in Ramadaan will be saved from the questioning in the grave.
  17. At the time of death, a person is faced with 624 000 sorrows. (Roohul Bayaan)
  18. To respect the grave of a Muslim is necessary.
  19. To read Namaaz-e-Janazah or give Azaan inside the Mosque is Makrooh.
  20. Suicide is Haraam and a great sin, but the Janaza Salaah of a suicide victim must be performed. (Fatawa Afriqa)
  21. The place where Azaan is given is protected for that day from any calamities. (Fatawa Mustapha-wiya)
  22. To give Azaan at the grave-side or in one’s home and business is a means of blessing and mercy.
  23. To place green and fresh plants and flowers on the grave is good as they make the Tasbeeh of Allah. (Alamgeeri; Dur Mukhtar)
  24. Jannat is only for human Muslims. (Malfoozat)
  25. If a woman marries the second time, she will be in Jannah with the second husband. (Hadith)
  26. In Jannah, Hazrat Aasia and Hazrat Maryam (radi Allahu anha) will be amongst the wives of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). (Fatawa Razvia)
  27. Hazrat Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu anha), although human, was free from menstruations, etc. like the maidens of Jannah. (Fatawa Razvia)
  28. Ramadaan and Eid should be celebrated by the physical sighting of the moon or by the receiving Shar’i Shahaadat. Calendars should not be followed for performing Ibaadah such as Eid Salaah.
  29. On the 10th of Muharram, Zam-Zam is mixed in all the pure waters of the world. (Roohul Bayaan)
  30. The sky is above and the sun, moon and stars are all below the sky.
  31. The sun and the moon are in motion.
  32. To drink, sell, touch, serve, keep or do any transaction with alcohol are all Haraam.
  33. Nikah is only done out of happiness and consent.
  34. When joking, or even playing and one gives Talaaq, then it becomes applicable.
  35. From all the Halaal things in the world, the most disliked by Allah is Talaaq.
  36. For men to dress and behave like women and for women to dress and behave like men is Haraam.
  37. For men to wear gold is Haraam.
  38. Men should wear one silver ring not weighing more than four and a half marsha (ounce).
  39. To stand before “Haya Alas Salaah, Haya alal Falaah” in Iqaamat is Makrooh and to stand on hearing it is Mustahab.
  40. Four Ambiya are still physically alive. In other words, they had not tasted death as yet. They are Hazrat Esa and Hazrat Idrees (alaihimus salaam) in the skies and Hazrat Khidr and Hazrat Ilyaas (alaihimus salaam) are on the earth. (Madaarik)
  41. Hazrat Ilyaas and Hazrat Khidr (alaihimus salaam) make Hajj annually and they meet at the well of Zam-Zam wherefrom they drink. Thereafter, they do not find the need to eat or drink for the entire year. (Fatawa Razvia)
  42. Four persons conquered the whole world from East to West, two were Muslims and two Kaafirs. the two Muslims were Hazrat Zul Qarnain and Hazrat Sulaiman (alaihis salaam). The two Kaafirs were Namrood and Bukht Nassar.

HISTORIES FIRSTS

  1. Almighty Allah first created the Noor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from His Noor.
  2. The first adult free male to accept Islam was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu); the first woman was Hazrat Khadija (radi Allahu anha); amongst the children, Hazrat Ali (radi Allahu anhu); among the freed slaves, Hazrat Zaid Bin Haarith (radi Allahu anhu); and amongst the slaves was Hazrat Bilal (radi Allahu anhu).
  3. The first wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was Hazrat Khadijatul Kubra (radi Allahu anha).
  4. Hazrat Khadija (radi Allahu anha) was the first of the Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) wives to pass away.
  5. Hazrat Qaasim (radi Allahu anhu) was the first of the Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) children to be born. He passed away in his infancy.
  6. Hazrat Khadija (radi Allahu anha) was the first person to read Namaaz amongst the Ummah of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  7. The home of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansaari (radi Allahu anhu) was the first place where the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) stayed in Madina Shareef.
  8. The first verse of the Holy Quran to be revealed was “Iqra Bi Ismi Rabbikal Lazi Khalaq”. This took place on Friday, 27th of Ramadaan on the night of Qadr thirteen and a half years before Hijra, coinciding with the 14th of August 610 A.C. in the cave of Hira.
  9. Hazrat Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) gave the first Azaan in the skies.
  10. The first Azaan on earth was given by Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam).
  11. Hazrat Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) gave the first Azaan in the year 1 A.H. to announce the Namaaz of Fajr.
  12. The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) performed the first Jummah Salaah in Madina Munawwarah on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal.
  13. The first Hajj became Fardh in the year 9 A.H.
  14. The first Fardh fast was that of Ashurah (10th Muharram). This was then nullified and the fasting on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month became Fardh. This was also nullified, and on the 10th of Shawaal in 2 A.H., fasting for the entire month of Ramadaan was made Fardh and the remainder of the fasts was made Nafil (optional).
  15. The first Muslims migrated towards Abyssinia.
  16. The first battle to take place was the Ghazwa Abwaa.
  17. The first Sadqa was given by Hazrat Adi bin Haatim (radi Allahu anhu) on behalf of his people.
  18. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) established the first madrassah (Suffah) in Musjid-e-Nabawi.
  19. The first person sent to spread Islam under the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair (radi Allahu anhu), who was sent to Madinah.
  20. The first person to be appointed a teacher in the madrassah was Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair (radi Allahu anhu).
  21. The first Mosque to be built was Musjid-e-Quba, which the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) built himself. After the Holy Kaaba, the Musjid-e-Nabawi and the Musjid-e-Aqsa, the most excellence is given to Musjid-eQuba. Two rakaats of Salaah in this Musjid is equivalent to the Sawaab of one Umrah.
  22. Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah (radi Allahu anhu) constructed the first Minaret built for the purpose of Azaan.
  23. The first Mehraab for Imaamat was built by Sayyiduna Umar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu).
  24. Hazrat Tameem Daari (radi Allahu anhu) was the first person who sent his slave, Fateh, to light a candle in Musjid-e-Nabawi. Due to this act, the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) changed his name to “Siraaj”.
  25. The first Shaheed (Martyr) was Sayyiduna Amaar bin Yaasir (radi Allahu anhu).
  26. The first female to be made Shaheed was the mother of Sayyiduna Amaar bin Yaasir (radi Allahu anhu). Her name was Sayyidah Summaya (radi Allahu anha).
  27. The first person to be martyred in the Battle of Badr was the freed slave of Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu), whose name was Muhaj’jah (radi Allahu anhu).
  28. The first person to make Ijtihaad was Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu).
  29. Hazrat Abu Zirr Ghaffari (radi Allahu anhu) is known as the first Dervish.
  30. Hazrat Abdullah ibn Maz’oom (radi Allahu anhu) was the first person to be buried in Jannatul Baqi. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) buried him here in the year 2 A.H.
  31. Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was the first person to perform Janazah Salaah in Jamaat with four Takbeers.
  32. The first person to start writing the Muslim calendar was Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu).
  33. Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibnil Waq’qaas (radi Allahu anhu) was the first person to fire an arrow towards the Kuffar.
  34. The first person to become murtad (out of the folds of Islam) was either Muqees bin Khubaaba or Ubaidullah bin Jahash.
  35. The first false claimant of Prophethood was Musailma Kazzab who claimed Prophethood in the time of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  36. A person called Abdullah Chakraalwi from Miyanwaali, Punjab, Pakistan was the first person to openly reject the Ahadith-e-Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  37. The first translation of the Holy Quran was in Persian. Sayyiduna Sheikh Saadi Shiraazi (radi Allahu anhu) accomplished it.
  38. The first Urdu translation of the Holy Quran was made in the year 1774 by Shah Rafi’ud’deen (radi Allahu anhu).
  39. The first mountain to be created on earth was Mount Bu Qubais, which is near the Holy Kaaba. After the great flood, the Hajr-e-Aswad remained protected within this mountain, and the splitting of the moon took place on this very mountain.
  40. The first physical human to be created is Sayyiduna Adam (alaihis salaam).
  41. Man first descended on earth in India.
  42. The first Rasool to be sent towards the Kuffaar was Hazrat Nooh (alaihis salaam).
  43. The first idol worshipping took place in the time of Hazrat Nooh (alaihis salaam).
  44. The first murder on earth took place when Hazrat Adam’s (alaihis salaam) son, Qaabil, killed his brother Haabil.
  45. The first person to be put into Hell will be Qaabil.
  46. In the Ummah of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the first person to enter Jannah will be Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu).
  47. The first person to awake from his grave on the Day of Qiyamah will be the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  48. The first person to be clothed on the Day of Qiyamah will be Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam).
  49. Sayyiduna Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) will be the first person to be questioned on the Day of Qiyamah.
  50. The first person to be brought back to life on the day of Qiyamah will be Hazrat Israfeel (alaihis salaam).
  51. From amongst the animals, the first animal to be brought back to life will be the Buraaq of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  52. The first person to intercede on the Day of Qiyamah will be the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  53. The first person to enter Jannah will be the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  54. The first meal in Jannah will be fish liver.
  55. The Angels did the first construction of the Holy Kaaba.
  56. The first person to place a Ghilaaf (Cloth) on the Holy Kaaba was a person called Asad who was the King of Yemen.
  57. The first Arab woman to place a silk cloth over the Holy Kaaba was Nateela, who was the mother of Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Mutallib (radi Allahu anhuma).
  58. Hazrat Idrees (alaihis salaam) used the first pen.
  59. Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was the first person to circumcise himself and his son.
  60. The first persons hair to turn white in colour was that of Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam).
  61. Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was the first person to wear a sewn trouser.
  62. Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was the first person to build a Mimbar (Pulpit) and to deliver a sermon from it.
  63. The first person to make Mu’aaniqa (embrace shoulder to shoulder) was Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam).
  64. Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was the first person to hold an Aasa (Staff).
  65. Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) made the first Salaam to the Angels.
  66. The Angels made the first Sajda-e-Tazeem or Sajda of Respect to Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam). (N.B.: Sajda-e-Tazeem is Haraam for the Ummah of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  67. The first person to make Gustakh-e-Nabi (Insultor of a Prophet – sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was Shaitaan.
  68. The first person to say “Subhaan-Allah” was Hazrat Jibraeel (alaihis salaam) when he saw the beauty of the Arsh.
  69. The first person to say “Alhumdulillah” was Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) when the soul was put into him.
  70. The first person to say “La ilaha Ilal laah” was Hazrat Nooh (alaihis salaam) when he saw the Great Flood.
  71. The first person to say “Allahu Akbar” was Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) when he saw the ram in place of Hazrat Ismaeel (alaihis salaam).
  72. The first Namaaz of Eid-ul-Fitr was performed in the year 2 A.H. in Madinatul Munawwarah.
  73. Hazrat Buraida Aslami (radi Allahu anhu) planted the first Flag of Islam.
  74. The first battle fought for the protection of Islam was the Battle of Badr in Ramadaan 2 A.H.
  75. Sayyiduna Zubair bin Aw’waam (radi Allahu anhu) was the fist person to draw his sword for Islam.
  76. Sayyiduna Haarith bin Abi Haalah (radi Allahu anhu) was the first Sahabi to give his life for Islam in Makkah.
  77. The first enemy of Islam to be killed in the battle of Badr was Utbah bin Rabi.
  78. The first Namaaz-e-Janazah performed by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was that of Asad bin Zaraara (radi Allahu anhu).
  79. The first Namaaz to be made Fardh was Tahajjud Namaaz, which was later made Nafil.
  80. The first time that four Rakaat Namaaz was read was after the Hijrat in Madinah.
  81. The first person to recite the Holy Quran aloud after the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in Makkah was Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radi Allahu anhu).
  82. The first Ibaadat on earth was Tauba (repentance).
  83. The first person to have the Ghilaaf of the Kaaba embroided with verses of the Holy Quran was Sultan Hassan of Egypt in 761 A.H.
  84. The first person to be called “Ameerul Mo’mineen” was Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu).
  85. The first Mujaddid of Islam is Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu).
  86. Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Yusuf (radi Allahu anhu) was the first Muslim Qaazi-ul-Qazah (Chief Justice) in the time of Haroon Rasheed.
  87. Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibn Abil Waqqas (radi Allahu anhu) was the first Sahabi to be a conqueror.
  88. The first Hafizul Quraan in the Ummah was Hazrat Uthman-e-Ghani (radi Allahu anhu).
  89. The first Namaaz to be performed openly in the Kaaba was after Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) accepted Islam.
  90. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was the first person to start Salaatul Taraweeh in Jamaat.
  91. The first Khalifa (Caliph) of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu).
  92. The first stanzas of Naath (Poetry in Praise of the Prophet – sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) were written by Tub’bah, the King of Yemen, one thousand years before the Birth of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He had also written a Will in which he left instructions that when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is born, then these verses of praise should be presented to him.
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Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر) (also known as Shab-e-Qadr), basically the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of two[citation needed] very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan. Shia Muslims believe that this night is when their fate in the following year is decided and hence pray for God all night long and pray for mercy and salvation. This practice is called Ehyaa (basically meaning “revival”).

Qur’an

(Qur’an 97, 1-5)

In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful.
1 Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Predestination.
2 Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is!
3 The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
4 The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees.
5 (The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.

The verses above regard the Night as better than one thousand months. The whole month of Ramadan is a period of spiritual training wherein believers devote much of their time to fasting, praying, recitating the Qur’an, remembering God, and giving charity. However because of the revealed importance of this night, Muslims strive harder in the last ten days of Ramadan since the Laylat al-Qadr could be one of the odd-numbered days in these last ten (the first, third, fifth, or seventh). Normally, Muslims would perform an i’tikaf in the mosque (i.e they remain in the mosque for the last ten days at a strech) for prayers and recitation.

Sunnah

Muslims often pray extra prayers on this day, particularly the night prayer. They wake, pray, and hope Allah will give them anything they may desire for on this night. Mostly, they perform tilawat (reading the Qur’an).

Those who can afford to devote their time in the remembrance of God stay in the mosque for the final ten days of Ramadan. This worship is called itikaf (retreat). They observe fast during the day and occupy themselves with the remembrance of God, performing voluntary prayers and studying the Qur’an, day and night, apart from the obligatory prayers which they perform with the congregation. Food and other necessities of life are provided for them during their stay in the mosque, thus they may not leave the precincts of the mosque except for a genuine religious purpose. Devoting time to remember God, Muslims hope to receive divine favors and blessings connected with the blessed night.

Prophet Muhammad was very particular in these regards. It is related that when the last ten days of Ramadan began, he used to keep awake the whole night and was most diligent in worship.[citation needed]

Date

All Muslims believe that the incident occurred during the last third of the month of Ramadan but they differ as to the exact date. Sunnis generally consider it to be either the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th of the month; while Shi’as consider it to be either the 19th, 21st or 23rd of the month. Shi’as believe the 23rd to be the most important and 19th the least of the three.[citation needed] Conventionally, most Sunnis celebrate it throughout the night of the 27th (i.e. the night between the 26th and 27th). However, due to the uncertainty of the exact date, Muslims are recommended to observe all the nights as a matter of precaution.

Differences in lexicography

Although the literal translation of the word “Qadr” is “measure”, the day has been popularly referred to as Night of Power. The proper way to translate “Laylat al-Qadr” has led to some controversy, some Muslims claiming that “Night of Power” is a mistranslation in Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation that got popular.

The term “Night of Power” comes from The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (died 1953) who translated surat Al-Qadr verse one as:

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

Marmaduke Pickthall translates it as:

Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Predestination.

And Muhammad Asad writes:

Behold, from on high have We bestowed this [divine writ] on the Night of Destiny.

In the corresponding note he adds, “Laylatil-Qadr” can also be translated as “the Night of Almightiness” or “the Night of Majesty”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laylat_al-Qadr

Explaining Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar and the holiest of the four holy months. It begins with the sighting of the new moon after which all physically mature and healthy Muslims are obliged to abstain from all food, drink, gum chewing, any kind of tobacco use, and any kind of sexual contact between dawn and sunset. However, that is merely the physical component of the fast; the spiritual aspects of the fast include refraining from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character. All obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of thought and action is paramount. Ordained in the Quran, the fast is an exacting act of deeply personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of God-consciousness. The act of fasting redirects the hearts away from worldly activities, towards The Divine.

The month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. The fasting is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It also reminds them of the suffering of the poor, who may rarely get to eat well. It is common to have one meal (known as the Suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the Iftar), directly after sunset. This meal will commonly consist of dates, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him. Because Ramadan is a time to spend with friends and family, the fast will often be broken by different Muslim families coming together to share in an evening meal.

Ramadan derives from the Arabic root: ramida or ar-ramad, meaning scorching heat or dryness. Since Muslims are commanded to fast during the month of Ramadan, it is believed that the month’s name may refer to the heat of thirst and hunger, or because fasting burns away one’s past sins. Muslims believe that God began revealing the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan (in the year 610 C.E.). The Qur’an commands: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint…Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting…” (Chapter 2, verses 183 and 185). Fasting during Ramadan did not become an obligation for Muslims until 624 C.E., at which point it became the third of the Five Pillars of Islam. The others are faith (Shahadah); prayer (Salah); charitable giving (Zakah); and the pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj).

Another aspect of Ramadan is that it is believed that one of the last few odd-numbered nights of the month is the Laylat ul-Qadr, the “Night of Power” or “Night of Destiny.” It is the holiest night of the holiest month; it is believed to be the night on which God first began revealing the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Jibril (Gabriel). This is a time for especially fervent and devoted prayer, and the rewards and blessings associated with such are manifold. Muslims are told in the Qur’an that praying throughout this one night is better than a thousand months of prayer. No one knows exactly which night it is; it is one of God’s mysteries. Additionally, Muslims are urged to read the entire Qur’an during the month of Ramadan, and its 114 chapters have been divided into 30 equal parts for this purpose.

When the first crescent of the new moon has been officially sighted by a reliable source, the month of Ramadan is declared over, and the month of Shawwal begins. The end of Ramadan is marked by a three-day period known as Eid ul-Fitr, the “Festival of Fast-breaking.” It is a joyous time beginning with a special prayer, and accompanied by celebration, socializing, festive meals and sometimes very modest gift-giving, especially to children.

When Ramadan ends, Muslims give charity in a locally prescribed amount, calculated to feed one poor person in that region for one day. This is known as fitra, and is meant as another reminder of the suffering endured by many. Many Muslims also take this occasion to pay the annual alms which are due to the poor and needy, known as Zakah (2.5% of assets).

At the beginning of Ramadan, it is appropriate to wish Muslims “Ramadan Mubarak” which means “Blessed Ramadan.” At its conclusion, you may say “Eid Mubarak.

Source: http://www.ramadan.co.uk/index1.php?page=others.htm

Ramadan

Posted on: August 12, 2008

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان, Ramaḍan) is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, believed to be the month in which the Qur’an began to be revealed.

Name origin

The name “Ramadan” is taken from the name of this month; the word itself derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations. It is considered the most venerated and blessed month of the Islamic year. Prayers, sawm (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.

Laylat al-Qadr, which falls during the last third, commemorates the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an and is considered the most holy night of the year. Ramadan ends with the holiday Eid ul-Fitr, on which feasts are held. During the month following Ramadan, called Shawwal, Muslims are encouraged to fast for a further six days.

Practices during Ramadan

Fasting

Main article: Sawm

The most prominent event of this month is the fasting (sawm) practiced by most observant Muslims. Every day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat the Suhoor meal (the pre dawn meal) and perform their fajr prayer. They break their fast when the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib (sunset), is due.

During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual activities during fasting hours are also forbidden.[Qur’an 2:187] Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God Almighty. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intended to make Muslims more generous and charitable. Muslims can eat after the sun has set. Pregnant women, the elderly, the ill and children less than 12 years of age are all exempt from fasting as lack of food could damage health.

Prayer and reading of the Qur’an

Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Istanbul in Ramadan (the writing with lights called mahya)

Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Istanbul in Ramadan (the writing with lights called mahya)

Ramadan Lanterns, Cairo


Ramadan Lanterns, Cairo

Eid Ul-Fitr meal, Malaysia

Eid Ul-Fitr meal, Malaysia

In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur’an.

Sunni Muslims tend to perform the recitation of the entire Qur’an by means of special prayers, called Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur’an (juz, which is 1/30 of the Qur’an) is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur’an has been completed. Tarawih is an Arabic phrase referring to those extra prayers. This prayer is performed after salah of Isha’a, but before the witr rakat. Tarawih is an innovation introduced into Islam by the second Caliph Umar so is not practiced by Shia Muslims.

Muslims also pay Zakat (only applicable if one can afford it) during the month. For those who qualify to pay Zakaat, as per the Islamic Nisab (that is those whose wealth exceeds their necessities), of the leftover of their wealth earned in that Islamic calendar year. Although Zakat can be paid any time of the year, it has to be calculated on a year to year basis, and many Muslims use Ramadan as the month for calculation and disbursement.

Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment, establishing a link between God Almighty and themselves by prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others.

Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving to the poor and needy who cannot afford it, this can involve buying new clothes, shoes and other items of need. There is also a social aspect involved – the preparing of special foods and inviting people for the Iftar meal (the meal to break the Fast).

In many Muslim and non Muslim countries with large Muslim populations, markets close down in the evening to enable people to perform prayers and consume the Iftar meal (the meal to end the fast) – these markets then re-open and stay open for a good part of the night. Muslims can be seen shopping, eating, spending time with their friends and family during the evening hours.

Events of Ramadan

Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر) (known as Shab-e Qadr in Persian), literally the “Night of Decrees” or “Night of Measures”, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan.[citation needed] Muslims believe that it was the night of the Laylat al-Qadr that the Quran’s first verse was revealed. The exact night of the Laylat al-Qadr is only known to God and Muhammed but he chose to keep it to himself so that Muslims won’t pray only that night. That is why Muhammad indicated that it was one of the last ten odd nights of Ramadan.

The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted. The Eid falls after 29 or 30 days of fasting, as per the lunar sighting. Eid ul-Fitr means the Festival of Breaking the Fast, a special celebration is made. Food is donated to the poor (‘Zakat al-Fitr’), everyone puts on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. The prayer is two rakaahs only, and it is an optional prayer as opposed to the compulsory 5 daily prayers. According to one current school of thought (Ankaboot), it is suggested that North American Muslims arrange their work-schedule for Eid by requesting the two most likely days of Eid as Holidays or simply as days off from work. This allows for quality family time, and is akin to the Christian/North American tradition of taking Christmas and Christmas Eve off as holidays. This also allows for time off to celebrate the Eid prayer at a mosque and with family. The fast always ends after 29 or 30 days of fasting, and thus the request would be for the 29th and 30th day after the start of the fast.

Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan that begins after Eid ul-Fitr; these days need not be consecutive. According to hadith, one who fasts the month of Ramadan and six days during Shawwal will be rewarded as though he fasted the entire year.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan

Shab-i-Miraj means the night of Ascent. It is the blessed night when the Holy Prophet of Islam was spiritually transported to heaven and he reached a high stage of nearness to God Almighty which is beyond ordinary human comprehension. The Ascent took place on 27th day or Rajab, 2 years before Hijra. The journey was not with a physical body but was a vision of the highest type. On the way the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, met Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and some other Prophets. The purpose of the Ascent was to confirm the high status of the Prophet of Islam, a position which all Muslims believe, is impossible to attain by any other human being. It is related that even Gabriel, the Angel who was accompanying the Holy Prophet remarked at one stage, ‘I am forced to stop here. I cannot go any further, but you O Messenger of peace and friend of the Master of the worlds, continue your glorious ascent.’

It is also related that the Holy Prophet continued his journey until he reached very close to the Throne of God Almighty and attained the utmost nearness to Him. After having drunk fully at the Divine fountain of spiritual knowledge he came down to impart the knowledge to mankind.

It was on this journey, that five daily prayers were made obligatory upon Muslims.

Celebrations:
According to popular belief, the Miraj or Spiritual Ascension took place on 27 of Rajab. On this day, in some Muslim countries the houses and streets and specially the mosques are decorated with colorful pennants and buntings, and at night they are well illuminated by means of electric lights, candles or even oil lamps. As evening approaches the worshippers assemble in the mosques and engage themselves in glorifying the Lord and in singing hymns in His praise and in praise of the Holy Prophet. Public meetings are also held generally after Isha Prayer in larger mosques where speakers throw light on the spiritual status of the Holy Prophet, and various aspects of his life. The story of his spiritual ascension is narrated in detail. After the meetings sweets are generally distributed. Muslims of means give money in charity and also distribute food among the poor. The devoted ones spend the whole night in the remembrance of God.

Q.1. (i) What is the reality behind Shab-e-Meraj? Did our Prophet visit Baitul Maqdas and the skies and see the paradise and hell and meet other Prophets there? How could he meet the Prophets there when he had led them in prayer in Baitul Maqdas, a short while ago the same night? Had those Prophets whom he met over the skies, also reached there by riding the Burraq?

ii) What is Burraq? Is it a heavenly animal? Does it look like a horse with flying wings? Is it scientific and rational?

iii) Did the Prophet travel in Meraj while awake or in his dream, like some scholars say? Did he see Allah? Does the event find mention in Qur’an and Hadith? How should the Muslims celebrate Shab-e-Meraj?

…Mohammad Burhanuddin; Hubli.

Ans. The word Me’raj (Ascent of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is derived from Urooj, which means, ‘height’, ‘ascension’. It occurs in Hadith. The Qur’anic word for the event is ‘Israa’, meaning ‘the journey’. The event is briefly mentioned in the Qur’an, its detailed provided by Hadiths while the people’s fantasies add the usual garnishing. Taken from Qur’an and Hadiths the essential details of the event (with necessary explanation and discussions) are as follows;

The Heart Operation
Archangel Jibriel alongwith two other angels visited the holy Prophet (Pbuh) one night, while he was asleep in the Hateem part of Ka’abah. The angel then operated upon his heart and made some changes probably because the material body could not withstand the space travel with the required velocity without certain protection. The related part of the narration reads; ‘… Jibriel among them took upon himself to make a cut from the throat down to a part below the heart of the Prophet till he emptied the chest and the stomach. Then with his hands he washed it with Zamzam water till the stomach was cleaned. Then was brought a golden tray in which was a golden light filled with faith and wisdom. Pouring it inside, the chest and the veins of throat were filled up. Then the opened part was closed…’ (Bukhari)

By incorporating the changes in the body system, his body was probably converted from material into Noorani (lightening) body to withstand the journey of space. It may be remembered that the material bodies of people destined for heavens would also be changed to lightening bodies after The Maidaan-e-Hash’r (The place of great gathering) before taking them to heavens.

Burraq
After the transformation of the body, a conveyance named Burraq was presented before him. Burraq, the narration says, resembled a horse-like animal but its very name indicates that it also possessed a lightening body. The word Burraq is derived from the root Bar’q which means ‘electricity’ in Arabic. Burraq signifies that he had to be taken with the velocity of Bar’q that is electricity or light which is 300,000 km per second.

In the Mosque of Jerusalem
No wonder, within no time he reached Baitul Maqdis or Masjid-e-Aqsa. The Qur’an has summarised the event in one verse; ‘Exalted is He (Allah) who took his bondsman (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Masjid-il-Haram (Ka’abah) to Masjid-il-Aqsa (the Mosque in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof we have blessed, in order that we might show him our signs…’ (17:1)

In Baitul Maqdis, the Prophet (Pbuh) led in prayer, all the earlier Prophets who were gathered for the occasion (naturally in their Barzakm or transitional and transcendental bodies). The journey from one holy Mosque to the other and the Prophet leading signifying that the inheritance of Divine leadership was being transferred to him from Bani Israel who no more deserved the honour.

Towards Heavens and Beyond
From there, he was raised to the heavens where he again met and conversed with different Prophets. Then came the most honoured moment of the journey as he was elevated to a point beyond heavens, called Sidrat-ul-Muntaha. What he observed there is described in Qur’an in the following words; ‘One free from any defect in body and mind then He (‘) rose and became stable, While he was in the highest part of the horizon. Then he approached and came closer and was at a distance of two bows length or (even) closer. So, He (Allah) revealed to his bondsman (Muhammad) whatever he revealed. The Prophet’s heart lied not in what he saw. Will you then dispute with him (Muhammad) about what he saw? And indeed, he (Muhammad) saw him at a second descent near Sidrat-ul-Muntaha. Near it is Paradise of Abode. When that covered the Sidrah, which did cover it, the sight (of Prophet Muhammad) turned not aside nor it transgressed beyond the limit. Indeed he (Muhammad) did see of the greatest signs of his Lord (Allah)?. (53:6-18)

Whom did he meet? Allah or Jibriel?
There has been difference of opinion among scholars right from the days of Sahaba about whom the Prophet (Pbuh) met and saw at the place beyond heavens and horizon. Some say he saw Allah while others opine that he saw Jibriel in his original form. Ibne Abbas swore by the earlier while the Prophet’s wife Aisha strongly reprimanding the idea of physical sighting of Allah, favoured the latter opinion.

Both these assumptions invite serious apprehensions that could not be answered satisfactorily. Did the Prophet set eyes on Allah Quran says; ?No (material) vision can grasp him?. (6:103) When Prophet Musa (A.S) expressed his desire to see the Almighty, he said; ?You can not (bear to) see me (in your material mould)?. (7:143). Those supporting the ‘saw Him’ theory say that it was an exclusive honour of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) alone and an exception that the Lord appeared for him. It may also be argued in the light of what I have written above that the holy Prophet, during Me’raj was in a spiritual mould. What goes against the idea of Allah’s appearance before the Prophet then’ Well, primarily the holy Prophet (Pbuh) himself never claimed seeing Allah, while narrating the events of Me’raj. If he had, it would have been the most important part worth description. Secondly, none of the companions insisting on ‘Deedar’ (sighting) ascribe the claim to the Prophet. Instead, they say so based on conjectures. Thirdly, the Prophet’s wives should have been the first to be privy to such information if it was true. Not only none of them narrated thus but also Hazrat Aisha strongly denounced and even reprimanded such claims. Fourthly, the description in Qur’an, of the person, whom the Prophet (Pbuh) met in Me’raj seems too materialistic to fit the conception of Allah. Read them again; ‘.. Then he approached and came closer and was at a distance of two bows length or (even) closer..? And lastly, the Prophet himself denied that he saw Allah in Me’raj; ‘Narrated Abuzar that he asked the Prophet (Pbuh); Did you see your Lord? He replied; He is Noor. How can I see Him.? (Muslim)

The second theory of seeing Jibriel in his real form is also very unlikely. It is an anticlimax of a very extraordinary miracle described with much importance by Qur’an and Hadith. Seeing Hazrat Jibriel, a frequent visitor to the Prophet (Pbuh) (even in his original form) would not have been such a big event. The traditions also say that Hazrath Jibriel was not permitted to accompany the Prophet to Sidratul-Muntaha. He alone was elevated upto the all-important destination and hence the question of his seeing Jibriel there does not arise.

If neither Allah nor Jibriel, then who was he, whom the Prophet met there? Naturally some personage who is in between them both in stature, Haqeeqat-e-Ahmadi, of whom Muhammad r was a part and material manifestation. The Prophet (Pbuh) was informed and shown his own spiritual reality at Sidrat-ul-Muntaha. The Qur’an briefly mentions only the following; ‘So He (Allah) revealed to his bondsman (Muhammad) whatever he revealed… Indeed he (Muhammad) did see of the greatest signs of his Lord (Allah)’.

(And surely Allah alone knows the absolute truth.)

The Five times a day Salaat was ordained for the Ummah on the occasion. The Prophet (Pbuh) was also shown Paradise and Hell during the journey. After the great event he was again taken back to Ka’abah. The whole journey was completed within the night.

After the detail of the event, the answer to the uncovered parts of the question is the following.

Other Prophets also travelled by Burraq
1. The other Prophets, whom Prophet met, were also there with their transcendental bodies, which could travel in space as he did. They also travelled back to heavens from Baitul Maqdis with the help of their Burraqs at lightning velocities. There is a mention of other Prophets also possessing Burraqs in Muslim, in the Hadith describing Me’raj, reported by Anas Bin Malik.

Nothing Unscientific
ii) Hadiths clearly state that Burraq is a mute-like animal. There is no mention of wings. Only earthly animals with material bodies need wings to fly against the gravitational force. The basic constituent of Burraq’s body, as the word indicates, is electrical energy, instead of the elements of earth. There is nothing unscientific about this. The realities pertaining to the subjects which science has not covered yet cannot be termed unscientific. Science has not comprehended till date, the subject of spirits and spiritual bodies. There are a large number of Allah’s creations that are invisible to human eyes, as human sight can only comprehend the matter and not energy. The angels and the Jinns possess non-material bodies constituted of light and heat energies. The existence of other beings should not be unbelievable.

Neither Dream Nor Awake
iii) The Qur’an in Surah Israa, in which the advent is mentioned, indicates the state in which the Prophet (Pbuh) was carried to his journey. It says; ‘… And we made not the vision which we showed you, but a trial for mankind..’ (17:60)

It was neither a dream nor the state of wakefulness in the material sense. The Qur’anic word for the vision is ‘Ru’ya’ which is different from a dream. We find in one of the Hadiths describing Me’raj thus; ‘… They (the angels) came in such a state that the heart (of the Prophet) was seeing them. The eyes were asleep but the heart was awake. Likewise, the eyes of (all) the Prophets sleep but their hearts do not sleep..’ (Bukhari; Kitab-ut-Tauhid; Narration of Abu Hurairah)

The above narration of Me’raj in Bukhari, which is a very lengthy one, ends with the following words; ‘..And when he (Muhammad r woke up, he was in Masjid-il-Haram (Ka’abah).’ (Ibid).

So, the material body of the Prophet (Pbuh) was in a state of sleep after the Me’raj, while during the vision his transcendental body actually visited the places and witnessed the signs of Allah. In sleep he was taken and to sleep he was returned before and after the journey. During the journey, he was not asleep. He saw and witnessed everything with a transcendental body and with eyes, which were not material. Such is the vision of Prophets.

The Veracity of 27th Rajab
About the celebration, I must point out that there is not a single Hadith or authentic narration certifying the popular belief about 27th Rajab being the date of Me’raj. There are differences among scholars regarding the date, month and also the year of Me’raj. However, there is nothing against praying and glorifying the Lord and remembering the Prophet (Pbuh) on a particular night. At worst, it would be a distortion of a date in history, if the date is not actually true. It certainly is not a Bid’at unless the prayers of 27th Rajab are assumed to be obligatory part of Deen.

Source: http://www.islamicvoice.com/december.98/dialogue.htm