Maintaining Our Connection to the Quran on Eid

Try to recite a portion of the Quran on Eid.

If you do this on the day of Eid and the next day and the day after you will maintain the connection you made with the speech of Allah during Ramadan. The comfort you felt and the ease with which you recited it will continue throughout the year. You will not fall into the darkness of abandoning the Quran.

The more you are distracted with Eid, however, the harder it will be to return to the Qur’an. The soul is slow to become accustomed to doing good but fast to become accustomed to leaving it.

O Allah, make us among the people of the Quran. Do not make us among those who the Prophet ﷺ complained about to his Lord. Allah then revealed: The Messenger cried out: “Lord, my people had abandoned this Quran.” (25:30)

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Intentions For After Ramadan

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What intentions should we make for after Ramadan?

We intend to be among those whose entire year is Ramadan

We intend that our connection with Allah is expressed in our actions throughout the day and the night

We intend to serve the Ummah in the best way by focusing on the Three Objectives (knowledge, devotion and service)

We intend to seek the pleasure of Allah and to make His Messenger ﷺ happy in all that we do

We intend to attain an increase in presence of heart with Allah at all times but especially during the prayer and recitation of the Quran and the adhkar

We intend to establish gatherings with our brothers and sisters who we love for Allah’s sake

We intend to fast the Six Days of Shawwal and other blessed days such as Tāsūā’ and Ashura (9th and 10th Muharram) and the Day of Arafah and at least three days in every month

Preserving the Light of Ramadan

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we preserve the light of Ramadan once the month has ended?

One of the keys to preserving what we have attained is in the intentions we make before the month ends. We should make firm intentions to do good in Shawwal and beyond. We also need to beg Allah to preserve and increase the gifts He has given us. We need to be consistent in our attendance of gatherings and classes, consistent in our recitation of the Quran while reflecting upon its meanings and consistent in our recitation of the adhkar with presence of heart. We must also choose the best company and sit in the presence of people who have been given light.

Photo credit: Mahabbah Foundation

Why did Allah conceal Laylat al-Qadr?

He could have made it a specific night so people could be completely prepared for it.

But it is concealed in order that the believer remains in a state of anticipation – awaiting and hoping for the bounty of Allah. Thus his connection to Allah is not based upon one specific time which comes and goes and then he turns away from Allah and gets on with something else. This is the divine wisdom.

Furthermore that anticipation of Allah’s bounty nurtures a state of knowledge of Allah in the heart – the more you turn to Him, the more you seek His pleasure, the more you hope for His gifts the more light increases in your heart. Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “I am as my servant perceives Me.”

The more you think good of Him, the more good grows in your heart; the more you believe He will give you, the more He will give you.

This develops and nurtures your relationship with Allah which is the secret behind Laylat al-Qadr, the secret behind Ramadan and the secret behind every act of worship.

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The Night of Eid and Sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr

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Takbir

Allah says that He wants you to finish the prescribed period and to glorify Him for the fact that He has guided you, perhaps you shall be grateful (2:185).

Finishing the prescribed period” means completing the fast of Ramadan. One of the means of “glorifying Him” is in making takbir, which is an expression of our gratitude to Allah for His guidance and enabling grace (tawfiq). We should fill the night before Eid with takbir from Maghrib up until the Eid prayer in the morning. The takbir is not limited to a specific time or place but rather it should be made at all times in our houses and mosques and in the streets (without causing disturbance). The Prophet said ﷺ: “Beautify your Eid days with the takbir.” We should read it with our hearts filled with the greatness of Allah so that we are not merely repeating words without experiencing their meaning.

Giving Life to the Night of Eid

It is a Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ to give life to the night before Eid, meaning spending whatever time we are able to during that night in worship and remembrance such that the night comes alive. The least we should do is to pray Maghrib, Isha and Fajr in congregation and then devote whatever time we are able to Allah. The mosques of Tarim fill in the the second half of the night with people reading the Qur’an in groups, praying and making takbir together at intervals. At the end of the night everyone comes together for a khatam and dua.

It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are five nights on which du`a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha).” Sayyiduna `Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to spend four nights in worship: the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha`ban.

It is mentioned in the hadith that whoever gives life to the nights before the two Eids, Allah will give life to his heart on the day when hearts die. What is primarily meant is safety on the Day of Judgement, but even in this life the majority of people’s hearts are dead, starved of the remembrance of Allah and heedless of the return to Him. Remembering Allah on nights such as these, however, when most people are busy with other things, will give life and tranquility to our hearts.

Eid then will be a true celebration, an expression of our gratitude to Allah for the ability to worship and remember Him in the previous days and nights.

There are different forms of the takbir. Here is one of them:

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

الله أكبرُ كَبيرا والحمدُ لله كثيرا وسُبْحانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وأَصيلاَ

لا إله إلا الله لا نَعْبُدُ إلا إِيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الكافِرون

لا إله إلا الله  وَحْدَه صَدَقَ وَعْدَه ونَصَرَ عَبْدَه  وأَعَزَّ جُنْدَه وهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَه

لا إله إلا الله واللهُ أكبرْ ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

 

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd 

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

Allahu akbar kabira w’al-hamdulillahi kathira wa subhanallahi bukratan wa asila

 La ilaha ill’Allahu la na`budu illa iyyahu mukhlisina lahu’ddina wa law kariha’l-kafirun

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu sadaqa wa`dahu wa nasara `abdahu wa a`zza jundahu wa hazam al-ahzaba wahdah

 La ilaha ill’Allahu w’Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 “Allah is most great. There is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.

There is no deity save Him and we worship none but Him in complete sincerity even if the disbelievers dislike it.

There is no deity save Him alone. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His slave, made mighty His forces and He alone destroyed the Confederates. Allah is most great, there is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.”

The scholars say that whenever it is recommended to remember Allah it is also recommended to mention His Messenger ﷺ . Had it not been for him, there would be no Ramadan or Eid or takbir. For this reason we should add, in honour of our Messenger, his Companions, wives and progeny:

اللهُمَّ صلِّ على سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى آلِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَصْحابِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَنْصَارِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَزْواجِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى ذُرِّيِّةِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وسلِّمْ تَسْليماً كثيراً

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ali sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ashabi sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ansari sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala azwaji sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala dhurriyati sayyidina Muhammad

Wa sallim tasliman kathiran

 

Sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr

We should do what we are able to implement the other sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr.

Among them are:

  • Taking a bath whether or not you are attending the Eid prayer
  • Wearing your best clothes and best perfume –  the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had special garments that he would only wear on Eid.
  • Eating an odd number of dates before the Eid prayer
  • Walking to the prayer, taking a longer route on the way there and returning by a different shorter route.
  • Shaking hands with your brethren, congratulating them on the Eid and asking that their actions be accepted by Allah.
  • Being especially generous to your family, displaying your happiness on the occasion and trying to visit your relatives and friends.

 

 

 

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

Bidding Farewell to Ramadan

We thank Allah for the blessing of Ramadan and for all that He has enabled us to do and we ask Him to give us the best ending to this blessed month.

The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ said that on the final night of the month everyone would be forgiven. His Companions asked if this night was Laylat al-Qadr.

He replied: “No, do you not see that when workers finish their work they are paid their wages in full?”

Every night in Ramadan Allah decrees the safety of 600,000 people from the Fire (or one million in some narrations). Then on the last night He decrees the safety of the same number of people that He decreed on every night of the month. So if one million people are saved from the Fire every night then the total at the end of the month would be thirty million. Allah would then save another thirty million on the last night.

We ask Allah for the best of endings as “actions are judged by their endings.” While using whatever is left of the month to perform good actions we should also spend some time seeking forgiveness (istighfar). As some of the early scholars said this patches up any “holes” that we may have made in our fasting and is like a seal on our actions. We should have great hope in Allah that He accepts our actions in Ramadan and allows us to experience Ramadan again and again. We should intend from now the good actions which we wish to perform after Ramadan, starting with fasting six days of shawwal.

We must also pay our Zakat al-Fitr if it is compulsory for us to do so. The Messenger of Allah made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory as purification for the fasting person from vain and coarse speech and to provide food for the needy. It is thus a means of purification for the fasting person and a means of assisting the poor at a time of celebration which Allah wishes for all to take part in. It has also been narrated that our fasting is suspended between the heavens and the earth and not accepted by Allah until we pay our Zakat al-Fitr. One of the early scholars said that Zakat al-Fitr is to fasting what the prostration of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahwu) is to the prayer. We should refer to the scholars in our locality for details on how it should be paid and distributed.

 

Salat for the Night of Badr

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) on the night of Badr – recite this prayer in abundance:

 

يا حَيُّ يا قَيُّومُ صَلِّ على حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّد، وأَغِثْنِي بِهِ، وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ وسَلِّمْ

Ya Hayyu ya Qayyum salli `ala habibika sayyidina Muhammad wa aghithni bihi wa `ala alihi wa sahbhihi wa sallim

O Living, O Sustainer, bestow prayers and peace upon Your Beloved, our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions and by him come to my aid!

 

Commemorating Badr

On the 17th Ramadan we commemorate the Battle of Badr, which took place on that day in the second year of the Hijrah. It is one of the most important events in the history of the Ummah, and Allah describes it as the Day of Discrimination. Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) places great emphasis on commemorating it and marks the event by completing the Qur’an in Tarawih on the eve of the 17th, after which there are big celebrations in Dar al-Mustafa attended by thousands. The rest of the night is spent in prayer, remembrance and supplication, since prayers are answered when the Qur’an is completed.

Habib Umar reflects upon some of the lessons we can learn from Badr. Extracts from a Friday khutbah, Masjid al-Rawdah, Tarim 12th Ramadan 1432 / 12th August 2011.

He began by praising Allah and bestowing prayers upon the Messenger of Allah. He then enjoined people to have taqwa, attaining which is one of the aims of fasting and the wisdom behind Allah making it compulsory upon us.

The realities of taqwa which the Imam of the People of Taqwa ﷺ and his Noble Companions possessed were made manifest in days such as these in the second year of the Hijrah. In Sha`ban of that year both fasting and Zakat were made compulsory. The Prophet and his Companions then began fasting Ramadan in intense heat. On a day similar to this all those years ago, your Prophet left his family and home and went out to Badr with around 313 of his Companions. Why did he go out? To give victory to the religion of Allah and to convey the message of his Lord. In spite of the heat and the difficulty of the journey he continued fasting on some days but he also broke his fast on other days.

On the expedition he shared a camel with Sayyiduna `Ali and Sayyiduna Mirthad bin Abi Mirthad and they each took it in turns to ride while the other two walked. They said to him:

“O Messenger of Allah, you ride and we will walk.”

He replied ﷺ:

“Neither are you stronger walkers than me, nor am I in less need of the reward than you.”

Here he taught us several lessons. He taught us a lesson in sacrifice and in negation of pride and satisfaction with one’s actions. He displayed his need for the reward of Allah, in spite of the fact that even if he had ridden and let them walk, he would have received the reward for their actions because he was the one that guided them to Allah. O believer, this is the Best of Creation saying: “Nor am I in less need of the reward than you.” Do you think you are not in need of the reward of Allah such that you leave prayers which you are able to perform or gatherings of remembrance which you are able to attend? You are in need of the reward of every action in Ramadan specifically and in the rest of your life. So expend your efforts – try to reflect upon the Qur’an and to attend the gatherings of remembrance. It was the custom of the early Muslims to hold gatherings after praying Tarawih and Witr in which the attributes and etiquettes of the Chosen One were mentioned.

None of the Companions that went out expected to go into battle with Quraysh but Allah wished to ennoble those great people. The Angel Jibril later asked the Prophet ﷺ how he and his Companions regarded the people of Badr. He replied “They are the best of us.” Jibril said: “Likewise we regard the angels of the heavens that attended Badr as being the best of us.” They attained this rank because they gave victory to the best of people in the sight of Allah .

People naturally tend to choose that which is easier for their souls to bear but beyond that easier choice there may be something greater awaiting. If Allah then decrees something which is harder for the soul to bear the believer gains felicity by being content with the decree of Allah in the knowledge that this is better for him. Sayyiduna `Ali said: “If the veil were to be removed you would only choose what has already been decreed.”

Allah promised you one of the two groups that it should be yours. You wished that the unarmed group should be yours, but Allah willed to establish the truth according to His words, and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers.1

The Companions succeeded because of they had the love of Allah and His Messenger in their hearts. Twelve nights of Ramadan have passed and you have not yet understood this concept. Ramadan has only come so that you can be elevated. This love is the foundation of victory and of honouring one’s covenant with Allah. We witness this in the words of the Companions on the approach to Badr. The Messenger of Allah wished to hear their opinions after it had become clear what they were confronting.

Sayyiduna al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad said:

“By Allah we will not say what the Children of Isra`il said to Musa: Go, you and your Lord and fight, while we sit here!2 Rather we say: Go, you and your Lord and fight, and we are with you fighting alongside you!”

Sayyiduna Sa`d bin Mu`adh said: “We believe in you and bear witness that your message is the truth. Go forth to perform what Allah has commanded. Perhaps you wished something and Allah willed something else. Make war with whoever you wish and make peace with whoever you wish and we are behind you. Take from our wealth what you wish and leave what you wish, and what you take is more beloved to us than that which you leave. By Allah, if you took us to the sea and then plunged into it, we would follow you. You have left behind people (in Medina). Our love for you is not more intense than their love.” They knew that love of Allah and His Messenger was the foundation of their defence of truth and guidance. “Had they known that there would be fighting not a single man would have stayed behind… perhaps Allah will show you in us that which is a joy to your eye, O Messenger of Allah.”

When the Prophet heard this his face lit up like a piece of the moon.

He said:

“Go forth with good tidings for Allah has promised me one of the two groups – either the caravan or the army. It is as if I can see the exact places where Quraysh will fall.”

He subsequently pointed out those exact places the day before the battle.

Look at the disparity between the two sides. The Muslims only had eight swords, two horses and seventy camels, each of which three people shared. The Quraysh, on the other hand, had hundreds of swords and spears, two hundred horses and they would slaughter nine or ten camels a day for food not to mention the camels that were being used to carry the army. The Quraysh approached arrogantly boasting about how they would defeat the Muslims. This is characteristic of the people of opposition to Allah, and those heedless of Him. The Muslims, however, approached in a state of humility and fear of their Lord, and Allah duly raised them. 

Allah describes those that He loves as being:

Humble and compassionate in their dealings with the believers, severe in their dealings with the rejecters. They strive for the sake of Allah and are unafraid of the reproaches of those that find fault. That is the bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases. Allah encompasses all and knows all things. 3

In the second khutbah, after praising Allah and bestowing prayers upon the Messenger of Allah, Habib `Umar once again enjoined people to have taqwa. He said if you clothe yourselves in taqwa you will attain the secrets of fasting, the illumination of the night prayer and the reality of the transaction with Allah.

With true love for Allah and His Messenger you will be able fulfil the commandments of Allah and gain victory over your lower selves, over your desires and caprice, over this deceptive worldly life and over those who disbelieve from the devils of mankind and jinn.

Among the Companions were youths, some of them only fifteen or seventeen years old. One of those was Sayyiduna Harithah, who was one of the fourteen Companions martyred at Badr. His mother came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon his return to Medina.

She asked him:

Where is my son? If he is in the Garden I will be content but if not you will see how I behave!”

The Messenger of Allah said to her:

Umm Harithah, do not be foolish – it is not one garden, but many, and your son has entered the highest garden of Firdaws!”

O people who are planning for the future, is there any future greater than this? Let us make firm the foundation of love so that we follow the path of those Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them.

O Allah we love them for Your sake so show us their faces on the Day of Judgement and in Paradise.

Let there be nothing in our houses which displeases Your Prophet Muhammad, whether it be on our screens or in our behaviour. Help us to give this month its due and enable us to follow the Chosen One, honouring the covenant between us and You.

Invoke abundant blessings upon him because this is what will bring you close to him on that day. As he said:

The closest people to me on the Day of Judgement are the ones who invoke the most blessings upon me.”

 

1 Al-Anfal, 8:7 What is meant by the “two groups” is the caravan led by Abu Sufyan, which the Muslims had originally set out to intercept, and the army which Quraysh sent out from Mecca. The Muslims naturally did not wish to come up against a fully equipped army.

2 Al-Ma’idah, 5:24

3 Al-Ma’idah, 5:54

 

Finding Qur’an Recitation Difficult

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

I find it difficult to recite the Qur’an so during Ramadan I read a translation of the Qur’an. Will I be rewarded for this?

You will receive the reward of seeking knowledge and the reward for this is great. You should continue this but also recite even a small portion of the Qur’an. In addition to this you can repeat Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq and Surat al-Nas. You should also say ‘la ilaha ill’Allah’ in abundance and intend by doing so reciting the Qur’an.

Long Days and Children Fasting

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

The days are very long in some places making fasting very difficult for children close to the age of puberty. What should they do?

They should not be burdened with more than they can bear. They should be encouraged to fast half the day or most of the day. Although their fast will not be legally valid, they will become accustomed to fasting and their hearts will become attached to it so that when they are older it is easier for them.

 

How can we make our children love Ramadan?

We do this by mentioning the mercy, bounty and kindness that Allah shows in Ramadan.