“A Beautiful End: Misk al-Khitam”
With Hababa Talha Bint al-Habib Muhammad al-Hadar
It is a blessing that despite the physical distances between us, we are all gathered here in the month of Ramadan. May Allah bless us and allow us to continue our good works in Ramadan. It is a blessing that He ﷻ has allowed, despite the distance, to be drawn close. This is a miracle from the Prophet ﷺ, whom Allah ﷻ sent as a mercy, “And I did not send you except as a mercy to all of the worlds.”
The Prophet ﷺ said about himself that he was sent to all people, meaning every single person. The way that we connect through him is through dawah, and it is a miracle that we are able to connect to him through these devices. We ask Allah to benefit us by these means we are using, and to only use them for good, and that we use them in the best way which is to draw hearts closer to Him.
This majlis that we are in is a blessed gathering on a blessed day: the 27th of Ramadan. All praise to Allah for allowing us to attend a gathering of knowledge. Attending a gathering of knowledge is better than praying 1000 prayers, attending 1000 funeral processions or visiting 1000 sick people.
In a gathering of knowledge the reward is multiplied, and again praise be to Allah who has allowed us to draw close through devices He has made subservient to us. In the time that had gone before, if a person wanted to attend a gathering of knowledge it would require a huge effort. They would have to travel great distances and endure great hardship. Because of this difficulty there would be very few students of knowledge, but these students understood the great blessing of gatherings of knowledge and the mercy that descends on these gatherings, and for that they would be full of joy.
My father, Sayyidi Muhammad al-Haddar, established gatherings in his Dar in the city of Bayda. He would say, especially in the lesson after Fajr, that if there was someone who had attended the gathering and had travelled from a far away place just to attend this gathering, that if a person walked for a year to attend this gathering it was actually a little thing they did in comparison to the benefit contained within this gathering.
What about the time we are in now, when the gathering comes straight to us, into our houses and rooms, we do not even have to leave our houses. What excuse do we have in not being able to attend a gathering of knowledge? We can’t say we are excused because it has come straight to us.
All we can say is Praise be to Allah and show gratitude for the blessings He has placed upon us and the devices He has allowed us to use, He has honoured us by allowing us to use these devices, by enabling teachers to attend, and organizing those to be present to benefit.
It is incumbent upon us to have the right etiquette when we attend these gatherings, because etiquette is everything, and the Prophet ﷺ said gatherings are a trust, and all of us will be responsible as to how we engage in this trust.
In our time we find it very difficult to honour our trusts. All of the things we have been given we will be asked about it. Allah tells us that the Quran itself is a trust. Allah said, We did indeed offer the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; indeed he was unjust and ignorant (33:72).
The right of a gathering is knowing its rights and its limits. All of you attending this gathering, you are all people who honour your trust, by attending gatherings of knowledge and this is a sign of good for you.
We will talk about how we bid farewell to the month of Ramadan, and also how we give zakat al- Fitr, and how we observe the night of Eid.
BIDDING FAREWELL TO RAMADAN
The very first thing is bidding farewell, when do we do it, how do we do it and what does it mean to say farewell.
We do not bid Ramadan after it has finished, but rather before it comes to an end. When a guest comes to the house, we bid farewell to them before they have left the house, not after. In the same way we greeted the month of Ramadan – with joy and an increase in our aspirations and by arranging our affairs – we bid farewell to it.
The Prophet ﷺ said that actions are by their endings. The Prophet ﷺ in the month of Ramadan was extremely generous and was even more generous in the last 10 days of Ramadan. We bid farewell in the way that my father said to. We bid farewell by crying for the time that has been lost and time that has been wasted through sleep.
What does this mean? You are crying for the good that has been lost, the spiritual openings that have come and maybe you were unaware of it, through sleeping, or because you were busy with worldly affairs, and this is why we cry, because of that regret. What if you are not able to cry, it does not come naturally? Then you cause yourself to cry by reflecting on the loss, the sorrow you have in your heart, you take yourself to account, remind yourself of all these things you have lost and this makes you cry.
An example is when perhaps a person wanted a high rank in this world, a job or a degree, and they were unable to attain it, they have sorrow in their heart over what they have missed. The believer cries not because they have not attained something of this world, but because they have sorrow for what has escaped them of good they could have attained.
What are the benefits of this regret? This regret will return back to you, when a person has this regret what they have lost will return back. In these last moments of Ramadan, there is an abundance of gifts pouring down upon us, and in this way we are trying to attain what we have lost. This word “hasr” has a meaning of regret, loss or sorrow. What benefit do we have in expressing these regrets? It allows our aspirations to return back, so in the last few moments of Ramadan, our aspirations increase because of this regret.
Shaytan, the nafs, the caprice and this world never leave you, these are enemies and in the month of Ramadan when the shaytan are chained we try to increase in doing good. An example could be a person in the beginning of Ramadan they receive this month well, exerting themselves and have high aspirations, but at end of the month they become weak, because of being deluded by the nafs, the insinuations of shaytan. They become busy in preparation for Eid, so they become weak in the last days of Ramadan.
We are people inshAllah who are wary of these four things that take us away from Allah, the devil, our lower selves, the dunya and our caprice, and we insha’Allah have this firm intention and resolve that we will not allow ourselves to engage in any disobedience of Allah. We have a firm conviction in our own hearts that we will continue acts of obedience and leave disobedience and remain firm in asking Allah for His enabling grace to continue in acts of obedience, not just in Ramadan, but outside of Ramadan.
So we make a promise to Allah, to leave acts of disobedience and engage in acts of obedience. And again we have this firm conviction of not looking at that which is haram and engaging in backbiting or tale bearing, not just in Ramadan, but for our entire lives.
We also intend to leave any kind of free mixing with men not related to us, whether by laughing with them, mixing with them, shaking their hands, because there is a very firm barrier placed between us and men who are not related to us.
Many Scholars, including Habib Muhammad al- Haddar, said that a sign of acceptance of your Ramadan is doing acts of obedience and being able to leave acts of disobedience. If we have this in Ramadan and are able to continue this after Ramadan, it is a sign of acceptance, and Allah has all power to do this.
We will now talk about Zakat al-Fitr which is obligatory upon every single Muslim, in accordance to the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ who said it is obligatory upon those who are present and those in places further away.
It is indeed said that ones fasting and actions they have done in this month are suspended until they have paid this Zakat al Fitr and it is obligatory upon every single person who is able to give this money.
Who is considered able to give? It is a person in possession of food at least for one day and thereafter i.e. someone has provisions enough for themselves for a day and a little after that.
So what is this amount we are required to pay? It is called a Sa’a’ in Arabic, a measurement equivalent to 2 – 2.5 kg.
What provisions are meant to be given? What is meant to be given is according to food of that particular place. For some it could be rice, for others could be corn, for others it could be dates and raisins. We turn to our scholars who have evaluated the kinds of food we should be giving as Zakat al Fitr. The monetary equivalent of that is 20 Dirhams, for eg in UK about £5 – £6. This value of 20 Dirhams is obligatory upon every single person. It is important to try to pay this, because it purifies you, it is a purification of your wealth.
There are 5 times in which you can pay this Zakat al- Fitr.
The first is the time when it is permissible to pay Zakat al-Fitr. It can be paid any time from the beginning of Ramadan to the end. It is not done before Ramadan, but done at any time in Ramadan.
The second time is when it becomes obligatory to pay Zakat al-Fitr. This is when the night of Eid arrives until salat-ul- Eid.
The third time is the best time to pay Zakat al-Fitr, and it is just before a person prays their salat-ul-Eid, they give their Zakat at that time.
The fourth time is a time that is disliked to pay your Zakat al-Fitr. This is after you have performed Salat al-Eid
The fifth time is actually considered forbidden, and it is after the day of Eid. It is still obligatory for a person to pay if they have not been able to pay it before, but it is considered to be something that is haram. If this happens when they are paying it they have a sense of regret and seek Allah’s forgiveness that they have not paid it on time.
Also, someone who is considered to be poor may then realise that they actually have food for a day and beyond that, so they are too obliged to pay this Zakat ul-Fitr.
The person who is responsible for the affairs of the family is obliged to pay for every single member of the family, be it for a child, young and old. Zakat -al-Fitr is even paid for a child that has just been born and is alive for a few moments in Ramadan.
RECEIVING THE NIGHT OF EID
As for the night of Eid we receive it with joy, as Allah is pouring out His mercies and gifts upon us. Every Muslim should feel and have this sense of joy because Allah has allowed us to complete the fast in this month of Ramadan and standing in prayer. How does this joy manifest upon us? By proclaiming the Takbir. The Prophet ﷺ said whoever gives life to the night of Eid by acts of worship, Allah gives life to their hearts on the Day when all hearts die.
How do we give life to the night?, By doing this takbir that is specific to Eid, or by recitation of the Quran or by standing in prayer or making dua. All of these things mean giving life to night of Eid.
It is also recommended for every person, male or female, to have a shower. Even if a woman is in a state of menstruation, or post-natal bleeding, they are encouraged to do so. This includes young children. It is important that we wear new clothing as a celebration of that day. And if we cannot find something new to wear, then we wear the best of what we have. Another etiquette on the day of Eid is to visit our relatives and to show kindness to every single Muslim we meet.
We also observe, after the day of Eid, fasting the 6 days of Shawwal, which is recommended to do. The Prophet ﷺ said whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and follows it with 6 days in the month of Shawwal, they have the reward of having fasted the whole year.
Allah has given us the grace of being able to do acts those before us have done.
May we be amongst those who are constantly returning back to Allah in this month of Ramadan, and may Allah accept all that we have done and allow us to have that which is better in these last few days of Ramadan. May Allah accept all of our actions and make them better at the end than they were at beginning. O Allah, grant us a good ending and do not deny us the great good that is with You due to the evil that lies within us.
O Allah allow us to end Ramadan in the best of states and we intend that which the pious predecessors intended. O Allah, conceal our wrongdoings, rectify the state of our children and give us a good ending, and we call people to Islam with wisdom and a good exhortation, and through that we give life to everything around us, our children and family and neighbours, with complete assistance from Him. We ask that He gazes upon us with the eye of Mercy, and more than that, that we attain the reality of loving each other for the sake of Allah and hating for the sake of Allah. We ask that He gives us the enabling grace and that we intend that which Habib Muhammad Haddar intended and through all of this that we have the best Eid that we have ever had.