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The Many Virtues of Fasting Aashooraa (10th Muharram)


Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.
Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]

Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.
Allaah’s words (interpretation of the meaning): “so wrong not yourselves therein…” mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.

It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

Qutaadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allaah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadaan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. (Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat al-Tawbah, aayah 36

The Virtue of observing more naafil fasts during Muharram.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” (reported by Muslim, 1982).

The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said: “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.

It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month. (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Saheeh Muslim).

Allaah chooses whatever times and places He wills

Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allaah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places, by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadaan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, the virtue of which is due to Allaah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day…” (Qawaa’id al-Ahkaam, 1/38).

‘Aashooraa’ in History

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1865).

“This is a righteous day” – in a report narrated by Muslim, [the Jews said:] “This is a great day, on which Allaah saved Moosa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”
“Moosa fasted on this day” – a report narrated by Muslim adds: “… in thanksgiving to Allaah, so we fast on this day.”

According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari: “… so we fast on this day to venerate it.”
A version narrated by Imaam Ahmad adds: “This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Joodi, so Nooh fasted this day in thanksgiving.”

“and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day” – according to another report also narrated by al-Bukhaari: “He said to his Companions: ‘You have more right to Moosa than they do, so fast on that day.”
The practice of fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was known even in the days of Jaahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s mission. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The people of Jaahiliyyah used to fast on that day…”

Al-Qurtubi said: “Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibraaheem, upon whom be peace.”

It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madeenah. When he migrated to Madeenah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the hadeeth quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival, as was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: “The Jews used to take the day of ‘Aashooraa’ as a festival [according to a report narrated by Muslim: the day of ‘Aashooraa’ was venerated by the Jews, who took it as a festival. According to another report also narrated by Muslim: the people of Khaybar (the Jews) used to take it as a festival and their women would wear their jewellery and symbols on that day]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘So you [Muslims] should fast on that day.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari).

Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration. (Summarized from the words of al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar – may Allaah have mercy on him – in Fath al-Baari Sharh ‘ala Saheeh al-Bukhaari).

Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, then Allaah made fasting obligatory when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “… observing the fasting is prescribed for you…” [al-Baqarah 2:183] (Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassas, part 1).

The obligation was transferred from the fast of ‘Aashooraa’ to the fast of Ramadaan, and this one of the proofs in the field of Usool al-Fiqh that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty.

Before the obligation of fasting ‘Aashooraa’ was abrogated, fasting on this day was obligatory, as can be seen from the clear command to observe this fast. Then it was further confirmed later on, then reaffirmed by making it a general command addressed to everybody, and once again by instructing mothers not to breastfeed their infants during this fast. It was reported from Ibn Mas’ood that when fasting Ramadaan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast ‘Aashooraa’ was lifted, i.e., it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).

The virtues of fasting ‘Aashooraa’

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and this month, meaning Ramadaan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1867).

The meaning of his being keen was that he intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Reported by Muslim, 1976). This is from the bounty of Allaah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty.

Which day is ‘Aashooraa’?

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “ ‘Aashooraa’ and Taasoo’aa’ are two elongated names [the vowels are elongated] as is stated in books on the Arabic language. Our companions said: ‘Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram and Taasoo’aa’ is the ninth day. This is our opinion, and that of the majority of scholars. This is the apparent meaning of the ahaadeeth and is what we understand from the general wording. It is also what is usually understood by scholars of the language.” (al-Majmoo’)

‘Aashooraa’ is an Islamic name that was not known at the time of Jaahiliyyah. (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Sawm Muharram).

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“ ‘Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram. This is the opinion of Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib and al-Hasan. It was what was reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to fast ‘Aashooraa’, the tenth day of Muharram.’ (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said, a saheeh hasan hadeeth). It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘The ninth,’ and reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast the ninth. (Reported by Muslim). ‘Ataa’ reported that he said, ‘Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.’ If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaaq.”

It is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast Taasoo’aa’ with ‘Aashooraa’

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, in sha Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed away before the next year came.” (Reported by Muslim, 1916).

Al-Shaafa'i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: “It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.”

On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting ‘Aashooraa’, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.

The reason why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’:

1.     the intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas…
2.     the intention is to add another day’s fast to ‘Aashooraa’. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattaabi and others.
3.     To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth.”
The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade imitating the People of the Book in many ahaadeeth, for example, his words concerning ‘Aashooraa’: ‘If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.’” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 6, Sadd al-Dharaa’i’ al-Mufdiyah ila’l-Mahaarim )

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth “If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day”: “What he meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim.” (Fath, 4/245).


Ruling on fasting only on the day of ‘Aashooraa’

Shaykh al-Islam said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Aashoraa’ is an expiation for a year, and it is not makrooh to fast only that day…” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5). In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, it says: “There is nothing wrong with fasting only on ‘Aashooraa’.” (part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’).

Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ even if it is a Saturday or a Friday

Al-Tahhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed us to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allaah knows best – it could be the case that even if this is true (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is so that we do not venerate this day and refrain from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not makrooh…” (Mushkil al-Aathaar, part 2, Baab Sawm Yawm al-Sabt).

The author of al-Minhaaj said: “ ‘It is disliked (makrooh) to fast on a Friday alone…’ But it is no longer makrooh if you add another day to it, as mentioned in the saheeh report to that effect. A person may fast on a Friday if it coincides with his habitual fast, or he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, or he is making up an obligatory fast that he has missed, as was stated in a saheeh report.” 

Al-Shaarih said in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj:
“ ‘If it coincides with his habitual fast’ – i.e., such as if he fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts happens to be a Friday.
‘ if he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, etc.” – this also applies to fasting on days prescribed in sharee’ah, such as ‘Aashooraa’ or ‘Arafaah. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’)

Al-Bahooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It is makrooh to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: ‘Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts’ (reported by Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad and by al-Haakim, who said: according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari), and because it is a day that is venerated by the Jews, so singling it out for fasting means being like them… except when a Friday or Saturday coincides with a day when Muslims habitually fast, such as when it coincides with the day of ‘Arafaah or the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and a person has the habit of fasting on these days, in which case it is not makrooh, because a person’s habit carries some weight.” (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’).


What should be done if there is confusion about the beginning of the month?

Ahmad said: “If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days.” (al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, part 3 – al-Siyaam – Siyaam ‘Aashooraa’).

If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Dhoo’l-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eight, ninth and tenth (then if Dhoo’l-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Taasoo’aa’ and ‘Aashooraa’).

But given that fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ is mustahabb rather than waajib, people are not commanded to look for the crescent of the new moon of Muharram as they are to do in the case of Ramadaan and Shawwaal.

Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ – for what does it offer expiation?


Imaam al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins.”
Then he said (may Allaah have mercy on him):
“Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for two years, and the day of ‘Aashooraa’ expiates for one year. If when a person says ‘Aameen’ it coincides with the ‘Aameen’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins… Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status… If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.” (al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6, Sawm Yawm ‘Arafaah).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Tahaarah, salaah, and fasting in Ramadaan, on the day of ‘Arafaah and on ‘Aashooraa’ expiate for minor sins only.” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5).

Not relying too much on the reward for fasting

Some people who are deceived rely too much on things like fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ or the day of ‘Arafaah, to the extent that some of them say, “Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah will bring extra rewards.” Ibn al-Qayyim said: ‘This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadaan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadaan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allaah’s forgiveness with his tongue (i.e., by words only), and glorifies Allaah by saying “Subhaan Allaah” one hundred times a day, then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allaah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of his tasbeehaat (saying “Subhaan Allaah”) and tahleelaat (saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”) but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived.” (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 31, Ghuroor).

Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ when one still has days to make up from Ramadaan


The fuqahaa’ differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person
has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadaan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadaan, and it is not makrooh to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Maalikis and Shaafa’is said that it is permissible but is makrooh, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory. Al-Dusooqi said: “It is makrooh to observe a voluntary fast when one still has to make up an obligatory fast, such as a fast in fulfilment of a vow, or a missed obligatory fast, or a fast done as an act of expiation (kafaarah), whether the voluntary fast which is being given priority over an obligatory fast is something confirmed in sharee’ah or not, such as ‘Aashooraa’ and the ninth of Dhoo’l-Hijjah, according to the most correct opinion.” The Hanbalis said that it is haraam to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadaan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up.. (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 28, Sawm al-tatawwu’).

Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadaan, so that they will be able to fast ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’ without any problem. If a person fasts ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’ with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allaah is great.
" If Allah brings you to it, He will take you through it "

What to Do on Eid al Fitr Night, Day and During the Month of Shawwal


Shawwal: What to Do On Eid Night, Eid Day, and During the Month

ByMufti Taqi Usmani

Eid-ul-fitr


Thesecond meritorious aspect of Shawwal is that it has been chosen by AllahAlmighty for the celebration of "Eid-ul-fitr", one of the only twoannual festivals recognized by the Shari'ah. This happy day is designed by theShari'ah as a sign of gratefulness by the Muslims on the accomplishment ofRamadan, and as an immediate reward by Allah for those who spent the month ofRamadan in fasting and performing other forms of 'ibadah.
Insteadof commemorating an event from the past, the Shari'ah has prescribed the firstof Shawwal as an annual festival for the Muslims at an occasion when theythemselves accomplish a great 'ibadah. This approach reminds the Muslimsthat they should not rely only on the accomplishments of their ancestors;rather, they should themselves perform meritorious acts to please theirCreator.


Inprescribing the ways to celebrate the happy day, Islam has adopted anotherunique approach. The festivals of other religions or nations normally compriseof some acts of rejoicing and enjoyment. The whole happy day is normally spentin dancing, singing and playing.


Incontrast, Islam has prescribed a simple yet graceful way to observe the happyday. First of all, it is mandatory on all the well-off Muslims to start theirday by paying "Sadaqat-ul-fitr" to the poor of their society,so that they, too, may enjoy the day along with others, and may not be worriedfor earning their livelihood at least on that day of happiness.


Afterpaying the "Sadaqat-ul-fitr", the Muslims are required toproceed to an open place where they can offer the Eid prayercollectively. In this way, they are supposed to present themselves before theirCreator and offer two rak'ats of this special type of Salah, whichmakes them receive blessings from Allah and start their celebration by thesedivine blessings.


Afterthe Salah also, they are supposed to rejoice the day in a responsiblemanner, without violating the limits prescribed for them and never indulging inthe acts prohibited by Allah.
Keepingthis point in view, we will now discuss specific rules prescribed for observingthe day of Eid-ul-fitr.

The Night Preceding 'Eid-ul-Fitr'


Ithad been the practice of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, that hewould not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-fitr. Thisnight has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward (Lailatul Jaiza).Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadanabiding by the dictates of Shari'ah, and all their prayers in this night areaccepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform nafl prayers in thisnight. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:


Whoeverstands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewardsfrom his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die. (IbnMajah)


Tobenefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this nightas he can, and should pray for all his needs and desires.

Before Going to Eid Prayer


Thefollowing acts are prescribed as Sunnah at the beginning of the day of'Eid-ul-Fitr before proceeding to the Eid prayer:


  • 1. Towake up early in the morning.
  • 2. Toclean one's teeth with a Miswaak or a brush.
  • 3. Totake a bath.
  • 4. Toput on one's best available clothes.
  • 5. Towear perfume.
  • 6. Toeat a sweet food, preferably dates, before the Eid prayer.
  • 7. Torecite the following Takbir in the low voice while going to the 'Eid prayer:AllahuAkbar Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Ila Allah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa LillahiAlhamd
Sadaqat-ul-fitr


Sadaqat-ul-fitrisan obligation for every Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silveror its equivalent, either in the form of money, ornaments, stock-in-trade, orin the form of some goods or commodities beyond one's normal needs. Everyperson who owns such an amount has to pay Sadaqat-ul-fitr, not only onbehalf of himself but also on behalf of his minor children. The prescribedamount of Sadaqat-ul-fitr is 1.75 Kilograms of wheat or its value inmoney. This amount is prescribed for paying Sadaqat-ul-fitr for oneperson only. If a person has some minor children, the same amount has to bepaid on behalf of each one of them separately. The following points must beremembered concerning the payment of Sadaqat-ul-fitr.


1. Sadaqat-ul-fitris obligated on each adult male or female separately, and the relevantadult person himself is responsible to pay it. The husband is not required topay Sadaqat-ul-fitr on behalf of his wife nor is the wife supposed topay it on behalf of her husband. Similarly, a father is not bound to pay Sadaqat-ul-fitron behalf of his adult children or vice-versa. However, if the head of thefamily, by his own free will, wishes to pay Sadaqat-ul-fitr for each oneof the members of his family, he should seek their authorization for thatpurpose. In this case the Sadaqat-ul-fitr paid by him will be valid ontheir behalf. If he did not pay the Sadaqat-ul-fitr on behalf of any ofthe members of his family, he will not be responsible for it. Rather, it is theduty of every adult member of the family to discharge his own obligation or torequest the head of the family to pay it on his or her behalf.


2. Itis a Sunnah that the Sadaqat-ul-fitr is paid before performingthe 'Eid prayer. It can also be paid before the 'Eid day, but itis not advisable to delay it up to the performance of'Eid prayer.However, if a person has failed to pay on its proper time, he should pay it assoon as possible, whereby the obligation will stand discharged.


3. The Sadaqat-ul-fitris not necessary on behalf of a child who was born after the break of dawnin the 'Eid day, nor is it necessary to pay Sadaqat-ul-fitr onbehalf of a person who dies before the dawn of the Eid day.


4. Sadaqat-ul-fitrshould be paid only to a person who is entitled to receive Zakah.


The 'Eid Prayer


Thesecond obligation on 'Eid day is to perform the 'Eid prayer. Somerules in this respect are mentioned hereunder:


  • 1. The Eidprayer is Wajib (obligatory) on every male Muslim.
  • 2. The Eidprayer can be performed any time between the Ishraq and Zawal.
  • 3. Itis preferable that the 'Eid prayer is performed at an open field and notin a mosque. However, if, it is difficult for any reason to perform it in anopen field, it can also be performed in a big mosque.
  • 4. Itis not advisable to hold the 'Eid prayer in every mosque, rather it ispreferable that the people from several small mosques get together to eitherperform it in an open field or, in its absence, in a big mosque which canaccommodate a large number of people.
  • 5. No NaflSalah can be performed before the 'Eid prayer, neither in one'shome, nor at the place of' Eid prayer. Similarly, Nafl prayercannot be performed after the Eid prayer at the same place. However, itcan be performed after one comes back to his home.
  • 6. The Eidprayer has neither Adhan nor Iqamah.


How to Perform Eid Prayer


TheEid Prayer has two rak'ah to perform in the normal way, with theonly addition of six takbirs, three of them in the beginning of thefirst rak'ah, and three of them just before ruku' in the second rak'ah.The detailed way of performing the 'Eid prayer is as follows:


TheImam will begin the prayer without Adhan or Iqamah. Hewill begin the prayer by reciting takbir of Tahrimah (Allahu Akbar). Youshould raise your hands up to the ears, and reciting the takbir, yougive a little pause during which you should recite Thana' (SubhanakAllahumma.......)· After the completion of Thana' the Imam willrecite takbir (Allahu Akbar) three times, and after reciting each Takbir(Allahu Akbar) in a low voice, you should bring your hands down and leavethem earthwards. But, after the third takbir, you should set them at thelevel of your navel as you do in the normal prayer.


Afterthese three takbirs the Imam will recite the Holy Qur'an, whichyou should listen quietly. The rest of the rak'ah will be performed inthe normal way.


Afterrising for the second rak'ah, the Imam will begin the recitationsfrom the Qur'an during which you should remain calm and quiet. When the Imamfinishes his recitation, he will recite three takbirs once again,but this time it will be before bowing down for ruku'. At each takbir youshould raise your hands up to the ears, and after saying "Allahu Akbar'bring them down and leave them earthwards. After these three takbirs havebeen called and completed, the Imam will say another takbir forbowing down into the ruku' position. At this takbir you need notraise your hands. You just bow down for your ruku' saying, 'AllahuAkbar'. The rest of the Salah will be performed in its usual way.


Khutbah: The Address of 'Eid-ul-fitr


Inthis Salah, Khutbah is a Sunnah and is delivered after the Salah, unlikethe Salah of Jumu'ah where it is Fard and is deliveredbefore the Salah. However, listening to the Khutbah of 'Eid Salah iswajib or necessary and must be heard in perfect peace and silence.


Itis a sunnah that the Imam begins the first Khutba byreciting takbirs 'Allahu Akbar' nine times and the second Khutbah withreciting it seven times.


Note:Theway of 'Eid prayer described above is according to the Hanafi school of Muslimjurists. Some other jurists, like Imam Shafi'i, have some other ways to performit. They recite Takbir twelve times before beginning the recitations from theHoly Qur'an in both rak'ah. This way is also permissible. If the Imam, beingof the Shafi'i school, follows this way, you can also follow him. Both ways arebased on the practice of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Six Fasts in the Month of Shawwal


Itis commendable to keep six fasts in the month of Shawwal. The Prophet,Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: Whoevercompletes fasts of Ramadan then adds to them the fast of six days in the monthof Shawwal, it will carry the thawab of fasting for the whole year. (SahihMuslim)


Thishadith had described the great thawab of six fasts of this month.Therefore, the Muslims should take this opportunity of acquiring such anenormous reward from Allah. It is more preferable to start these fasts from the2nd of Shawwal and keep fasting up to the 7th of it. However, if, they are keptin other days, it is hoped that the requirement of the above hadith may also befulfilled.


EID SALAAT
 
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam) said: "The heart of the person who remains awake 
(in Ibadat) during the night of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adhaa will not die on the Day when 
hearts will be dead, i.e. the Day of Qiyaamah."(TIBRANI) 
 
The nights of both Eids, i.e. the nights preceding the Days of Eid, are auspicious occasions, which should be 
observed with reverence and worship. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ءlayhi Wasallam) said that these nights are 
great occasions of Ibadat and of gaining the proximity and special Mercy of Allah Ta'ala. These holy nights,
should therefore not be allowed to pass by in idleness. Full advantage should be taken of these opportunities by 
offering obedience and Ibadat unto Allah Ta'ala to the best of our abilities. Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness for sins),
Tilaawat (reciting the Quran), Nafl Salaat, Durood, etc. should be profusely offered on these holy nights.
 
Among the rewards which will be obtained as a result of observing the sanctity of these glorious Eid Nights, the 
greatest reward is the tiding conveyed to us by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ءlayhi Wasallam) in the abovementioned 
Hadith, viz., the heart will not be smitten with terror and fear on the Day of (Qiyamah when the upheavals of that 
Day will be so fearsome that men will appear to be intoxicated. 
 
SUNNATS OF EID
 
To rise as early as possible (in fact much of this night should be spent in Ibaadat). 
-To make Ghusl. 
-To use the Miswaak. 
-To apply Itr (Halaal, non-alcoholic perfume). 
-To wear one's best clothes, ensuring that it conforms with Shariلh (sunnah dress). 
-To eat something sweet (such as dates) before departing for Eid Salaat. 
-To got to the 'Eid Gah' as early as possible. 
-To give 'Sadaqatul Fitr' before leaving for the Eid Gah. 
-To perform Eid Salaat on the 'Eid Gah' rather than the Masjid. There is no harm for aged and the sick to perform 
their Eid Salaat in the Masjid. Rain is also an excuse for performing Eid Salaat in the Masjid. 
-To choose a separate route when returning from the Eid Gah.
-To walk to the Eid Gah. However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Eid Gah is a 
distance away. 
-To recite the Takbeer while walking to the Eid Gah.
 
SOME RULES REGARDING EID SALAAT
 
A person who joins the Eid Salaat after the Imam has already recited the Eid Takbeers should recite the 
Takbeers immediately upon entering the Salaat. However, If he enters the Salaat when the Imam is about to go 
into Ruku and he (the latecomer) fears that he will not he able to join the Imaam in the Ruku if he stands and 
recites the Takbeers, then he should instead recite the Takbeers in the Ruku, and forgo the Tasbeeh of the Ruku.
But, while reciting the Takbeers in the Ruku hands should not be raised as is done when reciting the Takbeer
 when in Qiyaam (the standing posture of Salaat). 
 
If the Imaam emerges from the Ruku and the latecomer has not yet completed the recitation of his Takbeers,
which he had missed, then he should leave off the balance of the Takbeers and join the Imam in emerging from
the Ruku. In this case the balance of the Takbeers, which he could not complete, are waived (Maaf).
 
If someone missed a Rakaat of the Eid Salaat he should fulfill it as follows: 
After the Imam terminates the Salaat with the Salaams he (the one who missed the Rakaat) should rise and 
perform one Rakaat on his own, reciting Qiraat, the Takbeers should be recited. The rest of the Rakaat is then 
completed as usual.
 
EID SALAAT FORMULA
 
The Eid Salaat (Eid-ul-Fitr) is performed on the 1st day of Shawaal. It consists of two Rakaats and two Khutbas, 
and is very much like the Jummu'ah Salaat with a few variations.
During Juma Salaat the Khutba precedes the two Rakaats and on Eid day it is in reverse. First comes the two 
Rakaats of prayer and then the two Khutbas. On the best authority of the Hanafi Imams (R.A.), there are six 
additional Takbeers (Allah-u-Akbar) for the Eid Salaats. 3 Takbeers in the first Rakaat and 3 Takbeers in the 
second Rakaat.
 
FIRST RAKAAT
 
After everybody has made 'Niyyat' the Imam recites the 'Takbeer-E-Tahreema', (Allah-u-Akbar) and starts the 
Eid Salaat. Everybody raise their hands to their earlobes and folds them under their navel. Then the imam recites
three Takbeers one after the other with brief intervals. (Allah-u-Akbar). We raise our hands and drop them to our 
sides after the 1st and 2nd Takbeers and after the 3rd Takbeer we place our hands below our navel. The Imam 
then recites the Surah Fatiha and follows it with any passage from the Quraan. We then proceed into Rukoo and 
Sijdahs and return for the second Rakaat.
 
SECOND RAKAAT
 
The Imam recites the Surah Fatiha and a passage from the Quraan and is now ready for the Rukoo. At this stage
 just before going into the Rukoo, he recites the remaining 3 Takbeers with brief intervals. We drop our hands 
each time to our sides. When the Imam recites the 4th Takbeer, we go into Rukoo and then into Sijda. After the 
Thashahhud and Salaam, remain seated and wait for the Imaam to deliver the Khutbahs.
 
THE KHUTBAH FORMULA
 
After the two Rakaats, the Imam rises to deliver his Khutba. It is Sunnah for the Imam to start his first Khutba with 
9 Takbeers and the second with 7 Takbeers. He reminds the Muslims of their duties towards Allah, towards 
themselves and their fellow - men. Eid is a day of happiness and joy. This cannot be fully appreciated if animosity,
hatred, old grudges and bygones are left to remain in our hearts. 
 
 
 
 

Step-by-Step Guidelines for Making Mamoul (Date Cookies)


Recipe of Some of the Best Arabic Cookies for EID (Holiday)


Ramadan has passed and it is time to serve the guest. Traditional sweets for EID(holiday after Ramadan) is "Cake of EID" or mamoul.

Eid Al-Fitr, the holiday after Ramadan has arrived and the guest are at the door. They expect to be served with the traditional cookies of the Holiday. A day full of happy smiles, Arabic coffee and Cake of Eid.

It is a time to bring gifts for the children, put on newly purchased clothing and visit as many relatives and friends as possible. This is a time of great happiness and of great feasting. No household would dare not have some special treats ready for the guest. No house is complete without"Kahk" or holiday cake.

This recipe takes a lot of work and many neighbors will gather to help make these cookies. The preparation of this sweet snack is a chore that is said to bring many blessings.

Recipe for Cake of EID

 

In a very large bowl put
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of milk powder
  • 2 teaspoon of mystic, ground
  • 1 tablespoon of matlap, ground
Note: To grind mystic, place a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar with the mystic and grind in a coffee grinder.
Mix all of these ingredients very well and use your hands. This is the tradition. Now add in:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of melted ghee (purified butter, or butter)
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

Mix all of these ingredients well with pushing the mixture through the fingers. Continue to mix and add 1/2 cup of anise or yansoon tea. Mix thoroughly the cookie mixture and add more yansoon tea as needed.

Note: To make yansoon tea place one cup of water and 2 teaspoon of anise seeds on the fire and bring to boil. Remove from the fire and let set until thetea is cool. Do not use hot tea on the cookie mixture.
After the cookies are thoroughly mixed, cover with a damp cloth and let it set for at least one hour.
In the meantime, prepare the date filling.

Filling

 

  • Date puree (1 small package)
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • olive oil (Virgin)

Using a strong food processor mix the above ingredients together or by hand.Decide from tasting which amount of spices is necessary.

Making Mamoul


  1. To make the mamoul, make some small balls, about the side of a tablespoon. Roll the dough out and in the center place a small amount of date mixture. Pull the edges up around the date mixture and seal. After this, roll the small mamoul in a cylinder and square the edges off. Pat both ends.
  2. You may leave the mamoul as a round cookie if you desire not to go the extra length. Many Arabs have special instruments to make the mamoul with, but this is in case you do not.
  3. Bake the mamoul in a medium hot preheated oven of 350 degrees, until lightly brown. After they are taken from the oven, sprinkle with powder sugar. Store in an airtight container
 Photo courtesy of Photobucket: Finer_Kitchens

What is the Role of an Islamic Charity in the Month of Ramadan?

There are many Islamic charities who help the poor and needy during Ramadan. This article will go into depth on the merits of sadakah and zakat giving.

Islamic charities have played a very important role in the Muslim society, distributing money and food to the poor during Ramadan. It is a time when people are the most generous. It is best to find a charitable organization that can treat the money in a manner that's halal (acceptable, according to Islamic law), opposed to giving it to a Government, which is not authorized to distribute sadakah (charity) and zakat (donations provided through alms giving; zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam.)

Ramadan is a month of charity and a month of reflecting on one's inner child. According to Islamic tradition, Muslims must be very generous during Ramadan and give as if one had unlimited funds. It's said that one should avoid placing money in the left pocket for safekeeping; instead, Muslims believe that they must give with the right hand to please Allah.

Charity cannot be accepted unless it's given for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah. One passage explains this concept: "Abu Zar Ghifari, a companion of the Prophet, reported that the Prophet, while sitting in the shade of the Kabah wall, said, 'They are the losers.' Abu Zar enquired, 'Who are they, O Messenger of God?' The Prophet (peace be upon him*) replied: 'Those who pile up heaps of wealth and (pointing in all directions with his hands) do not spend like this and this.'” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Too often, Muslims who are poor lack the ability to "share the wealth," as they are living in constant fear that there will not be enough food on the table for tomorrow. By Islam's standards, most people are hoarders and although Islam teaches that a Muslim who has enough food for the day is well off, the desire to save and prepare for next month is always there. This characteristic is against every aspect of Islam, as this religion is associated with the belief that all things, including money, health and wealth, come from The Creator.

Who Has the Right to Receive Sadakah?

In Islam, there are eight different people who deserve charity, also known as alms. A Muslim's zakat cannot be given to the mother, as it is an obligation of the family to give money to the mother regularly. Zakat could be given to another relative in need though. Allah has dictated who is entitled to zakat and/or sadakah: "The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise." (Sura Al-Taubah, verse 60).

Sadakah or Permanent Alms (Sadaqa-e-jaria)

Some of the best sadakah given, is in the supporting of a business to help a family survive or in helping a college student finish and graduate. Upon graduation, the student is able to support the family and provide food and a home for everyone. To support someone with an illness during the time of recovery is also considered a good deed. These are permanent types of  sadakah and something that will go on month to month. It is indeed a charitable form of giving, as is offering support to an orphan or a widow.

Islamic charities all over the world can help in distributing the wealth in these permanent instances. Many charities are set up to provide help for orphanages or rape victims who have no place to live. There are organizations that provide food to poor people, and others that establish free schools in poor countries. Although it is preferable to give directly to the poor person,  finding a qualified charitable organization is also acceptable.

The Silent Sadakah is Better

In addition to giving to the people in need, the Quran states that it is best to give silently so that the left hand does not know what the right hand has done. The reward of giving in secret is 70 times over giving in public. There are many stories about the companions and about the great sacrifice that was made.

It's said that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him*) urged the people to bring money for the poor. Umar gave half of his belongings to the poor in sadakah, while Abu Bakr gave more by donating all of his belongings. It's said that no sacrifice was too great when the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him*) asked.

Islamic Charities Helping the Poor

There are many legitimate charitable organizations to help the poor and then there are some that are scam websites. Muslims must always use caution when revealing personal information and donating money. Here is a list of some of the most popular Islamic charities:

● Islamicity
● Islamic Relief Worldwide
● Muslim Aid UK
● Muslim Hands

For a complete portfolio of the Islamic charities check out the: Portfolio of Islamic Charities.

Islamic Charities Compared to Local Area Giving

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to reflect on the many blessings from Allah. It is a time to strive to please Allah by following the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him*) and to be the most generous. Many families will strive to host many family gatherings, hosting dinners and lavish get-togethers with relatives. But in following with Islamic tradition, Ramadan is not a time to treat your Uncle to a leg of lamb; it is a time to give that leg of lamb to someone who has not seen meat or chicken in a year's time.

Ramadan is about helping others by offering one's time, efforts and donations. Whether it is building a home for a Muslim who lost everything in a flood to carrying groceries for a widow who struggles to walk.

Muslims are encouraged to take time each Ramadan to help someone else; to take time to ask Allah for guidance in who deserves sadakah and help; to put a smile on an old woman's face with a new dress or give a bag of chocolates to a neighborhood child. Ramadan is regarded as a time to reflect on death and judgment day and it is time to remember that this life is very short.

* Muslims invoke Allah's blessings on the Prophet Muhammad whenever this name is mentioned.

Resources:
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin, "The Concept of Charity in Islam," Alrisala


The Three Principles of Fasting in the Month of Ramadan



The three principles of fasting in Ramadan are abstention, Tawheed (monotheism) and devotion. Without these three principles, the Muslim fasting has failed.


Ramadan occurs annually and it's a month of fasting that's considered mandatory for all Muslims, except if they are sick or in the midst of traveling. Whether doing a required fast in Ramadan or a voluntary fast, such as on the day of Arafat, Muslims follow the three principles of fasting. A Muslim cannot have a successful fast without following those three principles which include:
  • Abstention: No food, intercourse, bad speaking, lying, stealing or fighting.
  • Tawheed: The belief in One God, Allah as the sole provider of everything.
  • Devotion: Loving Allah and the Prophet more than their self or loved ones.


 What is Abstention in the Month of Ramadan?


Abstention means to go without many things; it's not just a matter of going without food and water from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan serves as a reminder for Muslims, who experience a bit of what it's like to be poor and to go without; it instills compassion and awareness. Ramadan requires all Muslims to ensure that their neighbors have sufficient food and clothing. Through abstention and following the three principles of fasting, all devout Muslims experience immense joy during the month of Ramadan.

Abstention also includes avoiding intercourse or sexual relations with the spouse. Intercourse or sexual relations can be resumed after the fast is broken until the start of the fast the following morning, if desired. Before the fast can resume the next morning, both husband and wife must fully bathe.

Muslims must also give up bad speech, and they avoid watching and listening to material dealing with forbidden subjects. During Ramadan fasting, Muslims must not lie, steal, backbite, be guilty of scandal mongering and they cannot smoke until the fast is broken. If the fasting Muslim makes a mistake in eating accidentally, it's acceptable to ask for forgiveness from Allah; then, the fast is resumed. In Islam, engaging in sexual relations during the Ramadan fast nullifies the fast.


Tawheed, the Main Principle of Fasting

Tawheed or monotheism is the belief that there is only one God; Muslims do not believe in the trinity. For a Muslim, to even think or say that Jesus was the son of God is considered shirk (attributing partners to Allah) and is regarded as an unforgivable sin in Islam. Shirk is the only unforgivable sin and is considered to be worst than rape or murder.

Tawheed is part of the shahadah (declaration of faith) that is signed by all Muslim converts and is the main belief in the three principles of fasting in Ramadan. Without Tawheed, also translated as Tawhid and Tauheed, Muslims cannot exist in this world. Tawheed teaches the principle of destiny. Muslims must never question why such and such as happened, but merely accept that Allah has decided and He has done what He pleases.
In Islam, it's believed that sustenance, health and children are all from Allah and believing in Allah's mercy and wisdom is a must. So when considering the three principles of fasting, the Muslim must first consider Allah.

 

Devotion to Allah and Islam is the Third Principle of Fasting


In Islam, Muslims must love Allah and His messenger, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him*), more than their own life or loved ones. This means that what Allah wants is what the practicing Muslim wants. A woman who converts to Islam must leave after three menstrual cycles if the non-Muslim husband refuses to convert.

When Allah has ordered Muslims to fast, the Muslim must fast. Praying five times a day is required — not a choice — and giving zakat is also required. Loving the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him*) with every breath is also a must in Islam; this is why when Prophet Mohammad is insulted, it's said that the whole Muslim nation weeps.

Devotion includes worshiping Allah with praise and by reading the Quran. Many find that it is not easy to be Muslim in this day and age, particularly with the many requirements that a Muslim must perform. The three principles of fasting were designed to increase faith and religious endurance for all believing and devout Muslims across the world.

 

The Three Principles of Fasting in the Month of Ramadan


To summarize the three principles, the Muslim fasting must be humbly devoted to Allah, the Creator and follow the rules of Islam. The reward for following the three principles of fasting, is jannah or heaven. It is a pleasure and a way to raise the status of the Muslim by following the three principles of fasting which are included in the principles of Islam.

It's believed that the love of Allah will increase and so will the desire to be a better Muslim through sincere devotion and belief. The love and devotion to Islam will cause hopefully all sins to be removed and body is left clean and the soul is refreshed.

* Muslims invoke Allah's blessings on the Prophet Muhammad whenever this name is mentioned.

Resources:

"Ramadan Rules and Regulations," Islam Today.

Photo courtesy of Photobucket:  umm_rumaysa

Women Praying in Mosque for Night Prayers (Taraweeh) in Ramadan


Prophet Mohammad said, "Do not prevent women from coming to the Masjid." Women may pray in the masjid for taraweeh salat in Ramadan.

As Ramadan approaches many mosques will be opening their doors to women to pray taraweeh salat (night prayers) in congregation. It is a time to gather with women of the community to worship Allah and do zikr (praise). It is also a time to be in an environment free of haram (forbidden) activities.


Sunnah of Praying in the Mosque


There are two situations to be considered when deciding to pray in the mosque or not. First the sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) stated:"Do not prevent women from coming to the Masjid even though their houses are better for them." (Abu Dawud)

Second consideration must be that the Prophet also said,"A woman's prayer in her house is better than her prayer in her courtyard, and her prayer in her bedroom is better than her prayer in her house." (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Baab maa jaa'a fee khurooj al-nisaa' ilaa'l-masjid. See also Saheeh al-Jaami', no. 3833).

In the days of Prophet Mohammad women and men were different. Men lowered their gazes and women rarely left the home. It was a time when Muslims were extremely dutiful of the Prophet and Allah's commandments. Women should keep from all forms of haram, such as taking a taxi alone to get to the mosque or speaking to men at the mosque casually. When Prophet Mohammad gave permission to go to the mosque, there were certain requirements:
  • The woman must wear hijab (hair covering).
  • The woman must not wear perfume (to attract a man's glance).
  • The woman must have permission of the husband.
Aiesha stated, "If the Messenger of Allah had seen what the women of our time do, he would have forbidden them to go to the mosques just as the Israelite women were forbidden." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)

Although many men perform I'tikaf or Seclusion in the Mosque most women would want to avoid this due to pressing obligations in the home and duties to the husband and family. Some women may choose to spend the night of the 27th of Ramadan in the Mosque as a one night i'tikaf.



Reasons Why Women are Allowed to Pray in Mosque


In the home during Ramadan there may be distractions not allowing the woman to pray properly. If the television is on, there may be shows or commercials that cause there to be an atmosphere not totally perfect for prayer. Loud talking, children fighting, telephone ringing and basic chatter may cause anyone not to be able to concentrate or pray. If this is the case and the woman is married, permission must be asked of the husband before going to the mosque.

According to Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada,"According to the consensus of Muslim scholars, Tarawih is not considered mandatory on either men or women. Rather, it is only considered a recommended act. There is no evidence in the sources to make it obligatory. As far as I know, no jurist or imam has expressed such an opinion."

Although taraweeh is not mandatory for women, it is a highly suggested recommended act. If the woman has no obligations at home or is single, praying in the mosque is a good choice. It is a time for joining together with sisterly love. It is a time to help a poor neighbor who is in need and it is a time to draw on other sister's strong faith to make the prayers strong and sincere.


Women and the Best Rows in the Masjid


Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The best of the men's rows [In salat (prayer)] is the first row and the worst row is the last; but the best of the women's row is the last row and the worst of their rows is the first."

Women are better protected in a mosque with a separate praying area for women or one separated by a curtain. Having a curtain in the masjid is not sunnah, but it is a protection for any and all women to be saved from any fitna (trouble or desires of men). If women come to the mosque, it is sunnah to leave quickly after the end of the prayer is said, not sit around and talk. The women must leave before the men so not to mingle with men.


Women Praying in Taraweeh Salat is Sunnah


There are many differences of opinions about which method is the correct way for women, but in the end the praying in the mosque for taraweeh salat is sunnah. Following the ways of Prophet Mohammad is always the best way if possible. Women with small children who would be an annoyance to other worshippers should not pray in the mosque.

Consideration and moral manners must be considered. The mosque is not a place for children to play and run wild. It is a place for prayers and worshipping Allah, The Creator of mankind. When children are at the age to learn how to pray, it is the parent's responsibility to teach them how to pray properly and respect the rights of all members of the mosque.


Resource

"70 Issues Related to Fasting" Sultan.org
"Is Tarawih Mandatory on Women?" Islam on Line
"Night Prayer During Ramadan (Taraweeh), "Mission Islam


Ramadan: Muslim's Month of Excitement and Family Gatherings


The month of Ramadan approaches and even the Muslim of weakest faith jumps for joy at the thought of all the excitement and family gatherings.

Funny how people always think of Muslims struggling and dying of thirst during Ramadan, but few really understand the extreme excitement that Muslims experience during the Ramadan holiday. The closer Ramadan gets, the more excitement grows among devout Muslims.

Like many other religions, Islam involves a belief in angels; an angel plays a major role during the period leading up to Ramadan.According to Islamic belief, Ramadan is a time when Angel Gabriel will come to earth and shake the hands of Muslims who are successful in completing Layalat al-Qadr. Muslims eagerly anticipate the month of Ramadan, as they imagine the thrill of that moment when they encounter an angel who has six hundred wings and a wing span that reaches as far as the eye can see. In Islam, it's believed that this creation of Allah appears to Muslims with one message:"Well done, oh servant of Allah."

What Can a Muslim Expect During Ramadan?


Visions of Angel Gabriel aside, what else elicits excitement among Muslims as they worship and fasting during the month of Ramadan? Millions of Muslims will be running to do as many good deeds as possible during this period of time. In Islam, it's believed that Allah will reward the fasting person with many blessings and rewards; for Muslims, seeking the ultimate pleasure of Allah is indeed the goal.

Ramadan also features lots of food and family gatherings for meals the mark the end of each day's fast. It's believed that anyone who feeds a fasting person will receive the same reward as the person who receives the meal. So there are many family gatherings and many occasions when the Muslim will be invited to partake in the breaking of fast with others.

 

Good Deeds Increase the Excitement of Ramadan


For Muslims, one of the most exciting elements of Ramadan involves giving to charity and doing all sorts of good deeds. There is the required zakat (charity for the needy) that must be provided by Muslims each year, but many will do more than the bare minimum. Zakat is calculated based on the amount of money, silver and gold that's held for one year.

Over and above the required 2.5% zakat, is charity or "sadakah" which is also given to the poor and needy. Muslim families often compete with each other to see who can contribute the most to the needy within the community. In Islam, the silent charity is regarded as the best form of giving. It is also considered ideal to give all sadakah directly to the poor person. The purpose of sadakah is to ensure that the poor and the needy can enjoy Ramadan, along with the the more financially stable and wealthy individuals.

For many Muslims, there are few experiences that surpass the joy and excitement of witnessing the face of a Muslim who receives a gift, like a package of food or money. The month of Ramadan is a time of fellowship and unity among members of the Islamic community.

Family Gatherings at Ramadan


Although all family gatherings bring excitement and joy, they do cause many fasting Muslims to feel over-stuffed and lazy; it's comparable to the feeling that many Americans experience following a large Thanksgiving dinner. So while it may be tempting to relax following a meal and gathering, Muslims believe it's important to keep up with religious activities like late night prayers and other forms of worship. It is also forbidden to overeat after a day of fasting as this would take away from the reason for fasting. Fasting is intended to serve as a reminder that there are those who must go without food and other necessities.

While many Muslims are invited to family gatherings, it is each person's responsibility to return the favor. So many Muslims make plans to invite loved ones over for a dinner that is specifically prepared to reap the reward that they believed Allah has promised. It's believed that when inviting others over for a dinner to break the fast, the host should present a plentiful meal with a few delicacies so as to make the fasting person say a dua (supplication) for the host.

 

Sending Free Ramadan Cards to Family and Close Friends


The internet has served as a way to increase the excitement of the blessed Ramadan season, as Muslims can now send e-cards via the web. By simply a click of a button or mouse, a card is sent to all loved ones. Flashing and shinning Ramadan cards showing mosques, crescent moons and stars. It is indeed part of the excitement of Ramadan to send everyone a greeting card. Here are some links to make the job easy:
For the Islamic community, Ramadan and all of the associated excitement is regarded as a gift from Allah. Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer and giving praise to Allah, The Creator. Muslims believe the reward is heaven, having sins forgiven and the future meeting with Allah.