For morning & Evening

Dua to be recited in the morning
أصبحنا وأصبح الملك لله رب العالمين، اللهم إني أسألك خير هذا اليوم فتحه ونصره وبركته وهداه وأعوذ بك من شر ما فيه وشر ما بعده

The morning has come to me and the whole universe belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, O Allah, I ask of you the good of the day, it’s success and aid and it’s nur (celestial light) and barakaat (blessings) and seek hidayah (guidance) and seek refuge from the evil in it (this day) and from the evil of that which is to come later.

(Hisn from Abu Dawood)

Alternatively, recite this dua
اللهم بك أصبحنا وبك أمسينا وبك نحيا وبك نموت وإليك المصير

O Allah we enter the day time and the evening and die with your Qudrat (power) and to You do we return.

(Tirmidhi)

When the sun rises recite
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَقَالَنَا يَوْمَنَا هَذَا وَلَمْ يُهْلِكْنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا (مُسْلِمْ)

All praise be to Allah who has forgiven us today and not destroyed us due to our sin.

(Muslim)

In the evening recite
أَمْسَيْنَا وَأَمْسَى الْمُلْكُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةَ فَتْحَهَا وَنَصْرَهَا وَنُورَهَا وَبَرَكَتَهَا وَهُدَاهَا وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا فِيهَا وَشَرِّ مَا بَعْدَهَا

The evening has come to me and the whole universe belongs to Allah who is The Lord of the worlds. O Allah, I ask of you the good of the night, it’s success and aid and its nur (celestial light) and barakaat (blessings) and seek hidayat (guidance) and refuge from the evil of this night and the evil that is to come later.

(Abu Dawood)

Alternatively recite this
اللَّهُمَّ بَكَ أَمْسَيْنَا وَبِكَ أَصْبَحْنَا وَبِكَ نَحْيَا وَبِكَ نَمُوتُ وَإِلَيْكَ النُّشُورُ

O Allah we enter the night and the day and live and die with Your Qudrat (strength) and to You do we return.

(Tirmidhi)

After the expiry of Maghrib time, recite this dua
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ هَذَا إِقْبَالُ لَيْلِكَ وَإِدْبَارُ نَهَارِكَ وَأَصْوَاتُ دُعَاتِكَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي

O Allah, this is the time of the coming of the night and the passing of the day and the voices of those calling You to forgive us.

(Miskhaat)

Other supplications to be recited in the morning & evenings
Uthman (R.A.) reported that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) has said that (nothing will harm) the servant who recites these words three times every morning and evening.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

We have made (started) the morning (and night) in whose Name nothing in the skies and the earth can harm and He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing.

(Tirmidhi)

It is narrated by Abu Dawood that if one recites this dua in the morning, no unforeseen calamity will come to him.

(Miskhat)

Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said that if a person recites three ayats of Surah Rum (Para 21) and if he misses his normal recitation of the day, he will still be rewarded for it. This applies to the night as well.
فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ * وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَعَشِيًّا وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ * يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَيُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَكَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ
“So remember Allah in the evening and the morning. To him is the praise in the Heavens and the Earth and in the last hours and when it is noon. He brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living and He revives the earth after it is dead. And even so you shall be brought forth”.
Abu Huraira (R.A) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said that whosoever reads the beginning of Surah Mo’min (para 24) and Ayatul-Qursi in the morning, then he will be protected from calamaties and ploys till the evening and whosoever recites these in the evenings, will be protected from calamities and ploys till the morning.
حم * تَنزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ * غَافِرِ الذَّنبِ وَقَابِلِ التَّوْبِ شَدِيدِ الْعِقَابِ ذِي الطَّوْلِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ إِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ
“Ha. Meem, The sending down of this book is from Allah who is the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing, The Forgiver of sins and the Acceptor of repentance, Severe in retribution, Bountiful there is no ilah but He, Unto Him is our return”.
اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

Allah! There is no ilah (deity worthy of worship) but He The Living, The Eternal One. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belonges whatever is in the Heavens and on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before and what is behind them. They encompass nothing of His knowledge which He will. His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth, and the preservation of both does not weary Him. He is the Exalted The Immense One.

(Qur’an 3:25)

Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) stated that a person who has recited (the underlying) in the morning, he has pleased (praised, glorified) Allah for His favours of the morning, and if he has done so in the night, he has thanked Allah for His favours of the night.

(Abu Dawood, Nisai)

اللَّهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ
Translation: “O Allah, whatever favours You have bestowed upon me and all other creations is only from you. You are One, You have no partners. Praise and Shukr (thanks) be to You”.
If recited in the night, then recite مَا أمَْسيَ in place of مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي
Thuban (R.A.) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAW) stated that if a Muslim servant recites (the underlying) three times every morning, then it becomes the responsibility of Allah to satisfy him on the Day of Qiyamah.
رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبَّاً وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينَاً وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيَّاً

Translation: I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my Deen and Muhammad (SAW) as my Nabi.

(Tirmidhi)

Muagal bin Yasaar (R.A.) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) has stated that a person who recites three times
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

in the morning the last three ayats of Suratul Hashr then Allah delegates 70,000 angles to send mercy onto him till the evening and if he dies that day, he will die as a martyr and if he recites these in the evening then Allah delegates 70,000 angels to send mercy onto him till the morning and if he dies that night, he dies as martyr.

(Tirmidhi)

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ * هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ * هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ *
“He is Allah, there is no ilah but He, He is the knower of the unseen and the witness He is the All-Merciful, the All compassionate. He is Allah, there is no ilah but He. He is the king, the Holy, the Giver of Safety. The Taker-in shelter the All-Mighty, the omnipotent, the All-Sublime. Allah is Pure and Pure of what they associate (with Him). He is Allah, the Creator, the One who is Perfect. To Him belong names Most Excellent. All that is in the heavens and the earth, glorify Him and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”.

Ataa bin Abi Rahaa (R.A.) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) has stated that if a person recites Surah Yaseen early in the morning then his need for the day will be fullfilled.

(Mishkat)

Benefit: The recitation of Surah Ikhlaas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas three times each in the mornings and evenings, has been encouraged in the Ahadith.

(Hisn-ulHasin)

Supplications to be recited at night
Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) states that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) has said that the person who recites Suratul Waqia (para 27) every night, will never be poverty stricken (hungry) (Baihagi in Shabatul Iman)
Uthman (R.A.) states that a person who recites from
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ

in Surah Al-Imran till the end of the Surah on any night or part of the night, will receive the reward of performing his Salaat for the whole night.

(Mishkat)

Jabir (R.A.) states that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) never slept before reciting Surah Alif Laam Meem Sajda (21 para) and Surah Tabarakal Lazi.

(Mishkat)

Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) has stated that the person who recites the last two ayats of Suratul Baqarah till the end, then these two ayats will be sufficient for him, i.e. Allah will protect him from all evil and ploys.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

When retiring to sleep, make wudhu, dust off the bed three times, lie on the right side, place the right hand under the head or cheeks and recite the following dua three times.

(Mishkat and Hsinul Hasin, Bukhari Muslim)

اللَّهُمَّ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَجْمَعُ عِبَادَكَ
“O Allah, save me from the punishment on the Day when You will gather Your servants”.
Alternatively recite this dua
بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّي وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ إِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“Oh my Lord, I have taken Your name and placed myself on my side and by Your power will rise up again. If you take my soul whilst I am sleeping (grant me death) then have mercy on my soul and if you leave me (let me live) by your power protect me by that with which you have protected your righteous servants”.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

Or recite this dua
اللَّهُمَّ بِاسْمِكَ أَمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا

“O Allah, by Your name I live and die”.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

Or recite this dua
اللَّهُمَّ أَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِي إِلَيْكَ وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَوَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ لَا مَلْجَأَ وَلَا مَنْجَا مِنْكَ إِلَّا إِلَيْكَ آمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلْتَ وَنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ
“I submit my life to you, I turn towards You and leave my work unto you, I lean on you, desire your boons and fear you as there is no other salvation besides you. I believe in the kitab (Book) you have revealed and in the Rasul(Prophet) you have sent.

Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) showed (taught a Sahabi) this dua and said: “If after reading it you die in the night, then it is as if you have died on ‘Natural Deen’ and if you awake in the morning alive then you will have good fortune”.

(Mishkat)

Anas (R.A.) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said that if a person retires to bed on the side and recites Surah Fathiha and Surah Ikhlaas (Qul huwa- Allaho Ahad) he is immune from everything besides death.

(Hisnul Hasan from Albazr)

Sahabi (R.A.) requested Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) teach him something to recite at the time of retiring to bed. Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said: “Recite Qul Ya Ayuhal Kafiroon, for in it (there is an announcement) to refrain from shirk.

(Mishkat from Tirmidhi)

In some ahadith it is stated that one should sleep after reciting (i.e. not to talk after reciting it).

(Hisnul Hasin from Albazr)

Ayesha (R.A.) narrates that when Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) used to go to the room for sleep, he used to recite Suras Ikhlaas, Falaq, Nass and blow onto his hand (palms) in such a manner that the saliva would drop on them and then he would rub them over his body three times starting from the front of the face.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

Beside this he would recite
33 times سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ
33 times الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ

34 times اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

(Mishkat)

He also used to recite Ayatul Qursi as Allah has stipulated that the reciter will be protected throughout the night by the angels and the Satan will not come near.

(Bukhari)

Also recite this dua three times
أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ وَأَتُوبِ إِلَيْهِ

Its virtues are that all the reciter’s sins will be forgiven even if it be equal to the extent of the foam in the ocean.

(Tirmidhi)

Recite Bismillah while closing doors, covering utensils, and putting off the light (candles etc.)

(Mishkat)

Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said that when a person enters his bed (to sleep), an angel and a Shaitaan surround him. The Shaitaan whispers ‘your awakening will end in evil’ and the angel says’ end in good”. One sleeps after engaging in dhikr, the angels will protect him throughout the night. In order to gain the protection of the angels, it is wise to engage in Dhikr and then sleep.

(Hisnul Hasin)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Introduction

He did not speak or advocate the cause of some particular race or ethnic group, but stood up for all humanity irrespective of race, color, class, language or geographical barriers. The Message he preached was universal, transgressing all obstacles whether artificial or otherwise. A Message so complete and comprehensive that it not only revolutionized the era in which it was proclaimed, but even today its timeless beauty has lost none of the original charm and continues its profound appeal to the human intellect.

What was that unique Message and who was the Messenger? Is it capable of solving the modern world’s myriad problem? Will it cater to the complicated aspects, characteristics and needs of human-beings, especially those of contemporary man? Does it provide political or social answers? Can it stimulate the intellect for scientific and technical discoveries? And how about moral and spiritual aspects? Did the Messenger set any worthy example by practicing what he preached, or was he just one of those fanciful visionaries?

The answer to all the above questions and even many more is, yes, it does. If the principles of this immortal message are sincerely observed, and if we are ready to tread the footsteps of that fantastic man, not only does it guarantee us a harmonious co-existence on this earth but also a blissful life in the hereafter. The moment modern man is ready to cast aside his blinkered lenses of prejudice and vain pride, he will understand that the eternal truth called ‘ISLAM’ and the final Prophet named MUHAMMAD were not something special or essential to the Arabia of 14 centuries ago, but are capable of remarkably solving the complex issues of our era, the Space Age.

Islam is a derivative of the word ‘Salaam’ (peace) and literally means submission. Submission to none except the One and only Allah, Who designed this vast universe, shaped the human race as the most excellent form of life, and moreover endowed them the power of intellect. Wonderful indeed! Because this unique submission frees mankind from all other forms of submission to idols, object ideas and the supposedly mysterious powers of nature.

As it is quite clear, Islam was not just some spontaneous burst or mirage on the burning sands of Arabia. In fact it marks the culmination and perfect ness of all previous divine messages ever revealed. And to carry out the great task of proclaiming His final message, the Almighty chose Muhammad (the Admirable) as the last Prophet, who was prophesied in all earlier Scriptures and whose life-style serves as a perfect model for us.

What can we write about a man who changed the destiny of the world and saved the human race from sure disaster! The loss in words becomes more apparent when we consider that he was divinely chosen for this great task and carried out the mission entrusted, in a most impeccable and flawless manner. He was every inch a perfect man, so complete that even his detractors and enemies could not find the smallest fault in his glowing personality.

When the Holy Qur’an describes him as the “Noblest Exemplar” for the human race including generations to come [And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality (68:4). And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. (21:107)], it becomes all the more obvious that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was something extraordinary and endowed with all fine qualities such as patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence, love and magnanimity -to cite a few -which show us how to mould our own lives.

About Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an illiterate, but wise and well-respected man who was born in Makkah in the year 570 C.E., at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. His first years were marked by the deaths of his parents. Since his father died before his birth, his uncle, Abu Talib, from the respected tribe of Quraysh, raised him. As Muhammad (pbuh) grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. His reputation and personal qualities also led to his marriage, at the age of twenty-five, to Khadijah, a widow whom he had assisted in business. Thenceforth, he became an important and trusted citizen of Makkah. Historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad (pbuh) never felt fully content to be part of a society whose values he considered to be devoid of true religious significance. It became his habit to retreat from time to time to the cave of Hira, to meditate near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the “Mountain of Light”, near Makkah.

At the age of 40, while engaged in one such meditative retreat, Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation from God, through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for 23 years, is known as the Quran, the faithful recording of the entire revelation of God. The first revelation read: «“Recite: In the name of your Lord Who created man from a clot (of blood). Recite: Your Lord is Most Noble, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know.”» [96:1-5]

The first convert to Islam was Khadijah, whose support and companionship provided necessary reassurance and strength for Muhammad. He also won the support of some of his relatives and friends. Three basic themes of the early message were the majesty of the one, unique God, the futility of idol worship, the threat of judgment, and the necessity of faith, compassion and morality in human affairs. All these themes represented an attack on the crass materialism and idolatry prevalent in Makkah at the time. So when he began to proclaim the message to others the Makkans rejected him. He and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 C.E., God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijrah (migration), in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah, some 260 miles to the north, marked the beginning of a new era and thus the beginning of the Muslim calendar. During his suffering, Muhammad (pbuh) drew comfort from the knowledge revealed to him about other prophets, such as Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, each of whom had also been persecuted and tested.

After several years and some significant battles, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. By the time the Prophet died, at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia had accepted Islam, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread as far west as Spain and as far east as China. It was clear that the message was not limited to Arabs; it was for the whole of humanity.

The Prophet’s sayings (Hadith), are also believed to be revelation. The number of sayings collected by his followers and scholars is about 10,000. Some typical examples of his sayings are as follows:

“To pursue knowledge is obligatory on every believing (man and woman).”” [Ibn Majah]

“Removing a harmful thing from the road is charity.”” [Bukhari, Muslim]

“Those who do not show tenderness and love cannot expect to have tenderness shown to them.”” [Bukhari]

“Adore Allah (God) as though you see Him; even if you do not see Him, He nonetheless sees you.”” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Although Muhammad is deeply loved, revered and emulated by Muslims as God’s final messenger, he is not an object of worship.

A Brief Biography Of Muhammad (pbuh)

Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah on 12 Rabi` al-Awwal 570 c.e.

His father, Abdullah Ibn Abdul Muttalib of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe, died before his birth. According to the custom of the Quraysh nobility, the infant Muhammad (pbuh), when only eight days old, was handed to a Bedouin wet-nurse to be brought up by her in the healthy atmosphere of the desert. At the age of five, Muhammad (pbuh) returned to the care of his mother, Aminah bint Wahb, whose father was the chief of the Banu Zahrah clan, but she died a year later. Muhammad (pbuh) then went to his paternal grandfather, `Abdul Muttalib, the chief of Banu Hashim and the leader of the people of Makkah, who gave him loving care. He died when Muhammad (pbuh) was eight, and the boy was then brought up by his uncle Abu Talib, who was to prove his shield and protection when some thirty years later his preaching brought upon him the enmity of the people of Makkah. Abu Talib was a merchant of modest means, and when Muhammad (pbuh) grew up, he assisted him in his business.

At the age of twelve, he accompanied his uncle in a merchant’s caravan to Syria. Muhammad (pbuh) was content with his lot as a shepherd, but his uncle Abu Talib desired something better for him and obtained him employment with a rich widow, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid ibn Asad. Thus Muhammad (pbuh) found himself at the age of twenty-five in charge of a caravan conveying merchandise to Syria. On his return, Khadijah was so pleased with his successful management of her business, and was so attracted by his nobility of character – reports about which she had heard from her old servant who had accompanied him – that she sent her sister to offer the young man her hand. Muhammad (pbuh) had felt drawn to Khadijah, and so matters were soon arranged and, though Khadijah was fifteen years his senior, their twenty-six years of married life were singularly happy.

Muhammad (pbuh) continued to work as a merchant. His fairness further enhanced his reputation as Al-Amin (The Trustworthy). In the year 605 c.e., a dispute arose during the reconstruction of the Ka`bah, which threatened to plunge the different clans of the Quraysh tribe into war, but the sagacious arbitration of Muhammad (pbuh) saved the situation and settled the dispute to everyone’s satisfaction. He continued to take an ever-increasing interest in public affairs and to exert himself in the service of the poor, the helpless and the weak. Many were the slaves who owed their freedom to Muhammad (pbuh), and many were the widows and orphans who lived on his generosity. Whenever the iniquities of his people oppressed him, Muhammad (pbuh) retired to the solitude of a cave in Mount Hira’ outside Makkah. There his soul tried to peer into the mysteries of creation, of life and death, of good and evil, to find order out of chaos. Solitude became a passion with him, and every year he would retire to the cave for the whole month of Ramadan, to mediate.

It was on one of these occasions, when he was forty years of age, that Muhammad (pbuh) received the Call. One night, while lying absorbed in his thoughts in the solitude of the cave, Muhammad (pbuh) was commanded by a mighty Voice to go forth and preach. Twice the Voice called and twice he ignored the Call. The Voice called for the third time and revealed to him the first verses from the Qur’an. Alarmed by the experience, Muhammad (pbuh) rose trembling, and hastened home to seek rest and solace for his troubled mind and tortured soul in Khadijah’s tender care, and she calmed and comforted him. When he had recovered sufficiently, he sought the solitude of the hills to soothe his anguish of mind when the Angel of Allah appeared to him and recalled him to his duty to mankind. Awe-stricken, he hurried back to his house and asked Khadijah to wrap him in warm garments. She did her best to reassure him, saying that his conduct through life had been such that Allah would not let a harmful spirit come to him. She later consulted her kinsman, Waraqah ibn Nawfal, an old man who knew the Scriptures of the Jews and the Christians. He declared that the heavenly message that had come to Moses of old had now come to Muhammad (pbuh), and that he was chosen as a Prophet of Allah. The very thought of being chosen out of all mankind with such a Mission profoundly disturbed Muhammad’s (pbuh) humble and devout mind. Khadijah was the first to accept the truth of his Mission, and then he communicated his experience to his cousin Ali, his adopted son Zayd, and his intimate friend Abu Bakr. These persons, who knew him best and had lived and worked with him and noted all his movements and the sincerity of his character, became his first converts.

The Prophet began by preaching his mission secretly first among his intimate friends, then among the members of his own tribe and thereafter publicly in the city and suburbs. Standing alone, he proclaimed the glory of Allah, publicly denounced the idolatry of his people and their evil ways, and called them to Allah and the better life. The Quraysh tribe were the guardians of the Ka`bah, the holy place to which all Arabs made pilgrimage, and it was a source of great prestige and profit to their city, Makkah. They were, therefore, seriously alarmed and became actively hostile towards Muhammad (pbuh), who was now publicly preaching against the worship of the idols in the Ka`bah, which ranked first among the vested interests. During the season of the pilgrimage, men were posted on all the roads to warn the tribes against the madman who was preaching against their gods. The early converts of Muhammad (pbuh), who were mostly humble folk, were subjected to great oppression. And in spite of his rank, Muhammad (pbuh) himself would have been killed if the Quraysh had not been deterred by the fear of blood vengeance from his powerful clan, Banu Hashim.

The persecution increased as Muhammad’s (pbuh) converts grew in number and influence.The fury of the people of Makkah knew no bounds. Muhammad (pbuh), the respected citizen of rank and high descent, “Al-Amin” of his people, was henceforth subjected to insults, to personal violence, and to the bitterest persecution, and his converts were most relentlessly oppressed, persecuted and tortured. Deeply grieved at the sad plight of his followers, Muhammad (pbuh) advised them in the fifth year of his Mission to leave the country and seek refuge from the persecution of the idolators among the Christian people of Abyssinia. Muhammad (pbuh) and a few stalwart followers remained in Makkah and suffered untold misery and oppression, but still their number continued to increase. In their exasperation, the Quraysh outlawed Muhammad (pbuh) and asked his clan to forgo their right of avenging his blood. Though unbelievers and participators in the persecution, the proud clansmen refused to give up the right at the bidding of the people of Makkah, who thereupon boycotted them. Muhammad (pbuh), the small band of his followers and Banu Hashim and Banu Al-Muttalib suffered such terrible hardships that the better minds among the people of Makkah grew weary of the social ostracism of old friends and neighbors.

After three years, towards the end of 619 c.e., the ban was lifted. Banu Hashim and Banu Al-Muttalib were now free to follow their vocations, but opposition to Muhammad (pbuh) became ever more relentless. A year later, Muhammad (pbuh) lost his uncle and protector, the noble Abu Talib, and his beloved wife, Khadijah, in whose love and devotion he had found comfort, solace and encouragement. The death of Abu Talib removed the last check on the Makkans’ violence. Muhammad (pbuh) was now defenseless and in continual peril of his life. Persecution grew ever fiercer, and Muhammad (pbuh)sought refuge in the neighboring city of Ta’if, where he was met with great hostility and barely escaped with his life. But a turning point in his career was at hand. Muhammad (pbuh) made several converts in a party of pilgrims from the prosperous city of Yathrib.

After the Pilgrimage, the men of Yathrib returned to their city with a Muslim teacher, and in the following year, at the time of Pilgrimage, seventy-three Muslims from Yathrib came to Makkah to vow allegiance to the Prophet and invited him to go to their city. Muhammad (pbuh) took council with his Makkan followers, and it was decided that they should immigrate to Yathrib. They left gradually and unobtrusively, Muhammad (pbuh) remaining to the last. Their departure was soon discovered by the Quraysh, who decided to slay Muhammad (pbuh) before he too escaped, for although they hated the idea of his preaching in their midst, they dreaded still more the spread of his influence if he escaped from Makkah. They, therefore, cast lots and chose forty men, one from each clan, who took a solemn vow to kill Muhammad (pbuh). They were to strike simultaneously so that the murder could not be avenged by blood feud on any one clan. But on the night they were to kill him, Muhammad (pbuh) left Makkah with Abu Bakr. Eluding his pursuers over a long distance of desert and rocks, he reached Yathrib, thereafter known as Madinah. This event is called the Hijrah, or emigration. It marks the greatest turning point in the history of Muhammad’s (pbuh) Mission, and the Muslim calendar is named after it. Muhammad (pbuh) was now free to preach and his followers increased rapidly. The Muslims could now worship freely and live according to the laws of Allah.

It was during this period, with the Prophet now the head of a nascent Islamic State, that most of the Qur’anic verses regarding the rules of society were revealed. But the people of Makkah were not going to allow Muhammad’s (pbuh) movement to take root in Madinah. They organized three great expeditions against the city, but all were beaten back. Eventually the Makkans and Muslims concluded the Treaty of Hudaybiyah to maintain peace between them and to observe neutrality in their conflicts with third parties. Profiting by the peace, the Prophet launched an intensive program for the propagation of Islam. A few weeks after the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the Prophet (pbuh) sent letters to several kings and the Byzantine and Persian Emperors () inviting them to Islam. The king of Abyssinia and the ruler of Bahrain accepted Islam , while the Byzantine ’Emperor, Heraclius, acknowledged Muhammad’s (pbuh) Prophethood without actually accepting Islam. It was not until the eighth year after the Hijrah that the Muslims were able to put an end to this war by gaining a bloodless victory over Makkah when the Makkans violated the terms of their treaty. The people of Makkah, who had relentlessly oppressed Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers for twenty-one years, expected dire vengeance, but in the hour of their defeat they were treated with the greatest magnanimity. “Go, you are free!” were the words with which Muhammad (pbuh) gave them general amnesty. The Prophet (pbuh) removed all the idols in and around the Ka`bah, saying, “And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish.”(Al-Isra’: 81). Also, the Muslim call to prayer was heard in this ancient sanctuary. The Surrender of Makkah was followed by the submission of the surrounding tribes and the acknowledgement of Muhammad’s (pbuh) spiritual and temporal leadership over the whole of Arabia.

During the ninth year of the Hijrah, delegations came from all parts of Arabia to swear allegiance to the Prophet (pbuh) and to hear the Qur’an. Islam now spread by leaps and bounds, and the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula and the southern regions of Iraq and Palestine had voluntarily embraced Islam. In the tenth year, Muhammad (pbuh) went to Makkah as a pilgrim, and he felt it was for the last time because of the Revelation he received there included the verse, ” [...]This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you [...]” (Al-Ma’idah: 3) On his return to Madinah, he fell ill of a mortal fever. It lasted for fifteen days, but he continued to lead the prayers until three days before his death, when he deputed Abu Bakr. At early dawn on the last day of his earthly life, Muhammad (pbuh) came out from his room beside the mosque and joined the public prayers, but later in the day he died. The end came peacefully; murmuring of pardon and the company of the righteous in Paradise, the Prophet (pbuh) of Islam breathed his last breath, at the age of 63, on Wednesday, 12 Rabi` al-Awwal 11 a.h. By the time his mission had ended, the Prophet (pbuh) was blessed with several hundred thousand followers, both men and women. Thousands prayed with him at the mosque and listened to his sermons. Hundreds of sincere Muslims found every opportunity to be with him following the five daily prayers and at other times. They sought his advice for their everyday problems and listened attentively to the interpretation and application of revealed verses to their situation. They followed the message of the Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah with utmost sincerity and supported him with everything they had. After his death, they faithfully carried the message of Islam, and within ninety years the light of Islam reached Spain, North Africa, the Caucasus, northwest China and India.

The State of the World Before Islam

When Almighty Allah sent His last and greatest Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.), mankind was immersed in a state of degeneration. The messages of the past prophets had been distorted and ignored, civilization was on the decline and humanity had slumped into an age of darkness, with disbelief, oppression and corruption rife everywhere. The whole world presented the gloomiest picture ever of human history. Hence the Qur’an’s terming of this chaotic state of affairs as ‘Ignorance’, or to put it exactly in the very words the Holy Book has used; ‘Jahiliyyah’.

Consequently it is incorrect to view ‘Jahiliyyah’ as something of the remote past, for it is quite clear from the Qur’an’s terminology that any people rejecting Divine Messengers, turning a deaf ear to the Almighty’s revelations and overcome with carnal desires, can aptly be termed an ignorant lot. Therefore broadly speaking, the term ‘Jahiliyyah’ is not limited to any particular era but can also be applied to all similar societies irrespective of whether they existed in the past or are still found in our contemporary era, the so-called, Space Age.

Accordingly, it is easy to recognize the symptoms of ‘Jahiliyyah’, for wherever there is ‘Jahiliyyah’, there is oppression and corruption, because the salient features of such a society are disbelief, deviation, breach of divine commandments, spread of injustice and vices such as usury, drinking alcohol, adultery, gambling, bloodshed, moral decadence, etc. Thus any society in which such perversions prevail is without doubt ‘Jahiliyyah’.

Such was the sad state of affairs in which mankind lived, before Allah sent them a Prophet, describing him as a ‘Mercy for the creation’. The Arabs among whom Muhammad (s.a.w.) was born were fragmented into a number of heterogeneous tribes constantly engaged in internecine bloodshed. They had replaced Abraham’s monotheism with the worship of idols, stars, angels and demons, turning the Ka’ba built for the One and Only Creator, into a pantheon of idols. Tribal rivalries and blood feuds, fueled among them like the burning desert sands of Arabia.

Ignorance was not confined to the Arabs alone, for on the fringes of Arabia where the desert gives way to hospitable lands, met the ever changing borders of ‘World Arrogance’, the two superpowers of the age; the Persian and the Byzantine Empires. Both bidding for hegemony over the known world had bled white with wars, and despite their massive territories, it was obvious they were in their death throes.

The fire-worshipping Persians with their strange concept of dualism were further plagued by the still weirder Mazda kite doctrine, which advocated communal ownership and went to such an extent as to rule women to be the common property of all men. Like Mani a few centuries earlier, who had claimed a new religion by combining the teachings of Jesus and Zoroaster, Mazda’s movement was also a reaction to the corruption of the traditional priestly class. Both creeds had flattered to deceive and died away after the execution of their proponents, who more or less depended on royal patronage. On the other hand the Sassanian aristocracy aligned with the Zoroastrian clergy was steeped in pleasures burdening the downtrodden masses with heavy taxes and oppression.

At the other end was the Byzantine World, which though claiming to profess a divinely revealed religion had in fact polluted the monotheist message of Prophet Jesus (a.s.) with the sediments of ancient Greek and Roman pagan thoughts, resulting in the birth of a strange creed called Christianity. Way back in 381 A.D., the Greco-Roman Church council had declared as heresy, the doctrine of Arius of Alexandria, to which most of the eastern provinces of the empire adhered, and in its place the council had coined the absurd belief that God and Jesus are of one substance and therefore co-existent. Arius and his followers had held the belief in the uniqueness and majesty of God, Who alone, they said has existed since eternity, while Jesus was created in time.

Throughout the 5th and 6th centuries the church continued to be racked by a myriad of controversies over its illogical attempts to define the alleged dual (divine and human) nature of Jesus in the light of Greek mythology and Persian Mithraism, the influence of both of which was quite visible on the Christian church. In addition, weirder beliefs like Holy Ghost, God-Mother (Mary) and Trinity cropped up which caused trouble in Syria, Egypt and North Africa, where the Monophysite Christians held ‘god the father’ to be infinitely superior to ‘god the son’. In short, terror, oppression and sectarian persecution were the order of the day in Christendom.

Scattered here and there across West Asia and North Africa were colonies of Jews, to whom several outstanding Messengers had been sent by the Almighty. But these divine favors had failed to reform the crime hardened Jews, whose very name had become synonymous for treachery. They had long deviated from the commandments of Allah, distorting the laws brought by Prophet Moses (a.s.), tampering with divine scriptures, slaying prophets and in the end coining the chauvinist creed called Judaism. It was more a racial sedition rather than a set of beliefs and the Israelites’ vehement opposition to the last great reformer, Prophet Jesus Christ (a.s.), was still fresh in the minds of the people.

Further to the east lay the once flourishing cultures of China and India, which were now groping in the dark. Confucianism had confused the Chinese, robbing their minds of any positive thinking.

The Sui dynasty (581-618) espousing the cause of Buddhism had plunged China into a blood bath. If Buddhism was never intelligible to the masses, Taoism the religion of the former court was even more remote and expensive to practice looking like a huge complex of rites, cults and strange rituals. The victims of these feuds were of course the poor masses, bewildered as ever and seething under oppression.

In the subcontinent, the fabric of the Indian society was in even more shambles. Hinduism and the absurd philosophy of the caste system it preached had created watertight compartments between the human races reducing the so-called lower classes to the ranks of mere beasts of burden.

Hinduism had no universal pretensions whatsoever, and had evolved and was peculiar to the geographical confines of India, or more properly Northern India and its Aryan invaders. Conversion of foreigners was difficult because one had to be born in a particular caste and it was the mystery of ‘Karma’ that determined one’s fate.

In addition, India presented a confusion of castes and creeds and a pantheon of idols more weird and in erotic postures than found anywhere else. Tantric rites including demon worship, sacrifice of humans and possibly cannibalism were the order of the day. No intermarriage, no interliving, burning of the widows on the dead husband’s pyre, exploitation of the so-called lower class women dedicated to temples as devdasis but whose actual work was to satisfy the carnal desires of the priests, were some of the sordid affairs in practice.

Outside the periphery of the civilized world, beyond the River Jexartes in the endless steppes of Central Asia, dwelt the marauding Turks and other related tribes. They adhered to the magical rites of Shamanism and ancestor worship.

Africa, beyond the Sahara was steeped in animism while in Europe bands of barbarians such as Avars, Bulgars, Germans, and Franks etc. wandered around pillaging what remained of the Roman civilization.

In short, wars, bloodshed, slavery, oppression of women and the deprived held sway everywhere. Might rule right. The world was in dire distress but no one seemed around to deliver it from darkness. No religion, ideology, creed or cult could offer any hope to the agonies and frustrations of humankind.

None of the religions in currency had any universal outlook or even pretensions and were limited to insurmountable geographical and psychological barriers, preaching discrimination and the narrow-minded superiority of a particular race.

Thus it was in such a chaotic state of depression that Almighty Allah sent His last great Prophet, with the universal Message of Islam to save mankind from disbelief, oppression, corruption, ignorance and moral decadence that was dragging humanity towards self-annihilation.

The Meccan Society

The society at obscure Mecca where Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) opened his eyes was rife with vices and oppression. It was as barren as the harsh Arabian landscape, with declining morals, rising perversion, ignorance and poverty. Like the rest of Arabia it was polytheist in nature, deeply engrossed in the worship of a multitude of idols.

The Meccan society roughly speaking was divided into three classes as follows:
1. The Arrogant Wealthy:

In their hands was vested the wealth, authority and leadership of Mecca, and it was this class which vehemently opposed the Messenger of Allah and his call to Islam. They terrorized and forbade people from believing him, for fear of losing their unjust hegemony over Mecca. To this class belonged Abu Jahal, Abu Sufyan, Abu Lahab, Walid bin Mughira, Uqba bin Abi Moayyit, Aas bin Wael Sahm and others, who had built up large fortunes by oppression and foul means.
2. The Deprived (slaves and the oppressed):

This class was composed of the downtrodden like Ammar and his parents Yaser and Sumaiyya, Bilal the Abyssinian, Suhaib the Roman, Khabbab bin Arat and etc., who all eagerly hastened towards the call of Islam, because they found it to be the truth and a way of deliverance from oppression, slavery and disbelief.
3. The General Public:

These were neither part of the landed oligarchy nor were subjected to slavery. They could well be termed the middle class. Affiliated to their respective tribal chiefs or clan heads they blindly followed the path chosen by their leaders.

Thus since the Islamic Da’wah (call) strives for justice and equality among the human race, removing the artificial barriers of class set up by ‘Jahiliyyah’, the tyrants and oppressors did all they could to stop its eventual spread. Sensing that its Monotheist message, preaching submission to the One and Only Creator and forsaking the worship of idols and man-made images, would bring and end to their domination over Mecca, the pagan Quraish, decided to gang up against Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).

Birth and Ancestry

Muhammad (s.a.w.) was born at Mecca in the year 570 A.C. known in the annals of Arabian history as the ‘Year of the Elelphant’ because of a miraculous event. That year Abraha the Christian governor of the Abyssinian king who had already subdued Yemen, marched upon Mecca with a huge army of elephants. His intention was to destroy the Ka’ba and shift the center of pilgrimage to San’a, where he had built an imposing church. But the very moment Abraha’s awesome army was poised for the attack, the Almighty sent a swarm of flying creatures, who blackened the sky pelting the mighty force with pebbles, and within minutes destroyed elephants and warriors alike. Thus Almighty Allah humbled the arrogantly ignorant by means of an obscure creature.

Muhammad (s.a.w.) was born on the eve of 17th of the lunar month of Rabi-ul-awwal and according to some versions on the 12th of the same month. His father was Abdullah the son of Abdul Muttalib the son of Hashim and his mother Amina was the daughter of Wahab. His grandfather Abdul Muttalib had many wives and children, out of whom Abdullah and Abu Talib were from the same mother. Thus Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a scion of the noble Bani Hashim clan a sub-division of the large Quraish tribe, descended from Prophet Ishmael (a.s.) the elder son of Prophet Abraham (a.s.).

He was a posthumous child, as his father Abdullah had died three months before his birth, while on a visit to Yathrib (Medina). The birth of the orphan turned the grief of the bereaved family into unbounded joy, and none were happier than his mother Amina and grandfather Abdul Muttalib, who were in a state of shock at Abdullah’s untimely death. The family burst into happiness, slaughtering sheep and throwing a grand banquet for the Quraish, to celebrate the auspicious occasion. Mecca overflowed with joy as throngs of people flocked to Abdul Muttalib’s house to congratulate him on the birth of his grandchild.

The Upbringing of the Prophet

As was the custom in those days, babies of noble families were normally entrusted to the care of strong and healthy wet nurses, who not only gave suck but also taught their wards manners and etiquette. The young Muhammad (s.a.w.) was accordingly put under the care of a noble wet-nurse called Halima bint Hareth As-Saadiyah, who brought him up along with her own children; Abdullah, Eisa and daughter Shaima. (A deep affinity developed between the Prophet and his foster brothers and sister, and later in life they also accepted Islam.).

After four years Halima brought back the child to his mother and grandfather. Everyone was happy as the toddler started to grow up into a pretty, sober and intelligent boy, marked out from the rest of the children by his suave manners and loved and admired by all.

Mother and Grandfather Die:

At the age of six, his mother took him to Yathrib to visit her family. Umm Aiman their maid accompanied them on the journey. At Yathrib, the young boy saw the grave of his father, whom he had never seen in life. What a moving scene it may have been when mother and son, set eyes on Abdullah’s grave!

After a short stay in Yathrib they started back, but on the way Amina became seriously ill. The party stopped to nurse her but her condition became worse and finally she breathed her last and was buried at a place called Abwa, situated between Mecca and Medina. The child was naturally sad at loosing his only surviving parent, at the tender age of 6. Now he was an orphan on both sides and alone in this wide world. But Almighty Allah is Great and Omnipresent and He alone decrees destinies. Umm Aiman escorted Muhammad (s.a.w.) to Abdul Muttalib, who was shocked on hearing news of his daughter-in-law’s sudden death. The doting grandfather took upon himself the task of bringing-up the young orphan; never letting him feels the slightest discomfort. But there was yet another shock in store for Muhammad (s.a.w.), for when he reached the age of 8, he lost his loving grandfather too.

Abu Talib Assumes Guardianship:

Before his death, Abdul Muttalib instructed his son Abu Talib to see his orphaned grandson’s upbringing. Accordingly, Abu Talib gladly assumed guardianship of his nephew and took young Muhammad (s.a.w.) under his roof. Abu Talib and his wife Fatimah bint Asad raised the orphan as their own child, never making him feel the slightest thought of being a destitute. They loved him dearly and he loved them in turn. In later years he was often heard saying that Fatimah bint-Asad, (the mother of Imam Ali) was like a mother to him.

The Prophet’s Marriage

Muhammad (s.a.w.) grew up in his loving uncle’s house, blossoming into a handsome youth of exceptionally good character, which marked him out from rest of the young Meccans. He soon began to assist Abu Talib in trade and commerce and once accompanied his uncle’s trading caravan to Syria, ably revealing his talents and integrity. His honesty and reputation preceded him and sometime after his return to Mecca he took up a trading job with one of the wealthiest and noblest Quraishite women, Khadija bint Khuwailid. He accepted to work for Khadija and was entrusted with some money, with which he busied himself in commerce. He again traveled to Syria and made great profits for Khadija during the trip.

Naturally Khadija was pleased and soon came to admire Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) intelligence and honesty. Eventually she offered her hand in marriage, which was accepted by him. This event took place in the month of Shawwaal. Muhammad (s.a.w.) thus married Khadija and they lived a harmonious life full of love, cooperation and sincerity, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. They formed a perfect husband and wife pair, the likeness of which is something rare in human history. When finally the Divine Message was revealed to Muhammad (s.a.w.), the devout Khadija at once believed in her husband without ever expressing the slightest doubt. She was the first among women to accept Islam and subsequently put all her vast wealth and property at the Prophet’s disposal for the spread of truth and justice.

Khadija bint Khuwailid was from the Quraish tribe and was born and bred in Mecca. Even in the days of Jahiliyyah she was known among the Quraish women for her nobleness of character and virtue, that is why she was called by the Meccans as Tahera ‘the pure’. She married Muhammad (s.a.w.), 15 years before revelation came to him from Allah. As long as she was alive the Prophet never took a second wife and even in later years of his life after numerous marriages, he used to cherish her loving memory and refer to her as the most beloved of his spouses. She endured with him hunger, poverty and calamities inflicted by the Meccan polytheists. She bore Muhammad (s.a.w.) many children, all of whom except for Fatima (a.s.) died in infancy, including son Qasim (Khadija bore the Prophet one more son named Taher, who also died in infancy. Later in life Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had another son named Ibrahim through his Egyptian wife Maria Qibtia, who also died in infancy. Hence, the Prophet’s progeny survives today through his daughter Fatima and her two sons Hasan and Husain who are the ancestors of all ‘Seyyids’ (descendants of the Prophet).), from whom the Prophet’s Kunya (agnomen) ‘Abul Qasim’ is derived.

Finally in the tenth year of the Prophetic mission, shortly after the small Muslim community quarantined by the heathens in Shi’ab Abi Talib had come out of the valley, Khadija breathed her last. It was a great tragedy for the Prophet. The year is known as the Year of Grief in history because the Prophet suffered a further blow that year losing that other great benefactor, his uncle Abu Talib.

Truthful and Honest

Muhammad (s.a.w.), right from his childhood was known for his virtue and lofty conduct and was far removed from the prevalent vices of the day like idolatry, dishonesty, drinking, gambling, cowardice etc., which were the hallmarks of the Meccan society. His noble character stood him out as the most impeccable one-ever, to the point that his people called him as-Sadiq (the Truthful) and al-Amin (the Honest). They put their complete trust in him and always turned to him as an impartial judge in their frequent disputes.

He was a born believer whose heart was free from the filth of disbelief and polytheism. Never had the boy been near idols let alone worshipping them. The All-Knowing Allah, Who had singled out the child for the greatest task and blessings that lay ahead, had inspired Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) young heart with His Greatness, Power and Majesty. His pristine purity was indicative of his future greatness, for how could people believe in him and put their trust in him if they see him prostrating before man-made objects and indulging in vices like any ordinary Arab of the day. Surely, none would have responded to his call to Islam, towards virtue and towards deliverance from oppression, and none would have believed him if they were not sure of vouchsafing his truthfulness and honesty.

Thus Divine providence was at work, right from the beginning in his case, grooming, inspiring and educating the young Muhammad (s.a.w.) and finally introducing him as a model of emulation and messenger for all of mankind.

Muhammad (s.a.w.) The Good News of the Prophets

It is now clear that both Judaism and Christianity had completed their historical missions, for the process of abrogation and perfection is a natural matter with respect to the divine laws. It was known that humanity should resort to another divine law in accordance with the divine will. In addition to that, both religions had been distorted and tampered with. So, logically and with respect to following the revealed path, it is irrelevant to adopt them as ways of life. The substitute is Islam, the promised divine faith for all mankind. It is the faith about which the prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) (a.s.) gave good news.

Should seekers of truth be certain of the fact that Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the Prophet promised by Musa, and Isa (a.s.), and that he was mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, this would constitute a miracle pertaining to him and be confirmation of his prophet hood. It rests as a proof on the Jews and Christians who believe in the Pentateuch, the Bible and Pre-Islamic history.

Humanity was waiting for the advent of a new prophet. The Qur’an argues with the Jews and Christians on this point and reminds them of this fact:

“And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers.” Holy Qur’an (2: 89)

The Pentateuch and the Bible did mention the characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the place of his appearance and his message. A great number of Jewish and Christian religious scholars, at the time, embraced Islam, and believed in the Prophet (s.a.w.), because they found his name and attribute in the Pentateuch and the Bible. The Qur’an drew their attention to this fact and called on them to return to the Pentateuch and the Bible:

“Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.” Holy Qur’an (7: 157)

Let us, then, read the Old and New Testaments, and the works authored by the researchers and thinkers, particularly the Christian intellectuals like Professor David Benjamin Kildani (Father David Benjamin Kildani who embraced Islam and changed his name to Professor Abdul-Ahad Dawood. He was from the Kildani sect related to the Roman-Catholic Church, holding a bachelor’s degree in Theology. After embracing Islam he wrote a book under the name of Muhammad in the Holy Qur’an.), concerning the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).

“When emphasizing the character of the promised Prophet, the other prophecy, attributed to Musa (Moses), is, in any case, conducive when it speaks of the ‘the bright light of God which comes from Faran’(Faran is the wilderness of Mekkah. It is a reference to the place where the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was chosen to prophet hood. He came to Madina at the head of ten thousand warriors to conquer Mekkah. This is widely known as recorded by historians.), which is the wilderness of Makkah.
In chapter 33, of the Pentateuch the second sentence states:

“The Lord came from Sinai, and shined to them from Saer, and gleamed from the mountain of Faran. And ten thousand saints came with him. From his right hand the fire of a law for them appeared. So the brightness of the Lord is likened to the light of the sun ‘The Lord came from Sinai and shined to them from Saer.’ He gleamed with glory from Faran. He appeared with ten thousand of his followers, carrying a divine law for them in his right hand. None of the Israelites had anything to do, Christ included, with Faran. Hajar (Hagar) and Isma’il (Ismael), her son, wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Then, they settled in the wilderness of Faran.( Abdul-Ahad Dawood, Muhammad fi al-Kitab al-Muqqaddas (Muhammad in the Holy Bible)
We read in another text:

“The other prophecy is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 21, verses 13-17. It says: ‘this is a message about Arabia. You people of Dedan, whose caravans camp in the barren country of Arabia, give water to the thirsty people who come to you. You people of the land of Tema, give food to the refugees. People are fleeing to escape from swords that are ready to kill them from bows that are ready to shoot, from all the dangers of wars’. Then the Lord of Kedar will be at an end. The bowmen are the bravest men of Kedar, but few of them will be left.”

In another text, we openly and self-evidently read about the good news of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.):

“During that rare chance, God sent His servant, the Prophet Haggai to console those sad people. He carried with him this important message:

“I will overthrow all the nations, and Hamada will come to all nations. I will fill this temple with wealth. Such the Lord of the soldiers said. All the silver and gold of the world is mine. And there I will give my people prosperity and peace. The Lord of the soldiers had spoken.

“I had translated this paragraph from the only copy which was in my possession which was borrowed from a lady who a cousin of mine. This copy was written in the national language.”

Let us return to the English translation of the Bible, which we believe to have changed the word ‘Hamada’ from the Hebrew origin to ‘Amniya’, and the word ‘Shalom’ to ‘Islam’.
The priest-professor Abdul-Ahad, who later on embraced Islam, said:

“…therefore we should view this prophecy truthful beyond question. It is identified with the character of Ahmad and his message Islam. That is because both the words Hamada and Shalom or Shalama give precisely the same meaning and have the same importance of Ahmad and Islam…in many of Christ’s statements we read the good news of the Prophet hood of Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the mentioning of his name”.
Jesus Prophecy about Muhammad (s.a.w.):

“And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! Surely I am the messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Taurat and giving the good news of an Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad, but when he came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.” Holy Qur’an (61: 6)

“Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.” Holy Qur’an (7: 157)

The Gospel of Jesus (a.s.) brought into sharper focus the identity of the one who would fulfill the promise to make the line of Ishmael (a.s.) a great nation. In the Gospel of John – a New Testament book which is not the Gospel of Jesus (a.s.) and which may be considered as representing only in general terms portions of his teachings. Christ informs his close companions that his work among them was drawing to conclusion, but God would send someone else after a time to carry forward the prophetic movement. This someone, however, would be the last of the prophets.

The following passages of the New Testament lend further proof to the Prophet hood of Muhammad (s.a.w.):

“And this is the record of John (the Baptist) when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, who art thou?

And he confessed and denied not; but confessed I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, what then? Art thow Elias? And he saith I am not. Art thou That Prophet? And he answered, No.

Any they asked him, and said unto him, why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither That Prophet.” John (1: 19-21, 25)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John (14: 15-16-26-30)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I shall send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” John (15: 26)

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement:

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Of righteousness because I go to my Father, and yen see me no more;

Of judgement because the prince of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John (16: 7-14)

A careful study of these passages brings to light the following facts:
01. Jesus Christ (a.s.) prophesies the coming of a Comforter after him.
02. The coming of the Comforter depends on Christ’s departure.
03. He is sent by Almighty Allah.
04. He will teach everything.
05. He will draw attention towards what the Christ had foretold.
06. He will testify and glorify Christ.
07. He will not speak by himself but what he divinely hears.
08. He will foretell future events.
09. The world will follow his religion.
10. He will stay forever.

In view of these glaring facts if we cast a glimpse at the life of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) we will discover the amazing truth that these points perfectly tally with his mission and confirm beyond doubt that he is the Comforter Promised by Jesus.

The Beginning of the Prophetic Mission

Muhammad (s.a.w.), though endeared and respected by Meccans for his wisdom and virtues, preferred solitude and kept his distance from the polytheist society. Disgusted with the corruption all around, he used to retire to the Cave of Hera, in a mountain a few kilometers from Mecca, meditating Allah’s Majesty and worshipping Him. Initially he used to remain in the cave for a day or two and sometimes even 10 nights or more but the next few years saw him spending a whole month in that cave, praying to Allah and contemplating guidance for the deviated people.

Finally the day dawned which was to change the history of the world. When he had reached the age of 40 and was engrossed as usual in praying to Allah at his retreat of cave Hera., suddenly that harbinger of Divine tidings, the Archangel Gabriel, appeared with the first verses of the Holy Qur’an:

“Recite in the name of your Lord Who created, Created man from a clot. Recite and your Lord is most Generous, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.” Holy Qur’an (96: 1-5)

With these verses, Gabriel (a.s.) announced to Muhammad (s.a.w.) that Almighty Allah had formally chosen him to be His last and final Messenger to humankind. It was in the month of Rajab.

Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) heart was filled with joy, and he thanked Almighty Allah for bestowing this great honor upon him. He hurried to his house to tell his wife Khadija about his appointment to Prophet hood.

Khadija on hearing the event at once believed in her husband’s Prophet hood and so did his young cousin Ali (a.s.). Consequently Ali and Khadija became the first ever male and female Muslims respectively. Thus started the beginning of a divine mission, which was destined not only to cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of the filth of polytheism but whose radiance would eventually dispel darkness from all over the world.

Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) formal announcement of his Prophet hood had a mixed reaction on Meccan society. While the oppressed classes hastened towards the call of Islam, happy that the day of deliverance had finally dawned, the Meccan oligarchy and those who felt a danger to their vested interests and hegemony; ganged-up to ridicule the Prophet, in their desperate bid to nip in the bud the final revelation to the human race.

Undeterred by Jahiliyyah’s arrogant attempts, Muhammad (s.a.w.) continued to propagate the great divine mission entrusted to him, and the next 23 years of his lifetime saw the gradual unfolding of the grand miraculous event; the Holy Qur’an, Allah’s own words sent down through the Archangel Gabriel. (Even today after 14 centuries, Allah’s book the Holy Qur’an stands as a living miracle for humanity. Its revelation was completed a couple of months before the Messenger’s passing away, and besides containing the ‘Shariah’ (canonical laws) for the Muslims, it is a source of knowledge goading man to contemplate and discover the mysteries of science, inspiring high ethical values and morals in its readers and showing the perfect path for mankind’s happiness both in this world and the hereafter.)

The Making of Early Muslims

Despite the feverish attempts of the Arab infidels to suppress the call of truth, the young Muslim community began to grow in numbers, as more and more people flocked to the call of Islam.

The Prophet’s mission in Mecca can thus be classified under the following two periods:

The Secret Call:

At first the Messenger of Allah called people to Islam secretly. He began with his immediate kinsmen, the Bani Hashim, explaining to them his divine mission. For three consecutive days he discoursed with them, without much success, and only his young cousin Ali (a.s.), stood up every time saying ‘I bear witness Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ The other members of his clan either mocked at him or remained silent, perhaps needing time to ponder over his words.

Without feeling the least discouraged, Muhammad (s.a.w.) continued his work, encountering individuals and inviting them to Islam. By and large, the devoted group of Muslims increased around him, and he selected a secret secluded spot, to assemble the faithful and teach them the principles of Islam and the verses of Qur’an as they were gradually revealed. When the number of Muslims had reached 40, Almighty Allah ordered His Messenger to shun the garment of secrecy and make public the invitation to Islam.

The Public Call:

As the number of committed Muslims began to grow, Almighty Allah commanded His Prophet to publicly announce the call to Islam. Some of the notable converts at this stage included Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) kinsmen such as Ja’far bin Abi Talib, Ubaidah bin Hareth bin Abdul Muttalib and etc.

The growing presence of such a strong Muslim community in their midst naturally annoyed the obstinate polytheists, who felt increasing danger to their hegemony. The infidels, who had no logic to defend their worship of man-made objects and stop the awakened masses from flocking toward the light of Islam, resorted to torture and other methods of oppression against the fledgling Muslim society. Bilal the Abyssinian, Suhaib the Roman, Khabab bin Art, and others underwent the most rigorous forms of torture at the hands of arrogant Jahiliyyah.

The Mission Continues:

Despite the hardships, the infant community of Islam stood steadfast in its beliefs. The Prophet’s wife Khadija bint Khuwailid who was blessed with a large fortune, put all her wealth and property at her husband’s disposal, to help the spread of Islam. The personality of Abu Talib Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) uncle who was respected and admired by the Quraish, was instrumental in keeping the polytheist Arabs at a distance, and they were afraid of doing any bodily harm to the Prophet. The Prophet continued to teach the young Muslim community, the divine revelations and the basic tenets of Islam. His most enthusiastic disciple and student was none other than his young cousin, Ali, who was the closest personality to Muhammad (s.a.w.).

A point to note is that while all the early Muslims were mature people and had experienced the fruits and bitterness of growing up among the idols of Arabia, it was only Ali, who entrusted to his cousin’s guardianship, years before the call of Islam, was like Muhammad (s.a.w.) of a pristine pure personality, far removed from contemporary corruption. Perhaps it was divine providence that Ali should be groomed personally by the last and greatest Messenger to mankind. Hence the young Ali imbibed all the knowledge directly from the Prophet himself.

Consequently the Da’wah (Islamic Call) of the Prophet falls into two clearly discernible periods as follows:

1. The period in Mecca, beginning with the age of 40 till his emigration to Medina 13 years later.
2. The period at Medina, beginning with the Prophet’s historical arrival till his sad demise 10 years later at the age of 63.

The Meccan Period

If the Prophet’s emigration to Medina opened new vistas for the message of Islam and its eventual expansion over the Arabian Peninsula, nonetheless the Mecca period despite the persecution and hardships, was instrumental in laying the firm foundations of Monotheism, which were to flower in Medina later on.

Briefly speaking, the major landmarks of the Islamic call in this period are explained underneath for our readers:

01. The First Revelation:

The coming of the Archangel Gabriel with the tidings of Prophet hood and the first revelation, as we have already explained.

02. Da’wat Dhul-Ashira:

The Invitation to his kinsmen the Bani Hashim to accept Islam. The event known as Da’wat Dhul-Ashira(And warn your nearest relations, Holy Qur’an 26:214) was a formal announcement of Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) mission and a turning point in the history of the divine message and its spread. Undeterred it set the tone for making of the first group of dedicated Muslims, who despite severe persecution and hardships gathered around the Prophet to assimilate the teachings and principles of Islam.

03. Isra:

The night-journey Isra as described by the glorious verses of the Holy Qur’an.
“Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” Holy Qur’an (17: 1)

What is meant by Isra is the bodily ascension of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) from the Sacred Mosque (Ka’ba) to the Remote Mosque in Jerusalem (Beit-ul-Maqdis or simply Al-Qods in today’s Zionist occupied Jerusalem) and thence to the heavens to the very presence of Almighty Allah, and back to earth in a very short span of the same night. It is related that Gabriel descended one night with the heavenly mount Buraq whose speed as the name suggests is far greater than the speed of light, and took the Prophet to the highest and furthest point of the heavens where no creature has ever set foot, and thence the wonder-struck Muhammad (s.a.w.) proceeded alone to the very presence of the ‘Magnificent Light’, that only a curtain divided him from the Omnipotent Almighty. Then Allah spoke with his servant and showed him the signs of His Majesty. The event also known as Me’raj confirms that no creature ever, not even the past prophets or any heavenly being either, like the Arch-angel Gabriel, had been so near to the Almighty’s proximity, as the Habibullah (beloved of Allah) was summoned by Allah that night.

04. The First Martyrs:

The idolaters maddened at Bani Hashim and other Meccans for accepting Islam, singled out some Muslims like Bilal the Abyssinian, Khabab bin Art and Yasir, his wife Sumaiyya and their son Ammar for severe torture. Despite the barbarities inflicted, the new Muslims refused to forego their faith in monotheism and eventually Yasir and his wife Sumaiyya were savagely martyred at the hands of the infidels.

05. The Emigration to Abyssinia:

When the Messenger of Allah felt the growing danger threatening the very lives of the infant Muslim community and its helplessness against the infidels, he instructed some of them to migrate to Abyssinia. The immigrants were led by the Prophet’s cousin Ja’far bin Abu Talib, and upon arrival there, were allowed to settle and practice their faith by the Abyssinian ruler Negus.

06. Siege and Social Boycott:

Alarmed at the growing number of Muslims and fearing to do bodily harm to the Prophet, because of Abu Talib’s towering personality, the Meccan Jahilliyyah devised a plan of social boycott of the whole Bani Hashim clan. Hence a total boycott was imposed on the Bani Hashim and the new Muslims to such an extent that all links or contacts whether commercial or social, including buying or selling of goods and even matrimonial alliances were severed. But the faithful Abu Talib was determined to protect his nephew the Prophet, and together with all his clan members as well as the other Muslims retired to the valley known as Shi’ah Abi Talib on the outskirts of Mecca, where knit together they could easily override the difficulties and also protect themselves from any incursions. Steadfastly, the Muslims borne the consequences of the siege, enduring pain, hunger and other difficulties for three long years, and ultimately frustrated the infidel’s efforts, which forced Meccan Jahiliyyah to lift up the social boycott.

07. The Year of Great Grief:

Shortly after the Bani Hashim and other Muslims emerged from Shi’ah Abi Talib, a double calamity struck the Prophet. Umm al-Momineen (mother of believers) Khadija al-Kubra who had given her husband-unflinching support, sacrificing her great wealth and property for the cause of Islam, finally succumbed to the hardships and breathed her last. It was a great blow to the Prophet to lose his faithful beloved companion and the mother of his illustrious progeny. But another calamity was in store for Muhammad (s.a.w.), and three days later that another great benefactor and sincere guardian, uncle Abu Talib passed away from this mortal world.

These sad events occurred in the holy month of fasting Ramadhan, three years before the Prophet’s historic migration to Medina. Accordingly the year is known in the annals of Islamic History as the ‘Year of Grief.

08. The Retirement to Ta’if:

Aggrieved by the double loss of his loving wife and doting uncle, and faced with the prospect of renewed hostility from the Meccan idolaters, who were emboldened by Abu Talib’s death, the Prophet set out for the oasis town of Ta’if. But in Ta’if the call to Islam fell on deaf ears. No one believed in Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) invitation except an old Christian farmer called ‘Adhasu’ who embraced Islam. The Arabs of Ta’if ridiculed the Prophet, encouraging simpletons and ignorant children to pelt him with stones and obstruct his path, wherever he moved. The Messenger convinced that his divine mission would not make much progress with the stonehearted people of Ta’if, returned back to his birthplace Mecca.

09. Meeting with a Yathrib Delegation:

Even though the arrogantly ignorant Quraishites and other tribes of Mecca and Ta’if had scoffed at the message, divine providence was already at work facilitating help and the spread of Islam from hitherto unknown quarters. In the eleventh year of the Prophetic mission, Muhammad (s.a.w.) started contacts with delegations. He came across a group of people from Yathrib led by As’ad bin Zurara of the Khazraj tribe and invited them to Islam. His words received an attentive response, and the group believing in the truthfulness of this great monotheist call became very happy. The leader asked the Prophet to send a Muslim with him to Yathrib to preach Islam, and hoped that the divine call would unite his tribe with the rival tribe of Aws, knitting them into a single Muslim people.

10. The First Allegiance of Aqaba:

On returning to Yathrib the group started preaching Islam among the local people and made some progress. The next year a 12-member delegation of Yathrib Arabs came to Mecca and met the Messenger of Allah at a place called ‘aqaba’ and swore allegiance to him as Muslims. On returning to their city they started inviting people towards truth. Thus Islam began to take roots and spread in Yathrib, which was destined to be the Prophet’s seat of power and would eventually become famous as Medina – the shortened form of Medinat-an-Nabi (city of Prophet).
11. The Second Allegiance of Aqaba:

During the next year of pilgrimage following the first allegiance, 10 men and 2 women from Yathrib called on the Prophet at the same place of Aqaba and swore allegiance to him, promising to defend and spread Islam. The historic meeting was attended by the Prophet’s uncle Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib as a witness to the allegiance. The event was instrumental in spreading belief among a greater part of Yathrib citizens, who rallied to the cause of Islam as ‘Ansar’ (Helpers). Meccan Muslims to protect their beliefs now gradually started migrating towards Yathrib.

12. Conspiracy to Assassinate the Prophet:

The Meccan Jahiliyyah alarmed at the growing impact of Islam and their abject helplessness to contain its radiant rays conspired to assassinate the Prophet. Moreover, the death of Abu Talib that devoted guardian of infant Islam, had removed an obstacle from their path, embolding the haughty ignorant to plot Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) murder.

The heads of the Quraish gathered in their “Dar Al-Nadwah” to consult about the Messenger (s.a.w.). They decided to collectively assassinate him. Each tribe would send one of its men to carry out the assassination at night, thus laying the blame of the proposed murder on no one tribe. But Meccan arrogance had reckoned the whole thing without taking into account the Omnipotent Creator Who is always watching over peoples words and deeds and is even aware of the thoughts they entertain.

The Almighty Allah sent Arch Angel Gabriel (a.s.), to inform Holy Prophet of the dirty plot. “And when those who disbelieve plot against you (O Muhammad) to wound you fatally, or to kill you, or to drive you forth; they plot, but Allah (also) plots, and Allah is the best of plotters”. Holy Our’an (8:30)

As commanded, the Prophet asked his faithful cousin Ali (a.s.) to sleep in his bed that night and cover himself with the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) garment, and himself set out for Yathrib taking along one of his companions, the aged Abu Bakr, whom for some reasons he considered it unwise to leave behind at Mecca. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked if by doing so the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) would be safe. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) confirmed that he would. Imam Ali (a.s.) without further comment agreed to act as a decoy. Then the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) left the house, and, passing through the besiegers, he recited: “And We have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not”. Holy Qur’an (36:9)

That epoch-making night which marked a turning point in the message of Islam, Imam Ali (a.s.) lay on the Prophet’s bed as calm and composed as ever, that even the scores of infidels besieging the house and peeping through the windows, not the least suspected the real identity of the sleeper.

It is related that each Meccan tribe or clan was represented in the gang of conspirators hovering around the abode of divine revelation in their vain bid to extinguish the eternal light, even Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) own infidel uncle Abu Lahab was there claiming to represent the Bani Hashim.

At last before the break of dawn, the unholy gang, burst into the Prophet’s house, full of confidence to accomplish their dirty deed. But their all-night vigil proved as worthless as their stone-made-gods, for to their utter surprise, the figure which calmly emerged from the covers and stood facing them was the Lion of Allah, Ali (a.s.), and not whom they were seeking. Frustrated in their ungodly efforts, the infidels asked Ali the Prophet’s whereabouts, to which they received the crisp and to the point reply “Did you appoint me to watch him?” he replied. “Didn’t you say you would expel him from your town? Now he has left you…” Thus Almighty Allah protected His Prophet from the evil of the idolaters, and escorted him safely away from their very midst, without the blind-hearted Arabs perceiving the least.

The event has another significance, for it brings into sharper focus the personality of Imam Ali (a.s.) and his selfless devotion to the cause of Islam and to his cousin’s life. He dauntlessly agreed to sleep on the Prophet’s bed risking his life and limbs, If the late Abu Talib’s personality had been until recently, a deterring factor for the Meccan polytheists from harming the Prophet, now his son the brave Ali had ably filled up the vacuum, showing readiness to sacrifice his own life for Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) sake. Almighty Allah rewarded Ali’s selfless spirit of devotion by revealing the following verses of the Qur’an: “And among people is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah…” Holy Qur’an (2: 207)

Thus the Almighty brought the stratagem of the plotters to naught. By the time the Meccan infidels recovered from their shock, the Prophet was safely out of Mecca and on his way to Yathrib. Cautious, not to be overtaken by the conspirators lest they start the chase, the Prophet along with his companion Abu Bakr, took refuge in a cave of a mountain called Thawr, three miles south of Mecca. The Quraish hastily set out to trace the Prophet, and a party of unbelievers arrived at the very cave of Thawr. Strangely, just as the idolaters neared the place, Abu Bakr, perhaps sensing danger suddenly started crying. His unwarranted cries – had not Almighty Allah descended tranquility on him that very moment making him tight-lipped, would have been enough to lead the Quraish party to the Prophet’s hide-out, periling the whole brave selfless episode. The polytheists arrived at the cave’s mouth with an expert tracker and looked everywhere around, but by Allah’s command a spider had spun a cobweb over its entrance and a bird had come and laid eggs, presenting the semblance of an undisturbed virgin spot, where no soul had ventured of late. The conspirators did not think that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) could be behind flimsy threads it had woven. Thus, they were misled.

Satisfied that no one was in the cave, the unbelievers turned back giving up all hope of finding the Prophet. Thus the Prophet safely proceeded to Medina. The Hijra (Migration) to Medina also marks the start of the Muslim Lunar Calendar and according to historians it took place on the 1st of Rabi-al-Awwal.

Then, under the protection of the dark night, Imam Ali (a.s.) and Hind bin Abu halah, hurried to the grotto to see the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.). The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) discussed with Imam Ali (a.s.) what he should do during his emigration to Madinah. He told Imam Ali (a.s.) to stay behind in Mecca to hand the deposits of the people hack to them, and then to join him in Madinah, bringing with him Fatimah al-Zahra (s.a.) and the rest of the women of his household.

Yathrib – A Brief Description:

It was an old oasis town with plenty of springs and wells and the brush surroundings abounded with date palms, vineyards and orchards of pomegranates and other fruits. Situated 450 kilometers north of Mecca it was inhabited by the idol worshipping Arab tribes of Aws and Khazraj. Certain Jewish tribes like Bani Quradha, and Bani Mugheer and Bani Qainqa’e also dwelt in Medina and had migrated to the town centuries before, to await the last Messenger of Allah, whom they found foretold in their Scriptures. Deep enmity and a constant state of internecine warfare had sapped the energies of the two idolatrous Arab tribes, who had divested each other’s wealth and properties, in their blind hatred. In addition there was no love lost between the Arab and Jewish tribes. The Jews flaunting their sacred books used to mock the pagan Arabs, saying that soon a Prophet will emerge in Arabia and come to Yathrib and will put an end to their wicked ways.

But strangely enough when Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did finally proclaim his Prophet hood and emigrate to Yathrib, it were the Arab tribes of Aws and Khazraj who renounce idolatry and accepted Islam, while the chauvinistic Jews, whose forefathers had come to Arabia, for this very occasion, rejected the Prophet. Their pretext was he was an Arab descended from Prophet Abraham’s (a.s.) elder son Ishmael (a.s.), rather than Isaac (a.s.) and therefore unacceptable to the racist Jews.

On the other hand, on Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) historic entrance into Yathrib, the Aws and Khazraj recalling the Jew’s prophecy hastened towards him and accepted Islam, burying once and for all the bloody hatchet of tribal rivalry. Almighty Allah filled their hearts with unity, which Arabia had never known before, and gathered them under Islam’s majestic banner. The Jews, treacherous as ever, turned away from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) as they had rejected and betrayed Prophet Jesus (s.a.w.) 6 centuries ago.

Important Events in Medina

The Prophet’s entry into Medina ushers in a new phase for the divine message. Islam gaining fresh followers began to assert its strength and soon started to spread out over the four corners of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the previous chapters we have already noted that the Prophet was 53 years of age at the time of his auspicious migration. In Medina he spent the remaining 10 years of his life and it was here that other brilliant aspects of his immaculate personality became fully manifest. The divine call now entered a decisive stage and many important events took place in Medina, which eventually laid a firm foundation for the spread of Islam to the furthest reaches of the globe. Here we shall study some of the major landmarks in the life of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and Islam at Medina.

01. The Building of the First Mosque:

The entry into Medina was followed by the building of the mosque, the first-ever for the Muslims who had just emerged from years of oppression in Mecca. It was one of the most important landmarks for Muslims who now had a center of their own for open uninhibited gatherings, a school for learning the Qur’an and a headquarters for receiving necessary instructions from their leader. Gone were the days of secret underground meetings in Mecca, where the fear of persecution had always weighed heavily for the faithful. Yathrib, which from now onwards was Medinat-an-nabi (city of the Prophet) or Medinat-al-Munawwara (illuminated city), provided a free open atmosphere for the growth of the true faith.

Meccan Immigrants mixed with the local populace, the ‘Ansar’ (Helpers), and cheerfully started giving shape to Islam’s first-ever mosque, which would be known as Masjid-e-Qeba’a. The building was soon constructed of clay and tree trunks with palm leaves serving as a thatched roof. The Messenger of Allah himself took part in the construction and the following year he enlarged its precincts to cover an area of 2475 square meters.

All Muslims enthusiastically assembled there for the daily prayers, which were led by the Prophet himself. He used to deliver sermons there, teach the Qur’an and the laws of Islam to the faithful, discourse with his companions, prepare them for ‘Jihad’ (holy struggle) and would look into their problems and other relevant issues. Thus, the Mosque was actually the headquarters of the first-ever Islamic state established by the Messenger. It still stands majestically today, frequently enlarged and beautified throughout the last fourteen centuries, and draws millions of Muslims from all over the world.

02. Fraternization:

The second important step taken by the Prophet in Medina was the fraternizing of ‘Muhajireen’ (Meccan Immigrants) with the ‘Ansar’ (Medinite Helpers) in the bonds of Islamic brotherhood. He fraternized each Muhajir with an Ansar, joining them together as brothers in faith. And he himself clasped the hand of his beloved cousin Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) as the supreme symbol of brotherhood, fraternity and solidarity in the Islamic society.

Before proceeding further let us say a few words about the Muhajireen and the Ansar, who formed the pillars of the Islamic State. Allah, the Exalted describes them in the Qur’an as follows:
“And as for the first and foremost of the Muhajireen (emigrants) and the Ansar (helpers), and those who followed suit in good deeds; Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him; and He has prepared for them gardens watered by running streams, therein dwelling forever; that is a supreme triumph.” Holy Qur’an (9:100)

The Muhajireen as the name suggests were the Muslim emigrants from Mecca who had followed the Prophet to Medina to safeguard their faith and to escape persecution from the infidels. They had embraced Islam in its early formative years and most of them had steadfastly endured severe pain and hardship in the way of liberty, truth and justice.

On the other hand, the Ansar were the indigenous inhabitants of Medina, who believed in the Message of Islam and rallied to the help of the Prophet. They welcomed him to their city, and fought alongside him against the pagans of Arabia. It was their faith and selfless devotion, which cemented Islamic unity and brought many a glorious victory for Islam.

At the time of the Hijra most of the Muhajireen were poor and possessed nothing, but the Ansar displaying the finest example of Islamic brotherhood, provided them with their needs such as houses, money and food. They lodged them in their own houses, shared their wealth with them and gave their daughters in marriage to the Meccan Muslims.

Such were the Muhajireen and the Ansar – brothers sharing food, clothing and residence, and defending and helping each other as ordered by the Almighty. From them we learn patience, self-sacrifice, fraternity, piety and devoted zeal to spread the call of Islam to less fortunate peoples around the world.

03. The Islamic State:

The other important event after the Hijra was the establishment of the Islamic State and Government by the Prophet, who by applying the gradual unfolding of divine commandments molded the hitherto ignorant Arabs into a real Islamic society. Expounding the eternal miracle of the Holy Qur’an and setting his own divinely inspired personality as a practical example, he firmly erected the pillars of justice and virtue. In short, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) presented to the dark world seething under tyranny and oppression, the most perfect ever constitution – spiritual, social and political – and a key to their salvation both in this mortal life and the hereafter.

04. Jihad:

The next stage was jihad or holy struggle, a thing not known in Mecca. It was the natural consequence to the setting up of a state. Unbelievers, ever-intent to stamp out the divine call but seeing Islam finely knit unto a secure city-state, resorted to arms, and the Muslims had to follow suit to defend their faith, and according to Allah’s injunctions went out to do battle with the aggressors.

The first ever battle between Islam and blasphemy occurred in the second year of the Hijra at a place called Badr in which the newfound Islamic State, assembling a modest force of only 313 Muslims defeated a vastly outnumbering army of disbelievers. The victory led to many other battles and skirmishes with the Meccan infidels, who each time came out in larger numbers to avenge their previous setbacks, but by Allah’s Grace suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the faithful.

The victories brought strength and courage to the Muslims and helped facilitate the spread of Islam and monotheism to the farthest reaches of polytheist Arabia.

05. End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries:

Ever since the Prophet’s entry into Medina, the treacherous Jews had vehemently opposed him and his Islamic call, evoking memories of their hostility to the previous Prophet, Jesus Christ (a.s), half a millennium ago. The crafty Jews entered into an alliance with the polytheist Quraish in a bid to stamp out Islam. They conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) despite the fact that he was lenient towards them and had treated them kindly, hoping to convince them of Islam’s truth. But eventually as Jewish plots and aggressions increased, he had no choice other than to take up arms against them, in order to protect Islam and the Muslims. At the battle of Khaiber, which is famous for Imam Ali’s (a.s.) heroic exploits, the Prophet defeated them ending Jewish intrigues and conspiracies in Arabia.

06. The Treaty of Hudaibiyah:

Another important landmark in the Prophet’s life and progress of the Islamic call was the treaty of Hudaibiyah.

One night Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had a dream in which he saw that he and his companions were entering the precincts of the Holy Ka’aba in Mecca to perform the ‘Tawaf ‘(circumambulation), but the infidel Arabs were trying to obstruct their entrance. Following the dream, he decided to go to Mecca with some 1,500 Muslims to perform the pilgrimage. It was in the sixth year of the Hijra, and when the party arrived at a place called Hudaibiyah, the infidels confronted them and blocked all routes to Mecca. After some deliberations the infidels and the Prophet concluded a treaty, stipulating that the Muslim party would for the moment go back to Medina, but would return the next year for performing the pilgrimage. There were some other terms too.

As per the treaty the Messenger and his companions turned back to Medina, but the next year the Prophet along with a group of Muslims entered Mecca – 7 years after his historical migration – to perform the Umrah ritual (the lesser pilgrimage). Thus, his dream came true, and it was another undeniable proof of his prophet hood.

07. The Conquest of Mecca:

Next followed the great event in the history of Islam, which was the conquest of Mecca, the then bastion of ignorance and disbelief. With it, idolatry was purged from the greater part of Arabia once and for all, and Allah’s Sacred House the Ka’ba was cleansed of the filth of man-made objects. The event took place during the month of Ramadhan, in the year 8 A.H. and Mecca was liberated without a fight. Almighty Allah instilled the hearts of the idolaters with such fear that when Abu Sufyan, the leader of the infidels, and his men, saw the Muslim forces they were struck with awe and meekly surrendered. Thus the Messenger and his companions entered Mecca triumphantly, smashed the idols, performed the Tawaf, and returned to Medina.

The conquest of Mecca and the purging of idols from Holy Ka’aba proved a great victory for Islam. Following the event, which is famous for Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) magnanimity towards his archenemies the Meccan pagans, who all accepted Islam, people started embracing the true faith in multitudes.

08. Monarchs, Heads of State and Tribal Chiefs Invited to Islam:

Allah bestowed victory upon His Prophet in his many battles, and the Muslims were now strong. Since the light of Islam had expelled ignorance from the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula, the Messenger of Allah now felt it his duty to enlighten neighboring peoples about the truth of Islam. Accordingly he sent envoys to the Emperors of Persia, Byzantine and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and to other heads of state and tribes inviting them towards guidance and reform. Some accepted, some gave polite ‘diplomatic replies’, while some others such as Chosroes of Persia were arrogant enough to betray their ignorance, by haughtily tearing the letters from the ‘Mercy to the worlds’.

09. Event of Mubahala:

Among the messages which the Prophet (s.a.w.) sent to kings and heads of state inviting them to Islam, was the one addressed to the Christians of Najran in Yemen. On receiving the letter the Christians refused to accept Islam but however decided to come to Medina to challenge the Prophet and to defend their deviated belief in the divinity and purification of Prophet Jesus (a.s.).

In Medina, the Prophet presented them with proofs and facts about Islam’s eternal truth, citing references from the previously revealed Scriptures, but the Christians irrational obstinacy prevented them from seeing the manifest truth. In the end the two parties decided to meet at an open place and invoke divine curse and punishment upon the lying side. Allah thereby ordered His Prophet to take along with him his immediate family to the meeting ground for the Mubahala (means to invoke Allah’s curse upon the lying side when two parties are contesting for truth).

“And whoso disputes with you concerning this after the knowledge that has come to you, say: Come now, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then let us earnestly pray for Allah’s curse upon the ones who lie.” Holy Qur’an (3:61)

The Christian elders came to the venue with their whole flock, and the Prophet as ordered by Allah came with his immediate family-members, namely: daughter Fatimah, son in-law Ali and their two children, Hasan and Hussain. Never had the Christians seen such enlightened visages before. The moment the Chief-Priest beheld Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his noble family, he was filled with awe. He realized that without doubt truth was with this blessed group of five and most surely Allah will respond to Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his family’s invocation if they choose to curse and destroy the Christians of Najran. Thus the Christians backed away from the challenge of Mubahala, and wisely came to terms with the Prophet, pledging to pay an annual tribute to the Muslims.

10. The Farewell Pilgrimage:

In the tenth year of the Hijra, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) performed the Hajj (pilgrimage), with all his wives and a fairly large number of his companions.

He reached Mecca on the 4th of Dhil Hijja and was soon joined by Ali (a.s.), who hastened back from his successful missionary deputation to Yemen. During the Hajj ceremonies, the Prophet addressed a great multitude from the Mount of Arafat, in words, which are eternal to this day in the hearts of believers. After praising the Almighty, he expounded the laws and tenets of Islam and abolished all existing practices of the days of Jahiliyyah, charging the gathering to inform those not present and also to convey to posterity his eternal message.

The famous tradition called ‘Thaqalain’ was part of this sermon and we reproduce it below from ‘Sahih Tirmidhi’ for the benefit of our readers.

“I have been summoned (by Allah) and the moment is near for me to answer (to die). I leave among you the ‘Thaqalain’ (two precious things): the Book of Allah and my progeny; Allah’s Book is like a rope extending from heaven to earth, and my progeny are the Ahlul-Bait. The Merciful informed me that the two will not part with each other until they meet me at the pool (of Kawther in Paradise). I warn you against deserting them.”

11. Ghadir Khum:

After performing the Hajj, he bade farewell to his native Mecca and set out for Medina. When the great procession reached the place from where the routes of the different caravans coming from various points of Arabia normally parted, suddenly the signs of divine revelation appeared and he stopped at a place called al-Juhfa near the spring (ghadir) of Khum. The Archangel Gabriel came with the following verse in order to impress the urgency of the divine command:

“O Messenger! deliver what bas been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.” Holy Qur’an (5:67)

At once the Prophet ordered the whole party to be assembled, even summoning back those who had already left, for he had an important message to be delivered.

A pulpit made of camel saddles was hastily set-up. Ascending it, he delivered a sermon asking the people to be witness that he had faithfully performed the task of Prophet hood entrusted to him by the Almighty.

The multitude cried in one: “We bear witness O Messenger of Allah.”

He asked, who in their opinion was more worthy of obedience than their souls, to which they replied that Allah and His Prophet know better.

Then he said: “O people! Allah is my Maula (Master) and I am the Maula (master) of believers.”

“Verily O Prophet of Allah”, came the unanimous reply.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) then bent down and lifting up Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) in his hands, showed him to the vast crowd and proclaimed those famous words, which guaranteed the continuation of divine leadership:

“For whomsoever I am Maula (master), this Ali is his Maula (master)…”

Thrice he proclaimed these words before descending the pulpit, relieved by having performed the great task which would save the Ummah from going astray.

The great multitude of Muslims surged towards Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.), felicitating him on his divine appointment. According to such famous scholars as Zamakhshari and Nasai, the first one to congratulate and swear allegiance (bai’ah) to Imam Ali (a.s.) was Umar bin Khattab, who later became the second Caliph.

Gabriel descended again with another revelation, showing that the Almighty was pleased with His Prophet for having excellently performed the great final mission to mankind.

“… Today have I perfected unto you your religion and completed upon you My blessings and approved for you Islam as your religion…”Holy Qur’an (5: 3)

This most important task ensured the continuity of divine guidance. Since the Prophets were divinely appointed, so should be the successors or trustees of the Prophets, especially so in the case of Islam, which is the final message to the human race.

All scholars and historians have testified that the event of Ghadir Khum did take place, and moreover books of Hadith are witness that on many and occasion, the Prophet had emphasized his cousin’s pre-eminence, over all other Muslims.

12. The Prophet’s Death:

Two months after his return to Medina, the Messenger of Allah fell ill, Medina wore a look of gloom, because for a fortnight, the Prophet of Islam was confined in bed. The dawning of 28th of the lunar month of Safar proved to be fateful, for on that day the ‘Mercy to the worlds’ although weak with fever made his way to the mosque to lead the prayers, which also proved to be for the last time. Following a brief speech he returned to the house and after giving necessary instructions to his divinely ordained successor Imam Ali (a.s.), he breathed no more. The sad day marked the end of final Prophet hood.

Allah, through His last and greatest Messenger has revealed the perfect and the most comprehensive set of laws for the entire human race, a constitution, which is capable of catering to the needs of all generations till doomsday. Now the need for further revelations will no more arise, for the Almighty in His eternal Wisdom has embodied each and everything in the Holy Qur’an and taken upon Himself the responsibility of guarding it from interpolation. Moreover the Prophet practically showed the implementation of divine laws. The Qur’an together with the Prophet’s Sunna (traditions) is to remains a guiding light for all mankind, and to ensure their correct meaning and application, Allah granted the leadership of the Ummah to the Prophet’s infallible household, the Ahlul-Bait, who are the torch bearers of guidance for all Muslims.

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was laid to rest in his mosque, and an aggrieved Imam Ali (a.s.) performed the last rites of his noble cousin and father-in-law. His daughter Fatima and her two sons survived him.

Today the grave of the Prophet is the site of pilgrimage and veneration for Muslims from all over the globe.

Glimpses of the Prophet’s Conduct

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the finest example of a perfect man in every sense of the term. He was a paragon of virtue and is the best exemplar for the human race. The Almighty distinguished him from all and sundry by instilling embling in his sublime personality such fine qualities as modesty, truthfulness, kindness, patience, loyalty, honesty, courage, bravery, generosity, magnanimity, wisdom and the like. By studying his lofty character and the amazingly simple life he led with his household, companions, wives and others. We are apt to learn valuable lessons from his conduct and accordingly mould our own life-style.

Our society could never be an Islamic one unless we sincerely tread the footsteps of Allah’s final Messenger to mankind, heed his sayings, observe his glorious actions and attitudes, and most important of all follow them, as the faithful among his companions did.

In short, Allah the most Glorious enjoins upon us to take the Prophet’s behavior as an example, because he guides us to virtue and righteousness:

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.” Holy Qur’an (33: 21)

Now, we shall study some aspects of his admirable character:

Contemplation and Wisdom:

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) always used to contemplate the Greatness and Majesty of Allah, the Glorious and the welfare of the human race. He closely followed the affairs of his people and the spreading of the light of Islam. He talked only when necessary and when he did, his speech was devoid of any rhetoric and unnecessary words. It was precise, to the point and full of great meanings.

Punctuality and Daily Schedule:

He was punctual, active and energetic, and led an orderly life in the strict sense of the word. His day was divided into four periods:
1. A time for worship.
2. A time for his household (Ahlul-Bait) and wives, during which he behaved like any ordinary family man giving the finest example of social behavior.
3. A time for rest and contemplation.
4. A time for public affairs such as receiving Muslims, looking into their needs and requirements, answering their questions, teaching them the tenets of Islam and expounding to them the glorious verses of the Holy Qur’an.
Following are some of his wise sayings on the importance of time:
Blessed be my people for their early rising up.
Too much sleep does away with both religion and the world.

O People, you have certain (special) characteristics, so get to (emphasize) them and you have an end, so get to (be prepared for) it… a servant of Allah should take (make provisions) for himself from his self: from his world (life) for his hereafter, during his youth before his old age, and in life before death. By the One in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul after death there will be no blaming, and after this world there is nothing except Paradise or Hell.

Modesty and Simplicity:

He was the finest embodiment of modesty, and deeply abhorred arrogance and haughtiness. Almost all of his companions in the early days were poor and oppressed people, as he was the champion of the downtrodden and the defender of the deprived masses.

His house was simple and modest, built of clay bricks, palm leaves and trunks. His food was simple like that of the poor, consisting mostly of barley bread. There were occasions when he might skip that meager meal too. He socialized with his companions as one of them: talking, listening, smiling and displaying a sense of humor. Sometimes he might join in their laughter to cheer their sprits up. He would visit them when they fell sick or accept an invitation for a meal irrespective of whether the person concerned was poor, a slave or any other. In case a companion of his died, he used to participate in the funeral procession, walking alongside the bier.

Owing to his great modesty, he normally preferred riding a mule while moving around, using a saddle made of date-palm fiber. Sometimes he also rode his she-camel. If he was riding and somebody wished to accompany him on foot, he would ask him either to mount behind, and if the man declined out of respect, he would ask him to go ahead and await him at the fixed place, because he did not like the sight of people following him on foot, while he himself was mounted.

So modest was he that he hated to see people raising to their feet when he entered an assembly. And on entering he used to sit at the nearest vacant spot, so that his companions might not think that he was sporting an air of superiority over them. His magnetic personality drew love and respect from all. He used to sit on the ground, even while eating, and slept on the ground with a simple mat serving as his bed. He greeted even small boys, as well as women. If some man shook hands with him, he would not unclasp his hand till the other did it first.

Once, a Christian chieftain named Adi bin Hatam al-Ta’i, came for an audience with the Prophet of Islam, who happened to be sitting on a cushion. On seeing the visitor he took the cushion from underneath and offered it to his Christian guest, himself preferring to sit on the ground. This admirable display of modesty by the great Prophet so deeply affected Adi bin Hatam al-Ta’i, that the Christian chief immediately embraced Islam.

This is how Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) taught us best of morals and excellent manners. By living a simple and ordinary life and treating everybody alike with courtesy and respect, he was able to spread the light of Islam. His immaculate personality and lofty character, coupled with his honesty and wisdom, attracted multitudes of people towards truth and justice.

Kindness and Generosity:

The Messenger’s social ties with his companions portrays the most wonderful picture of Islamic brotherhood ever heard of. The following narratives give us a glimpse of his firm ties, with the society in which he lived:

Anas bin Malik, who used to frequent the Prophet’s assembly, says that whenever the Prophet missed any one of his companions for a period of three days, he used to inquire about that person, would pray for him and if he happened to be ill, would pay him a visit.

Another companion Jarir bin Abdullah, says that once the Prophet entered a house, and soon it was full of people. When Jarir went in, he found no vacant spot and therefore sat outside. The Prophet observing Jarir took a piece of his clothing, rolled it up and threw it, indicating him to spread it underneath him. Jarir says he caught hold of the clothing, put it on his face and kissed it.

The above actions of the Prophet provide us the finest example of a leader unaffected by power and position whereas when we look at the lives of despots and other petty potentates, we see them sporting arrogant airs, trying to humiliate people, and always keeping a distance from the oppressed and the downtrodden.

It will not be out of context here to cite another example from the Prophet’s life. Once a man came to the Messenger of Allah but on entering his presence, started trembling with fear. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) seeing the visitor terribly shaken and nervous, smiled and comforted him with utmost tenderness, saying: “Relax man take it easy, I am no king but the son of a Quraishite woman who used to eat dried meat.”

How wonderfully he comforts a frightened Arab nomad, who accustomed to the days of Jahiliyyah was scared to death on entering the Prophet’s presence. This is one of the many instances, which prove that he is the Mercy for the human race and not one of those power-drunk despots who kill and terrorize Allah’s creatures.

Such supreme examples of kindness and generosity helped build a strong and coherent society and spread love and affection among the believers. Therefore it is obligatory for Muslims to learn a lesson from these admirable manners and tread the brilliant path blazed by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). All Muslims should endeavor to acquire these lofty morals, especially those invested with power and authority, so that peace, love and harmony may prevail all around. If it is a real Islamic society, it will naturally be just and free, where everyone can defend their right and even advise those in authority if they happen to err.

Courage and Valor:

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was second to none in Allah’s creation, beginning from Adam till eternity. He was an excellent exemplar of the noblest manners and merits including courage and bravery. His valor was a byword among his contemporaries, for he stood up gallantly against the heaviest odds, endured pain and injuries a victoriously fought, overcame and showed mercy to the stonehearted infidels of ignorant Arabia. Magnanimity is the finest form of valor and the Prophet excelled in this particular field, forgiving enemies and freeing multitudes from injustice, oppression, servitude and ignorance.

Following are some of the glimpses of his many gallant deeds:

He endured pain and sufferings for thirteen long years in Mecca, inviting people to Islam, without once being over-awed by the sheer force and numbers of arrogant Jahiliyyah. And all these single handedly without any group or supporters except his few weak but devoted followers.

After migrating to Medina he organized an army to defend against the idolaters and he himself led the faithful in many a battle against overwhelming odds, always coming out victorious. The Battles of Badr, Khandaq, Uhud, Khaibar, Hunayn and the conquest of Mecca were some of the epoch-making events.

His faithful and equally brave cousin Imam Ali (a.s.), who was the standard bearer in several decisive battles and who while defending Islam and the Prophet, sent many obstinate bullies of ignorant Arabia to the eternal fire, describes the Messenger’s bravery as follows:
“You have beheld me on the day of Badr, all of us took refuge with the Prophet (s.a.w.), and he was the nearest one to the enemy ranks. He was on that day, the bravest of us all.”

Anas bin Malik, a companion, describes the Prophet as the bravest and the most generous of all men. Anas citing an example says that one night Muslims heard loud noises coming from outside the town. Thinking it to be enemy forces they rushed out to the place from where the noises were coming but to their surprise found the Prophet of Islam at the spot well ahead of them. The incident indicates Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) valor and courage; how he sallied forth in the dark night alone to trace the source of those strange sounds, without once being scared of the enemy or whatever that lurked around.

A Perfect Family Man:

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the supreme example of a family man. He was a loving husband, an affectionate father and a doting grandfather. As long as the faithful Khadija was alive, he never took another wife. Even later on in life, when he had married several women, he used to cherish the loving memory of the faithful Khadija.

His marriages were not for pleasure, but were a humanitarian means to further the cause of Islam, as is evident from the women he married. In the case of Sawda, Umm Salama and Zainab bint Khuzaima, it was to take care of poor and helpless widows well in their middle ages, while the marriage to Juwairiyah was to grant her freedom from captivity. Still others such as those to Umm Habiba, Safiya, Ayesha, Hafsa and Maimoona were meant for uniting some prominent Arab tribes, who were often at loggerheads with each other, and also to safeguard the internal political status of the newfound Islamic State. And the marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh was for the sake of enacting a new law, because she was the divorcee of his adopted son Zaid bin Hareth. As the Holy Qur’an testifies, the Prophet married her in order to put an end to the then prevalent belief that adopted sons were like real sons and that wives or widows of adopted sons were like daughter-in-laws. In short, the philosophy behind his marriages was entirely revolutionary and ushered in positive changes in ignorant Arabia.

He was an affectionate father and his only surviving child, daughter Fatima (a.s.), was dearer to him than life. His famous Hadith: “Fatima is apart of me, and whoever annoys her (in fact) annoys me,” stands as a firm testimony to this fact. History is a witness that he used to stand up to greet his daughter. Many prominent and wealthy Arabs had approached him for Fatima’s hand, but he politely refused them, and according to divine commandment married her to his faithful cousin. Ali (a.s.).

Hence Fatima and Ali were the parents of his two grandsons Hasan and Husain; through whom the continuity of the Prophet’s noble progeny has been ensured. Hasan and Husain were the apple of his eyes and he affectionately doted on them. They used to play with him and accompany him to the mosque. Once when the two grandsons were seated on his shoulders, a companion remarked: “What and excellent mount”, to which the Prophet retorted “What excellent riders too”.

Thus, Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) behaviour with his illustrious Ahlul-Bait (household) is a lesson for us. It was not blind love of a doting father or grandfather as some may misinterpret but was something divinely ordained as is clear from several verses of the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, it is obligatory for all Muslims to love and respect his chosen family, and adhere to their radiant path, which is the only way to save the Ummah from pitfalls. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Preparation for Ramadan

Fasting

It is recommended to fast some days in Rajab and Shabaan, as it is the time during which an individual’s acts or deeds are presented before the Holy Creator. Fasting will also get the body accustomed to the physical and mental strain of fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

Praying Nawafil and Tahajud

Praying Nawafil and Tahajood will get one used to standing for long periods of time as is the case with Taraweeh prayers. This extra worship draws a believer closer to Allah.

Reading Qur’an

Reading Qur’an is a good practice as it helps the believer come closer to Allah, subhana wa talla, through understanding and implementing His commandments.

Giving Sadaqah

Giving sadaqah has a high reward and helps create positive feelings within the ummah as the poor feel that they are looked after.

Sleeping Earlier

Sleeping earlier will make it easier for the individual to get up before fajr prayer to have suhur, in preparation for the day long fast.

Refraining from Gossip, Slander, Backbiting

Controlling the tongue is important as backbiting is not encouraged in Ramadan or in any other month. (O ye who believe!…And do not speak ill of each other Behind their backs. Would any Of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it..But fear God: For God is Oft-Returning Most Merciful). Surat Al-Hujurat: Verse 12

Calling and Visiting Relatives

It is important to create positive feelings within the extended family, so taking the time to make a phone call or visiting a relative will be much appreciated.

Be Patient

Fasting teaches one patience as anger must be controlled and tempers soothed because Ramadan is a month of mercy.

Ramadan and the month of Sha’ban

Sha’ban is the name of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is named so because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that they dispersed to carry out raids and forays. Others maintain that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e. it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.

Sha’ban is between Rajab and Ramadan, two very important months. Fasting in Sha’ban is a preparatory fast for Ramadan. If an individual begins fasting in Sha’ban he or she will have become used to fasting and will feel strong and energetic when Ramadan comes.

Sha’ban paves the way for Ramadan and deeds performed during this month, such as fasting, reciting from the Holy Qur’an, and giving charity, are lifted to up the Most Exalted, Allah. Habeeb ibn Abi Thaabit used to say, when Sha’baan came, “This is the month of reciters (of the Qur’aan).” When Sha’baan came, ‘Amr ibn Qays al-Malaa’i used to close his store and devote his time to reading the Qur’aan.

It is also important to fast in Sha’ban because many people do not pay attention to it, as it is between two important months. People become so preoccupied with those two that they neglect fasting in Sha’ban and according to a hadeeth, it is preferred (mustahab) to do acts of worship during a time where people are negligent.

However, to avoid adding extra days to the fast of Ramadan, fasting on the ‘day of doubt’ is prohibited. The ‘day of doubt’ is the day when people are uncertain whether Ramadan, sighting of crescent moon, has commenced or not. “Ammaar said: whoever fasts on this day has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam)”.

Hadith 1:
Abu Hurairah (radiullaho anho) reported the Messenger of Allah,(sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam), as saying: ‘Rajab is the month of Allah. Shabaan is my month and Ramadan is that of my Ummah. Shabaan removes the sins of man and Ramadan purifies him completely.’

Hadith 2:
The messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Between Rajab and Ramadan is the sacred month of Shabaan. People are unmindful about it, yet the deeds of man are to be presented to Almighty Allah in it. It is for this reason that l desire my deeds to be presented when I am in a state of fasting.

Hadith 3:
The Holy Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) also said: ‘Shabaan enjoy superiority over the months as l have superiority over all the Prophets {peace be upon him}.

Hadith 4:
The Holy Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa salla) also said: ‘when the month of Shabaan approaches you, cleanse your souls to receive the blessed month of Ramadan. Rectify your intentions, for verily the greatness of Shabaan is like my greatness is over all the Prophets. Take heed Shabaan is my month and anyone who observes one fast in it, my intercession will become lawful for him.’

‘Aa’ishah (radiullaho anha) said: “The Messenger of Allaah, (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allaah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’baan.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1833; Muslim, no. 1956).According to a report narrated by Muslim (no. 1957), “He used to fast all of Sha’baan, he used to fast all but a little of Sha’baan.”

Shab-e Baraat-The night of Acquittal:
Commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous that the night which the Qur’an calls ‘the blessed night’ is the fifteenth night of Sha’ban. On this glorious evening, the decent of the Qur’an began from the Divine Tablet to the worldly heaven.

Some hadith regarding ‘the blessed night’ are:

Hadith 1
Mother of the believers Aisha {radiullaho anha} states that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Verily Almighty Allah pervades the worldly heaven with a special glance of compassion and forgives more followers of my ummah than all the hair of the sheep of Bani Kalb.’

Hadith 2
Abu Baker Al Sideeq (radiullaho anho) says that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Spend the Night of Baraat in offering nafl Prayers and observe the fast on the fifteenth day. Without doubt it is a night full of blessings and excellence. Allah Almighty proclaims on the night ‘Is there anyone who is desirous of peace and security that l may grant him peace and safety? Is there anyone who seeks sustenance that l may grant him sustenance? Is there anyone who seeks this and this, that l may grant him that? This proclamation and beneficence continue until the break of dawn.’

Hadith 3
In another Hadith it is reported that ‘the hearts of believers who keep alive the two nights of Eid and the fifteen nights of Shabaan, ie by engaging in Zikar of Allah, will not experience death on that day when every heart will be dead.

Hadith 4
It is reported by Ayesha, (radiu Allahu anha) that the messanger of Allah (sala Allahu alhi wasallam) said:”oh Ayesha! Do you know what happens on this night? i.e the night of Baraat. She answered “please inform me what takes place on this night. The master of both worlds replied:” on this night Almight Allah records all the names of those who are to be born in the coming year,and those who would be dying in it, the deeds of man are raised to Him on this night and the sustenace of man descends in it.

By Marwa Afifi

Uplifting Our Moral Character in Ramadan

During the sacred month of Ramadan, believers strive to purify body and soul and increase their taqwa, god-consciousness. This purification of body and soul harmonizes between the inner and outer spheres of an individual.

Muslims aim to improve their body by reducing food intake and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Over indulgence in food is discouraged and eating enough to silence the pain of hunger is encouraged. Muslims should be active, tending to all their commitments and never falling short of any duty.

On a moral level, believers strive to attain the most virtuous characteristics and apply them to their daily situations. They try to show compassion and mercy to others, exercise patience, and control their anger. In essence, Muslims are trying to improve their moral character and cultivate good habits.

Morality is perfected on three levels: individual, communal, cosmic. On an individual level, a Muslim strives to adopt honesty, justness and compassion with him or herself. Being honest is important as it separates truth from falsehood and gives the Muslim a clear direction and or focus in life.

On a communal level, a Muslim strives to positively interact with other members of society, treating them with kindness and sincerity. A positive contribution should also be made to benefit the general public.

On the cosmic level, encompassing the earth, the heavens, and the Almighty Creator, the Muslim attempts to increase his God-consciousness and his or her understanding that he or she is accountable for every action. This creates a love/fear relationship which drives a Muslim to obey Allah through love of Allah, and never to invoke Allah’s wrath, for fear of Allah.

Moral Perfection

Fasting encourages not only fasting from food but also from malicious and idle talk, slandering and backbiting. Muslims are encouraged to engage in intellectual, contemplative, and peaceful conversation. They are encouraged to look at their characters and aim to improve them.

Character is the essence of one’s being or one’s inner reality. It evolves from one’s consciousness and is sustained and further developed through consistency and determination. Habits become part of a character through repetition and consistency.

Aristotle said: “You are what you repeatedly do.” Hence, habits become conditioned responses, formed through repetition, that eventually become unconscious behavior.

On the same token, Shakespeare said, “first we make our habits then our habits make us.” Thinking in a specific pattern creates a mental path which affects our attitude and behavior.

Our thoughts, following a specific mental path, affect our attitude which affects our actions. Our actions are determined by our habits, repeated forms of action, which affect our character. And our character determines our destiny.

The pursuance of taqwa (piety) and an enhanced understanding of Islam should be reflected through one’s moral character. Good habits should be cultivated and bad habits should be changed.

Good habits, rearing good results, are profitable to the Muslim in this world and in the Hereafter. Good habits will also positively affect the individual, his or her family, and society as a whole, because his or her virtuous characteristics will guide him or her to do what is right.

Bad habits, on the other hand, should be forsaken as they yield bad results. It harms a Muslim to adopt these habits both in this world and the next, because no one can benefit from such actions: not the individual, nor his family, nor the society.

Islam defines good habits, virtues, and bad habits, vices, as two forces in eternal opposition. Virtues are cultivated through conformity to Islamic ideals and principles whereas vices are cultivated through opposition to Islamic rules. Good character emanates from virtues and bad character emanates from vices.

Improving character can be achieved through overcoming bad habits. In the words of Roman orator, Cicero, ” consuetudo consuetudine vincitur = habit is overcome/ conquered by habit.

Ramadan is an ideal period for filtering out bad habits and developing a virtuous character. Such a character, as referred to by Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alahi wa sallam, serves as a shield against evil and wrongfulness.

As Muslims, we should all strive to nurture noble qualities and forsake bad qualities. We should learn to be more considerate, generous, patient, and compassionate. We should refrain from cursing, yelling, gossiping and being arrogant, and many other evils that we recognize all too easily.

As we undertake the physical and spiritual responsibility of fasting, we should reflect on the words of our beloved Prophet, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam. He referred to Ramadan as a blessed month in which Allah as made fasting obligatory on those who are able; whosoever denies himself of the benefits of that month denies himself many virtues.

Essay by Marwa Afifi

Taraweeh Prayers in Ramadan

Taraweeh prayers are part of the physical and spiritual exercise Muslims perform during the month of Ramadan. They are daily nightly prayers that are observed after Isha’a prayers and are carried out in congregation. The leader of the congregation recites the entire Qur’an throughout the month because it is mustahab, preferred according to the consensus of Muslim scholars. It gives the listeners a chance to hear the Holy Qur’an in its entirety and gives them a chance to reflect over its meanings.

The Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, said: “Whoever observes night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out.” (Muslim)
The origin of the word, Taraweeh, lies in the Arabic root, raaha, which means to rest and or relax. Taraweeh has been so named because after every four raka’ats, the early Muslims would often relax for a few minutes and then continue praying until the completion of the Taraweeh. The practice of performing Taraweeh prayers in the mosque was established by our beloved Prophet Mohammed, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam. He did not continually observe the Taraweeh prayers for fear that it would be made compulsory on all Muslims to do so throughout the Holy month of Ramadan. According to the compilations of Bukhari and Muslim, Aisha, radiu Allahu anha, has been reported as saying:

“The Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, observed Taraweeh prayer in the mosque one night and people prayed with him. He repeated so the following night and the number of participants grew. The companions congregated the third and fourth night, but the Messenger did not show up. In the morning he told them, “I saw what you did last night, but nothing prevented me from joining you except my fear that it might be made mandatory on you in Ramadan.”

Taraweeh prayers consist of various numbers of raka’ats, ranging from 11 to 39. Aisha, radiu Allahu anha, was asked about the prayer of the Prophet, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam? She replied: “He prayed in Ramadan as well as other times eleven raka’ats.” (Muslim/Bukhari). When the Prophet, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, was asked about Taraweeh prayers, he said “It may be done in two raka’ats, and if anyone fears the appearance of morning, he should pray one rak’ah as a witr for what he has already prayed.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

Muslims are encouraged to perform the Taraweeh prayers to increase their level of spirituality. Also, the sense of unity amongst Muslims strengthens as they meet daily in the mosque for the performance of the prayers.

Both men and women alike are encouraged to perform Taraweeh prayers in the mosque. Prophet Mohammed, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, said: “Prevent not the women servants of Allah, from going to the masjid of Allah.”

Muslims are often moved upon hearing the recitation of the Qur’an however, it is not recommended that they cry in a loud voice. Light weeping is acceptable but loud cries may detract others from focusing during their prayer.

There are many spiritual rewards to performing the Taraweeh prayer so we should participate in them this Ramadan and actively seek the pleasure of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, Allah.

By Marwa Afifi

What breaks the fast and what does not

Section Six – That which breaks the fast and that which does not

In this section read about:
1. Sexual intercourse whilst on travel
2. Rulings regarding wet dreams in Ramadan
3. Kissing and playing with one’s wife whilst fasting
4. Ejaculated semen in foreplay with wife whilst fasting
5. Bleeding whilst fasting
6. Drops of blood flowed from nose whilst fasting
7. Blood drawn out for analysis purposes
8. Donating blood whilst fasting
9. The ruling regarding the cupper and the cupped
10. When does blood flowing out nullify the fast?
11. Vomitting whilst fasting
12. Taking an injection whilst fasting
13. Using the miswaak whilst fasting
14. Using toothpaste whilst fasting
15. The use of oil-based and liquid-based perfumes whilst fasting
16. Applying perfume on the hands, face, body and clothes
17. Using atomiser mouth fresheners whilst fasting
18. Using eye drops and ointment/liniment for the eyes whilst fasting
19. Being abusive whilst fasting
20. Backbiting and slandering whilst fasting
21. Bad speech during the month of Ramadan
22. Sleeping throughout the day whilst fasting
23. Swallowed water taking a bath, whilst fasting
24. Tasting food whilst fasting

1. Sexual intercourse whilst on travel

Question: Is it permissible for the traveller to have sexual intercourse with his wife during the day of Ramadan?

Response: In the Name of Allaah and all Praise is for Allaah. If he were a traveller or suffering from an illness which permitted him to break his fast then there is no expiation nor problem for him but, instead, it is for him to make up the day for which he had sexual intercourse with his wife. This is because the traveller and the one who is ill are permitted to break the fast, engage in sexual intercourse and the like of this. Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) has said: {(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) feed a poor person (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]. The ruling for the woman in this regard is the (same) ruling (as) for the man. So, if she were travelling or suffering from an illness which made it difficult for her to fast, there would be no expiation for her to carry out.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 439/Fatwa No.363)

2. Rulings regarding wet dreams in Ramadan

Question: If one who is fasting has a wet dream during the day in Ramadan, does this nullify his fast or not and should he perform the ritual purification (of ghusl)?

Response: If one who is fasting has had a wet dream during the day in Ramadan, then his fast is sound and is not affected by the wet dream, because he had not done so intentionally. However, it is obligatory for him to perform the ritual purification (ghusl) so as to perform the prayer. To be prompt in performing the ritual purification is better, but not obligatory, and Allaah knows best.Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 440/Fatwa No.365), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Page 162)

3. Kissing and playing with one’s wife whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for one who is fasting to kiss his wife and play with her on the bed during the days of Ramadan?

Response: Yes, it is permissible for one who is fasting to kiss his wife and play with her during the day in Ramadan. However, if he excretes semen then his fast becomes nullified. If this occurs during the day in Ramadan, it is obligatory he refrains (from all that which nullifies the fast) for the rest of the day and it is obligatory that he makes up the fast for that day. If this occurs in other than Ramadan, then his fast is nullified but it is not obligatory for him to refrain. However, if his fast was that which was obligatory upon him, then it is obligatory he make up that day. If the fast was supererogatory (naafilah), then he doesn’t have to make it up.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 454/Fatwa No.383)

4. Ejaculated semen in foreplay with wife whilst fasting

Question: A man came to his wife during the day in Ramadan without having skin contact with her. Then he ejaculated semen. We wish to know what the ruling is for him?

Response: We inform you that your fast that day is nullified and it is obligatory that you make it up and there is no expiation for you to make as this is only particular to sexual intercourse.Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal-ash-Shaykh / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 455/Fatwa No.385), also (Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Samaahatu ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal-ash-Shaykh, Volume 4/Page 190-191))

5. Bleeding whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling of the one who bleeds whilst fasting?

Response: If the person was to bleed without intention whilst fasting, then his fast is valid.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 461/ Fatwa No.394), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.12082)

6. Drops of blood flowed from nose whilst fasting

Question: The questioner says he was fasting in Ramadan and when he touched his nose some drops of blood flowed out without intention. Does this affect my fast? Is my fast that day valid or do I have to repeat it?

Response: If the situation is as you state, then your fast is valid and there is no need for you to repeat it. This does not affect your fast, Allaah-Willing.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 463/ Fatwa No.397), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.1730)

7. Blood drawn out for analysis purposes

Question: What is the ruling regarding someone who has half a measure of blood drawn out of his right arm for analysis purposes whilst fasting during the day in Ramadan?

Response: The fast is not nullified for this (analysis), rather it is exempted from. This is because it is a necessity and not from that which is known, from the pure Sharee’ah, to break the fast.Shaykh Ibn Baaz (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 465/ Fatwa No.400)

8. Donating blood whilst fasting

Question: Does donating blood during the day in Ramadan break the fast?

Response: Yes! If he donates and a lot of blood is drawn out, then he breaks his fast as it is regarded as similar to cupping (hijaamah).Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 467, Fatwa No.405)

9. The ruling regarding the cupper and the cupped

Question: Is the fast of the cupper and the cupped broken during the day in Ramadan? What is the ruling, do they continue with their fast broken or make up for that which has passed or what?

Response: The fast of the cupper and the cupped is broken and they must refrain from all that which breaks the fast, and they must make up this day. That which the Prophet said is: ((The cupper and the cupped have broken their fast)).The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 470/ Fatwa No.408), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.11917)

10. When does blood flowing out nullify the fast?

Question: With respect to blood flowing out, what are the situations in which it nullifies the fast?

Response: The fast is not nullified except by cupping according to that which is correct. There is a strong difference of opinion in this and many see that the fast is not nullified even by cupping. However, the consensus is that cupping nullifies the fast.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 476/ Fatwa No. 416)

11. Vomitting whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling of one who vomits whilst fasting, does he have to make up his fast or not?

Response: It’s ruling is that he does not have to make it up. As for the one who intentionally vomits, then he must make up his fast, as the Prophet (saw) said: ((One who vomits, then he does not have to make it up, and he who intentionally vomits, then he has to make it up)). Transmitted by Imaam Ahmad and the Four Imaams of the Sunan (Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee, an-Nasaa’ee and ibn Maajah) with a Saheeh chain of narration on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah. Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 481/ Fatwa No. 424)

12. Taking an injection whilst fasting

Question: I took an injection in my vein during the day in Ramadan. Is my fast for this day valid or is it obligatory upon me to make up this day?

Response: If this injection was nutritional (in any form) then it nullifies the fast whether it is in the vein or other than that. If, however, it is a tranquiliser or an analgesic for pain pr that which is similar to it then this does not break the fast. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 485/ Fatwa No. 433)

13. Using the miswaak whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling concerning the one who fasts using a miswaak (tooth stick) after zawaal (when the sun is at its highest point and there is no shadow)?

Response: The use of the miswaak either before or after zawaal is a Sunnah as it is a Sunnah at other than these times. This is because the Hadeeth regarding the use of the miswaak is general and does not exempt the one who is fasting either before zawaal or after zawaal. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((The miswaak is a purifier for the mouth, (and) much liked by the Lord, . . .)). Also, he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((If it were not that I feared inconvenience for my Ummah, I would have ordered them to use the miswaak before each prayer)).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 491/ Fatwa No. 440), also (al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1 / Page 167)

14. Using toothpaste whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for one who is fasting to use toothpaste during the day?

Response: It is permissible for one who is fasting to use toothpaste , being careful that nothing from the solution goes down his throat. It is preferable he clean his mouth with a miswaak and other than it from that which doesn’t reach the throat, just as one should not exaggerate whilst gargling the water in the mouth during ablution (wudoo). Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 496/ Fatwa No. 445), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fatawaa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Fatwa No. 158)

15. The use of oil-based and liquid-based perfumes whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible to use perfume such as oil-based ‘ood and colognes and incense during the day in Ramadan?

Response: Yes, it is permissible to use them on the condition that one does not inhale the incense.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fatawaa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 499/ Fatwa No.451)

16. Applying perfume on the hands, face, body and clothes

Question: Does using liquid-based perfume from the bottle break the fast if one applies it on his hands, face, body and clothes?

Response: Using perfume in this described manner does not break the fast.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 500/ Fatwa No. 455), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’llmiyyah – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Fatwa No.9517)

17. Using atomiser mouth fresheners whilst fasting

Question: There exists in pharmacies freshners for the mouth in small atomisers. Is it permissible to use them during the day in Ramadan to remove the smell from the mouth?

Response: It is enough to use the miswaak which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) has recommended for the mouth whilst fasting rather than the atomisers for the mouth. There is no problem in using the atomiser as long as nothing reaches the throat. However, it is befitting not to dislike the odour (of the mouth) resulting from the fast, since it is indicative of obedience to Allaah as it is beloved to Allaah. It is mentioned in a hadeeth: ((The odour emmanating from the mouth of one who is fasting is more pleasant to Allaah than the smell of musk)). Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 501/Fatwa No.457), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Page 130)

18. Using eye drops and ointment/liniment for the eyes whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling regarding (putting) eye drops and ointment/liniment in the eyes?

Response: It is no problem for one who fasts to apply kohl to his eyes and likewise eye drops and (also) ears drops even if he finds the taste of them (reach) his throat. This does not break his fast. This is because it is neither food or drink and nor does it constitute food or drink. Rather, the evidence prohibits eating and drinking, so that which does not constitute this cannot be regarded as such. What we have mentioned is the opinion of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and it is correct.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 509/Fatwa No.469), also (Fiqh al-’Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 191-192)

19. Being abusive whilst fasting

Question: Some people, whilst driving in their cars and they are fasting, begin to use bad language leading to the abuse of others when the traffic becomes busy. So, what is the ruling concerning their fast?

Response: As for the fast, then it is correct as the impermissible statements and actions do not invalidate the fast. However, without doubt it reduces the reward and loses its benefits and fruits. From that which is intended from the fast is fear of Allaah (Taqwah) as He (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) said: {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183]. So, Allaah has explained the wisdom behind the obligation of fasting upon us and that is to attain fear of Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala). The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning his food and drink (i.e. his fasting)). Rather, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) commanded the one who is fasting that, should someone curse him or attempt to kill him, he should say: ((I am fasting)) such that the one who is swearing and abusing is deterred. By this, he will know that the one who is fasting has not responded because of any weakness but, rather, because of piety and fear of Allaah because he is fasting. That which is obligatory upon the fasting person and other than him is that he be patient and persevering, not allowing these conflicting issues to affect him regardless of how he feels inside. It is confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that a man said: ((O Messenger of Allaah, advise me)). He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) replied: ((Don’t become angry)) and he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) repeated this a number of times: ((Don’t become angry)). So, how many people feel remorse at what they have done in anger, and wish that they hadn’t said or done such and such whilst angry. But that which has come to pass is not possible to take back.Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ page 517/ Fatwa No. 481), also (al-Fataawa libni Fowzaan – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1/ Page 158-160)

20. Backbiting and slandering whilst fasting

Question: Does backbiting and slandering during the day in Ramadan break the fast?

Response: Backbiting and slandering does not break the fast. However, it reduces the effect of the fast. Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) says: {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183]. Also, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions and ignorance then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning food and water (whilst fasting) )).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 518/Fatwa No. 482), also (al-Fataawa lbni-’Uthaymeen, Kitaab ad-Da’waah, Volume 1/Page 166-167)

21. Bad speech during the month of Ramadan

Question: Does impermissible (Haraam) speech during the day in Ramadan nullify the fast?

Response: If we read the saying of Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala), {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183], we find the wisdom behind the obligation to fast is attaining fear of Allaah (Taqwah) and worshipping Allaah. Taqwah is to abandon all that is haraam and incorporating all that is commanded, avoiding all that is warned against. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning his food and drink (i.e. his fasting)). Based upon this, it is confirmation (for the one who is fasting) to abandon all that is haraam from speech and actions so as not to backbite, lie, slander or trade in haraam. So, keep away from haraam, and if a person were to do this throughout the entire month (of Ramadan), he would find himself upright for the rest of the year. Sadly, however, many people who fast do not differentiate between the time in which they fast and when they aren’t It has became a norm whereby they indulge in haraam speech, lying, cheating and so on. They don’t feel upon the peace and tranquility of the fast. These actions (of bad speech etc.) do not nullify the fast but do reduce the reward and, possibly, deflects the reward for the fast completely and Allaah’s Assistance is sought.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Faatwa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 520/ Fatwa No. 485), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 501-502)

22. Sleeping throughout the day whilst fasting

Question: During Ramadan, if one was to take the pre-dawn meal (sahoor) and pray the Fajr prayer, then sleep until noon and prayed the Dhuhr prayer after which he would sleep until Asr, then pray the Asr prayer and, again, sleep until the time of breaking the fast (at Maghrib), would his fast be correct?

Response: If the situation is as mentioned, then his fast is correct. However, continuing in this fashion throughout the day (i.e. sleeping) is a waste and neglect on his part, especially since the month of Ramadan is a blessed month. It is befitting that the Muslim seek benefit from that which will aid him by reading the Qur.aan aplenty, working (for halaal earnings) and seeking knowledge. And with Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) is the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 522/Fatwa No.488), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No. 12901)

23. Swallowed water taking a bath, whilst fasting

Question: A man who was fasting took a bath and due to the strong pressure of the water, he ended up swallowing some water without intending to. Does he have to make this fast up?

Response: He does not have to make this fast up because he hadn’t intended that, so his ruling is that of one who is forced and one who has forgotten.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 537/Fatwa No. 511), also (Majmoo’ Fataawa ash-Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez bin ‘Abdullaah bin Baaz, Volume 3/Page 252)

24. Tasting food whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for a cook to taste the food whilst fasting?

Response: There is no problem with tasting food out of necessity and this is done by placing it on the tip of the tongue to see how sweet or sour it is. However, nothing of it should be swallowed, rather, it should be spat out or taken out of the mouth and with that the fast is not nullified (according to the preferred opinion). And Allaah knows best. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 543/Fatwa No.524) / (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 46)

Rulings pertaining to the intention for fasting

Section Three – Rulings pertaining to the intention for fasting

In this section read about:
1. Establishing the beginning and ending of Ramadan by sighting the moon
2. Making the intention to fast in Ramadan
3. The ruling regarding hesitancy towards whether to fast or not
4. Fasted without making the intention until later in the day
5. That which constitutes the intention to fast in Ramadan
6. The place of the intention is in the heart

1. Establishing the beginning and ending of Ramadan by sighting the moon

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to rely upon astronomical calculations in order to establish the beginning and ending of fasting or is it a must that the new moon is seen?

Response: The Islaamic Sharee’ah is a merciful legislation and is general. Its rulings are appropriate to all of man and jinn upon their differing status whether they be scholars or illiterate, city people or villagers and for this reason Allaah made it easy for them the way to establish the timings of different forms of worship. He made signs showing their beginning and end times all these people can participate in establishing that. He made, for example the disappearing of the sun a sign for the beginning time of the Maghrib prayer and for the ending time of the ‘Asr prayer. He made the setting of the red horizon a sign for the beginning time of the ‘Ishaa. prayer. He made the sighting of the new moon after it had been hidden at the end of the previous month a sign for the beginning of the new lunar month and for the end of the previous month and he did not burden us to establish the beginning of the lunar month by means that only a few people know, that being knowledge of the stars and the science of astronomy. In this manner did the text from the Book (the Qur.aan) and the Sunnah make the sighting of the new moon and it being spotted as a sign for the Muslims to begin fasting the month of Ramadan as was the sighting of the new moon of Shawwaal a sign to stop fasting. The situation is also the same when establishing the `Eed of sacrifice and the day of ‘Arafah. Allaah (‘azza wa jal) said: {So he who from amongst you should witness the month should fast it} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]. And Allaah (‘azza wa jal) said: {They ask you about the new moons, say these are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 189]. And the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((When you see it (the new moon) then (start to) fast and when you see it (again) break your fast (stop fasting). If your vision was impaired (due to clouds or mist) complete the period of thirty days)). So he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) ordained that fasting start by affirming the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan and the end of the month of fasting be by affirmation of the new moon of Shawwaal. He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) did not link any of that to astronomical calculations nor to the movement of stars. Based upon this, the people acted in the time of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and in the time of the righteous Khaleefahs, the four Imaams and the three generations that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) bore witness to, with virtue and goodness. So going back to the science of astronomy to affirm the lunar months in beginning and ending forms of worship without actual sighting is from the innovations that has no good in it and has no basis in the Sharee’ah. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is holding fast to that which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and the righteous predecessors were upon by affirming the beginning and the end of the month of Ramadan, the `Eeds and the times of Hajj and their like with the sighting of the moon. And all good is in following the predecessors in religious matters and all evil is in the innovations that were introduced into the religion. May Allaah protect us and all the Muslims from all trials, open or hidden. Allaah is the one Who grants success. May the peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his companions.
The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Munay’. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 60-61/Fatwa No.27), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.386)

2. Making the intention to fast in Ramadan

Question: How does a person make the intention to fast in Ramadan? Is simply knowledge of the start of Ramadan sufficient to fast the rest of the days?

Response: The intention takes the form of a determination and a resolve to fast, and it is imperative to determine the intention to fast in Ramadan during the night and every night. And with Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) is the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.
The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 162/Fatwa No.94), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No. 11455)

3. The ruling regarding hesitancy towards whether to fast or not

Question: We heard the cannons tonight, (in Saudi Arabia, the cannons indicate the beginning and ending of Ramadan) more than once and we doubted whether or not it was `Eed or Ramadan so we waited until we heard something from the imaam before Fajr. But we didn’t hear anything. So what is the ruling regarding hesitancy towards whether to fast or not?

Response: It is obligatory upon a person to make verification and the basic rule (‘asl) is that things remain as they were. If there was something else it would have been openly clear so that the people would know and hence not make sahoor nor fast. In any case this day is considered as a day of Ramadan and if the ending of the month was established the matter would have been clear. So (based) upon this, it is obligatory upon the person to fast in such a situation without hesitancy. Because, the basic rule (‘asl) (in this case) is that Ramadan remains. If it became clear later on, that it was actually the day if `Eed he would break his fast.
Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 167/Fatwa No.101), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 476,477)

4. Fasted without making the intention until later in the day

Question: On the first night of Ramadan (preceding the first day of Ramadan), a person went to sleep before knowing that the next day will be the first day of fasting. So, when he woke up (and went) for the Fajr prayer he asked one of the worshippers, who happened to be the last one (left in the masjid) but he did not know. So this man continued as he was and did not eat (or drink) anything. When he reached work he found that the people were fasting and so, only then found out (for definite) about the fasting. So, based on this, he continued in this state and fasted until the evening. Was his fast correct on that day or does he have to make it up? We request you to give us a fatwa and may Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) grant you much good.

Response: One who does not know about the arrival of Ramadan except during the (first) day, then it is obligatory for him to refrain (from all that breaks the fast, from food and drink etc.) for the rest of the day, then make up that day because he did not make the intention to fast the previous night. And it is mentioned in many ahaadeeth that there is no fast for the one who did not make intention in the night for the obligatory fast. So, with this, some of the day passed whilst he had not made the intention to fast.
Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 168/Fatwa No.103) also, (al-Fataawa libni Fowzaan, Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1, pages 154-155)

5. That which constitutes the intention to fast in Ramadan

Question: Is it a must for one who is fasting, that when he makes the intention to fast in Ramadan that he specify that it is an obligatory fast?

Response: It is enough for him to make the intention that it is the fast of Ramadan and not say “I have made the intention that it is (an) obligatory (fast)”, since it is understood that the fast of Ramadan is obligatory.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 171/Fatwa No.108) also, (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 37)

6. The place of the intention is in the heart

Question: What is the ruling regarding making the intention vocally, such as when some people make the intention to fast (by saying); “O Allaah, I have made the intention to fast”?

Response: The place of the intention is in the heart and it is not permissible to vocally make the intention either for the prayer, or the fast, or the purification or other than these.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 173/Fatwa No.111), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 39)

The rulings pertaining to eid al-fitr

Section Twelve – The rulings pertaining to ‘eid al-fitr

In this section read about:
1. That which is recommended for the day of `Eid al-Fitr
2. What a Muslim says once the moon of Shawwaal has been sighted
3. Women leaving for the `Eid al-Fitr prayer
4. What to do when `Eid coincides with Friday

1. That which is recommended for the day of `Eid al-Fitr

Question: What is recommended for us to do on the day of `Eid al-Fitr?

Response: On the day of `Eid al-Fitr the Muslims display their joy at completing the fasting and the standing (the night prayer) and all other forms of worship. For certainly that is amongst the greatest blessings which Allaah has granted his servants. So they begin firstly by reciting the takbeer (the saying of: Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest)) on the night before the `Eid (continuing) until the following day before the (`Eid) prayer. Then they leave first thing in the morning to perform this worship which is the `Eid prayer in a specific manner. And this takes place outside the town (in an open officially designated area) with both men and women in attendance. Then they return (full of) joy and happiness at this blessing and begin exchanging greetings and well-wishing (each other) and they visit each other eating (throughout) the day as a sign of the end of this act of worship (fasting).Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 947/Fatwa No.934), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 181)

2. What a Muslim says once the moon of Shawwaal has been sighted

Question: We would like to know what a Muslim says once the moon of Shawwaal has been sighted (up until) before the `Eid prayer?

Response: That which is befitting is to increase in (reciting) the takbeer (the saying of: Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest)), and the tahleel (the saying of: laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is none truly worthy of worship except Allaah)), and the tahmEid (the saying of al-hamdu-lillaah (all Praise is for Allaah)), for that which Allaah (tabaarak wa ta’aala) (mentions): {and that you must magnify Allaah for having guided you so that you may be grateful} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]. Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 947/Fatwa No.935), also (Fiqh al-Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 215)

3. Women leaving for the `Eid al-Fitr prayer

Question: Is it permissible for the woman to leave (the home) for the `Eid al-Fitr prayer?

Response: Yes! It has been legislated to leave (the home) for the `Eid prayer and it has (also) been confirmed (likewise) for the women. And it is (mentioned) in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Umm ‘Atiyyah (radhi-yallaahu `anhaa) who said: ((We were commanded to leave (our homes) on the day of `Eid, even the virgin from behind her veil/screen, even the the menstruating (woman), so they would recite the takbeer and supplicate seeking the blessing of that day and it’s purification)). Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 948/Fatwa No.937), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 181) Women leaving for the `Eid al-Fitr prayer Question: Is it permissible for the woman to leave (the home) for the `Eid al-Fitr prayer? Response: Yes! It has been legislated to leave (the home) for the `Eid prayer and it has (also) been confirmed (likewise) for the women. And it is (mentioned) in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Umm ‘Atiyyah (radhi-yallaahu `anhaa) who said: ((We were commanded to leave (our homes) on the day of `Eid, even the virgin from behind her veil/screen, even the the menstruating (woman), so they would recite the takbeer and supplicate seeking the blessing of that day and it’s purification)).Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 948/Fatwa No.937), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 181)

4. What to do when `Eid coincides with Friday

Question: If any of the two `Eids fall on a Friday (Jumu’ah), do you pray the Jumu’ah (prayer) with its khutbah on that day or not?

Response: That which is legislated for the Muslims if the `Eid coincides with Friday is to pray the `Eid prayer and the Jumu’ah prayer in the masaajid (plural of masjid) where the Jumu’ah prayer is (normally) held. And it is permissible for one who attended the `Eid prayer to leave off the Jumu’ah and instead perform the Zuhr prayer.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / Majmoo’ Fataawa Samaahatu ash-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Volume 4/Page 504/Fatwa No. 556

The rulings pertaining to zakaah al-fitr

Section Eleven – The rulings pertaining to zakaah al-fitr

In this section read about:
1. The ruling of Zakaatul-Fitr
2.The ruling regarding forgetting to discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr
3. Failing to discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr before the `Eed prayer
4. Dispatched Zakaatul-Fitr to my country
5. The payment of Zakaatul-Fitr in money

1. The ruling of Zakaatul-Fitr

Question: Is Zakaatul-Fitr obligatory or (just) recommended? And upon whom is it obligatory?

Response: Zakaatul-Fitr is obligatory upon the Muslims because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) legislated it upon the male and the female and the young and the old. And he specified it to be one saa’ of food or dates or barley or raisins or cheese (one saa’ is equal to four mudd, and one mudd is equal to the amount held by cupping the two hands together. It is a measure by volume and not by weight). And he commanded that it be discharged before the people leave to perform the `Eed prayer. So it is a Prophetic obligation which has been legislated for the last part of Ramadan as a purification for the fasting one from any mistake or sexual intercourse (which may have come to pass). And it is food for the needy such that they do not have to wander around asking (begging). And with Allaah is the success.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 902/Fatwa No.885), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 188)

2. The ruling regarding forgetting to discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr

Question: What is the ruling regarding the one who had not discharged the Zakaatul-Fitr until during the (`Eed) khutbah (sermon) after the `Eed prayer, and that is because he had forgotten?

Response: Discharging the Zakaatul-Fitr before the (`Eed) prayer is obligatory, and whoever forgets then there is nothing upon him except to discharge it after that. This is because it is an obligation so it is upon him to discharge it when he remembers, and it is not permissible for anyone to intentionally delay it until after the `Eed prayer according to the most correct of the two opinions. This is because the Messenger (saw) commanded the Muslims to discharge it before the `Eed prayer.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 931-932/ Fatwa No. 914), also (Majmoo’ Fataawa Samaahatu ash-Shaykh ‘Abdul Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz, Volume 3/ Page 101)

3. Failing to discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr before the `Eed prayer

Question: If one does discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr before the `Eed prayer, is he relieved (of this obligation)?

Response: One who does discharge the Zakaatul-Fitr before the `Eed prayer then he is a sinner and he is not relieved (of this obligation), rather he must discharge it afterwards.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 932/Fatwa No.915), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 187)

4. Dispatched Zakaatul-Fitr to my country

Question: I dispatched the Zakaatul-Fitr, specifically pertaining to myself, to my family so that they can discharge it in my country. Is this action correct?

Response: (This is) not a problem, (and) you shall be rewarded inshaa.-Allaah. Discharging it in your area is better, so that you discharge it to the needy in the area in whch you reside, and this is better. However, if you dispatched it to your family to discharge it to the needy in your country then that is not a problem.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 941/ Fatwa No. 929), also (Majmoo’ Fataawa Samaahatu ash-Shaykh ‘Abdul Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz, Volume 3/ Page 97)

5. The payment of Zakaatul-Fitr in money

Question: Is it permissible to discharge the obligation of Zakaatul-Fitr on the first day of Ramadan? And is it permissible to distribute it in money?

Response: As for the discharging of it on the first day of Ramadan – there is Ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion among the scholars) about it. The most correct opinion is that it’s not permissible, because it is called Zakaatul-Fitr, and al-Fitr (ending of the fast) does not occur except at the end of the month. Also, the Messenger of Allaah [sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam] ordered that it be discharged before the people go out to the Prayer (Salaatul-`Eed). Along with that, the companions (Sahaabah) used to give out the Zakaatul-Fitr one or two days before the `Eed. As for discharging the Zakaatul-Fitr in MONEY, this is a point of Ikhtilaf (difference among the scholars). And the correct opinion – as I see it – is that it is not discharged except by (distribution of) FOOD. This is because Ibn ‘Umar [radhi-yallaahu 'anhumaa] said: “The Messenger of Allaah [sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam] made obligatory (the payment of) Zakaatul-Fitr from a Saa’ of dates or a Saa’ of barley…” (Bukhaaree 2:579), (One Saa’ is equal to four (4) Mudd, and one (1) Mudd is equal to the amount held by cupping the two hands together. It is a measure by volume not by weight). Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree [radhi-yallaahu 'anhu] said: “We used to distribute it (Zakaatul-Fitr) in the time of the Messenger of Allaah [sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam] as one saa’ of food, and our food was dates and barley and raisins and cottage cheese…”( Bukhaaree 2:582). So, it becomes clear from these two hadeeth that it (Zakaatul-Fitr) is not discharged except from FOOD. And the distribution of it in food displays it openly and shows it, and all of the members of the family know about it. In this way, there is an exhibition or manifestation of this aspect of the religion. As for discharging it in money, this causes it to be concealed (unseen), and perhaps the person may favor himself, by discharging it in money, and thus reduce its amount. (As the amount would differ if we compare the value of one saa’ of dates to one saa’ of barley for example. Since a saa’ of barley is about 7 riyals ($2.00), while a saa’ of dates ranges -according to quality – from 25 riyals ($7.00) for a lesser quality to 42 riyals ($12.00) for a medium quality, to 175 riyals ($49.00) for the best quality per saa’.)Therefore, strictly following the Law (al-Qur’aan and Sunnah) is best and it is blessed. Someone might argue that the distribution of food doesn’t benefit the poor. (But, we say) the poor person – if truly poor – must definitely benefit from the food.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 935/Fatwa No.921), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/ Page 463)

The rulings pertaining to i’tikaaf

Section Ten – The rulings pertaining to i’tikaaf

In this section read about:
1. The conditions of i’tikaaf
2. Ruling of i’tikaaf
3. When a person in i’tikaaf leaves his i’tikaaf

1. The conditions of i’tikaaf

Question: What are the conditions of i’tikaaf, and is fasting one of them? Is it permissible for the person in i’tikaaf to visit a sick person, answer an invitation, fulfil some of his family’s needs, or go to work?

Response: I’tikaaf is prescribed in a masjid in which the congregational prayer is established. If the person in i’tikaaf is from those upon whom Friday prayers are obligatory and the length of his i’tikaaf includes a Friday, then it is better to be in a masjid in which Friday prayers are established. Fasting is not (a) necessary (part of it). The sunnah is that he does not visit the sick during his i’tikaaf and that he does not answer the invitation, nor fulfil the needs of his family. He should not witness the funeral (by following it) and he should not go to work outside the masjid. This is due to what has been authenticated on the authority of ‘Aa.ishah (radhi-yallaahu `anhaa) that she said: ((the sunnah for he who is in i’tikaaf is that he does not visit the sick nor witness a funeral, nor touch a woman (his wife), nor have intercourse with her nor leave to fulfil a need except that which is necessary)). And with Allaah lies success. May the peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad his family and companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 862/Fatwa No.848), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.6718)

2. Ruling of i’tikaaf

Question: What is the ruling of i’tikaaf, and is it permissible to do it in other than the masaajid (plural of masjid)?

Response: I’tikaaf is sunnah (recommended but not obligatory), and is not correct except in the masaajid. Firstly: Because Allaah the Majestic the High said: {…while you are in i’tikaaf in the masaajid} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187]. He also said {…that they should purify My House for those who circumambulate it and make i’tikaaf in it} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 125]. The “House” is the Masjid al-Haraam (in Makkah). Secondly: If he were to make i’tikaaf in other than the masaajid, it would lead him to missing prayers with the congregation of Muslims in the masaajid and leaving it is a great sin. Or it would lead him to frequently go to the prayer, and his frequent leaving, going and coming contradicts the i’tikaaf, because the i’tikaaf is that the one doing it attaches himself (to the place of his i’tikaaf).

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 869/Fatwa No.855), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 111)

3. When a person in i’tikaaf leaves his i’tikaaf

Question: When does a person leave i’tikaaf, is it after sunset on the night prior to `Eed or after Fajr on the day of `Eed?

Response: The person in i’tikaaf leaves i’tikaaf once Ramadan finishes and it finishes as the sun sets the night prior to `Eed. He enters i’tikaaf at sunset (prior) to the 20th day of Ramadan. This is so as the last ten (nights) of Ramadan start from sunset of the night (prior) to the 20th day of Ramadan and ends at sunset of the night (prior) to `Eed.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 872/Fatwa No.859), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen Volume1/Page 551)

The excellence of the last ten nights of Ramadan and laylatul-qadr

Section Nine – The excellence of the last ten nights of Ramadan and laylatul-qadr

In this section read about:
1. The signs of Laylatul-Qadr
2. Distinguishing a particular night with worship

1. The signs of Laylatul-Qadr

Question: What are the signs of Laylatul-Qadr (the night of power)?

Response: From amongst the signs of laylatul-qadr is that it is a calm night and the believer’s heart is delighted and at peace with it, and he becomes active in doing good actions, and the sun on the following morning rises clearly without any rays.Shakyh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 852/ Fatwa No. 841), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 563)

2. Distinguishing a particular night with worship

Question: Some people seek laylatul-qadr so they active by offering their prayers and other forms of worship whilst they do not do likewise on other nights in Ramadan, so is this in accordance with that which is correct?

Response: No! It is not in accordance with that which is correct, for certainly laylatul-qadr changes. So it could be on the night of the twenty seventh, and it could be on any other night as has been indicated in many ahaadeeth. It has been confirmed that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((In that particular year laylatul-qadr was revealed on the night of the twenty first)). Therefore it is not befitting for a person to specify his stand (in prayer) on a particular night or distinguish a night which he yearns to be laylatul-qadr (likewise). (Rather) striving in all of the last ten nights is from the guidance of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), since when the last ten nights arrived he would tighten his waist belt and awaken his family and used to spend them all awake (in worship). So that which is befitting for the prudent believer is to strive in all of the last ten nights such that the reward does not pass him by.Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 855/Fatwa No.844), also (Fiqh al-Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 207)

The rulings pertaining to the night prayer and taraaweeh

Section Eight – The rulings pertaining to the night prayer and taraaweeh

In this section read about:
1. Continuing to pray the taraaweeh (prayers
2. The imaams elongating their supplication)

1. Continuing to pray the taraaweeh (prayers)
Question: Whoever prays the taraaweeh (prayers) must he then continue to pray them throughout Ramadan?

Response: No! He does not have to continue (to pray them) because it is a recommended (sunnah) prayer in that if he prays them then he is rewarded and if he leaves them then he is not a sinner, however (in leaving them) he misses out on a lot of good as we have said (before).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 837/Fatwa No.831), also (Fiqh al-Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 205-206)

2. The imaams elongating their supplication
Question: Some imaams in the masaajid, in Ramadan, elongate their supplication, and some of them shorten them, so what is correct?

Response: That which is correct is for it not to be excessive and nor to be short. So elongation which is difficult upon the people is forbidden. When news reached the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu) elongated his prayer when he was with his people, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) became so angry that he had not been angry in an exhortation similar to it before. And he said to Mu’aadh (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu): ((Are you a charmer O Mu’aadh?)). So that which is befitting is to shorten (the supplication) to that which has been reported (from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)), or increase for there is no doubt that elongating is difficult fo rthe people as it exhausts them especially the weak amingst them. Amongst the people there are those who are around him who do not wish to leave until before the imaam, so it becomes difficult for them to remain behind with the imaam. So my advice to my brothers the imaams is (to strike an even balance and) be between that which is long and that which is short. Just as it is befitting to leave them supplication sometimes such that the general (Muslims) to dont think the supplication is obligatory.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2 / Page 832 / Fatwa No. 829), also (al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1 / Pages 198-199)

The rulings pertaining to making up the missed days, expiation and feeding the needy

Section Seven – The rulings pertaining to making up the missed days, expiation and feeding the needy

In this section read about:
1. Did not make up the days from previous Ramadan
2. Delaying making up the fasts until arrival of following Ramadan
3. Ruling regarding one who had not fasted for many years
4. Ignorant about obligation of fasting
5. Did not make up days missed in Ramadan throughout her menstrual years
6. Pregnant wife unable to make up days remaining from Ramadan
7. Unable to fast for four years due to illness
8. Had sexual intercourse with my wife not knowing it was first day of Ramadan
9. Died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan

1. Did not make up the days from previous Ramadan

Question: Concerning the one who had days to make up from the previous Ramadan and had not done so when the following Ramadan arrived, is he a sinner and does he have to make an expiation or not?

Response: Anyone who has days to make up from the (previous) Ramadan then he has to make them up before (the arrival of) the next Ramadan. It is permissible for him to delay his fast until Sha’baan (the 8th month, just before Ramadan). However, if the following Ramadan arrives and he still has not made up the (missed) days without (a valid) reason, then he has committed a sin. So now he has to make up those days along with feeding a poor person for every day (he has to make up) as this is what the group of companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) had ruled with. The amount of food required would be half a saa’a for every day from that which is the norm in the country and is to be given to a number of people or, even, just one person. As for he who had a valid excuse for delaying in making up the fasts, because of illness or travel then he has to make up the days missed only and he does not have to feed any poor people, for the general statement of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala): {and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185]. And Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the Provider of Success.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 555/ Fatwa No. 537), also (al-Fataawa libni-Baaz, Kitaab ad-Da’waah, Volume 2/Page 158-159)

2. Delaying making up the fasts until arrival of following Ramadan

Question: What is required from the one who delays making up the fasts of one Ramadan until the arrival of the following Ramadan?

Response: If this was done for a valid reason, for example, he was ill in bed for eleven months and was unable to fast that which was required of him, then all he has to do is (once again) make up the days missed. However, if he was negligent and was able to fast (but didn’t) then he has to feed a number of poor people for every day that he didn’t make up as expiation for his negligence.Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 555/Fatwa No.538), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 60)

3. Ruling regarding one who had not fasted for many years

Question: What is the ruling regarding a Muslim who had not fasted (during the month of Ramadan) for many years, despite carrying out the other obligatory acts of worship upon him? Knowing he had nothing hindering him from fasting, does he have to make up that which he has missed if he makes repentance?

Response: That which is correct is that he doesn’t have to make up that which he has missed if he makes repentance. This is because all acts of worship are enjoined upon the believers at stated times. So, if someone intentionally delays any of them, such that the time passes without a (valid) reason, Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) will not accept this act from him. So based upon this, there is no point in making up that which he missed. However, he should make repentance to Allaah (‘azza wa-jall) and increase in doing good actions and one who seeks forgiveness, Allaah forgives him (inshaa’Allaah).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 556/Fatwa No. 539), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 536)

4. Ignorant about obligation of fasting

Question: Ten years ago, I reached adolescence as a result of the passing of it’s known signs. So in my first year of puberty I let Ramadan pass without fasting and this was without a valid, Islaamic reason but, rather, out of ignorance about it’s obligation at that time. Do I have to make up those days I missed and do I have to do anything other than make up those days such as expiation?

Response: You have to make up the days you missed for that particular month which you did not fast, in addition to making repentance and seeking forgiveness. Also, you have to feed a poor person for every day missed and it’s amount is half a saa’a of the food of the land such as dates, rice or other than these, if you are able to do that. If you are poor and unable to do so, then nothing is required of you except (fasting) the days you missed.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 559/Fatwa No. 542), also (al-Fataawa libni Baaz – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 2/Page 158)

5. Did not make up days missed in Ramadan throughout her menstrual years

Question: An old lady of sixty years of age was ignorant concerning the rulings of menstruation for many years. Throughout her menstrual years, she did not make up the days missed in Ramadan thinking they did not have to be made up. This was according to what she had heard from the sayings of the people in general.

Response: She has to seek repentance from Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) for that (which has passed) because she had not asked the people of knowledge. Also, she has to make up all the missed days and make expiation for each day missed by feeding a poor person half a measure of barley, dates, rice or that which is similar to this from the food of people. This is if she is able to do so. If she is unable to feed the poor, then this is (no longer) required and it will suffice that she make up the days missed only. And with Allaah is the success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 583/Fatwa No.567), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.1790)

6. Pregnant wife unable to make up days remaining from Ramadan

Question: In the year 1409h (1988), my wife did not fast for fourteen days due to her menses. Afterwards, she was able to fast for seven days and she had seven days left (to make up). Now, she is six months pregnant. I seek your assistance, is it enough to make an expiation for the remaining days (she needs to make up)? What should I do? May Allaah reward you.

Response: It is obligatory that your wife make up the days left from the Ramadan in which she did not fast due to her menses. If she delayed making these days up until the arrival of the next Ramadan without a valid, Islaamic reason, then she has to make those days up together with making expiation for each of the days left. The expiation will take the form of feeding a poor person for each day (left to make up), half a measure of dates or barley or that which is similar to this from the food of the people or else, a number of poor people according to the days left to make up. However, if the delay was due to pregnancy or an illness, then there is nothing more required of her except making up the days (missed or left). And with Allaah is the success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah bin Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 583/Fatwa No.568), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.13545)

7. Unable to fast for four years due to illness

Question: A man was struck by a chronic illness, so the doctors advised him not to fast. He was cured of this illness after a period of four years. What should he do now that Allaah has cured him? Should he make up that which has passed?

Response: Anyone who does not fast because of an illness then, after the illness has passed and he is able, it is obligatory for him to make those days up which he was unable to fast. This was mentioned by Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala): {(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]. For he who had not fasted for four consecutive Ramadans and has now been cured, then it is obligatory upon him to make up the days missed (in order). However, he should distance the days from each other according to his ability to (make up the) fast, until he makes up all that he needs to so that he relieves himself of the responsibility. It is not obligatory for him to make up the days all at once, as that which is mentioned by Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala): {So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones} [Soorah at-Taghaabun, Aayah 16]. This is the case since the time for making up the fasts is plenty. Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 592/Fatwa No. 577), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/Page 139)

8. Had sexual intercourse with my wife not knowing it was first day of Ramadan

Question: I had sexual intercourse with my wife during the day in Ramadan. I was not aware that it was the first day of Ramadan and nor did many other people until after the ‘Asr prayer so do I (now) have to make an expiation?

Response: There is nothing required of you except to make up the fast that you missed and there is no expiation to make. This is because you did not know that it was the first day of Ramadan so you did not violate the sanctity of the day of Ramadan intentionally.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 612/Fatwa No.608), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 69)

9. Died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan

Question: What is the ruling of one who has died whilst still having had days to make up from Ramadan?

Response: If he has died whilst still having days to make up from Ramadan, then the one who is in charge of his affairs from amongst his close relatives or inheritors should fast on his behalf. That which is mentioned in the hadeeth by ‘Aa.ishah is that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who has died whilst having days to make up from Ramadan, then the one who is in charge of his affairs must fast on his behalf)). If the one who is in charge of his affairs does not fast on his behalf then he must feed a poor person for every day (to be made up). Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 626/Fatwa No. 626), also (Fiqh al-’Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 202-203)

The categories of people (according to their defective circumstances) in fasting

Section Five – The categories of people (according to their defective circumstances) in fasting

In this section read about:
1. The fast of a young child who has not yet attained puberty
2. Not having to fast whilst travelling

1. The fast of a young child who has not yet attained puberty

Question: What is the ruling of the fast of a young (child) who has not yet attained puberty?

Response: The fasting of a young (child), as has preceded us, is not obligatory upon him. However, it is upon one who is in charge of his affairs to command him to (fast) and thereby prepare him (for it). And the fast of such a young (child) is (regarded) as a sunnah, in that there is a reward for him fasting, however, there is no sin upon him should he stop.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 237/Fatwa No.182) also, (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Pages 493)

2. Not having to fast whilst travelling

Question: For which type of journey is not having to fast permissible?

Response: The journey for which it is permissible to shorten the prayer and not fast is approximately 83 kilometres. There are some amongst the scholars who do not specify a distance for the journey, rather, all that is commonly understood as a journey amongst the people constitutes a journey. The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) used to shorten the prayer if he travelled 3 faraasikh (plural of farsakh, i.e. 3 miles – which is equal to 9 miles). And for the impermissible journey, it is not acceptable to shorten the prayer or not to fast because a journey (undertaken) for (any) evil acts is not appropriate for (such a) permissibility. However, some of the people of knowledge do not differentiate between a journey (undertaken) for (any) evil acts or a journey in obedience (to Allaah) for the generality of the evidence (available). And (ultimately) the (complete) knowledge is with Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 306/Fatwa no.249), also (al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1/Pages 179-180)

The suhoor (pre-dawn meal), the abstaining (imsaak) and breaking the fast (iftaar)

Section Four – The sahoor (pre-dawn meal), the abstaining (imsaak) and breaking the fast (iftaar)

In this section read about:
1. Fasted without taking the sahoor (pre-dawn meal)
2. Preferred food items to break the fast with
3. The reward for breaking the fast wth dates
4. Nothing but water to break the fast
5. Is it permissible to eat after the Adhhaan for a supererogatory fast?
6. Fajr is approaching and I need to make ghusl, and haven’t had sahoor
7. Sun does not set until late, so when should we break our fast?
8. I had forgetfully eaten whilst fasting
9. Giving food and drink to the Fasting person

1. Fasted without taking the sahoor (pre-dawn meal)

Question: A person went to sleep before the sahoor in Ramadan whilst having the intention to take the sahoor. But, he slept through ’til the morning. Is his fast correct or not?

Response: His fast is correct because the sahoor is not a condition for the correctness of the fast. Rather it is preferable, for that which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said ((Take the sahoor for certainly in it is blessing)). (This hadeeth has been) agreed upon by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 185/Fatwa No.124) also, (al-Fataawa libni Baaz, Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 2/Page 161)

2. Preferred food items to break the fast with

Question: Which food items are preferred for the fasting person to break his fast with?

Response: The most preferred to break the fast with are fresh dates and if they are unavailable, then dry dates and if they are (also) unavailable, then with water. And the evidence for this is the Hadeeth of ‘Aa.ishah who said: ((The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) used to break his fast with fresh dates and if they were unavailable, then with dry dates. If they were unavailable then he used to take water)). However, if none of these are available to him, then it is permissible for him (to break his fast) with any permissible food items. And (still) if nothing is available to him then he should simply make the intention to break the fast.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 187/Fatwa No.126), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 15)

3. The reward for breaking the fast wth dates

Question: Is there any reward for (breaking the fast with) these preferable (food items)?

Response: One who does so in following the Prophet’s (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) example, then for him is the reward of following him. Even if it is in the (simply mundane) acceptable (mubaah) matters (i.e. where there is no reward nor any sin attached to the action), if he were to follow (him) in these, then he would be rewarded for that action. Because of this, the scholars say: ‘Certainly with good intention, good habits become acts of worship’.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 187/Fatwa No.127), also (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 15)

4. Nothing but water to break the fast

Question: If a person is fasting during Ramadan and is travelling to another country and he does not have anything except water, what does he do?

Response: If a person is fasting and the sun sets and he does not find anything to break his fast with except water, then he should break his fast with the water because breaking the fast with fresh or dried dates is preferable but not obligatory. And with Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) is the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions. The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head:

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 188/Fatwa No.128), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No. 11803)

5. Is it permissible to eat after the Adhhaan for a supererogatory fast?

Question: If I wanted to fast but was unable to wake up before the Adhhaan of the second Fajr, is it permissible for me to eat after the Adhhaan knowing that this is a supererogatory fast?

Response: If the situation is as you have stated, then do not eat or drink after the Adhhaan (of the second Fajr) so long as you wish to fast, even if your fast is a supererogatory one. If you were to eat after this Adhhaan, your fast would become nullified.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising- Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 198/Fatwa No.139), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.4310)

6. Fajr is approaching and I need to make ghusl, and haven’t had sahoor

Question: If the time for Fajr is approaching in Ramadan and I need to make ghusl but there is not enough time to perform it nor eat the sahoor, should I perform the ghusl and miss the sahoor or should I eat the sahoor and delay the ghusl until after Fajr?

Response: It is better to eat the sahoor because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((Eat the pre-dawn meal (sahoor) for in it is blessing)), and delay the ghusl because it’s time is plenty. So, if Fajr has arrived and you have not made ghusl, then make it and pray and your fast will not be affected. It has been confirmed on the authority of ‘Aa.ishah and Umm Salamah (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhumaa) that: “if the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) entered the time of Fajr whilst in a state of impurity (Junub) from having had relations with his wife, then he used to make ghusl and fast”. (The authenticity of this narration is) Agreed upon.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 200/Fatwa No.141)

7. Sun does not set until late, so when should we break our fast?

Question: We live in a land in which the sun does not set until 21:30 (09:30pm) or 22:00 (10:00pm), so when should we break our fast?

Response: Break your fast when the sun has set. So long as you have a night and day in 24 hours, it is obligatory that you fast even if the day is long.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 212/Fatwa No.155)

8. I had forgetfully eaten whilst fasting

Question: I fasted a day but I had forgotten during the morning and had eaten. Then, I continued with my fast. Is there any sin upon me?

Response: One who forgetfully eats or drinks whilst fasting should complete his fast for, certainly, it was Allaah who provided this food and drink for him as has been mentioned in the Hadeeth. Allaah has forgiven the mistake and forgetfulness and does not take anyone to account until they have done an act intentionally.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 224/Fatwa No.169)

9. Giving food and drink to the Fasting person

Question: In Ramadan last year (1409H/1988), my husband returned home from work and when he entered the house he asked me to bring him a glass of water to drink so I didn’t remind him that he was fasting. I looked at him to confirm if he was fasting or not and it became clear that he had forgotten that he was (fasting). So, I proceeded to bring him the glass of water to drink. When he had drunk the water he remembered that he was fasting and admonished me for not reminding him of it. Then, I felt a fear of Allaah about this action of mine. Please inform me, and may Allaah reward you.

Response: You have committed a sin in bringing your husband, who was fasting, a glass of water to drink. It was befitting for you to remind him about the fast when he asked you for water. As for your husband’s fast that day, then it remains valid providing he drunk the water out of forgetfulness.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 225/Fatwa No.171), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.13561)

Rulings pertaining to the arrival of Ramadan and sighting the moon

Section Two – Rulings pertaining to the arrival of Ramadan and sighting the moon

Does sighting the new moon in one country necessitate fasting for those in other countries as well?

Question: If the Muslims saw the new moon of Ramadan in one country, would it be upon the Muslims in other countries to fast (aswell)?

Response: We do not doubt the different settings (of the moon) and the difference between two countries in sighting the moon. For this reason many scholars held that every country should have their own sighting if there was (between them) an actual difference (of settings). Their proof: the story of Kurayb the servant of Ibn ‘Abbaas when Ramadan started while he was in Shaam (the area today known as Syria, Jordan and Palestine). The people of Shaam started fasting on Friday. The new moon however was not seen in Madeenah until Friday night. Kurayb told Ibn ‘Abbaas that Mu’aawiyah and the people of Shaam fasted on Friday. Ibn ‘Abbaas said:”But we shall continue fasting until we see the moon (showing the end of the month) or until we complete thirty days. That is what the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) ordered us to do.” Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah strengthened the position that it was obligatory upon the people in the country that saw the moon to fast as well as those countries in front of them. He established that whenever the moon was seen in a country it was for sure to be seen in the countries that came after that country (on the map). Because its setting is delayed to after that of the sun and whenever it is delayed it increases in distance away from the sun and in clarity and manifestation. So if it was seen in Bahrain, for example, it would obligate fasting upon those countries which come after it like Najd, the Hijaaz (Makkah, Madeenah, Jeddah), Egypt and Morocco. It would not obligate fasting for those countries before it like Sind and India and those (further) beyond (the sea).
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 108/Fatwa No.54), also (Fataawa al-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 21)

The excellence of the fast of Ramadan, it’s rulings and upon whom it is obligatory

Section One – The excellence of the fast of Ramadan, it’s rulings and upon whom it is obligatory

In this section read about:
1. The ruling and wisdom behind fasting
2. The social benefits of fasting
3. The virtues of feeding the fasting person
4. The ruling concerning neglecting to fast
5. The ruling concerning leaving off fasting due to laziness

1. The ruling and wisdom behind fasting

Question: What is the ruling of and the wisdom behind fasting?
Response: With Allaah lies all success. As for its wisdom, Allaah(subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) mentioned a very incorporating meaning in that regard: {O you who believe fasting has been prescribed for upon you as it was prescribed upon those that came before you that you may attain taqwaa (piety)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183]. It incorporates everything the people have mentioned with regard to its wisdom.
Taqwaa is a comprehensive word for everything that Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) loves and is pleased with from actions which are desirable and from abandoning prohibitions. So fasting is the greatest way to reach this goal which is the goal of the pleasure of the servant in his worldly life and his Hereafter;
The fasting person seeks closeness to Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) by avoiding all desires, giving love of Allaah precedence over the love of his self. For this reason, Allaah specified it out of the other actions by attributing it to Himself, as in the authentic hadeeth;
It is from the principles of taqwaa, as Islaam is not complete without it; o It causes an increase in faith, and attainment of patience and in it is training one’s self upon hardships that bring one close to the Lord of the Heavens;
It is a cause of increase of one’s good deeds, prayer, reciting (the Qur.aan), remembrance (dhikr) and charity that actualizes at-taqwaa;
In it is prevention of the self from Haraam (prohibited) things, of prohibited action and speech which is the pillar of Taqwaa. In the authentic hadeeth: ((Whoever does not abandon false speech and acting upon that, Allaah is in no need of his abandoning his food and drink)). So the servant seeks closeness to Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) through avoiding prohibitions altogether, and they are:
“False speech” – and that is every haraam (prohibited) speech;
“Acting upon that” – and that is every haraam (prohibited) action;
Leaving every haraam thing that obstructs the fast and that is those thing things which break the fast.
So, since in fasting there are advantages, benefits and attainment of all good and reward, that which necessitates its prescription at all times, Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) told that it was prescribed upon us as it was prescribed upon those before us. This is His affair with all His Laws that have universal advantages.
As for its rulings: all the “al ahkaam at takleefiyyah” Islaamic rulings could apply to it in accordance with the differing reasons behind it:
As for the obligatory (waajib & fardh): 1) It includes fasting Ramadan upon every Muslim that is Islamically bound by the `Eed and is able; 2) It also includes the fast that a person vows to do; 3) It includes the fasts of expiation (after having done an act obligating that.)
As for the prohibited fast, it is: 1) Fasting the days of Sharee’ah; 2) Fasting the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, except for the person who is doing Hajj at-Tamattu’ or Qiraan but does not have a sacrifice and did not fast before the Day of Sacrifice; 3) Also included in the haraam fast is the fast of menstruating woman and the woman in post-natal bleeding; 4) Also, the ill person that fears death (as a result of fasting); 5) Also, it is obligatory to break the fast upon the one that needs to in order to save a sinless soul from jeopardy – (meaning the baby in the mother’s womb.
The fast which is recommended (sunnah) is the supererogatory fast, the restricted and the unrestricted;
As for the fast that is disliked (makrooh), it is the fast of the ill person who feels hardship in doing that;
The permissible fast (jaa.iz): the fasting of a traveler. It is permissible for him to fast or not particularly if he traveled in a day in which he began fasting before traveling.
Shaykh as-Sa’dee / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Pages 34-36/Fatwa No.8), also (al-Irshaad ilaa Ma’rifatil Ahkaam, Pages 82-84)

2. The social benefits of fasting

Question: Does fasting have any social benefits?
Response: Yes, it has social benefits. From them is the feeling people have that they are one nation eating at one time and fasting at one time. The wealthy one is cognizant of Allaah’s blessings and is sympathetic to the poor. Fasting lessens shaytaan’s treachery to the son of Aadam. In fasting there is piety of Allaah, and piety of Allaah strengthens the bonds between the individuals of the community.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 37/Fatwa No.10), also (Fiqh al-’Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 170)

3. The virtues of feeding the fasting person

Question: Some people hold banquets and give invitations in Ramadan making it a month of occasions. Others slaughter, and distribute the meat, in charity and make other types of effort with food. What is the ruling regarding this?
Response: Yes, offering food in Ramadan has extra virtue due to the nobility of the time and the need that the fasting people have for food. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of his reward (i.e. the one fasting))), so preparing food in this month for the needy is from the best of actions because (the reward for giving) charity in the month of Ramadan is multiplied more than in the other months.

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 38/Fatwa No.11), also (al- Fataawa libni Fowzaan – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1/ Page 153-154)

4. The ruling concerning neglecting to fast

Question: What is the ruling regarding a Muslim who neglected to fast without a permissible excuse for a number of years? He was fulfilling the other obligations upon him. Does he make them up or seek to expiate them? How would he make these months up if he had to?
Response: The ruling regarding a person who neglected to fast in Ramadan whilst he was eligible for that, whether male or female, is that he has disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger and has fallen into a major sin. It is upon him to repent to Allaah due to this, as well as having to make up all that he missed. He must also feed a poor person for each day he missed if he is able to do so. If he is a poor person and cannot feed them, then it is enough for him to make up the days along with repentance. This is because fasting in Ramadan is a great obligation. Allaah ordained it upon the Muslims and the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) has mentioned that it is one of the five pillars of Islaam. If he denies the obligation of fasting Ramadan then he is, by that, a disbeliever, belying Allaah and His Messenger. He must be asked to repent from the one in authority through the Islaamic courts. If he does not repent it is obligatory to kill him due to his apostasy, and due to the saying of the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that “…whoever changes his religion (from Islaam) then kill him.” Reported by Bukhaaree. However, if he did not fast due to illness or travel there is no sin upon him. It is obligatory upon him to make up these fasts once he has recovered from his illness or returned from his travel due to Allaah’s saying in the Qur.aan: “and he who was ill or on a journey the prescribed period should be made up by days later”. [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 185].

Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 50/Fatwa No.17)

5. The ruling concerning leaving off fasting due to laziness

Question: Is a person who leaves off fasting due to laziness and heedlessness like the one that leaves off prayer in the respect that he is a disbeliever (kaafir)?
Response: The one that leaves off fasting out of heedlessness and laziness is not a disbeliever. That is because the basic rule is that a person remains upon his Islaam until sufficient proof shows that he is outside Islaam. There is no proof that the person that leaves off fasting is outside the fold of Islaam if he left it due to laziness and heedlessness. This is not the same as prayer because the texts from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and the sayings of the companions all show that the person that leaves off praying through heedlessness and laziness is a disbeliever (kaafir.). ‘Abdullaah ibn Shaqeeq said: “…the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) didn’t consider as disbelief (kufr) the leaving off of any actions except prayer”. It is obligatory to call this person who is neglecting to fast due to laziness and heedlessness to fast. If he refuses he should be banished until he fasts.

Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 51/Fatwa No.18)

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