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Archive for the ‘Ramadan’ Category

The Nature of Fasting

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Have you not seen the stick of incense?

Burn itself to ashes it must

So others might receive its fragrance

The nature of giving is such


Have you noticed the leaves of tea?

How they must withstand hot water

Soothing the nerves of one and many

Through their exquisite and sundry a flavor


Have you noticed the green trees?

How they must absorb the heat of the sun

Giving the traveler a shade to please

And producing life-sustaining oxygen


Have you not seen the ore of metal?

How it must melt in the heat of the kiln

So the impurities may burn or settle

And the precious metal we may dress in


Have you noticed the black coal?

How it must withstand tremendous pressure

For years and years to reach its goal

To become a diamond for our pleasure


Have you not seen our father and mother?

How they give up everything

So their children can be more than better

And can have the best upbringing


And our Beloved Prophet Muhammad

Countless Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him

How he stayed up all night, never tired

Continuously praying to Allah to forgive our sins


Such indeed is also the nature of fasting

To increase within us, the spirit of service

The self, must always be annihilating

And truly in this, is lasting bliss


Syeda Shagufta Ahmad Qadri

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

July 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

The Prophet’s (Prayers and Peace of Allah Be upon him) Sermon on the Last Day of Sha’ban

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It has been reported by Bayhaqi, Shu’b-al-Iman & Bahaar-e-Shariat that Hazrat Salman al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him) once said that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace of Allah be upon Him) delivered the following sermon on the last day of Sha’ban:

O people, a mighty month has cast its protective shade to screen you. A blessed month in which there is a night that is better than a thousand months! Allah has made keeping the fast therein an obligatory religious duty and the observance of the night vigil therein a voluntary practice. If someone seeks to draw near [to the Lord] there in by setting just one example of good conduct, or performs just one religious obligation, that person will be exactly the same as someone who discharges seventy religious obligations during all the other months of the year.

It is the month of patient endurance, and the reward for patient endurance is the Garden of Paradise. It is the month of charitable sharing, and it is the month in which the sustenance of the true believer is increased. So, if someone provides a breakfast meal [Iftaar] for a person who is keeping fast, this will result in forgiveness for his sins, and in his emancipation from the Fire of Hell. The benefactor will also be granted a reward equivalent to that earned by the recipient of generosity, but without anything at all being deducted from the reward due to the latter.

Allah will grant this reward to anyone who gives some kind of breakfast nourishment to a person who is keeping the fast, even if it is merely dried dates, a drink of water, or a cup of diluted milk.

It is a month the beginning of which is mercy, the middle of which is a forgiveness, and the last part of which is a deliverance from the Fire of Hell. So, if a slave-holder lightens the burden borne by his slave* in this month, Allah will forgive him and grant him freedom from the Fire of Hell.

Furthermore, if someone provides a satisfying breakfast meal, in the course of this month, for a person who is keeping the fast, Allah (Exalted is He) will give the benefactor a drink from my Basin, after which he will never feel thirsty again.

Extracted from IECRC’s Ramadan: The Month of Patience, Empathy and Self Purification (includes essentials prayers related to Ramadan)

*Please note that slavery as understood by the modern world is prohibited in Islam. This refers to anyone who is under one’s payroll providing services.

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

July 18, 2012 at 5:33 am

On Lunar and Solar Eclipses – From the Malfuzat of Khwaja Uthman Haruni (ra)

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The following is an excerpt taken from Session 2 of the Anees ul-Arwah–The Malfuzat of Khwaja Uthman Haruni (rehmatullahi alyhe)–as recorded by Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (rehmatullahi alayhe):

Regarding the matter of eclipse of the Sun and Moon, their reality is so that the bondsmen of God inclines to prayer and piety out of fear of their Lord taking them to task. The master (may the mercy of God be upon him) said regarding the Sun and Moon eclipse that Ibn Abbass (may the mercy of God be upon him and his father) relates that during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) there occurred a Lunar Eclipse. So, someone asked the Final Messenger a question, upon which the Prophet (pace be upon him) responded that when humanity goes beyond its boundaries in wrong actions or sin then Lunar and Solar eclipses occur. The face of the Sun and that of the Moon are darkened so that creation may take heed (from the metaphor).

The Ilm Qiyaafah mentions that if a Lunar Eclipse occurs in the month of Muharram then in that that year there will be much bloodshed and corruption. If it occurs in the month of Rabi ul-Awwal then there will be increased famine, death and floods. If it occurs in the month of Rabi ul-Aakhir then change of leadership and anarchy will occur in the nation. If it occurs during the month of Jamadi ul-Awwal then there will be overflowing rain and unexpected death. In Jamadi ul-Aakhir there will be bumper crops , affordable prices, and people will have a higher quality of life. If it occurs in the month of Rajab on a Friday  then in that year there I will be hunger, calamity, along with darkness in the sky. If it occurs in the month of Shaban, then there will be treaties between people and relative calm. If it occurs during the month of Ramadan, on the first Friday, then there will be increased events of thunder from the sky. In the month of Shawwal men-related sicknesses will be inflicted. If it occurs during the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, then the rest of the year will be full of happiness and relative calm. If it occurs in the month of Muharram then the entire year will be in corruption, and humanity will find fault in others, people will destroy their hereafter and hypocritical wealthy people will be honored over others deserving of it.

After mentioning this, the master busied himself in worship and the people returned home and praise to God for that (lesson).

Translated by Sharaaz Khan
26 Shaban 1432 Hijri

Alvida Maahe Ramadan (Video by Hafiz Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Qadri)

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Alwida Maahe Ramzaan (Farewell O Month of Ramadan)

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Alwida Alwida Alwida hai

Maahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai

Farewell Farewell Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadaan


Din tere aane se motabar they

Noor main dube Shaam-o-Sahar they

Tere jaane se dil ro raha hai

Maahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai


Your arrival had made the day very beautiful

Days and night were submerged in blissful light

Your departure has saddened our hearts

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadaan


Sehri aftaar phir at taravi

Aur azaanein namazein wa tasbi

Yeh samaa Noori tujh se mila hai

Maahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai


Pre-fast meal, breaking of the fast and then the Tarawih prayers,

And call for prayers, Prayers and Tasbee 

We received this blissful ambience from you

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadaan


Rehmaton ka tu paigham laya

Barkaton ka tu in’aam laya

Rutba aala wa afzal tera hai

Mahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai


You brought the message of Mercy

You brought the award of blessings

Your Stature is grandest

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadaan


Jaam rehmat ke tu ne pilaye

Gul muradon ke tu ne khilaye

Tu juda hum se ab ho raha hai

Mahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai


You provided drinks of Mercy

you made the flowers of desires bloom

You are departing from all of us O holy month of Ramadaan

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadan


Hum ko bhi kal tu paye ga tab tak

Gar rahe zinda agle baras tak

Phir milenge jo Hukm-e-Khuda hai

Mahe Ramzan bas Alwida hai


You will find us awaiting your arrival

If we are alive till the next year 

We will meet again if this is the wish of Almighty Allah

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadan


Chal diya hai tu jo rab ki jaanib

Ahle imaan ke pur nam hai taalib

Qalb-e-Ishrat bhi gham se bhara hai

Mahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai


You started your journey back to Allah Almighty

And we are seekers of faith

My heart is also full of sorrow and gloom

Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadan


Alwida Alwida Alwida hai

Mahe Ramzaan bas Alwida hai

(Farewell Farewell Farewell to you O holy month of Ramadaan)



Translation: Sister Zarin R. Shaikh Qadari 

Sister Zarin is an active member in her community imparting religious education in the Kingdom of Bahrain. She can be reached at

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

September 8, 2010 at 2:51 am

Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power)

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Assalatu Wa’assalamu ‘Alaika Ya Rasool Allah
Wa ‘alaa Aalika Wa as-haabika Ya Habeeb Allah

In the last part of the Holy Month of Ramadan, a night comes which is known as “Lailatul Qadr”. We are supposed to search this night in the last part of Ramadan by praying, reciting the Holy Quran and by remembering Allah (The Most Exalted). In this night we get a lot of benefits on our good deeds and all our prayers get fulfilled. The description of this night is present in the Holy Quran in Surah Al-Qadr, Surah No.97, Part 30.

The prayer in this night has more importance than the prayers of 1000 months. The Angel Gabriel and other angels come on earth with lots of blessing and mercy from Allah (The Most Exalted) and shake hands with those who are praying.  

Surah Al-Qadr 


Innaa anzalnaahu fii Laylatil Qadr.  

Wa maa adraaka maa Laylatul Qadr?  

Laylatul-Qadri khayrum-min alfi Shahr.  

Tanazzalul-malaa-ikatu war-Ruuhu fiihaa bi-idhni Rabbihim-min-kulli amr.  

Salaamun Hiya hattaa matla-‘il-Fajr! 


 In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power.
Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is!
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees.
(That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.

Alim Shaikh

Alim Shaikh is a dedicated eleven year old budding Islamic scholar (insha Allah) who submitted this brief article from the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

September 8, 2010 at 2:34 am

Are Islamic Cultures Really Shame-Based? Part 1

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Modern Psychology has divided cultures into two categories—shame-based and guilt-based. According to the theory, shame-based cultures (primarily tribal) are considered inferior to guilt-based (primarily Western Judeo-Christian cultures). The reasoning behind this theory is that shame-based cultures employ shame to effect behavior which in turn leads to a wounded self-worth, rather than guilt—a liberating emotion. Accordingly, guilt-based cultures carry around a global feeling that “I have done something bad” versus “I am bad” in shame-based cultures. Modern psychology places Islamic cultures, under the banner of shame-based. 

With this is perspective, some have implied that because Islamic culture is “shame-based”, its collective wounded psyche needs a scape-goat to project blame on and thus Israel and the West have become just that—scape-goats for a wounded Islamic psyche.  As a product of this wounded psyche, heinous acts of terrorism, exploitation of women and children, and other demeaning and harmful behavior becomes “normal” for Islamic societies. Since the world has done away with slavery and dhimmis (non-Muslim subjects under the protection of the Muslims) the natural outcome of this culture is therefore to turn to the current “weaker” elements of society.

Quoting a recent article on guilt vs. shame cultures, a particular “Dr. Sanity” in her blog reinforces the “superiority” of guilt cultures and contrasts it with Islamic cultures:

“The guilt culture is typically and primarily concerned with truth, justice, and the preservation of individual rights. As we noted earlier, the emotion of guilt is what keeps a person from behavior that goes against his/her own code of conduct as well as the culture’s. Excessive guilt can, of course, also be pathological. I am solely referring to a psychologically healthy appreciation of guilt.” The author further says, “In contrast, a typical shame culture (e.g., Japan as discussed by Benedict; or the present focus of this discussion: Arab/Islamic culture) what other people believe has a far more powerful impact on behavior than even what the individual believes. As noted by Gutman in his writings, the desire to preserve honor and avoid shame to the exclusion of all else is one of the primary foundations of the culture. This desire has the side-effect of giving the individual carte blanche to engage in wrong-doing as long as no-one knows about it, or knows he is involved.”

What Gutman is referring to in the excerpt is something called “ghayrah” in Arabic and “ghayrat” in Urdu. It refers to that trait which is linked with self-honor, self-respect, good-reputation, or good-name of a person, family, or tribe. It is also loosely translated as shame in English. When employed positively, ghayrah can serve as a preventative of societal evil rather than dishonoring one’s self, family, tribe, ethnic group, and even country. When employed negatively, typically by political entities with the intent to cause sectarian violence or enmity between tribes and families, it can incite honor killings, retaliation, and many other crimes that are typically committed in rural and lesser educated sectors of the Muslim world. While ghayrah serves as a preventative of evil deeds in most cases and even “perceived evils” in some, it is not a global phenomenon in the Muslim world and varies demographically.

Before delving into whether or not the Islamic culture is shame-based, it only makes sense that we define a few concepts with respect to the nafs or self that has a bearing on the development of character as described in Islamic psychology.

Guilt has always played a part as a reminder and preventative of genocide historically, and we see this in reminders of the Holocaust, the Crusades, and other such horrific events. In the theological analysis of Christianity, we find that guilt plays a vital part in Christian creed and devotion. Christianity holds responsible, among others, for the “death of Jesus” (peace be upon him) the entire humanity now, then, and forever, due to its sinfulness. By contrast, guilt has no theological or creedal implication in Islam. However, it does play a major part in the redemption of the human spirit. Nevertheless, it is not a primary motivator towards performing good deeds or devotion. In the Islamic psyche, guilt plays a part, but mainly in prevention of committing the same evil deed again.  That is because one of the conditions of seeking forgiveness of God in Islam is that the perpetrator must genuinely be remorseful of the deed by recognizing before God that an offence has been committed. The other two conditions include vowing never again to return to the action (even though a person may return to it through weakness), and by seeking God’s forgiveness (maghfirah).  If the offence is committed against a fellow human-being, the perpetrator must genuinely be remorseful of the action by recognizing before the victim that an offence has been committed in addition to God and, and if possible and reasonable, the wrong deed must be rectified.

The primary motivator of the conscience is guilt. In Middle English etymology, conscience is described as the means to be conscious, to be conscious of guilt, or to be aware of guilt. Based on the old definition, a conscientious person would have been described as one who feels guilt when a bad deed has been committed. The modern-day definition of conscience is more elaborate and diverging from its original. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good, and in another meaning, a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts. In Freudian Psychology, it is described as the part of the super-ego (the part of the psyche that plays a critical and moralizing role) that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego (the organized and realistic part of the psyche).

Coming back to guilt in the Islamic context, which part then of the Islamic psyche is guilt associated with? In Islamic psychology, the nafs ul-lawwaama (the self-reproaching self –also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an) is that part of the self (nafs) which blames or reproaches one for committing a wrong.  Imam al-Ghazali in his Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum ud-Din) described the nafs ul-lawwaama as the imperfect part of a greater and higher self called the nafs ul-mutmainnah (the calm self that is not moved by passion and that has assumed stillness, remaining satisfied). The great imam described the nafs ul-lawwaama as the imperfect part of the calm self that accuses and blames the self when divine duties are neglected. Another part of the nafs which is impulsive in its nature, is moved by passion, and incites or commands towards misdeeds and rashness is the nafs ul-ammaarah (the commanding self). This part of the self is the one blamed by the nafs ul-lawwaamah when a misdeed occurs. It is the part of the nafs that upon death dies along with the body. Thus, based on the definition of the nafs ul-lawwama we can safely say that the conscience is really part of or derived from the nafs ul-lawwama. Subsequently, while laudable if it is developed, it is not the highest form of the self, by Islamic ethical standards, since its motivation is the guilty emotion rather than self-discipline, self-restraint, righteousness, and so forth which are all products of the calm self. And so, by Islamic standards, the nafs ul-mutmainnah is in reality the highest form of the self and the goal of every sincere believer.  The point being made here is that guilt serves a purpose in the prevention of evil, but is not Islam’s goal for its collective culture. The goal of the collective psyche of Muslims is much higher and much more refined than just the collective guilty emotion.

The purpose of this article is to open up a window for Western reader into the development of a particular trait or virtue which in fact has an immense impact on the behavior and conduct of the Islamic culture.  This trait is not based on a culture, meaning a particular ethnic group, but is based in the religion and impacts the dynamics of the entire Muslim world.  As part of this virtue, ghayrah does play a part initially, yet to say that ghayrah and it’s consequences alone are the catalyst for collective behavioral change in a the Islamic culture is to over-simplify this complex virtue that I am about to discuss.

To begin, I will start with the stages of character development (tarbiyyah) typically employed in Islamic societies.

Stages of Tarbiyyah

As a part of enjoining good and forbidding evil, Islam lays the emphasis mainly on accountability of deeds. Accountability moves from the external (dhahir) realm to the internal (baatin). In other words, it starts with being accountable to other than the self, and it is perfected by being accountable eventually to God through a personal relationship that takes a lifetime to develop in the self. 

For the child, the object of attachment, love and trust are parents. Thus parents become the primary guide and overseers of the actions of the child.  Through this relationship, a secure boundary in created in which the child learns those things beneficial and harmful for it. This is the beginning of tarbiyyah of the child. As a result, when the child is away from the parents or alone, it seeks the accountability of its parents in doubtful matters and remembers those things that are permitted or forbidden by the parents as a guide to make the appropriate life decision. In traditional societies and most Muslim countries, traditional parents will typically inform their teens to use their parents’ opinions as a guide when they are alone or need to make choices. They are reminded to ask themselves, “What would your parents think about the deed you are about to commit?” If the answer inclines towards their disapproval or towards the youth feeling a sense of shame and dishonor of his parents were he or she to commit the deed, it serves as a signal that such an act should be avoided.

This training is the beginning of self-restraint. Far from wounding the self, when the urge to commit an impending misdeed dissipates (as a result of not doing it out of shame or ghayrah), the self is left liberated because an evil act was avoided resulting in the strengthening of self-restraint, discipline, and esteem. These virtues free the individual from the need of excessive shame (which is negative) and from even falling into guilt (which too can be wounding to the self if in excess).  Since spirituality has not yet fully developed in the young teen, healthy shame continues to play a role in his or her life until spiritual maturity sets in.

The Prophetic example and those that followed remind the youth and parents to encourage the choice of good company and to avoid the bad of it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once said: “Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you associate with.” and “A man is upon the religion of his friend, and there is no good in friendship with one who does not see for you what he sees for himself.” Hazrat Ali (may God be pleased with him) the fourth Caliph of Islam once said “The company of bad people becomes the cause of low esteem of the good people.” Because young adults tend to trust and confide in friends as part of normal human development, friends play an important role in his or her development. The effect of bad company on the youth is not hidden from any parent who has a teen. A good friend on the other hand will guide his or her friend to that which is positive, beneficial, safe and wholesome. Friends that don’t care for other than themselves will attempt to corrupt the behavior of his or her peers to justify his or her own behavior. Good friends, how they view the world, and their opinions all thus become an important part of the tarbiyyah of the young adult as an extension of the greater Muslim community.

One of the concerns of people belonging to Eastern cultures is that in Western societies teens are prematurely offered the right to privacy, at school, at the doctor’s office, hospital, etc, resulting in a sudden disconnect after elementary school between parents and the child. Parents are not fully aware of the activities and the behavior of their teen outside the home, and these children of Eastern parents often end up living hypocritical and dual lives, one in the house and another out. One may also attribute the rude behavior that is so commonly found among the youth with respect to their teachers and lack of respect for elders in general to this disconnect. Were a well-wisher of the child to inform on the child’s deeds to the parents, he or she would often be rebuked for minding the others’ business or in the case of professionals, reported on for being unprofessional. Privacy is a touchy subject in Western societies and what is being presented here is how Islamic cultures see it. On the other hand, in Islamic cultures, this overseeing of the child takes place at the community level where elders and teachers play a role.  As a result, a youth will think twice, even thrice before publically committing an offence in the fear that someone who knows him and his parents will witness and report on his or her misdeeds, and thus dishonoring him and his family. In such societies, a healthy shame and positive ghayrah prevents evil deeds in the wider interest of the society. The point here is that, at this stage, the overseeing of the well-being of the youth moves from parents to positive role models, friends, teachers, and the community in general as well. 

Additionally, within the community, religious institutions also play a vital role in the tarbiyyah of the child and youth. Typically this starts with recitation of the Qur’an and with teaching prayer rituals, and basic Islamic ethics. While religious knowledge (Islamic law and other subjects) beyond the basics is encouraged in young adulthood, its effect still does not set in until the spiritual development of the child is also occurring, which becomes possible only when the youth comprehends and applies what he or she has learned from the religious education.  Application of spiritual and religious knowledge requires many factors towards its success. This includes positive role models, positive example and encouragement of parents, and a healthy environment to develop. Such an environment is provided by the community and parents, so that when the child moves into young adulthood (teen years) and tests the boundaries set by parents early on, the environment acts as a preventative towards extreme and immoral lifestyles and counter-cultures.

When spiritual yearning, search for the truth, and faith hopefully set in when the young adult takes on a more mature outlook, the realization of earlier lessons of tarbiyyah begin to ring true. Now the lessons learned in the past become the guide.  The realization of the kiraam ul-kaatibeen sets in. The kiraam ul-kaatibeen are angels who record deeds, good, and evil, on either sides of the shoulders of each human being. These deeds are laid open on the Day of Judgment when an accounting is performed. Now the mature religiously inclined youth is concerned with increasing his or her good deeds and avoiding evil ones. As a result he or she remains watchful over their actions so that they are not put to shame when the books and accounting are opened on the Day of Judgment in front of God and all of humanity to see. This is the effect of a religious teaching in ideal conditions and now this sense of being accountable to an Higher Authority is further strengthened, yet not complete.

As one grows from religiousness to spirituality and love for the Prophet of God, the guide of humanity (peace be upon him), sets deep inside the spiritual Muslim, the possibility of being dishonored before the Beloved Prophet of God (peace be upon him) when his or her deeds are presented to him daily, as mentioned in the Prophetic traditions, becomes a preventative, not just out of fear but out of love for the Prophet of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family). This ultimately ends with love for God rather than just the fear of God, and culminates in true God-consciousness. This is the state of Ihsaan where one worships God as if he sees Him and if he does not, he realizes that God is watching him and that no secret lies hidden from the Creator of the Universe, Most Exalted. When this sense of accountability becomes ingrained and faith is complete, one ultimately remains concerned only with that which is pleasing or displeasing to God. For that individual, all other opinions of societal players where shame or ghayrah plays a part fade away. Yet their status in society as parents, adults, teachers, role models is not lost. All of these players must be given due respect for the role they have played in the development of this value called taqwa in Islam. What remains is the taqwa of God and accountability ultimately to the Knower of the Unseen (‘Aalim al-Ghayb).

Thus the tarbiyyah of the Muslim individual starts with parent-consciousness, family-consciousness, community-consciousness, angel-consciousness, prophet-consciousness, and eventually ends with the highest form of consciousness, which is a form of God-consciousness called taqwa. Its development is not solely at the hands of parents, but as a complete working system in the greater interest of society.

Taqwa therefore doesn’t merely mean to have a conscience since guilt is not the primary motivator. As discussed, it doesn’t even come close to describing the inner meanings of this word because of the western cultural background associated with the word conscience.  So when Islamic societies have become characterized by psychologists as being shame-based as opposed to guilt-based, it only makes sense that we question how much of that is true.  Based on what we have learned about the Islamic character development, it would be more accurate to describe the Islamic culture as a “Taqwa-based” culture as opposed to just  “shame-based”. This will more accurately describe the Islamic culture as Islam’s method is one of moderation, a middle way, which avoids and discourages extremism in action and in character. Subsequently extreme shame and extreme guilt both are looked down upon in Islam.

How far, then, from the truth can one be by implying that wrong-doing is acceptable to those who belong to “Islamic cultures” as long as no one knows? And to label the Islamic culture as shame-based only is an over-simplification of a culture that is hugely diverse and widespread that not only spans the Muslim world but also has vast numbers of adherents who have been born and raised in Western countries. Theories such as these, when expounded by those with an agenda or ill-intent, can be very dangerous as it leads to the systematic dehumanization of a people, not unlike those who use ghayrah negatively.  Are we then not any different than those we are trying to implicate?

…Continued in Part 2 and Part 3

Part 2 and 3 to include:

– Definition of Taqwa
– Natural Outcomes of Taqwa
– Motivators of Taqwa
– The Effect of Fasting in Ramadan on Taqwa
– Levels of Taqwa

Sharaaz Khan
Sharaaz Khan is Managing Director of the Islamic Education and Cultural Research Center (IECRC) and the IECRC Academy for Youth and Children, Sacramento where he teaches Islamic subjects to children and youth and provides Islamic counseling, mediation, and healing to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He is a Curriculum Developer, Instructional Designer & Learning Operations professional.

Importance of Month of Ramadan

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Nahmaduhu wa nussali Ala Rasoolihil Kareem

We are extremely grateful to Our Lord, Allah Almighty (The Most Exalted) that once again He has sent upon us the Holy month of Ramadan which brings His Mercy, Forgiveness and Blessings. In this month, Allah (The Most Exalted) Himself asks His servants, “Is there anyone who seeks desires and blessings from Me?” In this holy month, for every good deed we get the benefit of 700 times. First part of this holy month is mercy, second part is forgiveness and the last part is to escape from the punishment of hell. Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family) said, “If only my people understood the importance of the month of Ramadan then they would wish that the whole year would be Ramadan.” Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family ) said, “Let that person be ruined who has passed through the month of Ramadan and did not seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty (The Most Exalted).” The month of Ramadan approaches us as a guest from Allah (The Most Exalted) and if we don’t give respect and importance then it gets upset and goes back to Allah (The Most Exalted) and complains about us that it had gone to so and so person but he did not take benefit from me and did not respect me. Allah (The Most Exalted) tells us to exercise mainly four things in the Holy month of Ramadan: 1) Reciting Kalima Tayyeba, 2) reciting Astaghfaar, 3) desiring Heaven and 4) asking for escape from Hell. In this month, the one who recites Astaghfar in abundance then Allah (The Most Exalted) will increase his sustenance and he will receive his sustenance from places he could not think of.

Allah (The Most Exalted) has bestowed us with unlimited Mercy and Blessings. It is therefore our duty to pray to Allah (The Most Exalted) with love and affection. Amongst the compulsory worship which Allah has bestowed upon us, namaz (the ritual prayer) is on #1 position. Prayer is a part of religion. Prayer is the coolness of the eyes of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). Prayer is the right way of achieving peace. So in this month we have to especially concentrate on Nawafil (optional) prayers along with Fardh (compulsory). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said, “In the Holy Month of Ramadan, the one who will stand (for prayer) with the intention to achieve faith and sawaab, all his sins will be forgiven.“  [Al-Minhaj-us-Sawi] Therefore it is our duty to read all 20 rakats (cycles) of Taraweeh. If we read 8 rakats (cycles) in the mosque with the Imaam, then the remaining 12 cycles are supposed to be read individually, either at the mosque or at home. In the holy month of Ramadan, we should get up especially for the Tahajjud prayers apart from Taraweeh. The convenient way of offering Tahajjud payers is before suhoor (the pre-dawn meal).

In the last part of this holy month, a night comes called Laila-tul-Qadr. In Surah Al-Qadr, Allah (The Most Exalted) says: “Khairum-min Alfi shahr”

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Al-Qadr, 97:3]

The prayer of this night has more importance than prayers of thousand months. Angel Gabriel and other angels come on earth with lots of blessings and mercy from Allah (The Most Exalted) and shake hands with those who are praying. All the prayers in this night are fulfilled.

After prayer, we have to pay special attention towards our dua (supplication). After prayer, we should not be lazy and neglect our supplication. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said:

Ad-dua’u Silahul Mo’min” which means “Dua is the weapon of a believer.

Ad-dua’u Huwal Ibaadatu”  which means “Dua itself is worship.

“Ad-dua’u Mukh’khul ibaadatu” which means “Dua is the brain of worship.

Dua at the time of breaking the fast is always fulfilled. Women should finish all the Iftaar (breaking of fast) preparation and sit down for supplication along with their families and pray a lot for ourselves and others as this supplication will never be rejected and we should be benefitted by this moment of blessing. When we supplicate for others, Allah (The Most Exalted) appoints an angel who does supplication for the supplicators. In Ramadan, we get a lot of sawaab (reward) for inviting others for opening the fast but it should have simplicity so that our prayers are not affected. Apart from friends and relatives we should pay more attention towards poor and needy by organizing food for their breaking of fast.

Allah (The Most Exalted) says:

Shahru Ramadan alladhi unzila fihi Al-Qur’an

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:185]

This is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. So, in this Holy Month we should read Qur’an in abundance and in fact we should try to understand it. Allah (The Most Exalted) says:

Kitabun anzalnahu ilayka mubarakun liyaddabbaru aayaatihi

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Sad, 38:29]

This is the Book which Allah has revealed so that people should pay extreme attention towards it. This is the Book which guides us in how we should spend our life. Therefore it is necessary that we understand the Quran, so that the blessing of the Holy Qur’an comes in our life. After our death, The Holy Qur’an will be settled on the chest of his reader ad protect him from the torments. At the Day of Judgment, The Holy Qur’an will request pardon from Allah for his reader. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Among you the best one is who learns and teaches Qur’an.

Apart from the rights of Allah (The Most Exalted) we should be conscious about the right of His servant. In this holy month we should pay purifying dues of our money which is compulsory. This is the right of the poor people which Allah Almighty (The Most Exalted) kept in our money. Paying rights of the servant is the necessary part of our religion. The life of a person is not perfect unless he treats his fellow creatures well. Only the person who fulfils the rights of both Allah (The Most Exalted) and His servants can lead a peaceful life here and after death. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said, “One glance of love and affection on our Muslim brother is not less than worship.” In this holy month we especially have to search for poor, needy and orphans and help them. If a person fulfills the needs of others, then Allah (The Most Exalted) will fulfill his needs. If a person solves the tensions, worries and sorrows of others, then Allah Almighty, (The Most Exalted) will relieve him from pains and worries on the Day of Judgment. If a person hides the secrets of others, then Allah Almighty, (The Most Exalted) hides his secrets on the Day of Judgment. A person will not reach the soul of Ramadan and fast until he services Allah’s (The Most Exalted) servants along with Allah’s (The Most Exalted) rights. Taking care of Allah’s (The Most Exalted) servant is same as exerting in the way of Allah (The Most Exalted). A good natured person gets sawaab (benefit) of five times prayers and a whole day’s fast.

It is our humble prayer to Allah (The Most Exalted) to guide us to do more good deeds during this holy month of Ramadan and make this holy month our mode of forgiveness for all our past bad deeds. Aameen.

Wa Aakhiru Dawana Anil Hamdolillahi Rabbil Aalameen

Sister Zarin R. Shaikh Qadari

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sister Zarin is an active member in her community imparting religious education. She can be reached at

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

August 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Belief, Practice, Quran, Ramadan, Women

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Blessings of Ramadan Al-Mubarak

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By the blessings of Allah, the month of Ramadan is upon us. Rajab marks the beginning of the spiritual season of every believer ending with the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with the Eid Al Fitr. These three months in order Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadan are unmatched in their importance.  

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “Rajab is a great month of Allah Almighty, unmatched by any other month in respect and significance; war with the infidels during this month is prohibited. Verily, Rajab is Allah’s month, Sha’ban my month and Ramadan the month of my Ummah; whosoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab will be granted the great reward of Ridwan (an angel in heaven);  the wrath of Allah Almighty shall be distanced and a door of Hell shall be closed.” 

Fasting is one of the most recommended acts during this spiritual season. It becomes Wajib (obligatory) during the month of Ramadan, but is highly recommended during the months of Rajab and Sha’ban. As will be noted from the Hadith above, fasting, be it for only one day during these months, is rewarded with untold bounties. 

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) used to supplicate upon the sighting of the moon of Rajab: “O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

[At-Tabarani and Ahmad]

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said:

“When a believer (Mu`min) sleeps in the night of Ramadan, an angel says unto him, “Awaken!! as Allah Almighty wants to shower His blessings on you. Thus, the believer awakens. It is at this time that the (1) linen of the bed sheet that he was sleeping on prays for him and then when this person puts on his garbs to perform the prayer, (2) the clothes supplicate for him, ‘O Allah! Clothe this person from the garbs of Paradise.’ And when he puts his shoes on, (3) the shoes pray for him, ‘O Allah! Make this person’s feet steadfast on the Pul Siraat.’ and when he (or she) uses the vessel for wudu, (4) the vessel prays for him, ’O Allah! let him/her be one from the people who drink from the vessels of Paradise.’ When the person starts to make wudu, (5) the water prays for him, ’O Allah! Expiate his major and minor sins.’ Finally when he (or she) stands on the prayer mat facing in the direction of the Ka’ba, at that time the House of Allah prays for him, ’O Allah! Expand and illuminate this person’s grave.’ Ultimately, when Allah Almighty looks down, He says, ‘O My servant, there are supplications made for you, there is acceptance from Me.’” 

This goes to show that Allah Almighty  always answers the prayers of those who plead from Him in Ramadan. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) has also said that a fasting person is in a state of worship, even when he (or she) is asleep, the breath he (or she) takes is Tasbih (glorification of Allah), his supplications are honored, sins are forgiven and good deeds multiplied. Subhan Allah! Alhumdulillah

My dear brothers and sisters, shouldn’t we be thankful to Allah Almighty for his Mercy and Graciousness upon us? When Allah Almighty considers a regular, fasting individual’s inhalation and exhalation a tasbih, can you imagine the value of the breath of the “Zakireen” in the eyes of Allah?? “Zakireen” are people who are always involved in the remembrance of Allah. They are the ones: 

“Who remember Allah while standing, sitting and lying on their sides …”

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Aale-Imran, 3:191

Allah Almighty also says:  

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.”

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:155]

“…Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.”

[The Holy Quran, Chapter Az-Zumar, 39:10] 

It has been narrated by Hazrat Abu Salman (may Allah have mercy on him) that “Hunger is from one of the treasures of Allah, and He bestows it upon the ones that He loves.”  

May Allah Almighty make our fasting in Ramadan easy for us and accept our fast. We ask You Allah Almighty, to accept our worship by the Wasilah (Rank) our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) who never himself slept on a full stomach throughout his life. Aameen. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, it is time to GET UP and GET READY for there is now a SALE on good deeds. The rewards for good deeds done in Ramadan are multiplied by a thousand. Who knows what tomorrow brings for us?? Who knows if we will be able to get another Ramadan?? Which fasting person knows if he/she will fast another Ramadan? Which person in “qiyaam” knows if he/she will be getting this opportunity again? It is time to rethink and use our time wisely. Do not let yourself get involved in futile things as death nears us on every breath we take. 

Allah has made the Deen very easy on us. Read the following Hadith that is related by Hazrat Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him): 

A man from the dwellers of the desert came (to the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family) and said: Muhammad, your representative came to us and told us that you claim that Allah had sent you (as a Prophet). The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) remarked: He told the truth. The bedouin asked: Who created the Heaven? The Holy Prophet replied: Allah. The bedouin asked again: Who created the earth? The Holy Prophet replied: Allah. The bedouin asked again: Who raised these mountains and who created in them whatever is created there? The Holy Prophet replied: Allah. Upon this the bedouin remarked: By Him Who created the Heaven and the earth and raised mountains thereupon; has Allah in fact sent you? The Holy Prophet said: Yes. The bedouin said: Your representative also told us that five Prayers (have been made) obligatory for us. The Holy Prophet remarked: He told you the truth. The bedouin said: By Him Who sent you, is it Allah Who ordered you about this (i.e. Prayers)? The Holy Prophet said: Yes. The bedouin continued: Your representative told us that Zakah had been made obligatory in our riches. The Holy Prophet said: He told the truth. The bedouin questioned: By Him Who sent you (as a Prophet), is it Allah Who ordered you about it (Zakah)? The Holy Prophet replied: Yes. The bedouin said: Your representative told us that it has been made obligatory for us to fast every year during the month of Ramadan. The Holy Prophet said: He told the truth. The bedouin asked again: By Him Who sent you (as a Prophet), is it Allah Who ordered you about it (the Fasting of Ramadan)? The Holy Prophet said: Yes. Once again the bedouin questioned: Your messenger also told us that Hajj has been made obligatory for whoever is able to undertake the journey. The Holy Prophet replied: He told the truth. At the conclusion of this answer the bedouin set off, and at the time of his departure remarked: By Him Who sent you with the Truth, I would neither make any addition to them nor would I diminish anything out of them. Upon this the Holy Prophet remarked: If he were truthful (to what he said) he must enter Paradise.

[Sahih Muslim] 

So dear brothers and sisters, Allah Almighty has made the Deen very easy on us. He is not looking for a huge quantity of prayers, or vast amounts of fasting from us but for the piety and purity in our worship. May Allah bless us with the blessings of this month and accept whatever little we can do. Peace to you O Ramadan! For you are a savior for us sinners. O Allah Almighty, please forgive us on accord of the people whose worship you have accepted. O Allah! Forgive me and the people I love, whether they are family or friends. O Allah! Allow us to continue loving each other for the sake of Allah, whether it is our parents, our children, our elders, our pious predecessors, or our friends. O Allah! We seek Your Mercy and Your Forgiveness. Aameen. 

Assalaatu was-Salaamu ‘alaa RasooliLlaah.

Sister Najma Khatoon

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sister Najma Khatoon is a spiritual mentor, teacher and author. She writes articles for Tazkiya Nufoos, a quarterly Urdu journal of the Idara Kashful Asrar of India. The following is an excerpt translation for an article on Ramadan. Translation by Mrs. Noor of Houston, Texas.

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

August 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Belief, Ramadan, Women

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Ramadan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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1.     Question: Is a verbal intention (niyyah) required for every fast of Ramadan? Or is one intention enough for the entire month? What if I miss suhoor and was not able to make the intention? Can I still fast?

Answer: An intention is required for every fast of Ramadan just like an intention is required for every obligatory prayer. The intention (niyyah) is from the conditions (shuroot) of obligatory actions such as prayer or fasting. However the intention need not be verbal. It can be in the heart. Waking up for the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) in itself satisfies the manifestation of this intention. If one forgets to make an intention before sleeping the night before, and is not able to wake up for suhoor, then one can make the intention as soon as one wakes up. The general rule is that the intention the next morning should be made before nisf-nahar / zawal (midday / meridian). (However legitimate exceptions exist. For example: A person who has returned very tired from night duty, forgot to make the intention before sleeping and slept through suhoor and woke up after nisf-nahar. He/she can still make the niyyah to fast when he/she wakes up. This is an exception due to the special nature of this situation.)

2.      Question: It is very important for the fasting person to know the medical importance of fasting, besides the spiritual one. Due to lack of preparation for this period, people tend to eat less / more and during inappropriate times. This can be harmful and it does not fulfill the purpose of fasting. What were the eating habits of our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) during the Holy month of Ramadan both for Suhoor and Iftar? Could you please suggest a diet program for modern day cuisines that includes the type of food to be consumed in Suhoor, Iftar, dinner and after-Taraweeh snack, according to the food mentioned in Quran and the Sunnah of Our Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (peace be upon him and his family).  [Question submitted by Brother Abdul Sacoor, Germany]

Answer: Fasting has actually been proven by medical science to be good for health if implemented in the correct manner. It burns off bad fats and cholesterols. The water that one drinks after breaking the fast purifies the liver rapidly. Fasting contributes towards weight loss, helps heal stomach disorders, sharpens one’s bodily responses and signals. The body physique is made more balanced. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) had the perfect body and walked with balanced steps. It is recommended to eat suhoor even if it is one morsel. However, suhoor should not be considered as a way to “stock up” food reserves. It is not recommended to overeat during suhoor. One of the main goals of Ramadan is to teach dependence on Allah (tawakkul) and one should have this attitude in one’s sustenance as well. Most modern day cuisines with their fried and fatty foods are unhealthy. The general rule in Islam is to avoid anything that is harmful to the body and food is no exception. Foods consumed during Ramadan (and the rest of the year) should be light, non-flatulent and healthy. One of the benefits of Ramadan is to train us to become habituated to healthy foods. The healthiest foods of course belonged to the blessed diet of our Beloved Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family). This included dates, water, barley, milk and honey in their purest forms. It is recommended to drink milk from animals that have been reared in a natural environment and fed natural, chemical-free foods. And it is best to consume local honey. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) also consumed bread and halaal meat, but in a balanced way.

3.     Question: We are told that smoking breaks the fast. What about second hand smoke (smoke from others smoking), or smoke from some other source such as a fire? Does this break the fast too?

Answer: Second hand smoke does not break ones fast if one inhales it unintentionally. For example, a fasting person at an airport who has to clean out the smoking area will invariably inhale some second hand smoke. However he/she is not accountable for it, unless they linger in the area purposely enjoying it. Smoke from fires does not break one’s fast. Similarly, anything that lingers in the air where someone works and they inhale that (such as a flour mill, etc.) will likewise not break the fast.

4.     Question: Does water entering through the ear break the fast (for example while taking a shower)?

Answer: If water enters the ear unintentionally during bathing or swimming, then it does not break the fast. (Please note that scientifically the eardrum seals off the inner ear and does not allow the passing of anything but air from the outside. However some people have damaged eardrums which could potentially allow some droplets to enter.)

5.     Question: If the fast breaks due to any reason beyond one’s control, can the person eat immediately or must we wait until Iftar time?

Answer: If the fast breaks for any reason, it is obligatory (wajib) to desist from eating and drinking the rest of the day until Iftar time.

6.     Question: We are often told to break our fast at the first “Allahu Akbar” of the Adhan or our fast will become disliked (makrooh). Is this really true and which category of makrooh is it – tahreemi or tanzeehi? After breaking the fast, should we then continue eating during the Adhan and its following dua? Please advise of the best method of doing this so we don’t make our fast makrooh as well as we are not disrespectful of the Adhan. What is the real Sunnah method of breaking the fast?

Answer: It was the Sunnah of our Beloved Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) to place a date in his blessed mouth at the first “Allahu Akbar” of the Adhan. The same would apply to any Muslim country where the Adhan is heard openly because the Adhan signifies the setting of the sun which brings in the time for Maghrib. The mu`adhdhin first breaks his fast and then calls the Adhan. However, in countries where the Adhan cannot be heard, it is better to wait a few minutes from the printed prayer timings to be absolutely sure that the sun has set by looking at the Eastern horizon for the grey-blue-pink strip which is usually visible as soon as the sun sets. The grey strip signifies the night coming in and the pink strip signifies the day going out and blue is the natural color of the sky during the day. In other words, it is better to wait a few minutes to be absolutely sure the sun has set. The fast becomes makrooh tanzeehi if one delays breaking it without any legitimate reason after having certainty that the sun has set. Having broken the fast one can continue eating in a respectful way paying full attention to the Adhan and responding to its words and then making the dua after Adhan as is prescribed in the Sunnah. It was the Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) to break his fast with the Sahaba (Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them). One should not be slow in the consumption of the Iftaar lest the Maghrib prayer is delayed. The dinner can precede Maghrib prayer if it does not become a cause of holding up the prayer.

7.     Question: If we have invited guests over for Iftar and that delays our going for Taraweeh, is that permissible? What is more important: performing the ‘Isha/ Taraweeh prayers in congregation at the mosque, or tending to our guests at the house? Is there a difference in ruling here for men and women?

Answer: For men it is very highly recommended to go to the mosque to perform ‘Isha in congregation followed by the Taraweeh prayers. As for women, if it is their habit to do so, then they too should make every attempt to go to the mosque as well (maintaining all the etiquettes of the required Islamic modesty). Listening to the Holy Quran being recited during the Taraweeh prayers is a great act of worship. The guests should be encouraged to go as well. Ramadan is a very special month and its every moment is precious and must be spent in the worship of Allah, The Most Exalted, and the service of His needy creation.

8.     Question: Does taking an injection break the fast?

Answer: Yes it does.

9.     Question: If a nursing mother decides not to fast during Ramadan for legitimate medical reasons (example reduction in milk), does she have to pay fidya (expiation) as well as make up the fast(s) later on?

Answer: No, she does not need to pay fidya. She must however make up her missed fast(s) at her first opportunity.

Answers provided by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Qadri, Founding Director of IECRC USA and Canada.

10.     Question: What is the Shar’i ruling for the Taraweeh Prayer? Is it 8 or 20 rakats (cycles)?

Answer: The Taraweeh prayer is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (emphasized, regular Sunnah). It is 20 rakats. Please read the article below for the required references:

Hadrat Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam has said, 

من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه
“…whoever prays during the night in Ramadan sincerely; seeking his reward from Allah, his former sins are forgiven.” [Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 1, Page 259, Hadith 1815]

Hadrat Sa’ib ibn Yazid has stated that,

كانوا يقومون على عهد عمر بن الخطاب رضى الله عنه فى شهر رمضان بعشرين ركعة
“We, (the Companions of the Beloved Prophet,) used to pray twenty rak’ats Tarawih prayer in the era of the Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.” [Sunan al-Bayhaqi, Vol. 2, Page 224, Hadith 4801]

It has been stated in Mirqat al-Mafatih:

إسناده صحيح
The chain of narration of this Hadith is sound (Sahih). [Mirqat al-Mafatih – Vol. 2, Page 175]

Hadrat Yazid ibn Ruman reports that

كان الناس يقومون فى زمان عمر بن الخطاب فى رمضان بثلاث وعشرين ركعة
“…during the time of Hadrat ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, people used to pray 23 Rak’ahs during Ramadan (20 rak’ahs for Tarawih prayer and 3 rak’ats for witr.)” [Muwatta Imam Malik, Vol. 1, Page 115, Hadith 251]

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu narrates, said that,

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصلي في رمضان عشرين ركعة سوى الوتر
During the month of Ramadan, aside from the praying of wit’r the beloved Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Aaihi wa Sallam would also pray 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih.

Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 164, Hadith 7692
At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Awsat, Vol. 1, Page 243, Hadith 798
At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Awsat, Vol. 5, Page 324, Hadith 5440
At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabir, Vol. 11, Page 393, Hadith 12102
Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4391
Abd bin Hamid, Musnad, Vol. 1, Page 218, Hadith 653
Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh, Vol. 6, Page 113
Al-Haytami, Majma’ az-Zawaid, Vol. 3, Page 172
Ibn Abd-al Barr, al-Tamhid, Vol. 8, Page 115
Al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol. 4, Page 254, Hadith 1908
Al-Asqalani, al-Diraya, Vol. 1, Page 203, Hadith 257
As-Suyooti, Tanwir al-Hawaliq, Vol. 1, Page 108, Hadith 263
Zahbi, Mizan al-Ae’tidal, Vol. 1, Page 170
Al-San’ani, Subul Islam, Vol. 2, Page 10
Al-Mizzi, Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 2, Page 149
Al-Zela’i, Nasb al-Rayah, Vol. 2, Page 153
Zurqani, Sharh Alal Muwatta, Vol. 1, Page 342
The consensus ( Ijma’) of the Companions

A companion of Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu, Sayyiduna Shutayr bin Shakil narrates that,

During the month of Ramadan Sayyiduna Ali would read 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih and 3 wit’r.

Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7680
Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4395
Sayyiduna Abu Abd-ar Rahman Sulami Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said,

In the month of Ramadan, Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu sent for all the Qur’anic recitors, and instructed one of them to lead 20 rak’ahs Tarawih, and Sayyiduna Ali himself would lead the wit’r prayer. [Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4396]

It is narrated that,

Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu ordered a person to lead the Muslims in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih, and this was aside from the wit’r. [Ibn Abd-al Barr, al-Tamhid, Vol. 8, Page 115]

Sayyiduna Yahya bin Sa’id Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said that,

Sayyiduna Umar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu ordered an individual that he lead them in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7682]

Sayyiduna Naf’i bin Umar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

Ibn Abi Malkiya would lead us in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih in the month of Ramadan. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7683]

Sayyiduna Abd-al Aziz bin Rafi’ Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

Sayyiduna Abi Bin Ka’ab Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu would lead the people of Madinah al-Munawwarah during the month of Ramadan in the praying of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih and 3 wit’r. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7684]

Sayyiduna Hata’ Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

I have observed worshippers praying 23 rak’ahs of Tarawih comprising of the wit’r. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7688]

Malik al-‘Ulama Hadrat ‘Allama ‘Ala al-Din Abubakr ibn Mas’ud al-Kasani states:

It has been narrated that Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq assembled all the companions in the month of Ramadan to perform Tarawih behind Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b. so, he (Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b) lead them in the Tarawih prayer performing twenty (20) Rak’ats every night. No one from them ever refuted or disapproved of this. Thus, the Ijma’ (consensus) of all the companions was on performing twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Bada’i al-Sana’i – Vol. 1, Page 288]

Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Aini states in his renowned commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari entitled, “Umdat al-Qari”:

‘Allama ibn ‘Abd al-Barr has states that it is the ruling of the majority of the scholars that tarawih is twenty Rak’ats. The scholars and jurists of Kufa, Imam al-Shafi’i and the majority of the Fuqaha have stated this, and this is the sound opinion as transmitted from Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b that no companion had a difference of opinion in it. [‘Umdatul Qari – Vol. 5, Page 355]

Shaykh al-Islam, al-Imam al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani states:

It is the Ijma’ of the companions upon the fact that the Tarawih prayers consists of twenty rak’ats.

It has been stated in Maraqiy al-Falah the commentary of Nur al-Idah that:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats, as the Ijma’ of the companions is upon this.

‘Allama ‘Abd al-Hayy Faranghi Mahalli states:

It has been proven that the companions used to perform tarawih twenty rak’ats in the blessed eras of Hadrat ‘Umar, Hadrat ‘Uthman, Hadrat ‘Ali and all those who came after them. Such reports have been transmitted by Imam Malik, ibn Sa’d, Imam Baihaqi and others. [‘Umdah al-Ri’ayah hashiyah Sharh al-Waqayah – Vol. 1, Page 175]

Imam Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari states:

The companions all agree (it is their consensus) upon the fact that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats.[Mirqat al-Mafatih – Vol. 2, Page 175]

The ruling of the Majority

Imam Tirmidhi states:

The majority of the scholars practice what has been transmitted from Hadrat ‘Umar Faruq, Hadrat ‘Ali and the other companions that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. Imam Sufiyan al-Thawri, Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Imam al-Shafi’i have stated the same (that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats). Imam Shafi’i has stated that we have found the residents of our city Makkah al-Mukarramah performing twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Tirmidhi – Chapter on worshipping the nights of Ramadan – Page 99]

Imam Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari has stated:

It is the conformity of all the muslims upon the twenty rak’ats for Tarawih. This is because Imam Baihaqi narrates with a sound chain of transmission that in the blessed era of Hadrat ‘Umar, Hadrat ‘Uthman and Hadrat ‘Ali, the companions and all those who followed them (Tabi’un) performed twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Babu Fath al-‘Inayah Sharh al-Nuqayah]

It has been stated in the commentary of Tahtawi on Maraqiy al-Falah that:

By the continuous practice of Hadrat Abubakr al-Siddiq and the other Rightly-Guided Caliphs, it has been proven that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. [Page 224]

‘Allama ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats; this is the ruling of the majority of the scholars and the common practice of all Muslims from east till west. [Radd al-Muhtar – Vol. 1, Page 195]

Shaykh Zain al-Din ibn Nujaim al-Misri states:

Twenty rak’ats Tarawih is the ruling of the majority of the scholars. This is because it has been reported in the Muwatta of Imam Malik on the authority of Hadrat Yazid ibn Ruman that in the blessed era of Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq the companions used to perform twenty-three rak’ats (twenty rak’ats for Tarawih and three rak’ats for the Witr.) [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq – Vol. 2, Page 66]

Imam Ali Qari al-Hanafi (d. 1014 AH), He said in Sharh al-Naqayah:

“Imam Bayhaqi has reported on genuine authority (sahih) about the performance of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih during the periods of Umar, Uthman and Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhum, and hence there has been consensus (Ijma’) on it.”

It has been stated in al-‘Inayah the commentary of al-Hidayah that:

Until the beginning of the Khilafah (reign) of Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq, the companions used to perform the Tarawih individually. Thereafter, Hadrat ‘Umar stated that, “I find it better to assemble all the companions (to perform the Tarawih) behind one Imam.” Thus, he assembled all the companions to perform the Tarawih with congregation behind Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b. Hadrat Ubayy lead them in the Tarawih performing 5 sets of four-rak’ats (tarwiha) i.e. performed twenty rak’ats.

In al-Kifayah it states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats in total. This is our (Hanafi) ruling and that of the school of Imam al-Shafi’i.

In Bada’i al-Sana’i it has been stated:

The number of rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer is twenty; five tarweha with one salam; every two salams is a tarweha (i.e. one salaam made after every 2 rak’ats. Therefore, two salaams means after four rak’ats). This is the ruling of the scholars in general. [Vol. 1, Page 288]

Imam al-Ghazzali states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. [Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din – Vol. 1, Page 201]

In Sharh al-Waqaya it has been stated:

Twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih is the Sunnah. [Vol. 1, Page 175]

In Fatawa ‘Alamgiri (also known as “al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah”) it states:

Tarawih consists of five Tarweha; each tarweha is four rak’ats with two salaams (made at the end of two rak’ats). This has also been stated in al-Sirajiyyah. [Vol. 1. Page 108]

Shah Waliyullah Muhaddith-e-Dehlwi states:

The number of rak’ats for the Tarawih is twenty. [Hujjatullahil Baligha – Vol. 2, Page 18]


Wisdom behind twenty rak’ats for Tarawih

The wisdom behind it is that in total there are twenty rak’ats Fard and Wajib throughout the day and night; 17 rak’ats are fard and 3 rak’ats are Wajib. Tarawih is twenty Rak’ats so that in the month of Ramadan the status of these twenty rak’ats Fard and Wajib are elevated and so that the Tarawih prayer takes these twenty rak’ats to perfection. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq Vol. 2 Page 67 – Tahtawi commentary on Maraqiy al-Falah – Radd al-Muhtar Vol. 1 Page 495 – al-Nahr al-Fa’iq] 
— — —
Extracted From
Anwaar al-Hadith, Chapter 3 – The Book of Salaah
by Hadrat Allama Mufti Jalal al-Din Qadiri al-Amjadi
English Translation: Mawlana Kalim al-Qadiri [Bolton – U.K.]

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

August 14, 2010 at 7:34 am