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Preparing for Ramadan (part 6)

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ حِينَ يُفْطِرُ وَفَرْحَةٌ حِينَ يَلْقَى رَبَّهُ

There are two joys for the fasting person: the joy when he breaks his fast, and the joy when he meets his Lord. [At-Tirmidhi]

فرح (joy) is an act of worship, an عبادة, which the believers should feel when they break their fast.

For what reason is the believer happy?

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (رحمه الله) said that when he breaks his fast, his pleasure is from two aspects:

1) That he has carried out the command of Allaah and successfully completed the obligation enjoined upon him by Allaah. How many people are in the graveyard wishing to fast for just one day for the sake of Allaah and yet he is unable to! The believer is happy that Allaah bestowed this favor upon him; that He guided him to complete the fast of that day. This is an important act of worship that one should practice at the time of breaking his fast.

2) Also, he feels joyful because Allaah has made lawful for him what conforms with his nature of food, drinks, and sexual relations with his spouse, after they were forbidden for him.

Pause and reflect: what truly brings you joy in this life and what saddens you? Are you only happy when you attain worldly gain – when you get a gift from someone or when you attain something you desire? Or do you rejoice when you finish Salaat in the proper way, when you complete your fast in the proper way?

Ponder over the moments of joy in your life. When are you happy? Read the rest of this entry

Preparing for Ramadan (Part 5)

One of the things that will increase our faith before we enter the month of Ramadan is to study the Ahadeeth that are particular to this blessed month.

In one such Hadeeth the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إذا جاء رضان فتحت أبواب الجنة، وغلقت أبواب النار، وصفدت الشياطين

When Ramadan begins, the gates of Jannah (Paradise) are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Explanation of the Hadeeth:

As the sun sets on the last day of Sha’ban, the gates of Paradise are opened. The scholars say that the gates of Paradise will actually be opened and the gates of Hellfire will actually be closed; a true opening and closing. It is required from Muslims to believe that the gates of Paradise will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed.

Some scholars like Al-Baaji said that the opening of the gates of Paradise means abundant forgiveness, elevation in ranks, and the giving of abundant reward; while As-Suyooti, when explaining Sunan an-Nasaa’i said: “The gates of mercy are opened. This most probably refers to Allah opening the acts of obedience for His servants which are a means of entering Paradise. The closing of the gates of Hell means the diverting of intentions from committing sins which lead people to Hell.” [End quote]

All these interpretations are correct.   Read the rest of this entry