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Newsletter for July 2014
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THE MONTH OF RAMAZAN
The word “Saum” has been used in the Glorious Qur’an 14 times:
Surah Baqarah Ayah 183: “O Believers, fasting has been made mandatory for you as it was made mandatory for the people before you, so that you may have fear of Allah.”
Surah Baqarah Ayah 184: “Fasting is only for a certain number of days. One who is sick or on a journey has to fast the same number of days at another time. Those who can afford redemption should feed a poor person. Good deeds performed on one’s own initiative will be rewarded. However, fasting is better and will be rewarded. “
Surah Baqarah Ayah 185: “The month of Ramazan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed; a guide for the people, the most authoritative of all guidance and a criterion to discern right from wrong. Any one of you who knows that the month of Ramazan has begun must start to fast. Those who are sick or on a journey, have to fast the same number of days at another time. Allah does not impose any hardship upon you. He wants you to have comfort so that you may complete the fast, glorify Allah for His having given you guidance, and perhaps you give Him thanks.”
Surah Baqarah Ayah 187: “It is made lawful for you, during the nights of fasting, to have carnal relations with your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments. Allah knew that you were deceiving yourselves. He relented toward you and forgave you. Now it is lawful for you to have carnal relations with your wives and follow what Allah has commanded. Eat and drink until the white streak of dawn becomes distinguishable from darkness. Complete your fast, starting from dawn to dusk. It is not lawful to have carnal relations with your wives during ‘I’tikaf (a certain form of worship) in the mosque. Such are the limits of the laws of Allah. Do not come close to transgressing them. Thus has Allah explained His evidence to men so that perhaps they will have fear of Allah.”
Surah Baqarah Ayah 196 is regarding redemption of injury while shaving the head during Hajj.
Surah Nisa Ayah 92 is regarding the retribution of killing a believer by mistake.
Surah Ma’idah Ayah 89 is regarding expatiation of breaking an oath deliberately.
Surah Mai’dah Ayah 95 is regarding expatiation for hunting within the Holy Precincts.
Surah Maryam Ayah 26 is regarding fast of talking by Lady Maryam.
Surah Ah’zab Ayah 35 is regarding Allah’s promise to forgive the fasting men and fasting women.
Surah Mujadelah Ayah 4 is regarding ransom for Zihar (calling their wives as mothers)
The Prince of the Youths of Paradise, the Infallible Imam Hasan (a.s.) is quoted in Shaikh Saduq (r.a.)’s Man La Yazharuhu al-Faqih volume 2 page 49 saying that a group of Jews visited the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) and the most learned among asked few questions among them was: “Why did the Almighty enjoin fast upon your nation during day-time for thirty days after having required previous nations to fast for a longer period of time?”
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.s.) said: “When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, food remained in his stomach for 30 days; therefore, Allah enjoined Adam’s offspring to spend 30 days suffering from hunger and thirst, and what they eat during that period of time (during the night) is due only to His favor upon them just as it was His favor upon Adam. This shows why Allah enjoined my nation to fast. Then the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.s.) recited this Ayah: “Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (yourselves) against evil. (Fast) for a certain number of days.” Surah Baqarah Ayah 183
The Jew said: “You have, O Muhammad, said the truth; so, what is the reward of one who fasts?”
The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) answered: “No believer fasts during the month of Ramazan seeking nearness to Allah without the Al-Mighty granting him seven merits:
1.Anything haram (prohibited) in his body will be compressed and extracted;
2.He becomes closure to achieving the Mercy of Allah;
3.He will have atoned the sin of his father Adam (a.s.);
4.His death agony will be reduced;
5.He will receive an assurance against undergoing the pains of hunger and thirst on the Day of Resurrection;
6.Allah will grant him a clearance from Hell; and
7.Allah will feed him of the good things in Paradise
The month of Ramazan is not only a month of abstention of a few things but also a month of sustained efforts toward spiritual perfection which includes realization of the thirst and hunger on the Day of Resurrection, giving alms to the poor, treating parents and elders with respect, being kind and loving to children, looking after the relatives, protecting eyes, ears and tongues from misuse, being compassionate with the orphans, and seeking repentance from Allah.
The Glorious Qur’an was revealed in the Grand Night (Laylatul Qadr) in this month. The Infallible Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “During the Laylatul Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever God All-Mighty decrees that year, and if Allah wishes to advance something or postpone it, or add thereto, He orders the angels to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.”
Other Divine scriptures were also revealed in this blessed month; Taurait (Torah) was revealed to Prophet Musa on 6th Ramazan, Injeel was revealed to Prophet Isa’ on 12th Ramazan, Zuboor (Psalms) was revealed to Prophet Dawood on 18th Ramazan.
Characteristics of Fasting:
1 .It is the longest worshiping. Prayers do not take more than 1 hour a day, while fasting takes about 12 to 17 hours.
2. Does not interrupt our daily life. We cannot offer our daily prayers while working. It takes about a week for Hajj.
3. Worship Allah without any action. In performing prayers, we recite Qur’an, some zikr in different postures.
4. It is the most sincere worship. The best worship is the secret of all. Once its seal is broken it is spoiled by showing it off. Salat is recommended to be offered in public and is prone to showing it off and can be easily void. Fast is worshiping which none other than Allah knows if we are fasting. Fasting is an inner worshiping, hence most sincere.
5. Penalty for deliberately missing. Missing Salat is a sin but can be made up for lapsed ones but no penalty. Fasting is the only worship that if missed deliberately then in addition to making it up, there is a hefty penalty (must free a slave or fast two months or feed sixty poor people).
The Glorious Qur’an
Man La Yazaruhu al-Faqih by Shaikh Saduq (r.a.)
Al-Kafi volume 2 by Allama Majlisi (r.a.)
Fasting and Holy month of Ramazan by Shaikh Mansour Leghaei
Laws and Practices of Fasting
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