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Newsletter for March 2013


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Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam
Rewards of Reciting Chapters of the Holy Qur’an

by Yasin T. al-Jibouri

(Excerpted from the Author's article on the Month of Ramadan)

When Fast is Prohibited

There are certain occasions when fast becomes unlawful; these are:

1) Fasting the first day of the month of Shawwal (Eidul-Fitr).

2) Fasting the tenth day of the month of Thul-Hijah (Fidul-Adha).

3) Fasting the eleventh and twelfth of Thul-Hijjh by anyone, pilgrim or non-pilgrim, who is then present at Mina.

4) Fast which is not required, such as that of the sick, the woman during her menstrual or post-natal (after having delivered) period, or fasting for a transgression committed (such as fasting to thank Allah for having been able to kill another Muslim), and the fast of one on a journey except if such person seeks the fulfillment of a dear and lawful worldly wish and goes to visit the Prophet’s shrine in Medina.

5) Fasting with the intention to prolong his fast till beyond sunset.

6) Fast of silence with the intention of hoping to seek nearness to Allah. Such fast was granted to a few holy men and women after the latter sought and obtained permission of the Almighty such as the case of Zakariyya (as) and Maryam mother of Jesus (as).

7) The fast of doubt: if one is not sure whether the day he is fasting is part of the month of Sha’ban or that of the month of Ramadan.

8) The fast of a wife who deliberately goes against her husband’s wish not to fast.

It is the Month of the Holy Qur’an

The month of Ramadan is sacred because it is the month when the Holy Qur’an was revealed, and because it is the month containing Lailatul-Qadr. It is, therefore, appropriate to know a little about this Book, the greatest of all divine revelations, the best revelation the descendants of Adam (as) have ever received from their Lord.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is quoted on p. 261, Vol. 2, of al-Zamakhshari’s Rabee’ al-Abrar as saying, "Allah Almighty read Surats Ta-Ha and Ya-Sin a thousand years before creating Adam, and when the angels heard it, they said, ‘Congratulations to those to whom such speech is revealed, and congratulations to the hearts that memorize it, and congratulations to the tongues that articulate it."’ In the same reference, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is quoted saying, ‘The hearts rust just as iron rusts.’ He (pbuh) was asked, "0 Messenger of Allah! What removes their rust?’ He (pbuh) said, "The recitation of the Qur’an and the remembrance of death." In one Qudsi hadith, the Almighty has said, "I shall give one who is too preoccupied with his recitation of the Qur’an to plead to Me the very best of what I give those who are grateful to Me."

Imam Ali (as) has said, "One who recites the Qur’an while standing during the prayers will receive a hundred good deeds for each verse he recites; if he recites it sitting during his prayers, he will receive fifty good deeds for each verse, and whoever recites it after having made his wudu will receive twenty-five good deeds for each verse, and one who recites it without wudu will receive ten good deeds for each verse he recites." One day, as al-Zamakhshari tells us on p. 264, Vol. 2, of his Rabee’ al-A brar, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was late in going back home. "What kept you so long from coming home" Ayesha asked him. He (pbuh) said, "It is the recitation of a man whose voice is better (when reciting the Holy Qur’an) than anyone else I have heard."

Then he (pbuh) stood and listened to him for a good while then said, "He is Salim, a slave of Abu Huthayfah. Praise to Allah for the presence of people like him in my nation." During the month of Ramadan, Sufyan al-Thawri used to devote his time to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, and Malik ibn Anas used to stop studying and researching hadith, abandon the company of scholars, and concentrate on reciting the Holy Qur’an instead, as we are told on pp. 257-258 of Vol. 2 of al-Zamakhshari’s Rabee’ al-Abrar. In one of his sermons, Imam All (as) said the following about the Holy Qur’an:

Besides the Holy Qur’an, nobody should complain of needing anything else. One who is deprived of it cannot be described as having anything at all; so, seek in it the healing of your ailments, and solicit its assistance when you encounter a hardship, for it contains a cure for the worst of ailments: disbelief, hypocrisy, and misguidance. Plead to Allah through it instead of pleading to any of His creation. Nobody can seek Allah through anything better than it, and be admonished that it is an intercessor that will intercede on your behalf, and a speaker that speaks the truth. For whomsoever the Holy Qur’an intercedes on the Day of Judgment, he will surely achieve intercession, and whoever seeks it to testify to his truthfulness will surely be regarded as a man of truth, for someone shall call on the Day of Judgment: Everyone who cultivates is tried by what he cultivates except those who cultivate the Qur’an;" so be among those who cultivate and follow it, and make it the means to reach your Lord. Seek its advice regarding your souls, and compare your views with those of its own, and seek its help against yielding to your desires (Rabee’ al-Abrar fee Nusoos al-Akhbar, pp. 258-259).

The Imam (as) has also said, "One who recites the Qur’an then dies and enters the fire is among those who took Allah’s signs lightly."

Rewards of Reciting Chapters of the Holy Qur’an

Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (as), as we are told by Shaykh Taqi al-Deen Ibrabim ibn All ibn al-Hassan ibn Muhammed ibn Salih al-’Amili-al-Kaf’ami, has made the following statement with regard to the merits of reciting chapters and verses of the Holy Qur’an:

One who recites ten verses in one night will never be written down among the indifferent. One who recites fifty verses will be written down among those who remember Allah often (i.e., thakireen). If he recites a hundred, he will be written down among those who constantly supplicate (qaniteen). If he recites three hundred, he will be written down among the winners (faaizeen). If lie recites five hundred verses, he will be written down among those who reach the degree of jitihad (muitahideen). And if one recites a thousand verses, he will be rewarded with one kantar which is five thousand mithqals: each mithqal is twenty-four karats the smallest of which [in as far as the weighing in the hereafter is concerned] is as big as the mountain of Uhud, and the largest extends from the earth to the sky (Misbah al-Kaf’ami, Vol. 2, p. 531).

The Imain (as) has also said, as quoted in the same reference, "If one recites the Qur’an, Allah will let him enjoy his vision, and such recitation decreases the penalty of his parents even if they may be kajirs (apostates)." Imagine, dear reader, what it does to your parents who raised you as a Muslim...

The reader is requested to refer to what is indicated early in this book with reference to who Imam al-Sadiq (as) was, what his source of information was, and what relation he had had with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). We, however, would like to add one more statement made by this great Imam (as) that sheds light on his narration of Audit/i, since we all know that had it/i is the second source of the Sunnah, the Holy Qur’an being the first. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said,

My hadith is the same as my father’s, while my father’s hadith is the same as my grandfather’s, and the hadith of my grandfather is similar to that of al-Hussain ((as) Hussain’s hadith is the same as that of al-Hassan; al-Hassan’s hadith is similar to that of the Commander of the Faithful (as); the hadith of the Commander of the Faithful (as) is the same hadith of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is the speech of Allah, the Lord of Dignity and Greatness (This statement is recorded onp. 53, Vol. 1, of al-Kulayni’s book AI-Kafi).

From the viewpoint of Muslims who believe in and follow the flqh of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (as), whatever he said was the echo of what his great grandfather the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had said. He is one of twelve Imams followed byJa`fari Shi’as and who the latter believe are divinely inspired; they are the Imams of AhI al-Bayt (as) referred to in verse 33 of Surat al-Ahzab (Chapter 33). The fad that their number is twelve and that all of them descended from Quraysh is stated in the Sahib books of our Sunni brethren. This is what al-Bukhari and Muslims, as well as many others, have confirmed. Some Sunni references indicate that the Prophet (pbuh) named all of them, saying that the first was Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) followed by his son al-Hassan (as) then al-Hassan’s brother al-Hussain (as), followed by nine from the offspring of al-Hussain (as) the last of whom is al-Mahdi (as).

The great Sunni Hanafi author of Yanabee’ al-Mawadda narrates an incident in his book as follows:

A Jew named al-A’tal came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, "Muhammed! I wish to ask you about certain things which I have been keeping to myself; so, if you answer them, I shall declare my acceptance of Islam before you." The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Ask me, O father of Imarah!" So he asked him about many things till he was satisfied and admitted that the Prophet (pbuh) was right. Then he said, "Tell me about your wasi (successor): who is he? No prophet can ever be without a wasi, and our prophet Moses (as) had appointed Yusha’ [Joshua] son of Noon as his successor." He (pbuh) said, "My wasi is Ali ibn Abu Talib followed by my grandsons al-Hassan and al-Hussain followed by nine men from the loins of al-Hussain." He said, "Then name them for me, O Muhammed!" The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Once al-Hussain departs, he will be followed by his son Ali; when Ali departs, his son Muhammed will succeed him. When Muhammed departs, his son Ja`far will follow him. When Ja`far departs, he will be followed by his son Mousa. When Mousa departs, his son All will succeed him. When Ali departs, his son Muhammed will succeed him. When Muhammed departs, his son al-Hujjah Muhammed al-Mahdi will succeed him. These are the twelve ones." So that Jew embraced Islam and praised Allah for having guided him(‘This is recorded on p.440 of al-Hafiz al-Qandoozi al-Hanafi’s book Yanabi’ al-Mawaddak and also by al-Hamawayni in his book Faraid al-Simtain wherein he relies on the authority of Mujahid who quotes Ibn Abbas).

If we wish to turn the pages of Shi’a books and discern the facts the contain with regard to this subject, we will surely find many times a many ahadith as this one, but this suffices to prove that Sum scholars do admit that the number of the Imams (as) is twelve, an there are no such Imams besides Ali (as) and his purified offspring.

What strengthens our conviction that the Twelve Imams from AhI al-Bayt (as) were never tutored by any of the Ummah’s scholars is the fact that no historian, nor any traditionist, nor any biographer has ever indicated that one of the Imams from Ahl al-.Bayt (as learned what he knew from some suhaba or tubi’een as is the case with all the Ummah’s scholars and Imams.

Abu Haneefah, for example, was a student of Imam Ja`far-a] Sadiq (as); Malik was a student of Abu Haneefah; al-Shafi’i learned from Malik and so did Ahmed ibn Hanbal. As regarding the Imam from Ahl al-Bayt (as), their knowledge is gifted by Allah, Glory an Exaltation to Him, and they inherit such knowledge son from father for they are the ones to whom the Almighty specifically refers where He says, "Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants" (Holy Qur’an, 35:32).

This much ought to convince the discreet reader that th information stated in this section is taken from a very reliable source.






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