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View Full Version : The Objectives of Fasting (Maqâsid as-Sawm)

Bint Al Ghazi
10-20-2005, 02:46 PM
Bismillah Hira'Maa Nira'Heem

As-Salaam Au-Alaikum Wa Rehma'Thullahi Wa Bara'Ka Thu'Hu

The Objectives of Fasting (Maqâsid as-Sawm)

by Shaykh al-'Izz ibn 'Abdis-Salâm
Translated by Abû Rumaysah

Laylatu-l-Qadr is a blessed night, Allāh blessed it over one thousand months that do not contain it. It is called Laylatu-l-Qadr either because of its excellence and great status or because provisions and life-spans for the following year are decreed therein. The Angels and the Spirit descend in that night and greet those who pray by night with the salām; the scholars differ as to whether they extend the salām to them of their own accord or they convey the salām of their Lord.

A night in which the Lord of the worlds sends salām to His servants is a night that is indeed worthy of being better than a thousand months, it is a night worthy of being sought after and searched for. This is why the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would search for it along with his Companions and the righteous who came after them.

This night occurs in the last ten days of Ramadān, and is most likely to occur in the odd nights rather than the even nights. It seems clear that it occurs on the twenty-first night; this is because the Messenger of Allāh saw this night in a dream but was made to forget it, however he remembered that in the morning following it, he would prostrate in mud and water. It is authentically reported that it rained on the night of the twenty-first and the Masjid leaked water, [when the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) prayed therein, traces of mud and water were seen on his forehead and nose.

Moreover he ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) informed us that on the night of Laylatu-l-Qadr the moon would look like half a plate and the moon never looks like this unless it be in its seventh night or twenty-first night.

[Trans: this is the opinion of the author, may Allāh have mercy upon him, other opinions have been mentioned such as the opinion that Laylatu-l-Qadr falls on different nights every year, an opinion that was preferred by a group of scholars amongst whom was ibn Hajr]

From the excellent qualities of this night is that whoever prays during it out of faith and seeking reward, will have his previous sins forgiven him. The evidence for what we have mentioned lies in his ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) sayings,
“I was shown Laylatu-l-Qadr, then one of my wives awoke me and I was made to forget it, so search for it in the last ten nights.”

“Seek Laylatu-l-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadān”
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

Abū Hurayrah said, ‘we were discussing Laylatu-l-Qadr in the presence of the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) and he said, “which of you remembers the night when the moon arose and it was like half a plate?”

“Whoever prays the night of Laylatu-l-Qadr out of faith and seeking reward will have his previous sins forgiven.”

It is recommended for whoever finds it to increasing in praising Allāh and invoking Him, and he should frequently supplicate with this supplication, “O Allāh! You are the One who pardons greatly, You Love to pardon so pardon me.”

If a person was to suffice with praising Allāh, this would be better due to the hadīth in which it is reported that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever is diverted by making dhikr of Me from asking of Me, I would grant him the best of what I grant those asking.”

[Trans: at-Tirmidhī [#2926] on the authority of Abū Saہīd al-Khudrī with a da’īf isnād; refer to al-Albānī, ad-Da’īfah [#1335]. Ahādīth with similar meaning have been reported on the authority of ‘Umar in al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab al-Īmān [#573] and as-Suyūtī, al-Lālī’ [2/288] said that al-Hāfidh ibn Hajr declared it hasan; Jābir in al-Bayhaqī [#574]; Hudhayfah in Abū Nu’āym [7/313] and indicated as hasan by al-Albānī; and Mālik bin al-çārithah in al-Bayhaqī [#575].]

Umayyah said,

Should I mention my need or should your
Gifts suffice me, for sure giving gifts is part of your disposition
If a person was to praise you one day
The one who he is praising would suffice him

[Trans: Dīwān Umayyah [p. 333] in praise ibn Jud’ān. Sufyān bin ‘Uyaynah was asked about his (SAW) saying, “The most superior supplication on the Day of ‘Arafah is, ‘none has the right to be worshipped save Allāh, the One Who has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise and He is Omnipotent over all things” and [in explanation to the fact that a direct request is not mentioned therein] he mentioned the previous hadīth and these verses and proceeded to say, ‘this is an object of creation saying of another that it is sufficient to praise him [to get what he desires] rather than directly ask him, what then of the Creator, Blessed and Exalted is He?’ Recorded by al-Hāfidh ibn ‘Abdu-l-Barr, at-Tamhīd [2/680] and al-Bayhaqī [#575]]
I’tikāf, generosity and reciting the Qur’ān in Ramadān
Allāh, Exalted is He, says,
“Purify My House for those who perform tawāf, for those who stay there for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]” [al-Baqarah (2): 125]

“…and do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the Mosques.” [al-Baqarah (2): 187]

I’tikāf is to visit Allāh in one of His houses and to seclude oneself with Him, it is duty upon the host to honour his guest. It is mentioned in an authentic hadīth that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “each time someone goes to, and comes from, a Mosque, Allāh prepares for him a feast in Paradise.”
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

It is recommended to perform I’tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān so that a person can seek after Laylatu-l-Qadr, this was when the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would perform I’tikāf towards the end of his life. ‘A’ishah said, ‘the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would perform I’tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān until Allāh caused him to pass away, then his wives after him would similarly perform I’tikāf.’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

She also said, ‘when the last ten days came, he ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would spend the night in worship, awake his family, exert himself in worship and tighten his waist-wrapper’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

in another report, ‘the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would exert himself in worship in the last ten nights in a way that he never did in any other night’

The meaning of ‘tighten his waist-wrapper’ is that he would not take pleasure with his wives or that he would exert and devote himself to worship.

In this month, it is recommended to increase in the recitation of the Qur’ān and to be generous, for both the one performing I’tikāf and the one who is not. Ibn ‘Abbās said, ‘the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous in Ramadān when Jibrīl met him. Jibrīl would meet him in every night of Ramadān until he passed away, and he ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’ān to him. When Jibril met him, he would be more generous than the strong wind.’
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

The meaning of ‘strong wind’ here is a reference to its wide reach and its swiftness.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’ān to Jibrīl every Ramadān once, but in the year in which he passed away, he recited the Qur’ān to him twice.
[Bukhārī and Muslim]

Fasting Six Days of Shawwāl
It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allāh ( sallAllāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “whoever fasts the month of Ramadān and then follows this with six days of Shawwāl, it will be as if he fasted the whole year”

The reason for this is that a good deed is multiplied tenfold, hence every fast is like ten fasts.

[Trans: hence a total of 36 fasts will be equivalent to 360 fasts]

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10-20-2005, 02:51 PM
mashallah a great post
may we all learn from this inshallah

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