Objectives & Spirit of Fasting

The Objectives of Ramadan Fasting:

a) To get rid of bad habits: Ramadan Fasting demands the strict and solid resolution to submit oneself to a special diet which, often corrects habits, harmful to the health, that we may get into, during the running year, thus to comply with a severely regulated diet and some bad habits, as a self-willed sacrifice. This is why we notice that the Holy Quran mentions patience, tolerance, will, and perseverance as being synonyms of fasting.

b) To suffer hunger thus feel the difficult life of the poor: This endurance provokes in ourselves the feeling of association with their sorrows and deprivations. This feeling, so humane and compassionate, is much more expressive than a whole series of well-prepared speeches or well-organized public demonstrations. The rich people who never experience deprivation, discover, through fasting, the hardship imposed on needy people. Then, their hearts become more tractable, and their hands, will exercise generosity and charity towards the needy.

c) To Appreciate God’s beyond measure donations: The daylight is never enough estimated unless we endure the night darkness. Also we cannot know the real value of happiness until we lose it. So when we fast, we suffer hunger, thirst and deprivation of so many other leisure’s we used to enjoy before fasting. Then, we effectively evaluate the life comforts Mighty God has gifted us with.

d) To discover the sanitary advantages: Dr. Alexis Karlil, in his book… says: The exaggerated variety of our meals, their excessive quantities and assortments, make the alimentary regulating in the human life become ineffective. With the legislation of Fasting by all religions the humanity has known to attract notice to thousands, even millions of human beings who never know satiety. Moreover, fasting activates the blood circulation and purifies heart and soul. Besides, the modern medicine has proved that fasting is a remedy for diseases that affect the man of this century because of overeating and the variety of canned food. In this case, fasting is as being a treatment, and even a preventive at the same time.

e) Recalling of evident return to God: In fact, Ramadan fasting is a stage where the human being is the closest to God. The fasting period, Ramadan is a time when one submits to spiritual and social changes.

f) One acquires loyalty, honesty and sincerity to God, by fasting: Ramadan fasting is a confidential act which occurs between the human being and his Creator. This act must be impregnated with full sincerity and the deepest loyalty. Now in case fasting loses its honesty, it becomes a hypocrisy.

g) Regulating habit: By Ramadan fasting, we acquire the habit of punctuality. We breakfast at fixed time, and we abstain from eating and drinking at a strict and special time. Moreover, becoming accustomed to regulations leads to the respect of time, of word and promise, and so one becomes trustworthy, well estimated, able to carry out one’s responsibilities, and to fulfill one’s social duties.

h) Spreading assistance and mutual help in the society: Ramadan fasting inspires love and tightens links among the family members who live the whole fasting period in the same routine which approaches them to God. Habits change automatically during the period, and the family members meet in the evenings to say prayers appropriated to this holy occasion. The morals and fruitful consequences of fasting extend to the vast society, where collaboration between its members, and decent behavior are demonstrated. Charity and mutual help occupy a remarkable place, and brotherhood and equality triumph, which that is, the most human acts and the holiest purpose of the fasting.

Spirit of Ramadan Fasting:

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” Holy Quran (2:183)

Fast like a living thing, have a body and a soul. The required abstinence from food, water, sexual relations etc, is the body of the fast: “piety” is its soul. If we are not striving to refine our character by fast, our fast will be a body without soul. Fast cleanses our body from impurities. Likewise, it must purify our hearts and minds from all impure thoughts improper desires and undisciplined sensations.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) saw a woman, who was fasting on that day (not in Ramadan), abusing her girl-servant. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) admonished her and told her to break her fast. The woman protested: “But I am fasting today”. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saww) said: “But was not your fast broken by the abuses you were hurling upon that poor girl?”

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) has said, “Your fast day should not be like other ordinary days. When you fast, all your sense – eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet – must fast with you.”

How?

Eyes: Keep your eyes off unlawful things and objects; spend this most precious gift of God in good cause and pious acts and read Holy Quran and Du’as.

Ears: Abstain from hearing unlawful gossip, lies, false statements, music and obscene topics. Pay your attention towards sermons and topics of learning etc.

Tongue: Do not tell lies or useless tales; do not spread rumours or, damaging gossips about other persons; keep aloof from falsity. Use the power of speech in spreading the word of God; in creating goodwill in the society.

Hand: Do not inflict injury upon others by your actions; instead strive to help them as far as you can.

Feet: Do not go towards forbidden places, like bars and cinemas. Do not run between people creating strife. Go towards those places, where God is remembered; and your movements should be to bring people together.

And above all, your heart and mind must be with you in fasting. Because fast in its real sense, will not be complete unless your thoughts, your emotions, your actions – in short, all aspects of our life – become pure, clean and free from blemish

For more refer: http://www.ezsoftech.com/ramadan/ramadan10.asp

Advertisements

What is EID UL FITR – 1 SHAWWAL

Download complete booklet with method of Namaz -e-Eid ul Fitr

from here: >> Eid Ul Fitr  << 

What is Eid ul Fitr

Eid ul Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadhan. We say farewell to the blessed month, it’s beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of seeking nearness to Ar-Rahmaan, the school of Imaan and an opportunity to recharge our spiritual batteries.

Eid-ul-Fitr (Id al-Fitr) is linked with the Holy month of Ramadan. It signifies the end of the month of fasting (the first day of the month of Shawwal).

Eid-ul-Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs.

Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when the Muslims thank God for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe fast and obey His commandment during the holy month of Ramadan.

This day, in Muslim world, brings rejoicing and happiness. The rejoicing is not, however, at the departure of the month of Ramadan; it is the happiness which man feels after successfully completing an important task.

It is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Eid-ul-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation.

The feast of Fitr is God’s reward for those who fast during the holy month of Ramadan. In this month, man should try to add to his true knowledge of God, do acts of charity for the needy, renew his beliefs towards his Lord and this will be a real Bairam Feast (Turkish word meaning festival) for him. The prayers of the day of Bairam a reason of unity and solidarity of Muslims all over the world.

Why celebrate Eid ul Fitr?

Is Eid a sign of happiness that Ramadhan has finished? Quite the opposite! It is a celebration of thanks to Allah for giving us the chance and the strength to carry out His commands in the blessed month. We are happy that we were able to fast and pray in Ramadhan, and have hopefully increased in taqwa (God-consciousness), the goal of fasting.

Allah says in Sura al-Baqarah, ayat 185: “You shall complete the number (of days) and you may glorify God for His guiding you, and that you may be thankful.”

Imam Ali (AS) says: “Eid is for him whose fasts have been accepted by Allah, and whose worship has been appreciated by Allah. Everyday in which you do not disobey Allah is a day of Eid.”

The Holy Prophet (SAW) and the Imams celebrated Eid and encouraged all Muslims to do so. They told Muslims to wear good clothes, put on perfume, and go to the mosque to recite the Eid prayer. They also said to exchange Eid greetings, visit each other, and generally pass the day joyfully. We should remember the poor by taking out fitrah before Eid, and visiting them and sending them gifts if we can.

The day of Eid is meant for remembering Allah. The Holy Prophet (SAW) says: “Give beauty to your Eid by doing takbir”. It is said that the Prophet (SAW) himself used to come out of his home on the day of Eid, reciitng the takbir and glorifying Allah in a loud voice

For who is to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr ?

Eid al-Fitr is a great day of festival for Muslims. It is a day of rejoicing and being happy. But for whom? Is it the day of rejoicing for those who simply put on new clothes and wear perfume? Or is it the day of being happy for those who were eagerly waiting for the release of the greatest enemy of mankind, Satan, from his captivity so that they all revert to committing sins? Unfortunately, many Muslims abstain from sins during the month of Ramadhan, but come Eid, they go back to what they were before! Cassettes of prayers, which were in their cars during the holy month, are thrown back into their cases and replaced with those, which are unlawful, by Shari’ah. The forbidden places from which they had abstained for month long, are infact the same places they go to celebrate Eid.                                                              

Just as, when a person goes to a college, or a university and at the completion of his course, he receives his award marking his achievement, we must understand that, the holy month of Ramadhan is a spiritual university where we are being trained to achieve Taqwa i.e. piety. The day of Eid al-Fitr is when Allah (SWT) is awarding us for our achievements.


On the day of Eid al-Fitr, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) delivered a sermon in which he said: “O people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing (before your Lord). Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you (your souls) shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in presence of your Lord (on the day of Judgement). And when you return to your homes (after prayer), remind yourselves about your returning to your homes in Paradise. O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadhan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadhan (saying): O SERVANTS OF ALLAH! REJOICE THE GLAD TIDING THAT ALL YOUR PREVIOUS SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. Therefore, watch out in those things which serve as your re-creation (on this day and days to follow)”  (
Nahjul-Balaghah)

What to do on this Day?

In the previous nights of Mahe Ramadhan, we prayed, offered charity and attended lectures. What will happen now? Have we fulfilled the requirements of Taqwa and graduated from this school with the diploma of the God Fearing?

The night of Eid ul fitr is a majestic night. It is beneficial to keep awake for Ibadah as this night is of equal importance as the night of Qadr. Eid must not just mark the ‘end’ of Ramadhan. Rather, it should be a new beginning, where we emulate our character and Islamic values, which we have focused upon for the past 30 days. We are like a child out of the womb, pure and innocent. Eid is the day of victory as we have succeeded in subduing our desires and purified ourselves. Let’s not wash away our good deeds and revert to our merry old ways. Let the masjid still overflow with worshippers; let the Quran be the most essential part of our lives instead of letting it gather dust on our shelves. Our condition should be better than before Ramadhan.

Eid is not just a ritual that provides us with an excuse to enjoy ourselves. It represents important values and participating in them, we seek to please the Almighty and attain nearness to Him.

On this day do honor God for His endless and all-enhancing mercy.

In view of the great significance attached to this day of Eid, numerous traditions consisting of prayers and worship of God on this day, have been quoted from the Holy Prophet and his Ahl-al-Bait.

Taking a solemn bath (Ghusl) on the night preceding Eid is highly recommended (Sunnat). This is a night of great sanctity and profound virtues, and should be preferably spent in worship and prayed to God.

Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S.) used to spend this whole night in devotion, and has said: “This night is as important as that of Shab-e-Qadr” (that is to say, the odd night towards the latter part of Ramadan when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to our Holy Prophet [S.A.W.]).

It is quoted from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that “one who offers six Rakat prayers on this night reciting in each Rakat Sura ‘Al-Hamd’ once and Sura ‘Qul Huwallah’ five times God will pardon his sins”.

Haris Aawar narrates that Hazrat Ali (A.S.), on this night, after Maghrib prayers, used to offer two Rakats prayers. In the first one he used to recite Sure ‘Al-Hamd’ once and Sura ‘Qul Huwallah’ one hundred times, and in the other both the Suras only once. After completion of the prayers he would bow his head in prostration and recite “Atubo Ellallah” 100 times and then would say, “I swear by one (God)! He has the sole command over my life”. Whoever will, in this way, offer two Rakats prayers, the Beneficent will positively fulfill any wish begged from Him. (Aamal-e-Shabe Eid-ul-Fitr)

For detail Aamal of Shabe-Eid please refer to http://www.duas.org/1nightshawall.htm#EID

The conception of Eid in Islam is not confined only to celebration extravagance, luxurious feasts, friendly handshakes and embraces. The Muslims should rather devote this day to the worship of God and should beseech Him to approve their virtuous deeds and forgive their sins. This is because the doors of God’s pardon are kept open this day and His Blessings are bountiful.

What is the Fast of the Month of Ramadan?

O Believers!  Fast is prescribed for you as it was for those before you so that you may ward off evil. (Fast) a certain number of days…

(Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verses 182-183) 

Every year in the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world abstain from food, drink, vain talk and certain other actions from before sunrise until after sunset.

 Fasting is prescribed in the Abrahamic faiths 

The Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions all enjoin fasting.  Moses observed a fast of forty days at Mount Sinai at the time of the revelation of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 24:18)  Although less common now, it is Jewish tradition to fast when mourning or when in danger.  Most practicing Jews still fast on the Day of Atonement and for the one-week commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem in 597 B.C.   Jesus of Nazareth, peace be upon him, also fasted on the Day of Atonement and the forty days of Moses’ fast to ward off Satanic temptation.

  “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:2) 

Many Christians observe a forty-day pre-Easter fast, although now it includes abstention from only certain food items rather than all food and drink. Muslims fast the month of Ramadan and may, optionally, fast on most other days of the year. The One God prescribes fasting for the faithful; and it has many benefits.  Material pleasures can be generalized into food and drink, sexual pleasures, and vanity.  Fasting requires abstaining from these, going against the natural instinct of Man to observe the commandment of God. This builds and strengthens a person’s self-control, nearing them to their Creator.  Other benefits of fasting include:

 q  Fasting instills patience, teaches self control and discipline. 

q  Fasting increases compassion for the less fortunate. 

q  Fasting builds focus on spirituality and deminishes focus on materialism.  

q  Fasting has many health benefits. 

q  Fasting can be atonement for sin and can earn great reward. 

q  Fasting is part of a strong spiritual and physical renewal plan. 

q  Fasting commemorates important sacred religious events. 

The Muslim fast of the month of Ramadan is a continuation of the long history of fasting in the Abrahamic faiths.  The self-improvement benefits of fasting make it an important means of improving one’s faith and practice of religion.  

“And men who fast and women who fast…God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.”

( Qur’an 33:35) 

What does the fast of the month of Ramadan entail? 

In short, the fast involves abstention from all food, drink, vain talk, and sexual intercourse for married couples from the time before dawn when the sky becomes light enough to distinguish a black thread from the white thread of the horizon, until after sunset when redness leaves the Eastern half of the sky.  Some people are not to able to fast due to age, health, child-bearing conditions, etc., and instead give charity, and/or make up the days of fast they missed at a later time. However, the true spirit of the fast of the month of Ramadan is more than just abstention from a few things.  It is a time of sustained, amplified effort toward spiritual perfection. 

Thirst and hunger you undergo, feel and live through, here and now, to bring to your mind the severity and sharpness of the drought and starvation that will be the order of the day on the Day of Judgment.  

q  Give alms to the poor and destitute.

q  Treat your parents and elders with respect.

q  Be kind and loving to your children and juniors.

q  Take care of and look after your relatives.

q  Keep from giving tongue to that which should not even be whispered.

q  Shut your eyes to that which is indecent to have an eye for.

q  Turn a deaf ear to that which is too slanderous to be all ears to.

q  Be compassionate, gentle and benign unto orphans so that after you, your children, if need be, receive the same treatment from others.

q  Turn repentant to God and seek His nearness.”     

  Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family 

In addition to fasting and aiming for excellent moral character, Muslims devote as much time and energy as possible in the month of Ramadan toward prayer and supplication to the One and Only God.  During some of the nights of this month, Muslims will remain awake the whole night in worship.   After the last day of the month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr to commemorate the completion of the fast.  They get together for prayer, food, and modest gift exchange (particularly for children).  However, it is a day of mixed feelings, because the most blessed month of Ramadan with all of its opportunities for forgiveness and reward are gone for another year.

“I take refuge with Thy kindest disposition, O Lord, lest the dawn of this night breaks forth, or the month of Ramadan comes to an end, and I still stand as an accused (unforgiven) sinner, liable to be punished, on the Day I am presented before Thee.”

[From a prayer of the last night of the month of Ramadan, taught by Imam Jafar as-Sadiq, peace be upon him]

 

Why is fasting prescribed particularly in the month of Ramadan for Muslims?

 

The month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar.  Since a lunar year is about a week and a half shorter than a solar year, the month of Ramadan cycles backward through the seasons.  It is a sacred month because God ordained it for the revelation of sacred texts.  Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq quotes the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, as saying,

 

 “The Books of Abraham were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadan; the Torah was revealed on the sixth of the month of Ramadan; the Gospel was revealed on the thirteenth of the month of Ramadan . . ., and the Holy Qur’an on the twenty-third of the month of Ramadan.”

 

 It is also considered sacred because it contains the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr).  “Qadr” literally means destiny, and on this night God determines each and every event to occur during the next year to any and all of His creation. Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, informs us that, 

“During Laylatul Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever God decrees that year, and if God wishes to advance something or postpone it or add thereto, He orders the angel to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.” 

 

The Holy Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his family, tells us about the great blessings of the month of Ramadan.

 

 “[The month of Ramadan is] overflowing with advantages, merciful, ready to put up your sins of omission and commission to God for obtaining his forgiveness.  Its days, nights and hours, in the estimation of God, are more select, refined and important than the days, nights and hours of other months.  It surpasses all months in merits and favors.…. So, sincerely, free from evil and sinful thoughts and actions, with clear conscience, pray and request that God may give you heart and confidence to observe fast… throughout this month..” 

Conclusion: Muslims observe fast, as in any act of devotion, to seek nearness to God, seek His pleasure and Forgiveness, and generate a spirit of piety in Man.  Fasting in this month honors the revelation of God’s word and purifies one in preparation for the night of decrees and in hope of forgiveness. Fasting is a yearly spiritual renewal, given abundant reward in this month of God’s Mercy that is part of the Islamic path to the ideal self.  

To find out more about Islam, visit: http://al-islam.org/faq/

FAQ’s

1. What is the month of Ramadan? (the Islamic lunar month of fasting)

2. Why is this month important for Muslims? (Because it is believed by Muslims to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad & Allah himself has made this month as beneficial by showering with N’ number of bounties)

3. What does fasting mean? ( Fast involves abstention from all food, drink, vain talk, and sexual intercourse for married couples from the time before dawn till sun set)

4. At what age does fasting become a requirement for Muslims? (Puberty)

5. Explain the terms SAWM, SUHOOR, IFTAR. (Sawm = fasting, Suhoor = pre-dawn breakfast meal, Iftar = meal at the end of the daily fast)

6. What are the benefits of fasting? (Many… but fews as to feel compassion for the poor and underprivileged, to build a sense of self-control, and to purify the body and the soul)

7. What marks the end of Ramadan? (Eid al-Fitr holiday)

8. How do Muslims finish off the month of Ramadan? (By seeing the crescent of moon of the next month & celebrating the Eid’ul Fitr)

 

 

 

Self Accounting

 Self Accounting Excel sheet >> self-accountings.pdf

This is just a sample file you can use it as it is or you can add/delete as per your requirements.

The other important deeds of this night is self scrutinizing, and it would be so much better and desirable that at the end of the month, the fast observing believer should audit his investment and profit, exactly like two partners who scrutinize their investments and gains at the end of the day. He should look at his investment, i.e., age, faith, blessings and illuminations of the Holy Month of Ramadhan and should find out whether at the end of the month his faith in Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted), the Holy Prophet [s], and religion has increased or not ? He should think how are his ethics and his spiritual condition?

He should think whether the Holy Month of Ramadhan has contributed towards the improvement, perfection and maturity of ethics, and affairs like fear, hope, patience, asceticism, Allah’s remembrance, enlightenment, love, reliance, surrender, consent, Monotheism, heart’s wideness, spiritual contemplation of hidden realities, acceptance of calamities, keeping secrets, detachment from the world, and attachment towards the Hereafter, etc., or not? He should think how are his deeds and character? Has he taken steps towards their betterment? Has he increased his efforts for their correct religious performance ? Especially, he should review his tongue’s actions, and should think whether its sins like lying, speaking nonsense, back-biting, accusation, obscenity and ill-speaking have decreased or not? If after this scrutiny he discovered that his heart’s affairs are still like before, and no step forward has been taken for their betterment, he should realize that he has not been benefited from this esteemed month and its bounties, the way he should have been. That his undesirable and unjust actions have closed the path for the illumination and blessings of this Holy Month, thus, making him deprived from its benefits. Otherwise, it is not possible that illuminations and bounties of this month, especially, the blessing of the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) as well as illumination and bounties of prayers and supplications do not leave any influence upon his actions and affairs. Some one like this should feel sorry for his loss, and from this fear, lest the saying of the Holy Prophet [s], that: “Whoever passes the Holy Month of Ramadhan without his being pardoned, then there do not exist any pardon for him”, might be valid for him.

Therefore, he should arise for his reform, should seek refuge in Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), should beseech Him for help, should All stretch his hands towards the threshold of His generosity, with his tongue and from the profundities of his heart must cry:

“Or, Who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.”

– Holy Qur’an (27:62)

He must honestly and sincerely lament upon his sorry state of affairs, from the profundities of his soul and mobilizing his entire existence must cry:

“There is no god save Thee, be Thou glorified, Lo! I have been a wrong doer.”

– Holy Qur’an (21:87)

His condition should be such that shame and degradation of wrongdoers, anxiety and fear of sinners should be apparent upon his face. He must request for forgiveness and pardon with the degree of anxiety in proportion to the magnitude of his sins and the calamity inflicted upon him. If Allah forbid, his lazy and deviated self prevents him from offering repentance, at least, his case should not be worst than Satan’s; acting exactly in the same manner as he besought Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and also accomplished his objective – i.e., not to be disappointed from His kindness and generosity, not remaining negligent, in spite of all the damages and deviations, not closing the eyes from the Lord’s magnanimity; and in summary in the last night of this month, for compensation and provision of the benefits and rewards – lost by him during the entire month – as well as for reparation of losses and damages inflicted upon, he must do whatever he can, and in this manner should prepare himself for the Day of Eid ul-Fitr – the day for presenting ourselves before Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted) so that he should not remain empty handed from being benefited from great rewards, because indeed deprivation of them would be a tremendous loss and damage which would be irreparable.

Perplexion about Moon sighting

Please find the presentation forwarded by one of the brother to make more clear picture on Sighting of Moon, Fasting, Eid  & why there is a differences in the same.

 

Alhamdolilah!!  We should try to thank the brother/sister who has done this & tried to make it more clear/transparent the issue of moon sighting.

Attachment: fasting-l5-moon-1.ppt 

Health Guidelines For Ramadhaan Al-Mubarak

Health Guidelines For Ramadhaan Al-Mubarak
This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.

During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one’s weight.

In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).

Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).

Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

AVOID 

  1. Fried and fatty foods.
  2. Foods containing too much sugar.
  3. Over-eating especially at sehri.
  4. Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
  5. Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

     EAT 

  1. Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
  2. Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
  3. Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
  4. Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
  5. Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

 

DRINK
As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.
CONSTIPATION
Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti. INDIGESTION AND WIND
Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods. LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)
Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with “low blood pressure”. This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor. HEADACHE
Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with “low blood pressure”, the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep. LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor. MUSCLE CRAMPS
Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor. PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA
Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan. KIDNEY STONES
Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.
JOINT PAINS


Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.
Dr. Farouk Haffejee
Islamic Medical Association of

South Africa
Durban  

Hilal Issues : Replies From Najaf and Qum, 24 & 26 Ramadhan 1426

Hilal Issues: Reply from Qum dated 9-8-84 Iranian Date (equivalent to 26 Ramadhan 1426)
 
Question :  Kindly state if according to Ayatullah Seestani, can his/her Muqallid revert to another Mujtahid on the issue of hilal?
 
Answer: Hazrat Ayatullah has a Fatwa (ruling) on this issue and the instances of reverting to others does not arise.
 
Sealed : Board of Q&A
            Office of Ayatullah Seestani
            Qum

 
To read the original text in Farsi, click here
Hilal Issues: Reply from Najaf 24 Ramadhan 1426

To read the original text in Arabic, click here

Following public requests to obtain responses to various questions on ‘Moonsighting’ directly from Najaf, the Hilal Committee of IEB submitted 22 questions in Zilqad 1425 AH. Alhamdulillah IEB received responses from Najaf dated 24 Ramadhan 1426 AH 

Question 1
In your esteemed opinion, the expressions like “man shahida minkum…” in the Qur’ãn or “sum li ’r-ru’ya…” in hadīth has mawdū‘iyyat or tarīqiyyat for the beginning of the Islamic month?

Answer 1
Sighting has been taken as a ‘tariqiyyah’ – means to ascertain the manifestation of the crescent in the horizon such that it can be sighted with the naked eye, if there were no impediments like clouds, etc. If another method – other than sighting – could be used to ascertain the presence of the Crescent in the manner specified, it would suffice.

Question 2
In Tawdīhu ’l-Masã’il (mas’ala no. 1744) and Minhãju ’s-Sãlihiyn (mas’ala no. 1044), your eminence has defined the ittihad or ishtirak of ufuq as “the actual sighting in the first city would necessarily be followed with the sighting in the second city if there were no barriers like clouds, fog, mountains, etc.” This had been commonly taken to mean that any sighting in the east will automatically necessitate its sighting in the west irrespective of the distance.

But in al-Fiqh li ’l-Mughtaribīn, you have further qualified the range of ittihad ’l-ufuq by saying “as long as the latitude of the two locations are not greatly further away from one another” (question no. 115) and “as long as they are not far apart on the latitude lines” (question no. 116).
Different interpretations are given by our scholars in the west in understanding the phrases “greatly further away” or “far apart”. And so our question is:

If the astronomical data confirms to us that if the moon is sighted in the east (for example in Dar-es-salaam, in East Africa), the chances of it being sighted in the west within the curve of possibility (for example in New York) is greater even though they are far apart on the latitude lines — is the scientifically defined range of possibility of moon sighting accepted as the range for ittihãdu ’l-ufuq?

Answer 2
Sighting in the East does not necessarily mean the crescent will be sighted in the West. Even though the Crescent gets bigger as it heads West, sighting is dependant on appropriate altitude above horizon and suitable distance from the Sun. Sometimes, a Crescent is sighted in the East because, at Sunset, it is, say, 8 degrees above the horizon and cannot be sighted in the West after several hours because it is, say, only 2 degrees above the Horizon.

Question 3
When your Eminence declares that you are satisfied that the crescent has been sighted for the holy city of Najaf, we derive full satisfaction that the crescent has been sighted. However, because of a great latitude difference, our home city does not share the horizon with Najaf, can we, then, follow your declaration?

Answer 3
Confirmation of sighting in Najaf does not necessarily mean possibility of sighting (if there are no impediments) in London and other Northern areas.

Question 3a
a) If the answer to the above is no, and you recommend ihtiyạ̄t, can your Eminence please guide us as to how we can observe ihtiyạ̄t.

Answer 3a
One could undertake a journey on the day one suspects could be Eid, eat something after arriving at the Hadd-e-Tarakkhus, and then give Qadha of the fast.

Question 3b
Could there be an overriding principle to justify us following your declaration, for example:

  • avoidance of disunity amongst mu’minīn who follow different Marạ̄ji’ with different crescent sighting criteria, or
  • to avoid disrespect to our revered Marja’ because his muqallidin do end up observing the 1st of month a day after the others, or
  • to avoid the confusion caused by different interpretation and application of your Eminence’s crescent sighting criterion by your honourable appointed agents around the world.

Answer 3b
Differences arising from the differing Fatawa of Maraje’ in the issue of Crescent Sighting is not a new thing. This should not cause divisions nor should it be used to undermine the status of any of the Maraje’. As regards to the Fatwa of Sayyid (may the Almighty grant him a long life), it is clear and there is no room for differences in its interpretation.

Question 4
The traditions of Holy Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (a), dismisses the calculations of the Munajjim/Hussāb. In your Eminence’s opinion does this apply to modern day Astronomers?

Answer 4
Astronomers who use mathematical calculations to determine the conjunction of the new moon, its altitude at Sunset, and other similar data is normally acceptable as long as it is from reliable and competent astronomers and are free from errors. However, if these calculations were based on empirical data and experience (as some mention) such as criteria that determines when the Crescent can be sighted with the naked eye using the size of the crescent that is illuminated, altitude above the horizon, distance from the sun, etc. then these have no significance except if these were conducive to acquiring certainty on its validity.

Question 5
Reliable astronomical calculations suggest that in our city, the crescent would be visible at sunset on the 29th of the month. However because of barriers like clouds, fog, mountains, etc., the crescent is not sighted in our city or in other cities that share our horizon. Can we consider the next day as the first of the new month just on the basis of possibility of the moon sight without the actual sighting itself?

Answer 5
Simple ‘suggestions’ cannot be considered. However, if there was certainty (Itmi’nan), then one would have to act accordingly.

Question 6
Some scholars espouse that there is not a single riwāyah that specifies the requirement of sighting the crescent by naked eye. What is your Eminence’s expert opinion regarding the use of optical aid like:
 a) low level binoculars
 b) powerful binoculars
 c) telescopes.

Answer 6
‘Crescents were made for people to tell time’ – as the Holy Qur’an stipulates. A crescent that can only be seen by aids cannot help the general public in telling time. Based on this, there is no consideration for a crescent sighted using optical aids like telescopes, etc.

Question 7
In case of reported crescent sighting (either single, double or multiple), are we required to inquire about the basis of the sighting whether it conforms to the criterion that is valid according to our Marja’ – for example naked eye or telescopic sighting.

Answer 7
Only if a testimony complies with the conditions laid down by his Marja’, can a person use the testimony as a Hujjat for him to mark the beginning of the new month. He would thus have to ascertain that it does comply.

Question 8
If the horizon is cloudy at sunset and if we have the facility of flying in an aircraft above the cloud, should we make an effort to look for the crescent from the aircraft?
Would such a sighting be acceptable:
 a) for the passengers in the aircraft who observed the crescent?
 b) for the mu’minīn of the city below?

Answer 8
If the role of the aircraft was simply to rise above the impediments like clouds, then a sighting would be sufficient both for those on board the aircraft as well as those who inhabit the region above which the aircraft flies.

Question 9
Modern day Astronomers agree unanimously that the crescent cannot be sighted at conjunction and for a period of time until the separation between the sun and the moon has exceeded 6.8 degrees.

Question 9a
What is your Eminence’s opinion on this?

Answer 9a
This is not an issue of jurisprudence (Fiqh)

Question 9b
Can we reject a valid Bayyinah that has testified to a sighting during this period?

Answer 9b
If certainty is acquired from them (astronomers), then it would be the certainty that would prove the fallacy of the ‘Bayyinah’ and hence the ‘Bayyinah’ would be rejected.

Question 10
Modern day Astronomers agree unanimously that the sun has to be at least 5 degrees below the horizon before the light from the sun light on the horizon to have diminished to a level that would allow the new crescent to be sighted.
a) What is your Eminence’s opinion on this?
b) Can we reject a valid Bayyinah that has testified to a sighting during this period?

Answer 10
Our response would be same as that to the question above.

Question 11
Astronomical calculations in which we have full confidence for the daily prayers times and for the eclipses, give us very accurate times for moon set. Can we reject a valid Bayyinah that has testified to a sighting after the moon has set on that horizon?

Answer 11
Moonset times are determined by Mathematical calculations and, as long as these are reliable and error free, no testimony to the contrary should be accepted.
 
Question 12
Modern day Astronomy is a very specialized subject and the application of their calculations to reject a sighting is normally difficult for an average mu’min to comprehend. What is your Eminence’s opinion regarding setting up a committee of Religious Scholars who are fully conversant with your rulings and who are also conversant with Astronomical calculations, to deliberate on the possibility of crescent sighting for each month and to advise your followers of their duties?

Answer 12
This is good, but not essential. Legal obligation can be determined without recourse to it.

Question 13
Regarding sharing the horizon between two cities, such that a confirmed sighting in one can apply to the other, our observations over a number of years has shown that two cities that share the horizon in one month would not necessarily do so in subsequent months. In other words, the curve of possibility of moon sighting changes from month to month. Does your Eminence agree that we ought to calculate the common horizon independently every month?

Answer 13
Yes, this is true.

Question 14
What is the ruling regarding going out to look for the crescent of any new month? (wājib, mustahabb or mubạ̄ḥ̣)
Some scholars are of the opinion that it is ihtiyāt to look for the Shawwāl crescent so as to avoid falling into a harām act by fasting on the first of Shawwāl. What is your Eminence’s expert opinion?

Answer 14
Searching for the new Crescent is Mustahab. The prohibition of fasting on Eid day is a legal obligation and not an inherent one. Thus, one who fasts believing that the new month has not begun will not be committing a sin even if the contrary were to be proven later.

Question 15
On the 29th of the month, if we attempted to sight the crescent but failed or neglected or were too pre-occupied, and then if we start receiving reports about sighting:
 a) from our home city,
 b) from cities with whom we share the horizon,
 c) from cities with whom we do not share the horizon,
is it our duty to investigate the credibility of the report and the reliability of the reporter:
 a) in case of a single report of sighting?
 b) in case of multi reports of sighting?

Answer 15
It is not incumbent to verify and investigate all this. It is sufficient to conclude that the new month has not begun and if the contrary were to be proven later, necessary steps be taken to rectify it.

Question 16
If a mu’mīn sights the new crescent, should he follow his conviction, given that when he reports the sighting, he finds that either:
 a) others have failed to sight the crescent in similar circumstances, or
 b) the astronomers say that there was no possibility of sighting, or
 c) he lacks the experience of knowing about new crescent position, shape, moonset times etc., yet he believes that what he saw was the crescent.

Answer 16
If he does not believe – a reasonable degree of belief – that he has committed an error in perception, as is happening a lot, he has to act on his sightings. But if he believes there could be an error even though it was because information he has read from astronomers which said it would be impossible to sight the new crescent at the time and place that he believed he had seen, he will NOT act on his sightings because he will not have obtained certainty.

Question 17
If there are scholars who we rely upon for guidance, and they have derived satisfaction after investigation that the crescent has been sighted, should we accept their declaration unconditionally or are we required to inquire that the basis of their declaration conforms with a correct application of our Marja’s criterion for crescent sighting?

Answer 17
You must acquire certainty (Itmi’nan) on the reliance they have over the reports and testimonies of sighting which must comply with the conditions that make it legally binding according to the Marja’ of your taqleed.

Question 18a
How does your Eminence define Shiyạ̄’?

Answer 18a
Shiya’ as in one of the means of establishing the new crescent is the spread of sighting amongst a large group of people. This is conditional, however, on acquisition of knowledge and certainty (Ilm wa Itmi’nan). If not, it has no bearing.

Question 18b
Is there a minimum number of individuals that constitutes a valid Shiyạ̄’?

Answer 18b
For shiya that is conducive to knowledge and certainty, there is no minimum number. Whatever acquires the knowledge and certainty will be enough.

Question 18c
What are the qualifying characteristics of individuals who constitute a Shiyạ̄’?

Answer 18c
Some characteristics that should be present in those who claim to have sighted the crescent include an understanding that stems from experience; awareness of errors and its sources; cautious in that they are not impulsive; and other similar ones that would allow acquisition of certainty from a fewer numbers of testimonies.

Question 18d
If a person is easily convinced in circumstances where others are not normally satisfied, would this conviction be still valid?

Answer 18d
Only if the conviction is based on logical deductions, not otherwise.

Question 19
Regarding the Shiyạ̄’ that is valid for generating satisfaction of crescent sighting from cities that share our horizon:

Question 19a
Does a handful of people scattered over a number of cities constitute a valid Shiyạ̄’?

Answer 19a
We have mentioned earlier that acquisition of certainty is paramount and this cannot be obtained when there are large numbers who go out in one country in search of the new crescent and only a few claim to see it; even though they collectively form a reasonable number.

Question 19b
Do we have to inquire about the number that went to observe but failed to see, in order to validate the Shiyạ̄’?

Answer 19b
We have mentioned earlier what does and what does not influence the acquisition of certainty.

Question 19c
How many reports of confirmed sightings would constitute a Shiyạ̄’ to over-rule astronomical calculations that suggest that a sighting is not possible that evening?

Answer 19c
As mentioned earlier, the number of reports are insignificant; what is significant is the acquisition of certainty. Confirmation by astronomers that it may not be possible to see the new crescent already has a negative effect on acquiring certainty.

Question 19d
Can a Shiyạ̄’ comprising of individuals who have not sighted but are satisfied with a small number of reported sightings, be considered as a valid means for deriving satisfaction of crescent sighting?

Answer 19d
There is no consideration for this whatsoever.

Question 20
Regarding Shiyạ̄’ that are valid for generating satisfaction of crescent sighting from cities that DO NOT share our horizon:
 a) Does a handful of people scattered over a number of cities constitute a valid Shiyạ̄’?
 b) Do we have to inquire about the number that went to observe but failed to see, in order to validate the Shiyạ̄’?
 c) How many reports of confirmed sightings would constitute a Shiyạ̄’ to over-rule astronomical calculations that suggest that a sighting is not possible that evening?
 d) Can a Shiyạ̄’ comprising of individuals who have not sighted but are satisfied with a small number of reported sightings, be considered as a valid means for deriving satisfaction of crescent sighting?
 e) Can a Shiyạ̄’ comprising of scholars who we rely upon for guidance, who have not sighted the crescent, but are satisfied with a small number of reported sightings, be considered as a valid means for deriving satisfaction of crescent sighting?

Answer 20
Since the ruling of Sayyid, may the Almighty give him a long life, states that there is no bearing on reports of sighting from regions that do not share the horizon with the country where you reside, it is pointless to answer the various scenarios presented in this question.

Question 21
As a matter of principle, for the holy month of Ramadhạ̄n, should we aim for the completion of 30 days and hence not bother with crescent sighting on the 29th?

Answer 21
You can base (the beginning of a new month) on the completion (full thirty days) of the current month, as long as nothing to the contrary is established. It is not wajib to search and investigate sighting of the new crescent. However, as mentioned earlier, it is Mustahab (recommended) to look for the new crescent.

Question 22
If a mu’min has an understanding of your rulings regarding crescent sighting and on sharing the horizon, and finds them perfectly in agreement with astronomical data, but finds it difficult to reconcile with Marhum Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Al-Khui’s interpretation of the common horizon, would it be valid for your Muqallid who is continuing with the taqlid of Sayyid Al-Khui on other issues, to revert to your Eminence’s Fatwa on this particular issue?

Answer 22
He cannot do that just based on what has been mentioned, and the Almighty is All Knowing.

Signed: Office of Ayatullah Seestani, Najaf, Iraq
Date: 24th Ramadan 1426

http://www.world-federation.org/Tableegh/Articles/HilalIssues_Replies_Najaf.htm

%d bloggers like this: