Ramadaan: The Month of Blessings
by Shaykh Abdullaah Al-Ghudyaan حفظه الله
Delivered on September 23rd, 2006


Brief Introduction By Shaykh Abdullaah Al-Ghudyaan حفظه الله

Our Shaykh حفظه الله started by praising Allaah سبحانه و تعالى the Lord of all the worlds, of all that exists, and by sending salutations and peace on the most noble of all Prophets and Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم and on his family and his companions.

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
{O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon} (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

And Allaah جل وعلا said:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ

{The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur'aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). } (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

And Allaah جل وعلا said:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم - حم {1} وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ {2} إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ {3} فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
{Haa-Meem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'aan and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings]. By the manifest Book (this Qur'aan) that makes things clear, We sent it (this Qur'aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Qadr, Soorah No: 97) in the month of Ramadaan, the 9th month of the Islaamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. } (Ad-Dukhaan 44:1-4)

In these verses there is an explanation of the obligation of fasting. It also points out the blessed night that appears in the month of Ramadaan. As Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions from the first perspective, the Qur’aan was revealed on that night – it was sent down; and secondly, in it is Laylatul-Qadr (لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْر).

It is important for all of the Believers to take the opportunity to benefit from this time. This is a time when Allaah سبحانه و تعالى multiplies the rewards for the Believers. It is a time when the doors to goodness are opened and the doors for evil are closed. It is the month where at the beginning of the month the shayateen are tied up and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى allows all of the doors of Jannah to be opened and the doors of Hell to be closed. At the beginning of the month is mercy, the middle of it is forgiveness and the end of it is freedom from the Hellfire.

The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned again the hadeeth that is found in both Bukhaaree and Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم mentioned: “Once Ramadaan comes, all of the doors of Jannah are opened and all of the doors of the fire are closed and the rebellious from the shayaateen and the jinn are tied and chained up.”[1]. They are tied up in this particular month and it is an indication of the extreme abundance of righteous deeds that the Believers perform and the reduction of bad deeds done during this particular time.

It has been reported by Imaam Ahmad on the authority of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There are five special qualities for my Ummah in Ramadhaan that were not given to those nations before: 1) The aroma from the mouth of the fasting person and that it is sweeter than musk. 2) That the angels (the Malaaikah), they seek forgiveness for the person until they break their fast, 3) Allaah سبحانه و تعالى adorns the Jannah every day of this blessed month…. 4) The shayaateen -the rebellious of them- are chained and shackled. 5) The believers who fast are forgiven - they receive forgiveness in this particular month at the last night. It was said: “Oh Messenger of Allaah, is it Laylatul- Qadr?” he said: “No, but indeed the worker will only be given his reward at the time of the completion of his task.”[2]

It is important to guard oneself and to persist in staying away from sins. Guarding oneself and staying away from sins means that we protect our tongues and protect our hands and all of these things from evil, and that we stay away from consuming that which is haraam. Because, if a person is not mindful of staying away from these sinful things – these acts of disobedience affect his righteous deeds and it affects his fasting. What this means is that it reduces the reward that a person would normally receive if he stayed away from these particular acts. This is a very brief advice at the beginning of this talk and if there are any questions that the people have let them now present them.



Questions & Answers


1. Question: How is it that when the shayateen are chained in the month of Ramadaan we still see people committing sins and evil? How do we understand the hadeeth of Rasoolullaah صلى الله عليه و سلم “when the first day of Ramadhan comes the shayateen are chained.”?[1]
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned in response to this question, that with respect to this hadeeth the people are in two categories. The first category is the category of the kuffar, they do not have this protection from the Shayaateen (i.e. the Shayaateen are not chained regarding them). As for the second category they are the Believers. They are the ones regarding which the act of committing sins is reduced. The hadeeth does not intend all people in general – all of creation, and we need to recognize that in respect to the people they are divided into two categories. The kuffar remain on their misguidance, however the Believers are the ones who reduce their evil deeds or their transgressions in this particular month. This is the response to this question.

2. Question: The question is about using (bukhoor)incense during the fasting in Ramadaan. Is it permissible?
Answer: He حفظه الله said that it nullifies the fast and it is not permissible to inhale it or to even burn it during the fasting period (day) of Ramadaan.

3. Question: If we don’t have someone who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’aan, or (we have) someone who hasn’t memorized the Qur’aan, what is the best thing to do in this case?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned concerning the place where you don’t have someone who has memorized the whole Qur’aan, he says, what is intended by this, is that the person has not memorized it by heart i.e. the whole Qur’aan. If this is so, then it is possible for him to recite by using the Mushaf and reciting from it (for Taraaweeh). If you don’t have a Qaari (one who is proficient in the recitation of Qur’aan) or a person who has memorized the Qur’aan, then a person is able to recite what he has memorized. For example, if he has memorized from Soorah Qaaf all the way back (this portion of the Qur’aan is called “al-Mufassal”), it is permissible for him to do this. It is not necessary for him to have memorized the whole Qur’aan. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions in the Qur’aan:
لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا
{Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope... } (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

4. Question: In a narration it says: “Verily Allaah does not like the dhawwaaqeena (ذواقين) nor the dhawwaaqaat (ذواقات)”[3] – akhrajahu at-Tabaraani and others and it is stated in Jaami’ as-Sagheer and the Scholars of Hadeeth have graded it as weak. However, is there another supporting evidence for this narration in the Sharee’ah from which rulings are extracted? And what is the meaning of ad-dhawwaaqeen?[4]
Answer:What is intended by this narration, is for example if a woman marries, and she remains with her husband for one or two months then after that she decides to rid herself of this marriage seeking a divorce so she may find another male. In her mind there is a difference in terms of how they would be able to be with her intimately. So, she does this to ‘taste’ or experience from this male and afterwards from another male and so on. The same is the case for the men who perform this particular act. The Shaykh حفظه الله said that he heard one of them say that he was married to more than 130 women, and another who said he was married to more than 170 women. This is what is intended by those who go around just for tasting purposes – adh-Dhawwaaqeen.

5. Question: Is it permissible to pray behind one whose ‘aqeedah is that of Ash’aree and what is your naseehah (advice) to us in this situation?
Answer: The person who intends to pray he should pray behind an imaam from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah. The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned the hadeeth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم : The Jews split into 71 sects, and the Christians split into 72 sects, and this Ummah will split into 73 sects, all of them in the Hellfire except one. They asked: “Who is it Yaa Rasuulallaah?” He said: “It is what I and my Companions are upon today.”[5] He (the Shaykh) said that a person who does not follow the ‘Aqeedah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, meaning his ‘Aqeedah is not that of the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم , he should not be an imaam.

6. Question: The question is about congregational supplication after the jamaa’ah performed while cupping the hands together – is their any proof for that?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله in responding to this he says that bid’ah or innovation is categorized into two categories (Bid’ad haqqiqiyyah بدعة حقيقيةand Bid’ah Idaafiyyaah بدعة إضافية). The first type of innovation which has no text to support them whatsoever are bid’ah haqqiqiyyah (true, real). Then there is another type of innovation which has general statements to support it, but the practice of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم doesn’t go along with it (these are idaafiyyaah – secondary, supplementary).

This issue that has been presented to the Shaykh حفظه الله is of the second category because du’aa is legal, it is legislated. However, to supplicate one should do it individually and supplicate for whatever he wants. It is not known that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم supplicated in this manner (mentioned in the question) along with his Companions when he concluded the salaah. He neither practiced nor commanded to supplicate collectively. This act is an innovation that is unacceptable, and the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever introduces in this affair of ours that which is not of it shall have it rejected.”[6]

7. Question: When should sajdatus-sahw (سجدة السهو – prostration of forgetfulness) be done?
Answer: Sujoodus-sahw (Prostration of forgetfulness) is done if a person either increases or leaves off something in the prayer. If something was left off, then the prostrations should be done before the salaam. If due to forgetfulness or adding something the person should make the two prostrations after the salaam, then conclude with the (second) salaam.

For example: If a person thinks that he prays five raka’aat for Dhuhr or ‘Asr or ‘Ishaa, and this person has actually forgotten, he does the prostration after the salaam because he has added something to the prayer. If he concluded his prayer, and only prayed three raka’aat and he gave the salaam, and recognized afterwards, or was reminded that he only prayed three raka’aat, then he corrects the prayer (by standing and praying the additional rak’ah) and he prostrates before giving the salaam because there was a reduction in the prayer. If a person is doubtful, then in this case he should perform the two prostrations after the salaam.

The Shaykh حفظه الله said that something that should be noted is that if a person leaves off a rukn (ركن – pillar) or a shart (شرط – condition) of the prayer, then this is not corrected by performing sajdatus-sahw. Sajdatus-sahw can only correct a mistake if a person leaves off something that is waajib. If a person adds to the prayer, that addition is something that is looked at as being present. He doesn’t have to pray anything additional. If he leaves off something then he has to make that particular aspect up because it is not there, it is like it didn’t exist.

8. Question: The question is regarding women wearing imitation rings not made of silver or gold. Does the hadeeth apply to both women and men?[7]
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said that inshaa’ Allaah سبحانه و تعالى he will answer this question next week.

9. Question: Can a person recite any of the Qur’aan or say any supplications whilst sitting on the toilet?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said it is not permissible.

10. Question: When should we say the supplication for entering the toilet as we enter the bathroom or just before we sit?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said the du’aa which is supposed to be said for entering the hammaam (bathroom) should be said before entering the bathroom.

11. Question: I came across a hadeeth saying ‘Bad character corrupts one’s works just as vinegar corrupts honey’[8]. Is this saying authentic?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله responded by saying that the hadeeth does not come to mind at the moment. However, the meaning of it is correct. In the hadeeth Qudsi, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says: “Oh my servants! Any country or community who were on what I like, what is pleasing to Me, and then they change and turn to that which is displeasing to Me except that I turn away from them until they receive from Me that which is displeasing. And no country or locality is on what is displeasing to Me and turns to that which pleases Me except that I turn to them in a way that pleases them.”[9]

From another perspective we know that in the Qur’aan, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions that:
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ
{..Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins)...} [Hud 11:114]
 
Likewise, is the case for their harming an individual, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions:
وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً
{And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything…} [al-Anbiyaa 21:47]

He سبحانه و تعالى also mentions:
فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {102} وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فِي جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ
{Then, those whose Scales (of good deeds) are heavy, these! they are the successful. And those whose Scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose their own selves, in Hell will they abide.} [al-Mu’minoon 23:102-103]
 So it is important for the Muslim to stay away from all types of sins whatever they are.

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The following questions were asked and the Shaykh حفظه الله answered them, however the answers have not yet been translated.
The translations will be posted as soon as they are available.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause. Baarak Allaahu feekum for your patience.

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12. Question: Is it permissible to eat food purchased from credit cards in the USA if there is no interest being paid on using the cards? What if you live with parents who purchase most food items with credit cards and are not willing to change, is it permissible to eat their food or do I have to find my own means even if that puts me in financial difficulty?


13. Question: How far can a sister go in her own locality (i.e. picking up children, shopping etc...) alone, with the children, with other sisters? When does this become a journey for which she needs a mahram? How far can she go before she needs a mahram? What defines a journey?


14. Question: Is it permissible for women to look at men playing any type of sport such as basketball or football be it on T.V. or other than T.V.?


15. Question: A sister asks for the Shaykh حفظه الله to explain how the salaatut-tahajjud is performed and when is the time for salaatut-tahajjud and what is the difference between salaatut-tahajjud and Qiyamul-layl?


16. Question: My question is, can we pray in a house that has dogs? The dogs are not mine and I can’t do anything about it. This issue is concerning a brother who became Muslim recently, and since he can’t do anything about the dogs in the house, can he still pray in that house?


17. Question: What is the correct length for the salaah and what should we do if someone knocks at the door and we are in salaah? How do we reply to salaams during the salaah? How do we correct a child in salaah if we see him making an error?[*]


18. Question: If a new Muslim did not know it was Ramadaan and had eaten or drank that day, is it upon them to fast the remainder of they day, or do they just start their fast the next day of Ramadan and then make up that first day?[*]


19. Question: My children are at school age and it has been very difficult for them to stay up past 10:00 p.m. and therefore they have not prayed salaatul Eeshaa and gotten up early for fajr which comes at 3:00 a.m. It is very difficult to do the same with them as they don’t want to get up. In a situation such as this would it be permissible for my children to combine salaatul Maghrib and Eeshaa?


20. Question: Is this permissible for women to wear henna and the like on the nails on a constant basis?


21. Question:: This question regards the legality of the questioner’s father’s name. He says: I am a revert who has changed my name to Ahmed. However, my father’s is Christopher. With that said my question is as follows: Knowing that the meaning of my fathers name is "The Bearer of Christ" or "The One who carries Christ" - which implies that Christ (alaihissalam) died, which as Muslims we know is not true - can I use the name Ahmed ibn Christopher or is that Haraam?


22. Question: How does one decide what to do when the medical doctors advise you not to have any more children? How should we deal with this?


23. Question: Here in the US we have conferences sponsored by different masaajid. To inform the Muslims of their events they usually create flyers to post in other masaajid. On these flyers are prices for merchant booth rent, hotel rates, registration rates etc. Is it okay to post these inside the masjid on the bulletin board or should they be posted somewhere else.


24. Question: What is number of days that it is permissible for a woman to refrain from praying after giving birth to a child?[*]


25. Question: I made hijrah and need to return (to darul kufr) because of health issues. Would my original niyyah (intention) be accepted for hijrah or is there a kafaarah for the one who returns to a land she/he has made hijrah from?


26. Question: Is it halaal to work in a Deli where everything is halaal but they sell lottery tickets?


27. Question: What is the ruling on the one who does not pray salaatul Eeshaa then enters the masjid and performs Qiyaamul-Layl – how should he perform salaatul Eeshaa whilst the imaam performs salaatut-Taraaweeh?[*]


28. Question: I would like to know what one should do if he arrives late for the congregational prayers and he gets up to complete the rest of his prayer – does he need to take a sutrah?



References

[1] The wording here is from Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab as-Siyaam (#1079).
إذا جاء رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة وغلقت أبواب النار وصفدت الشياطين

[2] Reported in Musnad Ahmad (# 7576).
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أُعْطِيَتْ أُمَّتِي خَمْسَ خِصَالٍ فِي رَمَضَانَ لَمْ تُعْطَهَا أُمَّةٌ قَبْلَهُمْ خُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ وَتَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرُوا وَيُزَيِّنُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ جَنَّتَهُ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ يُوشِكُ عِبَادِي الصَّالِحُونَ أَنْ يُلْقُوا عَنْهُمْ الْمَئُونَةَ وَالْأَذَى وَيَصِيرُوا إِلَيْكِ وَيُصَفَّدُ فِيهِ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ فَلَا يَخْلُصُوا إِلَى مَا كَانُوا يَخْلُصُونَ إِلَيْهِ فِي غَيْرِهِ وَيُغْفَرُ لَهُمْ فِي آخِرِ لَيْلَةٍ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَهِيَ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ قَالَ لَا وَلَكِنَّ الْعَامِلَ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى أَجْرَهُ إِذَا قَضَى عَمَلَهُ‏.‏

[3] Reported by at-Tabaraani. Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Da’eef in Jaami’ as-Sagheer. See Da’eef al-Jaami (#1673).
إن الله تعالى لا يحب الذواقين ولا الذواقات

[4] The question was translated by members of the Transcription team as it was not translated on the audio. However, the answer was translated on the audio and transcribed as such.

[5] Reported by Abee Daawood 4/197 (#4596) with the following wording. Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Jaami’ as-Sagheer (#1083) and Silsilah as-Saheehah 1/402 (#203).
افترقت اليهود على إحدى وسبعين فرقة وتفرقت النصارى على اثنتين وسبعين فرقة وتفرقت أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة

[6] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab as-Sulh (#2550).
من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد

[7] The following 2 hadeeth were posted as part of the question on the website but were not heard on the audio being read to the Shaykh, and Allaah knows best.
Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib: A man came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and he was wearing a signet-ring of yellow copper. He said to him: How is it that I notice the odour of idols in you? So he threw it away, and came wearing an iron signet ring. He (the Prophet) said: What is it that I see you wearing the adornment of the inhabitants of Hell? So he threw it away. He asked: Apostle of Allaah, what material I must use? He said: Make it of silver, but do not weigh it as much as a mithqal.) (Abu Dawood 34:4211)
Also, does the following hadeeth mean that women shouldn’t really wear gold? Narrated Asma' daughter of Yazid: The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: Any woman who wears a gold necklace will have a similar one of fire put on her neck on the Day of Resurrection, and any woman who puts a gold earring in her ear will have a similar one of fire put in her ear on the Day of Resurrection. (Abu Dawood 34:4226)

[8] With the following wording Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Da’eef Jiddan (very weak). See Da’eef al-Jaami’ (#3289).
سوء الخلق يفسد العمل كما يفسد الخل العسل


[9] Reference Pending

[*] The question was translated by members of the Transcription team as it was not translated on the audio. Click for a list of all questions asked.