Virtue of Fasting in Rajab and Sha`ban

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

OnIslam

Question: Is it recommended to fast frequently during the months of Rajab and Sha`ban or not?Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer (Muhammad Ahmad Al-Musayyar)

crescent_moon_800Prophet Muhammad (s) is reported to have recommended fasting during the four sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab). Therefore, a Muslim is generally recommended to observe fasting in these sacred months, and Rajab is one of them. It is also reported that the Prophet (s) used to observe fasting in Sha`ban more than he did in other months.

In response to your question, prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad AhmadAl-Musayyar, professor of Islamic creed and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, stated,

Fasting is a spiritual act of worship, which elevates one to the rank of angels, as one abstains from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.

In general, a Muslim should fast some days every now and then; in these days, one abstains from worldly matters, strengthens his or her resolution, and purifies his or her soul.

… It is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud that Allah’s Messenger (s) recommended fasting during the Four Sacred Months, among which is the month of Rajab.

As for the month of Sha`ban, there are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during it, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A’ishah (ra) who said, “Allah’s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast. And I did not see Allah’s Messenger (s) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Sha`ban.”

The hadith indicates that the Messenger (s) used to fast many days in Sha`ban that `A’ishah (ra) said in another narration, “He [the Prophet (s)] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days).”

Except for these two months, Allah’s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting continuously to the extent that people would say that he would not break fasting.

He also used to keep breaking the fast for many consecutive days to the extent that people would say that he would not fast.

So the matter depends on feeling comfortable and devoted to worship without feeling bored or weary. That is why the Prophet (s) said, “Do (good) deeds that are within your capacity, as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards until you get tired of doing good deeds.”

He (s) also said,”The most beloved deed to Allah is the one its doer performs regularly even if it were little.”

Allah Almighty Knows best.

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Letters to the Editor–Syed Aslam’s Response to Criticism of his article

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear sir

I read with interest the Letter to the Editor dated April 22-228. 2011 written by Mr.  Masood Ranginwala, (Chairman, Islamic Learning Foundation NY).  I would like to remind him that my article was not against Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, I have great respect for him and other Imams. He suffered to uphold the Sunnah of Prophet that is true, but his view regarding science and its learning could be different and that what I was trying to point out. As a matter of fact I found the quotation about Ahmed ibn Hanbal which is my article  in Syed Ameer Ali’s book The Spirit of Islam published in 1923 in which he discussed in detail why Muslims lost interest in science and technology.

Even in modern time Hossein Nasar, a well known scholar of history of Islamic science, insists that the Arabic word Ilm only refers to the knowledge of God.  He thinks that modern science is a cancer which is destroying the fundamentals  of the Islamic faith. You may agree or disagree with the position of these individual  but to bring it out and debate on their position is not Un-Islamic, unfair and should not cause any disrespect to any body or cause enmity as indicated Mr. Ranginwala in his letter.

So far the tradition of Prophet (as) is concerned he made  no distinction between secular education and religious education which this famous Hadith confirms:Seek knowledge though it be in China. Clearly, one would not go to China to learn about Qur’an and Hadith. What  our Prophet meant, was to seek technical or scientific knowledge even if you had to travel  a long distance, like going to China. There are many other Hadith which confirm this position.

Syed Aslam
Aslamsyed1@yahoo.com

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Bloomfield Imam Gives Lecture on Things Liked and Disliked by Allah

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

Bloomfield–April 16–Imam Al-Masry of the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center gave an educational lecture Saturday evening about the things that Allah likes and dislikes. 

The imam focused on honoring and respecting parents, neighbors, saying that Prophet (s) had said that being good to a neighbor was a clear sign of iman.  The imam spoke about avoiding pride and arrogance, saying that harsh proud men are men of hellfire. 

He gave the example of a man who in the time of Prophet (s) evicted another man from his home for not paying rent, and threw all of his furniture into the street–the man who evicted the renter complained to Prophet (s) because people were cursing him as they encountered the furniture in their way in the street, and Prophet (s) said that Allah had cursed him first for what he had done.
Another good characteristic the imam emphasized was that of serving others–he said that “we should not be embarrassed to serve others,” illustrating this with an example from the Prophet’s (s) life of when he helped an old woman by carrying her belongings.  When she spoke against him (not knowing who he was) and then realized who he was, she said “You were given the best of manners,” and immediately said shahada.

The imam encouraged people not to expose the good that they do, saying Allah doesn’t like that.  He said the hadith that seven will be shaded on the Day of Judgment, including those whose left hand doesn’t know what the right hand does,” meaning they hide their sadaqa.

The imam also quoted a hadith showing that hidden sadaqa is extremely powerful.

Another disliked action, the imam explained, was transgression–he said there is a line beyond which you must not go.

The imam spoke at length against betrayal.  He also spoke against waste and extravagance, and against looking slovenly.

Throughout his lecture the imam illustrated his arguments with examples.

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