Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some Common Mistakes in Ramadan

Some Common Mistakes in Ramadaan

Lets Strive Not to Repeat the Same

By Asma bint Shameem

1 : Taking Ramadan as a ritual:

For many of us Ramadan has lost its spirituality and has become more 
of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like 
a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget 
that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil....
we forget to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and 
ask Him to save us from the Fire.  Sure we stay away from food and 
drink but that's about all.

Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"'Jibreel said to me, May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, 
that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are 
not forgiven, and I said, Ameen.

Then he said, May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person 
who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, 
but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and 
I said, Ameen.

Then he said, May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person 
in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send 
blessings upon you, and I said, Ameen.'"  (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, 
others. Saheeh by al-Albaani)

2 : Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadan revolves around food.
They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking 
about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quran and other 
acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they 
turn the month of fasting into the month of feasting. Come Iftaar time, 
their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, 
sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and 
thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. 
It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.

".....and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly
He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) " 
[al-Araaf :31]

3 : Spending all day cooking
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by 
their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by 
the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa,
let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. 
This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that 
stove and turn on your Imaan! 

4 : Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, 
because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day 
and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to 
make up for the food missed. However, this is completely against 
the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: 
"The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; 
for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his 
back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, 
one-third for drink and one-third for air." 
(Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah.  saheeh by al-Albaani).

Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and 
worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.

It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility 
in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.

5 : Sleeping all day:
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) sleeping away 
their fast. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? 
These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to 
their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot bear to be awake and 
face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person 
to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.

6 : Wasting time:

The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that
Allaah calls this month "Ayyamum Madoodaat" (A fixed number of days). 
Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. 
We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah 
so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some 
of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still,
watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! 
Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!

7 : Fasting but not giving up evil:

Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. 
and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, 
buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of 
impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is 
to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.

"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed 
for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)"  
[al-Baqarah 2:183]

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, 
and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink."  

8 : Smoking:

Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it, 
as it is one of al-Khabaaith (evil things). And this includes 
ALL kinds of smoking material eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes, sheesha, hookah etc.

"he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), 
and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa'ith (all evil and unlawful things)
[al-Araaf :157]

It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, 
but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"There should be no harming or reciprocating harm."
This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast. 
(Fatwa -Ibn Uthaymeen)

9 : Skipping Suhoor:

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: 
"Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing."(Bukhaari, Muslim).

And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of 
the People of the Book is eating suhoor." (Muslim)

10 : Stopping Suhoor at Imsaak :

Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr 
to observe Imsaak.

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bidah (innovation) 
which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. 
Allaah allows us to eat until dawn:  
"and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you 
distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)" [al-Baqarah 2:187]

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: "eat and drink until you hear the adhaan 
of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes."

This imsaak which some of the people do is an addition to what Allah has
prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the 
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

"Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes 
are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed." 

11 : Not fasting if they missed Suhoor:
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, 
this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal 
if you missed a few morsels of food? Its not like you will die. Remember, 
obedience to Allah overcomes everything.

12 : Saying the intention to fast out loud or saying 
a specific dua to start fasting:

The intention is an action of the heart. We should resolve in our heart 
that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not prescribed 
by the Shariah for us to say out loud, "I intend to fast", "I will fast tomorrow"
or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. Also, there is 
no specific dua to be recited at the time of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever dua you may see on some papers or Ramadan calendars, etc. is a Bidah.

13 : Delaying breaking fast:

Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, 
just to be on the safe side. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to break the fast,
which means breaking fast whenever the adhaan starts, right after the sun has set. 
Aaishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 
used to do. (Muslim)

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to break the fast." (Bukhaari, Muslim)

Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. 
and then have tawakkul on Allah and break your fast exactly on time.

14 : Eating continuously until the time for Maghreb is up

Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and 
continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. 
That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) was that once 
he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer.
Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some 
more if you wish.

15 : Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted:

The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted 
at the time of breaking fast.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, 
the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler." 
(al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).

Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some 
people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, 
talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it
....Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or 
the fulfillment of your Duas.

16 : Fasting but not praying:

The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 
This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet 
(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:  
"Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer." 

In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, 
they are all annulled.

"Whoever does not pray Asr, his good deeds will be annulled." 

17 : Fasting and not wearing Hijaab:
Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. 
(See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab certainly 
takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, 
even if does not invalidate it.

18 : Not fasting because of exams or work:

Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. 
You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that 
during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allaah is much 
more important than good grades. Besides, if you will fulfil your obligation 
to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will make it easy for you and help
you in everything you do.

"Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him 
from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust
in Him." 
(Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)

19 : Mixing fasting and dieting:
DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. 
That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). 
Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone.

Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become 
a form of (minor) Shirk.

20 : Fighting over the number of Rakaah of Taraweeh :
There is no specific number of rakahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather 
it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. 
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: 
"No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (rakaah), 
because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allah."

21 : Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th

Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting 
all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)
"Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of 
the last ten nights of Ramadan." 
(Bukhaari, Muslim).

22 : Wasting the last part of Ramadan preparing for Eid

Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid, 
shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. 
although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the
hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) 
and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadaan 
so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max.

Aaishah (RA) said: "When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger
of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper 
(i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives),
stay awake at night and wake his family." 
(Bukhaari and Muslim).

23 : Iftaar parties

Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good 
and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish Iftaar parties 
with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of 
the sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to
heedlessness to Salaah, and Taraweeh.