Saturday, 25 July 2015

Eid Mubarak - What to do towards the end of the month of Ramadan

What to do toward the end of the
month of Ramadan

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The blessed month is approaching to the end; only a few days and nights remain. Today is Wednesday, 28 Ramadan corresponding to 15th of July, 2015. There will be Eid either Friday or Saturday depending on the sighting of the Moon. Eid Mubarak to you all. May Allah accept our good deeds.

A few years ago, Professor Dr. Ahmad ibn Saifuddin Turkistani, A Saudi Islamic scholar, gave a pre-Khutba lecture at a Mosque in London where he said, “This is one of the days that we are so much happy to live, to observe. Today is Friday and Friday is the best day the Sun has ever risen on and today is one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the master of the months. This is a month of blessings, favours on us. We should be thankful to Allah the Almighty for what he has given us. We are many others deprived of not enjoying the mercy of the month of Ramadan. So Alhamdolillah. Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah.”

Lailatul Qadr
We have only a few days and nights are left but still they are very important. Only yesterday we have been receiving the month, just yesterday, 27 days past but still the best is there, the 29th night of Ramadan; there is Lailatul Qadr. Professor Turkistani asked do you know what Lailatul Qadr is and said, “It is better than 1000 months; by simple calculation, Lailatul Qadr is better than more than 83 years. Just imagine 84 years. The average life of Muslims, most Muslims die before their age; which means you are getting the reward of more than 83 years. Even better, because Allah Subhanahu wa Taala says Lailatul Qadr khairun. This is a golden opportunity; it’s a gift even to this Ummah and we shall take it. It’s worth to take a vacation, to take some days off your work; to leave all things at your hands and get this opportunity. Then they will be gone.”

Narrating the blessing of this month of Ramadan, Professor Turkistani said, “This night is so much blessed. The Angels will come down and will bring blessings and Allah Subhanahu wa Taala will forgive anyone who is committed to Allah on that night reciting the Glorious Qur’an, engage in prayer, doing all the good deeds that a person can do. Even if you stay awake all the night it’s worth it. When the last ten days come on his own life, the Prophet peace be upon him would avoid sleep during the nights of the last ten days. And he would stay away from his wives only concentrating on Ibadah. It’s worth it.”

“It is nine days or ten days for more than 83 years what a bargain. Why can you not use it brothers and sisters. This is what Allah Subhanahu wa Taala has promised us.  This stays  until Fajr; until the coming dawn; so we shall be very much interested in this. Anyone who misses that he is a deprived one. Deprived. We shall not be deprived of this great prize, a great opportunity,” said Professor Turkistani.

What a blessing! What a gift!
Professor Turkistani also mentioned what a bargain it is. He said, “Just say a one good thing:  SubhanAllah Alhamdo lillah La ilaha Illallah Allahu Akbar.  It is like you have done for 83 years and 4 months. What a blessing; what a gift that is given to us this opportunity the biggest bargain. I do not see any bargain better than that. You see that? Even when people bargain, they go to stores and markets and online trying to buy the best thing that they need and they dream of. They say ouh; this is the biggest bargain; no, wallahe, the bargain is Lailatul Qadr. This is the biggest bargain.”

Professor Turkistani urged people “Please do not let it go away without cashing as much as you can; devote the rest of the time for Ibadah; because that will affect the rest of your life. It should, if you surely coming towards Allah with Taubah from your heart, from inside, then Allah will accept you , Insha Allah and then Insha Allah, you would be happy for the rest of your life. You would be guided on the straight path. So you keep on the truck until you meet Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. This is the time and that’s why Allah Subhanahu wa Taala promises that you stand with imaan and Ihtesab. imaan believing in Allah and believing in His Rewards and Ihtesaban seeking the rewards from Allah Subhanahu wa Taala alone; not from any one else and all your previous sins are forgiven. You fast the month of Ramadan all your previous sins are forgiven if again if you stand up in Salah during all the month of Ramadan and you should do it out of Imaan and Ihtesab and all your previous sins are forgiven.”

Masjid at MWL London Office
A few years ago, Professor Turkistani was delivering Khutba at the Mosque of the Muslim World League London Office where he was mentioned about what to do during the end of the month of Ramadan. Towards the end of the Ramadan there are certain Ibadahs that we need to be aware of and to do the first is the Zakat-ul-Fitr.

Professor Turkistani mentioned the first of those Ibadah is the Zakat-ul-Fitr.  He said, “Zakat-ul-Fitr is the source of purification and feeding of the poor and the needy. It is a source of purification for yourself in case you have committed some sins and who amongst us has not committed something wrong in the month of Ramadan or any other time and it is something to feed the poor and the needy.”

How Zakat-ul-Fitr is estimated? Enquired Professor Turkistani and promptly answered, “It is estimated Soa as in the Hadith of Abu Sayeed al-Khudri (RA) follow the Rasoolullah peace be upon him. He gave examples, all these types of food. So it means that we should give Zakat-ul-Fitr in food, not in money. I know that Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimullah) said it is permissible to do in money but the Prophet peace be upon him and the Companions did not give Zakat-ul-Fitr in money. They gave it in food. They could have given in money; they would pay Zakat-ul-Maal or any type of Zakah from wealth, from money. Zakat-ul-Fitr again so that the poor and the needy have not to seek on the day of Eid, they should be happy; they should enjoy with the rest of the Muslim community. That’s why, we should have to give it in food.”

Again, Professor Turkistan enquired, “How do we do it?” and answered, “Well, lets seek the poor and the needy in our community. If we have someone we know who is in need we shall give Zakat-ul-Fitr to these people. If we do not know people, then we shall give the money to the trusted charities and organisations that collect the money, buy the food and give it to the poor and the needy on your behalf. If not in this country; if this country would not  have poor people to the extent that they can be receiving Zakat-ul-Fitr, there are many people up there, in Africa, Asia and throughout the Muslim World who need this food who cannot buy who stay at night starving.”

“In Syria, for example, as you have heard from your brothers, telling you that the Ulema in that country in their Fatwa people eat cats and rats because they do not have the food to eat. Situations because of the war going on in Syria; and the same thing with other people who are starving and do not have the food. This is the way to express your own sympathy with your brothers. This is something that you need to do and Zakat-ul-Fitr is a must. It’s not a choice and it is for everyone in the household, everyone. Even those who think they are poor; if they have a food for a day and a night, they should give out Zakat-ul-Fitr. If they have enough for one day, they should give Zakah to other poor people and the needy people and that would be a Saa,” said Professor Turkistani in his Khutba (Sermon).

How that would be translated into today’s measurement? Professor Turkistani asked and promptly replied, “It would be about two kilogram and a quarter. If you pay three kilograms of any types of food, rice, dates, barley, anything that people eat, which is an edible thing; something they can keep and preserve. You cannot give out, in meat, for example, or something that can be immediately consumed; cooked food, for example. It has to be a food that the poor and the needy can save and can prepare their own meals. For everyone in the household, young or old, male or female, the newly born, anyone born before the sun set of the last day of the month of Ramadan has to be given Zakat-ul-Fitr and it is the responsibility of the head of the household; those who spent is the man who is earning and even if it is the woman who is earning and spending in the family then it is their responsibility to pay.”

When shall we pay it? Professor Turkistani again enquired and said, “Not until before Eid day; at least two days before Eid and it shall be given out before Salat-ul-Eid, otherwise it would not be Zakat-ul-Fitr; it would be sadaqah. And it would not do its purpose unless it is done and given to the poor and the needy so that they can go for the Eid prayer and happy. They feel that they have enough and they can share with the Muslim community. Nice occasion and celebrate Eid along with them.”

That was for Zakat-ul-Fitr. The second form of Ibadah is Takbeer. Professor Turkistani mentioned, “It is a Sunnah to do Takbeer starting from the Maghreb of the night of Eid until Eid prayer. How do we say, what do we say? Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Illallah Allahu Akbar walillahe wal Hamd. Any form of Takbeer is good to announce this and to obey Allah Subhanahu wa Taala as Allah said so you shall complete the number of days fasting and announce Takbeer. That’s why it is Sunnah to do Takbeer from the Maghreb to the Salat-ul-Eid in congregation. You say on yourself, you say it among Muslims, you say in the Masjid, in the house, anywhere wherever it is possible to pronounce loudly just to inform Muslims around you that this is the time of praising Allah and celebrate Eid.”

The third form of Ibadah during the end of the month of Ramadan is Salat-ul-Eid. Professor Turkistani mentioned, “We need to come to Salat-ul-Eid. Salat-ul-Eid is an obligation upon the whole community, but for every individual it is something strongly recommended. Some people choose to sleep on the morning of Eid and miss the prizes because during the day of Eid as people are coming to the prayer the Angels are standing at the doors giving prizes. You wouldn’t see them but belief me, if you have done well in the month of Ramadan you receive prize on the day of Eid. That’s why it is important to come to Eid prayer and to receive the prize and look and see that prize on the day of Eid. So on the Eid, take complete bath and then wear the must you have, put on perfume for man, but not for woman because you will attract the opposite gender, and then come to Salatul Eid to attend and celebrate with the rest of the community Eid. Everyone, man and woman, young or old, shall come to Eid prayer; without exception, even women who are having the menstruation. But they should avoid area of prayer, area of musalla. But they should come and be among the community to enjoy this occasion along with the rest of the Muslims. This is the third Ibadah.”

Fast ing is prohibited on Eid Day
Fasting is prohibited on the day of Eid. “We need to break on the day of Eid of fast because it is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid,” said Professor Turkistani and added, “It is a gift from Allah and we shall receive it and how do we break we break it with date, one or three or five or more, eat single or odd number of dates on the day of Eid in your home before you come out. And it is Sunnah to go from one way and to return another way in order to meet as many people and to greet them on the day of Eid. Eid is the day of forgiveness, a day when you really forgive those who have done wrong to you. This is the time to show forgiveness and Allah who give you forgiveness in return.”

28 Ramadan, 1436
15 July 2015

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Seek the Greatest Night of the Year

The Last 10 days and nights of Ramadan
Seek the Greatest Night of the Year

Dr. Mozammel Haque

I still remember my childhood when an old man of 70 years, Abdul Jabbar, used to come from the district of Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) took the silent alleys of our village in the night, chanting and calling, to wake up Muslims for the last meal before another day of Ramadan fasting begins.  Abdul Jabbar reminds one of a character from the book The Thousands and One Nights. He is a strange person who comes out from the depth of the night to disturb the quietness by a shrill cry calling, Suhoor…Suhoor.

Now that person is replaced in a big city like London by Muslim Community Radio (MCR) – Ramadan Radio – in East London, Kismat Radio and Islam TV Channel calling Muslims to wake up for their breakfast. In Ramadan, all Muslims who want to fast should eat before starting to fast.

The Month of Mercy, the blessed month came and is passing away very fast. Today, Wednesday, is the 21st of Ramadan. More than two-third of the blessed month has passed; still there is time to get our sins cleared, still there is time to ask for forgiveness from Allah the Almighty who is ready to forgive our sins. The remaining days and nights of the blessed month is full of Allah’s mercy and blessing. In this part of the month, specially during the last 10 days and nights, a night which is the greatest night of the year, the Lailatul Qadr. During these ten days and nights, Muslims spend in the Mosque for I’tikaf

I’tikaf means seclusion and staying in the Mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would perform I’tikaf for last 10 days every Ramadan. In the year that he died, he performed it for twenty days. (Related by Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, and Ibn-Majah). The next Friday on 10 of July (23 Ramadan) will be the Jumatul-Widah, the last Friday of the Blessed Month of Ramadan, if Eid will be on Friday,. 17th of July, depending on the sighting of the Shawaal Moon.

As the month of blessings and mercy is coming to the end, similarly the recitation of the complete Qur’an is also coming to the Khatam which might be on the 27th night of Ramadan. The last ten nights are very important nights. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to exert himself in night prayer especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Lailatul Qadr (The Night of Decree)
Lailatul-Qadr is the greatest night of the year like the Day of Arafah is the greatest day of the year. It is a night about which Allah revealed a full Surah, Suratul-Qadr (97:1-5) and the 3rd to the 6th verses of the Surat ad-Dukhan (44:3-6). Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an, “Indeed We have revealed it (Qur’an) in the Night of Decree. And what will explain to you what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descends the Angels and the Spirit (Jibreel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: (they say) “Peace” (continuously) till the rise of morning!” (97:1-5). A person who misses Lailatul Qadr is really a deprived person!

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night (during this month) which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived (of something great). (Ahmad, an-Nisai and al-Bayhaqi).

Aishah said, “Allah’s Messenger used to practice I’tikaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Lailatul-Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

The word Zakat in Arabic means purification. The giving of Zakat (obligatory charity) is the third pillar of Islam. There are two types of Zakat: Zakat-ul-Fitr (charity of Eid-ul-Fitr, given to the poor before Eid prayer) and Zakat Al-Maal (purifying charity, paid on one’s wealth).

It is to be noted that Zakat-ul-Fitr was declared by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a prerequisite for the acceptance of fasting. But when and whom to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr? First of all, who has to pay?  Each and every Muslim, regardless of his social status, is required to give a certain amount of charity usually in the form of food grains, barley, raisin etc. called Zakat-ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan and before the Eid-ul-Fitr so that every member of the Muslim community, especially the poor, have something to eat on the day of Eid.  It is meant to cement the relationship between the members of the Muslim society, to alleviate the pain of the poor, to cultivate the sense of brotherhood and solidarity in the hearts of the Muslims, etc., said Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

Dr. Qaradawi also said, “If a person dies before Maghrib on the last day of Ramadan, Zakat-ul-Fitr would not be obligatory upon him even if he fasted all the other days of the month. Conversely, if a child is born after Maghrib on the last day of Ramadan, i.e. the first night of Shawwal, it would be obligatory to pay Zakat: Zakat-ul-Fitr on his or her behalf. This view is unanimously agreed upon by Muslim scholars.” The head of the household must pay for every member of the family, even for the newborn. The Muslim is supposed to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr (i.e., Zakah of breaking the fast) in the country where he or she spends the first night of the month of Shawwal.

So far as the Zakat-ul-Maal is concerned, it is also obligatory for a Muslim, who possesses the minimum wealth on which Zakat is applicable, to give out Zakat. In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah, Imam and Khateeb Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Mohammad Aal-Talib, few years ago urged Muslims to be God-Conscious and give charity to the poor and the needy. He said Zakat removes miserliness and cleans the heart from cruelty. 

Allah has stressed on payment of Zakat, which appears in the Holy Qur’an more than 30 times. There are many verses of the Holy Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that urge Muslim to give charity for the sake of Allah. Sheikh Aal-Talib said charity is an act that attracts Allah’s mercy. He said giving charity secretly extinguishes God’s anger and it is a blessing for the person’s wealth. A person who does not give in charity will be punished by removal of the blessing (barakah) from his wealth.

Zakat-ul-Fitr is associated with the Eid and is meant to create happiness in such a way that includes the poor and the needy. That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Make them (i.e., the poor) rich on this day (i.e. the day of Eid)”.

Charity in Ramadan
About charity and spending from the wealth in the Way of Allah or for the Cause of Allah, Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an, “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is Al-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Al-Qur’an, 2:261).

Allah also said, “Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Al-Qur’an: 2: 262)

Ramadan is also the month of charity. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “...Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month), shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time; and whoever performs an obligatory deed in (this month), shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Hell-Fire, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.” (Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah)

Spend more time with the Qur’an. Read the Qur’an every day. Try to finish at least one time the whole Qur’an during this month by your own personal reading. Pray on time and observe all the prayers. Do not ignore the Tarawih. Make more extra and voluntary prayers. Do as much worship as you can. Do more dhikr (remembering Allah) and du’a (supplication) for yourself and for others. Repent and seek forgiveness for yourself and for others as much as you can. This is the best time for devotion and seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Seek the Night of Qadr by special devotion during the last 10 nights of this month.

The month of blessing and forgiveness is passing away very quickly. Do not miss the remaining last ten days and nights. Let us clear our sins. Let us seek the Night of Qadr.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Fatwa on Fasting in Ramadan During Long Summer Time

Interview with Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Fatwa on Fasting in Ramadan
during long Summer Time

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Recently Fatwa was given on Fasting in Ramadan during the UK long Summer time and it was published in the UK’s main daily newspapers, it was also in the website and it was debated and discussed in the Television, particularly it was discussed in the Sunday Morning programme of the BBC on Sunday, 21st of June 2015. It created confusion and controversy among the Muslim communities in the UK. In order to get the proper information on this complicated Shari’ah issue, I met and interviewed two most knowledgeable scholar of UK, one is Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre & Regents Park London Central Mosque and another is a very well-known Islamic scholar, Dr. Suhaib Hassan, Chairman of the Islamic Shariah Council and Trustee of the Al-Tawheed Mosque, Leyton. Both the scholar said that the Fatwa on following the Makkah timing for Suhoor and Iftar is not correct. Followings are opinions Of Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan on this subject.

Interview with Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan said, “There is a Fatwa given by some Shaikh saying that Muslims in London and in the West supposed to follow Makkah in the fasting time, because the day in London too long about 18 hours. Actually this question was discussed some long time ago by every scholar. Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an “Complete your fasting till the night’. And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, in the authentic Hadith, ‘When night comes from here this side and it goes from this side it is the time for Iftar’. So the Qur’an and the Hadith link the time of Iftar with the night.”

Muslims should fast in day and Iftar at night
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned that as long as there is clear day and night, Muslims should fast in day and Iftar at night. He said, “What is the scholars and great Muftis decided and this is what the Qur’an also said that as long as there is the night Muslims should fast all the day and have Iftar during the night. If the day is too long by 22 hours or 20 hours or 18 hours and the night is too short if the health of anybody does not help him to do the fasting, he can break fasting like he will be treated in the religion as sick person. Okay, this is his capacity he cannot go beyond that. Then he can break fast and he can fast after Ramadan, Insha Allah. Allah the Almighty made our faith so easy; He ask us to fast whenever we can and whenever we cannot fast at all or there is a danger actually for our health or the doctor decides or advises us to ask us not to fast; we must not fast because this is dangerous for us.”

Our faith is a religion of easiness
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned, “Our faith is a religion of easiness and Allah the Almighty has given us always the exit to all the situations, prayer, for example, is five times but when we travel, it will be joined; it will be three; similarly, Wudu Ablution is a duty but when we don’t have water we make tayammum; fasting is a duty for everyone Muslim but if you are sick or a woman is a pregnant or a person is a diabetic then he can break fasting or then fast later on or if he cannot at all, there is no hope to be cured like those who may sick with cancer or something like that, then they can feed poor person or feed one person per day to replace fasting. Zakat, Alhamdo lillah, if you are rich or have saving you must pay Zakat but if you are not then you don’t. Hajj Alhamdo Lillah if you can, your health is helping you to go to Makkah, you have money and it is safety for you to go and come back then Hajj is a duty; but if you cannot and if you are not in a safe area, for example, you don’t have money or you are sick you cannot go.”

Following Makkah and Madina for
Suhoor and Iftar is not correct
To break fast around Asr, or following Makkah even if in London is not correct; it is a scholar opinion but not correct, said Dr. Al-Dubayan. He said, “Allah the Almighty does not ask any Muslim to kill himself to perform Ibadah. All the Ibadah Allah the Almighty asks us to do always connected or related to our ability. When we cannot; there is always another option which the Qur’an and Sunnah offer us. So, I think this Fatwa of having Muslim to break fasting after Asr, for example, or following Makkah even if they are in London is not correct.  This is a scholar opinion but it is not correct I believe and it is against the Fatwa of other Fiqh Council in other areas and also some of the great scholars in the history.”

Friday Sermons of the Imam of Masjid al-Haram Makkah at Regents Park London Central Mosque

Khutba of Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
At the Regents Park London Central Mosque

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Head of the Presidency of the Haramain came to the United Kingdom and visited The Islamic Cultural Centre & The Regents Park London Central Mosque, in the first week of June 2015. Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques & the Imam of the Masjid Al-Haram Makkah was received by Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan, Director General of The Islamic Cultural Centre & The London Central Mosque Trust on Friday 5th June 2015.

Friday Sermons on 5th of June 2015
against Violence and Radicalisation
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais led two Friday Jumah prayers and delivered Sermons (Khutba) on 5th of June and 12th of June 2015 respectively. While delivering his sermons to the congregation on 5th of June 2015, the Imam of the Masjid al-Haram stressed the urgent need to address important current issues for the Muslim Community in the UK. .These included the need to keep good relations with each other no matter what race, creed or culture. He also said as a community we should be supporting, cooperating and holding hands together to face challenges of the present time.

His Eminence confirmed the fact that Muslim's should not follow any form of violence, radicalisation or takfir (declaring someone a non-Muslim or an apostate) because of which Islam is today misunderstood everywhere and also misinterpreted.

Sheikh Al-Sudais quoted verses from the Quran:
"And We have not sent you, [Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." Al-Qur’an, 21:10 andInvite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice.” Al-Qur’an, 16:125

In his speech Sheikh Al-Sudais explained how 'blood' in Islam is protected, which means killing anybody Muslim or Non-Muslim is one of the biggest sins in the sight of Islam.

He asked Muslims to leave judgement regarding people's faith for Allah (God) & their actions for this life in the hands of the law and authorities.

The Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Makkah urged Muslim Communities in the UK & everywhere to follow regulations and law of the societies in which they live. He asked everybody to be a messenger of peace anywhere they go or wherever they are.

Sheikh Al-Sudais also said that one should lead by example, good behaviour and commitment to being righteous in your dealings is the best way to show the real image of Islam through the Qur’an and the Sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the best way to defending your faith against those who misunderstand or those who try to deface Islam. It is also the best way to bring up your children on the right Islamic path.

Khutba of Sheikh Al-Sudais on 12th June 2015
On the blessing month of Ramadan
In his sermons on Friday, 12th of June 2015 at the London Central Mosque, The Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Makkah Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais said, Allah the Almighty has blessed humanity with many special occasions one of which is the Holy month of Ramadan. We should reflect on the following points in this time to help Muslims reflect and to overcome trials and tribulations they are going through.

The most important point is that Ramadan is the month of fasting and this is not only for this Ummah but for previous nations before us. The Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Makkah quoted verse from the Holy Qur’an: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” Al-Qur’an, 2: 183.

Sheikh Al-Sudais said, Ramadan brings the spiritual opportunity that enables individuals and community at large to attain taqwa: i.e. be mindful of the consequences of our actions

The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) reminded his companions whenever Ramadan came that the gates of paradise are open and the gates of hellfire are closed and the temptations are brought to a minimal, he said and added,  Ramadan is a time to highlight the spiritual dimension so that it is the opening for us to make ourselves better and to live better lives, we must welcome and embrace this month as a time for seeking forgiveness for our sins major and small and worshipping Allah the Almighty sincerely.

Speaking about Tawbah in his sermons to the congregation, Head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques explained, Tawbah through forgiveness can only be if it fulfils the following conditions
1 – Giving up the sin immediately.
2 – Regretting what has happened in the past.
3 – Resolving not to go back to it.
4 – Making amends to those whom you have wronged, or asking for their forgiveness. Including returning whatever you may have disowned of a person

Sheikh Al-Sudais mentioned the Hadith (Tradition of the Prophet peace be upon him):
Do you know who the bankrupt person is? It is not the one who has got no money but a person who will lose all his good deeds on the day of judgement because of the infringements of other people’s rights in this world committing him to hellfire.

The Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makkah also mentioned, Ramadan can only be sanctioned by sighting the moon and the Muslim community should show unity in embracing Ramadan as it is meant to be to consolidate Muslim unity as a result he commends to heed the advice of scholars of known integrity and to follow the guidance of Masjid Al Haram, Makkah and thanked the Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) for its role in uniting and serving the community irrespective of their background.

He reminds them that Ramadan is meant to strengthen unity and also to discard all elements of disunity and misunderstanding

Sheikh Al-Sudais also said, Ramadan is meant to serve as a shield that protects humanity and mankind from all sorts of evil, small and big.

He also reminds, Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an so we need to follow the legacy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and treat the Qur’an the same way as he did.

Reciting: Pondering and reflecting as was the case of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with Angel Gabriel
Reflecting: More you reflect you act on it and stay closer to God
Generosity: Ramadan is the month of generosity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to be as generous as:
"Allah`s Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was the most generous of people in charity, but he was generous to the utmost in the month of Ramadhaan. Jibreel (Gabriel) would meet him every year during the month of Ramadhaan until it ended, and Allaah's Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, would review the Quran with him; and when Jibreel met him, Allaah's Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was more generous in giving charity than a blowing wind". (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)

Taraweh, praying and committing time to worship Allah

Dua is one of the most important acts of worship as it reflects our true servitude to the Creator .

All as a means of seeking forgiveness.

Sheikh Al-Sudais also said, It is imperative upon us to spread and demonstrate  the peaceful  message of Islam, moderation, respect, toleration, fairness, justice and equality  so that others can look at Islam and admire its true teachings.

He said, we should also reflect on our families and children on all aspects of life.

We should carry our responsibility of bringing up our children as God fearing as this is a responsibility that Allah has put on us.

The Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Makkah also reminds, Muslims should be aware of the Challenges facing this Ummah and work towards keeping the Ummah united as a result we should not allow anyone to divide the unity of this.

The Challenges of the Ummah:
We should not allow anyone to divide the unity of this Ummah

He said, we should strive to contribute to peace and stability within the moderate teaching of Islam

Imam of the Masjid al-Haram Makkah also reminded, Islam has never promoted evil terrorism or extremism. Evil has no nationality or colour so it is not characteristic of Islam.