Monthly Archives: September 2006

Technical Note

If anyone is having trouble with the formatting on some of my posts, try opening them with Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. For some reason, they show up fine on Firefox, but not on IE. I had not been using IE and so did not realize until now. Firefox is much better anyways so if you haven’t made the switch, it would be a good idea.

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Du’a in Ramadan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ramadan is a time to make much du’a. In Surah al-Baqarah, verses 184-188 discuss fasting and Ramadan in considerable detail. In the middle of all these verses the following verse interjects:

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Al-Baqarah (2):186]

It is as if Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is telling us, this is a time to make du’a. Continue reading

Ramadan: The Month of Devotion

O my brother in Islam, the month of Ramadan has come to you, full of blessings. It comes only once in a year for just a few short days, full of mercy, so take advantage of them before they are gone:

(( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُون . أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ . شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ))

O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous (la’allakum tattaqun). [Fasting for] a limited, set number of days. So whoever of you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an (equal) number of other days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] is a ransom [as substitute] of feeding of one poor person. But whoever voluntary does good, then that is better for him. And it is better for you that you should fast, if only you knew. The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of guidance and criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you witnesses the month, then let him fast it. And whosoever of you is ill or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and He does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period, and to glorify (tukabbiroo) Allah for having guided you, and so that perhaps you may be grateful.” [al-Baqarah (2):183-185]

Allah has informed us that the major objective of the month of Ramadan is so that we become of those who practice taqwa, and it is to fulfill that which Allah has ordered and to avoid acts of disobedience to him. The word taqwa is derived from waqaa, which means to protect and shield. It was named that because the one who possesses taqwa, his taqwa will protect him from Allah’s punishment. And there is nothing that we are in greater need of than this, so Allah has prescribed for us fasting for a set number of days every year. And how many of us are there who have felt when Ramadan approaches that it has come just when we need it. This is because Allah knows us best.

Continue reading

Israiliyyat in Tafsir: Shaykh Ahmad Shakir’s View

The Place of Isra’iliyyat in Tafsir

By Shaykh Ahmad Shakir

From his introduction to ‘Umdah at-Tafsir ‘an al-Hafiz Ibn Kathir [1/14-17], his summary of Tafsir ibn Kathir

Al-Hafiz ibn Kathir has some strong words concerning the issue of Isra’iliyyat and narrating them. With regards to some of them, he clarified his stance concerning them. Despite that, I have found him mentioning some. Frequently, he follows them up with comments in refutation. Therefore, I thought that I should gather together in this introduction some of what I found during my reading of it (i.e. his Tafsir) which I had recorded. Continue reading