Articles

Ramadan: The School of Piety
Author : Dr Noah Ali Salman
Date Added : 17-03-2024

Ramadan: The School of Piety

 

When Ramadan approaches, people receive it with different feelings. Some see it as an opportunity to rid themselves of sins and burdens, and this is true; as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, "He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven" [Related by Bukhari and Muslim].

 

However, some see Ramadan as an opportunity for expressing deep-rooted faith and steadfast conviction. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) narrated from Allah Almighty that "Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake." [Related by Muslim].

 

In addition, some people see Ramadan as an opportunity to break free from the burdensome habits of eating and drinking, allowing their stomach and body to relax. This is also true; the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, said: "No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing." [Reported by Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad].

 

We cannot fully comprehend people's feelings towards the blessed month, but the greatest benefit of fasting, from which all other benefits stem, is that it teaches us God-consciousness (taqwa). This is why Allah, the Almighty, said: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-" (Al-Baqarah, 183).

 

Taqwa is a comprehensive term that means a Muslim fulfills all religious obligations and avoids all prohibitions and even doubtful matters. This can only be achieved when one feels the supervision of Allah Almighty, who commands what is obligatory and prohibits what is forbidden. This is why the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when asked about excellence (ihsan), said: "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then know that He sees you." [Related by Bukhari and Muslim].

 

One of the meanings of "ihsan" is perfection and doing something in the best possible way. It is said that someone excels in their work, meaning they have perfected it. In the worldly affairs, a worker perfects their work when they feel the supervision of their employer or the authority commanding the work. Likewise, when someone feels the supervision of Allah, they perfect all their religious and worldly actions. Allah has commanded us to perfect our worldly actions, which is why the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever deceives us is not one of us." [Related by Muslim].

 

The Islamic perspective does not differentiate between religious and worldly actions, nor between the rights of Allah and the rights of people, in the sense that Allah holds individuals accountable for both types of actions, rewards for their proper performance, and has rights in both spheres. Any differentiation is merely a technical term used by scholars for jurisprudential purposes.

 

Fasting is a practical lesson in God-consciousness; you see a person resisting thirst even though water is close by, and despite the absence of human surveillance, they refrain because they feel the presence of Allah. Similarly, they reduce other actions that break the fast due to the awareness of Allah's presence in their life. Those who feel the watchfulness of Allah open wide the doors of piety, and Ramadan comes every year to renew this sense of mindfulness and nourish piety in the hearts of believers.

Those who follow the verses of the noble Quran that mention the concept of piety will find that Allah has linked all goodness in this world and the Hereafter to piety. Some of these verses are:

 

1-He says, Exalted is He: "O you who have believed, if you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion" (Al-Anfal, 29). From this criterion is the light that Allah places in the heart of the pious, so that matters do not confuse them, people do not deceive them, and paths do not mislead them. Instead, they can distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, and righteousness and wickedness.

 

2-He says, Exalted is He: "And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth" (Al-Araf, 96). The term "cities" refers to human settlements. Whoever believes that sustenance comes from Allah (Indeed, Allah is the Sustainer, the Possessor of Strength) (Ad-Dariat, 58), understands the direct connection between piety and sustenance. Similarly, Allah says: "And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect" (At-Talaq, 2-3). This applies to individuals even if they are in communities that do not fear Allah. Both individuals and communities are always concerned with finding a way out of crises and securing income to protect themselves from poverty. Allah, who guides to the doors of sustenance and solutions to crises, guides them towards piety for the sake of both matters and ensures the outcomes.

 

3- He says, Exalted is He: "Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you" (Al-Hujurat, 13). The term "noble" refers to being noble in the sight of Allah because His honor for someone is limitless. They are noble in the eyes of Allah's people because they have valid measures in honor and respect, while others may be inconsistent and not judged solely by praise or criticism.

 

4-He says, Exalted is He: "And the outcome is for the righteous" (Taha, 132). The struggle between truth and falsehood is timeless, yet the ultimate outcome is for the righteous and the God-fearing. The reign of falsehood is temporary, while the reign of truth lasts until the end of time.

 

Indeed, this reality encourages the people of piety to be patient, optimistic, and sacrificial. Therefore, Allah has emphasized it repeatedly in the Quran:

 

He, the Almighty, said: "And the outcome is for the righteous" (Al-Araf, 128).

 

In addition, He said: "Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good" (An-Nahil, 128).

 

Moreover, Allah, Exalted is He, said: "And know that Allah is with the righteous" (Al-Baqarah, 194).

 

Thus, the righteous are the party of Allah, the party of Allah are the predominant ones, and the party of Allah are the successful ones. This is what the Quran has declared.

 

These are some of the fruits that Allah has made for Taqwa (God-consciousness), and there is still more, they are all what souls desire and hearts long for. People strive to achieve them through uncertain means, causing hardship, stumbling, conflicts, and disputes. Those who do not adhere to Taqwa to attain these goals may succeed at times but fail at others. If they succeed in this worldly life, they may not succeed in the Hereafter. However, from His mercy, Allah has guided us to the path leading to these goals, ensuring our success in various ways and sometimes in all aspects. Therefore, it is a requirement of firm faith in the words of Allah and sincere trust in His promise that the rational person adheres to Taqwa. Allah says: 'And fear Me, O you of understanding.' (Al-Baqarah, 197).

 

Whoever claims faith and intelligence but does not fear Allah cannot establish evidence for their claim, because knowledge of the greatness of Allah entails Taqwa. Allah says: 'It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah.' (Fatir, 28) Belief in meeting Allah entails Taqwa. Allah says: 'And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah.' (Al-Baqarah, 281).

 

Even the eagerness to be close to loved ones and friends and to maintain relationships with them in the Hereafter requires Taqwa (God-consciousness). Allah says: 'Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous. O My servants, there is no fear concerning you today, nor will you grieve, [you] who believed in Our verses and were Muslims. Enter Paradise, you and your kinds, delighted.' (Al-Zukruf, 67-70).

 

It remains to be said: if one does not show their faith in Ramadan, then when will they show it?! And if one does not fear Allah in Ramadan, then when will they fear Allah?!

 

Taqwa in Ramadan, as manifested by abstaining from food and drink, is also manifested by restraining the tongue, eyes, ears, and limbs from prohibitions. It is manifested by hastening towards virtues such as reading the Quran, performing Tarawih prayers, supplicating in the last third of the night, seeking forgiveness during the day, honoring fasting individuals, showing compassion to those falling short, and praying for their guidance so they may not be among the fuel of the Fire.

 

Ramadan is a school from which only those who understand its value and seize its moments benefit. It is the school of Taqwa. Blessed are the righteous!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summarized Fatawaa

Is it permissible for a woman to apply Kuhul(Halal eyeliner) and go out wearing it?

Kuhul is part of a woman`s adornment, and it is forbidden for her to show that to anyone other than a husband , or a Mahram(Unmarriageable kin).

Is it permissible for a husband to sell his wife`s jewelry if he was in a hard up?

A woman`s jewelry and dowry are her own property, and it is forbidden for the husband to take either without obtaining her approval. However, it is desirable for the wife to support her husband through considering her jewelry a sort of documented debt on him.

What is the ruling of Sharia on marrying a Jewish woman, dealing with the Jews, and going to Israel?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
It is allowed for a Muslim to marry a Jewish or a Christian woman provided that this doesn`t affect his religion. As for dealing with the Jews who are outside Palestine, it is the same as dealing with the Christians; it is permissible as long as it doesn`t harm Islam. As for dealing with the Jews who are inside Palestine, the ruling differs depending on the persons themselves and the situations. By the end of the day, a believer`s heart leads him/her to what is good. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

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Kindness to an orphan entails a great reward from Allah, but adoption is prohibited and invalid. Therefore, it is permissible for the aforementioned person(for example) to make his brother`s wife breastfeed that girl so that he becomes her uncle by suckling provided that he informs her that she isn`t his biological daughter.