The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: "Whoever directs someone to a good, then he will have the reward equal to the doer of the action". [Saheeh Muslim]

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Winter Reminders

bismillah (2)“Indeed, winter is the spring of the believer because during it he enjoys himself in the gardens of obedience to (Allaah) and wanders in the fields of worship, and his heart strolls along in devotion to the acts of worship facilitated within it, just like the animals revel in the pastures of spring; so they put on weight and (the state of) their bodies improve.

Likewise, during winter the believer’s religion is improved through what Allaah has made easy of acts of obedience; for indeed the believer is able to fast the days of winter without difficulty or being troubled by hunger and thirst because its days of fasting are short and cold, and the difficulty in fasting is unnoticed. And it has been reported in Tirmidhee from the Prophet SallAllaahu 3alayhi wa sallam who said:

“Fasting in winter is an (easily acquired) booty.” (1)

winter_is_the_booty_of_the_worshipepers
 
Imaam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah)
stated in Lataa-if Al-Ma3aarif 326

(1) As-Saheehah of Imaam Albaanee (number 1922)

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Winter: Believer’s Best Season

It is said that winter is a time when people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as ‘the Winter Blues’. However, it is interesting to see how the early Muslims welcomed winter, as it is clear that they saw it in a totally different light.

Here are four ways that they would benefit from winter:

1 & 2: Fasting and praying

Imaam Ahmad reported with an authentic chain that 3Umar bin al-Khattab said: “Winter is the booty (prize) of the worshippers.” (1)

Ibn Rajab al-Hambali said:

“Winter is the best season for the believer because…Allaah strengthens his practice in it by making worship easy for him. This is because in winter, the believer can fast during the day with ease without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he therefore doesn’t feel the hardship of fasting…

As for praying at night in the winter due to its long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then get up to pray afterwards and recite all that he usually recites of the Qur’aan while he has had enough sleep. So, he can combine between the sleep that he needs and the usual amount of recitation of the Qur’aan that he completes in a day. So, he fulfills the interests of both his religion and the comfort of his body…

And it was narrated that Ibn Mas3oud said: “Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.”

It is also narrated from him and al-Hasan: “Winter is a wonderful time for the believer. Its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in.”

When it was winter time, 3Ubayd bin 3Umayr would say: “O people of the Qur’aan! Your nights are now long for you to recite in. So, recite! Your days are now short for you to fast in. So, fast! Night prayer in the winter equals fasting during the day in the summer.”

This is why Mu3adh wept on his deathbed and said: “I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.”” (2)

It was reported by Ahmad (4/335) with a chain authenticated by al-Albanee in that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Fasting in the winter is the easy booty (prize).” (3)

Ibn Rajab commented on this in ‘Lata’if al-Ma3arif’ (p. 276):

“And the meaning of it being an easy prize is that it is a prize obtained without any battle or effort or hardship. So, the owner of this prize has been given it as a favor without any effort on his part.”

3: Caring for the poor

Ibn Rajab said in ‘Lata’if al-Ma3arif’ (p. 281):

“Taking care of the poor in the winter and protecting them from the cold is a great deed. Safwan bin Salim went out on a cold night in Madeenah near the mosque, and he saw a man with little clothing on. So, he took off his coat and covered him up with it. So, someone living in Shaam saw in a dream that Safwan bin Salim had entered Paradise with a shirt he had made. So, he went to Madinah and said: “Show me where Safwan is.” When he found him, he told him of the dream.

Also, Mis’ar saw a bedouin standing in the Sun saying:

Winter has come, and I have no money * And such a thing can only happen to a Muslim;
The people have put on their coats * And it is as if I am in Makkah only wearing ihram…

So, Mis’ar took off his coat and put it on the man.

It was related to one of the righteous leaders that there was a woman with four orphaned children who were naked and hungry. So, he had a man go to them and bring them clothes and food. He then took off his outer clothing and said: “I will not wear these or be warmed by them until you return and tell me that they are clothed and fed.” So, the man went and came back and confirmed to the leader while he was shivering in the cold that they had taken the clothes and had eaten. He then put his outer clothes back on.

At-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Sa3eed al-Khudri that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever feeds a hungry believer will be fed by Allah on the Day of Judgement from the fruits of Paradise, and whoever quenches his thirst will have his thirst quenched from the Sealed Nectar, and whoever clothes him will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise.”

And Ibn Abi ad-Dunya reported with his chain that Ibn Mas3oud said: “The people will be gathered on the Day of Ressurection as naked, hungry, and thirsty as they ever were. So, whoever clothed someone will be clothed by Allaah, whoever fed someone will be fed by Allaah, and whoever quenched someone’s thirst will have his thirst quenched by Allaah, and whoever relieved others will be given Relief by Allaah.”

4: Remembering the realities of Hell

It is reported that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Hell complained to its Lord, saying: “Parts of me have consumed the other parts.” So, He allowed it two breaths of exhalation: one in winter and one in summer. As for its breath in winter, that is the bitter cold, and its breath in the summer is the extreme heat.” (4)

Ibn Rajab said in ‘Lata’if al-Ma3arif’ (p. 282):

“And from the virtues of winter is that it reminds one of the extreme cold of Hell and pushes one to seek refuge from it…

Zubayd al-Yami woke up one night to pray. So, he walked towards the bowl of water that he would wash up from and put his hand it to find the water so cold that it was almost frozen. This reminded him of the extreme cold in Hell, and he did not remove his hand from the bowl until he later awoke and his servant came to find him like this.

His servant said: “What are you doing, sir? Why didn’t you pray at night as you usually do? Why are you sitting here like this?”

He replied: “I put my hand in this bowl and touched the cold water, and was reminded of the extreme cold of Hell. By Allaah, I did not feel the severity of its coolness until you came just now. So, go and don’t tell anyone about this until I die.”

And nobody knew of this incident until he had died, may Allaah have Mercy on him.

& it is mentioned in the authentic hadeeth: “Hell complained to its Lord, saying: “Parts of me have consumed the other parts.” So, He allowed it two breaths of exhalation: one in winter and one in summer. As for its breath in winter, that is the bitter cold, and its breath in the summer is the extreme heat.”

…How often does winter come then summer * And spring goes and autumn comes;

And we go from hot to cold * And the sword of destruction is raised over your head;

O you who is insignificant in this world * Till when will procrastination deceive you?

You who seeks what is temporary, till when * Will your heart be busy with what is temporary?

Strange is the one who humiliates himself for this world * While a piece of bread would suffice him for each day…”

So, these examples show that winter time is a special time that we should mark not by being down and inactive, but rather by reviving our energy in worship and servitude to Allaah.

source: written by Abu Sabaya

Related Posts:

The blessings of Winter

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References:

(1) Az-Zuhd’ (p. 118)
(2) Lata’if al-Ma3arif’ (p. 276)
(3) ‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’ (1922)
(4) ‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’ (1457)

Virtues of Allaah’s Sacred Month of Muharram

month_of_Muharam_border

Allaah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ 

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [soorah at-Tawbah, v:36]

It was reported that Ibn 3Abbaas said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

The Virtue of Observing More Naafil Fasts during Muharram:

Abu Hurayrah radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.'” (1)

The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. This hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.

Fasting on 3Aashooraa’:

Ibn 3Abbaas radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of 3Aashooraa’.

He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israeel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day.’

He said, ‘We have more right to Moosaa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” (2)

Fasting on the day of 3Aashooraa’ was obligatory, but when fasting Ramadaan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast 3Aashooraa’ was lifted, i.e., it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).

The Virtues of Fasting 3Aashooraa:

Ibn 3Abbaas radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 3Aashooraa’, and this month, meaning Ramadaan.” (3)

The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “For fasting the day of 3Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (4)

This is from the bounty of Allaah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty.

Not relying too much on the reward for fasting it:

Some people who are deceived rely too much on things like fasting on 3Aashooraa’ or the day of  3Arafaah, to the extent that some of them say, “Fasting on 3Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of 3Arafaah will bring extra rewards.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said: ‘This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadaan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of 3Arafaah and 3Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadaan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins.

Which day is 3Aashooraa’?

Ibn 3Abbaas said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam commanded us to fast 3Aashooraa’, the tenth day of Muharram.” (5)

It is Mustahabb (encouraged) to Fast Taasoo3aa’ with 3Aashooraa’:

3Abd-Allaah ibn 3Abbaas radi Allaahu 3Anhuma said: “When the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam fasted on 3Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’

The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “If I live to see the next year, inshaa’ Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.” But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam passed away before the next year came.” (6)

Al-Shaafa3ee and his companions, Ahmad, Is-haaq and others said: “It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.”

On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting 3Aashooraa’, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. And the more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.

Fasting Only on the Day of 3Aashooraa’:

Shaykh al-Islaam said: “Fasting on the day of 3Aashoraa’ is an expiation for a year, and it is not makrooh to fast only that day”. (7)

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said: “There is nothing wrong with fasting only on 3Aashooraa’.” (8)

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa said: “It is permissible to fast the day of 3Aashooraa’. (tenth day of Muharram) just one day, however, it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it (also)”. (9)

Bid3ahs Common on 3Aashooraa’:

Some are wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (huboob), showing happiness….

They also reported a fabricated hadeeth that is falsely attributed to the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam, which says, “Whoever is generous to his family on the day of 3Aashooraa’, Allaah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.” Reporting all of this from the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam is tantamount to lying.’

Nothing to that effect has been reported in any saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam or from his Companions. None of the imaams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam nor from the Sahaabah, nor from the Taabi3een; neither in any saheeh report or in a da3eef (weak) report.

We ask Allaah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet and may Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.

Extracted & compiled from e-books “The Virtues of Allah’s sacred month of Muharram” & Fasting on ‘Aashooraa‘ by Shaykh Saleh Munajjid

Download as pdf (rightclick & save target as)

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Related Posts:

Ruling on Offering Congratulations At The Beginning Of the Hijri Year

Fasting on 3Ashooraa

Some Rulings About 3Ashooraa’

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References:
(1) Muslim
(2) Bukhaaree
(3) Bukhaaree
(4) Muslim
(5) At-Tirmidhee
(6) Muslim
(7) Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5
(8) In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj: part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’
(9) Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘3lmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 10, Page 401, Fatwa No.13700
 

Got the Winter blues? Make the Most of it!

Alhamdulillaah!!

Winter is here…

The nights are long and the days are short….. the temperatures have dropped and the weather is really cool!

What a perfect time to take advantage of the weather and utilize it to your benefit. You can increase your good deeds, take care of your obligations and earn the Pleasure of Allaah all at the same time!

How? One might ask…Its simple.

Make the most of winter by fasting during its short days and praying Qiyaam during the long nights.

The smart Muslim is always looking for opportunities and ways to increase his good deeds, seek forgiveness from his Lord, and improve his Deen. He values each and every moment of his life, observing his duties to the best of his ability because he is preparing…..preparing for that ultimate, inevitable meeting with Allaah, Rabb-ul-3Aalameen.

And the winter season is one perfect and easy way to do just that.

3Umar ibn al-Khattaab  radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “Winter is booty for the devout worshippers.”

Meaning, it is easy to gain rewards from Allaah by  striving in worship during winter through fasting and praying than in the summer, which is like gaining easy warbooty without the hardships of war.

Fast during the day

Since the days are short, it is easy to fast. How many of us have days of fasting that we have to make up, either because of sickness, traveling, or just plain neglect and laziness? (May Allaah protect us from that).

And how many sisters have to make up their fasts due to feminine reasons, either from this past Ramadaan or even before?

We all know that making up the days of fasting is fardh on every adult Muslim man and woman and not doing so is a sin.

Straight forward, its an order from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta3ala. Allaah says:

“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadaan), he must observe Saum (fast) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Soorah al-Baqarah,v: 185]

Thus, we should hasten to fast the number of days we missed. And what better opportunity than this?

How much easier could it get?

The days are short and the weather is cool, so you don’t really get thirsty or even feel hungry. Allaah, in His Infinite Mercy, is providing us with an easy opportunity to seek rewards from Him. So shouldn’t we take it up?

Abu Hurayrah radi Allaahu 3Anhu that he said: “Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds?”

People responded, “And what is that O Abu Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter”.

Pray Qiyaam ul Layl at night

As for the winter night…..it is quite….it is long and it is peaceful.

What more could one ask?

A night so calm and so long….. to stand in front of our Lord and beg Him for forgiveness…..ask Him for guidance…..beseech him for His Mercy.

The Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?’”

And he SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa Sallam said: ““You should pray qiyaam al-layl, for it is the custom of the righteous who came before you and it brings you closer to your Lord, and expiates sins and prevents misdeeds.”

3Ubayd bin 3Umayr radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “It used to be said when winter came: O people of the Qur`aan, the night has become long so you can pray (more) and the day has become short for you to fast.”

Yazeed al-Riqaashi said: “A lot of Tahajjud brings delight to the worshippers, and a lot of thirst (i.e., fasting), brings joy when they meet Allaah.”

So when the cold hits you and the weather gets you down, don’t get discouraged. Instead of sleeping away the night and wasting away the day, look on the bright side and make the most of it. Put this time of year in a whole new perspective. Remind yourself of the many acts of worship and benefits that this time of the year brings with it rather than just focusing on how cold it is.

One of the righteous used to say: “I have never heard the adhaan except that I remember the caller who will announce the Day of Resurrection, and I never see the falling snow except that I imagine the flying pages of the records of peoples deeds (on that day), and I never see swarms of locusts except that I think about the Great Gathering on the Last Day.”

And actually, if we think, the winter is a big blessing from among the innumerable, uncountable blessings of Allaah. He is honoring us by the bounty of His Giving, His Gracious Blessing and His Great Favor, so that we may be able to pray qiyaam, fast during the day and worship Him.

May Allaah subhaanahu wa ta3alaa enable us all to make better use of our winters. Aameen.

Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islâmic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).” [Soorah al-Nahl, v:97]

written by Asma Bint Shameem


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Winter – The season of Benefits


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