It was narrated from some of the salaf that they used to pray to Allaah for six months in advance to let them live until Ramadaan. The Sahaabah radiAllaahu 3anhum used to prepare for Ramadaan six months in advance.
Jamadi-uth-thaani is half over & Rajab will be here soon, ya3ni Ramadaan is just 2 1/2 months away.
Hasan Al-Basree advised some of his students admonishing them about avoiding the state of being proud.
1) Do not deceive yourself into becoming too proud because you are in a good or righteous environment, for there is no place that is better than Paradise, and our father, Aadam 3alayhi salaam, experienced there what is known to all.
2) Do not become proud merely because you worship often, for consider what happened to Iblees after he spent a great deal of time worshipping.
3) Do not think yourself great because you have met with righteous people, for there is no man more righteous than the Prophet sallAllaahu 3alayhi wa sallam, yet the disbelievers and hypocrites did not benefit by simply knowing him”.
A beneficial reminder for us as we fast this Summer insha’Allaah. The temperature is between 42-47 degree these days… Alhamdulillaah for this opportunity to intend more lofty rewards during Ramadaan.
Fasting in the Heat
Ibn Rajab said about the virtues of fasting during hot days.
“…And from the acts of worship whose reward is multiplied during the heat is fasting, & this is because of the thirst that one experiences in the mid-day heat.”
This is why Mu3adh bin Jabal expressed regret on his deathbed that he would no longer experience this mid-day thirst, as did other early Muslims.
And it was related that Aboo Bakr would fast in the summer & not fast in the winter, & 3Umar advised his son 3Abdullaah on his deathbed: “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith,” & the first one he mentioned was fasting in the intense summer heat”. And al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that 3Aayeshah would fast in the intense heat, & he was asked: “What drove her to do this?” He replied: “She would take advantage of the days before death”.
And some of the righteous women would choose the hottest days & fast them, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that she wanted to do those actions that only a few were capable of due to how hard it was to do them, & this is indicative of the high aspirations these women had. And Aboo Moosaa al-Ash’aree was on a boat, & he heard someone calling out: “O passengers, stand up!” And he said this three times. So, Aboo Moosaa told him: “How can we stand up? Don’t you see where we are? How can we stand up?” So, the caller said:“Let me tell you of a rule that Allaah made upon Himself: whoever makes himself thirsty for Allaah’s sake on a hot day has the right upon Allaah to have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection.” So, Aboo Moosaa would search out the days that were so hot that one would feel he was being cooked, & he would fast those days. Ka3b said that Allaah Said to Moosaa: “I made it incumbent upon Myself that whoever is thirsty for My sake will have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection,” & others said that it’s written in the Torah: “Glad tidings for whoever makes himself hungry in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his hunger satisfied, & glad tidings for whoever makes himself thirsty in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his thirst quenched.”
Al-Hasan said: “A maiden of Paradise will speak to the walee of Allaah while he is laying with her on the shore of a river of honey in Paradise while she hands him a glass of the sweetest drink, & she will ask him: “Do you know what day Allaah married me to you? He saw you on a long summer day while you were thirsty in the mid-day heat, & He called the Angels & said: “Look at My slave. He has left his wife & pleasure & food & drink for Me out of his desire for what I have for him. Bear witness that I have Forgiven him,” & He Forgave you on that day & married you to me.”” And when 3Amir bin 3Abd Qays went from Basrah to Shaam, Mu3awiyah would ask him to tell him what he needed. He refused to ask of him, & eventually said: “All I need is for you to return the heat of Basrah to me to make the fasting a bit harder, as it is too easy in your lands.” And al-Hajjaj was on a journey between Makkah & Madeenah. He pulled out his dinner & invited a bedouin to eat with him, & the bedouin said: “I have been invited by One who is better than you & I have accepted the invitation.”
He asked: “And who is this?”
The man replied: “Allaah invited me to fast, & I fasted.”
al-Hajjaj asked: “On this very hot day?”
The man replied: “Yes. I am fasting it in anticipation of a much hotter day”.
al-Hajjaj said: “So, eat today & fast tomorrow.”
The man replied: “Only if you can guarantee that I will live until tomorrow.”
al-Hajjaj said: “This isn’t in my hands.”
The man said: “How can you ask me to do something now when there is something of the future that isn’t in your hands?”
And Ibn 3Umar went on a trip once with some companions, & they saw a sheep-herder who they invited to eat with them. He said: “I am fasting,” & Ibn 3Umar said: “You are fasting in heat like this, & while you are between all these plants & sheep?”
The herder replied: “I’m taking advantage of my remaining days.”
Ibn 3Umar was impressed by this reply & said: “Can you sell one of your sheep to us? We’ll feed you from its meat when you break your fast, & we’ll also pay you for it.”
The herder said: “It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to my master.”
Ibn 3Umar said: “What would your master say if you told him that it was eaten by a wolf?”
The herder raised his finger to the sky & said: “What about Allaah?”
Ibn 3Umar kept repeating this phrase that the herder was saying, & when he got to the city, he went to the herder’s owner & bought him & his sheep from him. He then freed the herder & gave him his sheep as a gift.
And Ruh bin Zinba’ was travelling between Makkah & Madinah on a very hot day. A herder living on a mountain approached him, & he said to him: “O herder, come eat with me.” The herder said: “I’m fasting.” Ruh said: “You’re fasting in this heat?” The herder replied: “Should I let my days pass by in vain?” So, Ruh said: “You have used your days wisely, O herder, while Ruh bin Zinba’ has wasted his.”
And Ibn 3Umar used to fast extra days until he would almost faint, & this wouldn’t cause him to break his fast.
And al-Imaam Ahmad would fast until he was about to pass out, & would wipe water over his face. He was asked about fasting very hot days, & he replied: “There is nothing wrong with wetting a towel to squeeze the water on himself to cool down with.” And the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam would pour water over his head while fasting.
And Aboo ad-Darda’ would say: “Fast the very hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, & pray two rak3at in the darkness of night in anticipation of the darkness of the grave.”
And it’s reported in the two ‘Saheeh’s that he said: “You have seen us with the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam) on some of his journeys on very hot days, & a man would hold his hand against his head due to the intensity of the heat, & none of them would be fasting except the Messenger of Allaah & 3Abdullah bin Rawahah.”(1)
And the narration of Muslim states that Aboo ad-Darda’ said: “This was during the month of Ramadaan.”
”When those who fast for Allaah in the heat are patient despite their intense thirst, He will set aside a specific gate of the gates of Paradise for them. This is the gate called Rayyan, & whoever enters through it will drink, & whoever drinks after entering it will never be thirsty again. When they enter through it, it will be locked for those after them, & none will enter through it except them”.
From ‘Lataa’if al-Ma3aarif’ (p. 272-273) by Ibn Rajab
The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is in reality a cure, even though it appears to be a disease!
Unfortunately, due to the ignorance of the worshipper, and his transgressions, he does not consider anything to be a gift or a blessing or a cure unless he can enjoy it immediately, and it is in accordance with his nature.
If he were only given a little bit of understanding, then he would have counted being withheld from as a blessing, and the sickness as a mercy, and he would relish the trouble that befalls him more than he relishes his ease, and he would enjoy poverty more than he enjoys richness, and he would be more thankful when he is blessed with little than when he is blessed with a lot.
Quotes From the Salaf About the Life of This World
1. Sufyan ath-Thawri said: “Man’s love for the life of this world is shown in the way he greets people.”
[Look at a chaste poor man … nobody talks to him. People greet him so warily as if fearing that he may pass poverty to them. But see how the people welcome a rich man, even if he does not perform prayer. They stand up with smiling faces, and each one hopes to greet him first. Note the difference between a man who is so great as seen by Allah and another who does not even weigh a mosquito’s wing – but this is life.]
2. Narrated Muhammad ibn Abi Imran, “I heard a man asking Hatim al-Asamm: ‘On what have you based your dependence on Allah?’ He said: ‘On four points: I knew that my sustenance cannot be eaten by someone else and I am assured, I knew that my duty cannot be done by anyone else, so I kept myself busy with that. I knew that death will come suddenly to me, so I prepared myself for it. I knew that wherever I go I am under Allah’s Eye, so I am always shy of Him.'”
3. 3Abdullaah ibn Mubarak said, “O man! Prepare yourself for the Hereafter, obey Allah to the extent of your need for Him and anger Him to the extent of your patience in Hell.”
4. Abu Safwan ar-Ru`wini was asked: “What is that life dispraised by Allah in the Qur’an and that the sensible man should avoid?” He said: “Whatever you love in this life seeking worldly benefits is dispraised, and whatever you love seeking benefits in the Hereafter is praised.”
5. Yahya ibn Mu3adh said, “O how poor is man, if he fears Hell in the same degree of his fearing poverty, then he will enter Paradise.”
6. Ali ibn Al-Fudayl said: “I heard my father saying to Ibn Al-Mubarak: You order us to renounce the worldly pleasures and to be satisfied with the minimum, whereas you are buying goods, so what is that?” He said: “I do that to protect my face and my honour, and this helps me obey my Rabb.” My father said: “How good is that if realized.”
7. An ascetic said: “I know none who has heard of Paradise and Hell, then spends an hour of his life without praying, remembering Allah or doing a good deed.” A man said: “I weep so much.” He said to him: “To laugh and admit your sins is better than to weep and feel proud of your deeds.” The man said: “I need your advice.” He said: “Abandon the life of this world to its people as they have abandoned the Hereafter to its people.”
8. Shumait ibn `Ajlan used to say: “Two persons are tormented in the life of this world: a rich man who is given a great wealth that keeps him so busy with worldly pleasures, and a poor man who is deprived of such pleasures for which he is longing with a heartbreak.”
9. Al-Hasan said: “How good is life in this world for a believer because he uses it to prepare his provisions for Paradise. And how evil it is for a disbeliever who uses it to prepare his provisions for Hell.”
10. Yahya ibn Mu`adh said: “The life of this world is a house of deeds and the Hereafter is a house of horrors. Man remains between deeds and horrors until he settles either in Paradise or in Hell.”
11. One of the salaf said: “Beware of the life of this world because its magic is more effective than that of Harut and Marut. The two latter’s separate a man from his wife whereas the life of this world separates a man from his Rabb.”
12. Abu Dardaa’ said: “Everyone has an imperfection of knowledge and wisdom, if his wealth increases, he becomes so happy though day and night are working hard on destroying his life-span. So what is good of a wealth that increases and a life-span that decreases.”
13. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “I am astonished about those people who are ordered to prepare their provisions, then the start of the journey is announced, however they remain unmindful in their vain discussions and fruitless deeds.”
14. A man came to Sufyan ath-Thawree seeking his advice, and he said to the man: “Work for the sake of this life within the extent of your stay in it, and for the Hereafter within the extent of your stay therein.”
15. Al-Fudayl ibn `Ayyad said: “Man’s fear of Allah is equal to his knowledge of Him and his renunciation of worldly pleasures is equal to his desire in the Hereafter.”
16. Salman ibn Dinar said: “What you love to have with you in the Hereafter you should advance today, and what you hate to have with you, you should abandon today.”
17. “Don’t seek anything other than contentment, because therein is the bliss and the comfort of your body. Then consider the case of a person who possesses the whole world, can he take with him in the grave more than cotton and a shroud?”
Habib al-3Abid reports: Once, when I arrived in al-Basrah, I was surprised to see that the markets were closed, and the streets empty.
I called out, “O people of Basrah, is this some kind of holiday of yours that I am unaware of?”
Someone answered,“No, but al-Hasan al-Basri is in the main gathering place (of basrah), giving a khutbah to the people.”
I hurried to his gathering, and when I arrived there, I saw him sitting down on some high ground .
He was saying:
“O people, prepare for departure, for very little time remains from this world.
Prepare to move (to the aakhirah), for there is no way to stay here.
Do you not know that you will soon be surrendered to the place of trial?
Do you not know that each one of you will soon be alone with his deeds and that you will be presented (with your deeds) to Allaah on the day of judgment?
He forbade you from sinning, but you have not stopped sinning.
He (threatened) you with the hell-fire, but you are neither afraid nor terrified of it.
He has encouraged you to seek our Jannah, but you do not (seem to) desire it or long for it.
Your white hairs are warning you of approaching death, so what are you waiting for?
O white-haired one, you are able to perform good deeds , so what is your excuse?
O one who obeys his mouth and his desires, who wastes his share of the aakhirah by taking his entire share in this world, who persists in committing sins and evil deeds , if only I knew : what your excuse will be before Him?
What argument will you put forth when you go to Him?
You are lost and misguided, so ask Allaah, the All-Mighty, to forgive both me and you.”
“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion..."
[soorah al-Baqarah, v: 185]
Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said:
“When the first night of Ramadhaan comes, the doors of Paradise will be opened and the doors of Hell will be closed, and the devils will be chained, and it will be said, 'O you who desires virtue! Come forth and O you who desires evil! Stay behind', and Allaah has people whom He frees from Hell every night (in that month).".
[Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim]
Articles, notes & tips to maximize the time & getting best of Ramadaan
Virtues, rulings of Fasting, Do's & Don't, Fiqh Issues, Taraweeh, last 10 days, laylatul Qadr