Fasting and Its Educational, Social Effects

From the point of various affects that fasting may spiritually and materially produces in the unity of man; it has different dimensions that can be discussed. The ethical dimension and the philosophy of fasting are the most important of all.

Fasting makes the soul of man elegant, then strengthens his will, and moderates his instincts.

The one who observes the fast, although he is hungry and thirsty, must restrain himself from eating food and drinking water, and also, from the pleasure of sexual intercourse when he is fasting. One must prove that he/she can hold the rein of his/her restive passions and is able to dominate his/her desires and lusts.

Indeed, the most important philosophy of fasting is this very spiritual status of it. A person who has many kinds of food and drinks available at his reach to use of them whenever he is hungry or thirsty cannot be so tolerant at the time he is in lack of them.

But the one who observes the fast is like a plant which grows in a dry desert. It resists when water is rare, stands steadfast against strong storms and intense cold. Such people can deal with deprivations when they are challenged with them, and, therefore, can be firm and perseverant.

Fasting trains the soul of a person. With temporary restrictions, fasting gives man perseverance, authority in will, ability of challenging with severe deprivations, and, since it controls restive instincts, it showers light and inner purity into the heart.

However, fasting causes man to promote from the animate nature so that he can ascend unto the rank and the world of angels.

The phrase: “…haply you might be grateful (to Him)” may point to the same fact.

And, also, the famous tradition from Imam al-Sadiq (as) is another hint to the same matter which says: “Fasting is a protector from Fire.” 6

Another tradition narrated from Arnir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says that the Prophet (S) was asked what they would do that Satan be banished, and he (S) answered: “Fasting blackens his face; charity breaks his back; the love in (the path of) Allah, and persistence in righteous deeds put an end to him, and seeking (Allah’s) forgiveness cuts his aorta.” 7

When Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), stating the philosophy of worship, speaks about fasting and he, says: “(Allah has laid down) fasting as a trial of the people in their sincerity…” 8

In another tradition, the holy Prophet (S) has said: “Verily, there is a door for (entering) Heaven by the name of ‘Al-Rayyan, (quenched of thirst) none enters therein but fasting ones.” 9

Explaining this tradition, the late Sadduq cites in his book ‘Ma’any-ul-Akhbar’ the reason that this name has been taken for that door of Heaven is that much of the toil of a fasting person is because of his thirst. So when the fasting ones enter this door, they will be so saturated that they will never become thirsty thereafter.

The Social Effect of Fasting

Every intelligent person realizes that fasting works as a lesson of equality among the members of a society. By practicing the religious command, the rich realize perceptibly both the state of the hungry and the deprived of their society, and, with saving in their daily meals, can help them well.

It is possible; of course, that by explaining the status of the hungry and the deprived to the rich, it will make them understand that status, but if this condition becomes perceptible and objective, it will react more effectively. Fasting gives this great social subject a perceptible form to those who observe it.

It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as) in a well-known tradition that Hisham ibn Hakam asked him about the reason for the divine legislation of this ordinance when he (as) said:

“Allah has enjoined fasting in order to settle equivalence between the rich and the poor, and this is for the sake that the rich feel the taste of hunger and, consequently, be merciful toward the poor (by giving them their rights). And, since the things are usually available for the rich, then Allah, the Exalted, is pleased when equivalence is erected between His servants. So, He, thereby, has ordained that the rich feel the taste of hunger and pain so that they feel sympathy for the weak and be merciful toward the hungry.” 10

Verily, if the populations of rich countries throughout the world customarily fast a few days a year and feel the taste of hunger, will there still remain so many hungry people in the world?

An invocation for the last 10 nights of Ramadan


An annotation on al-kaf’ami’s book Al-Misbah contains an invocation narrated trough the authority of Imam al-Sadiq (as). It is recommended to be repeated on each of the last ten nights of the month. The author indicates that he (as) used to say the following on each such night:

“Lord! You have said in your revealed Book: ‘The Month of Ramadan is that in which the holy Qur’an was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction,’ and you glorified the sanctity of the month of Ramadan due to the Holy Qur’an which you revealed therein, assigning Lailatul-Qadr to it and making it better than a thousand month. Lord! These are the days of the month of Ramadan which have gone by and so have its nights. Lord! You are more knowledgeable than I, and more aware, of the number of your devotees; so, I pray you in whatever your angels who are close to you, your messengers and your righteous devotees, pray you to send blessing unto Muhammad (pbuh) and the Progeny of Muhammad, and to free me from the fire, to let me enter into paradise by your mercy, and to be Gracious unto me, to forgive me, to accept my endeavor to be near to you, to respond to my invocation and to grant me security on the day when everyone will be terrified, apprehensive of the horrors prepared on the Day of Judgment. Lord! I seek refuge with your glory and Great Prestige not to let the days and nights of the month of Ramadan pass away without forgiving me for the sins for which you intend that I should atone. O Lord, Lord, Lord! I pray you, you with whom there is no other god, for there is no god but you, to be pleased with me in this month, and to be even more pleased with me if you were pleased with me before. So, be pleased with me, Lord, for you are the most Merciful of those who are merciful unto others, O you who is the one and only God, the one independent of any need, the one who did not beget nor is he begotten, nor is there ever the like of Him!”

Then repeat the following at least three times:

“O You who made the iron pliant to David, peace be upon him! O you who removed distress and the great agony from Jacob, peace be upon him! O you who removed the distress of Joseph, peace be upon him! I pray you to send blessing unto Mohammad (pbuh) and the progeny of Muhammad, for you are capable of doing so, and not to punish me with the punishment that I deserve.”

Ramadan, The spring of Qur’an


The month of Ramadhan is aptly termed the spring time of Qur’an. The Holy Book, the Almighty’s final and most comprehensive revelation to mankind was sent down to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) in this blessed month.
In this month the souls are more refined, more inclined towards the Creator, and more receptive towards the bounties in Allah’s Book of wisdom, guidance and righteousness. Hence reciting the Qur’an and contemplating on its eternal verses is emphasized more in this blessed month than at any other time of the year.
The Prophet says:

“ … Invoke your Lord in right earnest with hearts that are free of sin and evil, to enable you to fast and recite His Book (Qur’an)…” 1

“… Whoever recites an Aya (verse) from the Qur’an (in Ramadhan) will receive a similar reward as the one who recites the whole Qur’an in other months.” 2

“He who makes lawful what is forbidden in the Qur’an has no faith in it.” 3

The fifth Imam of the prophet’s infallible progeny Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) says:

“Everything has springtime and the springtime of the Qur’an is the Month of Ramadhan.”

Reports suggest Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) used to recite the whole Qur’an ten times during Ramadhan.
The Eighth Imam, Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha (a.s) advised one of his companions as follows:

“Invoke Allah, ask for forgiveness, recite the Qur’an and repent to Allah for your sins more frequently, so that the blessings of the month of Ramadhan may come to you, while you are sincere to Allah, the Exalted.” 4

The prophet himself took the lead in this regard. He and his infallible progeny recited the Book of Allah more than anyone else in Ramadhan. They taught Muslims how to contemplate on its eternal wisdom, apply its instructions in day-to-day affairs and enlighten people with its storehouse of knowledge.
What a wonderful trail they blazed, whose radiance enables us to tread the right path. We should seize upon this opportunity and Endeavour to make the Holy Qur’an bloom it’s brightest in blessed Ramadhan. We should try to comprehend its eternal verses, and make others understand in turn. Although, reward is there for sincere efforts, reciting by rote without trying to understand the meaning of the glorious verses avails no benefit, and likewise mere understanding without practical application is also a futile exercise.
Hence, dear readers, let us promise this Ramadhan to educate and enlighten ourselves with the eternal light of the Qur’an, our one and only constitution. The gems in the Holy Book’s fathomless treasuries are waiting to be discovered, bequeathed by the Prophet and his Ahl-ul-Bait is an ocean of knowledge dealing with every topic under the sun, but unfortunately we have turned our backs, lured by the deceptive glamour of the Western Culture.
The Qur’an opens to us new vistas of thought and heights never attained before. But look what the western culture has done, degrading human honor, exploiting carnal desires and wasting away both our body and soul. Remember the Prophet’s words:

“… After death there will be no blaming, and after this world there is nothing except Paradise and Hell.” 5

If today some apostate pours poison on human values in the enticing guise of literature, are we not to blame? True we have the Qur’an, and we sincerely defend it, even by sacrificing our lives. But have we really done any concrete thing to enlighten others around of Islam’s truth.
So dear readers, let us start, better late than never. The recent satanic slander against values we hold dear should be enough to awaken our conscience, but the condition is sincerity of intention stemming from a pure and god-fearing heart.

Source: Fasting a Divine Banquet
Published by Al-Balagh Foundation


  1. Prophet sermons, Uyun Al Akhbar ar-Ridha
  2. Prophet sermons, Uyun Al Akhbar ar-Ridha
  3. Al Harrani – Tuhaf Al-Uqul
  4. Wasail Ash’Shia – Al Hur Al Amuli
  5. Tarikh Al Yaqubi, Vol 2, Pg 89 – By Dar Sadir, Beirut

The Night of Destiny


The Messenger of Allah, once said:

“Allah has favored Friday over all other days, the month of Ramadhan over all other months, and the Night of Destiny (Lailatul-Qadr) over all other nights.” *[su_divider top=”no” style=”dotted” divider_color=”#dbf3ec” size=”2″ margin=”35″]

Ibrahim, one of the companions of Imam Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq (as), is quoted on p. 25, Vol. 94, of Bihar al-Anwar, saying that he once asked the Imam (as) about how the Holy Qur’an was revealed during Lailatul-Qadr, knowing that it took more than twenty years to reveal.
The Imam (as) answered by saying: “The Holy Qur’an was revealed as a whole during the month of Ramadhan at the Ancient House (the Ka’ba), then from there it was revealed along the span of (more than) twenty years.”
Then he cited the Messenger of Allah (S) saying: “The Books of Ibrahim (as) were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadhan; the Torah was revealed on the sixth of the month of Ramadhan; the Gospel (Injil) was revealed on the thirteenth of the month of Ramadhan; the Psalms (Zabur) were revealed on the eighteenth of the month of Ramadhan, and the Holy Qur’an was revealed on the twenty-fourth of the month of Ramadhan.” This tradition is also recorded on p. 80, Vol. 1, of al-’Ayyashi’s Tafsir.

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Why this night is called “The night of Destiny”?

This name was used for Lailatul-Qadr because Allah Almighty determines in it for everyone all what will happen the entire next year. The “Qadr” in this sense means destiny. According to al-Qummi’s Tafsir, as explained on p. 432 of its second volume, such destiny includes life and death, sustenance, abundance of crops or famine, and everything good or bad. This means that Allah the Glorified and Exalted determines in this night each and every event to occur during the next year to any and all of His creation.

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Al-Majlisi quotes his father on p. 12, Vol. 94, of his own Bihar al-Anwar quoting Ibn Maskan quoting Imam Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq (as) saying, “During Lailatul-Qadr, the angels, the spirit, and the trusted scribes all descend to the lower heavens and write down whatever Allah decrees that year, and if Allah wishes to advance something or postpone it or add thereto, He orders the angel to erase it and replace it with whatever He decrees.” This is also confirmed by al-Qummi in his renown Tafsir, exegesis of the Holy Qur’an.

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On p. 182, Vol. 1, of ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, and on p. 14, Vol. 94, of Bihar al-Anwar, quoting Sulayman al-Marzawi asking Imam al-Rida (as), “Could you please tell us why the Chapter of Qadr was revealed?” The Imam (as) said, “O Sulayman! Lailatul-Qadr is the night when Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, decrees what will take place from one year to another of life or death, good or evil, or regarding sustenance, and whatever He then decrees is sure destiny.”

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On p. 315 of Ma’ani al-Akhbar, and also on p. 18, Vol. 94, of Bihar al-Anwar, quoting Ibn Nubatah quoting Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) saying, “The Messenger of Allah (S) asked me once, ‘O Ali! Do you know the implication of Lailatul-Qadr?’ I said, ‘No, indeed, O Messenger of Allah!’ He (S) said, ‘Allah, the Praised One, the Most Glorified, decreed in it what will take place till the Day of Judgment, and among what He, the most Exalted, the Most Great, decreed was your own Imamate and Wilayat and the Imamate and Wilayat of your offspring till the Day of Resurrection.”

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Both Ma’ani al-Akhbar and Bihar al-Anwar, quoting al-Fadl ibn ‘Uthman saying, “When the Chapter of Qadr was mentioned in the presence of Abu Abdullah Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as), he was asked about its merits over other chapters, and he said, ‘It was revealed with reference to the Wilayat of the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) (as).’ He (as) was asked, ‘Do you mean Lailatul-Qadr for which we look in anticipation during the month of Ramadhan?’ He (as) said, ‘Yes; it is the night in which the heavens and the earth were determined, and the Wilayat of the Commander of the Faithful (as) was decreed.'”

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Ahmed ibn Muhammad and Ahmed ibn Ishaq, as recorded on p. 21, Vol. 94, of Bihar al-Anwar, quote al-Qasim ibn Yahya quoting others citing Imam Abu Abdullah (as) saying that Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) quite often used to say, “We saw the Messenger of Allah (S) once in the company of al-Taymi and a friend of his while the latter was reciting Chapter al-Qadr. He (S) was profoundly moved and he kept weeping to the extent that he (S) was asked, ‘How so deeply moved by this Chapter your heart is!’

He (S) said, ‘My heart is deeply impressed because of what my eyes had witnessed, and what my mind had comprehended, and because of what the heart of this man [meaning Ali (as)] will go through after me.’ Both men asked the Messenger of Allah (S), ‘Did you really see all of that?! And what will he (Ali) see?’ He (S) would then recite the verse saying, ‘The angels and the Spirit descend therein with the permission of their Lord for every affair; peace, it is, till the break of the morn.’

Then he (S) would pause and ask them, ‘Is there anything left after the Almighty having verbally said ‘every affair’?’ They would both answer in the negative, and he (S) would then ask them, ‘Do you both know regarding whom it is revealed?’ They would both say, ‘No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah!’

He (S) would then say, ‘Yes; is there going to be a Lailatul-Qadr after me (I.e., after my demise)?’ They would answer in the affirmative, and he (S) would then ask them, ‘Will every affair descend therein?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ He then asked them, ‘To whom will it descend?’ They answered, ‘We do not know.’ He (S), with his hand on my head, pushed me gently forward and said, ‘If you do not know, then it is regarding this person after me.’ Both men, ever since the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S), used to be filled with awe whenever that night approached.”

* Muftahul Jannat , Vol. 3 , page 265

The descent of the angles on Night of Qadr


By referring to the verses of the holy Quran, we understand that all affairs destined to happen in the universe and also to each person and other creatures in the following year, are made clear in the Night of Qadr. Moreover the angels will descend these destined affairs in the form of divine command. (The holy Quran, (97:4))

In the verse 4 of Surah al-Qadr Allah (SWT) has talked about the descent of the angles and divine commands. In fact in this verse, we should see what the responsibility of the angles about these commands is. When Allah (SWT) says that the angels will descend in it by the permission of their Lord, every command, then it is clear that this manner of descending is to communicate a message. (The holy Quran, (97:4))

The descent of the angles toward which destination?

As it was discussed the descent of the angles in the Night of Qadr is for delivering messages. In this type of descending, the angels act as messengers from Allah (SWT) to bring a message for a receiver. Therefore there has to be a recipient for the angels to descend upon and give the commands.

Considering the descending of the angels and the message they carry, and supposing that the descent of angles is not vein, one can conclude that the descending of the angels can not be upon every creation of Allah (SWT). Rather it should be upon a person who has the ability of receiving such extensive and important information. Now let us refer to the verse of the holy Quran which implies that in that very night the angels reveal the distinction of all affairs, namely not only the distinction of the yearly affairs of you and I, but all the human beings on this planet. Therefore we simply find that an ordinary man can never receive such amount of information in just one night.

Now that we realize an ordinary human being cannot be the receiver of the decrees brought by angels, we can therefore expect that certain chosen people exist for this task. These chosen people must be far from any impurities or defects of any normal human being, and they must have the capacity of receiving and executing divine messages. In other words they must be Allah’s (SWT) representative on the earth. This is the status which the holy Quran refers to when talking about the representatives of Allah (SWT) [(The holy Quran, 2:30)]. The representative of Allah (SWT) is one who represents Allah (SWT) and with His permission does divine acts, like Prophet Jesus (PBUH) who was able to bring the dead back to life [The holy Quran, (3:49)]. The caliph of Allah on the earth is responsible for executing specific command and effects, in other words he is the connection between the heavens and the earth. It is obvious that the Caliph of Allah (SWT) being His representative on the earth and in connection with Him should be able to receive and execute divine messages.

Who are these people?

Muslims all agree on the fact that in the age of the Prophet the only person who the angels would descend upon for bringing the sacred messages was the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). During his lifetime, no one else would receive these messages. However, just as discussed above, the descending of the angels on the Night of Qadr and bringing the divine commands is a progressive act that is repeated each year. Therefore it did not end after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). And the angels continue to bring the distinction of people to a person.

It is obvious that such a person should be the one who like the Prophet is appointed by Allah to be responsible for divine affair like the descent of the angles upon him. Also he should be given the special abilities and capabilities by Allah (SWT). Naturally such a person is the continuer of the path of the Prophet and is responsible for the acts which he was responsible for and should be continued after him. To be clearer he is the successor of the prophet and besides the representative of Allah on the earth.

Historical sources have shown that after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), no one except a few have claimed that the angels descend unto him on the Night of Qadr. If they had done such, their claim could be easily defeated by asking the people of his era a few simple questions about the future and its specifics.  However there were a few who claimed that angels would descend upon them, and they would defend their claim through legitimate proof. They, like the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had such a vast knowledge about the incidents of the world that the people of their era would easily realize that they were the most  knowledgeable Man in their era. The biographies of these certain people confirm this claim and open a whole new subject that will need to be discussed in other articles.

Let it not be unsaid that these people are none other but the one who the Shiites believe in their Imamah, the successors of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), the representative of Allah (SWT): Ali and the eleven infallible Imam from his progeny (PBUT).

From the above argument, one can deduce that there must be a leader chosen by Allah (SWT), a representative of Allah at all times so the angels can descend upon on the Night of Qadr for bringing the destinies. Based on this reasoning the Shiite Muslims believe that after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), the angels would descend upon the representatives of Allah (SWT) and true successors of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) on the Night of Qadr. And in our present age, each year the angels descend upon the living Imam of the time, Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his appearance) to bring the destined affairs.

Which Night is Lailatul-Qadr?


Is it the 17th or the 19th?

Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali-al-Baqir (as) is quoted in Bihar al-Anwar and Da’aim al-Islam as having said, “The 17th night of the month of Ramadhan is when the two parties met, and the 19th is when the lists of the pilgrims is written down, and the 21st is when successors to the Prophets passed away and Jesus Christ (as) was raised to heaven and Moses (as) passed away, whereas the 23rd is hoped to be Lailatul-Qadr.”

Both al-’Ayyashi’s Tafsir and al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar quote ‘Amr ibn Sa’eed saying, “A man from Medina disagreed with me regarding the night (Lailatul-Qadr) when the two hosts meet, saying that it was the night of the 17th of the month of Ramadhan, so I went to see Abu Abdullah (as) and told him about our disagreement, whereupon he (as) said, ‘The man from Medina did not say the truth; I know that you mean it is the 19th when the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali, as) was wounded, and it is the same night when Jesus son of Mary (as) was raised to heavens.”

Both references quote Humran quoting Abu Abdullah Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) saying, “The destiny referred to as Lailatul-Qadr is the same destiny referred to in another verse (of Surat al-A’raf) wherein the most Exalted One says: ‘When their doom is come, they shall not remain behind in the least, nor will they go before’ (Holy Qur’an, 7:34).”

Or is it the 21st or the 23rd?

Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ubaydullah, according to Majalis al-Shaykh, as quoted on p. 2, Vol. 94, of Bihar al-Anwar, quotes Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya who in turn quotes his father saying, “I was in the company of Abu Abdullah (as) when Abu Busayr asked him, ‘Which night is the one when one is to plead to his Lord whatever he wishes to plead?’ The Imam (as) answered him by saying, ‘Either the twenty-first or the twenty-third.’

He then asked him (as), ‘What if I have no strength to observe both of them?’ The Imam (as) said, ‘How easy it is to observe them when compared to your pleas!'” Abu Abdullah (as) is also quoted in the same volume of Bihar al-Anwar saying, “The twenty-third night of the month of Ramadhan is the one when every weighty matter is decided, when trials, tribulations, deaths, and means of sustenance and other matters are determined, and so will whatever Allah decrees to take place for the entire next year; so, congratulations to anyone who remains awake during it bowing, prostrating, contemplating upon his sins, weeping on their account, for if you do all of that, God willing, you will never be disappointed.”

Then he added, “Allah will order an angel to call out during each and every day of the month of Ramadhan conveying Allah’s message to them thus: ‘Good news, O My servants! I have forgiven your past sins and permitted some of you to intercede on behalf of the rest on Lailatul-Qadr except those who break their fast with an intoxicant or those who bear grudge against another Muslim brother!'” It is narrated that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala wards off evil and sins and all types of trials on the 25th night from all His servants who fast and grants them light in their hearing and vision; Paradise is decorated during Lailatul-Qadr’s day and night.

The great Sunni scholar Ibn Abul-Hadid, in his commentary on Nahjul Balagha, cites Ibn Durayd’s Amali stating that al-Jarmoothi quotes Ibn al-Muhallabi quoting Ibn al-Kalbi quoting Shaddad ibn Ibrahim quoting ‘Ubaydullah ibn al-Hassan al-Fahri quoting Ibn ‘Aradah saying, “The Commander of the Faithful (as) was once asked about Lailatul-Qadr, and he said, ‘It is not at all improbable that I know which night it is and deliberately hide such knowledge, and I do not at all doubt that Allah hid such knowledge from you only out of His love for you, for if you knew which night it is, you would have honored it and left the others, and I hope you will not err in its regard.”

The Night of Qadr

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Surely We revealed it (Quran) on the Night of Qadr .:1:.
And what do you know about what Night of Qadr is .:2:.
The Night of Qadr is better than a thousand months .:3:.
The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord  every command .:4:.
It is peace till the break of the morning .:5:.

The holy Quran . Chapter 97: Surah al-Qadr


A year consists of different hours, days, nights, months, and most importantly different periods. However amidst all these times, certain moments are given a higher value than the rest because of the special attention of Allah (SWT) upon them, the effects they have, and the events that occur or have occurred during those times. Of these very important times is the Night of Qadr. This night is the most important and valuable night of the year. The importance of this night is to such an extent that along with the different verses that discuss the Night of Qadr, a whole chapter (Surah) in the holy Quran has been named after this night. [The holy Quran, Chapter 97 al-Qadr]

To further study the importance of this night, we can consider two series of the verses, one of which talk about its magnificence and the others are about its effects.

The magnificence of this night in the holy Quran is to the extent that Allah (SWT) addresses His messenger as “And what do you know about what Night of Qadr is?”[ The holy Quran, (97:2)]  By referring to the holy Quran, we find that such kind of addressing is used only when Allah (SWT) is referring to very important issues or when He is reminding people of very great events. For example, where the Recurrence day and its magnificence is mentioned and Allah (SWT) has intended to inform people and draw their attraction to the huge events of that day, such kind of addressing is used. Likewise in this verse of Surah al-Qadr, if Allah (SWT) is addressing His best creature and last messenger in this way, definitely He is implying the great magnificence of this night.

In another verse the almighty Allah considers this night to have a higher value than nearly 30,000 ordinary night [“The Qadr night is better than a thousand months” [The holy Quran, (97:3)]. Such comparison of the holy Quran is an obvious proof for the high value and great magnificence of such night.

In the second series of verses Allah (SWT) mention the special features of this night. Having such features causes the Night of Qadr to have special and unique effects among the other nights of the year. For example this night is called Mubarak [“Surely We revealed it on a blessed night surely We are ever warning” (The holy Quran, (44:3))]. Mubarak means full of mercy and blessing. Applying such a word for the Night of Qadr states that this night has the capacity of abundant blessing to the degree that the revelation of the holy Quran has taken place in this night. Also due to the abundant blessing in this night the gates of forgiveness and mercy of Allah (SWT) is open to people.

Another effect of it is that in this great night no punishment is assigned for the creatures. For the almighty Allah has named it a night full of Salam (Peace) till the break of the morning [“It is peace till the break of the morning” (The holy Quran, (97:5))]

Considering the greatness and importance of the Night of Qadr and contemplating the effects and events of it, one is naturally inclined to learn more about this holy night.

Definition of Qadr

In general, Qadr is defined as measurement. Apparently the reason for using the term Qadr in referring to this grand night is mainly for the fate and measure of all affairs that will be decided in this night. In this precious night, the detail of events and affairs such as life and death, fortune or misfortune, sustenance and wealth … is determined for the Man. Also the detail of Natural events such as floods, earthquakes and … is determined.[ The holy Quran, (44:4)] A verse in the chapter of the holy Quran, al-Dukhan confirms this fact about the Night of Qadr, “Therein the detail of every affair which is to happen is made distinct.”

Knowing the outstanding mercy and blessings in this Night of Qadr one may wonder, does this night belong to a certain time; has this night been a specific night in the past? Or is there the Night of Qadr today and we also can benefit from the high blessings of this night?

It is better to search for the answer to these questions in the verses which are talking about this night. The verses in the holy Quran confirm this fact. When discussing the events that take place on the Night of Qadr, the verbs are used in the continuous form. So this night is not limited to a certain age, time, or year, rather is repeated at different times. This night along with the different events that take place, such as the descending of angels, will be repeated in the present age. But if we focus more deeply on the verses of the holy Quran, we will discover more details on how this night is repeated continuously in the different ages. One of the clear points that can be seen in the verses is that the Night of Qadr is in the sacred month of Ramadan (this point will be discussed further in the next sections).  Just as the month of Ramadan is reoccurring each year, the Night of Qadr is also repeated each year.  Therefore, depending upon the level of attention we give to understanding the significance of this night, we too can benefit from the great value and blessings of this night today.

Seven occasions of the Holy Month of Ramadan

Seven-occasions-of-the-Holy-Month-of-Ramadan7 Ramadan, year 10 of the appointment of Prophet Muhammad as Prophet: Death of Abu Taleb, the Prophet’s uncle.

10 Ramadan, year 10 of the appointment of Prophet Muhammad as Prophet: Death of Sayyeda Khadija (peace be upon her), the first woman in Islam and the beloved wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his Household).

15 Ramadan, year 2 of the Hegira: The Birth of Imam Hassan, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson (peace be upon him and his Household).

17 Ramadan, year 2 of the Hegira: The Battle of Badr: The first battle between the Muslims and the polytheists. The Muslims achieved a decisive victory.

19 Ramadan, year 40 of the Hegira: Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was struck on his head while he was praying in the mosque of Kufa, by the accursed man Abdul Rahman Ibn Muljam.

21 Ramadan, year 40 of the Hegira: Martyrdom of Imam Ali (peace be upon him).

23rd Night of Ramadan: The greatest night of Destiny.

The Sermon of Prophet Muhammad on the Month of Ramadan

ramadanImam al-Rida, quotes his forefathers, peace be upon them, who in turn quote Prophet Muhammad saying:

“O people! A month has approached you laden with blessing, mercy and forgiveness; it is a month which Almighty Allah regards as the best of all months. Its days, in the sight of Almighty Allah, are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours. It is a month in which you are invited to be the guests of Almighty Allah and you are regarded during it as worthy of enjoying Almighty Allah’s generosity. Your breathing in it is regarded as praising Almighty Allah and your sleep as adoration, and your voluntary acts of worship are accepted, and your pleas are answered.

Therefore, ask Almighty Allah your Lord, in sincere intentions and pure hearts to enable you to fast during it and to recite His Book, for only a wretch is the one who is deprived of Almighty Allah’s forgiveness during this great month. And let your hunger and thirst during it remind you of the hunger and thirst of the day of resurrection.

Give alms to the poor and indigent ones among you; surround your elderly with respect, and be kind to your youngsters. Visit your kin and safeguard your tongues and do not look at what Allah has decreed as prohibitive for you to look at, and do not listen to anything your ears are forbidden from hearing. Be kind to the orphans of others, so that your own orphans will equally receive kindness. Repent your sins to Almighty Allah and raise your hands to Him in supplication during the times of your prayers, for they are the best times during which Almighty Allah looks with mercy to His servants and answers their pleas when they plead Him.

O people! Your souls are pawned by your deeds; therefore, release them by seeking Almighty Allah’s forgiveness. Your backs are over-burdened by the weight of your sins; therefore, lighten their burden by prolonging your prostration. Be informed that the Exalted and Almighty Allah has sworn by His Dignity not to torture those who say their prayers and prostrate to Him, and not to terrify them by the sight of the fire when people are resurrected for judgment.

O people! Whoever among you breaks the fast of a believer during this month will receive a reward equal to one who sets a slave free, and he will receive forgiveness for all his past sins.”

The people then said, “O Messenger of Allah! Not all of us can do that!” He said, “Shun the fire of hell even by a date! Shun the fire of hell even by a drink of water!”

“O People! Whoever among you improves his conduct during this month will have a safe passage on the right path when many feet will slip away, and whoever among you decreases the burdens on his servant, will be rewarded by Almighty Allah decreasing his reckoning.

Whoever among you abstains from harming others will be spared the wrath of Almighty Allah when he meets Him. Whoever among you affords generosity to an orphan will be rewarded by Almighty Allah being generous to him on the Day of Judgment.

Whoever among you improves his ties with his kin will be rewarded by Almighty Allah including him in His mercy, and whoever among you severs his ties with his kin, Almighty Allah will withhold His mercy from him when he meets Him.

Whoever among you offers voluntary prayers, Allah will decree a clearance for him from the torture of the Fire. Whoever among you performs an obligation will receive the reward of one who has performed seventy obligations in other months.

Whoever among you increases the sending of blessings unto me, Almighty Allah will make the balance of his good deeds heavy when balances will be light.

Whoever among you recites one verse of the Holy Qur’an will receive the blessing of one who recited the entire Qur’an in another month.

O people! The gates of heaven in this month are kept open; so, pray Almighty, your Lord not to close them against you, and the gates of the fire kept closed; so, pray Almighty Allah your Lord not to open them for you; and the devils are kept chained; therefore, pray Almighty Allah your Lord not to unleash them against you.”

Source : al-Maaref

Ramadan: The Month of Mercy

ramadan-canadaAllah says in the Holy Quran: {The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).} (The Heifer, verse 185)

What emphasizes the necessity of preparation for this holy month is that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his Household) used to give his family the good tidings of the advent of this month, and he used to counsel his companions to get ready for its nights and days.

The month of Ramadan is a chance to return to Allah and to transcend spiritually and morally. Thus, it is important that we should heed a number of aspects related to this holy month and to benefit from every minute which passes by.

1-Fasting is for God
A person should be aware that fasting is an honor and that God grants the reward for it, as the Sacred Narration states: “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting; it is for Me and I will give reward for it.”

2-The Month of Blessing and Mercy:
In his sermon on the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his Household) said: “It is a month which Almighty Allah regards as the best of all months. Its days, in the sight of Almighty Allah, are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours.”

Muslims wait for this month all year long in order to spend it in worship and supplication to God, and there are many special aspects of Ramadan:
-The gates of hell are closed in this month, and the gates of Heaven are opened
-Angels ask God to grant His forgiveness to those who are fasting until they break their fast at the end of the day
-The Night of Destiny is a part of this month, and it is better that one thousand months

3-Reinforcement of Devotion:
Sayyida Fatima (peace be upon her) said: “Allah made fasting obligatory in order to reinforce sincere devotion [to Him].”
The more a person is sincere to God in his intentions and actions, the more will he receive the aid of the Al-Mighty.
God says in the Holy Quran: {And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in faith); to establish Prayer; and to practice charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.} (Surah Al-Bayyina, verse 5)

4-The Month of Patience
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims are obliged to abstain from a number of things during the day such as eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse. The month of Ramadan teaches people to be patient and it enforces their will to avoid sins. If a person is able to abstain from certain matters which are lawful in other than the days of Ramadan, then he/she is able to abstain from sins.

5-The Month when the Devil is in Shackles
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his Household) said: “Shall I inform you of something which if you perform then Satan will be far from you like [the distance] between the East and the West?”
They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”
He answered: “Fasting darkens his face, charity breaks his back, love in Allah and assistance in performing righteous deeds uproot him, and asking for forgiveness cuts off his artery.”

6-The Reward is Heaven
A Sacred Narration states: “One who fasts has two joys: When he breaks his fast and eats and drinks, and when he meets Me and I admit him to Heaven.”