Tag Archives: Imam

Ramadan is just 1 week away! Why fast?

1 Jul

For the Body

(Part Two of Two)

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As-salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Just a little less than a month ago I wrote the first part of this mini-series, and I feel like it was just yesterday I was putting the post up. Time flies by so quickly, subhanallah.

Finding information about some of the health benefits for fasting was a a bit harder than I thought, since there is so much controversy out there in regards to fasting in general.Some non-Muslims believe fasting is bad for your body, and others consider it to be beneficial. So it took me a while to finally gather up authentic, valid websites and documents that could help us benefit from them.

In the end, Allah is Allah. He is the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of the Earth, of you and me and of every single thing we can see. So who are we to judge whether or not something Allah ta’aala, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful, has prescribed for us?

Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.

(2:185) Qur’an

Some articles get into heated debates about the negative side effects for the elder, for women that are breast feeding, and so on. Alhamdulillah! Allah has made fasting obligatory, except for those that cannot perform fasting, including the elder, the ill, women that are pregnant, breastfeeding and so on. If only we knew how easy Allah wants this Holy month to be for us, we would realize how Just Allah ta’aala is.

The importance here is how we can benefit from this month. I strongly believe the true benefits are for our soul. Health benefits are additional, and you shouldn’t fast for anything else that isn’t for the sake of Allah.

Muslims fast for the tawqaa (God-consciousness, piety, fear of Allah) we have towards our Creator. When you fast, you realize you have nothing without Allah. It’s also to help you remember the poor, those that are in difficult situations and that cannot have even a drop of water to drink throughout the day.

So let’s see some health benefits that come from fasting during Ramadan.

Leaving poor habits behind

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One of the preparations for Ramadan is to leave any bad habits behind. This can include anything from smoking, to watching too much television, to eating too much fast food.

How many times have we gorged ourselves with food out of anxiety, or have led ourselves to obesity or other health conditions because of our poor diet? When was the last time you committed yourself to actually stop smoking and spend that money on something beneficial for yourself?

The truth is that we as humans will fall into bad habits constantly. From stuffing ourselves with food, to not drinking enough water daily, to smoking, to any other bad habit that harms our body.

This also includes actions that don’t benefit us, besides dietary ones. For example, watching too much television, playing too many video games, being on the Internet for too long and other time consuming things that will limit us from performing beneficial actions. These can include reading and studying the Qur’an and Sunnah, watching videos that can help strengthen our emaan, spending time with our friends and family, and others.

Ramadan is a month of self-restraining and also of self-training our body and mind to control these needs inside us. As it says in the Qur’an:

O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.

(2:183) Qur’an

I strongly believe Ramadan is a month of benefit for our health, as it helps us cleanse our bodies and have awareness of what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty and not be able to have food or water for long periods. It’s not the same to feel empathy for someone that is going through hunger, then to actually go through hunger yourself and realize how important it is to help others.

Alhamdulillah that we have such a beautiful month to make us realize these things and learn to control our desires and needs.

Body Cleansing

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Ramadan has so many benefits, so this is why I decided to divide this article in two: one for the soul and one for the body. You can read my article For the Soul here.

Not only do we restrain from foul language, learn to help the needy and understand what our true intentions are as humans during Ramadan, but it is also a month where our body can take a break from all the bad things we’ve put it in.

If you’re someone that likes to eat tons of fast food, or fried foods, your digestive system will finally be able to cleanse itself.

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Anas b. Mâik narrates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before going to prayer. When fresh dates were unavailable, he would break his fast with dried dates. When dried dates were unavailable, he would take a few sips of water.

[Sunan Abî Dâwûd (2356)]

It is Sunnah (the prophetic way) to break your fast with dates or water if you can’t find dates. Also, for your suhoor or early morning breakfast just before praying fajr, it is recommended to have a balanced, healthy meal full of proteins and vitamins, to stay away from fried foods and salty food such as cheese as they will make you thirsty, to not drink tea as it will make you want to go to the bathroom too often, and to drink at least 2 cups of water or more so that your body remains hydrated during the day.

Ramadan should not be a month to make diets, or to lose weight as some people consider it to be. Also, it shouldn’t be a month where you sleep all day and wake up at night to break your fast. Not only is this incorrect since you should be spending as much time possible reading Qur’an and remembering why we fast, but it will also make you gain weight.

We must remember that fasting in the month of Ramadan is the month for Allah (subhana wa ta’aala).

Imam al-Sadiq (A) said:

“God-Almighty said: ‘ Fasting is for Me and I bestow its reward upon the fast observer.”‘

(Wasail al-Shi’a, vol. 7, p-290)

Let’s also remember that fasting is a benefit for us, and not a burden for our ummah. During the month of Ramadan, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed, as is mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salaam).

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

“The Fasting is a shield for protection against Hell’s fire.”

(Wasail al-Shi’a, vol. 7, p-289)

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May Allah guide us in this Holy Month that is soon to come. May our hearts be full of emaan and tawqaa, and may we always worship Allah ta’aala in any circumstance we may be, as He is the all Hearer, the all Knower, and the only one that can hear and answer our prayers. Ameen.

And Allah truly knows best.

Chao

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The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The child of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the child of Adam are a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2380) and Musnad Ahmad (17186) and authenticated by al-Albânî in Sahîh al-Jâmi`]
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Thoughts on Christianity being a monotheistic religion

21 Apr

As-salaam alaikum (May the blessings of Allah be upon you) 

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We are taught that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all monotheistic religions. Christianity, I think personally, is not.

As I sit here typing down these few ideas, my family has gone out to attend a Christian church. So now, I face two hours alone, with my own thoughts before we all walk out to grab from lunch.

I’m quite honestly not thrilled about attending the get-together at lunch, as I know I will be bombarded with multiple questions and interrogations as to why I don’t assist the church as well next Sunday. Also, hearing my family chat on about the wonderful shirk –or idolatry- they’re in, will be excruciating for my ears to hear.

You see, my brother was indulged into the religion of this Christian sect a while back from my uncle, my sister went on account of my brother and his friend’s influence, and now finally my mother has decided to join them on account of her non-practicing Catholic faith and has thought she’ll “give it a go.”

So that leaves me out of the picture, as I strongly resist going; not because I “fear” being trapped into their cobweb, but because I have stable reasoning behind my decision.

First and foremost, I have reverted to Islam not too long ago, at the beginning of this year, after many months of research and understanding of the religion Subhanallah. Although, there isn’t much to “get your head around” about Islam. Worshiping One God is quite simple for human nature to accomplish as it comes so naturally to us.

After I reverted, I think I’ve faced very minor but significant changes both internally and externally. For one, as a Muslim revert, your identity (your previous one) is rather washed away, because you find yourself not liking the person you once used to be. You benefit from the religion, alhamdulillah, because you find yourself healthier both spiritually and physically speaking.

Do they not think deeply (in their ownselves) about themselves (how Allah created them from nothing, and similarly He will resurrect them)? Allah has created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, except with truth and for an appointed term. And indeed many of mankind deny the Meeting with their Lord. (Ar-Room, 30, 8)

As I began to read the Qur’an, my thoughts on life changed radically. What was before a ritual of praying to God is now something I do with understanding behind it. I see the truth that is Islam; submitting to God – Allah in Arabic – to our Creator, and not submitting to the creation.

Which is what Christians and Muslims differ from. Despite being tagged as a “monotheistic” religion, unfortunately modern day Christians have deviated from traditional Christianity, where only God was worshiped according to the prophetic way of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Now, Christians worship Jesus as if he were God himself, walking on the face of this Earth. How silly to imagine even the slightest appearance of Allah. There is even a hadeeth stating that a slight portion of Allah was shown to a mountain, and it crumbled into pieces when exposed to Allah.

Nobody has even seen Allah. All prophets (peace be upon them all) have never stated that they are God, or have seen God. However, Christians believe that Jesus was God on Earth, or the son of God. This is in fact a form of “shirk” or associating partners or others with Allah, the gravest sin of all in Islam, and the only sin that will not be forgiven.

So no, I don’t think Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Not anymore at least. Maybe years ago it was, but now it has changed. And to know that my mother, brother and sister are all clapping and dancing and singing at a church worshiping Jesus as their “savior” is quite saddening.

“Oh People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion, nor say of God anything but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Say not, ‘Trinity.’ Desist! It will be better for you, for God is One God, Glory be to Him! (Far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs” (4:171).

Despite these moments that I may consider tragic descended down on them, I know that these are tests sent from Allah (subhana wa’taala). What I might consider an “evil” thing is actually there for the good that will come from that evil. We may never know what that good is, but insha’Allah we can pass these tests of faith.

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A proper way to spread Islam is not by preaching about it, but by your actions. Most people revert to Islam because of how correct and respectful Muslims are. Never insult a religion, or speak angrily towards anyone. Do not disrespect your parents; a mother is truly valued and respected in Islam.

I try to show my humbleness and respect in my manners and actions at all times, and I’ve found that my mother quite likes the “new” me. She’s even said that I am far different from my siblings, that I respect her and others and was quite surprised to hear me, out of all people, wake up at 4:30 a.m. each morning for fajr – or morning prayer – when I usually would struggle to wake up in the mornings, like most people do.

These types of things should be for pleasing Allah only. Don’t indulge in something to show off, or make a point. Quoting a Spanish saying, “The best words said are those unsaid.”

I ask Allah to guide my family, my close friends and all those seeking for the truth, to the righteous path of Islam. I ask Allah to bless us Muslims in our faith, to surpass us in wisdom, patience, humbleness and emaan for us to come closer to Allah.

If any mistakes were made during this publication, I accept any faults, and please forgive me if I do, as Allah is perfect and Islam, whereas we Muslims and humans are not perfect.

And Allah knows best.

Chao.