Praise be unto Allah who decreed fasting on believers making it guard from sins and fire. Allah says: 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (183) ” {البقرة :2\183} , ” شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ …” {البقرة :2\285}

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous(183)…  The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful (184).  We praise and thank Him, seek His help and guidance, forgiveness and repentance. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. Whoever Allah guides is guided and whoever He misled none will mislead Him. I bear witness there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger who says: “Whoever fast in Ramadan with faith and hope of reward from Allah, all his former sins will be forgiven” (Agreed upon). May Allah bless him and his families and all his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the day of recompense. 

I admonish you and myself on the fear of Allah, obedience and striving in righteousness … Allah says: 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ” {البقرة : 183}.

{ And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.} (2:197). 

Dear faithful we discussed last week the duties in the month of Sha’baan, and due to the closeness of Ramadan, we shall today discuss the Preparation for the month of Ramadan.

How do we prepare for Ramadan?

We beseech Allah (swt) to make this sermon the commencement of passion for obedience and good deed from this month of Ramadan forever. Allah says: (فمن شهد منكم الشهر فليصمه) “So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it” (2: 185).

Preparation for the month of Ramadan:

1- Psychological, Mental and practical readiness: Engaging in prayers before Ramadan sets in. Such as praying thus: “Allahumma Barik lana fi Rajab, Wa Sha’ban, Waballighna Ramadan.” Meaning: “O Allah bless us in Rajab, Sha’baan and preserve us till Ramadan. Or “Allahumma sallimni ilaa Ramadan, wa sallim li Ramadan, watasallamhu minni mutaqabbalan.” Meaning: O Allah, make me permeable for Ramadan and make Ramadan easy for me, and accept it from me. (The first hadith described as weak by Al-baaniy )
We should have intentions for the following in Ramadan:

Intention to complete recitation of the Qur’an many times with pondering over its meaning.

Intention to repent from all sins.

Intention to use the month as the beginning of taking up good deed forever, Alhah’s willing.

To intend to maximize rewards in Ramadan.

To intend to correct one’s behaviour in relating with all people.

To intend to work for Islam and in the spread of its message among people using the month’s opportunity.

To intend setting a programme for the month filled with acts of worship and obedience with full compliance.

Read some islamic books on tendering the heart.

Fast some days in Sha’baan as a practical step for fasting in Ramadan.

Listen to some recorded lectures on Ramadan before the month arrives.

Read tafsir of the verses of fasting.

2- Financial preparation: This includes earmarking a portion of your income for the Ramadan projects such as:

Charity in Ramadan

Publication of Books and Journals for distribution in Ramadan.

Partaking in organizing feeding the fasting Muslims in the month.

Packages for the distribution to the less privilege.

Going for the Umrah.


3- Educational preparation: 

Learn the islamic jurisprudence of fasting in the mosque learning circles.

Attending pre-ramadan lectures organized in the neighbourhood.

Preparing the home with Ramadan awareness, including the family members, as well petty gifts to be distributed in the neighbourhood to raise the awareness, such as leaflets, etc.

4- Dawah Preparation (Inviting to way of Allah): 

Distribute ramadan gifts and packages to consist of small books and pamphlets on virtues of ramadan and good deeds, new recorded lectures, emotional messages, chewing sticks …

Preparing flyers with short messages enjoining good acts in Ramadan.  

Prepared lectures to be presented in local mosques.

Daily or weekly lectures for the family.

Distribution of Islamic books and cassettes to people in the community and neighbouring communities.

Creating educative messages for students.

Collaborating with islamic organisations and foundations.

Dear brother: You should be have coordinated sessions of thinking and preparing for new means or developing the old means in order that the month of Ramadan would be a new beginning for many people.

5- Health or physical preparation: 

Go for medical checkups to assess the physical status to fast, and to treat any ailment discovered that could militate against fasting or completing the days of the month.

6- A typical day in Ramadan:

Before Fajr Prayer: 

1- Observe the tahajud.

2- Take the Sahuur

3- Seek forgiveness till the time for call to prayer.

4- Observe the two raka’t before the Fajr.

After the Fajr Prayer:

1- Early arrival for the solatul-subh. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: If the people were to know what excellence is there in the Adhan and in the first row, and they could not (get these opportunities) except by drawing lots, they would have definitely done that. And if they were to know what excellence lies in joining the prayer in the first takbir (prayer), they would have vied with one another. And if they were to know what excellence lies in the night prayer and morning prayer, they would have definitely come even if crawling (on their knees).

2- Commitment to devotion of dhikr, supplication, till time to observe the fajr prayer. “Dua between Adhaan and Iqamah will not be rejected.” 

3- Staying in the mosque for dhikr, recitation of Qur’an till sunrise. “Jabir b. Samura reported that when the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed the dawn prayer, he sat at the place of worship till the sun had risen enough.” (Muslim)

4- Observing two rak’at after fajr prayer. (The Prophet (pbuh) said: He who observe fajr prayer in congregation, then sit to remember Allah till the sun rises, then he observe two rak’at, he would have as the reward of a hajj and umrah completely, completely, completely.” Tirmidhi)

5- Supplicate for Allah’s blessing for the day. (The Prophet (pbuh) said: Allahumma, Inni As’aluka khayra ma fi hazhal- yaom, fat’hau, wa nasrahu, wa nurahu, wa barakatahu, wa hudaau, wa a’uzu bika min sharri maa feehi wa sharri maa ba’dahu.” Meaning: “O Allah, I beseech You for the blessing in this day, its opening, its victory, its light, and blessing and guidance, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in it, and the evil thereafter. ” Abu Dawud)

6- Take light rest with hope in Allah for reward.

7- Departure to work or school. 

8- Devotion to dhikr throughout the day. “The people of paradise do not grieve except over an hour that passes them and they have not remembered Allah in it.” (Tabrani)

9- Give daily charity with full awareness of the prayer of the Angel thus: “O Allah provide every giver a blessing.”

The Zuhr Prayer:

1- Observe solatu-zuhr timely in jamaa’ah. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Prayer said in a congregation is twenty-five degrees more excellent than prayer said by a single person. 

2- Take a short rest. “The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Your body has a right over you”

The Asr Prayer:

1- Solatul Asr in congregation and timely as well as observing four rak’at naflat before the obligatory. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah be merciful to a person who observe four rak’ats before ‘Asr.” (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi) The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: He who observed two prayers at two cool (hours) would enter Paradise. (Two cool hours are Fajr and Asr hours)

2- Listening to admonition in the mosque. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who goes to the masjid, he wants not except to learn good or teach people, it will be for him as the reward of a complete hajj he performed.” (Tabrani) 

3- Staying in the mosque. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who performed ablution in his house, and perfected the ablution then comes to the masjid, he is a visitor of Allah, and it deserving of the host to honour his visitor.” (Tabrani)

The Maghrib Prayer:

1- Engagement in supplication before sunset. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Three, their prayer will not be rejected- he mentioned among them- “the fasting one until he breaks his fast.” (Tirmidhi)

2- Break the fast with prayer. “Dhahaba al-zama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr in sha Allaah (Thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allaah wills).” 

3- Observe magrib in Jamaa’ah in the mosque at the right time.

4- Gathering with the family to study beneficial things. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “And your wife has right over you.”

5- Preparing for solatul isha and tarawih.

The Ishaa Prayer:

1- Arrive early to observe solatul-ishaa in jamaa’ah.

2- Observe tarawih completely with the Imam. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who observed prayer at night during Ramadan, because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins would be forgiven.

3- Delay witri till the later part of the night. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Make Witr the end of your night prayer.”

Other programmes include: visitations to relatives, friends, neighbours, participate in ramadan dawah lectures, read profiles of islamic heroes, engage in discourse (on islamic judgements, etiquettes, morals … ), create family gathering for knowledge, form circles of knowledge in the neighbourhood, etc in an atmosphere of faith and passion to maximize the gains of the blessed month. 

The Second Sermon

All praises are due to Allah, We praise and thank Him, believe and depend on Him. I testify there is no god but Allah alone and I testify that our leader- Muhammad (pbuh) is his servant and messenger.  May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, companions and whoever follows them till the day of recompense. 

Servants of Allah, the world celebrates INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES every year on the 15th May, which coincides this year with next Sunday, 15th May 2017. Islam dignifies the family and we shall today look at that in the following manner:

The concept of family in Islam:

The family concept in Islam is distinguished from others. The family is the social unit from which the Muslim community is built. It is a nucleus established on righteousness and faith, commitment and loyalty, as elucidated in verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet.

One of the pointers to the concern of Islam on the establishment of the family in order that it achieve its goal which includes securing modesty for the couples, effecting a relationship of tranquility, love, kindness, and setting up a Muslim home, cooperating on goodness and faith, including raising righteous children who would serve Allah in the future. 

The family stretches to entails interrelated units which include relatives, it monitors the personalities of individuals in relation to morals and virtues in order to establish goodness in the family.

Parents are enjoined to provide necessary knowledge and adequate welfare to those under their care, including Islamic knowledge and teachings, and relevant beneficial skill for a good and worthy life.  

The extent of cooperation among families determines the extent of societal strength and value. Marriage and family establishment are natural basics of life, but still is a bond that extends till the hereafter. Allah says: 

“Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants.” (13: 23)

Talking about marriage and family establishment today comes with anxieties and grieves and seemingly non-workability, marital problems with increased rate of divorces affecting about one-third of marriages or more. 

This calls for a pragmatic step to put this under control, with a call of responsibility to scholars of education, and all stakeholders to come up with projections. The media must play a great role to showcase the lofty aims and objectives of marriage and family, in addition to projecting virtuous characters in the effort to build a formidable society. 

Islam sees marriage as a divine trust. “And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty” (24: 32). 

“then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses.” (4: 3)

Success of marriage is achievable through compliance with this prophetic lesson: Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status. her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be smeared with dust. 

The prophet also advice parents thus: “When people you are pleased with their religion and character approaches you (seeking the hand of your wards in marriage), then accept them for marriage, but if you do not, then evil will be in the land, and great corruption.” Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah. 

Many have failed as well to understand the value of marriage which Allah as described as a solemn covenant, they thereby transgressed all bounds. “and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?” (4: 21)

‘Uqba b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most worthy condition which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse lawful.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Hence, the need to protect this covenant with discipline between the couple, and promote safety atmosphere and passion which are signs of a successful marriage signs, especially with the knowledge that the devil has vowed to entice the sons of Adam and work to severe between a man and his wife.

Some of the recommendations for a successful marriage:

– Couples should closely work together and desist from sins. Many broken homes were caused through sins of their own hands. Allah says: “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (42: 30) 

– Mutual respect is of the strongest signs and pillars of family stability; the wife must recognize the honour and value of her husband, likewise the husband must recognize and honour his wife as a life partner not a business partner. Every good put forward by a party, the benefit reaches the doer first. An advising mother once told her daughter thus: “Be to him like a slavegirl, he will be to you like a servant.” 

– Overlooking and turning a blind eye to some lapses in the family is a key factor that cannot be overemphasized in the effort to gain family stability. The media- tv, home video, etc is one of the medium that spread corrupt images about marriages.

– The husband has the role to spend on the family which must not be neglected. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Of the dinar you spend as a contribution in Allah’s path, or to set free a slave, or as a sadaqa given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spent on your family.

 “Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination. Our Lord, make us not [objects of] torment for the disbelievers and forgive us, our Lord. Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (60: 4-5)

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