Category: Islam

Video series on “The Ramadhan Takeaways”

Screenshot from the original video uploaded on facebook.

The month of Ramadhan is not only a time for fasting, repentance and spiritual renewal. It is also an opportunity to seek further knowledge about the Holy Month, Islam and its teachings. The Office of MP Mitmug Jr will feature short stories through video messages about different people and their experiences and reflection during Ramadhan including interesting topics that Muslims or non-Muslims could add to their understanding of the Ramadhan or Islam.

For our first video, we featured Datu Farouk Camino Ampatuan, a student of Cotabato City National High School – Main Campus who shared his reflection on Ramadhan and how he manages his time as a student while fasting.

Read the full transcript of his message:

Assalamu Alaikom Warrahmatullahi watallah Wabarakatuho

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Ramadhan is a month in Islamic Calendar when Muslim observes fasting from sunrise to sunset. And it can be a difficult month for many to get thru this, especially us students who have to go through online learning without eating and drinking.

Ramadhan is considered to be one of the holy months in Islamic Calendar. Kindness, forgiveness and charity are often pursued as a good practice of our faith. And it also time to show compassionate and empathy to those in need. For me, many Muslims uses [sic] Ramadhan as a time to reset and start anew. Creating new goals and improving old ones and improve one-self, and rejuvenate their spirit. Fasting provides us spiritual perspective that allow us to understand the less fortunate in poverty and those in need. Let also remind us to not be wasteful of Allah (s.w.t) blessings.

As a student during this holy month, we had a lot of problem to take with. One of the hardest scene that we go through is a lack of concentration and a lack of space. Due to the online learning we have a lot of video conferences and screen type. With this, we feel exhaustion and headaches. But one thing that I can advise to my fellow learners here is to start and plan your time table. Schedule organizing your school works, your revisions, meals, prayers, because this would help your mental health and your well-being.

May Allah bless us, our family courage and strength. Shukran jazilan. Ramadhan Mubarak.

Wa Assalamu Alaikom Warramatullahi Watallah Wabarakatuho.

Watch the full video here:

*Datu Farouk Camino Ampatuan is a grade 10 student from Science Technology and Engineering Program of Cotabato City National High School Main Campus Organizations. He is currently the P.I.O of the Supreme Student Government of CCNHS MAIN CAMPUS, President of Youth for Environment of School Organization of CCNHS MAIN CAMPUS and President of Science Technology and Engineering Program.


Ramadhaan: The beneficial scorcher

Once more, the honorable guest, Holy Ramadhān is here.

The word “Ramadhān” comes from the Arabic root word denoting “scorching heat”, “parched thirst”, “intense dryness”, “sun-baked ground”, etc. Thus, Ramahān is so called to indicate the burning sensation in the stomach as a result of hunger and the dryness of the throat due to thirst. Ramadhān also “scorches out” the sins of the Muslim as if burning it to the ground.

In another sense, the hearts and souls soak up the spiritual warmth of Ramadhān, just as the sand and stones are receptive to the sun’s heat.

Heat is also used as a medical treatment to remove and drive out toxins, cold and other harmful substances from the body.

In a similar manner, the heat of Ramadhān will expunge and “dry out” greed, arrogance, indifference and other spiritual maladies from the soul of man.

Again, intense heat is vital to all manufacturing processes as metals, plastic, glass, wood, etc. are all moulded into various products under scorching temperatures.

Similarly, the heart of man is cast into a beautiful spiritual mould in the heat of the crucible of Ramadhān, thereby becoming a wonderful receptacle of piety and righteousness!

Tremendous benefits of fasting

Fasting is not a mindless exercise of torturing the body by remaining hungry and thirsty, but is extremely meaningful and produces tremendous benefits for the fasting person, some of which are summarized as follows:

• Increased devotions in Ramadhān make a Muslim feel closer to the Creator, and generate appreciation for all His provisions; food, water, etc. as a boon and blessing from the month. Feelings of generosity, soft heartedness and good-will towards others are developed. Rasūlullāh (ﷺ) was more generous than the fast blowing wind in this month.

• Through the self-control and discipline of fasting, a Muslim develops tolerance, patience, contentment, good manners, good speech and good habits.

• Ramadhān causes a change in life’s routine, which results in healthy lifestyle habits – particularly with regard to diet, eating habits and less smoking.

• Because fasting is a collective activity, it creates a sense of belonging to a huge global family of believers and strengthens the bonds of family ties and Islamic brotherhood on a local level as well.

First hand sympathy with the poor and hungry

One of the outstanding benefits of fasting is that a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and thus personally identifies with the plight of the hungry and poor, thereby generating a real and intense degree of sympathy and concern for the underprivileged who have so little to eat every day. This in turn makes Muslims reach out to the poor and render them all forms of assistance. One who does not, from time to time experience this hunger first hand, cannot truly empathize with the poor and hungry and this has a bearing on the effectiveness of any relief programs operated by such people. Ramadhān is a very special month, but it is important for the benefits of this month to remain throughout the year.

The spirit of piety and spiritual elevation experienced in Ramadhān should stay on during our “normal” lives in the eleven months -and when the spiritual batteries begin to weaken, again comes the next Ramadan to give a full charge!

Preparation for Ramadhaan

As the month of Ramadhān approaches, the ‘Ulamā encourage the masses to start preparation for the month of Ramadhān, as we are encouraged to by making Du’ā to Allāh Ta’ālā in the words:

“Allāhumma Bārik lanā fï Rajaba wa Sha’bāna wa Balighnā Ramadhān”

(O Allāh, grant us blessing in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan and let us. witness the month of Ramadhān).

How can we make these preparations:

1.Set aside time to make tilāwah of the Qur-ān.

This must be made daily, whether it is a few pages or a quarter, in anticipation of increasing many fold by the time Ramadhān comes.

2. If we are not making Du’ā, then we should start now.

Ramadhān is a time of making Du’ā and Allāh Ta’ālā readily accepts Du’ā.

If one is not in the habit of making Du’ā then start by making Du’ā for at least five minutes, and time oneself.

An easy way would be; at one minute intervals :

* Praise Allāh Ta’ālā

* Read Salāt ‘alan Nabi ﷺ

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for forgiveness

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for ones worldly needs

* Ask Allāh Ta’ālā for our needs of Ākhirah

* End by praising Allāh Ta’āla and reading Salāt ‘alan Nabi ﷺ.

3. Increase our salāh.

If one is reading five time salāhs, then he should now check if he is reading all the sunnat muakkadah, ghair muakkadah and nafl salāhs.

If he is reading salāh in a Musallah then he should make attempts to now start reading salāh in the Masjid.

(But, during the covid19, let us follow the guidance of our Respected Ūlāmā)

This is where our preparation should start.

In shā ALLĀH, this will become part of our lives and we will start reaping the benefits of this blessed and auspicious month from the first day.

And ALLAH S.W.T. knows best…

The Night Journey: The greatest miracle of the Prophet

Today, Muslims across the world are remembering the greatest miracle of the prophet, The Night Journey.

The event took place on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab.

This miracle can be divided into two parts: Night Journey on the earth (Isra) and Ascension to the heavens (Miraj) – parts of this unique journey are mentioned and narrated by the Glorious Quran, authentic hadith resources and history resources.

In Sūrah Al-Isrā (Surah 17), it is mentioned:

“Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa) of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing”.

[Qur’an, 17:1]

•Before the Journey

Before the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took this journey, the ceiling of the house he was staying in (In Makkah) opened and Angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) came down. He cut open the Prophet’s chest and washed it with Zam Zam water as preparation for the miracle he was about to encounter.

After the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had performed the Isha prayer, Angel Jibra’il came to him with a white animal that was slightly larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule. The animal was called Burāq and was one of the animals of paradise.

Angel Jibra’il told the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to sit on Burāq, which he did.

Then, they set on their unique journey through the night.

Burāq was a very fast animal – the length of its stride was as far as the eye could see.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ arrived at a land with palm trees. Angel Jibra’il humbly asked him to pray 2 rakats, which he did. Afterwards Angel Jibra’il asked him if he knew where he had prayed. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied, “ALLĀH knows best.” Angel Jibra’il told him it was Yathrib, which is what Madinah was called before the Prophet (pbuh) moved there.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Angel Jibra’il continued on their journey with Burāq. They reached another place where Angel Jibra’il humbly asked the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to pray 2 rakats. Again Angel Jibra’il told him the name of the place – Tur Sinai – Mount Sinai where the ten commandments were given to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

The next stop they made was the city where Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was born.

They continued on their way until they reached Jerusalem and there they entered Masjid –al- Aqsa where ALLĀH had gathered all the prophets from Adam to Jesus. Then, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ led them all in prayer.

•Journey to the Heavens – Al-Miraj

After the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took the night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he climbed to the upper heavens.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went to the heavens on stairs called al-mirqat, where one step is made of gold and the next of silver and so on. These stairs are veiled from us.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up these stairs until he reached the first heaven. When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Jibr’il arrived at the first heaven, Jibril requested the gate to be opened. The angel assigned to that gate asked Jibril, “Who is with you?” Jibril answered, “It is Muhammad.” The angel asked Jibril, “Was he dispatched? Is it time for him to ascend to the heaven?” Jibril said, “Yes.” So, the gate was opened for him, and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ entered the first heaven.

There, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). To Adam’s right, the Prophet ﷺ some bodies, and to Adam’s left, other bodies. If Adam (peace) would look to his right he would laugh and if he would look to his left he would cry. Adam (peace be upon him) was seeing the souls of his descendants. Those on his right were his descendants who would die as believers and those on his left were his descendants who would die as non-believers.

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up to the second heaven. In this second heaven, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw the Prophets Isa and Yahya (peace be upon them). Isa and Yahya are cousins; their mothers were sisters. They welcomed the Prophet ﷺ and made dua for him for good things.

The Prophet then went up to the third heaven where he found Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him). Prophet Yusuf  was extremely handsome. ALLĀH bestowed half the beauty on Yusuf. Yusuf (peace be upon him) received the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with a warm welcome and made dua for him for good things.

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up to the fourth heaven, where he found Prophet Idris (peace be upon him). Idris welcomed the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and made dua for him for good things.

In the fifth heaven, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ met Harun (peace be upon him), the brother of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).

In the sixth heaven, he encountered Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).

Each of these Prophets received Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with a warm welcome and made dua for him for good things.

Then the Prophet ascended to the seventh heaven and that is where our Messenger saw Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim is the best of the prophets after our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) with his back against al-Bayt al-Ma’mur.

To the inhabitants of the heavens, al-Bayt al-Ma’mur is like the Ka’bah is to us. Every day 70,000 angels go there; then exit from it and never return. The next day another 70,000 angels go, come out and never return. This will continue until the Day of Judgment.

In this, there is an indication as to the greatness of the numbers of the angels there are. Their numbers are far more than the numbers of the humans and the jinns put together.

In the seventh heaven, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw Sidrat al-Muntaha-a lote tree. Each of the fruits of this tree is as large as a big jar. The leaves of this tree are similar to the ears of the elephants. Sidrat al-Muntaha is an extremely beautiful tree. It is visited by butterflies made of gold. When these butterflies gather on this tree, its beauty is beyond description.

•Journey beyond the Heavens & Gifts for the Ummah

Then the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ went up and reached a place where he heard the creaking of the pens used by the angels who are copying from the Preserved Tablet. He then went beyond that place to a place which we can neither describe nor imagine.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was elevated and approached his Lord who is Aziz (Mighty and Strong) and Jabbar (Compelling).

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saw the light of ALLĀH, which we cannot describe and God revealed to him whatever he revealed.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was given, amongst other things, five Obligatory Prayers.

At first, Allah obligated fifty prayers. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encountered Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), Musa told him to make dua to his Lord to ease the obligation of fifty (50) prayers, because his nation could not handle that. Musa (peace be upon him) said, “I have experience with the people of Israel, and I know your nation cannot bear that.” So the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked his Lord to lessen these prayers for his people. Five prayers were eliminated. Once again, Musa told the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to ask Allah to lessen the number of prayers. ALLĀH did. Nine times the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made supplication to ALLĀH to lessen these prayers–until these prayers were lessened to Five (5) Obligatory Prayers.

So Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was a great benefit to us. Had we been obligated to pray fifty prayers a day, this would have been a difficult matter for us.

•The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Returns to Makkah

After all these matters took place with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, he returned to the city of Makkah.

The next day the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told the people what happened to him the previous night. The people of Quraysh mocked the Prophet and said that it is not possible.

Believers believe in this unique journey because it displays the unique status of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the power of ALLĀH, the Exalted: ALLĀH says Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad) to undertake this night journey. Our Lord is able and capable of doing everything because He controls and manages everything.

May ALLĀH Almighty help us to learn lessons from this unique journey.


Significance of the lunar month of Shawwāl

by Abdulwarith Dimasangcop

During pre-Islamic times the lunar month of Shawwāl was regarded as a cursed month and a month of ill-omen. Some people of that time even avoided getting married during the month of Shawwāl because they believed that marriages during this month would not be blessed. As with most of the negative and pessimistic aspects of pre-Islamic society the Divine message of Islam came to change these wrongheaded beliefs and negative perceptions of human existence, including that of the month of Shawwāl. Islam transformed these superstitious ideas and beliefs into positive life-affirming philosophies.

In this article, we would like to reflect on the positive significance of the lunar month of Shawwal and provide at least four (4) ways in which this month is important for Muslims.

First, in order to signify the incorrectness of the pre-Islamic belief that marriages contracted in the month of Shawwāl was cursed, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) chose to marry ‘Āishah (Radhiyallāhu ‘anha) during the month of Shawwāl. The wrong belief of the pre-Islamic people that Shawwāl was a cursed month of ill-omen was clearly disproved by this marriage since the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) marriage to ‘Āishah (Radhiyallāhu ‘anha) became a great beacon of love and affection for all married couples to emulate.

Second, one of the most meritorious aspects of Shawwāl is that `Id-al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month. This joyous and festive day, celebrated by the Muslim ummah, is a day on which we give thanks to ALLĀH, and celebrate our accomplishments of the blessed month of Ramadhān. As ALLĀH, the Sublime exhorts us in the Glorious Qur’an, in Sūrah al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, verse 185: He (ALLĀH) desires that you complete the prescribed number of fasting days And that you extol and glorify ALLĀH for having guided you, That perhaps you may render thanks and gratitude unto Him.

Third, the month of Shawwāl is also significant because it marks the onset of the hajj season. ALLĀH, the Sublime, declares in the Glorious Qur’an in Sūrah al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, verse 197: The Hajj/Pilgrimage shall take place during the well-known months

In a prophetic tradition (hadīth) recorded in the authentic collection of Imām Al-Bukhārī, the companion `Abdullah ibn `Umar (Radhiyallāhu ‘anhu), informs us that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) declared that the well-known months referred to in this Qur’anic verse (āyah) are the lunar months of Shawwāl, Dhul Qa’dah and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

These three lunar months were well-known to the pre-Islamic Arabs as the months during which the hajj took place. This was known since the days of Prophets Ibrahim and Isma’il (peace be upon both of them) and the Glorious Qur’an reaffirms their significance. The month of Shawwāl is thus the first of the three months named as “Ash-hur al-Hajj” (the months of hajj).

Fourth, the month of Shawwāl is the only other month in the Muslim calendar in which fasting is recommended. According to a well-known prophetic tradition (hadīth) recorded in the collection of Imām Muslim, related by the companion, Abū Ayyūb al-Ansārī (Radhiyallāhu ‘anhu) the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) advises us as follows: “Whosoever fasts during the month of Ramadhān and then follows it up with six days of fasting of Shawwāl will be rewarded as if he or she had fasted the entire year.”
(Narrated by Imām Muslim)

In his explanation (sharh) of the meaning of the above hadīth the famous thirteenth century hadith expert Imām al-Nawawî (d.1277) observes: Scholars have explained that it is like observing a year of fasting because the reward of one’s good deeds are multiplied tenfold. Therefore fasting the month of Ramadhān is like fasting for ten months and fasting six days in the month of Shawwāl is like fasting for two months. The above interpretation is based on a corollary hadith related from Thawbân that Rasūlullāh ﷺ said: “The fast of Ramadhān is like observing ten months of fasting. Fasting six days of Shawwâl is like observing two months of fasting. This together is like fasting throughout the year.”
(Sahîh Ibn Khuzaymah (2115) and Sunan al-Nasâ’î al-Kubrâ (2860)

According to the Shāfi’ī and Hanafi schools of Islamic jurisprudence (madh-habs) it is preferred that these days be fasted consecutively, i.e. the six days immediately following the celebration of ‘Id-al-Fitr.

According to Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal however one may choose to fast on any six days of the blessed month of Shawwāl, as neither practice is preferred over the other. This is also the prevailing view (jamhur) of many contemporary Muslim scholars on the basis of the evidence.

There are also a minority of scholars who hold the view that the sunnah fasting days of the month of Shawwāl should all be postponed until later in the month and not close to the day of `Id, which is a time of celebration and feasting. They prefer fasting the three days in the middle of the month (ayyâm al-bîd) along with the three days right before or after. This is the opinion of Ma`mar and `Abd al-Razzâq.

There is considerable flexibility in all of this and we can choose to follow any of these approaches. I encourage those of us who have not already adopted this prophetic recommendation (sunnah) to consider doing so in the remaining days of this month of Shawwāl. Fasting in the lunar month of Shawwāl provides us with a wonderful opportunity to follow up on our great spiritual accomplishments of the month of Ramadhān and it cultivates in us the discipline of voluntary fasting (siyam al-tatawwu’).

As we have experienced during the month of Ramadhān, fasting is one of the best forms of worship and spiritual disciplines, which purifies the individual, nourishes our souls and draws us closer to our Creator. Voluntary fasting (siyam al-tatawwu’) has an even greater effect since it is undertaken by the free will of the believer. This is why the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) loved fasting so much.

Furthermore, it is our considered view that the practice of fasting in Shawwāl could also serve as a wonderful way of assisting those who may have missed some fasts during Ramadhān, as a result of illness, menses or traveling, to make up for their lost days.

It is highly recommended to fulfill the qadhā’ or missed fasts of Ramadhān as soon as possible, since this is an obligation and debt owed to ALLĀH and this takes precedence over voluntary (sunnah) fasting.

It is no wonder that one of the Prophet’s wives, Umm Salamah (Radhiyallāhu ‘anha) recommended to members of her family that they fulfil the qadhā’ or missed fasts during the month of Shawwāl. It is therefore praiseworthy to do the qadhā’ fast during the month of Shawwāl.

By encouraging the entire family to fast in solidarity with women and others who may have qadhā’ fasts to make up, it would be a wonderful gesture so that such family members do not feel alone in making up their lost days. Moreover such a gesture would surely help in strengthening our family bonds.

In conclusion, since the month of Shawwāl is the start of the hajj season, it is also a time during which we bid farewell to our relatives and friends who have decided to respond to the invitation to undertake the sacred journey of the pilgrimage (hajj). Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

We pray and make du’a that ALLĀH, the Hearer and Acceptor of all sincere supplications and grant the pilgrims (hujjāj) a safe journey.

And ALLĀH S.W.T. knows best…