"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
Hadith of the Day Daily ’Istiftā’ Daily Prayers of the Month The Lamp of Guidance
Hadith of the Day
الإمامُ الحسن عليه السلام:
صاحِبِ النّاسَ مِثلَ ما تُحِبُّ أن يُصاحِبوكَ بِهِ
Al-Imam al-Hasan (ʿa):
Associate with people the way you would like them to associate with you.
A‘lām al-Dīn, p. 297
Can one, by making a Nadhr (vow), perform the qaḍā of the missed fasts of the month of Ramadan while traveling ?
It is not permissible.
Daily Prayer of the Month
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 14th
Thesupplicatory prayer of Ramadan 14th is as follows:
اللَّهُمَّ لا تُؤاخِذْنى فيهِ بِالْعَثَراتِ، وَأَقِلْنِى فيهِ مِنَ الْخَطايا وَالْهَفَواتِ، وَلا تَجْعَلْنى فيهِ غَرَضاً لِلْبَلايا وَالْأفاتِ، بِعِزَّتِكَ يا عِزَّ الْمُسْلِمين
“O’ Lord! I ask You by Your Might not to take me to task in this day for my lapses, and pardon my lapses and mistakes, and do not target me with Your tribulations and calamities, O’ Might of the Muslims!”
The most important points mentioned in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 14th are as follows:
Describing man’s view of Allah when transgressing; explaining the meaning of Iqālah [overlooking the sins]; Allah, the Oft-returning; and the explication of the relationship between sins and tribulations.
* O’ Lord! Treat us with Your Grace not Your Justice!
Obviously, all human beings except for the Infallibles will have lapses and even commit sins in their lives. In such times when one is afraid of Allah’s wrath, one can seek refuge with His mercy and when one fears Divine Justice, one can find refuge in His Grace and Forgiveness.
Divine Justice is what we need to be worried about, when it comes to calculating one’s good and bad deeds, while Divine Mercy and Forgiveness is rather comforting for us, knowing that Divine Mercy means that Allah will overlook some of our misdeeds and will incline toward rewards more than toward punishment.
This is exactly what we sometimes pray to Allah in the Qunūt of our prayers, imploring Him to treat us based on His mercy and not based on His Justice:
إلهنا عاملنا بفضلك و لا تعاملنا بعدلك يا كريم
From this perspective, there is no equilibrium between the divinely-granted reward and the good deeds done by the believers, because the reward will be way greater and more than the good deeds which are done. Therefore, mankind always feces Allah’s Grace in all aspects of their life but they face His Justice when they receive His punishment.
* What is Iqālah?
The Arabic word Iqālah, which derives from the root word Qīla, refers to any sort of overlooking the mistakes and misdeeds of people.
* Allah, the Oft-returning
Repentance, when used for a sinner, involves ceasing the commission of sins and turn away from sins. However, it has also been used in the Quran and the Islamic traditions to refer to Allah; in such cases, it means Allah’s returning to His Compassion. This means that when a person commits a sin, they actually deprive themselves of Allah’s mercy and compassion and once they repent, Allah grants them mercy and compassion once more.
This is in fact why one of the Names of Allah is “al-Tawwāb” literally meaning the Oft-returning [to a state of Mercy].
* Repent, even After a Hundred Times of Violating it
The reason why Allah has been referred to in the Quran with the quality of “al-Tawwāb” [Oft-returning] (and in a form which is much like the English superlative) is to indicate that we should never lose hope in being forgiven. If a person commits a sin or even break their oath of repentance by committing several sins, they should never lose hope in Allah’s forgiveness and pardon, for He is Oft-forgiving and Oft-returning.
Naturally, when one feels that they always have the chance to repent, no matter how many sins they have committed, they would always seek to stop sinning and make amends. In fact, this feeling and this endeavor is a part of human spiritual development and growth.
* The Relationship between Sins and Tribulation
Undoubtedly, sins and transgressions have numerous destructive effects and consequences which cannot be taken lightly. One of such negative effects is that due to swerving from the right path and committing sins, one will be liable to be affected by the Divine Retribution in the forms of calamities and tribulations.
The following tradition by Imam al-Ṣādiq (‘a) is rather enlightening in this regard:
“When four transgressions become rampant among the people they will be afflicted by four distinct calamities: when illicit sexual relations and adultery become rampant earthquakes occur more; when people refuse to pay Zakāt, their livestock begin to die in large numbers; when the rulers issue verdicts unjustly in the courts of law, the sky will cease to send down its rains; and when promises and pacts are broken, the polytheists will gain dominance and triumph over the Muslims.” 
As it is clear from the above-mentioned tradition as well as many other traditions, one of the reasons for the occurrence of many calamities, including natural disasters, is the prevalence of some grave sins in different societies. This fact has also been recognized in several Islamic supplications. For instance, in a part of the supplication of Kumeyl, one implores Allah as follows:
اللّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِىَ الذُّنُوبَ الَّتى تُنْزِلُ الْبَلاءَ ...
“O’ Lord! Forgive me those sins which cause the disasters to strike … ”
The Lamp of Guidance
THE PURE SHIAS
قَالَ الإمَامُ الْحَسَنُ الْعَسْکَری (علیه السلام): «... إنَّ شِیعَتَنَا هُمُ الَّذِینَ یَتَّبِعُونَ آثَارَنَا وَ یُطِیعُونَا فِی جَمِیعِ أوَامِرِنَا وَ نَوَاهِینَا فَأولئِکَ شِیعَتُنَا فَأمّا مَنْ خَالَفَنَا فِی کَثِیر مِمَّا فَرَضَهُ اللّهُ عَلَیْهِ فَلَیْسُوا مِنْ شِیعَتِنَا...»
Imam al-Ḥasan al-'Askarī ('a) is narrated to have said: ‘…Our Shias are those who follow our ways and traditions and obey our every command. It is such people who are our Shias and those who disobey us in many of the things which Allah has made obligatory are not our Shias…’
The term ‘Āthār’, in this tradition, refers to customs or ways of life which remain even after a person has passed away. This can be a good custom or even a bad custom which is established and continues to persist. The tradition indicates that the true Shias not only obey the Imams ('a) in what they command and forbid, but they also protect and maintain their customs and way of life as well.
For example, one of the customs of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a) was that they would go to the doors of the poor at night in person and help these individuals in various ways. In addition, they would do this in such a way that no one knew who they actually were. Another such custom was that they would be gentle and moderate in the face of rudeness from others. In this way, they would repel what was evil with what was good. So according to this tradition, those who obey the Imams ('a) completely in what they commanded and forbade, and who keep alive their customs and way of life are actually the true Shias.
THE TRUE BELIEVERS
قَالَ الإمامُ الصَّادِقُ(علیه السلام): «لاَ تَکُونُ مُؤْمِناً حَتَّی تَکُونَ خَائِفاً رَاجِیاً وَ لاَ تَکُونُ خَائِفاً رَاجِیاً حَتَّی تَکُونَ عَامِلا لِمَا تَخَافُ وَ تَرْجُو»
Imam al-Ṣādiq ('a) is narrated to have said: ‘You will never be a true believer until you cultivate a fear of Allah and also hope in Him in your heart. And you will never be fearful [of Allah’s punishment] and hopeful [of His reward] until this fear and hope have affected your actions’.
In order for one to move towards perfection, there needs to be two elements present: the power of moving forward and the power of restraint. The power of moving forward is the force which allows one to push ahead towards progress, while the power of restraint is the force which prevents a system from malfunction. Any type of mechanism which needs to progress physically or metaphysically needs these two elements in order to progress correctly towards its goal.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 12, p. 133.
 Ibid, vol. 2, p. 73.
 Ibid, vol. 8, p. 463.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 22, p. 282.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 12, p. 133.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 219.
 [اِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوّابُ الرَّحیم] (al-Baqarah, 37).
 The Message of the Quran, vol. 4, p. 372.
 Ibid, p. 373.
 The Story of the Companions: a Series of Exegetic Discussions by G. A. Makarem Shirazi, p. 112.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 6, p. 325.
 Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 76, p. 21, hadith No. 13.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 15, p. 691.
 Religious Q & As, p. 64.