The International Affairs Division of G. A. Makarem Shiraz’s Office Offers Dear Brothers and Sisters the Informative Package of “Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance”

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On the Arrival of the Auspicious Month of Ramadan:

The International Affairs Division of G. A. Makarem Shiraz’s Office Offers Dear Brothers and Sisters the Informative Package of “Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance”

The package includes the Daily ’Istiftā’, the Lamp of Guidance, Daily prayers of the Month with quick commentary and a word of wisdom

"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"

Hadith of the Day       Daily ’Istiftā’       Daily Prayers of the Month       The Lamp of Guidance

  

Hadith of the Day

 

الإمامُ عليٌّ عليه السلام - لِابنَيهِ عليهما السلام لمّا ضَرَبه ابنُ مُلْجَم -:


احبِسُوا هذا الأسيرَ ، وأطعِمُوهُ ، واسْقُوهُ ، وأحْسِنوا إسارَهُ

 

Imam Ali (ʿa) said said to his sons (ʿa), after Ibn Muljim struck him:

 

Imprison this captive and feed him, quench his thirst, and make his captivity endurable.

 

Qurb al-Isnād, p. 143, no. 515

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Daily ’Istiftā’

If an individual spends only the evening of the Eid al-Fiṭr as a guest at someone else’s house, is the zakāt of fiṭrah incumbent upon the host to pay or the guests  themselves must pay it?


If they spend only that evening there; therefore, the zakāt is due on the guests themselves

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Daily Prayer of the Month

 

Ramadan 20th

A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 20th

Thesupplicatory prayer of Ramadan 20th is as follows:

 

 

اللهُمَّ افْتَحْ لى فيهِ ابْوابَ الْجِنانِ، وَاغْلِقْ عَنّى فيهِ ابْوابَ النّيرانِ، وَوَفِّقْنى فيهِ لِتلاوَةِ الْقُرْآنِ، يا مُنْزِلَ السَّكينَةِ فى قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنينَ

 

O’ Lord! Open up the gates of Paradise to me in this month, and close down the gates of Hell to me, and grant me the opportunity to recite the Quran, O’ You who send down tranquility to the hearts of the believers![1]

 

The most important points referred to in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 20th are the following:

The factors which pave the way for one to enter Paradise; the names of the gates of Paradise; explaining the significance and key role of the holy month of Ramadan in securing man’s eternal felicity; and revisiting the concept of true recitation of the Quran.

 

* The Names of the Gates of Paradise

According to some traditions, one of the gates of Paradise is called Rayyān.[2] [3] These traditions indicate that it is a gate which is made exclusively for the entry of the believers who tolerated the thirst and hunger of fasting in this world.[4]

Another gate of Paradise is named “Bāb al-Ma‘rūf”; this gate is for the entry of the individuals who do good and righteous deeds.[5] [6]

According to some Islamic traditions, Paradise has another gate named “Jihad”,[7] and also a gate named “Bāb al-Ṣabr” which is peculiar to the people who show patience in the face of difficulties in this world.[8]

“Bāb al-Shukr” is another gate of Paradise which is for the entry of the people who were grateful of the endless bounties of Allah in this world, not merely in words but in practice too.[9] [10]

There is yet, another gate which leads to Paradise called “Bāb al-Balā’”; it is exclusively for the entry of those who patiently tolerate the adversities in this world, including natural disasters such as floods, earth quacks, landslides, lightning strikes, and hurricanes, as well as tragedies such as the loss of loved ones, incurable diseases, and bankruptcy.[11]   

 

* Paradise is rewarded for Effort not for Inaction

 

It should be noted that the concept of the “gates of Paradise” is a metaphoric way of referring to various good deeds which man must do in this world in order to secure their eternal felicity in the Hereafter.[12] In other words, one’s good deeds will turn into means of letting them into Paradise; in fact, our good deeds are what build and complete Paradise for us in the other world.[13]

This is because the Hereafter is, in effect, a projection of man’s words and deeds in this world; it is a world for the Divine Justice to be carried out about all the people.[14] What is meant by the “gates and keys of Paradise” metaphors in Islamic teachings is the means which can secure man’s felicitous life in the Hereafter.[15]

The means to an eternal life of bliss in the Hereafter[16] is provided through doing sincere and righteous deeds including fasting, Jihad in the cause of Allah, repentance, fearing Allah’s retribution and at the same time having hope in His Mercy, and charity.[17]

 

* An Exclusive Gate for the Fasters to Enter Paradise

 

The Prophet of Allah (ṣ) has been quoted as saying:

إنَّ لِلْجَنَّةِ باباً يُدْعى الرَّيَّانُ لايَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ إلَّا الصَّائِمُونَ

Paradise has a gate named Rayyān which belongs exclusively to the fasters to enter.”[18] [19]

In his commentary on this tradition, the Late al-Shaykh al-Ṣadūq writes the following in his book Ma‘ānī al-Akhbār:

The reason why this name has been used for this gate is that those who fast tolerate nothing harder than thirst. Therefore, when the people who fasted for Allah in this world enter Paradise through this gate, they will find that their thirst has been quenched in a way that they would never be thirsty again.[20]

In other words, Rayyān is Allah’s exclusive reward which is granted in return for tolerating the thirst of this world while fasting; it is a gate which is invested with Allah’s forgiveness and pardon, and anyone who passes through it will be given immeasurable amounts of Divine forgiveness and pardon.[21]

 

* The Month of Ramadan, a Month for the Gates of Hell to be closed down

 

In his famous Sermon of Sha‘bāniyyah, the Prophet of Allah (ṣ) made the following remarks about the month of Ramadan:

وَأَبْوَابَ النِّيرَانِ فِى هَذا الشَّهْرِ مُغْلَقَةٌ

The gates of Hell are closed all throughout the month of Ramadan.[22]

 

This enlightening remark indicates that, though most of us do not fast the way that we are actually required to, still they have a significant role in decreasing the amount of crimes in the society. Perhaps what is meant by this metaphor used by the Prophet (ṣ) is that since fasting allows the people to restrain their carnal desires more effectively, preventing them from committing sins and crimes, it can be considered to close down the gates of hell to them.[23]

One can metaphorically liken various sins such as following one’s whims, lusts, and carnal desires, and following the temptations of Satan as the gates of Hell. These gates are then closed down in the month of Ramadan because one will be restraining one’s carnal desires through fasting.[24]

 

* Recitation of the Quran, a Prerequisite for pondering it and acting upon it

 

The recitation of the Quran has been emphasized greatly in the Islamic teachings as a great act of worship, particularly when it is done in the month of Ramadan. However, the mere reading of the Quran is not what makes its recitation so important; it is the kind of recitation accompanied by pondering its teachings deeply which is of such great significance.[25]

This entails that the best discussions in the month of Ramadan are the ones held on the interpretation of the Quran.[26] Unfortunately some people have a rather  superficial view about the Quran. They are of the belief that since the Quran is a collection of Divinely-sent revelations which were revealed in the month of Ramadan, its every word is sacred and the more they merely read them the greater rewards they will receive in the Hereafter. In short, they believe only in the mere reading of the words of the Quran.[27]

However, these people neglect the fact that Quran is a set of instructions sent down to remedy man’s worldly and spiritual problems. This means that the mere reading it would not be of much help as long as its instructions are not followed closely. This does not mean that the recitation of the Quran is not important; it means that the recitation should be viewed as a prerequisite for putting its teachings into practice.[28]

 

* Divinely-bestowed Tranquility

 

The term “tranquility” which is referred to in the last part of this prayer means a kind of calmness resulting from certitude which removes all sorts of doubt, uncertainty, and fear from one’s heart.[29]

It can be the sort of convictional tranquility which eliminates doubts and uncertainty from one’s religious beliefs. It can also relate to the practical aspects of one’s life, giving one the determination, perseverance, and patience in their deeds.[30]

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The Lamp of Guidance

2. The Prostration of the Angels: ‘So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down in prostration before him.’’  The Quran has stated that all of the angels prostrated before man.

3. The Subjugation of the entire World: ‘He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and the earth, all being from Him. Verily there are Signs in this for those who reflect.’  In this verse, the Quran has explained how Allah has made the entire world come under man’s domination and at his service.

The two traditions mentioned above both indicate that a faithful believer has such a value in this world that if someone saddens  them, it is as if they have declared war on Allah. These traditions manifest two distinct points: the first is that Islam is a religion which honors and respects mankind and seeks to guide them towards growth and advancement. The second point is that the man of faith possesses a very distinct value before Allah.

Such are the teachings of our religion; now we should consider our personal and social lives and see whether we bother others and to what degree. How do we treat our children, our wives, our neighbors, our customers, our employees, and anyone else that we somehow come in contact with? Are we truly hurting others through our behavior and words? Even when it comes to the issue of worshipping Allah, there are rules and regulations which we must follow in order not to bother others with our acts of worship.

For example, the sound of the Call to Prayer should not be recited with excess noise, lest the neighbors are bothered by it; it should be recited with a moderate level of sound. Unfortunately, we have a situation at hand today where the homes that are located next to mosques are bought and sold at a lesser value due to this issue of noise. We must be careful of the rights of others in every facet of our lives, both social and personal.

Do other religions and denominations value mankind as much as Islam does? When we look at the materialistic schools of thought which dominate the West, we see that they do not value mankind the way they deserve. For instance, they consider man to have descended from apes, while Islam teaches us that human beings are a creation of Allah with a pure soul placed within them by the Lord. The astounding rates of crime such assaults, murders, and rapes are all indicators of   the fact that personal interests and not the dignity of human beings is the criterion of actions there. . However, if they had embraced the teachings of Islam, they would have valued human beings much more than they do now.

 

FULFILLING THE NEEDS OF THE ENEMY

Tradition

قَالَ الامام الصَّادِقَ(علیه السلام): «إِنَّی  لاَُسَارِعُ إِلَی  حَاجَةِ عَدُوِّی  خَوْفَاً أَنْ أَرُدَّهُ فَیَسْتَغْنِی  عَنِّی »

 

Imam al-Ṣādiq ('a) is narrated to have said: ‘I rush to fulfill my enemy’s needs for I fear that if I delay, he may not need my assistance any longer [and it would be a pity that my enemy required my help and I failed to fulfill his need’.

Commentary

There is much controversy among sociologists as to whether the society is more important or the individuals who make up the society. From a logical perspective, it is clear that if there are no individual constituents, the greater unit that they make up cannot exist. When we look at the ocean, we see that if there were no d r o ps of water, then there would simply be no ocean. Therefore, we can conclude that a society is primarily composed of independent individuals and it is their collective existence which forms the society. Yet the controversy among sociologists is not about this issue. Their discussions can best be broken down into the following topics:

1. The independent nature of the society: The result of social activity is oftentimes quite successful overall, while independent endeavors of individuals are less so. Great civilizations are created through collective human cooperation.

2. The independent nature of the individual: If we make societal rights predominate over individual rights, then certain individual rights will be sacrificed for the sake of the society.  The proponents of the principality of the society give precedence to collective interests rather than individual interests. Islam is also a proponent of the independent nature of the society. For example, we have traditions which state ‘Allah is a supporter of the community’, ‘I advise you to be with the community’, and ‘the lone sheep will be eaten by the wolves’, all emphasizing the importance of the society in one way or another.

Therefore, according to these teachings, the society is of prime importance and sometimes the individuals must sacrifice their rights or even themselves for their society. For example, when one’s nation is in danger, it may be necessary that some individuals step forward and place their lives in danger in order to protect their nation.

 

[1] The New Mafātīḥ, p. 816.

[2] Its literal meaning is the “Quencher of thirst”.

[3] Mizān al-Ḥikmah, section 562, hadith No. 2753.

[4] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 126.

[5] Mizān al-Ḥikmah, section 526, hadith No. 2754.

[6] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 124.

[7] Al-Kāfī, vol. 5, hadith No. 2.

[8] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 126.

[9] Mizān al-Ḥikmah, section 562, hadith No. 2757.

[10] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 126.

[11] Ibid, p. 127.

[12]  The Teachings of the Infallibles, vol. 2, p. 119.

[13] The greatest Servants of Allah, p. 124.

[14] A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 5, p. 444.

[15] The Teachings of the Infallibles, vol. 2, p. 119.

[16] Ibid, p. 120.

[17] The Message of the Quran, vol. 6, p. 235.

[18] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 96, p. 252.

[19] The Teachings of the Infallibles, vol. 2, p. 119.

[20] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 96, p. 252.

[21] The Teachings of the Infallibles (‘a), vol. 2, p. 120.

[22] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 127.

[23] Ibid, p. 128.

[24] Ibid.

[25] The Beautiful Parables of the Quran, vol. 1, p. 12.

[26] The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 12.

[27] The Rays of Guidance: a Series of Ethical Discussions, p. 435.

[28] Ibid, p. 436.

[29] Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 22, p. 27.

[30] Ibid.

 

 

 

Published on: « 2019/5/25 »
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