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

 

 

:قال الإمامُ الرضا عليه السلام

 

كانَ أميرُ المؤمنينَ عليه السلام لا يَنامُ ثلاثَ ليالٍ : لَيلةَ ثلاثٍ وعِشرِينَ مِن شَهرِ رَمَضانَ ، ولَيلةَ الفِطرِ ، ولَيلةَ النِّصفِ مِن شَعبانَ ، وفيها تُقسَمُ الأرزاقُ والآجالُ وما يَكونُ في السَّنَةِ

 

Al-Imam al-Riḍa (ʿa) said:

 

The Commander of the Faithful (a) would not sleep at all on three nights: the 23rd night of the month of Ramadan, the eve of ʿid al-fitr, and the eve of the 15th of Shaʿban. And these are the nights when sustenance is allotted, and prescribed times of death and all that is to happen in that year is decreed.

 

Biḥār al-Anwār, v. 97, p. 88, no. 15

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Daily ’Istiftā’

How is prayer and fasting of clerics who are living about 15 years in Qom however they have not taken Qom as their hometown (waṭan) because they don’t have the intention residing there permanently nor are they sure of the time they retune to their hometowns ?

In the above-mentioned situation the city of Qom has become their hometown (waṭan).

 

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Daily Prayer of the Month

 

Ramadan 22nd

A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 22nd

Thesupplicatory prayer of Ramadan 22nd is as follows:

 

اللهُمَّ افْتَحْ لى فيهِ ابْوابَ فَضْلِكَ، وَانْزِلْ عَلَىَّ فيهِ‏ بَرَكاتِكَ، وَوَفِّقْنى‏ فيهِ لِمُوجِباتِ مَرْضاتِكَ، وَاسْكِنّى‏ فيهِ بُحْبُوحاتِ‏ جَنَّاتِكَ، يا مُجيبَ دَعْوَةِ الْمُضْطَرّينَ

 

 

O’ Lord! Open up the gates to Your Divine Grace in this month, send down Your blessings on me, grant me the opportunity to do what pleases you, and house me amid Your Paradise, O’ Granter of the prayers of the distressed ones![1]

 

The most important points which need to be discussed in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 22nd are the following:

Explaining the vast scope of Divine Grace; examining the concept of the “gates toward Allah’s Grace and blessings”; and explaining Allah’s magnanimous treatment towards His servants particularly in the month of Ramadan.

 

* Ramadan, a Month when the Gates of Divine Bounties and Blessings Open up

 

One thing that should be kept in mind is that the keys to all the good things rest with Allah.[2] This is why in this prayer one prays to Allah to “open up” the gates to His bounties to them in the month of Ramadan.

When these gates are opened, Divine bounties and blessings begin pouring on the people in a way that they cannot be withheld from them.[3] [4]

 

* What does “Abwāb” mean?

 

Needless to say that anyone who wishes to enter a place needs to go through its door or gate,[5] and any door or gate has its own specifically designed key which can open it.[6]

Because of this denotation of “key and gate”, they have been used metaphorically to refer to the proper way of gaining access to different good things. For instance, it has been said that faith is the key to the gates of goodness and virtues and that it is something which repels Satan and pleases Allah.[7]

Moreover, tongue is also a key to making reconciliation between people, to admonish people, and to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil in the society.[8] Similarly, Islamic teachings indicate that God-wariness is also the key to all goodness, the greatest good deed which will be rewarded in the Hereafter, the factor which can ensure one’s redemption[9] from all sorts of evil and ill-fates.[10] [11]

A wise person would try to get their hands on at least one of these keys which can ensure their development and growth in this world and their eternal felicity in the Hereafter.[12]

 

* O’ Lord! Treat us based on Your Grace not Your Justice!

 

One of the signs of Divine grace and mercy is that, when people decide to commit a sin, Allah does not record that sin for them as long as they have not committed it. Moreover, He would only dole out a single punishment for that single sin and not more.[13]

This is indicative of Allah’s boundless grace and His mercy toward mankind; He forgives them their evil intentions and only records and punishes justly the actual sins that they commit.

However, this is not the way that He treats good intentions and deeds done by His servants; the mere good intention entails rewards, also good deeds will be treated not based on justice which would be a reward equal the deed, rather Allah will reward them based on His Grace. This means that for every good deed that His servants do He grants them far greater rewards as a sort of encouragement for them to engage in the doing of good deeds.[14]

 

* The Night of Qadr, a Night for the Descension of Divine Blessings  

 

The month of Ramadan is a time for the Divine blessings to be poured down on people; yet, perhaps the most important blessing which has been sent down to mankind was the “Holy Quran” which was first sent down during the Night of Qadr in the month of Ramadan.[15]

What great moments are those of the Night of Qadr’s when the angles are sent down to the earth, wave after wave, to salute the believers and to bless them all! The importance of this salutation is revealed more when one realizes that when the prophet Ibrahim (‘a) was thrown into the fire by the tyrant of the time, the angels were sent down to him to salute him for his being steadfast in fighting for the cause of Allah, and their presence made the fire become cool for Ibrahim!

Now, imagine what would happen to the Hellfire if we become worthy enough for the angles to visit and salute us; will the Hellfire also not be extinguished with the blessed presence of divinely-sent angels?[16]

 

* Which is more important: Allah’s Pleasure or the People’s?

 

It so happens that in many situations throughout one’s life one is faced with a dilemma where one has to choose between taking a course of action that would please Allah or the one that would please the people. This is because in many cases what pleases Allah is in contradiction with what pleases the people.

In situations like this,[17] a pious believer would give precedence to Allah’s pleasure over that of all the people regardless of what the people think; if they too are pleased with that, that is to their own benefit, and if they are displeased, they are free to do what they wish and suffer the consequences.

When one reaches this ability to always give precedence to what pleases Allah over what pleases the people, one is considered to have reached the highest level of piety.[18]

 

* Who is housed in the “Midst of Paradise”?

 

According to the Islamic traditions, the midst of Paradise is called the “Jannāt al-Firdaws” [meaning the Gardens of Paradise].

The Prophet (ṣ) has been quoted as saying the following regarding this magnificent place:

... فَانَّهُ وَسَطُ الجنَّةُ وَ اعْلى الجنَّةِ...

… when you pray to Allah to grant you a life in Paradise, ask Him for Firdaws which is located in the middle of Paradise and it is the loftiest abode in it; right above it is Allah’s Throne and the rivers of Paradise all originate from it.[19] [20]

 

According to the holy Quran, the middle of Paradise is the home of “those who believe and do good deeds … they shall have the Gardens of Paradise as a reception”.[21] [22]

* Granting the Prayer of the Distressed (al-muḍtarr)

 

In times of adversity, when all the avenues for help are exhausted and one is left distressed and hopeless, only Allah can bring hope back to one’s heart and solve one’s problems.[23]

 
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The Lamp of Guidance

If we truly realize our own worth, we would never devalue ourselves by following our base desires and lusts, or because of gaining worldly positions. However, an individual who does not value themselves will commit all types of sins, and they might even be willing to kill another human being for a petty sum. Hence, we must be heedful of such a person and seek Allah’s protection against their evils.

Contrary to this, an individual who values themselves will be careful to act in a completely different manner. It has been narrated that Imam 'Alī ('a) made the following comments with regard to those who have self-respect: ‘He who knows his own value will never lessen himself by following his base lusts and desires’.  ‘He who knows his own value will see the carnal desires as insignificant and unworthy of him’.  ‘He who knows his own value will view worldly pleasures and positions as insignificant.’

THE SIGNS OF SELF-RESPECT

Tradition

قال الامام الصَّادِقِ (علیه السلام): «ثَلاَثَةٌ تَدُلُّ عَلَی کَرَمِ الْمَرْءِ: حُسْنُ الْخُلْقِ وَ کَظْمُ الغَیْظِ وَ غَضُّ البَصَرِ»

 

Imam al-Ṣādiq ('a) is narrated to have said: ‘There are three characteristics which are indicative of a person’s self-respect: a positive disposition, controlling one’s anger, and closing one’s eyes (to evil).’

Commentary

The Arabic word ‘Karam’ is usually translated to mean generosity and a sense of selfless giving. In the Quran, it has typically been used in reference to human value and worth or a sense of self-respect, such as the verse which states: ‘Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you…’  In this verse, the word has been translated as noble in reference to one’s value and worth. Similarly, the expression ‘Makārim al-Akhlāq’ means ‘ethical and moral values’. According to the aforementioned tradition, a person with a sense of self-respect is characterized by the following attributes:

1. The first is a positive disposition and this includes things such as treating others with kindness and respect. This issue has been emphasized heavily in various verses of the Quran and the traditions. In fact, one of the miracles of the Prophet (ṣ) was his positive disposition in spite of what he was up against. People who possess such a characteristic are able to maintain a positive spirit even if they are facing great difficulties in life.

This is contrary to people with a bad disposition who become restless and lose control at the first sign of trouble and begin to mistreat those around them. This characteristic is particularly important for the scholars, for they must possess it if they wish to attract people to their message. It can even be said that fifty percent of the promotion of the religion relates to one’s good behavior, while the other fifty relates to putting those religious teachings in action.

2. The second is controlling one’s anger. In the Arabic language, the lexical meaning of the term ‘Kaẓm’ is to close the cap on a water skin. We can similarly liken anger to a fire which burns inside of the human being and so one who controls their anger has in a way put a cap on this powerful and potentially destructive force. At the same time, we must also recognize that anger has an important role in one’s life and can be used in legitimate and holy ways. However, this topic is beyond the scope of our discussion here.

3. The third and last issue is closing one’s eyes to everything which is evil. This can include disregarding the faults of your close relatives, overlooking the small mistakes of people, closing one’s eyes to and disregarding the glamor of this world, etc… We should try our best to perfect these three characteristics within ourselves.

 

 

[1] The New Mafātīḥ, p. 816.

[2] Ibid, p. 272.

[3] Fāṭir, 2; Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 18, p. 189.

[4] The Lexicon of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, p. 657.

[5] The Verses of Wilāyah in the Quran, p. 460.

[6] How to gain Knowledge of Allah, p. 13.

[7] A Translation and Brief Interpretation of the Nahj al-Balāghah [Farsi Translation plus the Original Text, vol. 1] p. 61.

[8] Islamic Ethics as reflected in the Nahj al-Balāghah [based on the Sermon of Muttaqīn], vol. 1, p. 94.

[9] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 93.

[10] Nahj al-Balāghah, sermon No. 230.

[11] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 94.

[12] How to gain Knowledge of Allah. P. 13.

[13] Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, hadiths No. 1 & 2.

[14] Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 26, p. 229.

[15] The Beautiful Parables of the Quran, vol. 1, p. 8.

[16] Ibid, vo. 27, p. 186.

[17] The Lamp of Guidance, p. 123.

[18] The Rays of Guidance: a Series of Ethical Discussions, p. 190.

[19] Rūḥ al-Ma‘ānī, vol. 16, p. 47.

[20] The Message of the Quran, vol. 6, p. 268.

[21] Al-Kahf, 107.

[22] The Message of the Quran, vol. 6, p. 267.

[23] A Selection of Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 3, p. 431.


Published on: « 2019/5/27 »
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