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THE MESSAGE
Editor: Hujjat-ul-Islam Wal Muslimeen Sheikh Shabbir H. Lakhani (Maisami)
Editorial Board: Mr. Mazher Ali Jumani, Molana Sajjad Qaimi, Dr. Hussain Kanani,
Mr. Hasnain Nanjiani, Dr. Sana Muhammad Sadiq.
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Email: themessage@zahraacademy.org Web: www.zahraacademy.org
Disclaimer: The Editor does not necessarily agree with the views expressed in the matter
published herein. The views and opinions presented in the Journal reflect the views of the authors
and not of the Journal or its Editorial Board or the Publisher.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Food for Thought: - Sayings of Imam Ali (A.S.) 02
2 From The Editors Desk 03
3 Your Daily-Life Questions Answered 05
4 Today, The World Needs The Holy Quran 06
5 Fasting - A Body/Mind/Spirit Healing 14
6 The Government of Imam Ali (A.S.) 24
7 The Demise of the Truth 29
8 Importance of Lailatul-Qadr 45
9 Itikaf, The Spiritual Retreat 47
10 Stay hydrated during Ramadan 54
11 Commandments or Prohibitions in Islam 55

Kids Corner
12 What plans do you have for this Ramadan? 61
13 My First Fast 62
14 Kindness of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.) 64

Published by

Zahra (S.A.) Academy


Institute of Islamic Education, Development & Relief

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The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

FOOD FOR THOUGHT


Sayings of Imam Ali (A.S.)

1. It is incumbent upon you to 4. The sign of Allah's pleasure


seek forgiveness and suppli- with His servant is the satis-
cate excessively in the faction found in the servant
month of Ramadan. By himself with all that Allah
means of supplication, ca- decrees, be it in his favour
lamities are warded off or not.
from you, and by means of 5. Try to the best of your
seeking forgiveness, your ability not to displease your
sins are wiped away. Lord by pleasing any of His
2. He (Allah Almighty) appor- creatures, for verily Allah
tions sustenance, abundant- can easily substitute a serv-
ly and sparingly, and He dis- ant for another but the
tributes them to those in servant has recourse to no
need as well as to those other substitute for Allah.
who prosper, and He is Just 6. The rational man must
in His allotment in order calculate his soul's misdeeds
that he may test whomever against religion, reason, eth-
He wishes with prosperity ical virtues and good moral
or with hardship, and that conduct. He must gather
He may test therewith the this information within him-
gratefulness and persever- self or write it down in a
ance expressed by both rich book and work at eradicat-
and poor. ing them.
3. Three things enable a 7. He who consults with the
servant to attain Allah's wise, seeks for the lights of
pleasure: persistence in intelligence to be enlight-
seeking forgiveness, affabil- ened with", (and will recog-
ity towards people, and fre- nize right from wrong).
quent giving of charity. 
2
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

From The Editors Desk


In the name of Allah, the trepidation is normal. It is,
all mercy, the ever mercy. after all, a whole month of
Brothers and Sisters, going without food or water
during daylight. For others,
Salam Alaikum.
there will be other challenges.
The holy month of Ramadan Sympathy for them and their
has started with its long hours parents is necessary.
of fasting by hundreds of
The holy month of Ramadan is
millions of Muslims. It is a way
a time for us to try to be busy
for Muslims to show their
more in praying. This is true
devotion to Allah (SWT), and,
that the fasting time finishes
some say, to understand the
by the evening, but this does
suffering of those who have
not mean that we should
no choice but to go without
resort to things and actions
food.
that brings down the values of
The Ramadan fast is not easy. our fasting and praying.
From dawn to dusk, Muslims
Some TV channels start to
are not supposed to eat, drink
broadcast unethical programs
or smoke, and abstain from all
quickly after Iftar. This
the things, which invalidate
conveys a message that
fast. For hours, they dream
Ramadan is from dawn to
about a sip of water or a bite
evening and we can do
of bread. Then comes the
anything we want after the
iftar, which means breakfast,
evening time. This puts a
but which is often a heavy
negative impact on the
dinner with family and friends.
religious belief of the young-
Then come a few hours of
sters who do not know
freedom from deprivation,
enough about the religion.
until dawn, when the next
days fast begins. Since Islam is a total religion,
Ramadan has a message for
For whom this is their first
the common people, social
Ramadan of fasting some
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The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

leaders and politicians as well. fortunate. Unfortunately, our


The way the first Arab- world, and our region, is sadly
Islamic-American Summit was overburdened with people in
turned into an anti-Iranian need of help. At this time, our
show was perhaps most compassion must be with
visible in the speeches made them and, for those able to
at the event. This will likely give, some measure of gener-
irritate people of Pakistan and osity would be a valuable gift.
Turkey as both countries seek Zahra (S.A.) Academy has the
to engage with Iran, instead honor, Alhamdulillah, to
of confronting it. provide services in this regard.
It is not surprising that the Some of the important events
summit totally ignored Pales- of the holy month of Ramadan
tine and Kashmir cause and are: Wesal of Umm-ul-
the atrocities committed by Momineen Hazrat Khadija
Zionist regime and India on (S.A), Wiladat Day of Imam
the people living there. Then Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.), Sha-
comes Bahrain government, hadat of Amir-ul-Momineen
which is breaking all the Hazrat Ali Ibne Abi Talib
records of unhuman acts on (A.S.), Shab-e-Qadr & Juma-
its people and propagated as tul-Weda.
a close friend of United May Allah accept all our duas
Shaitan of America. Yemen and acts of worship in this
being destroyed by Saudis, blessed month and grant us all
Syria already in shackles, but a life-changing Ramadan,
the only target were Shias. whose benefits we continue to
This is a clear announcement reap for the rest of our lives.
of war against us. We need to
Long live Islam.
get ready for this.
Long live Pakistan.
One of the main messages of
Editor,
Ramadan is compassion and
understanding for the less Shabbir H. Maisami (Lakhani)


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Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Your Daily-Life Questions Answered


Q.1: If one fasted and did Q.3: Is it possible to
not know the rules of swallow phlegm during
fasting and omitted the the fast?
intention, are his fasts Ans.: It is permissible.
valid?
Q.4: if somebody decided
Ans.: One can consider the that he cannot continue
fasting as valid if he doubts the fast and poured some
the validity now and there is a water to drink but then
probability that it might be changed his mind and
valid. The intention of fasting decided to fast again, is
is not difficult to accomplish his fast still valid or not?
and it is correct from every-
Ans.: If he broke the inten-
one fasting, since he has the
tion of fasting and decided to
intention as long as he is
break the fast, even if he did
fasting.
not actually break it, his fast
Q.2: A person who inten- is void and he has to make it
tionally invalidates his fast up. However, he should still
during the month of refrain from the things that
Ramadan by committing a break the fast for the rest of
sin, has he to pay all three that day. Also, he does not
kinds of penalty? have to pay kaffarah.
Ans.: The penalty of emanci- Q.5: If the person required
pating a slave is waived when to perform the ghusl of
it is no more possible. It touching the corpse, but
should, however, be clarified does not do so until after
that in our view, it is not dawn, can he fast that
obligatory to pay all three day?
kinds of penalty for invalidat-
Ans.: The fast is not nullified
ing a fast during Ramadan by
by this, so he may fast.
committing a sin.

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The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Today, The World Needs The Holy Quran


By: Ayatollah Khamenei - the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution

The following is the full text of to the Islamic Revolution and


the speech delivered on June 7, the Islamic Republic. Of
2016 by Ayatollah Khamenei, course, today we are suffering
the Supreme Leader of the from the loss of these dear
Islamic Revolution, at the individuals whose photos have
annual Ramadan Quranic been set up here [the qura
meeting. The meeting was held who lost their lives in Mina
on the first day of the holy during last years hajj cere-
month of Ramadan in Imam mony]. I think that all of them
Khomeini (r.a.) Hussainiyah. were present here with us last
In the Name of Allah, the year. Some of them recited
Beneficent, the Merciful. the Holy Quran and we
encouraged and approved of
All praise is due to Allah, the them.
Lord of the Worlds, and peace
and greetings be upon our I hope that Allah the Exalted
Master and Prophet, Ab-al- will help them reach high
Qassem al-Mustafa Muham- positions of mercy and
mad and upon his immacu- forgiveness in the shade of
late, pure and chosen house- the Holy Quran and with the
hold, especially the one intercession of the Holy
remaining with Allah on earth. Quran, God willing. I hope
that He will bestow patience
Welcome, I became very upon their relatives, com-
happy today and I really pletes their half-finished hajj
benefitted from your recita- ceremony and approves of it
tions. Thankfully, this blessed in the best way possible.
circle of reciting and establish-
ing a close relationship with The Holy Qurans beauty does
the Holy Quran has become not only lie in its concepts and
wider on a daily basis thanks teachings. Its words are

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Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

beautiful as well. It was these that it steals ones heart. The


beautiful words that im- Holy Quran is like this.
pressed and astonished those
Well, this beauty should be
whose hearts had been locked
used as a tool. The Holy
up and who were not willing
Qurans goal was not to
to understand, see, benefit
display beautiful words so
from and accept Quranic
much so that orators, elo-
concepts at the time they
quent personalities and poets
were sent down. Even such
would acknowledge its
individuals were moved
beauty, bow down before it
deeply in the face of the
and say that it is good and
miraculous beauty of such
beautiful. This was not the
words. They could not resist
only goal of the Holy Quran.
Quranic words. The Holy
Its goal is that we use this
Qurans words, rhythm,
gate of beauty to reach that
method and style are a
blessed and glorious garden
miracle in their own right.
of Quranic teachings. This is
The Holy Quran is not a poem the goal. Quranic concepts
or a piece of prose. It is and teachings are a thousand
neither a poem nor a piece of times more beautiful than
prose, but it is as beautiful as Quranic words I am saying
the best poem and the best this figure as a common figure
piece of prose. Sometimes, in our daily speech, otherwise
there is meter in some it might be thousands of times
Quranic ayahs as well, but the more beautiful because we
beauty of the Holy Qurans are not capable of measuring
words does not only lie in its beauty exactly. Who will
poetic meter. Even when understand Quranic teach-
there is no meter, the beauty ings? Those who contemplate
of its words attracts us. It is on it, who open the gates of
not correct to use the word their heart and who let these
mesmerize, but we can say truths in.

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The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

In every era and in every age, and when it speaks to us,


if a person who is involved in then Surely this Quran guides
the affairs of life and for to that which is most upright
whom such affairs are im- [The Holy Quran, 17: 9]. We
portant establishes such a feel that it really Guides to
close relationship with the that which is most upright and
Holy Quran, they will under- gives good news to the
stand its miracle. Some believers.
individuals understand more
Well, we really take spiritual
and some less. And this
joy from the bottom of our
understanding is more at
hearts when you good reciters
certain times and less at other
recite the Holy Quran. I really
times.
enjoy your recitations, wheth-
In my opinion, if we entrust er your individual or your
our hearts to spirituality and collective recitations, and I
to the Holy Quran, we can really enjoyed the songs that
understand the miracle of were performed. I take two
Quranic teachings and the joys from such recitations:
miracle of the Holy Quran one is the joy that I take
better than those who lived a because of these recitations,
thousand years ago: Verily in voices and performances
this is a message for any that themselves and another is the
has a heart and understand- joy that I take because of
ing or who gives ear and witnessing the growth of
earnestly witnesses the truth Quranic personalities on a
[The Holy Quran, 50: 37]. In daily basis. For this humble
this complicated and stormy person, the second joy is
world, in this world that is full more important than the first
of complications because of one. Twenty, thirty years ago,
the existence of powers and there was nothing like this.
scientific progress when the Before the Revolution, it was
Holy Quran enters the arena not at all the case that our

8
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

youth, our middle-aged the Holy Quran with a Quranic


individuals, our children, and rhythm and melody. They did
our teenagers take the path of not allow it to be mixed with
the Holy Quran, of preserving bar songs and such and such
the Holy Quran and of pursu- decadent music. Today, some
ing methods to recite it. individuals do not have such
considerations. One can see
Well, the beauties that you
this in their recitation. These
created and you should
beauties should help us get
create as many beauties as
close to the Holy Quran. They
you can: you should definitely
should strengthen our rela-
do so should become a door
tionship with the Holy Quran.
that leads to Quranic teach-
ings. They should familiarize One of the tasks that is very
us with the Holy Quran and good if it is carried out in the
help up to establish a close country is that we should
relationship with it. You have meetings with the
should not mistake the Holy purpose of reciting the Holy
Quran for singing. Singing is a Quran. Of course, such
different issue. Of course, in meetings exist more or less.
the present time, there are Before the Revolution, this
unfortunately some individuals existed in some ways, but
among Egyptian qura who are after the Revolution, it has of
reciters of the Holy Quran, but course been better and it
who sing it. There are such exists in a better way. How-
individuals. The qura of ever, it should be promoted.
previous generations the Before the Revolution, we had
likes of Sheikh Mustafa meetings to read the Holy
Ismael, Sheikh Abdul-Fattah Quran from start to finish. I
Shashayi and even Muham- myself used to hold such
mad Rafat were great meetings in those years. I
personalities who were was present in such meetings,
musicians, but they recited I participated in them and I

9
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

saw them up close. I am not stresses a sentence and when


speaking about such meet- he repeats it two, three, five
ings, however. The purpose of times, all of them know what
those meetings was to teach he is saying.
the Holy Quran. Individuals
If we want to make a crude
took turns reading the Holy
comparison, this is like the
Quran one by one and they
sentences from Gulistan of
used to learn it. What I mean
Saadi that all of us are
by a meeting to recite the
familiar with. For example,
Holy Quran is that meetings
Why should those whose
should be organized in which
record is clear be afraid of
individuals show their pres-
judgment? When they read
ence and the reciter of the
this to us, everyone under-
Holy Quran sits and reads the
stands it and everyone listens.
Holy Quran for one hour
Now, Quranic sentences are a
more or less and the
thousand times wiser both in
participants should only listen
terms of quantity and quality.
to the Holy Quran. They
When a qari reads them, the
should come and listen to it.
Arab audience understands
This is very efficient. Some- them, but a non-Arab audi-
times, this even exerts more ence might and might not
influence than the time when understand them. First of all,
we ourselves read the Holy we should try to learn the
Quran. There are some language of the Holy Quran.
individuals who understand We should familiarize our-
Quranic words the meaning selves with the language of
of Quranic words. Of course, the Holy Quran. This is a very
we non-Arabs are unlucky good advantage if we gain it
that our mother tongue is not in society.
Arabic. Arabs language is the
In our Constitution and in the
same as the language of the
laws that were passed in the
Holy Quran. When a qari
beginning of the Revolution, it

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Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

has been stressed that we tions for the Imams (a.s.).


should learn the Arabic One of the two precious
language which is the lan- things is Ahlul Bayt and
guage of the Holy Quran. another is the Holy Quran
Those who do not or cannot [referring to the Holy Proph-
have this opportunity, very ets (S) Thaqalayn hadith: I
well, they can open the Holy leave among you two precious
Quran in front of them and things: the Book of Allah the
look at the translation if they All-Mighty and the Ahlul
do not understand its meaning Bayt].
and listen to the qari when he
So, you should hold meetings
recites the Holy Quran. In this
for the Holy Quran. This is
meeting of ours, qura usually
one of the tasks that will
recite the Holy Quran for 10,
increase the rate of Quranic
12 minutes. However, in those
growth in the country and will
meetings, they should recite it
familiarize the people with the
for as long as 45 minutes, one
Holy Quran if it is carried out
hour. And it should be one,
and promoted by Allahs favor
two individuals who recite it in
and if you men of the Holy
a good voice and by adopting
Quran show determination
the methods that exist for
and organize such meetings.
beautiful and artistic recitation.
It is your duty to do so.
This is one of the things that
And my dear ones, you should
will promote Quranic teach-
know that today, the world
ings in the country: Quranic
needs the Holy Quran wheth-
meetings, meetings for the
er it accepts and acknowledg-
sake of the Holy Quran only.
es it or not. Today, the world
Such meetings are like the
suffers from a void of identity,
ceremonies that we hold to
ideology and faith. A faithless
show our love of the Holy
individual is like an empty
Prophets (S) household (a.s.),
fruit. This is the reason why
such as elegies and celebra-
you see that the rate of

11
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

murder and crime is increas- of faith and the Holy Quran on


ing in western countries on a a daily basis, that we learn
daily basis. This is one of the the language to share the
reasons. When you see that Holy Quran with others and
the rate of suicide is increas- that we convey Quranic
ing, this is one of the reasons. teachings. This works like a
strong medicine. When you
Humanity no longer has any
pour one drop of it in a glass
food to satiate the minds,
and give it to a person, he
hearts and souls of individu-
takes it and it works. Howev-
als. Of course, they fabricate
er, if you pour five drops
certain things, but this is not
instead of one, it might fail to
accepted by the hearts of
work and he might not be
peoples. However, the Holy
able to digest it. So, the
Quran can do so. If only one
proper language should be
drop of the Holy Quran not
found. However, we should
the entire Holy Quran, only
satiate ourselves and our
one drop of it is sent to
hearts and souls and we
people with a proper lan-
should fill ourselves with
guage, then hearts will be
Quranic teachings first. We
attracted to it. We ourselves
ourselves need this very
are experiencing and witness-
much.
ing this today. Today, human-
ity needs the Holy Quran. The blessings of the Holy
Quran are not confined to the
The Holy Quran can do
things that I expressed with
whatever it wants in todays
my incomplete explanations.
world. It can work and move
The blessings of the Holy
forward. And powers, super-
Quran are endless blessings.
powers, atomic bombs, the
There is dignity, power,
Zionist regime and the like
progress, material welfare,
cannot do a damn thing. The
spiritual transcendence,
important point is that we
development of ones mind
should strengthen our bases

12
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

and ones belief, joy and Quran, 74: 31]. No one other
tranquility of ones soul in and than Him can count the
with the Holy Quran. There is number of His forces. This is
tranquility and peace of mind the Holy Quran: an extraordi-
in the Holy Quran: Allah sent nary and infinite power that
down His tranquility to His we should able to benefit
Messenger and to the believ- from within the scope of our
ers, and made them stick capacity, God willing.
close to the command of self- In any case, I hope that God
restraint, and well were they will preserve you. I Hope that
entitled to it and worthy of it He will preserve you youth. I
[The Holy Quran, 48: 26]. hope that God will help you to
When that religious tranquility stay with us, God willing. I
and religious peace appears, hope that You are protected
piety increases: It is He Who by Him, that you stand up for
sent down tranquility into the the Holy Quran and that you
hearts of the Believers, that live and die in a Quranic
they may add faith to their manner.
faith. This tranquility and
Greetings be upon you and
peace of mind increases our
Allahs mercy and blessings
faith on a daily basis.
Faith in what? Faith in God

and in divine power. And it Repentance
says afterwards: for to Allah The Holy Prophet (S) told Ali-
belong the forces of the ibn-Abi-Talib (a): "O' Ali!
heavens and the earth [The Blessed is he who Allah looks
Holy Quran, 48: 4]. Every- upon while he is weeping for
thing is in Gods hands. the sin that none is aware of
Everything is Gods army. except Allah."
Elsewhere, it says, And none [Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 77, p. 63]
can know the forces of Your

Lord, except He [The Holy

13
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Fasting - A Body/Mind/Spirit Healing


By: Shaykh Mansour Leghaei

Allah the Almighty says in the drinking water. Then the Lord
Quran: gave me the two stone
tablets..[1]
And seek (Allahs) assistance
with Patience and Prayer; and 2. Prophet Jesus
truly it is extremely heavy and
In his spiritual journey was
hard except for those with full
aided by fasting against the
submission. Who are certain
devil: Then Jesus was led by
that they are going to meet
the Spirit into the desert to be
their Lord and that unto Him
tempted by the devil, and
they are going to return.
after fasting 40 days and 40
(2:45-46)
nights he was hungry[2]
Numerous Prophetic traditions
It also appears from chapter 5
interpreted the Patience in
of the Gospel of Luke that the
the Ayah as fasting, which
disciples would frequently fast
means fasting is the very first
and pray.
element of the spiritual
journey to God. All the 3. Prophet of Islam
prophets in their spiritual The entire Quran was re-
journey have been seeking vealed to the Prophet of Islam
assistance with fasting. in the holiest night of the
1. Prophet Moses holiest month of Ramadan;
the month of fasting.
I had gone up the mountain
to receive the stone tablets, The month of Ramadan in
the tablets of the covenant which the Quran is revealed.
which He had made with you; [2:185]
and I remained on the moun- Indeed, We revealed it (the
tain 40 days and 40 nights entire Quran) in the night of
without eating bread or Measure. [97:1]

14
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

According to many Hadiths, and the physician within. Life


the Torah was revealed to Magazine in its September
Moses on the 6th of Rama- 1996 issue considered fasting:
dan, Injil was revealed to the healing revolution. There
Jesus on the 12th of Rama- are more than 500 medical
dan, Psalms of David revealed journal articles available on
to him on the 18th of Rama- therapeutic fasting on the
dan and the Holy Quran in internet.
the Night of Qadr (most
The outstanding physicians
probably 23rd of Rama-
named fasting as being; the
dan).[3]
medicine for the 21st century.
In other words, all revelations They believe the human body
occurred during the fasting is designed to heal itself, if
month of Ramadan. Could it only given the opportunity.
be any reason more important Dr. Otto Buchinger; Germa-
than the spirituality of fasting? nys great fasting therapist
after more than 100,000
Benefits of Fasting
fasting cures says: Fasting is,
1) Physical Healing without doubt, the most
It is quoted from the Prophet effective biological method of
of Islam to have said: Fast, treatment it is the operation
youll be healthy. An Egyptian without surgery it is a cure
pyramid inscription in 3800B.C involving exudation, redirec-
also reads: Humans live on tion, loosening up and purified
one-quarter of what they eat; relaxation.
on the three-quarters live He furthers therapeutically;
their doctor! fasting cures many of our
The three fathers of Western modern illnesses, including the
Medicine; (Hippocrates, Galen following: allergies, cardiovas-
& Paracelsus) prescribed cular disease, chronic diseases
fasting as the greatest remedy of the digestive system,
degenerative and painfully

15
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

inflammatory illnesses of the based Orthomolecular Health


joints, myriad disturbances in Medicine Medical Society,
ones eating behavior, glau- notes on the significance of
coma, initial malfunction of fasting as a detoxification
the kidneys, tension and program: "The hidden cause
migraine headaches, as well of many chronic pains,
as skin diseases. Preventively, diseases and illnesses may be
its designed to cleanse, and invisible toxins, chemicals,
to regenerate, rejuvenate and heavy metals and parasites
restore a persons sense of that invade our bodies . . .
well-being, in body, mind and Chances are slim that your
soul. As Doctor Buchinger doctor will tell you that toxins
would conclude: "When the may be the root cause of your
body fasts, the soul is hungry; health problems. He or she
when the body becomes may not even know about
lighter, the soul also craves how these toxins are affecting
relief." your body . . . As your cells
go, so goes your health. If
Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Fasting
your cells have been invaded
and Eating for Health notes:
by toxins and dangerous
Fasting has been repeatedly
chemicals, your resistance to
observed to alleviate neuro-
disease is diminished. Clean
ses, anxiety & depression.[4]
and nourish your cells, and
Fasting marvelously decom- youre on the road to better
poses and burns all the cells health."
and tissue that are aged,
When by fasting you stop the
damaged, diseased, weak-
input of nutrition for a while,
ened or dead, a process called
then a flurry of cleansing
in medicine autolyze or self-
starts up, the rugs are lifted
digest or detoxification.
and the dirty dishes are
Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., brought out of the cabinet
Director of the California- where they were stashed.

16
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Cleansing begins in earnest. not only needs to take regular


U.S Congress approved $20 medication but their diet is
million in 1998 for funding of very strict throughout the day,
the National Institutes of hence should not fast, or else
Healths fledging office of not only his/her fasting is void,
Alternative Medicine. This it is even considered sinful.
went up to $50 million in 1999 Similarly, a pregnant woman is
and to $68.7 million in 2000 exempt from fasting if it is
which shows the growing going to either harm her or
interest of the Congress. the baby. In general, the rule
is that fasting is forbidden, if
Healing Crises:
the person is confident that
Those fasting sometimes fasting will be physically
experience side effects during harmful to them.
the first days. The side effects
2) Social Healing
may vary from fatigue,
malaise, headaches, vomiting Indeed Allah does not wrong
to the symptoms of cold and people in the least; rather it is
flu. These reactions are people who wrong them-
sometimes called in medicine selves. [10:44]
healing crises, which are A man wrote a letter to Imam
temporary and caused due to Askari (a.s) asking him: For
elimination and cleansing of what reason did Allah make
toxins. A fasting person fasting compulsory?
should be patient and let this The Imam (a.s) wrote in
period pass. reply: God has made fasting
I should however stress that compulsory so that the rich
there are circumstances, shall find the pain of hunger
which exempt people from so they have a mercy upon
fasting as mentioned in detail the poor.[5]
in the books of Islamic Juris- Starvation and its related
prudence, e.g. a diabetic who diseases cause one person

17
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

per second to die on this one-quarter of U.S adults are


planet, 75% of them being obese. And the figures are
infants and children under the drastically increasing. This is
age of 5. despite all weight-loss pro-
grams in these countries.
Typically, stories involving
deaths in Africa receive lesser According to Wolf & Colditz in
coverage than those, which Current estimates of the
occur elsewhere. Nonetheless, Economic Cost of Obesity in
let us read the following news. the US 1998: Economic cost
in the U.S related to the
Exodus newsmagazine in its
overweight in 1995 was the
July 22, 2001 issue reported:
total of $99.2 billion. And
Starvation In Ethiopia, Help
according to the same source
Slowly Arriving, Death Toll
Americans spend $33 billion
Cannot Be Determined By
annually on weight-loss
Howard A. Gutman
products and services. This
A massive tragedy is unfold- includes low calorie foods,
ing in Ethiopia as thousands artificially sweetened prod-
of starving people are ex- ucts; such as sodas and
pected to die. Without help, memberships to commercial
many expect the death toll to weight-loss centres.
be in the millions. Yet little is
And if you want to know
being done in the U.S.
whether you are among those
According to the same news- over-weight people in a time
magazine in the last famine, when starvation causes one
there were approximately one person per second to die,
million deaths. here is your scale.
Now compare the above news The biggest problem facing
with the following: the world today is not people
More than half of U.S adults dying in the streets of Mum-
(20+) are overweight. Nearly bai, Zimbabwe or Ethiopia; it

18
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

is rather the lack of a sense of prescribed to those before


caring for those disadvan- you that you may gain self-
taged people whose rights restraint. (2:183)
have been usurped by others. Despite all the above-
Fasting provides the oppor- mentioned benefits of fasting,
tunity for the faster to feel we believe the main benefits
and find for himself or herself of religious fasting are its
the pain and agony that a spiritual rejuvenation and
poor person is going through. healing.
A fasting person can also keep
Fasting is prevention from
his or her money, usually
certain things most of which
spent on lunch, away to feed
are not only normally permis-
a group of poor people with.
sible but also even quite
Thus, Zakat al-Fitrah is
essential in our lives. By
compulsory and is regarded
fasting we avoid food and
as the compilation of fasting.
drink which are the main
Nonetheless, some fasters nutritional sources for our
sleep during the day as much body. This challenge against
as they can to avoid the so- permissible and normally
called pains of fasting, and useful inputs is to give us the
upon sunset enjoy a feast strength to avoid taking things
greedily and hence lose the that are harmful, including
entire medical, social and toxins, for our body and soul.
spiritual benefits of it. In other words, I am able to
Reduction of crimes during fast against Halal food and
the month of Ramadan is soft drink over a month,
another social benefit of should I not be able, by far, to
fasting. fast against intoxicants and
Haram foods over a year?
3) Spiritual Healing
This is in spite of the fact that
O you who believe! Fasting is the first are my essential
prescribed to you as it was needs and the latter are not.

19
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

A religious fasting is not just a patience, contentment and


physical diet program. When many others that unless one
we fast from food we are fasts cannot really realize
expected to also fast from all them.
harmful and forbidden actions
Degrees of Fasting
and intentions. I may call this
process a spiritual detoxifica- A Natural Diet
tion. People at this level fast solely
Fasting, if made with the for medical purposes. This is
intention of closeness to God, certainly not a religious
ascends one from the king- fasting.
dom of animals to the realm Religious Fasting
of angels. You therefore, close
your physical mouth to open Religious fasting may be
your spiritual mouth. You fast observed in three different
your body to let your spirit levels:
feast with mysterious morsels. 1. Fasting of Al-Shariah
When you fast, you empty (Jurisprudential Fasting)
your stomach from the bread
Fasting for many Muslims is
to fill it up with Unique
mainly to refrain from what
Glorious Pearls.
they must jurisprudentially
Fasting is the Heart of refrain from such as eating,
Servitude drinking, sexual intercourse
Fasting is prevention and etc. Although this is the
prevention is separation and lowest and the least level of
detachment and detachment religious fasting, once it is
is the heart and the reality of offered for the sake of God,
servitude to God. the faster is religiously
Other benefits of Fasting considered fasting. To give
you an idea of how low the
Fasting has many other
level of this stage is, let me
benefits such as punctuality,
share some examples with

20
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

you. A Muslim girl may fast The least he is expected,


without practicing her Islamic therefore, to gain by the end
dress code at school and her of Ramadan is to have gotten
fasting is valid on this level. A used to offering his/her
Muslim may observe fasting morning prayers on time.
and yet listens to rock and roll
A faster at this level is ex-
and his/her fasting is jurispru-
pected to think why he or she
dentially valid.
is told to refrain from eating
No doubt, the purpose of and drinking which are
fasting is not just to avoid essential nutrition for his or
food and drink and hence this her body? Could it be that by
is the very lowest level of refraining from consuming the
fasting for the very beginners essentials I learn to more
to start their journey towards easily refrain from unneces-
perfection and promotion. sary and even harmful inputs
Thus, it is quoted from the to my body and soul? Once he
Prophet of Islam (S) that: or she successfully finishes a
Many people gain nothing month of Shariah fasting by
from their fasting save hunger refraining from soft drinks and
and thirst.[6] Halal food and even finds
him/herself healthier than
The Shariah fasting is pre-
before, the faster should find
scribed for beginners as a
it easier by far to avoid
form of training to help them
intoxicants or Haram foods
become acquainted to waking
which are even harmful for his
up at dawn with the excuse of
or her body and does not
eating and drinking lest they
really require.
feel hungry and thirsty during
the day, in order for them to Once the faster is aware of
experience the pleasant such facts, they will be ready
breeze at dawn, to be awake to enter the higher level of
at a time when the divine fasting, which I have called
cups of spirituality are served. the fasting of Al-Tariqat.

21
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

2. Fasting of Al-Tariqat shall never be freed from the


(Ethical Fasting) power of Satan, and from all
disease that come from
This is the fasting of noble
Satan.[8]
people. People in this degree
not only fast from what is A lady whilst fasting was
jurisprudentially mentioned, swearing at her maid in the
but they also observe an presence of the Prophet of
ethical fasting too. Such noble Islam (S). The Prophet (S)
fasters let their eyes, ears and offered her some food to eat.
all other body parts fast She said: Im fasting O
against whatever which is Messenger of God! the
regarded in religion as Haram. Prophet replied: How are you
Gossiping is always Haram, fasting and you swear at your
but for them it is more Haram maid. Fasting is not only from
during the fasting period. food and drink. Indeed God
Non-Islamic dress is always made it that way so that food
Haram but for them is an and drink are used as a veil
essence during Ramadan. This against other sins, verbal or
is called the fasting of Tariqat. action. How few are fasting
Imam As-Sadiq (a.s) is quoted and how many are just
from his ancestors from the hungry.[9]
Prophet of Islam (S):
3. Fasting of Al-Haqiqat
When you fast, let your ears, (Mystical Fasting)
your eyes, your hair, your skin
This is the highest level of
and all your body fast too. Do
fasting, which belongs solely
not let your fasting day be the
to the special nobles. Fasters-
same as non-fasting ones.[7]
who are not many- at this
It is quoted from Prophet degree believe you are what
Jesus to have said: Renew you think and hence they fast
yourselves and fast, for I tell from all other than God
you truly, except you fast, you including, Paradise. They

22
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

make sure that during the ultimate purpose of servitude


month of Ramadan they to God. To this end, Muslim
detach themselves from mystics consider fasting even
whatever which is other than greater than prayers, in that,
God. This state of absolute the devotee during his prayers
detachment is the reality of needs to engage his organs,
servitude to God. This is why I which in a sense means
named this stage the fasting engagement within the self,
of Al-Haqiqat (Reality). whereas fasting is equal to
refraining and detachment
They believe as physical
and requires no engagement.
fasting burns the fat and
This is the stage where one
removes the toxins, such
can gain the Visit of God as
mental fasting also does the
described in the Ayah, in the
same to the mind. The reward
beginning of this article, as
of fasting in this degree is
the ultimate purpose of
none other than God Himself,
servitude to God.
the Almighty. This is the
meaning of the Holy Hadith Notes:
that Allah the Almighty says: 1. Deut 9:9
I will reward all rituals of 2. Matt 4:1-10
mankind from ten times to 3. Al-Kafi; Vol.2, p.628, Vol.4,
seven hundred times save pp 157, 159, 193
Patience, for it is for Me and I 4. Fasting and Eating for
am its reward, and Patience is Health, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman,
fasting.[10] p. 19.
5. Bihar al-Anwar Vol.96, p.339.
A faster at this stage, since he
6. Bihar al-Anwar Vol.87: P.207.
or she is fasting from other 7. Bihar al-Anwar Vol.96 p.292.
than God, deserves to be His 8. From Dead Sea Scrolls found
guest in His month. This in 1947.
status is called in Islamic 9. Bihar al-Anwar Vol.96 p.293.
mysticism Assimilation in God, 10. Bihar al-Anwar Vol.96, p.252.
(Al-Fana Fil-Lah) which is the 
23
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

The Government of Imam Ali (A.S.)


By: Ayatollah Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani

Question: realized the Persian forces


were preparing for a great
How is it that the government
attack, he came to the masjid
of the first three caliphs was
and summoned the people
successful whereas the rule of
and asked for their sugges-
Imam Ali (as) wasnt?
tions. Talhah said: You should
Concise answer attend the battle in order to
The vast majority of victories give your soldiers confidence
in the time of the caliphs were and enhance their battle.
due to the experienced and Uthman suggested: Go to the
clever strategies of Amir Al- battlefield along with all the
Momineen (a.s.). people of Syria, Yemen,
Medina and Mecca so the
The most important factor
Muslims would gain confi-
implemented during the reign
dence and battle well. Uthman
of Imam Ali (a.s.) was the
sat down but nobody stood up
exceptional manifestation of
after him. Umar bin Khattab
justice that has not been
once again asked: Oh Mus-
witnessed since. And this was
lims, suggestions. Imam Ali
all in addition to the spread of
(a.s.) then stated: It is not a
taqwa and confrontation with
clever tactic to send the
aggression, corruption and
Syrians to war because the
controversy.
Romans will attack their lands
Detailed Answer and kill their wives and
children. Do not dispatch the
The vast majority of victories
people of Yemen for Ethiopia
in the time of the caliphs were
will attack and sabotage
due to the experienced and
Yemen. If you deploy the
clever strategies of Amir Al-
people of Medina and Mecca
Momineen (a.s.). For instance
the Arabs living on the
when Umar bin Khattab
24
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

outskirts will seek vengeance and Mecca would have tried


and sabotage these two cities. to get revenge they would
It is best for you not to leave have assaulted whoever was
either, but direct a letter to left in these two cities. On the
the people of Basrah to other hand, God knows what
support the Muslims. Umar would have happened to the
bin Khattab was pleased with people of Iran if this massive
this proposition and decided: force of troops would have
This is the right opinion and attacked their land because in
we must act accordingly. that period (the period of
Yazdgerd the third, the last
Imam Alis (a.s.) words also
king of the Sasani Empire) the
included that in the time of
government of Iran was
the Prophet (S) we never
extremely weak and falling
fought reliant upon the
apart and a small amount of
amount and size of our forces
Muslim forces were enough to
but actually fought with
defeat it, let alone ten times
dependence upon Allah, so
the forces based in the
dont be afraid of the small
Persian territory.
quantity of the Muslim forces.
Therefore Imam Ali (a.s.) as
Not only did Imam Ali (a.s.)
an infallible, passionate and
protect the Muslims of Syria,
kind-hearted Imam for
Yemen, Mecca and Medina
mankind (even non-Muslims
this way, he also saved the
and kafirs), made this war
Persians from dying, because,
have the least danger and
if the Romans would have
lowest number of casualties,
attacked they wouldve killed
and this happened.
the wives and children of the
Muslims. If the Ethiopians His holiness sent his children
would have attacked they to war under the command of
would have killed the families the caliphates; for his holiness
of the Yemenis and if the did not ask anything ever for
Arabs from the around Medina himself and all he ever sought

25
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

was the benefit of Islam. It and most difficult jobs, for


was with this impeccable instance, managing and
insight that the imam wouldnt supervising the bazaar or road
allow the enemies of Islam to management were allotted to
reach their goals. them.
Historians report corruption In the time of the second
under the broad reign of the caliph, Iranians were not
caliphs that would have never allowed in Medinah and this
occurred if Imam Ali were to was apparently in order to not
be the sole governor of the allow them to mingle and
Islamic society. Now, we will socialize with the Arabs and to
mention an example of one of seize the influence of the
these deviations and leave the Iranians in infiltrating the
details for another time: capital of the Islamic world.
A. A class had developed in When the caliph realized that
the Islamic society that the people were able to have
endorsed Islam and was loyal foreign slaves, he did not
to its principles, but only agree with Arabs being slaves
familiar with the outer layer of anymore.
Islam instead of the core and Ibn Juraih writes: When
true spirit; a group that would the 2nd caliph saw two indi-
only emphasize and insist on viduals speaking Farsi, while
the performance of prayer as performing his tawaf, he told
opposed to wisdom and the them: Speak Arabic for
purpose and objective of whoever decides to learn and
Islam. speak Farsi will lose his
B. Spreading division and dignity. And according to the
prejudice and neglecting tradition that the 2nd caliph
justice. For instance, in Iraq, established, Arabs could
non-Arabs were considered as choose wives from foreign
2nd-class citizens and be- families but would never give
cause of that the toughest their daughters to foreigners.

26
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

In line with this attitude, in The closing point is that in his


the time of the Bani Umayyah short time of rule, Imam Alis
children of foreign mothers (a.s.) aim was to redress the
were not qualified to become deviations the Ummah of
caliph. Hajjaj, the caliph of Muhammad (S) was undergo-
Iraq said: not a single for- ing after the loss of the
eigner should stand as the Prophet. Also, if it wasnt for
leader of congregational Imam Alis (a.s.) advice who
prayer. He would also force knows what would have befell
the Mawalis (non-Arab Islam.
Muslims) to attend war or
6. It is inevitable that in every
when they would attend war
government a few oppositions
they were given less spoils of
emerge to create division by
war than the Arabs. Even
starting tension and contro-
worse, no share of the Ata
versy and preparing the
from Bayt al-Mal (treasury of
grounds for disorder and
the Islamic government) was
unrest in the government. Not
given to the Mawalis.
every opposer can be like
And indeed this attitude Imam Ali (a.s.) and stay silent
distanced the Muslims from and abstain from complaining
the true Islam and made them so that Islam remains pro-
believe that Islam was only tected and united, and not
what they had experienced, only do that, but additionally,
saw and heard. every now and then, take the
hands of the rulers and advise
And this is why uprisings took
or assist them. Most opposers
place in conquered territories
usually tend to initiate disor-
after invasions, compelling
der and unrest throughout the
Imam Ali (a.s.) to deploy an
government in order to prove
army to Qazvin and two other
that the government is
armies to Khorasan and seize
inadequate and incompetent
cities like Neishabour for a
or to completely eliminate it.
second time.

27
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Therefore, if we find that and gain the peoples content


there was less disorder and with money so quickly, so he
chaos in the time of the three stood against and tried to
caliphs, it was simply because annihilate them and this
of the patience and decency procedure escalated to the
of opposers like Ali ibn Abi extent where he was mar-
Taleb (a.s.) keeping silent, not tyred in the alter of prayer by
just the competence of the the very initiators of tension
government. and chaos.
On the contrary, when power If he had compromised and
was passed on to the oppos- surrendered even a little bit,
ers of the former government neglected Islamic rulings,
and Imam Ali (a.s.) was deviated from the path of
appointed ruler and caliph and legitimacy and rightfulness
the Imams way of imple- and collected bribes, a vast
menting justice gave an end amount of these battles and
to the illegitimate reception of disorders that took place in
goods and money by promi- his period of reign wouldnt
nent figures of the previous have occurred.
government, his opposers Therefore, we must note that
were certainly not patient and not every model of peace and
embracing of hardships for quiet is favorable and idealis-
the sake of the development tic. Peace and tranquility must
and unity of the society and be achieved in the context of
Islamic community. Thus, justice and religion. Obtaining
they put in all of their effort to such peace requires several
bring down the government battles and confrontations
and replace the Imam with that Imam Ali (a.s.) faced and
someone else. overcame but was mercilessly
However, Imam Ali (a.s.) martyred and as a result his
wasnt the type of person to mission was left unfinished.
give in to defeat, compromise 
28
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

The Demise of the Truth


Edited excerpts from the book, The Life of Imam Al-Hasan Al-Mujtaba
By: Hujjat Al-Islam Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi

After the Battle of Siffin, from among you to His


Imam Ali (a.s.) stayed in Kufa. Mercy!
He was sad and distressed.
Imam Ali was the most
He received various kinds of
brilliant reformer in the world.
terrible misfortunes. He saw
He spared no effort to estab-
that justice was wronged,
lish justice and spread equali-
good was lost, error became
ty in the earth. So how was it
great, and tyranny was
possible for him to stay in the
excessive. He was unable to
world of desires and devia-
battle against Muawiyah
tion? The opportunists fought
because his army mutinied
against him. The seekers of
against him. He commanded
high ranks and authority
them, but they did not obey
resisted him. The society,
him. He summoned them, but
which mean desires played
they did not respond. They
with and which ambitions
inclined to rest and hated the
spoiled, denied him. There-
jihad for the sake of Allah.
fore, how was it possible for
These disasters left in his soul
his government to continue in
bitter sorrows, to the extent
that insignificant society? The
that he wished for the depar-
Imams sadness increased
ture from this world, that he
because he had lost the
might get rid of its problems
righteous remainder from
and evil. He supplicated Allah
among the companions of the
to quicken his travel to Him,
Prophet (S) who knew his
saying: O Allah, hasten al-
trend and studied in his
Muradis unhappiness!
school. His companions were
Addressing the people of
Ammar bin Yasir, Hashim al-
Kufa, he said: By Allah, I
Mirqal, Dhu'sh Shahadatayn,
wish that Allah took me out
and the like from among the

29
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

prominent believers on whom They agreed on a certain day


he had depended to establish to assassinate these three
the truth, refute falsehood, men. The day was the 18th of
and enliven the principles of Ramadan, in the year 40 A. H.
the religion. After he had lost They also appointed the time
them, he lived as a stranger in of the assassination. It was
that society. He had neither a the time of the Morning
supporter nor a friend. He Prayer. Then they separated.
supplicated Allah and be- Each of them headed for the
seeched Him to take him to person that he was to kill.
His neighborhood, that he Abdurrahman bin Muljam
might get rid of the pains of arrived in Kufa carrying with
this world where he found him evil and unhappiness to
nothing except exhaustion all the inhabitants of the
and tiredness. earth. He came to put out the
light that illuminated the
The Mean Plot
world. He went to his mali-
During the season of hajj cious cousin, Qatam who
some Kharijites held a meet- believed in the Kharijites
ing and remembered their thought. Her father and
companions and the Muslims brother were killed at the
who had been killed. They Battle of al-Nahrawan. So she
accused three unbelievers, as was bereaved of them.
they claimed, of that. The Abdurrahman bin Muljam
three were Imam Ali (a.s), proposed to her, but she
Muawiyah, and Amr bin al- refused to accept him as a
Aas. Abdurrahman bin Muljam husband unless he would
said: I will kill Ali bin Abi satisfy her thirst for revenge.
Talib for you. Amr bin Bukayr He said to her: I will carry
said: I will kill Amr bin al-Aas out all what you want!
for you. And al-Hajjaj bin
She told him about the dowry
Abdullah al-Suraymi said: I
she wanted. It was three
will kill Muawiyah for you.

30
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

thousand dirhams, a boy said to them: On me there is


servant, a girl servant, and to great protection from Allah.
kill Ali. The sinner, Abdurrah- When my death comes, it (the
man bin Muljam said: You protection) will leave me and
can have all you asked for, hand me over (to death). At
but as for the killing of Ali, I that time the arrow (of death)
see that shall not get it. He will not fail, and the wound
intended to conceal the will not heal.
matter from her. However,
The Great Disaster
this sinful woman (Qatam)
made him approve to kill The month of Ramadan is the
Imam Ali and encouraged him best of months and the
to commit the crime, saying: greatest of them in sacred-
If you kill him, you will please ness with Allah, that it has
me, and life with me will be been ascribed to Him and
happy for you. If you are called the Month of Allah.
killed, then the reward of When this month came, the
Allah will be better for you Imam knew that he would
than this world. When he depart to Allah in this month.
saw that she was serious, he He had supper one evening
made her know about his with al-Hasan, one evening
intention, and that he had with al-Husayn (a.s), and one
come to that town just for evening with Abdullah bin
that purpose. Abbas. He never had more
than three mouthfuls of food.
The Imams companions
On one of those nights, he
feared that the Kharijites
was asked about that, and he
would assassinate him. They
replied: I like that the decree
asked him to take some
(death) of Allah comes to me
guards to guard him when he
while I am hungry.
went out to offer prayers or to
carry out some task. Howev- When the eighteenth night of
er, he (a.s) refused that and Ramadan came, the Imam

31
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

was very upset. He walked save with Allah! Hooters that


around the courtyard of the will be followed by weepers!
house. He looked towards the Imam Ali (a.s) wanted to
stars and reflected on them. open the door but it was not
He foretold the occurrence of opened. He plucked it out.
the important event on that
Al-Hasan became worry
night, saying:
because of his fathers going
By Allah, I have not lied nor
out during that early time. He
have I been accused of lying.
asked him:
It is the night which I have
been promised of. What made you come out at
this time?
The Imam (a.s) was upset
and sad throughout that The dream I saw this night
night. He supplicated his Lord has frightened me!
and asked Him for forgiveness
You have seen good, and
and contentment. He recited
good will happen! Tell me
the Quran.
about it!
Before the light of the dawn
I have seen Gabriel coming
shone and the shadow of the
down from the heaven on the
dark night ended, he had
Mountain of Abi Qubays. He
performed the ritual ablution.
took two stones of it and went
When he wanted to leave the
to the Kaaba. He struck them
house for prayer in the
against each other and they
mosque, some gees, which
turned into ashes. Some of
were given to al-Hasan as a
these ashes entered all the
gift, hooted before him. He,
houses in Mecca and Medina.
from the hooting of the gees,
predicted the occurrence of What is the interpretation of
the terrible event and the this dream?
breaking misfortune, saying: If my vision was true, then
There is no might and power your father would be killed.

32
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Worry and sadness for me time when Allah sends mer-


would enter all the houses in cies, kindness, and good, and
Mecca and Medina. responds to supplication.
Al-Hasan became sad. He When the Imam arrived in the
asked his father: mosque, he, as usual, wak-
ened the people to worship,
When will that happen?
and then he began performing
Allah, the Exalted, says: And prayer. While he was present
no one knows what he shall before the Generous Creator,
earn tomorrow, and no one the prayer was between his
knows in what land he shall two lips, and his heart was
die. However, my beloved, busy remembering Allah, the
Allahs Apostle (a.s) promised sinful rogue (Abdurrahman
me that it (death) would be bin Muljam) struck him on the
within the last ten nights of head and uttered the slogan
Ramadan. Abdurrahman bin of the Kharijites: Judgment is
Muljam will kill me! to Allah, not to you! He
Since you have known that, struck the Imam on the head
then you kill him. and split open his holy fore-
head that often and always
It is not permissible to punish
touched the earth in submis-
him before the crime, and the
sion to Allah. The severe blow
crime has not been committed
reached the Imams sacred
by him yet.
brain. When the Imam (a.s)
Imam Ali asked his son al- felt the sword on his head, he
Hasan to go to his bed. Al- cried out: I have won, by the
Hasan did not find any escape Lord of the Kaaba!
from yielding to him. Imam Ali
The Imam succeeded. Which
went out to the mosque in the
success was greater than his
early dawn. It has been
success? The inevitable end
mentioned in the traditions
came while he was before
that the early dawn is the
Allah, and His Name was

33
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

between his lips in one of the they may follow and act
most sacred houses of Allah according to them in the field
(the mosque of Kufa) and in of righteousness! When the
the greatest month to Allah Imam fell on the ground in his
(Ramadan)! mihrab, he introduced his
killer, saying: The son of the
The true Imam succeeded
Jewish woman (Abdurrahman
because he had satisfied his
bin Muljam) has killed me! Do
conscience. He did not
not let him escape from you!
equivocate nor did he deceive
throughout his lifetime. He So the people from all classes
was killed not for a property hurried to the mosque. They
that he had taken or a world were weeping and wailing.
he had enjoyed or an Islamic The misfortune astonished
Sunna (law) he had changed! them, and the incident
terrified them. They were very
The Imam succeeded. Which
sad. On the head there were
success was greater than his
the children of Imam Ali. They
success? Immortality has
found the Imam lying down in
given him survival forever,
his mihrab, and saw Juda bin
that he may be a symbol of
Hubayra and a group of
justice, a title of the truth,
Muslims surrounding and
and a model of the perfect
helping him (the Imam) to
humanity that has ascended
perform the prayer while he
the ladder of perfection and
was unable to do that. When
reached its top!
the Imam looked at his son
The Imam succeeded. Which al-Hasan, he ordered him to
success was greater than his lead the people in prayer.
success? He is mentioned as Imam Ali performed the
equal to the truth and justice. prayer while sitting and yet he
His sacred beliefs are men- was bleeding. When al-Hasan
tioned as a wonder for the finished the prayer, he took
leaders of mans thought, that his fathers head and put it in

34
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

his lap, and his tears were Allah and your enemy, (Ab-
flowing on his holy face. He durrahman) bin Muljam! Allah
asked him: has enabled us to arrest him!
-Who has done this to you? The Imam opened his eyes
and said in a weak voice:
-The son of the Jewish
You have committed a
woman, Abdurrahman bin
dangerous thing and a great
Muljam!
affair! Did I not have mercy
-From which way did he go? on you and prefer you to
-Let none go to seek him. He others in giving? So why have
is coming to you through that you rewarded me with this
gate (he indicated with his reward? Then he ordered al-
hand to the gate of Kinda). Hasan to be kind to him,
saying: O my son, be kind to
The people were busy looking
your captive, have mercy on
at the gate. After a while,
him, and feel pity for him!
there was an outcry indicating
that the sinful criminal was Al-Hasan said: Father, this
arrested. He was brought tied cursed one has killed you and
and bare-headed. He was made us bereaved of you
stood before al-Hasan who while you are ordering us to
said to him: O cursed one, be kind to him?!
you have killed Amirul Momi- Imam Ali (a.s) answered him:
neen and the Imam of the O my son, we are the people
Muslims! Is this his reward of the house of mercy and
while he lodged you and forgiveness. Give him food of
brought you nigh? Why have what you eat. Give him a
you rewarded him with this drink of what you drink. If I
reward? died, then you punish him by
Then al-Hasan turned to his killing him. Do not maim the
father and asked him: Fa- man. I have heard Allahs
ther, this is the enemy of Apostle (a.s) say: Beware of

35
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

maiming even a mordacious your reward, and reward your


dog. If I remain alive, I am brothers with a reward as
more aware of what I do to equal to your affliction in me!
him. I am more appropriate
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) brought
for pardoning. We are the
some physicians. The most
members of the Ahlul Bayt
experienced of them was Athir
who do not meet whoever
bin Amr al-Sukuni. He ordered
commits error against us
a warm lung of a ewe to be
except with pardoning and
brought to him. He followed a
generosity.
vein of it and he took the vein
Then Imam Ali (a.s) ordered out. He put it into the Imams
the people to carry him home. wound. Then he blew at the
He was carried while the vein and took it out. He found
people were running, and that the vein was covered
were about to die because of with the whiteness of the
crying and wailing. They were brain. The blow had reached
shocked. They were crying the Imams brain. Athir
out: The Imam of the truth become disordered. He turned
has been killed! The Imam of to the Imam and hopelessly
the truth has been killed! said to him: O Amirul Momi-
neen, make your will, for you
His daughters and family
are about to die!
received him with crying and
wailing. Al-Hasan sadly said: Al-Hasan wept and said to his
Father, who will be for us father: Father, your loss will
after you? Our affliction in you break my back! How can I see
is like ours in the messenger you in this condition?
of Allah (a.s)!
Imam Ali (a.s) looked at his
The Imam embraced him and son and he knew that sadness
calmed his fear, saying: O dominated him. He gently said
my son, may Allah calm your to him: O my son, there is
heart with patience, increase neither sadness nor impa-

36
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

tience for your father after ness. He said to him to calm


this day! Today, I am going to his fear: O my son, what is
meet your grandfather this weeping for? There is
Muhammad al-Mustafa, your neither fear nor impatience
grandmother Khadija al- for your father after today! O
Kubra, and your mother al- my son, do not weep! You will
Zahra. The houris are waiting be killed with poison, and
for your father and looking your brother al-Husayn will be
forward to his arrival an hour killed by the sword!
after an hour! There is no
His Recommendations
harm on you! O my son, do
not weep! Imam Ali advised his children
to cling to noble moralities.
The Imams blood became
He put before them high
poisoned, and his holy face
ideals. He gave them valuable
turned yellow. During that
lessons. In the first, he (a.s)
condition, he had a calm soul
advised his two sons al-Hasan
and he was pleased. He did
and al-Husayn. Secondly he
not leave the remembering
advised the rest of his chil-
and glorifying of Allah. He
dren and all the Muslims,
looked towards the sky and
saying: I advise you (both) to
implored Allah through
fear Allah and that you should
supplicating Him, saying: O
not hanker after the (pleas-
Allah, I ask You for the
ures of this) world even
association with the prophets
though it may follow after
and the guardians and for the
you. Do not be sorry for
highest degrees in the Para-
anything of this world that has
dise!
been away from you. Say the
Then he fainted. Al-Hasans truth and act for reward. Be
heart melted and he began an enemy to the oppressors
crying bitterly. Some of his and a helper to the op-
tears fell on his fathers face, pressed.
and he came to conscious-

37
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

I advise you (both) and all Lords house (mosque). Do


my children and members of not forsake it as long as you
my family and everyone, live, for if it is abandoned, you
whom my book reaches, to will not be looked at with
fear Allah, to keep your affairs mercy and dignity by Allah.
in order, and to maintain good
Keep Allah in mind concern-
relationships among your-
ing jihad with your own
selves. I have heard your
property, lives, and tongues in
grandfather (the Prophet)
the way of Allah.
(a.s) saying: Keeping straight
the relations among yourself Retain kinship and help each
is better than prayers and other. Do not cut kinship and
fasting. mutual relations. Do not give
up enjoining the good and
Keep Allah in mind concern-
forbidding the evil lest evildo-
ing the orphans! Let them
ers may gain power over you,
participate in your food. Let
and then you pray but it will
them not be lost among you.
not be responded to you.
Keep Allah in mind concern-
Addressing his family and
ing your neighbors! They
relatives, he said: O children
were the recommendation of
of Abdul Muttalib, certainly I
your Prophet. He still recom-
do not wish to see you
mended of them that we
plunging harshly into the
thought he would make them
blood of Muslims saying:
inherit us.
Amirul Momineen has been
Keep Allah in mind concern- killed! Amirul Momineen has
ing the Quran. No one should been killed! Beware, do not
precede you in acting accord- kill for me except my killer.
ing to it. Keep Allah in mind
Wait! If I die because of this
concerning prayer, for it is the
blow, then strike him a stroke
pillar of your religion. Keep
for a stroke. Do not maim the
Allah in mind concerning your
man. I have heard Allahs

38
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Apostle (a.s) saying: Beware light due to the affliction of


of maiming even to a morda- your Imam! People avoided
cious dog! asking him because of his
painful wound.
Then he (a.s) specially
advised his son al-Hasan, to Appointing al-Hasan as
cling to the principles of the Imam
religion and to perform its
When Imam Ali (a.s) knew
rites. He said to him: I advise
that he would leave the world,
you, O my son, to fear Allah,
and that his meeting with his
perform prayer on its time,
Lord was close at hand, he
pay zakat when it is due, and
entrusted his son al-Hasan
to perform the ritual ablution
with the caliphate and the
well, for no prayer is accepted
Imamate. He installed him as
except with purity. I advise
an Imam after him that the
you to forgive (others) sin,
community might resort to
restrain anger, retain kinship,
him in respect of their affairs.
show clemency toward the
The Shia have not disagreed
ignorant, understand the
on that. Thiqat al-Islam, al-
religion, be sure of affairs,
Kulayni, has mentioned:
take care of the Quran, treat
Ameerul Mominin appointed
neighbors well, enjoin the
al-Hasan as his successor, and
good, forbid the evil, and to
he made al-Husayn, Muham-
avoid ill-deeds.
mad (bin al-Hanafiya), all his
On the 20th of Ramadan, (other) sons, the heads of his
people crowded around the followers (Shia), and his
Imams house asking a household as witnesses to the
permission to visit him. He declaration of his will. Then
gave permission to them all. he handed him the books
When they sat down, he (documents) and the weap-
turned to them and said: ons. He said to him: O my
Question me before you lose son, Allahs Apostle (a.s) had
me, and let your question be commanded me to appoint

39
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

you as my successor and to This narration is among


hand over to you the books Shuaybs fabricated and
and the weapons which are denied traditions, as Ibn Hajar
with me. It is just as Allahs has mentioned.
Apostle had appointed me as
Imam al-Hasan was the
his successor and handed his
darling of Allahs Apostle and
books and weapons over to
the master of the youths of
me. And he commanded me
the Paradise. He was an
to command you that, when
Imam whether he rose or sat
death comes to you, you
down, as Allahs Apostle said.
should hand them over to
Allah purified him from all
your brother al-Husayn.
defects and uncleanness, as
Al-Kulayni has also narrated the Verse of al-Tatheer has
that Imam Ali said to Imam mentioned. Moreover, he had
al-Hasan: O my son, you are all the qualifications that the
the guardian of (my) blood. If caliphate required such as
you forgive (the man who knowledge, fear of Allah,
struck me), that is up to you, determination, and merit.
and if you kill him, then a Therefore, how did Imam Ali
blow for a blow. (a.s) not direct the community
to pay homage to him and not
Some Sunnis maintain that
to appoint him as an Imam
Imam Ali (a.s) did not entrust
after him?
the authority after him to his
son al-Hasan. They have Imam Ali was the most careful
indicated that through what of Muslims for the unity of the
Shuayb bin Maymun al-Wasiti nation. Therefore, how was it
narrated, saying: Ali was possible for him to leave the
asked: Will you not appoint authority in chaos after him
anyone as a successor? He and not to install an Imam
replied: If Allah wants good whom the community should
to the community, He will resort to, especially as it
gather them on their good. concerned that critical period

40
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

when dangers and problems position were ignored by


surrounded the Muslims? many! You spent your life
among that dark generation
To the Better World
that paid no attention to
After Imam Ali had finished knowledge and justice, that
his recommendations, he did not understand your goals
began suffering the agonies of of building a society where
death while he was reciting justice, welfare, and good had
some Quranic verses and to prevail! If mankind had had
supplications, and asking Allah luck, they would have handed
for forgiveness. When the over the leadership of the
inevitable death came to him, community to you, that you
he recited this verse: might supply the world with
For the like of this then let your sciences and knowledge!
the workers work. (37:61) To Allah we belong and to
Him is our return!
Then his pure soul went to
the gardens of Paradise and Imam Ali is prepared for
rose to the Most High Com- Burial
rade! That Divine mercy rose Al-Hasan (a.s) prepared his
to its Source, for he was the father for burial. He washed
light that Allah had created to the pure corpse, embalmed it
disperse the shadows of with scent, and shrouded it.
darkness. The pillars of justice When the last part of the
swung, and the principles of night came, he and a group of
the religion were effaced. The his family and companions
helper of the weak, shelter of carried the sacred body to its
strangers, and father of final abode. They buried the
orphans died! My master, O Imam in Holy Najaf where his
Abu al-Hasan, you have gone present Shrine is a Kaaba for
to the immortal world while comers, a visiting place for
you were overworked and believers and the pious, and a
tired. Your right and high school for learners. After

41
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Imam al-Hasan had buried his himself against the sword with
father, he returned home his hand, and it was cut off.
while overcome with sorrow Then al-Hasan killed him and
and astonishment. did not maim him. The curse
of Allah, of the cursers, of
The killer is punished
those who were born, of
In the morning of that day, those who died, and of those
Imam al-Hasan ordered the to whom Allah said: Be, and
sinful criminal Abdurrahman they were be on ibn Muljam.
bin Muljam to be brought to On him is the curse that dries
him. When he was before spring, destroys crops, and
him, he (bin Muljam) asked burns the plants in the earth
Imam al-Hasan: while they are pretty! May
-What did your father order Allah place the sighing and
you to do? groaning of the fire in the
origins of his being! May a
-He ordered me not to kill
thousand Satans destroy him
other than his killer. He
by turning him on his face in
ordered me to satisfy your
the fire where there are
stomach, and to be kind to
burning mouths of flame with
you. If he lived, he would
blazing and whistling!
punish or pardon you. If he
died, I would make you follow As for the maiming, some
him. historians have maintained it.
Without doubt it is among the
The sinner said: Your father
fabricated things. Imam Ali
said the truth and acted
(a.s) had prohibited that
according to it during anger
repeating the sayings of the
and pleasure!
Prophet (a.s): Maiming is
Then Imam al-Hasan struck forbidden even to a morda-
him with the sword. However, cious dog! So how was it
the cursed sinner (Abdurrah- permissible for the darling of
man bin Muljam) protected the Apostle (a.s) and his

42
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

grandson (Imam al-Hasan) to him and not to aggress


turn away from his fathers (against him). However, they
will and commit that which maimed him with the ugliest
opposed the Islamic Law? maiming, and when he died,
Those who have maintained they burnt him with fire.
the maiming have differed
The certain thing is contrary
over the person who maimed
to that which Dr. Taha has
Abdurrahman bin Muljam. Al-
mentioned. We have men-
Muhib al-Tabari has men-
tioned that the historians have
tioned that it was Imam al-
differed over the maiming.
Husayn and Muhammad bin
Besides, the blood guardians
al-Hanafiya who maimed him,
are far away from committing
while al-Hasan prevented
that which disagreed with the
them from doing that, but
Islamic Law.
they did not yield to him. Abu
al-Fida has mentioned that it Anyway, after Imam al-Hasan
was Abdullah bin Jafar who had killed Abdurrahman bin
did that. As for Ibn Abi al- Muljam, people overcrowded
Hadeed, he has mentioned before him to pledge alle-
that it was al-Hasan who did giance to him. We will men-
that. tion that in details. Imam al-
Hasan received the caliphate
This difference makes us sure
with that which none of those
that the maiming was fabri-
who had preceded him
cated and it was not real. Dr.
received with. The Islamic
Taha Husayn has decided that
capital was threatened by the
the maiming was done by the
danger of Muawiya whose
blood guardians, saying: The
power became strong and his
certain thing is that the blood
authority became firm. All
guardians did not carry out
those ambitious, who did not
Alis will concerning his killer.
understand Islam, joined him.
He had commanded them to
They spared no effort to
make him (the killer) follow
corrupt the authority of Imam

43
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

al-Hasan and destroy his Backbiting & Fault-


government. Besides this finding
external danger, local sedi- The Holy Prophet (S) said:
tions spread among the Iraqi "Slander acts quicker against
people. The greatest of them the faith of a Muslim believer
in danger, affliction, and than leprosy does against his
tribulation was that of the body." [Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 257]
Kharijites, who were like a
The Holy Prophet (S) said: "The
woodworm boring in the Iraqi abandoning of backbiting is
camp, and the most danger- more valuable to Allah, Al-
ous armed group facing the mighty and Glorious, than the
new government. The simple- performance of ten thousand
minded and the deceived rak'at of recommended pray-
followed the Kharijites ers." [Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 75,
thoughts. p. 261]
Imam al-Hasan received these Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali
two dangers during the period (a) said: "The listener to
of his caliphate. He was backbiting is the same as the
greatly afflicted with them. backbiter." [Ghurar-ul-Hikam,
Not only Imam al-Husayn
p. 307]
(a.s) was afflicted with them, Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali
but all the Islamic state and (a) said: "The most vicious
the caliphate were also person is he who looks for
afflicted with them. Imam al- other people's defects while he
Hasan hoped that the Islamic overlooks his own faults."
concepts would spread during [Tara'if-ul-Hikam, p. 176]
his reign, that social justice Imam Kazim (a) said: "Cursed
would prevail over the earth, is the one who backbites
and that he would put an end against one's brother (fellow
to the social injustice and Muslim)." [Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol.
oppression. 74, p. 232]

 

44
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Importance of Lailatul-Qadr
By: Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi & Ayatollah Ja'far Subhani

Question: Many causes are angels descend with blessings


mentioned in Islam regarding and bounties, how harmoni-
the importance and greatness ous is it?
of Lailatul-Qadr. Well-known Is it that Lailatul-Qadr was
traditions of religious leaders especially in the time of the
indicate it to one of the Prophet (S) and in Mecca and
following nights of the holy that night is no more after
month of Ramadan: 19th, that?
21st or 23rd. We are instruct-
Answer: According to the
ed to offer special prayers on
religious guides it is absolutely
this night.
proved that Lailatul-Qadr was
It seems that Lailatul-Qadr is not restricted to the time of
not more than one night every the Prophet (S) and not only
year, but we know this also in Hijaz area. But in all the
that, because of the differ- periods of time and for all
ence in horizons the begin- different places it existed with
ning of the month of Rama- all its importance and great-
dan in some countries hap- ness and there is no scope for
pens to be one or two days anything contrary to this.
earlier or later.
Above mentioned objection
According to this situation in has come up because it was
those places, there is differ- imagined that Lailatul-Qadr
ence of one or two nights of being one in the whole year
Lailatul-Qadr. And for those meant that every year for all
different places more than the places in the world only
one Lailatul-Qadr comes into one common night is fixed as
existence. This situation arises Lailatul-Qadr and this night is
every year, as Lailatul-Qadr fixed in every region of the
being only one night and in world and it is liable to end at
that particular night the a fixed time.

45
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

However this concept is times according to specific


wrong, as we know that the horizon of that place and not
earth is spherical and always only Lailatul-Qadr in particular.
one of its hemispheres For example, Eid-ul-Fitr and
happens to be in dark and the Eid-ul-Azha are holy days in
other in light. Therefore there Islam and special prayers are
can never be night at one prescribed for those days of
fixed and common time in all these Eids not a single one
the parts of the earth. comes on more than one day
in the whole year. In different
By saying that in the whole
Muslim countries fixation of
year there is only one Lailatul-
this day, even though there
Qadr, it means that for the
being difference in their
residents of all the places,
existing horizons, each country
according to their own lunar
fixes the day considering their
year only one night is Lailatul-
specific horizon. This is the
Qadr. The explanation to this
reason that for example in
statement is that residents of
Saudi Arabia Eid-e-Azha is
every place start their lunar
mostly celebrated one or two
year according to the specific
days before Pakistan and some
horizon of that place from the
other countries.
first of Muharram.
We should know that this
And after passing some lunar
account regarding Lailatul-
months, the month of Rama-
Qadr, is not a negation for
dan also of that place, starts
some other purposes (for
with the specific horizon of
example, in this night Angels
that place and in that month,
are descending) because all
19th, 21st or 23rd night is
these situations are witness to
Lailatul-Qadr for the people
the enlargement of the special
residing in that area.
blessings of Allah in this night,
Residents of every place have for the residents of all the
to fix their Holy Days and places.


46
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Itikaf, The Spiritual Retreat


By: Shaykh Saleem Bhimji

The Messenger of Allah (S) Ismail saying: Purify My


has said: The person who House for those who visit (it)
secludes himself (in the and those who abide (in it) for
Masjid in Itikaf) in true faith devotion, those who bow
and hope (for the reward of down (and) those who
Allah), all of his previous sins prostrate themselves.
shall be forgiven. (Kanzul (Baqarah 2, 125)
Ummal, Hadith 24007)
The great Masajid of Islam
One of the greatest traditions located in cities such as
of Islam, the spark of which Makkah, Madinah, Kerbala,
has recently been reignited in Najaf, Samarrah, Kadamain,
the hearts of the youth, is Qum, Isfahan, Mashhad and
that of Itikaf. This is a other major Muslim cities
tradition which has been in have hosted this spiritual
Islam from the first days of retreat for over 1,400 years
the revelation and is also primarily in the White Nights
something known and recog- of Rajab the 13th, 14th and
nized in other Divine religions 15th, and more specifically in
sent by Allah (SWT) and the month of Ramadan that
practiced by them more or too primarily in the last 10
less: nights of the blessed month.
And when We made the Since the life of the transient
House a pilgrimage for world keeps us busy for the
mankind and a (place of) whole year in studies, work,
security, and said, Appoint for business, traveling and other
yourselves a place of prayer such things and causes us to
on the standing-place of be negligent of the next life,
Ibrahim [Maqam-e-Ibrahim]. we may sometimes think that
And We enjoined Ibrahim and these thing are the sole

47
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

purpose in life and thus, we in true repentance for our sins


end up forgetting our true committed through the year
goal Allah (SWT). Thus, it is and to concentrate on the
for this reason that Itikaf is Words of Allah in the Quran,
referred to as The spring of the prayers and supplications
life in a world struck with the used to call upon Him and all
drought of negligence of Allah of those things which are
(SWT). related to Him and His Sacred
Essence.
It is the negligence of our-
selves and our Creator which Itikaf is not a three day
is given a fresh breath of life holiday from work or school; it
in this short three day period is not a time to sit in the
of Itikaf. In addition, we can Masjid in complete ignorance
once again find ourselves and of ones self and his spiritual
our Lord and return back to surroundings; it is not the
Him now (spiritually return venue to pass ones time in
back to Him) before we are idleness. Itikaf is not the act
forced to return back to him of sleeping and snoring in the
by the separation of the soul Masjid and killing time
from the body in a state of
Truly, Itikaf is a three day
complete negligence of Him.
spiritual retreat to build the
The period of Itikaf is the self; it is the act of leaving
best time to force ones self to ones personal house to be in
sit and think and reflect on the service of Allah (SWT) and
the self and the world around; to recognize ones self in
the period of the Itikaf is the Allahs house (the Masjid)
best time to forget the worries while at the same time, being
of the transient world and to a guest in the House of Allah
return to the soul and the (SWT) eating His food which
Creator of the soul; the period He has sent and being around
of the Itikaf is the best time His servants which He has
to return back to Allah (SWT) guided.

48
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Definition of Itikaf (b) True Faith (Iman)


The literal definition of the Thus, although a Non-Muslim
word Itikaf is to stay in a can perform the Itikaf and it
particular place, however in may be correct from the point
the definition of Islam, it of view of the outer actions,
means to stay in the Masjid however to earn the Divine
for a particular time period in Reward, he or she must be a
the worship of Allah (SWT) true believer;
while maintaining certain
(c) Intention (Niyyat)
conditions, which shall be
covered later on in this article. Itikaf must be performed for
the purpose of seeking close-
In the state of Itikaf, a person
ness to Allah (SWT) and not to
can stand, sit, sleep, etc and
show off or due to societal or
there is not one particular
family or peer pressure;
form that this retreat must be
carried out in (unlike the Salat (d) Fasting During Itikaf
which has a specific form to The person who is not able to
it). What is important in this fast, for whatever reason, is
period is to obey the com- deprived from the Divine
mandments of Allah (SWT), to grace of being able to perform
refrain from the things which Itikaf. He or she may still gain
He has prohibited. a reward from Allah (SWT) for
Conditions of Itikaf having the intention to
perform this act of worship,
There are a few conditions for
however cannot directly
the person who wishes to
participate in this act as will
partake in the Divine blessing
be mentioned.
of Itikaf:
Therefore, if a person is a
(a) Intelligence (Aql)
traveler or one who is not
Thus, the person must not be able to fast due to some
mentally unstable; danger to his life, he cannot

49
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

partake in Itikaf. However, if The first two days of Itikaf are


the traveler who wants to recommended and if a person
perform the Itikaf makes an wishes, he may leave after
oath that he will fast for three this period and end his Itikaf,
days on a trip, then he can however if he completes two
perform the Itikaf even full days of Itikaf in the Masjid
though his Salat may be (until the Maghrib of the
prayed as that of a traveler. second day), then it becomes
obligatory upon him to contin-
(e) Permission
ue his fast on the third day
One must have the permission and to stay in the Masjid for
of the person whom he needs the remaining period of his
to gain permission from to Itikaf meaning till the time
carry out this act (guardian, of Maghrib of the third day.
husband, etc) to ensure the
Similarly, if a person goes into
correctness of the Itikaf.
Itikaf for 5 days, the 6th day
(f) Place of Itikaf becomes obligatory; and if he
One must stay inside the goes into Itikaf for 8 days
Masjid for the entire period then the 9th day becomes
for his Itikaf to be correct. obligatory and so on

(g) Time Period (Length) Thus, Itikaf is for 3 full days


of the Itikaf and 2 nights which are in
between these days and this
The person performing Itikaf
period must be maintained.
must stay in this state for a
minimum of three complete Time of Itikaf
days from sunrise of the first Anytime in which fasting is
day until the sunset of the permissible is an opportune
third day (for example if he time for Itikaf and the state
starts Itikaf on Monday at Fajr of Itikaf does not have a
time, he must complete it until specific time related to it. Of
Thursday at Maghrib time). course the White Days

50
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

which are the 13th, 14th and The Intention for Itikaf
15th of the lunar month and
The intention for Itikaf is of
the last ten days of the Month
three main types. The most
of Ramadan are the best
common form is the recom-
times for this spiritual exer-
mended Itikaf, however it can
cise. Therefore, one cannot
also become obligatory
make Itikaf on the day of Eid
(wajib) if a person makes an
since it is forbidden to fast on
oath or promise to Allah is for
that day and similarly, he
the fulfillment of something
cannot start Itikaf two days
(and in that oath he had
before Eid.
promised Allah is that he
Permission of Guardian would perform Itikaf if his
prayer is fulfilled). The third
As mentioned previously in
intention which can be made
passing, Itikaf performed
for Itikaf is that it is being
without the permission of his
done on behalf of someone
guardian or any person whose
else similar to how people
rights would be taken away if
perform Hajj for their de-
the person was to go in a
ceased relatives or make up
state of Itikaf is not correct.
missed prayers of parents
Thus, it is for this reason that
who have passed away or
the wife must also take her
others. Therefore, it is neces-
husbands permission if her
sary for the correctness of
Itikaf would infringe on
Itikaf to specify the intention
martial rights with his wife.
and the type that one wants
Similarly, if ones parents are
to perform.
not happy or are concerned
for their son or daughter and Time and Place of the
do not permit him to make Intention of the Itikaf and
Itikaf, then the child is not the Place of Itikaf
permitted to go forth for this
The intention must be made
(recommended) act of wor-
from the beginning of the
ship.

51
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

time of Fajr on the first day If one was to perform Itikaf


and it is not permissible to in any place other than the
delay it until the end of the Central Masjid then he
time of Fajr (just before would need to do so with the
sunrise), however if just intention that this act would
before the rising of the sun of bring him closer to Allah
Fajr, one makes his intention, (SWT) and that he is hoping
this will still be sufficient. At for a reward in this act.
the time of making intention
Therefore, if there are three
for Itikaf, the person must be
or four Masjid in one city,
inside the Masjid in which
since they are not of the four
he/she wishes to perform
Masajid in which Itikaf can be
Itikaf.
performed (with that special
The place of Itikaf must be intention), the people may
the Masjid and therefore, use all of them for the pro-
performing Itikaf in any place gram of Itikaf.
other than a Masjid such as a
The courtyards and entrances
room or hall used for Salat, a
of the Masjid are not consid-
building which is made only
ered as a part of the Masjid
for Jamat Salat and other
except in the case that they
places like this such as an
are recognized and known (by
imambargah (which are not
others) to be an actual part of
proper Masajid) is not correct.
the Masjid. If a person doubts
The preferential order of if the place in which he is, is
where Itikaf should be actually a Masjid or not, then
performed is: Masjidul Haram, according to the rules, he is
Masjid an-Nabi (S), Masjid not permitted to perform
Kufa and then the Masjid of Itikaf there until he ascertains
Basrah after these, then any and has certainty that the
other Central and Congre- place where he is truly is a
gational Masjid is permissible part of the Masjid.
to perform the Itikaf in.

52
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Prohibited Acts during If any of these things are


Itikaf performed, ones Itikaf
becomes void and in certain
The prohibited acts during the
cases a Kaffarah or penitence
state of Itikaf include:
must be paid out.
1. Applying and smelling
perfume (or perfumed items Leaving the Masjid during
such as soap, shampoo, oil, the Period of Itikaf
etc.) with the intention of It is not permissible to leave
deriving pleasure (or without the Masjid during the state of
it). This act makes Itikaf null Itikaf except for a reason.
& void.
Thus, in the following exam-
2. Discussions and arguments ples, it would be permitted to
both in relation to the world leave the Masjid while in the
and the faith. This means that state of Itikaf: going to a
a person argues with another doctor in cases of emergency,
to prove that he is better or going to the bathroom,
smarter or that he knows visiting someone who is very
more, etc However, if a sick and taking part in the
person must argue or debate burial rites of a person if the
to uphold the truth and person who has passed away
destroy falsehood, it is was a close relation to the
permissible - rather this is the person performing Itikaf, or
best form of worship and to perform a Ghusl (if needed)
servitude to Allah (SWT) or to do Wudu.
during this noble state.
If during Itikaf menstrual
3. Buying & selling anything.
cycle of sisters start making
4. Deriving pleasure from the them unable to stay inside the
opposite sex in any way Masjid their Itikaf becomes
holding hands, hugging, null and void.
kissing, etc is completely
forbidden in the state of Itikaf.


53
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Stay hydrated during Ramadan


By: Dr. Sana Sadiq

Fast to be healthy, said by Cut down amount of salt and


Holy Prophet (S). Modern chillies in your meals.
science has proved His (S) Intake of fresh fruit juices,
sayings true. Islam wants its shakes, smoothies / lassi
believers to be active and should be encouraged.
healthy. During fast our
Avoid unnecessary direct sun
digestive system gets a chance
exposure.
to rest, it helps in excreting
several toxins from the body, Try to wear loose and light
and thus leaving one as a dresses. If going out, then
fresh and healthy personality. cover your head and face with
some shades like umbrella.
This year, we are going to
observe fast in the hottest Avoid unnecessary physical
summer days of the year. So activities which may lead to
to save the body from dehy- excessive sweating.
dration, I would share some Taking showers or wrapping
tips. a towel, soaked in ice water
Drink plenty of water (up to around head and face may
12 cups) between Iftar and control body temperature and
Suhoor. thus would avoid excessive
water loss from body.
Artificial sweets, caffeine,
nicotine, spicy & oily foods All diabetics, heart patients,
keep you thirsty. So avoid kidney patients or those
taking soft drinks, excessive suffering from some chronic /
tea, coffee and smoking etc. debilitating disease, should
visit their consultants before
Fresh fruits & vegetables
Ramadan and follow the
which contain high water
advice of relevant specialist
contents e.g. watermelon,
doctor.
cucumber are highly recom-
mended. 
54
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

Commandments or Prohibitions in Islam


By: Ayatollah Muhammad Jawad Chirri

About the Author: Ayatollah of America in response to an


Muhammad Jawad Chirri is invitation by the Muslims in
Lebanese by birth and a gradu- Detroit, Michigan. When he
ate of the Islamic Institute of arrived in the United States, he
Najaf in Iraq. Before reaching the found himself in an uncomforta-
age of 25, he wrote about ble position, unable to communi-
Islamic jurisprudence and its cate with the Americans and the
basis. When he returned from American born Muslims because
Najaf to Lebanon, Ayatollah he did not know English.
Jawad Chirri and the unforgetta- Too old to become a student in a
ble personality, Shaykh Mu- regular American school but
hammad Jawad Mughniyya, the anxious to spread the word of
author of many valuable books, Islam, he immersed himself heart
waged a campaign trying to and soul into the language.
awaken the people of southern Within a short time, he taught
Lebanon and urging them to rise himself English well enough to
in order to gain usurped rights in serve the Muslims of the Detroit
the Lebanese society. area. Later he became a well-
During that period, the late Imam known lecturer and scholar on
Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din Islam throughout the US, the
urged the author to write a book Middle East, and Africa.
about the caliphate. The author *****
honored this righteous request by Wilson: Both Christianity and
writing a book called The Judaism preach the Ten
Caliphate in the Islamic Constitu- Commandments which were
tion. The book, in spite of its revealed to Moses and rec-
small size, was considered to be a orded in the Old Testament.
novelty in Islamic dialogue. Does Islam have any com-
During the year 1949, the author mandments, and are they the
immigrated to the United States same or similar?
55
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Chirri: The Ten Command- as Jesus, Moses, Abra-


ments are only a portion of ham, and Noah. The deni-
the Quranic commandments. al of the revelation or any
Islam commands its followers of the recognized prophets
to avoid many things. Some is a denial of Islam.
of them are prohibited be- 4. To feel safe in opposition
cause they contradict some of to God: "Are they secure
the doctrines in which a against the plan of God?
Moslem is supposed to But none feels secure
believe. Some of them are against the plan of God
prohibited because they are except the losing people."
immoral or unethical or (7:99)
unhealthy or because they
5. To lose hope in mercy of
represent disobedience to the
God: "...And despair not of
devotional duties. These
the mercy of God. Surely
prohibitions may be regarded
none despairs of the mer-
as Islamic commandments,
cy of God except the dis-
the violation of which may
believing people." (12:87)
constitute a major sin. A
Muslim is prohibited: 6. To swear in the name of
1. To ascribe to God a God falsely: "Have you not
partner or associate: "As- seen those who take for
sociate not any other god friends a people with
with the Almighty, lest whom God is wrathful?
thou sit down despised They are neither of you
forsaken." (17:22) nor of them, and they
swear falsely, while they
2. To deny revelation of God know. God has prepared
to His prophets. for them a severe chas-
3. To deny any of the tisement. Evil indeed is
prophets who are recog- what they do!" (58:14-15)
nized by the Qur'an, such

56
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

7. To break a covenant turning to join a company,


deliberately: "And fulfill he indeed incurs God's
the covenant of God when wrath and his refuge is
you have made a cove- hell, and an evil destina-
nant, and break not the tion it is." (8:16)
oaths after making them
11. To steal.
fast, and you have, in-
deed, made God your 12. To cheat in measuring or
surety. Surely God knows weighing in selling or pur-
what you do." (16:91) chasing: "Woe to the
cheaters. Who when they
8. To kill a human being
take the measure (of their
premeditative: "And slay
dues) from the people,
not the soul which God
take it fully, and when
has forbidden except for
they measure out to oth-
the just cause...." (17:33)
ers or weigh out for them
"Your lives and properties they give less than is
are sacred and inviolable due." (83:1-3)
amongst you, until you
13. To use an orphan's fund
appear before your
in a way that is not in his
Lord...." said the Prophet.
interest: "And draw not
8. To be traitor to the right nigh to the orphan's fund,
cause of one's own nation. except in a goodly way, till
he attains his maturity,
9. To help defeat it militarily
and fulfill the covenant;
by retreating at the battle-
surely the covenant will be
field when the nation is
inquired to!" (17:34)
defending itself against
aggression: "And whoso 14. To insult one's own
turns his back to them parent: "And thy Lord has
(the aggressors) on that decreed that ye worship
day (of fight), unless ma- none but Him, and do
neuvering for battle or good to the parents. If

57
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

one of them or both of be an awful doom, on the


them reach old age with day when their tongues,
thee, say not "Fie" to their hands, and their feet
them, nor chide them, and testify against them as to
speak to them kind words. what they used to do. On
And lower to them the that day God will pay
wing of humility of mercy, them their just dues and
and say: My Lord, have they will know that God is
mercy on them as they the Manifest Truth."
brought me up (when I (24:23-25)
was) little." (17:23-24)
17. To spy on others for no
15. To commit adultery: "And purpose of protecting your
go not nigh to fornication; nation or yourself.
surely it is an obscenity.
18. To backbite others,
And evil is the way."
exposing to those who do
(17:32)
not know, some shameful
16. To scandalize people, doing: " And spy not nor
especially women: "Those backbite each other"
who love to see that scan- (49:12)
dal should circulate con-
19. To gamble.
cerning the believers, will
have a grievous chastise- 20. To drink intoxicants: "O
ment in this world and the you who believe, intoxi-
Hereafter, and God cants and games of
knows, while you know chance are only an
not." (24:19) abomination, the devil's
work; so shun it, that you
"Those who scandalize
may succeed. The devil
virtuous, believing women
desires only to create en-
(who are) careless, cursed
mity and hatred among
are they in this world and
you by means of intoxi-
the Hereafter. Theirs will
cants and games of

58
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

chance, and to prevent 25. To conceal a testimony


you from the remem- when called to testify in
brance of God and from litigation: " And conceal
prayer. So will you obey not testimony. And who-
this prohibition?" 5:93-94 ever conceals it, his heart
is surely sinful. And God
21. To eat pork or any swine's
knows what you do."
products.
(2:283)
22. To eat or drink blood.
26. To deliberately hinder a
(This does not include
good cause.
transfusion of blood for
necessity.) 27. To spread hatred by
conveying to a person a
23. To eat meat of an animal
bad word about him spo-
that dies by itself, or the
ken by another person:
meat of an animal on
"And obey not any mean
which the name of other
swearer, defamer, going
than God is invoked when
about with slander, hin-
it is slain: "He has forbid-
derer of good, transgress-
den you only what dies of
ing beyond the limits, sin-
itself, and blood, and the
ful, ignoble, besides all
flesh of swine, and that
that, notoriously mischie-
over which (a name) other
vous. . ." (68:10-13)
than the name of God is
invoked (when it is 28. To violate the terms of a
slaughtered)" (2:173) dead man's will: "Then
whoever changes it (the
24. To lie deliberately or
will) after he heard it, the
testify falsely or falsify the
sin of it is only upon those
word of God willingly:
who change it. Surely God
"Only they forge lies who
is Hearing, Knowing."
believe not in the messag-
(2:181)
es of God, and they are
the liars." (16:105) 29. To oppress the people.

59
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

30. To aid an oppressor: ties of kinship if you come


"...And let not hatred of a to power?" 47:22
people because they hin-
34. To neglect any of the five
dered you from the Sacred
daily prayers.
Mosque incite you to make
aggression. And help one 35. To break fasting in the
another in righteousness days of Ramadan without
and piety, and help not a legitimate excuse.
one another in sin and 36. To withhold the "Zakah"
aggression. Surely God is this is the share of the
severe in requiting (evil)." poor in the self-supporting
(5:9) person's wealth.
31. To be proud, looking down 37. To neglect the duty of
on the people: "And turn pilgrimage to Mecca this
not thy cheek in scorn to- has to be done once in a
wards people, nor go life-time by every person
about in the land in inso- who is physically and fi-
lence. Surely God loves nancially able to make it.
not any self-conceited
38. To neglect the duty of
boaster." (31:18)
advising the people to do
32. To be envious, wishing good and avoid evil when
People ill: "Say: I seek such an advice is needed
refuge in the Lord of the and likely to be effective.
dawn, from the evil of
The last five are regarded as
things created And from
major sins, because the
the evil of the envious
prayer, fasting, paying Zakah,
when he envies."
making pilgrimage and
33. To antagonize a relative enjoining good and prohibiting
for no right cause: "Will evil are Quranic duties.
you be making mischief in
the land and cut off the 

60
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

are going to spend the time

Kids during these long and hot


days amid the summer
vacations in schools.

Corner First, we met with Shameer,


a class 10th student. He told
that he would try to attend
all congregations in the
What plans do you mosque. Also he will spend
have for this Rama- his afternoons in studying
dan? his course books while in
(A Survey Report conduct- evening he would read good
ed By: Dr Sana Sadiq) story books along with kids
living in the neighbourhood.
O you who believe! Fasting is Taseen Ali has just finished
prescribed for you as it was his board examinations. He
prescribed for those before will try to spend most of his
you, that you may become time in worshipping Allah
pious - (Al Baqrah: 2, 183) during fast. Also, he will
Ramadan is again here with start studying translation of
its glory and blessings. It is the Quran.
scorching heat and a tough Syeda Zarfishan just got
season in Karachi these free from her class 9th
days. Despite the challeng- exams. She has plans to
ing climate, many of our relax for most of the time.
little kids love to follow the Also she will help mom in the
order of Allah to observe kitchen. She is determined
fast. We met some of our to complete the recitation
friends to ask them about of whole Quran during the
their plans as to how they sacred month.

61
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

Fatima Zehra is a student of My First Fast


seventh standard. For last
Muhammad Jabeer Raza,
few years she joins special
Age: 10 years
Ramadan courses in
madressah. She fills her Ramadan is the 9th month of
activity calendar during day the Islamic calendar. This is
hours and attends classes the month when the Holy
after aftaar. Also she has Quran was sent down from
decided to spend time in Heaven. During this month,
helping mom in home chores. Muslims observe fasting.

Sakina studies in class 6. What does fasting mean?


She told us that initial two It is a holy practice when
days will be spent in the certain restrictions are
school. During vacations, she placed on the daily lives of
would join special Islamic Muslims. They are not
courses in madressah. She allowed to eat or drink
helps mom in kitchen as well. anything from dawn till the
In leisure time she loves sunset.
reading story books.
I still remember the day
Samiya Naveed studies in while I observed fast for
class 4. She has decided to the first time in my life.
spend leisure time in playing
It was two years ago when I
with cousins and during their
was eight-year-old boy. I
play she will try to teach
decided to observe my first
them good things. She would
fast. My parents supported
tell them some exciting
the decision. My mother was
Islamic stories.
a little reluctant as she
 knew it was always difficult
for me to control my hunger

62
Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

or thirst. But my father our time in doing good deeds


assured her of my spirits especially for the benefit of
and ability to manage myself humankind, refrain from all
during the fasting. I was the activities prohibited
quite excited at sehri time. during fast and spending as
Mom served mutton gravy much time as is possible in
with parathas, salad, yogurt worshipping Him. I tried not
and lassi. As the azaan for to forget all such things and
Fajr prayers blared from offered my prayers in time.
the mosque, my first fast I also helped my parents in
began!! arrangements for a Roza
Kushai party. Before sunset
I had a wonderful day at
my grandmother sat with me
school and not for even a
and recited the verses of
single moment did I feel
holy Quran. After the
hungry or thirsty. I was
recitation, she explained the
amazed at my spirits. Allah
verses through translation.
really helps us if we decide
It really helped me under-
to follow His path. After
stand what our religion tells
returning home, I offered
us and expects from us to
prayers with my father at
do and follow.
the mosque.
Finally as the call to prayers
I have seen many kids
was given, we offered
passing their time, on a
Maghribain. We opened our
fasting day, watching movies
fast with eating some fine
and playing computer games.
dates and quenched our
This is against the essence
thirst with sips of water.
of fasting! Fasting does not
Everyone congratulated and
mean that we have to remain
hugged me on my determina-
hungry and thirsty alone.
tion. All of us then had the
Allah expects us to spend

63
The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

scrumptious food prepared and pointed him towards a


by my mother. guest house where free
meals were given to all.
Since then I observe few
fasts every year. I am The guest house belonged to
waiting for the right age Imam Hasan (A), who himself
when fasting would be welcomed the stranger and
obligatory for me. I shall arranged a hot meal for him.
never quit a single fast in my After a while, the Holy Imam
life. InshaAllah. (A) saw that the stranger
was eating one morsel and

putting one morsel in a bag
Kindness of Imam on his side. The Holy Imam
Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.) (A) told him to eat peaceful-
Once a stranger arrived in ly, and if he needed extra
Kufa and asked a man food for his family, it would
working in a garden for be provided before he left.
directions. The man showed The stranger said that he
him the way and then invited had no family but was putting
him to share his meal. The some food aside for the kind
stranger was touched by gardener down the road who
this offer and accepted. But had only hard bread to eat.
when he was handed some When he heard this, the
flat bread to eat, he found Holy Imam (A) smiled and
that it was so hard that he informed him, "That is my
could not even break it on father Ali, the Caliph of the
his knee, let alone with his Muslims. He lives on simple
teeth. He tried dipping it food so that no needy
into some water but that did subject may be embarrassed
not help. The gardener saw in front of him."
the stranger's discomfort 
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Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH The Message

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The Message Ramzan-ul-Mubarak 1438 AH

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