Ramadan, the month in which Paradise is decorated
"Surely Paradise is decorated the whole year for the Ramadan to come. When the first night of the Ramadan comes, a wind called “Musira” blows from the bottom of the Skies.
The door of Paradise belonging to those who observe fasting
Sahl Ibn Sa’d reports from Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh):
There is a door in Paradise called Rayyan. Only those who observe fasting can enter that door on doomsday, nobody else can enter with them.
Then, a voice is heard ‘Where are the ones who observed fasting in the world?’ They come and enter paradise from that door. When the last one of them enters, the door is closed; nobody else is permitted after that. Whoever enters Paradise from that door never gets thirsty again eternally"(Bukhari, Sawm: 4, Bad ul Halk: 9; Muslim, Siyam: 166; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 55
In another hadith (word of Prophet Muhammad) it is stated that every believer will be called to enter Paradise from different doors in accordance with their good deeds and worships:
According to what Abu Hurayra reported, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
Whoever gives alms from his property as doubles (two cattle, two sheep, two coins) to gain Allah’s approval, he is called by the doors of Paradise ‘O (dear) servant of Allah (come here)! There is a big benefit and abundance at this door.’
A person who performs salah (prayers) a lot is called from the salah door (of Paradise).
Mujahids (people doing jihad- striving in the way of Allah) are called from the jihad door.
People observing fasting called from the ‘Rayyan’ door.
And almsgivers are invited from the alms door."
Abu Bakr asked:
Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you O Messenger of Allah! Is it hard for a believer to be invited from all of those doors, can someone be invited from all of those doors?"
Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) replied, “Yes, someone can be invited from all of the doors. O Abu Bakr, I hope you be one of those happy ones too”. (Summary of Sahih al-Bukhari Tajrid al Sarih Translation, Hadith no: 895.)
Ibn Abbas reports from Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh):
Surely Paradise is decorated the whole year for the Ramadan to come.
When the first night of the Ramadan comes, a wind called “Musira” blows from the bottom of the Skies.
Leaves of the trees of Paradise and the handles of Paradise doors shake strongly and therefore such a nice sound is heard that listeners have never heard a more beautiful sound than that.
Thus, the houris of Paradise appear standing on the highest point of Paradise and say:
“Anybody who wants to marry?” Allah marries him.
Then houris say:
“O the keeper of Paradise! What night is tonight?” The keeper replies with respect:
“Tonight is the first night of the month Ramadan. The doors of Paradise were opened for the ones from the ummah (community) of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) who observed fasting.” "
Then Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said:
Allah (swt/glorious and exalted) says:
“O Ridwan (Doorkeeper of paradise)! Open the doors of Paradise and O Malik (Doorkeeper of Hell)! Close the doors of Hell to the ones from the community of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) who observed fasting!
O Gabriel! Descend to the earth, handcuff and chain the wild ones of the satans, then throw them into the sea, so that they cannot demolish the fasting of my beloved Muhammad’s (pbuh) community.”
Hz Muhammad (pbuh) then said:
Allah (swt) orders a caller (angel) to call like this three times at every night of the month of Ramadan:
“Anybody who wants something? I will give him what he wants.
Anybody who repents? I will accept his repentance.
Anybody who wants forgiveness? I will forgive him.
Who will lend money to the poor not to the rich and to the loyal not to the oppressor?”
Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) continued:
Every day of Ramadan during the iftar (evening meal for breaking the daily fast) time Allah (swt) saves one million people from Hell who deserves it. Also on the last day of Ramadan, Allah (swt) saves as many people as the sum of all He saved during Ramadan.
On Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), Allah (swt) orders Gabriel. Gabriel descends to the earth with angels carrying a green flag with them. They put the flag onto the Kaaba. There are one hundred wings of the flag. Two of those wings do not open except that night.
Gabriel opens those two wings on that night, and those wings reach from the east to the west. On that night Gabriel urges the angels, and they salute and handshake with everybody who is standing, sitting, performing salah and doing dhikr (mentioning Allah). They say “ameen” for their prayers.
It goes on until the dawn. When it dawns Gabriel says:
“O group of angels! Prepare for the return”.
“O Gabriel, what did Allah (swt) do about the needs of believers who are from Hazrat Muhammad’s (pbuh) community?”
“Allah (swt) looked with mercy and grace at them tonight and forgave them. However four groups are excluded.”
The narrator says:
When we asked “O Messenger of Allah! Who are they?” he said:
“He who keeps on drinking, he who rebels his parents, he who does not care about his relatives, and he who is mushahin.”
Then we asked “O Messenger of Allah! What is ‘mushahin’”, and he said:
“He who cuts amity relations between people and he who causes disorders and hostility”.
When Ramadan ends and bairam (celebration, holiday) night comes, it is called the night of reward. In the morning of the bairam Allah (swt) sends the angels to every town. They descend to the earth, hold the street corners and shout with a sound every creature can hear except the human beings and the genies:
“O community of Muhammad! Come to the presence of your Lord who bestows much and forgives your big sins”.
When they get to their places of worship Allah (swt) asks to the angels:
“What is the reward of the worker who has done his job?”
“O our exalted Lord! It is your giving his exact reward and payment”.
Upon that Allah (swt) said:
O my angels! Be witness that, I gave them my approval and forgiveness as a gift for their fasting and salahs they performed during the Ramadan” and then ordered:
“O my slaves! Request from me. For the sake of my glory and superiority today I will surely give whatever you want for your afterworld from me. And I will consider your situation for the things you want for this world.
For the sake of my glory, as long as you pay observe my approval, I will cover your mistakes.
For the sake of my glory and superiority, I will not disgrace you in front of the holders of a right and managers.
You gained my approval, return with my approval and having been forgiven of your sins.”
Therefore, the angels get happy and tell the good news of the reward that Allah (swt) will give to that community when they make iftar at the end of Ramadan (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:439).
Paradise Reward of Ramadan
As transmitted by Abu Said al-Khudri, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said:
When the first night of Ramadan comes, the doors of the skies are opened; none of them is closed until the last night of the Ramadan.
When a person performs salah on a Ramadan night, surely Allah writes one thousand and five hundred merits for its every sajdah (prostration act in the salah) and builds a villa made of red ruby for him in the heaven. There exist sixty thousand doors of that villa. There exists a golden villa decorated with red ruby on every door of it.
When he fasts on the first day of Ramadan, his past sins till that date are forgiven and every day seventy thousand angels pray for him from the morning salah to the evening salah.
For the every sajdah he does during the day or night in Ramadan, he is given such a big tree that in its shadow a horseman can travel for five hundred years.” (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:429)
Fasting is health insurance
Fasting is the best remedy for body health, a physical and spiritual diet. When someone does not care about his food, he gives harm to his body and health.
According to what Abu Hurayra reported, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“Observe fasting and you will be healthy.” (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:83)
Fasting is the best remedy for body health, a physical and spiritual diet. When someone does not care about his food, he gives harm to his body and health. When he does not care whether the food he eats is halal (permissible) or not, he gives harm to his spiritual life; his nafs (self, soul) dominates him, he cannot hear or obey his heart and soul any more. When the nafs takes the reins, “he can not ride it any more, it rides him”.
Man gets used to the diet and learns to obey the rules thanks to fasting in Ramadan. He does not fill his stomach without digesting the food in it and he does not become exposed to illnesses. By getting used to obeying the rules, he keeps himself away from the sins and follows the path of the religion and mind.
Thus, he keeps his spiritual life clean.
Stomach and other digestion organs need to rest. Thus, the body burns the excessive fat and becomes energetic. During that resting period, the heart can take the nutrition of dhikr (mentioning Allah) and prayers easily. Those human senses realize that they are not created only for that stomach factory and runs for their real tasks.
In that holy month, heart and soul, mind and senses get mature and ascend to the highs by means of fasting. Though the stomach cries, they smile innocently.
From this point of view, fasting gives man both the wealth of health and the wealth of afterworld.
As reported by Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) tells the following regarding the issue:
Allah (swt), revealed the following to a Prophet from the sons of Israel:
Tell your tribe, whoever fasts for one day, I give health to his body, and increase his reward.” (Kanz al-Ummal, 8:447)
Fasting restrains the nafs (self, soul)
An important advantage of the fasting is that it teaches us to restrain the wishes and desires of our nafs. Especially when young and strong, man thinks that he has a body made of steel and he depends on that body as if he will stay in the world forever.
Abdullah Ibn Umar reports:
We were on the way with Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).We were young and had no means for getting married. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said:
O youngsters! Let those who have means for getting married do get married. Marriage keeps the eyes away from sins, and keeps the chastity. And let those who have no means for getting married observe fasting. Fasting breaks and diminishes sexual desires. (Nasa’i, Siyam: 43)
An important advantage of the fasting is that it teaches us to restrain the wishes and desires of our nafs. Especially when young and strong, man thinks that he has a body made of steel and he depends on that body as if he will stay in the world forever. He tries to taste every pleasure. He may forget his Creator who feeds and nurtures him with compassion. He may forget his death and the eternal afterlife.
Thus, he cannot manage his senses and starts immoral attitudes. He does not listen to his mind and logic; he cannot protect his chastity and honor.
Fasting makes man realize how fragile and weak he is and teaches him a lesson. Thus, the nafs stops its conceitedness and tries to live in the way he is meant to be. It keeps its chastity and morality and takes control of itself.
“Nafs wants to be free and independent and considers itself to be so. It wants to do whatever it wants without responsibility. It does not want to think that it is trained through innumerable bounties. Especially if it possesses wealth and power in this world, and if heedlessness also encourages it, it will devour the divine like an animal.”
Thus, only by fasting can we prevent our nafs from acting as it wishes because fasting restrains its movements and reminds it that it is not uncontrolled.
By stating “Fasting is prescribed to you so that you may learn self restarint”, the Quran informs us that we can improve ourselves and control our nafs better by fasting.
As Elmali said, “Fasting breaks up the sexual desires, defeats the nafs, keeps it away from naughtiness and bad actions, looks down on the worldly ranks and fights of superiority, makes the heart closer to Allah. Fasting grants the nafs an angel-like enjoyment.”
Man observes some kind of a spiritual diet by fasting, and gets used to obeying Allah’s orders. His spiritual life is saved from being poisoned because other senses can take a deep breath and concentrate well on their duties. While the stomach cries because of a temporary hunger, other esteemed senses simply get delighted.
The good senses existing in the nature of the man defeat the bad ones. And the nafs realizes that it is not the owner of the property but a weak servant. A fasting person sees that he cannot even touch the simplest food without the permission of the Creator. Thus, he remembers his duties towards Him and heads towards his actual duty, thanking.
Yes, “The fasting in Ramadan makes the most careless and stubborn one remember his weakness. He thinks about his stomach through hunger. He realizes how needy his weak body is for kindness and compassion.”
From this point of view, in a time like this in which hundreds of sins walk towards man, fasting is a good solution and a strong shelter for youngsters. It is a very easy way to control one’s desires. And when fasting is the one in Ramadan it becomes more and more important and valuable.
Ramadan, the month of solidarity
Ramadan is a month of solidarity, helping each other. In that month, hearts soften, souls broaden, and senses of generosity revive. When the rich get hungry, they understand the conditions and needs of the poor better.
Anas Ibn Malik narrates:
Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) was asked “What fasting is more virtuous?”
He replied, “The one being observed in the month of Shaban for the sake of Ramadan”. He was asked again:
“When is the most virtuous alms given?”
Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Alms given in the month of Ramadan”. (Bayhaqi, 4:305)
Ramadan is a month of solidarity, helping each other. In that month, hearts soften, souls broaden, and senses of generosity revive. When the rich get hungry, they understand the conditions and needs of the poor better. If it were not for fasting, some rich people who only think of their own interest would not think that the poor needed help and compassion.
Thus, by behaving with compassion towards others, man can open a real door of being thankful. “Everyone can find a needier person than himself in a way. He is responsible for showing compassion to that person.”
It would not be possible to perform the task of helping others with compassion if it were not an obligation to undergo the pain of hunger by fasting. Without knowing about the hunger, man would not be able to develop empathy for the poor and the hungry, and help them. as the Turkish saying goes, “He who does not taste does not know”.
From this point of view, Ramadan is a time in which the poor are given attention and helped; the lonely and the needy are supported. Fasting believers compete with each other in helping the needy, supporting people for whatever they need, and performing all the good deeds.
When helping the needy and giving alms, those helping people get a big pleasure out of it and become very happy and relieved.
Rashid Ibn Sa’d reports the following hadith from Hz. Muhammad (pbuh):
Give as much alms as possible in the month of Ramadan, because giving alms to people in that month is like giving away in the way of Allah. (Kanz al-Ummal, 8:464)
Fasting: a Unique Worship with Limitless Rewards and a Profitable Trade
According to a hadith reported by Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him), the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) spoke as follows:
Each good deed and worshipping which the sons of Adam performed increases in from tenfold to seven hundred fold in terms of rewards, as much as Allah wishes.
Allah utters: However, a fasting person is exempt from this because he fasts only to please Me. He quits pleasures and eating for Me.
There are two types of happiness for a fasting person: The first happiness is the one at the time of breaking his fast. The second happiness is the one when he meets his Sustainer and acquires his award.
I swear on Allah that the halitosis of a fasting person is more beautiful then odor of musk before Him (Ibni Majah, Siyam: 1)
A believer fasts only because Allah commands it. He has the aim of gaining His pleasure. He waits all day long, does not eat or drink anything. He manifests his degree of obedience to his Sustainer. When he sits down for the meal at the breaking time of his fast, he does not eat anything and awaits the command of “help yourselves!” of his Lord. He tries to thank by means of a comprehensive and universal prayer for the compassionate and merciful bounties of God Almighty.
There is no pretension and hypocrisy in the worship of fasting. A man shows his fasting only to his Creator who feeds him and nurtures him and who fulfils his needs by means of all sorts of bounties. He could break his fast in a place where nobody sees when he is fasting but he does not do it. And that manner is the best evidence showing that he fasts only for Allah.
That is why Almighty God commands:” Fast is performed only to please Me. It belongs to Me. I will give its reward.”
While the rewards of each good deed and prayer are indicated through verses and Hadiths, the rewards of fasting were not limited and a quantity or measure was not pronounced.
It means that the pleasures, spiritual rewards and the prizes of the prayers and worshipping performed sincerely will be unlimited.
Abu Umama (May God be pleased with him) tells:
I said, “O the Messenger of Allah! Would you advice me a favorable deed?”
The Noble Messenger (PBUH) uttered: “Perform fasting because there is no worship equal to fasting”.
I asked again: “Would you advice me a good deed?”
He replied: “Try to fast because there is no other worship as meritorious as it before Allah.” (Nasaî, Siyam: 43)
According to a hadith reported by Ali Ibni Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him), the Noble Messenger (PBUH) commanded:
If fasting prevents a person from food and beverages he desires, Almighty God feeds him with Paradise foods and lets him drink Paradise drinks. (Kanzu’l-Ummal, 3:329)
The holy month of Ramadan is like an extremely profitable display and market for the trade of the hereafter. It is an extremely fertile piece of land for the crops of the hereafter. For the growth and flourishing of actions, it is like April showers.
The fasting believer, by temporarily quitting eating and drinking, becomes kind of a man of the hereafter; he becomes a mirror reflecting the attributes of Almighty God.
Indeed, the month of Ramadan comprises and makes one gain a permanent and eternal life in this fleeting world and brief transient life.
Man eats and drinks in Paradise what he quits eating and drinking temporarily in this world.
Fasting: The Door of worshipping
According to a narrative by Damra Ibni Habîb (May Allah be pleased with him), the Noble Messenger (PBUH) commanded as follows:
Everything has a door. The door of worshipping is fasting. (Kanzu’l-Ummal, 8:447)
Fasting Prevents Sins
Muaz Ibni Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
Once, we were with the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him). While we were walking, I asked: “O Allah’s Messenger! Tell me something that would prevent me from entering Hell and would cause me to enter Paradise.”
He replied as follows:
You asked me a difficult thing. However, if Allah bestows what you have asked upon anyone, it will be easy for him.
Worship Allah; don’t associate partners with Him; perform prayers by complying with its rules and conventions; pay zakat (alms); fast in the month of Ramadan; visit the House of Allah (go to Makkah for pilgrimage).
After that the Prophet uttered ”O Muaz, do you want me to show you the gates of goodness.”
I replied:” Certainly, O Allah’s Messenger”
Fasting is a shield and a shelter against evil.
Just as water extinguishes fire, so does charity extinguish sins.
Praying in the middle of night is the sign of good servants.” (Tirmidhi, Eeman (Faith): 8)
In the past, wars had been fought by means of swords and shields, arrows and spears had also been used. A warrior held a sword in one and a shield in the other. While he was attacking with his sword, he was also confronting the counter attacks by his shield. Thereby he had protected his life by means of his shield, and saved from getting hurt.
Now, fasting is the most powerful immaterial weapon against spiritual dangers, sins and evils. For the one who uses fasting shield until the time of breaking the fast and who takes fasting as a shelter, gets ready for evil arrows shot by soul and devil and protects his heart from getting hurt.
Sins are committed on account of obeying what emotions and desires want. When sexual desires are broken by means of starvation, thirst, etc, man restrains himself and therefore avoids sins.
When he avoids sins, he gets protected from the torment of Hell in the Hereafter which is the result of sins.
The Prophet (PBUH) utters in another Hadith:
Fasting is a shield protecting man from Hell. It is like the shield which protects you from death in wars. (Nasai, Savm (Fasting): 167)
Fasting Approaches Man into an Angelic State
The most significant feature of man which distinguishes him from angels is that he has a soul. Man eats, drinks, marries, becomes sorry, angry and commits sins.
Ubada Ibni Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
The Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said the following when the month of Ramadan started:
Now, the blessed month of Ramadan has come. After now, Allah’s mercy surrounds you. Mercy goes down to the face of the earth abundantly in this month. Faults are forgiven, prayers are accepted.
Allah watches your competition for goodness and worshipping then He takes pride in it by shoing it to His angels.
Therefore, make God please you through your adoration. The genuine rebel in this month is the one who does not acquire his share from Allah’s mercy. (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:99)
The most significant feature of man which distinguishes him from angels is that he has a soul. Man eats, drinks, marries, becomes sorry, angry and commits sins. However, he quits eating and drinking for a period of time and limits his pleasures. He does not meet the needs of his soul, does not carry out what his soul wants.
In the meantime, he also draws himself away from the acts which yield committing sins such as lying and backbiting. He tries to avoid unnecessary actions.
Through this state, man resembles angels because angels do not eat or drink, do not get married, and do not commit sins and do not have souls.
However, man has a soul but he controls it; he does not carry out all of its desires. He approaches a state that would surpass angels in terms of spiritual manners.
Almighty God is proud of man, who restrains his desires; He shows him to His angels as an example. It shows the degree of fasting man before God. A believer should try to please God in return for His bounties, strive to be more serious in obedience and to live on the path of His creation.
The Month of Mercy: Ramadan
Innocent and blessed habitants of Divine realms encompass believers group by group; they bring good news from the world of mercy, greetings from the Sustainer of the universe and hopes of forgivenes.
Selman the Persian (May Allah be pleased with him), One of the companions of the prophet, narrates:
The Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) uttered in the sermon He commanded in the last day of the month of Shaban:
O mankind! An important and blessed month has approached; its shadow has stood over your heads.
It is such a month that, The Night of Power, which is better than a thousand months, exists in it.
God commanded fasting during its days and legitimated voluntary prayers during its nights.
A man who does a small favor in this month acquires the rewards of fulfilling an obligation (fardh) in the other months.
Performing an obligation (fardh) in this month is regarded as seventy fold rewards of performing the same obligation in the other months.
This is the month of enduring and bearing the hardships of hunger, thirst, praying and worshipping for the sake of Allah. The reward of the patience is Paradise.
This is the month of solidarity; this month increases the rizq (sustenance) of believers.
In this month, whoever hosts a fast-breaking meal for a fasting believer, this act will result in being forgiven from all his sins and being set free from Hell. He will also acquire rewards as much as that fasting person acquires from his fast without any decrease in the fasting person’s rewards.
Some of the noble companions of the prophet said:”O Allah’s Messenger! Some of us are not rich enough to host a fast-breaking meal.”
Then, the Noble Messenger (PBUH) uttered: “Allah gives those rewards to anyone who offers a fasting believer even a date, a drink of water or a sip of milk.” He went on His sermon as follows:
The first period of this month is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and the last period is being set free from Hell.
In this month, Allah forgives and protects from Hell the one who eases his servant’s and employee’s duties.
For those bounties, I will inform you about four qualities; in this month, you will please your Lord by means of two of them and you shall never give up doing the other two.
One of the characteristics that causes to please your Lord is to continue reciting kalmia shahada, and the other is to ask forgiveness from Allah.
One of the characteristics that you shall never give up is to ask Allah to send you to Paradise; the other is to take refuge in Allah from Hell.
Whoever gives a drink of water to a fasting person, God will let him drink such a water from my pool on the Day of Judgment Day that he will never get thirsty until he enters Paradise. (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:94-95)
We start to have a season full of light and prosperity with the first day of Ramadan. The universe cheers up; the earth is filled with a luminous air coming from Paradise.
Innocent and blessed habitants of Divine realms encompass believers group by group; they bring good news from the world of mercy, greetings from the Sustainer of the universe and hopes of forgiveness.
Jinn, angels, even trees, flowers, insects, wolfs, birds, earth and seas celebrate with men, the month of Ramadan, which is the anniversary of the revelation of the Holy book. A festival atmosphere is felt both in visible and in invisible worlds.
This month has an exceptional place before God Almighty. Our Lord reserves for this month the most extensive manifestations of his limitless mercy for his servants whom He chose to address, to this month.
Besides, since all of the Holy books, particularly the Quran was revealed in this month, the value and the holiness of these days increase.
Believers regard these days which are Divine bounties as good chances and so they try to benefit from them. They show the level of their obedience to their Sustainer. They try to pray and worship as much as they can do with an absolute sincerity and consciousness by endeavoring to be addressed by Him.
Certainly, these efforts will not be unreturned. The ones who fast and spent this month in the consciousness of obedience will acquire many bounties in addition to living a peaceful period and reaching tranquility.
Forgiveness in the Month of Ramadan
If a Muslim fasts without lying and slandering, breaks his fast through licit foods, fulfils the religious duties and goes to mosque at night for Isha and before sunrise for Fajr ,early morning, prayers, he recovers himself from his sins as a snake sloughs its skin. (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:442)
Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him) reported the following from the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him):
When the first night of the month of Ramadan comes, devils and rebellious jinn are fastened by chains. The gates of Hell are closed; none of its doors is kept open. As for the gates of Paradise, they are opened widely and none of them is kept closed.
A call which every Muslim feels in their hearts spreads:
O the ones who are eager to do favors, do good deeds!
O the ones who desire evil, control yourselves!
There will be many people whom God saves from Hell tonight. This situation is repeated at every night of the month of Ramadan. (Bukhari, Sawm: 5; Bad’u’l-Halk: 11; Muslim, Siyam: 2; Nasai, Siyam: 5)
When the month of Ramadan comes, we, virtually, see that the devils are enchained. People turn towards worshipping more than ever. They fast, recite the Quran and mosques are filled with believers.
Everyone starts to feel the excitement of Ramadan. Numerous people who could not constrain themselves from sins repent and turn towards their Sustainer. They take refuge in His mercy. Hotbed of sins and similar places lose their customers and some of them go bankrupt.
All of them show that the activities of devils have decreased. They cannot seduce people as much as before; they cannot shoot arrows of doubt into the believers’ hearts.
It means that they are enchained immaterially. Therefore, when people turn towards the mercy of Allah in this way, there is no need for the gates of Hell to be opened.
Now, the gates of forgiveness and mercy are open. Because of the increase of activities, deeds, prayers concerning Paradise, lights are started to be sent from this transitory world to the real world and that is why the gates of Paradise are opened widely without being closed.
The Month of Ramadan is Purifying
According to the narrative reported by Ebu Said al-Khudrî (May Allah be pleased with him), the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:
Verily, the month of Ramadan is the month of my community. Some of them get sick and others visit them.
If a Muslim fasts without lying and slandering, breaks his fast through licit foods, fulfils the religious duties and goes to mosque at night for Isha and before sunrise for Fajr ,early morning, prayers, he recovers himself from his sins as a snake sloughs its skin.” (At-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:442)
According to another narrative reported by Abu Said al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him), the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:
If a person fasts in the month of Ramadan, justifies his fasting by carrying out the commands of Allah and by avoiding what He prohibited and if he abstains from what should be abstained, he will be purified fr
om his previous sins. (Bayhaqi, 4:304)
Ramadan, the Month of the Qur'an
Narrated by Abdullah Ibn-i Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them):
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the most generous one of the humans in doing favors and helping others. In Ramadan, too, when he met Gabriel (peace be upon him), he would behave much more generously.
Every night in Ramadan, Gabriel met the Prophet, and he would listen to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recite the Qur'an until the end of the month.
On the days he met Gabriel, the Prophet would be more generous than the blowing wind in charity. (Bayhaqi, 4:305)
Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an. It is the season when the Qur'an was revealed. Ramadan takes its sanctity from the Qur'an. The verse “The month of Ramadān, in which the Qur'ān was sent down…” the Qur’an, Al-Baqarah (the Cow); 185 (2:185) explains this truth.
Ramadan is the anniversary of the beginning of the revelation of Allah's words. In comparison to other times, especially in this month, one occupies oneself more with Qur'an. It is read, listened to, and its meaning is thought upon. The universe and the phenomena are viewed through the window it opens.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was always familiar with the Qur'an, would occupy himself with the Qur'an more in this month. As long as he lived, the Prophet was visited by the angel of revelation, Gabriel, when Ramadan started; they would recite and understand the Qur'an together.
If we, too, occupy ourselves with the Qur'an thinking about this holy situation, our spiritual share will increase accordingly.
To live this instant as if reading the Qur’an together with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is to think as if the Qur'an had just been revealed and we were reading it for the first time.
It increases this share to be in such an awe as if the Prophet was reciting and we were listening to it, as if listening to Gabriel, and even as if hearing it from Allah.
Every Ramadan, in mosques and houses, muqabala (people reciting the Qur'an to each other) is performed. In this way, the style of the reciting of the Prophet and Gabriel is imitated, so a sacred ambiance is experienced.
The merits of religious acts and good deeds performed in Ramadan are a thousand to one. While at other times for each Qur'anic word that is read one merit is given, in this month merits reach up to thousands, even tens of thousands. At the night of Qadr (the night of Power), they exceed thirty thousand.
Ramadan: the Month of Prayer and Remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah
Ramadan: the Month of Prayer
Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says:
Each slave of Allah who fasts has a prayer to be answered at the time of breaking his/her fast (at the proper time). The answer to his/her prayer is given as a reward either in the world or in the Hereafter in an eternal fashion. (Kanzu'l-Ummal, 3:328)
Ramadan is the month of prayer.Prayers said in holy nights, in the appointed Three Months, and especially in Ramadan are close to acceptance.
As for the time of eating after fasting, it is the time when man gets closer to Allah, and when s/he feels the joy of having fulfilled His command.
Then the believer is cleansed of his/her faults and blemishes and feels a strong attachment to Allah. Just at that time, if man prays to his/her Lord, s/he will not be left unanswered.
S/he will either get what s/he wishes in the world and thus receive the reward of the prayer in advance, or send a light to his/her hereafter and eternal life in a better way.
This is because Allah knows better what His slave needs, and accepts his/her prayers in the way that is good for him/her.
Ramadan: the Month of Allah's Remembrance (Dhikrullah)
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
Those who engage in remembering Allah on the days of Ramadan are cleansed of their sins, and those who wish from Allah are not left empty-handed. (Kanzu'l-Ummal, 8:464)
Ramadan is a season when Allah is remembered often and prayers are said in abundance. Believers who fast throughout Ramadan pass their nights and days remembering Allah. They remember Allah both with their behaviors and actions and with their mouths and tongues; and they rest their hearts and souls.
They also open their hands and hearts to their Lord in order to ask both their needs in the world and their expectations about the hereafter. They know that this month is a peaceful month in which wishes are fulfilled, needs are cared for and expectations are answered.
At the same time, they try to carry out different types of remembrance at different times and places.
In the following hadith narrated by Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentions the different sorts of remembrance of Allah:
Whoever fasts in Ramadan in silence and peace for one day, says: 'Allah is the greatest', recites: “La ilaha illallah” (there is no god but Allah), thanks Allah, knows what is permitted as permitted and what is forbidden as forbidden, Allah forgives all his/her past sins. (Kanzu'l-Ummal, 8:482)
A believer who becomes like an angel in this month by fasting is cleansed of his/her sins which are spiritual dirts and also tries to deserve Allah's acceptance/pleasure, by reciting the words of greatness (Allah is the greatest), words of oneness (There is no god but Allah), words of thankfulness, prayers for the Prophet, words of exaltedness of Allah, and words of repentance.
The Four Ways of Easy Fasting
In one of the Hadith related by Daylami from Anas Ibn Malik (R.A), the Prophet (SAW) advised the easy way of fasting and said:
He who applies four things fasts quite easily: breaks his fast with water, does not give up the suhoor meal, does not give up resting at noon, and uses nice perfume. (Ramuz-al-Ahadith, No: 957)
One should break the Ramadan fast quickly
Sahl ibni Sa’d, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
As long as humans make haste in breaking fast (i.e. eating the evening meal in Ramadan), they continue with the good. (Bukhari, Sawm: 45; Muslim, Siyam: 48; Muwatta, Siyam: 6; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 13.)
Imam Malik heard Abdulkerim ibni Abi’l-Muharik say:
One of the deeds of the Prophet is to make haste in breaking fast, and to delay suhur (the meal eaten by fasting Muslims just before dawn). (Muwatta, Qasru’s-Salat: 46.)
When the time for breaking fast came (iftar), Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, would never delay his iftar, would break his fast quickly.
He would mention the hadith qudsi (statements narrated by the Prophet from Allah, other than revelation):
Among my servants, the ones I love most are those who break their fast quickly.
In another hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
When you hear the adhan (call to the prayer, also means that the fast ends), if you have a glass of water in your hand, do not put it down before drinking it and thus breaking your fast.
These hadiths recommend that in Ramadan, once the evening adhan is issued, one should make iftar, i.e. should break one’s fast.
The Prophet’s prayer of iftar
Muadh ibn-i Zuhra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
- I have heard that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would recite this prayer when he ate iftar (the meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan):
Allahumma laka sumtu wa ala rizqika aftartu. (O my Allah! I have fasted for your acceptance and I am breaking my fast with Your provision.) (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 22)
Marvan ibn-i Salim narrates from ibn-i Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both:
- The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would say this when he broke his fast:
The thirst gone, the arteries dampened; the reward has become definite, Allah willing.
The narrator of the hadith Razin added the word “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to Allah!) to the beginning of the prayer. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 22)
Abdullah ibn-i Umar, peace be upon them both, would also pray as follows at the time of iftar:
O my Allah, forgive me for the sake of your rahmat (mercy) which encompasses the whole universe and forgive me my sins.
The Fasting Person is far from Hell
As is narrated by Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Whoever fasts one day for the acceptance of Allah, Allah keeps his/her face seventy years away from Hell in return for this one day. (Nasai, Siyam: 44)
Ramadan is the Salvation from Hell
Narrated from Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
When the first night of Ramadan comes, Allah regards His creation with mercy. Whichever servant Allah regards with mercy, He does not torment him/her, eternally. Each day of Ramadan, Allah saves one million people from Hell who deserve going to Hell.
When the 27th night of Ramadan comes, angels surge and Allah al-Jabbar (the Irresistible) reflects Himself with His light, which nobody can depict and calls out to the angels, who are to make celebrations the next day:
“O community of angels! What is the due of the worker who fulfills his/her job thoroughly?”
“S/he is given his/her due completely.”
Thereupon, Allah says:
“I appoint you witnesses that I have forgiven them all.” (at-Targhb wa’t-Tarhib, 2:434)
The Gap between the Fasting Person and Hell
According to the narration of Abu'd Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
Whoever fasts one day for the acceptance of Allah, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah creates a gap between him and Hell, as wide as the heavens and the earth. (Tirmidhi, Jihad: 3; at-Targhib va’t-Tarhib, 2:86)
Ramadan is the Month of Patience
In Ramadan, we go through a good training of patience. We experience high ethics in our own worlds. We accustom our stomach to patience by not eating anything though we are hungry, by not drinking even a sip of water though our throat dries out of thirst.
As is narrated by Abdullah ibn-i esh-Shihhir, may Allah be pleased with him, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, says:
The fast of Ramadan, which is the month of patience, and the fast of three days of each month, clean all evils in the heart. (Musnad, 5:363)
As is stated in the hadith (sayings of the Prophet), another name for Ramadan is the month of patience. In another hadith, the Prophet says: “Sawm (fasting) is the half of patience.” (Kanzu’l-Ummal, 8:444) and he thus highlights the importance of patience in fasting.
In Ramadan, we go through a good training of patience. We experience high ethics in our own worlds. We accustom our stomach to patience by not eating anything though we are hungry, by not drinking even a sip of water though our throat dries out of thirst.
On the other hand, if we happen to get angry, or if our souls force us to backbite or to tell lies and bad words, we instantly refrain and remember that we are fasting and thus show patience against such evils.
This training of patience that we carry out during Ramadan makes us recall those whose circumstances are more straitened than ours. This is because however poor one may be, one can by all means still find others poorer and more in need than oneself.
At least, one may think of the people who are in danger of starvation in certain parts of the world today. Thus, one tries to increase one's patience and thanksgiving.
What leads man to certain mistakes, causes him to perpetrate certain crimes, and lies on the grounds of many calamities that he is faced with is the patience that he could not show in the beginning. If he had shown patience in the first place and persevered, he could have avoided that calamity. So, “The cure for impatience which doubles the disasters humans encounter is fasting.”
The one who thus experiences patience one month long, who adds meaning and color to one's life with it, has eradicated the evil feelings in one's heart and has obtained a pure heart.
If one continues fasting three days in the middle of each month after Ramadan, too, as nafila (an optional, supererogatory practice of worship, not obligatory), it means that by using the cure of patience, one has mended one's ways.
The reward of offering iftar
Zayd ibn-i Khalid al-Juhani narrates:
- The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Whoever offers meal to his/her Muslim brother/sister at the time of iftar (the meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan), s/he receives as much reward as s/he has earned. Nothing becomes less of the reward of those s/he offered meal to. (Tirmidhî, Sawm: 82; Ibn-i Majah, Siyam: 40)
With the start of Ramadan, feasts and invitations of iftar increase. We invite our friends and relatives for iftar; we also attend their invitations and eat iftar together. This beautiful tradition enables people to get closer and revitalizes the feelings of helping one another and of generosity, as well.
However, when invitation is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the elaborateness and excellence of the meal. We sometimes get beguiled by this wrong idea and exceed our budget when we invite friends and incur debts above our finance.
That is possible for those with good financial state; however, for those with straitened circumstances, it is not appropriate. It is because such a preparation will not continue, and it will prevent visits to friends and relatives, which is fard (obligatory).
While the hadith encourages offering meal to the fasting person, as we learn from another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) states that it is possible to offer iftar even with a sip of water, a sup of milk or with a single date.
Thus, one can offer iftar without extravagance and excessive cost. One can make preparation and offer in accordance with one’s circumstances. In the hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) informs us of its lowest limit and points out that the same reward may be obtained also by offering a small amount.
For this reason, if we do not neglect visiting friends and relatives and offering iftar in Ramadan on the pretext “I do not have enough money to prepare iftar meal.” and thus acquire its spiritual reward, we will not only gain many things, but also carry out a beautiful sunnah (an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward).
It is also a sunnah to attend the invitation of iftar of our brother/sister and to pray for him/her after eating and drinking.
As Abdullah ibn-i Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates, the Prophet (PBUH) ate iftar at the house of Sa’d ibn-i Muadh, may Allah be pleased with him, and prayed for them as follows:
Aftara indekumu’s-saimuna wa akala taamakumu’l-abraru ve sallat alaykumu’l-malaika. (Let the fasting ones eat iftar with you. Let the good eat of your meal. And let the angels pray for you for forgiveness.) (Musnad, 3:138)
The Prayer of the Angels for those who offer iftar in Ramadan
In one of the narrations of Abu’sh-Shayh, Ibn-i Hıbban, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
Whoever offers iftar to a fasting person out of one’s halal (lawful) income in the month of Ramadan, on all the nights of Ramadan, the angels pray for him/her and at Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power) the Archangel Gabriel, peace be upon him, performs ‘musafaha’ (shaking hands) with him/her. With whomever Gabriel performs musafaha, his/her heart becomes tender and tears in his/her eyes increase.
The narrator says:
- When I said “O Messenger of Allah! If one does not have anything to offer iftar to the fasting person, what should he do? Tell me.”
He said: “A handful of food is also enough.”
- When I said “What if one does not find even a morsel of bread?”, he said:
“Then one should offer milk mixed with a little water.”
- When I said “What if one does not have it, either?”, he said:
“A sip of water.” (at-Targhb wa’t-Tarhib, 2:431)
About the topic that the angels pray for the fasting people in Ramadan, Caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates this hadith:
When the month of Ramadan starts, Allah commands the angels who carry the Arsh (the highest heaven):
Now, abandon your tasbih (proclamation of Allah’s greatness and exaltedness), pray for forgiveness for the Community of Muhammad! (Ramuzu’l-Ahadth, Hadith number: 584)
The Ones who miss the Opportunity of Ramadan
Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
One day, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was on the minbar (a raised pulpit in the mosque where the Imam stands to deliver sermons). At some time, he said “Amin” (Amen) three times.
After he climbed down the minbar, the Companions asked:
“At that time, what were you engaged in, O Messenger of Allah?”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explained:
“At that time, Gabriel came and said:
- If a servant (of Allah) reaches Ramadan and passes it without being forgiven, let his nose sweep the ground (let him suffer for that).
I said “Amin.”
He then said:
- If your name is mentioned in the presence of a servant (of Allah), and s/he does not say salawat (saying 'peace and blessings be upon him'), let his nose sweep the ground.
And I said 'Amin'.
He then said:
- If the parents or one of the parents of a servant stays with him/her and s/he does not earn their pleasure and thus cannot enter Paradise, let his nose sweep the ground, too.
I said 'Amin'.” (Bayhaqi, 4:304; at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:426.)
Ramadan is a chain of opportunities before us with its fasting, daily prayers, alms-giving, dhikr (remembering Allah), Qur'an and with all its potential good deeds. It is a market of the Hereafter opened for spiritual shopping. It is a body of means which make the Believer closer to his/her Lord. It is a set of hundreds of opportunities chained one after another carrying the servant to Paradise.
It is a way, for all who suffer as servants and humans at the hands of the devil and the self and drift into swirls of sins and rebellion in different ways, to cleanse and purify themselves.
Reason and will require benefiting from those blessings. They call for benefiting from the opportunity to the best. Otherwise, one cannot turn one's back on them blindly. This is because one cannot always stay the same. One cannot find the same atmosphere and circumstances. Sometimes one cannot find the time, sometimes his health does not allow, and at times his psychology does not give the opportunity.
In this respect, one should make good use of the fruitfulness of Ramadan. If passed with carelessness and negligence, it leads to loss in the world and to deprivation of mercy and forgiveness in the Hereafter; it is as if one digs one's own grave and tumbles down in it.
Thus, one not only loses Allah's mercy, but also deprives oneself of the closeness to and shafaat (intercession) of the Prophet, and stays far from angel's prayers.
Therefore, we need to try our best and make ourselves loved by Allah, His Messenger and the angels.
Going to Umrah in Ramadan
Ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
When Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, wanted to go to the Farewell Hajj (His last Hajj-Pilgrimage to Mecca), a woman said to her husband: “Send me, too, on the camel to Hajj with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.”
Her husband replied: “I don't have a camel with me to give you for Hajj.”
The woman said: “Send me to Hajj on that male camel.”
The man said: “It is under protection to be used on the way of Allah.” And he went to the Prophet.
“My wife sent her salaam (greetings) and Allah's mercy (As-Salam wa Rahmatullah). She wanted me to send her to Hajj with you. She said: 'Send me to Hajj with the Messenger of Allah.' And I said I didn't have a camel with me to give her for Hajj.
But my wife said: 'Send me to Hajj with that camel.'
And I replied: 'That camel is under protection to be used on the way of Allah.'
Thereupon, the Prophet said: “If you send your wife to Hajj on that camel, then the camel will be on the way of Allah.”
The man said: “My wife wanted me to ask what the equivalent deed is to the Hajj with you.”
The Messenger of Allah replied: “Convey to your wife
my salaam, Allah's mercy and barakat/blessings and tell her that Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage performed in Mecca. Unlike hajj, ‘umrah can be performed throughout the year.) in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj with me." (Abu Dawud, Manasik: 80; Muslim, Hajj: 221)
Umra in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj
Abdullah ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) told a woman from Ansar (The Believers in Madinah who helped and hosted the migrating Believers from Makkah):
Go to Umrah when the month of Ramadan comes. This is because the reward of Umrah performed in this month is equal to Hajj. (Nasai, Siyam: 6)
The Reward of Umrah in Ramadan
Ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, narrates:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
Whoever reaches makkah in the month of Ramadan and fasts and passes his/her night worshipping as much as he can, Allah writes for him/her the reward of a hundred thousand fasting of the month of Ramadan performed outside of Makkah and Allah bestows on him/her for each day and night the reward of freeing a slave.
For each day, He writes the reward of a horse's attack against the enemy on the way of Allah. And He writes for day a hasana (good deed), and for night a hasana. (Ibn Majah, Manasik: 106.)
Five Bounties given in Ramadan
Jabir bin Abd Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has told as follows:
My Ummah (community) was granted in Ramadan five things that were not given to the previous prophets’ Ummah.”
The first:When the first night of the month Ramadan comes, Almighty Allah gazes at them with His mercy. When Allah gazes someone with His mercy, He does not punish him, ever.
The second: The smell from the mouth of a fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.
The third: Each day and night, the angels beg forgiveness from Allah for the people who fast.
The forth: That day, Allah orders His Heaven and declares: ‘O Heaven, get ready and be adorned for my servants, they are about to take rest from the toil of the world to My Abode and My Generosity.’
The fifth: When the last day of Ramadan comes, Allah forgives all His servants that have fasted.
One of the Companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah. Is it the night the Night of Power?”
The Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him) said “No, do you not see that if laborers work, when they finish their tasks, they are given their wages” (at-Targhb ve at-Tarhib, 2:92)
When does Suhoor (a meal taken before fajr in the month of Ramadan) end?
Talk b. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) tells:
The Messenger of Allah stated:
Do not let the fajr al-kazib (the false day break) prevent you from eating or drinking so eat and drink until fajr al-Sadiq, (the true daybreak) till the true fajr appears. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 17; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 15)
According to the relation of Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah said “It is a brightness seen as horizontal, but not vertical” when he was describing “the true fajr.” (Bukhari, Adhan: 13, Talaq: 24, Khabar al- Wahid: 1; Muslim: Siam: 40)
Fajr means dawn time. It indicates the time Suhur ends and the Morning Prayer can be performed.
The false fajr is a light brightness seen vertically when close to morning in the horizon and which is visible only for a short time. That brightness disappears and after 20-25 minutes, then the true fajr appears. That time, a horizontal brightness among the horizon line appears. That brightness is also called “breaking of the day.”
Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) advices not to esteem the first brightness seen in the horizon.
The time taking place in the daily calendars and known as “imsaak” is the time of the true fajr. Adhan for the Morning Prayer is called at that time. In this way, both the time of imsaak begins, fasting starts and salat al-fajr is performed.
The Ones who appreciate the value of Ramadan
Abu Mas’ud al-Gifari ( may Allah be pleased with him) tells: One day I heard from the Noble Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him). After congratulating Ramadan, he stated:
Abu Mas’ud al-Gifari ( may Allah be pleased with him) tells:
One day I heard from the Noble Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him).
After congratulating Ramadan, he stated:
If my Ummah (community) knew the value, the honor and the importance of the month Ramadan properly, they would desire the entire of the year to be Ramadan. (at- Targhib ve at- Tarhib, 2: 102)
With what (food) is iftar fasting broken with?
Salman b. Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peaces and blessings be upon him) has told them as follows:
When one of you breaks his fast, he should break it with dates. For there is abundance in date. If he cannot find dates, he should break his fast with water since water cleans. (Ibn Maja, Siyam: 24; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 21)
As it is expressed in the hadith, the Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him) used to break his fast with dates. If there were not any dates, he used to drink water.
As what we learn from another relation, the Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before performing his prayer; if there were not any dates, he used to break his fast by drinking a few drops of water.
There is much wisdom in breaking fast with dates or water. Dates can be eaten with bread and they are also fruit.
Therefore, the stomach that has dates first gets rid of its need of nourishment for some time. A date also plays a role in activating the intestines.
Water provides physical and spiritual purifying. It quenches thirst, relieves and relaxes the stomach.
Those are not the entire benefits of dates and water. They have much more benefits and wisdom we do not know yet.
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) tells the Prophet’s personal practice in a different narration as follows:
The Messenger of Allah (peaces and blessings be upon him) used to break his fast with a few fresh dates before performing the evening prayer. If there were not any fresh dates, he used to break it with dry dates. If he could not find any dry dates, he used to drink a few drops of water. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 22, (2556); Tirmidhi, Sawm: 10)
There may not be any dates everywhere every time, and perhaps there may not be any water, either. There may be people fasting all around the world and every country and region has particular conditions. Therefore, breaking the fast in another way also takes place in sunnah (practice of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)).
The Prophet explains that issue as follows:
The Prophet (peaces and blessings be upon him) used to like breaking his fast with three dates or with something that fire did not touch. (At-Targhib wat-Tarhib 2:142)
The Tarawih Prayer
As is narrated by Nadr Ibn-i Shayban, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, said:
Allah ordained fasting in Ramadan as fard (obligatory) on you, and I ordained it as sunnah (an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward) on you to stay awake at night to pray tarawih (extra prayers in Ramadan after the Isha/Night prayer) and to recite/read the Qur'an.
Whoever fasts the Ramadan fast, believing and acting with sincerity and expecting its reward only from Allah; and stays awake at its night and performs the tarawih prayer and reads/recites the Qur'an, he becomes purified of his/her sins just as on the day s/he was born of his/her mother. (Nasai, Siyam: 40; Musnad, 1:195)
The prayer of tarawih is a beautiful type of worship, which adds meaning to and enlightens the nights of Ramadan. Believers cleanse their hearts with this spiritual aura.
Moreover, at the table of iftar (a meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan), a heaviness settles on the body. Yet, thanks to the prayer of tarawih, this trouble wears off, digestion becomes easier, and one finds bodily and spiritual relief.
The prayer of tarawih is a muakkad (strong) sunnah for all male and female Muslims.
The prayer of tarawih is the sunnah of waqt (time) not of fasting. Therefore, those who could not fast on such grounds as illness and journey should also try to perform the prayer of tarawih.
The prayer of tarawih means enlivening, evaluating the night and passing the whole night with worship.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) expresses this truth in one of his hadiths as follows:
The one who completes the prayer of tarawih with the imam acquires so much reward as if one has passed that whole night with worship. (Tirmidhi, Ibn-i Majah, Ibn-i Huzayma)
The Believer and the Hypocrite separate in Ramadan
Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him:
This month of yours has provided you with a shade, with the pledge of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). For Muslims there has been no month more auspicious than this month. And for hypocrites, there has been no worse month than this.
Undoubtedly, Allah writes the thawab (reward for good deeds that is tallied on qiyamah/judgment day) and nafila (optional, supererogatory practice of worship) of the Believer before He lets him enter this month; and He writes the ithm (negative reward for bad deeds that is tallied on judgment day; opposite of thawab.) and grievances of the hypocrite. This is because the believer prepares supplies in this month to perform worship well.
On the other hand, the hypocrite searches, in this month, for believers' heedlessness and faults. This is an opportunity. The believer makes good use of it. (at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2:432)
Fasting is an Atonement for Fitna
Huzayfa, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him:
Ibadat (worship) such as fasting, obligatory prayers, alms-giving, enjoining right and preventing from evil protect one from fitna (trial or tribulation; also refers to any period of disorder, such as a civil war, or the period of time before the end of the world or any civil strife.) that one is faced with because of one's family, property, one's own soul, children and neighbors, and they serve as atonement. (Bukhari, Sawm: 3; Muslim, Fitan: 26)
The Itikaf of the Prophet
Itikaf: Seclusion in the masjid (mosque) for the purpose of worship usually performed during the last 10 days of Ramadan
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, explains:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, would perform itikaf on the last ten days of Ramadan. He continued it till he passed away. (Bukhari, Itikaf: 1; Muslim, Itikaf: 2)
When the last ten days of Ramadan came, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would collect himself, make good use of the night, and wake up his household. (Bukhari, Qadr: 5)
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrates:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) performed itikaf on the last ten days of Ramadan until he passed away. After his death, his wives continued performing itikaf. (Bukhari, Itikaf: 1)
Literally, itikaf means waiting somewhere and stopping. Whether good or bad, it means binding the soul to something.
Religiously, it refers to a Muslim abandoning outside relations and cares and staying in a mosque for some time with the purpose of worship.
In the 187th verse of Chapter al-Baqarah of the Qur'an, it is stated: “...do not associate in intimacy with them (your wives) during the period when you are in retreat in the mosques...”; so itikaf is a type of worship which is present both in the Qur'an and in the Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet).
Itikaf is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) pertaining to action.
He would himself perform this worship every year on the last ten days of Ramadan, which was continued by his venerable wives after his death.
In a hadith narrated by Ibn-i Maja; Ibn-i Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, said:
When Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, wanted to perform itikaf, his bed or his bedstead on which he slept would be placed in front of or behind the Pillar of Repentance (Abu Lubaba), which was in the mosque. (Ibn-i Majah, Siyam: 61)
Itikaf is a sunnah kifaya; in other words, if one person performs this sunnah in a town, other Muslims are saved from responsibility. For this reason, in some of our mosques in Turkey, Muslims continue this sunnah on the last ten days of Ramadan; as well as in Makkah and Madinah, where the sunnah of itikaf is more intensively performed.
One who is engaged for ten days in worship, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), Qur'an, istighfar (asking for forgiveness), salawat (sending salaams to the Prophet), supplication and prayer tries to purify one's soul and gets ready for the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).
How should we make good use of the nights of Ramadan?
Venerable Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, explains:
When the last ten days of Ramadan came, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, would make good use of the nights with ibadah (worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah). He would also wake up his household so that they also perform ibadah. He would take more pains for ibadah than other times. (Muslim, Itikâf: 7)
Ramadan is a month when any kinds of ibadah are performed much. Ibadah is carried out more and more toward the end of Ramadan. As is expressed in some of the hadiths (sayings of the Prophet), it is recommended that the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) should be searched for on the last ten days of Ramadan. For this reason, good deeds and different kinds of ibadah are tried to be carried out more after the 20th of Ramadan.
This is also a sunnah (an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward). Especially, if we stay awake at nights as much as possible, and make a good profit out of this time with such ibadah as prayers, remembrance of Allah, and supplication, then we follow the example of the Prophet in the best way.
If we act this way and if we incorporate our household in that spiritual feast as well, then we will not deprive them of those blessings. This way, they will also serve as a means for the formation of that radiant aura, as much as they can.
Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Power)
As is narrated by Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, said:
Whoever makes a good profit at the Night of Power by spending it with ibadah (worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah), believing and hoping its reward only from Allah, his/her past sins are forgiven (Bukhari, Iman: 35; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 1)
The Qur'an praises the Night of Power. It informs us that the Night of Power is better than a thousand months (which do not include that night). So, the believer who passes that night with ibadah and makes a good profit out of it acquires as much reward as if s/he passed a thousand months with ibadah. In other words, s/he finds the opportunity to earn the thawab (reward for good deeds that is tallied on qiyamah/judgment day) only at one night, which, otherwise, s/he could earn in such a long life as 80 years.
According to a narration by Abdullah Ibn-i Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever wants to search for the Night of Power, let him/her search at the 27th night.” (Musnad, 2:27), he thus advised us to pass the 27th night awake with ibadah and dhikr (remembrance of Allah).
If we celebrate that night with this prayer, which the Prophet taught to Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, it would be more virtuous:
Allahumma innaka afuwwun, karimun, tuhibbu’l-afwa, fa’fu anni. (O my Allah! You are much forgiving, much generous; you love forgiving; forgive me.) (Tirmidhi, Daawat: 84)
The Alms of Fitr (Fitra)
Abdullah Ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, narrates:
Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, commanded the alms of fitr so that the fasting person would be cleansed of vain, ugly and haphazard words and so that it would provide the poor with provision. Whoever gives this before the prayer of festival ('Iyd prayer), it is accepted of him as alms. And whoever gives it after the prayer of festival, then, it is like one of the alms given at other times. (Ibn-i Majah, Zakat: 21)
With the alms of fitr, in other words with fitra, we offer thanks for the blessing that we have successfully completed the worship of fasting. For this reason, another name for the Ramadan Festival is 'the Festival of Fitr'. In this festival, the iftar (the meal eaten to break fasting at sunset) of the fasting for a month is eaten. Just like the iftar that we eat every evening of Ramadan, the iftar we eat at the end of this month as a divine banquet has many mysteries.
The joy the believer feels in the festival is similar to the joy that s/he feels the instant s/he reaches his/her Lord. The alms of fitr is an expression of that joy.
Just as a joyful person gives presents to people, so too does the believer who completes his/her fasting and has gotten closer to his/her Lord have the opportunity to experience that joy once more by giving the alms of fitr.
So, the alms of fitr, which we give in Ramadan, has two benefits: one for us, and one for the needy:
The benefit pertaining to us is that it is a kaffarah (compensation) for our shortcomings and it helps to cleanse them. Allah forgives them on account of that alms. This way, the poor also get some of their needs met, however few they might be.
In the hadith (saying of the Prophet), it is stated as a stipulation for attaining those blessings that the alms should be given before the prayer of festival. Believers are encouraged to do it.
Fasting is the Zakat of the Body
Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, said:
Everything has zakat (a certain percentage of one's income/property given to charity). And the zakat of the body is fasting. (Ibn-i Majah, Siyam: 44)
Zakat is not given only out of property. Every blessing that Allah grants has zakat of its own kind. The zakat of knowledge is to teach what one knows to others; that of life is to perform the obligatory prayers; that of property is to use it in a good way (and to pay a certain percentage out of it to charity every year: zakat), and that of the body is to fast.
The fasting person understands that neither his/her body nor the blessings s/he has belongs to him/her and that s/he cannot eat and drink whenever s/he wishes. S/he understands by fasting that those blessings are given to him/her as a trust and realizes who the Real Owner is. S/he cannot eat and drink without His permission.
Thus, s/he offers thanks to The Real Bestower, who is the real owner. S/he knows that blessings come directly from Him. The fasting person tries to offer thanks for the blessing of the body with its zakat, fasting.
As a matter of fact, zakat is a kind of offering thanks. And fasting is “the key to a sincere, great and universal thanks-offering.” Thanks to fasting, the believer finds the opportunity to think about the value of the blessings which are obviously bestowed on him/her.
Another meaning of zakat is cleanliness/purification. Just as the zakat given out of property causes it to be cleaned, to increase and to become fruitful; so too is the fast a means to cleanse the body materially and spiritually and a means to increase good health and blessings.
Just as the person who gives zakah cleanses his/her
property of dirt and of sins, so too does the fasting person purify his/her body from sins. S/he acquires a pure body and spirit.
The sleep of the person fasting is worship
According to Abd Allah bin Hars’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
The sleep of the fasting person is worship, and his silence is deemed as glorifying. many times more merits are given for his good deeds and worship. His prayers are accepted; his sins are forgiven and eliminated. (Kanz al-Ummal, 3:327)
What is perfect fast like?
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said the following:
If a fasting person does not give up lying, committing perjury and ignorant behaviors, and if he commits such sins, Allah does not esteem his stopping eating and drinking. (Ibn Majah, Sawm: 21)
A person intending to fast does not only stop eating and drinking. He makes his mouth and stomach fast; and he also sends his other faculties to help them.
Anyway, is not the perfect fast the one fasted in that way? Namely, along with the stomach the other faculties such as eyes, ears, the heart and imagination also perform a kind of fasting. Each of them starts performing its particular worship.
The fasting of tongue is abstaining from lying, back-biting, and indecent words, and being busy with worships such as Qur’an, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), glorifying Allah’s names, asking for Allah’s blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and praying to Allah for His forgiveness.
The fasting of eyes is not looking at what is forbidden. The fasting of ears is not listening to unnecessary words. Instead of those, eyes try to look in order to take lessons and ears try to listen to the true words and the Qur’an. Faculties such as heart, imagination and mind also think about favorable things.
In this way, since all faculties fast along with the stomach, man does not keep away from eating and drinking in vain and he approaches the perfect fast as a result.
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
There are some fasting people whose only benefit from their fasting is remaining without food and water.
There are some people who get up in the night and perform salat (prayer) but can not obtain anything except not sleeping enough.” (Ibn Majah, Siyam: 21)
How should a fasting person behave?
According to Abu Hurayra’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
None of you should utter nasty words and behave ignorantly on the day you are fasting. If another person provokes you or tries to pick a quarrel with you, you should keep away from him by saying ‘I am fasting, I am fasting’. (Ibn Majah, Siyam: 21)
The fasting person is not called to account
Abu Malika (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Noble Prophet ( peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
Those three persons are not called to account in the herafter if they earn their living in a halal (permissible) way: the person fasting, the person getting up for suhur (a meal taken before fajr in the month of Ramadan) and the person fighting in the way of Allah. (Kanz al-Ummal, 3:328)
Prosperity and abundance of suhur (a meal taken before fajr in the month of Ramadan)
According to Abu Sa’id al-Khudri’s (may Allah be pleased with him) relation, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated as follows:
There is abundance in suhur meal. Do not neglect getting up for suhur even if you drink a sup of water since Allah has mercy on the ones getting up for suhur, and angles also pray for their forgiveness. (Musnad, 3:44)
Getting up for suhur is a means of two kinds of abundance. The first is that the person having suhur meal has fewer difficulties in fasting in the daytime and he becomes more resistant against fasting. In this way, Almighty Allah grants abundance and plenitude to his sustenance, to the meal he has eaten.
The other one is that a person standing awake during the dawn finds an opportunity for worship, prayer and dhikr (remembrance of Allah) because if he cannot get up for suhur, he will spend those blessed times by sleeping and as a result his spiritual share will be less.
The encouragement in the hadith is important in terms of providing those two points.
Besides, the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to be quick in having iftar meal (breaking of fast) but he used to make meal of suhur late. He used to wait till the time close to imsak (start of the fasting time) and he used to eat and drink then. Because, the later the meal is eaten, the later one gets hungry, and he becomes more prepared for fasting.
According to the relation of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) especially advises us to have suhur meal and he states:
Have suhur meal, because there is abundance in suhur meal. (Bukhari, Sawm: 20, Muslim Siyam: 45; Tirmidhi. Sawm: 17; Nasai: Sawm: 18.)
The worship of fast was present in the religious laws of Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus. Because, fasting is a common worship of the heavenly religions. In surah of The Cow (Al-Baqarah), it is stated as follows:
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self restraint. (Qur’an, The Cow (Al-Baqarah); 183 (2: 183))
As it is expressed clearly in the verse, Jews and Christians also used to fast in the beginning. However, as they modified other worships such as salat (prescribed prayers) and zakat (alms), they also modified the time of fasting and its way of performing. There was only one difference between the fasting they used to perform in the beginning and our fasting. That was suhur.
In a hadith Amr b. As (may Allah be pleased with him) related, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) describes that difference as follows:
The difference distinguishing our fast from the fast of the people of the Book is suhur meal. (Muslim, Siyam: 46; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 15; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 17; Nasai, Sawm: 27)
The duration of suhur (a meal taken before fajr in the month of Ramadan) and the time of the morning prayer
Zayd bin Thabit narrates:
We had our suhur meal with the Messenger of Allah (peaces and blessings be upon him) and then we stood up for salat (prayer). He was asked, “How much time has passed (between suhur and salat)?” He gave the following answer:
Enough time to recite fifty verses! (Bukhari, Sawm: 19, Mawakit as-Salat: 27, Tahajjud: 8; Muslim, Siyam: 47; Tirmidhi, Sawm: 14; Nasa’i, Sawm: 21,22)
In that hadith, it is stated how much time later after having the suhur meal and calling of adhan for the morning prayer, the morning prayer can be performed.
That practice of the Prophet and his Companions is a practice that can be performed easily by everyone.
The Noble Companions also inform us how they behave between suhur and morning prayer, what they do when time for suhur becomes short and how they get prepared for salat.
Sahl bin Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
I was eating suhur meal with my family. Then I ate quickly in order to perform the morning prayer with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). (Bukhari, Sawm: 19, Mawaqit: 27)
The Prophet advised his ummah (community) ease in every subject, he did not put pressure on them and he attracted their attention to overcome hunger although a little time was left for the preparation for fasting.
He allowed that if someone was late, he could finish his meal within a few minutes even when adhan was called as is seen in the following example:
Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) declared:
If one of you has his plate (from which he is eating and drinking) in his hand at the time adhan is called, he should not drop it till his need is satisfied. (Abu Dawud, Sawm: 18)
The information in those narrations should be mainly related with the adhans Bilal used to call since he used to call the adhans for morning prayers before its time. For this reason, in the places where adhan is called just on the time of imsak (start of the fasting time), one should begin fasting as soon as adhan is called.
Time of iftar (breaking of fast)
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) stated:
When night comes from that direction (from east), day goes to that direction (to west) and sun sets,a fasting person can break his fast. (Bukhari, Sawm: 43; Muslim, Siam: 51; Abu Dawud, Sawm: 19; Tirmidhi. Sawm: 12)
Time for iftar comes actually when the sun sets. The fast is broken. The fast of the next day is intended. However, today people act depending on the calculation of the calendar, the adhan for maghrib (evening) salat is called based on the calendar and time for iftaar comes.
In fact, calculation on the calendar is made based the sun. Both the time for suhur (a meal taken before fajr in the month of Ramadan) and time for iftar are determined in accordance with the location of the sun, its state and rising and setting. That hadith declares the time for iftar clearly.
The Joy of Festival (Eid)
Anas Ibn-i Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates:
At the time of Jahiliyya (the time of ignorance before Islam was realized; describes polytheistic religions) there were two days in every year when the community would make celebrations. When he came to Madinah, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him) said:
You too have two days for celebration. Allah granted you the better, instead of those days at the time of ignorance. They (the better ones) are the days of the festivals of Ramadan and Sacrifice. (Nasai, 'Iydayn: 1)
The significance of the Festivals of Ramadan and Sacrifice stem from their relation to fasting and Hajj (pilgrimage), which are two fundamental types of worship of Islam.
The Ramadan Festival is the joy of thanks offered for the worship of fasting. And the Festival of Sacrifice is the joy felt because of the worship of sacrifice and Hajj.
The Festival of Ramadan refers to the accomplishment of the test of patience shown for such a difficult worship as fasting, which lasts for a month.
Believers, who restrain themselves for a month from eating, drinking, and sexual relation for Allah's acceptance, deserve such a festival. In this respect, the Festival of Ramadan is an iftar (meal eaten to break fasting at sunset) of all the fasting of Ramadan. It is for this reason that this festival is also called “the Festival of Fitr (alms special for this month)”.
Those who complete their fasting without flaw feel joy with iftar every day; similarly, those who complete their fasting for one month feel joy with the festival, which constitute one of the most meaningful aspects of the Festival of Ramadan.
Every year, we feel the happiness of celebrating those two festivals. We try to increase our thanks to Allah more and more.
As is narrated by Anas Ibn-i Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would not go to the Prayer of Festival on the day of Ramadan Festival without first eating some dates. (Bukhari, 'Iydayn: 4)
Jabir Ibn-i Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, describes the Prophet's Prayer of Festival:
On the day of festival, I was present at the prayer with Allah's Messenger (PBUH). He started praying (salah) before preaching and before reciting adhan (call to prayer) and iqama (similar to adhan; recited before praying). And then, standing and leaning to Bilal, he advised acting with taqwa (righteousness; goodness; piety) towards Allah. Encouraging obedience to Allah, he preached and advised people. And then he walked; when he came to the side where women were present, he preached and advised them. (Muslim, Salatu’l-'Iydayn: 4)
One of the points that the Prophet emphasized was to give alms after the Prayer of Festival. The translation of the hadith (saying of the Prophet) about the topic is as follows:
Ibn-i Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, explains:
I was present at the Prayer of Ramadan Festival together with Allah's Messenger (PBUH), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. All of them would lead the prayer before the sermon and then deliver the sermon.
Once, I saw Allah's Messenger (PBUH) climb down the minbar (a raised pulpit in the mosque where the Imam stands to deliver sermons) after the sermon, and make the sign for the congregation not to dismiss but to sit down.
Then, passing through the lines of men with Bilal, he came to the place where women were present. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) recited the following verse from the Qur'an:
“O Prophet! When the believing women (who have professed Islam) come to you to swear allegiance to you – that they will never associate partners with God in any way, and will not steal, and will not commit any illegal sexual intercourse, and will not kill their children, and will not indulge in slander (such as attributing any of their children to other than their own father) that they have willfully devised, and that they will not disobey you in anything that is proper-then accept their allegiance and ask God for their forgiveness. Surely God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.” The Qur'an, Al-Mumtahana (The Examined One) 60: 12
And then, he asked the women:
“Are you firm on this covenant?”
One of the women whom they did not recognize said:
“Yes, O Allah's Messenger!”
Others did not answer. Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: “Then give alms!”
Spreading his garment, Bilal said: “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you (an expression that the companions used to show their love to the Prophet)! Come and give (alms)!”
And they started to cast their necklaces and rings into Bilal's garment.” (Muslim, Salatu’l-'Iydayn: 1)
On the days of festivals, merry-making and playing games are also permitted provided that they are legitimate. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, relates the permission of the Prophet about it as follows:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) came to my house while two girls were singing beside me the songs of Buath (a story about the war between the two tribes of the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aus, before Islam). The Prophet (PBUH) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly saying, "Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet (PBUH)?" Allah's Messenger (PBUH) turned his face towards him and said, "Leave them." When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signaled to those girls to go out and they left.
According to the narration of Bukhari, after saying, “Leave them”, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) added: “There is an 'eid (festival) for every nation and this is our 'eid.” or “These days are the days of festival.” (Muslim, Iydayn: 16-22, Bukhari, Iydayn: 25)
At the Era of Bliss (the time of the Prophet), there were plays of spear and dances based on national tradition which resemble today's folklore. They were generally played by the Ethiopians (Abyssinians). In the books of hadith such as Bukhari and Muslim, there are some narrations about the subject reported from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her:
On one of the festival days, while the Ethiopians were playing with shields and spears and were dancing, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) saw them and let Aisha watch that play.
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, explains the event as follows:
“When the Abyssinians came and started dancing, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) called for me. And I went and put my head on his shoulder. I started watching the play of the Abyssinians. Finally, I was the first to give up watching them.”
Moreover, in such a play, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) even encouraged the Abyssinians saying: “"Come on! O Bani Arfida (sons of Arfida)! Play!"
Furthermore, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) calmed Umar bin Khattab down, who, when he saw such a group, wanted to prevent them by stoning; the Prophet said:
“Leave them, O Umar!” (Muslim, 'Iydayn: 18-22)