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Spider

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  1. Spider

    History of Ramadan

    Ramadan in History By Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick All praises to Allah, Lord of the worlds. He who revealed in His Glorious Qur'an, "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you that you may keep your duty to your Lord (having taqwa)," (2:185). And may blessings and peace of Allah be upon His last Messenger Muhammad ibn Abdullah, forever. O you who believe, Ramadan is a sacred month wherein Almighty Allah is constantly testing His creation and giving humanity the opportunity to achieve infinite, endless Bliss. Fasting is a complete purification and a means to developing the consciousness of Allah's presence. The consciousness of Allah (Taqwa) is a protection against the schemes of Shaitan, and the suffering of this world. Allah has informed us that, "Whoever keeps his duty to Allah (has taqwa), He ordains a way out for him and gives him sustenance from where he imagines not. And whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah attains His purpose. Allah has appointed a measure for everything." (65:2) Many Muslims today have a misconception about fasting and the activities of a fasting person. They go into a state of semi-hibernation, spending most of their daylight hours in bad. If they fear Allah, they wake up for prayer, but then return to sleep immediately. This unnatural sleep makes them become lazy, dull-witted and often cranky. Ramadan is actually a time of increased activity wherein the believer, now lightened of the burdens of constant eating and drinking, should be more willing to strive and struggle for Allah. The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, passed through approximately nine Ramadans after the Hijrah. They were filled with decisive events and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah. In the first year after the Hijrah, the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, sent Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib with thirty Muslim riders to Saif al Bahr to investigate three hundred riders from Quraish who had camped suspiciously in that area. The Muslims were about to engage the disbelievers, but they were separated byMajdy ibn Umar al-Juhany. The Hypocrites of Madinah, hoping to oppose the unity of the Muslims, built their own masjid (called Masjid ad-Dirar). The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, ordered this masjid to be destroyed in Ramadan. On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 3 A.H., Almighty Allah separated truth from falsehood at the Great Battle of Badr. The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, and 313 of his companions set out to intercept a caravan of their own goods that had been left in Makkah. It was led by Abu Sufyan himself, and estimated at 50,000 dinars. They were met, instead, by a well-equipped army of the nobility of Quraish, intend on putting out the light of Islam. Despite being outnumbered three to one and appearing weak and unseasoned, the Muslims defended their faith with a burning desire to protect the Prophet and meet their Lord through martyrdom. Allah gave them a decisive victory on this day of Ramadan, that would never be forgotten. In 6 A.H., Zaid ibn Haritha was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of a detachment to confront Fatimah bint Rabiah, the queen of that area. Fatimah had previously attacked a caravan led by Zaid and had succeeded in plundering its wealth. She was known to be the most protected woman in Arabia, as she hung fifty swords of her close relatives in her home. Fatimah was equally renowned for showing open hostility to Islam. She was killed in a battle against these Muslims in the month of Ramadan. By Ramadan of 8 A.H., the treaty of Hudaibiyya had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines in the North. Muhammad, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquer the city of Mecca. Allah has declared His Sanctuary a place of peace, security and religious sanctity. Now the time had come to purify the Ka`bah of nakedness and abomination. The Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam set out with an army having more armed men than al-Madinah had ever seen before. People were swelling the army's ranks as it moved toward Makkah. The determination of the believers, guided by the Will of Allah, became so awesome that the city of Makkah was conquered without a battle, on 20 Ramadan. This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula. During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the other major centers of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed. Such was the month of Ramadan in the time of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam. It was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and striving hard with one's life and wealth. After the death of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, Muslims carried on this tradition and Allah used the true believers to affect the course of history. Ramadan continued to be a time of great trials and crucial events. Ninety-two years after the Hijrah, Islam had spread across North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. Spain was under the tyrannical rule of King Roderic of the Visigoths. Roderic had forced his six millions serfs and persecuted Jews to seek the aid of the Muslims of North Africa in order to be delivered. Musa ibn Husair, the Umayyad governor of North Africa, responded by sending his courageous general Tariq ibn Ziyad at the head of 12,000 Berber and Arab troops. In Ramadan of that year, they were confronted with a combined Visigoth army of 90,000 Christians led by Roderic himself, who was seated on a throne of ivory, silver, and precious gems and drawn by white mules. After burning his boats, Tariq preached to the Muslims warning them that victory and Paradise lay ahead of them and defeat and the sea lay to the rear. They burst forth with great enthusiasm and Allah manifested a clear victory over the forces of disbelief. Not only was Roderic killed and his forces completely annihilated, but also Tariq and Musa succeeded in liberating the whole of Spain, Sicily and parts of France. This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Al-Andalus where Muslims ruled for over 700 years. In the year 582 A.H., Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, after battling with the Crusaders for years, finally drove them out of Syria and the whole of their occupied lands in the month of Ramadan. The Muslim world was then destined to meet one of its most frightening challenges. In the seventh century A.H. the Mongols were sweeping across Asia destroying everything that lay in their path. Genghis Khan called himself "the scourge of God sent to punish humanity for their sins". In 617 A.H., Samarkand, Ray and Hamdan were put to the sword causing more than 700,000 people to be killed or made captive. In 656 A.H., Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan, continued this destruction. Even Baghdad, the leading city of the Muslim world, was sacked. Some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 Muslims were killed in this awesome carnage. The Christians were asked to eat pork and drink wine openly while the surviving Muslims were forced to participate in drinking bouts. Wine was sprinkled in the masjids and no Azan (call to prayer) was allowed. In the wake of such a horrible disaster and with the threat of the whole Muslim world and then Europe being subjected to the same fate, Allah raised up from the Mamluks of Egypt, Saifuddin Qutz, who united the Muslim army and met the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 25th of Ramadan, 458 A.H. Although they were under great pressure, the Muslims with the help of Allah, cunning strategy and unflinching bravery crushed the Mongol army and reversed this tidal wave of horror. The whole of the civilized world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islam. This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges. It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His mercy and forgiveness. Today, the Muslim world is faced with drought, military aggression, widespread corruption and tempting materialism. Surely we are in need or believers who can walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, the illustrious Sahabah, Tariq ibn Ziyad, Qutuz, Salahuddin and the countless heroes of Islam. Surely we are in need of believers who are unafraid of the threats of the disbelievers, yet kind and humble to the believing people; Muslims whose fast is complete and not just a source of hunger and thirst. May Allah raise up a generation of Muslims who can carry Islam to all corners of the globe in a manner that befits our age, and may He give us the strength and the success to lay the proper foundations for them. May Allah make us of those who carry out our Islam during Ramadan and after it, and may He not make us of those who say what they do not do. Surely Allah and His Angels invoke blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad. O you who believe, send blessings and peace to him forever. Source: http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=510 ____________________________________ Why do Muslims Fast During Ramadan? By Abdullateef Bello What turns out now to be a compulsory annual event (i.e fasting during the month of Ramadan by all able-bodied muslims) started in the early years of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) in Medina, precisely in the second year of Hijra. Prior to his flight to Medina (known as Hijra), the Prophet(s.a.w) was in the habit of fasting three times per month (this gives 36 days in a year) when he was in Mecca and to a great extent when he settled in Medina. Not long, the Prophet(s.a.w) soon discovered that the Jews in Medina used to set aside one special day for fasting. By Islamic lunar calendar, the day used to be 10th of Muharram, often called yawmu :ashura. The Prophet(s.a.w) then asked the Jews about the significance of the day. He was told that it is the day Allah helped Prophet Musa(a.s) to humiliate, defeat and drown the tyrant, Fir'aon. By all standard, since Musa(a.s) was a prophet of Allah and of course a muslim, the Prophet(s.a.w) felt that Musa(a.s) was nearer to him as a Prophet (as well as to the muslims) than to the Jews. To this end, he ordered his companions to fast along with him that day. Narrated Ibn 'Abbas(r.a): When Allah's Apostle(s.a.w) arrived at Medina, he found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashura. The Prophet(s.a.w) asked (about it) and they replied: "This is the day when Moses(a.s) became victorious over Fir'aon". The Prophet(s.a.w) said (to the muslims), "We are nearer to Moses than they, so fast on this day" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol.6, p.233) The Prophet(s.a.w) also sent a companion to go round Medina to announce to all the muslims that whoever has eaten should fast for the remaining hours of the day and whoever has not eaten should fast for the day (see Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 3, hadeeth 181, p. 103). It is evident that 'Ashura fast was the first communal fast made obligatory for the muslims by the Prophet(s.a.w) whereas his own habit of 3-day-fast-per-month remained optional. The All-knowing Allah formally revealed two verses regarding fasting in the second year of Hijra: the verses spelt out the reasons for fasting; when to do so; who should be exempted? etc. Let's see the verses: "O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to attain) piety" (Q2:183) "(fasting is) for a fixed number of days: but if any one of you is sick, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from (other) days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But whoever can give more (than this) of his own free will--(then) it is better for him, and it is better for you that ye fast, if ye but knew." Q(2:184) When these two verses were revealed, 'Aisha(r.a) reported that the Prophet(s.a.w) then said to the muslims: "Ramadan fast is a divine obligation but whoever likes to fast 'Ashura day (as well) may do so voluntarily or leave it". Undoubtedly, Ramadan fast is a blessing to the muslims in the sense that from one-day 'Ashura fast, Allah gave them a whole month of Ramadan instead. Ramadan may be 29 or 30 days depending on when the moon was sighted. A cursory look at the qur'anic verses above reveals that the All-wise intend ease for the muslims and not difficulty: for instance, ransom was allowed for those who choose not to fast due to hardship or difficulty. This freedom or leniency was shortlived when the All-wise and the All-knowing Allah tightened His injunction with another revelation that nullified giving ransom, by able-bodied muslims, in exchange for missed Ramadan fast thus: "Ramadan is the (month) in which Qur'an was sent down, as a guide to mankind, and a clear guidance and judgement (so that mankind will distinguish right from wrong). Whoever among you witnesses the month of Ramadan should fast through it. But whoever is sick or on a journey, the prescribed period (missed should be made up) by days later. Allah wants ease for you and He does not want to put you into difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful" Q(2:185). This verse shows that Allah wants every able-bodied muslim to "complete the prescribed period" (30 or 29 days depending on when the moon was sighted). It infact re-emphasises the importance of Ramadan fast which Allah made clear in the last part of Q(2:184) where He said: "...it is better for you that ye fast if ye but knew". Unambiguously, feeding of the poor person as a ransom for not fasting (by those who can fast) is not allowed by Q(2:185). This is the genesis of Ramadan fast in Islam. Remarkably, it is clear that 'Ashura fast was replaced by Ramadan fast, but the habit of fasting 3-day-per-month which the Prophet(s.a.w) used to do was a blessing in someway because his 36 days a year fasting can be interpreted thus: Allah approved 30 days as FARD (i.e obligatory) for the month of Ramadan, and the Prophet(s.a.w) recommended six days fasting in the month of Shawwal for all muslims (though this is voluntary). If these two fastings are adopted, one would have done 36 days (which is the same as fasting round the year). Source: http://www.islamawareness.net/Ramadhan/fast2.html
  2. Spider

    MM Awards 2024

    ^ Better to have one more, so I nominate Breeze and Spud to do it.
  3. Spider

    MM Awards 2024

    I agree. I think we should.
  4. Spider

    Inspirational Quotations

    "Creativity requires taking what Einstein called 'a leap into the unknown.' This can mean putting your beliefs, reputation, and resources on the line as you suffer the slings and arrows of ridicule. Other common attributes are a strong motivation to bring order and definition to the world, as well as independent judgment. Creative people are able to go against the mainstream. While in many ways they can be quite conventional, they tend to rebel against conformity as they accompany their own private visions down lonely, untrod paths." Frank X. Barron (1979)
  5. Happy Birthday Summer Haze!

    1. Breeze

      Breeze

      Happy bday Summerhaze wherever you are!

  6. Spider

    What are you reading?

    I like him too. I am planning to get this book next: Jung on Art: The Autonomy of the Creative Drive Lots of crazy but interesting ideas.
  7. Spider

    What are you reading?

    Glad to know your opinion.
  8. Spider

    What are you reading?

    Neither, but I'm going to a vocational/employability type of program so that I can find something which is easier for me. I've already worked before, though. Are you asking me that because I'm not on MM a lot these days?
  9. Spider

    What are you reading?

    I'm not sure, but I like to think that there's probably a relationship. The contents of a book are ordered in such a way so that the ideas or lessons being taught can be connected in a much easier manner. However, I seem to have a hyper-associative type of cognition, which means that I can easily find connections between something I read on page 6 and something else that I read on page 96, for example. So I can read in a pretty chaotic style and yet be able to understand quickly what the connections are. I don't even read fiction anymore.
  10. Spider

    What are you reading?

    I started reading a book titled Trying Not to Try, by Edward Slingerland. The book elucidates on a Chinese philosophical concept called "wu-wei" (pronounced oo way), which has been given a paradoxical meaning, roughly translated as "doing through non-doing" or "effortless action." I was specifically looking for a book on this subject because it piqued my interested while I was reading articles about wu-wei on the internet. Essentially, the author talks in length about the counter-intuitive effects of trying too hard or striving too much in life, and explains that instead there is a 'right' way to try, a kind of trying which is more natural, spontaneous, and effortless - or, in short, a matter of commitment vs. manipulation.
  11. Spider

    What are you reading?

    Well, sometimes I do wish I could read a book in order, just the way it should be, but once I start reading this way it feels like there is more of a demand and pressure on myself now. And then it reduces my comprehension somewhat (or it feels like that a little bit). So, then my brain tells me to read in a different way, in a more relaxed and care-free manner: to start reading from wherever I want to.
  12. Spider

    What are you reading?

    I have a weird way of reading. That is, I don't read from front to end of a book as most people do. I read the first chapter or two, and then I start to read by just opening the book and reading from wherever I feel like, in a more random fashion. For some reason reading that way makes it easier for me to stay focused and interested in what I'm reading. And I can also understand everything as I read, since I read non-fiction only, unlike fiction which has to be read from beginning to end without skipping.
  13. Spider

    Thread Al-3rabi

    I knew that already.
  14. Spider

    Thread Al-3rabi

    What's a fatha?
  15. Spider

    Random Islamic Questions

    In short, it's because Prophethood is an extremely heavy task, and by nature, men compared to women are better able to handle it. But Allah knows best. Here's a fatwa on that, if you want a little more elaboration: https://islamqa.info/en/158044
  16. Happy Birthday M-C and Faerie

  17. Spider

    Hadiths on Fasting

    FASTING (TRANSLATION OF SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 31) Volume 3, Book 31, Number 115 Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaid-Ullah: A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers." He replied: "You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting." He replied, "You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me." Thus, Allah's Apostle informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, "By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah's Apostle said, "If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise)." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 116 Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet observed the fast on the 10th of Muharram ('Ashura), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day, but when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, the fasting of the 'Ashura' was abandoned. 'Abdullah did not use to fast on that day unless it coincided with his routine fasting by chance. Volume 3, Book 31, Number 117 Narrated 'Aisha: (The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura' in the Pre-lslamic period, and then Allah's Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet said, "He who wants to fast (on 'Ashura') may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 119 Narrated Abu Wail from Hudhaifa: Umar asked the people, "Who remembers the narration of the Prophet about the affliction?" Hudhaifa said, "I heard the Prophet saying, 'The affliction of a person in his property, family and neighbors is expiated by his prayers, fasting, and giving in charity." 'Umar said, "I do not ask about that, but I ask about those afflictions which will spread like the waves of the sea." Hudhaifa replied, "There is a closed gate in front of those afflictions." 'Umar asked, "Will that gate be opened or broken?" He replied, "It will be broken." 'Umar said, "Then the gate will not be closed again till the Day of Resurrection." We said to Masruq, "Would you ask Hudhaifa whether 'Umar knew what that gate symbolized?" He asked him and he replied "He ('Umar) knew it as one knows that there will be night before tomorrow, morning. Source: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...ri/031.sbt.html
  18. Spider

    Solar Eclipse 2017

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ Illustration is from here, which also shows the path of the total eclipse on the US map.
  19. I think that all bad experiences can either be good or bad for you depending on how you react to those situations. Also, it's easy to blame others or denigrate others when they treat you badly, or to think that they should apologize or something (and maybe rightly so), but yet sometimes we fail to realize that we ourselves may react in ways that make the situation even worse. Then we recount and rationalize things in a way which makes us feel as if we have the higher moral ground, with no faults of our own. In other words, many people just aren't very willing to take responsibility for their own actions, and they don't even realize this. I think there lies the more hidden but dangerous problem. And I think we all have this problem to some extent - thus, I try to remind myself also.
  20. Spider

    Cosmological Argument

    This may be true, but now this would make science itself circular (in a physical sense), because we are essentially a highly organized collection of particles which are learning and thinking about it's own self. In short, we are a part of nature, and we are made up of nature (atoms, molecules, etc), and this "nature" that we are composed of is trying to understand nature itself. Therefore, science is sort of like nature having a dialogue with itself. That is, we human beings pose questions to nature through experiments and scientific reasoning in order to gain knowledge about the universe, but there's a circularity behind the whole thing given that we ourselves are a part of nature. Carl Sagan also once summed up this idea when he said, "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Well, so if nature can have a dialogue with itself, and if it is trying to "know itself," then this is like saying that nature already has some kind of a "mind." And if you accept that, then it shouldn't require much of a leap of thought to go from that idea to the idea of an intelligent being (God).
  21. Spider

    Cosmological Argument

    It's not like belief in God (or belief in anything else, for that matter) is supposed to have a rational chain of arguments. As I said, we cannot ignore the inner aspects of being a human, especially given that the way we reason and perceive things are not independent from our emotions (gratitude, yearnings, etc.) Are we all Turing machines? No, I don't think so.
  22. Spider

    Cosmological Argument

    You wouldn't have to "assume" anything if you were simply and truly grateful to God; rather, you would believe in His existence. Therefore gratitude and faith are interconnected, and there is something that connects them, but it's not circular. Maybe it's a level of moral maturity, a sense of connectedness of things, an emotional intuition about God, a sense of responsibility to give thanks, or something of that nature which unites the two. Edit: It's probably one of those chicken and egg type questions. But he didn't say that you can't contextualize the Quran in history, as you stated earlier.
  23. Spider

    Cosmological Argument

    To share another insight of mine, I think that people's faith becomes weaker in part because they are not appreciative or grateful enough of the countless blessings that they've been given. And no one can "educate" you about these things. One might be very cognizant of his intellect as being one of the favors of Allah, but there are so many other things which most of the time we don't even think about. I think that when some people get very ill or they lose something valuable that they had, that is when they realize the greatness of what they had, and then they might even make dua or start calling Allah to help them recover what they lost. But we seldom appreciate things when we already have them. The fact that I am breathing right now without effort, that my fingers are typing these words, that my brain is functioning, that my heart is beating, and so on and so forth, these are all things to be grateful about. But if we start losing this feeling of appreciation and gratitude towards Allah, then, gradually, our entire faith will also leave us. And then we will just try to rationalize and logicize everything, because we've forgotten the essence of what it means to be a human.
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