Monday, 30 August 2010

Islamic Calendar - months > Ramadan

Ramadan

Of all the months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is the most venerated. Ramadan is known by many beautiful names - Ramaḍān al-Karīm (Ramadan, the Generous), 11 Ayın Sultanı (Sultan of The Months), Mah-ı Mubarak, and also Şehr-i Ramazan.

Muslims are required to abstain from eating, drinking any liquid, and sexual intercourse during the daylight hours of this month, ie from sunrise to sunset. Different parts and regions of the world will experience different length of fasting time.

In Malaysia, the Muslims fast for approximately 14 hours from around 5.30 am and break their fast at about 7.30 pm.

There are the 5 daily prayers plus the usual Friday congregational prayers at the mosque. However, there is an additional Taraweeh (Malay Terawih) prayers after the night prayer (solat isya'). The Taraweeh prayers are performed for 8 or 20 rakaat and may last 1-1.5 hours.

Verses from the Quran are read and the entire Quran is read in Taraweeh prayers throughout Ramadan. The imam will complete the Quran recital within the Taraweeh prayers by the end of Ramadan. When the Quran is read within the (Taraweeh) prayers, there is more reward to every letter read compared to other times (reading Quran without wudu' gets least reward). That is why imams recite long verses during prayers. In the days of the Sahabat, there was one person (can't recall his name) who read a verse for 1 hour and there was 8 rakaat to perform = altogether 8 hours for Taraweeh!

The Taraweeh prayers can be watched live from Makkah on Saudi TV channel.

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan
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3 Phases of Ramadan

Ramadan is virtually and spiritually divided into 3 phases.

Phase 1 is the first 10 days - this is for repentance in the name of Allah and abstinence from past sins (there are 3 things to consider - remorse, repent and promise of abstinence).

Phase 2 is the second 10 days - this is for forgiveness bestowed by Allah to those who repent.

Phase 3 is the last 10 days - this is for Allah to bless His Creations.
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Last 10 days of Ramadan

The angels descend to earth on the last 10 days of Ramadan. Their duty is to watch for good souls who have obeyed Allah and done good deeds, and to bring back news of those souls for due reward by Allah.































In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Arab Muslims celebrate the last 10 days of Ramadan by wearing new clothes and by offering feasts for breaking the fast.

In the KSA, the last 10 days of Ramadan is declared a public holiday. This is to provide time for Muslims to perform all they can and pray for Lailatul qadr, for good tidings next year.
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Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power / the Night of Decree)

Of the last 10 days of Ramadan, there is a special night called Lailatul qadr (Malay, Lailatul qadar). Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power / the Night of Decree) is described in the Quran as, "better than a thousand months" (97:3).

Quran verse 97:3 taken from http://tanzil.info/
One night of meeting Lailatul qadr is as if doing good deeds for more than 1,000 months (approximately 83-84 years). It is much sought after since anyone who finds Lailatul qadr will get his wishes granted by Allah.  

Lailatul qadr cannot be easily discovered or found by anyone except by those who remain steadfast in Islam. Of the many clues, hints and descriptions of Lailatul qadr, some are worth knowing.

1. It falls within the last 10 days of Ramadan (from 20th to 30th Ramadan)
2. It falls on odd days of Ramadan (21, 23, 25, 27 or 29 Ramadan)
3. It falls on the 27th of Ramadan according to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
4. It is the whole night

From Dr Sharifah Yasin in a Facebook message to me:
From ceramah Ustaz Ismail Kamus, Lailatul Qadr is the whole night not a fleeting moment.

This is my deliberation on "as brief as the blink of an eye":
What I heard as a schoolgirl, as narrated by an ustazah about a woodcutter who went to chop wood one night. He rested and laid his head upon a log and wished for riches. He got his wished granted as when he made his wish it was Lailatul qadr. Ustazah reminded us to do'a for if our do'a coincided with Lailatul qadr, even for a brief while (as brief as the blink of an eye), Allah would still grant our do'a.

5. It is an extraordinary calm and quiet night (loghat Klate, kesit - bukan sunyi tapi lebih drp sunyi)
6. It makes the hair rise or stand on end (you get an eerie feeling)
7. When you make do'a, you cry easily (tak boleh dibuat-buat atau diulangi tangisan pada hari lain)
8. All the Creations will bow, including plants, leaves, etc
9. The following day is calm, not shiny, not too bright, cool (not hot). Sunlight cannot penetrate the canopy formed by the wings of the many angels, so the day appears not bright (cuaca mendung dan berawan).

Lailatul qadar is when Allah decrees whether a person will live/die next year and the details and descriptions of that life. A human's life is preordained by Allah and decided at the time of Lailatul qadr. Lailatul qadr is therefore very important to all Muslims.

This site gives a list of 14 important events in Islam. It also lists Lailatul qadr as 6 September 2010 which is Monday, 27 Ramadan.

Calendar of events by mycalendar.org at http://mycalendar.org/Religious/Islamic/

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