We have known a lot about fasting especially in this holy month of Ramadan. Why do people talk, write and preach about the same thing whenever Ramadan comes, but they keep silent when other months such as Muharram, Safar come? The answer to this question is simple and understandable. If we read the Holy Qur’an and Hadiths of the Prophet (SAW), Allah created everything and exalted others among others. This is also applied to the Islamic months. Allah Taala is the one who made and arranged these months with his special knowledge. In the Holy Qur’an Allah says that He created 12 months (not January-December as we know); “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) – so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage…” Qur’an 9:36. Here, each month is specialized according to the time it falls and upon the occasions. In this article, we are going to discuss something about one month in which we are right now – Ramadan.
Allah Taala exalted this month among the 12 months;. He made people unite on fasting in this month. He made people pray hard in this month. Allah Taala gives reward to our voluntary (nafil) acts which are equal to obligatory (fardh) acts, while the reward of obligatory (fard) acts is increased 70 times. The doors of heaven are opened in this month and the doors of hell are closed. Devils are chained in this month. Mercy is poured down to Earth during Ramadan. Allah Taala promised those who use this month the way Rasool Allah (SAW) taught us, that their sins shall be forgiven and shall end up getting a high rank of Jannah through the door called Rayyan. He promised us that He shall answer our supplications as long as we make use of this very short period: “When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way” Qur’an 2:186. We Muslims are very lucky because Allah promises us a lot, and Allah’s promises never break down “for Allah never fails in His promise.” Qur’an 3:9. He doesn’t wrong his faithful servant, until he oppresses himself “it is not Allah that hath wronged them, but they wrong themselves” Qur’an 3:117
Among the great events that occurs during this month of Ramadan; the Lailatul Qadr, the night on which Quran was revealed and a night which is better than a thousand months falls in this month “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months!” Qur’an 97:2. Rasool (SAW) said: ““Look for the Night of Power on an odd-numbered night during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan”; Hadith taken from Fathul Bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari Volume 4, p. 301, hadith 2016, 2017 by Al-‘Askalani:. Looking for the night of power, here means praying, performing Night Prayers and doing noble deeds. There are reports from other scholars that the night of power is on 24, or 27, or 29; difference in reports, means that the exact thing was not found, so we need to search it from 21st 23rd 25th 27th 29th so that if it is on one of these days, we should not miss it, because it never comes twice in the same Ramadan. It was in this month when our beloved Prophet, Muhammad (SAW) became the prophet. Allah (SW) revealed the holy book – Al-Qur’an in this month. Battle of Badr was fought and won in this month. Makkah was conquered by the Muslims in this month…
Some Teachings of Rasool (SAW) on iftar (breaking the fasting)
We have to know that fasting is from Allah, for Allah, and He is the ONE a lone to reward. How do you feel when you hear this? The Almighty Allah has promised unique reward for the fasting people. He Himself says: “Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah’s estimation than the smell of musk. (Hadith Qudsi)
Power of Dua at the time of Iftaar (Fast breaking during Ramadan)
Once Prophet Musa (pbuh) asked Almighty Allah (SWT): O Allah! You have granted me the honor and privilege of talking to you directly, Have you given this privilege to any other person? Almighty Allah (SWT) replied, O Musa, during the last period I am going to send an Ummah, who will be the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) with dry lips, parched tongues, emaciated body with eyes sunken deep into their sockets, with livers dry and stomachs suffering the pangs of hunger – will call out to me (in dua) they will be more closer to me than you, O Musa! While you speak to me, there are 70,000 veils between you and me but at the time of iftaar there will not be a single veil between me and the fasting Ummah of Muhammad (SAW). O Musa, I have taken upon myself the responsibility that at the time of iftaar I will never refuse the dua of a fasting person!
KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED WITH DUA BEFORE BREAKING
Iftar, refers to the evening meal for breaking the daily fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Or a meal served at the end of the fasting day during Ramadan, to break the day’s fast. Literally, “breakfast.” Iftar during Ramadan is often done as a community, with Muslims gathering to break their fast together.
The time for Iftar is 12 to 15 minutes after Sunset. It is better to offer ‘Magrib’ prayer and then break one’s fast, preferably with water, milk or dates.
The Prophet (SAW) taught us the following Dua to be recited at the time of breaking one’s fast:
ALLAAHUMMA LAKA SUMTU WA A’LAA RIZQIKA AFTARTU WA A’LAYKA TAWAWKKALTU
O my Allah, for Thee, I fast, and with the food Thou gives me I break the fast, and I rely on Thee
Ali Ibne Abi Taalib (A.S.) used to recite the following du’a before Iftaar:
BISMILLAAH ALLAAHUMMA LAKA S’UMNAA WA A’LAA RIZQIKA AFT’ARNAA FA-TAQABBAL MINNAA INNAKA ANTAS SAMEE-U’L A’LEEM
In the name of Allah, O Allah, we fast, and with the food Thou gives us we break the fast, an obligation we fulfill, and Thou art Hearer, Knower
While taking the first mouthful recite:
BISMILLAAHIR RAH’MAANIR RAH’EEM YAA WAASI-A’L MAGHFIRATI IGHFIR LEE
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, O He whose indulgence is boundless, forgive me.
**Source: Power of Dua at the time of Iftaar – from http://www.ezsoftech.com/ramadan/ramadan04.asp**