Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Description of Hajj

Q) I want to know about Hajj in detail.

Praise be to Allaah.

Hajj is one of the best acts of worship. It is one of the pillars of Islam with which Allaah sent Muhammad and without which a person’s religious commitment is incomplete.

Worship cannot bring a person closer to Allaah and cannot be accepted unless it meets two conditions:

1 – Sincerity towards Allaah alone, i.e., it is done to seek the Countenance of Allaah and the Hereafter, and is not done to show off, to enhance one’s reputation or for worldly gain.

2 – Following the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in word and deed. Following the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) can only be achieving by knowing his Sunnah.

Hence the one who wants to worship Allaah by doing any act of worship – Hajj or anything else – has to learn the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning it, so that his actions will be in accordance with the Sunnah.

We will sum up in these few lines the description of Hajj as narrated in the Sunnah.

In the answer to question no. 31819 we have already described ‘Umrah – please refer to that question also.

Types of Hajj

There are three types of Hajj: Tamattu’, Ifraad and Qiraan.

Tamattu’ means entering ihraam for ‘Umrah only during the months of Hajj (the months of Hajj are Shawwaal, Dhu’l-Qi’dah and Dhu’l-Hijjah; see al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 7/62). When the pilgrim reaches Makkah he performs tawaaf and saa’i for ‘Umrah, and shaves his head or cuts his hair, and exits ihraam. Then when the day of al-Tarwiyah, which is the 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, comes, he enters ihraam for Hajj only, and does all the actions of Hajj. So Tamattu’ involves a complete ‘Umrah and a complete Hajj.

Ifraad means entering ihraam for Hajj only. When the pilgrim reaches Makkah he performs tawaaf al-qudoom (tawaaf of arrival) and saa’i for Hajj, but he does not shave or cut his hair and does not exit ihraam, rather he remains in ihraam until he exits ihraam after stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the day of Eid. If he delays the saa’i of Hajj until after the tawaaf of Hajj, there is nothing wrong with that.

Qiraan means entering ihraam for ‘Umrah and Hajj both together. Or entering ihraam for ‘Umrah first then including Hajj in that before starting the tawaaf of Hajj. That is done by intending that his tawaaf and saa’i will be for both Hajj and ‘Umrah.

The actions done in Qiraan are the same as those done in Ifraad, except that the pilgrim doing Qiraan has to offer a hadiy (sacrifice) whereas the pilgrim doing Ifraad does not.

The best of these three types of Hajj is Tamattu’. This is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined upon his companions and urged them to do. Even if a person enters ihraam for Qiraan or Ifraad, then it is strongly recommended for him to change his intention to ‘Umrah, then complete ‘Umrah and exit ihraam, so that he will then be doing Tamattu’. He may do that after doing tawaaf al-qudoom and saa’i – because when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did tawaaf and saa’i during his Farewell Pilgrimage, and his companions were with him, he told everyone who did not have a sacrificial animal (hadiy) to change his intention and make his ihraam for ‘Umrah and to cut his hair and exit ihraam, and he said, “Were it not that I have brought the hadiy with me, I would do what I have commanded you to do.”


The pilgrim should observe the Sunnahs of ihraam which are mentioned in the question referred to above, namely doing ghusl, applying perfume and praying. Then he should enter ihraam after he finishes the prayer or after boarding his means of transportation.

Then if he is doing Tamattu’, he should say, “Labbayk Allaahumma bi ‘Umrah (Here I am, O Allaah, for ‘Umrah).”

If he is doing Qiraam, he should say, “Labbayk Allaahumma bi Hijjah wa ‘Umrah (Here I am, O Allaah, for Hajj and ‘Umrah).”

If he is doing Ifraad, he should say, “Labbayk Allaahumma Hajjan (Here I am, O Allaah, for Hajj).”

Then he should say, “Allaahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah (O Allaah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”

Then he should recite the Talbiyah as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did: “Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak (Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner).”

The Talbiyah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also included the words, “Labbayka ilaah al-haqq (Here I am, O God of Truth).”

Ibn ‘Umar used to add to the Talbiyah the words, “Labbaayk wa sa’dayka, wa’l-khayr bi yadayka, wa’l-raghba’ ilayka wa’l-‘aml (Here I am and blessed by You, and all good is in Your hands, and desire and action are directed towards You).”

Men should raise their voices when saying this, but a woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it, unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.

If the person who is entering ihraam fears some obstacle that may prevent him from completing his pilgrimage (such as sickness, an enemy, being stopped from proceeding any further, etc), then he should stipulate a condition when entering ihraam by saying, “If I am prevented then my exiting ihraam is where I am prevented” – i.e., if something prevents me from completing my pilgrimage such as sickness or delay etc, then I will exit my ihraam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded Dubaa’ah bint al-Zubayr, when she wanted to enter ihraam but she was sick, to stipulate such a condition, and he said, “Your condition is valid with your Lord.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5089) and Muslim (1207).

If he stipulates this condition and something happens to prevent him from completing his pilgrimage, then he exits his ihraam and does not have to do anything (i.e., offer a sacrifice in compensation).

But the one who does not fear that some obstacle may prevent him from completing his pilgrimage does not have to stipulate any conditions, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not stipulate conditions nor did he command everyone to do so. Rather he told Dubaa’ah bint al-Zubayr to do that because she was sick.

The muhrim (person who has entered ihraam) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin. After that he should ask Allaah for His good pleasure and for Paradise, and seek refuge in His Mercy from the Fire.

The Talbiyah is prescribed in ‘Umrah from the moment one enters ihraam until one starts Tawaaf. In Hajj it is prescribed from the moment one enters ihraam until one stones Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the day of Eid.

Ghusl when entering Makkah

When the pilgrim approaches Makkah, he should do ghusl before entering, if possible, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did ghusl before entering Makkah. Narrated by Muslim, 1259.

Then when he enters al-Masjid al-Haraam he should do so with his right foot first, and say, “Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allaah. Allaahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billaah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem (In the name of Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, forgive me my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy. I seek refuge with Allaah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and His eternal power from the accursed Satan).” Then he should go to the Black Stone in order to start tawaaf… The description of Tawaaf is given in Question no. 31819.

Then after he has done tawaaf and prayed two rak’ahs, he should go to the Mas’a (place for doing saa’i) and perform saa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwah. The description of saa’i is given in question no. 31819.

The pilgrim who is doing Tamattu’ should do saa’i for ‘Umrah; those who are doing Ifraad and Qiraan should do saa’i for Hajj, and they may delay it until after Tawaaf al-Ifaadah.

Shaving the head or cutting the hair

When the pilgrim who is doing Tamattu’ has completed seven circuits of saa’i, he should shave his head if he is a man, or cut his hair. If he shaves his head he must shave his entire head, and if he cuts his hair he must cut from all over his head. Shaving is better than cutting because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made du’aa’ three times for those who shaved their heads and once for those who cut their hair. Narrated by Muslim, 1303.

But if the time of Hajj is so close that there will be no time for the hair to grow back, then it is better to cut one’s hair at this point, so that there will be some hair left to shave during Hajj. The evidence for that is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded his companions, during the Farewell Pilgrimage, to cut their hair during ‘Umrah, because they arrived on the morning of the 4th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

Women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair.

With these actions, the ‘Umrah of the one who is doing Tamattu’ is concluded, after which he should exit ihraam completely and do everything that those who are not in ihraam do, such as wearing regular clothes, wearing perfume, having intercourse with their wives, etc.

Those who are doing Ifraad or Qiraan should not shave their heads or cut their hair, or exit ihraam, rather they should remain in ihraam until they exit ihraam on the day of Eid, after stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah and shaving their heads or cutting their hair.

Then when the day of al-Tarwiyah comes, which is the 8th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, the one who is doing Tamattu’ should enter ihraam for Hajj in the morning from the place where he is in Makkah. It is mustahabb for him to do the same when entering ihraam for Hajj as he did when entering ihraam for ‘Umrah, namely doing ghusl, putting on perfume and praying. He should form the intention of entering ihraam for Hajj and recite the Talbiyah, and say, “Labbayk Allaahumma Hajjan (Here I am, O Allaah, for Hajj).”

If he fears some obstacle that may prevent him from completing his Hajj, he should stipulate a condition by saying, “If I am prevented then my exiting ihraam is where I am prevented.” If he does not fear any such obstacle then he should not make any such condition. It is mustahabb to recite the Talbiyah out loud until he starts to stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the day of Eid.

Going to Mina

Then the pilgrim should go out to Mina and pray Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr there, shortening the prayers but not joining them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to shorten his prayers in Mina but he did not join them. Shortening the prayers means making the four-rak’ah prayers two raka’ahs. The people of Makkah and others should shorten their prayers in Mina, ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to lead the people in prayer during the Farewell Pilgrimage and there were people from Makkah with him, but he did not tell them to offer their prayers in full. If it had been obligatory for them to do so, he would have told them to do so as he did on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. But since the city has spread and incorporated Mina so that it is like one of the quarters of Makkah, then the people of Makkah should not shorten their prayers there.

Going to ‘Arafah

When the sun rises on the day of ‘Arafah, the pilgrim travels from Mina to ‘Arafah and stops in Namirah until the time of Zuhr (Namirah is a place just before ‘Arafah), if he can do so. If he cannot do it, it does not matter because staying in Namirah is Sunnah but it is not obligatory. When the sun passes its zenith (i.e., when the time for Zuhr prayer begins), he should pray Zuhr and ‘Asr, two rak’ahs each, and join them together at the time of Zuhr, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, so as to leave a lot of time for standing and making du’aa’.

Then after the prayer he should devote his time to making dhikr and du’aa’ and beseeching Allaah, and praying as he likes, raising his hands and facing the qiblah even if the mountain of ‘Arafah is behind him, because the Sunnah is to face the qiblah, not the mountain. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood by the mountain and said, “I am standing here, but all of ‘Arafah is the place of standing.”

Most of the Prophet’s du’aa’ in that great place of standing was: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He is able to do all things).”

If the pilgrim gets tired and wants to have a break by talking to his companions about useful things or by reading from some useful books, especially things that have to do with the generosity and great bounty of Allaah, in order to increase his hopes on that day, this is good. Then he can go back to beseeching Allaah and praying to Him. He should strive to make the most of the end of the day by making du’aa’. The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ made on the day of ‘Arafah.

Going to Muzdalifah

When the sun sets, the pilgrim should go to Muzdalifah. When he reaches there, he should pray Maghrib and ‘Isha’ with one adhaan and two iqaamahs. If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah before midnight, he should pray on the way, because it is not permissible to delay ‘Isha’ prayer until after midnight.

He should stay overnight in Muzdalifah, then when dawn comes he should pray Fajr early, with the adhaan and iqaamah, and then head for al-Mash’ar al-Haraam (which is the site of the mosque in Muzdalifah) and proclaim the oneness and greatness of Allaah (by saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah and Allaahu akbar), and making du’aa’ as he likes, until it has become very light (i.e., when the light of day appears before the sun has actually risen). If it is not easy for him to go to al-Mash’ar al-Haraam, he should make du’aa’ where he is, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood there and all of Muzdalifah is the place of standing. When he is reciting dhikr and making du’aa’ he should face the qiblah and raise his hands.

Going to Mina

When it has become very light, before the sun rises, he should go to Mina and hasten through Wadi Mahsar (which is a valley between Muzdalifah and Mina). When he reaches Mina he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah, which is the last one that is closest to Makkah, throwing seven pebbles one after another, each of which should be approximately the size of a fava bean, saying “Allaahu akbar” with each throw. (The Sunnah when stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah is to face the Jamarah with Makkah to one's left and Mina to one one’s right). When he has finished this stoning, he should slaughter his sacrificial animal, then shave his head or cut his hair if he is male; women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair. This is the first stage of exiting ihraam, in which it becomes permissible to do everything except have intercourse with one's wife. Then the pilgrim should go back to Makkah and do tawaaf and saa’i for Hajj. Then comes the second stage of exiting ihraam, after which everything becomes permissible which was forbidden whilst in ihraam.

The Sunnah is to put on perfume when one wants to go to Makkah to do tawaaf after stoning the jamarat and shaving one’s head, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “I used to apply perfume to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) before he entered ihraam and when he exited ihraam, before he circumambulated the House.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1539; Muslim, 1189.

Then after tawaaf and saa’i, he should go back to Mina and stay there for two night, the 11th and 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and stone the three jamarats during those two days, when the sun has passed its zenith. It is better for him to go to the jamarats walking, but if he rides that is acceptable. He should stone the first jamarah, which is the one that is furthest away from Makkah and next to Masjid al-Kheef, with seven pebbles, one after another, and say “Allaahu akbar” after each throw. Then he should go forward a little and say a lengthy du’aa’, saying whatever he likes. If it is too difficult for him to stand for a long time and make du’aa’, he should say whatever is easy for him, even if it is only a little, so that he will have done the Sunnah.

Then he should stone the middle jamarah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allaahu akbar” with every throw. Then he should move to his left and stand facing the qiblah, raising his hands, and offer a lengthy du’aa’ if he can. Otherwise he should stand for as long as he can. He should not omit to stand and make du’aa’ because it is Sunnah. Many people neglect that because of ignorance or because they take the matter lightly. The more the Sunnah is neglected the more important it becomes to do it and spread it among the people, lest it be abandoned and die out.

Then he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allaahu akbar” with each throw, then he should go away and not offer a du’aa’ after that.

When he has completed the stoning of the Jamaraat on the 12th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if he wants he may hasten and leave Mina, and if he wants he may delay his departure and stay there for another night, the night of the 13th, and stone the three Jamaraat after noon as he did before. It is better to delay, but it is not obligatory unless the sun has set on the 12th and he is still in Mina, in which case it is obligatory to stay until one has stoned the three Jamaraat after noon on the following day. But if the sun sets on the 12th and he is still in Mina but not by choice, such as if he had already started out and boarded his means of transportation, but got delayed because of crowded conditions and traffic jams etc., then he is not obliged to stay there, because the delay until sunset was not by his choice.

When the pilgrim wants to leave Makkah and go back to his country, he should not leave until he has performed the farewell tawaaf (tawaaf al-wadaa’), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one should leave until the last thing that he does is (tawaaf) around the House.” Narrated by Muslim, 1327). According to another version, he told the people that the last thing they should do was (tawaaf) around the house, but he made an exception for women who were menstruating. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1755; Muslim, 1328.

Women who are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth do not have to do the farewell tawaaf; neither should they stand by the door of al-Masjid al-Haraam to bid farewell, because that was not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

The last thing the pilgrim should do when he wants to leave is to circumambulate the House. If after the farewell tawaaf he stays and waits for his companions or to load his luggage or to buy something he needs on the way, there is nothing wrong with that, and he does not have to repeat the tawaaf, unless he intends to delay his journey, such as if he intended to travel at the beginning of the day and he did the farewell tawaaf, then he delays his travelling until the end of the day, for example; in this case he has to repeat the tawaaf so that it will be the last thing he does in Makkah.


The pilgrim who enters ihraam for Hajj or ‘Umrah has to do the following:

1- He has to adhere to that which Allaah has enjoined of religious laws, such as praying on time in congregation.

2- He has to avoid all that Allaah has forbidden of obscene and immoral speech and sin, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj”

[al-Baqarah 2:197]

3- He should avoid annoying the Muslims with his words or actions, at the holy sites and elsewhere.

4- He should avoid all things that are forbidden when in ihraam:

a. So he should not cut anything from his hair or nails, but removing thorns and the like is fine, even if that results in some bleeding.

b. He should not apply perfume after entering ihraam, either to his body, his clothes, his food or his drink. He should not wash with perfumed soap either. But if any traces of perfume remain from that which he put on before entering ihraam, that does not matter.

c. He should not hunt.

d. He should not have intercourse with his wife.

e. He should not touch her with desire or kiss her etc.

f. He should not enter into a marriage contract for himself or arrange a marriage for anyone else, or propose marriage to a woman for himself or on behalf of another.

g. He should not wear gloves, but wrapping one’s hands with a piece of cloth does not matter.

These seven prohibitions apply equally to men and women.

The following apply only to men:

- Men should not cover their heads with something that stays on the head. Shading their heads with umbrellas, car roofs and tents, and carrying mats etc. (on one’s head, when moving them from one place to another), is acceptable.

- They should not wear shirts, turbans, burnouses, pants or leather slippers, unless someone cannot find an izar (waist wrapper), in which case he may wear pants; and if he cannot find sandals he may wear shoes.

- They should not wear anything that is akin to the above, such as abayas, cloaks, hats, t-shirts and the like.

- It is permissible for men to wear sandals, rings, eyeglasses and hearing aids, and to wear wristwatches, or to put watches on strings around their necks, and to wear money belts.

- It is permissible for them to wash with unperfumed soaps, and to scratch their heads and bodies, and if any hairs fall unintentionally as a result, there is no sin on them.

Women should not wear niqaab, which is what they use to cover their faces, with holes cut for the eyes. They should not wear the burqa’ either.

The Sunnah is for them to uncover their faces unless non-mahram men can see them, in which case they should cover their faces whilst in ihraam and at other times.

See Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah by al-Albaani [available in English as The Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah, published by International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh]; Sifat al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah and al-Manhaj li Mureed al-‘Umrah wa’l-Hajj by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on them all).

Islam Q&A

From where should a person who did not pass the meeqaat enter ihraam? Add To Cart Doc Print Send to

Q) If a pilgrim does not pass any of the known meeqaats, from where should he enter ihraam?

Praise be to Allaah.

If he does not pass any of these meeqaats, he should see where he comes in line with the nearest meeqaat and enter ihraam from there. If he passes along a route between Yalamlam and Qarn al-Manaazil, he should see which is closer, and when he comes in line with the one that is closer, he should enter ihraam from that point. This is indicated by the fact that the people of Iraq came to ‘Umar and said: “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that the meeqaat for the people of Najd was Qarn but it is far out of our way.” ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “See where you come in line with it on your route.” So he told them to see where they came in line with Qarn al-Manaazil and to enter ihraam from that point. This is how it is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari. This ruling of ‘Umar's teaches us something important, which is that those who come by plane with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah, and pass these meeqaats from above or to the right or left, should enter ihraam when they come in line with these meeqaats, and it is not permissible for them to delay entering ihraam until they land in Jeddah, as many people do. That goes against what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allaah, then indeed he has wronged himself”

[al-Talaaq 65:1]

“And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allaah, then such are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”

[al-Baqarah 2:229]

So if a person is coming by air with the intention of performing Hajj or ‘Umrah, he should be prepared to enter ihraam in the plane. When it comes in line with the first meeqaat that it passes by, he must enter ihraam, i.e., he should form the intention to enter into ihraam and he should not delay that until he enters the airport at Jeddah. End quote.

Islam Q&A

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The family and Ramadaan

Q) I am the head of a household, and now Ramadaan is coming. How should I take care of my family and teach them during this blessed month?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

It is one of the blessings of Allaah to the Muslim that He enables him to fast in Ramadaan and to spend its nights in prayer. It is a month in which good deeds are multiplied and people are raised in status, when Allaah frees some people from the Fire. So the Muslim should strive to make the most of this month and the goodness it brings; he should hasten to spend his life in worship. How many people have been deprived of this month because of sickness, death or misguidance.

The Muslim must make the most of his time during this month; he has an unavoidable duty towards his children, to raise them well and bring them up properly, to urge them to do all kinds of goodness and make them get used to that – because the child will grow up in the manner to which his father makes him get accustomed.

During these blessed days, the father and mother have a role to play in making the most of this time, and we can offer parents the following advice:

1 – Checking on the children’s fasting and encouraging those who fall short in this regard.

2– Reminding them about the real nature of fasting, and that it is not just giving up food and drink, but it is a means of attaining taqwa (piety), and that it is an opportunity for sins to be forgiven and expiated.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.” It was said to him, “O Messenger of Allaah, why did you do that?” He said, “Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.’”

Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1888; al-Tirmidhi, 3545; Ahmad, 7444; Ibn Hibbaan, 908. See Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3501.

3 – Teaching them the etiquette and rulings on eating, such as eating with the right hand from what is directly in front of them; reminding them that extravagance is haraam and is harmful to the body.

4 – Not letting them spend too long on eating iftaar so that they miss praying Maghrib in congregation.

5 – Reminding them about the situation of the poor and destitute who cannot find even a mouthful of food to quench the fires of hunger; reminding them of the situation of those who have migrated or are fighting in jihad for the sake of Allaah in all places.

6 – These gatherings offer an opportunity to bring relatives together and uphold the ties of kinship. This custom still exists in some countries, and it is an opportunity to reconcile and mend broken ties between relatives.

7 – Helping the mother to prepare the food, and to clean up and keep the food fit for eating.

8 – Reminding them to pray qiyaam (taraweeh) and to prepare for it by not eating too much and to get ready in time to perform the prayer in the mosque.

9 – With regard to suhoor, the parents should remind the family of the barakah (blessing) of suhoor and that it gives a person the strength to fast.

10 – Allowing enough time before Fajr prayer so that those who have not prayed Witr may do so, and so that those who have delayed their prayer until the end of the night may pray, and so that each person may make du’aa’ to his Lord as he wishes.

11 – Paying attention to praying Fajr on time in congregation in the mosque, for those who are required to do so. We have seen many people who wake up at the end of the night to eat, then they go back to bed and neglect Fajr prayer.

12 – It was the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the last ten days of Ramadaan to stay up at night and wake his family. This indicates that the family should pay attention to making the most of this blessed time in doing things that are pleasing to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. So the husband should wake his wife and children to do that which will bring them closer to their Lord.

13 – There may be small children in the house who need to be encouraged to fast, so the father should urge them to get up for suhoor, and encourage them to fast by praising them and giving a reward to the one who fasts the whole month or half of it, and so on.

It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh said: On the morning of ‘Ashoora’ the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent word to the villages of the Ansaar saying, “Whoever started out not fasting, let him not eat for the rest of the day, and whoever started the day fasting, let him fast.” She said: We used to fast and make our children fast, [and take them to the mosques] and make toys for them out of wool, then if one of them cried for food we would give him that toy until iftaar.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1859; Muslim, 1136 – the words in square brackets were narrated by Muslim.

Al-Nawawi said:

This hadeeth shows that we should train children to do acts of worship and get them used to that, but they are not accountable. Al-Qaadi said: It was narrated from ‘Urwah that when they are able to fast it becomes obligatory upon them. This is a mistake which is disproven by the saheeh hadeeth, “The Pen is lifted from three: from the child until he reaches adolescence…” And Allaah knows best.

Sharh Muslim, 8/14

14 – If possible, the father and mother should take the family for ‘Umrah in Ramadaan, and that is something that will benefit them in the Hereafter,, themselves and their family, for ‘Umrah during Ramadaan has the same reward as Hajj. It is better to go at the beginning of Ramadaan so as to avoid the crowds.

15 – The husband should not overburden his wife with more than she can bear of having to prepare food and sweets. Many people take this month to prepare fancy foods and drinks, and they go extremes in that. This detracts from the sweetness of this month and goes against the reason for fasting, which is to attain piety.

16 – The month of Ramadaan is the month of the Qur’aan, so we suggest that each family gets together to read Qur’aan. The father should teach his family to recite Qur’aan and help them to understand the meanings of the verses. In the same gathering they may also read a book about the rulings and etiquette of fasting. Allaah has enabled many scholars and seekers of knowledge to write books which can be used for preaching and teaching during Ramadaan; the books are divided into thirty parts, so one topic can be read each day, and this will benefit everyone.

17 – They should be encouraged to spend and check on their neighbours and the needy.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during Ramadaan when Jibreel met him. He would meet him each night and revise the Qur’aan with him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was more generous than the blowing wind.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6; Muslim, 2308.

18 – The parents should prevent their families and children from staying up late at night and wasting their time in things that are of no benefit, let alone things that are haraam. For the devils among mankind are more active in this month in promoting evil things and acts of immorality to those who are fasting, during the nights of Ramadaan and during the days.

19 – They should remember the family’s meeting in Allaah’s Paradise in the Hereafter, and the great joy of meeting there under the shade of His throne. These blessed gatherings in this world and coming together to obey Allaah by seeking knowledge, fasting and praying are only the means that lead to attaining that happiness.

Islam Q&A

Her nifaas (post-partum bleeding) came back when she was fasting

Q) If a woman’s nifaas stops after one week of giving birth and she starts fasting with Muslims during Ramadaan then the bleeding reoccurs, should she break her fast in this case? Does she have to make up the days she fasted and the days she did not fast?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

If the woman who is bleeding in nifaas becomes pure (i.e., the bleeding stops) within forty days and she fasts for a few days, then the bleeding comes back within forty days, then her fast is valid, but she has to stop praying and fasting during the days on which the bleeding comes back – because it is (still) nifaas – until she becomes pure or the forty days end. When forty days have ended, she has to do ghusl, even if she has not seen the tuhr (white discharge signalling the end of menses or nifaas), because forty days marks the end of nifaas according to the more sound of the two scholarly opinions. After that, she has to do wudoo’ at the time of every prayer, until the bleeding stops, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) instructed the woman who was suffering from istihaadah (non-menstrual vaginal bleeding). And her husband may be intimate with her after forty days, even if she has not seen the tuhr, because the bleeding in this case is irregular bleeding which does not prevent her from praying and fasting, and does not prevent her husband from being intimate with his wife.

But if the bleeding after forty days coincides with the usual time of her menses, then she should stop praying and fasting and regard it as menses. And Allaah is the Source of Strength. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). Fataawa Islamiyyah (2/146).

He cannot find time to read the Holy Qur'aan in Ramadan

Q) I offer you my congratulations on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan. At the beginning of Ramadan, I committed myself to a complete reading of the Holy Qur'aan, but unfortunately I wake up at 6 a.m. and I come back home at 5:30 p.m.. After breaking the fast I feel exhausted, so I sleep until 10 p.m., then I stay up until sahoor, feeling half asleep, and I sleep around 12 o’clock so that I will be able to get up in the morning. What should I do?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

We congratulate you on the occasion of this blessed month and we ask Allah to help us to remember Him and give thanks to Him and to worship Him properly.

What is required of the Muslims is to combine the best interests of this world and the Hereafter. He is not the one who ignores this world and spoils his worldly affairs on the grounds of focusing on the Hereafter, and he is not the one who focuses on this world and turns away from the Hereafter.

Rather his aim in this world is to take provision from it for the Hereafter, because this world is not the place of eternal abode; rather it is a place through which a person passes and will inevitably depart from it to the Hereafter.

The wise believer is the one who prepares for that move. Hence when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked: Who is the smartest of people and the one who is most resolved? He said: “The one who remembers death most and the one who makes the most preparations for it.” Narrated by al-Tabaraani and classed as hasan by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (4/197); also narrated by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id (10/312). Al-‘Iraaqi said in Takhreej Ahaadeeth al-Ihya’ (5/194): Its isnaad is jayyid. It was also mentioned by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Targheeb (1964).

So it is essential to prepare for the day of departure to the place of final abode. We ask Allah to join us together under His mercy.

So the Muslim has to combine effort for this world and effort for the Hereafter. Man needs accommodation, money, clothing, food and drink to keep his body alive, but he also needs sound faith, prayer, fasting, remembrance of Allah (dhikr), reading Qur’aan, treating people kindly and so on in order to keep his heart and soul alive.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Answer Allaah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) calls you to that which will give you life” [al-Anfaal 8:24].

So the Muslim needs to read the Qur'aan in Ramadan and at other times.

He should have a daily portion of the Holy Qur'aan so that he can complete the Qur'aan -- at most -- once every 40 days.

But in Ramadan he is required to do more than that, because it is the best season for acts of worship and reading Qur'aan. “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan” [al-Baqarah 2:185].

You can set aside from your day an hour for reading more than two juz’ of the Holy Qur'aan, then you will complete it two or three times during the month. You can make use of that time that you spend commuting and let the Mus-haf be the companion that never leaves you, and you will find that you have completed the Qur'aan a number of times within that short time, if you persist in doing that. You could also make an agreement with your boss to reduce working hours, even if your salary is reduced as a result, and Allah will compensate you with something better. Or you could take time off during the last 10 days or part of that time. What matters is that you should strive to make the most of this blessed month to the best of your ability. The opportunity is still available and there are some days left. We ask Allah to help us to obey Him.

If you cannot reduce your working hours or take time off for a few days, then you have to make the most of your time to the best of your ability. If Allah knows that you would be keen to read the Qur'aan were it not for your work, then He will reward you in accordance with your intention.

May Allah help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A