Its Shawwal- Time to fast!

shawwal

                                             Image Courtesy www. gatewaytoquran.weebly.com

 

36 turned to 360 fasts- But how?

Let’s focus on the issue of fasting for six days in the month of Shawwal- in order to get the reward that is mentioned in the Hadeeth that the Prophet (sa) has said:  “Whosoever observes fasting during the month of Ramadan, then succeeds it (follow that) immediately with fasting six days in the month of Shawaal- he shall receive the reward of fasting lifetime.” For the entire “Dahr”. The word Dahr expresses the meaning of lifetime; lifetime of the individual who fast during Ramadan and the six days. While, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) says that:  “Al Hasantu Bi-Ashri Amsaalihaa”, and Allah (swt) says in Surah Al-Anam, “Man Jaa’aa Bil-Hasanati Falahu Ashru Amsaalihaa”- there is a minimum reward for a good deed multiplied ten times; so if you fast during Ramadan, we will assume it is thirty days times ten- that is three hundred.

 If you fast six days in the month of Shawwal, then it equals to sixty; hence, total fasting is three hundred and sixty- a whole year! If you observe this virtuous act on an annual basis, it would be as if you have fasted throughout your life.

Allah (swt) gives the reward for fasting every single day to the one who fasts in Ramadan, and six days of Shawwal- making  thirty six, or may be thirty five fasting days in total, (depending upon the number of days in Ramadan)

How to fast in Shawwal?

The Hadeeth says: “…then succeeds the month of Ramadan with fasting six days.” So, it recommends following the fasting of the month of Ramadan immediately. Of course, Eid-ul-Fitr is only one day- it’s called Youm-ul-Fitr; then the following days are the regular days, so you may begin the fasting of the six days of Shawwal from the very next day after Eid.. In many cultures, they assume that Eid-ul-Fitr is for three days, because the government gives them the vacation for three days; and Eid-ul-Adha is for four days, which is not true. Eid-ul-Fitr is only one day which allows you to fast soon after Eid; if you can manage that, that’s fine. But- whether to fast consecutively or discretely, in the month of Shawwal? – It is optional, although it is best to fast in a row.

Some people prefer to discrete the six days as- two days in a week, Monday and Thursday,-that’s perfectly fine. And, scholars say that if you do have the habit of fasting these two days, then you receive double the reward; the reward of fasting your voluntary fasting on two days, Monday and Thursday, in addition to observing fasts for the six days of the month of Shawwal. Similarly, fasting the three white days- that is the 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar calendar will get you double the reward as well Insha’Allah. So, if you fast while following your routine fasts, with the intention of having the reward for both then  Insha’Allah you will get the reward of both.

Making up for the missed fasts of Ramadan in Shawwal

If one could not fast in Ramadan, then he/she should begin by making up for the days that he missed in Ramadan- because the Hadeeth stated that: “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan, he has to complete the course, and then follow that with fasting the six days in Shawwal.

For example, a woman’s monthly period was for fifteen, or twenty days; or somebody was sick for twenty days- more or less- it means he/she first has to make up for the missed fasts and then follow by the six fasts in Shawwal. But if, one tries to make up the number of days which he missed during Ramadan, it would consume most of the month of Shawwal, and they will not be able to catch the prescribed six days of Shawwal; hence, it is recommended in such a condition, to make up for the six days first, and then to make up for the missed fasts.

Aisha (ra), Ummahat-ul-Mumineen, stated that they used to postpone making up the days of Ramadan until Shaban of the next year. They used to postpone it; however, they would also observe six days fast during the month of Shawwal.. Most preferably, make up for the first few days which you missed during Ramadan, then succeed them or follow them with fasting six days from the month of Shawwal; but if, the time does not allow you, and the month of Shawwal will finish before you get to do both- then begin fasting the six days of Shawwal, and Allah (swt) knows best.

Sharing the Joy of Eid in Latvia

2016-07-06 17.38.17Having completed the last blessed days of Ramadan fasting, bright and early on the Eid morning, I set out with my family to the capital of Latvia, Riga, to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr together with the local Muslim community. Eid is special time for the small Latvian Muslim community, which constitutes but a 0.01% of the population, as even those, who live in remote locations, try to make it to the Masjid for sharing the joy of the occasion.

As we reached our destination and I stepped into the women’s hall, I was taken aback by the unusually big numbers of women and children there! Instead of the expected few local Latvian, Russian and Tatar sisters, the hall was buzzing full with women and kids of all ages! As I got over the initial surprise, I realized that this Eid our community has grown larger due to the refugees that have now arrived in Latvia. Over the course of the next couple of years, Latvian government has agreed to settle in Latvia 250 refugees.

Although there was practically no way to communicate with most of the sisters, since they did not speak even English, it was heart-warming to see the bright smiles on their faces and receive their Eid Mubarak hugs and kisses. Truly it is so that Islam breaks down the barriers of national and language differences and lets us communicate on a totally different level, which only the bond of Islam can provide. We stood side by side in Eid prayers and shared a common Eid meal, while our kids played together in the playground just outside the window.

Local sisters kept on nudging me about Mehendi, as they knew I always had it with me. As I began putting the designs on the hands of first of them, curious eyes surrounded us, and soon there was a live line in place to keep me busy for the next couple of hours. Thus, this year, I put Mehendi not only on Latvian, Russian and Tatar hands but also on Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan ones, Alhamdulillah! I won’t ever forget the beautiful Syrian twin girls in matching dresses, the under-five-year-old orphan girl, whose mother most likely was lost on the long journey to safety, and also the cute two-year-old with teary eyes, who thought she won’t get her chance at Mehendi.

It was a true joy to share this holiday with such diverse community of sisters! May Allah (swt) bless the local Muslim community and ease the difficulties of refugees, as they adjust to their new life in our country, Ameen.

[Ahmad Family Comic] – Moon Fighting!

Are you ready for it? It happens every year… Yes, the ‘Moon Fighting‘ is about to begin! 😛

Here are Abu Jamal’s thoughts on the whole issue! Enjoy and don’t forget to share!

[Click Image to Enlarge]

Ahmad Family Comic - Moon Fighting!

Throwing an Eid Party

eid party

Eid is the time for celebration and delight, showing our gratitude to Allah, meeting relatives and friends, and sharing with the needy. As parents, we would like our children to have a meaningful time on this most joyous of occasions. So, why not make your kids’ Eid memorable and filled with fun by throwing a party for them and their friends? Here are a few ideas for creating an enthralling Eid party.

Eid Related Party Decorations

  • Put up posters of Eid greetings in 3-4 different languages, such as Arabic, Urdu, English, etc. This will be a good conversation starter.
  • If budget allows, create an Arabian Peninsula look with a tent in the corner, date trees, etc.
  • Put up colourful lights in the party area.
  • Hang little paper-made crescents with buntings and tinsels.

Theme-Based Eid Parties

Older kids (7-12 years old) can have an Eid party around a special theme:

  • Islamic attire theme. Children could come wearing clothes from different Islamic countries. You can also ask them to come in special Islamic head coverings, such as Topis, turbans or Arab headgear for boys and pretty scarves for girls.
  • Muslim country theme. Ask the kids to bring along something related to any Muslim country of their choice (a flag, a book, crafts, photographs, etc.) They can paste the country’s name on the objects and display them during the party.
  • Theme of foods mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. Serve honey, pomegranates, dates, olives, olive oil, etc. Posters, wax replicas, and paper cutouts of the fruits and vegetables can be used as decorations.
  • Sharing the joy of Eid theme. Mothers and older children can have an Eid party at the local hospital or orphanage. They can take some eatables and gifts for the needy kids.

Gaming Zone

What’s a kids’ party without games? You can mould some of the games to give them an Islamic colour.

Games for younger and older kids:

  • Quiz between 2 teams on Islamic knowledge. Ask simple, age-appropriate questions about Muslim countries, Islamic practices, simple Duas, etc.
  • Story time. Read a story on any of the prophets or companions.
  • Passing the pillow. Short questions about the likes and dislikes of the Prophet Muhammad (sa), about his family and more.
  • Lemon in a spoon race.
  • Treasure hunt.
  • Memory game. Place objects in a tray and show to each child for 10 seconds. Later, ask them to write down the items they can remember.
  • Drawing competition. Topics can be: what you did on Eid, what you ate on Eid, making an Eid card for your parents, grandparents, or best friend.

Games for mothers and kids together:

  • Draw four pictures of Islamic objects on large sheets of paper, for example, a Masjid, a prayer mat, a Hijab, Kabah. Get four parents to hold up a picture in each corner of the room (if the place is small, in different rooms – make sure hallways are clear). Stand in the centre and call out one of the names – children then should run as fast as they can to that corner. You can also use Arabic names or draw sites of Islamic importance, such as the sacred mosques. Keep the game short and fast.
  • Charades. Each mom will have to act out a word to make her team guess what the word is. For instance, the word ‘Wudhu’ can be demonstrated by doing the actions of the ablution.
  • Gifts for the poor. A table can be laid out with some fruits, small packs of biscuits or chips, toys etc. With mom’s help, each child can pack a small goody bag and take it home for giving to the servants, who work in their house. This will apprise the child with a sense of sharing and caring for the deprived ones.

Ideas for Goody Bags or Give-Aways

Kids always love taking home a reminder of the party. According to your pocket, you can prepare the goody bags matching the Eid mood of the party.

Big budget

  • CD of “Sound Vision”
  • Audiotape of “Sound Vision”
  • Some religious activity book e.g. flowers of Islam series
  • Stationary set
  • Toys
  • Chocolates
  • Biscuits

Economical budget

  • Stickers (I love Allah, etc.)
  • A set of 3 religious activity sheets
  • Some other religious souvenir (key chain)
  • Stationary items
  • Balloons
  • Chocolates
  • Biscuits

Want More Ideas?

  • Play children’s Islamic songs in the background.
  • At the prayer time, offer Salah in congregation. (Moms and children together.)
  • Children can have a camel ride, if it can be arranged.

Story Time with a Difference

Beforehand, prepare a simple story with 4 main characters or objects – for example, a boy’s name, a prayer hat, a Masjid, the Quran. Build a story around them. Draw or write each character / object on a card. The more children you have for this game, the better, so that there are 3 or 5 ‘Masjids’, 3 or 4 ‘prayer hats,’ etc. Get the children to sit on chairs in a circle with spaces between the chairs. Begin to tell the story. As the children hear their card name mentioned, they have to get up, run around the circle, and sit back down again.

(Courtesy: http://www.islamichomeeducation.co.uk/)

Yummy Foods

Here are ideas to satisfy those growling tummies:

Finger food for 3-6 years olds

  • Mini pizzas
  • French fries
  • Nuggets
  • Sandwiches
  • Boiled sweet potatoes
  • Seasonal fruits

Kids food for 7-9 and 10-12 years olds

  • Kebabs
  • Burgers or bun kebabs
  • Rolls
  • Cholay
  • Samosas