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AL TAQWA Ramadan 1433/2012

A Guide to Ramadan Essentials’

MCC, Chicago MEC, Morton Grove DIC, Chicago


table of contents 00 presidents message 01 ramadan activites 03 ramadan gameplan 05 quran and hadith 07 ramadan and quran 08 fasting with diabetes 09 ramadan nutrition & workout plan 11 duas and essentials 14 going green 15 special ramadan ibadat 17 zakat 19 adult educations programs @ mec

Above - Blue Mosque - Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey Front Cover - Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque - Masjid Nabawi - Medina, Saudi Arabic


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone and their families. I wish you all the best for your health, ibadaat, and spiritual growth as this sacred month comes upon us with its numerous blessings and reward. We look forward to presenting the Ramadan Guide to help everyone observe the obligatory and additional acts of worship in this holy month as easily and accurately as possible. Insha’Allah everyone will be encouraged to also partake in the Ramadan-based activities at both MCC and MEC. These activities include daily if tar and nightly taraweeh prayers. To develop bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, please encourage those who are close to you, young and old alike, to join in these gatherings. During the month of Ramadan, many of us are looking for ways to increase our acts of worship. In addition to the recommended prayers and reading Quran, I also urge you to seek ways to help MCC by your volunteer work and finical contributions. These contributions go forth to continue and expand the services already provided by MCC, including Ramadan services, educational development, funeral services, family counseling and performing marriage ceremonies. Insha’Allah the deeds in this month will gain you multiple rewards. Please send any checks to MCC directly or go to www.mccchicago.org for online contributions. I look forward to your involvement in MCC related programs and pray that Allah keeps us rightly guided along His path, constantly striving to earn His pleasure. Ameen. Mohammad Aleemuddin President

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RAMADAN ACTIVITIES Moonsighting Information MCC and DIC take the moonsighting information from the Hilal Committee of Chicago. The Ramadan moon may be seen on Thursday, July 19. Please call MCC, MEC or DIC, or check the websites to confirm. If the moon is seen on the 19th, Taraweeh will start the same night, and the fasting will start on the 20th, inshallah. MCC – Chicago • Fajr Iqamah will be called at 20 min after the end of Suhoor time. • Isha Iqamah will be called at10:00PM. • Taraweeh will be led by Hafiz Asif-ud-din. • Tafseer summary of the portions of the Qur’an will be given before Taraweeh. • Iftar and dinner will be served every day. Suhoor will be served on last 10 nights of Ramadan. Those who wish to sponsor Iftar or Suhoor are encouraged to sign up in the MCC office. • Babysitting will be provided. • Uniformed security personnel will be assigned during the month. • Additional parking will be available at the First Chicago bank located at Elston and Montrose. MEC – Morton Grove • Fajr at 20 min after the end of Suhoor time. • Isha Iqamah will be called at10:00PM throughout the month • Taraweeh will be led by Maulana Haifz Yousuf Abdullah. He will recite 1.25 Juz/day, finishing the Quran on the 27th night of Ramadan. • Tafseer of the portions of the Qur’an recited will be given, time permitting, on Friday and Saturday evenings. • Iftar and dinner is expected to be served every day. Suhoor will be served on last 10 nights of Ramadan. Those who wish to sponsor Iftar or Suhoor may sign up in the MEC office. • Additional parking will be available at the Malloy School just north of the MEC. Please be aware of parking restrictions around MEC.

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Downtown Islamic Center (DIC) – Chicago • (Fajr salat may be offered in congregation. Please call the office to confirm.) • Isha Iqamah will be called at 9:45PM through July 31, and at 9:30PM starting Aug. 1. • Taraweeh will be led by Hafiz Shan Haq and Hafiz Nabeel Hamoui MD. • Iftar and dinner will be served every day (about 125 people). If you are interested in hosting an iftar at DIC please contact the DIC Manager. • DIC is open for Itikaf, and Suhoor will be served during Itikaf. • Taraweeh and Zuhr will be prayed on the 5th floor. Fourth floor will be open for sisters with young kids. • Friday prayers are offered in two shifts at 1:10 and 2:10. You are encouraged to join the second shift if your schedule perMessage from the DIC Chairman Dear Brothers and Sisters, Assalamu alaikum, and best wishes for a productive and blessed Ramadan. We have joined the efforts of the Muslim Community Center (MCC) in bringing this book to you. Hope you will find it very informative and helpful in achieving your goals in Ramadan. DIC, as all of the Masajid, is a very busy place in Ramadan. We are continuing to enhance and increase the services at the DIC. Please see the details on the next page. You are cordially invited to join in all of the activities, and earn extra rewards by sponsoring daily Iftars. Your brother in Islam, Syed Shahnawaz Khan

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RAMADAN GAMEPLAN: Imagine for a moment that it’s raining. It is pouring, in fact. And imagine that you are inside your house, watching as it falls. But imagine that there is something very different about this rain. It is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. On this day, it is not raining water. It is raining something much more precious to you. Imagine that on this day it is raining hundred dollar bills. What would you do? What would happen in your neighborhood on that day? What would happen in the world? Would we not run outside, falling all over ourselves, competing to gain as much of the raining money as we can? Would we not stand outside all night to gather as much as possible? We would do this for money because money is precious. But imagine for a moment that it was raining something priceless. Not thousand dollar bills, not trillions, but the mercy of Allah subhana wa ta`ala (exalted is He), a currency that no human currency could even measure. a The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH), (peace be upon him) said, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Narrated by Tabarani] In this month, we are shielded from hell-fire, protected from the shayateen (satans), and cleansed from our sins. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith, hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all of his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari). In another hadith he (PBUH) said: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari] Within this month, there is a night that is greater than a thousand months (97:1-5). “There is protection from hellfire, at least 70 times the reward for our deeds, and the chance to have all our sins erased.” (hadith) So, what greater loss can there be than to find ourselves standing in the middle of this massive downfall of blessings without collecting all we can of Allah’s mercy? And while this mercy showers on us throughout the blessed month, the last ten days are like no other. Aisha radi Allahu `anha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (PBUH) used to tighten his waist belt (meaning he would work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers [Bukhari].

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RAINING WITH MERCY But how can we fully take advantage of this blessed month, especially in the last ten days? Here are a few ways: Reserve a Private Meeting with Allah Set a time before or after suhoor to be alone with Allah (swt). Use this time to connect to Him by praying, making du`a’, or reading Qur’an. There is no other time like it. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One, descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: ‘Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything so that I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?’” [Bukhari and Muslim]. Set a Time for Reflection In the midst of our busy schedule, we seldom find time to stop and relax, let alone reflect on the realities of life. Make time to do this. Take time to step outside of your daily routine and introspect about where you are and where you’re going. Reflect on the creation around you and on the reality of this life, death, and our final meeting with our Creator. Choose a time, such as the last third of the night, when there are no distractions. Take a Trip to Allah We all need to get away sometimes. Use Ramadan as a chance to go away with Allah (swt) as your companion. Aisha (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (swt) used to practice I`tikaf (seclusion) in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan” [Bukhari]. Don’t Miss the Night of Power There is a night in the last ten nights of Ramadan that is greater than a lifetime (1000 months, 83.3 years). The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr (power) with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Aisha (ra) said: “I asked the Prophet (PBUH), ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’” [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi] Taken from SuhaibWebb.com, author Yasmin Mogahed

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QURAN/HADITH

2:183. O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,2:184. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. 2:185. Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to 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. ------------------

A

bu Huraira (R) reported God’s Messenger (S) as saying, “ When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are open, the gates of Jahannam are locked, and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

S

ahl bin Sa’ad (R) reported God’s Messenger (S) as saying, “In Paradise there ware eight gates among which is a gate called Ar-Rayyan through which only those who fast will enter.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

A

bu Huraira (R) reported God’s Messenger (S) as saying. “The one who fasts has two occasions of joy, one when he breaks his fast and one when he meets his Lord. The odor (due to empty stomach) of one who fasts is sweeter to God than the fragrance of musk.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

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A

bu Huraira (R) reported God’s Messenger (S) as saying. “Every good deed a son of Adam does will be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to a seven-hundred fold reward, with the exception of fasting – God has said – for it is done for my sake and I will Myself give a reward for it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

A

bu Huraira (R) reported God’s Messenger (S) as saying. “He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven; and he who passes Lailatul-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

S

alman al-Farsi (R) reported the Messenger of Allah (S) as declaring in a sermon on the last day of Shaban. “A great month, a blessed month, a month containing a night which is better than a thousand months has approached you people. Allah has appointed the observance of fasting during it as an obligatory duty, and the passing of its nights in prayers as a voluntary practice. If someone draws near to God during it with some good act he will be like one who fulfills an obligatory duty in another month, and he who fulfills an obligatory in it will be like one who fulfills seventy obligatory duties in another month. It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of feeling for others, and a month in which the believer’s provision is increased. If someone gives one who has been fasting something with which to break his fast it will provide forgiveness of his sins and save him from hell, and he will have a reward equal to his without the others reward being diminished in any respect.” Some of them remarked to God’s Messenger (S) that they did not all have the means to give one who had been fasting something with thing with which to break his fast, and he replied: “God gives this reward to him who gives one who has been fasting some milk mixed with water with which to break his fast, and anyone who gives a full meal to one who has been fasting will be given a drink from my stand by God and will not thirst till he enters paradise. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from hell. If anyone makes things easy for his slave during it God will forgive him and free him from hell”

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RAMADAN AND QURAN If you played a word association game, Ramadan would most likely be associated with Fasting. Fasting in Ramadan is of course prescribed by Allah (swt) and is the most intense and visible act of worship performed. It demands a tremendous amount of self control, especially in the hot summer days, creates in us consciousness of Allah (swt) and brings to us an awareness of those who have to go hungry out of necessity. HOWEVER, Quran is what Allah (swt) uses to define the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the month, says Allah (swt), in which was revealed the Quran, a book of guidance for mankind and a criterion of judging between right and wrong. The very purpose of fasting, says Allah (swt), is to achieve Taqwa, which is a prerequisite to getting guidance from the Quran. It makes perfect sense then to get closer to the Quran during the blessed month of Ramadan. As we grow in God consciousness (Taqwa) with every day of fasting, we get increasing opportunities to enhance our relationship with the Quran. There are three levels of relationship with Quran that we can pursue: • The elementary relationship is the reading or listening to the Quran, whether it is understood or not. There are rewards that the Prophet Muhammad (S) has said one can achieve for reading every letter of the Quran. Alhamdulillah, many Muslims are seen establishing this level of relationship by reading Quran or listening to it during the Taraweeh prayers. • The essential level of relationship is the understanding of Quran’s message and deriving guidance from it. Ramadan, with its Taqwa training, should equip us achieve this relationship. • A higher level of relationship is pondering over the Quran and getting to understand its deeper meaning. Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an, or are there locks on the hearts?” [47:24] May Allah (swt) help us to derive guidance from the Quran and act upon it.

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FASTING WITH DIABETES Many patients with diabetes insist on fasting during Ramadan. The Quran specifically exempts the sick from fasting (Quran II:183–185), especially if fasting might lead to harmful consequences for the individual. People with Diabetes must consult with their doctors on the risks and advisability of fasting. Please see the details at www. mccchicago.org. The diet during Ramadan should not differ significantly from a healthy and balanced diet. Ingestion of foods containing “complex” carbohydrates may be advisable at the Suhoor (predawn meal), while foods with more simple carbohydrates may be more appropriate at the Iftar (sunset meal). It is also recommended that fluid intake be increased during non-fasting hours and that the Suhoor is taken as late as possible before the start of the daily fast. Distributing calories over two to three smaller meals during the non-fasting interval, consisting of fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, green leafy vegetables and whole grains is recommended. Eat poultry and fish more often than red meat. Reduced-fat options when eating dairy and avoiding fried foods are good choices. Normal levels of physical activity may be maintained. If Taraweeh prayer is performed, then it should be considered a part of the daily exercise program.

Four Gems from the Prophet (S): for good manners and behavior ➢ "Part of the perfection of someone's Islam is his leaving alone that which does not concern him." [Tirmidhi] ➢ "Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent." [Bukhari and Muslim] ➢ A man said to the Prophet (S): "Counsel me". He said : " Do not become angry". The man repeated [his request] several times, and he said: "Do not become angry." [Al- Bukhari] ➢ "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." [Al-Bukhari]

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RAMADAN NUTRITION Fasting during Ramadan is a challenge within itself; however fasting during the summer not only intensifies this challenge but also requires a true commitment that can only be marvelled. With an average of 16.5 hours fasting between Suhoor (dawn) and Iftar meals (Sunset), nutrition and hydration during meal time are both highly important. Suhoor (The Pre-Dawn Meal) For suhoor, it is imperative to drink plenty of water, eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fat. That’s right, “good fats” have many fat-burning and muscle-building properties, and their importance is even greater during Ramadan. Some good suhoor foods include: Egg whites, Chicken breast, Oatmeal, Protein shake, Cinnamon, Bananas, Raw, dark Honey, Raisins or dates, Fibrous vegetables, All natural peanut butter, Flax seed oil , Olive oil, Plenty of water. It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor as well watch your sodium intake at this time as high sodium can cause greater dehydration plus increase thirst during the day. Iftar (Sunset Meal) We break our fast with dates and water but if you investigate this nutritionally, you will see that dates are very unique in their nutrient content. They contain very high levels of potassium (much more than a banana), a key re-hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration above and beyond water alone. They contain a special blend of glucose and fructose for short and long term energy. They also have a special nutrient called beta D-glucan that is a soluble fiber that can enhance satiety and digestive health. So basically when you eat a date and water for iftar your body gets hydrated again much faster than with water alone (this is a complex topic but I don’t want to bore you with the details – You can think of dates and water as a very advanced form of Gatorade®). You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. Of course, drink plenty of water – in fact, keep a water bottle with you at all times after sunset! Then 1-1.5 hours later have a food meal. Eating small meals at night can trick your body into speeding up metabolic rate (not to mention increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels).

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& WORKOUT PLAN Training Times The best time to do a weight-training workout is NOT while fasting. This can create way too much muscle breakdown and cause a significant rise in the catabolic hormone cortisol. Training while in a state of dehydration can decrease strength significantly. In fact, research indicates that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength. Training while you are fasting can actually be more detrimental than beneficial! The best time to weight train during Ramadan is after taraweeh prayers at night. This will ensure that you will have several meals and plenty of water in your system before going to the gym. This will also allow you to consume your all-important post workout meal or shake which is essential muscle growth which leads to fat loss. If this is too late then the next best time to weight train is about 1 hour after iftar before tarawih prayer. You could do a short but intense 30 minute workout. The best time to do cardio work for maximum fat loss is before suhur – yep, that’s the truth. If you CAN pull this off then the best thing to do is get up and drink plenty of water with a cup of coffee, green tea, or oolong tea, wait 30 minutes and perform 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio work like a brisk walk on a treadmill. If this is out of the question for you, then the next best time to do cardio is approximately 30-45 minutes after a “light” iftar. Short, high intensity cardio like sprinting is actually great to do during Ramadan. It takes less than 10 minutes and provides maximum benefit in terms of fat burning and lean muscle preservation! An example would be sprinting for 20-30 seconds at full speed and then walking for one minute. Do 4-5 cycles like that and you’re good! For weight training days: Eat another food meal before taraweeh like chicken breast (or baked salmon), brown rice and some veggies OR baked fish (salmon, tuna, orange roughy, or mahi mahi), sweet potato, and a garden salad or some steamed vegetables. Following these simple workout and nutrition tips can really help you make great gains during this blessed month. May Allah help give us patience and strength in this month and throughout the year and make us strong mentally, internally, spiritually, and physically! Adopted from SuhaibWebb.com, author Rehan Jalali, C.S.N.

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Duas for Fasting

DUAS/ESSENTIALS

Intention for keeping a fast at the time of Suhoor:

Nawaiytu bisawmi ramadan (I intend to keep the fast of Ramadan) Dua for breaking a fast at the time of Iftar:

Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa 'ala rizq-ika aftarthu (O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance)[abu Dawud] Essentials 1. Fasting is abstaining from food, drink and sex from dawn to sunset with the intention of fasting. 2. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory on adult Muslims. 3. The following are exempted from fasting: • The sick, the aged or the insane. Sickness implies real pain or suffering. See under Fidya. • People who are traveling need not fast, but they must makeup later the number of days they have missed. It is permissible to break the fast on the day the journey is undertaken. For journey, the distance is the same for which we offer Qasr in salat – 48 miles have been specified by jurists.

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• Women during pregnancy and lactation if fasting would seriously affect the health of mother or baby. However, they must makeup later the number of days which they have missed. Women should notfrom fastfood, duringdrink the and menstruation and after givingWITH birth 1. • Fasting is abstaining sex from dawn to sunset a child, soOF long as the bleeding may not stop completely (in menTHEtoINTENTION FASTING. struation the maximum period isis10 days andon in adult givingMuslims. birth to a child it 2. Fasting in the month of Ramadan obligatory 3. E is 40 days). Fasts are to be made up after purification. 4. Intention is an essential requirement for fasting. The Prophet (S) said: “he who does not express his intentions of fasting, before dawn, is not accredited with it.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nisa and Darimi). If someone has forgotten, however, it is permissible to make intention before noon to avoid invalidating his/her fast. 5. Suhoor: Anas (R) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “take a meal a little before dawn, for there is a blessing in taking a meal at that time.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 6. Iftar and breaking fast: in several authentically transmitted traditions, the Prophet (S) has emphasized to break the fast soon after sunset and avoid delay. 7. Kaffara: If one deliberately breaks the fast, he must fast for sixty consecutive days. Any interruptions, however genuine, except menstruation will obligate one to start the sixty-day cycle all over again. If one is unable to fast for health reasons, he must feed sixty people or spend in charity an amount equivalent of feeding sixty people. 8. Fidya: If someone is continuously sick or too old to be able to fast, he should feed or spend in charity an amount equivalent to feeding one person a day for each day of fasting missed. However, if he regains health and strength to be able to fast, he must complete the fast for the number of days missed.

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FASTING GUIDELINES What does not break the fast: 1. Eating or drinking (or doing anything which otherwise breaks the fast) when you totally forgot of your fast. 2. Smoke, dust, etc. entering into the throat unintentionally. 3. Vomiting which is unintentional. 4. Cosmetics including hair-oil, scent or atar. 5. Anything applied to the eye. 6. Nocturnal discharge. 7. Use of toothpaste is allowed but should preferably be avoided (makrooh). Any amount of toothpaste swallowed will invalidate the fast. Brush your teeth before suhoor or after Iftar. Use of miswak is desirable. 8. If anything is just tasted and then immediately removed out of the mouth before it enters into throat, the fast is not broken, but it is undesirable (Makrooh) unless some special circumstances. 9. Injections that are purely medicinal and has no nutritional value. What breaks the fast: 1. Smoking 2. Something unknowingly present in the mouth (e.g. remains of food) more than grain of gram, which is intentionally swallowed or automatically enters the throat. 3. Water inside the throat while gargling or rinsing the mouth. 4. Any medicine etc. entering through the ear, nose or private parts. 5. Any injection that has some nutritious value. 6. Continuing to eat and drink or to have sex just after dawn by mistake, not realizing that the time of fasting has already started, and then discovering the error. 7. Breaking the fast before sunset by mistake, assuming or thinking that the sun has already set. 8. Intentional vomiting. In all the above conditions the fast will be broken, but one should not start eating and drinking before sunset, and he/she should repeat their invalidated fast observing Qada.

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GOING GREEN “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.� (Quran 2:30) In Ramadan, there are five simple ways you can make this month more environmentally-friendly. All of these suggestions set the foundation for green habits that can be implemented year-round. 1.

Eliminate

2.

Purchase

3.

Reduce

4.

Use

5.

Give

Waste: This Ramadan, there has been a growing movement to eliminate the use of styrofoam containers and plastic cutlery to serve iftar (the meal after sundown that breaks the fast). Consider alternatives such as plant-based containers and plastics that are compostable or organize a litterless iftar where patrons bring their own containers. Also, try opting out of disposable water bottles. Lastly, try to minimize water used when performing wudu. Local Produce & Organic Foods: In our globalized economy, most of the food that reaches our dinner plate has traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles. This Ramadan presents the perfect opportunity to get in touch with local farmers markets that are brimming with fresh produce. Organic foods taste different and generally contain no pesticides, herbicides, preservatives or other additives. Energy Consumption: There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption throughout Ramadan. Closing open blinds, turning off lights, and using fans to circulate air will keep your home cool. Similarly, at the mosque, keeping doors closed when the air conditioning is on and dimming the lights also reduces energy consumption. Alternative Transit Options: If you have access to a car and plan to drive to the nightly taraweeh, try carpooling when possible. There are many youth and elderly within our community without access to a vehicle or reliable transit at night who would be more than grateful for a ride. Mosque parking lots tend to overflow with congregants during Ramadan, so the fewer number of vehicles actually increases traffic flow for everyone. Also, if you are close to the mosque, consider taking advantage of the warm weather to ride your bike or walk to prayers. A Green Donation: Consider making a donation this Ramadan to an environmental cause that resonates with you. Also, try becoming more involved in the political or policy making process by letting your elected leaders know that environmental issues are an important part of your faith and that you expect them to make it an important part of their platform as well. Taken from SuhaibWebb.com, author Muaz Nasir

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Special Ramadan Iba

Taraweeh

Eight to Twenty rakats of prayer are offered together with Isha in congregation (Sunnah). Offer Taraweeh in a mosque or center, and if not possible, your home or apartment together with other Muslims. Where congregation is not held, Taraweeh prayers should be offered individually.

Itikaf

This is confining or secluding oneself in a mosque for private devotion. Starting in the evening (a little before sunset) on the 20th day of Ramadan till the sighting of the Eid moon. Itikaf is Sunnah and in every Muslim populated place it is Sunnah-Kifaya. Going out of the mosque during itikaf is not permitted except for necessary purposes (toilet, bath, or eating/drinking if food is not made available in the mosque). For a woman the place of itikaf is the corner in her home, which she has fixed for her daily prayer. If menstruation begins, itikaf should be abandoned. Aisha (R) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to engage in private devotion in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan till Allah (swt) took him, and then his wives followed this practice until after his death. (Bukhari and Muslim).

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adat (Worships)

Lailatul Qadr

Lo! We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power. Ah! What will explain to thee what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The Angles and the Spirit (Jibraeel) descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. (That night is) peace until the rising of the dawn. (Surah Qadr) The Night of Power is the night, which marked the beginning of the revelation of the Qur’an sent to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in order that he should convey it to mankind. Ibn Ishaq, the biographer of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) related that the first revelation consisting of the opening of the Surah “The Clot” took place in the month of Ramadan while the Prophet was at his devotions in the cave of Hira. The night is better than a thousand months. The figure here and in similar places in the Qur’an does not signify its precise number. It is meant to denote a very large number. About it our Prophet (Peace be upon Him), as reported by Aisha (R), said “Seek Lailatul Qadr on an odd number night among the last ten in Ramadan.” (Bukhari).

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ZAKAT Multiply your rewards - Pay Zakat in Ramadan [Note: Zakat is connected to Ramadan only because Muslims choose to pay it during Ramadan, hoping to receive 70 times the reward.] Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers, and who shun vain conversation and who are the payers of the Zakat…(Qur’an 23:1-4). One of the five essentials of Islam , Zakat is third in order and is only next in importance to Salat. Repeatedly Allah commands in the Holy Qur’an: “Establish Salat and Pay Zakat.” Zakat is not a tax in the usual sense but an act of devotion and cleansing one’s wealth by obeying Allah’s Command and means of obtaining His pleasure. Allah has made it obligatory, so that the more fortunate among us share in their wealth with the less fortunate, not feeling it as a burden of tax, but with open heart and in all willingness, realizing it as an act of piety and a duty towards God, seeking fulfillment of His Command. No amount of money paid as taxes or charities will remove from one the obligation to pay Zakat. “And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God: announce unto them a most grievous penalty on the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire or Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks and their backs. This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: Taste ye then the (treasures) ye buried. (Qur’an 9:34) The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) in numerous authentically transmitted traditions has warned that unless purified by payment of Zakat, one’s wealth and property will become the tools of punishment for him on the day of judgment. Abu Dhar once came to the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) when he was sitting in the shade of the Kaba. “By the Lord of the Kaba, they are the ones who suffer the greatest loss.” Said the Prophet. “Who are they?” “Those who have most property, except those who say, “Take this and this and this, ‘before them, behind them, on their right and on their left; but they are few,” he replied. (Bukhari and Muslim). The Importance of this institution can be realized from the fact that Abu Bakr Siddique the first Caliph waged jihad against those who had refused payment of Zakat. ESSENTIAL POINTS 1. Every Muslim, male or female, who at the end of the year, after deducting debt, is in possession of wealth equivalent in value to 3oz of Gold (called “Nisab”) must pay Zakat at the minimum rate of 2½ percent. • See MCC’s Zakat Calculation Form or visit www.ZakatChicago.org

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1. 2. Intention is a necessary condition; it is not necessary, however, to declare the intention to the recipient. Anyone who qualifies to receive Zakat, can be given as help or assistance or gift. 3. Loans receivable will not be added in the total amount on which Zakat is to be paid. Any amount of loan received back during the year will, however be added. If the amount thus received equals or exceeds for all the number of years after which the loan is refunded. 4. All articles of household use and properties given on rent are exempted from the payment of Zakat. 5. Zakat money of a particular year could be spent during the same year in advance. 6. Zakat could be given to a single person or organization or distributed among several of them; could be given all at one time or in installments. WHO QUALIFIES TO RECEIVE? 1. The guidelines are provided by the following verse of the Holy Qur’an: The alms are for the poor and the needy, and those who work to collect them, and those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the Cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is the knower, wise. 2. A person who qualifies to pay is not eligible to receive. 3. Descendants of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) are not eligible to receive. 4. It is not permissible to pay to parents and grandparents, to children or grandchildren. 5. Expenditure of Zakat Fund is not permissible on construction of Mosque, in the burial of dead or on paying loans on behalf of the dead persons. 6. It is preferable to spend zakat money on deserving relatives without telling them the nature of the fund. 7. Non-Muslims are not eligible to receive the Zakat. The Holy Prophet (S) once said: “One’s fast reZAKATUL FITR mains suspended between heaven and earth until he or she pays Zakatul Fitr.” This is a very important aspect of fasting and is required to pay as an obligatory duty before the end of Ramadan so that needy Muslims may have some of the material joys of Eid. Zakatul Fitr ($5 per person)can be paid anytime during Ramadan, but should not be delayed beyond morning of Eid-ul-Fitr.

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Adult Education Programs at MEC A variety of educational programs are being conducted at the Muslim Education Center and some at the Muslim Community Center. Here are the highlights. Structured Courses 1. Arabic Language – six course curriculum 2. Quranic Tajweed 3. Linux System Management (for computer professionals) 4. Tafseer Courses 5. Guest course from Darul Qasim 6. Guest Seminars from the Bayyinah Institute Weekly Program 7. Tafseer every Saturday after Fajr Monthly Programs (Dinner and Lecture) 8. A variety of topics of general interest chosen, including • Seeratun Nabi (S) • Examining your potential spouse • Egypt after the revolution • Do You Want to be a Doctor – Medical College • Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement • At-Risk Muslims • And many more Future Programs under Planning 9. Elementary Computer courses for the elderly 10. Structured courses in Seerah, Theology, etc. A computer lab is established for community’s use. The Education Committee is open for suggestions for other programs of interest to the community. Send your ideas to MECMasjid@mccchicago.org.

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In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Mark your calendars for:

MCC Annual Fund-Raising Dinner of 2012 Insha Allah Sunday, October 21st 2012 After Maghrib Salah 5300 Touhy Ave., Skokie, IL 60077 (Half a Mile West of Edens Expressway)

Individual Tickets $100 For further information please: MCC 773-725-9047 Or Habib Abbasi 847-845-8717


Mailing Label

Place Stamp Here

Muslim Community Center www.MCCchicago.org Muslim Community Center 4380 N. Elston, Chicago, IL (773) 725-9047

Muslim Education Center 8601 N. Menard, Morton Grove, IL (847) 581-9410

-----------------------------------Downtown Islamic Center 231 S. State Street 4th Floor | Chicago,IL | (312) 939-9095 www.dic-chicago.org


Ramadan Handbook 2012