www.munayouth.org Volume I, Issue 8
NYC Youth Activities NYC Chapter Executive Members Qiyamul Layil September 15th 2007 in Brooklyn Islamic Center (BIC)
Bronx Borough Qiyamul Layil September 29th 2007 in Baitul Islam Masjid & Community Center
Queens Borough Qiyamul Layil October 5th 2007 in Jackson Heights Islamic Center
Brooklyn Borough Qiyamul Layil October 6th 2007 in Brooklyn Islamic Center
A MUNA Youth Publication
The Importance of Salah and Prayer
alah is the 2nd and most important pillar of Islam. The second you testify to the 1st pillarthe Kalima, Salah is mandatory. There are no excuses, not even when one is ill, on a journey or even in war. Allah (SWT) has stated in the Holy Qurâ€™an: "I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship me." Salah strengthens the foundations of our faith. It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and obedience to Allah (SWT), and it builds courage and determination. Every time we perform Salah, we renew our commitments to Allah (SWT) and we rid ourselves from worldly pressures 5 times a day. Prophet Muhammad (S) said "The
Anonymous person that observes prayer properly, the prayer itself, blesses him with good wishes." According to a Hadith, a companion of Prophet Muhammad (S) came to him one day and asked him "What is
masjid in fact proves that either he does not even understand what his duty is, or if he does understand it he is so stupid and worthless, that he is quite unfit to remain in the army of Allah (SWT). Salah is a practical sign of obedience to the commands of Allah (SWT). Its importance has been emphasized about 500 times in the Holy Qurâ€™an. Once Prophet Muhammad (S) shook a dry branch of a tree so that all of the leaves of the branch fell off than the thing that Allah the Prophet (S) said (SWT) loves most?" "The sins of those who Prophet Muhammad (S) pray Salah, drop off as replied "The thing that the leaves of this Allah (SWT) loves most branch fell off." is when his people pray Before Salah, we Salah on time." make Wudu. Wudu is a A Muslim who unique way of cleansing does not move from his certain parts of our place after hearing the body so we are clean call for prayer even if before bowing down to his intention is to read the one who created us, it at home or at the who created the uniPage 1
Tidbits of Interest
Volume I, Issue 8
The Importance of Salah and Prayer (cont’d) Anonymous
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“And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?”
[Al-Qamar (The Moon) 17] A MUNA Youth Publication
verse the one and only Allah (SWT). Rasulallah (S) once asked his companions "Tell me if there was a river at the door step of one of you in which you washed 5 times a day would any of your dirt remain?" When he received the reply that none of it would remain he then said "That is like the 5 times Salah, with which Allah (SWT) wipes out sin. The last thing that Prophet Muhammad (S) emphasized at his deathbed was SALAH. He also said the first thing we will have to answer about on the Day of Judgment is SALAH. It is said in the Holy Qur’an: "And truly Salah is hard save for the humble minded." Meaning, that Salah is hard only on those who are not ready to lead a life of obedience to Allah (SWT), and on whom Salah is hard, provides himself proof of not being fit for the servitude and obedience to Allah (SWT). Salah improves and helps us to attain
high moral qualities and to build a strong defense against evils which exist around us. It is said in the Holy Qur’an, surely, Salah keeps you away from indecency and evil. This is why the prayer is described as "remembrance" to Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (S) said the bond man is nearest to Allah (SWT) at the moment when he is lying in prostration before him. Salah reminds you of Allah (SWT), when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed. Prophet Muhammad (S) once said, "The worst form of theft, is the theft of prayer." "How can one commit theft in prayer?" his companions asked, The Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) replied "By skipping on the complete performance of bows and pros-
tration’s." While in Salah one communicates with Allah (SWT) and experiences his presence. That’s why a Hadith says: Salah is the Mi’raaj of a Mu’min. The Rasulullah (S) also said "The key to HEAVEN is SALAH. The key to SALAH is PURIFICATION. Salah is so important that a hadith says: Salah is the only distinction between a believer and a nonbeliever. So brothers and sisters, if we know Salah is obligatory, our key to heaven, and we know we have to read it, why not read it on time? Furthermore, when we make some time for prayer in our short lives, why not set aside some time to pray in congregation?
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Ayah Of The Month
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Sura 2 - Ayat 185 "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan), he must fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him" (2: 185)
Hadith of the Month Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (S) reported that Allah (SWT) said in Ahadith al-Qudsi: “All services of the son of Adam are for him except fasting. It is for Me and I will reward him for it. Fasting is a shield. On the day you fast, do not use obscenity, nor yell at others, nor act ignorantly towards them. However, if anyone abuses you verbally or attempts to draw you to fight with him, say ‘I am fasting’ two times. The Prophet (S) then states: I swore by the One (Allah) in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath of the faster is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than the scent of musk. The faster experiences enjoyment twice: he is pleased when he breaks his fast, and his is pleased when he meets his Maker.” A MUNA Youth Publication
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Understanding the Importance of Ramadan
any people are aware that Muslims observe an annual fast, during the month of Ramadan. Why they do so, after the Prayer, they fast through the day until sunset, when they take another meal ending the day’s fast. One of them however, is not always so well known. It is primarily a technique of seeking proximity to God. In a sense, it is a counterpart to prayer. This year over 1.3 billion Muslims around the world will commemorate their holiest month of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad said, “Ramadan burns the sins and faults, just as the fire burns the wood.” The importance of this divine month was reiterated by the Prophet when he said, “The Month of Ramadan is the month of Allah (God), bringing His Mercy and Forgiveness.” According to the Holy Qur’an, fasting was made obligatory by God not only
A MUNA Youth Publication
By Mohammad Khawaja for the followers of the Prophet Muhammad but also for the followers of all the Prophets who preceded him (including prophets Moses and Jesus): “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those who preceded you; that perhaps you will be mindful of God,” (Qur’an 2:183). The basic mandatory elements of the Muslim fast, how-ever, are straightforward. As the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad expound, it consists in the simple abstention from food, drink and sexual relations during the hours of daylight. Just before the call for the Dawn Prayer is given, the Muslims gather to share the meal called suhur, usually a light meal of vegetables, yogurt and fruit.
Then, usually break fast together. When invited to break the fast, the Prophet Muhammad used to supplicate for his hosts by saying: “May those who are fasting break their fast with you, and may the pious eat of your food and may the angels invoke blessings for you. O Allah feed the one who fed me, and give drink to the one who gave me drink.” But what of the infirm, the elderly and those whose work involves strenuous physical labor? According to the Qur’an, anyone sick or engaged upon a journey is entitled not to observe the fast, and no blame attaches to this. The days in which the fast is broken are made up at any later time during the year when the sickness is at an end or when the traveler returns. As for the elderly or the incurably ill, such people are neiPage 4
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Understanding the Importance of Ramadan By Mohammad Khawaja ther required to observe the fast nor to make it up afterwards. Those working at tasks which are extremely physically demanding, such as quarry-men or steel workers, are likewise permitted to break the fast, together with certain other categories of people, such as pregnant women. The guiding principle, as with every other practice of Islam, is that what can’t be done, or causes extreme hardship, is not required. It is essential to try to understand the effects of fasting on the human spirit. Muslims say that when they fast they feel that a barrier has been erected between them and the world. No longer are they constantly absorbing sustenance from their the effects of this is to compel them to realize their total dependence upon food and drink, so that they fervently thank their Creator for His unfailing provision of their daily needs. In addition, they will come to know hunger. We read so often that onequarter of the world’s population is in a state of constant hunger, yet how many of us realize the naA MUNA Youth Publication
ture of this sensation? If our lunch is two hours late most of us feel extremely uncomfortable. But to grasp the true meaning of hunger, it is necessary to go without food for longer time. By the end of a day’s fast, the Muslim usually feels hungry, but not unbearably so.
this month. The Prophet called it a month of sympathy, an equalizer of rich and poor and the Divine Will multiplied rewards during it. Fasting is worship, a time of reflection to refresh our longforgotten pledge with God, the pledge of being perfect witnesses of the Prophets’ lifestyle. It is the time to look at ourselves critically, see where have we departed from the ways of Prophets Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Abraham and other prophets (peace be upon them all), eradicate selfishness, ego, and violence and excel in love for all human beings. Efforts during this month never go wasted as we have that extra-special divine Grace during this season of blessings, of blossoms of love and most cerThus we are awakened in the most tainly, true faith. real and direct way to the plight of millions of our fellow human beings, and will be more willing and ready to extend to them our assistance. Ramadan is declared by God as a month of blessings, the Holy Qur’an, the greatest favor upon humankind, was gifted in Page 5
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25 Ways to Get the Most Out of Ramadan. Written by Shaykh Abdullah al-Jarullah Brothers & Sisters: 1) Fast Ramadan with belief and truly seeking the reward of Allah the Most High so that He may forgive you your past sins. 2) Beware of breaking your fast during the days of Ramadhn without a valid Islamic excuse, for it is from the greatest of sins. 3) Pray Salat ut-Taraweeh and the night prayer during the nights of Ramadan - especially on Layatul-Qadr - based on belief and truly seeking the reward of Allah, so that Allah may forgive you your past sins. 4) Make sure that your food, your drink and your clothing are from halal means, in order that your actions be accepted, and your supplications answered. Beware of refraining from the Halal while fasting and breaking your fast with the Haram. 5) Give food to some fasting people to gain a reward similar to theirs. 6) Perform your five prayers on time in congregation to gain the reward and Allah's protection. 7) Give a lot of charity for the best charity is that of Ramadan. 8) Beware of spending your time without performing righteous deeds, for you will be responsible and reckoned for it and will be rewarded for all you do during your time. 9) Perform `umrah in Ramadan for `Umrah in Ramadan is equal to Hajj. 10) Seek help for fasting during the day by eating the sahoor meal in the last part of the night before the appearance of Fajr. 11) Hasten breaking your fast after the sun has truly set in order to gain the love of Allah. 12) Perform ghusl before fajr if you need to purify yourself from the state of major impurity so that you are able to do acts of worship in a state of purity and cleanliness. 13) Seize the opportunity of being in Ramadan and spend it with the good that has been revealed in it - by reciting the noble Qur'an and pondering and reflection of its meanings so that it be a proof for you with your Lord and an intercessor for you on the Day of Reckoning. 14) Preserve your tongue from lying, cursing, backbiting and slander for it decreases the reward of fasting. 15) Do not let fasting cause you cross your boundaries by getting upset due to the slightest of reasons. Rather, fating should be a cause of peacefulness and tranquility of your soul. 16) Upon completion of fasting, be in a state of taqwa of Allah the Most High, being aware of Allah watching you in secret and in public, in thankfulness for His favors, and steadfastness upon obedience of Allah by doing all what He has ordered and shunning all that He has prohibited. A MUNA Youth Publication
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25 Ways to Get the Most Out of Ramadan. Written by Shaykh Abdullah al-Jarullah 17) Increase in remembrance of Allah, seeking of forgiveness, asking for Paradise and protection against the Fire, especially when fasting, while breaking the fast and during suhoor, for these actions are among greatest causes of attaining Allah's forgiveness. 18) Increase in supplication for yourself, your parents, your children and Muslims, for Allah has ordered making of supplications and has guaranteed acceptance. 19) Repent to Allah with a sincere repentance in all times by leaving sins, regretting those that you have done before and firmly deciding not to return to them in the future, for Allah accepts repentance of those who repent. 20) Fast six days of Shawwal, for whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasts all the time. 21) Fast on the Day of `Arafah, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, to attain success by being forgiven your sins of the last year and the coming year. 22) Fast on the day of `Aashuraa', the 10th of Muharram, along with the 9th, to attain success by being forgiven your sins of the past year. 23) Continue being in a state of Iman and Taqwa and perform righteous actions after the month of Ramadan, until you die. "And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death)". [Qur'an 15:99] 24) Ensure that you attain the positive effects of your acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, Zakat and hajj, sincere repentance and leaving of customs that are in variance with the Sharee`ah. 25) Invoke a lot of salawat and salam upon the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, his Companions and all those who follow them until the Day of Judgment. Dua’ For the Month of Ramadan:
O Allah make us and all Muslims of those who fast and stand in prayer during the month of Ramadan based on belief and truly seeking Your reward so that we are forgiven our past and future sins. O Allah make us of those who fasted the month, attained full reward, witnessed Layatul-Qadr and attained success by permission of the Lord, Blessed and Most High. O Allah, verily you are Forgiver, like to forgive, so forgive us. O Lord, accept from us, verily you are the All-Hearing, all-Seeing, O Living, O Independent, O Owner of all majesty and honor. And may Allah's blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, his family and his Companions.
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Volume I, Issue 8
The Presense of Islam in the 21st Century Anonymous
any of the accepted Islamic religious and cultural traditions were established between the 7th and 10th centuries, during the classical period of Islamic history. However, Islamic culture continued to develop as Islam spread into new regions and mixed with diverse cultures. The 19th-century occupation of most Muslim lands by European colonial powers was a main turning point in Muslim history. The traditional Islamic systems of governance, social organization, and education were undermined by the colonial regimes. Nationstates with independent governments divided the Muslim community along new ethnic and political lines. Today about 1 billion Muslims are spread over 40 predominantly Muslim countries and 5 continents, and their numbers are growing at a rate unmatched by that of any other religion in the world. Despite the political and ethnic diversity of Muslim countries, a core set of beliefs continues to provide the basis for a shared identity and affinity among Muslims. Yet the radically different political, economic, and cultural conditions under which contemporary Muslims live make it difficult to identify what constitutes standard Islamic practice in the modern world. Many contemporary Muslims draw on the historical legacy of Islam as they confront the challenges of modern life. Islam is a significant, growing, and dynamic presence in the world. Its modern expressions are as diverse as the world in which Muslims live. The followers of Ali were known as the Shia (partisans) of Ali. Although they began as a political group, the Shia, or Shia Muslims, became a sect with specific theological and doctrinal positions. A key event in the history of the Shia and for all Muslims was the tragic death at Karbala of Husayn, the son of Ali, and Muhammad's daughter Fatima. Husayn had refused to recognize the legitimacy of the rule of the mayyad Yazid, the son of Mu’awiyah, and was on his way to rally support for his cause in Kūfah. His plans A MUNA Youth Publication
were exposed before he arrived at Kūfah, however, and a large Umayyad army met him and 70 members of his family at the outskirts of the city. The Umayyads offered Husayn the choice between a humiliating submission to their rule or a battle and definite death. Husayn chose to fight, and he and all the members of his family with him were massacred. The incident was of little significance from a military point of view, but it was a defining moment in the history of Shia Islam. Although not all Muslims are Shia Muslims, all Muslims view Husayn as a martyr for living up to his principles even to death. The Twelver Shia, or Ithna-‘Ashariyya, is the largest of the Shia Muslim sects. They believe that legitimate Islamic leadership is vested in a line of descent starting with Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, through Ali's two sons, Hasan and Husayn, and then through Husayn's descendants. These were the first 12 imams, or leaders of the Shia Muslim community. The Shia Muslims believe that Muhammad designated all 12 successors by name and that they inherited a special knowledge of the true meaning of the scripture that was passed from father to son, beginning with the Prophet himself. This family, along with its loyal followers and representatives, has political authority over the Shia Muslims. Sunni Islam was defined during the early Abbasid period (beginning in ad 750), and it included the followers of four legal schools (the Malikis, Hanafis, Shafi’is, and Hanbalis). In contrast to the Shias, the Sunnis believed that leadership was in the hands of the Muslim community at large. The consensus of historical communities, not the decisions of political authorities, led to the establishment of the four legal schools. In theory a Muslim could choose whichever school of Islamic thought he or she wished to follow and could change this choice at will. The respect and popularity that the religious scholars enjoy made them the brokers of social power and put them against the political authorities. Page 8