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Yasir Qadhi | Ramadan Reminder: The Fruit of Patience is Always Sweet

The verse that mentions the story of Ayyūb 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) is very interesting.  Allāh mentions a number of prophets in Sūrah Ṣād.  Of the prophets, Allāh says, “And remember, O Muḥammad…”  Allāh tells the Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to think about Ayyūb 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) as a role model.  We need to understand that all the prophets are role models for other prophets.  They are also role models for us.  Every prophet has something the other prophets will benefit from.

Our Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is told in the Qur’ān:  “Be patient like the strong prophets of old were patient.”  Allāh tells our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “Look at the stories of those before you.  Through the trials of the previous prophets, your own chest will become affirmed, and you will get hope and optimism.”  One of the stories that Allāh reminds our Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) about is the story of Ayyūb.  Allāh calls him His slave and His servant.

“When he made du‘ā’ to his Lord, he said, ‘O my Lord, Shayṭān has afflicted me with a pain and with torture.’”  What is the story of Ayyūb?  We don’t have it mentioned in the Qur’ān and Sunnah in detail, but just references are given.  We gather from other sources [the Isra‘iliyyāt], which we are allowed to narrate.  Isra‘iliyyāt are the stories that are found in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

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Our Prophet Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told us about our position towards those stories.  He said, “You may narrate them, but don’t believe in them fully and don’t deny them unless you have knowledge from our own book.”  The gaps that are filled in by the stories of the Old Testament are allowed to be narrated.  “Go ahead and tell the people that we are getting it from the Old Testament.  There is no problem in that.  But don’t believe in it like you believe in the Qur’ān.  Allāh knows – maybe they changed some details, subtracted, or added.  Don’t deny it – it may be true – unless something is found in the Qur’ān that contradicts.”

Ayyūb 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)‘s Test

From the Old Testament, we learn the story of Ayyūb in much more detail.  Ayyūb is called Job in the Old Testament.  The story of Ayyūb, as summarized in the Old Testament, is that he was blessed with an immense fortune and an immense wealth.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) blessed him with ten sons, which is a huge number.  Allāh blessed him with a large house and many agriculture and many plantations.  He was a thankful servant of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).  Allāh wanted to test and try to see whether he would be thankful if all of this is taken away.

“What would you do, O Ayyūb, if you don’t have your wealth, your plantations?”

Overnight, a storm came and it was one of the thunderstorms that have fire in it as well. They are very rare but happen.  This test from Allāh came and took everything that Ayyūb had.  He was outside of his house, and the house itself collapsed, and all of his children died.  Only his wife was saved.  Everybody else was taken back to Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The entire property was destroyed.  In addition to that, he was then afflicted with a disease.  What was this disease?  Some books say leprosy and other books say other things.  Basically, his skin began to fester and wound.  It became so difficult to look at him.  Ayyūb had been a handsome man, and he was blessed with beauty and a good body.  He was then afflicted with a type of pain and a type of suffering  that people couldn’t bear to look at him.

He had to abandon the city and live in a shanty-house and a small structure.  Nobody would come close to him except his wife who was very dedicated, and she continued to support her husband and continue to take care of him throughout this time.  His worship did not change at all.  He continued being just as thankful for what he had, and he continued praying and fasting and doing whatever he could despite the fact he didn’t have anything of what he used to have.  His attitude towards his Lord did not change at all.  He passed the test.  Allāh says:

 “This is our true servant Ayyūb who worships Us regardless of the situation he is in, whether he is rich or poor, whether he is healthy or sick, the Lord will not change.  Allāh’s blessings will be given if you put your faith in Him.”

He prayed to Allāh and blamed it all on Shayṭān.  “O my Lord, Shayṭān has done all of this,” and this is of the positive attitude of the believer.  We said many, many times:  the believer never ascribes evil to Allāh even though at the end of the day nothing happens except if Allāh decrees.  We don’t ascribe it to Allāh.  We ascribe it to ourselves.  “It is because of my sins.”  Or we ascribe it to the Shayṭān, but we don’t ascribe evil to Allāh.  Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “All good comes from you, O Allāh.  Evil I will not ascribe to You.”  Ibrāhīm 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) made the du‘ā’, “When I fall sick, He cures me.”  Even though in the grand scale, the sickness is from Allāh and the cure is from Allāh, but how did Ibrāhīm phrase it?  “When I fall sick. (It is my fault).   He is the One who cures me.”  We ascribe good to Allāh.  We don’t ascribe evil to Allāh.

Ayyūb says, “Shayṭān caused all of this for me, and he has caused me pain.  O my Lord, you know my situation.”  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) responded and he was tested for a few years (three years, five years).  He was tested for a time. But everyone should realize that when you are tested, then that test is a temporary test and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel if you truly believe in Allāh.

After those few years, Allāh told him, “Kick the ground.  Where you kick the ground, you will find water coming out from there.  Wash yourself with this water.  It is cold and pure water.”  When he washed himself, he came out as handsome as he ever was, so much so that when his wife came with his daily food, she saw this beautiful stranger and said, “Where is my husband?  He used to be around here.”  She didn’t even recognize him because he had gone back to even a better state.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “We gave him back his whole family, all the wealth that he had, and We doubled it.”  Why?  To show that this is what happens when you have patience.

What is Patience?

I want to talk about patience because this is the month of patience.  Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The month of Ramadan is the month of patience.”  Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,

“If you can conquer fasting, fasting is half of all patience.”

If you can perfect your fasting, then you have perfected 50% of patience.  The rest of patience will be through other things.  Patience (ṣabr) is a part and parcel of our life.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in Sūrat’l-Muddaththir, the first surah to come down after iqra’, Allāh tells the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “Be patient for the sake of your Lord.”  Being patient for Allāh is part of īmān.

Ṣabara actually means “to restrain, to tie up.”  You say that an animal is maṣbūr if the animal is tied up.  You say that the prisoner is ṣabra if his hands are tied up.  Ṣabara actually means to tie up, to be withheld, to restrain.  Of course, you understand the logical connection between the original meaning and patience because what is patience?  Patience means you control yourself.  You put your hands down and an invisible knot around your hands and an invisible string around your tongue.  This is what you are holding and you are restraining,

The real meaning of ṣabr is to withhold.  The reason why ṣabr is such a difficult action is because it is an inaction, it is no action.  You are not supposed to do something.  Your blood is boiling, and ṣabr tells you to trap it, clamp it down, control it.  You want to scream, shriek, yell, and hit.  Ṣabr means calm down and control it.  This is the reality of what ṣabr is.

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) praises ṣabr in over 50 verses of the Qur’ān.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “Allāh loves those who are patient.”  Allāh says, “The believing men and women are those who are patient men and patient women.”  Allāh says, “Allāh is with the ṣābirīn.”  Allāh says, “Those people will be given the highest apartments in Jannah because they were patient.”  Al-ghurfah are the highest levels of Jannah.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “The angels will enter in upon you in Jannah and will tell you, ‘Peace is on you today because you were patient.  Because you had ṣabr, this is where you are right now.’” Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “Allāh saved them because of their ṣabr.”

Allāh’s Punishment is lifted because of your patience, and Allāh’s Reward is a sign and the highest levels of Jannah are a sign.  In fact, this is one of the best rewards of patience.  We said many, many times that every deed is given between 10 to 700 times reward.  There are some exceptions. Fasting is one of them.  There is no limit because fasting is the embodiment of patience, and Allāh says about patience, “Those who are patient will get their reward back without it being counted.” When Allāh does not count, can you imagine how much you are going to get?

There are so many blessings as well.  The ḥadīth qudsi in Tirmidhi: the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said Allāh said, “When somebody is tested with his son or daughter dying…”  The most painful death is not the death of a parent but the death of a child.  You expect the death of a parent, but you don’t expect the death of a child.  The death of a child is the greatest calamity that can befall any parent.  The ḥadīth qudsi said, “Whichever parent is tested by taking away his child and he remains patient at that, then that child shall intercede for him to go to Jannah.”

Also in the ḥadīth in Tirmidhi, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that Allāh said, “If I take away the two pearls from the believer (his eyes), and he becomes blind and remains patient at that, then I have no reward lesser for him than Jannah itself.”  These are all showing the importance of ṣabr that Allāh is speaking.  The rewards here for patience are nothing less than Jannah itself.  Allāh tells the believers, “If you only have patience – you are scared about the enemies of Islam and are worried about them – and have taqwa in Allāh, I will send 5,000 angels to take care of them.”  The bottom line:  if you have ṣabr, nobody can destroy you.  Allāh is going to be on your side.  When you have ṣabr, you will get Allāh’s Rewards, Allāh’s Blessings, and Allāh’s Help.

As the saying goes, the fruit of patience is always sweet.  If you try to be hasty, you are not going to get the fruit.  If you are patient, you will get the fruit.  My dear brothers and sisters, this is the month of fasting.  It is the month of ṣabr.  If we can perfect our fasting, we have perfected 50% of ṣabr.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wants us to fast, one of the reasons being to teach us ṣabr.  Why is fasting a part of ṣabr?  Because we restrain ourselves from food and drink and that which is the most necessary thing for us.

Three Types of Ṣabr

Ṣabr is of three types.

1. Ṣabr in the face of a calamity.  Death of a loved one, car accident, loss of a job, muṣībah happens.  How do we do ṣabr at that point in time?  We act Islamically.  We don’t say what we shouldn’t say.  We don’t move our hands and wail and cry.  We act responsibly and sensibly.  This is the first category of ṣabr.

2.  Restrain ourselves from committing sins.  If we see some alcohol and temptations come to drink it, some of us may have a problem with this, but they have ṣabr and control it.  This ṣabr is generally more difficult than the first category because in the first category, you can’t help it if you are in an accident and have to be patient.  If somebody dies, what are you going to do?  You are forced into it.  In the second category, you have the will to do a sin, but ṣabr comes in and you restrain yourself.  The highest category of ṣabr is:

3.  Restrain yourself from permissible things and put yourself into worship of Allāh constantly.  Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “Be extra patient as you worship Him.”  Praying five times a day is a sign of patience.  Fasting is a sign of patience.  Why?  Because you are withholding and restraining yourself in order to do these good deeds.

How to Attain Patience

The final point:  How does one attain patience?  Two points:

1. Study the blessings of patience.  Simply reading the Qur’ān and Sunnah and Imam al-Nawawi has a very good chapter in Riyāḍ’l-Ṣāliḥīn on patience.  Simply read this and be aware of the blessings of patience.  This will bring about an immense ease when a calamity happens how to be patient.

2.  Ask Allāh to give you patience.  Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Whoever turns to Allāh to get ṣabr, Allāh will give him that ṣabr.”  Ask Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for that patience and ask Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to be granted that peacefulness and serenity to be able to conquer your actions.

Remember that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The strong person is not the one who can beat somebody else up.  The strong person is the one who can control himself when he is angry because that is the ultimate patience.”  The ultimate patience is not to control somebody else but to control yourself.  This is the month of ṣabr.

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grant us the perfection of patience.  May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept our fasting.  May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grant us the tawfīq to stand on laylat’l-qadr.  May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) cause the Qur’ān to be an intercessor for all of us.  May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) cause us all to be amongst those who are patient.  Āmīn.


The above  is the audio and transcript of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s lecture “The Fruit of Patience is Always Sweet.” The transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity. Transcribed by Sameera

This lecture is brought to you by the Memphis Islamic Center (MIC). For more information about MIC, please visit www.memphisislamiccenter.org

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Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    hansa

    August 1, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Excellent article mashaAllah. Just wanted to report a small typo in the hadith about what a strong person is:

    “The strong person is *not* the one who can beat somebody else up. The strong person is the one who can control himself when he is angry because that is the ultimate patience.”

  2. Avatar

    Fezz

    August 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Nice piece and beautifully transcribed. Just one small correction;

    “his sin began to fester and wound”. -> “his skin began to fester and wound”

    :D

  3. Avatar

    Maine

    August 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Alhamdulillah, very good article and link! Really needed to read this at the moment.

  4. Avatar

    Neda

    August 1, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Assalamalikum, mashAllah very nice lecture by Sh Yasir Qadhi.Alhamdulillah right when I needed it.Dr.Farhat Hashmi said in one of her lectures that Allah SWT says in the Quran that He is with as saabiroon, the patient ones.What better blessing than this that the Almighty is with us.May Allah SWT make us among the saabiroon.

  5. Avatar

    Aziza

    August 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Great reminder, JazakAllah Khair!

  6. Avatar

    Sarah

    August 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    JazakumAllahu khayrn for this beautiful article.

  7. Avatar

    ahsan arshad ali

    August 2, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    alhumdulillah, enjoyed listening to the lecture, may Allah help us achieve the highest level of sabr.

  8. Pingback: Yasir Qadhi | Ramadan Reminder: The Fruit of Patience is Always Sweet « As-Sabireen

  9. Avatar

    Nuraini

    August 3, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    This Ramadhan is the hardest in my life. Allah has tried me with the burden of forbearance by the loss of all I thought I had to look forward to. Thank you for the reminder that He is opening the door of Jannah to me.

  10. Avatar

    jamaloden

    August 14, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Happy Ramadhan to all..

  11. Avatar

    Shine

    May 2, 2020 at 2:29 PM

    I heard somewhere one should not ask Allah for sabr as he will get afflicted with calamities..is it true?

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting | Hadiths 9-12

 وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: “كان رسول الله ﷺ إذا دخل العشرُ أحيَى الليل، وأيقظ أهلهُ، وشدَّ المئزر” متفقٌ عليه().

 

ʿAʾishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

When the ten nights would begin, the Messenger of Allāh r would keep the night alive; he would also awaken his family and tighten his wrapper.

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Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“When the ten nights would begin”

What is meant is the last ten nights

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ would keep the night alive”

He would keep stay up at night and engage in various forms of worship such as ṣalāt, dhikr, and meditation/reflection. Or he kept himself alive by remaining awake, since sleep is death’s sibling. The metaphor refers to the night because when someone who is sleeping is woken-up and brought back to life, their night can be said to have been given life through them.

“He would also awaken his family”

He did so to draw their attention towards the time of goodness, so they may expose themselves to the gusts of goodness. A narration in Tirmidhī states, “When the last ten days of Ramaḍān would enter, the Messenger of Allāh r would not fail to wake up anyone who was capable of staying up in his household”. He would lead them towards the avenues of goodness, and help them attain it.

“And tighten his wrapper”

Al-Khaṭṭābī explains: “The meaning is likely to be earnestness in acts of worship. Just as one would say ‘I have tightened my wrapper for this matter’ i.e I have buckled down to it/rolled up my sleeves for it. It is also said that it may be a metaphor for buckling down and withdrawing from women. It is also said that it may have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning at the same time, i.e that he literally tighten his waist wrapper (izār) and also withdrew from women and buckled down for worship. However, the first explanation is more plausible because in another narration the following wording is found “He would tighten his wrapper and withdraw from women”. This leads us to conclude that the expression tightening his wrapper relates to earnestness in worship only.

– باب فضل السحور وتأخيره ما لم يخشَ طلوع الفجر

Chapter on the virtues of saḥūr, and of delaying it as long as one does fear the rising of dawn

 

 عن أنسٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله : “تسحروا؛ فإن في السحور بركةً” متفقٌ عليه .

Anas (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal) because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Saḥūr is the meal which is taken prior to the rise of dawn. Suḥūr on the other hand, is the act of partaking food at that time. This will have relevance in the ensuing commentary of the ḥadīth.

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘Eat suḥūr [or practice saḥūr] (predawn meal)’ ”

This is considered mandūb i.e praiseworthy. The Sunna itself is fulfilled by having a little food even if it is only a sip of water. It is mentioned in a ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh bin-Surāqa, traced back to the Nabī r: ‘Practice suḥūr, even if only with a sip of water’. It is narrated by Ibn-ʿAsākir[2]. The Sunna is likewise fulfilled by having a considerable quantity of food.

“Because surely, there is baraka in suḥūr [or saḥūr].”

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn-Ḥajar explains: ‘The use of both spellings is found in authentic narrations. If suḥūr is meant i.e the act of eating at that time, then by baraka is meant the reward and merit. If saḥūr is meant i.e the food which is eaten at that time, then by baraka is meant the fact that it strengthens one for fasting and makes one energetic for it. It also reduces the difficult involved in it’.

It is also said that the baraka lies in the fact of being awake at that time and engaging in duʿāʾ.
It is however more appropriate to say that the Baraka is attained through various avenues, namely: adherence to the Sunna, acting differently than the ahlul-kitāb (Christians and Jews), strengthening oneself for worship through it, its being a cause for one to engage in dhikr and duʿāʾ at a time when acceptance is highly likely, and it also allows for one who has forgotten to make the intention for fasting before sleeping to do so[3].

This ḥadīth was also narrated by Aḥmad, Al-Tirmidhī, Al-Nasāʾī, and Ibn-Māja all through Anas. Al-Nasāʾī has already narrated it through Abū-Hurayra and Ibn-Masʿūd. Aḥmad has also narrated it through Ibn-Masʿūd. This has all been mentioned in Al-Jāmiʿul-Ṣaghīr.

 وعن زيد بن ثابتٍ، رضي الله عنه، قال: تسحرنا مع رسول الله ثم قمنا إلى الصلاة. قيل: كم كان بينهما؟ قال: قدر خمسين آية. متفقٌ عليه

Zaid bin Thābit (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh r and then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer). It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’

[Al-Bukhārī and Muslim].

Zaid bin-Thābit was from the Anṣār of Madīna, and he was 11 years old when the Nabī r emigrated from Makka to Madīna. His father passed away when he was 6 years old, and the Nabī r considered him too young to participate in the battle of Badr (~13 years old). He however allowed him to participate in Uḥud. It is also said that he in fact did not participate in Uḥud but rather in Khandaq and the following expeditions with Rasūlullāh r. He used to write revelation for the Nabī r and he was one of the three people who compiled the Qurʾān by gathering its various verses and chapters and verifying their authenticity. The effort to compile the Qurʾān after the demise of the Nabī r was ordered by Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar.
ʿUmar and ʿUthmān would both designate him as imām in Madīna when they traveled for Ḥajj. Ibn Abī-Dāwūd explains: ‘Zaid bin-Thābit was the most knowledgeable of the rules of inheritance among the Ṣaḥābah, and he was among those firmly grounded in knowledge.
A total of 92 ḥadīth from Rasūlullāh r have been narrated by him, 10 of which are found in the collections of Bukhārī or Muslim. He passed away in Madīna in the year 54 A.H.

“We took suḥūr (predawn meal) with the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ”

One can notice a subtle indication of etiquette in the choice of words, rather than saying ‘Us and Rasūlullāh took suḥūr’ he used wording which emphasizes the fact that they followed his example r.

“And then we stood up for ṣalāt (prayer)”

The morning ṣalāt i.e ṣubḥ.

“It was asked: ‘How long was the gap between the two?’ He replied: ‘The time required for the recitation of fifty verses.’ ”

Anas is the one who asked the question. Imām Aḥmad also narrated a ḥadīth where Qatāda asks Anas the same question.
The verses referred to are of moderate length. They were neither long nor short, and were read neither fast nor slow. The ʿArab had the habit of estimating time through physical actions, such as saying ‘As long as it takes to milk a goat’. Zaid however chose to estimate the time through the action of reading the Qurʾān to indicate that it was a time fit for worship through recitation of the Qurʾān. Ibn Abī-Jamra explains: ‘The ḥadīth is an indication of the fact that the vast majority of their time was immersed in ʿibāda (worship)’.

The ḥadīth also indicates that suḥūr was done as late as possible, as it is more befitting for the intent behind it. Also because it was the Nabī r’s habit to look for that which was most gentle for his Umma and apply it. If he did not take suḥūr that would prove difficult for some of them, just as taking suḥūr in the middle of the night would be difficult for those overtaken by sleep. That could lead to leaving suḥūr altogether or in it being a tiresome process.

 وعن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله r قال: “فَصْلُ ما بين صيامنا وصيام أهل الكتاب أكلةُ السحر” رواه مسلم .

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb) is suḥūr (predawn meal)’

[Narrated by Muslim].

ʿAmr bin Al-ʿĀṣ accepted Islām in the year of Khaybar, i.e the beginning of the 7th year A.H. Him, Khālid Ibnul-Walīd and ʿUthmān bin-Ṭalḥa came to the Nabī and accepted Islām together. He was made the commander of the 17th expedition, called sariyatu dhātil-salāsil and which had 300 men. It was then reinforced through another regiment in which were Abū-Bakr and ʿUmar, and whose commander was Abū-ʿUbayda bin-Jarrāh. The Nabī r told the latter ‘Do not be at odds with eachother’. ʿAmr used to lead the ṣalāt of the combined regiments until they returned to Madīna (notwithstanding the illustrious personalities who joined them). He was designated as an ambassador to Omān where he remained until the death of the Nabī r. Abū-Bakr t then sent him as governor to Shām and he was present in the various conquests of its territory. He then governed Palestine for ʿUmar t for some time after which he was sent with a regiment to Egypt, which he conquered. He remained its governor until the death of ʿUmar. ʿUthmān left him in his position for another 4 years, and he then removed him. ʿAmr then settled away in Palestine from which he would occasionally visit Madīna. Muʿāwiya t eventually designated him governor of Egypt, where he remained as governor until his death and was buried there. He passed away on the eve of ʿIdul-Fiṭr the year 43 A.H at the age of 70 years. His son ʿAbdullāh led his funeral prayer. He was among the heroes and intellectuals of the ʿArab, and was known to be a leader with a great vision.
When the time of his death dawned upon him he said: ‘O Allāh you have ordered me and I was not compliant, you prohibited me and I did not refrain, I am not strong so I seek assistance, neither am I free of blame so I apologize, and I am not arrogant but rather I am repentant; there is no deity except You’. He kept repeating these words until he passed away.

“The difference between our observance of fasting and that of the people of the scriptures (ahlul-kitāb)”

The ahlul-kitāb are the Jews and Christians. They were given revealed scriptures, hence the name ahlul-kitāb.

“Is suḥūr (predawn meal)”

This is an unequivocal statement to the fact that taking suḥūr is a special trait for us, and that Allāh has made it a favor and distinction for this Umma. This favor and distinction were not granted to the previous nations.

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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting. Hadiths 7-8

– وعنه، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله ﷺ، قال: “إذا جاء رمضانُ، فُتحتْ أبواب الجنة، وغُلقت أبواب النار، وصُفدت() الشياطين” متفقٌ عليه().

Abū-Hurayra (May Allāh be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of the fire of hell are closed, and the devils are chained.”

Narrated by Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

The Messenger of Allāh said, “When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of paradise are opened”

The most apparent meaning is that this is a literal opening of the doors of paradise for a person who passes away during Ramaḍān, or for a person who performs good actions which are accepted. It is also said that the meaning is figurative, meaning that performing good actions in Ramaḍān will lead to the gates of paradise being opened in the hereafter. Another figurative meaning may also be the abundance of mercy and forgiveness, as can be inferred by a narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim “The doors of mercy are opened”.

“The gates of the fire of hell are closed”

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The same observation can be made about this statement as has just been said regarding the gates of paradise.

It is also said that this is a metaphor to express the fact that the egos of the fasting persons are pure from the impurities of shameful actions, and they are liberated from the things which lead to sinful acts by means of their tamed based desires.
Al-Ṭībī explains: ‘The benefit of this is two-fold: the angels are clearly made aware that the action of those fasting is highly revered in front of Allāh. The fact that the truthful Nabī is the one informing about this matter also serves to increase the eagerness of the Muslim individual’.

“And the devils are chained”

This statement can also be considered to be in a literal sense. It may also figuratively mean that they are prevented from causing excessive nuisance to the believers and from provoking them. That makes them seem as they are chained. It may also mean that the Muslims refrain from involving themselves in the acts of disobedience which the devils annoy them with.

– باب الجود وفعل المعروف والإكثار من الخير في شهر رمضان

والزيادة من ذلك في العشر الأواخر منه

Chapter on generosity, performing good actions, increasing in goodness during Ramaḍān and augmenting in that during its last 10 days

1/1222- وعن ابن عباس، رضي الله عنهما، قال: كان رسول الله ﷺ، أجود الناس، وكان أجود() ما يكونُ في رمضان حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ، وكان جبريلُ يلقاهُ في كل ليلةٍ من رمضان فيدارسهُ القرآن، فلرسولُ الله ﷺ، حين يلقاهُ جبريلُ أجودُ بالخير من الريح المرسلة” متفقٌ عليه().

Ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was the most generous of men; and he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him. Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him. As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was more generous with goodness than the free wind.

What is meant by good actions in the title are obligatory and recommended actions alike. Increasing such actions in Ramaḍān is mandūb (i.e commendable) as the reward will be multiplied on virtue of the distinction of this time. This particularity in Ramaḍān is because it is the best of the months, so it is commendable to keep it alive with such actions and see their reward multiplied as a result.

The last ten days start on the eve of the 21st day of fasting, and they end on the last day whether the month ends in 29 days or 30 days.

Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

“The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was the most generous of men”

He was the man endowed with the most generosity. Indeed it is a fact that that which has been narrated of his generosity has not been narrated regarding anyone else.

“And he would be the most generous during the month of Ramaḍān when Jibrīl visited him.”

His state of generosity in Ramaḍān was superior to that outside of Ramaḍān, but he was nevertheless the most generous man in an absolute sense.

“Jibrīl would meet him every night of Ramaḍān and he would review the Qurʾān with him”

It is said that the wisdom in reviewing the Qurʾān is that it renews the pledge of having a content ego. Contentment in turns breeds generosity. Ramaḍān is also the season of goodness because Allāh’s bounties on his servants are increased therein. It was the habit of Nabī to give preference to follow the example of the sunna of Allāh (i.e his customary practice) in dealing with His servants. The combination of what has been mentioned i.e the time, the one who came down (Jibrīl), what he descended with (the Qurʾān) and the learning were all obtained through the hand of generosity. And Allāh knows best.

“As a result, at the time Jibrīl met him the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) was more generous with goodness than the free wind”

He was, in the speed of his generosity faster than the wind. The free wind indicates the wind which continuously blows with mercy. His generosity was all-encompassing in its benefit just as the free wind fully encompasses anything it blows on.

A narration of Imām-Aḥmad includes the following wording at the end of this ḥadīth: “He was never asked anything except that he gave it”[1].

Imām Al-Nawawī explains:

“This ḥadīth contains many fine lessons: encouragement towards generosity at all times, and increasing it during Ramaḍān as well as when meeting righteous people (analogy with the meeting of Jibrīl). It also indicates the virtue of visiting the pious and noble folk, and to do so repeatedly as long as the person being visited does not mind. It also points to the laudable nature of abundantly reading Qurʾān during Ramaḍān and the fact that it is superior to all forms of remembrance of Allāh [dhikr/adhkār]. Indeed, if dhikr was superior or equivalent to it then they would have done it (the Nabī and Jibrīl). Some commentators have said that these were tajwīd sessions. This is however objectionable as memorization of the Nabī was a given, and anything beyond memorization could be achieved through a few sessions. It is therefore clear that the intent in Jibrīl’s coming was an increase in the amount of recitation.

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