By Bint e Aisha
Concluding Ramadan with Istighfar (Seeking Forgiveness)
Hafiz Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) said:
Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) is the conclusion of all good actions, thus salah, hajj, standing in salah at night (qiyam al-layl) are all concluded with it.
Gatherings are also concluded with it. If they are gatherings of knowledge, it serves as a seal for them, and if they are futile gatherings, it serves as a compensation.
Likewise, the fasts of Ramadan should be concluded with Istighfar.
Umar Ibn Abd al-Azeez (rahimahullah) sent a message to different cities, ordering the people to end Ramadan with Istighfar and charity, i.e., sadaqat al-fitr, because sadaqat al-fitr is a purification for the fasting person from vain and obscene talk.
Furthermore, Istighfar repairs the damage caused to the fast through vain and obscene talk.
This is why some of the previous scholars said sadaqat al-fitr for the one fasting is like sajdat al-sahw for salah."
Lataa'if al-Ma'arif (pg. 383)
May Allah Ta'ala forgive all our shortcomings during the month of Ramadan and accept all our good actions, through His grace and mercy. Aameen.
10 things a Women on Menses can do in Ramadan
Almighty Allah has made it easy for a women in Ramadan during her menses for she is still able to get the same rewards as men.
The good deed accounts don't stop when a women is menstruating for the angels are continuing writing down good deeds as long as a women is doing good actions in order to please Allah.
The following are 10 good deeds a women can do whilst on her menses during Ramadan and throughout the whole year:
1. Listen to Qur'an recitation:
Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. Is is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse.
Abu Nu’aim states, in his Tib an-Nabbi, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that the benefits of listening to recitation are increased when it is understood – that is, when its meaning is understood.
Allah Himself says:…so give good news to My slaves, those who listen to the word and then follow the best of it…(Qur’an: 39.17-18)
Source: As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)
2. Read the tafseer and meanings of the Qur'an:
To reflect upon the verses of Allaah is a form of worship; it is something that will draw one close to Allah, Most High.
Allaah, Most High, Says in the Quran (what means): "Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from [any] other than Allaah, they would have found within it much contradiction." [Quran: 4:82]
We should try to understand the Qur'an:
Ibn Kathir says regarding tafsir of [soorah al-A'raf (7): 179]: The similitude of the one, who memorizes the Qur'an but does not act in accordance to it, is like a donkey, which carries a load of books, but does not understand!
We should read and study the deeper meanings of the Qur'an and act upon everything we read as this is what the Sahaaba did. Some of the Sahaaba took a very long time finishing the Qur'an because they wanted to implement everything they read before moving on to the rest of the Qur'an.
3. Dhikr of Allah:
A woman on her menses can do excessive dhikr night and day. We will all have utter regret for each second wasted without remembering Allah:
Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (RA) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The People of Paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah." Narrated Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman (1:392 #512-513)
The highest rank in Jannah are for those who remembered Allah the most:
Abu Sa`id (RA) narrates the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked, "Which of the servants of Allah is best in rank before Allah on the Day of resurrection?" He said: "The ones who remember him much."I said: "O Messenger of Allah, what about the fighter in the way of Allah?" He answered: "Even if he strikes the unbelievers and mushrikin with his sword until it broke, and becomes red with their blood, truly those who do Dhikr are better than him in rank." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, & Bayhaqi)
Therefore we should remember Allah as much as we can & glorify him night & day, not just in Ramadan but until our very last breath. What better time to start remembering Allah more than in this most blessed month.
So we should set ourselves daily targets of doing as much Dhikr as we can. We can remember & glorify Allah whatever we are doing throughout the day. At work, whilst cooking, shopping & even whilst relaxing. We should remember Allah in our heart's & not just by our tongues. We should also contemplate over his magnificence & his creations & imagine him in front of us as we glorify & remember him.
The following are 10 Dhikr, supported by Hadith that we can recite throughout the day & night in Ramadan until our last breath:
Note: We should try & aim to recite each of these 10 Dhikr a 100 times each which makes a total of 1000 a day minimum.
1. Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee - Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
4. Allahu Akbar
5. Laa ilaaha illallah
6. LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH-HIL ALIYYIL ADHEEM
7. Asthaghfirullah-halladhee Laa ilaaha illa-huwal Hayyul Qayyuumu Wa athoobu Ilay
Or short version: Asthaghfirullah
8. SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI SUB-HAAN'ALLAH-IL ADHEEM
Or short version: SUB-HAAN'ALLAAHi WA BI-HAM'DIHI
9. Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm
10. Lā ilāha illā-llāhu waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu lahu-l-mulku wa lahu-l-ḥamdu yuhyi wa yumītu wa huwa ḥayyu-llā yamūtu abadan abada, ḏū-l-jalāli wa-l-ikrām, biyadihi-l-khayr, wa huwa alā kulli Shay-in qadīr
Or the shortened version:
Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer
We should also recite much of durood e Ibrahim which is the durood that is recited towards the end of Salaah.
Or the shortest durood is: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim
4. Dua & Repentance:
A woman in her menses can make excessive Dua to Allah night and day.
Almighty Allah says in the Qur'an: "When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me." [2:186]
The place of Dua is so high in front of Allah, that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim) has said: "Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than Dua." [sahih al-Jami` no.5268].
Allah loves repentance & loves those who turn to him in sincere repentance:
Truly Allah loves those who turn [to Him] in repentance... (Qur'an 2:222)
Many of us rush our Dua’s & quite often our hearts are not present whilst we are making dua to Allah. That is why we lose out on much of the benefits & blessings of Dua. Therefore we should not let our minds wonder whilst in Dua & we should concentrate more, making sure our hearts are present whilst asking of Allah. Whilst we are in dua we should imagine Almighty Allah in front of us & so we should humble ourselves in front of him in a state of meekness & humility.
It may also help if we made a list of what we want to ask Allah during our dua’s. We can then refer to this list as a reminder so that we can cover everything we need to ask him, which may help in making our Dua’s longer & more sincere. This is because we will not always remember everything we want to ask Allah unless we note it down & refer back to it when we need to.
The times when Dua's are most accepted during Ramadan are:
1. The third portion of the night shortly before sehri ends. 2. Whilst fasting. 3. Between Asr & Maghrib. 4. Just before fast opens. 5. On Jumma before & after khutba. 6. Between Adhan & Iqamah. 7. Whilst raining. 8. After Qur'an recitation. 9. The Night of Qadr
Let us not be of those who pass by Ramadan without gaining any forgiveness:
Rasullullah (sallahu’ ‘alaihi wasallam) said: ...the angel Jibra’il appeared before me and said: Destruction to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness...’ Upon that I said: ‘Amin.’ (Al-Bukhari, Al-Tabrani)
We should ask of Allah to accept all of our good deeds & efforts throughout Ramadan & be hopeful that Allah will accept it from us. We should also have FULL hope that Allah will accept our Dua’s if not in this world then in the hereafter. We should accept his decree for he knows best in all matters.
Narrated ‘Ubaadah that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for EACH believing man and believing woman.” (Tabarrani)
Subhanallah this deed can be done in EVERY dua and can you imagine how many rewards can be gained for each and every Muslim you make dua for from Adam alayhis 'salam until now and the last Muslim on earth. This is the easiest way to earn rewards that go into the billions and the more you make these dua's then the more your good deed account wil get filled!
Every night in the last ten nights the following dua should be recited abundantly:
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim): 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say:
"Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee"
O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' " (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).
5. Learning Islamic knolwedge:
A woman in her menses can learn Islamic knowledge as much as she can through books, online, teachers etc
"Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have been granted knowledge to high ranks."
"Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female)." (Hadith)
THE VIRTUES OF KNOWLEDGE
Allah (Most Exalted is He), Who created us and gave us sustenance, has also given us guidance. He said:
"Verily We have created man into toil and struggle… Have We not made for him a pair of eyes; and a tongue, and a pair of lips; and shown him the two ways (obedience and disobedience)?"
(Qur'an, Al-Balad 90:4-10)
After providing us with the capability to contemplate, think and differentiate between things, He instructed us to know Him, to know his Prophets and to know His Deen, Islam. He said:
"So know that there is no god save Allah, ask forgiveness for your sins and for the believing men and the believing women. Allah knows well your moving and your place of rest."
(Qur'an, Muhammad 47:19)
This verse shows the importance of knowledge and the virtues that Allah has given to it. It also shows that knowledge comes before deeds, since Allah instructed His Prophet to know that He is One and the only One worthy of worship. After that, He commanded him to ask forgiveness for himself, his family and for his Ummah.
If Muslims truly realise the importance Islam places on knowledge and its virtues, they will definitely be keen to learn and teach others. They would start with themselves and their families; then their neighbours and the community at large.
6. Serving your parents:
A man once asked the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim):
"'Should I join the jihad?' He asked, 'Do you have parents?' The man said, 'Yes!' The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallim) said, 'Then strive by serving them!'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 5972)
Therefore serving one's parents is even better than jihad so serve your parents as much as you can and gain rewards you can NEVER imagine!
Treating your parents the best:
To be obedient and to show kindness to parents has been enjoined in the Holy Quran in such a manner as to say that among the noble deeds, to obey parents, treat them respectfully and to show kindness to them is next to worshipping Almighty Allah.
The Quran says, "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour." - Surah Al Isra (17:23).
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him! What a loss is for him!” Someone asked: “Who, O Allah's Messenger?” He replied: “He whose parents reach old age, either one or both of them, and he does not use their presence (by being good to them, etc.) to cause him to enter Paradise.” (Muslim)
Abdullah bin Mas'ood (RA), observed: "I asked Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) which deed was the best." He replied: 'The Prayer at its appointed hour.' I (again) asked: "Then what?" He replied: 'Kindness to the parents.'... (Sahih Muslim: 120)
So a woman in her menses should do what she can to serve her parents in anyway that she can like for eg clean the house so that her parents do less, attend to their every need etc. Surely she will be pleasing Allah so much and gaining unimaginable rewards!
7. Giving dawah:
"And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'"[al-Qur'aan, Fussilat(41):33]
A woman on her menses can give dawah to other sisters and non Muslims. We should spend our lives inviting others towards Allah whether they are Muslim or non Muslim.
"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are prosperous ones." (3.104)
We should not argue with them or use a harsh manner but use wisdom, tact and the best approach possible:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious. (16:125)
We should enjoin good and forbid evil for it is a duty upon us:
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Indeed, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as he had cursed them’ (At-Tirmidhi)
Whatever beneficial knowledge we have we should convey it unto others so that they may also benefit from it:
Zaid b. Thabit (RA) narrated the Prophet(Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: "May Allah cause to have freshness and brilliance the man who hears what I say and keeps it in mind, then convey it to others. (Ahmad, 5-183)
We should know that any good action another does because of some beneficial knowledge we have shared then we will also have a share of it:
"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." (Sahih Muslim)
So she can give dawah by text, e mail, direct or indirect
8. Best Manners, Character & Conduct:
A woman on her menses should show the best manners, character and conduct in this blessed month and throughout her life. She should strive to be of those with the best of characters and manners as that is what will elevate us in the hereafter:
Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alahi wasallam) used to say: The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character. (Related by al-Bukhari)
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: There is none heavier in the scales of the Hereafter than good character, (Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).
Subhanallah so if we show good character outside of Ramadan then it is of the heaviest on the scales but can you imagine the rewards of good character in Ramadan?
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant." (Tirmidhi)
So let us strive to perfect our manners, character and conduct and know that these good deeds will be of the heaviest on the scales and will enable us to reach the highest ranks of Jannah
A women in her menses should spend in the way of Allah as much as she can for charity extinguishes sins save one from the fire:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Charity wipes out sins as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi)
Charity should be paid secretly:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said: “Righteous deeds protect a person from an evil end; a charity spent in secret extinguishes Allah’s wrath; and maintaining good ties of kinship increases ones lifespan.” (Tabaraani)
Removing harmful objects from people’s way is also a charity:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“I saw a man enjoying himself in Paradise (simply) because he removed from a road a tree that used to harm people.”(Muslim)
Providing for ones family is a charity:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) said:“If a man provides for his family hoping for the reward, it will be counted as charity for him.”(Bukhari & Muslim)
She can involve herself in charity work in her local community or for a charity organisation. She can do various projects to raise money and awareness for good cauises.
10. Serve and obey Husband:
It is obligatory on all Muslim woman to obey their husbands in all matters of good. She is promised Paradise for fulfilling her obligations unto her husband.
Abu Hurairah reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“If a woman prays her five (daily) prayers and keeps her private parts chaste and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any of the doors of Paradise she wishes.” [ibn Hibbaan]
So whether a woman is on her menses or not she should do her utmost this Ramadan and for the rest of her life to serve and obey her husband in the best manner possible for the pleasure of Allaha and in doing so she will not only be pleasing Allah but she will gain unimaginable rewards
Therefore a woman on her menses must never feel that she is not able to gain the blessings and reward of the month of Ramadan. There is NOTHING stopping her from gaining IMMENSE rewards equal to that of a man. All that is required from her is effort, the right good intentions and sincerety in her actions.
May Allah enable us to gain he best of this month. Ameen