Nowadays, we live in a time in which many ideologies exist - a time of confrontations with different misconceptions, challenges and questions that are often witnessed, heard and repeated. Each one of us in this world, regardless of his/her position, needs something at times to strengthen him, help him stay steadfast and increase his faith and reliance on Allah so he can face strong desires and new challenges as firm as mountains that are unaffected by strong winds or earthquakes.When a person feels lonely, or a problem occurs, when things are bad, when he is about to give up hope on the Mercy of Allah, or when he does wrong; he needs what guides him through such conditions to help him solve the problem, to remind him of the Mercy of Allah and to warn him when he does wrong.Unless a person heads in the right direction with his entire body (his feelings, heart and limbs) towards the Book of Allah, by reading it, contemplating its verses and practising what it contains, then one cannot hope to be steadfast and strong in his faith. He will not feel secure from being punished. He cannot expect a promise to be fulfilled nor to be mentioned or remembered after his death.The Qur’an is the pure spring that never depletes, the great treasure that does not diminish from use, rather it only increases. Its repetition and recitation add to its sweetness and encourage one to read from it again. The Qur’an is the Word of Allah that cannot be likened to any other words. It is protected from falsehood being entered into it from any direction. It was sent down by The All-Wise, Worthy of all praise, Allah, Glory be to Him, Who took it upon Himself to protect it so no one can add to it or subtract from it. It cannot be increased or decreased. It is written in a Preserved Book (in Arabic: Al Lawh Al Mahfooth). It is easy to learn and is often contemplated, memorised, and recited. Allah Says (what means): “And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember?” [Qur’an 54: 17]Anyone, young or old, can memorise it even non-Arabic speaking people. It is not burdensome to read or recite repeatedly. Due to its sweetness, no one gets bored listening to the Qur’an. Scholars never have enough pondering over it, educating themselves from it and learning more of its meanings. Neither mankind nor jinn can produce a chapter that resembles it, because it is an eternal miracle and proof. Allah, Glory be to Him, Commanded us to recite it and to reflect upon it. He made it a blessing as well as blessed.Allah Says (what means): “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [Qur’an 38: 29]The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who recites or reads a letter from the Book of Allah gets a reward and the reward is multiplied by ten. I don’t mean ‘Alif Laam Meem’ is a letter, rather, Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmithi] Allah gave a certain position to those who memorise and work according to it -- a position that makes one different from other people. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best amongst you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others.” [Al-Bukhari].He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also said: “The example of the believer who reads the Qur’an is like the “Utrujjah” (a type of fruit). It has a nice smell and a sweet taste. The example of the believer who does not read or recite the Qur’an is like a date, which has no smell but tastes sweet. The example of a hypocrite who reads the Qur’an is like the Rayhannah, it smells nice but it tastes bitter. The example of the hypocrite who does not read the Qur’an is like the Hanthalah (colocynth) which does not have any smell and it tastes bitter” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]Tranquillity and true happiness lie in glorifying the Book of Allah, reading it, resorting to it as a reference and using it as a guidance. Wretchedness lies in turning one’s back on the Qur’an, degrading it and deserting it. Allah says (what means): “And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing? [ Allah ] will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.” [Qur’an 20: 124-126]The blessed month of Ramadan that we live in these days should remind the believing Muslim Nation of the importance of going back truly and sincerely to the Book of Allah, the great Book that Allah has honored by having revealed it during this month. He, The Almighty, Says (what means): “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [Qur’an 2: 185]The best way to spend time during the month of the Qur’an (Ramadan) is to give increased importance to the Qur’an by memorising, reciting, practicing and contemplating it. Let us look at our best model, the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Ibn‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was the most generous of people and he used to be more generous during the month of Ramadan, when he used to meet Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) and review the Qur’an with him. During this time, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was faster (in his generosity and bringing good) than a blowing wind”. [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]We understand from this Hadith that it is recommended to review the Qur’an and study it in the month of Ramadan, even gathering in group sessions to do so. In addition, we can conclude from it that it is recommended to repeatedly recite the Qur’an during the month of Ramadan. Many people have the mistaken idea that they should recite the Qur’an repeatedly during the day of Ramadan and then stop reciting it during the night. Some of the Salaf (righteous predecessors, may Allah have mercy upon them) used to read the entire Qur’an in Ramadan every three nights, and some used to do it every seven nights, like Qataadah, may Allah be pleased with him; others used to finish it every ten nights. Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “The Salaf used to recite the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan during prayer and other times; Qataadah used to teach the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. Whenever Ramadan started, Az-Zuhri, may Allah have mercy on him, used to say: ‘This is the month of reciting the Qur’an and giving food’.” During Ramadan, Allah gives honour and elevates people with the Qur’an and degrades others as a result of neglecting it. All thanks are due to Allah that the Qur’an is amongst us and it is very easy to obtain a copy: they are in the mosques, the homes, in the libraries and bookstores. In some of the Muslim countries you can even listen to it on the radio. Having the Qur’an available is a great bounty of Allah, glory be to Him. Being able to learn His Book, listen to it, and act according to it is another great favor and bounty of Allah, The Most Exalted.The Qur’an can also be a proven evidence against all of those who neglected it when it was so easily available. Allah Almighty says (what means): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘What thing is greatest in testimony?’ Say, ‘Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur’an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches...’” [Qur’an 6: 19]The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The Qur’an is a proof or an evidence for or against you.” [Muslim] So we must fear Allah and pay attention to the Book of Allah, learning it, teaching it, acting according to it and applying it so that we will be among its people. About the Qur’an, Allah Almighty says (what means):“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward. And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter - We have prepared for them a painful punishment.” [Qur’an 17: 9-10]Article source: and physical well-being via fastingAl-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Paradise has eight gates and one of them is Ar-Rayyaan through which none will enter but those who observe fating.” As-Suyooti, may Allah have mercy upon him, has reported that Al-Haarith Ibn Kalda, may Allah have mercy upon him, stated that: “Imposing abstinence from food” was the essence of medicine. Fasting, in medical terms, may mean a variety of things. Some health care practitioners might recommend juice fasting. This type of fast eliminates all solid foods and the person consumes only fruit and vegetable juices. Others might recommend elimination of all foods except fruits and water for a specified time. Some might even recommend eliminating all foods and drinks for specific periods. The reported purpose for these forms of fasting is to cleanse toxins and poisons form the body and the digestive tract. Islamically speaking, fasting both voluntary and obligatory is an act of worship. Although there may be health benefits, its primary purpose must always be to please Allah.Alternative medicine views fasting as a detoxification method. This simply means that it is used to purify the body by eliminating “toxins.” This process enhances the healing processes of the body. Fasting generally is perceived to spare any harm to vital organs but uses fatty tissue, etc. For energy production. Naturopathic healthcare practitioners generally proscribe short fasts. Because body temperature may drop during a fast, as does blood pressure, pulse, and respiration, it is considered important to stay warm. Fasting is seen as possible treatment for a variety of disorders and diseases including: obesity, chemical poisoning, arthritis, allergies, psoriasis, eczema, leg ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchial asthma and even depression.Fasting is a protection for the body and the mind. At-Tirmithi, may Allah have mercy upon him, has reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Fasting and the Qur’an intercede for a man. Fasting says, ‘O my Lord I have kept him away from his food and his passions by day, so accept my intercession for him.’ The Qur’an says, ‘I have kept him away from sleep by night so accept my intercession for him.’ Then their intercession is accepted.” Research has shown that fasting can improve the control of diabetes. Another study has shown that fasting improved the health of persons with irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Another study suggests that fasting may improve cholesterol levels.Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said that Allah said: “All the deeds of the children of Aadam are for them, except fasting, which is for Me and I will give the reward for it.” Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, has also reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, narrated that Allah said: “The fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (who observes the fast) leaves his (sexual) desire, food and drink for My Sake. Fasting is a shield (from Hell) and there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. The smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah’s Sight than the smell of musk.”There are specific requirements for the Muslim to consider when fasting. First is the intention to worship Allah and obey His commandments. Second, is that the fasting must take place between dawn to dusk. Muslims are prohibited from fasting for more than two continuous days without breaking the fast. This is based on the narration reported in Al-Muwatta, which states that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, forbade fasting for two days or more without breaking the fast in between. Likewise, fasting is prohibited on certain days: ‘Eid Al-Fitr, ‘Eid Al-Adha, and on Jumu’ah (Fridays unless the person has fasted the day before or will fast the day after). Married women are admonished not to fast without the permission of their husbands, as the husbands have a right over their wives.Breaking the fast with dates or sips of water is better. Again, this is based on the Prophet’s Sunnah and the narration reported by Abu Daawood, may Allah have mercy upon him: “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates, but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.” Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon him, has reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The Ajwah date is an excellent remedy.” The best days for fasting are Mondays and Thursdays. At-Tirmithi, may Allah have mercy upon him, also reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The deeds of men are presented to Allah on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like mine to be presented when I am fasting.” The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of each lunar month are also recommended for fasting. While both the obligatory fasting during Ramadan and the voluntary fasting during the remainder of the year are acts of worship, they may provide healing to the body. Whatever healing may occur because of fasting is a blessing from Allah, however this should not be the intention or the goal of fasting. Fasting gives us a greater ability to control our desires and emotions. It should not be considered a “cure-all” or a diet programme. Those who fast will receive their reward from Allah as long as their intentions are pure and their fasting is not harmed or nullified by lying, backbiting, or evil deeds.Article source: