Tag Archives: Fasting

Day Thirteen (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al-Baqarah : Ayats 183-203

183. O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-

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.

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.

186. When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

187. Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah. Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.

188. And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property.

189. They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: And fear Allah. That ye may prosper.

190. Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

191. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

192. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

193. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.

194. The prohibited month for the prohibited month,- and so for all things prohibited,- there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.

195. And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.

196. And complete the Hajj or ‘umra in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (Necessitating shaving), (He should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the ‘umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.

197. For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise.

198. It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray.

199. Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah.s forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

200. So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul. There are men who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!” but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.

201. And there are men who say: “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!”

202. To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account.

203. Celebrate the praises of Allah during the Appointed Days. But if any one hastens to leave in two days, there is no blame on him, and if any one stays on, there is no blame on him, if his aim is to do right. Then fear Allah, and know that ye will surely be gathered unto Him.

Translation: Abdullah Yusuf

Ramadan Mubarak

Yesterday April 24 was our first day of fasting. As the holy month is here may you be able to find Allah’s Mercy. May your life be full of peace and joy.

Last evening, I hurriedly watered my flowers, growing vegetables patch, and the fruit saplings in our backyard. The sun was still high up in the sky, and blistered my skin which is quite fragile, and easily burns. Normally I water the plants when the sun is sinking down the horizon, but yesterday was different. It was our first roza, and Son expected the Iftari to be ready when he opened his fast.

While I was working in the kitchen, Son ventured out to see the new moon 🌙.

IB (grandson) had come to us for the weekend. This time he had bought some samosas with him for opening his fast. Son, and I thought he would be sharing those with us, but it didn’t happen —- much to our disappointment. 🙁. He is a burgeoning chef, and told me he had made them himself. Of course the poor deluded person I am, I asked for the recipe, but no such luck! He refused saying it was his, and his mama’s secret.

Later on after finishing washing the dishes, Son and I went to have our daily walk. There was something bright shinning in the night sky. I thought it was a satellite, but guess what? It was Venus.

Lovely, isn’t it!

A little while later, when I squinted up at the sky, it had vanished

Yom Arafat

The gathering at Arafat.

Today is the ninth day of Zil Haj (Islamic lunar calendar). Keeping fast on this day is considered mustahib (good).

Prayer for fasting

Last night Son reached Dallas at ten thirty at night from Houston. After New Orleans Son went to Houston to see his children, and have a meal with them in the evening at a local diner. IB (the youngest one) spent the night with him, while the older two went back home. When he went to drop IB home before leaving Houston, his ex wasn’t home, so he had to leave IB with a neighbor. He felt depressed at the plight of his young son, and the break up of his home. Son goes back on Wednesday from Dallas to New Bedford. Son, and I are spending Eid ul Adha with Nola, and family.

We decided to fast on Yom Arafat. I had what I usually eat for breakfast, while Nola (daughter) heated parathas for Son (her brother), her husband, and TJ (her son). We got up in the morning before Fajr prayer to begin our one day fast. After saying our prayers, every one went back to bed. I woke up when M4 (grand daughter) started sneezing. I couldn’t sleep after that. I was sitting reading, till M5 (youngest grand daughter) came downstairs to watch cartoons.

I’m feeling thirsty, and a little bit hungry too. I almost forgot that I’m fasting, and started thinking what to have as a snack. I hope the day passes quickly, so that we can break our fast in the evening.

Eid

We had Eid yesterday. I had my tenant problems to deal with back home in Pakistan. He hadn’t paid the rent for three months. I was like kind of mad at him for not paying his dues. The last day of month long fasting had taken its toll, and as evening approached I was fatigued beyond measure.

IB (grandson) devours potato crisps night, and day, but anything homemade with potatoes in it, shies him off. For him, I made a mixture of chicken cut into bite size to fill into the samosas dough I had prepared earlier. When I put two chicken filled samosas in front of him, he refused to eat them. I threatened him with giving him aubergine to eat. I had made a dish for Son, and myself. IB had to decide — which he preferred. He ate the samosas.

I have found giving him alternatives to eat, lessons my period of agony over his not eating anything. He makes his own choice which in turn gets me less grief. I don’t have to prod him into finishing the meal on his plate.

Uncooked samosas waiting to be fried.

Fasting

As Muslims, we are getting much nearer to the end of our thirty days fasting period — the month which is known as Ramadan. When God decreed it centuries ago for believers, many didn’t know how beneficial it was to health, but now fasting has been proven through scientific knowledge, of utmost value to our health.

One thing I can vouch for is shinning white teeth. Normally I brush my teeth thrice a day minimally, but in Ramadan probably I do more. Once I’m in the bathroom, I reach for the toothpaste almost reflexively— forgetting I’ve not eaten anything since Sehr timings. The result is that teeth shine like pearls — Masha’Allah!

When my late husband was alive, and I lived in Pakistan, every Ramadan started with Dora Quran. It was held at a friend’s house where like minded ladies gathered every Thursday to read, and gain more insight into Quran, and Islam. With the beginning of Ramadan the meeting was held every day, and we women had Dora Quran which meant a quick reading of one Sipara (one part of the Quran– there are thirty parts) each day. It used to be quite comprehensive, as it entailed various aspects of our religion.

Then dear husband died, and I got permanently shifted to the US. It has been five years now, and I missed the valuable lessons about being a better human than I initially was, and doing charity work which I learnt through our weekly meetings.

This year I got lucky that my daughter visited me just before the beginning of Ramadan. Daughter was getting audio recordings daily from her neighbor in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Her neighbor held Dora Quran. My daughter asked that I should be included in getting the audio recordings daily. Jazak’Allah Khair to the lady for including me. It’s really inspiring.

It’s told that Angels are present when the Quran is read in the mornings. Normally I read two pages every morning after Fajr Prayers, and again when I’m having breakfast I read, and listen to it on my iPad.

It was a revelation to read Chapter 19, Surah Shuarah, Ayat 196 that Quran is the same book which earlier generations received from Torah to the Bible. Basically the teachings are the same except for the parts where they slung mud at the prophets, and distorted the fact that God is One only, and no other exists beside Him. Those books got muddled, and distorted through the hands of misguided zealots.

Religious fanatics against Islam are trying their best to do the same thing to Quran, but it’s almost impossible, as there are many Muslims who memorize each and every word. Even if distortions occur no one can put false interpretations in each, and every copy. A true version will be always be there till the end of time.

Thin

Ramadan Mubarak to all those who have started fasting.

Sorry to say (it feels sacrilegious) when Ramadan begins, I dread the day long fasting. I feel fearful as to how I’m going to fast, and how I’m going to last? My face goes thin, and gaunt. As days go by I start loving Ramadan, and feels nostalgic at its end. I want it to go on, and on.

There is no frantic worry, that if Son came home in the middle of the day as to what will I give him to eat? I’m serene in the knowledge I have ample time to make something for the evening Iftari (breaking of fast).

Today I got up at three in the morning to say Tahajjud Prayer first, and then hurried to the kitchen to get myself whatever I usually have for breakfast. I just add a daily serving of yogurt to my menu as it helps in fasting, but I didn’t have any, because I forgot.

I was alone in fasting as Son left for Hartford, Connecticut yesterday evening. He had a case there. I had to prepare sandwiches for him to take with him for his fast. Hotels don’t serve breakfast before seven in the morning.

At the muezzin call to Fajr (morning) prayer at 3.51 AM, my fast began. It will end at 7.57 PM with the call to Maghreb (evening) prayer. The time starts varying. It gradually lengthens. On the last day (thirty days period) the fast will start at 3.27 AM, and end at 8.20 PM.

Blessings, and Peace on everyone.

Thin

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Crisp

Cleaning the back seat of my car after IB (grandson) has been having Crisps is an added chore for me. He is no worse than Son who equally litters the front seat. Minute flakes lies on the carpet– in the front, and in the back.

My little lady bug fails to pick up all the crisp flakes. I haven’t yet bought a car cleaner. Son has an old heavy version of a vacuum cleaner. This means I have to bring the car in front of the apartments to do the needful. In this crippling heat, plus I’m fasting, I don’t have the energy to super clean. I do the itsy bitsy cleaning, and let go leaving the through cleaning for another day.

DAILY PROMPT

Crisp

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