The Imaam said, “I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we’re in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, “… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous,” [Baqarah 2:183] you’ve heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, “… that you may become righteous.”
Why was this fasting decreed? “That you may become righteous.” This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.
There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], “Why this? Why that? Why this?”—we don’t approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we’re discussing now [i.e., fasting].
“Decreed upon you is fasting,” why? He تعالى said, “… that you may become righteous,” i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.
If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.
There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink,” this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, “… that you may become righteous.”
So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] ‘the only aim’ so that some people don’t misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.
In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it’s expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone’s mind, because of how important it is.
The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.
The second type: let’s call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, “… that you may become righteous,” and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink.”
Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.
From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited,” or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, “… that you may become righteous,” whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.
To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …” [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim’s prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.
The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …” i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,”—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person’s prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.
The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting,” why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, “He fasted but didn’t fast,” he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn’t [really] fast because he didn’t withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer.”
So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.
The Imaam said, “If a suitor’s uprightness in his [day to day] life is not known before he proposes, you’re going to make it a condition that he prays and gives charity [after he’s married?]! Someone greater than you, your Creator and his, [already] stipulated that condition on him—so if he’s failed to meet the provision set by the Lord of the Worlds, won’t he fail to meet one set by a humble man? For that reason, this stipulation, my brother, is ink on paper of no value.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 174.
Questioner: I have a mother and she causes problems with my wife, what should I do?
Al-Albaani: I’m thinking about this question [and as to] what my answer should be—I’m not with you such that I can know how it is that you deal with your mother and how she deals with your wife, so that I can [then, based upon that] say in answer to your question that you should do such and such. I don’t know what should be done.
But maybe you can bring to mind Allaah’s Statement عز وجل, “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’” [Al-Israa 23-24]
Maybe you interact with your mother the way your Lord has decreed in this aayah?
Questioner: Oh Shaikh …
Al-Albaani: I’m asking you but you’re not answering, maybe you are doing what your Lord has decreed in this aayah?
Questioner: Yes …
Al-Albaani: So then what’s the problem?
Questioner: The problem is that she is ignorant of the legislation and opposes it in my house and with my wife, and when … I’ll give you some examples, O Shaikh …
Al-Albaani: No, we’re not in need of examples. Is she, for example, more misguided than Aazar, [Prophet] Ibrahim’s father?
Questioner: I don’t know that story well, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: Don’t you know that Ibrahim عليه السلام was the Khaleel of Ar-Rahmaan, and his father was a polytheist, and in the Quraan it mentions that he would [yet still] always admonish him by saying, “O my father! O my father! O my father!” “O my father! Do not worship the Devil!” [Maryam: 44]. So he was always gentle with him even though he was a polytheist—and no matter how ignorant, as you said, your mother is, she still, inshaa Allaah, is not a polytheist, so it is important that you are gentle in dealing with her, this is from one angle.
On the other hand concerning your wife, is she righteous, inshaa Allaah, and listens to what you say and obeys you?
Questioner: This is the other problem, she is also ignorant of some of the legislation.
Al-Albaani: Then how do you want me to give you an answer to a problem which is sitting between two? The first is to do with your mother and the other is connected to your wife—you find a solution to it according to what the legislation and sound reasoning together dictate.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 437.
“Al-Albaani used to regard Taqiyud-Deen al-Hilaali as one of the five scholars the likes of whom he had not seen in terms of their knowledge and tahqiq, those five being: Ibn Baaz, Taqiyud-Deen al-Hilaali, Abdur-Rahmaan al-Mubaarakfuri, Badee’ud-Deen as Sindhi and ash-Shanqiti, may Allaah have mercy on them all.”
Sabeelur-Rashaad fi Hadyi Khairil-Ibaad, vol. 1, p. 6.
Yusraa Abdur-Rahmaan Aabideen Umm al-Fadl, one of the previous wives of Shaikh al-Albaani passed away today, she did remarry after the Shaikh passed away, may Allaah have mercy on her. She was close to 86 years old.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “How excellent are dates as the believer’s Suhoor.” [Abu Dawud, no. 2345, Al-Albaani said: “Saheeh”]
The Imaam said to a person who had been praying next to him, “When you want to give salaam [to end the prayer] don’t trouble yourself, moving your shoulders right and left, stay as you are [i.e., keep your shoulders as they are and just turn your head not your body], you will trouble yourself like that—and I don’t want you to be troubled, doing so is burdening yourself unnecessarily, may Allaah bless you.”
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 397.
An-Nu’maan ibn Bashir narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed Allaah wrote a Book two thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, He sent down two aayahs from it with which He ended Surah al-Baqarah—if they are recited for three nights in a home, no Shaitaan shall come near it.”
Saheeh at-Targheeb, no. 1476, al-Albaani said, “Saheeh.” [Translation taken from English translation of Al-Tirmidhi, slightly edited.]
The two verses are:
ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٖ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦۚ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا وَأَطَعۡنَاۖ غُفۡرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
‘Āmanar-Rasūlu bimā ‘unzila ‘ilayhi mir-rabbihi wal-Mu’uminūna ۚ kullun ‘Āmana billāhi wa Malā’ikatihi wa Kutubihi wa Rusulihi Lā nufarriqu baina ‘aĥadin mir-Rusulihi ۚ wa qālū sami`nā wa ‘Aţa`nā ۖ Ghufrānaka Rabbanā wa ‘ilaikal-Maşīr.
“The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.” And they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, Our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).””
لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡهَا مَا ٱكۡتَسَبَتۡۗ
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ
رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَآ إِصۡرٗا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِنَاۚ
رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِۦۖ
وَٱعۡفُ عَنَّا وَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَٱرۡحَمۡنَآۚ أَنتَ مَوۡلَىٰنَا فَٱنصُرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
Lā yukallifullāhu nafsan ‘illā wus`ahā ۚ Lahā mā kasabat wa `alaihā maktasabat ۗ
Rabbanā lā tu’uākhidhnā ‘in-nasīnā ‘aw ‘akhţa’nā ۚ
Rabbanā wa lā taĥmil `alainā ‘işran kamā ĥamaltahu `alalladhīna min qablinā ۚ
Rabbanā wa lā tuĥammilnā mā lā ţāqata lanā bihi ۖ
Wa`fu `annā waghfir lanā warĥamnā ۚ ‘Anta mawlānā fānşurnā `alal-qawmil-kāfirīn.
“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector! And give us victory over the disbelieving people.””
Al-Albaani gave the following title for the hadith below, “Is this the time the hadith is referring to?”
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed, today you are in a time whose scholars are many, whose preachers are few, whoever leaves a tenth of what he knows has followed his desires. Later a time will come whose preachers are many, whose scholars are few—whoever holds firmly to a tenth of what he knows is saved.”
Silsilah, no. 2510.
Narration About Fajr Prayer
The Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever says at the end of every Fajr prayer, while his feet are still folded, before speaking:
‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, Alone without partner, to Him belongs all that exists, and to Him is the praise. He gives life and causes death, and He is powerful over all things.
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Lā ilāha illallāh, waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, yuḥyī wa yumītu, wa huwa alā kulli shay’in qadīr
ten times, then ten good deeds shall be written for him, ten evil deeds shall be wiped away from him, ten degrees shall be raised up for him, and he shall be in security all that day from every disliked thing—and he shall be in protection from Shaitaan—, and no sin will meet him or destroy him that day, except for associating partners with Allaah.”
Saheeh at-Targheeb, 472. At-Tirmidhee, Eng. trans., vol. 6, p. 194.
Narration About Maghrib Prayer
Umaarah bin Shabib As-Saba’i narrated that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “Whoever says: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, Alone without partner, to Him belongs all that exists, and to Him belongs the praise. He gives life and causes death, and He is powerful over all things.’
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Lā ilāha illallāh, waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, yuḥyī wa yumītu, wa huwa alā kulli shai’in qadīr
ten times at the end of al-Maghrib—Allaah shall send for him protectors to guard him from Shaitaan until he reaches morning—and Allaah writes for him ten good deeds, Mujibat (Obligating, or necessitating, that is they necessitate that he shall enter Jannah, see Tuhfatul-Ahwadhi) and He wipes from him ten of the destructive evil deeds, and it shall be for him the equal of freeing ten believing slaves.”
Saheeh at-Targheeb, 473. At-Tirmidhee, Eng. trans., vol. 6, p. 243, entire translation taken from here.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no supplication that a person can say that is better than:
‘O Allaah! I ask You for al-Mu’aafaah* in this world and the Hereafter.’” *(‘Mu’aafaah is for Allaah to suffice you against needing the people, and sufficing the people of having need of you. See Tuhfatul-Ahwadhi, 3512.)
Allaahumma inni as’alukal-Mu’aafaah fid-Dunyaa wal-Aakhirah
اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْأَلُكَ الْمُعَافَاةَ فِيْ الْدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ
As-Saheehah, no. 1138.
[Translation taken from the Darus-Salaam print of Sunan Ibn Maajah, vol. 5, p. 110.]
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Aaishah is my wife in Paradise.”
As-Saheehah, no. 1142.
Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq al-Abbaad said, “Then he mentioned this mowqoof hadith from Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, “Let whoever meets his brother give him salaam,” you meet one of your brothers on the road, you give salaam to him, and then if you’re both going along together, walking together, and a palm-tree, a tree, a pillar, a car, or anything else comes between you, when you meet up again after this small separation, you give salaam to him, and this is a sunnah many people are heedless of, either because they don’t know it, or they don’t give attention to implementing it.
So he said, “Let whoever meets his brother give him salaam, then if a tree or a wall comes between them after which they meet [again], then give him salaam.”
A proof of this is the Prophet’s ﷺ statement where he said, “Spread the salaam among each other,” i.e., let the salaam be widespread amongst you even after the smallest separation, even after the smallest parting, even if you were only separated from your brother for a short moment, a tree [for example] came between you both, or a pillar, a pole, a car, an animal, or anything else—then give salaam, spread salaam.
Namely, be eager to spread salaam among your brothers even if the gap between you wasn’t a long one, even if you only went away for a short moment and then returned, as is mentioned in the hadith of the man who didn’t perform his prayer correctly, he prayed and then came to where the Prophet ﷺ was sitting and gave salaam, and the Prophet ﷺ said to him, “Go back and pray because you haven’t prayed,” so he went away and prayed, close to them in the mosque, then came back [again] and gave salaam, the Prophet ﷺ said to him, “Go back and pray because you haven’t prayed,” so he went and prayed again close by them, then came back and gave salaam. So giving salaam is something required even if the gap is a short one ...
And I recall being next to Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, here in Medinah when I was young, walking next to him, only me and him, a pillar came between him and I and after we passed it he looked at me smiling and said, “As-Salaamu alaikum,” I said, “Wa alaikum salaam,” then he asked me, “Why did I give you salaam?”—I never knew this hadith and hadn’t come across it before—[so he asked], “Why did I give you salaam?” So I smiled and said, “The salaam is something good.” And then he mentioned this hadith to me, so the first time I got to know this hadith was through the Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him.
So the point is a Muslim should be keen to spread the salaam even if the gap is short or minor so as to gain these great rewards and good deeds.”
“From the day I met him, and maybe this is also true before my meeting him, I never knew him to miss fasting Mondays and Thursdays whether in summer or winter, unless he was travelling or sick.”
Muhaddithul-’Asr, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, p. 40.