Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Of teenagers and their tribulations during Ramadhan

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

"And when My servant question thee concerning Me,
then surely I am near,
I answer the prayer of the supplicant
when he cried unto Me.
So let them hear My call
and let them trust in Me,
In order that they may be led right." (Baqarah 2: 168)

DURING this Ramadhan I received several e-mails with contents that might be interesting to be discussed or brought up to relevant authorities for them to take action.

1. Dear LANH,
Assalamualaikum wrt wbk… For you information I would like to share some interesting information. Attached here is a copy (of a Facebook of a Malay teenager) I just received from a dear friend, an online friend who had also just received a forwarding message.

When I read the contents of the attached copy I had a great shock. Among the messages contained in the Facebook; “To those who fast…F... off.” Some responded with harsh words such as; “Yeah I hate ‘bulan puasa’ (fasting month) because of the fact that people always look at eating or drinking during fasting month.”

Then there are other messages that were to weird and harsh to be written here.

I am very upset with some people from my own race, Malays who are very popular with their bad attitudes and behaviour. Perhaps they derived this from their selfish and egoistic attitude and forgetting their roots.

Malays are champions in negative traits; you name it, from being the largest group involved in the abusing of drugs to abandoning babies, all these don’t bring any good to the country which is seldom acknowledged as a model Islamic country.

I hope you write this topic in your next article, thanks, wassalam. – Mkassim

* Insya-Allah (God willing), and do pray for me so that I have the strength to fulfil your wishes.

First let me introduce myself. I am a Malay girl and still studying at a local university. I am, and have been a Muslim. I was born into a Muslim family, which implies strict rituals and actions according to Islam. Yet I am still not that Islamic enough.

I believe strongly in Islam. I pray to Allah, but there were many times when I miss prayers either by accident (especially the subuhs) or (eg. asars). I read the Qur’an, but also prefer Linkin Park, Deadsy and Incubus.

I cover my head with a scarf (tudung) but still I wear short-sleeved T-shirts and tights jeans. Are my dressing ok, Mr LANH? – Miss Ayat

*I am not an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher), but based on my reading and listening to ‘tazkirah’ (lessons) di masjid, my answer is your dressing is still not ok. The Islamic code for women’s dressing is to cover everything that is forbidden for them to expose. Your arms and hands are your ‘aurah’, they should not be exposed.

It was also not proper to wear tight jeans that would reveal the shape of you body. Allah, the Almighty says in Surah An-Nur (Light) 24:31 of the Qur’an with the meaning; “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands...” (The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall)

I heard an ‘ustaz’ explain that to determine whether one's attires complied to the Islamic requirements, ask yourself if it ok to pray in it because the dress code during solat and outside it, is the same. So could you pray (solat) wearing that short-sleeved T-shirt and tight jeans?

3. This interesting question and answer session copied from Suara Masjid- August 2009 which was posted inside my e-mail box, which I think would benefitted the fairer sex.

Women taking pills to stop menses during Ramadhan

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to use contraceptives and other forms of medication during Ramadan to stop her period in order to be able to fast the whole month of Ramadan?

A: It is not recommended for a woman to take pills to delay menstruation with the intention of catching the full month of Ramadhan fasting. It is Allah, the Creator and Sovereign Lord, Who has created women with this nature, and it is He in His infinite wisdom Who has decreed that women must forego prayer and fasting while menstruating. So it only most apt for women to surrender to the decree of Allah.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, States: “According to the best of my knowledge and understanding, it is not recommended for women to take pills to delay menstruation with the intention of catching the full month of Ramadan fasting.

“For as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told his beloved wife ‘Aishah – who had accompanied him in his final pilgrimage and who had been apparently distressed by the fact that because of the onset of menses she was unable to perform umrah like everyone else in the group -, “(There is nothing to be distressed about) since it is something that Allah has decreed on the daughters of Adam!” In other words, menses is a natural part of a woman’s life, and she needs to organize her life around it.

On closer reflection we can see that it is Allah, the Creator and Sovereign Lord, Who has created women with this nature, and it is He in His infinite wisdom Who has decreed that women must forgo prayer and fasting while experiencing menstruation. So it is only most apt for women to surrender to the decree of God, and forgo prayer and fasting while menstruating.

Furthermore, there is no reason for women to be distressed by the fact that they are missing the rewards accruing from prayer and fasting, for Allah in His infinite mercy has certainly appointed for them ample substitutes to make up for such deficiencies. In other words, they will sufficiency of rewards in whatever good works they can possibly engaged it.

Before concluding, it is important to point out that the pills that interfere with women’s natural rhythms and cycles must never be taken lightly, for as it has been the case with such interferences, nobody can fully assess the long term adverse effects of such actions. It is therefore, only befitting us as humans to choose freely what God in His supreme wisdom has chosen for us.

4. A friend from Kuwait e-mailed me this question and answer session, which might enlighten our youngsters (student).

Q: I am a senior student in one of the universities in Egypt. Usually students are overburdened with studies during Ramadhan, since the final exams are immediately after that month.

We have lots of studying to do during Ramadhan and this deprives us from doing as much good deeds as we can, as we are commanded to. We wish to always recite the Qur’an and finish a Khatmah (one complete reading of the whole Qur’an) during the Tarawih (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadhan).

However, we pray in a nearby masjid (mosque) where the imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) recites short Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and finishes prayer early. Deep inside, I wish the imam could complete the recitation of the whole Qur’an during the Tarawih like in other masjids, yet, again, there is not much time to study. Please answer me and may Allah benefit you! Will I bear a sin for that? Note that I offer the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers at their due times and fast perfectly.

A: Tarawih Prayer is a stressed Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) and it is necessary to feel calm and tranquil while performing its recitation, standing, bowing, prostration and the rest of its Rukn (integral parts). It is not Wajib (obligatory) to complete one reading of the whole Qur’an during Tarawih.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

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