"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
Hadith of the Day
قال الإمامُ الباقر علیه السلام:
قالَ رسولُ اللَّهِ صلى اللَّه عليه وآله لَمّا حَضَرَ شَهرُ رَمَضانَ وذلكَ لثَلاثٍ بَقِينَ مِن شَعبانَ، قالَ لبِلالٍ : نادِ في الناسِ ، فَجَمعَ الناسُ ثُمّ صَعِدَ المِنبَرَ، فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وأثنى علَيهِ، ثُمّ قالَ: أيُّها الناسَ ، إنَّ هذا الشَّهرَ قد حَضَرَكُم وهُو سَيِّدُ الشُّهُورِ ، فيهِ ليلةٌ خَيرٌ مِن ألفِ شَهرٍ ، تُغلَقُ فيهِ أبوابُ النِّيرانِ، وتُفتَحُ فيهِ أبوابُ الجِنانِ ، فَمَن أدرَكَهُ فلَم يُغفَرْ لهُ فَأبعَدَهُ اللَّهُ
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said:
At the end of Shaʿban, when there were only three days left till the month of Ramadan, the Prophet (s) told Bilal, 'Call all the people', so the people gathered together. The Prophet (s) mounted the pulpit, praised Allah and glorified Him, then continued, 'O people, this month that is coming upon you is the chief of all months. One particular night in it is better than a thousand months. During this month, the gates of Hell are locked up, and the gates of Paradise are opened. So whoever, in spite of experiencing this month is not forgiven, has indeed been distanced by Allah.
Amāli al-Sadūq, p. 56, no. 2
Antiperspirant products have a substance that absorbs in perspiration glands and prevent perspiration. Does using this product that has no dietary value and is a medicine invalidate fasting?
It has no problem.
Daily Prayer of the Month
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 2nd
The supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 2nd is as follows:
اللهُمَّ قَرِّبْنى فيهِ الى مَرْضاتِكَ، وَجَنِّبْنى فيهِ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَنَقِماتِكَ، وَوَفِّقْنى فيهِ لِقِرآئَةِ اياتِكَ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يا ارْحَمَ الرَّاحِمينَ
“O’ Lord! Bring me closer in this month to whatever pleases You and keep me away from whatever arouses Your anger and wrath, and grant me the opportunity in it to recite Your [Quran’s] verses; [I ask You to grant me all of my wishes] by Your Compassion, O’ the Most Compassionate of the Compassionate.”
The most important points in this prayer are as follows: emphasizing the importance of giving precedence to Allah’s pleasure over that of the people; the importance of having monotheism as the basis of all of the undertakings in human society and its key role in the development of human societies; exploring the concept of Divine Wrath and Anger; clarification of what is truly meant by the “recitation of the Quran”; and finally, the significant effect of pleading to the Divine Names in enhancing man’s patience and forbearance.
Allah’s Gratification or People’s Pleasure?
It so happens that on countless occasions during one’s life one is left between choosing a course of action which pleases Allah or that which pleases the people.
In such cases where there is a contrast between what pleases Allah and what pleases the people, one will be caught in a difficult dilemma, for if he chooses to do what pleases Allah, the people would be displeased with him and if he chooses to please the people, he would displease Allah. So what should one do in such situations?
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has provided the answer to this question as follows: “If one prefers Allah’s gratification to that of the people, though this might displease the people, Allah will draw the people’s hearts towards him; however, if one prefers the people’s pleasure to Allah’s gratification, Allah will leave him to the people [to treat him as they wish]!”
Theocentrism or Anthropocentrism?
In the world of today, pleasure-seeking, selfish interests, and personal benefits have been chosen as the basis of human life in numerous societies. This ill-advised way of life has gone to the point where the heinous act of homosexuality has been legalized in some western countries!
Today, humanism, which gives precedence to the will of the people over that of God, has become predominant in almost all societies even amongst those believing in God; whereas, man is obligated to submit to his creator and His will and do their utmost to live their lives within the framework of what is ordained as lawful by God.
Anthropocentrism entails practical drawbacks as well; in many cases, the desires and demands of the people contrast each other because material desires and interests of the people are never the same. Therefore, it so happens in many cases that 51 percent of the people desire something while 49 percent of them wish something completely different and so the second group get nothing because they are the minority, though they are still a major part of the society.
However, if human societies were all formed based on theism [and the kind of justice that is ordained by Allah (swt)], the interests of every single society and the whole of mankind would be served.
What does the “Divine Wrath” exactly refer to?
The concept of Divine Wrath has been discussed in many verses in the Quran as the punishment incurred by wrongdoers. But one thing which should be noted is that Divine Wrath is not like human anger which is aroused as a human emotion together with a sense of revenge. Allah (swt) is far above such physical changes which are characteristics of the physical world.
What is meant by “Divine Wrath” then, as it is discussed in the divinely-sent s c r i p tures in general and in the Quran in particular, is the fair punishments ordained by Allah (swt) for guilty human beings. These punishments are twofold: a deterrent to prevent the people from engaging in wrongdoing and the inevitable consequences which such wrongdoings entail.
The True Recitation of the Quran
It is a common belief, that the more we recite the Quran, the more otherworldly rewards we will earn. However, most of us neglect the fact that the reason why the recitation of the Quran has been emphasized in the Islamic teachings is to make the people remember its teachings more and act upon them consequently.
In other words, though reciting the Quran is in itself beneficial, as it reminds us of Devine teachings, without actually put its teachings in to practice in our day to day lives it will not create any actual positive changes in our lives.
Cultivation of Patience and Forbearance in Oneself, a Manifestation of Divine Names
Human beings can cultivate a spirit of patience and forbearance in themselves by remembering that Allah (swt) is extremely compassionate and merciful toward His servants.
It is through this understanding followed by true patience that one can fell Allah’s compassion even in the most difficult times of his life and when facing adversities. Such a person will then try to be a manifestation of this Divine Attribute or at least cultivate a weaker form of Divine mercy and compassion in himself.
The Lamp of Guidance
It is potentially possible for a scholar to guide millions of individuals to the right path through his knowledge and such guidance is more valuable than all other virtues and feats in the world. It is for this reason that it has been said that if one is to choose between performing recommended acts of worship (Mustaḥabs) and acquiring knowledge, one had better choose to acquire more knowledge since the acquisition of knowledge is of greater importance than performing recommended acts of worship.
Acquiring knowledge is of such paramount significance that even in the Night of Qadr (the Night of Destiny), which is specifically a night of worship and supplication, one who spends that night awake in gaining knowledge has performed a far more superior act compared to other acts of worship. This is clearly due to the fact that knowledge relates to the actions of the prophets and other divine figures and ultimately, to God, who guide people by means of knowledge and this is why a scholar is said to be superior to seventy thousand worshippers.
We should always attempt to spread the knowledge which we have gained; for, those who acquire knowledge and withhold from others will be held accountable before Allah. This is particularly true during our time when the enemies of humanity are doing their utmost in order to prevent the spread of Islam. When we look at the Iran-Iraq Imposed War, or the defense of the Lebanese and Palestinian people against the Zionists, it is clear that the teachings of Islam gave these people victory and formed a major obstacle in the way of the enemies. This is why the enemies are now targeting Islam through their media and propaganda. Today, these enemies, who have no honor for humanity, are using the power of modern day media such as the internet and satellite stations in order to spread blatant immorality and corruption all throughout the world and undermine Islam by means of defamation and slander.
Sometimes, some people say that religion should be kept separate from politics but in reality, such a separation would mean the virtual destruction of Islam, religious convictions, and ethics. Islam is a religion which has a program of action for the entire human life from the moment of birth up until the moment of death and so it is inseparable from the human life. Unfortunately, the wealthy and powerful have created certain institutions for their own benefit which are bound by no morality attacking any corner of the world based on their own interests. However, the masses have realized the hypocrisy of these institutions and are tired and disappointed of so many lies which they have been fed by these institutions. They see no other haven from the war and destruction that has beset their world except religion.
This is in reality something which is in line with their intrinsic nature; in other words, it is natural to incline towards religion. Therefore, we need to seize this opportunity and strive harder than ever to gain more knowledge of Islam. We, furthermore, should adhere more closely to the Islamic teachings, and promote them more among other people and nations. This is an important step in being self-sufficient and independent, particularly in the face of one’s enemies. Fortunately, Islam possesses such force of attraction that people all around the world are moving towards it. It is this attraction of Islam which has caused it to spread even in Europe and America, where such Islamophobic propaganda is most extensively spread.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 812.
 The Lamp of Guidance, p. 123.
 Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 75, p. 126.
 The Lamp of Guidance, p. 122.
 Ibid, p. 123.
 Ibid, p. 124.
 Ibid, p. 125.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 3, p. 397.
 Ibid, p. 398.
 The Rays of Guidance: A Series of Ethical Teachings, p. 435.
 Ibid, p. 436.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 2, 454.
 The Message of the Quran, vol. 4, p. 348.