The International Affairs Division of Ayatollah Makarem Shiraz’s Office Offers Dear Brothers and Sisters the Informative Package of “Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance-11th”

The International Affairs Division of Ayatollah Makarem Shiraz’s Office Offers Dear Brothers and Sisters the Informative Package of “Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance-11th”

The package includes the Daily ’Istiftā’, the Lamp of Guidance, Daily prayers of the Month with quick commentary and a word of wisdom‌

"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"

Hadith of the Day       Daily ’Istiftā’       Daily Prayers of the Month       The Lamp of Guidance


Hadith of the Day


الامام الصادق علیه السلام :


مَن لَم يُغفَرْ لَهُ في شهرِ رمضانَ لَم يُغفَرْ لَهُ إلى مِثلِهِ مِن قابِلٍ إلّا أن يَشهَدَ عَرَفَةَ


Al-Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:


If a person remains unforgiven in the month of Ramadan, he will not be forgiven in any other month after it unless he is able to attend the plains of ʿArafa [during the Hajj time].


Biḥār al-Anwār, v. 96, p. 342, no. 6


Daily ’Istiftā’

What is the duty of an individual who begins the month of Ramadan in one country and finishes it in another and consequently performs fasting only 28 days due to the fact that the month of Ramadan commenced for them one day later in the first country and it ended  one day sooner in the second country ?
No qaḍa fasting is obligatory on them yet it is a recommended precaution to perform one day fasting.


Daily Prayer of the Month


Ramadan 11th

A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 11th

The supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 11th is as follows:


اللهُمَّ حَبِّبْ الَىَ‏ فيهِ الْإِحْسانَ، وَكَرِّهْ الَىَّ فيهِ الْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيانَ، وَحَرِّمْ عَلَىَّ فيهِ السَّخَطَ وَالنّيرانَ، بِعَوْنِكَ يا غِياثَ‏ الْمُسْتَغيثينَ




“O’ Lord! Place the eagerness for good deeds in my heart in this month and keep away the desire for vice and disobedience from me, and grant me immunity from Your Wrath and Hellfire, [I ask You] by Your Supreme Succor, O’ Deliverer of those who seek deliverance!”[1]


The important points made in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 11th are the following:

Revisiting the concept of “good deed and charitable work” and their significance and value; explaining the meaning of vice, transgression, and transgressor; the significance of man’s original nature in keeping them away from transgressions; and the results of abstinence from disobeying Allah.


The Meaning of Good Deed [ʾiḥsān]


The Arabic term “’iḥsān” is usually used to refer to “charitable donations and work”. However, it also has a broader sense which encompasses just “any good deed” and even intentions for doing good deeds in the future.[2]

In this sense, good deed is far more superior to “justice” in the Islamic sense of the word. Within the Islamic teachings, justice [‘adl] is defined as fulfilling ones obligations and duties and receiving all they deserve as their rights. whereas, iḥsān involves doing much more than one’s actual duties and taking much lesser than what one rightfully deserves.[3] [4]


“Place the eagerness for good deeds in my heart”


Another point regarding iḥsān is “charitable work” accompanied by good behavior toward the needy. This means that one needs to help the poor with kindness and refrain from injurious reminders of his favor to them, which make them upset and embarrassed.[5]


The excellence of Charitable Work and the Badness of Stinginess


According to the Islamic teachings, being charitable is the highest level of spiritual development which man can reach.[6] Furthermore, some of the Islamic traditions have referred to it as an act of worship and devotion to Allah which is accompanied by a sense of total certitude. Elsewhere, it is considered as a spiritual rank where one always finds oneself in Allah’s presence at all times.[7] [8]

On the other hand, a tight-fisted person will be engulfed by their bad character quality to the point where they can no longer do any charitable work or even help any of their fellow human beings.[9] Such a person might even go as far as getting upset when they see others giving out considerable amounts of money as charity to the poor.

However, the strangest and most repulsive level of stinginess[10] is when a stingy person reaches a point where they can no longer stand other people even using their wealth for the well-being and comfort of their own families![11]


The Meaning of Transgression [fisq] and Transgressor [fāsiq]


The Arabic term “fisq” literally means the date seed coming out of the date.[12] [13] It is metaphorically used in the Islamic teachings to refer to transgressions because, just as the date seed loses the sweetness of the date by coming out of it, a transgressor also loses all of their value and virtues as a human being by their misdeeds.[14]

The term “transgressor” is used in the Islamic teachings to refer to anyone who refuses to obey Allah and has taken the path of disobedience[15].[16]


Hatred toward Transgression, a Blessing within Man’s Original Nature


Undoubtedly, hatred toward transgression is a natural feeling which is inherent in man’s original nature.[17] However, like any other sublime human virtues, this feeling can also be undermined through repeated commission of misdeeds and vices, making man’s nature unable to feel this hatred toward bad things any longer.[18]

Frequently repeating misdeeds and transgressions will also change the badness of such actions into goodness in the view of transgressors.[19] Therefore, one needs to protect the sacred feeling of hatred toward transgressions in one’s heart in order to prevent oneself from being accustomed to transgressing.[20]


The Positive Results of Refraining from Disobeying Allah


The prerequisites of the cultivation of piety in oneself are abstinence from all kinds of sins, including the non-performance of one’s obligatory duties and the perpetration of transgressions.[21]

The holy Quran instructs us that if we are grateful for the blessings that we have, we will be rewarded with even more material and spiritual blessings and bounties both in this world and in the next.[22] One of the instances of gratefulness is keeping away from transgressions as they are an instance of disobeying Allah. For one to be truly grateful for the blessings given to him by Allah, one needs to use those same blessings toward obeying Him and not toward disobeying him.[23]


Not being deceived by the Glitters of this World, the Key to Deliverance from Hell


In order to be delivered from Hell, which is a realization of Divine Wrath, one needs to keep away from the short-lived pleasures and glitters of this world.


The Lamp of Guidance




قَالَ الامام الصَّادِقُ(علیه السلام): «یُعْرَفُ مَنْ یَصِفُ الحَقَّ بِثَلاَثِ خِصَال: یُنْظَرُ إِلَی  أَصْحَابِهِ مَنْ هُمْ وَ إِلَی  صَلاَتِهِ کَیْفَ هِی  وَ فِی  أَی وَقْتِ یُصَلِّیهَا فَاِنْ کَانَ ذَامَال نُظِرَ أیْنَ یَضَعُ مَالَهُ»


Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is narrated to have said: ‘The one who is characterized by the truth ( i.e. a follower of the Ahl-al-Bayt (‘a)) is recognized by three characteristics: his companions and what kinds of people they are, how and when he performs his prayers, and if he possesses wealth how he spends it.


In this tradition, Imam al-Sadiq ('a) has described three distinguishing characteristics of the true Shias. They are as follows:

1.  The true Shia should be surrounded by pious and righteous individuals. When we look at Imam Ali ('a) and his companions, we see that his companions were all pious individuals. Mu'āwīyah, however, was surrounded by evil hypocrites and the remnants of the pre-Islamic ignorance era. It is particularly important to s e l e c t good friends during the period of one’s youth, for this has a very deep effect on one’s development and who they become later on.

There is a tradition which indicates that human beings are of the same way of life and religion as their friends and companions.  There is actually a psychological principle which deals with how human beings alter their behavior and beliefs in order to resemble the behavior and beliefs of their friends. What is even more interesting is that much of this takes place unconsciously and over a span of time; in essence, the person changes without even realizing what is taking place. This is why it is crucial to s e l e c t good friends and this applies particularly to the youth, who are even more susceptible to such changes.

Much has been mentioned in this regard in the verses of the Quran and the traditions. For instance, one of the verses of the Quran reads: ‘We had assigned to them [evil] companions who embellished for them all [abominations] that was before them and behind them…’  Misguided and deviant individuals will never try to guide their friends and tell them that certain actions will have a negative outcome for them. They will instead encourage evil behavior and push the person towards further evil. This is, in effect, one of the tricks of Satan: displacing what is good as evil and adorning what is evil as something good.

Some youth wonder how they should safeguard themselves from vice and sins while they are single and unmarried. In order to do so, they need to adhere to the following three principles:

A.    Keeping away from bad friends.

B.    Refraining from participating in unsuitable gatherings. Unfortunately, some weddings have turned from pure celebrations of happiness into gatherings of sin. In such ceremonies where two individuals are being joined together in marriage, the sin which takes place ends up causing the divorce of many others. Attending such gatherings is unlawful and even prayers offered at such a place are considered to be invalid.


[1] The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.

[2] Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 39.

[3] Al-Baqarah, 195 [Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 49]; al-Raḥmān, 60 [Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 23, pp. 181-182]; al-Mursalāt, 44 [Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 25, p. 425].

[4] The Lexicon of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, p. 27.

[5] Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 37.

[6] Islam and the Public Donations, p. 63.

[7] Nūr al-Thaqalayn Quranic Exegesis, vol. 1, p. 553, hadith No. 579, commentary on the verse 125 of Surah al-Nisā’.

[8] The Message of the Quran, vol. 6, p. 157.

[9] Islamic Ethics in the Nahj al-Balāghah [based on the Muttaqīn Sermon], vol. 2, p. 448.

[10] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 2, p. 379.

[11] Ibid, p. 380.

[12] Al-Baqarah, 26 [Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 191].

[13] The Lexicon of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, p. 411.

[14] Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 368.

[15] Al-Baqarah, 99 [Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 423].

[16] The Lexicon of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, p. 410.

[17]  Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 4, p. 351.

[18] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 196.

[19] Ibid.

[20] The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 15, p. 115.

[21] A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 4, p. 510.

[22] Ibrahim, 7.

[23] The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 7, p. 274.