"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
:فاطمةُ الزَّهراءُ عليها السلام
فَرَضَ اللَّهُ الصِّيامَ تَثبِيتاً لِلإخلاصِ
Fatima al-Zahrā’ (ʿa) said:
Allah made fasting obligatory in order to reinforce sincere devotion [to Him].
Bihār al-Anwār, v. 96, p. 368, no. 4
A person has severe asthma and uses a medical device that by pushing it releases a liquid medicine in the form of powder gas into the lungs through the mouth and alleviate the condition (this act is repeated several times in a day). Can this person perform fasting while using this device, noticing that fasting without using this device has strong hardness?
If it enters the body in the form of thin gas then it has no problem and his/her fasting is correct and we’ve seen its normal samples and it has no problem.
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 5th
The supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 5th is as follows:
اللهُمَّ اجْعَلْنى فيهِ مِنَ الْمُسْتَغْفِرينَ، وَاجْعَلْنى فيهِ مِنْ عِبادِكَ الصَّالِحينَ اْلقانِتينَ، وَاجْعَلنى فيهِ مِنْ اوْلِيآئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبينَ، بِرَأْفَتِكَ يا ارْحَمَ الرَّاحِمينَ
“O’ Lord! Place me in this day amongst those who seek Your forgiveness, and make me one of your righteous servants who keep prayer vigil at its nights, and make me one of your saints who have
attained nearness to You, for your Clemency, O’ the Most Merciful of the Merciful.”
The main themes of the prayer of Ramadan 5th are as follows:
The necessary requisites of asking Allah for forgiveness and a des c r i p tion of true repentance by Imam Ali (‘a); the explanation of the distinctive character qualities of the righteous and the ways to attain nearness to Allah.
* True Forgiveness-seeking and Repentance
Indeed, true repentance is far beyond merely stating it in words or even showing remorse for one’s past misdeeds and deciding to keep away from sins in the future. True repentance involves compensating for one’s past misdeeds, eliminating the corrupt character qualities which transgressions gradually create within one’s soul, and making amends for adverse social effects of one’s transgressions as much as possible.
* True Forgiveness-seeking and Repentance Reflected in Imam Ali (ʿa)’s Teachings
Imam Ali (‘a) has described true repentance as follows: “Imploring Allah for forgiveness is a rank which is achieved by the righteous (the ʿilīyīn). It may be a single word [Astaghfirullah], yet it consists of six distinct stages:
First is showing remorse for the past misdeeds; second deciding to leave transgressions forever; third is to compensate for whatever wrongdoing which have affected other people in a way where when one meets his Lord, he would not owe anyone anything; four is to fully compensate for any obligatory religious duty that one has missed in the past [i.e. to perform their Qaḍa]; fifth is to be so hard on oneself as a punishment for the past misdeeds as to lose all the flesh that one had acquired through those prohibited acts, until new flesh replaces the old one; and finally the sixth stage is to make oneself taste the bitter taste of hardship of obedience just as they experienced the sweetness of transgressions. When you go through all of these stages and finish with the sixth, then you can say: “اسْتَغْفِرُاللّه””.
* Who is a Righteous Servant of Allah?
The Arabic term “صالح”, normally translated into English as “righteous”, means more than the mere faith in Allah and the belief in the Oneness of God. It also includes God-wariness, obeying Him in practice, having a high level of awareness and to have enough spiritual strength and stamina. Furthermore, being an orderly person, having a high level of ability in directing one’s affairs and a high level of social understanding are of necessary criteria to be counted as righteous.
Therefore, righteous servants of Allah are those who devote their entire lives to the cause of Allah; according to Islamic teachings, an hour of such individual’s contemplation equals several years of worship by the angels! The righteous are the ones who lead ascetic lives, are extremely pious, and are intimate with their Lord.
* How can One attain Nearness to Allah?
In order to attain nearness to Allah, one needs to go through various stages: first one needs to strengthen their faith and conviction with a particular attention to the fundamental principles of faith. One also needs to repent truly and engage in doing righteous deeds performing obligatory religious duties regularly and refrain from committing sins.
Another stage which one needs to go through is preparing to cleanse one’s soul of moral vices and adorning it with moral virtues instead, while, at the same time discarding egoism and replacing it with a spirit where one is nothing and does nothing except what Allah wills. A truly righteous individual has necessarily gone through all of these stages with knowledge and awareness.
As it was discuss above, in order for one to become truly righteous, one needs to eliminate his “ego” in a way where one no longer thinks much of themselves and their interests and they focus on their duties ordained by Allah (swt). 
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SHIAS- PART 2
قَالَ الامام الصَّادِقُ(علیه السلام): «إِمْتَحِنُوا شِیْعَتَنَا عِنْدَ مَوَاقِیْتِ الصَّلاةِ کَیْفَ مُحَافَظَتُهُمْ عَلَیْهَا و إِلَی أَسْرَارِنا کَیْفَ حِفْظُهُمْ لَهَا عِنْدَ عَدُوِّنَا وَإِلَی أَمْوَالِهِمْ کَیْفَ مُوَاسَاتُهُمْ لإخْوَانِهِمْ فِیْها»
Imam al-Ṣādiq (‘a) is narrated to have said: ‘Test our followers (Shias) during the times of prayer and the importance in which they hold them, how they withhold our secrets and rank from the enemy, and how they utilize their wealth in helping their fellow brothers’.
In this tradition, Imam al-Ṣādiq (‘a) has mentioned several important characteristics through which the true Shias are recognized:
1. The first characteristic is related to the importance given by one to praying during prime time of the prayer- We should test the people in regards to whether they attend to their prayers during the first moments or they give more importance to their work and end up delaying their prayers. Some individuals even wait until they have nothing better to do and only then attend to their prayers. This is while the true Shias are firmly committed to performing their prayers early on and do not delay them. Some Sunnis actually consider themselves to be the only true Muslims since they perform their prayers on time and they consider the Shias to be lesser in this regard claiming that they delay their prayers.
2. Giving importance to prayer- Imam ‘Alī (‘a) advised Mālik al-Ashtar in regards to the importance of prayer when he told him: ‘Dedicate your best times to prayer’. The term “Muḥāfiẓah” (protection) in the above mentioned tradition has been used by Imam al-Ṣādiq (ʿa) to indicate that there are certain dangers which threaten our prayers and so we must safeguard them. When the late Imam Khumeini was a teacher in the Islamic seminary and the call to prayer was announced, he would immediately and without any delay leave his class to perform his prayers. This should be a key rule in our lives: no matter where we are or what we are doing, we must give importance to our prayers. This is particularly true about the morning prayers. Today, there are some people who wake up so late that they pray their morning prayers in doubt whether the sun has risen or not. This is not the way of the true Shias.
3. Keeping the secrets- What is meant by ‘keeping the secrets’ is that we should be careful not to divulge the true reality of the rank and station of the Imams (‘a) to those who oppose them and are incapable of understanding such things. This refers to things such as their existential Wilāyah, their miracles, their knowledge of the unseen, etc.; these are considered as being part of these secrets.
Nowadays there are some eulogists, who in addition to revealing these secrets, go so far as to exaggerate the position of the Imams (‘a). Sometimes, a feeling of competition takes over these reciters and when someone exaggerates a point concerning the Imams (‘a), their competing rivals attempt to outdo him to win the hearts of the laymen. Such exaggerations can naturally have some very dangerous consequences. The eulogists have a very important role to play in promoting religious beliefs but they must be careful that they speak the truth and do not exaggerate in their eulogies.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 813.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 229.
 Nahj al-Balāghah with Farsi Translation, p. 841.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 13, p. 518.
 A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 61.
 Mizān al-Ḥikmah, Chapter 562, hadith No. 2757.
 The Greatest Servants of Allah, p. 127.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 142.
 For more information, refer to: “The Liqā’ Allah Treatise” by Allamah Mustafawī.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 142.