"Ramadan Spiritual Sustenance"
رسولُ اللَّهِ صلى اللَّه عليه وآله:
إنّما سُمِّيَ رمَضانُ لأ نّهُ يَرمَضُ الذُّنوبَ
The Prophet (ṣ) said:
Verily Ramadan has been thus named because it scorches away sins.
Kanz al-ʿUmmāl, no. 23688
What is the duty of a person who travels in the morning and breaks his/her fast and returns hometown before noon?
Fasting of that day is invalidated and he/she should perform the Qaḍa of that day after the month of Ramadan.
A Commentary on the Supplicatory Prayer of Ramadan 10th
The supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 10th is as follows:
اللهُمَّ اجْعَلْنى فيهِ مِنَ الْمُتَوَكِّلينَ عَلَيْكَ، وَاجْعَلْنى فيهِ مِنَ الْفآئِزينَ لَدَيْكَ، وَاجْعَلْنى فيهِمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبينَ الَيْكَ، بِاحْسانِكَ يا غايَةَ الطَّالِبينَ
“O’ Lord! Make me one of those who put their trust in You in this day, and one of those whom You count as prosperous, and make me one of those who have attained nearness to You, by Your Grace, O’ Ultimate wish of the wishers!”
The most important points in the supplicatory prayer of Ramadan 10th are the following:
A review of the concept of trusting Allah and its significance and functions as reflected in the Quran and the Islamic traditions; an explanation of the characteristics of the true prosperous individuals and the key factors in attaining nearness to Allah; and a des c r i p tion of the essence of Allah’s compassion toward His servants.
* Trusting Allah as reflected in the Quran and the Islamic Traditions
It can be inferred from several verses of the Quran that putting one’s trust in Allah is considered an important moral virtue which one needs to cultivate in oneself. Moreover, it is also considered one of the conditions of being a believer; therefore, an individual with true tawhīd needs to put their trust only in Allah for they have believe that everything is in Allah’s hands.
Similarly, the issue of putting one’s trust in Allah has been greatly emphasized in the Islamic traditions as an important moral virtue to possess. An example is the following tradition from the Prophet of Allah (ṣ):
مَنْ سَرَّهُ انْ يَكُونَ اقْوَى النَّاسِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ
* What does “Trusting Allah” really mean?
The essence of trusting Allah is to believe, deep in one’s heart, that everything in this world is in Allah’s hands and to give up hope in others than Allah. It should be noted, however, that this does not mean that one should not do his best to prepare the conditions for something to happen; rather, they should always be mindful of the fact that they are no more than some means and not independent causes.
The literal meaning of “trust” is to entrust a task with someone in order to carry it out on one’s behalf. However, as it was discussed above, putting one’s trust in Allah does not mean that one will be free to stop working and trying in person. Rather, this means that one first needs to do one’s utmost toward overcoming ones problems and if after all the avenues have been exhausted one is still unable to resolve the problems, they practice patience and implore Allah to help them.
* The Effects and Outcomes of putting One’s Trust in Allah
Putting one’s trust in Allah kindles the light of hope in one’s heart and gives one heart to take actions toward actualizing his potentials. When one is sure that one has a powerful support like Allah, one will not be wearied by the difficulties which one faces on the path toward success. Moreover, feeling that one has Allah on his side will give one a sense of security and serenity in all conditions.
In addition to the spiritual benefits that this moral virtue entails, putting one’s trust in Allah will enable one to control himself and not lose heart in the face of adversities. Under such conditions, one will be able to think straight and make the right decision to solve the problem which they face.
* Who are the Prosperous?
The prosperous have been described in the Quran as the people who enjoy the following three qualities: first they are steadfast in obeying Allah and His Prophet, are humble in their obedience to Allah, and are extremely pious.
It could be said that obedience is the general quality which consists of two parts, one inward aspect which is the sense humbleness towards Allah and one outward manifestation which is piety.
It is worth noting that prosperity realizes through three elements: having an unshakeable faith in Allah, doing ones utmost in obeying Allah, and choosing the Hereafter over this world.
* The only People who have attained Nearness to Allah
There are a group of pious believers who are referred to in the Quran as “those brought near” to Allah [muqarrabūn]. These are a group of chosen believers who oversee the deeds done by the righteous and the pious.
These believers have attained such a high rank with Allah that they can no longer restrict themselves to the good deeds done by the righteous and the pious. In fact, they have achieved such a high rank that some of the good deeds which, if done by the righteous would be rewarded by Allah, will be considered a sin if they are done by those who are brought near to Allah! Therefore, they must repent to Allah for doing the good deeds that the righteous and the pious do in case they do them!
This is because at such a high rank, they are required to do much more valuable good deeds than what the pious and the righteous do.
* The Ultimate Wish of the Wishers
What would man have if faith, this love of man for their God, were to be removed from their lives? they would be left as some violent beings, disturbed, troubled, frightened, and saddened by everything that exists in this world without any hope of receiving help from any powerful protector and supporter.
This is what is reflected in the supplicatory prayer of Iftitāf:
يا ربّ، إنّك تدعونى فأولّى عنك، ... فلم يمنعك ذلك من الرّحمة لى و الإحسان الىّ...
“O’ Lord! You call out to me but I [Your ungrateful servant] turn away … You treat me kindly, but I treat You as my enemy … You still befriend me, but I reject You … [I treat You] as if You owe me something!! Despite all of this, nothing stops You from being kind to me and bestowing more blessings on me …”
The Third Stage- The Wara' of the Muttaqīn (abstemiousness of the pious): Those who attain this stage will not only abstain from the unlawful and doubtful things, but they will also abstain from the lawful which they fear might lead them to what is unlawful. For example, such an individual will not speak too much, for they fear that excessive speech may lead them to insinuating certain things about others which is considered to be back-biting. There is a tradition which states: ‘Stay away from what is doubtful!’ in order that you may not become entangled with what is unlawful’.
The Fourth Stage- The Wara' of the Ṣidīqīn (abstemiousness of the most truthful): This is the highest stage of Wara' and one who attains it will turn away from everything other than Allah. The life of those who possesses this characteristic revolves exclusively around Allah, turning away from all else, in order that they not waste one second of their life. Our lives are our most valuable possession and yet we are negligent and wasteful about it.
There is another similar tradition from Imam al-Ṣādiq ('a) which states: ‘The worthiest of people to practice piety and Wara' (being abstemious) are the Family of the Prophet (ṣ) and their Shias (followers), who must possess the highest rank in this’. This means that the Shias must at least enjoy the first stage of abstemiousness as well as probity so that the other people will naturally come to follow them. In addition, they shouldn’t only be thinking of saving themselves, but they should also be thinking about the salvation and guidance of others.
Interestingly, when we look at the end of Surah al-Furqān, we see twelve characteristics mentioned for those known as the 'Ibād al-Raḥmān’ (the true servants of Allah). One of these characteristics is mentioned in the following verse: ‘and those who say, "Our Lord, bless us with wives and children, who may be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the righteous."’ Thus the true servants of Allah pray that their children are not just ordinary, but rather exemplary. They also pray that they are made leaders of the pious. In essence, this means that they are praying to be the most pious amongst men.
This shouldn’t be mistaken for seeking of superiority over others, where every man wishes to be a leader over another. This refers to a life lived with utmost effort towards human perfection. This shows that while it is very easy to call oneself a Shia and live in a Shia community, being a true Shia is no easy matter at all. Moreover, the expectations which Imam al-Mahdī ('a) and the rest of the Imams ('a) have of the Shia scholars and clerics are much greater than what is expected from an ordinary individual. This is clearly due to the fact that the scholars and clerics must set examples for the rest of people to follow.
Due to this reason, a Shia must be an example amongst other men and he must have such developed characteristics that he is followed as a natural leader amongst them. In fact, the best method of teaching others is when an individual is so highly developed that others learn the true meaning of piety from their existence. The true reality of a human being can be understood from such a person and indeed, God can be recognized through means of such a person.
 The New Mafātīḥ, p. 814.
 Hūd, 123; Ibrahim, 12; al-Shu‘arā, 207.
 The Message of the Quran, vol. 4, p. 262.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 4, p. 382.
 Kanz al-‘Ummāl, vol. 3, p. 101, hadith No. 5686.
 Ethics in the Quran, vol. 2, p. 262.
 Ibid, p. 265.
 Ibid, p. 266.
 A Selection of Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 309.
 Tafsīr-i Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 522.
 Ibid, vol. 12, p. 72.
 Ibid, vol. 26, p. 273.
 Islamic Ethics as Reflected in Nahj al-Balāgah [based on the Semon of Muttaqīn]. Vol. 2, p. 79.
 Religious Q&As, p. 401.
 The Message of Imam Amir al-Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 8, p. 379.