Archive for October, 2007

Cultivate Spirituality

Fasting the Six Days of Shawwal After Ramadan: “Like Fasting the Entire Year”

From Sunnipath

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SunniPath Academy Teacher

Assalamu alaikum,

Ayyub (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah; Ahmad transmitted it from Jabir, Muntaqa]Thawban (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan, and then six days after Eid, it is [like fasting] an entire year. Whoever does a good deed shall have ten times its reward.” [Ibn Majah, Muntaqa] 1. Based on this, the majority of the fuqaha, including the Hanafi, Shafi`i, and Hanbali school, have held that it is recommended to fast six days of the month of Shawwal. [Radd al-Muhtar; Mughni al-Muhtaj Shah al-Minhaj; Kashshaf al-Qina`]2. It is permitted to fast these six days separately throughout the month, or consecutively, after Eid al-Fitr. [ibid.]3. It is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) and sinful to fast on Eid day itself. [Radd al-Muhtar]

4. The Shafi`is and Hanbalis state that it is superior to make the six fasts consecutive [Minhaj, Ghayat al-Muntaha]. Khatib al-Shirbini explains the reasoning as being, “In order to hasten to do the good, and because of the problems inevitable in delaying,” such as becoming lazy and not actually fulfilling this sunna in the end, though he points out that the sunna is fulfilled by both consecutive and non-consecutive fasting of six days in Shawwal. [Mughni al-Muhtaj]

The later Hanafi scholars differed as to which is better, fasting the six days consecutively or non-consecutively, though neither is disliked and both fulfill the sunna. [Radd al-Muhtar] However, it would be agreed that those who fear not fulfilling the recommendation due to laziness, forgetfulness or other excuses, should hasten to fast the six days consecutively immediately after Eid al-Fitr.

5. The reward is akin to having fasted obligatory fasts the entire year days, according to Buhuti, Shirbini, and others.

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said,

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, though there is good in both. Be avid for that which benefits you. Rely on Allah and do not deem yourself incapable…”[Muslim 4816, Ibn Majah 76, Ahmad 8436]

Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) explained that the ‘strength’ in this hadith refers to, “One’s determination and ability in matters of the next life.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

And Allah alone gives success.

[ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar 2.125 Bulaq ed.; Khatib al-Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj Sharh al-Minhaj 2.184-185; Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina` 2.237-238]

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.


About Struggling


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a
small opening appeared. He sat and watched the
butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its
body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop
making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten
as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took
a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit
of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a
swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because
he expected that, at any moment, the wings would
enlarge and expand to be able to support the
body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the
rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body
and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not
understand was that the restricting cocoon and
the struggle required for the butterfly to get
through the tiny opening were Allah’s way of
forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into
its wings so that it would be ready for flight
once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in
our lives. If Allah allowed us to go through our
lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could
have been. We could never “fly”!

I asked for Strength………
And Allah gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom………
And Allah gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity………
And Allah gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage………
And Allah gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love……….
And Allah gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favours………
And Allah gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ……..
I received everything I needed!

from Living Islam

My thoughts are that it is obvious that it is not an easy transition to discuss human life and the struggles that individuals face in life and there are times when we need to let people struggle through the “cocoons” in their lives. Of course, we can cheer them on, speak words of encouragement, but we should not necessarily try to “remove” the “cocoon” because it is in that person pushing through that he or she will come out strong and will be prepared for his or her future life as a new butterfly!!!

Fact or fiction


PMS  (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)  Isn’t it annoying when people blame your bad moods on  this.  Is there a relation between PMS and mood swings. Okay, well when I was younger, it really made me mad, more like slightly irritated when a week before my cycle I would feel emotional or start craving for certain foods like CHOCOLATE. It was like I felt I couldn’t be in a cranky mood.

So now with changes of age, I have noticed a pattern. Our bodies change sooooo much as we age. I mean, we always hear our moms and aunts talking about how much our bodies will change when we’re in our 30’s and 40’s. But I believe that changes start taking place after our 25th birthdays. It’s like there’s an internal timer just waiting for specific moments of our lives to start rearranging and redecorating things! It’s so strange though, one day you’re young and fresh and lively and then suddenly you’re like old and lame and tired….I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Or maybe I am feeling this earlier than most women. But, I do think it does happen to us, everyone of us, at some point.

So, enjoy your youth young-ins!!

A bond of cultures


A traditional tagine clay and serving pot

For anyone who travels outside of their place of residency, there is a feeling of emotional excitement and mental preparation leading up until the arrival of your destination. Whether it be an international departure or local travel, it is only human nature to be curious of the things, customs, traditions and lifestyle that one will encounter during their stay. It is almost impossible to experience the same moments as one reads or hears through the different sources of communication. When I began to experience life outside of my own traditional Hispanic American lifestyle and immersed into a new lifestyle of Moroccan living I was not culture shocked. My first impression was that there were some similarites and I welcomed those common elements of 2 distinct cultures. I hope to expand more of these commonalities in a later blog entry. However, what has been an all time favorite of mine is how these cultures share some relationship with methods of cooking. One being the usage of clay items for cooking and serving. Morocco is well known for the variety of earthenware cooking and serving pots known as tagines.  Every home owns at least a couple of tagines that are defined by its color and size. The variety of selections gives your meal an authentic taste and look. The following recipe that I have used includes some familiar ingredients that I have been accustomed to adding when cooking Mexican dishes. The only new items that I can declare as add ons to learning a new cooking style is having to include olives and preserved lemons for whatever the dish may be. The following dish is cooked and served in a tagine if so desired.

Chicken with olives and preserved lemons



2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 chicken, 3-4 lbs, cut into 8 pieces (or 3-4 lbs of just chicken thighs and legs, the dark meat is more flavorful)
1 onion, chopped

The peel of 1 preserved lemon , rinsed in cold water, pulp discarded, peel cut into thin strips
1 cup green olives, pitted
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley



Think Big about Rice


Check out this intersting yet informative committment  on a campaign against hunger. For how you can be a part of it check out  Lalla Mira blog.

Let me know what your opinions are. I really thought it was having fun with rice for a good cause of course.


Through the door

Riad Laaroussa

With Muslims and the Arab world frequently in the news, I would like to express through portraits the underlying humanity and beauty that we all share regardless of religion or politics. There is so much to focus your camera lens on while in Morocco. The colors, the light, the patterns, the architecture – a picture seems around every corner.  The following are just a few pictures that represent the people and places you just can’t pass up capturing.  People in Morocco are very friendly, and I have never felt uncomfortable at any time.  It is unquestionable that Morocco is a photographer’s place to be.


Sand dunes in the Sahara


   With the Moroccan musicians, they sang, and they danced, and they clapped their hands. 


Oh, and the music can continue until real late when it comes to celebrating weddings.


Finally, can’t leave Morocco without wearing out a pair of “babouches.” Moroccan slippers that come in an assortment of styles, colors and sizes.

This was just a small glimpse of exploring Morocco from a cultural angle. I hope to write more about this beautiful country as I share other encounters, Insh’Allah.



Insightful story

  Allah is the Most Forgiving

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (Alahi salaam) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel whom had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told Musa (Alahi salaam). “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”

Musa (Alahi salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.

The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”

Musa (Alahi salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

Source: from the article by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Shareef.