Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “A month
has verily dawned over you wherein lies a night better than a thousand
months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived of all
that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship on the
night of Qadr, with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all
his previous sins are forgiven.”
Hazrat Ayesha (Radhiyallahu ‘Anha) had asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
‘alayhi wa-Sallam) what prayer she should engage in if she finds Laylatul Qadr.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam) advised her to read the following
Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
Ta’ala states in the Qur`aan Sharief:
who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before
you, so that you may guard (against evil).”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:183]
Ta’ala has presented us with the Qur’aan Sharief and it offers us the complete
prescription for our Islaah, as well as perfect and easy direction to acquire
Taqwa - self-restraint and piety.
month of Ramadaan is presented to us as a lofty medium and a unique and an
exceptional prescription by which we obtain this noble quality of Taqwa.
following beautiful analogy came to mind on reading the verses from Surah al-Maa`idah:
“Eesa, the son of Maryam, said, ‘O Allah , our Lord, send down
to us a dastarkhan [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival
for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us,
and You are the best of providers.’”
[Surah Al-Maa`idah 5 : 114]
This is not being presented as a
Tafseer of the verse; rather, it came to mind that in this blessed
month of Ramadaan, Allah Ta’ala lays out a spiritual dastarkhan (a large
tablecloth spread) for the Ummah of His Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi
wasallam). Ramadaan offers us a dastarkhan, spread with heavenly and spiritual
this worldly life, we find that it is common – especially amongst the
non-Muslims - to have five, seven and nine course meals. …I was surprised to
read that in formal dining – amongst the non-Muslims, a full course dinner can
consist of 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 16 courses, and, in its extreme form, in
previous times, there used to be upto twenty-one courses. And these elaborate and extravagant courses were
and are spread over three or four or five hours, which include starters,
appetisers, soups, salads, the main meal, desserts, etc.
Hadith Sharief confirms that the disbelievers eat far more than the Believers: Hadhrat
Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallalu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
‘alaihi wasallam) said: "The
believer eats in one stomach, and the disbeliever eats in seven stomachs."
was said in explanation about a person who used to eat excessively. On
accepting Islam, his eating was considerably less than before. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
‘alaihi wasallam) thus mentioned the difference between the eating of a
Believer and Disbeliever.
we learn from our Ulama that this Dien of Islam and this quality of Imaan
reduces the unwholesome habit of eating excessively; it diminishes gluttony
and greed. A true Believer easily
suffices on less food – on simple and healthy food – in comparison to the
Disbeliever. There is moderation and balance in the eating of the Believer.
when a Muslim eats, he follows the Sunnah of commencing with the name of Allah
Ta’ala. He says : “Bismillah…”. In so doing, shaytaan, has no share in his food
– so his food suffices for him. His food draws
blessings from Allah Ta’ala. The disbeliever eats without the name of
Allah Ta’ala and shaytaan has his share therein. Thus, his food is never
sadly, we find that many Muslims today, opt to emulate the non-Muslims and have
five and seven course meals – which results in extravagance and excessive
eating habits and this leads to poor health. Many eat to fill their eyes and
not their stomachs.
most of our sicknesses stem from bad eating habits and the sin of gluttony. It
is a well-known saying amongst the Arabs: “The
stomach is the home of disease and restraint is the basis of the remedy.”
Be that as it may, with the commencement of the month of Rajab, we
all recited the Dua:
bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan and allow us to reach Ramadaan.”
the blessings of this Masnoon Dua, Alhamdulillah, we enjoyed the blessings of
Rajab and Sha’baan. And as we know, Rajab has its connection and association with
the Mi’raaj and the gift of Salaah, and it was a reminder to connect to Allah
Ta’ala through this most important pillar of Dien.
Sha’baan visited us and brought with it the great and auspicious night of Bara’ah
- A night of Forgiveness and purification and deliverance from Jahannum.
its departure, arrived the honourable guest of Ramadaan. SubhanAllah!
this Masnoon Dua, where we asked for Barakah and we asked for life to see
Ramadaan, it was as if we were also requesting and asking of Allah Ta’ala to honour
us with the spiritual Dastarkhan that Ramadaan brings with it. And Allah Ta’ala, Generous and Kind,
accepted our request and gave us Ramadaan, with all its blessings and bounties.
is the guest but this guest brings with it the Dastarkhan of Roohani and
spiritual foods. SubhanAllah!
Dastarkhan for Iftaar offers us the savouries, the almond milk, desserts and
other delicious eats. Here, Allah Ta’ala has given us the
delicious “Roohani Dastarkhan”, which accompanies Ramadaan.
This wonderful menu is for our
soul. This special Menu is exclusive for the Believers and entails a variety of
spiritual delicacies together with the main "meals":
The main meals of this Roohani menu are:
The recitation of the Qur`aan Sharief
Together with these, are the other courses of the menu:
The Duas whilst fasting, Duas at the time of Iftaar and Duas at
the time of Sehri are extra special Duas, readily accepted.
Istighfaar and Taubah
Zikrullah in abundance
Durood Sharief in abundance
Zakaat (i.e. if it is due in Ramadaan. Zakaat should not be
delayed so that it is paid in Ramadaan).
Every Nafl draws the reward of a Fardh and every Fardh draws
seventy times more its reward.
All of these extra and optional
deeds are the spiritual savouries, desserts, chutneys and so forth, which are spread out on this
These are all spiritual health
foods – which boost the “immune system” of the heart and soul; which detoxes
and purifies the heart and mind; which inspires the soul to obedience and which
inculcates the spirit of submission in the otherwise unruly and undisciplined
nafs. …Insha-Allah, on reaching the end of Ramadaan, the quality of
Taqwa will be firmly grounded in the person. He will achieve the goal of
fasting – which is Taqwa. And Taqwa is establishing friendship with Allah
Allah Ta’ala says:
“…Verily none are the auliya (friends of Allah Ta’ala) except those who refrain from his disobedience…”
[Surah al-Anfal 8 : 34]
to the Roohani foods that have been generously laid out for the Believers,
Allah Ta’ala also created the ideal environment for the soul to enjoy this
spiritual dastarkhan with comfort and ease.
Ta’ala has made the environment pleasant by chaining up the rebellious shayateen.
The entire month brings with it, a downpour of Barakaat and Anwaraat – which we all experience and enjoy, Alhamdulillah. Added to this, the Hadith informs us that the doors of Jahannum
are closed in Ramadaan. As such the effects of Jahannum are not present. The
Doors of Jannah are wide open. As such, the effects of Jannah are present and
prevail in our homes and lives.
So this is that one month where
the soul is feasting, and gaining its strength, with great, great enjoyment.
Noorun ‘ala Noor is the
condition of that soul which finds itself amongst the lovers of Allah Ta’ala in
Ramadaan. Allahu Akbar! Allah Ta’ala has given us the environment of the
Khanqah. It is a place where the lovers of Allah Ta’ala meet and they spend
time here, with one objective : To
complete their Islaah, to achieve Tazkiyyah, to nurture Taqwa, to complete
their journey towards Allah Ta’ala.
we are seeing brothers from all parts of the world gathering here, to spend
Ramadaan in an environment that will facilitate their connection with their
Beloved Allah Ta’ala. Together, we work with one another and assist each other
in achieving our goals.
Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)
would say: “The Lovers of Allah Ta’ala are one family.” …Therefore, we
find excitement and happiness : All have come and are meeting as one big family
in the Khanqah. For eleven months, we did not have this kind of opportunity to spend such quality time together!
here we are, sitting at this wonderful Roohani Dastarkhan. Let us not keep our hands back. These spiritual foods have been magnanimously
laid out for all. Let us eat to our heart’s content.
course, we should keep in mind that just as there are Aadaab (etiquettes) to
eating food for the physical body, so too are there etiquettes to eating this
spiritual food. Etiquettes and aadaab are necessary and we should greatly respect this blessed month.
eating, we wash our hands, as is Sunnah. Before entering Ramadaan, we were to
have washed our hearts during the night of Bara’ah, and obtained Taharah and purification, in preparation for this banquet and feast in Ramadaan.
were also to wash our hands, spiritually.
These hands which were given to us for holding the Qur’aan, for lifting in Dua,
for spending in the path of Allah Ta’ala, and for good and noble deeds – were used
for Haraam. Sometimes the hands are spiritually filthy because they were used
for terrible, terrible sins. And now with these same hands, we pick up the
Qur`aan Sharief and we touch the pure words of Allah Ta’ala?
is therefore necessary to purify these hands with sincere Taubah and Istighfaar
for those sins engaged in, with the hands. …Just as we would not dish out food
with an unclean utensil, or a spoon used to dish out food for dogs, so we
should keep in mind that the soul requires that it is fed from or with clean
spiritual utensils : the hands and tongue must be clean. These are the
“utensils” – so to say – in feeding the soul.
we commence eating with Bismillah, so we commence our spiritual feasting with
the intention of fasting – seeking the greatest reward : Allah Ta’ala.
Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had related in his
“Fazaa`il-e-Ramadaan”, a Hadith, wherein Allah Ta’ala states the reward for the
fast of a person: “I, Myself, become his reward.” Allahu Akbar!
eat food, the tongue is utilized. Similarly, to enjoy the spiritual delicacies
of Tilawat of Qur’aan Sharief, Zikrullah, Durood Sharief and Istighfaar, we require a spiritually clean tongue.
all know what the tongue has been engaged in : Sometimes it is lying, cheating
and deceiving in our business dealings; sometimes it is backbiting, slandering,
exaggerating and creating mischief; sometimes it is used in illicit
relationships or in other Haraam.
this same tongue is to be used for Tilawat of the Qur’aan Sharief; it is to be
used to take the pure name of Allah Ta’ala. It is most unsuitable that we
should use a spiritually dirty tongue to feed our souls. We won’t tolerate it if
someone were to give us food from a dog’s bowl – so Allah Ta’ala also requires cleanliness when seated at His Roohani
should have washed our tongues clean of all its sins and mischief before the
month of Ramadaan, so that our spiritual taste-buds appreciate the
spiritual feast of Ramadaan and we enjoy all its good and gain maximum
benefits. If not, the bad taste of sins
will spoil the sweet and enjoyable taste of Ibaadah.
…Alhamdulillah, it is not too
late. We still have time. We should not delay in washing our tongues now – with
sincere Taubah and Istighfaar, and then we ourselves will relish this spread of
with washing our hands and tongue of its spiritual dirt, we should also adopt Tawaadhu (humility) in our spiritual feasting –
like how the Sunnah directs us to eat with humility. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
‘alaihi wasallam) said: “I am a servant,
so I eat like a servant eats and I sit like a servant sits.”
If there is no Tawaadhu in our
spiritual feasting of Qur`aan Sharief, Zikrullah and other Ibaadaat, then Takabbur,
Riyaa and Ujub will cause our spiritual food to “decay” – and it will not offer
any benefit for our souls – just as worldly food decays and cannot be of any
good for human consumption and use. May Allah Ta’ala give us the understanding
and protect us all.
we should eat properly. We should adopt the etiquette for each Ibaadah, be it
Salaah, Tilawah, Fasting, Zikrullah and so forth. There are conditions and
etiquettes that accompany each deed.
…A complete and delicious fast
entails fasting with the eyes, ears, tongue, heart and mind – that is, the
person restrains himself from casting evil gazes, abstains from listening to
Haraam, speaking Haraam, thinking of Haraam and so forth. This is
necessary to achieve the objective of fasting – which is Taqwa.
we do not carry out our good deeds with their conditions and etiquettes, then
our similarity is like that of little children seated at the dastarkhan and
they are making a big mess, by spilling the milk and the chutney, breaking up
the savouries and rubbing their fingers everywhere, etc.
…We also create a spiritual mess
when we commit sins, such as back-biting, casting lustful gazes, harbouring jealousy, etc. Then our spiritual food and its benefits
are lost to us and do not benefit us.
meal is to be ended with expressing Shukr (appreciation and gratitude) to Allah
Ta’ala and praising Him for His Ni’mats upon us. So we should end every day and
night of Ramadaan, with deep-hearted Shukr for the opportunity and Taufeeq of
fasting, of Taraweeh, Tilawat, Dua, Zikrullah and other good deeds.
us not close the heart to Ramadaan. Receive
Ramadaan with an open and a happy heart. 24 / 7 of Ramadaan is spiritual
feasting. One month of twelve months is no difficulty for the Believer. In fact
the Believer wishes the entire year was Ramadaan, with its Barakaat and
Anwaaraat and without the interference and distractions of the rebellious shayateen.
us not be like the Bani Isra`eel, who despite enjoying the food of Jannah –Manna
– asked for the earthly foods. They
refused Jannat’s menu and preferred Dunya’s menu. This was their ingratitude to
Allah Ta’ala’s favour.
there should have been abundant Shukr for such a privilege, they complained to
their Nabi, Hadhrat Musa (‘Alaihis Salaam):
We can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth
for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its
lentils and its onions.”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:61]
were they told in return?
(Hadhrat Musa (AS)) said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:61]
is not a Tafseer of these Ayaat. …However, we should take lesson. ...Let
us not be of those who are granted the life, the opportunity, the great favour of
Ramadaan, and the wonderful Dastarkhan of the best of spiritual foods, but we
are wishing for it to depart, that we may return to the engagements and work of
Dunya – Allah Ta’ala forbid. Let us not be of those who asked for Ramadaan, and
when Ramadaan came, we did not honour, respect and host it.
a person enjoys the spiritual Dastarkhan that is sent by Allah Ta’ala, then Eid
will be a day of true joy and rejoicing. For a true Ummati, his joy is his
Islaah – that he has obtained the golden pot of Taqwa; that now, on completion
of this spiritual banquet, he can easily stay away from Haraam – despite the
temptations and invitations; and can now practise upon the Commands of Allah
Ta’ala with extreme ease. Insha-Allah, obedience to Allah Ta’ala will become his nature.
The night of Eid is Laylatul
Jaa`izah (The night of prize-giving). SubhanAllah! …Let us be amongst the prize
Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq of Aml.
Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
Manna : Whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, which used to rain down on the
Children of Israel, just as the snow falls, from dawn until sunrise – as their
Salwa: A bird of paradise, the size of a sparrow or like a quil.