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Urdu Bayan, 45 mins
22nd April, 2021

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How Do We Look After our Fast?

​Take the example of any human being who has something very valuable, like, for example, a very precious diamond, and he wants to go to the marketplace to sell it. He is afraid that there may be thieves and bandits and robbers along the way and thinks to himself ‘I could get robbed – I could lose my item’ - he knows that the route is dangerous. So he has a very precious item that he wants to sell at the marketplace, and he has to go on foot, and the route to get there is dangerous because there are thieves and bandits, who might realise that he have got something that is very valuable. So what would such a person do? What would me or you do? We would protect that item, trying to ensure that we protected it until we got it to the destination where we could attain its value. A person would try his best to hide that precious item or take it safely in some other way, so that after making the journey, he would be able to sell it and attain its value.

​So brothers, I have presented a great example to you so that we can understand the reality of our situation and understand that the fast is a very valuable thing, more precious than a diamond or a jewel or any wealth that a person might want to use for a transaction. This fast is very valuable indeed and is a great asset that Allah ta’ala has given. And who will buy this item when a person goes to cash it in? The One who purchases this is also Adheem and extremely great – the buyer Himself is not minor or insignificant! So Allah subhana wa ta'ala gives us this valuable thing in the morning in the form of the fast – and this is our gift. Imagine the fast to be a precious item that Allah subhana wa ta'ala bestows upon a person in the morning; this treasure that Allah gives is in the form of a fast. Now he has to embark on a journey with that precious item and bring it in the evening to the Court of Allah, where he has to present it. And just like the example of the marketplace where the item has to be sold and cashed in, Allah ta’ala will complete the transaction of his fast and give him the value of that fast. Imagine how valuable and precious that fast will be!

​So, tell me, if we have this fast which is such a valuable and precious item, then we also have a great need to protect it. Why? Just like in the example I gave where a person is afraid that someone might rob him along the way, as we pass through the hours of our day with this great treasure, there are enemies who want to steal this gift that we have. They have a lot of tactics by which they try to steal and rob this gift, and if a person gets robbed, then he will become empty-handed and will have nothing left. Just as the man with the precious jewel might get robbed along the way, and if somebody steals it and robs him, then he will be left with an empty bag. And what will he get for that when he gets to the destination? Nothing. So this is also the case in respect of our fast. When the time for the fast comes to an end, we have to present it in the Court of Allah, and if a person has been robbed along the way, he will find that his bag is empty and that there is nothing left inside for him.

​So it is very, very necessary that we understand something right at the beginning, at the outset, which is that Allah ta’ala has given us this gift in the form of a fast, and that this is a very valuable item. So don’t just keep the fast for the sake of it and think that it is just about eating Suhoor in the morning and then breaking the fast in the evening – it is not as easy as that. Why? Because its value is very great. When we receive its worth from Allah, we will realise that it has an extremely high value indeed, and you will see then how valuable is this asset that we have got. If something has a high value, then a person thinks ‘Oh, this is very precious; it is very good’, but if it has less value, then he does not give it much attention – so it is the value that brings the appreciation. We have to look at the value of the fast in order to recognise it – look at what Allah ta’ala bestows for it at the end of the day in order to recognise its value. Allah says ‘The value of the fast is so great that all the other A’maal are separate, but I Myself will confer the value of the fast!’

Imagine that – look at the status of the fast in comparison to all the other deeds, Allahu Akbar. Look at the glory and status of fasting in the Court of Allah. Don’t just think ‘Ok, I have had some food in the morning and then I’ll eat in the evening and the fast will be complete.’ No – we need to attain its reward, and Allah ta’ala says that in respect of the fast, we should always try our best to protect it until the evening. We should protect it so much and be so cautious that the fast is presented safely and securely in the Court of Allah when the evening comes. As soon as you present such a fast, Allah ta’ala will quickly open the doors of Jannah, and the fasting person will be made a Jannati. The reward of being a Jannati will be given immediately. Allah will forgive his sins, the announcement will be made in Paradise, his palaces will be constructed and the Hoors will be decorated – but this is on condition that he protected his fast. This is the meaning of the two Hadiths that I am sharing with you. In the normal way, we break the fast at the end of the day and think ‘Oh, it’s not a big deal, we fast by not eating all day and that’s it.’ Obviously, I agree that this is indeed a big achievement, but that is not the meaning of fasting. If a person considers that’s all there is to fasting, he is in a state of loss - a big loss.

A human being has two big enemies, and one of them is totally still with us in Ramadhan, while the other is locked up – but the effects of his activities are still with us – and they are shaytan and Nafs; and they always want to steal the goodness from us. So what spoils the fast and destroys the fast? This is very necessary for us to understand so that we can be saved from negatives and be protected. What spoils the fast? Let us look at that now.

There is a decoration of fasting – what is that? Tilawat of Qur’an, the recitation of the Qur’an in abundance. The more a person recites the Qur’an, and reads the Qur’an, then the fast is decorated beautifully through that recitation. It gives Husn and beauty to the fast and another way of saying this is that its value increases in the Court of Allah. Again, if he prays Nawafil, then the value increases; if he does Dhikrullah, then the value increases even more. All these things increase the value of the fast and make it more precious – and we do these actions, alhamdulillah. We do lengthy Tilawat and do lots of Dhikr and give Sadaqat while we fast, and no doubt, this makes the value of the fast increase and increase until the evening, when the rewards that Allah ta’ala reserves for us just for one such fast can bring a person success. SubhanAllah - this is a very great fact about this great Ibadah.

It is Allah’s Karam that He gives us thirty days of fasting, so what could a person be lacking when he finishes fasting? But there are two outcomes – either he will leave successful, or he will be empty-handed and have nothing. Those people who protect the fast will become wealthy and rich after Ramadhan - in respect of the Akhirah, they will be prosperous – but not those who did not protect the fast; remember this. So we fast until the evening, and decorate the fast by reading the Qur’an and doing various types of Dhikr and praying Nawafil, so the value of the fast keeps increasing. But keep an eye on the other side; keep being cautious, because the value of the fast can decrease as well. Just as it can increase, so also the value can decrease. It can go down - and it can plummet. How can the value of the fast reduce and decrease and plummet? Through sins. If we sin during the fast, the value will go down. It can increase, but it can also decrease and even go into the negative. It can never be that you commit a sin but the value of the fast increases. Darkness and light cannot be in the same place at the same time – there is either Noor or the darkness of sins with a person.

So the value of the fast that we are keeping can be spoiled by committing even a little sin – the pious predecessors have said this. I will present a statement to you of the friends of Allah, who say that if you cannot do a lot of Ibadah during the fast, if you cannot recite the Qur’an a lot or do a lot of Dhikrullah, don’t worry about this, because if you prevent yourself from sin, even then you will have made yourself a very valuable commodity or asset. So keep reflecting on and analysing yourself. If you are busy at work and at your business so you can’t recite a lot of Qur’an, don’t worry. Pay attention to the other side, and don’t let your fast get spoiled. The real value of the fast is spoiled when it goes downhill. Yes? It doesn’t matter how much you decorate the fast, if you spoil it and deface it, then you will end it and it will go to waste. That is why the pious predecessors have stated that if you don’t have much courage and determination or strength and you can’t do too much, then don’t worry or regret about that. They even say that it can be better than doing deeds and Ibadaat if you just sleep. If you keep on sleeping, you will save your fast so that in the Court of Allah in the evening when you present your fast, Allah ta’ala will give the message of Maghfirah, of forgiveness – SubhanAllah.

But we are so unfortunate that we don’t understand these points. The anger we feel when fasting is greater than when we don’t fast; we feel like fighting in a way that we don’t feel when we are not fasting. And this is the test that Allah ta’ala has given to us that when a person has an empty stomach, he becomes a bit fussy. He makes a lot of fuss and gets angry, and this is the test of the fast - to see how much we control ourselves and protect our fast. So we must save ourselves; okay, this point has been made.

How do we save ourselves? The fast is being saved if we do the right things, and so we save ourselves from Zina and this sin and that sin and present a long list of the exterior sins. We think ‘If I do Zina, people will see me; if I drink alcohol, people will see me; if I beat somebody or murder somebody, everyone in the world will see me.’ So when we protect ourselves from these sins, we think we are protected and consider our fasts to be correct. This is good as well, but these are apparent and exterior things that we avoid because we think people will see us doing them in the world. But there is something more dangerous than all of this, which are the Batini, internal sins - the hidden sins. How much do people try to protect themselves from the hidden sins, the Batini sins. We need to ask ourselves this. We don’t consider themselves as sins, and if we did consider them as sins, would we not try to protect ourselves from them? The Ulema-e-Kiram tell us how we can end these Batani sins, but how many of us do Amal on their advice and reflect and analyse and make effort? I can’t see any. Who tries to prevent themselves from the Batini sins? We should try to save ourselves from these when fasting, from these internal Batini sins, but because we don’t consider them as sins, we totally waste and destroy our fasts.

In the Qur’an, in Surah Hujurat, Allah subhana wa ta'ala has mentioned these sins. {لَا يَغۡتَب بَّعۡضُكُم بَعۡضًا}. We need to understand that Allah ta’ala has explained to us in the Qur’an that we must not say bad things about anyone; we must not make negative comments about a person. This is the Qur’an that is telling us this, that we must not say anything bad about a brother behind his back. And on top that, Allah ta’ala is explaining the punishment for doing this. There is a unique and extreme punishment for this, so imagine what a big sin this must be that Allah ta’ala is telling us about. And yet this is common today in society; it is so easy to do and so common, and may it not be that we commit this sin in Ramadhan. Allah is the Malik, Allah is the owner of our fast and it is He who gives Thawab - but the punishments are ready for the sins as well. Allah says ‘Don’t commit this sin that you say bad things about your brother behind his back’ – in other words, when he is not there. Why? Because Allah then poses a question: ‘Would you like and choose what goes with this action?’

The Qur’an is asking this question here – look at this. You get this punishment in the Dunya, so what will happen in the Akhirah? Allah says ‘Would you like this? {أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُڪُمۡ أَن يَأۡڪُلَ لَحۡمَ أَخِيهِ مَيۡتً۬ا} Would the person who backbites like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?’ The first feature is that this is the flesh of a human being, the second that, in addition to being a human being, it is the flesh of your real brother; and in addition to being your real brother, it is the flesh of that person when they are dead! Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. And remember this – if the Qur’an has said something, it is a fact. Me and you cannot see this, but 100%, this is happening – this is what occurs.

May Allah not allow, may Allah not allow, but imagine if this happens during Ramadhan. How easy it is for us to do this. We don’t feel any need to veil this action, unlike if a person was doing Zina or stealing or murdering or drinking alcohol, when he would be worrying about whether anyone was watching him, so he would be cautious about not being seen. But this is such that, Allahu Akbar, these days this is how we decorate our gatherings and get-togethers. It is appreciated when this sin is committed. People think ‘We don’t enjoy ourselves in the gathering if we just sit here silently, so let’s talk and have a chat.’ This is the biggest means for us to start discussions when we meet. If two people get together, they don’t get any enjoyment unless they speak about a third person. If we are in the Masjid, or in Makkah or Madinah or at the Ka’abah – wherever we are – we meet, we shake hands, start talking and then shaytan attacks, even when we are fasting in Ramadhan. You will see this everywhere. At the highest point of the fast, five or ten minutes before Iftar, if you sit in the rows, you can easily witness this sin. Do you understand what I’m saying, brothers? This is a reality which is present. We think ‘Oh, I have kept a fast in Makkah or in Madinah, and I recited Qur’an today and did Dhikrullah and committed no sins’ – but look at what is happening on the other side.

Allah says that it doesn’t matter where this sin is committed and in which moment; backbiting is backbiting – it is the same thing. If you speak in a negative way about someone behind his back, this is backbiting. We let this come in one ear and go out of the other and say ‘Oh, we don’t care about this – it is not a sin. Moulana sahib is saying these things about Gheebat, about backbiting. Should we stay hungry and thirsty? How can it be that we are not ever allowed to speak about people? How would that mean that our fasts are not accepted?’ We are incurring a massive loss where the doors of Paradise should be opening for us so easily – so easily. And Allah ta’ala has given us an open playing field, that no matter how sinful you are, after keeping a fast, if you protect it, when you want to cash it in in the evening and acquire its value, then Allah ta’ala says ‘Yes, you are also included, and I will give you Jannah!’ This is such a great way out, a great means to avoid punishment – by Allah’s Grace and His Fadhl, He has given us an open playing field, a massive opportunity, but we don’t know about this verse that has been revealed.

If a person thinks, for example, that I am just speaking for the sake of it and to pass time, and thinks ‘Oh, it’s just a lecture on the Qur’an’, then they won’t take it seriously. But the noble Companions radhiAllahu anhum would not let such things go. When this great verse was revealed, they were extremely upset and said ‘What has happened here? This is an Ajeeb sin, for we have heard about punishments for sins and the rewards of Jannah, but this sin is Ajeeb that is like consuming the flesh, not just of a human being, but of a real brother; and not just a real brother, but of a dead brother – and they knew that this would happen immediately. So they were upset, and so they went to Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam and asked him ‘What is this sin of Gheebat? What is backbiting?’ They asked this question, and Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam told them what backbiting was. Listen to what Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam says backbiting is. He said ‘Backbiting is saying something about somebody behind his back - when he is not present - that he would dislike if you were to say it in his presence. That is backbiting.’

For example, if I say about a person ‘Oh, he’s weird’, then I have backbitten about him. If he is not there and I say ‘Oh, he is weird, leave him’ – this is backbiting. Does this happen amongst us or not? Tell me. It is very common that when we are sitting together, we talk about a third person behind his back and say something which he would dislike if he was there. This is backbiting. And then the Sahaba-e-Kiram radhiAllahu anhum said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, but what if what we say about him is true?’ We say this don’t we? We say ‘Oh no, I am not backbiting - he is actually like that. I’m not saying anything wrong – he is like that. What I said is a fact.’ But the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam explained, saying ‘That is what backbiting is. If what you say about him is true and you say it behind his back, then that is backbiting. If what you are saying is not true, then that is slander, and that is doubly bad – even worse.’ So it has been clearly defined and explained to us here. Don’t think that if you are speaking about somebody behind his back that you are allowed to say something about someone if the defect that you mention is true. To say true things about people that they would not like behind their back is defined as backbiting, and if you are backbiting, then the punishment has been explained.

You have consumed the flesh of your real deceased brother – so where has the fast gone, brothers? Where has the fast gone? Tell me. The fast has gone, so far down that it has disappeared; we have spoiled it and lost it. The Sunnat-e-ilahi of Allah subhana wa ta'ala is that, when a sin becomes common, if people have not absorbed the reality into their brains, to show people that what has been said is a fact, then Allah demonstrates that punishment, as if to say ‘Here – this is a fact!’ At the time of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, two women felt hungry during the fast – and this is a very famous Hadith. They became so very hungry that news of their situation came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, who was told that it seemed that they were about to die due to their severe hunger. They were struggling greatly, so the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam summoned them. I am sharing the meaning of the Hadith with you. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam then said to them ‘Vomit into this vessel.’ So what did they do? They put their fingers down their throats to make themselves vomit, and when they vomited, pieces of meat came out of their mouths. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘Did you eat some meat?’ to which they replied ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we have not eaten any meat. Where could this have come from?’ The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘You have not eaten meat, but meat is coming out, so did you backbite against somebody?’ And then they said ‘Yes, we did backbite against someone.’ And then they were told ‘Well, backbiting is such that even if you have not eaten meat, the flesh of your dead brother has gone into your stomach. The presence of the meat proves this.’

So, my brothers, what a big sin this is. Have we ever thought, when we make Niyyah for the fast, that first and foremost, we should ask Allah for assistance and say ‘Oh Allah, protect me from this terrible sin of backbiting while I am fasting.’ That is when the fast is made. The fast is not that we stop eating and drinking; the definition of the fast is that we save ourselves from disobedience. That is how Allah ta’ala becomes happy, so we must protect ourselves from the sins. We have to protect ourselves from sins, those actions that bring about the displeasure of Allah; in reality, that is what we need to abstain from.

In every second, in some shape or form, there is an opportunity to sin, and we have heard the punishment for backbiting. Hajaj bin Yusuf was such an oppressive king – he killed so many people. He was a Dhalim king, perhaps the most oppressive king in history. Once, someone spoke badly about him in the Majlis of Abdullah bin Umar radhiAllahu anh. He was undoubtedly an oppressor, and somebody made some negative comments about him. Immediately, Abdullah bin Umar radhiAllahu anh said ‘He was bad and he did kill and murder, but think about this: you have backbitten him and spoken ill of him, so when Allah ta’ala calls him to account for his injustice and his Dhulm, he will also call you to account for having backbitten against him. It is not even correct to speak ill of a big oppressor, so tell me, what a big oppression it is if we speak ill about common folk. We don’t know if we will get the opportunity again in our lives to do this great Ibadah, so have total certainty that the punishment will occur for this sin; it is real, and it will be given.

Whether it is Ramadhan or not Ramadhan, whether you are fasting or not fasting, you must shun this sin in every way. This is such a very big sin that Allah ta’ala says ‘If you do Tawbah for other sins, then I will forgive those sins - after Tawbah, every sin is forgiven. But Gheebat, backbiting, is such that even after making Tawbah, I will not forgive that sin. It is such a big sin that I will not forgive it even after Tawbah. {أَڪۡبَرُ مِنَ ٱلۡقَتۡلِ} It is worse than Zina, for Zina is forgiven via Tawbah, but I won’t forgive you until the person who you backbited against forgives you.’ What a big punishment this is from Allah. Allah is saying ‘Either you go into Jahannam, or you go to the door of the person against whom you did backbiting and beg him for forgiveness.’ Look at the dishonour of having to knock on your friend’s door to say ‘Oh, I said this about you.’ He will say ‘About me? Why did you say that?’ You will be melting with shame, but if you don’t do this, Allah says ‘You will feel this in the Jahannam, because I told you that in the Dunya this is like consuming the flesh of your real brother.’

So, my brothers, Allah has given us a great Ni’mah and blessing in Ramadhan. When we start each fast, if we save ourselves from the curse of this sin, then the rest of our life will pass in a beautiful way, won’t it? But if we maintain this delusion and deception, and keep thinking ‘Oh, I have kept the fast for thirty days – nothing is going to spoil it for me. I may have done backbiting, but nothing has happened to me – I’m fine. I kept the fasts and recited Qur’an and nothing happened to me – I’m okay.’ But those people who have belief and certainty in the words of the Qur’an will think ‘He’s gone – he’s a goner. Fasting has come and gone, and that person hasn’t even corrected himself. He came out of Ramadhan with the habit of backbiting, so he has wasted the opportunity of Ramadhan and did not shun this sin.’ May Allah forgive; may Allah forgive.

So we should save ourselves from this extremely bad sin of backbiting – and what is the way to save ourselves from it? Look, there is a way to save and protect ourselves, because there is a source. Why does a person get a cold? Due to cold weather, so he protects himself from the cold. I might get flu due to cold weather, so how do I save myself? How do I save myself from Corona? How do I prevent Corona? When a sickness comes, then obviously there are precautionary measures and tactics that you should take. For example, you don’t hang around dustbins or drink very cold water if you want to keep free of disease, so there are precautionary measures that must be adopted. Allah ta’ala gives this Hukm Himself. For example, regarding these masks that we are wearing, Allah is saying ‘This is compulsory – you have to follow the measures.’ You don’t have to look into the whos and the whys, and where it has come from – this is not necessary. Just because you don’t drink cold water doesn’t mean you won’t catch a cold or get the flu – maybe you will catch it some other way – but a person should not present himself as brave and say ‘I have no need for precautionary measures. I don’t need to protect myself or save myself.’ This invites destruction in front of Allah because you are challenging Allah – nothing else. Yes? You are challenging Allah. So you have to utilise the means and the resources and the methods, and think ‘However that disease is being spread, I need to take preventative measures.’ Yes? We need caution.

Backbiting is an internal disease, so what tools and resources and means can we use to protect ourselves from backbiting? In normal days we may not use these, but at least we should do this in Ramadhan, my brothers, and adopt the measures. Say SubhanAllah. If we don’t do this during Ramadhan, then I swear by Allah, there is no bigger loser than this, that person who kept on decorating his sins during the fasts of Ramadhan, but he did not think about the fact that he was destroying fasts at the same time due to his sins. I explained to you that such sins have become common, and that is why Allah ta’ala demonstrates the punishment. People don’t consider this as a sin, rather, as I explained to you regarding even this Majlis, that we consider it as a decoration. We get together and then talk about people, and then talk about them some more and gossip. There is a way and method to prevent this sin, and if we do it in Ramadhan, then we will become habituated to it.

The number one way to save yourself from backbiting, the biggest method, is what? How do you backbite? Can you backbite about somebody when you are on your own? Can you backbite to the wall or to your hands? No. You backbite when you meet people. So in Ramadhan, the biggest effort that we should make is to decrease the meetings – don’t meet with anybody at all. What is the harm in that? There is no harm if you don’t meet anybody during Ramadhan. Why should we meet? As far as possible, as much as possible, try not to meet anybody at all, and this only happens when a person doesn’t consider himself as brave and a big shot. Consider that you are weak and are not a pious person and that you can be grabbed in this sin. Consider yourself very weak and think ‘The best thing for me is not to meet anybody in Ramadhan – I won’t even shake hands or approach anybody. I will interact as little as possible.’

In our countries in Ramadhan, there are Majaalis and get-togethers and Iftar parties where people come together to break the fast, but the time of Iftar is when this sin occurs. The reward for the fast is being given out, and that is when people get together and assemble to commit this sin. So this is step number one - where does this sin emanate from? Through meetings and sitting down together, getting together. Even in the home you should try to limit this, and that is why Allah subhana wa ta'ala has given us the final ten days as a means of protecting the fast. I am giving you an idea here and sharing my thoughts with you, which is that Allah ta’ala has give the final phase, through His grace and mercy, to save our fasts. He is saying ‘I want to protect your fast totally, so I have given you Ittikaf in the last ten days.’ This is what I understand. Allah ta’ala loves us so much that He has given us this to save our fasts. Allah ta’ala wants to extract this sin from society, so if a person has not been protecting himself and has been spoiling his fasts, at least he can spend the last ten days sitting in a corner.

Allah ta’ala does this for this reason – and I have told you this point before – that when there is a unique and special time, then Allah ta’ala gives a special Ibadah at that time. Remember this point. In those phases of the day that Allah holds beloved, He gives a special Ibadah at that time. The time of Fajr is beloved, so Allah ta’ala gives the Salah of Fajr at that time; Dhuhr time is also beloved to Allah, so He gives Dhuhr Salah. Allah did not leave the five times of day that He liked empty; He put Sujood to Him in those five times of the day. We don’t know the reasons why Allah likes these times, but this is Allah’s selection. You cannot pray Dhuhr now, because Allah wanted to apportion something to His servant at that time. So Allah says ‘I have given you Ibadah at that time so that you come to Me and submit to Me at that time. You don’t know the beauty of that time.’ Obviously, you are going to do Dua, and our Rabb is watching and looking at that time, and these are the Barakaat that are given at that time.

There was a pious elder and I used to go to him in Karachi, and I used to witness something when I would go there, which was that he had an Ajeeb Noor upon him at that time of Dhuhr – and he passed away at that time as well. I was surprised and amazed at this great Wali of Allah, who lived in a certain place, and I would visit him once a day – he would invite me himself. He was a Naqshbandi Sheikh, a great Sheikh, and he wrote and published a good number of Naqshbandi Kitabs. He wrote Tafseers on the writings of Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh; he was a great Alim - no one could compare with him and he knew both Arabic and Persian There was a straw mat on the ground in his house and he used to say ‘Farooqui Sahib, come, come – will you have some tea?’ He was a great Ashiq of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and once he said to me ‘Today I feel like giving you dates from Madinah.’ SubhanAllah! I said ‘Hadhrat, what a great gift this is.’ He said, ‘Just wait – I have protected them, but I have had them for quite a bit of time.’ Now he was living in a mud hut and obviously, if there are dates, then ants and insects will come. So he went looking for his Madinah dates, saying ‘I have kept them and I will feed them to you.’ When, he brought them out, there were ants all over them, so he started blowing the ants off to clean the dates, but they had consumed most of them! He said ‘Please, eat them,’ and they were Madinah dates, so we ate them with enjoyment. SubhanAllah! So – what was I saying to you about him? It has come out of my mind – he was a friend of Allah and I was going to give you an example about him, but my mind has gone somewhere else.

Anyway, yes, I was talking about the final Asharah, the last ten days of Ramadhan, and saying that Allah ta’ala has given them to us for this Ibadah. Allah is saying ‘Somehow I want to protect My servant, so seat him in the corner’ – yes, what I was saying is that Allah ta’ala has given an Ibadah to every moment that He likes, and so He elevates that time with a special Ibadah. As I was saying, the morning is a very beloved time to Allah, and Allah ta’ala has mentioned morning and evening may times in the Qur’an. The Tafseer that I will explain to you about the morning is that it has been proven scientifically that the morning time gives health benefits that a person cannot get at any other part of the day – and this is what Islam says. So to Allah, these two times are so beloved an precious that Allah ta’ala has people advised in many places in the Qur’an:

{ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةً۬ وَأَصِيلاً } SubhanAllah – at these two times, Allah ta’al has given a special Ibadah, and what is that? Dhikrullah. So what we realise is the Ibadah of Dhikr has been apportioned to these two times, which shows that these two times are very valuable. If we want to attain this, we have to complete the Ibadah of that time. If we want to attain the glory of Fajr time, then pray Fajr Salah at that time, and it is the same if you want the glory of Dhuhr and the feelings and emotions of that time. Aha – that is what I was saying. That Sheikh had Noor in his life at that time of Dhuhr, and I asked him about this once, saying ‘Hadhrat, I come at other times, like in the evening and other times, but I have a particular feeling when I come at Dhuhr, and I receive special Faidh from you at that time. Why is this?’ At this, he smiled – this was someone who wrote a dictionary of Tafseer of the Qur’an. This is who I am introducing to you – he was a great human being. So he said to me ‘Hadhrat, what can I say to you?’ I said ‘Please explain – what is it?’ He said ‘This time of Dhuhr is so illuminated and Noorani that all the Doors of Jannah are open at that time, and Allah’s Rahmah and mercy descend at that time. Such angels descend on human beings also, and if a person is consumed with the special Ibadah of that time, then Allah subhana wa ta'ala bestows that Noor on that person at that time. Allah ta’ala has opened that secret to me and I attain that Noor at that time; Allah ta’ala has unwrapped that secret to me and opened it to me, so I attain that Noor at that time.’ And he passed away at the time of Dhuhr as well.

That is why I am saying to that Allah ta’ala has given us the final third of Ramadhan, the last ten days. We don’t think it is important, and we just take our bedding and sit in the Masjid. But this is a special Ibadah that Allah ta’ala has kept in the final ten days of fasting, and it is the Ruh, the soul, of fasting. What is that? Silence! Say SubhanAllah. Isolation. Apart from that, there is no Ibadah – you can do what you have to do. Is this not the case? Yes, this is the case. There is no special Ibadah, like this many Nawafil – Allah has said that there is nothing at all in Ittikaf. Allah has said ‘Go into a corner and seclude yourself. The biggest Ibadah is to leave the world, come into a corner, and adopt silence. Stick to total silence because this is for your benefit. You will not speak so you will not backbite and your fast will not be spoiled. This action that I am giving to you is so valuable that the thirty days I gave you will be completed by these final ten days.’ SubhanAllah! This is called Ittikaf - this is the definition of Ittikaf, my brothers.

So this is the request I was making to you: the biggest value of the fast is what? To protect the fast. So from today, let us keep our fasts protected from the morning, and let us do Dua to Allah for this. In fact, take a pen and paper and write, ‘Oh Allah, while I am fasting, I am not going to meet anyone, and I am not going to speak unless it is essential and important. I will just give Salam and will then close my mouth and I won’t say a second or a third thing. Whether it is with the wife or the children, at home or outside, with relatives, or on the phone.’ You need to stop using that phone and listening to it to protect the fast, I tell you this now.

Even if you want to imitate the way someone speaks, this is backbiting. I will give you the example of Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqua radhiAllahu anha – a great example. You will see what a great example this is. It is stated in a Hadith, which is Da’if but it is present, that once the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was there and Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqua communicated about another women by signs and hints to suggest that she was short in height. Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stopped her immediately and said ‘Oh Aisha, what is this that you have done? You have backbited against her.’ So now, tell me, if this occurred in the household of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, how can we be saved? Can we be saved? We need to adopt the means and stop calling people and chatting on the phone and having discussions with people in the house. Be cautious, careful and wait. We need to wait until the ten days that are about to come and tell ourselves that we will be in prison until then. Rather, I say this, that never mind the last ten days, from the first fast, regard yourself as a Muttakif, a person who is in Ittikaf. Unless a person looks at himself as a Muttakif from the first fast, he cannot succeed.

Take what I am saying seriously, brothers. This is a very valuable time and phase of life that Allah has given to us in the form of Ramadhan. This is not some minor time - ask those who have departed from this world. Only those who protect their fasts will get the benefits. So stop talking unnecessarily, phoning people, speaking to somebody, gossiping with somebody. We leave the Masjid with difficulty because people are standing at the doorway speaking, as well as here and there and on the pavements and in the streets. ‘How are you? What’s happening? How are you keeping?’ How will we not backbite, because this is when the Nafs of a person is against him and it wants to destroy his fast. Be cautious in the house and don’t speak to anybody at home – isolate yourself. And if Allah has given you the Tawfeeq of Dhikr, always do the Dhikr of the heart abundantly – continue to do it, for the Dhikr will be beneficial.

So will we do this brothers? Yes – I will do this as well. Ten days have passed, and we cannot compensate for them, but let’s aim for the twenty days that are to come. Let’s ask forgiveness for our shortcomings in the first ten days and remember how difficult it is to ask a person for Tawbah. The best solution is to protect ourselves, and the way to do this is to meet at little as possible and to close off all the resources and means of communication. Put a padlock on your tongue and consider yourself as a Muttakif in the house. Stay in isolation and sleep – just go to sleep if you have to. That is Ibadah as well.

May Allah ta’ala give us all the Tawfeeq. Recite Durood Sharif.
24th Apr, 2021
Subhan Allah
23rd Apr, 2021