Are your Muslim colleagues and employees acting a little weird the past 20 days?
- Every time you pass their pc, you find them staring at the Nando’s homepage.
- When you open your packet of slap chips, you can see how liss the person is because is literally drowning is in his own drool.
- Every minute that goes pass, your muslim colleague keeps asking what’s the time? Everyone sitting around is so use to question that before he can ask the time, the whole department in chorus tells the time as the minutes change. It almost feels like you working for 1026 “when you hear the beep, it will be 14h00 and 20seconds”.
- When you go for a smoke break, your smoking muslim buddie stalks you, he is not puffing away as usual but standing very close to you and is really invading your personal space.
- When your Muslim colleague thinks no one is looking, he takes 40 winks, before you know it the whole floor is vibrating because the snoring is so loud.
- Your muslim colleague arrives at the crack of dawn and leaves before sunset. Even on a Friday.
- Everyday before you muslim colleague leaves his head is pinned against the window and he keeps asking you, “can you see it?” you reply ”what?” he says “the new moon”.
Ramadan has sprung on us the same time as spring this year. Saum/Fasting is a unique moral and spiritual characteristic of Islam. Fasting means to abstain “completely” from foods, drinks, intimate intercourse and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. In the evening additional prayer is performed. Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory on every responsible and fit Muslim. . This is a pillar of Islam, and any failure to observe it without reasonable excuses is a grave sin in the sight of God. Muslims wake up at pre dawn (about 4:30am) and have suhur which is a very early breakfast. The whole routine of a muslim person changes drastically during this month. Their sleep routine, eating patterns, literally change overnight. The body, mind and soul are tested and trained so that the person can practice self restraint.
The Quran(Muslim holy book) was revealed on The Night of Power/Laylatul Qadr in this month. There is great emphasis placed on reciting as much Quran as possible during this month.
The only obligatory fasting is that of Ramadan – which may be 29 or 30 days, depending on the moon’s positions. Ramadan ends with the holiday Eid ul-Fitr, on which feasts are held. Eid ul-Fitr starts the day after Ramadan ends, and is verified by the sighting of the new moon. Muslims give money to the poor and wear their best clothes.
The past month, I have heard mixed viewpoints regarding reading the Quran in english. Many scholars have agreed that the Quran is in Arabic and no translation in any language will come close to it. The best prize would be to learn Arabic. Most of us are past our learning sell by date, so although the reward reading it in English or the language of your mother tongue may not be the same, the benefit one can get from reading it in English is better then not understanding it at all. Read it preferably in the language you understand, so you can try and understand what Allah wants from you as his ambassador on earth. As one sister rightly pointed out, when we are going to be questioned on the day of Qiyamah, what will our answer be? “We didn’t understand Arabic, so that is why we couldn’t be your Khalifah(Ambassador).” My advice is that before you embark on this journey to understand the Quran, seek advise from a learned scholar in your area on how to approach understanding it. There are many tafseers you can read that will make you understand the Quran better. If you have any questions, have a dialogue with your local scholar so that you are clear what Allah wants from you. We must understand that the Quran is the Word of Allah. I think the fear that some scholars rightly have is that many misinterpret the Quran and this can be dangerous for the faith.
Some facts about the Quran
Revelation: It was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) over a period of 23 years.
No. of Chapters (Surah) 114
Revealed in Makkah 86
Revealed in Madinah 28
Total number of verses 6239
Longest chapter (Surah) Chapter 2 (Suratul Baqarah): 286 verses
Shortest chapter Chapter 108 (Suratul Kauthar) 3 verses
Number of Juz – 30
Tools to memorise the names of Surahs of the Quran
Sister Najma sent me some wonderful tools in assisting us to memorise the names of the Surahs of the Quran. To create the love of the Quran, and instil it our children at a young age, it would help give them some tools that they can relate directly to the Quran. The tools are:
Surah name Memorising tool
Surah Index charts
Juz Recogniser for when you are listening to the Quran and want to recognise in which para the surah is in
Other Quran links
Read the South African style 13 line Quran
Learn english meaning of 80% of words in Quran
Listen to Mufti Menk’s Tafseer
Read the Quran in English
Read Tafsir ibn Kathir for commentary on the Quran with Hadith
Read summarised Reflections of the Quran by Amr Khaled
Learn Arabic Online
Other recommended Tafsir Maariful Quraan by Mufti Shafi Usmani
The Messenger (PBUH) will complain to Allah on the Day of Judgment that his people neglected the Qur’an (Surah al-Furqan 25:30). Neglect of the Qur’an is of different levels, as Ibn al-Qayyim writes: not reciting or listening to it;
not studying and understanding it;
not conveying its message;
not judging by it in personal and communal matters, at all levels of society;
not believing in it.