Performance of Recommended Actions - Ramadan Reflections 28/30 - 1436/2015

Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Performance of Recommended Actions" is elucidated upon.

 O' Allah on this day, grant me a share in its recommended prayers the nawafil, and honor me by attending to my problems and make closer the means to approach You ,from all of the means, O'one who is not preoccupied by the requests of the beseechers.

'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

We're now nearing the end of the blessed month of Ramadan. And today, in our twenty eighth day in our twenty eighth discussion from Ramadan Reflections, let us look at this topic of the performance of recommended actions within Islam. Now we know that when we look at the rulings that Allah has placed forth that our Prophet and the Imams and our scholars have extracted from the sayings of the book of a Allah and the say and the Hadith, the sayings of the 14 Infallible, that we are able to divide our actions into five specific categories.

We have our actions which are obligatory, such as our five daily prayers. We have recommended or mustahab actions such as giving in recommended charity to the needy. We have actions which are permissible they're mub'ah, they neither gain a reward nor attract a punishment. And those are things like sports, for example. The fourth category are things which are disliked or makruh, for example, wasting of water. And the fifth, and that is the forbidden or the Haram are actions which we must not perform. Those are, for example, lying, cheating, stealing.

Now, even though we say that we have these five actions, but many times they can also overlap. So as an example, it is muba'h, it is permissible to play sports. But if a young man or a woman engages in sports to get closer to their fellow believing brothers and sisters that their playing in a league together, then that action, which could be Muba'h can actually become a mustahab, a recommended action because they are doing it to gain brotherhood or sisterhood within the religion to establish the bonds of a community.

But conversely, that same sporting activity, which is Muba'h, could become haram. For example, a person goes swimming and he goes to the beach or he goes to a co-ed swimming pool where men and women are inappropriately dressed. That muba'h action of swimming now becomes something forbidden, becomes haram on that individual. So we have to be careful of what actions we perform, how the intention is and how they are being performed, in what environment they being done.

These mustahab actions that we have and there are so many in the religion. For example, we have an obligation to pay our Khums twenty percent of our net savings. But we have a recommendation, a recommended option for charity, which is above and beyond the obligation, which is, for example, the daily sadaqaah, the daily charity that we take out. We have an obligation to fast the month of Ramadan, but we have a recommendation to perform a fast on other days within the year.

We have the obligation of the Hajj. If we have the the means and the physical ability to go to perform the Hajj. But we also have a recommendation of the Umrah. So you see that there is a balance within the religion obligations and recommendations. One of the things that we asked for in this prayer for today is the ability to perform the recommended prayers, the nawafil. And we have a verse of the Qur'an from chapter 17, verse number seventy nine in which we read the following "And keep vigil with it during parts of the night as an extra prayer. Perhaps your Lord will raise you to a laudable position" (17:79). This is a verse of the Qur'an talking about this Salat ul-Layl, the night prayer, the night vigil that many of us have the divine succor to perform on a regular basis. It's not an obligation on us, although it was an obligation on the Prophet of Islam, but it is a highly recommended prayer that we have been encouraged by the Hadith, by the verses of the Qur'an, by our scholars to perform in the middle of the night to get to that station, which the Qur'an refers to as the plow, the praiseworthy, the laudable position.

And so as we close, we ask Allah to give us the ability to not only perform the obligations, but to go above and beyond the call of duty to perform the recommended acts within our religion. Wa assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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