Sheikh Abbas Jaffer talks about interacting with the Holy Quran in the blessed month of Ramadan and explains some things that makes your fasting void in this episode of The Rules of Fasting.
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala accept our fasting in this Holy month and accept what we have been able to do so far and give us tawfiq InshaAllah to take the best benefit from this month.
One of the things that the month of Ramadhan is well known for, and in fact it is the season for that, is the recitation of the Qur'an. Rasul Allah salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, says 'Everything has a season. The season for the reciting of the Qur'an is the month of Ramadhan.' It is the month in which the Qur'an was revealed. It is as we have in the Qur'an: "Shahru Ramadhan alladhee unzila fihi al-Qur'an" (2:185). So it is closely linked to the revelation of the Qur'an and the recitation of the Qur'an is especially something that is recommended in this month.
We are told recite the Qur'an if you want God to speak to you directly. If you want to speak to God, then do Du'a. But if you want to listen to God speaking, you directly recite the Qur'an. And in this particular month, it's just not recommended to recite Qur'an, but the Qur'an that you recite is very blessed. Remember, this is the month of barakah. Everything is magnified. You are the Guests of God, everything Allah gives you more than He would give normally for those acts. So we have in Hadith 'Man qara'a fee shahri Ramadhan ayatan min kitabi Allah'. Whoever recites one verse from the Qur'an in the month of Ramadhan, 'Bi kitabi Allah Azza wa jal, kana ka man khatama al-Qur'ana fee ghayrihi min ash-shuhoor.' Is the same as if somebody finished the whole Qur'an, finished the whole Qur'an in another month.
Sometimes you say really 'So one Ayah is equal to one Qur'an. Can that be true?' Well, if you are asking someone normal for this thawab that's one thing, for a reward, that's one thing. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, does it make a difference? He can give everything He wants. If He says 'For this thing that you do, I will reward you like this.' Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's treasures do not deplete by giving, right? He can give this.
So why should we not recite as much as we can in this month? In fact, in Hadith, we have that Imam Al-Ridha salawatu Allahi wa as-salamu 'alayhi, used to have a habit in the month of Ramadhan to recite 10 Juz every day. That means finishing the Qur'an in 3, 3 days. 10 Juz. It means that he was reciting more than normal. And in this month, many of the Ulema, they reduce their other work to try to say that 'This is a month in which there is something special. We should devote ourselves to this month and do the minimum that we can normally need to do about everything else, just for this month, so that we can engage in the worship of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.'
And this recitation of the Qur'an is, another way to recite the Qur'an is with some tadabbur, some thinking. Abu Hamza Ghazali, he was asked do you recite, 'How often do you recite the Qur'an?' And he says 'There is one recitation that I finish every week of the Qur'an.' And he said 'There is one recitation of the Qur'an that I finish every month. And there is one recitation of the Qur'an that I finish every year. And there is one recitation of the Qur'an that I haven't finished.'
So what is he trying to say? He said that 'I finished the Qur'an in one week. There is another way I recite, which I finish in one month. There is a third way I recite, which takes me one year and there's a fourth way I recite, which I haven't finished'. It means levels of tadabbur. Sometimes it is good to recite. Sometimes it is better to stop and think that what is Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala trying to tell me here?
You know, when you, when you look at Imam al-Ridha salawatu Allahi wa as-salamu 'alayhi , people said that when we saw Imam Al-Ridha reciting the Qur'an, we would see that whenever Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says "Ya ayyuhal lazeena amanu" the Imam would say Labayk, Allahumma Labayk silently. It's like he is interacting with the Qur'an. Allah says 'O you who believe.' Imam says 'I am the one, I'm here. You called me, I'm waiting, I'm listening.'
Or for example, it was Imam's habit that when he recited Surah at-Tawhid, at the end of it, he would say 'Kadhalika Allahu Rabbi.' This way is exactly how my Lord is. What this Surah is describing Him, Allah is like this. So it was a kind of interaction with the Qur'an. Or, for example, the Imam, when he would hear about the punishment of hell, he would cry and he would ask Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to give him relief and security and sanctuary from these things. This is a kind of, if you like interactive recitation. It's very good because Allah is talking to you, when Allah is talking to you, imagine that there is a conversation happening. He is warning you of something. You get scared about that, He is tempting you with something, you show your raghba and your desire for it. And this is one way of reciting the Qur'an.
In the month of Ramadhan we should take time out for this, that there should be a schedule that we keep which is, allows us to recite the Qur'an in this way, whatever is possible. When we come to the Qur'an, though, what we are told is recite it without your previous ideas. Don't go to the Qur'an and say 'I have an idea and this verse now, how do I fit it to my idea?' If you recite the Qur'an this way, then you don't get very much out of it because you are looking for vindication, justification of your idea, which you don't want to change. What you are told is go to the Qur'an without any idea and let the Qur'an shape you. If the Qur'an says this is how it is, then that is how you should take it, not what you understood before. So this is how we are supposed to do, recite the Qur'an and then it has levels.
The first level is, of course, to recite, to read. The second level is to try to understand. There are two kinds of understanding. There is an understanding that you should first try to achieve by seeing 'What is the Qur'an saying to me? What is it trying to guide me towards?' And when you get confused, you go to the Ulema to see what A'imma alayhim us-salam and Ulema have said about this. But don't go first. They try to do tadabbur on this.
And the most important stage is once you have done step one and step two, the next thing is to apply. It's not something like knowledge that you keep in your head just for the sake of knowing something. It is to apply. And when one applies, then the actual sabab un-nuzool of the Qur'an, the reason of revelation of the Qur'an was hidaya. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala sent it to guide human beings and we can get the guidance from there. It's better to get the guidance from the Qur'an and from anywhere else because this is the guidance from Allah. Subhana wa Ta'ala. May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala give us this tawfiq.
The other thing is that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala has given many different reasons for reciting the Qur'an. One of them is that those problems we have in our hearts, those sadnesses, the grief, the sorrows. One of the ways to treat is, is with the Qur'an. Why? Because the Qur'an is not like medicine, but the Qur'an gives certain ideas, certain reassurances. It paints the bigger picture so you realise you know, that these things are for today. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in the Qur'an would say "Annahoo Huwa ad-haka wa abka" (53:43). That means what? Allah is the One who makes you laugh.
So you will see days where you laugh in pure pleasure. And He also 'wa abka' and He will make you cry. You will see days which you will cry with bitter tears. And it's not that you will cry every day and it's not that you will laugh every day. Some days are like this. This is God's way. And when you reach this, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says in the Qur'an "'A'udhu billahi min al-shaytan al-rajim. Ya aiyuha an-nasu, qad jaa'atkum maw'idhatun mir Rabbikum" (10:57). O people who believe, a word has come, an advice has come to you from your Lord. " wa shifaa'un lima fi as-sudoor" (10:57). It is a remedy and a cure for the ailments that are in your heart.
So read the Qur'an. This dhikr that you have of God is where there is Itminan of Qalb. "Ala bi Dhikri Allahi tatma'innu al-quloob" (13:28). So Qur'an is a valuable, valuable lesson and InshaAllah in the month of Ramadhan because we give more attention and we try to recite, maybe this habit will stay as well afterwards? This 'uns' this intimacy and familiarity with the Qur'an. When you realise MashaAllah, many of the things I used to think about, here are the answers. God is talking about it here. Many of the things I was confused about, look at this verse. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala allows the Qur'an to speak with us in this month of Ramadhan. InshaAllah wa Ta'ala, maybe take that advantage to recite constantly, even afterwards.
Yesterday we spoke about some of the masa'ils that are muftirat and break the fasting and we said that there were 9 in total. We spoke about eating and drinking, sexual intimacy and masturbation. We talked about attributing lies to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and to the Ma'soomeen 'alayhim us-salam and what that meant. Today we finish the rest of them from those things that break the fast.
One of the things that breaks the fast is if some sort of thick smoke, they call it ghubar, it comes into the throat and nose and comes down the throat. It could be food, like maybe you are working in a place, like flour. A lot of dust from the flour goes and you actually goes down your throat. It could be smoke. You are in a place where there is some smoke or you are behind a car that you know, smoke is coming out of it and that smoke is going down your throat and it is heavy, it will break the fast. So what you have to do is, you suddenly have to immediately avoid that. You have to be mindful of that and go away from it and not be there.
Immersing one's head in the swimming pool or in the water. Most of the Fuqaha, they have a rule that, if you for example swim and your body is immersed, but your head is not fully immersed but say half your head is immersed in there, that does not break your fast. It's only when you fully and consciously dive in and move into the water, that the fast can break. And the, and the only exception to this is that the fatwa of Sayed Sistani, and he says that he considers it makruh shadeed to dip your whole head in but does not break the fast. But all our other Maraja al-Kiram, they say that, No, it does break the fast. So depending on the Maraja, it's something that you need to think about and apply.
The other thing that is important is amongst things that break the fast is remaining in the state of Janabah or Haydh for that matter. Or somebody who needs to have a ghusl. Now you may decide that ok, I now require a ghusl before I can pray, but you decide not to do it straight away. So it is the night time and you say 'Ahh'. You know that for, it's not just about Fajr Salah, because for Fajr Salat, you may have an hour to pray. In normal days, you could wake up, do ghusl and pray Fajr, even after the time of Fajr. But this is fasting. Fasting begins immediately at dawn. So you have to be careful that before the time of Fajr, you have done the ghusl.
Now somebody who purposely does not do so, purposely does not do so, that breaks his fast. On the next day he cannot fast. However, somebody who says that 'Ok, I definitely have every, every intention to wake up before.' So namaz time, Fajr time, or fast time, say it's 03:00. You say 'I am going to get up at 2:30. I have kept an alarm and this is my intention or I have told someone to wake me up at 2:30'. If that person has made all these arrangements but does not get up for whatever reason, then they do the ghusl when they wake up and they can fast that day. It is only when you deliberately say I am going to wake up without any other arrangements. 'InshaAllah I will wake up.' No, this is not enough. You have to make those arrangements and then. So this is something that would break the fast.
The other thing that I mentioned is, in all the books of fiqh, is enema. Enema is to take from the back passage some treatment or whatever and that breaks the fast. Sometimes it is for treatment, sometimes it is for cleansing, whatever. In the fasting, it is not allowed.
And the last one is vomiting. Now about vomiting, you have that it must be something that if it happens involuntarily, not something that you meant to do, it doesn't break the fast. Or if it happens, you made yourself sick, forgetting the masa'il or forgetting that you are fasting. So it was not purposely, does not break the fast. But if you do it purposely, for whatever reason, you know you make yourself sick or you, you are feeling queasy and you become sick, then it breaks the fast right? So involuntarily, if you do it, there is no issue but voluntarily or without care of the masa'il, that breaks the fast. May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala accept our 'Amal in this month InshaAllah wa Ta'ala. Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.