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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Eid Mubarak!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Eid ul-Adha

Today is 1st Dhul-Hijjah 1432AH and the day of Arafat will be on Saturday 5th November 2011.

This means that Eid ul-Adha, will be on Sunday 6th November 2011.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Numbers of rak’ahs in Taraaweeh prayer

Numbers of rak’ahs in Taraaweeh prayer
Source: Islam Q&A by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (islam-qa.com)

It has been authentically reported that Muhammad SAAW prayed Taraweeh 3 times in Ramadan and it consisted 11 Rakah. Also the book by Shaykh Naasir-ud-Din Al-Albani (May Allah have mercy on him)، Qiyam and Taraweeh states that Taraweeh should be 11 Rakah. The sunnah is 11 Rakat. Now the question which is confusing and often becomes a discussion among brothers is whether the number of Rakat in Taraweeh should be 11 Rakat or 20 Rakat. People are very sentitive about this issue and those who pray 20 Rakat blame the other groug praying 11 as being wrong and vice vera. This leads to disunity. People always quote that in Prophets Mosque the Imam prays 20 Rakats and also in Masjid-ul-Haraam in Mecca the Imam prays 20 Rakat. Also those who during Ramadan go to Saudi Arabia for Umrah say that the Imam prays 20 Rakat.

Praise be to Allaah.

We do not think that the Muslims should be so sensitive with regard to issues that are the matter of scholarly differences or make them the cause of division and fitnah among the Muslims.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, when speaking about the matter of one who prays ten rak’ahs with the imam, then sits down and waits for Witr and does not complete the Taraaweeh prayers with the imam:

It grieves us deeply that we find in the Muslim ummah a group which differs concerning matters in which differences of opinion are acceptable, and they take these differences as a means to cause division. Differences within the ummah existed at the time of the Sahaabah, yet they remained united. The youth in particular and to all those who are committed to Islam must remain united, because they have enemies who are laying in wait.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/225

Two groups have gone to extremes with regard to this matter. The first group denounced everyone who prays more than eleven rak’ahs and said that doing so was bid’ah. The second group denounced those who do only eleven rak’ahs and said that they are going against scholarly consensus (ijmaa’).

Let us listen to what Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Here we say that we should not go to extremes or be negligent. Some people go to extremes in adhering to the number mentioned in the Sunnah, and say that it is not permissible to do more than the number mentioned in the Sunnah, and they aggressively denounce those who do more than that, saying that they are sinners.

This is undoubtedly wrong. How can they be sinners, when the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), upon being asked about night prayers, said that they are to be done two by two, and he did not specify any particular number? Of course the one who asked him about the night prayer did not know the number, because if he did not know how to do it, it is even more likely that he did not know the number. And he was not one of those who served the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so that we might say that he knew what happened inside his house. Since the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him how to do it but did not say how many times, it may be understood that the matter is broad in scope, and that a person may pray one hundred rak’ahs then pray Witr with one rak’ah.

With regard to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Pray as you have seen me praying”, this does not apply in absolute terms even for these people. Hence they do not say that a person should pray Witr with five rak’ahs sometimes and with seven rak’ahs sometimes and with nine rak’ahs sometimes. If we understand it in absolute terms, then we would have to pray Witr with five rak’ahs sometimes and with seven rak’ahs sometimes and with nine rak’ahs sometimes. But what is meant by the hadeeth is pray as you have seen me praying with regard to how to pray not how many rak’ahs, unless there is a text to state what the number is.

Whatever the case, a person should not be strict with people with regard to a matter that is broad in scope. We have even seen some brothers who are strict on this matter accusing the imams who pray more than eleven rak’ahs of following bid’ah, and they leave the mosque, thus missing out on the reward of which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stands with the imam until he finishes (the prayer), the reward of qiyaam al-layl will be recorded for him.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 806; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 646). Some of them even sit down after completing ten rak’ahs, thus breaking up the rows of worshippers by sitting there, and sometimes they start talking and disturb the people who are praying.

We have no doubt that their intentions are good and they are doing their best to come to the right conclusion, but that does not mean that they are correct.

The other group does the opposite. They sternly denounce those who pray only eleven rak’ahs and say that they have gone against scholarly consensus. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell — what an evil destination!”

[al-Nisa’ 4:115]

All the generations who came before you only knew the number as twenty-three rak’ahs, and they denounce anyone who says anything different.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/73-75

With regard to the evidence quoted by those who say that it is not permissible to do more than eight rak’ahs in Taraaweeh, they quote the hadeeth of Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, who asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), “How did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) pray during Ramadaan?” She said: “He did not pray more than eleven rak’ahs in Ramadaan or at other times. He would pray four, and do not ask how beautiful and long they were, then he would pray four, and do not ask how beautiful and long they were, then he would pray three. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, will you sleep before you pray Witr?’ He said, ‘O ‘Aa’ishah, my eyes sleep but my heart does not.’”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1909; Muslim, 738

They said: This hadeeth indicates that the Messenger of Allaah was consistent in his prayers at night in Ramadaan and at other times.

The scholars refuted this use of the hadeeth as evidence by saying that this is what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, but the fact that he did something does not imply that it is obligatory.

The evidence that there is no set number for prayers at night – which include Taraaweeh – is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar according to which a man asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about prayer at night. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Prayers at night are to be offered two by two (two rak’ahs at a time). If any of you fears that the time of dawn is approaching then let him pray one rak’ah as Witr.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 846; Muslim, 749)

If we look at what the scholars of the prominent schools of thought said, you will clearly see that this matter is broad in scope and that there is nothing wrong with doing more than eleven rak’ahs.

Al-Sarkhasi, who is one of the imams of the Hanafi school, said:

It is twenty rak’ahs, apart from Witr, in our view.

Al-Mabsoot, 2/145

Ibn Qudaamah said:

The favoured view according to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah (i.e., Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him), is that it is twenty rak’ahs. This was the view of al-Thawri, Abu Hanfeefah and al-Shaafa’i. Maalik said it is thirty-six.

Al-Mughni, 1/457

Al-Nawawi said:

Taraaweeh prayer is Sunnah according to scholarly consensus. Our view is that it is twenty rak’ahs with ten tasleems, and it is permissible to pray it individually or in congregation.

Al-Majmoo’, 4/31

These are the views of the four imams concerning the number of rak’ahs of Taraaweeh prayer. All of them said something more than eleven rak’ahs. Perhaps the reasons why they said something more than eleven rak’ahs include the following:

1- They thought that the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah did not mean that this was the specific number.

2- A greater number was narrated from many of the salaf.

See al-Mughni, 2/604; al-Majmoo’, 4/32

3- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray eleven rak’ahs and make them very lengthy, so much so that it used to take him most of the night. Indeed, one night in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led his companions in praying Taraaweeh, he did not end his prayer until just before dawn, and the Sahaabah feared that they would miss suhoor. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) loved to pray behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and they did not feel that it was too long. The scholars thought that if the imam made the prayer so long, this would be too difficult for the members of the congregation and that might put them off. So they thought that the imam should make the recitation shorter and increase the number of rak’ahs.

The point is that the one who prays eleven rak’ahs in the manner narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is doing well and is following the Sunnah. Whoever makes the recitation shorter and increases the number of rak’ahs is also doing well. A person who does either of these two things is not to be denounced. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

If a person prays Taraaweeh according to the madhhabs of Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad, with twenty rak’ahs, or according to the madhhab of Maalik, with thirty-six rak’ahs, or with thirteen or eleven rak’ahs, he has done well, as Imam Ahmad said, because there is nothing to specify the number. So the greater or lesser number of rak’ahs depends on how long or short the qiyaam (standing in the prayer) is.

Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 64

Al-Suyooti said:

What is narrated in the saheeh and hasan ahaadeeth is the command to observe night prayers during Ramadaan, which is encouraged without specifying a particular number. It is not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed twenty rak’ahs of Taraaweeh, rather that he prayed at night, with an unspecified number of rak’ahs. Then he delayed it on the fourth night lest it become obligatory for them and they might not be able to do it. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said: There is no saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed twenty rak’ahs of Taraaweeh. The narration which suggests that he “used to pray twenty rak’ahs” is extremely weak (da’eef).

Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 27/142-145

So you should not be surprised that people pray Taraaweeh as twenty rak’ahs. There have been generation after generation of those imams (who used to pray twenty rak’ahs), and all of them are good.

And Allaah knows best.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ramadan - Foods that Harm and Foods that Benefit

Ramadan - Foods that Harm and Foods that Benefit

It is recommended to break the fast with fresh dates, rutub, and in odd numbers, or tamr, regular table or supermarket dates, or water. If dates are not available, any fruit will do. If there is no food or drink to break the fast with, intend in your heart to break fast, and whenever food is available you should eat. Source: usc.edu/MSA

But what about when we are NOT in a fast. What would be a good diet plan? Below is some useful information I obtained a few years ago.

The following has been extracted from Ramadan Health &; Spirituality Guide by the Department of Health &; Communities in Action, UK, 2007. Thanks to Bodrul Ali for forwarding this information. A link to the latest booklet can be found below as well as a kik to the NHS Ramadan webpage.

Health is the key to happiness, and what we consume directly affects our health. Islam encourages Muslims to ensure that they are mindful of their health. The blessed Prophet said: “Take advantage of the good health before illnesses afflict you”. He also encouraged Muslims to try their best to take up a healthy living lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular mental and physical exercise and a balance between material and spiritual needs.

The fasts of Ramadan can improve a person’s health, but – if the correct diet is not followed – can possibly worsen it! The deciding factor is not the fast itself, but rather what is consumed in the non-fasting hours. To fully benefit from fasting, a person should spare a great deal of thought to the type and quantity of food they will indulge in through the blessed month. Overeating can not only harm the body but it is thought also to interfere with a person’s spiritual growth during the month. A diet that has less than a normal amount of food but is sufficiently balanced will keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan. The diet should be simple and not differ too much from one’s normal everyday diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups, as shown below.

Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, millets, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, basmati rice, etc.

Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes, figs, etc.

Foods to avoid are the heavily-processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar, white flour, etc., as well as, of course, too much fatty food (eg cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets, such as Indian Mithai).
It may also be worth avoiding the caffeine content in drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. (Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.)

Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. It is therefore particularly important to include slowly-digesting foods in the suhoor.

Iftar is the meal which breaks the day’s fast. This meal could include dates, following the Prophetic traditions. Dates will provide a refreshing burst of much-needed energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalizing effect. The meal should remain a meal and not become a feast! Try to minimise the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast and keep to the advice included in the table above.

Many of the foods which are mentioned and encouraged in this booklet are in the Holy Qur’an, and the Sunnah (the Prophetic traditions) also correspond to modern guidelines on a healthy diet and will help to maintain balanced, healthy meals in Ramadan. The most commonly consumed foods by Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) were milk, dates, lamb/mutton and oats.

Healthy foods mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are fruit and vegetables, such as olives, onions, cucumber, figs, dates, grapes as well as pulses such as lentils. The encouragement of fish can be seen in the fact that Islamic law spares fish from any specific slaughter requirements, making it easy to incorporate fish in a meal.

Spirituality and Food
Food has a great significance in Islam. It is associated with one’s relationship with God. Chapter 20, verse 81 of the Qur’an states: “Eat of the good and wholesome things that We have provided for your sustenance, but indulge in no excess therein.”

The physical body is a gift from God; it is given to humans as an amanah (in trust) to take care of for a fixed period. How much food is consumed and the choice of food has a direct impact on the physical and spiritual well-being of the person. The food that you consume affects your behaviour and personality. Wholesome, natural and healthy food assists the development of a good personality. Overeating has long been frowned upon in Islam as it is thought to increase worldly appetites and cause sluggishness, thereby ‘dulling’ the soul, hampering spiritual growth and increasing physical ailments.

The blessed Prophet said: “The children of Adam fill no vessel worse than their stomach. Sufficient for him is a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhî)

Islam sees health and ‘well-being’ as much more than just bodily health: well-being or tranquillity requires a strong relationship with one’s spirituality, good physical health, mental happiness, a sense of purpose and good character and relationships. Islam makes a strong connection between food and worship and teaches that all forms of worship have a deeper purpose and impact and contribute in some way to individual and social well-being.

In chapter 7, verse 31 the Qur’an is categorical: “Eat and drink freely: but waste not by excess, for He does not like the wasters.”

The booklet also contains more information on the following* The spiritual side of Fasting and what you gain from fasting ( Heightened consciousness of God, Healthy lifestyle, Compassion and charity, Community spirit, A fast without the spirit is empty of blessing)
* Information on Potential Health Complications and Possible Remedies e.g. Heartburn (Indigestion), Poor Control of Diabetes, Headache, Dehydration, Complications to any Common Chronic Diseases, Constipation, Stress, Obesity)
* There is also a Frequently Asked Questions regarding the health side of ramadan & useful contact list and much more. I would recommend you read this booklet.

# Here is a link to the latest booklet: Click here!
# Also the new NHS Ramadan webpage: Click Here!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ramadan Mubarak!

The Coordination Committee of Major Islamic Centres and Mosques of London has announced that the first day of Ramadaan will be Monday 1st August 2011. The first Taraweeh prayer will therefore be on Sunday night.

The committee includes the following Mosques and organisations...
Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque, Mayfair Islamic Centre, East London Mosque, Muslim Welfare House, Al Muntada Al Islami Education Trust, Al Manaar, the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, Masjid Al Tawhid &; Islamic Sharia Council & West London Mosque Forum

Please check your local mosque for confirmation.

We pray that Allaah 'azza wa jall grants us the ability to make best use of this blessed month, to complete our fasts and to worship Him in the best way we are able to.

Vid: The Life of Muhammad: 3. Holy Wars

In the final episode of The Life of Muhammad, presenter Rageh Omaar continues to chart the story of The Prophet Muhammad. Drawing on the expertise and comment from some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, Omaar analyses and investigates key events during the later part of his life, including the introduction of a moral code known as Sharia and the concept of Jihad. The programme also explores Muhammad's use of marriage to build alliances, and looks at the key messages included in his final sermon.
In line with Islamic tradition the programme does not depict any images of the face of Muhammad, or feature any dramatic re-constructions of Muhammad's life.

Broadcast on  BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 25 Jul 2011
Available on BBC iPlayer until 9:59PM Mon, 1 Aug 2011

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012xnfn/The_Life_of_Muhammad_Holy_Peace/

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Vid: The Life of Muhammad: 2. Holy Wars

In this second episode of The Life of Muhammad, presenter Rageh Omaar continues to chart the story of The Prophet Muhammad.

Drawing on the expertise and comment from some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, Omaar assesses and shines a light on key events in Muhammad's life including the Night Journey to Jerusalem, his life threatening departure from Mecca, through to the establishment of the Constitution of Medina and the eight year war with the Meccan tribes.
In line with Islamic tradition the programme does not depict any images of the face of Muhammad, or feature any dramatic re-constructions of Muhammad's life.

First Broadcast on BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 18 Jul 2011

BBC iPlayer Link:

Available on BBC iPlayer until: 9:59PM Mon, 1 Aug 2011

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Vid: The Life of Muhammad: 1. The Seeker


In a ground-breaking first for British television, this three-part series presented by Rageh Omaar charts the life of Muhammad, a man who - for the billion and half Muslims across the globe - is the messenger and final prophet of God.

In a journey that is both literal and historical and beginning in Muhammad's birthplace of Mecca, Omaar investigates the Arabia Muhammad was born into - a world of tribal loyalties and polytheistic religion.

Drawing on the expertise and comment of some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, the programme examines Muhammad's first marriage to Khadijah and how he received the first of the revelations that had such a profound effect both on his life, and on the lives of those closest to him.

Date of broadcast: BBC 2 (and BBC HD) 9:00 PM, Monday 11th July 2011

more info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012mkg5

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Rare giant 500-year-old copy of Koran to be published online

Taken from The Daily Mail, 20/01/2011

A rarely-seen manuscript of one of the world's most important copies of the Koran is to be published online. The hand-written holy book, estimated to be around 500 years old, is so precious and fragile scholars have been unable to put it on display.

The hand-written copy of the Koran, with each page the size of a large plasma screen TV, is to be published online because it is too fragile to be put on display

The fragile 470-page book is kept by in the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library

Photographer Jamie Robinson leafs through the pages of the holy book, which is believed to have originated from Cairo from the library of Kansuh al-Ghuri, one of the last Mameluk sultans of Egypt

The book was written by several scribes some time between the second half of the 14th century to 1500

Experts at the library are using digital technology to photograph each page and publish the book online to enable scholars and students to study it

Now experts at the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library are using digital technology to photograph each page and publish the book online to enable scholars and students to study it.

Analysis of the digital images should aid scholars to date the manuscript more accurately.

It is believed to have originated from Cairo from the library of Kansuh al-Ghuri, one of the last Mamluk Sultans of Egypt.

Known as the Rylands Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri, it has two missing pages, or leaves, which were discovered in the 1970s at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

The missing pages will also be captured in digital images and reunited with the book on the internet.
At least 950 images will be captured - which will be between 80 and 120MB each - allowing their study in intricate detail.

It will eventually be freely available for research, teaching and learning using Turning the Pages technology on a dedicated website.

Project manager Carol Burrows, collection and research support manager at the John Rylands Library, said: 'Because of its size and weight, reading room access has been severely restricted to all but a handful of scholars. It cannot be used in exhibitions, seminars or public close-ups.

'It will certainly be challenging to photograph this enormous manuscript, as it is too large and heavy for the equipment we normally use.

'However, we have constructed dedicated equipment which will achieve this aim.'

Dr Andreas Christmann, senior lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University’s school of Arts, Histories and Cultures said: 'Although one of the biggest assets of the John Rylands Library, this Koran has not been available for either research or teaching because of its delicate state.

'We know it represents one of the finest, most lavishly illuminated and calligraphically significant Qur’an manuscripts from the late Mamluk period.

'Because of its time of writing  - 14th or 15th century – it  bridges the gap in chronicling Qur’anic calligraphy between the late classical period - 9th-12th century and the early modern period - 16th-18th century.
'By digitising  the entire manuscript and adding  the missing chapters it will produce an almost complete Qur’anic manuscript of magnificent size and splendid craftsmanship.

'I’m delighted scholars, including students of my class in Qur’anic Studies, will have free access to studying this text, which will provide a great stimulus for further research into Qur’anic calligraphy.'

The Koran was purchased by the library in 1900 as part of the Crawford collection of manuscripts, a collection of artefacts acquired by various Earls of Crawford.

The project has been funded by the Islamic Manuscript Association.

Other info
# Each of the 470 pages measures 35in by 24in, the size of a large plasma screen TV. # The ornate book was written by several scribes and illuminators for Kansuh al-Ghuri, the penultimate Mameluke sultan of Egypt.
# The paper it is written on was made from bombycine, a silken fabric which after sizing is polished with smooth stones so that the ink sits on the surface rather than being absorbed (similar in properties to vellum).
# Historians disagree on when it was written, with estimates ranging from the second half of the 14th century to 1500.

# It was kept in the sultan's library in Cairo and was eventually acquired by the Earl of Crawford.

# The Koran was one of several manuscripts which formed the Crawford Collection, artefacts acquired by various Earls of Crawford, which was bought by Enriqueta Rylands in 1900 and became part of her husband's library the John Rylands Library.

# The library eventually formed part of the University of Manchester in 1972 which is where it is now.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Forthcoming dates in the Muslim calendar

Here is a list of forthcoming dates in the Muslim calendar. The estimated dates have been taken from moonsighting.com - all other information has been taken from the BBC Website.

* Important: All dates here are estimates as they depend on the sighting of the moon. Please check your local mosque for announcement of correct dates.

Monday 01 June 2015 * Lailatul-Bara'at (Night of Salvation)
The fifteenth night of the month of Sha’baan, commencing with sunset, is a highly auspicious night. Lailatul-Bara'at (also known as Shab-e-Baraat) – is the Night of Deliverance from sins.

God Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart". - Prophet Muhammad

Thursday 18 June 2015 *Ramadan (start)
Ramadan is the Muslim month of fasting.

Battle of Badr: 17th Ramadan
For more info click here!

Conquest of Makkah: 20th Ramadan
For more info click here!

Monday 13 July 2015 * Lailat al-Quadr - Night of Power (start)
Lailat al Qadr, or The Night of Power marks the night in which the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Allah (SWT).

Muslims regard this as the most important event in history, and the Qur'an says that this night is better than a thousand months (97:3), and that on this night the angels descend to earth.

This is a time that Muslims spend in study and prayer. Some will spend the whole night in prayer or in reciting the Qur'an.

Lailat al Qadr is a good time to ask for forgiveness. Allah's Apostle said... Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.Hadith, Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2:34

The date of 27 Ramadan for this day is a traditional date, as the Prophet Muhammad did not mention when the Night of Power would be, although it was suggested it was in the last 10 days of the month.

Because of this, many Muslims will treat the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan as a particularly good time for prayer and reading the Qur'an. 


Friday 17 July 2015 * Eid-Ul-Fitr
The end of Ramadan when Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah (SWT) for His help with their month-long act of self-control.

The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with his friends and relatives after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control. The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Muslims in most countries rely on news of an official sighting, rather than looking at the sky themselves.

The celebratory atmosphere is increased by everyone wearing best or new clothes, and decorating their homes. There are special services out of doors and in Mosques, processions through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal - eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month. Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.


Tuesday 22 September  2015 * Day of Arafaat (Hajj)
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims should complete at least once in their lifetime.

Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah together. It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.

The Hajj makes Muslims feel real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj all are truly equal. The Hajjis or pilgrims wear simple white clothes called Ihram. During the Hajj the Pilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world. Mecca is a place that is holy to all Muslims. It is so holy that no non-Muslim is allowed to enter. For Muslims, the Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It occurs in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the journey that every sane adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it and are physically able.

Wednesday 23 September 2015 * Eid-Ul-Adha
Festival of Sacrifice marking the day after Arafat. The Day of Arafat is the most important day in the Hajj ritual. This is a four day holiday
The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

Ibrahim's sacrifice
God appeared in a dream to Ibrahim and told him to sacrifice his son Isma'il. Ibrahim and Isma'il set off to Mina for the sacrifice. As they went, the devil attempted to persuade Ibrahim to disobey God and not to sacrifice his beloved son. But Ibrahim stayed true to God, and drove the devil away. As Ibrahim prepared to kill his son God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead.

Ibrahim's complete obedience to the will of God is celebrated by Muslims each year. Each Muslim, as they celebrate, reminds themselves of their own submission to God, and their own willingness to sacrifice anything to God's wishes. During the festival Muslims who can afford to, sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibraham's sacrifice. (British law insists that the animals must be killed in a proper slaughterhouse.) The meat is distributed among family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share. As with all festivals there are prayers, and also presents.

Wednesday 14 October 2015 *  Al-Hijira - Islamic New Year (1436 AH)
Marks the migration of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his followers from Mecca to Medina
Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year, is the first day of the month of Muharram. It marks the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina, and set up the first Islamic state. The Muslim calendar counts dates from the Hijra, which is why Muslim dates have the suffix A.H. (After Hijra). It's a low-key event in the Muslim world, celebrated less than the two major festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

New Year rituals
There is no specific religious ritual required on this day, but Muslims will think about the general meaning of Hijra, and regard this as a good time for 'New Year Resolutions'. The Qur'an uses the word Hijra to mean moving from a bad place or state of affairs to a good one — and so Muslims may think about how their faith helps them leave behind bad ways of living and achieve a better life. The date marks the beginning of Islam as a community in which spiritual and earthly life were completely integrated. It was a community inspired by God, and totally obedient to God; a group of people bound together by faith. By breaking the link with his own tribe the Prophet demonstrated that tribal and family loyalties were insignificant compared to the bonds of Islam.

Friday 23 October 2015 * Ashura
Islamic holy day observed on the 10th of the Islamic month of Muharram. Shi'ite Muslims regard it as a major festival marking the martydom of the Prophet's grandson, Hussein.

Ashura has been a day of fasting for Sunni Muslims since the days of the early Muslim community. It marks two historical events: the day Nuh (Noah) left the Ark, and the day that Musa (Moses) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah.

Shi'a Muslims in particular use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet (pbuh), in 680 CE. In Shi'ite communities this is a solemn day: plays re-enacting the martyrdom are often staged and many take part in mourning rituals. Every year in London Shi'a Muslims gather for a mourning procession and speeches at Marble Arch. The procession attracts up to 3000 men, women and children from many different ethinic backgrounds.

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Wednesday 23 December 2015 * Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad)
Shia Muslims celebrate this 5 days later. Some Muslims do not approve of celebrating the birthday, and regard doing so as a religious innovation.

Muslim parents will tell stories of the Prophet's life to their children. Those Muslims who celebrate this festival do so joyfully. It may seem strange to non-Muslims, but many Muslims do not believe in celebrating birthdays or death anniversaries because there is no historical evidence that the Prophet Muhammad ever did this.
A blessing for the whole universe
Despite this, large numbers of Muslims do commemorate the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet, which falls on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar. This date is important to Muslims because the birth of the Prophet Muhammad is regarded as a great blessing for the whole of humanity. The Prophet Muhammad is deemed to be the chief of all the Prophets sent on earth and it is to him that the Holy Qur'an was revealed.

A quiet festival
There are only restricted festivities on Eid Milad–Un-Nabi because the same day also marks the anniversary of the death of the Prophet.

Focussing on the Prophet
The event is marked by public gatherings of Muslims. At these meetings religious leaders make speeches about the life of the Prophet. Stories are told about different aspects of the life of the Prophet, his birth, childhood, youth and adult life. The most important part of Eid Milad-Un-Nabi is focusing upon the character of the Prophet; on his teachings, sufferings, and how he forgave even his most bitter enemies. Muslims think about the leadership of the Prophet, his bravery, wisdom, preaching and his final triumph over the Meccan Muslims.Festivities

As well as recounting the Prophet's life, salutations and songs in his praise are recited. In some countries, streets and mosques are decorated and illuminated at night. Some Muslims donate to charity. Families gather together, feasts are arranged and food is served to guests and the poor.

Friday 15 May 2015 * Israa'/Me'raj (Night Journey to Heavens)
The night journey and ascent of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the revelation of Salat.

This day is celebrated by telling the beautiful story of how the Prophet Muhammad was visited by two archangels while he was asleep, who purified his heart and filled him with knowledge and faith.

The Prophet travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night on a strange winged creature called Buraq. From Jerusalem he ascended into heaven, where he met the earlier prophets, and eventually God. During his time in heaven Muhammad was told of the duty of Muslims to recite Salat (ritual prayer) five times a day.