Why Muslims Love the Month of Ramadan?

Why Muslims Love the Month of Ramadan?

Islam uses a lunar calendar—that is, each month begins with the sighting of the new moon, therefore because the lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar, Islamic months "move" each year. This year (2011) the Islamic month of
Ramadan coincides almost exactly with the month of August. For Muslims the coming of Ramadan is a source of joy and celebration; however, we celebrate in a way that may seem strange to people unfamiliar with the tenets of Islam. Ramadan is not a month of parties and socialising, it is a month of worship. To fast the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam.

Muslims express gratitude and love for the One True God by obeying and worshipping Him. We worship according to His guidance revealed in the Quran and through the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is special. It is a month of fasting, reading and coming to understand Quran and special extra prayers. The mosques come alive at night when Muslims gather to break their fast together and pray. The smooth rich sound of Quran recitation is heard throughout the long nights as Muslims stand shoulder-to-shoulder praying and praising God.

Muslims all over the world love the month of Ramadan and look forward to it with
mounting excitement. In the weeks preceding Ramadan lives are scrutinised, and plans are made for a month of serious worship and supplication. The countdown begins and conversations start with how many weeks it is until the blessed month arrives. Perhaps non-Muslims wonder why we look forward to fasting days and sleepless nights. Ramadan offers the chance of redemption and great rewards. It is a month like no other. A month of spiritual reflection and prayer. Hearts are directed away from worldly activities and towards God.

In the month Ramadan, all physically mature and healthy Muslims are required to fast: to abstain from all food, drink, gum chewing, any kind of tobacco use and any kind of sexual contact between dawn and sunset. Nevertheless, this is only the physical aspect there are also the spiritual characteristics, which include refraining from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character. All obscene and impious sights and sounds are avoided as a way of purifying thoughts and actions. Fasting is also a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate and learning thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties.

God said,

"O you who believe! Observing the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious." (Quran 2:183)

The Prophet Muhammad also reminded us that fasting is not just abstaining from food and drink but there is a further dimension. He said, "He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely (during the period of fasting), God has no need that he didn't eat or drink."[1]

Ramadan is also the month when Muslims try to establish or re establish a relationship with the Quran. Although this may sound like a strange thing to say, the words of God are a guiding light and a mercy. Nobody reads Quran except that it changes his or her life in some way. The Quran was sent down in this month of Ramadan. The two, Ramadan and Quran are inextricably entwined. Being with the Quran, reading, memorising, reciting it or pondering its meanings is spiritually uplifting comforting and a source of strength. Recitation in the night is particularly beneficial, the distractions of the day have faded away and closeness of God is palpable in the stillness of the night. Special evening prayers are conducted during which portions of the Qur'an are recited. These prayers are known as Taraweeh. One thirtieth of the Qur'an is read on successive evenings, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed.

One of the last few odd-numbered nights of the month is Laylat ul-Qadr, the "Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny." It is the holiest night of the holiest month; it is believed to be the night on which God first began revealing the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. This is a time for especially fervent and devoted prayer, and the rewards and blessings associated with such are many. Muslims are told in the Qur'an that praying throughout this one night is better than a thousand months of prayer. No one knows exactly which night it is; it is one of God's mysteries.

Ramadan is also the month of good deeds and charity. Muslims try to give generously and increase their good deeds. Charity can be as simple as a smile; there is no need for lavish displays. Charity given quietly is better for the recipient and one who gives. The Prophet Muhammad was always a generous person, never owning more than just enough to cover his immediate needs. Any extra, he gave generously to those around him, however he was most generous in Ramadan.

You may be beginning to wonder if these are not qualities and virtues a Muslim truly devoted to God, should display in any month, and you would be correct. They most certainly are. However, as human beings we all fall short, commit sins and make mistakes. Sometimes the nature of life causes us to forget our real purpose. Our purpose is to worship God and God in his infinite wisdom and mercy has given us Ramadan. It is a month, which if used wisely, can recharge our spiritual and physical batteries. It is a month full of mercy and forgiveness when God makes it easy for us to overcome our shortcomings, when He rewards us in abundance. He is our Creator, who understands that we are far from perfect. When we walk towards God, he meets us running, when we hold out our hand He reaches for us and bestows his forgiveness on us. Muslims love Ramadan, it is a lifeline. They stand shoulder to shoulder and bow their heads in submission. Ramadan spreads across the world as Muslims begin and break their fast together, one body, one people, and one nation. Ramadan arrives softly and her deeds ascend gently towards God. Far from being a trial of deprivation, the month of Ramadan is a joy and a gift beyond compare. Even before the month is finished Muslims begin to
mourn the passing of this blessed month and try to extend the time by being with the Quran and worshipping God in the best way possible.

A Piece of Advice to Welcome Ramadan

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
 We invoke Almighty Allah to enable us to reap the fruits of the blessed month, accept our acts of worship, and grant us forgiveness and immunity against the punishment of Hell-fire.

The month of Ramadan is a blessed month and an opportunity for every Muslim to draw near to Allah, increase his spirituality, and gain abundant reward.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, which is of paramount significance. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan. (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Surely, the month of Ramadan is the best season for offering good deeds and gaining reward. It is the duty of every Muslim to prepare himself for that blessed month.
In his response, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:

Almighty Allah says: (The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 185)

This blessed month is a great opportunity for goodness, blessing, worship, and obedience of Allah.

It is a great month, a noble season, a month in which rewards for good deeds are multiplied and in which committing bad deeds is more serious than at other times. The gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the sinners’ repentance to Allah is accepted. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is redemption from the Fire.

So give thanks to Him for the season of goodness and blessing that He has bestowed upon you, and for the means of bounty and various kinds of great blessings for which He has singled you out. Make the most of this blessed time by filling it with acts of worship and leaving haram (unlawful) things so that you may attain a good life in this world and happiness after death.

For the sincere believer, every month is an occasion for worship, and his whole life is spent in obeying Allah. But in the month of Ramadan he has even more motives to do good, his heart is even more focused on worship, and he turns even more to his Lord. By His grace, our generous Lord bestows His bounty upon the fasting believers and multiplies the reward for them on this blessed occasion, so He gives abundantly and rewards generously for righteous deeds.

Time passes quickly

Days pass so quickly, as if they were mere moments. We welcomed last Ramadan, then we bade it farewell, and only a short period of time passed and we are welcoming Ramadan again. So we should hasten to do good deeds in this month and strive to fill it with what Allah is pleased with and with what will help us on the Day when we meet Him.

How can we prepare for Ramadan?

We can prepare for Ramadan by taking stock of ourselves and recognizing our shortcomings in living up to the Two Shahadahs (Testimonies of Faith, i.e., there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), or our shortcomings in fulfilling our duties, or in not keeping away from the desires and doubts that we may have fallen into.

We should set ourselves straight so that in Ramadan we will have a higher degree of faith. For faith increases and decreases. It increases through obedience to Allah and it decreases through disobedience and sin. The first act of obedience that a person should achieve is that of being a true slave of Allah and believing that there is none that is rightfully worshiped except Allah, so he directs all kinds of worship to Allah and does not associate anyone else in worship with Him. Each of us should realize that whatever has befallen him could not have missed him, and whatever missed him could not have befallen him, and that everything happens by the will and decree of Allah.

We should avoid everything that could undermine our commitment to the Two Shahadahs. This means keeping away from bid`ah (innovations) and things that have been introduced into the religion. We should also follow the principle of al-wala’ wal-bara’  (loyalty and friendship vs. disavowal and enmity), by taking the believers as our friends and by regarding the unbelievers and hypocrites as enemies, and we should rejoice when the Muslims gain a victory over their enemies. We should follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who came after him. We should love the Sunnah and love those who adhere to it and defend it, in whatever country they are and whatever color or nationality they are.

After that, we should take stock of ourselves and recognize our shortcomings in doing acts of worship such as praying in congregation; remembering Allah (dhikr); paying attention to the rights of neighbors, relatives, and the Muslims; spreading the greeting of salam; enjoining good and forbidding evil; urging one another to follow the truth and be patient and steadfast in doing so; being patient in avoiding evil actions and in doing good deeds; and accepting the decree of Allah with patience.

Then we should take stock of ourselves, our sins, and our following whims and desires. We should stop ourselves from persisting in that, whether the sin is great or small, whether it is a sin of the eye, by looking at that which Allah has forbidden; or by walking to things that Allah does not approve of; or by using one's hands to strike in a manner that Allah is not pleased with; or by consuming things that Allah has forbidden such as riba (interest) and bribes, or any other means of consuming people’s wealth unlawfully.

We should never forget that Allah stretches forth His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who sinned at night, and He stretches forth His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who sinned during the day. Almighty Allah says:

(And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off (evil); those who spend (of that which Allah hath given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loveth the good; and those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins — Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? — and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. The reward of such will be forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever, a bountiful reward for workers!) (Aal `Imran 3: 133-136)

(Say: My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.) (Az-Zumar 39: 53)

(Yet whoso doeth evil or wrongeth his own soul, then seeketh pardon of Allah, will find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.) (An-Nisa’ 4: 110)

By taking stock, repenting and seeking forgiveness—this is how we should welcome Ramadan. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The smart man is the one who takes stock of himself and strives to do that which will benefit him after death, and the helpless one is the one who follows his own whims and desires and engages in wishful thinking, (assuming that Allah will forgive him regardless of what he does and that he does not need to strive to good deeds).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari) 

The month of Ramadan is the month of great gains and profits. The smart trader is the one who makes the most of special occasions to increase his profits. So make the most of this month by doing lots of acts of worship, praying a great deal, reading the Qur’an, forgiving people, being kind to others, and giving charity to the poor.

In the month of Ramadan the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut. The devils are put in chains and a caller cries out each night, “O seeker of good, proceed! O seeker of evil, desist!”

So, O slaves of Allah, be among the people of good, following the path of your righteous forebears who were guided by the Sunnah of your Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), so that we may end Ramadan with our sins forgiven and our righteous deeds accepted.

We should note that the month of Ramadan is the best of months.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zad al-Ma`ad,:

“Another of example of that [the differentiation between the things that Allah has created] is the fact that the month of Ramadan is superior to all other months, and the last ten nights are superior to the other nights.”

This month is superior to others in four things:

1. In it there is the best night of the year, which is Laylat Al-Qadr. Almighty Allah says: (Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. (That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.) (Al-Qadr 97: 1-5)

So worship on this night is better than worshiping for a thousand months.

2. In this month was revealed the best of Books to the best of the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all). Almighty Allah says:
(The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).) (Al-Baqarah 2: 185)

(We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al?Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. As a Command (or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers).) (Ad-Dukhan 44: 3-5)

Ahmad and At-Tabarani narrated in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir that Wathilah ibn Al-Asqa` (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Scriptures of Ibrahim were sent down on the first of the month of Ramadan. The Tawrah was sent down on the sixth of Ramadan. The Injeel was sent down on the thirteenth of Ramadan. The Zaboor was sent down on the eighteenth of Ramadan, and the Qur’an was sent down on the twenty-fourth of Ramadan.” (Reported by Ahmad) 

3. In this month the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are chained up.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are put in chains.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) 

An-Nasa’i narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are put in chains.” (Reported by An-Nasa’i) 

At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Khuzaymah narrated: “When the first night of the month of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed. And a caller cries out: ‘O seeker of good, proceed! O seeker of evil, desist!’ And Allah has those whom He redeems from the Fire, and that happens every night.”

Some may ask, why do we see many evil actions and sins committed in Ramadan, for if the devils are chained up that would not happen?

The answer is that evil actions become less for those who observe the conditions and etiquette of fasting; or that the ones who are chained up are some of the devils – namely the rebellious ones – not all of them; or that what is meant is that evil is reduced in Ramadan, which is a proven fact. If evil happens at this time, it is still less than at other times. Even if all of the devils are chained up, that does not necessarily mean that no evil or sin will happen, because there are other causes of that besides the devils, such as evil souls, bad habits, and the devils among mankind.

4. There are many kinds of worship in Ramadan, such as fasting, praying Qiyam Al-Layl (Night Vigil Prayer), feeding the poor, performing i`tikaf (religious retreat), giving charity, and reading the Qur’an.

I ask Allah, the Exalted, the Almighty, to help us all to do that and to help us to fast and pray Qiyam Al-layl, and to do acts of worship and to avoid doing evil. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Don't Miss Ramadan's First Night

When Allah Favorably Looks at His Servants
With the approach of Ramadan every year, I always recall the following Prophetic hadith:
"My people (Ummah) are granted five gifts that no prophet before me had been given. First, when it is the first night of Ramadan, Allah looks at His servants. He will never punish those at whom He looks. Second, the smell of their mouths when night approaches is more pleasant [to Allah] than the scent of musk. Third, angels seek Allah's forgiveness for them everyday and night. Fourth, Allah commands Paradise saying, 'Be prepared and adorned for My servants; they are about to be relieved from the pains of the worldly life and move to My Home and Honor.' Fifth, when it is the last night (of Ramadan) Allah forgives the sins of all people." Thereupon, a man asked, "Is it the night of Qadr (Power)?" He (the Prophet) said, "No, don't you see that once workers finish their tasks, they take their wages?" (Ahmad and Al-Bazzar)
In addition to enjoying common merits of the nights of the blessed month, the first night of Ramadan is singled out with particular virtues. According to the above hadith, in Ramadan's first night Almighty Allah looks favorably at His servants and He, Most High, will never punish those at whom He looks.
Reflecting on the great divine gift that a Muslim, man or woman, could have in the first night of Ramadan, some questions came across my mind:
  • Why the first blessed night of Ramadan is singled out with such a unique position over the other nights?
  • At whom will Allah look in that blessed night?
  • How could I — as well as my beloved Muslim brothers and sisters — be favored with Allah's look on that night?
Of course, Ramadan's first night is blessed with these great favors of Allah for a divine wisdom that He, Almighty, knows. It may be — among other reasons — because it is the opening gate to the month of mercy, forgiveness, blessings, and freedom of Hellfire.
Many people, unfortunately, ignore and don't prepare themselves for the special merits of the first night of Ramadan. Some people busy themselves with the day-to-day affairs and live it as the other nights of the year. Some people go shopping, enjoy entertainment, etc., and miss being among those whom Allah will favorably look at in that night.
Blessed with such a great divine gift and blessing, Ramadan's first night does deserve a special program and due attention. Due prior preparations should be made and a plan should be set. It is a very precious night that occurs only once every year. So, we should not miss it.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) drew our attention to the this unique and blessed time. He said,
"When the first night of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinn are put in chains, and the gates of hell are closed, none of them remains open. The gates of heaven are opened and none of them remains closed. And a caller calls, "O seeker of goodness, come forward, and O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah has many (in this month) who will be freed from Hell.' This announcement is made every night." (At-Tirmidhi)
Special Program
If a Muslim, brother or sister, wishes to be among those at whom Allah will look, he or she should work for it. They should expose themselves to Allah's favor, mercy, forgiveness, and blessings. The following program may help us gain the divine gift of Ramadan's first night:
1. Determine to refrain from doing evils and sincerely repent your wrongdoings.
2. Intend to fast the whole month of Ramadan with unswerving faith in Allah and looking for taking the reward from Him alone.
3. Say the night dhikr (remembrance of Allah) shortly before the sunset of the last day of Sha`ban, preferably in the masjid.
4. Go to the masjid to offer the Maghrib Prayer in congregation; sisters may pray at home if they like.
5. Sit in the masjid, with the intention of i`tikaf (spiritual retreat in the masjid), and engage yourself in dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and Qur'an recitation until `Isha' Prayer.
6. Pray `Isha' and Tarawih in congregation with devoutness and sincerity.
7. Smile when you meet your fellow Muslims and wish them a happy Ramadan.
8. Before sleeping, do some virtuous good deeds such as giving in charity, reciting the Qur'an, making dhikr, visiting sick people, etc.
9. Wake up for the suhur (predawn meal) and pray qiyam (Night Vigil Prayer) before Fajr.
10. Go to the masjid to pray Fajr; sisters may pray at home.
11. Sit after Fajr in the masjid, reciting the Qur'an and making dhikr, to pray Duha after sunrise.
12. Remember to supplicate Allah for the suffering Muslims everywhere.
13. Throughout the night, earnestly ask Almighty Allah to favor and look at you with His mercy and forgiveness in this blessed night.
14. Encourage your family and friends to take the chance of the blessings of the first night of Ramadan.
May Almighty Allah look at and bless us all with His favors and blessings. May He guide us to what is best in this world and the world to come, Amen.

What Is your Objective in Ramadan?

For one’s life to be meaningful, it has to have a goal that is worked toward or striven for. If one leads all of one’s life without a goal to be achieved or an end to be reached, all of one’s life goes with the wind. This is true of all people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But for a Muslim, this issue has much more value, as the end-goal is to attain Allah’s pleasure and to be granted admission to Paradise in the Hereafter.
Based on this, true Muslims should have an objective for both their whole life and their individual deeds during every minute that they stay on earth.
No one can deny the fact that Allah designed and subjugated the creation in order for man to fulfill the objective he was originally created for, which can be seen in Allah’s saying in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an:
[And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures).] (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56-57)
In addition, Allah Almighty gives man one chance after another to come back to Him and seek the straight path. As for Muslims, Allah gave them the month of Ramadan as a great opportunity to increase their potential good deeds and decrease their sinful ones, to help them attain Paradise in the Hereafter. Ramadan is the month where the reward for good deeds is multiplied manyfold by the grace of Allah. Thus, it is a real opportunity to overcome the obstacles of life and the malicious schemes of Satan.
Set a goal for yourself in Ramadan which you will do your best to achieve. Let that goal be to save yourself from Hellfire and to enjoy Allah’s pleasure and salvation during that noble month.
In order for you to achieve that lofty goal, you will have to stop with yourself at some important stations. These stations go as follows:
With Fasting
Let your objective this Ramadan be that you abstain from all that is prohibited for you by Allah. So do not cheat or lie or backbite or usurp others’ properties or gaze at what Allah has prohibited (the opposite sex). It is well-known that fasting is of three degrees:
  1. Abstaining from food, drink, and intimate intercourse.
  2. Keeping your ears, eyes, tongue, hands, and feet, and all other bodily organs free from sins.
  3. Avoiding occupying your heart with unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, and upholding nothing in your heart but Allah the Almighty.
So, what holds you back from drawing nearer to Allah and being one of those very few people who observe fasting of that third and special degree?
With Standing in the Night in Prayer
Have an objective this Ramadan to perform a minimum of eight rak`ahs in Prayer after `Isha and before Fajr in addition to Shaf` and Witr. Do not let anything prevent you from performing these precious rak`ahs every night in Ramadan. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said the following:
It is highly recommended for you to observe Qiyam al-Layl (Night Prayer), for it was the practice of your righteous predecessors. Qiyam al-Layl brings you closer to your Lord, atones for your sins, drives disease from your body, and stops transgression. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
With the Qur’an
Be keen on finishing reading the whole Qur’an at least once during the month of Ramadan. Recite at least one of its 30 parts every day. What if you are not that good at reading the Qur’an? You should not despair or be disappointed, for there is still a chance for you to gain reward from Allah. This can be achieved by listening directly to one who has better recitation, listening to a recording, or listening to a radio station. Spending your time listening to Qur’anic recitation is also good and rewarding.
With Ties of Kinship
During Ramadan, you should be keener on being connected with your family and relatives, especially those whom the vicissitudes of life prevent continual communication with. Spend some money on getting reconnected with them. You may assign, let us say, $10 for this purpose. Imagine, this tiny sum of money could bring you together with all your relatives! It will also bring you nearer to Allah the Almighty.
Also, in so doing, try to remember the hadith in which Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a person said this:
“Allah’s Messenger, I have relatives with whom I try to have a close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they treat me ill. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me.” Upon this he (the Prophet) said, “If it is so as you say, then you in fact throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you on behalf of Allah (an angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them so long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness).”(Muslim)
With Charity
Let there be a charity that you give to in Allah’s cause every day in Ramadan. The reward for charity and all other good deeds is multiplied manyfold in Ramadan. This is one of the blessings of this auspicious month. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Give out charity, for it guarantees your salvation from Hellfire” (At-Tabarani). However, what if you do not know one or it is not that easy for you to access a charity every day? You could try to gather and combine your charity every 10 days, for example, and then give it out at once.
With Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)
Keep your tongue wet with the continuous remembrance of Allah. Remembrance of Allah is one of the best kinds of worship that is due for Allah, as well as one of the easiest kinds of worship for those for whom Allah makes it easy. The story of Hudair, one of the Prophet’s Companions who was persistent in remembering Allah during one of the great battles of early Islam, is a good example of the reward Allah Almighty has set for those who remember Him very frequently. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forgot to give Hudair his provision for the journey, but the remembrance of Allah removed his need for food for several days, till the Angel Jibreel descended to inform the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about his case. The Prophet sent another companion after Hudair carrying the necessary provision for him.
With Supplication
A true Muslim should be keen on using “the believer’s weapon,” du`aa’ (supplication to Allah), in every situation. This is true of every situation that occurs for a Muslim in daily life. During fasting, stick to making du`aa’, because in this state you are nearer to Allah and your supplications are more likely to be accepted. Thus, you should make du`aa’ to Allah all the time and not forget that Allah responds to the invocations of the supplicant when he or she calls on Him sincerely from the heart. Allah says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an:
[And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad—peace be upon him) concerning Me then (answer them) I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.] (Al-Baqarah 2:186)
Finally, let your other objective in Ramadan be to set your head free from things that can take you to Hellfire, by doing all the aforementioned things; they are so easy for those for whom Allah makes them easy.

How to Boost Ramadan Spirit

Ramadan, the month of the Qur’an, represents an invaluable opportunity for all believers to recharge the batteries of faith and draw close to their Lord. A wise Muslim should be keen to make best use of these blessed moments. If Muslims are unable to undistractedly focus on the hereafter all the time, let them at least do so during this short, yet boundlessly blessed, period of time. Below are some tips on how to boost your spirit during this longed-for month: 
1- Du`a’
Ask Almighty Allah to make this the most inspiring, spiritually uplifting Ramadan you have ever had. Allah is the Only Who can make this happen and complete reliance on Him completely is the major step in boosting our spirits. 
2- Clear Your Mind 
Turn off the TV, the computer, the radio, your cell phone, pager, iPod, etc. You need not do so all day long, but for at least 10 minutes a day. Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes, remember your Lord and think deeply about your relationship with Him. At first, your mind will swirl with the useless and not-so-useful thoughts in your head. Force them away and focus your thought during these few minutes on three things: Almighty Allah, your purpose in life, and whether you are making due efforts to achieve that purpose. Do this every day of Ramadan, if you can. Should this be not possible, do it at least three times a week. 
3- Learn About Great Muslim Figures
Even if you have read it or listened to it before, again read or listen to `Abdul-Wahid Hamid's Companions of the Prophet during this Ramadan. Read about or listen daily to a Companion's story. Well-written and short, these stories inform us in a wonderful way about these noble personalities and about how they maintained the strength of their faith against incredible odds. What a sure-fire spirituality booster! 
4- Connect to the Qur’an 
The noble Qur’an is the means whereby Almighty Allah talks to us. Indeed, it is the most important key to spiritual upliftment. During this Ramadan, connect to the Qur’an in a new way. If you already recite the Qur’an regularly, you can choose a new theme to focus on or select a particular Surah you have not read for a while. If, however, you are not a frequent reader of the Qur’an, you can start by reciting it for only two minutes a day; recite from the first page you encounter when you open themushaf (copy of the Qur’an). It is also recommended that you keep a Qur’anic journal in which you can record your reflections, questions, thoughts, etc., about what you recite. 
5- Take Care of Others 
Whether it is a person who is away from his family, a person who is having problems with his or her spouse or kids, or fellow students struggling with their grades, make an extra effort this Ramadan to help others out. The spiritual boost you get in return is well worth it. 
6- Feed the Hungry 
While your stomach shrieks in protest, give that panhandler some change, volunteer at a soup kitchen, get involved with your local food pantry or make a couple of bag lunches to give to the hungry you meet on your way to school or work. 
7- Give Up One Lifelong Bad Habit
Ask yourself what your fundamental defining traits are. Then decide which is the worst of them. Is it a hot temper? Apathy? Laziness? Impatience? Whatever it may be, utilize this Ramadan to get rid of it. Practice the opposite of this bad habit of yours every day until the end of the month. By then, in sha’ Allah, you will look back and be amazed at the change you have made for the better. 
8- Use Those Nights of Power 
The last ten nights or Ramadan are not called the Nights of Power for nothing. Use these precious times for deep, heartfelt du`aa’, self-analysis, reflection and serious thought.

Month of Fasting or Month of Feasting?

The holy month of Ramadan is a time of restraint, reflection, and renewal. Muslims make every effort to better themselves and to be drawn closer to their Creator. They guard their tongues, engage in long hours of worship, exercise patience, and open up their hearts and pockets to charitable causes. However, when it comes to consuming food during the evening hours, some believers fall short of following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him (pbuh).

In order to compare the eating habits of Muslims today, during the month of Ramadan, with that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) an informal survey was conducted. Over 270 participants from around the world were asked about their consumption habits during this sacred month. Sixty percent of participants were from the US, 20% from the Middle East, 10% from South Asia (Indian Subcontinent) and 10% were from other countries.
Breaking the Fast
Regarding the iftar meal, it is encouraged to break your fast as soon as it is permissible to do so. The Prophet (pbuh) would hasten to break his fast. Sahl ibn Sa`d reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast." (Bukhari and Muslim).
It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) would also break his fasts with dates as do 86.5% of the survey participants; this is a Sunnah that is well followed by Muslims today. Anas Ibn Maalik said: "The Prophet (pbuh) used to break his fast with fresh dates before he prayed. If he did not find fresh dates then with dried dates. If there were no dried dates then with a few sips of water." (Abu Dawood)
Imam Ibn Qayyim Al Jauziyah states in his book "Healing With the Medicine of the Prophet" that breaking the fast with dates "is a wise decision, because fasting empties the stomach of food. Thus the liver would not find any sufficient energy that it could transfer to the various organs. Sweets are the fastest foods to reach the liver, when one eats ripe dates the liver accepts it, benefits from it and then transfers the benefit to the rest of the organs of the body."
After this process the body is ready to accept and digest additional food. Thus ideally, one should break their fast with a date and after praying the Maghrib prayer, they should continue with their meal. This gives the body ample time to prepare itself for the sudden increase in food intake. Fifty eight percent of respondents to the survey stated that they eat their meal after the Maghrib prayer.
It is during the Iftar meal that we consume the most and often overindulge ourselves. Forty percent of participants admitted that they eat at least twice as much for Iftar than they eat for a regular dinner in any other month. Fifty percent of respondents to the survey admitted that they over eat during Ramadan and 62% felt that they eat heavier and richer foods during this blessed month. Thus, it is a cause for concern that especially in this holy month of Ramadan, when the nafs (self) should be kept in check, some choose to overindulge and eat in extravagance.

Fasting during the daylight hours has several health benefits; it cleanses the system and removes harmful toxins from the body. When the body is fasting and not occupied with the process of digestion, its organs are given an opportunity to rejuvenate and restore themselves, in turn allowing the one who fasts to recover from various ailments.
However, if a person overeats in the evening and indulges in heavy, fatty foods, this offsets the physical benefits of fasting. It is generally presumed that since one is restraining from food and drink during the daylights hours, the body needs increased input during the non-fasting hours. This is not the case, however, as the body regulates itself when it is in fasting mode and has the opportunity to utilize its storage of body fat.
To remain healthy and active during Ramadan, the amount of food intake is not as important as the variety of foods we eat. The Prophet (pbuh) was known to eat an assortment of foods including meat, fruit, bread, and dates, according to Imam Ibn Qayyiim.
Thus to maximize the physical benefits of fasting it is desirable to eat less but have a balanced diet which taps into the major food groups. As for the types of foods eaten during Ramadan, 67% of respondents said they eat 3 or more different types of dishes, with the over 30 year olds eating more of a variety of foods than the 18 - 30 year olds.
Fifty seven percent of the participants stated that they eat fried food for iftar and 34% of them said that the majority of their meal consists of this type of food. Thirty four percent of respondents include desserts in their iftar meal.
Suhoor, the Blessed Meal
The Prophet (pbuh) strongly recommended eating Suhoor. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree reported that the Messenger (pbuh) said: "Eating the Suhoor is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water, because Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who partake in the pre-dawn meal." (Ahmad)
It is encouraged by the Sunnah to delay the Suhoor as much as possible and eat until the last permissible minute. Seventy percent of the respondents claim that they delay their suhoor till the last moment. According to 'Amr ibn Maimun: "The companions of Muhammad (pbuh) would be the first to break the fast and the last to eat their Suhoor." (Al-Baihaqi, Abdur-Razzaq and Al-Haithami; Sahih)
For Suhoor it is recommended to have high fiber, slow digesting foods that satisfy hunger for longer; oats and fiber rich fruit are good options to have. The Prophet used to eat dates for Suhoor and it is recorded that he said "The best Suhoor for the believer is dates." (Abu Dawood, Al-Baihaqee and Ibn Hibbaan)
Dates are a power house of nutrients and an instant source of energy; they are high in sugar, fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium. Consuming dates allows one to feel satiated for an extended period of time, making it a perfect food to start your fast with.
Forty nine percent of the respondents said they have tea or coffee for Suhoor, this is not a wise option as caffeine is a diuretic which does not provide us with sufficient hydration and causes us to lose liquids along with essential minerals from our body.
Sixty one percent of respondents who are over 30 drink tea or coffee in the morning and 42% of respondents younger than 30 drink tea or coffee. Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to rid ourselves of addictions to caffeinated drinks. One should drink plenty of water and pure fruit juices instead.
Moderation is Key
Allah says in the Qur'an "Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein." (Taha 20:81)
The body mankind has been blessed with is an Amanah ( trust) from Allah. It is an obligation to take care of it and fuel it with that which is good. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, "The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased."
Islam emphasizes moderation in every aspect of life and it is essential that this concept be applied to food intake as well. Imam Ash-Shafi’ said: "I have not filled myself in sixteen years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship."
Temperance in eating leads to a healthy body, a sound intellect, and a gentle disposition. It curbs our desires and positively affects the physical as well as the spiritual being of the heart. This point is further explained by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim when he said: "From the Mercy of the Mighty and Most Merciful is that He has prescribed for them fasting, which will cut off the excesses of eating and drinking, and empties the heart of its desires that divert it in its journey towards Allah the Most High."
The Prophet (pbuh) warned against submitting to our desires when he said, "My greatest fear for you is the appetites of transgression with regard to your stomachs and your privates and the inclinations which lead astray."(Ahmad) Thus we should eat only that which is beneficial and only enough to sustain us and give us the strength to carry out acts of worship and obedience.
A well known hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing." This concept is emphasized in the Quran where Allah says, "Eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters." (Al Araf: 31)
Ramadan is an opportunity to reevaluate one's relationship with food. It allows one to realize that they can get by without eating for several hours and that their bodies are capable of functioning on a moderate amount of consumption.
Ramadan is fast approaching so instead of spending the coming weeks stocking the pantry and freezer with delights to feast on when the sun sets, let us focus our attention on perfecting our ibadah(worship) so that we may savor the bountiful treats of Jannah (Heaven) without having to worry about clogged arteries or accumulating extra pounds!

The Essence of Ramadan

The Essence of Ramadan

Author Dr. Jamal Badawi

Like other Islamic injunctions, the benefits of Ramadan are not limited to either "spiritual" or "temporal" elements of life. In Islam, the spiritual, social, economic, political and psychological intermingle in a consistent and cohesive whole. For convenience of presentation, the significance of fasting is discussed under four subheadings; spiritual and moral, psychological, social, and physical and medical.
Spiritual and Moral Elements
1- Above all, fasting is an act of obedience and submission to Allah the Almighty. Submission and commitment is based upon love for Almighty Allah and earnest effort to gain His pleasure and avoid His displeasure. If this is the only reason for fasting, it surely suffices.
2- Fasting is an act acknowledging Allah the Almighty as the Only Master and Sustainer of the universe. It is only through His bounties that we have our existence and sustenance.
3- Fasting is an act of atonement for our errors and mistakes, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"Whoever fasts (the month of) Ramadan on the basis of faith and seeking (the pleasure of Allah), his past errors are forgiven." (Ahmad)
4- Fasting trains the believer in taqwa (piety and fear of Allah). If one volunteers to refrain from lawful food and sex, he or she will be in a better position to avoid unlawful things and acts.
5- Fasting trains the believer in sincerity. Unlike other acts of worship, it is entirely based on self-restraint. Others can never know for sure if the person is fasting or if he broke the fast in secret. Self-restraint requires a high degree of sincerity and faithfulness.
6- Fasting teaches other virtues. Fasting does not exclusively mean refraining from food and drink. Essentially it means refraining from all vice and evils. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "If one does not abandon falsehood in words and deeds, Allah has no need for his abandoning his food and drink." (Al-Bukhari)
7- The spirit of Ramadan with its nightly voluntary prayer (called Salat Al-Qiyam or Tarawih Prayer) and frequent recitations and study of the Glorious Qur'an provides a chance for spiritual revival (a kind of annual spiritual overhaul).
8- Fasting is a form of jihad (striving for Allah). It teaches self-discipline and enhances one's ability to master his needs and desires rather than be enslaved by them.
Psychological Elements:
1- It enhances the feelings of inner peace, contentment and optimism. These feelings result from the realization of Allah's pleasure.
2- It teaches patience and perseverance and enhances the feeling of moral accomplishment.
3- Voluntary abstinence of lawful appetites leads one to appreciate the bounties of Almighty Allah which are usually taken for granted.
4- For a whole month every year, Muslims go through a different and exciting experience that breaks the normal routine of life. Not only can this be refreshing, it also teaches the person to adapt to varying conditions and circumstances in his life.
Social Elements:
1- Fasting promotes the spirit of unity and belonging within the Muslim Ummah. Millions of Muslims all over the world fast during the same month; following the same rules and observances.
2- Fasting promotes the spirit of human equality before Allah the Almighty. Muslims, males and females, rich and poor from all ethnic backgrounds go through the same experience of deprivation with no special privileges for any group or class.
3- Fasting promotes the spirit of charity and sympathy toward the poor and needy. A rich person may be able to "imagine" the suffering of the poor or "think" about hunger. Yet, one can not fully appreciate suffering or hunger until he actually "experiences" or "feels" them. This may explain, in part, why Ramadan is also known as the month of charity and generosity.
4- Fasting promotes Islamic sociability. Muslims are urged to invite others to break the fast with them at sunset and to gather for Qur'anic study, prayer and visits. This provides a better chance for socialization in a brotherly and spiritual atmosphere. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) indicated on more than one occasion that inviting a fasting person to break his fast (after sunset) is an act which is highly rewarded by Allah the Almighty.
Physical and Medical Elements:
A great deal has been written about the medical and health benefits of fasting; both by Muslim and non-Muslim scientists. These benefits include the elimination of harmful fatty substances from the blood stream, helping the cure of certain types of intestinal and stomach ailments and the renewal of body tissues. Needless to say that some ailments may be aggravated by fasting in which case the person is exempted from fasting. For those who may be engaged in Islamicially (and medically) undesirable habits such as over-eating or smoking, the self-control and discipline exercised in Ramadan provide an excellent way to "kick" these bad habits. In a sense, fasting is an annual physical overhaul of the body.
It should be reiterated, however, that the main motive behind fasting is to obey Allah the Almighty and to seek His pleasure.

Prophet Noah

He was Noah Ibn Lamik, Ibn Mitoshilkh, Ibn Enoch, Ibn yard, Ibn Mahlabeel, Ibn Qinan, Ibn Anoush, Ibn Seth, Ibn Adam the Father of Mankind (PBUH).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“The period between Adam and Noah was ten centuries.”(Sahih Bukhari)
For many generations Noah’s countrymen had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They believed that these gods held the blessings of the great men they were named after. They thought they could bring them good, protect them from evil and provide all their needs. They gave their idols names such as Waddan, Suwa’an, Yaghutha, Ya’auga, and Nasran, (These idols represented, respectively, manly power; mutability, beauty; brute strength, swiftness, sharp sight, insight) according to the power they thought these gods possessed.
God Almighty revealed:
“They (idolaters) have said: “You shall not leave your gods nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq nor Nasr (names of the idols).” (Qur’an,71:23).
Originally these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths, statues of them were erected to keep their memories alive. After sometime, however, people began to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected; they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshipping developed. Since they had no understanding of God the Almighty Who punishes his servants for their evil deeds, they became cruel and immoral.
Ibn Abbas explained: “Following upon the death of those righteous men, Satan inspired their people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they worshipped them as their idols.”
In his version, Ibn Jarir narrated: “There were righteous people who lived in the period between Adam and Noah and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends who used to emulate them said: ‘If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.’ So they built statues of them and after they had died and others came after them, Iblis crept into their minds saying: ‘Your forefathers used to worship them, and they thought that through that worship they got rain.’ So they worshipped them.”
Ibn Abi Hatim related this story: “Wadd was a righteous man who was loved by his people. When he died, they withdrew to his grave in the land of Babylonia and were overwhelmed by sadness. When Iblis saw their sorrow caused by his death, he disguised himself in the form of a man saying: ‘I have seen your sorrow because of this man’s death; can I make a statue like him which could be put in your meeting place to make you remember him?’ They said: ‘Yes.’
So he made the statue like him. They put it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him. When Iblis saw their interest in remembering him, he said: ‘Can I build a statue of him in the home of each one of you so that he would be in everyone’s house and you could remember him?’
They agreed. Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about their remembrance of him instead of God. So the first to be worshipped instead of God was Wadd, the idol which they named thus.”
The essence of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshipped by a certain group of people. It was mentioned that people made picture sand as the ages passed they made these pictures into statues, so that their forms could be fully recognized; afterwards they were worshipped instead of God.
“It was narrated that Umm Salmah and Umm Habibah told Allah’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about the church called “Maria” which they had seen in the land of Abyssinia. They described its beauty and the pictures therein. He said: “Those are the people who build places of worship on the grave of every dead man who was righteous and then make therein those pictures. Those are the worst of creation unto God.” (Sahih al Bukhari).
Worshipping anything other than God is a tragedy that results not only in the loss of freedom; its serious effect reaches man’s mind and destroys it as well. Almighty God created man and his mind with its purpose set on achieving knowledge the most important of which is that God alone is the Creator and all the rest are worshippers.Therefore, disbelief in God or polytheism, results in the loss of freedom, the destruction of the mind, and the absence of a noble target in life. (By worshipping anything other than God, man becomes enslaved to Satan, who is himself a creature and becomes harnessed to his own baser qualities).
Into this environment God sent Noah with His message to his people. Noah was the only intellectual not caught in the whirlpool of man’s destruction which was caused by polytheism.
God is His Mercy sent His messenger Noah to guide his people. Noah was an excellent speaker and a very patient man. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe. He pointed out how the night is regularly followed by the day and that the balance between these opposites were designed by God Almighty for our good. The night gives coolness and rest while the day gives warmth and awakens activity. The sun encourages growth, keeping all plants and animals alive, while the moon and stars assist in the reckoning of time, direction and seasons. He pointed out that the ownership of the heavens and the earth belongs only to the Divine Creator.
Therefore, he explained to this people, there cannot have been more than one deity. He clarified to them how the devil had deceived them for so long and that the time had come for this deceit to stop. Noah spoke to them of God’s glorification of man, how H had created him and provided him with sustenance and the blessing of a mind. He told them that idol worshipping was a suffocating injustice to the mind. He warned them not to worship anyone but God and described the terrible punishment God would execute if they continued in their evil ways.
The people listened to him in silence. His words were a shock to their stagnating minds. Just as it is a shock to a person who is asleep under a wall which is about to fall and who is vigorously awakened. This person may be alarmed and may even become angry although the aim was to save him.
Noah’s people were divided into two groups after his warning. His words touched the hearts of the weak, the poor, and the miserable and soothed their wounds with its mercy. As for the rich, the strong, the mighty and the rulers they looked upon the warning with cold distrust. They believed they would be better off if things stayed as they were. Therefore they started their war of words against Noah.
First they accused Noah of being only human like themselves. ‘The chiefs of the disbeliveers among his people said:
“We see you but a man like ourselves.” (Qur’an,11:27) 
He, however, had never said anything other than that. He asserted that, indeed, he was only a human being; God had sent a human messenger because the earth is inhabited by humans. If it had been inhabited by angels God would have sent an angelic messenger.
The contest between the polytheists and Noah continued. The rulers had thought at first that Noah’s call would soon fade on its own. When they found that his call attracted the poor, the helpless and common laborers, they started to verbally attack and taunt him: ‘You are only followed by the poor, the meek and the worthless.’
The Qur’an tells us:
Indeed We sent Noah to his people (he said): ‘I have come to you as a plain Warner that you worship none but God, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.’ the chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: ‘We see you but as a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the weakest among us and they too followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us in fact we think you are liars.’” (Qur’an 11:25-27).
Thus the conflict between Noah and the heads of his people intensified. The disbelievers tried to bargain: “Listen Noah, if you want us to believe in you, then dismiss your believers. They are meek and poor, while are elite and rich; no faith can include us both.” Noah listened to the heathens of his community and realized they were being obstinate. However, he was gentle in his response. He explained to his people that he could not dismiss the believers as they were not his guests but God’s.
Noah appealed to them:
O my people! I ask of you no wealth, my reward is from none but God. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant. O my people! Who will help me against God, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought? And I do not say that I have the Treasures of God nor that I know the unseen, nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those who you look down upon that God will not bestow any good on them. God knows what is in their inner selves (regards to Belief). In that case, I should, indeed be of the unjust.” (Qur’an 11:29-31)
Noah refuted the arguments of the disbelievers with the noble knowledge of the Prophets. It is the logic of intellect that rids itself of personal pride and interests.
The rulers were tired of Noah’s arguments. God the Exalted related their attitude: They said:
“O Noah! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.” He said: “Only God will bring it (the punishment)on you, if He will, and then you will escape not. And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you counsel, if God ‘s Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! And to Him you shall return.” (Qur’an 11:32-34) 
The battle continued; the arguments between the disbelievers and Noah became prolonged. When all the refutations of the disbelievers collapsed and they had no more to say, they began to be rude and insulted God ‘s prophet: ‘The leaders of his people said:
“Verily, we see you in plain error.” (Qur’an 7:60) 
Noah responded in the manner of the Prophets:
“O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists! I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from God what you don’t.” (Qur’an 7:61-62)
Noah continued appealing to his people to believe in God hour after hour, day after day year after year. He admonished his people and called them to God day and night, in secret and openly. He gave them examples, explained God’s signs and illustrated God’s ability in the formation of His creatures. But whenever he called them to God, they ran away from him. Whenever he urged them to ask God to forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears and became too proud to listen to the truth.
God Almighty related what Noah faced:
“Verily, We sent Noah to his people saying: ‘Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.” He said: “O my people! Verily, I am a clear Warner to you. Worship God alone, be conscious of Him and obey me, He (God) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of God when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you only knew.” 
He said: “O my Lord! Verily, I have called my people night and day to the way of God, but all my calling added nothing but their flight from the truth. Indeed, every time I invited them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves with thier clothes (refusing to listen), and persisted (in their refusal), and they were defiantly arrogant. Then, I called to them openly (aloud) in public, and I have appealed to them in private, I said to them: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, Surely, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.”
What is the matter with you, that you don’t fear God (His Punishment) and attribute to His Oneness granduer, while He has created you. Don’t you see how God has created the seven heavens one above another, and has made the moon a reflecting light therein and made the sun a lamp? And God has brought you forth from the dust of earth. Afterwards He will return you to it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of Resurrection) God has made for you the earth a wide expanse that you may go about therein through broad roads.
Noah said: “My Lord! Indeed, they have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but only loss. They have plotted a mighty plot. They said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor ya’uq nor Nasr (names of the idols). Indeed they have led many astray. O God! Grant no increase to the unjust except in error.”
Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire and they found none to help them.” (Qur’an, 71:1-25)
Noah continued to call his people to believe in God for nine hundred fifty years. God Almighty said:
Indeed We sent Noah to his people and he stayed among them nine-hundred fifty years (inviting them to believe in the Oneness of God (Monotheism) and discard the false gods and other deities). (Qur’an 29:14 )
It happened that every passing generation admonished the succeeding one not to believe Noah and to wage war against him. Parents used to teach their children about the dispute that was between themselves and Noah and counsel them to reject his call when he reached adulthood.
Noah saw that the number of believers was not increasing, while that of the disbelievers was. He was sad for his people, but he never reached the point of despair.
There came a day when God revealed to Noah that no others would believe. Allah inspired him not to grieve for them at which point Noah prayed that the disbelievers be destroyed. He said:
“My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth. If you leave them, they will mislead Your slaves and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” (Qur’an 71:27)
Noah had a right to call upon God in this manner. He has seen many generations and they are all disbelievers. Knowing this to be true, God accepted Noah’s prayer. The case was closed, and He passed His judgment on the disbelievers in the form of a flood. God the Exalted ordered His Messenger Noah to build an ark with His knowledge and instructions and with the help of angels. Almighty God commanded:
“And construct the ship under Our supervision and with Our Inspiration and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.” (Qur’an 11:37)
Noah chose a place outside the city, far from the sea. He collected wood and tools and began to work day and night to build the ark. The people’s mockery continued: “O Noah! Does carpentry appeal to you more than Prophethood? Why are you building an ark so far from the sea? Are you going to drag it to the water or is the wind going to carry it for you?” Noah replied: “You will come to know who will be put to shame and suffer.”
God says:
“As he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him. He said: “If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking. And you will see who will receive a great tribulation that will humiliate all those in its path and then you will see who will receive the lasting torment.” (Qur’an 11:38-39)
The ship was constructed, and Noah sat waiting on God’s command. God revealed to him that when water miraculously gushed forth from the oven in Noah’s house, that would be the sign of the start of the flood, and the sign for Noah to act.
The terrible day arrived when the oven at Noah’s house overflowed. Noah hurried to open the ark and summon the believers. He also took with him a pair, male and female, of every type of animal, bird and insect. Seeing him taking these creatures to the ark, the people laughed loudly: “Noah must have gone out of his head! What is he going to do with the animals?”
Almighty God said:
So it was till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said: “Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), your believing family and those who believe. And none believed him except a few.” (Qur’an 11:40)
Noah’s wife was not a believer with him so she did not join him; neither did one of Noah’s sons, who was secretly a disbeliever but had pretended faith in front of Noah. Likewise most of the people were disbelievers and did not go on board.
The scholars hold different opinions on the number of those who were with Noah on the ship. Ibn Abbas stated that there were 80 believers while Ka ab al Ahbar held that there were 72 believers. Others claimed that there were 10 believers with Noah. The issue does not have an authentic reference.
Water rose from the cracks in the earth; there was not a crack from which water did not rise. Rain poured from the sky in quantities never seen before on earth. Water continued pouring from the sky rising from the cracks; hour after hour the level rose. The seas and waves invaded the land. The interior of the earth moved in a strange way, and the ocean floors lifted suddenly, flooding the dry land. The earth, for the first time was submerged.
God teaches us about this event:
He (Noah) said: “Ride (all of you) therein, It will float in the Name of God. Surely, my Lord is Oft Forgiving, most Merciful.” so it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), “O my son! Join us and be not with the disbelievers.” The son replied, “I will take refuge on top of a mountain, it will save me from the water.” Noah said: “This day there is no savior from the Decree of God except him on whom He has mercy.” And a wave came in between them so he (the son) was among the drowned. 
It was said: “O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).” The water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of God) was fulfilled (the destruction of the people of Noah). And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: “Away with these Pagans arrogant oppressors!”
Noah called upon his Lord and said, “O my Lord! Truly, my son is of my family! Certainly, Your Promise is true, and You are the Most Just of the judges.” God said: “O Noah! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant.”
Noah said: “O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.”
It was said:
“O Noah! Come down (from the ship) with our peace and blessings upon you and on the people who are with you (and on some of their offspring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.”(Qur’an,11:41-48)
With the issue of the divine command, calm returned to earth, the water retreated, and the dry land shone once again in the rays of the sun. The flood had cleansed the earth of the disbelievers and polytheists.
Noah released the birds, and the beats which scattered over the earth. After that the believers disembarked. Noah put his forehead to the ground in prostration. The survivors kindled a fire and sat around it. Lighting a fire had been prohibited on board so as not to ignite the ship’s wood and burn it up. None of them had eaten hot food during the entire period of the floor. Following the disembarkation there was a day of fasting in thanks to God.
The Quran draws the curtain on Noah’s story. We do not know how his affairs with his people continued..
Abdullah Ibn Amru Ibn Al as narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“When the death of Noah- the Messenger of God- approached, the admonished his sons: ‘Indeed I would give you far reaching advice, commanding you to do two things, and warning you against doing two things as well. I charge you to believe that there is no god but God and that if the seven heavens and the seven earths were put on one side of a scale and the words “there is no god but the one God” were put on the other, the latter would outweigh the former. I warn you against associating partners with God and against pride.” (Sahih al Bukhari)