ISLAM and FASTING and SUNNAHS OF EATING MORE HALAL.

Eat with three fingers

 

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Ka’b bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) licking his three fingers after eating.” [Sahih Muslim, #5296]

Thus, the best way of eating is that shown by the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) which was eating with his three fingers.

Here is also the affirmation of licking one’s fingers after finishing a meal, and not during it. Another hadith encouraging licking one’s fingers states: “You do not know in which portion the blessing lies.” [Sahih Muslim, #5300] Therefore, to obtain the full benefit from the meal we should lick our fingers after the last morsel.

Also when eating, it if from the Sunnah to eat with the right hand for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand. And if he drinks something, he should drink with his right hand. For indeed, Satan eats and drinks with his left hand.” [Sahîh Muslim (2020)]

SUNNAHS OF EATING:1) Sit and eat on the floor. 2) Spread out a cloth on the floor first before eating. 3) Wash both hands up to the wrists. 4) Recite “Bismillah wa’la barakatillah’ aloud. 5) Eat with the right hand. 6) Eat from the side that is in front of you. 7) If a morsel of food falls down, pick it up, clean it and eat it. 8} Do not find fault with the food. 9) When eating, sit with either both knees on the ground or one knee raised or both knees raised. 10) Clean the plate and other utensils thoroughly after eating. 11) Recite dua after eating. ( Al-hamdu-lillahilazi atamana wa saqana wa jaalna minal musalameen ) 12) After meals wash both the hands and clean your mouth with water. 13) Eat with three fingers if possible. 14) One should not eat very hot food. 15) Do not blow on the food. 16) After eating one should lick his fingers.
{ The liver has more than 5,000 enzymatic reactions that affect the metabolism, nutritional composition and chemistry of the blood. Vitamin A is a prime example. Vitamin A enters the bloodstream, is picked up by the eye, and is converted into retinol, a substance necessary for the chemical electrical reaction that allows us to see. The kidneys affect the brain, eyes, marrow and bones. When the brain is not properly nourished, you may experience ringing in the ears; dizziness; poor vision; and languid idleness. }

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muslim food

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Sunnah’s of Eating:

  • Pronounce the Tasmiya (Bismilla)
  • If you forget to say Bismillah, before starting, say this supplication. [At-Tirmidhee 5/506]
  • Eat with the right hand
  • Eat from what is infront of you
  • If some food drops, clean it and then eat it
  • Eat with three fingers
  • Eat together
  • Not finding faults in food

After Eating:

  • Lick the bowl and the finger
  • Praise Allah – As per the hadith in [At-Tirmidhee, The Book of Supplications, Hadeeth 3458], whoever says this dua after eating, his previous sins will be forgiven.

What is halal?

For Muslims, virtually everything available from nature is halal. The only exceptions are:
• Swine/Pork and its by-products
• Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
• Alcohol (and intoxicants)
• Carnivorous animals and birds of prey
• Blood

However, checking every label isn’t practical and more often than not, the full ingredients aren’t listed. This makes it hard for you to know if a food is truly halal. Your active lifestyle doesn’t permit “scratch” cooking for every meal.

This is where Green Prophet’s guide to eating halal can help.

1) Eat at home
Meals in restaurants are pricey and don’t always contain the best ingredients. Regular take-outs are not the healthiest lifestyle option either. Eating at home enables you to cook individualised easy, staple meals, save money, eat more slowly for improved digestion, and learn a few culinary skills. Invite neighbours around for family meals to build community spirit.

2) Eat seasonally
It is better to enjoy ‘local’ produce which is sourced by local farmers. Buying locally – from your home town or country – helps the economy and businesses. Take a trip to the food markets to buy fresh fish and baked breads, ask for the current season’s fruit and vegetables. Buying direct from farmers helps keep your food halal since you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

3) Buy halal packaged food
The Muslim market is exponentially expanding due to demand and we’re even seeing ‘halal carts’ on the streets of New York. When buying packaged food Muslims look for the ‘halal’ labels meaning it’s o.k. to eat in accordance with Islamic Shariah (law). Checking labels is important because even if a product is labelled vegetarian or vegan, it may contain alcohol which is haram (prohibited) for Muslims.

4) Eat less meat
Muslim vegetarians unfortunately get caught in the meat debate. There is good reason to become a Muslim vegetarian, and so long as you’re not on a mission to convert others, you can live without meat, raise awareness of animal welfare and stay true to eco principles. Meat is expensive and too much meat isn’t good for our health. Meat can be responsible for high cholestrol and heart attacks. All you need to do is shift your sources of protein to vegetarian options such as lentils, beans and whole grains.

5) Balance your meals and eat smaller portions.
Consuming in moderation is a strong Muslim ethic. Reducing how much you eat will save you in cost in the long run. Smaller portions and frequent eating are two ways you can drastically improve your health. Balance your meals by colour – at least two portions of red, green or orange fruits and vegetables with each meal.

Eat more carrots – these orange gems are loaded with fibre are high in Vitamin K and A; they’re easy to pack, versatile sticks and easy to cook. Blend together two carrots for every apple to create a sweet and filling smoothie.
Go bananas – cheap to buy in bunches and available all year round, this monkey treat works well for replacing sweeteners in your meals. Try banana muffins, use in milkshakes or slice over cereals with honey.

6) Support sustainable agriculture
What you purchase is a powerful mechanism for creating change. As consumers, we can support sustainable agricultural businesses by buying food and drink that is produced according to sustainable principles: protecting the environment, the economy and society from negative environmental impacts and helping to ensure adequate supplies for future generations.

7) Buy organic
Is organic food better for us? There is no straightforward conclusion but opting for organic food and drink does avoid toxins that non-organic food can contain. Organic food can cost more; when you’re on a tight budget you do not have to buy everything organic. Buying just one organic item the next time you go shopping will at least make a difference to the environment because people will be doing the same thing all over the country.

Eating halal means you’ll experiment with organic food at some stage. Organic produce is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food and tastes so much better and opens up many different varieties. In the UK alone there are 600 different types of apple. Bet you didn’t know that.

8) Grow your own food
You may not have a garden or access to a community allotment but you can grow your own herbs, tomatoes and ‘bushy’ vegetables in containers on a windowsill, balcony or the back yard.

What to grow – mustard, cress, basil, coriander and salads are easy to grow from seed and a good way of getting greens into your sandwiches.

As an eco-Muslim I do have access to a large plot of land in which I grow corn, seasonal vegetables and fruit trees. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, dedicate a part of it to herbs. Create a haven of peace and get low-cost fruit and vegetables by sharing an allotment with like-minded people.

9) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reject
Traditionally implemented as the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, I include Reject as an action to take when your food is sourced unethically.

  • Reduce waste by reusing containers and freeze left over foods for another day. This works best for soups, strudels, kebabs and homebaked breads.
  • Recycle: ask your council for a green recycling bin, save each week’s food containers for a trip to your local recycling centre or let creativity flow by recycling packaging into pieces of art.
  • Reuse clean newspapers by keeping a few damp sheets wrapped around bunches of herbs; cut large plastic containers in half for home-made plant pots; feed your garden by throwing all uneaten uncooked food and peelings to create a compost.
  • Reject: avoid processed foods and synthetic additives – rejecting preservatives is all the more reason to go organic; and reject foods from regions of conflict.

10) Fast throughout the year.
Although the Islamic month of fasting lasts 30 days, you can practice better control by following a few Ramadan tips:

  • Avoid complex carbohydrates such as chips, cookies, cakes and white bread.
  • Stay more hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially in the weeks towards Ramadan and check where your water is sourced from.
  • Limit your caffeine intake or cut it out altogether. Fizzy drinks need to be reduced to as their caffeine content makes your body lose water.

    A few Hadiths on the Sunnah of eating.

    Enquire About Your Food
    Hazrat‘Abu Bakr (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had a slave who would give ‘Abu Bakr (may ALLAH be pleased with him) a portion of his daily income as the master’s share. Once he bought him some food, and ‘Abu Bakr (may ALLAH be pleased with him) took a morsel out of it. Then the slave remarked: ‘You always enquire about the source of what I bring to you, but today you have not done so.’
He replied: ‘I was feeling so hungry that I failed to do that. Tell me now, how did you come by this food”
The slave said: ‘Before I embraced Islam, I practised fortune-telling.
    During those days I came across some people who I would practice some charms for. They promised to pay me later on, I met them and they were in a marriage ceremony, and they gave me this food.’
‘Abu Bakr (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said, ‘Achh! You would have killed me!’ he tried to vomit the food, but could not as his stomach was empty.
    Someone suggested drinking water to the full and trying to vomit it. Somebody remarked ‘May ALLAH (The Exalted) have mercy on you! You put yourself to such trouble for one single morsel.’ He replied that ‘I would have thrust it out even if I had to lose my life. I have heard the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) say that the flesh nourished by haraam (strictly forbidden) food is destined for the fire of Hell. I therefore made haste to vomit this morsel, lest any portion of my body should receive nourishment from it.’
    ALLAHu Akbar! We should make sure that our food is from lawful sources. Making sure the work we do is lawful, the food is lawful etc. if not then our supplications will not be accepted, nor our Salaah. Imam Ghazali (may ALLAH’s mercy be upon him) writes in Ihya ul uloom from a pious person that, When a Muslim eats the first morsel of lawful food, his previous sins are forgiven. SubhanALLAH!
    Hazrat‘Abu Hurayrah (RA) And Hunger
    Once, ‘Abu Hurayrah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) after wiping his nose with a piece of fine linen remarked to himself ‘Look at ‘Abu Hurayrah! He cleans his nose with fine linen, today. I remember the time when he would lie down between the pulpit and the Prophet’s (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) house. People took him to be suffering from epilepsy and put their feet on his neck. But there was no other illness with him, other than spasms of hunger.’
    Hazrat-e-Anas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) reports that, ‘I asked the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) pray to ALLAH (The Exalted) that he make me mustajab ad-da’waat (someone whose prayers are always accepted). The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) replied, ‘O Anas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) make sure your earnings are lawful, ALLAH (The Exalted) will accept your prayers. A person eats a morsel of unlawful and his prayers are not accepted for forty days.”
    Washing The Hands
    Hazrat‘Abd-Allah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) saying ‘Before and after eating perform ablution as it banishes poverty and is the practises of the Prophets (upon them all be peace).’
This means to wash the hands and rinse the mouth and not to perform ablution as one would do for Salaah.
    Eating Whilst Seated On The Floor Is Sunnah
    Hazrat Qataada (may ALLAH be pleased with him) states that, ‘The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) would eat his food from a mat (laid out on the floor).’
    How To Sit
    The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) used to often squat down on his knees and sit on his heels for the meal. At other times he would raise this right leg and sit on his left. He used to say, ‘I do not eat when reclining ‘ for I am but a slave, I eat as a slave eats and sit as a slave sits.’
    The first principle of the law of Islam is that nothing can compare with any habit or act of the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace). Anyone who does not believe this should beware; for ALLAH (The Exalted) has stated that He does not favour those who disbelieve. Everything else can be open to criticism but not the Qur’an or the Sunnah. Wherever we are in the world when the time comes to eat, the food should be arranged on the floor on a mat and we should sit and partake of it from there. In many of our homes today this beautiful Sunnah has been neglected.
    Muslims are sitting on chairs and tables moving away from the Sunnah. Islam is simple but we have made it complicated. To sit on a table is an innovation as it is contrary to the Sunnah.
    Covering The Head
    The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) would always cover his head when eating and he would wash both hands up to the wrist. The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) sat on the floor at the side of a mat and ate with three fingers of his right hand. The three fingers include the thumb, index, and the middle finger and he would start with‘Bismillah’ and in between three morsels our master (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) would say ‘Bismillah’ and say‘Alhamdulillah.’
    Recite Bismillah For Blessing
    Hazrat Wahshi bin Harmat (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates from the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) that, ‘Eat together and recite ‘Bismillah’, there will be blessings for you in this.’
    Food Becomes Lawful For Devil
    Hazrat Hudhayfa (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said that, ‘He who does not recite ‘Bismillah’ before eating, that food becomes lawful for the devil.’
    Eat together for blessing
    The people said, ”O Prophet of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) we eat but are not satisfied,’ The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘You may be eating separately,’ they said, ‘Yes,’ the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Eat together and recite ‘Bismillah’ there will be blessing.’
    People have become very busy in their lifestyle and need to understand that it is the Sunnah to sit together and eat. Love and blessings will increase in the family, Insha-ALLAH! Not reciting ‘Bismillah’ is a means of loosing out on the blessings.
    Shaytan Partakes
    Ummayya bin Makhshi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates that, ‘A person was eating without reciting ‘Bismillah’ and just before he had finished and had one morsel left he recited ‘Bismillahi Awwalahu Wa Aakhirahu’, the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) smiled and said, ‘The Shaytan was eating with him, when he recited the name of ALLAH (The Exalted) whatever was in his stomach he vomited it out.’
If ever we forget to recite ‘Bismillah’ then recite the supplication which has been mentioned above and Insha-ALLAH the Shaytan will not take part in the food and will be full of blessings.
    Use The Right Hand
    Hazrat ‘Abu Hurayrah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) states, ‘Eat with the right hand and drink with the right hand and take with the right hand and give with the right hand. This is because the devil eats with the left hand and drinks with the left hand and gives with the left hand and takes with the left hand.’
    Hazrat Salmah bin Aku’ (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates that, ‘A person was eating with his left hand in the presence of the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace). The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said that, ‘Eat with the right hand.’ He said, ‘I can’t eat with my right hand.’ The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘May your right hand not be used.’
Because of arrogance the person did not use his right hand and since that day he could not lift his right hand to his mouth.
    Eat With Three Fingers
    Hazrat ‘Abu Hurayrah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said that, ‘To eat with three fingers is the practice of the Prophets (Peace be upon them).’
    Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) said that, ‘Eat with three fingers as it is Sunnah and do not eat with five fingers as this is the way of the bedouins.’
    Try to eat with three fingers, however, at times some foods do not allow you to do so, then eat with five as a last resort.
    Hazrat Ka’ab bin Malik (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates that, ‘The Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) ate with three fingers and before wiping his hands he licked them.’
    Abu Hurayrah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) narrates that, ‘To eat with one finger is the way of Shaytan, to eat with two is the way of the arrogant and with three is the way of the Prophets (upon them all be peace).’
    Food which can not be eaten with the fingers such as soup etc. can be eaten with a spoon, however, we should try and eat with our fingers and follow the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) in foods that can be eaten with fingers.
    No Accounting
    Hazrat Hasan Basri (may ALLAH be pleased with him) states that, ‘Whatever a person eats and drinks and feeds his mother and father, will be accounted for, except for food eaten with friends.’
SubhanALLAH! We learn that to have food with friends is a greatly rewarded act and love will increase between the Muslim communities.
    Wasting Food
    Hazrat-e-‘Aisha (may ALLAH be pleased with her) states that, ‘I came to the Messenger of ALLAH’s (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) house, I saw a piece of bred, he picked it up wiped it and ate it and said, ”Aisha (may ALLAH be pleased with her) appreciate good things, once this (bread) has left (taken away) it has not returned.’
    Respected brother/sister of Islam! Today we see in weddings and in other functions that we take more food than required and leave food in our plates, which will inevitably be thrown away. This is a sinful act and we will have to answer for it on the Day of Resurrection. We should take only small amounts of food and if we require more, we can always take more later. Always keep in your mind to clean the plates, save yourselves from sin, and fulfil the Sunnah of the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace).
    Leaving Food For Shaytan
    Ma’qal bin Yasaar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was eating when a morsel fell from his hand. He picked it up, cleaned it and ate it. The bedouins indicated with there eyes (what a low graded act), someone remark ‘May ALLAH (The Exalted) favour our leader as some people are indicating that you have all this food present and you pick the food that has dropped.’
    Ma’qal bin Yasaar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said, ‘Because of the Bedouins I will not leave that which I have heard from the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace). As we were ordered to pick up the morsel that has dropped and not to leave it for the Shaytan.’
    No matter who is present do not feel ashamed in following the Sunnah, your love for the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) will increase and ALLAH (The Exalted) will reward you for not wasting too.
    Once ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) saw a piece of bread on the floor and said to his slave, ‘Clean it and save it.’ At the time of opening the fast he asked for it and the slave said, ‘I have eaten it.” Go you are free as I have heard the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) saying, ‘Whoever picks up and eats a piece of bread from the floor, before it reaches the stomach ALLAH (The Exalted) forgives the person. Now that the person is forgiven, how can I keep him as a slave” said ibn ‘Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with him)
    The Plate Makes Supplication
    It is mentioned in the hadith that the plate and other vessels which are wiped and licked using fingers, pray for the person doing this and say; ‘May ALLAH (The Exalted) free you from the Hell fire the way you have freed me from the devil.’ Another version of the hadith says, the plates ask for your forgiveness. SubhanALLAH!
    Supplication Before Eating
    ‘Bismillahi Wa-’Ala Baraka Tillah’
‘ALLAH’s (The Exalted) name I begin with, and with the blessings of ALLAH (The Exalted)’
    Nothing Will Affect You
    Hazrat Anas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) states that ‘When you pray this supplication, you will have no illness (nor be affected by anything):
    ‘Bis-mil-lahi Wa Bil ‘la-hil La-dhi Laa Ya-durru Ma ‘As-mihi Shai-un Fil-ardi Wa-la-fis Samaa-i Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyoom’
    ALLAH, the name I begin with, and ALLAH is He whose name nothing on earth nor in the heavens can cause harm. O the everlasting, O the self existent..’
    If You Forget To Recite
    Hazrat-e-‘Aisha (may ALLAH be pleased with her) narrates from the Messenger of ALLAH (may ALLAH bless him and grant him peace) that ‘Whoever eats food, remember ALLAH (The Exalted) meaning recite ‘Bismillah’ and if in the beginning you forget to pray ‘Bismillah’ then pray the following:
    ‘Bimillahi Fi Awwalihi Wa-aakhirihi’
‘ALLAH’s name I begin with at the beginning and end of it.’
    One can also pray ‘Awwalahu’ and ‘Wa-aakhiraha’
    Not reciting ‘Bismillah,’ the devil has an opportunity to partake in the food.

1) Fasting during the Holy month of Shaban

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) said “When you enter the month of Shaban cleanse yourself body and soul, and make your niyat to fast in the way of Allah (s.w.t.). Show more respect to this holy month of Shaban just as you would show more respect to me than others in this world.”

  1. Whosoever fasts one day in the month of Shaban, Allah (s.w.t.) will make their body forbidden to the fires of hell and Allah will reward them in the same place as prophet Yusuf (a.s.).
  2. Whosoever fasts the whole month of Shaban, Allah will reward them with an easy death, they will not feel hunger or thirst and the soul will leave the body peacefully. Allah (s.w.t.) will remove the darkness of the grave and replace the darkness with Nur (divine light). Allah (s.w.t.) will release them from the questioning of the angels Munkar and Nakar and the greatest gift of all Allah (s.w.t.) will cover your sins and shame on the day of Judgement and it will become compulsory (Wajib) for you to enter Paradise.
  3. Hazrat Ayesha (r.a.) relates: “The Holy Prophet observed the fast throughout the month of Shaban.” Riyadh-us-Saleheen Vol II page 605 hadith no 1247, Bukhari and Muslim.
  4. From the Muwatta of Iman Malik: Yahya related to me from Malik that he used to hear from the people of Knowledge “There is no harm in continuous fasting as long as one breaks the fast on the days the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) forbade fasting – on the days of Mina, the day of Fitr and the day of Adha.” Yahya related to me from Malik from Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Habban from al Araj from Abu Hurairah (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) forbade fasting on two days – the day of Fitr and the day of Adha. Hadith 36 and 37 page 144
  5. Hazrat Ayesha (r.a.) narrated: “it is among the months that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) loves very much and that is the month of Shaban”
  6. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) said: “It is the fasting in the month of Shaban that will be your weapon to protect yourselves from the miseries of the fire.” Mishkat-us-Masabih Vol III page 520-1 hadith no 15: Umm Salamah reported: “I did not see the Prophet fasting for two consecutive months except for Shaban and Ramadan.” Abu Daud Tirmizi,Nisai, Ibn Majah
  7. Laylatu l-Baraah (the night of the 15th of Shaban) It is reported that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.t.) said: “When in the night of Nispu Shaban (15th Shaban) a voice calls: “Who is asking forgiveness from me tonight, if yes I will forgive them. Who is asking for something from me tonight if yes I will surely give them what they want. On this night whosoever is asking anything from Allah surely Allah will grant them what they want except for the ones who are committing adultery or Kufr and munafiqin.” It is on this night that Allah (s.w.t.) orders the angels to bring up your book of deeds for the last year to the heavens and a new unwritten book is sent down to replace it. Therefore one should make sure your old book is finished with good deeds and your new book started with good deeds. It is also on this night that the provisions and fate for the next year is decided. This is also the night that Allah will forgive all your sins and grant you what you desire when you ask of Him. Imam Suyuti has said “as for the night of mid-Sha’ban, it has great merit and it is desirable to spend part of it in supererogatory worship. On this night the men of knowledge will recite between Magrib and Isha Surah Yasin three times:
    • The first time with the intention of raising your obedience and maqam (spiritual station)
    • The second time with the intention for asking for your provisions or rizq.
    • The third Yasin is read seeking protections from one’s enemies.

    After isha you should recite Surah Al-Ikhlas 300 or 1000 times.

      1. It is the practise of the men of Knowledge including Sheikh Abdul Qadir-al-Jilani (See Al-Ghunayatu li-Taalibiyi l-Haqq) to pray one hundred raka’s of prayer either 2x2x2 or 4×4 with one Salam. In each rakat you must recite one Al-Fatihah and ten Surah Al-Ihklas.

    2) Fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan

    1. Sawm Ramadan (fasting during the month of Ramadan)
    2. Three types of fasting (Siyam) are recognized by the Quran: Ritual fasting, fasting as compensation for repentance (both from sura Al-Baqara), and ascetic fasting (from Al-Ahzab).Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins. Fasting is necessary for every Muslim that has reached puberty (unless he/she suffers from a medical condition which prevents him/her from doing so).The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness and to look for forgiveness from God, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, profane language, gossip and to try to get along with fellow Muslims better. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory, but is forbidden for several groups for whom it would be very dangerous and excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such asdiabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or traveling. Missing fasts usually must be made up for soon afterward, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.

3) Fasting during the Holy month of Muharram

– Significance of Muharram

Significance of Muharram — The holy month of Muharram is observed by all Muslims across the globe. The month is the first of the twelve months in the Islamic calendar, thereby marking the Islamic New Year. It is one of the four sanctified months wherein unlawful acts are strictly prohibited, especially the shedding of blood. Even the literal meaning of Muharram is ‘haram’, which means forbidden. The first ten days of the month are mourned by the Muslims to commemorate the brutal assassination of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Husain, his family and supporters. Thus, Muharram has great religious significance behind its observance. Go through the following lines to know more about the historical importance of Muharram. Historical Importance Of MuharramThe Islamic New Year is ushered in with the sighting of the new moon. Muharram is counted as the first month of the Islamic calendar. This month is considered as one of the four sacred months as mentioned by Allah in the Holy Quran, the other three sanctified months being Zil Qa’dah, Zil Hijjah and Rajab. It was on this first day of Muharram that Allah created the heavens and the earth. Among all the four months considered sacred, Muharram is the most significant one blessed with certain specific virtues. Since four of the months are regarded sacred in the Islamic calendar, the rewards for the good deeds performed in these months are far greater than in other months. To add on, sins committed in these months are far more heinous than engaging in sins in other months. A person committing murder during any of these months would be required to pay more than the prescribed amount of blood money. As stated by Prophet Muhammad, observing fasts during Allah’s month of Muharram are the best of the fasts besides the month of Ramadan. The best of the salaat (prayers), beside the fardh (compulsory) salaat is the tahajjud salaat (performed after midnight and before dawn). In another sacred book, it is also mentioned that a person fasting during Muharram would receive a reward of 30 fasts for each fast observed. A person observing fast on the 10th day of Muharram is believed to receive a reward of 10,000 martyrs and the reward of 10,000 people performing Hajj and Umrah. On this 10th day of Muharram, Hazrat Imam Husain Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, along with his family and followers, was killed in the battle of Karbala. Hence, Muharram is a sacred festival to remember the death of Imam Husain. They sacrificed for the cause of truth and justice. Therefore, people fast on both 9th and 10th days of Muharram as recommended by Prophet Muhammad. Speeches are delivered about the battle of Karbala and people are advised to learn from these lessons of courage, patience and perseverance. —————————————————————————— Whoever fasts during the month of Muharram on the day of Ashurah, shall receive the reward of 10, 000 Angels and whoever fasts during the month of Muharram on the day of Ashurah, he shall receive the reward of 10,000 martyrs and he shall receive the reward of 10,000 people performing Hajj and Ummarah. And whoever on the day of Ashurah, places his hand over the head of an orphan, in response Allah Tallah will raise his status in paradise for each hair on the orphan’s head. And whoever on the night of Ashurah opens the fast of a Momin (a true Muslim believer) would be as if he opened the fast of the whole Ummah of the Messenger of Allah. Any person who fasts during the month of Muharram on the day of Ashurah, Allah Tallah shall write for him sixty years of worship. During which the day spent in fast and night standing in worship. And whoever takes a bath on the day of Ashurah shall not become ill from any illness except the illness of death and whoever on the day of Ashurah applies collyrium on the eyelids, then his eye shall not hurt during that whole year. And whoever on the day of Ashurah visits an ill person would be as if he visited all the siblings of Hazrat Adam (may Allah be pleased with him).And whoever on the day of Ashurah gives water to drink once, thus it would be as if he has not disobeyed Allah Tallah even to the blinking of an eye. And whoever on the day of Ashurah prays four rakahs, in each rakah prays Surah Fatiha once and Surah Ikhlas fifty times, for him Allah Tallah will forgive the sins of the previous fifty years and sins of the coming fifty years. And Allah Tallah for him will create 1000 palaces with Nur (light) in the upper class.” .

4) Fasting during the Holy month of Bakrid

The True Spirit of Qurbani (Sacrifice)

In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one’s personal willingness to submit one’s ego and individual will to Allah. Islam’s attitude towards ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favour with Allah through another’s death, but rather, the act of thanking Allah for one’s sustenance. The Islamic calendar is based on observations of the moon and the length of a particular month can vary between years. For this reason, predicted dates of Eid al-Adha may be corrected at the start of the month of Dhul Hijja. This is around 10 days before the start of the festival. “`Eid Al-Adha” is at the doorstep, many rams, cows, camels, of course, are tied to be slaughtered. What is the concept of sacrifice in Islam? Actually, there are many misconceptions filling the mind of many non-Muslims, who fail to perceive the significance and wisdom behind acts of worship in Islam. That is why addressing those misconceptions becomes obligatory in order to erase distortions about Islam. “Sacrifice is not a pillar of Islam. We must look at the occurrences in a contextual manner, understanding not only the pre-Islamic institution of sacrifice, the Quranic reforms concerning this practice, and the continuance of sacrifice in the Muslim world, but also the context in which the Quranic revelations occurred. For it seems that with many people, both non-Muslims and Muslims alike, context is the key that they are missing. What was the situation in pre-Islamic Arabia with regard to animal sacrifice? Not only did the pagan Arabs sacrifice to a variety of gods with hopes of attaining protection or some favour or material gain, but so, too, did the Jews of that day seek to appease the One True God by blood sacrifice and burnt offerings. Islam, however, broke away from this longstanding tradition of appeasing an “angry God.” The notion of “vicarious atonement of sin” (absolving one’s sins through the blood of another) is nowhere to be found in the Quran. Neither is the idea of gaining favour by offering the life of another to Allah. In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one’s personal willingness to submit one’s ego and individual will to Allah. One only has to look at how the Quran treats this subject, to see a marked difference regarding sacrifice and whether or not Allah is appeased by blood. The Quranic account of the sacrifice of Ismail ultimately speaks against blood atonement. Allah says: “Then when (the son) reached the age of serious work with him, he said: “Oh my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “Oh my father! Do As thou art commanded: Thou wilt find me, if Allah so wills one practising patience and constancy!” So when they had both submitted their will to Allah, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, We called out to him, “Oh Abraham! Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice.” (As-Saffat: 102-107). Notice that the Quran never says that Allah told Abraham to kill (sacrifice) his son. Here, it teaches us that Abraham had a dream in which he saw himself slaughtering his son. Abraham believed the dream and thought that the dream was from Allah. However, in Abraham and Ismail’s willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice-Abraham of his son, Ismail of his own life-they are able to transcend notions of self and false attachment to the material realm, thus removing a veil between themselves and Allah. As far as the yearly tradition that has followed this event, that is, the sacrificing of a ram to commemorate Abraham and Ismail’s great self-sacrifice, we must understand it and the Quranic verses that pertain to animal sacrifice, in relation to the time and place circumstances under which these revelations were received and how people were trying to make a personal sacrifice by sharing their limited means of survival with the poorer members of their community. That is to say, the underlying implication of Islam’s attitude towards ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favour with Allah through another’s death, but rather, the act of thanking Allah for one’s sustenance and the personal sacrifice of sharing one’s possessions and valuable food with one’s fellow humans. The ritual itself is not the sacrifice. It is merely a method of killing where the individuals kill as quickly as possible and acknowledge that only Allah has the right to take a life and that they do so as a humble member of Allah’s creation in need of sustenance just like every other species in Allah’s creation. Allah also says: “To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice) that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your will to Him (In Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves.” (Al-Hajj: 34). “This is the true end of sacrifice, not propitiation of higher powers, for Allah is One, and He does not delight in flesh and blood, but a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow humans. The solemn pronouncement of Allah’s name over the sacrifice is an essential part of the rite.” Allah says further: “ It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His guidance to you: And proclaim the Good News to all who do right.” (Al-Hajj: 37). “No one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable to the One True God. It was a pagan fancy that Allah could be appeased by blood sacrifice. But Allah does accept the offering of our hearts, and as a symbol of such offer, some visible institution is necessary. He has given us power over the brute creation, and permitted us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life, for without this solemn invocation, we are apt to forget the sacredness of life. By this invocation we are reminded that wanton cruelty is not in our thoughts, but only the need for food”. It is quite clear from the Quranic passages above that the issue of animal sacrifice is in relation to the role animals played in Arabian society at that place and time (as well as other societies with similar climates and culture), in that humans are commanded to give thanks to Allah and praise Allah for the sustenance He has given them and that they should sacrifice something of value to themselves to demonstrate their appreciation for what they have been given (which in their case was the very animals on which their survival was based).

In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one’s personal willingness to submit one’s ego and individual will to Allah. Islam’s attitude towards ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favour with Allah through another’s death, but rather, the act of thanking Allah for one’s sustenance. The Islamic calendar is based on observations of the moon and the length of a particular month can vary between years. For this reason, predicted dates of Eid al-Adha may be corrected at the start of the month of Dhul Hijja. This is around 10 days before the start of the festival. “`Eid Al-Adha” is at the doorstep, many rams, cows, camels, of course, are tied to be slaughtered. What is the concept of sacrifice in Islam? Actually, there are many misconceptions filling the mind of many non-Muslims, who fail to perceive the significance and wisdom behind acts of worship in Islam. That is why addressing those misconceptions becomes obligatory in order to erase distortions about Islam. “Sacrifice is not a pillar of Islam. We must look at the occurrences in a contextual manner, understanding not only the pre-Islamic institution of sacrifice, the Quranic reforms concerning this practice, and the continuance of sacrifice in the Muslim world, but also the context in which the Quranic revelations occurred. For it seems that with many people, both non-Muslims and Muslims alike, context is the key that they are missing. What was the situation in pre-Islamic Arabia with regard to animal sacrifice? Not only did the pagan Arabs sacrifice to a variety of gods with hopes of attaining protection or some favour or material gain, but so, too, did the Jews of that day seek to appease the One True God by blood sacrifice and burnt offerings. Islam, however, broke away from this longstanding tradition of appeasing an “angry God.” The notion of “vicarious atonement of sin” (absolving one’s sins through the blood of another) is nowhere to be found in the Quran. Neither is the idea of gaining favour by offering the life of another to Allah. In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one’s personal willingness to submit one’s ego and individual will to Allah. One only has to look at how the Quran treats this subject, to see a marked difference regarding sacrifice and whether or not Allah is appeased by blood. The Quranic account of the sacrifice of Ismail ultimately speaks against blood atonement. Allah says: “Then when (the son) reached the age of serious work with him, he said: “Oh my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “Oh my father! Do As thou art commanded: Thou wilt find me, if Allah so wills one practising patience and constancy!” So when they had both submitted their will to Allah, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, We called out to him, “Oh Abraham! Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice.” (As-Saffat: 102-107). Notice that the Quran never says that Allah told Abraham to kill (sacrifice) his son. Here, it teaches us that Abraham had a dream in which he saw himself slaughtering his son. Abraham believed the dream and thought that the dream was from Allah. However, in Abraham and Ismail’s willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice-Abraham of his son, Ismail of his own life-they are able to transcend notions of self and false attachment to the material realm, thus removing a veil between themselves and Allah. As far as the yearly tradition that has followed this event, that is, the sacrificing of a ram to commemorate Abraham and Ismail’s great self-sacrifice, we must understand it and the Quranic verses that pertain to animal sacrifice, in relation to the time and place circumstances under which these revelations were received and how people were trying to make a personal sacrifice by sharing their limited means of survival with the poorer members of their community. That is to say, the underlying implication of Islam’s attitude towards ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favour with Allah through another’s death, but rather, the act of thanking Allah for one’s sustenance and the personal sacrifice of sharing one’s possessions and valuable food with one’s fellow humans. The ritual itself is not the sacrifice. It is merely a method of killing where the individuals kill as quickly as possible and acknowledge that only Allah has the right to take a life and that they do so as a humble member of Allah’s creation in need of sustenance just like every other species in Allah’s creation. Allah also says: “To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice) that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your will to Him (In Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves.” (Al-Hajj: 34). “This is the true end of sacrifice, not propitiation of higher powers, for Allah is One, and He does not delight in flesh and blood, but a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow humans. The solemn pronouncement of Allah’s name over the sacrifice is an essential part of the rite.” Allah says further: “ It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His guidance to you: And proclaim the Good News to all who do right.” (Al-Hajj: 37). “No one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable to the One True God. It was a pagan fancy that Allah could be appeased by blood sacrifice. But Allah does accept the offering of our hearts, and as a symbol of such offer, some visible institution is necessary. He has given us power over the brute creation, and permitted us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life, for without this solemn invocation, we are apt to forget the sacredness of life. By this invocation we are reminded that wanton cruelty is not in our thoughts, but only the need for food”. It is quite clear from the Quranic passages above that the issue of animal sacrifice is in relation to the role animals played in Arabian society at that place and time (as well as other societies with similar climates and culture), in that humans are commanded to give thanks to Allah and praise Allah for the sustenance He has given them and that they should sacrifice something of value to themselves to demonstrate their appreciation for what they have been given (which in their case was the very animals on which their survival was based).

5) ” Virtues of Fasting on 13, 14, 15 th of Every Arabic Month —–

Fast the white days (13, 14, 15) of the month in Islam.”15 is FULL MOON.

Excellence of fasting on 13th, 14th and 15th of each month and on Mondays and Thursdays — All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.—Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays and he was asked: ”O Prophet of Allaah, why do you fast on Mondays and Thursdays?, and he replied: ”On Mondays and Thursdays, Allaah forgives to every Muslim except for two persons who are deserting each other, and Allaah would say to the angels, “leave them until they reconcile.” [Ibn Maajah]This Hadeeth was narrated with a different wording by Imaam Muslim : “The doors of Paradise open on Mondays and Thursdays; and every servant who does not associate anything with Allaah will be forgiven, except a man who has enmity and disputes with his Muslim brother, in which case, Allaah would say: “Put both of them off until they are reconciled.” [Muslim]Besides, ‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.” [Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmithi, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i] Moreover, Usaamah said: “I saw the Prophet fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, so I asked him about it and he said: ”The deeds are presented (to Allaah) on Mondays and Thursdays, so I like that my deeds are lifted while I am fasting.” [An-Nasaa’i and Abu Daawood]Also, Qutaadah narrated that the Prophet was asked about him fasting on Mondays and he said: ”It was the day on which I was born, and the day on which I was commissioned with prophethood, or the day on which the revelation was sent to me.”Virtues of Fasting on 13, 14, 15 th of Arabic Month —————- Fast the white days (13, 14, 15) of the month in Islam ———— Abu Dharr Al-Ghifaari said, The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad {Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam} said: “O Abu Dharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]”. [Note these are dates of the Islaamic Month!] [Ahmad, an-Nasaa’i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]The Following Ahadeeth Encourage Fasting on 3 days of Each Month:1. Abu Dharr Al-Ghifaari said, The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad {Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam} said:”Whoever fasts from every month three days, it is like fasting the whole year, then Allah revealed what backs this in His book Whoever comes with a good deed, he is rewarded ten folds, one day for ten.”[Ibn Majah and at-Tirmithi].2. It was narrated from Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah {RA} that, the Prophet {Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam} said:“Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ayaam al-beed are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.”[Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2420; classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Targheeb, 1040]3. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah {RA} said:“My close friend [the Prophet {Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam}] advised me to do three things which I will not give up until I die: fasting three days of each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after Witr.[Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1124; Muslim, 721]There is broad scope in the command to fast three days, as it says in the hadeeth of Aisha {RA}, but the best days of the month for fasting are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth, as it says in the other sahih Ahadeeth.
http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/07/10-ways-to-eat-halal-2/
http://www.ilmfruits.com/category/islam/ibadah/
http://powersunnisaifi.blogspot.in/2013_02_01_archive.html