Yusuf Chambers: Dear brothers and sisters in Islam and humanity, Assalam Wa Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, May the Peace, the Mercy and the blessings of Allah (swt) be on all of you.
Welcome to this show – Ramadhaan a Date with Dr. Zakir. I’m your host, Yusuf Chambers, and today we will be discussing the topic –
‘Common errors committed by Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan’
So without further a do, let’s ask the first question to Dr. Zakir Naik
Dr. Zakir, what are the reasons behind Muslims continually falling into the same errors, Ramadhaan after Ramadhaan.
Dr. Zakir Naik: Alhumdulillah, Was Salaatu Was Salaam Aala Rasoolillah Wa Ala Aalihi Wa Ashaabihi Wa Ajma’een,
The main reason that Muslims keep on committing the same errors in the month of Ramadhaan regarding rules and regulations of fasting is lack of knowledge of their deen, of the religion of Allah (swt) and the major reason for this lack of knowledge is because most of the Muslims they do not read the word of Allah (swt), they do not read the Qur’an with understanding neither do they read the hadith, the authentic sayings of last and final Messenger Prophet Muhammad (saws). What we Muslims should do is read the Qur’an with understanding, read the sayings of the Prophet and the Seerah of the Prophet, then inshaAllah at least we’ll have the basic knowledge of our Deen including the rules and regulations of fasting and Allah (swt), He always opens up His pathway, he gives guidance to the Muslim but there is a criteria to whom does He guide.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Ankaboot ch. 29 v. 69 that
“Those who strive in the way of Allah (swt), those who do Jihad fi sabilillah, Allah (swt) opens His pathways for them”
So the criteria for us to get the guidance of Allah (swt), the criteria for us where Allah (swt) will open up our pathways is to strive in His way, to do Jihad fi sabilillah.
And Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Nahl ch. 16 v. 43 as well as Surah Ambiya ch. 21 v. 7
“Fas alu Ahlaz Zikri, in kuntum la ta’lamoon”
“If you do not possess or if you doubt then ask the person who possesses knowledge…if you doubt anything ask the person whose knowledgeable”
And Alhamdulillah we have in our ummah several Muslims who are scholars in this deen. So it’s our duty to ask these scholars, these people who have the knowledge of Islam regarding the rules and the regulations of our Deen.
As far as fasting is concerned which is one of the important pillars of Islam, every Muslim should know at least when is the time for fasting, what are the basic rules and regulations and today in this age of science and technology it’s very easy to find, it is only the negligence of a Muslim that makes him unaware of these things, it’s very easy today to know when is the time for fasting when does fast begin when is the time of Suhur, when is the time for Iftar, for breaking the fast, what are the things that break the fast etc. etc. It is mainly due to the negligence and ignorance of the Muslims that we regularly keep on following and committing these same mistakes.
Yusuf Chambers: Furthermore what are the common errors that are made by the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadhaan.
Dr. Zakir Naik: The common errors committed by the Muslims in the month of Ramadhaan can be broadly classified into four categories.
The first category is the common errors committed by Muslims regarding the obligatory rules and regulations of fasting.
The second category is the common errors committed by Muslims which are contradictory to the Sunnah of fasting.
The third category is the errors committed by Muslims mainly due to neglecting the obligatory duties in Islam and indulging in acts which are prohibited.
And the fourth category is the other common errors committed by Muslims in the month of Ramadhaan.
Yusuf Chambers: Clearly, Dr. Zakir, it’s going to be difficult for us to discuss all of the common errors made by Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan in this one interview but over the next 32 days we will inshaAllah try to cover those issues but could you just state or list the most grievous mistakes made by Muslims in the month of Ramadhaan?
Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as the common errors that fall in the first two categories, inshaAllah we’ll be discussing in detail in the next InshaAllah thirty days, I will inshaAllah speak about the common errors committed in the third and fourth category.
Yusuf Chambers: Before we discuss the categories three and four can we atleast list the most common errors from sections one and two?
Dr. Zakir Naik: The most grievous amongst the errors in the first category that is errors committed regarding the obligatory rules and regulations of fasting is, the most common is, that Muslims many a times they don’t do the neeyah for fasting, intention is very important, without neeyah, without intention the fasting is not excepted. So making intention is obligatory and we’ll be discussing this inshaAllah in detail inshaAllah tomorrow.
The second error is that many a times Muslims even after the Fajr Adhaan has started yet they continue eating and they think that the end of Suhoor time is only at the end of the Fajr Adhaan, infact the moment the Fajr Adhaan starts, the moment the beginning of dawn starts the Suhur time ends. So this is the error which normally nullifies or invalidates the fast.
The third error in the first category is that many people they delay paying the Zakatul Fitr and may a times they pay after the Eid ul Fitr Salaah. If we pay the Zakaat ul Fitr after Eid ul Fitr then it is like normal charity it does not come under the Zakaat ul Fitr. So these three are the most grievous in the first category.
The common errors committed in the second category i.e. errors that are contradictory to the Sunnah of the fasting is
Number one Many people they skip their Suhur, some people they have an early Suhur i.e. they have their Suhur one or two hours before the Fajr time, infact Suhur is a blessing every Muslim should have it and the Prophet (saws) said, we should delay the Suhur as much as possible, we should have it till just before the Fajr time.
The third mistake committed by Muslims in this category is that they delay opening their fast, they delay their iftaar and our Prophet Muhammad (saws) said that
“The people will be good as long as they hasten in breaking the iftaar”
that means immediately after sunset they should break the iftaar.
The fourth common error in this category is that many Muslims they read unauthentic Dua during iftaar the most authentic dua as far as iftaar is concerned is
‘Zahabaz Zama’u wab tal latil uruqoo was sabbatal ajr inshaAllah’
which means that “my thirst is quenched, the veins are moistened and the Ajr is near InshaAllah, God willing, the reward is near, God willing”.
And some people when they read this dua for breaking the fast, they say it before breaking the fast, before they put their date in their mouth they say this and its contrary to the meaning, the meaning says that my thirst has been quenched ‘Zahabaz Zama’u wab tal latil uruqoo’ my thirst has been quenched and the veins have been moistened, the thirst cannot be quenched before breaking the fast, so normally it should be said after you eat the khujoor after you have water you are satisfied maybe after some minutes after you break the fast then you can read this dua “Zahabaz Zama’u wab tal latil uruqoo wa sabbatal ajr InshaAllah” which means my thirst has been quenched, the veins are moistened the reward is near InshaAllah…God willing.
The sixth common error made by Muslims in this category is that many Muslims they eat excessively during iftaar and many of them even eat through out the night.
The seventh common error is that many of them, they are negligent as far as Taraweeh is concerned because Taraweeh is not a Fard they think it is no problem if a Muslim misses Taraweeh. Though Taraweeh is not a Fard it’s a very important Sunnah and a Muslim who misses Taraweeh, is missing a great deal of reward.
And many Muslims who perform Taraweeh they read Taraweeh very fast 100 miles per hour they try to finish it in a short time and they defeat the purpose. Infact you should read it with a moderate pace so that people understand and they can grasp the message of Allah (swt).
The ninth common error is that those who go for I’tikaaf in the mosque, many of them, they socialize during I’tikaaf as tough it’s a time to meet people and friends which is totally contrary to the Sunnah.
The tenth common error is that many of the Muslims think that the ‘laylatul qadr’ is on the 27th night of the Ramadhaan and they only worship Allah (swt) on this night. Infact our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:
“Search for the laylatul Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days, the last Ashraa, the ten days”
Therefore laylatul qadr can fall on the 21st night or 23rd or 25th or 27th or 29th so this is one of the common errors made by Muslims.
The eleventh common error is that they spend their time during Ramadhaan in unproductive work rather than spending in Zikr and worshipping Allah (swt), they should spend the time rather for offering besides the compulsory salaah, the nawaafil the voluntary salaah the sunnah salaah.
The twelfth error made by the Muslims is that they should do dua.
The thirteenth is, they should ask for forgiveness … this is the month of forgiveness.
Fourteenth is they should read the Qur’an as much as possible to get the blessings of Allah (swt).
The fifteenth is that they fast and they keep themselves hungry but basically they are not mentally prepared for that fast and it is as though they are staying hungry but the main purpose of fasting, to acquire taqwa is not obtained.
This was in brief regarding the second category
Yusuf Chambers: Can you mention briefly again categorize the ..ah.. common errors made in third category?
Dr. Zakir Naik: The common errors committed by Muslims in the third category i.e. errors regarding negligence in performing the Fara’id the obligatory duties in Islam is that Muslims, many of them, they stay awake the full night they have an early suhur and these people they do not offer their Fajr salaah. Missing fajr salaah is a sin. Many of them because they stay awake the full night, they sleep the full day and they even miss their Zuhr and their Asr salaah which is a great sin. You are trying to acquire blessings and you are neglecting the obligatory duties which is totally prohibited.
Many of the Muslims, they do not give Zakaat those who are suppose to give zakaat and zakaat is one of the pillars of Islam in which every Muslim who has a saving of the Nisaab level i.e. those who have a saving of 85 grams of gold, they should give 2.5% of their savings every lunar year in charity, it’s called as zakaat.
And the fourth error in this third category is that most of the Muslims give Zakaat but they do not calculate the Zakaat properly.
As far as common errors committed by Muslims in the month of Ramadhaan that is indulging in prohibited acts the most common is though these acts are prohibited for a Muslim irrespective whether it’s the month of Ramadhaan or non-Ramadhaan but specifically you should be more careful, you should be careful trying to avoid these acts though out our life but in Ramadhaan we should be more careful
And the most common No. 1 the Muslims involve themselves is backbiting and slandering. Backbiting is a great sin and
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Hujuraat ch 49 verse no. 12 that
“Those who backbite they are people who eat the dead meat of their own brother”
So backbiting and slandering is one of the gravest sins.
The second common error in this category is Muslims, many of them, they use false speech, they tell lies, during the month of Ramadhaan.
The third is they use abusive language which is contrary to the spirit of Islam and of Ramadhaan.
The fourth is they use vulgar language and
The fifth is they involve themselves is gossiping.
The sixth is some of them involve in false action.
The seventh is many of the Muslims to kill time, they listen to music and unislamic songs which is totally prohibited in Islam.
The eight common error is many of the Muslims to kill time, they watch unislamic television programs and unislamic movies.
The ninth common error committed by Muslims is that many of the Muslims they read unislamic magazines, unislamic books, unislamic pictures which are all prohibited in Islam.
The tenth common error done by Muslims in this month is many of them they go to unislamic sites on the internet which is again prohibited.
The eleventh common error is that they spend excessively and they commit extravagance.
And the twelfth is there is a lot of wastage of food.
So this was in brief regarding the list of mistakes done by Muslims commonly in the third category i.e. indulging in acts which are prohibited and neglecting acts which are Farz in Islam.
Yusuf Chambers: So Dr. Zakir what are the other common errors committed by Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan
Dr Zakir Naik: The other common errors committed by Muslims in the month of Ramadhaan that is fourth category is
No. 1 is that many of the Muslims they stay awake the full night and then they sleep in the day and they do the normal activities in the night time and sleep in the day time they are converting day into night and night into day and the whole purpose of fasting is defeated.
The second error in this category is that many of the Muslims they remain lazy and they are inactive during the day time which is contrary to the spirit of fasting.
The third common error is that many of the Muslims; they try and kill the time during the day by playing, by amusement, by games which defeats the purpose again.
The fourth common error is Muslims they give lavish Iftaar parties and they spend a lot of money mainly trying to show off.
The fifth common error, many of the Muslims they ask the women folk in their family to prepare a variety of dishes for Iftaar and for Suhur thus making the women in their family spend the majority of their time in the kitchen. Infact the family should spend most of the time in remembering Allah (swt) and if the women folk do more duas, InshaAllah, even the men will benefit even their sins will be forgiven, InshaAllah.
The sixth common error is that many of the Muslims, they renovate their house and their shops in the month of Ramadhaan, spend more time in that than remembering Allah (swt).
The seventh common error is that many of the Muslims they spend their nights instead of Remembering Allah (swt) in activities which are unproductive. For e.g. they spend the time in excessive socializing after Taraweeh that is the eighth error.
Ninth is many of the Muslims they spend many nights and most parts of the nights in shopping.
The tenth common error is many of the Muslims; they spend most of the time in night in eating.
The eleventh is many of the Muslims they spend their time in roaming and in loitering during the night.
And the twelfth common error is that the last ten days of Ramadhaan are mainly the days in which the Muslims should do more ibaadah but most of the Muslims they spent their time in shopping, in celebrating and preparing themselves for Eid and most of them spend time in activities that are unproductive rather in spending their time in Ibaadah.
These are some of the other common errors that Muslims commit and I hope inshaAllah that they will abstain from these errors in future.
Yusuf Chambers: InshaAllah… So the next question is that are there any common errors that you can mention, relationship to culture and country?
Dr. Zakir Naik: All the errors that I mentioned earlier were general Muslims throughout the world. There are some errors which are made mainly by people living in certain country, bound to certain culture. For e.g. in the Indian sub continent, there are people in India, in Pakistan in Sri Lanka, during Ramadhaan many of the Muslims in the night they play night-cricket and they spend most of the time in night cricket rather than doing Ibaadah of Allah (swt). So this playing night cricket is more common in the Indian subcontinent. Now if you go to the Arab countries especially the gulf countries, there many of the offices, many of the working places i.e. in the market etc. they change their timings, they hardly work for a couple of hours in the day time and they open most of the time during night. So what happens it encourages people to do shopping in the night rather than the day and they get more business and they are inviting people rather in spending time in remembering Allah (swt), Muslims spend their time in shopping and eating during night time. And furthermore those people who are employed in these shops, they are forced to come at night time because it’s their duty. So these Muslims are even preventing their employees rather than remembering Allah (swt), they are involving themselves in business and spending most of the time in activities which are not according to the Sunnah.
Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir are there to your mind any important Sunnahs of Prophet Muhammad (saws) that people avoid because they feel it will nullify their fast?
Dr. Zakir Naik: Yes there are a few Sunnahs of the Prophet which many Muslims avoid thinking it will break their fast or it is makrooh and the most important Sunnah of the Prophet which people avoid during Ramadhaan is using the Siwaak, using the toothstick many Muslims feel that if they use this, it is makrooh.
The main reason is there is a Hadith of Muhammad (saws), a Hadith which is mentioned in,
Sahih Bukhari vol. no. 3 book of fasting Hadith no. 1904 that the beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:
“I swear by Allah in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad (pbuh) that the breath of the person who fasts is more sweeter to Allah than the scent of musk”
Now based on this Hadith many Muslims think that if they use the siwaak the breath, the bad breath or the foul breath of the person who fasts will not be there and it will not please Allah that’s the reason they avoid using siwaak. Now these people fail to realize that when we use the stick, siwaak, it does not remove the breath the foul breath or the breath which people normally don’t like of the person who fasts. The siwaak mainly brushes the gums it cleans the teeth it helps in keeping the teeth healthy but in no way does it reduce the breath especially of the person who fasts and furthermore there’s a Sunnah of the Prophet where Prophet Muhammad (saws), he said:
It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 2 Hadith no. 887
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said that
“If it wouldn’t have been too hard for my ummah, I would have made it compulsory for them to use the siwaak, the tooth stick before every prayer”
Or to use the toothstick while doing wudhu like how wudhu is a requirement before salaah, the Prophet, if it wouldn’t have been too difficult for the ummah, he would have made it compulsory to use the tooth stick and here he did not mentioned any exceptions other wise he would have said I would have made it compulsory for my Ummah except during fasting. This important Sunnah surely if this would have been makrooh while fasting or would have nullified the fast, surely he would have mentioned it. So this proves that this is an important Sunnah, Muslims should continue doing it even when the month of Ramadhaan even while fasting it will not nullify the fast it is not makrooh infact it is mustahab, it’s encouraged.
And the other important Sunnah which people neglect or avoid mainly fearing that it will spoil their fast or nullify their fast is putting water in the nostril sniffing the water normally especially during wudhu. So many of the Muslim even when they wudhu they just get the water close to the nose and touch the tip of the nose to the water, that’s it. They don’t put the water into the nostrils and they clean their nose they don’t sniff it which is a requirement for wudhu thinking that is they sniff, it may break their fast. Water entering through your nose into the throat will nullify the fast but the chances are very negligible. What our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said,
It’s mentioned in Sahih Hadith of Abu Dawood vol. no. 2 Hadith no. 2360 our beloved Prophet said that
“When you do wudhu sniff the water excessively except in fasting”
So normally when we do wudhu we sniff the water excessively except in fasting because in fasting if we sniff excessively there are chances though very negligible for it to enter the throat and nullify your fast. But normally when we put water in the nostrils there are no chances of it going in the throat. So the only care that we have to take while fasting is, don’t sniff excessively but we have to put the water in the nostril and clean the nostril which is important Sunnah which many of the Muslims neglect and they avoid it especially during wudhu and here since the Prophet clearly mentioned except fasting. During the Siwaak, he said “I would have made it compulsory had it not been difficult for my Ummah”. There because he doesn’t say fasting, it means siwaak can be used while fasting and sniffing should not be done excessively, but normally water should be put in the nostrils while doing wudhu. So these two important Sunnahs which people out of ignorance, they avoid during fasting.
Yusuf Chambers: Now Dr. Zakir, next question is a very common question and it’s the one that I’d like to know the answer too as well. Its… amm… if all the devils are chained during the month of Ramadhaan, how come people continue to commit sins?
Dr. Zakir Naik: And I do agree with you that this is a common question and I remember several years back when I was in school and when I heard this Hadith that the devils are chained in the month of Ramadhaan immediately the question that came to my mind and the question that comes to many Muslims’ mind and many non-Muslims’ is that if the devils are chained then how do people, how do human beings yet commit sins?
This question is based on Hadith Muhammad (saws) which I mentioned earlier,
A Sahih Hadith of Musnad Ahmed vol. 2 page no. 230 Hadith no. 7148 which is also repeated
In Sunan Nasai ch. 5 Hadith no. 2106 where the beloved Prophet said that
“O ye people the blessed month of Ramadhaan is approaching and Allah has ordained for you that your fast in this month and the gates of heaven will be opened in this month and the gates of the hell will be closed and the devils will be chained. In this month is the night which is better than a thousand months and a person who is deprived of the blessings in this month is truly a deprived person.”
Now when we get this Hadith it clearly mentions that in this month of Ramadhaan, the devils will be chained and it’s a logical question if the devils are chained then how do human beings yet commit sins? To make the people understand we have to realize that when the devils are chained it does not mean that the devils are slain, they are killed they are yet present but they are chained, they are not killed. Their power is yet there but it is diminished.
For a better understanding I’d like to give you an example that when there is a lion or a tiger who is free there are high chances that he may kill you, your life is in danger but the moment that tiger or that lion is chained you are safe, you are safe as long as you maintain a safe distance, after the tiger has been chained if you come too close to him there are chances yet you can be killed. So as long as you maintain the distance form the tiger who is chained you are safe.
Similarly in the month of Ramadhaan if you maintain a safe distance from the Satan, you’ll be saved and if you read the Qur’an, Allah says
in Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verse no. 168
“Be careful of the khutuwatush shaytaan, of the footsteps of the devil for he is to you an avowed enemy”
Many places Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an that be careful of the footsteps of the devil. Allah doesn’t say that be careful of the devil because a normal Muslim, an average Muslim who has average Eemaan when he sees the devil in front of him he will be careful.
For e.g. Suppose there is a young girl who comes to an average Muslim, a young boy who has average Eemaan, if a young girl comes and tells him that lets spend the night together. That Muslim will say “spending the night together with a girl it’s haraam, it is Zinaa.” He will immediately object. But that same girl, if that girl phones that young boy and speaks to him on the phone, the boy will say, “speaking to the girl on the phone, there’s no problem” So he speaks to the girl for a few times on the phone for a few minutes, later on the girl says “lets go and have some snacks in McDonalds or in Kentucky Fried Chicken”, “having snacks for a few minutes, for half an hour with a girl in McDonalds, no problem”, so he goes and has snacks with the girl in McDonalds, later on the girls says “why not have dinner in a restaurant?”, “Having dinner with a girl in a restaurant for a couple of hours, no problem!”. Then the girl says “Why not spend the night together?” and then the boy says “Spending the night together with a girl no problem.” So this is ‘khutuwatush shaytaan’… footsteps of the devils, this is not mentioned in the Qur’an this is just my own example.
So what Allah wants us is that be careful of the khutuwatush shaytaan, the footsteps of the devil, if the devil comes directly in front of an average Muslim who has Eemaan he will abstain, he will run away from it. But the khutuwatush shaytaan are the things which are dangerous so what we have to realize when the devil is chained his footsteps are restricted. So many of the sins are prevented but if we go close to him then the chances that we’ll be overtaken by the devil and commit a sin are very high. What we have to be careful that in Ramadhaan, if we keep the distance then the chances of committing sins is less, but if we go close to the Satan even though he is chained, like how a tiger can walk even after he is chained, same the devil so this is my understanding.
When our beloved Prophet said the devils are chained, the devil can yet move but less distance so if we keep the distance we’ll be safe.
The second reason that I feel is that in the month of Ramadhaan though the devils are chained, we fail to realize that the balance eleven months, they are free. And the impact that the devil has on the human beings for these eleven months it leaves those impact, that impression in the month of Ramadhaan.
To give you a better understanding, I always give the example that there are drug peddlers which try and get customers, the youngsters from the colleges from the universities, so what they do initially they give thee drug free and they entice the youngsters for having drugs. Later on after some time they charge a nominal amount for that drug, later on they charge an exuberant amount but by the time the youngster is already hooked on to the drug so even if the drug dealer is not there, they will try and find where the drug dealer is, they’ll go out of the way to find him and get the drug. And many of them even if the drug peddler… the drug dealer is imprisoned by the law, they will go out of their way to find someone else they may go in a chemist shop and buy mandrix whatever it is they are so much hooked on to it. So these people who have become addicts to drugs or rather say addicted to the Satan even though the Satan is imprisoned the effect is yet there.
So this we can understand as a drug dealer as a drug peddler even after he goes the drug addict gets accustomed to that drug. So we human beings we are accustomed to the sin and even though the Satan is imprisoned we keep on committing these mistakes. But mainly those people who have become addicts fall in this category. So those who do major sin fall in this category for the normal Muslims and average Muslims who haven’t become addicted, it’s easy for them to stay away from sin.
And the third reason that I give is that, though there are some scholars who say that in this month of Ramadhaan the strong devils, the Maarids they are imprisoned, the smaller ones are free. So they keep on committing mistakes but according to my understanding the third reason is that though the devils are chained by Allah (swt), they can yet whisper and one of the ways the devils try and get the human beings close to them is by whispering and Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Naas ch. no. 114 verse no. 1-6
Qul aAAoothu birabbi alnnas
Min sharri alwaswasi alkhannas
Allathee yuwaswisu fee sudoori alnnas
Mina aljinnati waalnnas
They whisper in the hearts of the human beings and they withdraw amongst them they are Jinn and men.
It’s talking about the Satans, talking about the devils who is whispering to the hearts of the human beings and they withdraw and among these devils are the Jinn and the human beings. So may be Allah (swt) has imprisoned the devils who are the Jinn but the human beings we, are yet free. So one category of the devils i.e. the Jinns have been imprisoned but the Satans are even amongst the men, that’s what Allah says, who are yet free and yet we have to be careful of the whisper of the devil, the waswasa. This waswasa mainly is a thing that attracts towards the sin. The sins are yet committed but the chances are less and furthermore it’s clearly mentioned in the full Hadith that Allah has ordained for you in this month of Ramadhaan that you should fast. Only if you fast according to me will the devils be imprisoned, that’s talking about the devils that are going to attract you. So Allah says if you fast, Allah has ordained for you fasting and the devils will be put in chains so the devils that are after you, if you fast surely they will be restricted. The criteria for us to be away from the devil is to fast. If you fast with the proper Neeya seeking the reward of Allah (swt) surely the devil will not be able to entice you.
And the best logical way to prove this is if you check the crime rate of the Muslim countries during Ramadhaan it goes down. But if you check the crime rate of the non-muslim countries in Ramadhaan, it is the same. The reason is that because they are not fasting, the non-muslims, this devil yet has an effect on them because the Muslims are fasting, if not all properly at least majority or at least quite a large no. so because of that the crime rate in the Muslim country in the month of Ramadhaan is low as compared to the other months. But the crime rate in the non-muslim country is approximately the same indicating otherwise even the non-muslims they will not commit any sins. So the criteria is that you have to fast properly for the sake of Allah (swt).
Yusuf Chambers: Well, the last question today regarding Prophet Muhammad (saws)’s statement which you mentioned in the last answer regarding the fact the, the gates of paradise are open and the gates of hell are closed. Does this mean that we will be going to paradise if we die in this blessed month?
Dr. Zakir: This again is the same question, related to the same Hadith, same Hadith which I quoted earlier of
Musnad Ahmad Vol no. 2 page no. 230 Hadith no. 7148
and it also appears in Sunan Al Nasai ch. no. 5 Hadith no. 2106 again the same Hadith, the Prophet said, he told the people that
“The blessed month of Ramadhaan is approaching and Allah has ordained for you that you fast in this month. And in this month the gates of heaven will be open and the gates of hell will be closed and the devils will be chained. In this month is the night of Qadr which is more blessed than a thousand months and a person who is deprived of the pleasures, of the blessings in this month is truly a deprived person.”
Here again, this is a common question that if the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed then anyone who dies but natural will go to Jannah because the gates of hell are closed and Jannah are open. Does it mean that even if a non-muslim dies in this month then even he’ll have to go to Jannah? The reply to this question is when Allah says that in this month of Ramadhaan the gates of heaven are open it means the gates of heaven are inviting you to enter Jannah. That means that even if you do a small deed, Allah (swt) will multiply your reward and as our Prophet said that every deed you get the reward 10 times. And in this month it’s very easy to enter Jannah. Then our Prophet said the gates of hell will be closed indicating that to enter hell is difficult in this month, why? Because the Taqwa level rises and the chances you commit sins is less. And further more if you fast the full month, in the month of Ramadhaan, seeking Allah’s reward, all your past sins will be forgiven. So the moment a person fasts in the complete month of Ramadhaan seeking Allah’s reward all his past sins are completely forgiven. So if the past sins are forgiven the chances of he going to hell is nil. But what we have to realize the criteria for the gates of heaven to be opened and the gates of hell to be closed is that you have to fast.
And further more to enter Jannah you require a ticket, the ticket to go to Jannah is mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al Asr ch. no. 103 verse no. 1 to 3 where Allah says
Inna al-insana lafee khusr
Illa allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati watawasaw bialhaqqi watawasaw bialssabr
“By the token of time man is verily in a state of loss except those who have faith, those who righteous deeds, those who exhort people to truth and those who exhort people to patience and perseverance”
This Surah according to Imam Shafi, he said, that only if this Surah was of the Quran, it would have been sufficient for the salvation of mankind. So important this is! This is called the Rahe Nijaat, the way four salvation. And the criteria for any human being to enter Jannah is four; First is Eemaan, second is righteous deeds, third is exhorting people to truth and fourth is exhorting people to patience and perseverance.
So here we realize that the gates of heaven are open but just because the gates are open you can’t enter, you require the ticket. The ticket is Eemaan. The ticket is righteous deeds, exhorting people to truth, exhorting people to patience and perseverance. And to get this ticket is very easy in the month of Ramadhaan because your Eemaan level rises in the month of Ramadhaan. Furthermore your righteous deeds, the reward is multiplied. It’s easier. You can call people to truth, your patience level increases so this Hadith means that you have to have the criteria then InshaAllah you shall go to Jannah and you’ll not go to hell but that doesn’t mean that 100% people who die will go to Jannah. Surely those who are not believers, they have got no Eemaan so there is no question they will enter Jannah. If a person has to enter Jannah he requires a ticket and the ticket to Jannah is Surah Al Asr.
Furthermore if you read the Hadith it says that only if you fast in the month of Ramadhaan, that means when you follow all the rules and regulations and abstain from things that are prohibited then the doors of heaven will be open and the gates of hell will be closed.
Further more it says in this month is a night which is equivalent to more than thousand months indicating that even if you pray and worship to Allah (swt) in this one night, it will be equivalent to more than a thousand months indicating is more than 80 years, imagine! So the chances for you to get reward in this one night is more than your lifetime. An average human being lives for 60 years. So one Layltul Qadr is more than a thousand months, is about more than 80 years, more than average life of a human being. The chances are very easy to go to Jannah and ending part of the Hadith says a person who is deprived of these blessings is truly a deprived person indicating that everyone will not go to Jannah; everyone will not find the doors of heaven open. It says, the ending part very important, that a person who is deprived of the blessings in this month is truly a deprived person. That means telling us Muslims that if you cannot get the benefits of the month of Ramadhaan and then if you cannot go to Jannah then you are truly a deprived person. That even includes the non-muslims who haven’t got the Hidaaya, they are truly the deprived people.
Yusuf Chambers: So Dr. Zakir, well Jazak Allah Khair and I thank you for those intriguing answers particularly pertaining to the last two questions which you answered so eloquently, MashaAllah, Alhumdulillah.
Brothers and Sisters I hope you benefited as much as I did today by listening to this show. And tomorrow we shall be discussing an introduction to Ramadhaan, InshaAllah.
Assalamualaikum until tomorrow at the same time.