Intention

Umar’s Instructions on the First Night of Ramadan

It is reported that on the first night of Ramadân, ‘Umar – Allâh be pleased with him – would pray Maghrib, then say (to the people):

Sit down. Then he would give a small address: Verily the fasting of this month has been made a duty upon you, and standing in night prayer has not been made a duty upon you, but those amongst you who can stand in prayer should do so, for it is from the extra good deeds about which Allâh told us: so whoever cannot stand in prayer, let him sleep on his bed.

And beware of saying: I will fast if so and so fasts and I will stand in night prayer if so and so stands in prayer. Whoever fasts or stands in night prayer, he must make this for Allâh. And you should know that you are in prayer as long as you are waiting for a prayer.

Minimize any vain or false speech in the houses of Allâh (mosques; he said this two or three times). Let none of you fast a few days before the month (in order to avoid missing the beginning of the month; he said this three times). And do not fast until you see [the crescent of the new month] unless it is overcast. If it is overcast, count [the previous month] as 30 days. Then do not break your fasts until you see the night upon the mountain (i.e. you are sure the sun has set).

‘Abd Al-Razzâq Al-San’ânî, Al-Musannaf article 7748.

Family

10 Days to Marry

It is reported that ‘Abdullâh b. Mas’ûd – Allâh be pleased with him – said:

If I had ten days left to live, and I knew I would die by the end of them, and I had enough time to get married, I would get married for fear of temptation (fitnah).

Sa’îd b. Mansûr, Al-Sunan article 493.

Patience

Umar on obeying the Muslim Ruler

Suwayd b. Ghaflah reports that ‘Umar b. Al-Khattâb – Allâh be pleased with him – once took him by the hand and said:

O Abû Umayah, by Allâh, I know not if we will meet again after today. Fear and obey Allâh your Lord until the Day of Resurrection, as if you see Him, and obey the ruler (imâm) even if he is a cut-nosed Abyssinian slave: if he beats you, be patient; if he robs you, be patient and if he belittles you, be patient. And if he tells you [to do something] to the detriment of your religion (to sin), say: “I hear and obey, [but] my blood goes before my religion.” Never leave the Main Muslim Body (Al-Jamâ’ah).

Ibn Zanjawayh, Kitâb Al-Amwâl article 30; Ibn Abî Zamanîn, Usûl Al-Sunnah article 205 with a slight variation in wording. Also recorded in other collections.

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Quotes to remember

13. Ibn Qutaybah said that his disputant said to him, “What is the matter with you?” He replied to him, “I will not dispute with you.” The disputant then said, “Thus you have come to know that I am right.” Ibn Qutaybah responded, “No, but I respect myself more than that.” At this the disputant retracted and said, “And I will not claim a thing that is not my right.”

Best of you

12. "The best of your garments are those which are white; shroud your dead in them and clothe your living with them. The best of that which you apply to your eyelids is antimony causing the eyelashes to grow and sharpening the eyesight." [Ibn Hibbân, Sahîh]

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