The I’tikaf

1. What is I’tikaf?
I’tikaf is to stay in a mosque for a certain number of days, especially in the last ten days of Ramadan.
2. What was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarding I’tikaf?
It was the practice of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to spend several days and nights during Ramadan in the mosque, devoting himself to prayer and meditation, to the exclusion of all worldly activities.
3. What is the purpose of I’tikaf?
The main purpose is to seclude oneself from all worldly activities, and devote one’s whole time and energy to the remembrance of Allah.
4. Mention the kinds of I’tikaf?
There are two kinds of I’tikaf: Sunnah Mu’akkadah and Wajib
5. What conditions control the act of I’tikaf?
Three conditions control the act of I’tikaf:
  1. The Niyyah
  2. 2. To be in a state of purity
  3. Staying in the mosque.
6. What are the commendable things in I’tikaf?
1. To recite the Qur’an and understand its meanings
2. To engage oneself in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah
3. To seek forgiveness of one’s sins
4. To invoke blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
7. What are the permissible things in I’tikaf?
1. To leave the masjid to relieve oneself or to take bath or for any lawful need
2. To leave for salatul jummah, if it is not held in the mosque where one is observing I’tikaf.
3. To eat, drink and sleep in the mosque.
8. Mention the things that nullify an I’tikaf.
1. Leaving the mosque intentionally without any genuine reason
2. Conjugal relations
3. Loss of purity by menstruation in case of women
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SAWM – A PILLAR OF ISLAM

1. What is the Arabic word for fasting?
‘Sawm’ is the Arabic word for fasting.
2. What is fasting?
Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking and conjugal relations; from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah.
3. On whom fasting is obligatory?
Fasting is obligatory on every sane Muslim, male and female.
4. What sort of people may not fast?
Fasting is not incumbent upon the sick, the travellers, the very old, the very young and the women who are pregnant or have infant children to feed. But the sick and the travellers should make up the days they have missed, when they are able to do so.
5. Mention some of the virtues of fast?
According to a hadith, “Every good of man is granted manifold increase – ten to seven hundred times. But Allah says, ‘Fasting is for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish”. True fasting leads to forgiveness of all sins.
6. What is a voluntary fast?
It is a non-compulsory fast observed in days other than Ramadan.  Voluntary fast is called as ‘Sawm an-Nawafil’.
7. Mention the days over the year on which Sawm an-Nawafil is commended.
1. Six days of Shawwal
2. Ninth of Dhul-hijjah (that is, Day of Arafah)
3. Tenth of Muharram
4. 13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month
5. Mondays and Thursdays
6. In the month of Shaban
7. On alternate days

FATIMAH AZ-ZAHRA رضي ا لله عنها

1. Who was Fatimah Az-Zahra What was her mother’s name? When was she born? 
Fatimah Az Zahra was the youngest of the four daughters of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Her mother’s name was Khadijah. She was born about five years before the prophethood of Allah’s Messenger.


2. Describe Fatimah’s marriage with Ali. 
Fatimah was married to Ali in 2 H. A ram was sacrificed, a wedding feast was arranged, and the house was readied for the bridal couple. Soft sand was brought from the sea-bed and was scattered it over the earthen floor. Dates and figs were laid out for the guests to eat in addition to the main meal, and a water-skin was filled with water they had perfurmed. This wedding feast was the finest held in Madinah at that time.


3. Fatimah’s life after her marriage was rigorous. Discuss. 
Fatimah’s life after her marriage was rigorous as she had no one in the house to help her. Ali, her husband, earned some money as a drawer and carrier of water, and she as a grinder of corn.


4. What did Allah’s Messenger do when Fatimah asked him to give her a servant? 
Allah’s Messenger said, ‘When you go to bed you say: Allahu Akbar thirty four times, Subhanallah thirty-three times, and Alhamdulillah thirty-three times; this is better for you than a servant.’


5. How many children did she have? 
She had five children, three sons, Hasan, Husayn and Muhsin; and two daughters, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum.


6. When did Fatimah die? 
Fatimah died on 3rd Ramadan in 11 H.


7. What had she willed before her death?
Before her death, Fatimah willed that her body be carried for burial in such a way that no one could recognise whether it was the body of a man or woman.


8. Write a character sketch of Fatimah. 
Fatimah resembled her father closely in habits, traits and in manner of conversation. She was kind and polite. She was a brave and a courageous lady. As there was no one to help her at home, she used to the rigorous household work by herself.


9. Modern Muslim women have indeed an example to copy in Fatimah. Do you agree with this view?
Not only do I agree with this view but also firmly believe that much of the problems in Muslim families will be solved if Fatimah’s inimitable character is imbibed by the modern day Muslim women.


10. Who were the four great women of the world according to the Prophet? 
The four great women of the world according to the Prophet were Khadijah, Fatimah, Maryam bint Imran and Asi’yah (wife of Pharoah).


11. What did the Prophet once say once about Hasan and Husayn? 
The Prophet said, ‘Dearest unto me of the people of my house are Hasan and Husayn’.