The Glorious Qur’an is the everlasting miracle of our Prophet – Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam– that addresses all human generations and shall continue to do so till the end of time. It convinces the human intellect with various proofs in order to subject it to the truth and make it surrender to Allah willingly or turn away from the truth after it has recognised it out of arrogance.
The Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said:
“No Prophet was sent by Allah except that he was given what would make people believe in him, and what I was given is Revelation and I hope to be the greatest of all the Prophets in (terms of) followers.” [Al-Bukhari].
The Qur’an is the everlasting miracle given by Allah to His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, which no human being or Jinn is able to produce a book like it. Even if all mankind and jinn were to collaborate to produce something like it, they would not be able to do so. Allah says (what means):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.’”[Qur’an 17: 88]
Allah even challenges those who have doubt about the Divinity of the Qur’an when He Says (what means):
“And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a chapter the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.”[Qur’an 2:23-24].
Reciting the Qur’an in appropriate times assists in letting it have an impact on human soul. Ramadan is the best time to recite the Qur’an, for it is a food for the soul and because of the fact that the authority of the mind that tells man to do evil weakens during this month. The soul will then prevail and get strength by the Qur’an and, as a result, will derive the highest possible benefit from it. The Qur’an is like a beneficial rain, the soul is like the earth and Ramadan is like the good season for rainfall that enables the hearts to produce the blooming crops.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said:
“The similitude of the guidance and knowledge with which I was sent, is like a rain that falls on a land of which there was a good part that accepted the water and produced therefrom many plants and grass. There is also a barren part that holds water and Allah made it beneficial to people as they drank thereof, fed their animals and irrigate their farms. It also affected some parts that are just lowland that could neither hold the water nor produce grass. The first two are the example of him that acquired the knowledge of the religion of Allah, benefited from that which I am sent with and taught it to others. The third is the example of him who never paid attention to the Qur’an and did not accept the guidance of Allah with which I am sent.”[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
We must seize the opportunity of the remaining days of Ramadan to read the Glorious Qur’an with reflection and understanding of its meanings and try our best to put its injunctions into practice. Our righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, used to preoccupy themselves in Ramadan, with the recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and they always used to mention Allah.
We have to know that any one who puts the injunctions of the Qur’an in practice is among the people of the Qur’an (who are dear to Allah) even if he has not memorised it. Also, he who does not work by the injunctions of the Qur’an is not among its people even if he memorises it.
We have to do good deeds in this excellent month, be kind to the poor and needy as a sign of emulating the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. It is narrated that Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) used to review the Qur’an with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, once in a year and that was during Ramadhaan. In the year that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, died, Jibreel reviewed it with him twice. Whenever Jibreel came to came to meet him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to be more generous and faster in spending charity than a dispatched wind.”The minimum period of a valid I‘tikaf
Question: What is the minimum period necessary for a valid I‘tikaf (ritual seclusion in the mosque)?
Fatwa: All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
Muslim scholars held different opinions regarding the minimum period of I‘tikaf. The majority of scholars hold the view that the minimum period of it is what is regarded as I‘tikaf according to custom (of that particular place). Ibn ‘Abideen, who is one of the Hanafi scholars, said in his Hashiyah:
According to Muhammad (Ibn Al-Hasan), the minimum length of time for (supererogatory) I‘tikaf is an hour of the night or the day. It is the apparent meaning of the narration of Imam Abu Haneefah. That is because supererogatory acts of worship are based on permissibility, and this is also the opinion that he adopted in giving fatwa.
The author of Kashshaaf Al-Qina’, who is one of the Hanbali scholars, said:
The minimum length of time for observing I‘tikaf is an hour. It is said in Al-Insaaf:
“The minimum length of time for I‘tikaf, if it is voluntary or due to an unspecific vow, is that based on which a person could be called a Mu‘takif who stays in seclusion in the mosque for worship purposes.”
The author of Nihayat Al-Muhtaj ila Sharh Al-Minhaj, which are references on the Shafi’i school of Fiqh, said:
The most correct opinion is that it is stipulated in I‘tikaf to remain in seclusion for a time that is commonly regarded as a stay, even without stillness, provided that it lasts for a period more than that of offering rukoo‘ (bowing) in prayer with tranquility.
The opinion adopted by the Maliki scholars is that the minimum period for I‘tikaf is a day and a night. ‘Ulaysh said in Minah
Al-Jaleel Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel:
Whoever vows to observe I‘tikaf and started it without having specified a time for it is obliged to stay for the minimum period that is required for I‘tikaf to be valid—a day and a night according to the opinion that we adopt; and a day according to the other opinion.
The first opinion, which is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, is more correct, for there is no textual evidence on defining a certain time for I‘tikaf. Nevertheless, it is better, according to the Shafi’i and Hanbali scholars, that the duration of I‘tikaf be no less than one day.
Allah knows best.