- We encourage all of the believers to refrain from all of the ruinations of the tongue during Ramadan. In his seminal work, “Quickening the Religious Sciences,” Imam al-Ghazali mentions them as the following:
a) Speaking in matters that do not concern one.
b) Excessive speech.
c) Speaking about sinful matters.
d) Disputation and contestation.
f) Excessively embellished speech.
g) Lewd, insulting, or crude speech.
h) Invoking the Curse of God on someone.
i) Singing indecent songs, or relating immoral poetry.
j) Excessive joking.
k) Sarcasm and ridicule.
l) Revealing secrets.
m) False promises.
n) Lying and false oaths.
o) Backbiting and slander.
p) Instigating tense relations between people.
q) Being two-faced.
r) Praising someone who is either undeserving, or unable to remain humble when praised.
s) Speaking about involved subjects and ideas one lacks the necessary knowledge or eloquence to adequately convey.
t) Ordinary folk speaking in subjects that are the domain of specialists.
May God spare us from these ruinations both during and after Ramadan.
The Prophet, Peace and Blessing of Almighty God be upon Him, said: “Whoever fails to leave off ruinous speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], God does not need him to leave off eating and drinking.” Al-Bukahri
- We encourage the believers to avoid all arguments, disputes, and unnecessary worldly entanglements during this blessed month. This is a time for deep devotion and dedication to Allah.
- We encourage the believers to work to restore any severed relations or kinship ties they may be experiencing. This is a time when the gentle breezes of Divine Facilitation are blowing. Any good we endeavor during this blessed month will come to bear its proper fruits, Insha Allah.
- We encourage all of the believers to eat simply during this month. One should try to make a vow to give up unnecessary, and generally unhealthy fare during this blessed month. Pizza, ice cream, fast food, pastries, and soda should all go. We should make our solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters in other lands real, and not something confined to speeches and pamphlets.
- If one is in the habit of watching television, or listening to commercial music, one should also try to give these things up for Ramadan. They are things that divert us from the remembrance of God in any case. During this special month when every letter we recite from the Majestic Qur’an is tremendously rewarded, we should busy ourselves with recitation, and drop other pastimes.
- Married believers should encourage their wives to engage in spiritual pursuits during this month, i.e. reciting the Qur’an, attending Tarawih, etc. They should especially avoid burdening their wives with long hours in the kitchen in order to host extravagant Iftars. While it is certainly virtuous to provide the wherewithal for the believers to break their fast, dates, water, and simple dishes suffice in that regard.
These are some of the things we wanted to convey to you. Hopefully, they will prove of benefit. Again, we wish you a very successful Ramadan and would like to thank all of you for past, present, and future support. May Allah bless us to serve you better in the future.
On behalf of the Zaytuna Staff,
Your Brother in Islam,
Imam Zaid Shakir
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