My Brother’s Shield
The Golden Trail
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This book – ‘My Brother’s Shield’ – tells us an interesting story about how fasting is a shield.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “”Fasting is a shield. So the fasting person should avoid obscene speech and should not behave foolishly and ignorantly, and if somebody fights with him or insults him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.’ By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the smell that comes from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the scent of musk. (Allaah says about the fasting person), ‘He has given up his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me and I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.’”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim, 1151
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting does not just mean giving up food and drink, rather fasting means giving up idle speech and obscene conduct. If anyone insults you or treats you in an ignorant manner, then say, ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’”
And it was also narrated that he (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting in accordance with it and acting in an ignorant manner, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.”
So What exactly is a shield? A shield is a piece of metal or any other string material that’s used to protect a person from hits and blows. It’s the thing that protects us. Fasting is described as a shield for the believer. When you’re fasting, you are mentally, physically and spiritually in a different state to when you’re not fasting. Your rumbling belly not only reminds you that it’s empty, but that it’s empty for a reason. And that reason is the pleasure of Allah. We are fasting to become closer to Allah. And Allah wants us to be patient and forebearing. Allah wants us to speak good words. When someone picks a fight with us we immediately remember our fast and we avoid useless confrontation.
In this next book – ‘The Golden Trail’ – we learn about Zakat, or almsgiving, which is the third pillar of Islam: Every muslim who possesses a certain amount of wealth, called the nisaab, has to give 2.5 percent in charity. If you do not have enough to make the nisaab then you do not have to pay zakat. 2.5 percent of £100 is £2.50 to be given Once a year.
Muslims often give zakat in Ramadan because the reward for good deeds is multiplied in Ramadan. Poor muslims don’t have to pay zakat but in fact are entitled to receive it. Every wealthy muslim must work to ease the financial hardships of those in need. Zakat or Charity iS encouraged Islam and is a way of ensuring that no one who needs financial assistance is left stranded.
“And establish prayer and give zakat, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah.” (2:110, Qur’an)
The meaning of the word zakat is ‘to cleanse,’ Muslims believe that paying zakat purifies, increases and blesses the remainder of their wealth.
“Whoever pays the zakat on his wealth will have its evil removed from him” (Ibn Khuzaimah and at-Tabarani).
Hadith 15, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest. [Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم قَالَ: “مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ“.