Quran Focus Academy Blog

When is the Eid Al-Fitr 2016 holiday?

MOST MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD THIS YEAR WILL CELEBRATE THE EID AL-FITR FESTIVAL ON WEDNESDAY JULY 6, COMMEMORATING THE END OF RAMADAN 2016.

Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated for three days and is an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries Adel Hana/AP

 

Eid Al-Fitr is expected to be on Wednesday July 6, but as per Muslim tradition, it can only be confirmed based onSIGHTINGS OF THE MOON on Monday July 4.

If the Moon is seen on Monday then the lunar month of Ramadan will have ended after 29 days and Eid Al-Fitr will be on the next day on July 5. But if the Moon is not seen as NASA predicts, Ramadan will be assumed to have lasted 30 days and the start of Eid will be celebrated on Wednesday 6.

UK and North America

In the USA, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) announced that Eid Al-Fitr will be observed in the United States on Wednesday 6 July, based on astronomical predictions.

The Charity groups Islamic Relief Canada and Islamic Relief UK also predict the Eid to be on July 6.

In the UK, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will host an Eid food festival in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, July 9. The charity group Islamic Relief UK predicts this year’s Eid will fall on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Days of holiday

Traditionally, Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated for three days and is an official holiday in all Muslim majority countries.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced on Thursday that Turkey will observe a nine-day public holiday for Eid Al-Fitr, from Saturday, July 2 until Sunday, July 10. The official holiday, however, will be for three days, from Tuesday July 5 until Thursday July 7, 2016.

Together with the weekeed, this allows public sector employees to enjoy a six-day holiday from Tuesday until Sunday. Eid-Al-Fitr is also known in Turkish as “Seker Bayrami” or “Ramazan Bayrami”.

Bangladesh also announced a nine-days public holiday, starting from July 1.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are also likely to observe a three-day public holiday over the same period. In 2015 Eid Al-Fitr was on Friday July 15, and the UAE’s public sector declared a five-day Eid holiday, from Thursday July 16 until Monday July 21.

Laylatul Qadr: 10 points towards successfully seeking it

By: Farrukh Paasha

We should remember that even though is not possible to definitively know whether we have attained Laylatul Qadr or not the real success is in the seeking itself. We ask Allah for that success in this Ramadan and in many others to come!

Allah, Most High, says in the Qur’an: The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. [Qur’an: 97:3-5]

The blessed Laylatul Qadr can be found in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, which are the most blessed nights of the year. As such, we should increase our worship and devotion during this period.

Aisha, Most High, reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Subhan Allah! Such immense rewards are to be gained during these blessed 10 nights. How can we afford to miss out on them? Who is to say that we will live to see the next Ramadan? We MUST make the best of these 10 nights. If we cannot manage all of the 10 nights, then as many as we can manage, particularly on the odd-numbered nights: 21st, 25th, 27th and 29th.

There is a saying that a person who fails to plan, plans to fail. So I have created a Worship Plan that we can use to maximise these blessed 10 nights of Ramadan. But first, there are a few points to consider:

10 Points to Consider in the Worship Plan

  1. Remain in I’tikaf: The best way of catching the blessed night is to remain in I’tikaf, which both men and women can do. If it is not possible for one to remain in I’tikaf for the whole of the 10 days and nights, then one should try to remain in I’tikaf for as many days and nights possible. It is also possible to make intention of Nawafil I’tikaf each and every time one enters the masjid to gain rewards for the time spent in the masjid.
  2. Worship all the 10 nights: Try to worship the whole of the 10 nights or as many days you can manage as that is the best way to catch the unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards of  Laylatul Qadr. Each and every good deed from Maghrib until Fajr on Laylatul Qadr is rewarded a minimum of at least 83 years’ of worship. Subhan Allah, that is longer than most of us will live!
  3. Best dua of the last 10 nights: اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
    Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi].
  4. Give charity: Any good act such as charity during Laylatul Qadr is rewarded like you have done it for over 83 years.
  5. Eat light: As you will be staying up until Fajr, the more you eat, the harder it will be for you to stay up and the less productive you will be!
  6. Hydrate well: Keep some water with you at all times. This will help you stay up, feel energised and refreshed and have a clearer mind.
  7. Complete all tasks beforehand: Make arrangements to clear as many of your pending tasks as possible or make a plan for tackling them later. This way, we are free to worship during the 10 nights without being distracted by worldly tasks.
  8. Show exemplary character: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [At- Tirmidhi]. So we must aim to be the best in character during these blessed nights and continue to do so for the rest of the year. We must not argue, swear, backbite, slander or gossip.
  9. No time wasting: We must make a firm intention that during these blessed 10 nights, we will not take part in idle talk, watch TV, play computer games or spend time on the social media. There are 355 days in the year for all that – if you really cannot resist. This is just 10 nights! There will be indeed an utter loss and regret for those of us who waste these blessed 10 nights.
  10. Making life changes: We should make the necessary changes to improve ourselves as Muslims and what better time to make such changes than during these blessed 10 nights where we can change our lives forever. We must internalise these changes and make a firm commitment to Allah, Most High , and maybe that he will wipe off our sins until we become newborn babies, In sha Allah.

Source: ProductiveMuslim

Students from Lowfield Primary School visit Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust

Students from Lowfield Primary School visited a local Mosque, to learn more about Muslims living in the city.

The youngsters visited Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust, where they were given a tour of the Mosque’s wash rooms, prayer areas and library and learned more about the contents of the Quran and how children start to study the religious text of Islam from a young age.

Mosque visit - Quran Focus Academy

The children and staff were joined by students from their partner school, Hartington C of E Primary School, as part of studies into city and countryside cultures and differences.

Lowfield Teaching Assistant, Judith Flower, said: “The Mosque tour was such a great experience, for both the children and the staff. We removed our shoes and our guide explained the importance and relevance of why Muslim people cleanse before they go to pray.

“We learnt so much about the religious views of Muslim people, as well as how and where they pray.

“It was fantastic to see all the children asking questions to develop their learning. As Hartington is a Church School with a strong Christian ethos, it is fantastic that pupils are able to learn about other great world faiths.”

This event came after Sheffield youngsters visited the Derbyshire Dales school in July last year, where they investigated life within a rural community.

Hartington pupil Jacob Blackwell, 9, said: “It was interesting to see the Mosque and stunning to learn more about what Muslim people do when they pray and how they worship Allah.”

Lowfield School Council Co-ordinator and Year 3 Teacher, Richard Green said: “The trip to the Mosque gave the Hartington children an understanding of the social and cultural activities that our children undertake and really bonded the two communities.”

Prayers and making dua during Ramadan or Ramazan

The following dua (prayers) are recited at the beginning and end of the fast to indicate and affirm the intention of the fast.

A person’s intention when fasting, is to bring him/herself closer to Allah.

 

Dua (Prayer) at the Beginning of the Fast :

Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri ramadan

I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan

 

Dua (Prayer) at the End of the Fast :

Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa ala rizq-ika-aftartu

O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance

Ramadan: 5 Free Apps For Islamic Prayer Times, Fasting Calendar, Sunrise Sunset Alarms, Mecca Compass

Technology is rapidly becoming a valuable tool for Islamic observance and many Muslim faithful have increasingly been turning to smartphone apps to help them fulfill religious obligations. With the holy Islamic month of Ramadan approaching, the utility of such apps in supporting the spiritual and practical elements of the 30-day fast make them an especially useful option for some.

Ramadan 2015:

An all-in-one Ramadan toolkit, this popular app not only features a calendar for the holy month, including prayer times, but also the ability to modify prayer times based on different locations for convenience during travel. The Android app also has a feature that sends a reminder about charitable giving, also known as Zakat al-Fitr, an obligation for Muslims during Ramadan.

iQuran:

Islamic tradition holds that Ramadan was when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and, as a result, many Muslims use the month as an opportunity to read and recite their holy book. This tradition has made the iQuran app, which offers the full text and audio of the Quran along with an English translation, tremendously popular among many congregants, according to Benyahya. “People use it a lot,” he said. “It’s very much going to be used and exhausted during Ramadan.”

Islamic Finder’s Athan Prayer Timings:

Muslims are obligated to pray five times a day, at pre-set intervals with times that change according to the season. One of the most popular prayer time calculator apps, the Islamic Finder app allows users to track daily prayer times, log their prayers in a personalized prayer book and even offers directions to nearby mosques. The app also has a prayer call alarm feature (with the option of switching to vibrate mode) that can help alert users to the sunset and sunrise which mark the start and end of fasting, respectively.

The popularity of these apps has enabled some Muslims to become even more devout in their religious practice. “If you forgot to pray, you might not be responsible, because you’re human; you forget and you can make it up later,” said James Otun, a 35-year-old American technology aficionado, in an interview with the Guardian. “But not now that you have those apps, that might change things in God’s level.”

Qibla Compass:

Knowing when to pray is one crucial aspect of Islamic prayer. The other is knowing in which direction to pray. Apps like Qibla Compass are dedicated to helping Muslims figure out the direction of Mecca, which Muslims around the world face as they pray. While some can usually calculate the direction by using the compass feature on their smartphones, this app does the calculation automatically based on a user’s location. The app also comes with accessibility support for people with visual impairments.

Ramadan Kareem:

Ramadan has traditionally been a time of spiritual reflection for Muslims, who give up food and drink during the sunlight hours and avoid vices like gossiping throughout the month. In addition to striving for spiritual purity, the sense of deprivation fostered through fasting is also meant to inspire charitability.

This is why many Muslims use the month as an opportunity for charitable giving and volunteer work. The Ramadan Kareem app by the Muslim Giving Project, is designed to facilitate this important obligation by connecting Muslims to civic organizations and projects that they can donate to or get involved with as a volunteer. The app also provides daily charity inspirations throughout the holy month.

 

New York City’s public schools will close in observance of the two Muslim holy days of Eid

New York will become the nation’s first major metropolis to close its public schools in observance of the two most sacred Muslim holy days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.

Several municipalities across the country — including in Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey — have moved in recent years to include the holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, in their school calendars. But New York City, with its 1.1 million schoolchildren, dwarfs the others in its size and symbolism.

For Muslim activists, who have spent years trying to raise their political profile, the mayor’s announcement was taken as a significant victory, and an indication that they had matured as a constituency with tangible influence on public policy.

“When these holidays are recognized, it’s a sign that Muslims have a role in the political and social fabric of America,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

At least six school districts nationally, including Cambridge, Mass.; Dearborn, Mich.; Burlington, Vt.; and Paterson and South Brunswick, N.J., have granted days off for the major Muslim holidays. Many more districts recognize the holidays in other ways, such as noting them on the school calendar or granting excused absences for observant students.

In New York, a group of Muslims has spent nine years pressing for inclusion on the city’s school calendar, which already recognizes several Jewish and Christian holidays. Muslims make up about 10 percent of the student body in the city’s public schools, according to a 2008 study by Columbia University.

Mr. de Blasio had no objections: He pledged as a candidate in 2013 to close schools on the two Muslim holy days. On Wednesday, the mayor said that the changes would take effect in the coming academic year.

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son to God. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of fasting for Ramadan, which is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon.

The exact timing of the holy days changes year to year because they are based on a lunar calendar. In the coming school year, classes will start a day earlier in September to account for Eid al-Adha, which falls on Sept. 24, a Thursday; in 2016, Eid al-Fitr falls during the summer.

In interviews on Wednesday, Muslim students and parents reacted with delight. Ilham Atmani, who was born in Morocco and lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said she had been frustrated having to take her four children out of classes. “I know that Muslims are a minority, but we have to be recognized,” she said.

Helal Chowdhury, 15, a sophomore at Brooklyn Technical High School, said that every year he had to choose between celebrating the holidays with his family and going to school so he would not fall behind. Helal, who wants to be a doctor, said he had had a perfect attendance record for the past several years and that school always seemed to win.

“This is a big step forward,” Helal said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Speaking at a school gymnasium in Bay Ridge on Wednesday, Mr. de Blasio, flanked by jubilant Muslim activists and city officials, was asked if he was concerned about a right-wing backlash to his decision.

“People who will criticize it, I think, should go back and look at the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We are a nation that was built to be multifaith, multicultural.”

Mr. de Blasio often ends his news conferences by reciting a version of the day’s announcement in Spanish. As he prepared to do so on Wednesday, the mayor paused. “I will now talk about the Eid holidays in Spanish,” he said. “Only in New York, brothers and sisters.”

Salah Names, Rakat and Time or Namaz Names and Rakaat

Name Rakat Time
Fajr 04
02 Sunnah | 02 Farz
From dawn before sunrise.
Zuhar 12
04 Sunah | 04 Farz
02 Sunnah | 02 Nawafil
Between the declining of sun & Asr.
Asr 08
04 Sunnah | 04 Farz
(Late afternoon) Immediately after the last time limit    of Zuhar until just before the sunset.
Maghrib 07
03 Farz | 02 Sunnah
02 Nawafil
(Evening) Soon after sunset until the disappearance of the twilight.
Isha 17
04 Sunnah | 04 Farz
02 Sunnah | 02 Nawafil
03 Witar | 02 Nawafil
After the disappearance of the twilight until midnight.
Juma 14
04 Sunnah | 02 Farz
04 Sunnah| 02 Sunnah
02 Nawafil
Between the declining of sun & Asr. Juma can’t be offered individually. If you happen to miss Juma prayer, then you should offer Zuhar.

 

 

Islamic Calendar or Hijri Calendar

The Islamic Calendar has 12 months and 354 days. This is because the Islamic Calendar (or Hijri Calendar) follows the movements of Earth’s Moon. Arabic names of Islamic Months  with English Transliteration are given below. Muslim kids and students should learn and memorize the names of all the Islamic months in their order.

Hijri Calender

Hijri Calender

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr, also known as just Eid, is a Muslim holiday which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Celebrations continue for one, two or three days, and people wish each other Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid) or Eid Said (Happy Eid). Celebrations vary by country but include gatherings to view the new moon, decorating homes inside and out, family visits, eating special sweet foods, neighborhood fairs, visits to amusement parks, wearing new clothes and giving and receiving gifts.

 

 

5 things to do on Laylatul Qadr

5 things to do on Laylatul Qadr

So valuable is this ‘Night of Qadr’ that the Quran devotes a special surah to it “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3].
It can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. It is a night that we CANNOT miss out on so here is how we can maximise this blessed night:

1. Recite the Qur’an abundantly
2. Strive to gain forgiveness
3. Do much Superogatory Prayers (Nafil)
4. Increase in Dhikr (Rememberance of Allah)
5. Make much dua