Reward and Punishment
Allah created Adam () and Hawwa and gave them guidance to worship Him alone. As time passed, the world became filled with people who forgot about Allah’s commands. They began to worship false gods. They became liars and ill-mannered.
Allah wanted to call the people back to the Straight Path. He sent prophets to these people from among them. One of them was Nuh (). Nuh () reminded his people that there is only one God, Allah, and that they should worship Him alone. He warned them not to bow down before idols and false gods. He said, ‘My people! I am a clear warner to you; worship Allah and obey me. He will forgive you your wrong actions.’ He called his people night and day. Every time he called them to Allah’s forgiveness, they put their fingers into their ears and wrapped themselves up in their clothes. Nuh () called them openly and publicly and talked to them privately, but they did not listen to him. They refused to obey him. In fact, they made fun of him. They called him a liar and a madman.
For many years, Nuh () tried to turn the people to Allah, but only a few people followed him. He was dismayed to see the arrogance and stubbornness of his people. Finally, in despair, Nuh () asked Allah for help. Allah told him to build a ship which took a long time to build. All the people laughed at him. They said he was crazy to build the ship far away from the sea.
Nuh warned his people that Allah would punish them if they refused to obey Him. They only mocked him. They did not pay any attention to his warnings. When the ship was ready, Allah told Nuh (s&gs) to take on board one male and one female of every kind of creature. Then he and his followers boarded the ship and they were safe.
Heavy rain began to fall. The floods covered the land. Wicked people were drowned. All evil was washed away from the face of the earth. There was floodwater everywhere.
After many days, when Allah gave His Command, the skies cleared up and the rain stopped. The ship came to rest on Mount al-Judee. Nuh () and his followers came out of the ship. They settled on the new land and filled it.
After Nuh (), Allah sent many messengers. They called the people back to the Straight Path. The last of those messengers was Prophet Muhammad (). He received the last message from Allah in the form of the Qur’an. The Qur’an gives us guidance about everything. Without Allah’s guidance, people stray and turn to evil. Allah has shown men and women the Straight Path. However, Allah has given everyone the choice either to do what is right or to do what is wrong.
Islam teaches us that there will be a day called the Day of Judgement at the end of time. On that day, everyone will be judged according to his or her good and bad deeds in life. Allah will reward those who believe in Him, do good actions and obey His messengers. He will also punish those who do not believe in Him, do bad actions and reject His messengers. This life is a preparation for the life to come. The Qur’an teaches us that those who submit to the Will of Allah will find Paradise.
The first surah of the Quran, Surat al-Faatihah, is a prayer for guidance to the path that leads to Paradise in the life after death. Life after death is called Akhirah. It is one of the most important beliefs of Islam. Disobedience and wickedness will be punished in the next life and obedience and goodness will be rewarded. But Allah is Merciful. He is Forgiving and likes to forgive! He will certainly forgive those who give up the life of wickedness in this world and turn to Him. He will guide them to the Straight Path.
The Qur’an says that Allah has appointed over each one of us two angels who record what we do in this world. The truly good will be in perfect happiness, but the evildoers will be in a blazing fire.
- Complete the following sentences.
1 . The first man Allah created was
- The place Prophet Nuh’s ship rested was
- The last message of Allah is
- The surah for guidance is
- The Arabic name for life after death is
- Answer the following questions.
1 . Why do you think Allah sent messengers to people?
- What will happen on the Day of Judgement?
- Write a few words on the ‘Recording Angels’.
- Whom will Allah punish and whom will He reward?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.
What is Fasting?
Fasting in Islam means to abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset.
The fast should begin with the intention of fasting, making it clear whether it is the compulsory fast of Ramadan, a voluntary fast or a fast for a special reason. This intention should not be expressed loudly.
The purpose of Fasting :
Muslims fast to seek nearness to Allah and His Pleasure. They fast because Allah wants them to do so. Fasting means keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet – and all other organs – free from sins. Fasting means to keep the head clean of useless concerns and thoughts. Lying and backbiting lower the value of fasting. Allah’s Messenger () said, “Fasting is a shield, so when one of you fasts he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say, ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.”’ (Al-Bukharee and Muslim)
He also said “Many are those who fast but get nothing from their fast but hunger…” (Ibn Majah) This has been taken to mean those who break their fast with unlawful food. Some say it refers to those who fast but do not keep away from backbiting, lying and other evil acts. It is therefore necessary for a Muslim to avoid all shameful acts, such as quarrelling, backbiting and telling lies.
Kinds of Fasting :
Generally, fasting is of two kinds:
( 1 ) Compulsory Fasting :
Fasting is compulsory for all adult Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan. Those who are allowed to break their fast because of a valid reason include the sick and the traveller. These people should fast an equal number of missed fasts on other days after Ramadan when they are able to do so. An insane person is not allowed to fast.
(2) Voluntary Fasting :
It is recommended to fast on any other day of the year, except on days when fasting is not allowed. Days, when fasting is not allowed, include the days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adh-haa.
- Answer the following questions.
1 . What does fasting mean?
- Why do you think Muslims fast?
- Why do some people get nothing from their fast but hunger?
- Write a short note in your own words about compulsory fasting and voluntary fasting.
Ruqayyah is the only Muslim girl in her class who keeps Ramadan fasts. Her classmates tease her and drink in front of her.
What advice would you give to Ruqayyah?
The Fast of Ramadan
The Fast of Ramadan begins on the day following the sighting of the new moon of the month of Ramadan.
Intention to Fast :
A Muslim must make his formal intention to fast before dawn. He may make the intention to fast the whole month of Ramadan, or he may make the intention to fast for a day every time. If a Muslim’s fast is interrupted for some days for any reason, he must renew the intention before he starts fasting again. This intention, however, must not be expressed in any way, because the place of the intention is the heart
It is recommended that a Muslim should take some food and drink before dawn before he begins his fast. This pre-dawn meal is called suhoor and helps reduce the hardship of fasting during the day. One should wake up early enough to eat and finish the suhoor before dawn so as to avoid any chance of eating after the break of dawn, which would spoil the day’s fast.
The Prophet () encouraged his companions to take this meal even if it is only a drink of water. He said, ‘Take sahoor, for surely there is a blessing in suhoor.’ (Al-Bukharee and Muslim)
A Muslim should break his fast as soon as the sunsets. It is strongly recommended to do so. Allah’s Messenger () said, ‘People will remain prosperous as long as they hasten to break the fast.’ (Al-Bukhari) The meal taken at the time of breaking the fast is called iftar: breaking the fast. Iftar should be light, for example, a few dates and water or any other fruit. A Muslim should take it before performing the Maghrib prayer with Jamaa’ah. He may, however, have any other heavy meal after the Maghrib prayer.
He is strongly recommended to offer the Taraaweeh prayers after the Isha prayer. You will learn about the Taraaweeh Prayer later, Inshaa Allaah!
Du’aa for breaking the Fast:
Dhahaba adh-dhama’u, wabtallatil-’urooqu, wa thabatal-ajru inshaa-Allah
The thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah wills.
Answer the following questions.
What are the two different ways of making the intention for fasting in Ramadan?
A.Why is sahoor so important?
- Explain these terms:
1 . Sahoor
What do Muslims normally break their fast with?
1 . Many of you may have started to fast at least a few days in Ramadan. Write ten lines on ‘The Day I Fasted’.
- Ahmad is late in breaking his fast because he wants to show off to others that he can fast longer than them. Is he right? Why?
The Islamic calendar is based on the movements of the moon. The Islamic year is eleven days shorter than the year based on the movements of the sun.
The month of Ramadan is very important for Muslims. It is a time of very strict fasting during the hours of daylight. Muslims are forbidden to eat or drink. The end of the month of Ramadan is marked by a festival called Eed-ul-Fitr, which means the festival of breaking the fast. It is a day of celebration.
Eed-ul-Fitr is held on the first day of the month of Shawwal following Ramadan. Ramadan ends with the sighting of the new moon of Shawal.
The first day of the month of Shawwal is Eed-ul-Fitr. It is a time for thanksgiving and joy. Families get together to share their happiness and to exchange greetings and give presents to one another. So the children get very excited as the day draws near.
On the last day of Ramadan great excitement is seen in Muslim countries. People hope for sighting the new moon.