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  1. What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha(sometimes called Eid ul-Adha/Eid ul-Azha) is a festival celebrated among Muslims all over the world in remembrance of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) made out of his strong faith in Allah. Ibrahim (A.S.) showed a willingness to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail (A.S.) but his son was replaced with a lamb by Allah. Allah was so pleased with Ibrahim’s (A.S.) submission to Him that He made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of a Muslim’s life. This event is mentioned in Quran - Surah As-Saffat (37:102). Hence, every year on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha. On this day, Muslims slaughter a lamb, sheep, goat or a camel to honor the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS). Eid al-Adha begins on Tuesday night, with millions of Muslims across the globe ready to celebrate for the four-day Festival of Sacrifice. Some will take part in the Hajj pilgrimage for the first time in Mecca, Saudi Arabia while others will celebrate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah a little closer to home. Either way, Eid al-Adha is a time to think of others as well as repenting for past sins and looking to the future. Rules of Sacrifice Anyone who intends to slaughter an animal on Eid al-Adha has to follow certain rules which are given below: Sacrifice of an animal for Eid al-Adha can only be done during the specified dates i-e After Eid Prayer (10th of Dhul Hijjah) and before sunset of 13th Dhul Hijjah. Whoever does not follow these dates must know that their sacrifice will not be valid if it is not offered between 10th - 13th Dhul Hijjah. (Sahih Bukhari: 5545 and Sahih Muslim: 1141) The animal to be sacrificed has to be one of the cattle approved by the Shariah, which are; Camels, Cows, Oxen, Buffaloes, Sheeps and Goats. (Surah Hajj 22:34 and Surah Al-Anaam 6:143) A sheep or goat is used as a single offering and is sufficient for one household whereas a camel or a cow can be shared by seven people. [Sahih Muslim: 1318(a) and 1961(a)] The animal to be sacrificed has to be an adult and should have reached the age stipulated in Shariah. Goat, either male or female, of at least one year of age. Sheep, either male or female, of at least six months of age. Cow, ox, buffalo of at least two years of age. Camel, male or female, of at least five years of age. The animal must be a healthy one and should be free from obvious defects. (Saheeh Al-Jami: 886) The person offering should only have one intention i.e sacrificing in the name of Allah. The animal to be sacrificed must be in the person's full possession (it is not stolen or taken by force or in joint procession or held in pledge). The person who intends to offer sacrifice should not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on the last day of Dhul Qadah until the sacrifice is done on the day of Eid. (Ibn Majah: 3150) The person should slaughter the animal with his own hands in order to fulfill the Sunnah. However, if one is not able to do so then he can appoint someone else to do the same on his behalf but one should witness his slaughter / sacrifice. (Sahih Bukhari: 5554) The person should mention the name of Allah and recite Takbeer (Bismillah, Allahu Akbar) at the time of slaughtering the animal. (Sahih Bukhari: 5558) Many scholars are of the opinion that the meat of the sacrificed animal should be divide into three parts. One third for the person (and his family) who is offering the sacrifice, one third should be distributed among the relatives/neighbors as a gift and one third should be given in charity to poor people. All parts of the sacrificed animal can be used for personal benefit but none can be sold or given as payment (even to the butcher as his wage) otherwise, the sacrifice will become invalid. (Sahih Al-Jami: 6118) Conclusion Enjoy this festival by thanking Allah for His blessings and for providing you the opportunity to fulfill this great Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). But don’t forget your under-privileged fellow Muslim brother and sisters who don’t have the means to celebrate this blessed festival. "May the magic of this Eid bring lots of happiness in your life and may you celebrate it with all your close friends & may it fill your heart with wonders." "Eid Mubarak May Allah flood your life with happiness on this occasion, your heart with love, your soul with spiritual, your mind with wisdom, wishing you a very Happy Eid." "Sending you warm wishes on Eid and wishing that it brings your way ever joys and happiness. Remember me in your prayers." "In every shared smile and laughter; In every silent prayer answered; In every opportunity that comes your way – may Allah bless you immensely! Eid Mubarak."
  2. Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the most important festivals for Muslims all over the globe. The day marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims observe fast from dusk to dawn. The month-long fasting, which is considered to be one the sternest one, ends on the eve of Eid after sighting the first crescent of the new moon. Ramadan is the holiest month for the followers of Islam. It is believed that Allah (God) on this day delivered the first verses of the Quran. As per tales, the month of Ramadan was started when Prophet Mohammad migrated from Mecca to Medina.
  3. What is Ramadan? Ramadan also called Ramazani (Albanian), Ramazan (Azerbaijani), রমজান (Bengali), रमज़ान (Hindi), (Kurdish) ڕەمەزان, (Persian) رمضان, (Pashto) روژه, (Punjabi) رمضان / ਰਮਜ਼ਾਨ, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan (Somali), เราะมะฎอน (Thai), Ramazan (Turkish), (Urdu) رمضان, Remezan (Zazaki) is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. In Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours as a means of drawing closer to Allah (SWT) and cultivating self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate. Ramadan is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation with a heightened focus on devotion, during which Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers. Those unable to fast, such as pregnant or nursing women, the sick, or elderly people and children, are exempt from fasting. The act of fasting allows the individual to understand the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine, leaving the participant feeling more grounded and grateful for all that Allah (SWT) has given them. At the close of the month, Zakat donations during Ramadan are made and then Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with loved ones. Eid is a great time of feasting and celebration for Muslims, with gifts exchanged between loved ones. When does Ramadan take place? Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on a 12-month lunar year of approximately 354 days. Because the lunar year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, each lunar month moves 11 days earlier each year. It takes 33 solar years for the lunar months to complete a full cycle and return to the same season. The month traditionally begins and ends based on the sighting of the new moon. Starting on April 1st, Muslims throughout the United States and the rest of the world will begin to search the sky for the new crescent or will follow a pre-determined date based on astronomical calculation. In 2022, the month long fast of Ramadan begins around April 2nd and ends around May 1st. The Length and Purpose of Fasting Muslims fast from pre-dawn to sunset, a fast of between 11-16 hours depending on the time of year for a period of 29-30 days. Ramadan entails forgoing food and drink, and if married, abstaining from sex during sunlit hours. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to train themselves both physically and spiritually by avoiding any negative acts such as gossiping, backbiting, lying or arguing. Muslims welcome Ramadan as an opportunity for self-reflection, and spiritual improvement, and as a means to grow in moral excellence. Ramadan is also a highly social time as Muslims invite each other to break their fast together and meet for prayers at the mosque. The ultimate goal of fasting is gaining greater God-consciousness, known in Arabic as taqwa, signifying a state of constant awareness of Allah (SWT). From this awareness a person should gain discipline, self-restraint and a greater incentive to do good and avoid wrong. In commemoration of the revelation of Muslim’s holy book, the Qur’an, Muslims attempt to read the entire book during Ramadan. The entire Qur’an is also recited during special nightly prayers. Who Fasts? All Muslims who have reached puberty are obliged to fast. However, people for whom fasting would be a hardship are exempted from fasting. This includes anyone who is sick or traveling; women who are pregnant, nursing, or on their menses; or older people who are too weak or ill to fast. Anyone who is exempted must make up the fast later, except for those who cannot fast due to age or chronic illness. Instead, they can feed a poor person for every day of fasting which they miss. Children While children are not required to fast until they reach puberty, it is customary for children beginning around seven years of age to perform limited or symbolic fasting such as fasting half days or on weekends. This trains them gradually and helps to engender a sense of inclusion during the month-long observance. Mosques often give special recognition to children who are fasting their first full day or first Ramadan. Family Routines A Muslim family usually rises around 5:00 a.m. before dawn and eats a modest, breakfast-like meal called suhur. After the meal, the family performs the morning prayer, and depending on the circumstances, goes back to bed or begins the day. Particularly during the long summer months, people often take a nap in the late afternoon after work or school. At sunset, family members break the fast with a few dates and water, and depending on the culture, other light foods such as soup, appetizers or fruit. This is referred to as iftar which means “breaking the fast.” After performing the sunset prayers, the family eats dinner. Inviting guests to break the fast or going to someone else’s house for iftar is very common in Ramadan. Many families then go to the mosque for the night prayer and a special Ramadan prayer called taraweeh. After completing their prayers, the families return home around 11:45 p.m. (All of these times vary depending on the time of year, with shorter days in the winter and longer days in the summer.) Special Activities Many mosques host daily community dinners where Muslims can break their fast together. This is a great service for students, the poor and anyone who desires a break from cooking. Many mosques also host a community dinner on the weekends. Special Ramadan prayers called taraweeh are held in most mosques after the night prayer. During taraweeh, the prayer leader recites at least one thirtieth of the Qur’an so that by the end of the month the entire Qur’an will have been recited. Since Ramadan is a time for Muslims to be especially charitable and fasting helps Muslims feel compassion for the hungry and less fortunate, many mosques hold food drives or fundraisers for charity during Ramadan. Many mosques also host open houses for their friends and neighbors of other faiths to join them for their fast-breaking dinner or iftar at the end of the fasting day. The Night of Power known as Lailat al-Qadr, is believed to fall on one of the odd nights during the last ten days of Ramadan, but is most widely observed on the 27th night of Ramadan. It is considered the most blessed night in Ramadan because it is believed to be the night in which the Qu’ran was first revealed. Mosques are open all night as Muslims hold vigils in prayer, Qur’anic recitation, and contemplation. Special Foods Breaking the fast with dates or water is the only strictly traditional culinary custom associated with Ramadan. It is interesting to note the suitability of dates for this purpose as they are a concentrated source of energy and easily digestible. Different Muslim-populated countries have a variety of special dishes and desserts for Ramadan. Benefits of Fasting Doctors agree that fasting is extremely beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels and for other health benefits. Fasting is a means of purifying the body as well as the spirit, as it gives the body a rest from the continuous task of digesting food.
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