Friday, June 1, 2012

Winter: The Best Season!

Winter: The Best Season!


Some ways to enjoy it!!!!

It is said that winter is a time when people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as 'the Winter Blues' or winter depression. However, it is interesting to see how Muslims welcome winter, as it is clear that they see it in a totally different light.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Winter is the best season for the believer. Its nights are long for him to pray in, and its days are short for him to fast in." [Hadith-Majma' az-Zawa'id' (3/203)]

'Umar bin al-Khattab(RA) said: "Winter is the prize of the worshippers."

You can increase your good deeds, take care of your obligations and earn the Pleasure of Allaah all at the same time! Here are some ways to would benefit from winter:

Fasting and praying

Winter is the best season for the believer because Allah makes worship easy for him. This is because in winter, the believer can fast during the day with ease without suffering from hunger and thirst. The days are short and cold, and he therefore doesn't feel the hardship of fasting…

It is reported  The Prophet Muhammad said: "Fasting in the winter is the easy prize."

"And the meaning of it being an easy prize is that it is a prize obtained without any battle or effort or hardship. So, the owner of this prize has been given it as a favor without any effort on his part."

We all know that making up the days of missed fasting is fardh (compulsory) on every adult Muslim man and woman and not doing so is a sin. So if we have missed a fast for a valid reason (travel, sickness etc) we need to "catch-up".

Thus, we should hasten to fast the number of days we missed. And what better opportunity than this? How much easier could it get? The days are short and the weather is cool, so you don't really get thirsty or even feel hungry.

Allaah, in his Infinite Mercy, is providing us with an easy opportunity to seek rewards from Him. So shouldn't we take it up?   Abu Hurayrah RA  said to some people: "Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds?" They asked, "And what is that O, Abu Hurayrah?" He replied, "Fasting in winter."

As for praying at night in the winter due to its long nights, one can have his share of sleep and then get up to pray afterwards and recite all that he usually recites of the Qur'an while he has had enough sleep. So, he can combine between the sleep that he needs and the usual amount of recitation of the Qur'an that he completes in a day. So, he fulfills the interests of both his religion and the comfort of his body…

And it was narrated that Ibn Mas'ud said: "Welcome to winter! Blessings descend in it, its nights are long to pray in, and its days are short to fast in." This is why Mu'adh(RA) wept on his deathbed and said: "I weep because I will miss the thirst I felt when I fasted, praying at night during the winter, and sitting knee to knee with the scholars during the gatherings of knowledge.""

Caring for the poor

 The Prophet Muhammad said: "Whoever feeds a hungry believer will be fed by Allah on the Day of Judgement from the fruits of Paradise, and whoever quenches his thirst will have his thirst quenched from the Sealed Nectar, and whoever clothes him will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise."

In many parts of the world there is so much difficulty associated with winter. Extreme cold, poor heating, hunger etc. There is so much we can do such as:

·         Organise some blankets for the poor and destitute

·         Start a community soup kitchen

·         Help elderly by offering them a lift in the cold

·         Visiting the elderly and sick in our community

Try and involve our family and community in these activities. Buy some gloves and warm hats and take your kids along to distribute it to the needy. There is so much good we can do if we just put ourselves forward.

Remembering the realities of Hell

It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad said: "Hell complained to its Lord, saying: "Parts of me have consumed the other parts." So, He allowed it two breaths of exhalation: one in winter and one in summer. As for its breath in winter, that is the bitter cold, and its breath in the summer is the extreme heat."

Among the virtues of winter is that it reminds one of the extreme cold of Hell and pushes one to seek refuge from it and to do such noble actions that will ensure one is protected from Jahannam(Hell)

Spend Quality time with your family indoors

As it is cold we can enjoy quality time indoors with our family which we find generally difficult in these times as we are all "busy"! Plan and do such activities that will bond the family and bring us closer to Allaah. Read good Islamic books while cuddling under your cozy blanket, ask the kids to help you in household activities, spend more quality time with your spouse and kids. Be innovative and have fun within the confinements of Sharia.

So, these examples show that winter time is a special time that we should mark not by being down and inactive, but rather by being pro-active in reviving our energy in worship and servitude to Allah.

And actually, if you think about it, the winter is a big blessing from among the innumerable, uncountable blessings of Allaah. He is honoring us by the bounty of His Giving, His gracious Blessing and His great Favor, so that we may be able to pray at night, fast during the day and worship Him.

May Allaah, Most High enable us all to make better use of our winters. Ameen.