Here are the answers to the 14 questions from the Ramadan quiz which is available here: Ramadan Quiz 1 Questions
1- Why do we fast?
a. To lose weight
b. To gain taqwa
c. Sympathy with the world’s poor
d. Personal satisfaction
Concept: Criteria for action is not benefit and harm
Allah (Most High) says,
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will gain taqwa.”
Explanation: Taqwa is a fundamental pillar in the life of a Muslim and in an Islamic society. It means being aware of Allah in all aspects of life.
This self-accountability is the first restriction from committing zulm and oppression on yourself, family and society.
Fasting is an action that by its nature forces you to think about Allah, because each time you think about eating and drinking you remember Allah and stop yourself. So as a training exercise its one of the best forms of ibadat to develop our personalities.
Another point is that many non-Muslims fast nowadays, but they do so for health reasons, and they get nothing from their fasts except material benefit. Muslims may gain some health benefits but the primary goal is taqwa.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ صِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ الْجُوعُ
“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger.” Sunan Ibn Majah 1690
2- What is the meaning of the Arabic word Ramadan رمضان?
c. Scorching heat
Concept: Achieving the spiritual value
Explanation: The word Ramadan رمضان is derived from the Arabic word Ramida رَمِضَ or Ar-Ramad الرَمَضُ which means intense scorching heat.
It is also derived from the word Ar-Ramdaa’ الرمضاء which means sun-baked sand. The Arabs used to call the land that is heated by the sun Al-Ardu ramdaa’ – الارضُ الرمضاءُ.
Ramadan was named such because it burns the sins of the believers. Just like the blazing sun evaporates water from the surface of the ground, Ramadan burns away one’s sins.
This spiritual heat purifies and moulds us to be better human beings.
3- What happens on the first night of Ramadan?
a. The devils are chained
b. The gates of Hell are closed
c. The gates of Paradise are opened
d. All of the above
Concept: Ramadan is a month of thinking, reflecting and contemplation
Explanation: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “On the first night of the month of Ramadan, the devils are chained, the jinn are restrained, and the gates of Hellfire are closed and none of its gates are opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and none of its gates are closed. A heavenly caller announces: O seeker of good, come near! O seeker of evil, stop short! Allah will save them from the Hellfire and that is during every night of Ramadan.” Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 682
Without the whispers of shaitan clouding our thoughts, Ramadan is a good time to reflect on our lives and our ultimate objective.
4- What food is recommended for breaking our fast?
b. Fried chicken
c. Coca cola
Concept: We hear and we obey. No need to look for an ‘illa (legal reason) in ibaadat
Explanation: Anas Bin Maalik (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to break fast with Rutub (fresh, moist, ripe dates) before he would pray, and if he did not have any, then he would use Tamr (dry dates) and if there wasn’t any he would take sips of water.” Sunan Abu Dawud 2356
It is Mustahabb (recommended) for the fasting person to make iftaar with Rutub and if they cannot find that then the recommendation moves towards Tamr.
If they do not have this, then it is recommended to take mouthfuls of water and after that they can eat what they wish.
One point to note here, is that there is no ‘illa (legal reason) in the text because this is ibaadat, and generally ibaadat does not contain legal reasons where you can do qiyas (analogy). This is in contrast to mu’amilat (societal transactions) such as economics and finance where many ‘illa exist, and hence analogy can be performed.
Looking for scientific reasons of why dates are good to break the fast, due to the nutrients and high sugar content they contain, is not appropriate here, because this adds no value to the action. We obey the command without questioning why, the same as we do when praying 3 rakah maghrib or 4 rakah isha.
5- On what night was the Qur’an revealed?
Concept: Importance of the Qur’an
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
“Indeed, We sent this ˹Quran˺ down on the Night of Power”
It is mportant we try and reconnect with the Qur’an in this blessed month which is the Month of the Qur’an.
6- Approximately how many people are fasting worldwide during Ramadan?
a. 1.5 billion
b. 1.5 million
c. 1.5 trillion
d. 1.5 thousand
Concept: One Ummah
Explanation: There are approximately 1.9 billion Muslims in the world. Not everyone is fasting due to excuses – sick, young children, really old etc so 1.5billion is a rough estimate.
This shows we are not alone in the world even though in some countries we maybe living as a minority and feel this way.
We are one ummah, with one god, one religion and we should have one state with one authority to look after our affairs and represent us on the world stage.
7- What is the reward for fasting?
a. 1 good deed
b. 10 good deeds
c. 700 good deeds
d. Greater than 700
Concept: Objective in life
Explanation: The Prophet ﷺ said, “(Allah says), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” Sahih Bukhari 5927
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Every deed of the son of Adam (human beings) will be multiplied for them, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit.” Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it.’” Sunan Ibn Majah 3823
8- What is the reward for providing iftar to a fasting person?
a. The same reward as the fasting person
b. 1 good deed
Concept: Collective spirit
Explanation: Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani narrated that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.” Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 807
This encourages us to link up with extended family, friends and the community during this month.
9- What should we increase in Ramadan?
a. Watching TV
d. Playing games
Concept: Achieving the spiritual value
Explanation: This is our yearly service, where we can attempt to fix our bad traits and become closer to Allah and the Qur’an.
10- How did the Ottomans announce the beginning of Ramadan in Jerusalem?
b. Firing a cannon
d. Gun salute
Concept: The method of implementing fasting is the state
Explanation: Ottomans held the seat of the Caliphate and ruled much of the Middle East including Palestine. They used the canon to mark the beginning of Ramadan so everyone would hear it for miles around.
Today this tradition of using the cannon to mark iftar continues each day in Bosnia at the Yellow Bastion (Fortress) on top of a hill in Sarajevo. This was stopped under Communist Yugoslavia but revived in the 90s.
Cannoneer Krivic comes on the Yellow Bastion 20 minutes before iftar, to perform all the preparations and checking. When the cannon barrel, gunpowder charge, fuses and igniters are ready, he looks at his watch and waits for the right time. And then, after a cannon shot, flashes the rose in the sky over Sarajevo, lamps on mosques get turned on and begins iftar time.
These Ottoman traditions uslub (styles) are important to link us back to a time when Islam was practically implemented.
11- Which of these conquests did not occur in Ramadan?
a. Battle of Hittin
b. Conquest of Makkah
c. Battle of Uhud
d. Battle of ‘Ain Jaloot
Concept: Victory is from Allah
Explanation: Ramadan was not a time for sleeping but a time for activity.
14 out of the 93 expeditions in the time of the Prophet ﷺ took place in Ramadan.
The Battle of Hittin liberated Al-Quds from the crusaders and it remained under Muslim rule until 1917 when the British occupied it in WW1 and removed Ottoman Muslim authority.
The Battle of ‘Ain Jaloot in Palestine stopped the Mongol invasion of the Middle East which had reeked havoc and destroyed the Caliphate’s capital Baghdad, and assasinated the last Abbasid caliph Al-Musta’sim.
Ramadan was a month of activity not a month of sleeping and laziness, where great things were achieved.
12- Whose du’a is accepted? (choose three)
a. A just ruler
b. A fasting person
c. An oppressed person
d. Someone who doesn’t enjoin good and forbid evil
e. An oppressor
Concept: Importance of du’a in seeking Allah’s help
Explanation: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 3598
Allah (Most High) says,
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“When My servants ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond ˹with obedience˺ to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided ˹to the Right Way˺.” [2:186]
13- Allah describes Lailatul-Qadr as “better than a thousand months”. How many years of worship does this equate to?
Concept: Motivation to achieve the spiritual value
Explanation: 1000/12 = 83
14- What month follows Ramadan?
b. Eid ul-Fitr
Concept: Continuation of worship past Ramadan
Explanation: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually i.e. the whole year.” Sahih Muslim 1164a
We don’t want to be Ramadan Muslims where we worship Allah in Ramadan but then take a holiday for the other 11 months.
Six days in Shawwal isnt easy but continues the mindset of worship and taqwa post Eid.
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