The Blessed Nights of Ramadan

Muslim Matters

The Blessed Nights of Ramadan

By Adil James, TMO

Young people sell CDs of Shaykh Abdul Khalid Sattar’s speeches at the Tawheed Center after his event.

A refreshing new voice in Michigan is that of Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar, who spoke Saturday at the Tawheed Center at an event that was attended by dozens of people preparing themselves for the joys and rigors of Ramadan.

Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar was born in Chicago in 1974. He completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU) in 1997.

After graduation, he began studying with local scholars in Chicago. In 2003, he traveled to Pakistan to further advance his knowledge of the traditional Islamic sciences. There he dedicated five years to a full-time course of studies under some of the most accomplished scholars of the sub-continent. In 2008, he formally graduated with a degree in Islamic Studies. He also received his teaching licenses in various Islamic subjects, including Classical Arabic, Hanafi Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh and Hadith.

In conjunction with his pursuit of traditional knowledge, he has also received spiritual guidance and training from Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad. After spending more than a decade in the company of his shaykh, he was given permission to take students in the path of Tasawwuf.

Currently, he runs Ilm, an online traditional learning program, and also teaches Arabic and Hanafi Fiqh with Sacred Learning, a Chicago-based learning institute. He currently resides in Maryland with his family.

The entire day was devoted to learning about Ramadan, with lectures entitled, “The Key to Ramadan–the Qur`an,” two workshops on the Fiqh of Ramadan, and a two part workshop on hadith relating to virtues of the Qur`an.

In speaking about the fiqh of Ramadan, the shaykh discussed the rules relating to fasting, explaining that the levels of requirement in fiqh are Fard, Wajib, then Sunnah Muaqqadah, and Nawafil.

Fard fasting relates to for example fasting during Ramadan, making up Ramadan fasts.

Wajib is still required, and he gave examples of wajib fasts as for example when one makes an oath that “if such and such happens then I will fast,” or if one makes the intention to fast every Thursday but then misses a Thursday fast, the makeup for that fast becomes obligatory on the servant.

Sunnah Muaqqadah fasts are for example the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Mustahhab fasts are not required but Prophet (s) used to practice them.  Such fasts as Monday / Thursday, or fasting the three white days, or fasting six days from Shawwal, are such fasts.

Surprisingly, but also interestingly, the shaykh discussed the fiqh of fasting Fridays and supported the argument that in our time it is not a sin to fast Friday without accompanying it with another day.  Also he argued that it may not be necessary to combine a fast on Ashura with a fast on the 9th or 11th, pointing out that in our time Jews no longer fast only the 10th of Muharram therefore if we fast only the 10th we are not imitating them.

An interesting point he made was that fasting is the only kind of ‘ibadat that we perform that involves not doing anything–the other acts of worship that we perform involve doing specified acts.  He built from this starting point towards the argument that Muslims in the West who find themselves “too busy” to perform other acts of worship are still able to fast because fasting does not involve taking time away from one’s other obligations, such as work and school.



If I have made any mistake in describing Islamic law please forgive me, and you can let me know also by writing


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