RAMADHAN PATCH FOR CADETTE AND SENIOR GIRL SCOUTS
| Cadette and Senior Ramadhan Patch
Section 1 - An Introduction
Section 2 - What is Fasting
Section 3 - Why should we Fast ?
Section 4 - Who should Fast ?
Section 5 - When should we Fast ?
Section 6 - How should we Fast ?
To receive the Ramadhan Patch, Girl Scouts of the Islamic Faith must complete the activities listed in the following sections. Activitites with one star(*) are for both the Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts, whereas activities with two start (**) are especially for Senior Girl Scouts.
1: An Introduction
Do all of the following activities.
As-Sawm or Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. As Muslims we fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the lunar calendar. Fasting is an important part of many religions, including Islam. It teaches self-control, is beneficial to the health, and fosters sisterhood and brotherhood. To earn this patch, the Girl Scouts will learn about these and other aspects and benefits of Fasting in Ramadan.
Cadettes and Seniors should complete the following requirements:
1A) There are many references to fasting in the Qu'ran al-Kareem. During Ramadan we thank Allah (SwT) for the food that we eat and we also learn to respect the intricate food chain that enables us to survive.
* Read and discuss this Ayah (Signs of Allah Subhaanao-wa-Ta'ala) in the Qu'ran al-Kareem on Fasting:
" O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it had been prescribed to those before you that you may (learn) self-restraint---(fasting) for a fixed number of days but if any of you is ill or on a journey the prescribed number should be made up from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship) is a ransom…the feeding of one that is indigent. But the one who will give more of his own free will…it is better for him. And it is better for you that you fast if you only knew Ramadan (is the month) in which was sent down the Qu'ran al-Kareem as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting. But if any one is ill or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah (SwT) intends every facility for you. Allah (SwT) does not want to put you in difficulties. Allah (SwT) wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Allah (SwT) in that Allah (SwT) has guided you and perchance you shall be grateful."
(Qu'ran al-Kareem 2:183-185, Translation: A. Yusuf Ali )
** Write down any rules or regulations learnt from the
above ayahs in a small paragraph.
1B) Sayyedna Muhammad also taught us many things about fasting and how to do it best. From the passage above, we see that fasting was an order from Allah (SwT) that many Messengers of Allah (SwT) brought to their people.
* Consider the following Hadiath (Sayings of Sayyedna Muhammad (pbuh)). He said:
"Allah (SwT) says about the fasting person, "He has left his food, drink…., for My sake: the fast is for Me, so I will reward the fasting person for it, and the reward of any other good deed is multiplied ten times." (Hadiath quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari)
"When the month of Ramadan comes, the doors of Heavens are opened and the doors of Hell are closed."
** Seniors should memorize these simple Hadiath along with
two more from another source such as A Treasury of Hadiath by M. U. Kazi published by Ferozsons Ltd.
1C) The basic principles of fasting include suhoor, iftar, niyaat, and Tarawih. * Learn and memorize the meanings of these words. **Seniors should search through the Qu'ran al-Kareem and Hadiath concerning these topics.
Section Two: What is Fasting?
Complete the following activities.
2A) We know that we must fast in the holy month of Ramadan, but what is fasting? Basically, fasting is refraining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. More specifically, a person who fasts must not fight, curse, or lie.
* Consider this Hadiath of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Make up a little play or write a story to present to a Brownie or Junior troop about those Muslims who fast and are righteous, and those who lie and fight during their fast.
Sayyedna Mohammad (pbuh) said: "If a person does not abstain from telling lies or doing wrong when he is observing fast, let it be known to him that Allah (SwT) does not want that he should stop taking his food (fasting)."
The Messenger of Allah (SwT) said: " When any one of you gets up in the morning in the state of fasting, he should neither use obscene language nor do any act of ignorance. And, if anyone slanders him or quarrels with him, he should say: 'I am fasting. I am fasting.'
2B) Fasting, like prayer, is a practice that has been been a part of laws brought by previous messengers of Allah (SwT). All the religions of the world and all the great religious personalities adopted fasting as a demonstration of the principal of controlling one's desires. The Jews fast once every year to commemorate Prophet Moses' (pbuh) descent from Mount Sinai. Christians believe that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) fasted for forty days (Lent), and many Hindus and Buddhists fast as a form of discipline. All -Knowing Allah (SwT) says in the Qu'ran al-Kareem:
"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may be righteous." (2:183)
Muslims fast in a way that is different in all respects from fast observed by the followers of other religions. Consider the following Hadiath of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
"The difference between our fasting and that of the people of the Book (Christians and Jews), is eating shortly before dawn (suhoor)."
**Compare and contrast the ways that people of other religions
and Muslims fast.
Consider the suhoor, iftar, niyaa, tarawih, aitikaaf, timings of fasting, and reason for fasting. Find places in the Qu'ran al-Kareem, Torah (Old Testament), and Evangel (New Testament) where fasting is mentioned.
Section Three: Why should we fast?
Complete 2 of the following activities.
3A) Fasting is an order from Allah (SwT), and Allah (SwT) says that fasting is for Allah (SwT) alone. However, Allah (SwT) is so kind that even this act has many benefits. First of all, fasting is excellent for the body.
* Consider these scientific facts:
** Find out from a doctor whether people with such diseases
as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. should fast. Write a brief essay about how these people
should fast (if they can), and submit it to a local Muslim newspaper or newsletter (if possible).
3B) A benefit of fasting is feeling the hunger and pain that needy people around the world feel. Almighty Allah (SwT) wants us to know the pain of hunger so that we appreciate our food and help the needy.
* As Girl Scouts of the Islamic Faith we must help out in our community as much as we can. Plan to serve food at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, preferably in Ramadan.
Rasulallah (pbuh) said: "Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah's (SwT) cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night." (Hadiath quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari)
3C) Of course one of the most important concepts that we learn from fasting is self-control. During the month of Ramadan we get to practice self-discipline.
** Seniors should act out a little play for a younger troop
or should write a story about how learning self-control can help a person say "No" to other evils.
* The short story "A Promise" is about a young boy's promise to fast during the month of Ramadan. Read "A Promise" by Melody Ghandchi from the book Kids Are Muslims Too! Published by The Islamic Education Center.
3D) Ramadan is also a time in which we can "catch up" on doing good deeds. Although we should strive to be pious all year round, Ramadan is a time when the sawab (credit or reward) of doing good deeds is ten to seven hundred times greater.
** Plan to visit your local senior citizen's home or school for the deaf and/ or blind, or visit an orphanage. Or…
* Ask someone from a local school for the deaf or blind to come and speak to your troop about her work and how your troop can help.
Section Four: Who should Fast?
Complete the following activities.
4A) Even though fasting is a pillar of Islam, not everyone is required to fast. Allah (SwT) knows that sometimes it is not possible for people to fast because of certain situations, and Allah (SwT) does not put a burden on anyone greater than he/she can bear. For example people on a journey have a choice concerning their fast.
"So everyone who is present in his home during that month should spend it in fasting. But if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period should be made up by days later." (Qu'ran al-Kareem 2: 185)
"We used to travel with the Prophet (pbuh) and neither did the fasting persons criticize those who were not fasting, nor did the ones not fasting criticize the ones fasting" (Hadiath quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari)
4B) **Sometimes people are unable to fast during the month of Ramadan because they are sick, old, or in the case of women, they cannot fast for a specific time. What should these people do?
Rasulallah (pbuh) said: He who provides for the breaking of the Siyam of another person earns the same merit as the one who was observing Siyam (Fast) without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter. (Tirmidhi)
A Khutba From the Blessed Prophet Muhammad About Ramadan
It was narrated by Salman al Farsi that the Messenger of Allah (SwT) delivered this sermon on the last day of the month of Sha'ban. The Prophet (pbuh) said,
"All you people! A great and blessed month has arrived for you. A month with a night that is better than a thousand months. Fasting during this month is a duty, and extra prayers during its nights are voluntary. Anyone who comes closer to Allah (SwT) through a good deed during this month is as if he performed an obligation in another month. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise."
"It is the month to visit the poor, the sick and the needy to share their sorrows. It is the month where the food, sustenance and the earnings of a believing Muslim increases and they are blessed. Anyone who invites others to break their fast at dusk will have his sins forgiven and will be saved from Hell. He will receive a reward equal to the fasting person without reducing his own rewards at all."
"Allah (SwT) will reward you even if you help the Muslim to break his fast with a date, a sip of water or milk…it is a month whose beginning is mercy, its middle is forgiveness and its last part is freedom from Hell. ……Increase in yourselves fours things: Two with which you can please your Lord, and two others which you can't live without. The first two things that will please Allah (SwT) are to declare that there is no God but Allah (SwT) and then to ask Allah's forgiveness… The other two which you can't live without are: to ask Allah (SwT) for Paradise and to ask His protection from Hell. Anyone who gives water to a Muslim at fast-breaking time, Allah (SwT) will give him water during the Day of Judgment from the fountain of Muhammad (pbuh), which will quench his thirst until he enters Paradise."
Five: When should we fast?
Complete the following activities.
5A) Of course, we all must fast during Ramadan, but it is permissible to fast on other days as well, with the exception of Eid day. As we have learned Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar calendar.
5B) Lail-atul-Qadr is an important day in Ramadan. It is the night when the Qu'ran al-Kareem was revealed to Rasulallah (pbuh) in the Cave of Hira. It is said that praying on the night of Qadr is like praying for a thousand months. Memorize the following Surah with its translation:
** Organize a small Lail-a tul-Qadr night vigil for your troop and their families or attend a local gathering for this event.
Section Six: How should We Fast?
Complete 2 of the following activities.
6A) The most important thing about Fasting is having the proper Niyaah (Intention) to Fast. Without intention, a fast is not lawful. Intention should be made at the time of Sahoor with the words below.
"Bi Saumin ghadin nawaitu min shahri Ramadan."
"The fasting of tomorrow I intend for the month of Ramadan."
"Allah humma laka sumto wa bika amunto wa alaika tuwukulto wa alaiya rizkika ufturto."
Oh Allah (SwT)! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and with the sustenance You have given me, I now break my fast.
** Have an iftar gathering with your troop. Exchange recipes of different dishes from different Muslim countries and bring to the iftar.
6B) As mentioned earlier, fasting is refraining from food, drink, smoking, cursing, lying, gossip, etc. But what is allowed and not allowed during fasting? Make a list of things which break and do not break a fast and which make it Makrooh.
6C) Sometimes people intentionally break their fast because they are too tempted like the character from "A Promise." What should such a person do?
6D) Aitekaaf or meditation is another part of the month of Ramadan. In Islamic countries people usually
stay in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadan in aitekaaf.
* Learn about the different types of aitekaaf.
** Prepare a meal for the people in aitikaaf at your local Mosque.
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