Yes, Ramadan was our second chance (remember?) and Dhul Hijjah is our third.
So, why should we stick to “remembering” (i.e. dreaming about) Ramadan? Why don’t we just take advantage of the ten best days* that are coming up in order to give ourselves another little Ramadan?
[*Actually, even the days of Tashreeq (11th-13th) have some virtues so we shouldn’t forget about them. Sadly, most people do exactly that because they’re too busy partying their brains out because it’s Eid.]
What should we do?
1) Aim for a fresh start (don’t wait for Dhul Hijjah, do it NOW). Seek Allah’s Forgiveness and ask Him to make things easy for you.
2) Read about the virtues of Dhul Hijjah and write down all the specific deeds that can be done during this time (e.g. fasting, takbeer, etc).
[Note: We need to read about Eid Al-Adha and the days of Tashreeq too as they are a religious celebration, not a 4 day party.]
Rather than waiting for next Ramadan to come, we need to pretend that it is already here and that we are in the last ten days (hey, there’s even an Eid after them!).
3) Bring out all those Ramadan Resolutions papers out from the bottom of your drawers. Oh yes.
However, now we’re going to call this “Dhul Hijjah resolutions”.
Look over those resolutions and then write down your goals for these 10 days.
4) Write down all the good things that you did in Ramadan and then aim to do them in Dhul Hijjah as well.
5) Write down where (and why) you messed up in Ramadan and take steps to rectify that in Dhul Hijjah.
6) Try to get the Eid shopping done before these 10 days.
7) Encourage everybody to participate in Dhul Hijjah.
See, one of the great things about Ramadan is that everybody is trying to be good, so it’s much easier for us to be good.
8) Try to prepare a checklist for Dhul Hijjah (we have so many Ramadan checklists but not even one Dhul Hijjah checklist!).
It’s always easier to remember things when you have a checklist (we’re not elephants, remember?)
[Note: To the menstruating women, remember that even though you can’t pray or fast, you can still do a lot.]
9) Try to prepare a dua list as well (remember the wonderful day of Arafah?)
10) Remember that ultimately the purpose of Ramadan is the same as Dhul Hijjah: to get closer to Allah.
Therefore, we should once again aim to continue the good deeds even after Dhul Hijjah. If we just intend them for Dhul Hijjah and don’t want to bother doing them after that, it means we have a problem with our sincerity.
So, let’s get going, insha-Allah. We don’t want to waste our third chance, would we?
Yes, the best days of the year are about a week away.
Are we ready? Or are we going to let another opportunity slip through our hands?
We’ll be ready, insha-Allah.
So, here’s another lecture on the best days so we can continue to be motivated:
Merits of the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah by Mutasim Al-Hameedee (Download)
Yes, this awful day is almost upon us.
These days, many Muslims take the matter of celebrating days like this very lightly.
This is a BIG mistake. Apart from the fact that we were ordered to only celebrate Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, days like Halloween and Valentine’s Day have really ghastly origins. They’ve got kufr (disbelief) written all over them.
And please don’t say “It’s in the intention.”
When you know that these things contain things which displease Allah, then how can you do them and then say “My intention was good”? A good intention means that you were trying to please Allah, and obviously you cannot please Him with that which He dislikes!
It is not befitting for the one who believes in Allah and the Last Day to take part in such festivals. It’s as simple as that.
So, here’s a short article on the pagan origins of this day: Halloween by Muhammad Al-Jibaaly.
Here’s another one that explains the ruling on greeting the kuffar (disbelievers) on their festivals: Greeting the kuffar on their festivals by Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)
And here’s a rather ghastly looking poster that you can put outside your house to stop those kids from banging on your door and demanding that you give them some candy.
“Ruling”, you ask? There’s a “ruling” on becoming angry when one’s life is in shambles?
Actually, yes, there is.
I’ll talk a bit more about this in the Common (but Dangerous) Mistakes Series, insha-Allah.
For now, here’s the mind-blowing article: Ruling on Becoming Angry when Afflictions occur by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah).
In the last Recover Ramadan post, I spoke about adjusting our attitude.
I found this interesting lecture (I’m still at the beginning) by Dr. Bilal Philips about the “shackles” of the mind. The example that he starts of with is also interesting: the Day of Eid.
Then, he moves on to explain how Surah Al-Fatiha talks about the shackles of the mind.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
[According to the comments, this is a straight to the point lecture. Just my type.]
Shackles of the Mind by Dr. Bilal Philips
Here’s a good article that details exactly what sincerity to Allah is and how one can actually achieve it.
PS. Be sure to read the question fully. It’s quite interesting.
The meaning of being sincere towards Allah and how the Muslim can achieve that
Worship has three pillars, one of which is being sincere towards Allah. How can we be sincere towards Allah? I am very ambitious, and I want to acquire the greatest amount of shar’i knowledge, and I want to be a daa’iyah. Allah has blessed me with many talents which are needed for da’wah and spreading knowledge, and I want to be strong enough to pray qiyaam and fast. I have memorised the Book of Allah in full and now I am in the process of reinforcing my memorisation and learning how to recite it properly. I am learning shar’i knowledge and I have a number of projects and ideas for serving the Book of Allah and supporting the Deen, but my progress is slow for a number of reasons and because of many obstacles, especially from my family and the society around me — how much I am suffering from them! Because of physical weakness and health problems, I am not able to expend a great deal of effort, and if I do, I will spend several days unable to move. I always write out schedules for all these tasks and I try to follow them, but I cannot do that because of changing circumstances. I live on my own and I cannot find a sister to share my goals or a leader to help me and follow up with me so that I can fulfil my ambitions. I have looked a great deal but I cannot find anyone and I do not know the reason why I am so slow; is it because sincerity towards Allah is something that I have not achieved yet or what? This makes me very sad and pains me a great deal, and holds me back from reaching my goals. If there is any advice, then do not withhold it from me, because I am in the greatest need.
Praise be to Allaah.
Sincerity towards Allah is the best type of sincerity. The Muslim is being sincere towards his Lord if he achieves sincerity in three aspects: faith and proper belief, acts of obedience, and morals and manners. Faith does not mean mere wishful thinking. The one who is sincere in his faith is the one who attains faith in the way his Lord wants from him, which includes sincerity in faith, sincerity in intention, and sincerity in fear of Allah, may He be exalted. Not every act of obedience is sincere unless it is done, both outwardly and inwardly, in a manner which Allah likes.
In the last Recover Ramadan post, I asked what all the first six steps had in common.
The answer? All of them are connected to a change in attitude.
See, this is the main problem: our attitude.
For example, many Muslims have this belief that following Islam properly will somehow hamper their life and stop them from “having fun.” They think of Islam as some sort of shackle.
Well, that’s wrong because this dunya (worldly life) is actually the shackle but most people fail to realise that.
So, such people need to start thinking of Islam as something that frees them rather than something that traps them. After this, they’ll stop regarding Islam as a burden and will enjoy practicing it.
So, we need to figure what issues we may have with our attitude with regards to pleasing Allah and then solve them, insha-Allah.
The next few parts will deal with more “attitude problems”, insha-Allah.
Well, I’ve wanted to talk about some of these for a long time so I thought I’d start today.
Just a few points:
a) I’m presenting them randomly, not necessarily in the order of importance.
b) Today is a new day, insha-Allah. What that means is that my blog will (hopefully) start to resemble my course notes a lot more i.e. it will be packed with evidence (from the Quran and the authentic ahadeeth). Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing that on the blog, which goes against my own principle of “Either talk with proof, or else shut up”.
It also goes against my famous saying, “Anybody can talk but not everybody can talk with proof.”
So, I hope to rectify this starting from today, insha-Allah.
c) The proofs are there to show that the act is in fact a big sin, not to show that many Muslims commit that sin.
So, what are the common mistakes that many Muslims make today?
1) Committing one of the seven destructive sins.
[No, they’re not the same ones that the Christians keep moaning about.]
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” The people enquire, “O Allah’s Messenger! What are they? “He said, “To join others in worship along with Allah, to practice sorcery (magic), to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), to eat up Riba (usury), to eat up an orphan’s wealth, to give back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and to accuse, chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 28]
Now, someone might say: “Well, none of these are common!”
I beg to differ.