Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Pre-Ramadan’ Category

19
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #4: Milk it for all it’s worth…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, that title might sound highly unusual.

It’s an English saying which means making the most out of an opportunity.

Imagine if you went to a park and found lots of little gold coins on the ground. What would you do?

Well, you know what you’d do. You’d try to pick up as many coins as possible.

Imagine if you went to a food exhibition and they were offering free fruits. [Ironically, this actually happened here once!] What would you do?

You’d try to get your hands on as many fruits as you possibly could, that’s would you’d do.

Okay, that’s what we do with gold coins and fruits. What do many people do with regards to Ramadan?

It’s Shaban 29th. Maghrib comes.

Nobody is sure if it’s Ramadan or not.

Most people just twiddle their thumbs and wait for the announcement, instead of realising that they should increase in their ibaadah  (worship) as Ramadan might have already started. And if not, then at least this will help them prepare for it.

What happens once people know that it’s Ramadan? Well, for many people, nothing happens. They wait until the next day to start fasting because they think that this is when Ramadan begins.

Then they proceed to be very active in the first few days and do taraweeh every night.

After that? Well, many people tend to drop off the radar only to return in time for the 27th night.

Then on the 29th of Ramadan after Maghrib, everyone twiddles their thumbs yet again waiting for an Eid announcement, not realising that if it’s still Ramadan (i.e. it’s not Eid the next day), they need to make use of its final hours.

The minutes of Ramadan are more precious than those gold coins so why do we treat them like nothing???

We need to use our time wisely – right from the beginning of Ramadan until the end, when the moon of Shawwal is spotted.

We need to remember to use the mornings and the nights for good deeds.

We need to pace ourselves so that we steadily increase in worship throughout the month and peak in the last ten nights.

We need to make the best out of every situation whether it is at work, in the car, in the kitchen, in university, etc.

The amazing thing about our purpose of life (i.e worshipping Allah alone) is that we can do it anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance, and in any age. [This is one of the main purposes of Ramadan –  to remind us of our purpose in life and to remind us to use our time in pursuing this goal.]

So, we should use every opportunity possible.

In the car? Listen to a nice Islamic lecture.

Stuck in a queue? Do istighfar (seek forgiveness).

Stuck in the kitchen? Do tasbeeh (say “subhan Allah”).

At work? Well, do your work properly and in a good way, knowing that we’ve been commanded to do all things well.

At university? Same as above.

Got stuck in a conversation with your elderly highly-talkative neighbour whom you find very annoying? Talk to them politely and remember that neighbours have rights and that we’ve been commanded to be good to the elderly. This conversation will then turn into an act of worship (I’m assuming that the neighbour is of the same gender as you) and will be a witness for you instead of being a witness against you.

In short: Milk every minute for what it’s worth. In this Ramadan and even beyond that.

Perhaps Ramadan has already begun for some of you (it hasn’t where I am).

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you.

May Allah grant us tawfeeq (guidance) in this great month.

PS. After much thought, I’ve decided to blog only for the first 7 days and then stop for the rest of Ramadan. That’s because I spent far too much time blogging the last two Ramadans and did not spend enough time with the Quran.So this year, I’m going to be rectifying that, insha-Allah.

I’ll be continuing with the Lords of the Worlds series as promised but just for the first 7 days, insha-Allah.

Advertisements
17
Jul

A reminder as to why fasting was enjoined upon us…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So I came across another article that told us why Muslims fast in Ramadan.

The only problem was that it – like most of the articles before it – failed to mention the MAIN reason that fasting was enjoined.

No, it’s not to feel empathy with the poor. [I heard that so many times when I was younger!]

What did Allah say?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]

So, this is the reason that fasting was prescribed: to increase us in taqwa (piety).

What is fasting, after all? It’s staying away from three HALAL (lawful) things (food, drink and sexual intercourse with one’s spouse) from dawn to dusk during Ramadan.

Why? Well, just because Allah said so.

So, this begs the question: If we can give up the halal from dawn to dusk for 30 days, just because Allah said so, why can’t we give up the haram (unlawful) outside of Ramadan just because Allah said so?

I read or heard (can’t remember) a shaikh say something very interesting. He pointed out that many people fast but do not pray (and such a fast is invalid by the way) which did not make any sense (how could a person who wanted to increase in piety leave the prayer??).

Apart from the fact that prayer is the greater pillar, fasting was tougher than prayer! You had to do it for a whole day whereas a simple prayer could be done in 5-10 minutes.

He pointed out that these people do the more difficult act of worship and leave the easier one.

Does that make sense? Obviously not.

So, we need to make sure that we know the purpose of fasting, because if we don’t, we won’t get the benefit of performing this great act of worship.

16
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #3: Get excited…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yep, Ramadan is 3-4 days away.

How do you feel?

Are you EXCITED?

Or are you stressed? Anxious? Nervous? Worried about getting ready? Dreading that Ramadan is so close?

Stop.

Step back.

Relax.

Stop thinking so much. [Okay, I’m the last person who should be saying that…]

This is the best of months.

The most awesome time of the year.

The month where it’s easy to worship Allah.

The month where the doors of Paradise are opened.

The month where those annoying devils are chained up.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

All I have to say is:

I repeat:

Your condition should NOT be:

Rather it should be:

Too often, I’ve noticed that we don’t take enough pleasure in practicing Islam.

[This is something that I noticed in the survey answers and will discuss this in the Step by Step series when I resume it after Hajj season, insha-Allah. I did talk about this issue in this post and in this one though.]

Let’s change that this year.

Let’s feel excited that we’re going to be fasting.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll be doing taraweeh.

Let’s feel excited that we’ll get another chance at Laylatul Qadr.

In short: Instead of dreading the fact that Ramadan is so close, let’s get excited and feel happy that the Greatest Month is practically at our doorsteps!

Remember, we are:

15
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #2: Start working…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Subhan Allah, there’s only 4-5 more days to go before Ramadan is here.

Only 4-5 days.

If we haven’t started working, we need to start NOW for two reasons:

1) We can’t guarantee that we’ll be alive that long.

Subhan Allah, Ramadan is so close…and yet it’s so far away. We won’t reach it until we actually DO reach it.

2) I’m sorry but we can’t wait for the moon to be sighted in order to start increasing in worship.

That’s too late because that means we’ll be using Ramadan to adjust to our new schedules, whereas we should already have adjusted by then!

So:

We need to start improving our prayers NOW.

We need to start increasing in recitation of the Quran NOW.

We need to start increasing in giving charity NOW.

[We also need to ditch those sins (random examples: smoking, listening to music, backbiting, etc) NOW.]

What are you (and I) waiting for?

14
Jul

Another Ramadan 2012 Prep Event for Sisters in Dubai…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, another day, another event. For sisters in Dubai, that is.

[However, this centre does transmit many of their classes on Wiziq (for sisters only) so if sisters outside the UAE are interested in listening, they should contact them directly on their website mentioned below.]

Our very own Eman Al-Obaid, may Allah reward her, has a few talks coming up. [And one of them is actually going to be in Arabic at a time when I’m free. I’m stunned.]

Here’s the schedule from the Al-Huda Sisters blog:

Sunday & Monday (15th & 16th July): 9am-10:30am

*Ramadan with Faith*

Sunday Evening (15th July): 7:30pm – 9:30pm

*Ramadan: Means and Goals*

Location @ the Markaz, Umm Suqeim 2, Al Thanya Street, Villa 29

Tuesday, 17th July 

8:30-10am:  Ramadan: A Symbol of True Servitude to Allah (Al Ubodiyyah) (in English)

10am-11:30am:  قلب الصائم (in Arabic)

Location: Al Nahdah, Dubai Women’s Association (Near Dubai Hospital)

For more information, please read this.

Once again, please contact them for all the details and not me.

Please pass on the word so more sisters can benefit, insha-Allah.

Baarakallahu feekunn.

14
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 8

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.]

[Important note: I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention this one more time. I do not like any men unnecessarily submitting comments. By “unnecessary” I mean anything other than offering required constructive criticism or a needed clarification on a post. As for advice or resources, then they should ask another brother. This should have been obvious but it seems that some people need to be told before they can understand. 

From now on, I’ll delete all comments from those who are obviously brothers (sometimes their usernames don’t hint at the gender) unless, as mentioned above, it is required constructive criticism or a needed clarification on a post. This is to avoid any sort of fitnah (trial).]

Some examples of how knowledge benefits us during Ramadan

[Okay, so this part is where I finally link the “Ramadan” to the “Seek knowledge” part.]

So here are some different ways that knowledge can change a so-so Ramadan into a great Ramadan:

[Note: Once again, I’ll be summarising the issue and won’t be mentioning some of the proofs due to time constraints. I have linked to some fatwas though. If you need a particular proof, please do ask.]

1) A “normal” act can be changed to an act of worship by changing one’s intention.

– The intention can make or break a good act.

[Please note: I said “good” act. We can’t disobey Allah and say “But our intentions were good!” Disobedience is disobedience. Allah does not accept evil actions, rather he only accepts the good ones.

إن الله طيب لا يقبل إلا طيبا

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2214]

So, I am only referring to halal (lawful) acts and not haram (unlawful acts) when I say “normal” act.]

إنما الأعمال بالنية ، وإنما لامرئ ما نوى ، فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله ، فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله ، ومن كانت هجرته إلى دنيا يصيبها ، أو امرأة يتزوجها ، فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه

Narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 51]

Read more »

11
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Event for Sisters in Dubai

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Still not prepared for Ramadan?

Well, sisters in Dubai (and thereabouts) could try to attend this lecture by Dr. Mamdouh Mohamed (a very qualified man who we in Dubai have underutilized!):

[Click on the picture to enlarge the image.]

Note: I don’t have any information about this (other than what’s on the flyer) so please do not ask me. You may call the number mentioned in the flyer.

Please remember to pass on the word.

Baarakallahu feekunn.

9
Jul

Website: Ramadan with Quran

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

In my now-famous* post, I mentioned a simple technique that someone could use to focus on the taraweeh prayers. [If you haven’t read that post, then please do. I think it travelled the globe…]

[*I use the term “famous” very loosely.]

Now I have an even simpler way: sign up for the following (free, I believe) month-long intensive course which offers a daily study of the Quran:

http://www.ramadanwithquran.com/

[This is the same brother, may Allah reward him, who runs the following beneficial blog: http://trueword.wordpress.com/]

It seems that he is going to do one juz daily, covering the translation, explanation and partial recitation. It sounds very good, maasha-Allah.

The course starts on July 15th and will continue until August 12th, insha-Allah, which is great because you can start preparing for the “taraweeh recitation” ahead of time.

[This will be held onsite (for those of you in Ontario or thereabouts) and online as well but you need to sign up first.]

Please remember to send the link to all those who may be interested, insha-Allah.

What if you aren’t able to take the course?

Well then, you should read the post that I linked to above as well as the following ones:

1) Some suggestions for reading the translation of the Quran

2) Summarisation of the first 12 Ajzaa of the Quran

[By the way, Brother Abu Tawbah did an entire series on this 2 years ago. The first 12 parts can be found here. I believe the owners of this website are selling the entire series.]

3) Surah Study Guide (for any surah)

4) Want some help with tajweed (recitation)? Here you go.

5) Want some nice word to word translations? Here you go.

All the resources that one needs are available online, alhamdulillah.

The real question is: Is the heart willing?

And Allah knows Better.

4
Jul

Ramadan 2012 Prep Tip #1: Seek Knowledge… – Part 7

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.]

What should knowledge do for us?

I spoke about the importance of applying one’s knowledge in the previous parts so in this part, I’d just like to summarise what this knowledge should do for us:

-It should increase us in our knowledge of Allah i.e. His Names and His Attributes.

– It should improve us as people – both from the perspective of ibaadah (worship) and good manners.

– It should soften our hearts.

Yes soften, NOT harden because sadly, some people let their hearts get hard even though the knowledge has come to them.

– It should make us aware of our deficiencies and ignorance.

– It should make us humble, not arrogant. Basically it needs to break us and pour into our pores (if you will).

The following two ahadeeth should clarify the above points:

إن المؤمن يرى ذنوبه كأنه قاعد تحت جبل يخاف أن يقع عليه ، وإن الفاجر يرى ذنوبه كذباب مر على أنفه ، فقال به هكذا . قال أبو شهاب بيده فوق أنفه

Narrated Al-Harith ibn Suwaid: Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) related to us two narrations: One from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the other from himself, saying: A believer sees his sins as if he were sitting under a mountain which, he is afraid, may fall on him; whereas the wicked person considers his sins as flies passing over his nose and he just drives them away like this.” Abu Shihab (the sub-narrator) moved his hand over his nose in illustration. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 320]

أن عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه أتي بطعام ، وكان صائما ، فقال : قتل مصعب بن عمير ، وهو خير مني ، كفن في بردة : إن غطي رأسه بدت رجلاه ، وإن غطي رجلاه بدا رأسه . وأراه قال : وقتل حمزة ، وهو خير مني ، ثم بسط لنا من الدنيا ما بسط ، أو قال : أعطينا من الدنيا ما أعطينا ، وقد خشينا أن تكون حسناتنا عجلت لنا ، ثم جعل يبكي حتى ترك الطعام 

Narrated Ibrahim: Once a meal was brought to Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) and he was fasting. He said, “Musab ibnUmair was martyred and he was better than I and was shrouded in his Burd (a black square narrow dress)  and when his head was covered with it, his legs became bare, and when his legs were covered his head got uncovered. Hamza was martyred and was better than I. Now the worldly wealth have been bestowed upon us (or said a similar thing). No doubt, I fear that the rewards of my deeds might have been given earlier in this world.” Then he started weeping and left his food. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 2, Hadeeth No. 365]

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was one of the greatest companions and he was one of those who was granted Paradise in his lifetime. Subhan Allah, look at how much he feared Allah!

Read more »