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Posts from the ‘Shabaan’ Category

11
Jul

What are five things that you hope to achieve by the end of…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…..Shawwal?

You thought I was going to say “Ramadan”, didn’t you?

Why did I say Shawwal? Well, because many of us stop functioning after Ramadan because we make the mistake of only thinking of the goals that we want to achieve by the end of this month.

And then our iman (faith) takes a dive in Shawwal.

So, in order to avoid that, I thought it might be better if we included Shabaan and Shawwal in the picture.

Okay, let’s take this step by step:

1) Think about what five goals you HAVE to achieve by the end of Shawwal.

– Why make goals? If you don’t, the days will pass you by with you getting absolutely nowhere.

– Why five? Well, more than that would make your head spin. [You could do more if you wish.]

– Please don’t reply to this post and tell me (and the rest of the world) what your goals are. I think too often we share our personal goals with the whole wide world. Sometimes, that can rob us of our sincerity.

– Think of the hereafter consequences of what would happen if you don’t achieve those goals.

2) Be sure to WRITE down the goals.

Please don’t use your iPad for this purpose.

Take a pen and paper and do it the old fashioned way. It feels so much better.

Trust me.

3) Please be precise when you write down the goals.

For example, don’t say “I wanna be a good Muslim.” You could say: I will memorise the last two juz of the Quran, for example. Or I will start dawah project X and set up a website for it.

4) Write down the steps that you need to take to get to those goals.

For example, if you want to memorise the last 2 juz of the Quran, you have about 80 days left so how many ayaat (verses) do you need to study per day?

Do you have a Quran teacher? If not, can you join a class?

What time of the day will you do your memorisation?

How much will you achieve by the end of Shabaan and by the end of Ramadan?

5) Start right away.

Many people just groan when I say these things to them and wail “Oh we’re too busy for this” or “We can’t be this organised.”

Just a question for these types of people: Have you achieved any of your goals in the past 3 years? If not, then don’t you think you need to change the way that you do things?

6) Look at this paper (the one where your goals are written) as much as you can.

You know, subhan Allah, I read this on a kaafir website and I was like “Huh?”

And then I realised that all my goals were on my dua list, and whenever I looked at my dua list, I would get REALLY motivated. So I realised that while we may know our goals, we sometimes tend to put them at the back of our mind.

Being reminded of them will motivate us to reach them.

7) Keep checking your progress.

You know, 5 and 7 are the toughest ones to do but they’re the ones that we HAVE to do.

8) Ask Allah for His help.

We can’t do anything without His help and guidance.

So what are we all waiting for? Let’s get started!

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9
Jul

The New Muslim blog (finally!)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, today is the day (where I finally cross a big activity off my huge Pending Tasks list).

[For those who missed the story, I had promised someone on this blog that I would launch the new Muslim blog weeks ago.

My apologies to both the brother and the sister who have been waiting for this blog. I hope that it was worth the wait though.]

Before I give you the blog link, let me mention a few things:

1) The blog is still quite bare.

I didn’t want to post a whole lot of things before I launched the blog. The readers might have found it difficult to catch up with all the information.

[The blog is going in a step by step manner. If you look at the order of the posts, you’ll realise that.]

I need to add a lot more things, insha-Allah and I will, step by step.

Will it be daily? That depends. If the readers want it to be daily, it will be daily, insha-Allah.

2) The personal touch is still not there.

Someone just pointed out that she couldn’t see the “personal” side of that blog, unlike the Ramadan blog. [Okay, I’m paraphrasing the words.]

Insha-Allah, it will come soon.

This blog will have lots of little bits of advice to get our new brothers and sisters moving along.

3) I need your help.

Yes, all of you.

I’d like the non new-Muslims (old Muslims?) to participate in this blog as well. Remember this blog is for new Muslims and I’d like them to feel part of a community.

The first thing that I’d like you to do is to check the blog and give me your input:

http://newtoislam.wordpress.com/

[And please keep in mind what I wrote above: that there will be more changes to the blog now that it’s gone live.]

For those who are too shy to leave comments, you may leave your feedback below:

I hope that this blog will be off some benefit for those who are new to Islam, insha-Allah.

8
Jul

Ramadan: The Month of… – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I thought that it would be a good idea to remind ourselves of the virtues of Ramadan from the Quran and the Sunnah.

[Yes, many of us might know these but we all need reminders now and then.]

The Month of Fasting

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (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]

“[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 184]

The Month of the Quran, Guidance, Gratitude and Generosity

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel* met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

[*For those new to Islam, Jibreel = Gabriel (the angel).]

The Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and Dua (supplication)

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

To be continued…

7
Jul

Six (relatively fast) ways to jumpstart your Ramadan preparation…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, how can one jumpstart it?

Well, I thought of 6 ways – all of them being things which cause one’s iman (faith) to rise.

If the iman rises, then the deeds increase which in turn causes the iman to rise even further.

So, here’s what I would do to jumpstart things:

[Of course, there are other ways as well.]

1) Do istighfar (seeking forgiveness) and taubah (repentance)

There’s nothing like bad deeds to hold a person back.

And there’s nothing like repentance to get them going again.

2) Attend the circles of knowledge

This one is a real iman booster.

It’s not just the knowledge. It’s also the serene feeling that one gets in these circles. Also, this is where you meet righteous sisters – not in Deira City Centre*.

[*To non-UAEers: This is a positively horrid shopping mall.]

3) Dua (supplication)

Don’t ask Allah. BEG Him.

4) Read the books of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone)

Knowing Allah is the foundation of all good things. And the books of tawheed introduce us to Allah, His Majesty, His Name and His Attributes, His rights over us, etc.

If you want an iman boosting book, pick up a book on tawheed.

5) Think about death.

There’s nothing like death to get the blood rushing (no pun intended).

Just thinking of it should be enough for a person to rush to do good deeds.

6) Take a day off and focus exclusively on your ibaadah (worship)

Busy with lots of stuff? Try to take just ONE day off where you stay at home and essentially focus on your ibaadah.

It really makes a WORLD of difference.

For those who are always around people, if you can try to be alone for that day, then that would be better.

I’ve always noticed that when I have a quiet day to myself (or as much as I can manage, I suppose), I have time to reflect and think. I can also try to work out what to do next. It makes things so much easier.

So, those were my suggestions. What other ways would you recommend to jumpstart one’s Ramadan preparations?

5
Jul

Some resources to study the fiqh of fasting…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Fiqh = Jurisprudence. It sort of means the rulings regarding a particular thing.]

Last year, I put up a lot of resources on studying the fiqh of fasting so I thought I’d link to some of those again.

Which resource should you use?

Well, it depends on your level. If you are a beginner, try to choose one and stick with that for now.

However, if you are a student of knowledge, then you should try to go through as many of them as possible.

Also, I’d advise everyone to take notes and summarise the points in your Ramadan journal. That way, you won’t have to go through these books and lectures each year. All you have to do is to read your own notes.

[Note: The links take you to the earlier posts which contain the resources. I haven’t linked to the resources directly.]

Lectures

1) Basic Fiqh for Ramadan by Brother Abu Taubah.

Nice and simple.

2) Ramadan Rulings By Brother Moosa Khoory

Also nice and simple. Oh and he’s also from the UAE.

3) 186 Rules for Ramadan by Brother Waleed Basyouni.

Good series. It mentions all the required issues.

He also has another lecture entitled “How to make this your best Ramadan ever“.

4) The Month of Mercy by Brother Abu Abdissalam

For those who like British accents.

5) Fasting for the Everlasting and Fiqh of Moonsighting by Brother Shakiel Humayun

Both of these are from a seminar entitled “From the Moon to the Spoon”….

6) Fasting in Ramadan by Shaikh Saleh As-Saleh

Covers just about every important topic related to Ramadan.

7) Fiqh of Siyaam by Brother Abdur Rauf Shakir

I haven’t linked to this before. His lectures are really detailed, masha-Allah. It’s very good for students of knowledge.

8) Two free courses from Islamic Online University

For those who prefer to study properly.

Books / Articles

1) The Fast of Ramadan by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Jamil Zino

Nice, simple, well-organized book.

2) Ramadan and Fasting by Brother Abdel Kader Kamel Tayeb.

Organised in a different way but that makes it more appealing.

3) Fasting and its Rulings by Shaikh Usaamah Al-Qusee

Summarises the rules of fasting.

4) Rulings Pertaining to Ramadan by Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid

All the fatwas from Islam Q and A.

5) Ramadan as observed by the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) by Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilali and Shaikh Alee Hasan Al-Halabee

6) Lessons on Fasting, Taraweeh and Zakaah by Shaikh Muhammad Saalih Aal- Uthaimeeen (rahimahullah)

Simple book? Of course. Didn’t you notice the “Uthaimeen” in the author’s name?

7) The Nature of Fasting by Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullah)

Just another book by one of the greatest scholars of all time.

3
Jul

What is the one thing that…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…YOU need to do in Shabaan in order to have a great Ramadan?

Now, you might say “Oh, there are so many things!”

Well, there might be but what is the most important thing?

For me, I’d say: I need to improve my health and fitness.

Once I do that, I’ll have more energy to do all the ibaadah (worship) that I want to do.

What about you?

Think hard, decide and then make sure you focus on that issue for the next month, insha-Allah.

The reason I said “one” thing is because many people might try to focus on many different things as they only have a month to go, and they might end up going nowhere.

Of course, if you want to focus on more than one thing, that’s fine, but prioritise them so that the most important thing is always done.

2
Jul

Why we need a Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Why?

The list could fill a few volumes.

However, I think there’s one lecture that really summarises why we need this great month.

It’s by Brother Abu Uwais (rahimahullah).

I posted it last year along with its transcript.

The brother’s words are something to ponder over, may Allah reward him.

PS. It would also be good if each of us asked ourselves why WE need a Ramadan. What problems do each of us have and how will Ramadan help us to rectify ourselves?

30
Jun

4 weeks more to go…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Just one month left before the main event…

We should all ask ourselves:

1) Have we finished our pending fasts from last year?

2) Do we do dua to Allah to enable us to reach Ramadan and benefit from it?

3) Have we started to increase in our ibaadah (worship)?

4) Are we just daydreaming or do we really have goals which we are striving to attain this Ramadan?

5) Do we have a plan for pre-Ramadan (Shabaan), Ramadan and post-Ramadan (Shawwal) so that we can maintain out high levels of iman?

If we haven’t gotten started, we need to do so now.

It doesn’t matter if we have work, we still have to make time for this.

And for those who haven’t prepared much for Ramadan, I’d ask you to work backwards:

1) Write the 5-7 major goals that you want to achieve in Ramadan. [It helps to try to remember the things which messed up past Ramadans and then write the exact opposite thing.]

2) Write what you need to do in Shabaan to achieve them.

3) Start working!

For example, if one of your major goals is to understand the taraweeh prayers, then you need to be able to understand Quranic Arabic.

Impossible in a month? Well, no.

If you dedicate some time to do the Understand Quran courses and also follow this simple tip, you’ll get somewhere, insha-Allah.

What about if your goal is to get healthy by Ramadan?

Too late? Of course not.

Just change your diet (starting from right now!) and start walking. You should see a big improvement in your health in a month’s time, insha-Allah.

So, it’s not that difficult.

Remember: Just write everything down and start working.

Also, remember one more thing: If you get into action now, it will benefit you whether you reach Ramadan or not.

If you reach Ramadan, you will be prepared for it, insha-Allah. And if you die before Ramadan, you’ll die in a higher state of iman, insha-Allah. So, it will be a win-win situation.

17
Jun

One way to get more time for ibaadah (worship) during Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Which way, you ask?

Well, by finishing off any pending tasks before Ramadan comes.

For example, if you want to do spring cleaning, do NOT do it in Ramadan. Do it now.

If you want to shop for food or Eid clothes, do that in Shabaan, NOT in Ramadan.

If you have any work that has been pending for a long time, then do your best to finish it off BEFORE Ramadan. [That bit of advice was directed towards myself…]

What about if you have important stuff due in Ramadan?

For example, what if you’re taking a summer course and the exam is in Ramadan?

Well, why can’t you try to start studying before Ramadan so at least you’ll have to devote less time to studying in Ramadan?

So, how can you finish off all the pending work before Ramadan?

Simple:

1) Take a piece of paper (or better yet, your Ramadan journal)

2) Write down each and every possible current pending task that you can think of even if it’s “Need to get around to visiting Mother-in-law”.

3) Write down any work that you might have to do in Ramadan (i.e. stuff that cannot be fully completed before Ramadan) and try to see if you can finish any part of it off before Ramadan rolls around.

4) Start doing them.

5) Finish them off before Ramadan.

“What about all the the cooking? That’s what takes up most of my time! How can I do that before Ramadan?”

Actually, there is a way around this problem.

A sister I know, who works night shifts and long hours, cooks two weeks worth of food for her family, stores them in containers (and labels them) and then puts them in the freezer.

She does this because she has too much work and so cannot cook on a daily basis so this reduces her workload considerably.

Now, you might say that this is not very healthy. Yes, but if you heat the food properly, it won’t kill you. It’s better than junk food, isn’t it? And it’s just for a month anyway.

So, I think that this is something that the sisters can do before Ramadan: cook ahead of time. This way, they could get some relief from their cooking duties before Ramadan.

[Of course, this can only be done if all the family members are okay with it.]

Oh and to all those who complain about all those dishes that need to be washed: use plastic plates (assuming that your family does not freak out) for this month.

And no, it’s not a waste of money. You’ll be buying those plastic plates so that you have more time to worship Allah.

That’s a good bargain if you ask me…