بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Part 1.]
Okay, this post is quite late but it’s okay. You can use the ideas for post-Ramadan projects as well.
I’m just mentioning a few right now. I’ll mention the rest in another post later on, insha-Allah.
Some dawah ideas
[Here’s a nice website for dawah: http://www.dawahdesk.com/ It’s a virtual one stop thingy for aspiring daees.
Oh and it takes every possible opportunity to talk about tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). I like that.]
1) Give Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim dua book) to every Muslim that you can find. They’ll love you for it.
And if you give it to them in their own language, they’ll love you even more.
However, if you don’t care about their love, then at least think about all the rewards you’ll get every time they read from the book.
2) Download some nice authentic lectures or the recitation of the Quran with the translation, and burn it onto a CD and then pass it on.
People can listen to it in their cars (and most people do, believe me).
3) Help the ill to pray by giving them books about prayer for ill people.
This one is my professor’s idea.
He pointed out that rather than giving an ill person (in hospital) sweets or gifts, it would be better to give them a small booklet showing them how they could pray in their current state.
4) Buy some small Islamic books and give them to people who might read them.
If you work in an office, you can just keep some books on your desk, so that anyone who comes to talk to you can spot them. After they ask about them, you innocently ask them if they want to read the books…
5) Start a blog.
It works. Trust me.
6) I heard of a sister that sends dates and other Ramadanish stuff to Muslims in South American countries.
I thought that this was a great idea and a real heart softener.
7) Good at designing? Well, why don’t you make some nice dawah posters? Everyone loves well-designed stuff.
Some charity ideas
1) Compile a list of the needy and send an email to all your contacts out asking for donations.
Oh and this only works if people are convinced that you won’t embezzle their money.
2) Send an SMS to your contacts asking them to help out a certain poor person.
If they don’t reply, send them another SMS.
3) You could help everyone out by collecting people’s zakaatul fitr for them and then passing it on to the poor.
4) Forward emails about authentic charity cases. Believe me, you have no idea who might be willing to help.
5) Collect a dirham each day from all your family members and then distribute it at the end of the month to the poor.
Some health project ideas
1) Visit the ill people in the hospital who have no relatives in town.
Many of these people aren’t critically ill but they are very depressed. [Hospitals are enough to make the happiest people depressed. They’ve got the most awful smell.]
2) Perhaps you could find out which people in your area has some health issues and then try to collect money for their cause.
3) Distribute black seed oil. It’s wonderful and it’s from the sunnah.
4) Donate blood.
Okay, that’s it for now. I know the ideas were simple but hey, we have to start somewhere, right?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Once a upon a time, Ramadan was a month of giving. Today, it seems to have become a month of taking.
During Ramadan, we all become so busy with our own ibaadah (worship) like fasting, praying and reciting the Quran, that we sometimes forget that helping others is also a great act of ibaadah.
It was something that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) practiced all the time and he increased in it during Ramadan.
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]
Here are some pointers for those who want to follow the sunnah (way of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)) of helping out others:
1) Please don’t look at the size of your project.
Even if you’re helping out just ONE person, then go ahead and do it. Too often, we mislead ourselves into thinking that bigger is better and due to this, we don’t do anything because we think that it’s pointless to start such a small project.
If each of us helped just one person, then believe me, everyone would be taken care of!
2) Today it could be one, tomorrow it might be two.
I remember something that a friend of mine told me. She pointed out how each person has a circle of influence. As a person does more, his/her circle of influence will grow.
So, today you might just be helping out one person. In time, you might start helping out more people so perhaps in a few Ramadans time, you could be helping out a thousand people, insha-Allah. You never know.
[And anyway, the point is not how many people we help. It’s whether or not Allah accepts our efforts because that is the most important thing.]
3) Do something that YOU are interested in.
You’d be amazed at how any people work on things that they’re not interested in.
[Don’t ask me why they do that because it does not make any sense to me.]
Note to parents: Don’t bully your children into doing projects of YOUR choice. Let them choose what they want to do. This way, you won’t have to push them into working on the project.
4) Be practical.
Yeah, we all want to save the world but Ramadan will be over in 40 days.
We’ll try to save the world next year, insha-Allah. In the meantime, we’ll work on a nice doable, project this year.
5) Work with others. Don’t compete with them.
For example, suppose you want to prepare Eid gifts for the orphans in your area, and you find out that there are a few people already doing that.
Why not try to find out if you can work with those people rather than doing something on your own?
Too often, we don’t want to work with others because of our huge egos. [Sorry, but it’s the truth.]
6) Don’t overdo it.
“How can one overdo helping others”, you ask?
Well, some people become so involved in this that they forget their own ibaadah and their own priorities. So, for example, they help every poor person that they can but forget their own priorities.
I recall a sister asking me about a man who gave charity to everyone that he possible could yet did not give his own wife enough money for her needs!
7) You could work on dawah, charity, health, etc projects.
Yes, I have plenty, alhamdulillah, but that’s for Part 2, insha-Allah.
To be continued…
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Firstly, one can practice just about all the deeds that one does in Ramadan outside of it, so there’s no reason to limit ibaadah to Ramadan.
Secondly, we need to understand what ibaadah is.
When we refer to “ibaadah”, it means everything that Allah loves and is pleased with. It could refer to an action of the heart, the tongue or the limbs. [Fearing Allah is an example of an action of the heart.]
Here’s an article which explains the definition of ibaadah in more detail.
Our problem is that we confine ibaadah to just a few things, and that shouldn’t be the case. Any lawful (halal) act can be turned into an act of worship with the proper intention.
Thirdly, so what can we do in Ramadan?
a) Do the basic acts of ibaadah (prayer, fasting, etc) properly.
You know, we always think in terms of quantity. Let’s first try to work on the quality. That should keep us busy for a while.
b) Add the other acts that are easy for us.
Is giving charity is easy for you? Then do it.
Is reciting the Quran easy for you? Then do it.
Is doing dawah easy for you? Then do it.
Is keep good relations with your family and neighbours easy for you? Then do it.
Is feeding orphans easy for you? Then do it.
Is making iftar for the poor easy for you? Then do it.
c) Try to improve in those acts which we fall short in.
Can’t stop snarling at your mom-in-law? Hey, Ramadan is a good time to change that.
d) Try to think about the proper deed to be done in every situation.
For example, you’re late for taraweeh. Whilst rushing to the masjid, somebody in front of you slips and falls.
Do you keep rushing to the masjid? NO! Stop and help that person. That’s the right thing to do at this time. It’s okay if you’re late for taraweeh.
Another example: Suppose you’re breaking your fast in the masjid. Do you sit and recite Quran whilst some other brothers/sisters serve the food and also end up cleaning the whole mess?
No! Get up and ask them if they need any help with the serving or with the cleaning.
Another example: Your neighbour walks into the elevator with you (let’s assume that both of you are of the same gender).
Do you stare coldly at this person or try to be cordial given the fact that they have rights over you? Be cordial and ask them how they are. You might think of this as useless talk but it isn’t if you talk about halal things and you do it with the intention of keeping in touch with your neighbour.
Remember the best thing to do at a give time is the one that pleases Allah the most.
How would we know what pleases Allah the most? Well, we need to seek knowledge. That’s what knowledge ultimately is: knowing how best to worship Allah at a given time.
e) Leave evil deeds.
You know why? Because that’s also an act of ibaadah.
A few points to keep in mind:
a) Don’t compare yourself to anybody else.
If you have to compare yourself to someone who you feel is doing more than you, then please do it to motivate yourself and not to demotivate yourself.
b) Don’t follow those famous Ramadan planners.
Sorry, I can’t stand those. They make me feel depressed.
They have a long list of all the good deeds to be done in one day and after you toil away trying to do each one, you check the list and find that you still have half the list left!
Don’t get me wrong. Some of them are useful but not as your main Ramadan planner. They’re just good for some ideas on what types of ibaadah that you could do.
I think what would be better than this, is for each of us to sit down and plan what deeds we can do during Ramadan. We could add the obligatory, then the voluntary that we are good at and then the other deeds which we need to improve upon. At least this way, we won’t feel like such losers.
Another reason that I don’t like those planners is that worship then becomes a numerical thing rather than a spiritual thing.
c) The more that you do outside Ramadan, the easier it is to do more in Ramadan.
You know why? Because your soul, body and mind are already used to doing these things.
When you dump things on them out of nowhere (like in the first few days), they get exhausted because they aren’t used to doing all these things.
d) Strive to purify your intention.
It’s the most difficult thing to do yet it is the most important one of them all.
It’s possible that someone who does a little deed with a pure intention (i.e. to please Allah alone) might get more reward than the one who does a whole lot of deeds but with an intention that is not very pure.
e) Try, try and keep trying.
Striving to do ibaadah is itself an ibaadah, so don’t give up, because we don’t fail when we keep trying.
We only fail when we give up.