Depressing, isn’t it? Almost makes you want to cry, huh?
Okay, let’s put it another way:
Half of Ramadan is still left!
I was so busy berating myself the last few days for my not-so-great Ramadan that I almost missed the fact that I STILL had a chance to make it an awesome Ramadan.
The days that are gone are GONE. There’s no point in moaning and groaning about them.
Don’t think about the past that you can’t change, think of the future that you CAN.
We’re all still alive so we still have a chance to increase in our good deeds. And we still have about 2 weeks left to make a difference (and Laylatul Qadr hasn’t come yet.)
I remember Ramadan 2008. My first 20 days were soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad. I wasn’t feel well so I felt like sleeping the whole day.
The last ten days though were a different story. They were wonderful. I even got to do Itikaaf for 4 days.
So, come on. We all need to wake up. Otherwise, it’ll be Shawwal soon.
What about working on the following small (attainable) goals:
[Remember: We want to keep this going BEYOND Ramadan]
1) Improve the quality of our salah (and quantity as well).
2) Increase our time with the Quran (recitation, some tafsir and maybe some hifdh as well)
3) Give in charity and help the poor
4) Increase in dua (supplication) and istighfar
5) Try to be well-mannered (smile, control our tongues, try to help others, etc)
Oh and we try to avoid sinning, of course.
Yes, these are very simple goals but:
1) Simplicity is always the key.
2) Complicated does not equate to greatness
3) How many of us are regular in doing these “simple” deeds?
I think it’s best to live from (fard) prayer to prayer. So, first we work on that prayer and then we try to do as much of Nos. 1-5 as we can before we reach the next prayer.
What do you think?
So, let’s get going!
PS. Sorry about the lack of teensie-weensie reminders. I’ll post one tomorrow, insha-Allah.
It’s that time of the year again.
Which time of year, you ask?
The time of year where we wake up and realise that one third of Ramadan has ended and we have nothing to show for it.
We’re so used to this happening, aren’t we? You’d think that we would have figured out the solution by now.
Here’s a good article that should motivate us not to let Ramadan slip away from us again. He also has some nice pointers at the end.
Before the Sand Slips Away
by Muhammad Alshareef
Hasn’t there come upon man a period of time when they were nothing remembered (Al-Insaan 76/1).
Imagine that you are four years old and on the beach. The camp leader has told you that you have five minutes to build a great castle. “Quickly,” your three-year-old Ameer tells you, “the sand here is too soft. Run closer to the water and get better sand!”
Off you run and grab, with your tiny hands, as much sand as you can hold. But, as you run back, plop, plop, plop, you feel the sand slipping through your fingers and you can do nothing about it. In your haste, all the sand has slipped away. Bang. The competition is over. This is the analogy of our lives; this is the analogy of our time in Ramadan.
So, I’m in a better mood today, alhamdulillah. [Read Part 1 and then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.]
I’ll try not to be catty today (at least not as much as yesterday). Yes, I’ll be Umm Muawiyah and not Umm Meowiyah.
[And I’ve learnt my lesson about writing when I’m half-asleep.]
So, where am I headed with these reminders? The first few were on where we should be going (i.e. aiming for the top), the next few will be on where we are today (i.e. our totally sad state of existence) and the ones after that will be some practical tips on how we can go from being the losers that we are today into being the winners that we want to be.
If we want to be the winners in the hereafter, we don’t just dream about it. We need to be obsessed with attaining it, do dua consistently, make a plan for getting there and then stick to the plan as much as possible. As I keep telling my students: “Paradise is not just going to fall into our laps. We have to earn it.”
So, now that 9 days have passed, let’s continue with our Ramadan assessment:
10) The Month of Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness)
Doing istighfaar is something that is a trait of the true believers.
The whole irony is that the more one increases in good deeds and decreases in sins, the more need one will feel to do istighfaar. And the more one increases in sins and decreases in good deeds, the less need one will feel to do istighfaar.
[Okay, a little apology before I begin. It seems that some people really liked the last couple of reminders. However, one should not have high expectations for every post.
This is going to be a simple, possibly drab post and might be more negative as compared to the earlier ones. I say what I have to say and I’m not going to go out of my way just to please any readers who might be expecting great posts.]
[A note: I haven’t added any references for some of the things that I’ve mentioned because: 1) It’s already late and I’m tired and 2) These things are well-known. However, if you want the references then please feel free to ask because it is your right to do so.]
So, we’ve finished 8 days of Ramadan now (less if you’re in other countries).
Is it just me or does that sound like far too much considering the fact the Ramadan seemed to start just yesterday?
I had all these high aims but the first week of Ramadan has been a disappointment for me. I didn’t do all the things that I set out to do. Perhaps some of you might have the same issue.
So, what do we need to do?
We need to check and see what we did do, what we didn’t do, and what we need to do in the next 21-22 days.
If you’ve skimmed my blog, you might have noticed a category that states “Ramadan: Month of…”. There are lots of subcategories below that.
So, insha-Allah, I thought I would review our Ramadan in the context of these subcategories:
[Note: the subcategories are in alphabetical order but my list is not.]
[I’m just going to list a whole lot of questions that we need to ask ourselves.]
A friend of mine (you know who you are) sent me a cute flyer about Ramadan yesterday.
Here it is:
[Note: They’ve shown a drawing of a hand using the dhikr beads (masbahah). One should know that there is an ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion) over the permissibility of using these beads. Some scholars said that they were haram because it was an imitation of the Christians and their rosaries (and a Hindu lady told me that Hindu priests use them as well!). Other scholars said that it was disliked, while others permitted it especially if one had difficulty doing the tasbeeh with one’s hands. (This is what I recall. Please correct me if I’m wrong).
(I personally follow the opinion that they are not permitted but I have to be fair and tell you the other opinions so that you can do more research.)
Firstly, the sunnah is to use the hands. The few ahadeeth that seem to imply otherwise are weak.
Secondly, one should always strive to avoid doubtful areas.
Thirdly, if you’re really old and you have difficulty using your hands to count, then why not use those counter thingies? At least this way you won’t be imitating the Christians (and the Hindus).]
[Click on the image to enlarge its size.]