In an earlier post, I had linked to a lot of Huda TV’s Ramadan programs.
I didn’t mention one and ironically, it seems to have been one of the best programs. It’s called “One Step Closer” and it was hosted by Brother Mutasim Al-Hameedee. It offered practical solutions to increase one’s iman.
Now, even though it’s not Ramadan anymore, I think that we should still watch this series.
For those of you who claim that they “don’t have time”, why don’t you download these onto your iPhone or whatever (now you know which phone I have), and at least watch it at those times when you’re reduced to watching the flies flying around (like when you’re waiting for your doctor).
You can download the entire series from here.
Here’s a little summary of some of the episodes.
[Yes, you’re right. I’m trying to get you to do itikaf. Was it that obvious?]
Rulings and Virtues of Itikaf by Said Rageah
I think many people dream of being religious one day, or at least that’s what I understood after talking to many sisters.
The key word here is “dream”. Many of us dream. So we think that one day, it will all fall into place and we’ll be great slaves of Allah and we’ll go to Paradise.
Brothers and Sisters, we can’t sin day and night and barely remember Allah and then expect to get that house in Paradise.
Paradise is earned. And who will earn it? The ones who strove hard for it.
[Note: We do not get into Paradise solely through our good deeds, but rather through the Mercy of Allah.]
Let’s all ask ourselves a few questions:
1) Have we changed at all in the last few years?
-Do we have more tawheed than before?
– Are we more conscious that Allah is watching us?
– Do we pray more?
– Are we more attached to the Quran? Do we apply it more?
– Do we have more knowledge of Islam?
– Do we have better manners?
– Do we give in charity more?
– Are we more modestly dressed than before? [This applies to both men and women.]
– Do we control our tongues more? Do we use them more for the remembrance of Allah or for the remembrance of this worldly life?
– Do we sin less? And if we sin, how long does it take us to ask for Allah’s Forgiveness?
We should all try to ask ourselves in which areas we have improved.
2) If we didn’t change at all or didn’t change much, then why not?
Are we really in it to please Allah? Or are we still worried about what created beings have to say?
Created beings who, like us, fall ill, need to go to the bathroom, will get old and will die (and when buried, will rot in the ground).
Are we attached to them* more than we are to Allah?
[*Them = Spouses, children, family, friends, colleagues, celebrities, you name it.]
And saying “no” doesn’t prove we aren’t. Our actions are what will prove if we are or are not attached to them.
3) When is the time for change going to come?
“Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allah’s Reminder (this Quran), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Hadid (57) :16]
Isn’t it way past time?
Here are two resources that talk about repenting in Ramadan. Don’t we want to be different people in Shawwal than we were in Shaban?
Here’s the article: Repentance in Ramadan.
Repentance in Ramadan by Said Rageah
Yes, it might be a bit late for this but better late than never.
[According to this lecture’s youtube page, the issues discussed include:
Intentions – are they mandatory & should they be uttered?
Innovations in the calendar! Fast begins at Fajar not 10 minutes prior.
Backbiting – *eating* the flesh of your brothers/sisters.
Avoid: TV, Internet, Social Networks, Time killers
Condition of those who only abstain from food/drink
Condition of those who fast & don’t establish prayers
Brush teeth while fasting? Can we swallow spit?.
Smelling perfume & tasting food?
Continue to fast upon waking up as a junoob – in state of janabah?]
Ramadan Issues by Abu Usamah Adh-Dhahabi
Still struggling to explain Ramadan to your kiddies?
Try the following lecture:
Ramadan for the Youth by Abu Taubah
Zakaatul Fitr is a charity that is due at the end of Ramadan. A few points regarding it:
1) It is an obligation according to the majority of scholars.
2) It is paid by the head of the household for ALL those under his care.
3) It is to be paid in the form of 1 saa (Don’t ask me for the measurement. I always get confused.) of dates, barley, cheese or wheat, according to the majority.
Brother Abu Taubah (in the lecture below) says that it’s an innovation to pay cash instead of money. I wouldn’t go that far because there is a group of scholars (a minority) that say it is allowed. While I don’t agree with them (the evidence doesn’t support their view), I wouldn’t call it a innovation, just a mistaken ijtihaad on their part (in my view).
Unfortunately, the “zakaatul fitr can be money” view is very popular with the laymen although it was NOT the practice of the early generations.
Do people give zakaatul fitr as money because they believe that it is the right view or because it is easier than giving food? Allah knows better.
[I think the cost of 1 saa of rice is something like AED 15. I’d advise all the brothers and sisters to encourage their children to pay it from their own pocket money. This will instill in them a sense of responsibility.]
4) It HAS to be paid before the Eid prayer.
How long before the Eid prayer? Some scholars said any time before Ramadan but many of then said it should be within the last two days and not before that. So it’s best not to pay it too early.
You can delegate someone to do it though. For example, Dar Al Ber offers zakaatul fitr services. If you pay AED 10 or 15 (I can’t remember the amount), they’ll buy the food on your behalf and feed the poor person towards the end of Ramadan.
5) The recipients are the same as the 8 categories of people who can receive zakaah.
6) Like zakaah, it is better to pay it in one’s own place of residence.
I’ll put up some resources on Zakaatul Fitr, insha-Allah.
Here’s the first one:
Zakaatul Fitr – Is it money or food? By Abu Taubah
Well, the last ten nights are right around the corner, so I’ll be putting up lots of resources on this topic.
Here’s the first one:
Focusing on Laylatul Qadr and Itikaaf
Finally what, you ask?
Finally, someone came out with a lecture entitled “Ramadan and Tawheed”.
I had already found an article entitled “Hajj and Tawheed” (check this post).
Now, all I need to do is find something on “Salah and Tawheed” and “Zakaah and Tawheed”, and I’ll be over the moon.
[If not, then I’ll just write on those topics myself, insha-Allah.]
Why is it so important? Because the last 4 pillars of Islam are different ways of implementating the first pillar of Islam, which is the statement of tawheed (worshipping Allah alone).
Sadly, many Muslims have no clue what tawheed is. They think that it is confined to knowing that there is one god.
Nope. There’s so much more to it than that.
When I was teaching my students about tawheed, one of my students asked (after seeing all the evidence for tawheed), “Why don’t they talk about this?”
Because Shaytan doesn’t want anyone to? If we know what tawheed is and we implement it, we’ll be happy in this world and we’ll get Paradise in the next. He doesn’t want that. He wants us to apply shirk (the opposite of tawheed) so that we can all be in hell with him.
Think I’m joking? Please read the story of Adam (alaihissalam) and Iblis. Then you’ll understand that the real battle going on in the world is the battle between tawheed and shirk.
Perhaps the title should have been “I hope Ramadan will change me”, you say?
Nah. That’s too negative. “Ramadan changed me” is better because it causes one to believe that Ramadan HAS to change them, which will lead them to take the required steps.
So, here’s the series. It’s from Al-Huda TV (I had previously mentioned their Ramadan episodes here.)
Ramadan Changed Me by Ramiz Ibrahim
Part 1: Change Yourself
Part 2: Intention and Action