Ramadan Diary ’08: Week Four-Signing Off And Looking Forward!

29 09 2008

Alhamdullilah, this past week has been excellent! There is something about late night/early morning that is so peaceful. One of my goals that I have throughout the year is to stay up more at night. Usually, I just pray my witr and sleep but I hope this year to make a change and stay up a little longer making dua, dhikr, and reading Qur’an.

But, Subhan’Allah another Ramadan has almost passed us by. Did you strive hard during the last 10 days? Did you utliize this Ramadan to the best of your capabilities? Do as many good deeds as you could? I always go over these questions during the last week of Ramadan. I like to evaluate myself during Ramadan as well, but it is really during the last days that I begin to wonder if I really did my best. If my deeds will be accepted.  I always wonder if I have done something that will leave me giving away all my good deeds on the Day of Judgement leaving me with nothing or perhaps, they weren’t accepted. Only Allah knows. But Alhamdullilah, we have to have hope and know that Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate. May all of our good deeds be accepted. ameen

Keeping ourselves going after Ramadan is a challenge too. Hopefully, we can keep up our level of faith and good deeds throughout the year!

May Allah accept our fasts and help us to carry the lessons that we have learned during Ramadan with us throughout the rest of our lives. ameen!

I’ll sign off on this Ramadan diary and leave you all with this:

AlHamdulillahi wa kafaa, was-Salatu was-salamu `alaa `ibaadihi-lladheena Stafaa

We leave the blessed month of Ramadan, its beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of the Qur’an, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from hellfire…

 

Have we fulfilled the requirements of taqwa and graduated from the Ramadan school with the diploma of the god-fearing?

 

Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our customs and blind imitations?

 

Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfills the conditions for receiving mercy, forgiveness and release from the Fire?

 

Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the heart of the sincere Muslim, who asks and answers with truthfulness.

 

 

What Have We Gained From Ramadan?

 

 

Ramadan is a school of iman and a ‘stop to recharge one’s spiritual batteries’ – to acquire one’s provision for the rest of the year…

 

For when will one take a lesson and change for better if not in the month of Ramadan?

 

The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the Law of Allah ‘azza wa jall. “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra`d, 11]

 

If you are from those who benefited from Ramadan, fulfilled the requirements of taqwa, truly fasted the month, prayed in it with truthfulness, and strove against you soul, then praise and thank Allah, and ask Him for steadfastness upon it until you meet your death.

 

Be not like one who has sewn a shirt and then destroyed it… Have you seen one who sewed a shirt or thawb, so when she looked at it, she liked it. Then she destroyed it pulling a thread by thread for no reason. What would people say about such a person?! Or have you seen one who earns a fortune trading throughout the day, then when the night comes, he throws away all that he earned, dirham by dirham. What would people say about such a person?!

 

This is the condition of one who returns to sinning and evildoing after Ramadan and leaves obedience and righteous actions. So after he was favored with the blessing of obedience and enjoyment of communicating with Allah he returned to the blaze of sins and evil actions. How evil are the people who know Allah only in Ramadan!

 

My dear ones,

falling short in one’s commitment to Islam after Ramadan is manifested in many ways, including:

 

1 – Men leaving the five prayers in congregation, after they filled mosques for Taraweeh prayers, thus going to the masjid for recommended prayers and leaving obligatory ones.

2 – Return to musical entertainment, forbidden films, women displaying their adornment beyond that which ordinarily appears thereof, free mixing etc.

 

This is not thankfulness for blessings and favors, nor is it the sign of acceptance of one’s actions, rather this is opposition to favors and absence of thankfulness.

 

These are from signs of one’s deeds not being accepted – and Allah’s refuge is sought – for one who truly fasts rejoices on the occasion of `eid, praises his Lord for helping him complete the fast, and remains fearful that Allah may not accept his fasting, just as the Salaf would continue asking for acceptance of their actions in Ramadan for six months after it.

 

From signs that one’s deeds are accepted is that he or she has improved in his or her obedience to Allah `azza wa jall. “And remember when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Ibrahim, 7] Increase you in good, faith and righteous actions. So if the servant is truly thankful to his Lord, you will see him guided to more obedience and distanced from sinfulness. Thankfulness is leaving sins, as the early Muslims said.

 

“And worship your Lord until there comes you to the certainty [i.e. death].”

 

The Muslim must continuously be in the state of obedience of Allah, firm upon His Sharee`ah, steadfast upon His Deen, so that he or she is not of those who worship Allah only during one month or only in one place. Rather, the believer knows that the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of other months, and that He is the Lord of all times and places, so he is steadfast upon the Sharee`ah of Allah until he meets Him while He is pleased with him. Allah ta`ala said, “So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah].” [Hud, 112] And, “So take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Fussilat, 6] And the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, “Say ‘I believe in Allah’, then be steadfast.” [Muslim]

 

– If the fasting in Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary fasting, such as fasting six days in Shawwal, on Mondays and Thursdays, the three days in the middle of the month, the days of `Aashoora and `Arafat, and others.

 

– If standing in prayer at night during Ramadan has ended, then there remains voluntary night prayer throughout the year. “They used to sleep but little of the night.” [Adh-Dhaariyaat, 17]

 

– If the charity in Ramadan and zakat ul-fitr have ended, then there is the obligatory Zakat, and also there are many other open doors to charity, voluntary actions and jihad.

 

– Reading of the Qur’an and contemplating it is not only for Ramadan, rather it is for all times.

 

Righteous actions are for all times and all places, so strive – O my brother and sister – and beware of laziness. And remember that it is not allowed for us to leave the obligatory actions or delay them, such as the five daily prayers on time, in congregation etc.

 

And do not fall into forbidden actions, such as forbidden sayings, food and drinks, or by looking at or listening to what is forbidden.

 

Be steadfast and upright upon the Deen of Allah at all times, for you do not know when you’ll meet the Angel of Death. Beware of him taking you while you are in a state of sin.

“O Allah, Who turns the hearts, keep our hearts steadfast upon Your Deen.” 

I ask Allah to accept from us and you our fasting, our prayers and other righteous actions, that our condition after Ramadan be a better one, that the state of our Ummah improves, that we are granted honour and that we truly turn to our Lord…Ameen

 

[al-Hijr, 99]





Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan

2 09 2008

Most Muslims who fast Ramadan focus on the benefits and rewards of it. But in doing so, we often make mistakes that instead of adding to our experience actually detract from it. Mistakes that can make us commercialize Ramadan as so many other religions have commercialized their sacred days. Insh’Allah the following serves as a reminder to myself first and to all Muslims. May Allah help us to spend our time wisely this Ramadan and help us to avoid these mistakes. ameen

Taking Ramadaan as a ritual
 
For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil….we forget to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire.  Sure we stay away from food and drink but that’s about all.
 
Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: 
 “Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen.’” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by al-Albaani)
 
Too much stress on food and drink
 
For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘feasting’. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.
 
“…..and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) ” [al-Araaf :31]
 
Spending all day cooking
 
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan! 
 
Eating too much
 
Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to ‘make up for the food missed.’ However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.
 
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah.  saheeh by al-Albaani).
 
Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.
It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
 
Sleeping all day
 
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) ‘sleeping away their fast’. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot ‘bear’ to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.
 
Wasting time
 
The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allaah calls this month “Ayyamum Ma’doodaat” (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!
 
Fasting but not giving up evil
 
Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.
 
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Baqarah 2:183] 
 
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.” (Bukhaari)
 
Smoking
 
Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadaan or outside of it, as it is one of al-Khabaa’ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds of ‘smoking material’ eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes,’Sheesha’ , hookah etc.
“he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa’ith (all evil and unlawful things) [al-A’raaf :157]
 
 It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him. It is also a means of wasting ones wealth. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “There should be no harming or reciprocating harm.”
This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast. (Fatwa -Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)
 
Skipping Suhoor
 
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.”(Bukhaari, Muslim).
And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor.” (Muslim)
 
Stopping Suhoor at ‘Imsaak’
 
Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe ‘Imsaak’.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bidah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn: “and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)” [al-Baqarah 2:187]
 
And the Prophet (pbuh) said: “….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes.”
 
This ‘imsaak’ which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
 “Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.” (Muslim)
 
Not fasting if they missed Suhoor
 
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? It’s not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allaah overcomes everything.
 
Saying the intention to fast ‘out loud’ or saying a specific dua to start fasting
 
The intention is an action of the heart. We should resolve in our heart that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not prescribed by the Shari’ah for us to say out loud, “I intend to fast”, “I will fast tomorrow” or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. Also, there is no specific dua to be recited at the time of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever ‘dua’ you may see on some papers or Ramadaan calendars, etc. is a Bid’ah.
 
Delaying breaking fast
 
Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be ‘on the safe side’. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to break the fast, which means breaking fast whenever the adhaan starts, right after the sun has set. Aa’ishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to do. (Muslim)
 
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to break the fast.” (Bukhaari, Muslim)
 
Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul on Allaah and break your fast exactly on time.
 
Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
 
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, them he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
 
Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted
 
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler.” (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).
 
Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it….Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.
 
Fasting but not praying
 
The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” (Muslim)
 
In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.
“Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.” (Bukhaari)
 
Fasting and not wearing Hijaab
 
Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if does not invalidate it.
 
Not fasting because of exams or work
 
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allaah is much more important than ‘good grades’. Besides, if you will fulfil your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will make it easy for you and help you in everything you do.
“Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him.” (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)

 
Mixing fasting and dieting
 
DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone. Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirk.
 
Fighting over the number of Rakaah of Taraweeh
 
There is no specific number of rak’ahs for Taraweeh prayer, rather it is permissible to do a little or a lot. Both 8 and 20 are okay. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: “No one should be denounced for praying eleven or twenty-three (raka’ah), because the matter is broader in scope than that, praise be to Allaah.”
 
Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th
 
Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan.” (Bukhaari, Muslim).
 
Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid
 
Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max.
Aa’ishah (RA) said: “When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family.” (Bukhaari and Muslim).
 
Iftaar parties
 
Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish ‘Iftaar parties’ with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to Salaah, and Taraweeh to even music and dancing.
*This was sent to me via email. I tried to google the source but couldn’t find one. May Allah reward whomever wrote this article with the best in this world and the Hereafter.ameen.
*If anyone knows the source please comment and let me know and insh’Allah I will add it.




Getting It Together-Ramadan Diary 2008

1 09 2008

I thought long and hard before making the decision to blog this Ramadan. Ultimatley, I decided to blog at least once a week. I think blogging about how I’m feeling during Ramadan isn’t really that original or different from probably a dozen bloggers doing the same.  Though, for me I see it as a way to forcibly sit myself down and evaluate where I am with my goals, to make adjustments, and later as a way to look back and see where I was in relation to where I will be then. hahaha does that make sense?  Alhamdullilah, Ramadan is a great time to build ourselves up and rejuvinate hopefully being a catalyst to stay motivated all year.  And Alhamdulliah during Ramadan all our good deeds are multiplied as many times as Allah wills.

Anyway, here are some tools that may help YOU stay motivated this Ramadan and give you some ideas of things you may want to accomplish:

Suggested Ramadan Checklist (sorry, i don’t know the source it was forwarded to me):

Ask Yourself!

Got up for Fajr on time and prayed Fajr with its Sunnah

Made my morning Dhikr

Prayed all prayers on time and on earliest time possible

Made the recommended Dhikr after every prayer

Prayed all the 12 rakah of Sunnah prayers

Made Dua for the Muslim Ummah in a prayer

Made Dua for my parents

Commanded one good

Forbade one evil

Prayed more than 1 fard prayer in a mosque (males)

Read the Tafsir of one verse of the Quran

Read one new Hadeeth and its meaning

Read 1 page of the Quran as a minimum

Attempted to increase in knowledge (Reading/Listening)

Attempted to practise one rare Sunnah of Rasulullah

Made one Muslim smile

Made my parents smile, hugged and kissed them

Did not argue, nor backbite with anyone

Did not harbour ill feelings in my heart against anyone

Did not do anything I was unsure about its permissibility

Tried my best to take care of my body

Gave charity (monetary)

Preserved or removed a harm from the environment

Made Dua for the Prophet (sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam)

Make Tawbah and Istighfaar 100 times

Pondered 10 minutes about struggling for this Deen

Did a special deed that is secret between myself and Allah

Gave some of the extra food from Iftar to my neighbours

Made my afternoon Dhikr

Prayed my taraweeh prayers

Prayed the Witr prayer

Read Surah Mulk before going to sleep

Wrote down/updated my will

Pondered about my Death and of the Day of Judgement

Prayed absolute minimum 2 rakah Tahajjud prayer

Asked Allah for Jannah and refuge from Jahannam (X3)

Went to sleep in a state of Wudu

Went to sleep without ill feelings towards any Muslim

REQUIRED SPECIFICALLY ON FRIDAYS

Read Surah Kahf

Took extra care to groom and maintain myself

Attempted to pray Jumah earliest time & best gathering

Made Dua only for Rasulullah (saws)

Pondered 5-10 minutes about the khutbah & its message

WEEKLY REQUIREMENTS

Memorized minimum 1/4 page of the Quran

Fed/Clothed one needy person or gave a gift to one someone

Memorized 1 hadeeth of Rasulullah

Made Istikharah about an important matter

Memorized 1 Dua from the Sunnah

10 great goals to set for this Ramadan
8/22/2008 – Religious Family Interfaith – Article Ref: SV0808-3647
www.Islamicity.com
 
Eat, drink and be moderate
Almost all of us do it – once Iftar time hits, we just keep plowing food and drink into our mouths till it’s hard to move afterwards. And those of us who do it know this is totally contrary to the spirit of Ramadan, through which we’re supposed to learn self-control not self-indulgence. Let’s try to stick to the Prophetic rule on eating: fill our stomachs with one-third food, one-third water and one-third breathing space, even in Ramadan.
Give a dollar a day in charity…or five or ten
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was always generous but even more so in Ramadan. Let’s open our hearts and dig a little deeper in our wallets this year. Even less than a dollar a day adds up. Whatever you can give, it’s the intention that counts.
Memorize 4 new Surahs
Memorizing the Quran often seems like a daunting task. But the key is doing it in small bites. Since there are four weeks in Ramadan, try to memorize one new Surah a week. Start off with a short, easy one. Once you’ve started, you’ll build momentum and may even want to memorize a longer one the following week.
Go to Tarawih prayers
Post-Iftar, the first urge is to sleep after an exhausting day. But try your best to head out to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. Praying alone is wonderful, but doing it in congregation is fantastic. The community spirit is part of Ramadan’s blessings. Don’t miss it this year. If going every day is not possible, try going at least once week.
Attend the Tarawih prayer in which the recitation of the Quran will be finished
Call the local mosque and find out which day the Imam will be finishing the recitation of the Quran in prayer. Attend to not only hear part of the Quran’s recitation in prayer, but also participate in the heart-rending Duas that follow it.
Stop swearing and/or backbiting Ð with a special box
It’s hard not to shoot our mouths off when someone’s upset us. Whether we utter those four-letter words or backbite about someone to our family and friends, we know this isn’t the God-approved way of letting off steam. In Ramadan, when we want to build our spirituality, we’ve got to wage Jihad against our bad habits.
Try this: get a box and every time you catch yourself swearing or backbiting put some money in it. It could be a buck or less. The point is to choose an amount that makes it feel like punishment.
At the end of the month send the money to a charity or buy a gift for the person whom you’ve backbitten the most against.
Call/email your relatives
You’d think that given the easy access to email, competitive long-distance calling rates, phone cards, etc. these days, we’d keep in touch with family and friends more often. But the opposite seems to be the case, as we get caught up in life’s “busyness.”
Strengthening ties with family members and keeping in touch with friends is part of our way of life and an act Allah is very pleased with. This Ramadan, call family and friends or at least email them a Ramadan card and ask them how their fasting is going.
Go on a technology diet
Even if you work in the IT industry, you can do this. Avoid checking personal email and surfing the web during your fast. After Iftar, instead of plopping yourself in front of the screen, go to Tarawih. The same goes for the television. The point is to try to give our full attention to spiritual elevation this month.
Read 5 minutes of Quran a day…just five, not more, not less
Even if you feel you’ve got absolutely no time, set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone and find a relatively quiet place. You can read the first page of the Quran you open or follow a sequence. The choice is yours. The point is simply to connect with God through His revelation in the month of the Quran.
Forgive everyone who has hurt you
Still got a festering wound from the fight with your friend last year? Still upset about something your spouse said during a heated argument? Or are you still bitter about the way your parents sometimes treated you as a kid? Let go of the anger and pain this Ramadan and forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiving someone is not only good for the body, but it’s also great for the soul. And in Ramadan, ten days of which are devoted to Allah’s forgiveness, shouldn’t we lesser beings forgive too? 
If you find it very difficult to forgive everyone, forgive at least three people.
Happy Ramadan !!!
Start a journal.
A wonderful sister emailed me the link to this free downloadable printable Islamc  journal www.heartwheeljournal.com
Just some ideas insh’Allah to help jumpstart this Ramadan.  Insh’Allah lets get busy and make this Ramadan one that we can be proud of when we are standing before Allah(SWT) on the Day of Judgement knowing that we tried our best to positively utilize our time! Alhamdullilah Allah has helped us live to see the start of this most blessed month let’s not waste that precious gift!




Ramadan 2008 Has Been Announced!!!

31 08 2008

 

Ramadan 1429

Announcement: The holy fasting month of Ramadan will start Monday, September 1,

“There was no evidence of any person seeing the new crescent today,” Saudi Arabia’s Judicial Council confirmed in a statement on Saturday, August 30. Therefore, Sunday, August 31, will be the last day of the month of Sha`ban and Ramadan will fall on Monday, September 1, added the council.

 Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (s) instructed: “Fast after you have seen it [the new crescent moon] and end the fast [i.e Ramadan, at the end of the month ] when you see it. If it is hidden from you (i.e the moon), then wait until the thirty days of Sha’ban have passed.” [Hadith Bukhari and Muslim.]

Insh’Allah refer to this Powerpoint page for the reminders of the rulings of fasting:
Also check this blog for some great Ramadan videos, articles, and resources:
 

 





We Need A Ramadan

18 08 2008

Ramadan, Fasting, Islam,

Benefits of Ramadhaan (we need Ramadhaan)

by Abu Uwais Abdullah Alee [Listen to Audio ]

Transcribed by: Umm Hasna Firdous Bint Jabir

TRANSCRIPTION:

Ramadhaan is a month of Forgiveness.

Ramadhaan is a month of Rahmah.

Ramadhaan is the month of generosity.

Ramadhaan, the month that Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala accepts the Tawbah of the servants, and the month that Allaah blesses His servants.

We are in need of Ramadhaan to correct ourselves, for we have forgotten Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala for the majority of the year.

To correct ourselves for we have been neglectful.

To correct ourselves for we are not upon the remembrance of Allaah.

To correct ourselves because our hearts have gotten hard, some hearts are dead, some hearts are sick, some hearts are stone-cold, some hearts are black, getting no benefit whatsoever. Some hearts are so bad, and so ill that they see a good as a Munkar, (as an evil), and they see an evil as a good. These are not as they should be.

We need a Ramadhaan. We need a Ramadhaan because our connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala is not correct.

We need a Ramadhaan because we do not have any Khushoo or devotion in our Salaah.

We need a Ramadhaan because our Qura’an has dust and is sitting o­n a shelf.

We need a Ramadhaan because we never read the books of Sunnah.

We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t fast, and if we fast physically without food or drink, we don’t fast with our eyes by lowering them and our tongue by not slandering and our tongue by not lying and back-biting. We need a Ramadhaan to get ourselves back in order, to work for the Hereafter, to connect ourselves to Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

We need a Ramadhaan because relationships brother to brother and sister to sister is in a miserable condition.

We need a Ramadhaan because we have bad thoughts about o­ne another.

We need a Ramadhaan because of dhulm, injustice to o­ne another.

We need a Ramadhaan because there is backbiting, there is envy, there is jealousy, and there is slander.

We need a Ramadhaan because we are despicable, because we are sick, because we are  ill. (All these are diseases of the heart)

We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t believe in the promise of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala, or if we do, we do not  implement it.

We need a Ramadhaan because it is time for us to change and become something better then we are now.

We need a Ramadhaan because that is  the o­nly thing that is  going to get us together…

We need a Ramadhaan because we don’t have unity, there’s no brotherhood

We need a Ramadhaan because there’s no respect for elders

We need a Ramadhaan because there’s no real love between us

We need a Ramadhaan, full of love and the Mercy of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

A Ramadhaan like we come in, like in a clinic or a hospital, trying to solve our illnesses, trying to come out of there without the disease we came with, trying to be better than we went in with.

We need a Ramadhaan. Look around you, look to your right, look to your left, look in front of you and look behind you and you’ll say,  “We need a Ramadhaan”.

The sisters aren’t covering properly, we need a Ramadhaan. Brothers and sisters are mixing. We need a Ramadhaan. Talking o­n phones and o­n the internet, we need a Ramadhaan. This is a mess, we are in a fix, we are in a bind, and this is a problem… We need a Ramadhaan. We need a Ramadhaan to get ourselves together.

We need a Ramadhaan, that we come in the Masjid and we face the Qiblah and we say “Allaahu Akbar” and we stand in qiyaamah a long time until those diseases, that filth, that sickness, that hardness  the heart goes away.

We need a Ramadhaan that reminds us of the Hell-fire. We need a Ramadhaan that tells us that we haven’t been given a certificate that we are people of Jannah.

We need a Ramadhaan that lets us known that we are servants of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.

And if we were to spend our whole life, from the time we were born until Yawm al Qiyaamah in Sajdaah, it would not be enough to thank Allaah for His Mercy, His Grace and His Blessings.

We need a Ramadhaan and it is clear. If there is any fear of Allaah left in the hearts of ours and if there is any hope of Jannaah left in us, and if there is any desire to change and to be better and to be righteous and to come to the level of Ihsaan, to come to the level of a Mumim, to have taqwa, to fear Allaah … we need a Ramadhaan.

We need a Ramadhaan, a month of Tawbaah.

We need a Ramadhaan, a month of Maghfira.

We need a Ramadhaan to correct our behaviour, to correct the differences & the difficulties and the envy / jealousies in our relationship between o­ne another.

We need a Ramadhaan to understand that we have been committing injustice to o­ne another.  And as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said : ‘Az-Zulm (injustice) – “Zulumaat yawmal Qiyaamah” –we’ll be changed physically into darkness o­n the Day of Judgement.’

We need a Ramadhaan to understand the Hadith : to fear the duaa of the o­ne to whom we have done injustice.  For there is not between Allaah and the person making the invocation, the person making that supplication of the person to whom injustice has been done, there is no veil between that person and Allaah. That duaa is immediately accepted.

The oppressor is the o­ne for whom things are not going right; He is tripping into this and falling into that;  He is Slipping there and sliding here. Why I can’t get ahead? Why I can’t progress in my Deen? Why I can’t memorize this ayah? Why I can’t understand this hadeeth? We may be living under the invocation, the answer for invocation for someone whom we abused or stepped over. You know you need a Ramadhaan. I know I need a Ramadhaan. We know we need a Ramadhaan. We need to get ourselves together. We’ve been running around in filth, we have been having our hearts around the low matters; We need our hearts to be around the thrones of Allaah; We need to think about the high matters, high goals; We need to think about Jannah; We need a hope for al-Jannah. 

You’re planning for marriage, you’re planning for education, you’re planning for a job, but we need to plan for the Jannah. We need to prepare for the Jannah during the month of Ramadhaan.

“‘Nahnu be haajathin Ma’aasa fir Ramadhaan.”

We are in severe need for Ramadhaan, so that we come into Ramdhaan with repentance, we come into it with regret, we come into it realizing that we are weak, that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to correct us, realizing that we are wrong and that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to place upon us that which is right, realizing that we are weak and that we need Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala to grant us strength. We need a Ramadhaan. Oh Yes !! We need a Ramadhaan.

We needs nights of Qiyaam, we need dua and sujood, we need nights of Ramadhaan to do thilawaah of Qura’an. We need to listen to Husri, or Sudays or Shurain, or Hudhaifi. We need a Ramadhaan to listen to the Qura’an. When was the last time that we listened to the Qura’an??  When was the last time we recited Qura’an? We need a Ramadhaan to study Qura’an, to implement the Qura’an, and this Ramadhaan may be our final Ramadhaan. As o­ne brother spoke, I believe it is Abu Thasleem Hafidahullaah, where is the guarantee that this is not our final Ramadhaan? What is the guarantee that it is not our final Ramadhaan? We have to come into it seriously. And we want to come out of it much better than we came into it. We want to come out of Ramadhaan with Taqwa, because that was the main reason that it was legislated.

“O you who believe fasting has been written upon  you as it was written for those before you, so that you may gain Taqwa.”

Taqwa is fear of Allaah. If we had taqwa, our condition will be better than  it is now. If we had taqwa our relationships would be smoother, if we had taqwa …father to son who is a Muslim, sister to brother who is Muslim, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew who is Muslim, husband and wife who are Muslims.. the relationships would be better if they are based upon Taqwa. And we can achieve Taqwa during the month of Ramadhaan. I don’t believe that our hearts are that hard, I don’t believe that we can’t change, I don’t believe that some of us who hold hatred for the last 10 years cannot learn to love, and because we have been taught deceit and deception now we can’t learn to trust.

I don’t believe that those brothers who have left circumstances physically but have the teachings and the behaviours that they had while they were up there, that they can’t change. The sisters who remove their bodies from the fitnah and physically remove their bodies from a mistake, physically remove their bodies from foolishness but their hearts have to follow. Be iznillaahi tha’aalah ! Their hearts have to follow.

We need a Ramadhaan to be as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was. That he was the most generous, he was generous in general and he was most generous in Ramadhaan. Like a wind … spending, giving to his right, giving to his left, giving in front of him, giving behind him, giving to anyone who came. He gave without them asking.

We need a Ramadhaan to inculcate these qualities. We need to control our desires. We need to control our tongue. We need to control our limbs. We need to learn self-discipline. We need to control our anger. We must do things in Ramadhaan not out of habit, something that is just tradition., that we are more despicable when we went in. We have to change our condition. We have to change our connection with Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. For how light is the view of Allaah when they disobey Him. This is what was said by o­ne of the sahabas when he had the crown of the Persian King in his hand.

And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘that he had been sent before the hour. And my provision has been provided for me under the shade of my spear and humiliation has been written against anyone who goes against my orders. Humiliation has been written upon anyone who goes against my orders. If we want to continue in the position of humiliation that we are in, then do not take the grand opportunity act like it doesn’t exist, neglect and forget and be hard headed, be obstinate, follow your desires like you have been doing for the last 11 months and don’t benefit from Ramadhaan. And when our circumstances doesn’t change,  don’t say “Why?” You know why. For we need a Ramadhaan and we have to correct ourselves in this Ramadhaan. And that you are a part of this Ummah and if you have an illness, and if you are a member of this ummah with a sickness, with filth, with crime, this affects the rest of the Ummah. It is like your body when you have an illness. It is like when you have hurt your finger or your toe, it affects the rest of the body. And it doesn’t have to be said to you that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said,  “the believers are like o­ne body”. If we want to correct the position of the Ummah, then we must first start by correcting ourselves. Don’t worry about Ubyaid, Hassan and Musa, but worry about yourself. Be selfish this Ramadhaan. Not regarding giving sadaqa but where you are going to focus your rectification or how to rectify yourself. Your focus is going to be o­n yourself. Not worrying about this person and that person’s manhaj. Are you o­n the correct Manhaj?? Not worrying about whether a particular brother is o­n the bidah or the Sunnah. Are you upon the Sunnah?  Have those brothers stopped committing their sins — have you stopped committing that sin? Has the brother made tawbah —- Have you made tawbah?? Has the brother corrected a situation —– have you corrected your situation? Worry about yourself. Worry about yourself this Ramadhaan.

Any other Ramadhaan do what you will. But my sincere advice to you is, this Ramadhaan worry about yourself. Am I backbiting? Am I slandering? Am I committing fahishah? Am I committing gheebah? Am I committing Nameemah (tale-carrying)? Do I have ‘hasad’? Do I have pride (Kibr) ? Am I arrogant?  Am I too harsh? Am I unkind? Am I not gentle enough? Am I gentle enough? Question yourself. Was my intention when I said what I said or did what I did for the pleasure of Allaah or to be noticed?   When I spoke what I spoke was it for the pleasure of Allaah or to be seen or heard? Was I doing it “Haarisa min Qalbi’— sincerely from my heart or I did it to be known? ‘Khutbath Duroor’ — Loving to be known breaks it.

Be Mukhlis. Be sincere. Be like that servant of Allaah like the Hadith that has been related in the Kitaab al  tawheed of the soldier whose head is disheveled, who is bare-footed and dirty.. but he is sincere to Allaah. If he was placed at the rear of the army, he is pleased with that. And if he is placed in the front of the army he is displeased with that. His goal is Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala. Not where I sit. Not us and them, Not you and I but his brothers and sisters ..its the servants of Allaah, it is  the believers, it is the Muslim, the salafiyoon, it is Ahlul –athar, it is Ahlus-Sunnah, it is Ahlul-Hadith. No o­ne’ bigger and no o­ne is smaller . No o­ne wants to step o­n anyone nor desire that. All of us should be working for the pleasure of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala.  And if we don’t we have an illness which is Riyaah — doing things to be seen or Sum’aah — doing things to be heard and we need a Ramadhaan to correct that behaviour.

If we find that we talk to the sisters or brothers too much, we need a Ramadhaan to learn to stop talking to those who are not halaal for us to talk to. And if we find that we are mixing too much, we need a Ramadhaan  to start mixing with those whom you are not supposed to mix with. We find that we have jealousy in our hearts, vengeance in our hearts, distrust in our hearts for other Muslims based upon nothing but  Shaitaan whispers to us, we need a Ramadhaan. 

We get all the good in front of us when we have the Book of Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala and the Sunnaah of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the fahmas Salafus Saalih and the connection to the inheritors of the Prophet alaihissalaam – the Ulamaa – we got all the good in front of us but we are like that individual who has a disease and he has the prescription for the medicine in front of him but he refuses to open the package – let alone read it —– let alone take it.

We need a Ramadhaan, Our condition won’t change. We’ll continue to complain.

We need a Ramadhaan or we’ll forever be in pain. We need a Ramadhaan or we’ll go insane.

We need a Ramadhaan, you and I. Why can’t we lift up, roll up our sleeves? Why do we have to beat  the hands of o­ne another?  Why do we have to step o­n somebody to get somewhere? Why do we have to step o­n our brother – he wants to go to the same place  where you want to go? The Jannah. Why can’t we do it together? Why can’t we be side by side? You roll up your sleeves and I’ll roll up my sleeves, we’ll get busy and we’ll get help and support o­ne another.
 
Why can’t we make excuses? Why can’t we forgive? Why can’t we forget? Why can’t we let things go?  Upon clarity, upon Haqq, knowing the Sunnah, knowing the Deen, connected to the scholars, not preceding them in any statement or action and if they make a statement, we make their statement (not add our own), This is important. We need a Ramadhaan.

This blessed month where you can go in as the most despicable devil and come out like an angel. That blessed month when you can go in as a miser and come out as the generous … that blessed month where you can be o­ne of those hard-hearted brothers – (everybody usually gives you a smile but you don’t give anybody a smile) – and if you do it right, you’ll come out of Ramadhaan giving smiles to those brothers , not in the faces of the sisters but the faces of your brothers..

We need a Ramadhaan to correct our condition : we are slow, we are lazy, we don’t have any incentive towards the deen and the Aakhiraah, the Hereafter . Our incentives are towards the Dunya and if the opposite of this was true most of the neighbourhood around here would be Muslims. Many would enter Islaam in folds, as Sheikh Ubaid Madkhali Hafidaallaah says in his explanation of  ‘Usool as thalaathah’, that Islaam is a Mahaasin – the beauty of it is explained. Islaam he said is a Mu’jizaa minal Mu’jizaath’ — Islaam is a miracle of the Mircales. Ayah minal Ayaahs. It is that, when it is presented to the hearts, when it is presented to the people, and it is done in the right way, what happens? They enter Islaam ‘Afwaajan’ – in the multitudes.

He said that if o­ne of them has a business and we want to advertise, very few who wouldn’t advertise at all would say that “I have a business but I am going to be silent.” Business won’t be successful and no o­ne will benefit, he will loose. Generally a good business person gets a good advertisement – he may use the print media, he may use the radio, the audio media,  to get his advertisement  — his dawa’ah , he’ll call out so that people will come and he mixes in the most beautiful way and has the most beautiful response. This is what he does. The Sheikh said, ‘if we were to do that with Islaam, show its beauty, explain its Mahasin –its beauty, it is the natural fitrah of the person (unless his fitrah has been polluted) that he wants to know Islaam. He wants to know why he walks upon the earth. He wants to know his prayer. He wants to have his connection with his Creator. He wants to know the purpose of his existence. But who will explain it to him or her? Who will tell them? Who will open up those hearts? It is supposed to be ‘us’. 

Those of us who cannot express ourselves, what about our actions? If the person sees you are truthful , why you are truthful? Because Islaam teaches you truthfulness and you must be truthful and there is high martaba being truthful and minas-Siddeeqi is the o­nly martaba — level after the Prophets… It is the first level after the Prophets, rather. Closest to the prophet’s stations are those who are Siddiqeen, the most truthful. So you be truthful because of that. You keep your word because of that. You are gentle, you are nice, you have good behaviour, you have good etiquette, you have good deportment, so when it comes to Islaam it is Afwaajan. So if you don’t see them doing it, we are doing what we are not supposed to be doing. If we were doing what we are supposed to be doing, we would probably have to have this type of fundraising at o­ne of the football stadiums. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, people will be hearing Islaam from the radio, they will see articles written in the papers regularly, they would see good behaviour, they would see kindness and gentleness, patience and forbearance. They would see the qualities and characteristics of Mustapha sallallahu alaihi wassallam. i.e if we were doing our job. But we are not.  Not the male or the female. Not father or mother or child. We are not upon what we should be upon, we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing.

 We need a Ramadhaan to clarify our situation. We need a Ramadhaan to put us in position. We need a Ramadhaan to give this Ummah a rebirth, air ..   we have to understand that we are global. Whoever follows the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Manhaj of the Salafus Saalih, then they are our closest brothers. And those who are upon ignorance, innovation, not mukaffarah, they are still brothers from a distant but from within this Ummah. So it affects all of us. And we are connected in that way.

If you sit there saying, ‘I don’t care what they do to the Muslims in India doesn’t concern me; I don’t care if they bomb Afghanistan up the planet… I don’t care…. it has nothing to do with me …then you are a racist, a nationalist, you are not a Salafi. Because a Salafi concerns himself about this Ummah. Salafi at night thinks about this Ummah. Salafi cries in his salaah about the condition of this Ummah, he cries about all locally, he cries about their condition internationally. We need a Ramadhaan so that we  can realize the Islaamic brotherhood again.

We need a Ramadhaan because some of them never practiced brotherhood ever in their lives and  may have been Muslims 50 years. We need a Ramadhaan so that the sisters learn sisterhood,

We need a Ramadhaan so that we can focus o­n the Aakhirah — Hereafter and we give Naseehah and advice to o­ne another that is of benefit and that our talking and our mixing is just not about the Dunya, and what you want to do in the Dunya and how you are gonna be in this Dunya.

We need a Ramadhaan so that people learn to inculcate in their children to be like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar al-Khattab, Sa’ad abi Ibn Waqqas and like this. We need a Ramadhaan so that they can study knowledge. This Ummah needs another Bin Baaz, this Ummah needs another Al-Albani, this Ummah needs another Muqbil, this Ummah needs another Ibn Taimiyyah, this Ummah needs all of these and more. You are gonna tell me that none of them can come or no o­ne like them can from our families? None of them can come from us? Not everyone who comes from us have to be Goofi. Can’t our children speak the Arabic language at a young age? Can’t we put in the hands of our children books that will benefit the Ummah.. the same love the Kaafir have for  Harry Potter and their imaginary books? Our hope is low. Our desire is low. We are supposed to be having high goals. We should be looking at our kids Abdullaah and Abdurrahman and saying : You might be Sheikh Naasir for this Ummah. We should be saying when listening to Sudaisi and Shuraim that it could be you leading the salaah in haram. We are supposed to be having high goals.  But until we brush off the dust, the foolishness of the jaahiliyyah , the hastiness of the youth, the bad characteristics that we have, we have to get rid of them , we have to change our condition, we need aRamadhaan.

We need our Qiyaam at night, we need recitation of Qura’an, we need to sit together and talk together o­nly about the deen, not about the Dunya, we need to worry about our status in the Aakhirah, in the Hereafter. We need to wake up from our sleep. Wake up Oh Sleepy o­ne. !! our slumber has been too long. You got to wake up, take wudoo, get within the caravan of Mohamed Ibn Abdullah, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar al-Khattab, Ibn Taimiyyah – you have to get with it. How long are we going to stay sick? How long are we going to be unsettled? How long are we going to have our problems? We need a Ramadhaan.  And let this Ramadhaan be the o­ne where you come out of it better, come out of it committed, come out of it devoted, you come out of it with your head held high. You are from the Ummah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and don’t you forget it!!

Walhamdulillaahi rabbil aalameen.





My Ramadan Diary: 10-04-2007 (Staying awake seeking the Night of Power)

5 10 2007

Personally, I’m a night owl. I have no problem staying up all night. I do have a problem going to sleep and waking back up. But I can definatley pull an all nighter and be fine the next day.  My husband is the complete opposite.  In fact, he never has any problem fasting or waking for suhoor (maybe because he’s used to it). But staying up all night straight……very difficult for him.

 Well, mash’Allah www.sunnahfollowers.net has added early morning classes. One is held  at 2AM EST (The Signs of the Last Hour) and 3am EST is live Qiyam Tarawih prayers from Houston, TX. Mash’Allah the recitation is beautiful.

I have found this really helps me stay awake  and also helps me to be in a state of rememberance of Allah rather than getting side tracked.  I simply love being able to hear the tarawih prayers from home. It makes me feel like I’m a part of something when it isn’t possible for me to be there physically.

I highly encourage anyone in the US to try to make these classes if you are having trouble staying up in rememberance of Allah during these last ten nights. 





16 Things You Can Do On The Night Of Power (Laylat Al Qadr)

3 10 2007

16 things you can do on the Night of Power

BY: Abdul Malik Mujahid

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Quran as, “better than a thousand months” (97:3). Any action done on this night such as reciting the Quran, remembering Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr.

Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim). Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet.

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, related that the Prophet said: Look for Laylatul Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan (Bukhari).

The Prophet said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim recorded from Abu Huraira).

Here are some tips of things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it.

1. Take a vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshiping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra Ibadah, not having to worry about getting to work the next day.

It will also facilitate doing Itikaf.

2. Do Itikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the masjid for Itikaf.

Those in Itikaf stay in the masjid all this time, performing various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Quran. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies, therefore, they sleep in the masjid. Their families or the masjid administration takes care of their food needs.

Itikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make this special Dua

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ “(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

The transliteration of this Dua is “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee”

4. Recite the Quran

Perhaps you can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which you have heard in Tarawih this past Ramadan to recite.

If you attend a class where the recitation of the Quran is taught, this is a great time to put your knowledge into practice.

5. Reflect on the meaning of the Quran

Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you’ve heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.

(If you want to study the Quran with more understanding, check out Way to the Quran and Access to Quranic Arabic.

6. Get your sins wiped out

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim).

Don’t just pray using the shorter Surahs that you know. Try to make your prayers longer, deeper and meaningful. If you are familiar with longer Surahs, read the translation and explanation and then pray reciting these Surahs, carefully reflecting on the meaning while you pray.

Even if you are only familiar with the shorter Surahs, read the translation and explanation beforehand, and then pray reflecting on the message of the Surahs.

This is a good way to develop the habit of concentration, even in regular prayers, where many of us tend to be fidgety and/or easily distracted.

7. Make a personal Dua list.

Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, you can do three things:

• Ask Allah to give you those things
• Think about what actions you have taken to get those things
• Develop a work plan to get those things in future.

8. Evaluate yourself.

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. (see a short and a long evaluation guide) This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah’s sincere forgiveness when making the Dua mentioned in tip number one above.

9. Make long, sincere and deep Duas

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth and proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, and I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything and I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, and I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

That means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor time to ask Allah for anything and everything you want that is Halal. This can be done using the Duas of the Sunnah, but also Dua in your own language, with sincerity and conviction.

For some tips on making Dua please see the article Some personal Duas you can make.

10. Memorize a different Dua every night

They don’t have to be long. They can be just one line. And be sure to know what they mean generally at least, even if you don’t know the exact translation in English.

You can put them on index cards (or and keep them with you during the day, glancing at them during work, while driving, waiting in line, etc.) Then practice them at night in prayer.

11. Have Iftar with the family

If you’ve spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you’ll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

12. Take the family to Tarawih

Have your spouse and kids missed Tarawih most of Ramadan because you weren’t there to drive them to the Masjid, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Tarawih in these last ten nights.

13. Attend the Dua after the completion of Quran recitation

Almost all Masjids where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Quran in Tarawih prayers in Ramadan will be completing their recitation in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Dua at the end of a reading of the Quran. Attend this particular night’s Tarawih prayer with your family. See if you can attend different Masjids’ Tarawih prayers the night they finish reading the Quran.

14. Finish reading a book on the Prophet

Read about the Prophet’s life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah’s sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.

15. Plan for the next year

Once you’ve done a self-evaluation, you can plan on where you want to go, at least in the next 12 months. Laylatul Qadr is a great night to be thinking about this (without taking away from your worship), since you’ll Insha Allah, be in a more contemplative state. You may choose to dedicate one night of power for evaluation and one night for planning for the next year.

16. To do list for the Night of Power

Make a to do checklist for each Night of Power. This should define how you would like your night, the one better than a thousand months, to be used. Pick things from this list and define the sequence you would like to do things in. This will help you avoid wasting your time in unproductive chats which common in the festive atmosphere of Masjids at the Night of Power.

© Sound Vision Foundation website http://www.SoundVision.com








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