10 Common Mistakes That Can Destroy A Marriage

23 05 2009

10 common mistakes that destroy a relationship of marriage

In life and love, you may think you’re supposed to always focus on the positive instead of the negative. However, unless you become aware of your own hurtful attitudes or actions — so that you can correct them — your chances of staying in love ’til death do you part are close to zero. To have your marriage last a lifetime, avoid these 10 common mistakes:

1. Talking “at” instead of “with” your mate. Let his or her body language be your guide. When you’re talking “at” your partner, he or she will tense up. When you’re talking “with” your spouse, he or she will relax.

2. Tuning out — instead of tuning in — to what your mate is saying. When you mind begins to wander, stop and remember that what your partner is saying is important to him or her.

3. Forgetting to thank your mate. Not thanking your spouse for being considerate, thoughtful or kind makes him or her feel unappreciated and foolish for caring about you. even if your mate did something as simple as remembering to wash the laundry or cook dinner or pay an outstanding bill. although it may be generally “considered as a duty”, it is not. In fact the main duty in a marriage is to make the other person happy, for most people, ultimately that does not necessary have to do with chores or bills.

4. Getting defensive instead of saying, “I’m sorry.” When you mess up, the sooner you sincerely say, “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong,” the sooner your mate can stop resenting you.

5. Always saying, “I’m sorry,” yet never changing. An apology buys you another chance. However, if you keep making the same mistake, apologies not only seem empty, but annoying as well.

6. Being repeatedly late. Frequently keeping your partner waiting is not only inconsiderate, it’s arrogant.

7. Playing the victim. This behavior not only accuses your spouse of hurting you, but adds insult to injury by implying that he or she is doing it intentionally, when that may not be the case. not everyone has the same capacity of receiving accusations, so it is safest not to jump and accuse your mate of having bad intentions, even if they have repeated similar mistakes in the past.

8. Jumping to conclusions. Presuming that you know what your partner feels — and why — without first getting all the facts is only going to push him or her away.

9. Badmouthing your spouse behind his or her back. This not only adds to the list of secrets you keep from your mate, but also tells others how little you respect your partner.

10. Thinking that doing something once is enough. If you only temporarily stop making the above mistakes — and don’t continue to monitor yourself to keep from slipping back into bad habits — If your spouse was satisfied with that last boquet of roses you bought her or that last set of golf clubs you got him, all signs point to the fact that giving and receiving gifts is a good thing. So keep it up! you’re teasing your partner with changing one time and going to the same old song and dance. You’re also kidding yourself that you’re committed to improving your marriage, when really you’re not.





Great Women In Islam-The Hairdresser of Pharoah’s Daughter

20 02 2009

2733881995_dfffc3ae57_oIt is narrated that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, (may Allah bless and grant him peace) said, “On the night in which I was taken by a night Journey, a pleasant fragrance came my way, and so I said, “O Gabriel! What is this pleasant fragrance?”

He said, “This is the fragrance of the hairdresser of Pharaoh’s daughter, and [of the hairdresser]’s children.”

 

This is her story as narrated in a lecture by Bilal Assad based on a hadith found in Ahmad and Ibn Majah (see source below):

There was a women called Mashit of Firoun, she was a women who was the hairdresser of Firouns daughter, Pharaoh who said, I did not know any god but me, and Mashit of Firoun, this hairdresser, she had embraced Islam in secret and when she was combing the hair of the daughter of pharaoh the king, one who said that he is god, the comb fell to the ground and then she automatically sub consciously picked up the comb and said, Bismillah, in the name of Allah.

And this Mashit of Firoun this hairdresser had five children and one of them was still breast feeding and then the daughter of Firoun said, Allah Abi, are you saying Allah my father? And she said, No! Allah, the god of your father
and yourself and me and she became angry, she went to her father and said to him:
Father, this woman worships another god besides you, he said: What?
She knows another god besides me, who is that? Call her to me, and they called her to him.

And she came and stood, a woman, a woman brothers and sisters in front of this great Pharaoh. And he said to her, who is your god? And she said, Allah is my lord. He said who is Allah?
She said Allah is my god and yours. Yes, she was cornered and put in a place, when she had to answer, she answered, this how the state of the Mumin in the past and present are. When they said, Allah is my lord, they were tortured.

But we dont care.

Because we know what were heading towards, we know who are lord is and
we say what we believe, were not liars.

She said Allah, Allah is my lord and yours. And they said what? Bring the chains!
They brought the chains, they begun to punish her and whip her, who is your lord and she will say Allah is my lord and yours.

 
And so he ordered for them to bring a large container and he spilt boiling oil in to this container,  a large container like a swimming pool, and then he said, bring me all her children!
And they brought them one by one and he said worship me, I am your lord.
She said, never! So he brought her first son and he threw him in to the oil,
in front of her eyes his meat and his flesh fell of his body and his bone disintegrated, and then they brought her next son and she was firm, Allahu Akbar! They burnt him; she could not stop them, and then her third and then her fourth and finally her fifth, he was on her arm and she was about to pull back, she was about to pull back in front of the eyes of all the people and when all of a sudden and this is the Hadis of the prophet Muhammad (SAW), he said, all of a sudden, Allah (SWT) from above seven skies made her child speak while he was in the cradle, he said: Be patient my mother, you are in the truth, Allah Allah has promised you with a great heaven, keep going mother.
And then they threw her son in to the boiling oil and she was next,
she knew that she was going to die, and then she begun to cry and Pharaoh said, why are you crying?
Stop! And she said, I was crying because I want to ask you to do something for me, and I dont know if youre going to do it, he said, ask me for whatever you like, she said, once you throw me in to the oil, then I want you to gather whatever is remaining of our bodies and I want you to bury us together in the same grave, because I want to be resurrected with my children and I want to go to Jannah with my children.

 Video of her story:

Hadith can be found: Imam Ahmad has narrated in his Musnad (Book of Hadith 1/310) [and a similar narration is in Ibn Majah (4020)]





Ten Tips To Be A Sucessful Muslim Husband

22 11 2008

muslim couple

Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “the best amongst you are the ones who are best to their wives.” So dear Muslim brother! Your obligations towards your wife are not limited to earning money and supporting her financially. A wife needs love from her husband, and emotional support too!

10 Tips on How to Be a Successful Husband

Note: Additions in brackets are notes from a sister.

Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef, reprinted from Islamway.com.

1) Dress Up

Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time us men went shopping for designer pajamas? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.

(Dress up for your wife when you are at home also. Some brothers only dress up when they go out and that is not a good practice. A husband should dress up for his wife when they are at home. it makes a wife feel special.)

2) Sweet Names

Use the cutest names for your wife. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) had nicknames for his wives, ones that they loved. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.

(Remember, you are your wife’s only boyfriend, and her only best friend. She does not go out seeking boyfriends and she shares a halal relationship with you. Love her unconditionally for the sake of Allah. And express your love to her. A woman likes to be told that she is loved. Call her from your work to make sure she is doing fine. I have seen my dad calling my mother several times a day, just to make sure she has been eating well. And my husband calls me at least twice from work to make sure I am doing well. These things are very important in a relationship.)

3) Reward Her Actions

Don’t treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it ‘bugs’ us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day – which brings no attention from the husband – until she does something to ‘bug’ him. Don’t treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.

(Whenever there is a fight or argument, just remember all the things she does for you. she cooks for you, she takes care of your home, she takes care of your children and the most important thing is that she guards her modesty. So do not upset her if she is upset with you. Hold her and tell her that you love her. Only your love can repel her anger. Communicate with her and discuss with her if there are any misunderstandings.)

4) Remain Silent

If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (رضالله عنهنّ). It’s a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.

(Do not criticize her all the time. Trust her and trust her decisions. If she is doing something that you don’t like, or that goes against the teachings of Islam, then do advice her gently.)

5) Smile!

Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Ahadith when Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salah, even if he was fasting.

(Do let your wife know that you are very happy and blessed to have her. A wife always wonder how her husband feels about her. She may have some insecurity about you, so make her feel secure. Always give her a hug whenever you come back from work. appreciate her and thank her for taking care of everything whole day. If you are not too tired, go out for star gazing for an hour or so.)

6) Acknowledge Her

Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don’t let that be; thank her!

(Write thank you notes for her and place those notes in her books, her purse, her socks, and anything else that belongs to her. You can use your own creativity to thank her. You can thank her by writing something on a mirror with her lipstick, so that she can read it when she wakes up in the morning. You can also thank her by arranging a candlelight dinner AT HOME, you be the cook and let her rest. So far I have learned that a nice romantic dinner at home is much better than going out for dinner. This way a couple saves themselves from many fitnahs. You can thank her by writing her letters and emails. Remember, in Islam, everyday is special. So celebrate wife’s day with her, and do it very often without having a particular date. She will always wonder when the wife’s day is going to be.

You can also give her a certificate of appreciation, or a Best Wife Award on wife’s day. Do everything by yourself that day and let her rest, this way you will also know how difficult it could be to do household chores. Thank her by building a webpage for her, write a note there and a poem and then ask her to visit your webpage. Thank her by recording a voice message on a cd for your wife. She will love it!

Thank her by giving her a gift, and a gift does not have to be expensive. Be creative! You do not have to give her Roses, you can give her a leaf too! (My husband gave me a leaf once, instead of roses, and I was very happy and surprised, and I appreciated his creativity). So remember, thoughtful and creative gifts makes a wife feel secure and happy. Thank her by ordering a halal pizza for her, ask the restaurant to cut it in a heart shape and have it delivered with a personalized note. Thank her by thanking her in a family gathering. A woman likes it when her husband gives her attention.

If you visit her parents or your parents, hold her hands and tell your parents how happy you are after marriage. Give your wife an Islamic book as a gift after praying Tahajjud. Use your imagination and think about unique gifts. Remember, she does not need a diamond, she needs your sincerity and your heart, so always give her the gifts that are thoughtful. Whenever you do something to make her happy, observe her facial expressions and ask yourself about how you feel when you become her happiness.)

7) Ten Blessings From Allah

Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don’t have to play a guessing game–ask her and work on repeating those things in your life.

(Also ask her to write down the things you did that she did not like, or the things you did that made her unhappy. Try to not do those things in future. If she falls ill, let her lay down, and read different surahs from Qur’an while placing your hand on her forehead. When I got sick, my husband recited Qur’an for me, it really helped a lot mashaAllah. Remember, a wife needs her husband the most when she is not feeling well. Take good care of her because a healthy wife makes a healthy family. Do not expect too much from her when she is sick.)

8) Validate her Feelings

Don’t belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (رضالله عنها) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

(If there is a time of sadness, give her your shoulder to cry on. Hold her and tell her that everything will be fine. Alhamdulillah, my husband and my dad are amongst those Muslim husbands who would even have tears in their eyes if their wives are sad. Remember, a woman does not like to cry alone in a corner. She needs someone to hold her when she is sad, so never let her feel lonely. Remind her the verses from Qur’an that talks about Patience and Piety.)

9) Have Fun!

Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would race his wife Aisha (رضالله عنها) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?

(A sense of humor plays a very important role in a marital relationship. Most women wish to have a husband who has a good sense of humor. Tell her decent and modest jokes that make her happy. A wife appreciates it very much if her husband makes her smile. You can play various games at home. Play with crayons, or have a pillow fight. Or hide different notes in your bedroom and ask her to find it. Think of different games you can both play. Let her win sometimes!

Adopt interesting hobbies, such as reading, cooking together and gardening (grow a surprise rose plant in your garden, when you have the first rose blooming, take her to the garden and show it to her. Newspaper and Sports Issue! Men like to watch sports, or read newspaper. Most Pakistani wives consider newspaper as their co-wives. So be very careful. If you are watching sports, turn the TV off if your wife comes around. Give her attention. Do not spend too much time reading newspaper, and do not read newspaper on the breakfast table, rather have an Islamic discussion. If you want to get her to like newspaper, then try to find something that interests her. Such as, try to find a news about Hijab. Or try to find a news about Muslim women for her.)

10) Be The Best

Always remember the words of Allah’s Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم): “The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.” Try to be the best! In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to make your marriage successful. And Allah ta’ala knows best!

(And once again: your wife is your best friend, and your girlfriend. Share everything with her. Remember she is your garment and you are her garment, so hide her faults and mistakes. Learn to forgive her. Also communicate a lot with her family. It really makes a difference if husband communicates with his in laws. It helps both husband’s and wife’s family to share a beautiful relationship. Respect her parents and show your love to her family. This will inspire her to love and respect your family. If her family is not muslim, do dawah to them in a beautiful way.)

Spend lots of time praying to Allah swt. Do fast often even if it is not Ramadan. Fasting brings patience and taqwah. Lead her in the prayer. There is nothing better than praying together. Remember Allah, so that Allah remembers you.

May Allah bless us and guide us all. Ameen!

References

Alshareef, Muhammad. “[10 Tips] How to Be a Successful Husband.” IslamWay. 24 Apr. 2007 <http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=article&id=103>.

My Sister El Kawthar posted this first at: http://elkawthar.wordpress.com/ten-tips-towards-being-a-successful-husband/

Also check out her other posts in both Dutch and English!





Ramadan Diary ’08: Week 2-Cooking For The Fasting People

17 09 2008
Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter.”
[At-Tirmidhi].
Mash’Allah, I love that hadith! As women we are created differently than men. We have certain concessions that Allah (SWT) has given us that men have not been given. This doesn’t mean that women are  inferior to men but Allah (SWT) knows us, knows our capabilities, our strengths and weaknesses.  That’s why most women get a break from fasting every month. A break that many women complain about. I, however, don’t resent the fact that I can’t fast the whole month because who am I to feel unsatisfied with a special consession that Allah (SWT) has provided me with?  After all, he is My Creator and who knows a thing (or person in this case) better than the one who designed and created it? 
As the hadith I quoted before mentions…..even though we are not fasting that doesn’t mean we don’t have the opportunity to get benefit and rewards.  We can cook and feed a fasting person (husbands and parents count too 😉 ) thus earning the same rewards they have. Or we can give charity, make dhikr, listen to lectures, read the Qur’an on the computer (even though women can’t touch the mushaf when they are on their menses they can read it on the computer according to the most widely accepted opinion).
So, insh’Allah let’s not let that time of the month make us waste our time and distract us away from other acts of worship and chances to earn good deeds. We only have 2 weeks left before this Ramadan passes us by and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow much less next year. So, let’s tighten up as the Prophet (saw) used to do during Ramadan and work hard these last two weeks!Let’s keep our momentum going strong, insh’Allah!
Need something to keep you motivated and give you ideas? Insh’Allah make a calendar as my friend Um Umar did and add goals and mark them off or check out www.ramadanreminders.com
Speaking of the Qur’an. This is a nice video lecture describing how Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an so we need to strive to read it and ponder it! Enjoy : )




Ramadan Diary ’08: Week One Has Passed

8 09 2008

And I’m not hungry. This Ramadan has been a pleasant surprise. Reading back over my diary last year, I realized that this year I have had no dizziness, no tummy ache, nothing. Yes, I get hungry the last couple of hours before time to break fast….but it isn’t that bad at all.  I think, perhaps, this is due to either a stronger effort at suhoor or the fact that my body is now trained to fast. This past year I have been fasting more of the optional  fasts. So, maybe, my body is conditioned. Although, that doesn’t mean my mind is.

This year has been a trade off. My hunger for my temper. Well, I will tell you for me the temper is a thousand times harder to fight against than my hunger ever was. The room could be spinning, my stomach churning, my head pounding and I could block it out and fast. My temper on the other hand………..takes alot more effort. It is a gigantic test of will and patience.  I am working this Ramadan rather than staying home all day. That is a big part of the equation. Alhamdullilah though.  I am gratful for everything that Allah (SWT) has given me and Allahu Akbar, Allah has promised us in the Qur’an that He (Swt)  will not place a burden on us greater than we can bear.

I have also noticed this Ramadan that I have learned to say no to things that I can not possibly add to my schedule. I have learned to prioritize. That is huge for me.

Overall, I am really optimistic that I am making a strong effort to accomplish my goals this Ramadan while at the same time hoping and praying that Allah (Swt) accepts from me.

In other news, My friend Um Mahmoud gave me a couple of great Ramadan ideas for children! Insh’Allah I will post it so anyone who wants can try it with their kids.

For Full Size You can go here and click on it to make it bigger and print it :

http://i475.photobucket.com/albums/rr117/muslimah1234/goal_calendar_send.jpg

Directions:
There are 2 parts to this email… The 1st is the calendar in the attachment, and the 2nd is the suggested goals below. Print the calendar on 1 side and then the goals on the other inshaAllah. Customize the goals to your childs ability, I only made general suggestions. So all the goals are numbered… if on Saturday they did # 10 on the goal list, they will write #10 in that square on the calendar.
 
   Explain to them that the reason they will use this calendar if for a visual for them. In this busy life of ours, days go by without us taking time out to try to do extra things to please Allah. Filling in the days of this calendar will be exciting for them to see how much they are capable of doing. This would be a great time to explain to them about the recording angels we have with us at all times and how they record the good and the bad and how we would like the Angel on our right to stay busy recording the good things. They will start to do this in Ramadan but that they should also continue to do these good deeds thru out the whole year.
 
  Parents help the younger children with their calendar and keep reminding the older children to fill in the days. And have fun with this.
 
  Print the calendar 1st and then these suggested goals, or add more, or customize to your childs age.
 
In this blessed month of Ramadan I will try my best to use my time wisely.  Even if I am little, I will try hard to fast at least some of the day & do other good things.
1.        Sleep little – eat little …I will not try to let the day pass faster by sleeping it away, and I will not eat so much at Iftar that it will make me too lazy to pray.
2.        I will learn all about Ramadan so I won’t think of it as a hard and hungry month.
3.        I will pray all of my obligatory prayers, and try to pray as many of the sunnah prayers as I can.
4.       I will try to wake up during the 3rd part of the night and pray night prayers at least once.
5.        I will memorize at least 1 surah and understand the meaning of it also.
6.       I will try to attend the taraweah prayer at the masjid at least once and pray all the way to the end with the Imam.
7.        I will not waste my time watching TV or playing games.
8.       I will surprise my Mom and clean for her while she is cooking Iftar for me.
9.       I will save some money in a special can and donate it to a worthy cause at the end of Ramadan.
10.     I will bake a dessert myself and surprise another family with it.
11.      I will read some Quran every day. I will pick a time like after I pray fejr, or right before magrib, and read at that time every day.
12.     I will ask Allah for forgiveness often.
13.     I will make more thikr.
14.     I will learn what Laylatul qadr is and its virtues and then put all my efforts in gaining those rewards.
15.     I will remind myself (for boys) my Dad and brothers to pray at the masjid every Fejr and every Isha.
16.     If I am invited to someone’s house for Iftar I will help clean before I leave.
17.     Even if I can’t go to the Masjid for Taraweah and my Dad goes, I will send some sweets or a cold drink for the Muslims to enjoy in between the prayers.
18.     If I am at the masjid and I see an old person who needs a chair to pray, I will RUN and get that chair for them and set it up in the prayer line.
19.     No matter where I am, if I see a Muslim I will say Assalamu alekum first.
20.    If I’m at the grocery store shopping with my parent, I will ask if I can buy a food item  to place in the food drive box at the masjid.
21.     If my family is inviting people for Iftar, I will ask if they will invite some single people or students.
22.     I will help my mother cook, or set the table, or clean the table after, or wash the dishes, or sweep the floor at least once a day either at Suhoor or Iftar.
23.     I will remind my brothers and sisters and friends to be their best.
24.    I will learn something new about Ramadan to teach it to my family and friends. (Look at the bulletin board weekly for new information, womens section)
25.     I will memorize at least 1duaa
26.    When I’m at the masjid I will sneak a donation into the masjid box so nobody sees me donating, only Allah and I will know.

*add more of your own goals

Charity Jars:

These can be made with empty cannisters,jars, etc decorated with paper, paint, glitter, etc. You can take a cloth and stretch over the top and secure it with ribbons,glue or a rubber band. Insh’Allah they are pretty easy. Then the kids simply fill them as they are able and at the end of the month you can decide how to donate it. Mash’Allah it gives the children such a sense of accomplishment and inclination to give back at a young age.

Here are some that the children at the Islamic Center of Arlington Texas(http://www.isat-online.org/home.htm) made:

 





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.




When You Are In Over Your Heads My Sisters….Learn To Say No

16 06 2008

As a gender, in general, I believe women are very selfless and giving. This can and does become a serious weakness for us. For me. We are taught to “grin and bear it.” Not to complain. We are emotional. We are caregivers and want to help everyone no matter the detriment that it can cause if we are not careful. But that is the point. We have to be careful. We have to be strong and learn to say one little word, “no.” Women, in general, have a hard time uttering this two letter word. The way it usually happens is the pursuer (husband, boss, friend, collegue, etc) will ask us to do some sort of favor. We know that we have too much on our plate already but after a full on session of sob stories and guilt trips we cave in and end up adding it to our list.

As Muslim women, we have to be doubly careful of this. You see, not only do we have our schedules but our life should be scheduled around worship and devotion to Allah (swt) (not the other way around). So, once we pile obligations, trusts, and responsibliies up we automatically deduct the time that we would have spent in rememberance of Allah. Our prayers become rushed and squeezed in here and there. No longer do we sit after salat and make dhikr. Because, really, we don’t have time for that. We no longer read the Qur’an because it takes up too much time, or if we do read the Qur’an we read it to get it over with and don’t ponder what we have read which results in us coming away with little to no benefit whatsoever.

Even those of us who look like we have it all together may not. Even those of us who play Islamic lectures day and night and post up islamic information may not have the time to actually sit and listen and ponder or read what we are posting, playing, etc. Those of us that volunteer with Islamic organizations may have had admirable intentions when we began but then it becomes just another trust that we feel responsible for. Afterall, if we don’t do it, who will?

As a result, we suffer, our relationship with Allah suffers, our children suffer, our marriages suffer. We may or may not be asked about what we volunteered to do on the Day of Judgement. We may or may not be asked about how sucessful we were in our vocations. But for certain we will be asked about our prayers. Did we complete them perfectly? Or were we too busy? Did we concentrate on the words letting them penetrate our heart? Or did we stand up half asleep and go through the motions to mark it off the list for the day? We will be asked about our obligations to Allah. Did we take our time to fulfill them? We will be asked about our children. Did we give them their rights or were we so caught up in other things that we neglected to teach them and bring them up on the Qur’an and Sunnah? Were we good wives, did we give our husband’s their rights, did we give our parents their rights?

Sadly, many of us on that day will probably be in a state of shame and regret. We will beg and plead to go back to this time and vow that we will say “no” to the things that we can’t add to our hectic schedules. We would probably wish that we had lived simpler lives and concentrated on our obligations and fullfilling them perfectly while volunteering and spreading daw’ah as we are capable…..not to the point that obligations are neglected or half performed out of laziness and tiredness. But it will be too late by then. We won’t have a second chance that day.

That’s why we must evaluate ourselves now as Umar ibn Khattab once said:

“Judge yourselves before you are judged, evaluate yourselves before you are evaluated and be ready for the greatest investigation (the Day of Judgement)”

As long as we have a breath left, we are capable of making changes in our lives. We are capable of saying “no” to overworking ourselves, neglecting our relationship with Allah (SWT), and allowing things to pile up in our lives unnecessarily. Allah has given us all this ability to choose, free will. It’s up to us to learn to balance our lives and use them to strive for Paradise. To struggle For the ability to be able to stand up before Allah (SWT), Our Creator, on the Day of Judgement, knowing that we made every effort to fulfill all our obligations perfectly with love, hope and fear for His Sake alone. That is the ultimate goal. How many of us will reach it?