Ramadan 2009 Has Been Announced!

20 08 2009

 

The moon has not been sighted and therefore Ramadan will start on Saturday the 22nd of August 2009, insha’Allaah.

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).”Al-Qur’an 2:183

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). And al-Bukhaari and Muslim also narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadaan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Get the most out of Ramadan by visiting these sites insh’Allah:

Live classes and lectures:

www.sunnahfollowers.net (offers past recorded lectures on Islamic topics including Ramadan and also offers FREE live lectures and powerpoint presentations)

http://www.islamonline.net/English/Ramadan/1430/index.shtml (Great Ramadan resource offering articles, lectures, ecards, and more).

Videos and Lectures:

 Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullah – Fasting in Ramadaan (20+ lectures on the fiqh, etiquette, focus and benefits of fasting)
Abu Uwais rahimahullah – We need Ramadaan! (Transcribed lecture here)
Dr Bilal PhilipsRamadaan: a Way of Life (video)
Ali Tamimi – Benefits of Ramadaan
Ahmad Jibril – Are you Ready for Ramadaan?
Ahmad Jibril – Greeting Ramadaan
Yasir Qadhi – Preparing for Ramadaan
Yahya Ibrahim – Rewards Derived from Ramadaan
Yahya Ibrahim – Renewing One’s Faith is a Priority in Ramadaan
Muhammad AlshareefTowards an Outstanding Ramadaan (video)
Nouman Ali Khan – Welcome Ramadaan (video)
Siraj WahhajRamadaan: Prepare Yourself
Waleed Basyouni – How to Make this your best Ramadaan (9 parts)
Navaid Aziz – Preparing for Ramadaan
Sa’eed Rageah – Ramadaan Reminder

www.islamictube.net (large selection of Islamic videos)

For the kids the full version of Adam’s World Ramadan Edition can be watched on youtube:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw2eiOPdCMk

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YedNI-ZykC4

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LENR-LIjlSY&feature=related

Articles, Books

http://www.qss.org/articles/ramadan/toc.html (Great fasting info)

http://www.islamqa.com/en/cat/2030 (offers many Q&A on Ramadan)

Quick easy recipes:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food/holidays/ramandan-recipes?src=rss

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Ramadan/Detail.aspx 

http://www.islamonline.net/english/Ramadan/Ramadan_kitchen/index.shtml

May Allah accept from us all and may this be the best Ramadan ever! ameen





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]





When The Night Equals A Thousand

23 09 2008

When the Night Equals a Thousand

By Muhammad Alshareef  courtesy of www.SuccessInIslam.com

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (Alahi salaam) wandered with Bani Israel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (Alahi salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

 

 

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israel whom had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told Musa (Alahi salaam). “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”Musa (Alahi salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.” That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.

The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa (Alahi salaam) and the people of Bani Israel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (Alahi salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.” And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israel with water.”

Musa (Alahi salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed the Qur’an in the most blessed month; the month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was sent down.

On the most blessed night, the Grand night: Laylatul Qadr; “Verily, we revealed the Qur’an on the night of Qadr.”

Ibn Jareer narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid that there was a man from Bani Israel who used to spend the night in prayer. Then in the morning he would fight the enemy in the Way of Allah during the day, until the evening and he did this for a thousand months.

And so Allah revealed the Surah: “Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr” until the verse “The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” That is, standing in prayer on that night is better than the actions of that man.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree reports, on the authority of Mujaahid (also), that the night of Al-Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it, and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months’ good deeds, prayers and fasting. (Narrated by Ibn Jareer)

It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: “When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah said: ‘The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable.’” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i).

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it he hopes to be forgiven by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for past sins, knowing that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) promised that all who bear down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, the believer remembers the Prophet’s (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) advice in different sayings wherein he used words like “seek”, “pursue”, “search” and “look hard” for Laylatul Qadr.

Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. The Mu’min should search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, passing the nights in worship and obedience.

For those who catch the opportunity, their gift is that of past sins wiped away.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) illustrated for us some of the things we should be doing on this Grand Night. From his blessed Sunnah we find the following:

 

Praying Qiyaam (night prayer):It is recommended to make a long qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many ahadeeth, such as “Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylatul Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition “and it is facilitated for him” is recorded by Ahmad from the report of ‘Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]

 

Making Supplications:It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. ‘A’ishah reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.” [An authentic Hadith recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi.]

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship:

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr is likely to fall. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).

‘A’ishah reported: “When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer) and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And she said: “Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights.” [Muslim]

Have we estimated Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) correctly?

The opportunity of Laylatul Qadr is coming in the next few days. Life is about people that take advantage of their opportunities to win the love of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), and this is indeed one of those chances. Abu Dah Daah was one of those who found an opportunity and won that which is greater than the heavens and the earth. An adult companion of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and thus belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim and off to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) went the orphan boy to complain. With his justness, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered the companion, “would you give him the palm tree and to you is a palm tree in Jannah?” However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) missed the opportunity and went away angry.

But someone else saw the opportunity, Abu Dah Daah – radi Allahu ‘anhu. He went to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, “Ya Rasul Allah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Yes.”

Abu Dah Daah chased after the companion and asked, “Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?” The companion answered, “Take it for there is no good in a tree that I was complained to the Prophet about.”

Immediately, Abu Dah Daah went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. “Leave the garden!” shouted Abu Dah Daah, “we’ve sold it to Allah! We’ve sold it to Allah!” Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snached the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. “We’ve sold it to Allah!”

When Abu Dah Daah was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, Rasul Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) stood over his slain body and remarked, “How many shady palm trees does Abu Dah Daah now have in paradise?”

What did Abu Dah Daah lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.

Abu Dah Daah did not miss his opportunity, and I pray to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) that we do not miss our opportunity of standing to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) on Laylatul Qadr.

Dear brothers and sisters, we do not obey, worship and revere Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) in a way befitting of His Majesty.

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed: “No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him” (Surat al-An’aam, Ayat 91).

Everything that we have belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). When someone dies we say, Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon, Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return. This is not a supplication just for when a soul is lost. It is a supplication for every calamity that befalls a believer, even if his sandal were to tear. Why? Because everything belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and everything shall come back to him. Sit and try to count the blessings Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has bestowed upon you. Have you ever tried to count stars?

“And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude” (Surat Ibrahim, Ayat 34).

We have not understood the weight of this Qur’an that we rest on our high shelves, this Noble book that was sent to give life to the dead. For even if our hearts were as solid as rock they would have crumbled to the ground in fear and hope of Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) punishment and Mercy. Could it be that our hearts are harder than that mountain?

“Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and split asunder in fear of Allah (Surat al-Hashr, Ayat 21).

Dear brothers and sisters, as you fill the Masajid for Qiyamul Layl in the last ten nights of Ramadan, remember what Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) wants you to know:

“Know ye that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

There shall be a night, some night in your life that you shall awaken in Jannah or Hell fire. Anas ibn Malik, on his deathbed, prayed to Allah, (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), “O Allah, protect from a night whose morning brings a journey to hell fire.” Think about that morning.

Peace shall descend on Laylatul Qadr until the dawn. It may be that you shall leave the Masjid after Fajr one day soon forgiven by Allah, Glorious and Most High.

 





Ramadan Diary ’08: Week Three Entering The Last 10 Days of Ramadan

20 09 2008

Alhamdullilah, we are now officially entering into the last ten days of Ramadan. One of these nights is Laylat al Qadr, a night better than a thousand months.  A night that we should all try to seek out and fill with Rememberance of Allah (SWT).  

The question is will the tv, telephone, computer, or blackberry monopolize your time during the last ten days of Ramadan?  Spending our time uselessly is discouraged any time of the year but especially during these last ten days of Ramadan with all the potential benefits they offer us if we will just make a little effort on our part to seek that benefit. But that is the key: effort. Can we skip the season premiere of our favorite show to instead spend the time with the Qur’an? That is a question unfortunatley many Muslims can’t answer.  That is a question that I used to have a hard time answering myself.

I remember my first Ramadan I was so enthusiastic that I began asking around to other Muslims what they will do during the last ten days of Ramadan. Most of the time I got a shrug as the answer. Looking back, that saddens me. To miss such an opportunity. 

Sometimes we have to just unplug the tv and shut down the computer around here to keep from falling into wasting our time. It also helps to have other Muslims around you who are as enthusiastic or more enthusiastic about earning the rewards of the last ten days as you are. When we use ourselves as a support system things go much more smoothly. It reminds me of the hadith when the Prophet (Saw) said that the most powerful weapon the believers have against Shaytan are each other.  Alhamdullilah

I’m also really excited about a webinar  being held next weekend (September 27 and 28) . Insh’Allah Sheikh Ahmed Kobeisy will be joining www.sunnahfollowers.net next weekend to give special webinars on “Introduction to the Sunnah” and “Fiqh of Worship.”  And the best part is that it’s FREE OF CHARGE! Insh’Allah I hope some of you will be able to attend. 😀 Insh’Allah I will give another announcement closer to the dates confirming the time.

Also, Insh’Allah check out these past posts on Laylat al Qadr and the Last Ten Days of Ramadan to give an explanation, motivation and instructions on how we should be spending this time.

Description of the Night of Power (Laylat Al Qadr) And The Last Ten Days of Ramadan, The Virtues and Explanation:

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/on-laylat-al-qadr-the-night-of-power/

Signs of Laylat Al Qadr (The Night of Power):

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/signs-of-laylat-al-qadr/

16 Things You Can Do On The Night Of Power (suggested actions that you can do):

https://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/16-things-you-can-do-on-the-night-of-power-laylat-al-qadr/

Video Lecture: Night of Forgiveness!

Brother Arshad Khan gives a khutbah and explains what is the Night of Qadr (The Night of Decree), how so you look for it, what do you do if you find it and what are the rulings regarding the date on which it appears and the rulings for women on the Laylat ul Qadr.

http://www.islamictube.net/watch/f0e982983be499e57ccd/Night-of-Forgiveness!

Ramadan-Are You Ready? Part 4/5-The Last Ten Days By Brother Masood Chowdhury

May we catch the Night of Power and May Allah accept from us and forgive us our sins! ameen





The Unfortunate Ramadan Display

18 09 2008

I went to the local library and out of the corner of my eye noticed a banner over the top of a wooden table that read “Happy Ramadan!”. Mash’Allah, I thought. So, I took the kids over for further inspection and noticed a nice model of the Dome of the Rock in the center of the display with the Qur’an open in front of it. I noticed there were paper camels cut out and spread over the table. Then, I looked around at the other books displayed…..”books about Islam.” And my smile vanised immediately. All the books were speaking of Islamic extremism, terrorism, womens subjugation in Islamic law. Subhan’Allah. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Surely, there is one book here other than the Qur’an that speaks about Islam from an objective point of view…..but no. Every last book (save the Qur’an) was anti-Islam, anti-Muslim.

I mean this display is no different than putting up a Christmas display with books surrounding it about the Inquistion or children being molested by priests, the Crusades.

While I do appreciate the idea of trying to include the Muslim community and I commend the thought behind it. Subhan’Allah, the level of ignorance and intolerance still shocks me. Everytime that I think I have seen it all and have to be immune by now, I see something and it still effects me.  It makes me aggravated yes but more than that it just makes me tired and sad. Tired because I am tired of the blame being put on Muslims……”well why aren’t you speaking against it?” Honestly, we are! and we have been! Just listen…….to Muslims. Look around at the blogs, the articles, the books. Many have been written decrying terrorism and trying to explain the real essence of Islam. It is just a matter of what people choose to read and focus on.

I calmly explained that some of those books were offensive to Muslims being that it paints an unfair picture of Muslims and aren’t even written by Muslims. I am not one to get irate and emotional about things and I certainly hope that all Muslims react to such things with good manners, intelligent minds and calm hearts.

Insh’Allah I would like to take some positive Islamic books that I have accumulated to the library and donate them for the display specifically and also hand them a list of some suggested books to add to their list. Any book suggestions feel free to share them…





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:

 





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!