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Ten Tips for Ramadhan

 

As the blessed month of Ramadhan approaches, we need to prepare for it in such a way that we can gain the maximum benefit of this month. For many, Ramadhan comes and goes. However, very few people actually benefit from this great month. Our teachers advise us to live the whole year as if we are in the month of Ramadhan. This magnanimous achievement can only be attained when the actual month of Ramadhan is spent properly. In order to acquire a droplet of the reality mentioned above, Insha Allah, I hope to mention ten points that were given as form of advice to me and many others.

  1. Discipline: Most people already know to abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from one’s spouse during the daytime of Ramadhan. However, a level of discipline must be developed to do righteous acts and abstain from those acts which would earn the displeasure of Allah. That was a basic form of discipline that needs to be developed but along with that, one needs to have discipline in following a particular routine or schedule for Ramadhan. This will be the real life changing factor for an individual. They wake up for suhoor but also pray Tahajjud at that time. Recite some Qur’an. They eat. Make dua’ while waiting for Salah. They pray Fajr. Recite Qur’an and make zikr. Rest if they need to.
    The idea is to make a schedule and act accordingly the whole month without sacrificing their schedule. This is the desired discipline that is required.One may ask, “Why did he not just put the first point as a ‘making a schedule’?” Well, the answer is very simple. Anyone can come up with a schedule, but it takes real discipline to abide by it.
  2. Devotional life (‘Ibadah): Ramadhan is the month where Allah allows us to really fulfill the purpose of our being, and the purpose of our creation. Allah created us all to worship Him, and Him alone. Here, I will not mention virtues of various acts or worship because those can be found in the many books on the merits of certain deeds. However, since Ramadhan and Qur’an are closely connected, I will say that much of our devotional life should be focused on the Qur’an.
    Reciting at least the entire Qur’an once in this month. Understanding it from erudite scholarship of our community or from accepted commentaries and Tafaaseer. I am not asking that a person recites the entire Qur’an and completes one entire commentary of it in one month. Perhaps it may be feasible to recite the entire Qur’an and start off a regimen of a Tafseer and try to finish it on an annual basis.
  3. Identifying with the Ummah: It is important that we feel our fast, i.e. feel hunger and thirst. Apart from that, we can use this to our benefit by making other people’s fast count for us as well. This means that if we feed or give to drink something to someone who fasts, we can get the reward of their fast as well.
    Another aspect of identifying with the Ummah is to be grateful for whatever Allah has given us and realize that a little of that we need to give to others so that they may have a decent Ramadhan and wonderful ‘Eid. See what the Ummah is going through and see how we can actively participate to help the Ummah in any way possible.
  4. Contact with the Qur’an: Ramadhan is the month wherein the Qur’an was revealed. This is the month of the Qur’an. It is extremely essential to establish a relationship with the Qur’an. Without going into much detail, I will just mention something practical with regards to the Qur’an and Ramadhan.
    For the average person, i.e. one who is not scholar or is not a Hafiz, they should read at least one juz per day so that they finish at a minimum one entire Qur’an for the month of Ramadhan. If one can do more, than Alhamdulillah, no one is stopping anyone. The next thing is to understand the Qur’an. So take the first volume of Ma’ariful Qur’an (for example) and read one section of the Arabic part (if one can) and then read the translation, then read the commentary. Do this every day without fail. Obviously the whole commentary will not be completed in one month, but at least a schedule to read a portion regularly will be developed and hopefully within a year it could be completed.
    Also, one should try to memorize those chapters/surahs which are read often like Mulk, Kahf, Ya Seen, Waqi’ah, and Sajdah. Also memorize Surahs from the last juz at least and more if possible.
  5. Mujahadah: Ramadhan is a month of sacrifice and struggle. It is a month where Allah wants our time, our health, our wealth, and our whole being. We literally live the whole year for everything and anything. It is just one month…can we not live one month solely for our Creator?! So what if we have to sacrifice our sleep, and random other luxuries that we can do without anyway. As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” The amount of sacrifice and struggle we put into this month, Allah will reward us in this world and the next accordingly.
    Give yourself to Allah, and see what Allah has in store for you.
  6. Dua’: The essence of worship is supplication to Allah. This whole month, Allah is willing and readily open to accept all that we ask of Him. It is only to our own loss and detriment that we lack in begging Allah for the things we need. Prioritize your supplications. Ask firstly for yourself, then your family, community, then the Ummah at large. Within that, prioritize and ask for things pertaining to the hereafter, then ask for things pertaining to this world. Just remember one thing when it comes to dua’, the point of dua’ is not that we need something or we need protection or refuge from some other thing, the point is that Allah told us to supplicate to Him, and that is why one should make dua’ abundantly. There are certain things Allah loves to do, and one of them is to answer the supplications of His servants who call unto Him.
    One final aspect regarding dua’ is crying or pretending to cry. Tears are something foreign to Allah and therefore He has immense value for tears. The whole year we become filthy and impure spiritually by sinning, Ramadhan is the month where we purify our spirits by bathing our spirits in our tears.
  7. Good Company: Ramadhan is a month to maximize on good deeds and keep bad deeds at zero. Being in the company of the righteous will allow one to attain this goal. I will keep this point short. The minimum benefit one gets by being in good company is that one will not sin which in turn will cause one to become the greatest worshiper based off the hadith of Tirmidhiwherein Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) took Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu)’s hand and said, “O Abu Hurayrah, abstain from all prohibitions and you will become the best worshiper.”
    The maximum benefit is that being with the people of Allah, Insha Allah; a person may just Attain Allah. What can be greater?!
  8. Gratitude: The secret to an increase in anything is to be thankful for it. To make sure that we see this month the next year, appreciate it this year. Be thankful for all that we have in every aspect, even the basic things we neglect and take for granted. We have Iman, we have Islam. Alhamdulillah, we are the best Ummah. We have been given the best book, i.e. the Qur’an. The best way to appreciate a bounty is to use it for its purpose.
    Allah has blessed with infinite blessing and bounties. Ramadhan is one of those bounties, so to fully appreciate Ramadhan, we must spend it the way Allah would like us to spend it and attain out goal which is Taqwa.
  9. Following the Sunnah: Anything of the beloved is also beloved. That is a principle of love. Allah has proclaimed the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as His beloved. If we follow the Sunnah and show a resemblance, then we can also gain the focus of Allah. Particularly follow the Sunnah acts which the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) performed in Ramadhan.
    If we have to do something, might as well do it the best way possible. The best way for anything to be done is the way of the Sunnah. If by any chance it was some other way, Allah would have had His Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) do it that way then.
  10. Istiqamah: Imam Junayd Al-Baghdadi (RA) said, “Steadfastness is greater than a thousand miracles.” Please do not tire one’s self out in the initial stages of Ramadhan, rather figure out a routine that works and stick to it regularly. The most beloved of actions to Allah are those that are done consistently even though they may seem minor. We all need to be thankful for the good that we have done and also for the evil we are able to abstain from. We also need to be thankful for whatever level of steadfastness that we have. We want to make Ramadhan last beyond Ramadhan as well. I’ll end with a quote from one of our mashaaikh, Shaykh In’aam-ul-Hasan Kandehlawi (RA) said, “Whoever lives their life as they do in Ramadhan, then death will come to that person just as the moon of ‘Eid comes for the fasting person.”

To conclude, we pray to Allah that He accepts all of our efforts and overlooks and forgives all of our shortcomings. Aameen.

Mentioning Of Pride ..

Allah Subhanahu says :

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنۡ كَانَ مُخۡتَالًا فَخُوۡرَا

” ….. Allah does not like those who are self – deluding , proud and boastful.”

[Qur’an 4:36]

He further says :     اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخۡتَالٍ فَخُوۡرٍۚ

“… Allah does not like any self – deluded and boastful.”  Qur’an 31:18

In another place the Almighty says :

فَلَبِئۡسَ مَثۡوَى الۡمُتَكَبِّرِيۡنَ…..

“…And indeed , what an evil abode will be for the arrogant.”  [ Qur’an 16:29]

Ibn Mas’ood reported that Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W) said : ” He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride will not enter Paradise.” A man remarked , ” O ‘ Allah’s Messenger , a man like his garment to be beautiful and his shoes to be beautiful . ” The Prophet replied , ” Allah is beautiful and likes beauty , pride is disdaining the truth ( with arrogance , vanity) and despising people.”

HAritha Ibn Wahab Radiyallauhuanha reported Allah’s Messinger ( S.A.W) as saying : “Shall I inform you about the inhabitants of the Fire (hell)? They are , ‘ The cruel , the proud and the conceited persons. ‘ “

Abu Sa’eed Radiyallahu anha reported that the Prophet (S.A.W) said : “He who is humble for Allah’s sake to a degree , Allah will exalt his status to one grade until He makes his abode in the higher rank of the High Places ( i.e in Paradise). If anyone is proud against Allah’s orders to a grade , Allah will degrade him until He will put him to the lowest ofthe Low places ( i.e in Hell) “

 

Today Is All That You Have !!

When you wake up in the morning , do not expect to see the evening – live as though today is all that you have. Yesterday has passed with its good and evil, while tomorrow has not yet arrived . Your life’s span is but one day , as if you were born in it and will die at the end of it . With this attitude , you will not be caught between an obsession over the past , with all its anxieties , and the hopes of the future , with all its uncertainty. Live for today : During this day you should pray with a wakeful heart , recite the Qur’an with understanding , and remember Allah , the Exalted , the Almighty , with sincerity . In this day you should be balanced in your affairs , satisfied with your allotted portion , concerned with your appearance and health.

 

Organize the hours of this day , so that you make years out of minutes and months out of seconds . Seek forgiveness from your Lord , remember Him , prepare for the final parting from this world , and live today happily and at peace . Be content with your sustenance , your wife , your children , your work , your house , and your station in life.

 

“So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.”  {Qur’an 7:144}

Live today free from sorrow , bother , anger , jealousy and malice .
You must engrave onto your heart one phrase : Today is my only day . If you have eaten warm , fresh  bread today , then what do yesterday’s dry , rotten bread and tomorrow’s anticipated bread matter?

 

If you are truthful with yourself and have a firm , solid resolve , you will undoubtedly convince yourself of the following : Today is my last day to live. When you achieve this attitude , you will profit from every moment of you day , by developing your personality , expanding your abilities , and purifying your deeds . Then you say to yourself :

Today I shall be refined in my speech and will utter neither evil speech nor obscenity . Also , I shall not backbite.
Today I shall organize my house and my office. They will not be disorderly and chaotic , but organized and neat.
Today I will be particularly  about my bodily cleanliness and appearance . I will be meticulous in my neatness and balanced in my walk , talk and actions . 
Today I will strive to be obedient to my lord, pray in the best manner possible, do more voluntary acts of righteousness , recite the Qur’an , and read beneficial books, I will plant goodness into my heart and extract from it the roots of evil – such as pride , jealousy and hypocrisy .

O past that has departed and is gone , I will not cry over you . You will not see me remembering you , not even for a moment , because you have traveled away from me never to return.

O future , you are in the realm of the unseen , so I will not be obsessed by your dreams . I will not be preoccupied about what is to come because tomorrow is nothing and has not yet been created .

‘ Today is my only day ‘ is one of the most important statements in the dictionary of happiness , for those who desire to live life in its fullest splendor and brilliance.

The Past Is Gone Forever !!

By brooding over the past and its tragedies , one exhibits a form of insanity – a kind of sickness that destroys resolve to live for the present moment . Those who have a firm purpose have filed away and forgotten occurrences of the past , which will never ever again see light , since they occupy such a dark place in the recesses of the mind . Episodes of the past are finished with ; sadness cannot retrieve them , melancholy cannot make things right , and depression will never bring the past back to life . This is because the past is non-existent.

Do not live in the nightmares of former times or under the shade of what you have missed . Save yourself from the ghostly apparition of the past. Do you think that you can return the sun to its place of rising , the baby to its mother’s womb , milk to the udder , or tears to the eye? By constantly dwelling on the past and its happenings , you place yourself in a very frightful and tragic state of mind .

Reading too much into the past is a waste of the present . When Allah mentioned the affairs of the previous nations , He , The Exalted , said : “That was a nation who has passed away”     Qur’an – { 2:134} 

Former days are gone and done with , and you benefit nothing by carrying out an autopsy over them , by turning back the wheels of history.

The person who lives in the past is like someone who tries to saw sawdust. Of old , they used to say : “Do not remove the dead from their graves.”

Our tragedy is that we are incapable of dealing with the present : neglecting our beautiful castles , we wail over dilapidated buildings . If every man and every jinn were to try jointly to bring back the past , they would most certainly fail. Everything on earth marches forward , preparing for a new season – so should you !!

PREVENT THE GIRL FRIEND- BOYFRIEND RELATIONSHIP!!!!!!!

In Islam, there is no such thing as a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. You are either married or you are not. This is what we have to ingrain into our children at the early stage. We should not wait for them to come to us when they are teenagers to ask about girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. At this late stage, even if we forbid them to have such a relationship, how certain are we that they will obey us if they are smitten by someone? Hence, it is important that we teach our children that the only time a girl or boy can have a relationship with a non-mehram is when they are married! Furthermore, if a girl or boy enters into a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship then he/she is entering into a pre-marital relationship.

At the teenage level, we should not be shy to teach them the severity of pre-marital relationship. We need to make them understand that that pre-marital relationships are like the extra-marital relationships, or what is commonly known as adultery or ‘an affair’.

It ruins the community by corrupting the people. It unleashes desires that, once allowed free-reign, will destroy families. We can quote to them the examples of illegitimate and abandoned children, broken homes, abortions, sexual diseases – the list goes on.

We should also point out to them the punishment for sexual relationships outside of marriage: Ibn Masoud (r.a.a) related that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, “The blood of a Muslim may not be legally split other than in one of three instances: the married person who commits adultery, a life for a life, and one who forsakes his religion and abandons the community.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

In other words, the married person who commits adultery is to be killed by stoning to death [Muslim].

But what about the unmarried person who has sexual relationships? Rest assured that this person will not go unpunished – he or she is to be caned or whipped one hundred times [Muslim].

Even in the Hereafter, the punishment is severe: the Prophet (s.a.w) saw adulterers, men and women, in a baking oven in Hellfire [Bukhari].

At this stage your teenage child may say that girlfriend-boyfriend relationships need not go as far as the sexual act; that they can control themselves and simply enjoy each others company. To counter this, you say that it is a fact when a girl and a boy are alone together, their sexual desires awaken and before they know it, they will be doing things that are not permissible .

The reason for this is because Shaytaan will be the third person with them [Ahmad] and he will whisper and tempt them with the forbidden. This is why Islam shuns all avenues leading to corruption of the mind, body and soul.

Below are more points on how to help your child, at an early age, to be chaste so that when he/she is older, he/she can avoid getting into a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. First, you must talk and explain to them these things when they are young, then when they are older, you make sure that it is put into practice.

You must teach him or her to:

1. Not to freely mix with the opposite sex.

2. Not to look at the opposite sex. This is done by lowering or averting their eyes as Allah tells us: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts…” [24:30-31]

Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, “…do not let a second look follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi]. What this means is that the first look is by accident. If this happens then do not take a second look. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) also said that the eyes also commit adultery by looking at someone with lust. [Bukhari]

3. For girls, teach them not to make their voices seductive or sweet in front of non-mehram. This is done by lowering the voice and not flirting. As Allah tells the wives of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) “…do not be too pleasant of speech, lest one in whose heart there is a disease should feel desire for you…” [33:32]

4. Last but not least, teach them to wear appropriate clothing so as not to draw attention to themselves. That is, girls should wear Hijabs and loose clothing while boys should also wear loose clothing, not the tight jeans/pants. It is sad that, often, parents allow their children to wear the so called fashion clothing which, in most cases, do not meet the requirement of acceptable Islamic dress code. What is even sadder is to see Muslim mothers covering themselves properly walking with their uncovered teenage daughters and sons.

It is important that we start teaching our children the need to feel modesty, especially around the opposite sex.

If we instill this into them at an early age then, InshaAllah, whenever they are near the vicinity of the opposite sex, they will feel shy and, therefore, will not act inappropriately.

It is also important that we keep the communication channels open with our children so that we can talk and explain to them things, and they can ask us questions, without any party feeling embarrassed. Then, when they are older, and with help from us, they will begin to understand why it is that there cannot be a thing called ‘the girlfriend-boyfriend relationship’

Hadith – 1

Sahih Bukhari Book 04. Ablutions (Wudu’)
Narated By Abu Huraira : Allah’s Apostle said, “The prayer of a person who does ,Hadath (passes, urine, stool or wind) is not accepted till he performs (repeats) the ablution.” A person from Hadaramout asked Abu Huraira, “What is ‘Hadath’?” Abu Huraira replied, ” ‘Hadath’ means the passing of wind from the anus.”

O Allah!

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Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs Him. Every day He has matter to bring forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc)!  [Qur’an 55:29]

When there is a violent storm and the seas are turbulent, the occupants of the boat call out, ‘O Allah!’

When the camel-driver and the caravan are lost in the desert, they call out, ‘O Allah!’

When disaster and calamity occur, the afflicted call out , ‘O Allah!’

When doors are shut before those who seek to enter through them and barriers are placed before those who are in need – they all cry out , ‘O Allah!’

To Allah ascend all good words, the sincere supplication, the tears of the innocent , and the invocations of the afflicted. Hands and eyes are extended to Him in times of hardship and misfortune. The tongue chants , cries out, and mentions His name. ‘How Perfect He is , the Exalted.’

Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. (Qur’an 42:19)

Allah is the most beautiful of names, the truest combination of letters, and the most precious of words.

“Do you of any that is similar to Him” ? (There is nothing like unto Him and He is the All- Hearer , All- Seer ( Quran 19:65)

We seek refuge in from fearing anything except you, from depending upon anyone except upon you, from putting our full trust in anyone excepting you, and from invoking anyone other that You. You are the Supreme Patron and Excellent Protector.