Ramadan Prep 1442: A series on Action Plan.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

5 months ago I wrote about RAMADAN PREP because the Sahabas used to prepare for this auspicious month 6 month in advance. Shaban is upon us (In Islam the day starts after Magrib) which gives us roughly 29/30 days to Ramadan. How well have we prepared? Many people are learning about the merits of this blessed month but are we taking action to implement what we have learnt? Are we taking steps to make this year’s Ramadan the best we’ve ever had? That is my goal. To make this year’s Ramadan better than my previous ones. Thought and Reflection is delighted to announce that A series on Ramadan Action Plan will be coming up. Here we will cover 8 actions for you to incorporate and bi’idniallah YOU will enter Ramadan Strong. Sign up to receive every Monday and Thursday, leading up to Ramadan.

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We will talk through actions and cultivate habits. Some of the actions shared are what members have incorporated in their lives and it has worked. The only thing you need to get is a journal, a pen, and a comfortable atmosphere for you to write, think and get yourself in the mood.

Are you wondering why journaling? It is an effective way for you to take account of yourself. Since last year’s Ramadan I created my Ramadan Life Book. Here is where I write all I want to do for Ramadan, things I am doing, my goals and habits I want to develop etc. you can follow this approach and it will hold you accountable.

Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reminds us to be accountable “Take stock [account] of yourselves before you are brought to account; weigh yourselves before you are weighted, for that will make the reckoning easier for you tomorrow, if you take stock [account] of yourselves today and prepare yourselves for the great presentation on the Day when you will be brought to Judgment, and not a secret of yours will be hidden”. Narrated by Ibn Abi’d-Dunya in Muhaasabat an-Nafs (p.22).

Let us use the days leading up to Ramadan to take account of ourselves.

Here’s what I wrote sometimes ago on how we can prepare for Ramadan. The action plan will be elaborated in subsequent weeks In Sha Allah. With prompts to get you writing.

  • Make dua (supplicate) that Almighty Allah ﷻ accepts your last year’s Ramadan. Act of worship requires acceptance from Allah. Hence, the need to complete your act of worship with dua. Engage in istigfar for your sins. The ones committed intentionally and unintentionally.
  •  Make dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ keeps you alive to witness the next Ramadan. So many people have died between last year Ramadan and now – allowing us to witness limitation in the human ability. Supplicate that Almighty Allah ﷻ increase your lifespan with the intention to do good.
  • Pay off your Last year Ramadan if you are still owing.
  • Make an action plan. Review your last year Ramadan and things you planned to do after Ramadan.

Related post: SELF-REFLECTION

Related post: RAMADAN PREP


Proper preparation prevents poor performance. We need to prepare for Ramadan so we can maximise the benefits the month brings.  

The Non-negotiables such as Salah, Qur’an recitation etc. are not going to be covered in this action plan series.

Be sure to share with as many people as possible.

Till tomorrow Fi Ammanillah!

The Most Intelligent of People


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

The world we are in treats people based on their intellect. The education system grades is centered on intelligence. Certain professions are attributed to be for only the ‘intelligent’. 

Being called ‘smart’ ‘sensible’ ‘intelligent’ is something we all crave for, and aspire to have these titles added to our names. But this is a temporary title, and it will fade away with time whether we like it or not 😦

The Prophet ﷺ informs us of the most intelligent person. We can aspire and strive to be like this person regardless of our worldly status, our social status, irrespective of people’s opinion of us. I am sure you are wondering what is the attribute of this person and what does the person do that makes him/her intelligent?

This question was put forward by a man to the Prophet ﷺ: ‘Who is the most intelligent of people?’ He replied: ‘The one who remembers death most often and the one who is well prepared to meet it; these are the wise; honorable in this life and dignified in the Hereafter’. Another narration reads slightly ‘Those who remember death the most frequently and those who prepare for death in the best manner, before they pass away. These are from the intelligent ones.’” (Ibn Majah, Tabarni).

“Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty constructionQur’an 4:78

Death is a topic we don’t like to talk about. It’s a discussion that is usually brushed aside. We don’t like to think about it because we are busy pursuing the fleeting life, amassing wealth and status. Look around you and see if there is someone that has been living in eternity? Sadly, some even pray against it. This is one thing that is guaranteed to happen. Allah ﷻ says: “Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection… And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.Qur’an 3:185  Therefore, Death is an inevitable reality. No one can escape from it because this life is temporary. We will all die ONEDAY.

“Remembering death is not an invitation for depression and grief, nor is it gloomy, bleak advice favoring pessimism and passiveness. It is just a reminder of an absolute fact, a fact that we all tend to forget while immersed in this transient, falsely embellished world and cheated by its charming coquetries. We are all one breath away from death. We usually do not remember that and we do not like to be reminded, either. Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul.

Another aspect I would like to touch upon is that death is not an end in itself. It is the beginning of another journey. We all want to go to Jannah, but without dying we can’t get to Jannah. No one can change the time of their death. The best thing to do in a situation you cannot change is to accept and prepare yourself by making the best of the situation. In another Hadith the Prophet ﷺ informs us to pray as if it’s your last prayer: “When you stand for your prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. (Ibn Majah) By praying as if it is your last prayer you will gradually learn not to be scared of death knowing that you can die anytime.

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You may be wondering why do I have to remember death to be an intelligent person?
  • Remembering death forces us to reflect on the purpose of our creation and this involves preparing for it by abstaining from prohibitions and increasing good deeds. Accepting that life is temporary and thread it cautiously.
  • Remembering death also make a person reflect on what they have prepared for tomorrow (hereafter). If death comes are we ready to die?  The thought of leaving this world makes one fearful but truth be told we are in this world for a short period and by remembering death we are conscious of our actions. So, an intelligent and wise person will have it at the back of their mind they can leave this world anytime. Strive to please His Rabb to be among the successful ones.
  • Remembering death is a journey towards detachment. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Remember (death) often the destroyer of pleasures” (Tirmidh̄i 2307) This results in the urge to prepare for the eternal life (hereafter) by performing good deeds. By doing this we gradually learn to be unattached to the false worldly desires

I am sure you are wondering how to implement this Hadith?

  1. Attend funerals. This is an environment that opens your eye to be reminded that life is short and temporary. Besides, there are rewards for attending the (janazah) funerals of a Muslim. Abu Huraira s رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said “Whoever follows the funeral of Muslim, in faith and seeking reward, and he remains with it until the prayer is offered and the burial ceremony is finished, then he will return with two great rewards. Each reward is like the size of mount Uhud. Whoever offers the funeral prayer and returns before the burial, then he will return with one great reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. Visit graveyards. Similar to the above but different in the sense that, you do not need to visit the graveyard during a funeral. My first visit to the graveyard was unusual. I have always heard or saw it in movies/documentary. But actually going there was deep. Seeing how people were buried in 6 meters, so small. Everyone had the same grave space signifying equality. Taking no worldly possession with them. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un ‘Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return.

(These are just 2 I can think of, feel free to add to it in the comment section)

POINT OF REFLECTION.

Don’t wait for a certain time to act upon this Hadith.

“Remembering death is not about denying the joy of living, on the contrary, it is about enjoying the freedom of flowing with life, knowing that it is a temporary residence”

Amira Ayad, Healing Body and Soul

We are constantly reminded when we hear of people dying. Death is inevitable. It can come to anyone, at any time. Irrespective of whether you are young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor. No one can escape it. It is a reality that will catch up with us sooner or later. And the best thing we can do is to PREPARE. ‘But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.’ Qur’an 63:11 – when the time of death comes, no one will be granted respite. (use as a quote) May Almighty Allah make it easy to implement this Hadith, make us die upon the faith and allow us to be reunited in Jannah where death is inexistence.

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Till next time Fi Ammanillah! 🙂

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BE YOU|JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST |A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…| SELF-REFLECTION| WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE|ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED |

EASE IN RELIGION/WORSHIP


“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (Qur’an, 2:185)

Allah ﷻ has given us the gift of ease in every step of this beautiful religion. Let’s have a look at one vital example. A condition of Salah is that a person performs wudu (ablution).  Now we know that Tayammum is an option in some circumstances. How did tayammum come as an alternative?

During the time of the Prophet ﷺ, He ﷺ went on an expedition with his beloved wife Aisha رضي الله عنهما realised her necklace was missing and told the Prophet ﷺ about it. The Prophet ﷺ relieved her and stopped the entire army. They all began to search for the necklace and night fell upon them still searching. They waited in that place till morning. However, the companions complained to her father, Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه,  that his daughter made them stop in a water-less place and were wondering how they would perform ablution for Fajr. Side note: We see here that they were not complaining about waiting, but due to the inability to fulfil a command of Allah.

Fajr time came and the companions panicked and were worried about how they’ll fulfill their salah. Then the verses of Tayammum was revealed:

“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favour upon you that you may be grateful.” (5:6)

The ending of the above verse emphasizes that Allah ﷻ made this religion one of ease. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.” (Bukhari 39)

From the ease of the religion is in obligatory worship: we pray 5 times a day, yet they are equal to 50 in reward. We fast compulsory during Ramadan with the reward for fasting an entire year (with Shawwal added.) Despite the obligation of fasting, the ills and travellers have concession to repay it later so as not to inconvenience them. Giving Zakah is only 2.5% and is only compulsory for those who are able, and Hajj for people able to have sufficient means and capability to make the journey. From this we see that the obligations in Islam are easy and achievable. Allah ﷻ does not overburden us in fulfilling His commands.

This is not to say we should not strive to do more Ibadah, but we should maintain and try to perfect the minimum before increasing our acts of Ibadah. ‘Indeed, you will not attain this matter (Islam) with exaggeration, and the best of your religion is ease.’ (Musnad Imam Ahmed) Therefore, do not thread the part of exaggeration so as not to wear yourself out, as the most beloved deeds to Allah are those done consistently even if they are little.

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Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “O people, beware of exaggeration in religion, for those who came before you were ruined by exaggeration in religion.” (Ibn Majah 3029)

Seek a balanced way and fulfill the obligation as the way to exerting what we do as the way to come closer to Allah ﷻ is through what He has obligated upon us. “My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to me than the duties I have imposed upon him. My servant continues to grow closer to me with extra good works until I love him…” (Bukhāri 6137)

In addition to the above verses there are various ahadith that are in line with ease in Islam.

The extraction below is adapted from the book: The Journey to Allah by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali

“Some examples of the ease that resulted through his ﷺ blessings is that the one who prays Isha in congregation, it is as if he has prayed half the night, and the one who prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed the whole night. Hence, the night prayer is recorded for him while he lies asleep on his bed, and more so if he goes to sleep in a state of purity and remains in the remembrance of Allah until his eyes close.

Whoever fasts three days of every month it is as if he has fasted the whole month [Bukhari 3418 and Muslim 1159/2729]. Hence he is regarded to be fasting the remaining days of the month in the record of Allah even though he is eating and the one who is eating and grateful has the reward of the one who is patiently fasting.” [Tirmidhi 2486 and Ibn Majah 1765]

Whoever has the intention of waking up to pray by night but is overcome by sleep will have the reward of the night prayer recorded for him and that sleep of his would be a charity from Allah. [Abu Dawud 1314 and ibn Majah 1344]

Abu’l-Darda’ said, ‘Excellent indeed is the sleep of the intelligent and their breaking of fast! Look how they outstrip the night vigil and the fasting of the obtuse! [Abu Nu’aym, vol. 1, p. 211.] It is for this reason that the authentic hadith mentions, “It is well possible that one who prays by night gets nothing from it save weariness and a person fasting gets nothing from it, save hunger and thirst.” Recorded by Tabarani and Ahmad.”

It is vital to always have it at the back of our minds that Allah has simplified Islam for so there’s no need to over complicate it. May Allah ﷻ enable us to be consistent in our acts of Ibadah, Amin.

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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

You may be interested in reading other related post 🙂

JOURNEY TO DRESSING MODEST |A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | SELF-REFLECTION

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


PERSPECTIVE OF A MUSLIM


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Being a Muslim involves looking at the world in a very different way.

The Prophet ﷺ tells us:

‘Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him’.

[Sahih Muslim 2999.]

A Muslim view this world as a means to fulfilling his/her purpose of creation;And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’  (Qur’an 51:56)

A Muslim sees this life as a test. This lens is different from the one who sees life one for purely enjoyment.He is the One˺ Who created death and life in order to test which of you is best in deeds’. (Qur’an 67:2) ‘…the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment.’ (Qur’an 3:185)

A Muslim learns to be optimistic and positive. ‘I am just as my slave thinks I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him’ [Sahih Bukhari 7405]

To be patient. Patient in times of adversity. And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.’ (Qur’an 2:155)

To be grateful. Grateful in prosperity. ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.’ (Qur’an 14:7)

To live as a stranger/traveler “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.” [Sahih Bukhari 6053]

To have an unconditional trust in Allah beyond your ability. Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه, reported: A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?’ The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.” Sunan Tirmidhi 2517. This highlights the importance of putting your best effort in whatever you do because you cannot control the result. You can only manage the process. So, learn to focus on efforts and detach from results. Your intentions is something you can control. Work on it!

To see things as a means of earning reward and preparing for the hereafter.

Why is this so? Because life is a temporary abode, we are in this world to prepare for the eternal life. In this life we engage in actions as a means of getting closer to Allah ﷻ and prepare for the hereafter.

The way to attain this mindset and view this world differently comes from Knowing Him – Allah ﷻ!

How else do you think a Muslim should view the world? Share in the comment below.  

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If you’ve enjoyed reading why not share with others? Make them benefit from it!

You might be interested in reading other related post

A PROMISE FROM ALLAH  |  BARAKAH ACTIONS | RAMADAN PREP  |FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE  |PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET  | SELF-REFLECTION

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  |THE ROLE MODELS: THE YOUTHS IN THE CAVE

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA  | DUA OF AN OPPRESSED | THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…

If you have any questions you can ask here  PS: You can make it completely anonymous: https://curiouscat.qa/TandR

Till next time Fi ammanillah

ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

‘And to Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call upon Him by them’ (Qur’an 7:180)

This post is based on a webinar I attended. It is supplemented by other readings.

What is DUA?

“Dua is a whispering conversation with Allah ﷻ, our Creator, Lord and Sustainer. We ask Him because only He can give. He has Power over everything, whilst we have none. His knowledge encompasses everything, whilst we know little. He is the Lord and we are His slaves.”

I AM NEAR, A guide to Du’a: Supplications from the Qur’an and Authentic Hadith by Ummah Welfare Trust Dhul Qa’dah 1440/July 2019.

Dua is also called the weapon of a believer. Thus, just like in this world a weapon is only as good as the person using it. So, a dua is as good as the person making it. We should learn how to make dua properly to be able to have a meaningful conversation with Allah. ﷻ 

Etiquette of making dua can be classified into 3 dimensions

1. HEART: certain feelings and sentiment should arise in our heart when we make dua.

2. SPACE AND TIME: you can make dua wherever you are but there are places and moments where dua will be accepted more and we should make the best of the propitious moment.

3. TONGUE: how do you supplicate to Allah ﷻ? How would you earn Allah’s pleasure through your supplication?

We’ll go through each dimension

1. HEARTWhat should you feel in your heart?

Conviction. A level of conviction that Allah ﷻ is listening. He is As Sameer (The All Hearing) Al Aleem (The All Knowing) So ask wholeheartedly. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Make dua to Allah whilst you are certain of a response, because Allah does not accept a dua from a heedless heart’ (Tirmidhi)

Sincerity- Ikhlas. Believing that Allah ﷻ is the only one who can help and you won’t turn your hand of need to anyone but Him.

Trust. Trust that Allah ﷻ will respond to your dua’s, the way you don’t rely on your own abilities. Do not be impatient. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said ‘The dua of everyone of you is accepted as long as he does not grow impatient and says : ‘I made dua but it was not accepted’” (Muslim)

2. SPACE and TIMEWhen should you make your dua?

In Solitude. Preferably be alone by yourself. This brings the element of sincerity as people are not seeing you. There is less chance of your actions being for show-off. A moment between you and your Rabb – Allah ﷻ.

During Blessed times. Such as the middle of the night. When traveling, between Adhan and Iqamah, between Asr and Magrib on Friday. When fasting (especially before your break) when completing a good deed, when it’s raining. etc. (Feel free to add to it in the comment section below so that others may benefit.)

TIMES WHEN DUA ARE ACCEPTED!

Face the Qiblah. Performing wudu and facing the Qiblah are not necessary but recommended and praiseworthy.

Raising your hands. Raising your hands to Allah ﷻ reflect that you are begging Him. (Rubbing the hands over the face is not included. Rubbing the hands over the face was done by the Prophet ﷺ when he is making supplication before sleeping (Bukhari (5017))

3.TONGUE How do you use your tongue to make your request?

Praise Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does.” (Bukhari). The Messenger of Allah once heard a person making du’a’ during prayer. He did not glorify Allah nor invoke salawat upon the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: He was too hasty. He called him and said: When one of you makes dua, he should start off with praising and glorifying His Lord , and should then invoke salawat on the Prophet. He should then make du’a’ for whatever he wishes.’ (Abu Dāwüd)

Send salawat upon the Prophet. ﷺ A narration from Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه,  goes thus: “Du’a is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet ﷺ Tirmidhi (486)

Seek forgiveness. Allah is Al-Ghafur (The Most Forgiving) and he loves to forgive. Ibn Rajab (Rahimullah) said: ‘People! Your hearts are essentially pure, but they have been stained with splashes of sins. So splash on them in turn the tears of your eyes and you will find your hearts purified!

Using Allah’s Names. To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them’ (Qur’an 7:180). The name should be in Arabic not the translation. Relevant Names can also be called upon for specific requests. Such as ‘Ya Tawwab (O Acceptor of repentance) accept my repentance’. Also, remove the ‘al’ when invoking Allah with His Names; so you would say Ya Razzaq not Ya Al-Razzaq’.

Making the request. When you ask, make your dua in Arabic if you can (not compulsory). You can request using the Qur’anic and hadith dua’s. When you are making your request do not over-do it on the details for you do not know if what you are asking for is good for you. Ask Allah ﷻ in general terms because He alone knows what is good for you. Express your dire need of Allah ﷻ with humility and desperation, express your weakness as we are weak and in need of Allah ﷻ for everything. Ask wholeheartedly and sincerely!

Repeat your request. Repeatedly asking is a means of showing Allah ﷻ your desperation for Him.

Be patient for dua are answered in 3 ways:  Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Prophet, ﷺ said, “There is no Muslim who calls upon Allah, without sin or cutting family ties, but that Allah will give him one of three answers: He will quickly fulfill his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case we will ask for more.” The Prophet said, “Allah has even more.” Musnad Ahmad 10749 So, do not be in a haste that you give up.

GUIDE FOR MAKING DUA!

Know that there is a difference between a dua that is accepted and a dua that is responded to. Every time we supplicate to Allah ﷻ it is accepted but it may not be responded to, explaining why we do not always get what we want. The blessed times are when duas are likely to be accepted and responded to!

Feel free to include anything you’ve learnt about Etiquette of making dua. You never know who it will help. Share this post with others you feel will benefit from it!

You might be interested in reading other related post

RAMADAN PREP

BARAKAH ACTIONS

A PROMISE FROM ALLAH

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

Till next time Fi ammanillah 

RAMADAN PREP 1442/2021


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Ramadan is an important month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of mandatory fasting “Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa.” (Quran, 2:183) Fasting in this month is one of the articles of Islam.

The Reward for Ramadan is unknown to human “(Allah ﷻ said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari)

You might be reading this and wondering why the topic Ramadan Prep as we are not nearing the month of Shaban. Answer –  It was narrated from some of the Sahabas (companions) that they used to make dua (supplicate) to Almighty Allah for six (6) month that they would live to witness Ramadan and they would pray for five (5) months afterwards that He ﷻ would accept it from them. (Source Islamqa)  This an act that we can revive together. No need to wait for Shaban to start preparing okay!  

Straight to the discussion, how can we prepare for Ramadan?

  • Make dua (supplicate) that Almighty Allah ﷻ accepts your last year’s Ramadan. Act of worship requires acceptance from Allah. Hence, the need to complete your act of worship with dua.
  • Make dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ keeps you alive to witness the next Ramadan. So many people have died between last year Ramadan and now – allowing us to witness limitation in the human ability. Supplicate that Almighty Allah ﷻ increase your lifespan with the intention to do good.
  • Pay off your Last year Ramadan if you are still owing.
  • Make an action plan. Review your last year Ramadan and things you planned to do after Ramadan.

PUTTING THINGS INTO PRACTICE (ACTION PLAN)

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
  • The aim is to turn good deeds into habit that you will be able to stick to and incorporate in your lifestyle.
  • To do this it is recommended that you get a journal/ notebook where you write things down. By writing things down, you are more likely to follow it as you can always review it.
  • Write down some actions you developed in Ramadan and why you want to incorporate them in your lifestyle. For example, if one of your actions was to pray Tahajjud (night prayer), identify whether you have committed to it and whether you have stuck to the habit post Ramadan.
  • Take active steps to materialize your action. Using the example of Tahajjud above, what will you do to ensure that you are able to wake up for Taajjud? It may be by sleeping earlier, making dua that Almighty Allah ﷻ makes it possible for you to wake up, make wudu before going to bed and have the intention to wake up for Tahajjud. To avoid overwhelming yourself you may want to start by waking up once a week and gradually increase your capability as you become more consistent.
  • You can pick one Barakah action and implement it in your life.

Some tasks you can complete in preparing for Ramadan.

  • Write down what else you can do to prepare for Ramadan.
  • After writing your to-do list then write actions to implement what you have written.
  • Set some goals around improving/adding to your daily prayers that can be accomplished by the end of Ramadan. Such as praying all your nawafil prayers after Salah, reciting Qur’an before or after Salah.
  • Try to supplicate often, Almighty Allah ﷻ loves to hear from us, especially in the last hours of the night. Narrated Abu Huraira (Radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Apostle ﷺ said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari]

We should aim to be better after every Ramadan in our lives, as it comes to purify us. Cleanse us. And make us conscious of our relationship with Allah ﷻ. We should use it as an opportunity to review our lives and measure whether we have improved in an aspect of the deen as we grow. Think realistically on how Ramadan is benefitting you, rather than how you are only acting in that month!

You might be interested in reading other related post

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PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

Till next time Fi ammanillah 

BARAKAH ACTIONS


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Barakah means blessing. Barakah comes from Allah ﷻ. With blessings we are able to manage time efficiently, more productive and feel a sense of satisfaction in our life. With Barakah there is GROWTH AND INCREASE beyond expectation ((Khayr) more goodness with less). It also comes with a sense of CONTINUITY – the thing may not increase in a sense but the ability to continue engaging in it.

It may sound counterintuitive that you have to engage in some actions when you are possibly looking for time to do things. But this is blessing from Allah ﷻ, by implementing them you will find yourself having time to do things and with the right intention!

P:S It doesn’t matter what mundane actions you’re partaking in. As  long as you make sincere intentions doing it. You get rewarded and it becomes an act of Ibadah

Below is a compilation of actions we can engage in to attract barakah in our lives.

◼️Clarifying and renewing your intentions in all you do –  being intentional and sincere in your actions.

◼️Praying Salah on time – ‘…establish regular prayers. Indeed, performing prayers is a duty on the believers at the appointed times.’ (Qur’an 4:103)

◼️Reciting the Qur’an – ‘This is a blessed Book which We have revealed’ (Qur’an 6:92)

◼️Staying away from haram dealings

◼️Learning about the deen

◼️Adhering and following the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ

◼️Saying Bismillah before starting a task

◼️Supplicating – for yourself, loved ones, others, and the Ummah.

◼️Making wudu frequently. Being in a constant state of wudu. And try making wudu before you start a task.

◼️Spending on your family and for children being dutiful to their parents.

◼️Helping people in any way.

◼️Expressing gratitude to Almighty Allah ﷻ

◼️Giving charity.

◼️Upholding ties of kinship.

◼️Honesty in your dealings.

Know that when you begin to implement these actions you may not see the effect/reward immediately. It may take a while because your intentions will continuously be put to check. So be steadfast and be consistent. Pick one Barakah Action from the list and implement it in your Day. May Almighty Allah ﷻ fill our life with Barakah.

Feel free to include actions you engage in for Barakah. You never know who it will help. Share this post with others you feel will benefit from it!

You might be interested in reading other related post

 FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

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Till next time Fi ammanillah 

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

This is an overdue post. It has been sitting in my word document for a long time 🙈 I enjoyed writing it and I pray you benefit from it!♥️


Alhamdulillah for being a Muslim. I believe we have it easy with identifying our life’s purpose for Allah ﷻ tells us in the Qur’an. Allah ﷻ says: ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’  Qur’an 51:56 This is a verse we have heard countless times and it sums up the purpose of our creation. As Muslims we should be grateful for this direction because people search for meaning and purpose in life. They want to have a clear sense and purpose of their life. As Muslims we know the ‘WHY’ of our creation – to worship Allah! Research proves that people who have a sense of purpose are physically and mentally healthier and are more socially connected with their community. This is because to live a meaningful life we must understand the reason and purpose of living. Indeed, it is from the grace of Allah ﷻ that you are a Muslim 🙂

Allah ﷻ legislates worship upon us. We learn from the Seerah that when the Prophet ﷺ went on the Isra and Miraj, Allah ﷻ enjoined upon the Prophet ﷺ that we should pray 50 times a day. Following the instruction of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ the Prophet ﷺ returned to Allah ﷻ and it was reduced to 5 with the reward for praying 50 times a day. This exemplifies that we were created for worship. Imagine if we have to pray 50 times a day? We will not have time for the dunya. The question that then arises, how do we fulfil this purpose? What are the things we engage in to fulfil the purpose of our creation?

Most times we attribute Ibadah’s to fulfilling obligations or the so called “recognized” voluntary deeds and try to disassociate ourselves from engaging in worldly activities. The more a person is becoming more religious, the more they begin to feel disassociated from the dunya. They start getting resentful of worldly activities (which is a normal feeling) But, disassociating yourself from the dunya is quite impossible as the dunya is a place for us to fulfil this PURPOSE. It may be difficult and challenging for some people who believe that if the act they are engaging in is not “Worship” they will not engage in it.  However, we need to learn how to balance. Merge them together to fulfill our purpose because Islam is a complete way of life. It informs what we do in all spheres of our lives.

Many of you may be like me who at some point began to question whether they are fulfilling this purpose. I question myself for days, looked for answers until I learnt about finding purpose in everything. And that was it. It connected the dots for me because I learnt about how I should connect the things I do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. (I will explain this in detail soon). And with this I had a complete change of perception with my approach to life. Alhamdulillah. (keep on reading to learn how I connected an hobby to fulfilling life’s purpose😉)

“Worshipping does not mean only praying and fasting. Every action in the life of a true Muslim is considered an act of worship, and it is the right intention and sincerity that turn a mere physical or social ritual into an act of worship and obedience to the Almighty. Having this clear picture in mind ensures that our short-term goals are always compatible with the ultimate purpose of our creation.”

The True Secret Dr. AMIRA AYAD

To fulfill this purpose of worship. It is not by constantly praying 24/7, not by constantly fasting. In essence we can be doing anything (halal) and it would serve as a means to fulfill our purpose. I once heard how a pious predecessor use to regard sleeping as an Ibadah. He would sleep with the intention to wake up energized to perform Taajjud and pray. This goes with reframing your mindset and working on your intentions. With this new framework seek reward in whatever you do. Whether it is helping someone, speaking to a friend, being a listening ear, cooking, serving your parents, being kind to people, studying, in your career, taking care of your families, shopping for the house etc.

How can we find purpose in everything (to turn our life activities into Ibadah)? By finding meaning and purpose in things we do daily, things we love doing and, in the people, around us. In Sha Allah by this we will strive to live a more fulfilled life. Ask yourself what do you do frequently that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose? And through this learn how to connect the things you do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.

How can we learn to connect the dots?

We’ll do this through a popular hadith. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “A man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Yes, in every creature with a moist liver is a reward for charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This man connected his thirst to that of the dog, recognized it was Allah ﷻ that made it possible for him to quench his thirst and did the same for the dog.

Another great example is the hadith about Tawakkul. Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to him, he would provide for you just as he provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” (Tirmidhi) Someone made an interesting connection by feeding birds and when she is asked she says: ‘don’t you want Allah ﷻ to provide for you as He provides for the birds’. By making this connection she found purpose in feeding the birds and consequently found fulfilment in feeding the birds with the hope of gaining reward from Allah ﷻ.

It may be difficult to begin with finding purpose in all you do and making that connection. But practice it with something you enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy cooking and you are cooking for your family remember that the food you are cooking will make someone happy. And you will ease someone’s task. Just remember the Hadith on Allah ﷻ loves those who are beneficial to others and you will find pleasure and fulfilment in making the food. Attach whatever you do to seek the pleasure of your Rabb! By making this connection with the things you do in your life it will help you a great deal in finding purpose in all you do. It is by making that connection between what we do in the dunya and connecting them to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ that gives us a sense of meaning in our life.

And if you look around you, Almighty Allah ﷻ provides opportunities for you to fulfil this life purpose. I end with urging YOU to find purpose in everything YOU do.

I’d love to hear your thought on this post in the comment section and feel free to share how you make connection with ordinary things to gain the pleasure of Allah ﷻ

If you’ve enjoyed reading do share with friends and families. Till next time Fiammanillah 👋

A promise from Allah


A promise from Allah: giving up something for His sake!

The Prophet, ﷺ said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” (Ahmad)

This is a guaranteed promise 💫 from Allah! Give up something for the sake of Allah ﷻ sincerely and you will be recompense with something BETTER. “So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth.”  [Qur’an 30:60]

The reward may be immediate, and it may not. Know that there is nothing Allah ﷻ has commanded us to forsake except that they are harmful. 😔

Ask yourself today what forbidden act am I doing and make a sincere intention to leave it for the sake of Allah ﷻ. It may be your dressing, some habits and manners, your language, a job, changing your environment, cutting/ending a haram relationship, changing friends, implementing a fard (obligation). 

It might be a difficult process but you have to take action, and make sincere duas 🤲 to Allah ﷻ to make it easy for you to give up things for His sake – to please and attain His pleasure. (If possible seek help – “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” Qur’an 5:2)

I conclude with two famous supplications of the Prophet ﷺ: YAA MUQALLIBAL QULOOB THABBIT QALBEE ‘ALAA DEENIK. “Oh turner of the hearts keep our hearts firm on your religion” and YA MUSSARIFAL QULUB SARRIF QALBI ALA TA’ATIK “O Director of Hearts, direct my heart to your good deeds”. The first dua is to maintain your heart upon the right path and turning from sins. While the second is that Allah ﷻ direct your heart to good deeds – to what is pleasing to Him!

May Almighty Allah ﷻ make our hearts ♥️❤💚💜🧡💙 steadfast in adhering to the straight path. 🛣

Feel free to share any tip/action that has helped you to stay clear from forbidden actions in the comment section below.

If you’ve found this post beneficial kindly share with others. Don’t forget to subscribe by entering your email below and follow the Instagram page for frequent updates!

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Please take time to watch the short video before reading and when you’re done keep on reading. The video is just 30 seconds long.

Blind man reciting the Quran with brail.

Now that you’re done watching, keep on reading 😊

I came across this video and it was really touching. It made me reflect a lot in terms of the beauty of the Qur’an. The way Almighty Allah ﷻ has made it easy to learn. ‘And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?’ Qur’an 54:17 I know that people struggle, and I struggle as well with learning the Qur’an. It’s normal. But you know what, watching this video made me think: what excuse do I have not to learn the Qur’an?  An Hadith goes thus: “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.’ [At-Tirmidhi]. This Hadith urges us to learn the Qur’an, recite it and informs us of the great reward for reciting it.

Moreover, “[T]he best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” [Al-Bukhari]

Besides, there is the reward if you struggle to recite the Qur’an. To anyone struggling – don’t give up, for Allah ﷻ guarantees you a reward for your struggle.

Mother Aisha رضي الله عنهما reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. This Hadith highlights that anyone who cannot recite the Qur’an fluently and is committed to read it with great effort will be given double reward; one for the difficulty encountered in reciting it, and another for reading it. So, I urge you to keep trying, keep learning, for Allah ﷻ will reward your effort.

Photo by fatemah khaled on Pexels.com

I thought it would be nice to share this video and my reflections over it. Many of us always claim to have excuses and reasons why we do not have time, such as: “I am still in school”, “I am busy”, “preoccupied with X and Y”, an endless list goes on. But I tell You, that you have to find that time. The Qur’an is important. It’s a priority in our lives and we must take time out to learn it. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is delicious. A believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a date-fruit which has no fragrance but has a sweet taste. The hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is like a colocynth whose fragrance is so sweet, but its taste is bitter. The hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like basil which has no fragrance and its taste is bitter.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

If a blind person can learn the Qur’an through a brail, what more YOU, that you are able to see. Ask yourself what excuse do I have to say to Allah ﷻ?

Photo by Ahmet Polat on Pexels.com

I say to myself before anyone else. What is your excuse? What is hindering you from learning the Qur’an?

I hope the video and this post inspires and reminds someone out there to take time, know the importance of the Qur’an. If you’ve abandoned the Qur’an, go back to it. It’s not too late. (Some of the Sahabas (companions) learnt the Qur’an when they were old.) If you intend to learn the Qur’an, start! Don’t wait till there is a time when you are less busy, because you never will. Take that step. Take that move and get closer to your creator. Learn the Qur’an. May Almighty Allah ﷻ make it easy for us to learn the Qur’an; make us people of the Qur’an; and raise our ranks through the Qur’an on the day of judgement.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]. “The one who was devoted to the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.” [Dawud and Tirmidhi] The merit of committing the Qur’an to memory is mentioned in this Hadith. The word ‘ascend’ here means to rise in ranks in the Jannah. The more one remembers the Qur’an, the clearer and more distinct is his/her recitation of it, the higher would be the status that he/she will go on attaining through its blessings. Thus, this Hadith provides inducement for the remembrance of the Qur’an and tells us that its frequent recitation is a means to attain higher ranks in Jannah.

So, I urge us all to leave whatever excuses we have and set our priorities right. Find that time and be committed. I have heard the importance of learning the Qur’an after the Fajr salah. You can start with that. If you are going to pay someone to teach you, take it up and learn the Qur’an.

Here are some practical tips to apply to ease your Qur’an learning

  • Make dua ﷻ to Allah and keep your intentions pure. Be sincere in your memorization.
  • Have a teacher. This will put you on check. But remember most of the work will be done by you. Your teacher can only teach and aid your learning. You must find time to revise.
  • Be consistent with your pace of learning. Ensure you learn something every day. Be as regular as possible.
  • Have a routine and time you learn. Some people learn early in the morning, some in the afternoon and others at night. Have a place you learn and stick to a Mushaf.
  • Repeat, repeat and repeat what you are learning.
  • Listen a lot to your memorization. Pick one reciter you love and stick to that person.
  • Try to recite what you are learning in the Salah.
  • Have time to recite what you have learnt previously so that you do not forget. Revision is important.
  • Remember consistency is the key!

May Almighty Allah ﷻ make this journey to knowing Him easy for all of us and accept our deeds. May He make us people who love Him and do things to draw closer to Him. Amen! AS SALAM ALAIKUM WARAMATULLAH WABARAKATU.

Is there any tip you have applied to aid your Qur’an learning or one you have learnt? Please share in the comment section to make others benefit from it. If you have found this post beneficial please do share with others. Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

I leave you with this short clip on the effect of the Qur’an in the heart!