Keeping up with The Ramadan Vibes


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

It’s a long time since we got in touch, hence I feel the need to send Salam. As Salam Alaikum Waramatullah Wabarakatu.

How have you been and hope you had a blessed Ramadan?

Here’s a short post to remind us on how to keep up with “The Ramadan Vibes”. Many of us had resolutions during the month of Ramadan and envisioned to keep up with the momentum of the blessed Month. Obviously, other days will not be like Ramadan, but there are things we can do to keep up with Ramadan Vibes. Let’s get started.

The main things we attach to Ramadan is Fasting. Fasting. Fasting. And there are so many days we can fast whilst earning immeasurable reward. One is to follow up Ramadan fast with 6 days during the month of Shawwal. This is based on the Hadith: Abu Ayyub رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for the entire year.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1164

To anyone that missed fasting for a valid reason during the Month of Ramadan, it is incumbent upon you to fulfill what you have missed before starting the Shawwal fast. And if you are in a very tricky situation whereby making up your missed Ramadan fast is longer than expected leading to a situation where there is no how you can complete your 6 days of Shawwal within it. Still with that intention, you get reward.  Here is a link explaining how that works: Worship After Ramadhan by Alhuda Bolton I hope you find it clarifying and beneficial. The links also contains explanation to different fasting and their rewards such as:

  • Fasting on Arafah day. (Expiates sins of 2 years: the preceding and the coming year)
  • Fasting on Ashura (Expiates sins of the past year)
  • Fasting 3 white days – 13, 14 & 15 (Equivalent to a full month fasting)
  • Fasting Mondays and Thursdays (days our deeds are presented to Allah and the Prophet tells us he likes that his deeds are presented to Allah ﷻ while he is fasting)

Also, during the month of Ramadan many people readily pray on time. We should continue to ensure that we stick to praying on time. Allah says: “Guard strictly) five obligatory) As-Salawat (The prayers) especially the Middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience” [Quran 2: 238] With this we see that Allah commands that the prayer should be performed properly and on time. Praying on time is also the dearest deeds to Allah: Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه said, “I asked the Prophet, ‘Which deed is the dearest (to Allah)? He replied: To offer the prayers at their fixed times. I asked what is the next (in goodness) He replied: To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause”. I again asked ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To be good and dutiful to your parents.’ Abdullah then added, “I asked only that much and had I asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.”

TIP: One thing you can try to do is to plan your day around your salah. Not the other way round. There should be a time for your Salah in your day. Implementing this action will ensures that other things do not affect your salah time.

Another thing we do during Ramadan is the Tarawee prayer – Night prayer. Outside of Ramadan we can perform the Night prayer Qiyyamul-layl and or Tahajjud. This is a prayer that is blessed. For the Prophet ﷺ informs us: the best Salat after the prescribed Salat is Salat at night.” [Muslim]. (Paraphrased) so, performing Salah at night is highly meritorious. Plus, it is also a blessed time to make dua (Supplicate). An Hadith from the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ goes thus: “Our Lord Almighty descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of every night, saying: Who is calling upon Me that I may answer him? Who is asking from Me that I may give him? Who is seeking My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari and Muslim] With this we see there are numerous benefits with keeping up with it. And I employ you to try to find a routine. Here’s a post detailing how you can do that with Hadith detailing the Prophet way of performing Tahajjud. Set Tahajjud into routine

Another is the dua; Generally dua can be made anytime. Yet, there are better times when Almighty Allah grants our supplication. One is when fasting because the fasting person is in worship at all times while fasting: Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab (rahiumullah) said: “The fasting person is in worship during the day and night. The daytime when he’s fasting is a time in which his supplication are answered. And the time he breaks the fast is a time in which supplications are answered” So whenever we are fasting is a period to make dua. Make dua while you are fasting. When you are fatigued ask Almighty Allah for strength and in that you gain energy. Another meritorious time to supplicate is when performing Tahajjud during the last third of the night: – Abu Huraira reported رضي الله عنه The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “Our Lord Almighty descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of every night, saying: Who is calling upon Me that I may answer him? Who is asking from Me that I may give him? Who is seeking My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Check our article on ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA for more information.

Continue to develop your relationship with the Qur’an. Reciting the Qur’an. Many people during the blessed month of Ramadan try to recite and complete the Holy Qur’an during the month of Ramadan. This is a noble deed, but it important we endeavor to implement recitation with the transliteration and tafsir. An action I intend to do is keeping my relationship with the Qur’an is to read the Tafsir. This for me is comprehensive. By reading the Tafsir you have access to Qur’an, Hadith, Seerah, Stories of the Prophet and so many more wealth of information. At this stage reading the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir is sufficient. You can simply download from the play store. Yes, having access is that simple!  

Also being kind, being charitable. Hoping and longing for the Reward of any good that you do.

Another thing that is important to do is to is to look at yourself and the sins you are committing. We all have flaws. Weaknesses and Shortcomings. Identify one that you want to work on. Don’t forget to Supplicate that He makes you able to forsake the sin. Almighty Allah ﷻ sees your struggle. He ﷻ knows your flaws. He is testing you, so it is important that we rely upon Him.

This is a very short post to remind you on how you can keep up with your Ramadan vibe. What other tips do you have, or have you learnt to implement towards keeping up with the Ramadan vibes? Let us know in the comment section below feel free to share to benefit others.


Before you leave, we need your help. We started a category on this blog section titled #TrueLifeStories.

Alhamdulillah and it has been welcomed as it resonated with many people. Together we have published 4 TRUE LIFE STORIES and we want to be more consistent in generating more content. To achieve this aim we need your help in telling your stories (all will be anonymized) and to share this post. This helps in creating a safe environment as it is all anonymized. It helps people feel they are not alone in their struggles. To make people know and feel they are not alone. Know that whoever reads your story and changes for the better, you get rewarded. Read about the purpose here: Purpose behind #TrueLifeStories We want to encourage you to please send in your stories and share this post to as many people as possible. We want to ensure that we are getting and producing Real. Original.  Inspiring. And Transformational stories. Stories that we hope will assist in keeping you steadfast. Stories that will help in making a difference in other people’s life. We encourage you to participate and get people to participate. Here are the details on how to participate, contact us via Email: thoughtsandreflectionsr@gmail.com And Instagram: @thoughtsandreflections_

Anything you share is treated with utmost confidentiality.

And that’s it for today. Thill next time FI Ammanillah!

Disappointment taught me Detachment


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

Another #TrueLifeStory to remind you never to trust your abilities. Many of us have gone through the academic phase of life. It is important that we are cautious in our strive to excel. To not lose focus of the real thing.


I’m Sid and here’s a bit of my life and how I learnt about detachment.

Scoring high marks in university was my thing. I was someone who always worked hard, read and helped others to understand what we were taught in uni. But something happened that changed my perspective with my academics. I had some setbacks, or we’ll call it realizing moments. This was a uni module assignment that was challenging in the beginning for me. I have heard how difficult it was to pass the module, and maybe it affected my approach subconsciously. We were given a formative and I scored high marks unexpectedly. I kept wondering how this happened. Fast forward to the final assignment. I ensured I did my best, crossed my I and T’s.

Unfortunately, when I saw my result I was shattered. I was like no, no, no, this can’t be my result. I was not ready to accept what I saw. I cried so hard. I did not fail. But I was expecting something so high. And this is a problem that happens when you place so many expectations on yourself. This is what happens when you trust your abilities without Allah. When you tie your camel, but do not put your Trust in Allahﷻ.

To be honest it was a challenging module, and I know I did well compared to so many people, but this is the danger of having high expectations. I was so hurt, sent an email to ask if it could be remarked with a response of NO.

I cried my eyes out. Words of solace were not comforting. I just wanted to be alone. To speak and be by myself. I believed so much in my ability, in my intelligence and when it did not help me, I got disheartened. It was sometimes later that I calmed down. There was a lot I learnt from this life experience and looking back I would say, I was happy to learn this lesson at this point of my life. Sometimes you need to break to heal and that was what I was going through. I needed this experience to remold me. To be submissive. And humble to Allahﷻ. To recognise the gifts He bestowed upon me and use it in the right way – to please Him.

Most especially I had to acknowledge that Almighty Allahﷻ rewards us for our effort, not always through results. Though, this is something I have always looked at in the deen aspect. I never really applied it to my other spheres of life. As you know, you might be doing something without seeing the reward, but knowing that Almighty Allah is going to reward you for your effort and not the result is reassuring. It also made me try to not depend on myself when I am doing uni work. I now don’t try to expect so much. I now take it easy on myself. I don’t feel overwhelmed.

It was a very hard lesson and it made me realize that failures and setbacks are for us to learn lessons. We have to learn lessons from ourselves. Really hard ones! And this is something that can happen to anyone reading. Take it easy and manage how you deal with expectations. Then I wasn’t learning so much about the deen and it just shows you how my mindset was so closed that there were people who would score less but they would be grateful. I lacked the gratitude mindset and it really made me hurt, pained and was extremely disheartening. To anyone reading I implore you, not to let your grades to define you – I was trying to define myself by my grades and that made it affect me so much. I needed to learn how to detach myself from my grades. I am this… not what my grades say. (I say to myself now)

I am still going to strive to get the highest marks possible, but I have to know that it is up to Almighty Allahﷻ. While I put the effort and hope that He rewards me.

Anytime, I think about this incidence, I laugh at myself and express gratitude that I was able to extract lessons from it because it has nurtured me, helped me to grow, in the way I define myself. And I hope anyone reading this, maybe you are going through a similar situation. Take it easy on yourself and put them in the hands of Allahﷻ. I am not saying you won’t be hurt or disappointed, but your reaction will be managed. Also, take lessons from yourself. Your life situation. Learn lessons from whatever situations you are in.


After reading Sid’s story I will like to expand on 3 points

Importance of tie your Camel and put your Trust in Allah.

This is a popular hadith and we know it from our lips. But how many of us have actually implemented it in our lives? It is important that we trust Allah more than our abilities. He is Al-Khaliq (The Creator) who created all that is in existence. He Created the Camel that you are tying, and He is the only one who can preserve it. This reminds me of a saying of Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah the Most High have mercy on Him) that I came across. he said: “from the weakness of your yaqin (certainty) is that what is in your hand is more reliable than what is in the Hand of Allah”. This is a powerful statement. Applying this means that we should depend and rely on Allah than what we have. Ask yourself: how well have you tied your camel? How is your trust in Allah?

Detachment.

The whole story sums up detachment. I’ve also done a bit explanation on detachment here. We get attached to things and people because they give us a sense of security. Love. A sense of belonging. Meaning. And certainty. Many of us have been getting it all wrong “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” (Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه) Don’t allow what you have to own you. As Human beings we long to have things and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem starts when you begin to tie yourself what you have. The only object of our attachment should be our Rabb – Allah. For He creates all that we see. All that we want. All that we possess. When you attach yourself to Allah, you will feel at peace within yourself, see life as temporary. Strive to please Him with what you do. The way to begin to attach yourself to Allah is to seek to know Him. (Learn His Names and Attributes). You can’t get attached to who you don’t know.

What defines you? (Coming soon in another post In Sha Allah)

This story is a new addition to the blog. #TrueLifeStories.. Read about its purpose here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to share your story to inspire others. Contact us via Instagram or email thoughtsandreflectionsr@gmail.com

If you’ve enjoyed reading, share with someone you know will benefit and don’t forget to subscribe too.

Share with the intention to be rewarded by Allahﷻ. Sharing is caring:)

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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The journey so far…


Alhamdulillah! Re-reading the article on Self-reflection this morning brought my awareness to the fact that it’s exactly one year ago that the first post was published on this blog 😊

THIS IS A TEAM ACHIEVEMENT.

I wished we could have generated more content and I know that we could. We had big plans when we decided to start. But we plan and Allah ﷻ plans and He ﷻ is the best of planners.

We plan and Allah ﷻ plans and He ﷻ is the best of planners.

Looking at the amount of articles we were able to write in the last year made me realise more could have been done. However, this is the time to celebrate and not undermine the work of me and my team.

Together we have written  6 articles, 1 poem: Self-reflection, Perspective: positive mindset, The role models the youths in the cave, Making the most of the first 10-days of Dhul-Hijjah, Iman dip: what to do?, The Most Beloved to Allah, and My Hijab.

I would like to say, writing this blog has helped in so many ways. One of which is that, it has improved my understanding of the deen. As I try my best to practice what is published.

So now, I express my gratitude to my team who do not want to be mentioned. (In any project the people behind the scene do a lot than people know) They have been supportive! They proofread, edit, assist with the content ideas etc. This could not have been done without you all. May Almighty Allah increase you in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Lastly, to my readers. A big thank YOU for engaging with our content, for reading, commenting and sharing. I hope it has had a positive impact in your life?

If you are new to this blog welcome to the community and please take time to read and engage with the contents.

Jazak Allah Khair for taking time out to read and In Sha Allah expect more content! We hope to produce more before next Ramadan … until then Fi Amanillah. We pray that Allah ﷻ accept this work as an act of Ibadah.

THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM


AS SALAM ALAIKUM WARAMATULLAH WABARAKATU.
The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah Almighty will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.’ [Al-Albani]

This Hadith exemplifies the importance of benefiting others. The previous posts have been focused on the individual and personal development. This is because we must develop and know ourselves before we can benefit others. Islam enjoins us to be good in both ways; in as much as our body has a right over us so do others have a right over us.

Mostly we focus on individual act of worship, but here the Prophet (SAW) is telling us it is beloved to Allah to benefit others as a form of worship. The Hadith talks about character in Islam that we mostly neglect. Individual acts of worship are essential and being beneficial to others is a further step. When we are able to benefit ourselves effectively such as fulfilling the right of Allah by doing the individual acts of worship, we will be able to move a step forward and benefit others and this will in elevating our level of Iman. In this way, we transform our good deeds to benefit others.

There are various ways to make a Muslim Happy such as: by smiling at one another, saying kind words, giving charity, spreading beneficial knowledge, etc. Taking a closer look at the Hadith the Prophet (SAW) gives us examples of deeds that we can engage in to benefit others and make another Muslim Happy, ( by removing one’s trouble, forgiving his debt and to feed his hunger). If we do this we will be beneficial to others whilst being beloved to Allah.


It is worth reiterating that all this must be accompanied by sincere intention, if a person performs good deeds for show off it is like nullifying them. Don’t be like people who help but remind, with insults, and arrogance. Don’t make people feel like they are begging you for something. Allah says: ‘Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing.’ Qur’an2:263 The focus is on the deed so it does not have to be done to any particular individual, although it is more rewarding to benefit your family in Islam. Engaging in these good deeds will help in boosting our Iman and improve our relationship with Allah. Allah (SWT) tells us in the Qur’an: “Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures”. (Qur’an 98:7).

There are examples of people who gained the pleasure of Allah by benefiting others. An example is the Hadith on the individual who relieved a dog. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, (SAW), said, “A prostitute had once been forgiven. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Thirst had nearly killed him, so she took off her sock, tied it to her veil, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]. Such individual committed a good deed by benefitting an animal and got forgiven by Allah (SWT). Can we imagine the reward we would get if we benefitted an individual? On the other hand, not benefiting others when we have the capacity to do so will incur the wrath of Allah as seen in the Hadith about ‘A woman was punished due to a cat she had imprisoned until it died, so she entered the Hellfire. She did not give it food or water while it was imprisoned, neither did she set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]This tells us that if doing a deed makes a person beloved to Allah, engaging in the opposite will also incur the wrath of Allah.

We should ask ourselves if we benefit others? Do we relieve people of hardship within our capacity? Do we make a Muslim happy? Do we forgive a needy for a debt. The reward for forgiving debt is forgiveness from Allah, as the Prophetic narration goes: “A man would give loans to the people and he would say to his servant: If the debtor is in hardship you should forgive the debt that perhaps Allah will relieve us. So when he met Allah, then Allah relieved him.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]. Do we help others out? Do we feed others?- even sharing your food with a friend. Do we help others or we wait to be helped? The Prophet (SAW) says: ‘the Upper Hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is one that gives and the lower hand is one that takes.’ [Sahih Bukhari].

The Hadith continues with the Prophet (SAW) saying, to walk with a brother in need is more beloved than seclusion in the Masjid in Madinah for a month. The reward for praying in Masjid Nabawi as said by the Prophet (SAW) is ‘a thousand times greater than a prayer in other than it, except for the Masjid al-Haram. (Makkah)’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim].

If we are beneficial to others we will definitely make people happy and attain the pleasure of Allah (SWT). We should be happy if Allah (SWT) is making peoples need fulfilled through our actions, which makes us earn reward.

Point of Reflection: The more we are beneficial to others, the more we will attain Allah’s (SWT) pleasure and love. Allah (SWT) will never let us outdo Him in being beneficial to others. Allah (SWT) loves beneficial people and He will provide means for you to sustain yourself whilst being beneficial to others. Remember that when you are helping others out they are making you to earn reward. It is like them doing you a favour to enable you earn reward and attain the pleasure of Allah (SWT), so do not humiliate them and don’t remind people of the good you do.

I hope the above article was beneficial. If you have any tip on what we can engage in to be beneficial to others share in the comment section below to make others find it beneficial. If you know anyone who will benefit from this article share as a reminder to motivate them. 


I will catch up with you all in my next post In Sha Allah.