*#8 Action Plan: Social Media Fast.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

25 Shaban 1442

Social Media fast. Yes! You heard that right! We all need a break from social media. Reduce the time you spend on it.

Fasting is not purely abstaining from what you eat. It encompass what you see. What you hear. Etc.

You don’t have full control of what you see on social media as some content just pops up. You however have control of how you use it, who you follow, how much time you spend on it. Social media feeds us, ever wonder why it’s called a feed? For example: There might be a song with lyrics that aren’t fit for fasting ears or pictures of people that show a lot of nudity you don’t know what you’re going to come in contact with. Fasting is a shield the more you see or hear things aren’t supposed to be more your shield is weakened. The little things that we see and hear can poison our hearts and reduce the reward for fasting.

We here at Thoughts and Reflections will be taking a break from social media during the Month of Ramadan.

Some people may not be able to take a full break but try to reduce your time on social media. If possible, come on it when it is absolutely necessary during Ramadan. You can put your phone on airplane mode for a while to avoid distractions.

Spend time rectifying yourself. Listening to the words of Allah ﷻ. Use this Ramadan as a moment to look inward, to self-reflect and identify what you need to rectify in yourself.

You may be wondering how to stay updated with Islamic Knowledge. Consider downloading apps you can use in your time to gain beneficial knowledge without using the internet.

Prompts

Download Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Download Riyadh As-Saliheen and other Hadith apps

Download Fortress of the Muslim

Priority is everything, this month is one for us to prioritise our Ibadah. It is a special month, and it calls for special effort! It is a time to level up so we should aim to be better and take active steps to work towards it. Prioritise the main Ibadah and fulfil other’s right upon you. May Almighty Allah ﷻ aid us and make the actions we have learnt beneficial for us. Make it easy to incorporate them in our lives. Ameen

It is a SPECIAL MONTH. And it calls for Special EFFORT! It is a time to level up so we should aim to be better incorporating active steps to achieve it.

I pray Almighty Allah ﷻ blesses you for making it this far. I pray this year’s Ramadan is your best one yet. Together we will enter Ramadan Strong because we have prepared for it sincerely hoping and longing for the reward from Allah ﷻ. 

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next time Fi Ammanillah!

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*#7 Action Plan: Plan your day.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

22 Shaban 1442

Planning is crucial. For about 3 years I have been planning how my Ramadan goes. Essentially write out acts of Ibadah and fit them into your time frame. This makes you conscious of time. Have time for Qur’an, seerah, tafsir, hadiths, lectures, cooking etc. Plan and it will serve you. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Make the best of the days leading to Ramadan and plan yourself.

Depending on your circumstances the plan may not go accordingly, especially if you are not living alone. And you have to fulfil others right upon you such as parents, children etc. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended you write out and schedule a plan. Be flexible! Know that sometimes your plan will get disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. When you plan by writing you’re on a mental shift and you know what you should do at a certain time. This prevents you from thinking of what to do with time or wasting the precious time you have. You don’t find yourself thinking “what should I do now?” you simply check your book. And as you follow the routine, it sticks with you.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


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*#6 Action Plan: Prepare A DUA List


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

18 Shaban 1442

Yes, start writing out what you want to ask from your Rabb. Write what you want in this dunya and aakhira. When you write you are also able to know what you want. It makes it easier for you to supplicate. As you are preparing your dua list, you can incorporate the names of Allah with your request. Nothing is too big for Allah to grant. Nothing is impossible for Him. Don’t ask for the impossible and haram too. “And your Lord said: “Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)” (Qur’an 40:60)

Dua is very important in Islam, so much so that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Dua’ is worship.” [Tirmidhi, 3372; Abu Dawood, 1479]

(Free resource to download below)

When you write it is easier for you to supplicate. As you look at your journal frequently it gets registered in your brain. Don’t wait for Lailatul Qadr to ask. Write what you want. You have a Lord that loves to be asked, so ASK!!! Try to make your request during the blessed period.

Ensure your list is paired with these 3 elements.

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)

Check out previous article on  ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA for more information

Prompts

Supplicate to Allah using His beautiful Names.

Learn Qur’anic and Prophetic supplications with their meanings. They are comprehensive.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Monday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: ETIQUETTE OF MAKING DUA

Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


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*#5 Action Plan: Set Tahajjud into routine.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

15 Shaban 1442

Why should you set Tahajjud into routine?

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!

One of the characteristics of the righteous is that “They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Rabb (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope].” “And in the hours before dawn they would ask for forgiveness” (Qur’an 51:17-18)

Mother Aishah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha reported: The Prophet ﷺ kept standing (in prayer) so long that the skin of his feet would crack. I asked him: “Why do you do this, while you have been forgiven of your former and latter sins?” He said, “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. From this we see that engaging in Tahajjud is a means for us to express gratitude to Allah ﷻ.

The Prophet ﷺ way of performing Tahajjud

Mother Aishah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to perform eleven Rak’ah (of Tahajjud) prayers at night. He ﷺ would prostrate so long as one of you might recite fifty Ayat (of the Qur’an). Thereafter, he would perform two Rak’ah before Fajr prayers and would lie down on his right side till the Mu’adhdhin would come and inform him about the time of (Fajr) prayer. [Al-Bukhari].  Etiquette of making dua comes up here. As there is a greater possibility of acceptance of prayer which is made in a state of prostration.

A blessed time to make dua. – Abu Huraira reported رضي الله عنه said: 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] A blessed time to speak to Allah ﷻ. We are all in need. We all have something to request from Allah ﷻ. So, we should make the best of this time to ask!

Besides, setting this routine will equally prepare you to wake up for Sahur. There is benefit in eating Sahur, so don’t lose out on it. Anas رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Eat Suhur (predawn meal). Surely, there is a blessing in Suhur.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

‘Amr bin Al-‘As رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The difference between our observance of Saum (fasting) and that of the people of the Scriptures is Suhur (predawn meal in Ramadan).” [Muslim].  We learn from this Hadith that Suhur is a distinctive mark with which Allah has blessed the Muslim Ummah.

How to wake up for Tahajjud.

  • Be sincere on why you want to wake up.
  • Supplicate to Allah.
  • Have power naps it can be as little as 20 minutes.
  • Drink water before going to bed.
  • Don’t eat till late so your stomach is not heavy.
  • Perform wudu before you sleep.
  • Sleep early.
  • Ser alarms.
  • Have an accountability partner: If you live with someone ask them to wake you up.
  • Consider delaying your Witr to Tahajjud time.

Start waking up now don’t wait till Ramadan.

Some Hadith on the excellence of Tahajjud

Salah Salim bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه reported, on the authority of his father, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “What an excellent man ‘Abdullah is! If only he could perform optional prayers at night.” Salim said that after this, (his father) ‘Abdullah slept very little at night. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Do not be like so-and-so O ‘Abdullah! He used to pray during the night, then stopped the practice.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

A means to Jannah – ‘Abdullah bin Salam رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “O people, promote the greetings, feed (the poor and needy) and perform Salat when others are asleep so that you will enter Jannah safely.” [At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:  This Hadith has glad tidings for those who enthusiastically do all the good works mentioned in this Hadith. “Enter Jannah in peace” here means that they will enter Jannah without suffering any punishment in Hell.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: SELF-REFLECTION

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…


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*#4 Action Plan: Seek for forgiveness. TAWBAH


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

11 Shaban 1442

This may not require journalling. It is a straightforward action for you to engage in.

We all commit sins – Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah will certainly forgive them.” [Muslim]. When we falter, we should not stick to it, but turn to Allah ﷻ immediately. Seeking forgiveness is a very good act. May Almighty Allah ﷻ open our heart to repent to Him always!

We should haste towards seeking forgiveness from Allah ﷻ.“Race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers. This is the bounty of Allah. He gives to whom He wills. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty”(Qur’an 51:21)

Our utmost Role Model ﷺ sought forgiveness from Allah and repent to Him more than seventy times in a day.  [Bukhārī 5948] (paraphrased) So, we should emulate the Prophet in this regard. Moisten your tongue with Astagfirlullah. “And seek the forgiveness of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:106) “Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.” (Qur’an 110:3)

A step further – Try going a step further by performing 2 rakah of Salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance). Expressly ask Almighty Allah ﷻ to forgive you. Supplicate that He forgives you of intended and unintended sins. Express your need for repentance. And have a strong resolve not to go back to it again. I recently learnt from a friend to incorporate Salaat al-tawbah when performing Tahajjud. (this is something you can do too) We will cover Tahajjud in action 5 In Sha Allah.

The Excellence of Observing Salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance)

Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq رضي الله عنه said: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’ (Qur’an 3:135).” [Abu Dawood 1521]

Abu’l-Darda’ رضي الله عنه said: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “The one who does wudoo’ and does it well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs or four (one of the narrators was uncertain), in which he remembers Allah and focuses well, then asks Allah for forgiveness, He will forgive him.” [Ahmad 26998]

Read more here: Salaat al-tawbah (the prayer of repentance) – islamqa

The 3 white days starts from the 27th March to 29th of March (Saturday to Monday). Endeavour to fast. And remind others.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Monday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: SELF-REFLECTION

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…

Related post: WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?

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A message from @azeezatp – FYI: I will be running a Day FREE MASTERCLASS for sisters only on “THE TRANQUIL LIFE: TOWARDS A DEEPER CONNECTION WITH YOUR RABB” from the 27th March- 2nd April 2021. I’d love to have you (sisters) in so feel free to join here. 🙂 Remember to share and invite others with the intention to earn rewards from Allah! (To any Male reading, kindly assist in sharing too. I’d really appreciate) Jazakumllahu Khairan

*#3 Action Plan: Learn about the merits of Ramadan. Then write them down.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

8 Shaban 1442

Write down “Merits of Ramadan that speaks to me

When you learn about the merits of Ramadan and write them down, you are getting mentally prepared for the propitious months. You know the “why” of fasting. The merits. You know what you should abstain from. The purpose etc.

Remember fasting in the Month of Ramadan is a pillar of Islam. It is one of the things we need to do for our Islam to be complete, to fulfil this obligation we need to equip ourselves with the right knowledge.

Here are some Qur’an verses and hadiths on the merits of fasting. Take time to research. Look at Qur’an verses, hadiths of the prophet ﷺ and long for the Reward with Allah ﷻ.  

The Excellence of Observing Saum (Fasts) during Ramadan

Piety – Allah ﷻ, the Exalted, says: “O you who believe! the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Fasting for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know. The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days.” (Qur’an 2:183-185)

Pleasure of Allah ﷻ – Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except As-Siyam (the fasting) which is (exclusively) for Me, and I will reward him for it.’ Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is observing fast, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice; and if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hand the soul of Muhammad is, the breath of one observing Saum is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk. The one who fasts, experiences two joys: he feels pleasure when he breaks the fast. He is joyful by virtue of his fast when he meets his Rabb.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In a narration by Al-Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah says: ‘(The person observing Saum) has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake; fasting is for Me, and I will bestow its reward. Every good deed has ten times its reward’.”

A means to Jannah – Sahl bin Sa’d رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “In Jannah there is a gate which is called Ar-Raiyan through which only those who observe Saum (fasting) will enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” So they will stand up and proceed towards it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.” [Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith tells us about the special distinction of those who observe Saum. “Only those who observe Saum” signify the faithful who not only observe Saum during the month of Ramadan but also frequently observe voluntary fasts over and above the obligatory ones, otherwise Saum of Ramadan are compulsory for every Muslim.

Protection from Jahannam – Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said, “Every slave of Allah who observes Saum (fasting) for one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will draw his face farther from Hell-fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  “Every slave of Allah” includes men, women, the free and the unfree, because they are slaves of Allah. The Hadith highlights the excellence of fasting for the sake of Allah which will serve, on the Day of Resurrection, as shield against Hell-fire.

Forgiveness – Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  “Sins” here means minor sins which relate to the Rights of Allah.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!


Related post: PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

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Related post: FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE 

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A message from @azeezatp – FYI: I will be running a 7 Day FREE MASTERCLASS for sisters only on “THE TRANQUIL LIFE: TOWARDS A DEEPER CONNECTION WITH YOUR RABB” from the 27th March- 2nd April 2021. I’d love to have you (sisters) in so feel free to join here.🙂 Remember to share and invite others with the intention to earn rewards from Allah! (To any Male reading, kindly assist in sharing too. I’d really appreciate) Jazakumllahu Khairan

*#2 Action Plan: Write things you want to do to prepare for this year’s Ramadan.


BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHIM

4 Shaban 1442

Provided  you have practiced the previous exercise you will have identified where you need to work on. Today’s task is to write down what you need to do to prepare for Ramadan.

Consistency is key – Aim to be consistent. Write what you know you will be consistent in. Don’t enter a burn-out stage. Write things that you aim to be consistent in during and if possible beyond Ramadan. Remember, the key is to turn good deeds into habits! The Prophet ﷺ also informs us that the deeds that are loved most by Allah are the most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.” [Bukhari 6465] (slightly paraphrased). So, quality over quantity. Set little sustainable things to do leading up to Ramadan. Besides, we may need to fulfil other responsibilities in this Month.

So, lets dive in

Write “What I want to do to prepare for this year’s Ramadan”

Prompts

  • Do you want to say all your prayers on time?
  • To Recite Qur’an often?
  • Do you aim to learn beneficial Islamic Knowledge?
  • Engage in Tahajjud?
  • Practiced seeking istigfar (forgiveness)
  • Increase in Dhikr?
  • Perform Wudu frequently?
  • Practice gratitude?
  • Make dua?
  • Practice Sunnah fasting? (For example it was narrated that the Prophet used to fast a lot in Shaban. Your approach can simply to pick Mondays and Thursday fasting. You can go a step further and incorporate the 3 white days.)

Look at previous post on Barakah Actions for some inspiration: BARAKAH ACTIONS

By writing and seeing what you want to incorporate, you gain clarity. There is a huge difference between thinking of what you want to do and seeing what you want to do written down. You are able to restructure yourself, plan and incorporate them leading on to Ramadan.

Bonus: Hadith on Shaban fast: Mother Aishah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha reported: The Prophet ﷺ did not observe voluntary Saum (fasting) so frequently during any other month as he did during Sha’ban. He observed Saum throughout the month of Sha’ban.

Another narration is: He ﷺ observed Saum during the whole month of Sha’ban except a few days. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: We learn from another Hadith the reason why the Prophet ﷺ kept greater number of Saum in the month of Sha’ban. He did so because deeds are presented before Allah during this month. For this reason, he liked that when his deeds were presented, he should be observing Saum (Nasa’i on the authority of Usamah رضي الله عنه In spite of this distinction of Sha’ban, Muslims have been ordered to observe Saum in the first fortnight only, and not in the second in order to maintain their energy and vitality for the obligatory Saum (i.e., Ramadan). The Prophet ﷺ had greater spiritual strength and Saum did not cause him weakness due to this strength. Again, by virtue of this strength he would sometimes even observe Saum which is termed “Saum-al-Wisal” (observing Saum continuous without a break in the evening). But he has forbidden his followers from such Saum.

Here’s a Youtube video explaining the Sunnah of fasting in Sha’ban

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Monday Fi Ammanillah!


Related Post: BARAKAH ACTIONS

Related post: SELF-REFLECTION

Related post: RAMADAN PREP

Related post: A PROMISE FROM ALLAH 

Related post: THE MOST BELOVED TO ALLAH…

Related post: WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?

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*#1 Action Plan: Take Account of YOUR Current State.


1 Shaban 1442

Why should you take account of your current state?

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!

Be sincere and truthful to Almighty Allah ﷻand yourself as you write. You do not have to share your exercise with anyone, know that Allah sees it and that is enough!

So, lets dive in

– Take a moment to write down habits you have developed from previous Ramadan. Write “Habits I have developed from last year’s Ramadan”

Write down areas that you have improved on since last year Ramadan.

Prompts

  • Started praying on time
  • Recite Qur’an often
  • Engage in Tahajjud
  • Practiced seeking istigfar (forgiveness)
  • Increased in Dhikr
  • Sought out Islamic Knowledge etc

– Thereafter, write things you have neglected from last year’s Ramadan. “Habits I neglected from last year’s Ramadan” By this I mean things you planned to do consistently but you know you faltered and have not kept up with it post-Ramadan of last year.

Prompts

  • Unable to fast nawafil fast
  • Inconsistency with Tahajjud

Fill in the blank for yourself, by taking account of yourself. (it is very personal and make sure it reflects YOU)

The purpose of this exercise is for you to see how well you have improved and changed from last year Ramadan to this year. This brings the gratitude spirit in us because you are able to see how Almighty Allah has changed your life. We cannot count Allah’s favour on us.

On the other hand, we see where we need to improve and consciously take action to work on them.

*They are in no particular order of importance.

Till next Thursday Fi Ammanillah!

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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!

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)

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  • 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!

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Barakah actions

 A PROMISE FROM ALLAH

FULFILLING LIFE’S PURPOSE

PERSPECTIVE: POSITIVE MINDSET

SELF-REFLECTION

Till next time Fi ammanillah