TheRamadhanBaby #20 LAYLATUL QADR

LAYLATUL QADR

“ *Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of al-Qadr (Decree)

*And what will make you know what the night of al-Qadr (Decree) is?

*The night of al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e worshipping Him in a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4months)

*Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril] by Allah’s permission with all Decrees,

*(All that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (Q97:1-5)

* * *
“Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. (i.e. matters ofdeaths, births, provisions, calamities for the whole coming year as decreed by Allah).” (Q44:4)

* * *
Narrated ‘Aishah (ra):Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “ Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 3, Hadith No. 234)

* * *
Narrated by ‘Aishah (ra): I asked, “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Laylatul Qadr (Night of Decree) what should I supplicate in it?” He (peace be upon him) said, “You should supplicate : Allahuma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul –‘afwa, fa’fu’ani. – O ALLAH, You are most forgiving, and You love forgiveness, so forgive me.””

* * *
Maximizing the last ten days is top on the agenda of Muslims the world over. Many have started Ihtikaaf as the Night may well be this one! Please do not be deceived, make the best of it.

Avoid all distractions, cut out all the needless activities, it is for ten days akhi wa ukhti!

Double up on Qiyaamul Layl, Qira’atul Qur’an, dhikr, dua and shukr.

Do more good deeds and eschew all evil. You do not want to be insulting anyone or bearing grudges on this night!

Give more to charity and overall be humble as the arrogant act like they are in no need of Allah(subhanahu wa ta ala).

It will be like doing these things for eighty-three years. What a great loss if missed! Imagining the reward alone is mind-boggling. This is when we observe this night according to the Sunnah. It does not involve arbitrarily fixing one night like we know more than the Prophet and Companions. It most definitely does not include singing and dancing. Let us try our best to do it right for the sake of Allah.

Indeed it is the highlight of this noble month- getting to witness the Night of Decree, the night of majesty and power. May we all be favoured with this blessing. Amiin.

TheRamadhanBaby #19 TAHAJJUD

TAHAJJUD

Someone once told me, “ You do not really want something unless you ask for it during Tahajjud.”

Forsaking sleep in the early morning to supplicate to Allah is one the signs of a conscious believer. It is aform of sacrifice in which he sacrifices what is dear to him for what is even greater. Imagine the Mercy of Allah , His amazing love for us when He descends to the lowest heavens in the last part of the night to answer those who call on Him at this time. Of course this is asides the constant blessings He grants the creation whether they call on Him or not.

The Prophet (saw) would stand to pray at night for long, giving thanks to and praising His Lord. So also did his wives, companions and all those who have followed their path thence.

Indeed the night is a good time to engage in Nawafil, dhikr, shukr, reciting the Qur’n, and making dua. Most others are asleep and the air is cooler and quieter. There is more concentration and the best part of it is that it is not obligatory. It is not incumbent on the slave to stand and pray at night, it is something he or she does out of their own volition at their convenience. Those who have tasted the sweetness of the serenity Qiyaamul Layl brings to the heart do not like to miss a night even if they would observe only two raka’t.

It also serves as an opportunity to pray Witr and recite the Qunut prayer. It is a goiod time to tell Allah all about your fears, your troubles and your cares. To ask Him to set aright all your affairs, to grant you your wishes, to grant you Jannah etc.

As-Shaytan is pleased when the Muslim sleeps through this period because he know that such a person has lost an opportunity to strengthen his Iman. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to defeat the accursed one every night?

For the busy ones, it is really a struggle but one that is well worth it. It is a great start to the day as you begin with a light heart that carries you till bedtime.
Make it a habit and enjoy a disciplined and well-planned life.

TheRamadhanBaby #18 GUARDING THE TONGUE

GUARDING THE TONGUE

“Speak that which is good or otherwise be silent”

A believer is not known for vulgarity. The Iman in his heart is evident in his actions and speech. His role model is the Rasul (SAW) who was known to speak only good words to people. He did not force his opinions on others, shout at them,lie to them, nor argue needlessly with them. He did not abuse people nor did he bore them with long egoistic monologues. His respectful way of addressing people was not dependent on their age or status. The young and the old basked in the beauty of the words he spoke to them.

Good manners and speech were hallmarks of noble upbringing in past cultures. Why should we not revive this? Today we think it is a sign of sophistication to add slangs to our vocabulary regardless of the risk of being uncouth.

It has been shown that giving a command in a calm voice yields more results than yelling. It is about the firmness of the voice and not the volume. Speaking kindly to people will make them more likely to listen to us and understand us. It may not be easy for today’s fast youth but we all have to start from somewhere. Maybe with this we can solve our issues with the older generation.

Lastly, we should remember that Jannah is a place where there will be no false speech nor foul talk. If we truly are working towards this destination, we should be preparing for it starting from our speech.

Lets make it a point of note to be courteous and polite to others. Who knows? We might find it easier to give Dawah.

TheRamadhanBaby #17 ENCOURAGE A MUSLIM

ENCOURAGE A MUSLIM

Too often we view those who suddenly appear and act as Muslims in this month as pretenders while fully expecting them to lapse after Eid. How many times have we stopped to get closer to them and seek the true cause of their laxity for the most part of the year? Do we show them that they are our brothers and sisters too?

Do we let them know that even if they do not wear the hijab or pray regularly at the mosque right now; with a little faith, they can grow. Have we ever told them about Allah (SWT)’s promise of forgiveness if they sincerely repent and start a new life?

If only we could reflect more about the stories of righteous people who ended up losing their deen and those who were the worst of people before becoming righteous. All we have to do is take a look at the life of Umar (ra), an ardent enemy of Islam who Allah made the second Khalifa. What a beautiful transformation! Or we may be more familiar with the history of Shaytan (Iblees) who was a servant of Allah until pride and arrogance took the better of him. This led to his being condemned to ignominy forever.

No condition, they say, is permanent.

If we think this sister is giving attitude, ask Allah for patience to deal kindly with her. Talk to her gently, learn about her, give her good books to read. Sometimes we realize that if we just come down from our high horse and give some of the so-called ‘Ramadhan Muslims’ a smile, we open a channel of friendship and discover their struggles are really no different from ours. They may have a thing or two to teach us.

Let us stop judging (leave that to Allah alone!) and hope that these people will improve. We must remember that we did not get here by our might. We are at constant risk of slipping too. If we truly are sincere about their deen, we would call them aside to advise and assist them. We would not disgrace them under the guise of ‘correcting’ them.

Guide someone towards a practising Muslim lifestyle.

Encourage a Muslim today

TheRamadhanBaby #16 QUIZ

TRIVIA

1. When and where was the Qur’an first revealed?

2. Fasting is the………..pillar of Islam.

3. Who was the first person to accept Islam?

4. When and where did the battle of Badr take place?

5. Who first hosted the Prophet when he arrived at Madinah?

6. State the verse that commands fasting. (now this is a giveaway)

7. Ramadhan is the …….. month of the Hijr calendar?

8. Who was the first martyr in Islam?

9. Al-Qadr is the ……..Surah in the Holy Qur’an?

10. Those who fast sincerely will enter Jannah through what gate?

* * * *

High scores earn you a little prize!

Try this quiz and let’s see how much you know about your Deen!

TheRamadhanBaby #15 VALUE THE TREASURES

VALUE THE TREASURES

They go into overdrive
They cook and clean more
They have more mouths to cater for
They carry heavier bags of groceries

They wake up earlier to prepare Sahur
They are busy with Iftar hours in advance
And have to balance domestic chores with the musallah
They struggle with their Qira’a and Tahajjud

They have to keep up the fasting even during the exemption
They are swamped on Eid
They push their needs to the backburner
They ensure the children and the old are carried along

They give to charity
They strive to please their Lord
They join the race towards good deeds with heavy backpacks
They are strong even when they are weak
They work hard
They fail sometimes

But they continue on the journey
They give to charity
They strive to please their Lord
They bear all this and still look forward to another Ramadhan
* * * *
Women in many countries handle more stress during this Ramadhan caring for husbands,children, parents, siblings, relatives, neighbours and friends. Their love and support help the people around them get through the month. If you have one in your life this Ramadhan, take time out to appreciate them. Make them feel special and find time to give them a treat.
You can assist them with their work and be kind. This also goes to all the men and children that double in this capacity and take on extra roles in the home and society.
I am taking the first step by saying Jazakillah khayran to those who have made this year’s Saum great so far:
-Thawriyyah
-Kasamse
-Umm Mus’ab
-Hidayah
-Barakah
-Umm Armaan
-Umm Talhah

and everyone else who has been kind to me.

May Allah bless you all with the best of this world and the next.

TheRamadhanBaby #14 THE UNIFYING LEVELER

THE UNIFYING LEVELER

One of the things I love the most about this month is the pervading sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood). That feeling that we are all equals; that bond is best felt than described.

In the early mornings, people urge their family and neighbours to wake up for Tahajjud and then they all gather around for Sahur. There is always enough to go round and each person gets at least a morsel or a drink. The love we give each other through sharing is so overwhelming.

At Dhuhr and Asr, more worshippers come around as many take Salah more importantly. Throughout the day, there is always someone to remind you with their speech or actions to do more good deeds.

Muslims stick together more in this period. Maybe it’s because everyone understands a bit of what others are feeling. In all, a general sense of calm, kindness, and good behaviour is what prevails.

Then comes Iftar, which more often occurs outside the home than Sahur as many workers are still busy. For many working Muslims, it takes place at the mosque. Here, there are new brothers or sisters to meet. Those who have share their food with those who do not and everyone thanks Allah for yet another successful day of fasting.

Maghrib is observed in congregation and then usually a big meal follows.
Isha is anticipated for the Tarawih that comes with it. And each person that can, continues the recitation of the Quran.

Lots of activities carried out together breeds that sense of being in sync with every other Muslim on the planet. Images and videos of the Ummah in foreign lands melt the heart as you realize millions of people are doing the same thing as you.

Rich and poor, young and old, male and female, strong and weak; these and other distinctions dissipate leaving only the goodness-inherent and cultivated-in each heart.

Few experiences beat this.

We are all reminded that deep down and in the Sight of Allah, we are all equal. Only through our good deeds are we judged to be better than others. What a noble form of competition.

This alone is a favour to show gratitude for.

Alhamdulillah.

TheRamadhanBaby #13 THE PRESCRIPTION

THE PRESCRIPTION

It’s nearing the middle already. Not a bad time to remind one another about the true essence of the season.

Many of us have heard the following verse over and over again. We may even know it by heart already. Beyond the beautiful rhythm lies an important message. That Ramadhan is not about you. The exercise is done for Allah alone because He has PRESCRIBED it for us. He has made it a cure for our bodies and minds.

“يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)
(Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183)

How many patients disregard the prescriptions of their doctors? Few!
This is because the sick person trusts those who have the training to care for him. He thus obeys their instructions and takes his medicine at the appointed times.

This is how we should view Ramadhan. A prescription from the the One who loves us so much He commands us to do things that are for our own good. If we go on to read and reflect on the subsequent verses, we would understand this better.

It thus behooves on us to make all our deeds in this month (and afterwards) for His sake and pleasure alone.

TheRamadhanBaby #12 PATIENCE

PATIENCE

This is one virtue that our generation seems to have lost irrevocably. Be it on bus lines, at traffic lights, at all queues, in our relationships with people and even with our Creator, we can not tolerate any delay beyond two seconds.

We have been so blinded by technology that we fail to see the beauty of life unfolding all around us. Have we forgotten the stories of the Prophet and his companions? How they bore persecution and strove with their sweat, blood and sometimes their very lives to establish this deen, that which we practise till this very day.

How about that displayed by all oppressed people in the world that still hope for succour decades after their suffering started?

The believer must work towards patience in all situations. Accepting successes calmly, bearing bad circumstances with a smile, restraining ourselves from anger, avoiding incessant complaining, and generally reminding himself that others have it worse.

Take a look at the life of the Rasul. How did he act through the persecution from the Quraysh, the rejection of people like those of Taif, losing his beloved wife and uncle, being chased out of his home and land of birth, losing all his children except Fatimah? He bore these and more with perseverance and prayed to his Lord instead of complaining. He encouraged the people around him to emulate this and we can see how rich their lives became.

What about Ibrahim and Ismail? When the father was asked to sacrifice his son, they were patient and trusted in Allah. Among the fruits of their story is Eid-ul-Adha and the stoning of Jamarat we do at Hajj today. Such exemplary lives! We can not even begin to compare our lives with these.

You must try your utmost fone patient:

*when others seem to be getting what you want
*when nothing seems to be going your way
*when people provoke you
*when you are wronged
*when you are in a difficult situation
*when it seems you are carrying the cares of the world

With patience, you will succeed as it prevents you from acting irrationally. In every situation, trust that your Lord, the Best of Planners knows what’s best for you. For verily Allah is with the patient.

TheRamadhanBaby #11 THE SECOND THIRD

THE SECOND THIRD

Alhamdulillah. This is a wake-up call for those of us that haven’t got our bearing yet. Do not despair dear brother and sister. There is still a good chance you can get the best of this month.

Go back to your drawing board, make your plan simpler and fill it with small but consistent deeds. These are beloved to Allah. Slow and steady they say wins the race.

If you are a surgeon for example with late hours and almost no inkling of time passing, you can still listen to the Quran, engage in more dhikr and you might even get more you-time for reflection!

It’s all about modifying your schedule to still get the best of Ramadhan. Like I always say, you never know if this is your last.

It is up to us all to maximize this opportunity and be as resourceful as possible. My thoughts go especially to the following:

*girls and women who serve their families as mothers, wives, daughters, servants etc who do not get enough time to perform Ibadat. Have a good intention while you are at it and in shaa Allah, you would be rewarded for this too.

*Students who always have it rough. all I would say is, “Do your best”. May Allah make it easy for you and help you succeed.

*Workers in all forms of fasting-unfriendly workplaces

*pregnant women, nursing mothers,travellers,sick people and all those who wish they were fasting. Allah sees your heart and will ease your discomfort.

*prisoners who have been wrongfully accused. The One who saved Yusuf(AS) will help you too. Keep being strong. If you think you got what you deserved, make sincere repentance and pray that Allah reforms you.

*All the members of this Ummah in occupied lands,remember the suffering of the early Muslims. Your strength is immeasurable, we all are inspired by your Iman. May Allah ease your pain and provide succour to you.

May we all attain Jannah and enter it by the gates of ArRayyan.