TheRamadhanBaby #11- Bent Ribs

There is an elephant in the room we need to talk about. Our treatment of women. Yes,our.

We all have something to do in improving the lives of women. Men get called out for ill treatment (not nearly as frequently as they should) but we often ignore the roles some women play in entrenching this scourge.

Since this is a big issue that is ongoing, let’s restrict this post to particular problems associated with Ramadhan.

When you single out daughters and sisters for all the housework and forget that they are fasting too, you are not being a good Muslim. Especially for some households where women  must work so the family can survive. The Prophet(peace be upon him) enjoined us to make life easy for others and not difficult. 
Many female relatives already take it as their roles without question to serve their family and generally manage the home. Most times, this is a thankless task. More acutely felt when these same chores are well paid for and much more appreciated when they are sourced commercially or come from others outside the home.
Please don’t treat your wives and other women in your family like slaves. Infact, in the 7th century when slavery was widespread in almost every land on earth,our Prophet (peace be upon him) led by example and treated them with kindness and fairness and made manumission(setting free) an act of Ibaadah. Many former slaves went on to take on great roles in Islamic history. A notable one we are familiar with is the first muadhin-  Abyssinian companion Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him). “Even if you dislike her, be good to her”

Imagine how some men treat their womenfolk. You shout at them because Iftar is not ready, you pressure them to make feasts and do not care to get them help.
Say dhikr with her. Recall the hadithwhere the Prophet taught his daughter words of temembrance ehrn she came To ask him for a servant to ease her  strain. Tell her nice words of encouragement and appreciation and please do not complain when she has gone to great lengths to get things done. Give her excuses e.g she couldn’t taste it as she is fasting too.
Let us stop demanding for perfection from only one half of our society. Boys and girls should be taught to be so good at their different but equally important roles so they grow up to become men and women that complement each other.
Don’t you think she would like to break her fast on time too?  Some husbands would not release housekeeping funds on time or plan ahead with whatever income they have. Why not make things easier? Plan together. Allah has made you a leader not a tyrant. Be just and you would get that respect,love and appreciation easily. Communicate with them. Discuss ways to improve on the faults you may have noticed without being vindictive. Don’t allow them miss Salah because they are serving you. Even in heated situations try and be the mature one. When it’s all settled, this is the person that shines.
The Prophet used to wake his family for Tahajjud. Nowadays we wake our family to cook elaborate Sahurs and have them jostle to get a bite and meet Fajr by the hairs. Make it easier for them to partake in Tarawih, Quran recitation etc. Ramadhan is already a very difficult time for many women. Don’t be a burden.
To my sisters in Iman, keep going strong. Don’t stop learning new and effective ways to conserve time, energy and other resources. As you juggle Ibaadah, work, school, illness, travel,childbirth, periods, caring for the children, sick relatives, old parents, neighbours,  etc this special month, may Allah ease your affairs. 
Let’s help each other achieve goodness in this world and be partners in Jannah. 

TheRamadhanBaby #10 – Power of Dua

Oft-overlooked, this is an essential part of a Muslim’s life. Our Lord is the Sustainer,Cherisher and Provider of all that exists. If He were to give us all the biggest bounty we can think of, it would not reduce His Wealth by a drop. Why then do we miss opportunities to ask?

Remember all those things we thanked Him for? Ask him to keep replenishing them. And those things we are to be patient upon? Ask that He changes the tide. 

Invocation is the weapon of the believer. With it, you can conquer all and can effect the most change. (Don’t be like the misguided ones who kill innocents for whatever reason)

“Invoke Me (and ask Me for anything) and I will respond ( to your invocation)” Q40:60

Be relentless. Make dua in hardship and ease, in sincerity, for good only, in humility, with His Beautiful Names and exalted Attributes.

Make dua not just when you break your fast, after Asr, in sujood, when its raining, when in difficulty, when you are oppressed, when you are sick, when you are traveling, that special hour on Fridays but in essence, everytime and every situation!

 Make dua for your parents , children, relatives, friends, enemies, strangers. It is the best gift you can give a loved one.

Make dua for all experiencing pain and suffering right now. Make dua for  our  world. Ask Him to protect the planet from all who seek to destroy it. Ask Him to place your departed loved ones in Jannah and for you to be reunited with them in bliss.

Back it up with strong  Iman and Tawakkul, good deeds and character. When you make dua, you either get an answer immefiately or delayed (both at His perfect time) or get an evil prevented. (Sahih At-Tirmidhi 3/140)

He alone should we beseech for help.(Q1:5)

TheRamadhanBaby #9 -Recite! Reflect! Share!

Every corner you turn, you would find people peering closely and reciting from a book in their hands or on their devices. The love of the Qur’an is heightened during this period.
It is after all the month in which it was revealed (Q2:185).

It is a means of drawing closer to Allah. Studying its meaning with authentic tafsirs increases your understanding of the religion.
Whether you plan to finish it once or ten times, let your recitation, memorization and studying be consistent. It may be a Juz (one thirtieth) a day or more or less, put in some work everyday. No matter what you achieve , strive to make it a part of your everyday life.

It is a miracle, a guidance and mercy (Q7:203,16:64,31:3)an absolute truth with certainty (Q69:51,32:3,35:31) a clear book which has been preserved for centuries by Allah who sent it down (Q56:77,78) . It is an holy book, which has been kept in honour and purity(Q80:13-16). It is a warning(Q50:45), it is to be reflected upon (47:24), it is mentioned in itself over 300 times.

Huge resources are currently dedicated to its printing and distribution globally in the same unique form with no changes or different editions. A scripture which millions have memorized such that if all the printed copies on the planet were to be lost, it would be reproduced from the hearts in which it has been engraved without a single letter out of place.

Pick up your copy today. Donate it to mosques, hospitals,prisons, schools and various other institutions. Design apps based on it, help more people gain access to it.

Recite it even if you are not perfect yet. You still get a reward for trying. If you can’t read Arabic yet, register for a class now. Ma sha Allah the means to this have become easy with technology. Read the transliteration in the mean time with the aim of gaining proficiency soon.

You know how you are not satisfied with reading and arithmetic but want to get that secondary school certificate, and even a university degree or even postgraduate? Show the same yearning for studying the Quran and other aspects of your Deen and see your life become richer and make your Akhirah a better investment.

TheRamadhanBaby 3: KINDNESS

One of the best things about Ramadhan is the surplus of food. this is not exactly due to increase in supply or a verdant economy. Rather it is associated with an almost compulsive urge we all have to share everything and anything.
You find people willing to share an orange, a date, a slice of bread.

How amazing would life be if more of us continued this spirit afterwards. It is upon us to share Islam with the world through its virtues. One of which is kindness.

Our Prophet SAW was the kindest to his household, companions and strangers. This is part of his Sunnah we should embody.

Give to the needy, give to your friend
Give to the one who asks and the one who doesn’t.
Give to the old, give to children
Give to the man, give to the woman
Give food, money, advice, aid
Even if you are poor,
Give a kind word, give a smile.
Every little deed of kindness is Sadaqah
Give of yourself and do not turn those who have come to you for help without at least trying to alleviate their suffering.
Keep the giving cycle alive. For Allah has mercy on those who show mercy to others.

Those who inspire me include-
#RamadanTentProject , the various aid organizations in war torn countries, helping refugees and risking their own lives to help others, the MSF, Red Cross and Crescent, all aid workers and volunteers working with those fleeing or enduring war, disease, natural disasters, occupation and harsh regimes.

May you all find help when and where you need it.

TheRamadhanBaby #29 ZAKATUL FITR

In our deen, we have Zakat of money, gold, silver, livestock but Zakatul Fitr is unique in that it is incumbent upon Muslims be they male or female, young or old, slaves or free.
It is a measure of staple food given to the needy at the end of Ramadhan but BEFORE EID.

A Sa’a of food equals 4 Mudd(handfuls) of grain, legumes, dried dates etc is distributed to the poor. Heads of families can pay for themselves then their family. Individuals can pay for themselves.

It is against the Sunnah to use money. This is based on evidences such as:

– Hadith of Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas and Abu Sa’eed al Khudri: The Prophet legislated a Sa’a of date, barley, wheat and dry yoghurt.[Bukhari, Muslim]

-Hadith of Ibn Abbas, the Prophet made Zakaatul Fitr as purification for the fasting Muslims and FOOD for the poor. [Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud]

In Allah’s wisdom, this commandment ensures food goes round the community and everyone can celebrate without having to beg. It fosters love among family and neighbours and ensures social justice.

Dear brother and sister, kindly pay your Zakatul fitr with the staple in your locality and ensure you do so before Eid.

P.S.
The Sultan of Sokoto has announced that Friday the 17th of July, 2015 is Eid-l-Fitr 1436A.H as the moon has been sighted in Sokoto.
Eid Mubarak! Taqabalallah mina wa minkum (May Allah accept it from us and from you.)
Amin

TheRamadhanBaby #28 ONE UMMAH

The Ummah is the body of Muslims including every man,woman and child in every country and in every corner of this earth (Including those in space too mashaAllah).

Isn’t this concept a beautiful one? How wonderful will it be if we were united as we should be? How will the oppressors and enemies have victory over us. What happened to our blazing years of glory? Those periods when we led the fields of politics, science, exploring, transcontinental trade,medicine, thought and the arts?

We were the centre of civilization

This is a call to us all. A message to reverberate in our hearts that all we are facing today was brought upon us when we threw away our gold and looked for trash elsewhere. We abandoned our deen and forfeited the goodness inherent.

It is upon us to teach our children the Quran and to educate them with the knowledge and practice of this deen according to the Sunnah. We will save them from deviant ideologies who destroy them while posing to help them attain salvation. This will help all our brothers and sisters experiencing unimaginable horrors. Allaah is ready to help us if only we could go back to Him.

We must enjoin peace and good relations with people of other faiths while not being so weak as to be oppressed and be persecuted by anyone.

It is by reeducating ourselves, drawing closer to our Lord and living according to the Sunnah that we would strengthen our bond of unity and be saved from all calamity.
We should believe in this dream:

One Ummah, one creed

TheRamadhanBaby #27 FAMILY

Many have been blessed to have spent the past few weeks getting closer to their family.The different communal activities have created bonds that are less expressed outside Ramadhan.

But the question is will they last? In Islam, the family is the bedrock of society and it is neccesary to preserve this institution. How else will continuity of the species be ensured?

It is for this reason that severing the ties of kinship is considered a great sin. Family is so important. In addition to providing support, it is also a loving environment wherein the individual can attain self actualization

We have been enjoined to honour our parents( Q17 :23). Children are to be loved and cared for. Wives are to be catered for and loved. Husbands are to be supported and respected.Other members of the extended family are to be valued. This includes in-laws too.

Regular visits among families encourages love to grow in them. If they are distant, however, regular calls and messages will be a good way to keep in touch.
Today the norm is abandoning of old parents in brazen gestures of ingratitude. Children are neglected and thus exposed to various danger many of which hinder their development.Extended family members are not even reckoned with.Inlaws? Don’t even think about it.

The Prophet used to visit Khadija’s relatives and continued even after her death He encouraged us to show mercy to the children and all his children loved him. Fatima would come to her father and he would honour her. She would tell him her troubles and he will say soothing word to make her feel better. Her children Hasan and Husayn will play with him. These are scenarios that should be commonplace in contemporary Muslim households.

Changing the world starts at the family level.

TheRamadhanBaby #26 DROP A HABIT

Ramadhan is bidding us farewell. We all had great plans and in shaa Allah we were able to achieve some of them. It is imperative that we take something away from this month.

Imagine a person who fasted for 30 days restraining himself against his desires and working to gain self discipline. Yet after the month passes by he goes back to his old ways. Has this person gained from Ramadhan in any way?

The whole purpose of rejuvenating the soul is lost if we can not observe positive changes after Eid.

The journey to becoming an ideal Muslim starts with small steps.

It could be laxity towards Salah, saying foul words, being rude, lying, being dirty and lazy. We all know the not-so-palatable aspects of our petsonality. Pick one of them today and promise yourself that you will not go back to it ever.

Drop a bad habit today.

TheRamadhanBaby #24 ANSWERS

1. Ramadhan 610AD; Cave Hira

2. 3rd

3. Khadija bint Khuwaylid

4. 2 AH Makkah

5. Abu Ayyub al Ansari

6. Q2:183 (this was in a previous post!)

7. Ninth

8. Sumayyah wife of Yasir, mother of Ammar

9. 97

10.Ar-Rayyan

Sister Farida from New York got the most correct answers.

Next is @willinglyreticent.wordpress.com

Prizes- eBook Muharammat,
-Iftar

Jazakumullah khayran for being part of the quiz and for supporting the blog.