TheRamadhanBaby #21- Seclusion

Last ten days is when bags are packed for camping. This time however, it’s not for fun but for an even heightened level of devotion and worship. Trying to outdo your own best.

Below are tips for maximizing Ihtikaaf

  • Avoid spaces with talkative or argumentative people.
  • Always have your Quran handy so you recite by default.
  • Try not to get too comfortable so you dont sleep through the whole night and miss the Night!
  • Switch off your devices , but if you must use them, strictly limit the time spent to genuine Abd necessary.
  • Sleep more in the daytime.
  • Help with Iftar and Sahur.
  • Donate money for these and for cleaning the mosque and providing toiletries for others in the mosque. Do not tolerate filth.
  • Be sincere in your worship and make every night count.
  • Make a concise dua and Dhikr list and follow it.
  • Avoid practices not found in the sources of our Deen.
  • Don’t eat too much.
  • Avoid noise.
  • Improve conditions in the mosques – heating, fans, mosquito nets, water,drainage and  sewage systems, the kitchen and dining area… 
  • Better to start planning for next Ihtikaaf by helping put these things in place way ahead.
  • Enjoy the blessings of Laylat Al-Qadr.

TheRamadhanBaby #17: Tarawih

What has come to be known as an important hallmark of this month is the prayers said after Isha. Then , we see people staying back in Masjids after a long day of fast when all the body yearns for is rest. 

It is another opportunity to offer several extra units of prayer. Many Imams complete the Quran recitation during Tarawih through the month. In it is togetherness, seeking to be closer to Allah, and listening to the glorious recitation. Though it is mostly performed in congregation, it can also be done individually. (Al-Nawawi in Al Majmoo’ 4/31).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pray eleven rakat as narrated in the Hadith of Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman . (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1909, Sahih Muslim 738). 

Many of the pious predecessors  including the four Imams however prayed twenty units of prayer. (An-Nawawi in Al-Majmoo’ 4/31).

This  should not be a cause of division as both views are acceptable due to it being a voluntary prayer with the number of units not specified.

 It may be challenging for those who work full time in Ramadhan but it is worth it. Regarded as part of the enjoined voluntary (Sunnah) units of prayer to be offered at night, in it is great reward. Praying it involves upholding the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

To make the best of this prayer, try not to eat too much after Maghrib so you don’t feel too tired. Also, strive to listen to the recitiation and appreciate ita beauty and meaning. It is not uncommon to see many faithfuls crying during this prayer . Such is the moving effect it has on them.

For the remaining nights in this month, try not to miss any and make it better not because it is compulsory but because of the many benefits.

Reference : http://www.islamqa.info