TheRamadhanBaby #27- Keep Those Pearls Sparkling

Due to a change in eating habits, some find teeth care confusing. Should I brush before Sahur or after?

Because many also are eating late into the night, time for brushing gets blurry.

Our Prophet disliked people who ate onions and leeks (and other strong-smelling foods) into the mosque so as not to make others uncomfortable. This symbolizes how important oral hygiene is.

He loved the miswak , derived from a root of the Arak tree, used as a toothbrush regularly.

Avoid too much sugars and add more fruits and veg to your diet. 

Try hard to brush more than twice. Just don’t swallow toothpaste! Couple this with regular flossing and a mouthwash (remember, alcohol-free)

Push yourself to see a dentist.

So our smiles can be bright and our breaths fresh.

“The smell of the mouth of a fasting person is dearer to Allah than the smell of musk.” Hadith

Let us stop using this as an excuse to treat our teeth bad.

Remember, cleanliness is a huge part of our faith and the mouth is not exempted from this.

TheRamadhanBaby #25- Remember Them

The world has always been a place where evil and violence exist but never before do events get witnessed by millions without being physically present. Thus it is difficult to ignore what is happening around the world.

Behind the statistics and headlines are people like you and me, most of whom just found themselves at the receiving end of evil.

Remember Nabra.

Remember the Grenfell Tower Fire victims.

The Portugal forest fire.

The China nursery attack.

The Bangladeshi landslide.

The refugees of generations, the ones at sea, the ones in camps.

The unjustly imprisoned.

The sick whether in hospital or on sick beds (or mats)

The orphans.

The victims of war and conflict.

Those affected by famine, drought, disasters(natural and man-made).

The citizens who under oppressive governments.

The women and girls trafficked as work or sex slaves.

The poor

The animals that suffer cruelty.

The nameless victims of all kinds of atrocities.

Remember all men, women and children who endure suffering and pain for no reason.

Think of them.

Be aware of going -ons around you.

Do what you can to help them.

Even if all you can do is pray.

For we are all siblings either of faith or humanity.

TheRamadhanBaby #24 – More than Not Eating

If  you fall into any of the categories exempted from fasting, it is very easy to fill disconnected. It is worse when the people around you are not understanding and they judge you for eating and drinking. Somehow, they make you feel less of a Muslim. But there are so many other  avenues to gaining reward. These would help you avoid wasting the whole month.

  • Focus on Allah as He is the One who truly understands.
  • Feed a fasting Muslim. It not only gives you immense reward but can be a Fidyah (if you absolutely can not fast)
  • Be patient especially if it is a pregnancy or a serious  medical condition. Remember that any difficult situation a believer experiences is a source of expiation of sin.
  • Make Dhikr your companion.There are too many easy words of remembrance that will increase your scale of good.
  • Join Iftar gatherings to feel that sense of community so rare outside this month.
  • Help prepare food for others.
  • Perform Tahajjud, make endless dua, seek the night of Al-Qadr, don’t miss Tarawih.
  • Sadaqah -Charity
  • Listen to sermons and learn from them. Make sure they are from sound scholars who use evidences from the Quran and Sunnah.
  • Have a healthy diet. It is not an excuse to engorge yourself.
  • Avoid anger, backbiting, foul and vulgar language.
  • Use the time till next Ramadhan to treat your condition and try to fast next time if it is safe to do so.

May Allah reward you as you strive to do your best at worship.

TheRamadhanBaby #23 -Be Gentle and Not Harsh

Getting through life today is tough with all the disturbances and frustrations. When it gets too much for us to handle though, some of us react by being harsh towards others. We lose our sense of gentleness.

However Allah wants us to take the nobler path, loves for us to be refined and not vulgar and would reward those who develop this trait.

“O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it.”

(Sahih Muslim 2593)

Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) even gives us another sweet reason to be gentle.

“You must be gentle. Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.”

(Ahmad 24417)

Even if we get the worst treatment, we must strive to be gentle. This is very difficult but achievable. Allah appreciates our effort. Here, He enjoins Prophet Musa ( upon him be peace) to be gentle in dealing with the greatest tyrant of the time! -Pharaoh even though he was not receptive of Musa’s divine message.

Speak to him mildly that perhaps he may remember or fear Allah.

(Surat Ta Ha 20:44)

With gentleness, we diffuse volatile situations and avoid escalation. With it, we can save a suicidal person. With it , we can change people’s views for good. It is not a sign of our stupidity but a nearness to our Lord and a way to earn His reward.

Being firm does not involve being harsh.

References: http://www.abuaminaelias.com

TheRamadhanBaby #22 – Keeping Good Company

As hmans we are very much moulded by the environment as we are by nature. You can’t really help the circumstances of your birth but you can do a lot to determine yhe life you want to live. Thus, having the right influences help to shape who you become.

The people around you which these days include your online network have much impact in our lives. We have moved on from only conversations we are participating in. Now with all the overwhelming numbers of platforms, pages and boards, we are absorbing information we don’t even ask for at breakneck speed.
It is important therefore to keep good company. It is joining the gatherings of the righteous this last remaining days of Ramadhan. It is continuing this practice everyday onwards. It is trying to avoid people who do not help you grow unless you are helping them. It is maintaining a limit though, and knowing when the association is of no benefit and must be given up.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) had excellent companions and their being together greatly contributed to the success of Islam in its early days.

“A person is on the way of life (deen) of his close friend, so let people look into whom they take as close friends.” 

(Sunan Abu Dawud)

“The example of a righteous and evil companion is like one who carries perfume and another who is a blacksmith.  As for the one who carries perfume, he will either give you some perfume, you might buy it, or [at least] you will find a pleasing scent with him.  As for the blacksmith, either he (the blacksmith) will burn his clothes, or you will find a hideous odour coming from him.”

 (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

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 #19 – The Night of Decree (Laylat Al-Qadr)


Surat Al-Qadr – Qur’an 97:1-5 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 1. Verily, We sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).*

 2. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is (Decree) is?

 3.  The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

 4. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees ,

 5. (All that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allah to his believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.**

 *”Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [The Qur’an, (Verse 44:4)] i.e the matters of deaths, births, provisions, calamities for the whole (coming) year as decreed by Allah.

**Narrated ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her): Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said. “Search for the Night of Qadr on the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhan.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 3, Hadith No.234)

P.S. When counting, nights actually come before days so we would witness the 20th night in a few hours (GMT+1). If this month ends at 29, this could well be one of the Last ten days. Time to rev up our Ibaadah. May Allah make us among those who witness this special night.

TheRamadhanBaby #18- Get Busy with Dhikr

The tongue , like many gifts we have been given can be utilized in different ways. It can  spring forth words of kindness or hate, truth or lies, eloquence or vulgarity, unity or discord.

But there is a great way to keep this piece of flesh busy and productive – with Dhikr
Constant remembrance of Allah brings calm, serenity and tranquility. By it, we make prudent use of that fleeting yet scarce resource -our ‘free’ time. 

We should therefore step up our frequency of uttering words and phrases of praise, glorification and acknowledgement of Allah’s greatness. Perhaps the commonest examples are:
Tasbih– SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah)

Tahmid– Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah)

Tahlil– La ilaha ila llah (There is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah)

Takbir– Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)

(*Did you know?-  Tahlil can be said without moving the lips making it easy to say even in times of weakness, fear and other difficult situations.)
There are numerous others to be found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
 “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”  (Q13:28)

“O you who believe! let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. (Q63:9)
Narrated  Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘The Prophet(peace be upon him  said, “The example of the one who remembers his Lord in comparison to the one who does not remember his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one. ” ‘

(Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 8 Hadith 416)

It is a means of earning forgiveness (imagine? without even asking for it!) as well as purification for our souls.It also increases us in piety and makes us even dearer to our Lord.
 These are more than enough reasons to inculcate Dhikr in every moment possible, everyday.

Reference: The Noble Quran: English Translation of the meanings and commentary – Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan. 

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 

TheRamadhanBaby #16- The Night Prayer

All through this month, we try to offer more Nawafil (voluntary prayers) at night. We do this with the firm belief and hope to draw closer to the Entity central to our being- Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Even if we only get to squeeze two units of  this prayer before Sahur  , we are very happy.. If we wake up late and can hardly get a bite before the Adhan is called, we feel dejected throughout the day.

Because we know that calling upon Our Creator in the last part of the night when sleep is dearest to our bodies is a sacrifice appreciated by Him, we are assured that our requests would be answered. In addition,it is a means to attaining a station of praise and glory. (Q17:79)

“They (the believers) forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope; and they spend (in charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.” (Q32:16)

It is a great thing to get up and seek Allah’s Bounty while others sleep or commit nefarious acts.

Every night in the last third, Our Lord, the Superior. the Blessed descends to the lowest heavens and says, 

“Is there anyone to invoke me so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask me  so that I may grant his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 7494)

How amazing is He?!

What happens outside Ramadhan? We abandon this opportunity. Many evidences state that the blessings inherent are available EVERY night.  Think of your greatest wish

Now imagine you could get it every night. Would you sleep at all for the entire night? Indeed what regular Tahajjud gives you is better. 

Take it upon yourself to say Tahajjud More, even if it is two Rakat for those little bit constant deeds are beloved to your Lord.