Just Another Ramadan

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ramadan is back here. Has a year flown away so soon? We haven’t really retrieved from the excitement of last Eid and Ramadan has knocked our doors again. We have ensured we have done our best to welcome this month. Our Homes are shining; Our freezers are full of frozen snacks to fry; We have even purchased our Eid clothes. Insha Allah, our time will be well spent in Ibada. Our Dua(invocation) books are out and we are determined to spend most of our time with Quran; we will try our best to read Quran at least once. After all, this has been our standard procedure all our life. Great! We are at bliss. Are we? Now let us see our Ramadan routine in a new light.

ARE OUR HOMES WELCOMING?

Are our homes welcoming enough for the angels? Of course, the house has been dusted and arranged. Check again, is there anything in the house which would keep angels away? Why wouldn’t angels of mercy enter our home, when we have ensured that our home even smells great?!! WELL, ARE OUR WALLS FREE OF FAMILY PHOTOS?

angels do not enter a home with pictures

Is a photo in your living room meant to honor a predecessor? Or, do you proudly display the photo of your child receiving a trophy? Indeed, the elders need to be honored and the youngster’s achievement is worth being applauded. But, we don’t need a framed photo to prove our love for them. Our love for Allah is much stronger and with all the devils locked it should be much easier to obey Him. Let us remove the photos and ensure that our home is welcoming enough for the angels.

SERVE IT RIGHT

It’s the first day of Ramadan, and kids are already speaking of goodies they would get to eat in iftar. Most of us have loaded our freezer with partly cooked snacks. Moms are wondering whether to defrost kabab, samosas or spring rolls. We have taken all this pain to ensure that our family gets to eat tasty food while we don’t waste our valuable time in a kitchen. Well, have we also ensured that our deeds are being presented before Allah?! Are we in good terms with our extended family and friends? If you are in doubt, without delay connect to your loved ones. Please click here to read more about this.

Gates of paradise opened on Monday and Thursday
Hadith Wait until they reconcile

LET US MAKE THIS RAMADAN THE BEST RAMADAN!

We all love the month of Ramadan. We love the fasting, reciting Quran and standing in tarawih salah. How we wish that we can feel this closeness to Allah all our life. Yet, after Ramadan, we slowly slip back being our usual self. Months of Ramadan come and go, with hardly any impact on our life. Why aren’t we able to hold on to something from our experience in Ramadan? How did you feel, when you first fasted for an entire month? Alhamdulillah. How did you feel on completing the recitation of the Quran for the first time? Are there any more memories which would make a Ramadan stand out? 

fasting for a year

LIVING THROUGH THE MONTH OF RAMADAN IS A HUGE BLESSING. Every Ramadan in our life counts. Perhaps, it’s time we push ourselves to do a little more. Look at Ramadan as an opportunity to change our life for better. It’s time to elevate our Rank in heaven.

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BIDDING FAREWELL TO RAMADAN

Tackling nafs (our desires)

This Ramadan, I had a special challenge. It was helping my son who is nearly 7 years old fast! He attempted to fast on 21st of Ramadan. Keeping him distracted during hunger was my biggest task. Phew. I had decided if he wouldn’t get distracted, he could break his fast. He enjoyed listening to stories, painting and playing with his younger brother. Then he had a good nap. But last few minutes were the toughest part of the fast for him. Seeing the food arranged on the table, he didn’t want to wait for his meal. Thankfully, he understood he didn’t have to wait for long. He kept looking at his pancakes. You should have seen his smile on hearing the Azan.  Alhamdhulillah.  Do you think I should have just let him eat five minutes before Magrib athan? No way.

We grownups, unconsciously, behave just like kids. Well, even before Ramadan ends we start planning for Eid. Eid is the times for the family get together. So, we start worrying about home decorations and accessories for the clothes.  Don’t we have to look perfect on the day of celebration? Hence, we fix appointment at the parlor and pamper ourselves from head to toe. (Even if it includes acts of disobeying Allah!) Are these our main concerns these days? Are the last days of this month meant to be spent away from Quran in markets and spas? Having disciplined ourselves this month, is this how we would like to end this month?!

How will we spend our Eid?
self check:

By now, most of us could have completed the recitation of Quran. Some of us could have completed listening to brief explanation of Quran. Few others could have managed to memorize a chapter of considerable length from Quran. Alhamdhulillah.  Now that we have achieved our goal, we don’t know what we should do? Throughout this month we had raised early to pray. We had also kept away from our favorite TV channels. Now that we are ‘free’, we are tempted to know, what has happened in our favorite soap operas? We wonder, to which Eid Movie release we should book our ticket! Though shayateen are still locked we are incited by evil of our NAFS (desires within us). And, these last days is when we feel it most. At this rate, we are more likely to WELCOME SHAITAN BACK WITH A BANG ON THE DAY OF EID. Remember,

Fight temptations of nafs(soul/self) and continue ibadah(worship)
last actions!

How we bid Farewell to Ramadan could make difference between deeds being accepted or on not! How could we tackle our Nafs? What could we do now? Here are some of the tips:

RECHECK YOUR RAMADAN PLAN

The problem with us is, we had set our goals wrong. We could have completed reciting, pondering over tafser and/or memorizing a portion of Quran. But, don’t forget, why are we doing this? Our ultimate aim is – TO PLEASE ALLAH; TO ADOPT TAQWA; TO BE FORGIVEN.

Did we recite Quran just to boast that, “we completed reciting Quran so soon!” Hasn’t it touched us spiritually? After having toiled so hard to spend time with Quran, should we take a ‘U’ turn now?

We can start reciting Quran afresh. We don’t have to complete it in Ramadan. Enjoy the recitation and ponder upon the verses. Give special attention when verse addresses believers (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا). Ponder upon the beauty of the dua and the humble state of the prophet.

REMEMBER DEATH

Remember believing relatives and friends, who didn’t live to see this Ramadan. Can we be sure that we would live to see another Ramadan? If we still can’t overcome our temptations, how could we expect ourselves to utter “لا إله إلا الله ’ while facing whispers of Shaiteen at time of our death? Let us make most of this month while it lasts. Tonight, is 29thof Ramadan. That’s an odd night. May be, this is Lailatul Qadr. Probably this is the last night of this month. Don’t back up now, and give your best.  Make heart felt duas. Think of time of death and what follows it.

Study the state of soul after the death.
Seek refuge from being amidst wretched and hopeless.
And ask for every blessing that a believer’s soul is blessed with.

RECOLLECT YOUR PAST

Think about major incidents in your life.

Blessings: Praise and thank Allah for every blessing you could recollect. Pray for those who have been good to you.
Regrets: Ask forgiveness for every incident you errored. Pray that those whom we took for granted overlook our mistakes. Think of ways to win their heart and ask help from Him.
Afflictions: Request Allah to bless you with a heart which could forgive people who wronged you in ignorance. Don’t forget to say “إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ” when you remember a loss.

Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنها) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, "When a person suffers from a calamity and utters: إن لله وإنا إليه راجعون‏:‏ اللهم آجرني في مصيبتي، واخلف لي خيرا منها (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. O Allah! Compensate me in my affliction, recompense my loss and give me something better in exchange for it), then Allah surely compensates him with reward and better substitute."
Invocation at the time of distress/loss

REASSESS YOUR FUTURE

Unquestionably, what we would most miss about Ramadan is the closeness we feel to Allah. We should hold on to it. What deeds would you love to do even after Ramadan ends? Did helping needy please you? Our zakath is all paid but there are still many who need our help. There is no limit to Sadaqa. May be we can give a fixed amount every month in charity. We could recite small portion of quran every day. Is there anything you enjoyed doing in Ramadan? You can do it in rest of the year too!

With this renewed focus, we are most likely regret about the shortcomings in our fast. Yes, we could have done much more. Thankfully, Allah has blessed us with a solution – “ZAQATUL FITR”

Importance of Zakatul Fitr
Hadith about Zakatil Fitr

Ramadan would soon come to its end. But Our Allah’s mercy is still open; He loves to pardon. He would continue to descend to lowest heaven every night. Would we be there to answer His call?

Blue flowers
Seek Allah’s bounty with night prayers!

Are we indeed His blessed slaves (ABD- Allah)? Or, Are we just temporary slaves of Ramadan? Let us hold on to Taqwa by adopting few Ibada style changes. May Allah grant a good end to our affairs.

Aameen.

أَللّٰهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِىْ الْاُ مُوْرِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْىِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْاٰخِرَةِ
Good End!

Published in Muslimahbloggers.

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SERVING ‘AMAL’

Serving deeds. Good! go Ahead- Reconcile

Have you ever forgotten to serve the dish you cooked to your guests? Once, my host forgot to serve the soup they had cooked. They had used best ingredients and cooked it with lots of love. Yet, in the hustle, they had left the hot soup on a simmering pot! They remembered it only after we had eaten our dinner. No one wanted to taste the soup after a hefty dinner which included a rich dessert. We complimented the food and dinning arrangement. Yet, they were very disappointed for having not served the soup. The host kept repeating, “How could I have forgotten to serve the soup?” It was just one missed dish in a perfect dinner table! How will it be, that we learn in here after that our deeds won’t benefit us! How much would we regret?

Aren’t we excited to make the most of Ramadan? Have we done enough to meet Ramadan? Our houses are sparkling. Most of us would have stuffed our freezer and done Eid purchases to save time for Ibadah (Prayer). We have our zakath calculated. We also listened to motivating Islamic lectures. Oh! Our dua list is well preserved. Well, is this enough? Have you also sorted out children’s activities for Ramadan? Do you also have a Ramadan resolution? Barak Allahumma fih. :D. We might have missed a few things. Overall, we have PREPARED WELL. But, I am not speaking about this! Have you ensured that you would SERVE what you have PREPARED? Are we sure our good deeds would be presented before Allah? Are we too forgetting something important? What could keep our deeds left unchecked?

Gates of paradise opened on Monday and Thursday
Hadith -Wait until they reconcile

This hadith scares me. Is there any person whom you have been avoiding?  As per us, maybe such a person does not deserve our friendship/relationship. May be that person took us for granted. He or she could have abandoned us. So, why should we take the first step? I am afraid this hadith advices differently –

Continue reading SERVING ‘AMAL’