Tag Archives: Allah

My Pre Ramadan To-Do List

4 Jul

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As a means to help others out there who aren’t quite sure what they can do right before Ramadan begins, I’ve decided to share this list with you on things you can do just before Ramadan.

I know many people are too busy with work, school, children or other time consuming activities, so insha’Allah this list will help you prepare for Ramadan.

Before I begin, it’s important to highlight this following hadith:

Abu reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When half of Sha’ban remains, then do not fast.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Fasting this last week is not recommended. I had the intention of fasting a few weeks ago, but Alhamdulillah I found this hadith narrating the importance it is to not fast right before Ramadan.

Plan a food calendar.

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If this is your first Ramadan, or you are unsure of what to eat for suhoor and iftar, then plan ahead. Make sure to base your early breakfast – suhoor – around enough vitamins and nutrients to help you withstand the long hours of fasting throughout the day.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water. [Abu Dawud]

It was Sunnah (prophetic way) for the Prophet (saws) to break his fast with dates, and if they were not available then with water.

Watch Ramadan Prep series on QuranWeekly.com

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An easy way to help you learn before Ramadan, to prepare you and to spend some time remembering Allah ta’aala (dhikr) is by watching these informative videos. There is a new video up every night at 7:00 p.m. Costa Rican time if you are interested in watching them. You can look back to the previous 4 videos they have up to catch up, and they also have the videos from last year’s Ramadan Prep series if you’d like to learn from those as well. Insha’Allah we can learn how to prepare ourselves for Ramadan before it finally comes.

Learn a new Surah

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A great and simple way to improve yourself before Ramadan is by memorizing a part of the Qur’an.

Whether it be an ayat, or an entire Surah to recite in our Salat (prayers), it is very important to take advantage of this month and actually learn from the Qur’an.

How many people fast just with their bodies? The true fasting is that which is in the heart, abstaining from evil thoughts and devoting your time and effort to learning and acting upon the Qur’an.

This website will help you learn to memorize a Surah or Ayat of the Qur’an: www.MountHira.com

Hear a short Podcast from Bayyinah Institute.

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These small podcasts are free, and open to anyone in desire to improve their emaan.

I know that here in my country, the ummah is spread around the country in different parts. Therefore, I can’t indulge myself in the activities held in the masjid for distance and financial reasons, so what better way than to learn Qur’an through the Internet.

So far I’ve listened to the first 21 ayats of Surah Al Baqarah from two separate podcasts. They have helped me learn what these ayats truly hold, and the ustadh Nouman Ali Khan is a great teacher to obtain knowledge from.

Here is the link to the podcasts. Feel free to download or hear as many as you’d like. Just remember that it is better to hear a short 30 minutes per night than to try to hear 2 hours of tasfeer, which can be exhausting to the mind.

http://podcast.bayyinah.com/category/002-surah-al-baqarah/

Learn and practice du’aas

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Another simple way to prepare yourself for Ramadan is to practice easy du’aas before and after an action. Not only is this beneficial to you, but also you will learn to perform actions for the sake of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) and achieve humbleness and taqwaa (fear or piety to Allah).

You can find tons of duaa’s online and websites that can help you memorize duaa’s.

I recommend you write them down, and hang them around your room for you to memorize them. For example the du’aa said when you wake up and before you go to bed you can hang next to your bed so you can remember to recite it. Or even saving them on your phone is a good idea.

I will leave you with a du’aa to help you retain whatever you listen to or read.

According to Imam Ali ibn abi Talib to retain in memory whatever one listens or reads, recite the following dua’a after every obligatory salat.

In the name of Allah the most kind the most merciful.

Glory be to Him who does not treat the citizens of His kingdom unjustly.

Glory be to Him who does not let the torment and pain come suddenly upon mankind.

Glory be to the compassionate the merciful.

O Allah, fill my heart with true enlightenment, wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Surely you are able to do all things.

SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YA-TADEE AA’LAA AHLI MAMLAKATIHEE SUBH’AANA MAN LAA YAAKHUD’U AHLAL ARZ’I BILWAANIL A’D’AABI SUBH’AANAR RA-OOFIR RAH’EEMI ALLAAHUMMAJ-A’L LEE FEE QALBEE NOORAN WA BAS’ARAN WA FAHMAN WA I’LMAN INNAKA A’LAA KULLI SHAY-IN QADEER

Commit yourself to watching a Ramadan series video every day

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There are two Ramadan series I’ll be watching this Ramadan insha’Allah.

The first one is from Qur’an Weekly, called the Quranic Gems. You can watch the video on their website, and tune in every day to hear a specific part of the Juz for that day commented on. Here is the link to their website: http://www.quranweekly.com/quranic-gems-series-ramadan-special/

The second series I’ll be watching insha’Allah are live clases every day for the month of Ramadan. Here is the link, and you can enroll for free with your name and e-mail account. http://www.ramadanwithquran.com

Insha’Allah you can enroll as well. If you have any other series we can watch for Ramadan please link in the comment section for others to benefit from.

Make voluntary prayers

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We all know we are obliged to complete our fard prayers every day. Another simple yet rewarding way to improve your emaan is to also make Sunnah prayers when you perform your Salat. Not only will this help you strengthen your connection and taqwaa with Allah (swt), but when you are feeling down or spiritually low, you will sacrifice making your Sunnah or voluntary prayers, but not sacrifice your fard prayers.

When Ramadan comes, you will be performing your five salat, and on top of that making voluntary prayers as well. Thus, your emaan will grow insha’Allah.

Our prayer will be the first thing questioned upon on the day of Judgment. Allah (swt) says in the following hadith:

The Messenger (S.A.W.) told us in an authentic hadith , “The first thing the people will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment is prayer, Allah will say to His angels (even though he already knows) : “Look at my servants prayers. Were they complete or not?” If they were complete It will be written as complete. If they were not fully complete Allah will say: “See if my servant has voluntary prayers, If he has them Allah will say: Complete his obligatory prayers shortage with his voluntary prayers.” Then the rest of his deeds will be dealt with in the same manner.” {Reported by Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawood, An-Nisa’i, and Al-Hakim}

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Insha’Allah this list will help you improve your emaan and help yourself prepare for Ramadan.

Remember that fasting without true emaan and having true intentions, is not the same as if you just fasted with your body. Fasting is far more than abstaining from food and drink. It is also a means for you to come closer to Allah, to fast with the heart and for the intention to be only for the sake of Allah.

“and fast, it is better for you, if only you knew” [al-Baqarah, 2:184]

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Ramadan is just 1 week away! Why fast?

1 Jul

For the Body

(Part Two of Two)

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As-salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Just a little less than a month ago I wrote the first part of this mini-series, and I feel like it was just yesterday I was putting the post up. Time flies by so quickly, subhanallah.

Finding information about some of the health benefits for fasting was a a bit harder than I thought, since there is so much controversy out there in regards to fasting in general.Some non-Muslims believe fasting is bad for your body, and others consider it to be beneficial. So it took me a while to finally gather up authentic, valid websites and documents that could help us benefit from them.

In the end, Allah is Allah. He is the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of the Earth, of you and me and of every single thing we can see. So who are we to judge whether or not something Allah ta’aala, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful, has prescribed for us?

Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.

(2:185) Qur’an

Some articles get into heated debates about the negative side effects for the elder, for women that are breast feeding, and so on. Alhamdulillah! Allah has made fasting obligatory, except for those that cannot perform fasting, including the elder, the ill, women that are pregnant, breastfeeding and so on. If only we knew how easy Allah wants this Holy month to be for us, we would realize how Just Allah ta’aala is.

The importance here is how we can benefit from this month. I strongly believe the true benefits are for our soul. Health benefits are additional, and you shouldn’t fast for anything else that isn’t for the sake of Allah.

Muslims fast for the tawqaa (God-consciousness, piety, fear of Allah) we have towards our Creator. When you fast, you realize you have nothing without Allah. It’s also to help you remember the poor, those that are in difficult situations and that cannot have even a drop of water to drink throughout the day.

So let’s see some health benefits that come from fasting during Ramadan.

Leaving poor habits behind

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One of the preparations for Ramadan is to leave any bad habits behind. This can include anything from smoking, to watching too much television, to eating too much fast food.

How many times have we gorged ourselves with food out of anxiety, or have led ourselves to obesity or other health conditions because of our poor diet? When was the last time you committed yourself to actually stop smoking and spend that money on something beneficial for yourself?

The truth is that we as humans will fall into bad habits constantly. From stuffing ourselves with food, to not drinking enough water daily, to smoking, to any other bad habit that harms our body.

This also includes actions that don’t benefit us, besides dietary ones. For example, watching too much television, playing too many video games, being on the Internet for too long and other time consuming things that will limit us from performing beneficial actions. These can include reading and studying the Qur’an and Sunnah, watching videos that can help strengthen our emaan, spending time with our friends and family, and others.

Ramadan is a month of self-restraining and also of self-training our body and mind to control these needs inside us. As it says in the Qur’an:

O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.

(2:183) Qur’an

I strongly believe Ramadan is a month of benefit for our health, as it helps us cleanse our bodies and have awareness of what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty and not be able to have food or water for long periods. It’s not the same to feel empathy for someone that is going through hunger, then to actually go through hunger yourself and realize how important it is to help others.

Alhamdulillah that we have such a beautiful month to make us realize these things and learn to control our desires and needs.

Body Cleansing

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Ramadan has so many benefits, so this is why I decided to divide this article in two: one for the soul and one for the body. You can read my article For the Soul here.

Not only do we restrain from foul language, learn to help the needy and understand what our true intentions are as humans during Ramadan, but it is also a month where our body can take a break from all the bad things we’ve put it in.

If you’re someone that likes to eat tons of fast food, or fried foods, your digestive system will finally be able to cleanse itself.

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Anas b. Mâik narrates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before going to prayer. When fresh dates were unavailable, he would break his fast with dried dates. When dried dates were unavailable, he would take a few sips of water.

[Sunan Abî Dâwûd (2356)]

It is Sunnah (the prophetic way) to break your fast with dates or water if you can’t find dates. Also, for your suhoor or early morning breakfast just before praying fajr, it is recommended to have a balanced, healthy meal full of proteins and vitamins, to stay away from fried foods and salty food such as cheese as they will make you thirsty, to not drink tea as it will make you want to go to the bathroom too often, and to drink at least 2 cups of water or more so that your body remains hydrated during the day.

Ramadan should not be a month to make diets, or to lose weight as some people consider it to be. Also, it shouldn’t be a month where you sleep all day and wake up at night to break your fast. Not only is this incorrect since you should be spending as much time possible reading Qur’an and remembering why we fast, but it will also make you gain weight.

We must remember that fasting in the month of Ramadan is the month for Allah (subhana wa ta’aala).

Imam al-Sadiq (A) said:

“God-Almighty said: ‘ Fasting is for Me and I bestow its reward upon the fast observer.”‘

(Wasail al-Shi’a, vol. 7, p-290)

Let’s also remember that fasting is a benefit for us, and not a burden for our ummah. During the month of Ramadan, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed, as is mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (salalahu alayhi wa salaam).

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

“The Fasting is a shield for protection against Hell’s fire.”

(Wasail al-Shi’a, vol. 7, p-289)

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May Allah guide us in this Holy Month that is soon to come. May our hearts be full of emaan and tawqaa, and may we always worship Allah ta’aala in any circumstance we may be, as He is the all Hearer, the all Knower, and the only one that can hear and answer our prayers. Ameen.

And Allah truly knows best.

Chao

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The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The child of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the child of Adam are a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2380) and Musnad Ahmad (17186) and authenticated by al-Albânî in Sahîh al-Jâmi`]
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Sabr (The Virtues of Sabr) – Mufti Menk Lecture

23 Jun

As-salaam alaykum,

I leave you with a wonderful lecture from Mufti Menk, about being patient, practicing restraint, and so on.

“Seek assistance through sabr…”

And Allah knows best.

What to do before Ramadan? A small course to prepare you for Ramadan

19 Jun

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As-salaam alaykum,

As you might know, I’m a student of Islamic Online University (click the previous text to see their website). It’s a free university that offers a free diploma course for anyone, anywhere, and anytime you’d like. Also, once you finish your diploma course, you can choose whether or not you’d like to continue your studies to obtain a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies (you will have to pay a small fee though, depending on your country, but the highest registration fee is $90. That’s not a lot for a university, subhanallah) So if you’re looking to broaden your knowledge on Islam for the purpose of giving dawah, and internal wisdom, I highly recommend it. 

Alhamdulillah a sister recommended one of their courses for me a few days ago, which I hadn’t noticed before. You see I’m taking the courses as they go along on their study plan, since it’s easy and that way you can understand everything better. 

However, this course, which is in Part Two of the diploma degree is called Prophetic Reflections on Ramadaan, and Subhanallah that she mentioned it to me. That way, I can read up on Ramadan before and during Ramadaan, and really enjoy and learn during my fasting.

So as I am in no means selfish or egocentric alhamdulillah, I’d like to share this course with you guys. The courses are free, you can sign up to any of them whenever you want, and if you’re just interested in this specific course to read up before Ramadaan, then you can just take this one course. 

I’ve learned so much through this website, things that I would have never learned on my own. And since it is a university, it really helps you understand and actually learn the information, and not leave it there like you’d usually do with a book. 

So please, I encourage everyone to take this course before, during or even after Ramadaan if you’re reading this post just after the Holy month. Insha’Allah I can take it as well and we can all benefit from it. 

May Allah protect you, have you in the best of spiritual and mental health, and give you plenty of patience for this course if you’d like to pursue it. Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

Chao 

Link

A sister’s revert story

19 Jun

A sister’s revert story

As-salaam alaykum everyone, 

Check out this really inspiring revert story of a Costa Rican sister that lives in the US. It’s always heartwarming to read how other sisters have come to Islam and what their stories were like, as we are all different; but in the end, Allah (subhana wa t’aala) makes us Muslim because He loves us that much. Subhanallah 🙂

Insha’Allah this will benefit you.

Chao 

Video

The Truth About Jesus – Lecture by Abdul Rahman Green

13 Jun

As salaam alaykum,

I hope you are in the best of emaan, health and peace insha’Allah.
I just wanted to share this video with you concerning the message of Jesus and unfortunately what Christianity has done with it. However, this wonderful lecture talks about the true message of Jesus and this brother has a marvelous way of giving dawah that makes you want to finish the whole video mash’Allah, even if you are non-Muslim.
Insha’Allah you will enjoy it and learn some very basic yet misinterpreted conceptions about Jesus (radi allahu anhu).
Chao.

Ramadan is just a month away! Why fast?

9 Jun

For the Mind and Soul

(Part One of Two)971674_380318762074924_544895805_n

As-salaam alaykum everyone. As a recent convert (Allahu Akbar) I’ve been thinking about Ramadan these days more than ever; what will it be like? Will my body last an entire month of fasting? How can I make this experience even more profitable?

I’ve been looking around some website and books on Ramadan, including Hadiths and quotes from the Qur’an. The benefits of Ramadan are just so many Alhamdulillah! Although we may not see them.

So I’ve decided to write a quick post on some of the benefits of this sacred month, not just physically, but mentally the amount of blessings and good things come out of it insha’Allah.

There is a great reward for those who fast

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Abu Huraira, radhiya Allahu `anh reported:

The Prophet said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” [Bukhari]

Allah, the Most High, the Most Beneficent, will reward a person that fasts for His sake only. Think about it. It is indeed a sacrifice. I don’t think fasting is all that easy, given the many hours without food or water. Insha’Allah there will be reward in our fasting and Allah will accept it.

Our supplications are granted

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Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said: “There are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the fasting person when he breaks the fast, the just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed”. [Tirmithi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban]

Our dua’s are accepted when we indulge in this action intended only for the sake of Allah. We must remember constantly why we are fasting, for what purpose we are doing so and to always thank Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) for giving us the strength and patience to fast.

Just think for a minute how many people out there starve to death because they can’t eat even a loaf of bread or drink a drop of pure, clean water. Think how privileged you are as a Muslim to be able to fast! So many people don’t have food at their tables, and cannot have this “luxury” of fasting for the sake of Allah.

It is a means of forgiveness for us

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Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger said : “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

Subhanallah, how merciful our Rabb truly is. If you fast just 30 days of the 365 days of the year, with devotion, purity in your heart and sincerity, Allah will forgive any sins you have had in your past. Whether you are a new revert – like myself – or you have grandchildren and have retired, it is never too late to ask Allah for forgiveness and to repent to our Lord, to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. May Allah always guide us.

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So these were the brief benefits that we have when fasting during Ramadan. Imagine how wonderfully merciful and forgiving our Lord is that He has given us this “tool” or action to use for our own benefit, and of course always for the sake of Allah.

You won’t find these benefits in other religions. They have deviated from the straight path of monotheism – Judaism and Christianity – and now follow practices that were never accepted during the time of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). We as Muslims are benefited in so many ways and take them for granted, that we don’t even have time to sit down and think about this and thank Allah (swt) for all that He has given us.

Insha’Allah I’ll be writing about the physical benefits of fasting during the month of Ramadan in a new post. So keep tuned for a new article on how not only your mind, but your body can benefit from this sacred and blessed month of Ramadan.

Allahu Akbar. May Allah safeguard us from Shaytaan, may Allah reward us and may Allah protect us and guide us from any evil. Ameen Rabb.

And Allah, our Lord, most Beneficent and most Merciful, knows best.

Chao.