Friday, 27 June 2014

The Blessed Month of Ramadan

With Ramadan stepping its feet through each and every one of our doorsteps, who better to devote my first post to? 

Alhamdulillah. We've made it to another year to witness this blessed month. Only Allah (swt) knows if we'll make it to the next..this could be our last Ramadan so let's make this the best one yet! 

But before I specifically talk about Ramadan, I just want to dedicate a short section to all those going through hardship. I've noticed over the last few days a lot of my close friends and family are facing certain difficulties in their lives and I just want to remind us all of the verse from the Quran 'God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship' (2:185). So next time we feel depressed and upset because things aren't going our way, just remember life is a test. Allah (swt) is on our side! He loves us 70 times more than a mother loves her own child. Nothing in this world happens except by the decree of Allah (swt). He alone knows what is good for us (perhaps something we dislike) and what is not good for us (perhaps something we like very much). If we have this belief then we can get through every single one of our trials and tribulations. After this belief, we need to learn to accept it and after acceptance we need to be content with whatever Allah (swt) has decreed for us. Can you imagine being content? We’d be the happiest people on this earth. SubhanaAllahLet’s strive for that contentment! We need to learn to be patient. Our purpose isn't to get a job, to have such and such amount of money, own a sparkling car or live in a huge house. Our purpose is to WORSHIP ALLAH (swt) alone and our destination is JANNAH. Nothing else in this world matters. He has given us countless blessings – many things as well as people whom we take for granted.

One of the gifts Allah (swt) has sent to us is Ramadan. In this blessed month the gates of Jannah are open and the gates of Jahannam are closed. That whisper aka Shaitan is chained. There is a night in this month that is better than 1000 months! The Prophet (sws) tells us to seek this night - so look for it, spend the last ten nights in extra worship.We need to seize this opportunity and do everything we can to get closer to Allah (swt). Let’s not be of those people Jibril (as) mentions to Muhammad (sws) O Muhammad! He who approaches the month of Ramadan, and died without being forgiven, so he entered Hellfire, so let Allah Almighty seclude him away.’  
(Jaabir Ibn Samurah reported by At-Tabaraani) This Ramadan let’s reap the rewards. Let none of us leave Ramadan without having all our previous sins forgiven in sha allah!

Allah (swt) has made it so easy for us to do this.

  • Just Fast out of sincerity of faith and hope in gaining the rewards. Do this and all your past sins are forgiven! SubhanaAllah
Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "He who observes the fast during Ramadan out of sincerity of faith and in hope of earning merit will have his past sins forgiven him" (Bukhari and Muslim).
  • Praying Taraweeh with the imam until he concludes his prayer, Allah (swt) rewards this as if we have been praying the whole night!
  • Offering the night prayer in Laylat ul Qadr  Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  • Charity! The prophet (sws) was not seen to be more generous than in the month of Ramadan. So let’s give! Even if we have very little to give, give whatever we can for the sake of Allah (swt). Help the needy, clothe the poor, feed the poor, give dawaah. Whatever we can - just do it with smile awaiting the rewards.
  • Recite the Quran- Try even completing the Quran. The Quran has approximately 600 pages. 30 days in Ramadan where each day consists of 5 prayers. Reading 4 pages before each prayer equals 20 pages a day. 20 times 30 is 600! With a bit of simple math achieve something amazing.
  •  Understand the Quran. Read with the translation next to you. There are so many different apps available so let's not find any excuse!
  • Reconnect with family members. Forgive, forget and move on. Let’s love those whom Allah (swt) ordered us not to severe ties with.
  • Repent  Ask Allah (swt) to forgive us for our sins. Allah (swt) responds to the call of thee caller! No matter how many sins we have committed. He WILL respond. Have firm belief that after seeking forgiveness that he has forgiven us and if we ask for anything He will provide – be it in this life of the hereafter.
Let's not forget to refrain from backbiting, lying, cheating, swearing and all other negativity. If someone insults, angers us or inflicts us with any harm whilst we are fasting, let us not retaliate in any way other than saying: 
اِنَّيْ صَائِمٌ ، اِنِّيْ صَائمٌ
Inni sa'iimu, inni sa'iimu
"I am fasting, I am fasting"
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath al-Bari of Al-Asqalani; 4:1-3, Muslim; 2:806
Don’t forget to make sincere dua for all those who are suffering around the world. In Sha Allah all our sins will be forgiven and may this Ramadan bring us all closer to Allah (swt). May He bring ease to those in hardship and may He grant us all Jannah. 

Lastly, I made a list of duas for myself and a lot of people wanted me to send it to them too so I thought I’d include a link and perhaps it may benefit you too.

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