As we reach the middle of Ramadan alhumdulilah, here is some food for thought:
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:
“When the race horse knows that it is nearing the end of the track it exerts all of its effort to win the race. Do not allow the race horse to be more clever than you. For verily, deeds are judged by their conclusions. So if you didn’t do well with welcoming Ramadan, then perhaps you will do better bidding it farewell.”
Ibn Taymiyyah said:
“The lesson lies in perfection of the conclusion of a thing, not in the shortcomings of the beginning of it”
Hasan Al-Basri said “Improve your performance in what is left (of time) and you will be forgiven for that which has already passed. So take special care of the time you have left because you do not know when your soul will be turned over to Allah’s Mercy.”
The Blessed month of Ramadan has almost approached us. Alhumdulilah we have been given another opportunity to witness this beautiful month again.
It is a time when the satans are chained. A time when the gates of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell-Fire are shut. It contains the night of Al Qadr which is better than a thousand months. Every night of Ramadan, Allah swt sets His servants free from Hell-Fire!
In past years as Ramadan concludes, how many times have we found ourselves thinking that we have not done enough? This Ramadan, let us try to prepare ourselves to seize the goodness of this month as much as we can. To organize ourselves, it will be helpful to create a “Ramadan Objective List”. Think about realistic goals you would like to achieve this month, write them down and post them somewhere you can see every day. Additionally, create a “Dua List” with a list of duas you would like to make and focus on.
Our state before Ramadan and after Ramadan should be different. This Ramadan should help us to transform. It should nurture our imaan so that we become better Muslims inshaAllah.
O Allah help us to come closer to you and set us free from the Fire. Ameen!
Narrated Abu Dhar: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that Allah said:
He who comes with a good deed, its reward will be ten like that or even more. And he who comes with vice, his reward will be only one like that, or I can forgive him. He who draws close to Me a hand’s span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length. And whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me.
(Reported by Muslim, Ibn Majah and Ahmad in his Musnad)
As members of this Muslim Ummah, we must strive harder to play a central role in building a solid Muslim identity in our children.
Some tips for parents:
It is important for parents to spend quality time with their children and show their love to them. Time and love will develop a deeply rooted relationship of mutual trust. It will pave a pathway for open communication, strong foundation for their emotional well-being and a beautiful shelter in their own homes.
In this context, parents must develop their children’s experiences in such a way that they always have positive associations with Islam. Such positive memories will help instil the love of our beautiful Deen in their hearts.
Negative associations on the other hand, typically linked to parental strictness, constant threats of Allah’s punishment and impossibly high standards, will forever link the Deen to feelings of pessimism, dread and helplessness. This coupled with the constant barrage of peer pressure faced in schools is causing many of our youth to leave the Deen.
May Allah make our children those who have piety and taqwa. May Allah make our children strong leaders for this Muslim Ummah who abide by the Quran and Sunnah. Ameen.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” Narrated by Muslim, 1162.
This is by the bounty that Allaah bestows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of great bounty.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ because of its great status.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to make sure he fasted any day and preferring it over another except this day, the day of ‘Ashoora’, and this month – meaning Ramadaan. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867.
With regard to the reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ and urged the people to do likewise is mentioned in the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He said, “We are closer to Moosa than you.” So he fasted on this day and told the people to fast.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora and told the people to fast, they said, “O Messenger of Allaah, this is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Next year, if Allaah wills, we will fast on the ninth day.” But by the time the following year came, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had passed away.
Narrated by Muslim, 1916.
Al-Shaafa’i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: It is mustahabb [recommended] to fast both the ninth and the tenth, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth.
Based on this, there are different ways of fasting ‘Ashoora’, the least of which is to fast the tenth only, but it is better to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better.
The month of Dhul- Hijjah is approaching us soon inshaAllah. In this month are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah also include the Day of Arafat, on which Allaah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of 2 years.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
It is also Sunnah to say Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”), Tahleel (“La ilaha ill-Allaah”) and Tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allaah”) during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allaah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allaah, may He be exalted. Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
It is important for us to use these ten days to come closer to Allah swt through our acts of worship and sincere repentance. We must use this time to correct our mistakes and improve ourselves as Muslims.
These special ten days will pass by us very quickly. It may be beneficial and more productive if we plan ahead. Download this printable “Dhul Hijjah Planner ” where you can write goals on how you would like to spend the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
May Allaah swt help and guide us all. May Allaah help us to benefit from these ten days.
Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”
(Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).
– Islam QA
There is an organ with which we have been gifted and we use it regularly to get through our daily lives. Despite our constant usage, we often underestimate the powerful impact it is capable of producing. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has instructed us to restrain it. For it carries so much more weight than we perceive.
That organ is our tongue. Small in size, yet it can determine one’s fate. How often do we utter phrases which hurt others? How often do we engage in backbiting thinking it’s just a few harmless sentences uttered in secrecy? Do we even realize the benefits reaped by reciting dhikr?
Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“A man speaks a word pleasing to Allah, not realizing that it is worth so many rewards, for which Allah records for him His Good Pleasure till the Day he meets Him, and a man speaks a word displeasing to Allah All-High, not realizing that it leads to so many sins for which Allah records for him His Displeasure till the Day he meets Him.” (At -Tirmidhi, rated it as authentic)
The tongue can drag a person deeper into the Fire as our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that:
“A man speaks a word without considering it of any importance, yet for it he will sink down into Hell further than the distance between the East and the West.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The above hadith stress the importance of taking heed to the words we utter. With the help of Allah, we can control our tongue and steer it towards the right direction through motivation, constant practice and dua. A simple 3 step process can get us started.
Firstly we must guard our tongue. This requires us to secure it from speech which displeases Allah. This is done by leaving the sinful habits linked to our tongue such as backbiting, lying, slandering, engaging in arguments, ridiculing, excessive and useless talk.
Once we have guarded our tongue from sins, we must engage in actions that please Allah swt using our tongue. For instance, by engaging in dhikr that carry heavy rewards.
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Who-ever says ‘Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi hi’, one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.” [ Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Other actions include expressing gratitude, reciting istighfar, praising others, speaking the truth and phrases that reflect good manners and character.
A phrase which I cannot stress enough – never underestimate the power of dua. Duas can change our lives. And unfortunately many of us find ourselves stumbling across the problem of not making enough dua. Along with our ongoing efforts, we must make dua! We must supplicate that Allah swt enables and makes it easy for us to utilize our tongue in a manner that pleases Him. Do not let the shaitan wither away your hope.
May Allah make it easy for you and I to purify our tongues so that we can worship Him better. Ameen.