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TheRamadhanBaby #29 – Keep its Essence

The blessed month bids us farewell.

We can only hope to see it again.

While taking stock of our souls,

Will we find them enriched 

Or hovering around previous levels?

Will we last the many months 

Before another opportunity comes?

We should all regret the leaving 

For more pearls we did not gather

It is a matter of ease

To gain rewards all year long

With the goodness of this month

A little drop a day

TheRamadhanBaby #28- Zakatul Fitr

Imagine going to Eid prayers knowing there is no food to celebrate with. Other families would cook and serve delicacies and you have to tell your family it’s another day of hunger. 

Allah asks Muslims to consider those who have less than they do. Not just to invite them to Eid feast but give them a chance to cook their own. Give them dignity.

It is not like regular Zakat that can be paid in different forms of  wealth including cash. 

This one is specifically food just as that of Eid-al Adha is specifically meat.

The Prophet legislated a Sa’a (four double handfuls) of date ,barley, wheat and dry yoghurt.

( Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

You can use the staple grains available in your part of the world if these foods are not found there.

Allah has made it a purification for the fasting Muslim and good for the poor. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud).

For in our faith, giving is not one-way. A thing for the haves to look down on the have-nots. It benefits both the giver and the given.

These raw foods are to be handed to the poor to do as they wish.To give them control and make it feel more than a just a ‘handout’. Avenues like this ensure wealth redistribution and by extension, social justice is achieved in Islam.

It is given for every member of the family iincluding newborns. In the Prophet’s time , it was given for servants and slaves. It is important that it be given before Eid.

In some countries, this program is highly organized where you drop money for one Sa’a or more and this is used to purchase foodstuff to be given to the poor. But in others, you might have to measure out the foodstuff and identify people to give.

Get your plans in place if you are able. Time is running out. If you are not able, don’t worry I hope someone gets it through to you. May Allah enrich you so you can be among the givers next year.

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#26- Justice

Too many wrong things happen.  Much of the ill-will that pervades our environment is as a result of grievances sprouting from injustice.

 Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better protector to both (than you). So follow not your lusts, lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witnesses or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is ever well acquainted with what you do.”

(Surah Nisa Q4: 135)

A peaceful world is not sustainable without fairness and justice. For our own good, we have to push for this.

Through charity, we try to correct society’s unfair distribution of wealth. Let this not stop in Ramadhan but be part of your daily Purpose.

If you have got real clout and power to change things, please do so.

If you can write or speak and move decision-makers , do so.

You can donate and fund positive impact.

You can sit, walk or run. You can fly.

Anything to improve the status quo.

If you are weak, at least reject it in your heart.

Just don’t sit on the fence, aloof, unconcerned.

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.

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