TheRamadhanBaby 1437: FINALE

SOBER REFLECTIONS ON EID-EL-FITR 1437AH/2016

It was indeed an eventful Ramadhan with blessings on one hand and reminders of the finite nature of our stay on this earth on the other.

I am glad that just as the Ummah commenced the month of Siyaam together,it celebrated Eid together.

Some of my lessons for Eid are:
-Make children a big part of Ibaadat, carry them along with all acts of worship, each them good character, fight their cause, keep them wise but protect their innocence. Above all, let’s all be kind to them. They are the future.

-Treat women as equals in humanity

-Value the gift of family.

-Cherish all those who love you and forgive those you think do not.

-Patience, self-control, increased spirituality, keeping at set goals.

-Living Ramadhan all year round.

-Praying for peace on earth. Praying that evil perpetrators of violence in our Rabb’s name are exposed and overcome. It is hoped that they find forgiveness and the hatred in their heart give way to mercy and compassion.

I ask Allah to give succour to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in the terror attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Baghdad, Madinah etc
Same goes to those under ongoing crisis in Syria, Palestine, Myanmar, all those forced to flee and those who are trapped.

I ask Allah to grant the souls of the deceased Jannatul Firdaus and help us all to live in peaceful coexistence.

EID MUBARAK! Taqabalallah mina wa minkum!

TheRamadhanBaby 7: ZAKATUL FITR

While some plan a banquet for Eid, many families will have little with which to celebrate. As our Lord is the Just One, He has ordained Zakatul Fitr for social balance. To ensure that every family gets the feel of celebration.
I have wonderful memories of my family and I measuring rice with cupped hands (it has been a staple in Lagos, Nigeria for as long as I remember) to be given to the poor. As children, it gave us a sense of positively changing the society.
Below is an article that I found really educative.

8 Basic Errors Muslims make when Paying Zakat Al-Fitr
By Muhammad Alshareef

I feel compelled to put this together because I’ve seen the following errors being committed even since I was a young boy. In sha #Allah, you can help me spread the word by sharing this article with your community, friends and family. What is Zakat ul-Fitr? Think “Iftar”, Zakat Ul-Fitr is the charity that we pay at the end of Ramadan. Here is the foundational hadith that establishes the obligation of Zakatul-Fitr: Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young
and old among the Muslims; one Saa` (a measurement: four double handfuls) of dried dates or one Saa` of barley.
[Sahih Bukhari – Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, no. 579]

To understand Zakat ul-Fitr, here is a good summary of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat_al-fitr

But unfortunately, our community makes some basic errors in the paymentof Zakat Al-Fitr that must be clarified.

Error One: Paying at #Eid #Salah
Some people go to Eid prayers and drop money into the donation box thinking that they have paid their Zakat ul-Fitr. No, Zakat al-Fitr, which is food, must be in the hands of the needy family BEFORE Eid prayer.
If someone goes to Eid prayer and pays then it is GUARANTEED that the money will NOT arrive on time. And thus the person paying is sinful for having missed the payment of Zakat al-Fitr.
May Allah forgive us.

Error Two: Snail mailing the money overseas
Basic principle as before: the Zakat al-Fitr, food, MUST be in the hands of the needy BEFORE Eid prayer. One cannot mail the money overseas and have it arrive in the hands of the needy after Eid prayer is over. However, if one is able to get the Zakah al-Fitr to the needy overseas BEFORE Eid prayer is conducted in their locality, then in sha Allah it’s alright.

Error Three: Not paying
Yes, as simple as this error is, it is #HARAM to skip the payment ofZakat Al-Fitr. EVERYONE must pay Zakat Al-Fitr, every member of the household. So if you have 8 people in your house, Zakat Al-Fitr must be paid x 8, even if the youngest member is just a few days old.

Error Four: Confusing Zakat ul-Fitr with Zakat ul-Maal
We are talking about Zakat al-Fitr here (think “Iftar”, i.e. Ramadan). Zakat Al-Maal (Maal literally means wealth), is the Zakah due on ones money – and that could be due any time during the year depending on when
it was due.

Error Five: Giving money instead of food
Although some scholars have allowed giving money instead of food, the spirit of Zakat Al-Fitr is to give food to the needy of the community,NOT money. The Companion of the Prophet, Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree, radi Allahu ‘anhu,
said, “In the Prophet’s time, we used to give it (Zakatal-Fitr) as a sa`of food, dried dates, barley, raisins or dried cheese”.
[Bukhari – Arabic/English vol. 2, p. 340, no. 582]

Error Six: Giving one’s Zakah al-Fitr to a charitable building project
Some people mistakenly give their Zakah Al-Fitr to a charitable building project: like the building of a Masjid, or #Islamic school. There is adifference of opinion on this issue, but suffice it to say that the spirit of Zakah Al-Fitr is that the needy should have plentiful food on Eid. All eight types of recipients of #Zakah mentioned in the #Quran are HUMANS, not “building projects”.

Error Seven: Giving Zakat ul-Fitr to non-Muslims
Charity is given to both Non-Muslims and #Muslims. However, Zakah al-Fitr charity is something exclusive to the #MUSLIM poor and needy. Hence, one could not give Zakah Al-Fitr to any needy person on the street. “Regular” charity can be given to them, but not Zakah Al-Fitr.

Error Eight: Delaying distribution
Sometimes #Masjids might collect Zakah Al-Fitr #money and then put it in a bank. It doesn’t reach the needy for months and months. The correct method is to give Zakah Al-Fitr immediately when it is due.

These are my eight. You are welcome to share with others and tag
#friends,#family

TheRamadhanBaby 6: I’TIKAF MOMENTS

Secluding oneself in the masjid for the last ten days according to the Sunnah is at once a difficult but exhilarating experience. I especially love this time for a lot of its lessons.

-Longer Tarawih
-That sense of a Muslim Ummah
-Being considerate to the needs of others.
-Eating together.
-Caring for the sick.
-Ditching sleep.
-Combining the heightened level of Ibadah with work.
-Long break-back Tahajjud that have you thinking of the Sahaba’s who tied stones to their bellies for stability.
-Leadership and coordinating roles.
-Obeying authority.
-Generosity
-Tolerance.
-Endless Tilawah

10 nights that are my highlight of the year.

TheRamadhanBaby 5: CLEAN SLATE

Pick a bad habit or a recurrent sin and decide to drop it. Let it not continue till the next month. We may not be able to cleanse our souls in one sweep but we can work on one stain at a time.

Make sincere Tawbah (repentance) and while you struggle not to go back to the old ways, seek Allah’s help in keeping you on track.
Make lots of Istigfar and let your tongue be moist with Dhikr (remembrance). Our beloved Prophet who was forgiven all his sins sought forgiveness 100 times a day.

Give to the needy, strive to lead a better life and inculcate the spirit of humility as these aid acceptance of Tawbah.
If we hide our sins from others,what makes us feel comfortable committing it, knowing that Allah is the one who sees all things and is ever watchful over His servants. May Allah cleanse us of our sins as the white cloth is cleansed of stains Aamiin.

“Dust the cobwebs of your Qalb with the broom of Iman.” -Oumissa, 2011

TheRamadhanBaby 4: BONDING WITH AL-QUR’AN

By now many have achieved their recitation targets.
Indeed there lies a reward for every letter enunciated. How generous is the One we worship!
In addition to recitation, trying to understand the meaning and pondering over the Ayat will help to register the message inherent in this Glorious Book.
Reflect on life,death, the hereafter and how to make this world a better place. One is whose heart the Qur’an’s light shines will have a character so beautiful that it will put mongers of hate in whatever hue or creed to shame.

Memorization of Ayahs and then Surahs is another way to stay connected to your Lord. He sees every struggle and setback on the way and will make it easy for you.

But for those with busy schedules, even completing it once can be an ardous task especially when your superiors and co-workers do not understand what Ramadhan entails. It can be overwhelming and almost impossible some days but do not stop trying. Keep doing the best you can and say Sunnah supplications where and when you can’t have quiet time with the Mushaf .

Give your best at the daily Salawat, Tarawih, Tahajjud, Sadaqa. Basically any deed you can get!
I pray Allah makes it easy for all brothers and sisters working on the frontlines in all disciplines.

TheRamadhanBaby 3: KINDNESS

One of the best things about Ramadhan is the surplus of food. this is not exactly due to increase in supply or a verdant economy. Rather it is associated with an almost compulsive urge we all have to share everything and anything.
You find people willing to share an orange, a date, a slice of bread.

How amazing would life be if more of us continued this spirit afterwards. It is upon us to share Islam with the world through its virtues. One of which is kindness.

Our Prophet SAW was the kindest to his household, companions and strangers. This is part of his Sunnah we should embody.

Give to the needy, give to your friend
Give to the one who asks and the one who doesn’t.
Give to the old, give to children
Give to the man, give to the woman
Give food, money, advice, aid
Even if you are poor,
Give a kind word, give a smile.
Every little deed of kindness is Sadaqah
Give of yourself and do not turn those who have come to you for help without at least trying to alleviate their suffering.
Keep the giving cycle alive. For Allah has mercy on those who show mercy to others.

Those who inspire me include-
#RamadanTentProject , the various aid organizations in war torn countries, helping refugees and risking their own lives to help others, the MSF, Red Cross and Crescent, all aid workers and volunteers working with those fleeing or enduring war, disease, natural disasters, occupation and harsh regimes.

May you all find help when and where you need it.