Ramadan Reflection – Br. Khalid Latif

Ramadan Reflection (Day 1):  What will make this fast different?

Source: HuffingtonPost

This Ramadan is unique in comparison to the Ramadans that came before it just as today is unique in comparison to each yesterday that we have lived and every tomorrow that we will see.

As in years past, Muslims all over the world, myself included, will abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual activity from sunrise until sunset for a month. The rituals and actions that render my fast to be valid will stay the same.

What will make this Ramadan different is my being different. While taking a moment to think about how much my life has changed this past year, I also should take a moment to think about how I have changed in the past year. Where has my growth been, where have I digressed, and how have I stayed the same?

Much of time we forget in our undertaking of journeys that how we reach our destination is just as important as the destination itself. In pursuit of our goals and objectives, worldly, material or otherwise, we often leave this behind. Our focus lies mostly on the external, and, as such, we prevent ourselves from seeing the remarkable people and places around us, because we fail to reach the potential within us.

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may attain consciousness

The potential of knowing myself more intimately is at its highest during Ramadan. What indicates that I have yielded the consciousness that fasting has the potential of nurturing is that I do something with the knowledge that I have acquired.

What good is knowing of my weaknesses if I don’t strive to challenge them? What good is knowing of my strengths if I don’t try to enhance them? Sustaining in action what I have learned of myself becomes one of the hardest challenges.

Even if I’m bringing nothing else from the last year of my life, what am I bringing from the last Ramadan of my life to this one? Whether you are fasting this year or not, be sure that as you move forward in your lives, to always take time to look back. Understand who you are by remembering where it is that you have come from, and allow for that remembrance and understanding to help define where it is that you will be.

I look forward to sharing once again reflections daily during this month of Ramadan. Although my days may be similar to those of a year ago, I pray that I have grown enough as a person that my thoughts and reflections on those days are different.

A quote that I shared last year that my wife had heard from a female Islamic scholar named Fariha Fatima is worth mentioning here again, mostly as a reminder to how those who are fasting can deepen the experience from the very first day:

There are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us. Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up. Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah’s majesty. Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower. Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone. Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies. Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us.Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions. Let us fast from desiring what we do not have. Let us fast from obsession. Let us fast from despair. Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart. Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior. Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important. Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view. Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah. Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah’s Prophets and friends, and our own true self. Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah.

Quran Tracker & Surah Ar-Rahman Memorization Printables

Assalamualaikum Wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Ramadan Mubarak!!!! 🙂 May Allah make this Ramadan a month for us to wipe out all our sins, putting in all the effort we can to multiply our reward and above all to get much much closer to Al-wadood! :’)

So here’s your Ramadan treat … free Ramadan printables –  A Quran tracker, for you to schedule the amount of quran you read per day to be able to complete it during this month, inshaAllah! 🙂

And a Surah Memorization tracker for Surah Ar-Rahman,that is a suggestive schedule to memorize this amazing surah during this blessed month, inshaAllah. 🙂

Feel free, download them, print and Continue reading

Ramadan activities for the little Ummah – Resources, Tips and more…

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

Ramadan is just a day or 2 ahead, with preparations in swing I am sure all of you are as excited as I am to make the best use of this month, inshaAllah! 🙂

While we have our preparations and goals set, those of us who have kids in the family let’s not forget to take out time to educate the little Ummah about what Ramadan is all about.

Image source: Google.com

A few activities for them can be:

  • Talk to them about Allah (swt), Jannah and everything that He has blessed us with.
  • Take out few mins in a day to read the Quran together with translation and discuss about it. “Teaching Kids the holy Quran” should be a great site to make them understand better, inshaAllah.
  • Educate them about why we fast. Sister Yasmin Mogahed adviced in a webinar to not reward the child with gifts such as money, toys etc since this makes them associate fasting just for temporary rewards and if you take the reward away from them they may lose interest. So, instead tell them about the rewards of fasting and how Allah loves them more and will bless them with better things in Jannah as a gift for fasting for His sake, inshaAllah.
  • Allot a certain time during the day or a day during the week to tell them stories of Prophets(peace be upon them all).  If you do not have any book from which you can read it out to them then read the story on net and narrate it to them in your own words.
  • Make a Ramadan fun pack –  this can contain coloring pages, books to read, and some Ramadan craft work materials and ideas. (Useful resources to get these linked below).

I was looking out for some fun things for Ramadan through which kids might learn something good about Ramadan and also be able to spend their time well rather than watching TV. I found some wonderful sites and suggestions for the same. Here’s a list of the sites: Continue reading

5 misconceptions regarding Ramadan

Since the month of Ramadan is just around the corner, at the time this article is written, and due to the fact that it is a month that reoccurs once every year, I thought it beneficial to make a short list of things people usually think about or do when it comes to this blessed month.
However, most people often do things wrong (no I am not talking about how you secretly used to eat and drink in the toilet when you were younger) but insha Allah this article will shed some light on a few very important issues.

#5 Ramadan is about FASTING not eating

Behold! The month of fasting in all its glory!
A revert would be forgiven for thinking that this month is all about food and not actually fasting, heck most people actually GAIN weight during Ramadan which is very odd to say the least, since it is a month of fasting and not a month of eating. But one only needs to look at every Muslim household the week before Ramadan starts and one will see mothers staking up on supplies as if they were preparing for Y2K all over again!

8 ways to make Ramadan a month of change in your life

Assalamaualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

With just a week for Ramadan, I hope all of you have your Ramadan goals set! 🙂 If not, you still have time, alhumdulillah, start brainstorming and decide what is it that you want to do this Ramadan, what do you want to achieve?! InshaAllah if time permits I will be posting Ramadan prepration articles and sources that can be used, until then you can also read the articles I shared last Ramadan – Ramadan 2011.

But to begin with here is an article I wrote for HabibiHalaqas.  Anything good from it is from Allah (swt) and any mistake is from my weakness or shaytaan. May Allah make this article be a source of inspiration to all of us.

8 ways to make Ramadan a month of change

Originally published at http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2012/07/8-ways-to-make-ramadan-month-of-change.html

Bismillah

I always believe change is good. It’s a part of our life. If everything in life was stagnant, life would cripple us. Thus, all that we feel or experience is a blessing in disguise from Allah subhaana wa ta’aala and so is change.

We all know the change that comes with the month of Ramadan. Our entire day-to-day routine is changed- While we were struggling to wake up for fajr throughout the year, we see ourselves up an hour before fajr during Ramadan. While we are disconnected from the Quran throughout the year, we try hard to complete the entire Quran during Ramadan be it by reading it on your own or in tarawaeeh prayers. But have you ever sat back and thought that why this change is only temporary in most our lives? We do see these changes as something positive, right? We all know how important it is for us to establish our Salah on time, how important it is to stay connected to Quran but yet we let these actions fade away so easily once Ramadan is over! Some of us even go a step further and give up our bad habits like listening to music this month, but just the day after Eid we are back to square one watching TV, listening to music and what not! Makes me question – Are we just Muslims during Ramadan? Surely not we might say, but our actions definitely depict that, astaghfirullah!

Did you know that it is a scientifically proven fact that Continue reading

Step Up to The Challenge

Assalamualaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatahu,

I came across this organisation called Al-Muhsinaat through their “Muslim Student Handbook” advertisement on net. These handbooks were distributed free to anyone who ordered them from anywhere in the world, subhanAllah.  This was done by gathering funds for the shipping charges, which I am incredibly grateful to all the muslim brothers and sisters who contributed for the same. May Allah bless them all and the organisation for their efforts.

Interacting during that time with this organisation was indeed a pleasure. Any enquiries were adhered to as early as possible and in the most polite manner. When I received the books the quality was absolutely great, mashaAllah and everyone my cousin and I gave the copies to loved it, not just for the quality but also the content of the book, alhumdulillah!

The same organisation has now started a new project called The New Life Project. Here are the details on the Ramadan Challenge that I received via mail for this project –

Can YOU Raise £700 this Ramadhan?

“We are helping to build their dunya,

But most certainly,

They are helping to build our Akhira”

AIM –> To raise £700 to help a family re-start their life in Somalia . Help restore some normality into their lives this Ramadhan.

Following the worst drought seen for sixty years, Ummah welfare Trust has set up a unique project to help thousands of families to re-start their lives insha’Allah. This project aims to provide the thousands of mothers, fathers and children of Somalia with a foundation on which they can have a fresh start insha’Allah. It is a project that will restore the light into their lives, bring comfort to the mothers who have endured so much and bring hope to the lives of the next generation.

What will YOUR £700 provide?

Your £700 will completely change the life of a family in Somalia . Not only will it provide them with a home that lasts a lifetime, it will equip them with the absolute essentials they need to re-start their lives once again insha’Allah. This £700 package will provide them with the nourishment they need for their Deen and Dunya!

 

www.justgiving.com/thenewlifeproject

The Prophet SalAllahu ‘alaihi wassalam said,

‘…Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala remains committed to help his servant as long as he stays committed to help his brother in need…’ (Muslim)

 

Out of an earth of billions, we are looking towards 70 generous individuals who can step up to the challenge. 70 amazing people who can insha’Allah try and raise £700 this Ramadhan to provide a new home for life for a family in Somalia !

Can YOU be one of these 70?

 

Invest in YOUR Akhira this Ramadhan insha’Allah! Help completely change the life of an entire family in Somalia during this blessed month. It will only serve to make your scales heavier on the day of Judgement insha’Allah.

There are so many ways to raise £700! With Allah’s Help anything is possible, so don’t feel daunted! Step up to the challenge insha’Allah and help in inspiring real change!

YOU can change this around completely insha’Allah. Why not take up this opportunity?

Their home lies in YOUR heart and all they ask is do YOU have space?

 

O Muslims, please step upon this journey with us insha’Allah. Please help make a change and pave the way for our brothers and sisters in Somalia . What they have endured is beyond belief and insha’Allah it is now our duty to help restore some comfort into their lives.

If you can step up to this challenge, please do email us at: mhislamiccourses@gmail.com

We shall email you an e-fundraising pack to try and assist you as best as we can to reach this £700 target insha’Allah.

Insha’Allah together let us see if we can meet this 70 home target by the end of Ramadhan.

May Allah Ta’ala Always Keep you happy, just as you will bring many, many smiles to our families in Somalia. Ameen.