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Inspiration to keep Studying…

Some of the ‘Ulema of the past used to say that those who do not believe that the Talibul ‘Ilm, that the scholar is a warrior, is a Mujahid then he has no intellect. The scholar, the talibul ‘ilm, is defending the borders and the lines of Islam just like a Mujahid is fighting and defending Islam with his body and blood. He’s fighting it with his pen and lectures, his teachings and his classes. You know? That Mujahid wouldn’t be there unless he had a good teacher, right? So it’s tough to get up everyday and recite 10 pages of Quraan, and memorize, and review, and then study this. It’s tough! Those people don’t have the stomach to study or the discipline , or the humility to sit between somebody’s legs under their feet and study. They just want a fatwa. They, as the scholars say, want the taste of knowledge but they don’t want to eat the meal. They say the introduction is too long and the teacher is not getting to the point. But the introduction has its place. If they would stick to the first five lessons, they would get somewhere, you know?

- Ustadh

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You will Get all You Need…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين

quranlight

:قال شيخ الإسلام رحمه الله 
مارأيت شيئا يغذي العقل والروح ويحفظ الجسم ويضمن السعادة أكثر من إدامة النظر في
كتاب الله تعالى
 الفتاوي 493/7

~~~

Shaykhul Islam (R) has said:

“I have not seen anything that feeds the mind and soul, and protects the body, and ensures happiness more than consistently looking through the Book of Allah Ta’la.”

[Al Fatawaa, 7/493]

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2 Fantastic Last Minute Resources (mashaa’Allah)

Bismillah:

Asalamo’alaykum warahmatullah,

This is going to be a quick one.

For those of you not doing ‘Itikaaf and are still deciding to use computer in the last few days, here are two resources I really enjoyed and I believe they must be promoted.

1) ‘Itikaaf with Dr. Akram Nadwi - spectacular mental attitude and very refreshing as usual mashaa’Allah. Something you can use to refresh your mind as you take break between your other ‘Ibadaat. He’s covering the life stories of the Sahaba (RA) with commentary and beautiful gems. For me it was a lifeline subhanAllah. Click here to see the videos and also join in LIVE when it’s streamed.

2) Ramadan with Quran by Aarij Anwer – I only got the chance to listen to Juzz # 25 and mashaa’Allah amazing insights. I enjoyed it a lot and learned from it immensely. In fact, I finally used my knowledge of Genetics to think about ayaat which made me feel that my degree was useful. Regret not following the series earlier but I didn’t have opportunity any way. However, will be watching the videos after Ramadan too. Mashaa’Allah.

RECORDED: |Videos | Audio |

LIVE: |Youtube|

|Handouts|

  • I’d like to mention that I do not know about this brother except that he did a Bachelors degree at MEDIU. For me that is inspirational because it shows one can go far by studying online too inshaa’Allah. I have a long way to go (which has become much longer ever since I had a baby mashaa’Allah) but I hope to study at MEDIU soon inshaa’Allah. I’m sure him and many students of MEDIU have a solid Arabic/Quraan background but nevertheless this brother is a good example of how you can utilize whatever you have inshaa’Allah.

All the best for what’s left inshaa’Allah!

-UmmS.

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“My Dear Ramadan Stay-at-Home Mom, I Salute You!”

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

I know how much pain it causes you to stay behind at home, taking care of your children while everybody else is enjoying their ṣalāt and tarāwīḥ at the masjid. I know how embarrassing it is for you to come to the masjid with a great hope to be welcomed; you and your little child only to receive the angry looks upon hearing the first cry of your child. I know how much you yearn to go back to the old days before you got married or before you had children, to enjoy a peaceful hour of ‘ibādah at the masjid and to have no worries about anything else in the world, let alone a child under your care. I know that all of this is not even close to how you feel about yourself and Ramadan, or about your self-worth in this blessed month of Ramadan while trying to enjoy your ‘ibādah and fulfill your spousal and parental role all at the same time. For all of this and more, my dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom, I salute you, and may Allah reward you.

Let me share with you few things hopefully it will cheer you up during your stay at home experience in this month of Ramadan.

1.  You are not alone in this.

Even the female companions of Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) felt the same way. They were watching men going to the masjid, attending Jumu’ah and ṣalāt with the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), listening to the beautiful reminders about this world and the hereafter and doing so many other great deeds. As they were confined to their houses and to the care of their families, they felt underachieving and as if they were left out. How could they even match men in reward when they could not do so much? The answer came from the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself.

Asmā’ bint’l-Sakan al-Anṣāriyyah, on behalf of the women in Madīnah, came to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was surrounded by his companions and asked boldly:  “O Messenger of Allah! The men have taken all your time…” and she complained that men are entitled to the reward of the congregational prayers, Fridays, fighting with him and other works of good deeds while women were confined to their houses and taking care of their children. She asked if women share men in the reward for what they are doing. The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “Go back to the women who sent you and let them know that treating their husbands kindly and taking care of them is equivalent to that all you mentioned.” Reported by al-Bazzar and al-Ṭabarāni

This ḥadīth has always been used to highlight the status of husbands over their wives. Unfortunately, rarely was it used to the advantage of women. This ḥadīth gives women the privilege of earning the reward for participating in a myriad of devotional acts such as ṣalāt, fasting, Ḥajj among many other good deeds only by taking care of one single thing, the familial duty. Taking care of the house chores and being kind to the husband are not that easy either, but it’s what most women usually and normally do. They are kind by nature, and sacrifice their lives for their family. They are being rewarded immensely for what they naturally do. This is why spousal duty was made the most dangerous for women to neglect, because it was the most rewarding.

2.  Don’t be sad about praying at home

One of the biggest misconceptions about ṣalāt at the masjid is that it is considered a privilege and is only granted to men. Well, it’s not a privilege. It’s a responsibility that men are required to observe at all times unless there is an excuse for them not attend.

When a blind man, Ibn Umm Maktoom, asked the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to excuse him from attending congregational ṣalāt at the masjid, he had no one to lead him to the masjid. The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)asked him if he was able to hear the adhān, and upon replying in the affirmative, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to him, “I have no excuse for you.” Reported by Muslim and Aḥmad. And in the ḥadīth of Abu Hurayrah in Bukhāri and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) threatened to smoke men out of their houses for not attending ‘ishā’and fajr ṣalāt in the masjid.

Therefore, for men it is a duty to attend the masjid and not a privilege. Their reward starts higher at the masjid and is reduced elsewhere while for women it’s the opposite.

3.  You can still come to the masjid

As long as they maintain the proper dress code and etiquette for going to the masjid, women can still come and attend ṣalāt at the masjid. So don’t take me wrong when I say it’s better for them to pray at home, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has granted them this right in the ḥadīth:

“Do not ban the female slaves of Allah (i.e. women) from attending the houses of Allah (i.e. masjids).” reported by Bukhāri and Muslim.

However, women were given a privilege many men wish they had, which is to get the reward for praying at the masjid while still doing it at home. The Messenger of Allah said, “A woman’s ṣalāt at home is better for her than at the masjid.” Reported by Aḥmad, Abu Dāwūd and al-Tirmidhi.

The question is, why? Is it because women are unworthy of coming and attending ṣalāt in the house of Allah? Is it because they are inferior to men? The answer is absolutely no! It is simply a beautiful gesture from the Messenger of Allah in consideration to women’s hectic circumstances at home.

Imagine this: to get the 27 degrees reward for congregational prayer, a mother of three young children is required to attend the masjid regularly? How feasible could that be? Not that easy for sure. As a matter of fact, it would be frustrating and perhaps a reason for women to feel guilty and trapped in their own circumstances. Well, rest assured my dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom, your reward has been secured for you while doing what you usually do with no extra effort on your part. Men, on the other hand, are required to make the effort and the trip to the masjid to attend the congregational prayer. As for you, all you need to do is just make your wuḍū’ at home, and pray your ṣalāt on time and enjoy your stay at home.

4.  Why should women come to the masjid?

Why would women even want to attend the masjid? There are so many legitimate reasons for that, but enough for them is the right Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) granted them. However, here in the West, there aren’t that many outlets for women to learn their dīn and learn how to practice it in private or public life, and for many, the masjid is the only outlet there. In addition to that, the masjid has become a community center in which families get together and enjoy being in a safe haven. The question for Muslims in the West is not “should women come to the masjid?” but “how can we make the best accommodation for them?”

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

You might ask, “what if I want to come to the masjid to attend tarāwīḥ?” What’s wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with it unless it leads to neglecting more important duties and family priorities. This issue of women coming to the masjid for tarāwīḥ represents a very important community dilemma: are masjids well prepared to receive that many sisters and children?

Many masjids and Islamic centers in America were designed based on how masjids are built in traditional Muslim countries. In these countries, women were not expected to attend the masjid – not necessarily because they were discouraged from attending, although in some countries it is the case, but also because women had many other outlets besides the masjid from which they could learn the practice of their dīn and enjoy spiritual experience.  Therefore, the women’s section was always underserved and sometimes completely overlooked.

The Islamic centers in America and the West were designed and planned when the community was predominantly an immigrant community, and women were also expected to follow the same traditional role. In many cases, community leaders didn’t even think about it as an issue, but with the rise of the new generation and their struggle to fit youth programs within the structure of the masjid, women needed better service at these masjids. Many new masjids today are being designed and built with this need in the minds of the designers and, contrary to traditional masjids, are viewed as family-friendly masjids.

Masjids with traditional designs were not prepared to receive many women and children. They don’t have the space, the childcare service, and in many cases the proper women organization for these kinds of events, not to mention the parking spaces. Therefore, if some centers were hostile to women and children from a fiqh point of view, others simply just don’t have the proper facility to offer even a mediocre service let alone a professional one for them.

5.  Your period is for your recreation

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

Don’t you sometimes want to take a break from so many things in life, such as waking up early for fajr, so you can take that extra time you deserve for rest? Well, you work so hard and you deserve that break. When you are asked to stop fasting and praying during this time and required to stay at home instead of coming to the masjid, it does not mean you are less righteous. The ḥadīth women are “naqisatu ‘aqlin wa dīn” refers to women’s reason and practice of devotional acts as being less comparing to men (and this is not the place to debate the meaning of this ḥadīth). The ḥadīth speaks about “less” in what women do, not less in who they are or what they become during that time of the month.  It’s about quantity not quality.

When the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) explained his words, he counted what women usually stop doing during their period, not what they stop becoming, because they never stop becoming devotional or righteous because of what they have no control over (i.e. their period).

Obviously if you stop practicing particular devotional duties during your period for few days it does not make you less righteous, it only makes you less “doing.” After all, even women such as Khadījah, Fāṭimah and ‘Ā’ishah were menstruating women, and still they were by far of the most righteous, among women and men, of all time.

Therefore, when your period starts it is more righteous and more devotional to stop great devotional acts such as ṣalāt, fasting, reciting the Qur’an and attending the masjid. Sounds like a paradox, but it is what it is. It’s all about obeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His Messenger Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). However, you can still do lots of other good deeds, including reading tafsīr and the translation of the Qur’an.

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

If you decided to come to the masjid with your children, unless the masjid provides childcare service, please make sure your children stay under your supervision and make sure to respect your masjid‘s regulations. The ḥadīth that bans children from attending the masjid is very weak, but being considerate to others is still essential too. Here are few suggestions you may want to consider:

1.  Try to get a group of sisters together to take turns babysitting their children in the masjid.  A couple of sisters can stay with the children while  the others pray, and after two or four rakʿahs they switch until the end of the ṣalāt.

2.  If the masjid does not have enough room, you could babysit at the house of one the participating families. In this case, you stay at home one night while others pray and then rotate so that everybody gets a chance to host the children and enjoy praying.

3.  Young parents?!  The husband and wife can help each other in the same manner – it is part of being kind to one another. I have also seen some young fathers get together in one house and do their tarāwīḥ in jama’ah at home with their young babies around and their wives pray that night at the masjid. It’s your priority to pray at the masjid, but part of your good manners is to consider your wife’s need too.

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

If you decided to pray at home, here are few tips for you:

1.  Pray with your children if you can, and lead them even if they were boys younger than ten.

2.  Do not follow any live broadcast of ṣalātul tarāwīḥ of the Internet or TV.  Pray on your own.

3.  Even though it’s permissible to hold the muḥaf and recite from the Qur’an directly, it is still better for you to recite from memory.

4.  If you don’t know much of the Qur’an, you can still repeat the same sūrah over and over again until the recitation is long enough for you.

5.  It is permissible to dim the lights around the house in order to get more focus and concentration.

6.  Pray it in the best way you can, and may Allah reward you for your good intention.

 

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

Thank you for your patience.

Yaser Birjas
4th of Ramadan 1433
July 24, 2012

***
Source: MuslimMatters

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2014’s Online Ramadan Platter: Events, Programs, Daily Reminders & More!

Bismillah:

Asalamo’alaykum warahmatullah,

Inshaa’Allah Ramadan is just close to 4 hours away where I live!

Are you all ready for it?

Even if you’re not, there are many things available online which can help achieve excellence in our ‘ibadat this Ramadan inshaa’Allah.

I’ve compiled a small list of programs, events and resources which will make your Ramadan truly beneficial inshaa’Allah. If you cannot use most of them, please at least use one of them to maximize your time this month inshaa’Allah.

May you all have a beautiful Ramadan! Ameen.

Best wishes,

Umm S.

P.S. Please share it with your family and friends inshaa’Allah.

~~~

EVENT(S)

JUNE 29 – Fatwa Night: Fiqh of Fasting Live Ilminar with Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and Shaykh Ahsan Hanif

  • When: Sunday June 29th at 3PM NYC time/8PM London time
  • Where: http://www.almaghrib.org/live
  • NOTE: Have a question? Click here and post your question in the comments section, questions with the most ‘likes’ will get answered LIVE.

JULY 12-13 - Surah al Rahman Special Ramadan Seminar by Sh. & Dr. Akram Nadwi

  • When: Saturday 12th July 2014 – Sunday 13th July 2014 from  10AM– 7PM (BST – British Summer Time), more details here.

~~~

PROGRAMS

1. Ramadan Visionaire by Sh. Muhammad al Shareef

2. Bayyinah TV’s Ramadan Program (2013)

3. Al Huda Institute: |English|      |Urdu|

4. Productive Ramadan by Productive Muslim

5. Ramadan with Quran by M. Aarij Anwer

6. Journey through the Quran by IIDR

 ~~~

RAMADAN DAILY REMINDERS

1. Taraweeh Truffles by Sh. Muhammad al Shareef : |INTRO| and for more, stay tuned here.

2. Quran Weekly’s Quranic Gems by Ust. Nouman Ali Khan: |INTRO| and for more, stay tuned here.

3. RamadanTV

~~~

RAMADAN ARTICLES/GUIDE

1. Quran Project’s Ramadan Guide: included in it are daily checklists,recommendations, various duas from Quraan, duas for laylatul Qadr, duas seeking the Love of Allah swt, duas used in Qunoot Prayer

2. Ramadan Battle Plan

3. Sh. Akram Nadwi’s Articles:

Don’t Waste Ramadhan: http://bit.ly/DontWasteRamadhan_DrAkramNadwi

Purpose of Ramadhan: http://bit.ly/PurposeOfRamadhan_DrAkramNadwi

Charity in Islam: http://bit.ly/CharityInIslam_DrAkramNadwi

Unity and Solidarity: http://bit.ly/UnityAndSolidarity_DrAkramNadwi

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A 21st Century Role Model: Professor Hafiza Qaria Rubina

Popularizing recitation of Qur’an

JEDDAH: Professor Hafiza Qaria Rubina, winner of over 400 awards and the first woman to bag the prestigious President Award for Pride of Performance in Qirat, is single-minded in her purpose. That is to popularize recitation of the Holy Qur’an among women in Pakistan.

A professor at the Government Islamia College for Girls, Lahore, Rubina has acquired name and distinction through sheer confidence in herself and faith in her divine religion and is now trying to promote Qirat among girls.

The Qaria said though the trend of memorizing Qur’an by heart and Qirat among girls is increasing, the government apathy toward this stream is proving an obstacle. “There is no government patronage for this sphere of religious education, particularly for women,” she said, adding “Especially when girls enrolling at Qur’anic centers are outnumbering boys.”

Rubina, who was in the Kingdom recently, said, “Mastery over the sublime art of Qirat is an arduous task and requires sustained practice that’s backed by deep devotion. Like in other fields of human endeavor, the adage of ‘practice makes perfect’ holds quite true in this field too.”

Though this is quite a novel field for women in Pakistan, Rubina heads the Pakistan Islamic Center, Garhi Shahu, a seat of Qur’anic learning, where poor girls are imparted free education. She is now hoping that a philanthropist will step forward to assist her in the endeavor.

Her desire to promote Qirat gave birth to the Islamic Center in 1985. She derives strength from the sheer dedication of her devoted students. Her dream now is to expand her centers, which also imparts classes of Tajweed, Dars-e-Qur’an and Hadith, to every city of the country in order to provide a basic concept of Islam to young girls and to enlighten them about Islamic and social values to make them a good daughter, mother, sister and wives.

Rubina, who holds a master’s degree in Arabic language, memorized Qur’an when she was just nine-year-old. She is optimistic about fulfilling her dream, saying, “The day will come when I will be able to fulfill my dream.” She is assisted by her husband Khalid Mahmood Hashmi, who is also a professor, and her two daughters, both Hafizas in her endeavors.

Rubina began taking part in Qirat competition at very early age. She won the first prize in the Qirat competition organized by Pakistan Television in 1971. She represented Pakistan thrice at international Qirat contests in Kuala Lumpur. She has mastery over different accent of Qirat and enjoys a distinguished position amongst her contemporaries.

In recognition of her outstanding and distinguished performance in the field of Qura’nic study and the recitation of the Holy Book, the prestigious “President Award for Pride of Performance” was conferred on her by the nation’s president.

But women Qarias are not encouraged to participate in competition, especially at the national as well as international level. “And that’s why men (Qaris) have succeeded in establishing their monopoly in this. But let me tell you honestly that women Qarias were second to none in Qirat and they must be encouraged.”

While emphasizing that the Qur’an is the fountain of Islamic knowledge and wisdom, she stressed that The Book is also a remedy for all human ills and provides mental, physical and social well-being to its followers and readers. It is only people’s ignorance and superstition that makes them fall prey to black magicians and palmists, and she called upon the believers never to fall into the traps of these thugs and seek remedy in Qur’an for all their problems.

“All our sorrows are due to ignorance about the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah,” she said and stressed that understanding of the Qur’an is grossly missing in our society. She called for Qur’an study to be included in schools, colleges and universities, regular Dars-e-Qur’an in mosques and the establishment of Qur’anic centers at district level.

She was recently nominated a member to Punjab Qur’an Board and is the only woman member of a 26-member board, which was constituted in 2002 to sustain an error-free quality printing and publication of the Holy Book.

Rubina said, “Apart from ensuring quality printing and publication of the Holy Book, the board also strives to spread the true message of Qur’an, guides the government on Islamic matters, publishes books on various religious issues and topics. It is also trying to open Qur’anic museums at district level across Pakistan.”

Commenting on the atrocities being committed on women in different parts of the world, particularly in Pakistan in the name of Shariah, she regretted that the violence against women was on the rise and blamed the lack of proper religious education for this tragedy in the society.

“It is, however, satisfying to note that women are beginning to feel empowered — if not on the ground at least in their minds. Many of them have begun to fight back on individual basis. There are examples which are indicators of the gradual change taking place in the society with the spread of Qur’anic education.”

Rubina said women still have to go a long way though they have carved a niche for themselves in several spheres. She said that girls should be encouraged to go to school and the government must ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of gender.

She emphasized that the real empowerment of women can only be achieved through a societal change based on enlightenment and widespread education.

Source: Arab News

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Celebrate the Month of Quraan with this Book!| 40 Hadith on the Quraan| PDF|

Bismillah:
Asalamo’alaykum warahmatullah,

A beautiful book that makes me happy and inspires me to cherish the Quraan more:

40 Hadith on the Quraan by the Quran Project

 

40 hadith about the quran

Download here.

This is just in time to be able to celebrate the month of Quraan with more enthusiasm inshaa’Allah. I think it is a good book to share with family especially kids during Ramadan educating them about the magnificence of this glorious book. And Allah swt knows best.

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Ramadan Prep 2014 as a Struggling Muslimah

Bismillah:

Asalamo’alaykum warahmatullah,

Ramadan’s almosttt here inshaa’Allah and I can feel the excitement and the motivation to reach newer heights coming back within me mashaa’Allah. Ramadan is a time of setting new goals for me and basically re-evaluate where I’m at which unfortunately I haven’t been getting the chance to do for quite some while.

Everyone is going through some test or trial and I, myself, have been surrounded by so many for the past few months that it was difficult to make sense of anything at all. Sometimes we go through phases; while other times it is an ongoing struggle which you know that is to stay. However, the yaqeen in the heart has reached a level that nobody can shake. Without a shadow of doubt what we go through in terms of difficulties is for a beautiful reason our Rabb has hidden. We may not know now but beautiful surprises await for the believer who is patient. Both in this world and the next. Wa lilahil hamd! Trials sent our way are His Gentle ways of placing khayr our way.

My husband’s here for a quick visit and I am nearing the time when my 6-month old and I will have to part again from him. It is heart wrenching. It constricts my heart once again thinking about being apart yet again for God-knows until when and having to just wait not knowing whether there’s ever going to be an end to this YET, the strength that comes with knowing that Allah swt will not forsake me in my challenges uplifts me. For now, He swt is sending my way Ramadan to re-energize my weary soul. And I’ll take this gift gladly for I now know the worth of time and good health. Each, dwindling unless intelligently utilized, and each becoming more precarious with the passing tick tocks.

I had to give up a lot in the past few months and re-adjust my life around my little pumpkin. That part was obvious of course. It just that it took a lot of time to realize that I have to be patient with not being able to learn like I used to and to be patient with cumulative set-backs of motherhood and an aspiring learner of deen. What I just said is such an understatement for it is only when one goes through such trying times, one can appreciate the tricky nature of such times. Motherhood beautifies your life in an irreversible way. And so my goals and thus my Ramadan goals have to be very very realistic and basic so that I can keep up and achieve at least something. I have to accept a lot of my short comings which will inevitably come my way as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and …a struggling Muslim woman.

Sad as it is, I am no longer enrolled in any study program online and I have calmed down a bit as the whole learning process was turning me into someone which basically was defeating the whole purpose.It is not truly about achieving certain goals for what is more important is what you become as an outcome of those goals. This is especially important when it comes to learning the deen. Over ambitiousness was more detrimental to me being a Muslimah so I just couldn’t continue and with my plate more than full with an adorable little one, I needed to take a deep breath and step back. Alhamdolilah  without a rigid scheme of study tasks, I have more room for flexibility now which is a welcome-situation when it comes to a baby with erratic sleep/eating/mood patterns. Unfortunately, hardly any study programs online cater to mothers with babies. SubhanAllah that is such a discouragement but that is a different topic of discussion altogether.

Anyway, as is the tradition of my blog, every Ramadan I try to share Ramadan prep thoughts. I’d like to continue doing so and take as many people who want to join me on this journey with me inshaa’Allah. Perhaps 1 of the 100s of the readers today or in the next few years, feels inspired by my simple ideas. I believe in barakah.

As a mother of a young ‘un, I have decided to make two main goals for Ramadan and have a few thoughts which may not be very ambitious but are way better than just aiming nothing.

1) Maintain my otherwise non-existent relationship with the Quraan by increasing in recitation. Some people aim to finish it once and there are others who do it more than once. I will be relaxed and aim within my capabilities as you all should do.

2) Start the Bayyinah TV Ramadan 2013 program. I wanted to last year but since I was expecting, it was enough that I survived fasting and a bit of Quraan reading. However this time around I am determined inshaa’Allah and let’s see what khayr Allah swt has in store for me through this program. My heart has been set on working on getting familiar with Musabbihaat surahs and only Allah swt knows how much I love them so inshaa’Allah it will be exciting to follow this program inshaa’Allah. I’m pretty sure they’ll have a Ramadan 2014 program ready but I’d like to start with 2013 for now.

3) Have a set of videos or reading material ready so that I can go through them in my ‘down time’. Everyone has a time during the day when they are just exhausted or can’t do much due to one limitation or the other. For me it is when my son has successfully fallen asleep but I have to be holding him or next to him so that he goes into his sweet deep sleep so that as soon as I move away from him, he doesn’t suddenly wake up. In that time, I just have to sit there in my bedroom with curtains drawn and have painfully restricted movement. My son is a light sleeper and a slight sigh could wake him up and it does take a long time for him to reach a state of deep sleep. So usually this is the only time I have to sit down. Naturally I am exhausted and with the excellent conditions for me to doze off, it is very difficult for me to do anything productive besides checking email on my iPhone. I think that time could be better utilized if I had a video ready to watch as I’d prefer reading on my laptop and not iPhone. Point being that in Ramadan, I don’t want to waste time looking for a lecture in that specific scenario especially if your baby sleeps every 3 hours and you’re in such a situation most of your waking hours.

Likewise another thing to keep in mind is that, come mid-Ramadan: most people reach a dip, so in that situation it would be nice to have something handy to climb up again inshaa’Allah. It could be motivational lectures by your favourite speaker or could be about a topic (such as Seerah) that you enjoy listening to. The idea is to keep doing some act of ‘ibadah in that time whatever it may be. If you have a tablet, you can read a book. If you have nothing at all in hand (which is sometimes the case when I lose my iPhone as I tend to my baby’s needs) then do what you can inshaa’Allah.

***

So please start preparing a Ramadan plan for yourself! We plan places we’d go during vacations, plan weddings to the dot and so on yet we rarely plan our Ramadans well. The key is to have something in mind and as a result keep going and achieving something no matter how small it is. Doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You must never let it stall your daily progress even if it is 1%. Inshaa’Allah now is the time to direct your thoughts and may Allah swt be with all of you! Ameen.

A few quotes to inspire all of us inshaa’Allah (I’ll try to add more with time inshaa’Allah):

  • ‘The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.’ ~ John C. Maxwell
  • ‘Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.’ ~ Brian Tracy
  • ‘If you begin feeling beaten, you will achieve nothing. If you fight, you will perhaps have a chance of achieving something.’ ~Raymond Aubrac

***

I know tough times lie ahead of me but I am going to use it to propel even more fiercely towards Allah swt inshaa’Allah. You, too, can join me in my conviction.

Keep holding onto the ‘Urwatul Wuthqa…
With best wishes for your Ramadan,

-Umm Sulaym

 

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