Ramadan Mubarak!

[Notes from the Sunday Majlis that took place on August 31, 2008]

Alhamdulillah, we are all blessed once again to see the arrival of the great month of Ramadan. The next 29 or 30 days are very precious. One needs to try their best to make the most of this blessed month. To do that, here are fifteen points that one can keep in mind for this month…

1. Remove any and all distractions that distract one from worshipping Allah, so that one can worship Allah properly.

2. Learn the fiqh of fasting. One should know what does break and what doesn’t break ones’ fast etc.

3. Whatever bad habits that you have, get rid of them and do not develop new ones. In order to make this work one should inflict pain on their nafs. So for example, the nafs is greedy and it loves money. For every sin you commit, give a certain amount of money in sadaqah. Do not inflict physical pain on your body, but rather, inflict pain on your nafs.

4. Extra Salah – Pray however many nawafil (optional) prayers that you can pray. Before this make qada of all your previously missed prayers. Qada takes precedence over nafl prayers. Tahajjud also falls under the category of nafl. You can pray both the qada and tahajjud.

5. Minimum at least one Qu’ran should be recited in Ramadan.

6. Give a lot of Sadaqah. It can be any form of Sadaqah, not necessarily financial.

7. Try to earn the reward of more than one fast. The question may come to one’s mind as to how this can be done, simple… Become a means of someone else’s iftaar. This does not mean that one should have iftaar parties etc. Iftaar is to simply break ones’ fast. So, one can give dates to other fasting people around them, or a glass of water or milk, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as that is what the person breaks their fast with.

8. Du’a before iftaar. Take out time to make du’a before iftaar because this is one of the times when dua’s are accepted. Preferably one should seek Jannah and seek protection from Jahannum constantly. So the following du’a should be read in abundance: “Allahumma inni as’aluka al-jannata wa ‘aoozubika min an-nar”.

9. Complete twenty rak’ats of taraweeh should be prayed.

10. Have suhoor in the morning because it is a sunnah. Try not to skip it completely. The meal does not have to be lavish, a glass of milk and a couple dates would suffice. Just have something.

11. Make Miswaak

12. I’tikaaf – For men, the sunnah I’tikaaf of ten days is preferred, but if one is not able to do that for some reason then one can make the nafl I’tikaaf. Females can also make the nafl I’tikaaf. Try to spend some time in seclusion.

13. Serving others – Being in the khidmat of people will get one really far whether the act may be big or small.

14. Make a lot of du’a and a lot of Azkaar. For dua’s, the dua’s of the Prophet (S) are preferred, those dua’s that are mentioned in the Ahadith. Qur’an is the best form of zikr. When one makes tilawat of the Qur’an, Allah is speaking to that person. When one makes their own zikr, like tasbeehaat etc. one is speaking to Allah. Time should be made for both.

15. Try to develop the environment of Ramadan in one’s own homes.

Ramadan is the time when people can press the reset button. Rasulullah (S) cursed three types of people and from amongst those one of them is the following: “The person who finds Ramadan, but isn’t forgiven”.

Ramadan is the time for less words and more deeds”

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