Friday, 13 August 2010

Ramadan Kareem : 2010

Alhamdulillah the blessed month of Ramadan is here. We are so lucky to witness this month. All praise is due to Allah swt! Today is the 3rd day of Ramadan. I was a bit worried at the start thinking it is going to be very hard to fast for 17 hours! But mashallah it’s been alright up until now. Last month (Sha’ban) I did couple of  fasts which I believe helped me to get to Ramadan mode. The Sunnah of our beloved prophet saw was to fast in Sha’ban. Now I can see the wisdom behind it, alhamdulillah. As I have two young children, I follow a routine to do as much as possible. By 9:30/10 they go to sleep which makes it easier for me to concentrate on reciting the Quran with the meaning and the taraweeh prayer. I am finding it difficult to do twenty raka’at of taraweeh. The first day I was so tired that I don’t even remember what surahs I recited in my prayer. I felt sad thinking the quality of my prayers wasn’t really that good. So I have decided to do 8 raka’at of taraweeh. Now I have more energy and alhamdulillah trying to have more khushu (concentration) in my prayers. For me, it’s about quality not quantity. May Allah swt accept my efforts, ameen.

To get some energy, I am having atleast an hour nap after zuhr salah. I feel it is helping me to keep awake until midnight alhamdulillah. Apparently siesta is also a sunnah of our beloved prophet saw. One of my resolutions for Ramadan is to complete the recitation of the Qur’an insha-Allah. Alhamdulillah I have been reading one zuz every day. I hope insha-Allah I will be able to complete the recitation. I cannot attend the taraweeh prayer that’s why I feel I have to recite the Quran cover to cover at least once in this month insha-Allah. In terms of food, we have kept it very simple. We are not having any fried food. We break our fast with odd number of dates and water/milk then after Maghrib salah we eat a light dinner. I think it is helping us to concentrate more in our night prayers. I still remember how sick I used to feel after having all the samosas, pakoras, spring rolls etc. As we fast we think we will be very hungry and can eat a lot but honestly we don’t need to eat a lot to fill us up. Prophet Muhammad saw taught us to eat a few morsel. One of the medicines for a pure heart is to eat less. Eating less makes you sleep less as well which helps in getting some tahajjud prayers done mashallah!

Yesterday, I went to the sister’s halaqa at my local area. I am glad that the sister who runs the circle has decided to do the halaqas twice a week, alhamdulillah. She does the circle for free. May Allah swt reward her for her efforts, ameen. She was talking about the etiquette of reciting the Qur’an. We are not allowed to touch the Quran (mushaf) without wadu (Ablution). The mushaf is the Quran in Arabic which consist of all the surahs from Surah Al-Fatiha to Surah An-Nas. If the book has the translation and the tafseer , you don’t need wadu to touch it but out of respect it is preferable to have wadu. It is also very good practice to use miswak or brush your teeth before recitation. You can make intention of using a miswak while brushing with a toothbrush. The intention can also include following the Sunnah of our beloved prophet saw. She always reminds us that our mundane action can be turned into act of worship by having the right intention. When beginning to recite, we need to take refuge in Allah from the accursed Devil by saying Aaudhu billahi minasha shaitaneer rajeem and say the Basmala. We also need to wear clean clothes, sit straight not leaning, preferably facing the Ka’ba.

She also talked about reciting the Quran with proper tajweed. Knowing how to recite the Quran is a must for every one of us. It’s a fard al-‘ayn not fard al-kifaya. She told us if we cannot then at least we should learn to recite the surah Al-Fatihah with tajweed. It made me think whether we really have any valid excuse not to learn the tajweed! She also told us to read the translation if Arabic is not our native language as that will help us to increase our imaan (Allah consciousness) If the recitation of Quran doesn’t change our life then what is the point in reading the Quran? We need to remind ourselves that the Quran is not just a random book. It’s the Word of Allah swt. He swt wants us to read and reflect and follow the rulings in our daily life. Otherwise the Quran will be a witness against us on the day of judgement!

She also talked about trying to weep while reciting the Quran. If we cannot weep then we should pretend to weep as that will help to bring tears in our eyes. The companions used to cry so much reading the Quran. Some of them even had marks on their face reminding others how passionate they were about the Quran Subhanallah! Our eyes and hearts are so dry that the recitation of the Qur’an doesn’t make us cry! We should ask ourselves why we are so hard-hearted! This is the perfect month to approach our hearts and minds. May Allah swt make us better Muslims, ameen.

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