Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It’s all about intention

Preparation for Ramadan doesn’t mean that we have to do so much that it will exhaust us. As a mother of three I am already a bit worried but trying to keep my hopes high insha-Allah as things are made easy by Allah swt in this holy month. All the Satan are chained so the problem of waswasa (temptation from Satan) from them is not an issue, Alhamdulillah. We just need to control our own nafs insha-Allah. Some of my friends have tried fasting this month and they found it quite difficult. Actually they breastfeed as well so I can understand it must have been hard given the fast is quite a long one during this time. It’s almost 18-19 hours long! My third one is only two months old and totally breastfed. I was thinking of fasting during this month but now knowing the experience of my friends I am not sure whether I should fast. I am hoping when Ramadan comes it will definitely get easier insha-Allah. Allah swt never wants us to go through hardship for no reason. Nursing mothers can avoid fasting if it becomes very difficult for them and their babies. They can do the missed fasts later. But Insha-Allah my intention is to try fasting in Ramadan and see how it goes. May Allah swt make it easy for me and all the mothers out there to fast and get as much reward as possible insha-Allah.

Sometimes as mothers we tend to feel guilty that we are so busy looking after our family that we cannot do much spiritually during Ramadan. Acts like reciting the Qur’an, praying extra (nafl) salah, joining the taraweeh at the mosque become almost impossible. But we need to remember Allah swt has given us a great job of being a mother. It is indeed a very difficult and challenging task but the rewards are also enormous. Just seeing our children growing up gives us a great sense of achievement Alhamdulillah. As Muslims we are hoping that all the struggle and sacrifice we are making will eventually pay us in akhira, insha-Allah. Hopefully raising our children as good Muslims ‘khalifa of Allah swt’ will insha-Allah help us to please Allah swt and reach to jannah , our final destination! As parents if we make the intention to do every single task to please Allah swt then we will definitely get the reward for it insha-Allah! This is also worship. We as mothers are doing khidma (service) to our partners and children. Through serving them we are ultimately serving our Lord! Just remember to make the intention in your heart that you are doing everything just for Him, Allah swt and no one else. Allah swt doesn’t accept any deed which is done to please others or to show off others. Our intention needs to be very pure and sincere to be accepted by our Rabb , Allah swt. Insha-Allah every mundane action in Ramadan can become a great way to please Allah swt just by having the right intention.
That’s why I am hoping to say Bismillah before every action to remind me my intention. Moreover, saying Bismillah can help us gaining Baraka (blessing) in every act. May Allah swt purify our intention and help us in having the right intention for everything we do, ameen!

There is a beautiful nasheed done by  Native Deen called 'Intentions'. This always reminds me about having the right niyyah, mashallah. May allah swt reward the brothers!
                                                                   Are my Intentions alright?

Am I doing for Allah?

When I'm looking deep, deep down inside

Do I have the right niyyah?

Waking up in the morning, gotta make my prayer

Am I really gonna' make it, when there is no one there?

Taking trips to the masjid (mosque), even when it's tough

Am I going for the sake of Allah? Am I showing off?

Gonna' get me the knowledge, gonna study Islam

Am I going just to build my ego? so they call me “the Man”?

Does it matter if the people respect me, when its not for Allah?

When I know anytime He can take me, without one real du'a (prayer)

Does it matter if they say I'm a big shot?

when I get no reward for my deeds

And I'm dragged on the Day of Resurrection

Cause of the folks that I wanted to please

Plus I know that Allah has the power

To raise me up in their eyes if it need be

I should always make my intentions, for my Lord, Allah completely

Are my Intentions alright?

Am I doing for Allah?

When I'm looking deep, deep down inside

Do I have the right niyyah?
Wearing thoubs with a kufi, kufi

Miswaks leather socks like the old days

Am I trying to follow the Prophet? or am I seeking praise?

Giving talks on Islam to people

I'd be quoting Hadith and Qur'an

Am I speaking so they like how I'm speaking? and they say I'm “the Bomb”

Donating to Islamic centers, giving money so the Deen can grow

Am I giving for the sake of Allah? or is it for show?

Many times I have found my intentions

Are not what I want them to be

I know I start on the right direction

But Shaitan starts talking to me

And I forget that without my niyyah, I'm just wasting my time

My intentions cannot bring the reward, when they're out of line

So I pray to Allah to help me, to do everything for Him only

Doesn't matter if the people despise me

Cause with Allah I can never be lonely

Yah Allah, accept this niyyah

Coming from young Muslims striving to be believers

So on the day, our deeds You'll measure. Know we only did this strictly for Your pleasure, Your pleasure

Your mercy, Your ajur (reward), Your Jannah (heaven), forever and ever and ever

And reward us for those who listen

Heeded to the message, changing their condition

And know that everything up until this point I've ever written

I submit as my repentance

And if its blessings You're sending my way

I beg You hold them to the judgement day

so maybe in Jannah you can look back and was a lovely day, a lovely, a lovely day, yes a lovely day

Are my intentions, alright, am I doing for Allah

When I am looking deep deep down inside, do I have the right niyyah (intention)?

Are my Intentions alright?

Am I doing for Allah?

When I'm looking deep, deep down inside

Do I have the right niyyah?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Modesty in Islam

Modesty is one of the most important characteristics of Islam. In fact modesty has been defined as a core quality of a Muslim. One aspect of modesty is hijab. Most of the time when we think or talk about hijab, it unconsciously or subconsciously makes us think about womens' external hijab i.e. the dress. But hijab is more than a piece of cloth and it doesn't just deal with Muslim women but also it must be followed by Muslim men. Mashallah I have really loved the short talk given by sister Muslema. I can't agree more with what she said. May Allah swt help us in gaining modesty in front Him, ameen.

Ramadan preparation

Bismillahir Rahmaneer Raheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu my dear sisters and brothers,

Insha-Allah very soon the great month of Ramadan is approaching us. How much we are preparing to welcome this sacred month? We are told by our beloved last prophet Muhammad saw to supplicate to our Creator on a regular basis throughout the two months Rajab and Sha’ban to say Allahumma baariklana fee sha’ban wa rajab wa ballighna Ramadan which means O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to reach Ramadan! The scholars have told us that if we really knew the blessings of Ramadan we wouldn’t waste a second of it! The companions of our beloved prophet Muhammad saw used to start preparing for Ramadan at least six months ahead of it. Unfortunately some of us have already missed that opportunity as we got only a month to prepare insha-Allah. Let us do our best to use the remaining days insha-Allah.

As a mother of three kids (under 3 and a half years) it is going to be a difficult project for me but insha-Allah I hope to do as much as possible. To get myself motivated and note down all the things I will be doing, I have started this blog post called 'Ramadan preparation'. Mashallah there are so many books, articles, podcast and what not on internet to prepare for Ramadan. Alhamdulillah lot of programmes on TV are based on Ramadan too. I hope to soak up as much info as possible and share it with you all. Do join me on my journey to get well-prepared for the great month insha-Allah. I hope to hear from you and your suggestions insha-Allah. May Allah swt grant us all a very special Ramadan full of blessings, ameen!

As part of this project, today I have listened to a beautiful talk by Imam Shuhaib on Ramadan and changing oneself. He talked about purification of soul, the tajkiyatun nafs and the importance of having a good character/ akhlaq i.e. good adab. We are living in an age where only few people are blessed with a good akhlaq. Just having knowledge is not enough. Allah swt says in the Qur’an, the successful one is the one who purifies his/her soul. Nothing will benefit us on the day of judgement except a pure soul. The month of Ramadan should be used as a tool to purify our soul. They shaykh suggests that we should plan a daily routine to read, recite and study the Quran, the sunnah and do zikr of Allah swt. There is an amazing book written/translated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf called ‘Purification of the heart’. I love reading this book. Insha-Allah I will share some thoughts from this book in my future posts.