Thinking about Ramadhaan…

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Merciful.

With the sighting of the new crescent, Ramadhaan is only a few weeks away. I remember the 100 day countdown on a few Facebook pages but it still felt like a distant event. It’s not too far off now so everyone’s talking about it, thinking about it and hopefully planning for it. Ramadhaan is a huge date stamp on the Muslim calendar and though we all complain that it arrives and departs very quickly, Ramadhaan memories usually last a long time.

Despite living by the gregorian calendar, there is something special about the month of Ramadhaan which makes it’s memories very vivid. Every year, the rituals and obligations remain the same but circumstances always change so your approach to Ramadhaan and the lessons learnt keep changing. Once we reach Sha’ban each year, the Islamic calendar becomes a major part of our lives and once Ramadhaan arrives, you couldn’t care less about what month of the year it is. It’s as if, the year pauses briefly to allow for this special month and then resumes when it ends.

Last Ramadhaan was a challenging time for me and my family. I had recently left work and moved back to Brisbane when my dad took ill and everything became slightly blurry for a few months. Ramadhaan arrived and unfortunately, due to the stress, pressure and unexpected commitments I had, I wasn’t able to maximise the Ramadhaan experience. I’ve found that emotional experiences during or around the month of Ramadhaan are not easy to forget.

Reflecting on these memories makes me extremely grateful for the events that have unfolded since then and I thank God for helping us get through it.

This year, InshaAllah (God willing) will be my first Ramadhaan since I left work last year without any unexpected or unplanned commitments. I am hoping to make the best of it and hopefully even make up for last year. When I was working in public practise, I remember fantasizing about what it would be like if I didn’t have to work during Ramadhaan… This time I get to test it out. I’m hoping that by remembering and reflecting on this, I can stay focused and maximise the Ramadhaan experience this year.

The Ramadhaan anticipation has struck earlier this year so I’d like to start planning earlier too. Hoping to write and reflect a little more InshaAllah.

 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

 

‘Allaahumma baarik lanaa fee Rajab wa Sha,baan wa ballignaa Ramadhaan.’

 

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).

 

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Intermittent Fasting…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

In 2012, Intermittent Fasting became mainstream and sparked substantial debate through-out the diet and fitness world. I first heard about it on Facebook and recall some chatter at the gym too but I didn’t give it too much thought. It sounded very boring and slow but I had heard only good things about it so when I decided to go on a shredding diet myself, Intermittent Fasting sounded like a good idea. To the Google…

What I found was more than a diet or fitness program… it was a new lifestyle. Something that promised a healthier diet, better nutrition, faster weight-loss, increased energy, decreased health risks and promote health & longevity. It sounded like another fad but before dismissing it I found a simple explanation about the foundation of Intermittent Fasting which turned my health and fitness goals into something much deeper… spiritual enlightenment.

You know that feeling when you attend an inspiring talk by an internationally renowned scholar who’s explanations and descriptions of religion, faith and spirituality make you tremble with inspiration… when you realise that you have something so amazing, so profound and you just needed someone to say it to you and remind you 1 more time… That’s how I felt, absolutely gob-smackingly enlightened.

In a new diet book titled, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting, Dr. Michael Mosley suggests that the best way to lose weight is to eat normally for 5 days a week, and fast for 2…

This is not new science, I’ve been hearing about this since I was a kid, I’ve done it myself in the past and I know so many people who’ve been doing it for years but I’m so glad I came across this, who would’ve thought that Googling a new diet program would lead me back to the Sunnah.

SubhanAllah is all I can say right now. Perhaps I will research more and look into the program further, there are a few different takes on it but as a Muslim, the principles are sound and if I’m going to implement a new diet regime, let it be from the Sunnah Insha Allah.

Anyone out there curious about Intermittent Fasting, remember… ‘A’isha (RA) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to take care to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Science is just a tool, revive a Sunnah for true enlightenment.

 

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Ramadhan Reflections: The first few days…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

With Eid celebrations well under way and the month of Shawwal now upon us, each day that passes by takes with it a small part of the legacy of Ramadhan. As time separates us from the Blessed month, we are presented with another opportunity to test our faith and enhance our spirituality. Many of us experienced a spiritual high during Ramadhan, no matter how much or how little we were able to achieve, we all experienced a sense of peace and spiritual enlightenment. No words can describe the feeling of satisfaction and contentment that Ramadhan brings with it.

During the past few weeks we were able to sacrifice food & drink all day, we controlled our desires and were still able to stand in prayer at night. We woke up earlier, slept later, at times didn’t sleep at all but we did it and I know most of us enjoyed it. It’s important to look back and reflect on what we were able to achieve during Ramadhan, if we could do it during Ramadhan, the only thing stopping us from continuing outside of Ramadhan is a lack of motivation.

Reflect on Ramadhan and realise your potential, the mercy and blessings that descended during this month may have boosted our faith but the real change came from within ourselves. We all made an effort, we all experienced the change and Insha Allah we will all be rewarded.

The month may have ended but our efforts and achievements shouldn’t end with it. Waking up for Fajr may not be as easy any more, and I’m speaking from experience here, it’s all good to do it for 30 days but the true test comes the day after Eid, when we’re all recovering from the celebrations and feasting. I believe it’s our actions during the first few days after Ramadhan that determine whether we are able to maintain our spirituality and carry on the legacy of Ramadhan throughout the year.

After a month of hard work and dedication, we need a little break to adjust our routine, perhaps make up for some lost sleep and enjoy the festivities of Eid. As we celebrate our achievements and return to our normal routine, remember the month of Ramadhan, remember what we achieved, remember the effort we made and remember the peace and contentment we experienced.

Our efforts shouldn’t end with the sighting (or calculation of the birth) of the new crescent. Maintaining our spirituality during the first few days after Ramadhan will allow us to benefit from Ramadhan throughout the year. May Allah accept our efforts, allow us to maintain our faith through the year and may we witness many more Blessed months Insha Allah.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Blessed Eid…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

As we reach the end of Ramadhan, I pray that our efforts and sacrifice is accepted. The month of Ramadhan inspires many each year, I sincerely hope we can all learn from our experiences over the last month and implement a change to our lifestyles throughout the year. Ramadhan may only last 30 days, but there’s no reason for our spirituality to end with the new crescent. Reflect on some of your achievements over the last few weeks, no doubt we may have made a few mistakes but Insha Allah our shortcomings will be overlooked. Don’t forget Ramadhan, don’t forget the mercy and blessings we all experienced and most of all, do not forget Allah. Let us all try to maintain the level of faith we attained in Ramadhan and may we all witness many more Blessed months Insha Allah.

Eid Mubarak!

Ramadhan Reminders: Day 30…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Oh Allah, on this day, make my fasts worthy of appreciation and acceptance, according to what pleases You, and pleases the Messenger, the branches being strengthened by the roots, for the sake of our leader, Muhammad (S.A.W), and his purified family. Praise be to ALLAH, the Lord of the worlds.

We are encouraged to make dua in abundance during the month of Ramadhan, these are recommended Dua’s. May Allah accept all our prayers Insha Allah.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Ramadhan Reminders: Day 29…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Oh Allah, on this day, cover me with Your mercy, grant me in it success and protection, purify my heart from the darkness of false accusations, O the Merciful to His believing servants.

We are encouraged to make dua in abundance during the month of Ramadhan, these are recommended Dua’s. May Allah accept all our prayers Insha Allah.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”

Ramadhan Reminders: Day 28…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Oh Allah, on this day, grant me a share in its nawafil (recommended prayers), honor me by attending to my problems, make closer the means to approach You, from all the means, O One who is not preoccupied by the requests of the beseechers.

We are encouraged to make dua in abundance during the month of Ramadhan, these are recommended Dua’s. May Allah accept all our prayers Insha Allah.

…and remember… “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.”