Let Ramadan Do Its Work

My daughter Salma sitting in our garage

My daughter Salma sitting in our somewhat cluttered garage.

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

•*• Ramadan Mubarak! •*• Alhamdulillah for the arrival of this sacred and special month! May Allah bless our brothers and sisters all over the world.

Going into Ramadan, many of us are experiencing hardships of some kind. Some of us are dealing with painful relationship problems, difficulties in our marriages, problems with in-laws, breakups, debt, loneliness, or are struggling with feelings of shame and guilt.

Let’s allow Ramadan to be a soothing balm for our souls. Let it purify us. Let Ramadan remind us of Allah’s immense and infinite favors. Let Ramadan do its inner work on us, and when it’s over let’s not go back to what we were.

If Ramadan allows us to climb ten steps higher on the ladder toward Jannah, then maybe after Ramadan we fall back two or three steps, but not all the way. Be better and stronger than we were. This holy month will teach us, if we let it.

New Habits, Insha’Allah

I told my daughter Salma a few days ago – she just turned six years old – that Ramadan is a time for giving up not only food and water, but also bad habits. I said, “Let’s make a deal. I will try not to lose my temper when you misbehave, and you will work on being less grouchy and more grateful for all your blessings.” To my pleasure, Salma smiled and said, “Okay, that’s  a deal.”

Of course I don’t want this to be a change in Ramadan only. I hope that Ramadan will set me on a new course, enabling me to be a better parent all year long, and will teach my daughter how to be more aware of the ne’mah (blessings and provisions)  in her life.

As for the fast itself, it is hard. Ramadan is in summertime, while much of the world is suffering from heat and drought. When we get to Maghreb, it’s a relief and a joy to break fast, especially with family and friends.

Even better than that is Allah’s reward, which comes when we need it most and least expect it, and is always greater than we can imagine, Insha’Allah.

As the Messenger of Allah (sws) said, “The fasting person experiences two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and one when he meets His Lord” (Muslim).

Give Sadaqah and Make Dua’

Lastly, let’s remember those who are suffering. Afghanistan and Yemen are in the midst of famine. The Horn of Africa is withering from drought. The people of Syria are struggling and dying as we speak. Give sadaqah if you can, through organizations such as Islamic Relief, Islamic Relief UK, and Life for Relief and Development.

And make dua’! Your dua’ matters. The Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said that there are three whose dua is never rejected by Allah: a fasting person at the time of breaking fast, the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.’ (Ahmad,Tirmidhi)

O Allah, for You do we fast, and for You do we break our fast. All praise is due to You, who fed us, and gave us to drink, and made us Muslims. Purify us during this month, relieve us from our burdens, and forgive us. – Ameen.

What to Say on Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power

Center of the Milky Way galaxy, as seen from Cherry Springs State Park

Center of the Milky Way galaxy, as seen from Cherry Springs State Park, one of the darkest places in the USA.

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

The last ten nights of Ramadan are here. This is an amazing, powerful, unique time. These days are the most spiritually charged days of the year, more full of power than a great star or the mighty ocean. And one of these days is Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, equal to a thousand months. Every prayer is magnified, every good deed is multiplied exponentially.

What to say during Laylat al-Qadr? It is recommended to supplicate a lot during this night.

It is reported from ‘Aisha (ra), that she said: “O Messenger of ALLAH! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?” The Prophet (PBUH) said.- “Say.-

(Allahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee.)

“O ALLAH You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.”

[reported by at-Tirmithi]

I also wish to remind everyone that all difficulties pass, all troubles pass. Hard times don’t last, but strong people do! Worry if you must, but do not fear. Allah is with you. He is The Forgiving, The Merciful, The Loving, and the Giver of Peace. Call upon Him, especially during this blessed time.

As one of my readers said, call upon Allah using His beautiful Names…

Ar-Rahman – All Compassionate
Ar-Raheem – Most Merciful
Al-Wadood – All Loving

You have no idea how much your worship at this special time is valued. More than any of us can count. SubhanAllah.

Ramadan is over, but we are still Muslims

Sunset over a lake in Canada

“Ramadan is over. Life goes on. But we are still Muslim, and Allah is still our Lord. We still call to Allah even though we’re not surrounded by hundreds every night who are doing the same. We still pray our salat because it’s required of us inside of Ramadan and outside of it. We hold on tight to this passion for seeking Allah’s great pleasure and we will fight for it if we feel it slipping.

We are not Ramadan Muslims, we are Real Muslims, and we act like it.”

– Shezena Mohammed, creator of the “Islamic Inspiration” Facebook page.

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Pieces of a Dream