Making Eid fun for our Children…

Eid Al-Fitr is our holiday. It is the day chosen by Allah for Muslims to be happy, have Halal fun, spend time with their families and celebrate in a halal way. It is one of two Eids with which Allah has blessed this ummah.

Anas bin Malik (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the days of ignorance. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah has given you something better than them, the day of (Eid) Adhaa and the day of (Eid) Fitr.’” (Sunan Abu Dawood)

The above Hadith makes it clear that these two Eids are part of our religion, and also that it is prohibited for us to celebrate the holidays of other religions.

In the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), a lot of fun activities were organized on Eid day for the youth, as can be seen in the following narration:

Aisha Bint Abi Bakr reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to my house when two girls were beside me singing songs of Bu’ath. The Prophet laid down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly, saying, “Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet?” The Prophet turned his face toward him and he said, “Leave them alone.” When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signalled to the girls and they left.

It was the day of celebration (Eid) and the Abyssinians were playing with shields and spears. Either I asked the Prophet or he asked me whether I would like to watch. I said yes. Then the Prophet made me stand behind him while my cheek was touching his cheek and the Prophet was saying, “Carry on, O tribe of Arfida.” I became tired and the Prophet asked me, “Are you satisfied?” I said yes, so I left. (Saheeh Bukhari 907)

This tradition of Halal fun on Eid day continues today in most Muslim countries around the world like UAE, Malaysia, and even Palestine. We too should strive to revive this atmosphere in our communities.

Today many young Muslims are growing up in Non-Muslim countries like South Africa, and they are attracted to the celebrations and fun events associated with Christmas and Easter. One way to keep them away from these events is to make Eid as fun as possible.

Here are a few tips on how we can make Eid fun for kids in South Africa:

  1. Build anticipation

In the days leading up to Eid, count down the days with your kids. Let them see how excited everybody is about Eid. Talk to them about all the fun things you will do on Eid day, and do what you can to get them really excited about Eid day.

  1. Buy Gifts

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the exchanging of gifts as a way of increasing love between people. This applies to our children as well. Make Eid special by buying for each of the children in your family a special gift on Eid day.

  1. Take off from work if possible

If you are able to take the day off from work for Eid day, then do so. Your family will appreciate the extra time you spend with them on this beautiful day and it create another reason for children to look forward to Eid day.

If you are an employer, give your Muslim staff the day off on Eid Day so that they too can enjoy Eid with their families.

  1. Attend Eid Salah as a family

It is Sunnah for entire families to attend the Eid Salah together. Take your children with you for the Eid Salah so that they can soak in the Eid Atmosphere and experience the specialness of this day.

  1. Visit Family

Take out time on Eid day to visit your relatives, and buy gifts for other children in the family as well, besides your own. Go out of your way to make Eid special for all Muslim children, not just your own.

  1. Plan fun activities

Take out time to plan some fun Halal activities for the children on this day. Whether it is someplace to visit, games to play, or nasheeds to sing. Be creative and find ways to make each Eid special and memorable.

  1. Quality Time – Be Present

Finally, make sure that you spend quality time with your children on Eid Day. Don’t just be there physically, but be actively involved in enjoying Eid with your children.

Doing all of this will help make Eid special for children, and build in them a love of Islam, Ramadan, and Eid.

Eid Mubarak to all our readers!


Originally written @ Islamic Self Help by Shaykh Ismail Kamdar

Advertisements

Ramadan Activity Journal

 

Today I like to share a very thoughtful activity Ramadan journal for kids. You can see other posts too regarding Ramadan activities and tips on our blog, but this one can cover ages 4-10. InshAllah it ‘ll give the opportunity to parents to learn and enjoy them as well.

 

You can download by clicking here on this journal Productive-Ramadan-for-kids.


Compiled by a sister who likes to remain anonymous. We are grateful for your efforts, may Allah SWT make it sadqa Jariya for you!

TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… 🙂 Alhamdulillah. The beautiful month of Ramadan has arrived. Alhamdulillah that Allah allowed us to reach this beloved month again this year…Ramadan, the blessed month in which Muslims all over the planet fast from sunrise to sunset. A month in which we all will abstain from drinking and eating, as well as many other temptations and desires all day long, all month long. For some parts of the world, this means 8-9 hours, in other parts 16 hours and for places like Iceland, an astounding 21 hours! Hard to imagine not eating and drinking for 21 hours, right? But this very virtuous act of worship is mandatory on all of us Muslims and we enter this month wholeheartedly with great enthusiasm. We fast for Him, and Him only. And while it can be difficult, fasting allows us to empty our stomachs, while we feed and nourish our souls.

Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.” – Rumi

Aside from being a special commandment from Allah, we can reap numerous spiritual benefits of fasting. Discipline, humility, appreciation, gratefulness, compassion to name a few. Most importantly, self-restraint.

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may observe self-restraint (al-Taqwa).”

[Quran Al-Baqarah:183]

And while it’s quite clear and obvious how beneficial fasting is for us spiritually, only recently has modern medicine caught up to realize how beneficial fasting is for us medically.

“Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.”– Philippus Paracelsus

There are some physicians who name fasting as being; “the medicine for the 21st century.” Dr. Otto Buchinger; Germany’s great fasting therapist after more than 100,000 fasting cures says: “Fasting is, without doubt, the most effective biological method of treatment.. it is the operation without surgery… it is a cure involving exudation, redirection, loosening up and purified relaxation. He goes on to say that: therapeutically; fasting cures many of our modern illnesses, including the following: allergies, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases of the digestive system, degenerative and painfully inflammatory illnesses of the joints, myriad disturbances in one’s eating behavior, glaucoma, initial malfunction of the kidneys, tension and migraine headaches, as well as skin diseases. Preventively, it’s designed to cleanse and to regenerate, rejuvenate and restore a person’s sense of well-being, in body, mind, and soul.

Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., Director of the California-based Orthomolecular Health Medicine Medical Society, notes on the significance of fasting as a detoxification program: “The hidden cause of many chronic pains, diseases, and illnesses may be invisible toxins, chemicals, heavy metals and parasites that invade our bodies…Chances are slim that your doctor will tell you that toxins may be the root cause of your health problems. He or she may not even know how these toxins are affecting your body. As your cells go, so goes your health. If your cells have been invaded by toxins and dangerous chemicals, your resistance to disease is diminished. Clean and nourish your cells, and you’re on the road to better health.”

Studies are ongoing and more and more evident with benefits of fasting is being established. Here I would like to point out some of these amazing benefits. But first, let’s start out by mentioning what exactly is happening when our bodies go into fasting mode.

What is going on inside?

Physiologically the body enters the fasting state 8 hours after the last meal has been fully digested and absorbed. In normal conditions, the body glucose that results from the digestion of the carbohydrates we eat is stored in mainly the liver and muscles. Glucose, (a.k.a blood sugar) is the body’s main source of energy. When we fast, that source of energy has been taken away, and so our body looks to the liver and muscles for its source of glucose for energy. While the body is converting this stored glucose ( a.k.a glycogen) to use for energy, the body’s metabolic rate (BMR) becomes more efficient to conserve energy. Blood pressure and heart rate decrease as well. When this stored glucose runs out, the body then starts using fats for energy. By using fats the muscle protein is preserved and protected from breaking down. In cases of a prolonged fast of many days or weeks, the body starts to break down and use protein for energy. This is when the body enters “starvation.” But because we break our fast every day and have the pre-dawn mean, we are very unlikely to reach a state of starvation in Ramadan.

So as you can see a lot is going on in the body as we deprive it of food. It’s actually quite amazing if you think about the system that Allah has placed inside of us. It automatically does what it needs to do without us even uttering a word to it. Ok, I’m going off on a tangent here. So now we know how the body reacts and compensates for the lack of food.

Now for the benefits:

1. First off we know that glucose (blood sugar along with Insulin levels) is reduced. If you think about it, fasting is then ideal for mild, moderate stable non-insulin dependent Diabetics (Type 2 Diabetes).

2. Studies have shown that when we fast our body releases a surge of Growth Hormone which then speeds up our metabolism and can burn off fat. Beneficial for both Diabetics and those with heart disease.

3. When the body starts to use fats for energy, this results in weight loss, another benefit for those suffering from being overweight or obesity. This too helps those with heart disease.

4. A lot of the processed food that we normally eat contain a lot of additives which transformed into toxins which are then stored in fat. As the body uses up fat, toxins too are dissolved and removed from the body, therefore leading to a cleansing or “detox” effect.

5. More studies and evidence show that fasting reduces inflammatory diseases and allergies. Illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, and even Ulcerative colitis.

6. Fasting can help overcome addictions and promotes a healthier diet. Helps you drop bad habits like smoking.

7. Research in neuroscience suggests that when fat is being used by the body for energy, it is converted to ketones bodies which are then used by the neurons (brain cells) for energy. Ketones promote positive changes in the structure of synapses important for learning, memory, and overall brain health.

8. According to Neuroscientist Mark Mattson when the brain is challenged by physical exertion, cognitive tasks, or caloric restriction, the body produces a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which not only strengthens neural connections and increases the production of new neurons but can also have an anti-depressive effect. His research suggests that fasting every can boost BDNF by anywhere from 50 to 400 percent.

9. The shock of fasting leads the brain to create new brain cells, neurons are forced to grow and the brain becomes more resistant to protein plaques that are seen in cases of Alzheimer’s, or the damage created by Parkinson’s.

10. Mattson also claims that cutting your energy intake by fasting several days a week might help your brain ward off neurodegenerative diseases. The shock of fasting leads the brain to create new brain cells, neurons are forced to grow and the brain becomes more resistant to protein plaques that are seen in cases of Alzheimer’s, or the damage created by Parkinson’s. While at the same time improving memory and mood.

11. Fasting reduces the amount of the hormone Cortisol (a.k.a. stress hormone), produced by the adrenal gland, which means that stress levels are greatly reduced both during and after Ramadan.

12. A team of cardiologists in the UAE found that people fasting in Ramadan show a positive effect on their lipid profile, which means there is a reduction of Cholesterol in the blood. Low cholesterol increases cardiovascular health, greatly reducing the risk of suffering from heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. If you follow a healthy diet after Ramadan, this newly lowered cholesterol level should be easy to maintain.

13. Fasting causes your metabolism to become more efficient, meaning the amount of nutrients you absorb from food improves. Various studies on a hormone called Adiponectin, (a.k.a. fat cell hormone) have been done on people who are fasting in Ramadan. Adiponectin secretion is increased during fasting state. It improves fat oxidation and improves glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity One study shows that the level of Adiponectin dropped in those who were fasting, which also correlates with drop in weight in those same people. Another study shows that Adiponectin levels were increased along with weight loss. Various factors might contribute to varying levels of Adiponectin in the studies, but the common findings seem to be; better glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity along with weight loss.

14. When you fast, just like when you sleep, the body is focused on the removal of toxins and the regeneration of damaged tissue.

15. One study found that fasting can actually cause a reduction in white blood cells. This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells. “During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

16. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.

17. Another study placed children who suffer from epileptic seizures on calorie restriction or were told to fast. The result was fewer epileptic seizures. It is believed that fasting helps start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function.

18. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells: A study from the scientific Journal of Aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors. The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer. As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps, which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction!

19. One researcher stated: Fasting marvelously decomposes and burns all the cells and tissue that are aged, damaged, diseased, weakened or dead, a process called in medicine autolyze or self-digest or detoxification. When by fasting you stop the input of nutrition for a while, then a flurry of cleansing starts up, the rugs are lifted and the dirty dishes are brought out of the cabinet where they were stashed.

There you have it! So many benefits and so many studies are still ongoing. The more we research the more we are realizing the amazing benefits fasting has on our bodies. Rightly so, this day in age, when so many foods we eat on a regular basis contain so many questionable ingredients including additives, preservatives, and pesticides. Fasting provides our systems with a much-needed rest and cleanse. If you think about it, we are constantly filling our bodies with food. As soon as we feel a little pang of hunger, we throw food down our stomachs to relieve that hunger. This leaves no time for our systems to focus on other important matters in the body. If we deprive our bodies of food for certain periods at a time, like we do in Ramadan or can do throughout the year, this will give our bodies a chance to go into “spring cleaning” mode, where it can now focus on removing toxins and damaged cells that have been hiding in our bodies.

Take home message here is that even though we know fasting is hard on us physically, it is quite amazing for our bodies medically. Fasting can come with headaches, fatigue and a growling stomach. But it also comes with a growing list of wonderful benefits. Benefits that we are only now discovering. So take fasting as a blessing from Allah (SWT), which truly, truly is!

*By the way, I didn’t even touch the studies and research that is being conducted regarding the 5/2 intermittent fasting method. This method means you eat regularly on 5 days and fast on 2 days out of the week. Sound familiar? This is almost exactly the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ from 1400 years ago and modern medicine is only now realizing that this method is quite beneficial for us. Maybe I’ll save this topic for another day 🙂


Sources:

1. NHS – Fasting and your health

2.StatPearls Knowledge Base – Fasting

3. Fasting – A Body/Mind/Spirit Healing

4. Ramadan Health guide

5. Are There Any Proven Benefits to Fasting?

6. The Scientific Benefits Of Fasting

7. The spiritual and health benefits of Ramadan fasting

8. 7 SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAMADAN

9. FASCINATING EVIDENCE SHOWS WHY WATER FASTING COULD BE ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST THINGS YOU CAN DO

10. SCIENTISTS EXPLAIN HOW FASTING FIGHTS CANCER, TRIGGERS STEM CELL REGENERATION & CHANGES YOUR BRAIN (IN A GOOD WAY)

11. Effects of Ramadan fasting on glucose homeostasis and adiponectin levels in healthy adult males

10 Tips to Child-Proof your Taraweeh this Ramadan

Ramadan is a time when family and friends gather at the masjid to feast on delicious meals and stand shoulder to shoulder in nighttime prayers filled with blessings and rewards.  It’s a pleasurable time at the masjid that both parents and children look forward to.  But suppose you are the mother of a rambunctious child, what might normally be an enjoyable time to connect with friends and get closer to Allah SWT can become an experience filled with frustration.  Here are 10 tips to encourage your child to stay on his best behavior in the masjid, so you can have a more pleasant and rewarding Taraweeh prayer during Ramadan insha’Allah.

Tip 1

Select a masjid that caters to children.  Many masjids offer childcare services for worshippers, making it easy for parents to enjoy meals and give their undivided attention during long standing periods of Taraweeh prayer.  Of course, not all masjids have this luxury.  Even so, some are certainly more kid-friendly than others.  Look for a masjid that you and your child both feel comfortable in.

Tip 2

Encourage your child to fast during Ramadan.  The pious predecessors of the Prophet SAWS encouraged their children to fast.  There are differences in opinion as to what age children should be encouraged to fast.  Nevertheless, you can still make gentle attempts at getting your child to give up eating by distracting him with toys, as did our pious predecessors.  You can even offer a special reward if he fasts all or most of the day. Use affectionate persuasion but don’t force fasting upon him.  How can fasting help control your child during visits to the masjid?  Think about it . . . how do you feel after fasting all day and then finally sitting down to savor a scrumptious meal?  Your blood sugar plummets and you’re ready to doze off to sleep.  Your children are no different.  Having your child fall asleep during Taraweeh prayer can be the relief you need to focus on your prayers and avoid having to correct him to be quiet or sit still.

Tip 3

Endear your child to stand for the Taraweeh prayer along with you.  It’s not uncommon for children as young as eight-years-old to stand for the entire Taraweeh prayer! However, don’t force it upon your child.  All children are different.  Offer him a special treat if he stands throughout much of the prayer with you.  You’ll find him trying his best to stay on his feet, fighting the urge to rock back and forth and nod off.

Tip 4

Talk to your child prior to leaving home.  Explain to him that you understand how difficult it can be sitting still for such a long period of time.  Explain specifically what type of behavior you expect from him, within reason.  Tell him that you want him to sit down while you’re praying.  Let him know if he wishes to talk, he should use a hushed tone.  If he sits quietly throughout most of the prayer, you’ll give him a gift from your “Ramadan Gift Bag” on the way home.  Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive.  It could even be a special dessert such as an ice cream cone or donut on the way home from the masjid, or even a special sweet treat you cook up at home.

Tip 5

Carry along a “Taraweeh Activity Bag” with an assortment of toys such as coloring books and crayons, pencil and paper, puzzles, sticker books, hand held toys  and whatever other entertaining toys (without images) you think will keep your child’s hands busy and mind occupied while you’re praying.  Why not visit the local dollar store and have your child pick out toys he might enjoy playing with.  After you get home, stuff everything into a back pack for your child to carry with him to the masjid.

Tip 6

Bring a bag of snacks. What better way to keep your child’s mouth closed and hands busy than with baggies filled with savory snacks.   Treats with mini pieces such as bags of nuts, popcorn or fruit snacks are ideal.  They make it practical for your child to share with his friends and they don’t leave crumbs behind.  Be sure to remind him to pick up any bags or wrappers he may have used.

Tip 7

Take an outside break.  Sometimes, being inside for an extensive period of time can be too much for your child. When your child gets cranky and disruptive to others, give him a break.  Allow him (and yourself) to take a breather outside and take in some fresh night air. After calming down your child and gathering your resolve, return inside and continue your prayer.

Tip 8

Remember that you are training your child.  Don’t expect a perfect soldier.  He will falter at times with your instructions. That can be expected.  Your child is not an adult.  And besides, even adults have limitations on their attention spans.  Your child is just that—a child.

Tip 9

Lower your expectations of attaining a perfect Taraweeh prayer.  Times are not the same as when you had no children.  Your child will inevitably take time away from your devotion.  And that’s okay.  You are now in charge of a child you have been given as a trust. Your responsibility is to teach him his purpose in life—to worship his Lord.  Through your patience, guidance and example, he will learn an important facet of Ramadan—standing earnestly at night and enduring the fortitude of praying to His Lord.

Tip 10

For some children, the structured environment of a masjid for such an extended period of time is just too demanding.  In such situations, it’s reassuring to know that for sisters, praying in the home gains more rewards than praying in the masjid–talk about convenience.  So, you can still receive bountiful rewards from your Lord right in your home while praying Taraweeh and at the same time, allow your child to experience the many blessing of this holy month of Ramadan.

What tips do you use to manage children during Taraweeh prayers? Please share with us in the comments section below. 🙂


Originally posted on IOU Blog by Grandma Jeddah

Ramadan Like Never Before – Have a Solid Plan

Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle


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

We are going to set five major goals for Ramadan.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Here are some examples for you to create your own Ramadan plan

Now, for example (you live in the West), you are at work and it is prayer time, where are you going to pray? Conference room, outside or can you go to the masjid? Make arrangements right now. 

You can also plan on which Surah you are going to recite in which prayer. 

Setting Our Ramadan Goals

GOAL NUMBER ONE – Fasting at the Best Level
Levels of Fasting 

LEVEL ONE (Ordinary level/Bare minimum) – Not drinking or eating and refraining from fulfilling sexual desires

LEVEL TWO (Special level/Better than previous level) – Controlling one’s gaze, tongue, hands, feet, hearing, and other parts of the body from committing sinful…

View original post 366 more words

RAMADAN REINFORCEMENT – THE BEST WAY TO START RAMADAN

A question I get asked frequently is, “What is the best way to start Ramadān?”

I thought about this for some time, and here is my answer:

“The best way to start Ramadān is the way you ended it last year.”

Meaning: you should start Ramadān with the same passion, focus and commitment that you completed the last ten days of last year’s Ramadān. (if you didn’t end it well last year, stay tuned for another short reminder soon: “How to fix a broken Ramadān?”)

Do These Seven and Go to Heaven, Inshallah!
I know it sounds easy. But give it a try! Try having the same passion you had last year in the following areas today and see where it takes you tomorrow:

1. When you stand to pray, muster the passion you had a year ago as Ramadān came to a close. The concentration and taste of it should be in your heart; your body should be calm and your soul submerged in the light of prayer. The Prophet (sa) said, “Whoever prays and his/her heart does not disturb him/her during prayer, his/her sins are forgiven.”

2. When you make dua, let it all out, give it to Allāh now, feeling impoverished to him like you did last year at the end of Ramadān. The Prophet (sa) said, “The supplications of a fasting person are accepted.”

3. Let the tears flow now. Dry lands can’t grow much, and neither can dry hearts. A teacher once told me,

“Tears come from fertile hearts like springs come from the fertile soil.”

Sit alone with Allah and cry to him, seek him, beg him and flee to him “You will find him forgiving, merciful.”

4. When you remember Allah, do so with the same focus you did last year. Know that

“Remember Me and I will remember you”  (Surah Al Baqarah 2:152)

is happening every time His blessed names flows from your heart and speech, and that wherever you remember Him (work, home, mosque, school, alone or in a group), He mentions you in front of the angels, says your name and they seek blessings and forgiveness:

“Forgive those who believe, follow your path and save them from Hell.” (Surah Ghafir 40:7)

5. Taste the sweetness of the hereafter, knowing the bitter taste of this life. Recall how your heart felt the last 10 days; there was nothing more valuable to you then drawing nearer to him and farther from excess here. Bring that passion now! Become a stranger in this life or a traveler because this is not your permanent abode!

In the Qur’an, Allah addresses Adam and his wife saying, “You two get out of here (Paradise).” In other places, He says, “You (all) get out of here.”

My teacher said, “You all is all of us, Adam and his progeny. We were evicted from our real home and soon, God willing we will return to it if we lived healthy lives for Allah. This world is not it. Paradise awaits.”

6. Guard your time now like you did last year. Ibn al-Qayyim said,

“I know people more cautious with their time than bankers are with money.”

7. Guard your tongue and your character now like you did the last ten days a year ago! Recall the statement of our Prophet (ﷺ) regarding a person who fails to look after the outer aspects of fasting,

“Allah will say, ‘I have no need that you left your food and drink.”

Gain Infinite Openings:

If you start this now, this struggle, God promises you openings and growth. He says,

“Those who struggle in our way, we will guide them to infinite ways.”

High-Intensity Taqqrub (Seeking Nearness):

What you are doing when you take on Ramadān like this is intense taqarrub (seeking nearness to Allah, distance from sins and Satan). The Prophet (ﷺ) said that Allah (swt) said, “A person does not come to me a hand’s length, except I come to him/her an arm’s length. If he/she comes to me walking, I run to him/her.”

If you take this bull by the horns and start this month off, with the same passion from a year ago, you are the person mentioned in the hadith above, inshallah.

Illuminated Endings are Rooted in Illuminated Beginnings:

Remember! How you start now, tells a lot about last year and this year. Push yourself, asking God to dilate your heart and soul, filling it with guidance and light.

Sheikh al-Islām, Ahmed Zarūq (ra) said,
“Who’s beginning was with Allah, then his ending is to Allah.”


Written by Imam Suhaib Web

WHAT’S NEXT AFTER RAMADAN……

Ramadan is over and our old routine is back. Our feelings are still intact, the purpose for which we fasted last month is not over and that was GUIDANCE. The ayah that we all heard and read a lot of time,

ۚشَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.

رمضان کا مہینہ جس میں قرآن (اول اول) نازل ہوا جو لوگوں کا رہنما ہے اور (جس میں) ہدایت کی کھلی نشانیاں ہیں اور (جو حق و باطل کو) الگ الگ کرنے والا ہے

(Surah Al-Baqarah : 185)

Ramadan is the month in which Quran was revealed and Quran is the source of guidance. Alhamdulillah many of us, tried our best to recite, reflect, implement as much possibly during that blessed month. But do you think responsibility is over? Race towards the good deeds is ended? Is our duty to be a thankful servant to Lord no more required? Of course, the answer is NO.

Ramadan was a Trial Period, we were struggling to train ourselves for Future, the year to come. Just like our life in Dunya is short, temporary and limited. Whatever struggle we all could do in Ramadan as per our strength, less or more, we did. Now it’s time to continue those efforts with respect to controlling our desires, earning more rewards with small to big good actions, implementing Sunnah and rectifying ourselves in the light of Quran, loving and helping Allah’s creation with similar passion etc.

Therefore, Ramadan is not a season, it always comes as an opportunity to gain Taqwa and boost our Emaan. If you have achieved 50% what you planned for Ramadan, alhamdulillah, let’s focus on other 50% by sustaining what already is accomplished. The key to being productive in the remaining year is being consistent in maintaining good habits, keep yourself motivated by avoiding or eliminating unproductive environment and joining good company. Always remember, that reward is not dependent on the results, instead it depends on the intentions behind it.

Look we still have a hope before this life ends, so why not maintained the lifestyle and discipline that we had in Ramadan, in the entire year.

May Allah SWT accept our efforts and strengthen us in the path of guidance. Ameen


Written by Bint e Abdul Waheed – Based on the learning during Ramadan

(Shared with some modifications)

DUA LIST FOR RAMADAN

There are Duas in Quran and Hadith that one can make in the days and nights of Ramadan and Laila-tul-Qadr. However, these Du’as are not restricted to be made only in Ramadan. As always, one can make Dua at anytime of the year.

For your convenience, here i have few examples of personal, relevant Duas you can make in these remaining days of Ramadan, Insha Allah. It would be ideal to print this list (or have it on your phone) and keep it handy. Likewise, please add to your list anything else that you would like, especially that which your heart desires.

Ya Rahman, Ya Raheem, Ya Rabb al Alameen.

1. Oh Allah, please forgive me for all of the bad that I’ve done, and I continue to do. You are so Merciful and kind, please forgive me, and help me stay away from all that’s wrong.Ya Afu, Forgive the sins that I don’t remember and the sins that I didn’t even consider as sins. It’s so hard for me, and I’m so weak but You are the Strong. Please increase me in sincerity.

2. Oh Allah, I beg You, please guide my parents and siblings toward You. Do not let them die without realizing who their Lord is. Let them see the truth and help them resist the pressure of friends who try to turn them away from You. Ya Allah, you are Al Ghaffaar. Forgive them, and grant them good health. Ya Rahman, me a sadaqa jariyah for my parents. Ya Allah Reward them in the greatest measures in this dunya & akhirah. Ya Allah Elevate their ranks and grant them Jannah al Firdaus.Ya Allah Make me coolness of their eyes in their old age.

3. Oh Allah, please guide my neighbors, towards You. Please guide them to the right path.

4. Oh Allah, make every single aspect of my life be for You and in service of Your Creation. Please remove all false intentions that I have. Ya Allah Remove the love of this world in its degrees & forms from my heart.

5. Ya Wahab, Grant me death with the shahadah on my tongue. Expand my grave for me and illuminate it with light. Preserve my record in Illiyeen and Lighten for me the questioning of the grave, Ya Kareem, Grant me death in a state of Ibadah, resurrect me in the same state and my Rabb, please keep me free from fear, anxiety and terror of the Day of Judgment.

6. Oh Allah, Grant my book in my right hand, make me among those who show their books to others with happiness. Make me successful in the Meezan.

7. Ya Allah, let me love You as You deserved to be loved, and let me fear You as You deserve to be feared, and let me leave this world serving Your creation for Your sake.

8. Oh Allah, increase me in beneficial knowledge, but let this knowledge be with sincerity, not seeking fame, glory, status, material wealth. Let this knowledge serve Your cause in a way that You accept, and let it benefit humanity. Oh Allah, guide me to seek this blessed Deen (religion) from those who are sincere, who possess the correct Islamic knowledge, who are moderate and gentle, who are not harsh or impatient with me, and who understand where I’m coming from, my situation as a Muslim in this country, living in this world today.

9. Oh Allah, bless our scholars and leaders who are striving to establish Islam in this world on the balanced path of Your beloved Prophet. O Allah, bless all of those who have taught me about You and Islam.

10. Oh Allah, give me the ability to forgive all those who have hurt me in word and deed and please Oh Allah, join our hearts.

11. Oh Allah, please guide my children and all children. Protect them my Lord from all of the evil influences that are around them. Give them friends who will strengthen their faith and help them stay on the Straight Path. Ya Allah Save our children from the impact of our mistakes in their lives. Ya Allah, assist us with physical & emotional strength to be a good parents & example to our children. Ya Allah Make our children the coolness of our eyes and make them sawaab-e-jaariya for me & my spouse.

12. Ya Allah Protect our children from harm, sicknesses, disbelief, haraam and destruction. Ya Rabb, Grant our children success in Deen, duniya & Aakhirah & grant us a lineage of righteous offspring until Yawm al Qiyaamah. Ya Allah Make them of those who establish Salah and prostrate only to you.

13. Ya Allah Make our children workers for Your Deen, hafidhul Quran, da’ees, imaams, scholars and shaheeds.

14. Oh Allah, please grant my family/friends who are waiting for the gift of “children”.. Please grant them Saleh children who will grow up to be a source of Mercy for them.

15. Oh Allah, please help me stay away from Haram in achieving the best of this world.

16. Oh Allah, guide and protect our teenagers who need Your Help and Guidance from all of the temptations of sex, drugs, alcohol and all of the other Harams in our society.
17. Ya Allah Give me the strength to be steadfast throughout the trials I encounter. Oh Allah, don’t let me ever turn away from You, no matter how many trials and difficulties You test me with.

18. Ya Allah Protect my family from evil, calamities, enviers & the shayaateen from man & jinn. Ya Allah Reward my spouse Your best reward for her/his striving for my family. Ya Allah save me & my entire family from the Hellfire & make us enter Jannah al Firdaus Aa’laa without being accounted.

19. Ya Allah Shield, increase & protect the love/mercy/barakah between me & my spouse for as long as we live. Bind us together with love. Do not let shaytan break our bond.

20. Ya Allah Forgive the sins of those who have passed away in my family & the Ummah – young & old.

21. Ya Allah Unite the hearts of those undergoing family/marital difficulties.

22. Ya Allah Guide me towards performing good accepted deeds for Your Sake only. And Help me to attain khushu’ & ikhlaas in my ibaadah.

23. Ya Allah Help me get closer to you as my end draws near. Ya Allah Make me love You, Your Prophet (pbuh), Your Deen, Your Quran the way it deserves to be loved. Ya allah Increase my iman, tawakkul, yaqeen in You. O Allah Increase me in Taqwa, Make me of shakiroon (grateful slaves) and Oolil Albaab (People of sound understanding).

24. Ya Allah Grant me a soft heart & content with Your Laws. Ya Allah Make the Quran be my companion in both worlds.Ya Allah Guide me to the siraat mustaqeem until my last breath, never be deviated in shirk, kufr or bid’ah. Ya Qaadiru, Make me among the muhsineen, muttaqeen, mukhliseen, the sabiqoon fil ilm.

25. Ya Allah Favour me with the ability to do tazkiyah of my soul throughout my life journey.

26. Oh Allah, please get my (father/brother/husband/ name of any person) out of this horrible debt that is burdening him. Please give him means that are to get out of this as soon as possible, so that we can face You on the Day of Judgment free of all debts.
27. Oh Allah, open a way for brothers/sisters to marry as soon as possible. Let them marry who is sincere and devoted to You and who is compatible with them.

28. Oh Allah, cleanse my heart of the sicknesses of arrogance, malice, jealousy, hatred, self-admiration, show off, envy and pride and let me die as one of the sincere, humble Muslims.

29. Oh Allah, open a way for me to make Hajj and umrah with my family again and again.

30. Oh Allah, all of my brothers and sisters who are suffering for Your sake through torture, violence, in jails, etc., around the world please forgive their sins and grant them Paradise. Oh Allah, help orphans and poor wherever they are and Forgive the Muslim ummah -the living and the dead. Bless the Muslims. Grant victory to the oppressed. Fill their hearts with Eman. Ya Qawiu, Ya Azizo, Bring the downfall of those (modern day pharaohs) oppressors & Relieve those who are deprived, burdened, oppressed, in debt. Ya Allah Protect my brothers & sisters across the warzones & from the persecution, rape, slaughter, humiliation.

31. Oh Allah, bless whole Muslim Ummah with tranquility and love, and end their hardships specially muslims from Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Srilanka .. (the list is endless).

32.Oh Allah, please help brothers give up smoking this year but only You can make it easy.

33. Ya Waliu, be the Helper of Single mothers and Widows.

34. Oh Allah, protect us against fitna of grave, Dajjal, Yujuj & Majuj, the last Day and Hell fire.

35. Ya Rahmanu, Expand my grave and illuminate it with light and Ya Allah Make my grave & barzakh a peaceful, cool abode.

36. Ya Allah Grant me the Shade of your Arsh on Yawmul Qiyaamah. Ya Allah Give me my record of deeds in my right hand and make my mizaan (scale) heavy with the good deeds.

37. Oh Allah, make us amongst the Sabiqoon as mentioned in Surah Al Waqiyah also make us worthy so we will drink water from the fountain of Al Kauthar from Prophet’s ﷺ hands on Day of Judgment.

38. Ya Allah Ease my crossing of the Siraat & Qantarah (bridges before Paradise) with the speed of light and more.

39. Oh Allah, lift the veils from the eyes of those who have been deceived into seeing Islam as something bad because of ignorance and media stereotypes.

40. Oh Allah, bring all humans closer to You and each other. Please do not make us Muslims a test for them with our misrepresentation of Islam because of our bad behavior. Oh Allah, save humanity from being its own enemy. Protect Your creation from oppression.

41. Ya Aleemo, Help me understand, write and speak Arabic

42. O Allah, Help me maintain good ties with my relatives

43. Ya Ghaffaro, Help me see my faults and cover it from others

44. Ya Raz’zaqo, Bestow me with wealth to spend in your way

45. Oh Allah, help me stop my bad habits of eating and talking too much. Grant me soft speech, protect my tongue from lying, backbiting, hurting others.

46. Ya Allah, Do not let others humiliate/oppress/mock/take advantage of me

47. O Allah, Help me be courageous and take correct decisions. Grant me correct Aqeedah, excellent memory and understanding of the deen with daleel

48. Grant me modesty in clothing and speech in front of non Mahrams.

49. Oh Allah help me leave behind a legacy with humility.

50. Ya Shaafio, Grant your perfect cure to those who are sick and give them beautiful Patience.

Ya Allah, O my Allah, Ya Rehman, Ya Rahim, Ya Kareem, Ya Sattar, Ya Ghaffar, Ya Qadir, Ya Sami, Ya Aleem, Ya Zuljalaali Wal ikraam be rahmatika astaghees.

Ya Allah I turn to you in repentance, in submission. I beg you plz fulfill my duas. Ya allah Forgive my sins, a complete forgiveness that leaves no trace. Ya allah Forgive my transgressions of Your Commands & the violations of the rights of people. Ya allah Grant me victory over my shortcomings, Reform and upgrade me Ya Kareem. O Allah, accept my duaas, ibaadah & deeds. Ameen Ya Rabul Ala’meen

 

Planning is a First Step to Build on….Let’s Plan for Ramadan

Ramadan is the name of a month in Islam.This month is known as one of most blessed month due to its special relation with the Divine Book of Allah swt, The Quran. It’s revelation was First introduced to Prophet Mohammad ﷺ in the Month of Ramadan۔ Later، its revelation continued for next 23 years.This month has special night which is better than the worship of 1000 months. If one encounters this blessed night and stands for worship during the night, get the opportunity of reward equivalent to 1000 month. Invocations have special importance in this blessed month more importantly at the time of breaking fast. If one attains Taqwa, obeys Commands of Allah swt and refrain from unlawful, insha’Allah they ll become source for acceptance of Duas.

Allah swt says in Quran,

And when ask you My servants about Me, then indeed I am near. I respond (to the) invocation (of) the supplicant when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me and let them believe in Me, so that they may (be) led aright.

(Surah Al-Baqarah: 186)

Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to refresh our iman and to remove our impurities. In this time of year, we are blessed with pure quality time to look in our hearts, to see our mistakes and an opportunity to get rid of bad habits that are harming our affairs of this world and Hereafter.

Let’s make a planner to groom and organize ourselves in this month with intention to improve the quality of our Iman.With intention to enter in coming month with improved qualities and high status in Iman near Allah swt through purification, striving, internal training, invocations, and with lots Istighfar (seeking forgiveness of Allah swt for sins).

Why Planning is Important?

Planning is most important to have a clear framework and structure before working and to decide all required steps to be taken. It makes one organized and provides a timeline to start and complete the target properly.

Things to Remember before Planning for Ramadan, a self grooming project:

1- Set short/easy goals: It will make it easier to achieve your goals with less burden on mind and soul. Once you will achieve your short tasks, it will give you sense of achievement and will encourage you to proceed further.

2- Equilibrium: It is an important rule of Balance. Do not add too many things in your to do list from beginning of month. It will tire you by the last 10 special days of Ramadan when Our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would be most devoted for worship. Make sure, you’ll be fresh and ready for more in the end of Month.

3- Continuity & Firmness: It is most divine rule that we maintain consistency in our routine. Allah swt likes those deeds which are smaller but continuous. In your to do list, set some goals from start and make sure you remain consistent throughout.

Every Day Schedule/Day Planner:

  1. Divide your activities in half hour/ smaller chunks.
  2. Assign activity to yourself from each category such as Prayer, Invocations, hifz review, Juz recitation, preparing Sahoor, kids school getting ready time, Dawa Time, Time for your parents on phone, study time etc.
  3. Prioritize activities those are must to do while you can compromise others if some thing unusual comes up.In this way you’ll attain continuty on “Must to do goals’ and will remain patient on missed activity.

For a reference you can divide following activities as per our Ramadan Planner

Ibadah Improvement Self Grooming Improvement Dawa/Spreading Divine Message Project Cooking/Feeding a Source of Ibadah a way to enter In Paradise
First and main Goal Punctuality Sharing the Blessings Cooking/Feeding/ Serving is Ibadah:
Put most effort in Beautifying and Betterment of Ferd Prayers If you lack Punctuality; like can’t wake up on first alarm, delay prayers for making up wudu, or waste time doing other chores even on your way to prayer rug, spend extra time on phone, in cleaning/cooking or in just sitting, Now it’s time to divide each hour in useful little chunks for attaining continuity. Praying on Time is one of the Most Beloved deed near Allah swt Different ways of sharing are to: Renew your Intention,
1- Write a Letter to your Neighbour about importance of Ramadan. 1- Offering Food to hungry, is itself a Sadaqa. Each day when you’ll present food with love to your family, it will cheer your heart as well. According to meaning of an Hadith, to feed others is a way to enter in paradise.
2- Mention sharing my Iftar with you 2- You are cooking healthy nutritious food to actively perform in your Ibadah.
3- Take a Brown bag add some dates or any sweet you want to add 3- To share this food with others
 4- Wrap in an Envelope with some rose petals in it 4- Eating and enjoying good Healthy food, is also a way to be thankful for the blessings of Allah swt.
5- Add some Dawa Cards.  5- Balance is a Rule for success. Make sure not to spend a big portion of day only in cooking
Make an intention to share your Iftar with above package at least with one Neighbour/Muslim or Non Muslim. With the Help of Allah swt and one’s determination message can be delivered to 30 families in 30 days of Ramadan. May Allah swt help us to achieve our goals, Ameen.
New Adhkar and Dua Anger Management: Quantity doesn’t count: Instant receipe Plan:
Add one New Dua/adhkar in your prayers every day. If you feel you need to work on your temper control, look for strategies from sunnah and start applying, also make lots of Duas along with your effort to achieve this target.You will see improvemnt. Having big Iftar at your place can be time consuming in this precious month.Buy some dates boxes and deliever to your family Friends/Relatives with intention, if they break fast with these dates, reward for Iftar will instantly go in our Bank of deeds Inshah’Allah Find some healthy instant food recipes before Ramadan and remain prepared with ingredients.

1- Freeze chicken/Kabab/ pre-cut vegetables in small packets.

   2- Cut Fresh Fruits Daily

3- Avoid soda such as coke, sprite, etc.

4- Lemonade is good for digestion.

Add Sunnah Prayers: Talkative:   Time for Iftar:
If you pray Ferd only, add sunnah from now on with intention to continue later after Ramadan as well. We all need to watch our words as are being written.To speak good and beneficial is better then lots of Gossips/lyin/backbiting/etc Do not spend too much time in Iftar. It is better to break the fast by eating dates or drinking water first; then, the evening prayer (maghrib) is performed. It is also appropriate to eat the dinner quickly and then perform the evening prayer.
*start working on this with asking aid from Allah swt to attain persistence to talk useful.
Add Nafil Prayers: Spending on unnecessary stuff:   Water intake:
If you pray ferd and sunnah, add obligatory prayer Nafil in your ibadah with intention to continue after Ramadan Spending extravagant is that effects the strength of our Iman and weakens our relationship with Allah swt Do not drink too much water at once or too fast, after iftar drink here and there in short intervals to avoid dehydration. Water Deficiency will make you tired and less active.
 *Avoid buying extra that has no benefit or use
Addition in Nafils: Breaking bad habits:   Eat in Balance:
If you already have continuity on Ferd/sunnah/Nafil add 2 Nafil for Wudu before any one or Two prayers such as before Asr and Maghrib for this Year. Figure out one of your bad habit first, and activate conscious thinking of your brain because it is important stage, initially it ll be battle between the strength of your conscious mind and programmed behaviors in your subconscious control. And with the blessings of Ramadan, you’ll insha’Allah attain grip on it later. Do not fill your stomach as you need to stand for (Taraweeh) Night prayer.

 

 


Written by Bint e Abdul Waheed 

RAMADAN WITH KIDS – 30 ACTIVITIES FOR 30 DAYS

Ramadan is around the corner and parents must be looking some fun and productive activities for their kids. So, here we designed 30 activities for our little munchkins 🙂 hope they like them and ll have very happy ramadan insha’Allah.

Please print the Activity sheets given below, you can make changes as per kid’s age and interests. You can cut them out of the paper, and challenge them with daily task.

We make sincere dua that each of one of us witnesses this special month and utilises it, so it benefits us on the Day when Allah will announce for the blessed souls to enter Jannah from the gate of Ar Rayyan. Ameen.

 


Download Activity Sheets for kids.

Original idea shared on blog Modest Munchies

Related Sources:

Ramadan Planners

How to make our Ramadan more productive?